Friday, September 30, 2011

Weight Watchers, Because it Works

That's the new slogan for Weight Watchers that you hear Jennifer Hudson espousing in the commercials. There are lots of critics that keep saying she must've had weight loss surgery and that there's no way she's doing the Weight Watchers program. As someone who knows my area's regional Weight Watchers manager, I know that a person cannot endorse the program unless they've actually done it. Also, if she'd had weight loss surgery, she'd look like an old crone. Rapid weight loss ages you like nothing else ever will.

I've said all of that to give my own example of "because it works". Last week I gained 4.6lbs because of a lovely sweets binge and a complete and total lack of tracking my food intake. After the passage of my 36th birthday and a nice pep talk to myself, I got back on plan. I tracked, ate sweets in moderation, and exercised which resulted in a loss of 3.6lbs. My intake of sweets in moderation included two (count 'em, two) slices of cheesecake on the day after my birthday. So for anyone who was holding on to skepticism about Weight Watchers, take that! Also, I didn't eat a single salad during the past week, so no, you don't need to eat rabbit food to lose weight.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moment of Truth Day

I'm sure you've all noticed that I haven't posted about my weigh-ins for a while. Frankly I've been annoyed with myself and the lack of progress. What I was doing is regressing. The cardinal rule of Weight Watchers is tracking what you eat and for two or three weeks I had been tracking in a very half-assed way and just stuffing my face. I knew I was going way beyond the points I was allowed, but my rationale was that anything extra could be subtracted from the extra weekly points that I have to work with. As I'm sure you can guess, that went over real well. Last week when I weighed in, I had gained 4.6lbs. Once again I told myself that I was cutting out sweets, so I decided to have a free-for-all before cutting them out completely, hence the large weight gain.

When it comes right down to it, the only one I was fooling is myself (and I wasn't doing a very good job). There's no way that I'm willing to omit sweets from my daily food intake. The way to manage my penchant for tearing into any sweets in the general vicinity is to buy one single serving-sized treat at a time. That's what I did this week, and I think it worked well for me. I can feel that I've lost weight. Also, that bastard scale of mine says I weigh less than I did last Thursday, so here's hoping.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Goodbye 35

Tomorrow is my 36th birthday. Each year around this time I evaluate my life to see where I am compared to where I want to be. I used to do it because I thought it was helpful with regard to motivating me to meet my goals, but I think it's become more of an albatross around my neck. This self-evaluation may be starting to overshadow my accomplishments. As human beings we spend a lot of time focusing on what we haven't done, without congratulating ourselves on what we have done. Over the past year, I've kept off a significant amount of weight. I haven't lost all that I want to lose (which I had hoped to do by now), but what I've done so far is nothing to sneeze at. I am still gainfully employed despite the fact that the economy is in the toilet and I spent almost five years of my life with one of the most apathetic men in the world. I'd much rather be doing a different job, and had planned on doing a different one by now, but all things in good time.

A while back I renamed this blog The Best Me That I Can Be. The only way I can be the best me is to recognize my accomplishments and appreciate them. I don't need to compare myself to anyone else because we all started our lives with different foundations, and over the years have been given different building blocks. I've tried to build on what I knew was unstable ground in the hopes that one day it might become stable. If it's weak or doesn't hold what I need it to hold without buckling, I should tear everything down and find steady ground. The past year has made me realize that the steadiest ground is within myself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Album Review

Yesterday my favorite singer Gavin DeGraw released his fourth studio album entitled Sweeter. Because of the glut of shite music out there and Gavin's reluctance to pander to trends and gimmicks, there are still a lot of people that don't know who he is. Of the ones that do know of him, they only know him for his songs I Don't Want to Be, Follow Through, or Chariot. His repertoire contains much, much more. Since he plays both piano and guitar, he can write and sing in a wide variety of styles. I feel like this album is a lot like the "stripped" version of his first album, Chariot, in that you can really hear the nuances of his voice without all of the studio bells and whistles. He doesn't need all of that crap because he can actually sing. Take a listen to Sweeter right here:

Overall, I think this album gives you more of a feel for Gavin's personality. He has a very tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and songs such as Sweeter, Candy, and Radiation play into that. Many see him as being all about a love song, which he delivers on with Soldier, You Know Where I'm At, and Where You Are. The first single, Not Over You is a nice, bouncy intro to the album. He cowrote it with Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic. Although I don't listen to OneRepublic, I figured I'd throw that in for for those of you who might. If you actually listen to Gavin's lyrics on any of his albums, you'll know that he's not writing fluffy, meaningless music with a good beat that you can dance to. Saying this may cast me as a music snob, but I like some substance to what I'm listening to. Yeah, I like the fun stuff, but no amount of costumes, tricks, or passes through auto tune can overshadow genuine talent.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We All Got Troubles

Yesterday I went to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to get my driver's license renewed. Anyone who has ever had to do this knows that one encounters all kinds while waiting for one's number to be called. On this day there was a young man begging for $25 so that he could pay to get a state-issued ID. Apparently he lives in a homeless shelter and was about to sign the lease on a Section 8 apartment. For those of you who don't know what a Section 8 apartment is, it's public housing for low-income people. He claimed that in order to sign his lease he needed a birth certificate and an ID, otherwise he'd be back out on the street. He also added that the shelter wasn't willing to pay for his ID. Personally I really don't know how much truth there was to his story. There are a couple of things about this that nag at me. First of all, he must've known well in advance of his getting approved for the apartment that he'd need an ID. Also, you pretty much need an ID for everything these days, so why didn't he have one? As for the shelter not being willing to pay for it, I would think that they'd be happy to shell out $25 in order to get this guy out of their hair and off the streets.

Valid or not, his story made me think. Were this 10 or 15 years ago, I'm sure someone would've given him the money he needed. Hell, that someone may have even been me! In the past it seems as if we all felt a little more generous and were more willing to help our fellow man. Now the economy is so bad that many of us are only a paycheck or two away from being right where that guy is. We don't really have cash to spare anymore. The glut of con artists that has surfaced also makes us wary of just handing someone money. It's kind of sad, but it's what our existence has become. In general, I'm a sweet, giving, compassionate person; which would make it easy to be taken for a ride if I didn't harden my heart just that little bit. If the guy really was telling the truth and wasn't able to raise $25, I feel bad for him, but because he's a stranger, I couldn't risk giving him my hard-earned money.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Petsitter Update

A question from one of my Twitter friends made me realize that I hadn't done my follow-up post about the petsitter I hired to look after Topaz while I was in Georgia visiting my family. The petsitter was wonderful. I hired her to stop in once a day to feed Topaz, scoop her litterbox, and play with her a bit. During each visit she wrote down a brief description of Topaz's mood and eating habits. Prior to me leaving for my trip, she encouraged me to text her to check in. I did that around the midweek point and she was actually there with Topaz when I texted. They were having a great time.

When I got home, the little report of what took place each day was there, as well as a new toy for Topaz. The fact that the petsitter gave her a new toy was great, and totally unexpected. I'm so glad I brought the petsitter a magnet back from Georgia. She actually collects magnets, so I made a good choice :-). She told me that she enjoyed spending time with Topaz and that she'd be happy to look after her again anytime. Because Topaz immediately accepted her when they met, I knew they'd get on well. It was nice to see that things went so well. I will definitely be calling on her the next time I take a trip. For those who live in the suburbs north of Boston, here's her website, For anyone else in need of petsitting services, the Petsitters International website is an excellent resource,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Georgia on My Mind

I spent all of last week visiting my family in Georgia. I hadn't seen them since Christmas. That Christmas was the first one without my grandmother. No matter how much time passes, it's hard to come to grips with the fact that she and my uncle are dead. Because I lived next to them when I was growing up, they were a huge part of my life. Every time I went back, they were there. Now that theyre not, I feel like a huge part of me is missing.

When I was checking in at the airport yesterday, the attendant at the counter asked if I was going home. I told him I was going to my "adult" home and that Georgia is my "childhood" home. I spent the first 19 years of my life in Georgia, which gave me the foundation to build my life on. My love, compassion, empathy, and intuition were born there. Upon moving to Massachusetts, I fine-tuned those things through life experience. It hasn't been easy, but I keep looking forward. My "childhood" home is a touchstone that helps me to regain my footing when I feel off-balance. I feel a certain peacefulness upon my return to my "adult"  home.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'll Fly Away

Hey, guess what? I'm blogging from way above the clouds. I'm currently on my flight from Boston to Atlanta to visit my family. I really enjoy actual air travel, but I'm not fond of the things that now accompany the process. Don't even get me started about having to pay to check a bag! I'm glad that 10 years post-9/11 getting through security is relatively easy, but do we REALLY need the full-body scanner? Yep, I had to stand in that baby. I hope they like what they saw, hahaha!!!! Right now I'm enjoying my complimentary snacks. Lord knows I'm not going to pay Delta for a granola bar when I could've brought one from home...Anyway, I'm psyched to see my family after almost nine months and I'm ready to have some fun :-).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gettin' Down with My Bad Self

Yesterday's blog entry indicated that my weigh-in should show a loss. There have been times, like last week, when the loss has been a tiny one. I was lucky enough for this week's loss to be not so tiny. I was down 2lbs. Once again I actually think that bastard scale of mine was correct down to the last tenth of a pound. It looks like it's only correct every other week. What's up with that? Regardless, I'm extremely psyched about the loss. Only 14.4 more pounds to go to get to goal :-).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Good Friend the Scale

Thursday has rolled around yet again. My plan week started out well, but got muddled in the middle. I'm hoping that I finished strong. I do better when I have something to do after work so that I don't focus on food. On Monday I met with Topaz's petsitter. On Tuesday I went to get my hair done and then hung out with a friend. Yesterday I was able to maintain that frame of mind by getting online after I got home, while watching the US Open. When I got on the scale this morning it said I was down at least a pound. As I said before, as long as I'm down, I'm moving in the right direction ;-).