Planning the Week

Had breakfast with a friend this morning. After a week of no spending and not eating out this felt quite profligate and not very smart. Friend suggested the breakfast and the restaurant, and I should have countered with ‘let’s just do coffee’. The food was fine and the conversation was very good, so it was not a total loss.

In the afternoon I answered work e-mails, washed dishes and prepped food. Used the chicken breast I had poached last week to make chicken salad and also made a big batch of Israeli salad. Lunches for Monday and Tuesday are ready to go, and as soon as I buy or make mayo, I’ll make tuna salad for Wednesday through Friday lunches. There will be donuts at work both Monday and Thursday this week and that’s fine; as I wrote earlier, I’m not worrying about free food for now.

Wrote up an hour by hour to-do list for tomorrow; checking things off as I do them should help with staying focused and minimizing distractions. Reminded myself yet again that speaking in meetings is rarely if ever a good use of my time, and that I just need to breathe deeply and let others do the talking.

Speaking of distractions, I hope my neighbors stop with their screaming and loud music when the football game is done, because the noise levels are getting very annoying. Not going to complain over a once a year game, but I wish people would remember that they are in an apartment complex and conduct themselves accordingly.

My internet provider has decided to jack up the modem rental fee from $3.99 to $8.00 per month (wtf?) so I went online and ordered a cable modem from Amazon. If the install goes well I’ll return the rented modem to the provider mid-week, and perhaps inquire gently who is the dingbat at corporate who thought a 100% price increase would be a good idea.

One Week Into February

Rather pleased by last week: went five days in a row, Monday through Friday, without buying any non-grocery food. Packed lunch every day, avoided the staff room at lunch four days out of five. To make that happen I started bringing lunches that do not require reheating. It was homemade chicken salad or homemade tuna salad and assorted veggies every single day, and these stayed cold enough in the cooler so that I didn’t have to store them in the staff fridge. Giving myself more latitude this weekend but paying cash for everything, just to make the spending as tangible as possible. Back to the no non-grocery food track on Monday, and this time I plan to avoid the staff room every single day.

Decided to not give myself a hard time if I ate any free food at work. It’s easy for me to start demanding (from myself) improvement in multiple areas all at the same time, and that leads repeatedly to failure and frustration.

Other helpful things accomplished last week include a long overdue rebalancing of my 401K and slightly increasing my automatic contribution to same. Also cleaned up my feed reader subscription list: got rid of anything FA or HAES related (don’t care anymore) as well as several exercise and fitness blogs that had commercialized and repetitive. Kept a selection of political items from left and right, some Hebrew language blogs with unique perspectives, and some education blogs written by people who actually teach (rather than pontificate about education from afar).

Got up early Saturday morning, went to TJoe’s and then to the library. The study rooms have been refurbished and are more pleasant now, although I am not sure who thought it would be a good idea to place the ‘quiet study’ area near the children’s area. Maybe the assumption was that everyone these days works with earbuds in their ears. Spent about three hours dealing with work related items, then went home and took care of some food prep for next week.

Went to watch my students play basketball Saturday night. Haven’t done that for ages; didn’t go the entire year after dad died, and didn’t go back after that because I needed a clearer line of demarcation between work and life. It felt like work was taking over everything, and not in a good way. The game was interesting. Really enjoyed watching the teamwork, the enthusiastic coach, the way the students encouraged each other, and the emotional highlight that is Senior Night. It reminded me of the years during which I went to almost every game. But at other points I felt dissatisfied with the experience, and wondered if it would have been better to stay home and read a book, or go to a sports bar and watch UFC Fight Night 82 instead.

Pesach Cleaning in January

The contents of my kitchen cabinets are all over my living room at the moment. Looks like Pesach cleaning in January. Last week the apartment complex management left a notice on my door that pest control would be coming on Friday, and that it would be greatly appreciated if residents would empty their kitchen cabinets, as it would help with the efficacy of the treatment. So I did, and took advantage of the clean-out to get rid of many things. Now I’m slowly putting things back, but only things I use.

The mess is exacerbated by the fact that I was in the midst of purging my closets last week, and so I have clothes on the floor as well. Thankfully there is a deadline to the madness, as I’ve booked a carpet cleaning immediately following Presidents Day, so everything needs to be off the floor at that point.

Made a W30 compliant meatloaf for this week’s lunches. Had several stumbles out of the blocks attempting to get a W30 off the ground, but I think that I’ve finally fixed all the things that kerfuffled the previous attempts. For the record, weight this morning was 207.8, which is 22 lbs heavier than I was at the end of my one successful W30 back in January of 2014. Went to TJoe’s at 8:00am to get a few things, and the cashier recognized (unprompted) that everything I was buying was W30 compliant.

Goals for this week are mostly recycled: successfully kick off a W30, stay out of the staff lounge at work and say as little as possible at meetings, continue getting rid of things, go to bed at a decent hour, don’t worry about things I can’t control.

Ice Glaze

Today I am grateful for:
– Snow crews who were out earlier in the day salting and treating the roads;
– Phlegmatic midwestern drivers who leave sufficient distance between cars when driving;
– The nice person who lent me her gloves so I could continue scraping ice off the car without getting frostbitten fingers;
– Lane markers still mostly visible when I drove home; and,
– Arriving home from work more quickly than expected.

What I learned last week was that it is not sufficient to have three of five lunches prepped at the start of the week. Need to have every single lunch prepped if the week is going to be nutritionally not stupid. So this weekend I cooked, and right now I have lunches for the entire week nicely arranged in the fridge.

Goal for the week is to get seven hours of sleep (or more) every night. Not that this is news, but sufficient sleep does good things to my stress levels.

Cold Weekend

Last week was frustrating but it concluded in a very satisfactory weekend. Was so annoyed by the end of the week that I decided to do things I do not usually do. For one thing, I bought a lottery ticket. Didn’t win, of course, but I got some pleasant ‘what if‘ thinking out of it, which led to ‘what can I fix right now sans lottery‘ thinking and doing.

The other unusual thing I did was go to a movie, in a movie theater, with a work colleague, and it was my idea. Can’t remember the last time I did that. We saw Creed and both of us loved it. Actually cried at two points but won’t describe them to avoid spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Decided to see Creed when I read this FB note about it by author Steven Barnes. Never thought about that aspect of it before, probably because from my perspective the less romance in a film the better…

Barnes wrote The Kundalini Equation, which was one of my favorite books when I was a high schooler, and no, not because it has a fat character who gets in shape… Still have the paperback of TKE around here somewhere, as well as Streetlethal and Gorgon Child, which I also loved.

Other than enjoying the film, I also, unexpectedly, enjoyed the film-going experience. Stadium seating, reclining chairs, a good sized screen, good sound, quiet people who did not take out their cell phones… far better than expected. Pending weather, I may go back next weekend to watch In the Heart of the Sea.

The organization goal for this week is to clear out one of my two closets. The cold weather today made it easier to stay indoor and sort clothes. Made good progress and got rid of several items that I should have tossed out long ago.

The nutrition goal for this week (Mon through Sun) is no food purchases outside the house. No drive-throughs, no restaurants, no soda from the vending machine, no donut shops. Grocery store is fine for fruit and veg: everything else I already have. Spent time today cooking and portioning things to make this achievable. Right now I already know what breakfast will be every day and have lunches ready to go for the next three days. Also have ingredients ready for the next main dish I’m going to make, an ersatz Chicken Tikka Masala sans cream.

The other goals for this week are to work on my resume and send it out to at least one place, get seven hours of sleep each night, and leave work at work.

Cooking Again

Too lazy to prep and bring lunch with me today, and there was a ton of unhelpful food at work, so lunch ended up being chocolate cake. And there was more (and different) cake later on.

On the bright side, organizing the kitchen cabinets over the weekend made it easier to start cooking as soon as I got home from work in the afternoon. Made ground beef with tomatoes and rogan josh seasoning, and that over spaghetti squash will be the lunches I take to work for the rest of the week.

Left work promptly at the end of the day, but ended up replying to a couple of work related e-mails from home.

Didn’t post anything on FB, although I did log in out of habit and quickly logged out again.

Blogged for two days in a row. :)

So, not great, but not atrocious either. Small steps.

New Year, New Look

2016 already.

In the two months since my last post I haven’t exercised or paid attention to nutrition. Current weight is 207 lbs (93.9Kg).

Spent both Thanksgiving break and most of winter break in Canada visiting mom. The leg incision finally closed, but it took additional hospitalizations, an allograft and an autograft.

Got back to the USA on New Year’s Eve. I was supposed to get back home on the 30th, but an airplane delay leaving Canada caused me to miss my connection in the USA, and I ended up (for the second time this year) spending the night on the floor of an airport. I don’t mind dozing on the floor, but the stupid televisions in the airport stay on all night, and CNN drivel does not a restful environment make.

While in Canada I met up with an old friend and his husband for brunch and then dinner. By “old”, I mean we met in high school. They were such a pleasure to talk with; they get all my obscure references. Friend is very successful in his field; without getting specific, I can say that he has fully lived up to his intellectual potential. Wish I could say that about me, but I can’t: 2016 will be about much needed self-improvement.

No formal resolutions except for “leave work at a decent hour” and “stay out of the staff lounge and have lunch at desk“. Right now I’m doing little things to prime myself for bigger changes come mid-January. Bought boots and loafers (a.k.a shoes that are not sneakers), organized 50% of my kitchen cabinets, decided to take a month (could be longer) break from posting anything to FB.