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Thursday, September 20, 2012

You're Not Getting Older...You're Getting Better!

That tagline was used in an ad campaign in 1971 by Loving Care hair color.  (While I remembered the slogan, I confess I had to Google the company who used it!).  But for me tonight, that saying is more than a memory from my childhood--it's the truth!

Today, I did something I couldn't have done last year.  Or the year before.  Or for the last twenty years!  I completed a challenge course with a group of colleagues at a place in Ayden called "The Refuge."  We had a half day at school, and the intention was for us to get some relaxation and do some team building at this place.  A "light lunch" consisting of hot dogs (ugh) was served and then we were free to do whatever we wanted.  Some people played basketball, some went to yoga, and my intention was to read as I took my Kindle with me.

A group that was going to do the challenge course loaded up on the tractor wagon near the table where we were eating, and Pam, a colleague, asked me to join them.  I demurred...then changed my mind!  And am I ever so glad that I did!

Ultimately, I was more physically active today than I ever was!  I actually went over a cable spool that was suspended about 5 1/2 feet in the air!  I am a little achy tonight, but I'm also so very proud of myself.  As I came over the spool, I hugged the teacher who caught me.  And I cried.  

It's important to note that I didn't want to do the last challenge.  And the reason I didn't was because I didn't believe I could do it.  I also didn't want to depend on my coworkers to lift me over the spool, given the fact that I still think I weigh 300 pounds.  I know, in my rational mind, that I am smaller, but to feel live it...I don't really know it at all.

We posed for the photo below as a group after we all completed the challenge course.  I didn't hide behind anyone, and while I think I look a little "lumpy" in the picture (I wish I'd adjusted my shirt!), I'm proud of it, too.  

It is FRIDAY.  Hope yours is fabulous...just one more week until payday!  (In taking this job, I also took a SEVENTEEN THOUSAND dollar pay cut--and went from getting paid twice a month to once a month. I literally have $3 to my name...) But at least I have my health!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Just Another Day...Or Is It?

Yesterday, as you know, was my birthday.  And I tend to say, "Eh, it's just another day...", but the truth is, every birthday is an event.  It is.  A birthday marks the passing of a year.  It marks the gaining of wisdom (hopefully) and the loss of inhibitions.  A birthday is a beginning.  

Last night, I went to dinner with a friend to the Twisted Fork in Raleigh.  I've never been disappointed there--and I wasn't last night, either.  I ordered the "Sweet Tea Roasted Chicken".  It was a half (!) chicken that had been brined in sweet tea and then roasted to perfection.  It was moist, juicy and delicious.  The skin was brown and crisp, and it was WAY more food than I could eat.  I shared half of it with my friend who took it home.  I ate half of my half--which was plenty.  It was served with garlic mashed potatoes (which were real potatoes, and judging from the color, Yukon golds at that) and "succotash".  Their version of succotash wasn't the usual corn-and-lima-beans combination that I know--instead, it was corn, red peppers, green beans and a bit of bacon.  Delicious.  I ate half of everything and packed up the rest for dinner today!

I was comfortably "stuffed" but my friend ordered dessert (which the server used as a place for a birthday candle for me).  I took just a small bite off the end of the most decadent deep chocolate cheesecake I've ever had.  It was terrific, but amazingly rich.  I couldn't have eaten more than the bite I did eat! (I wouldn't have been able to eat it all even if I hadn't had the chicken first!  After all, sugar is not my friend, remember?)

After dinner, we stopped at World Market, my favorite store, where I used my FREE Explorer's Club birthday gift certificate worth $10 to buy two pairs of earrings!  Happy birthday to me, indeed!  The one pair had a stone that matched perfectly the sweater I was wearing!

It's Wednesday! Make it WONDERFUL!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to Meeeee!

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last posted!  Sorry about that.  Things at school are crazy!!  As it is, it's nearly 2am, and I should be sleeping!!  Progress reports are due today, and my principal is going to observe my third period class.  The good news is that it's my honors class, and the kids are great.  Plus we're starting Romeo & Juliet, which I just love teaching!

It's my birthday.  I'm 55.  FIFTY-FIVE.  Hard to believe, because I don't feel older than 27 or 28.  I remember my grandmother telling me that she was often surprised by the old woman in the mirror as she never felt old.  I understand that now.  

Last Monday night, I went to team trivia with a colleague from school and her roommate.  We won!  I was really on my game!  Unfortunately, I also had a "first"...I vomited.  I haven't been sick like that since the surgery, and it was really my own fault.  Hannah and I had ordered these delicious Thai chicken lettuce wraps.  If I hadn't been stupid enough to eat pizza AFTER that, I would have been all right.  We ordered a pizza--it was small--and I had a very small slice.  It was very thin, but it was still too much, and I got sick.  

I needed that, I think.  I think I had grown somewhat complacent about living with this surgery.  It taught me a valuable lesson.  I need to slow down when I eat, and I need LIMITS.  Period.

I've dated a little in the past two weeks, but I haven't felt anything "magical", so I'm still looking.  I'm really not working at it now, though, either.  I want someone I don't want to live without--not someone I can live with. :-)

Have a fabulous Tuesday--and happy birthday to me!! I'm older, hopefully wiser and more than 100 pounds lighter than I was LAST birthday!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The End of Summer and the Beginning of...?

I know I said I was taking a hiatus from dating, but I had dinner yesterday with a very nice man.  Joe brought me red roses and was an absolute gentleman.  He opened my car door, the restaurant door, helped me out of the booth at the restaurant, and so on.  He was very chatty, but it was nice to get to know him better. He and I met online, and he was quick to say how nice it was to meet someone who looked JUST like her photos.  Of course, my photos are recent!! He has met two other women (he's new to online dating)who had displayed OLD photographs. (In browsing profiles, I've seen photos that were dated 1994! Why would anyone misrepresent themselves that way?)

While we were eating, he asked to see me again, and I said yes.  We went to Long Horn Steakhouse, where I'd never been.  I ordered the parmesan-crusted chicken, which was two grilled chicken breasts COVERED with cheese, and mashed potatoes with a Caesar salad.  I ate a few bites of my salad, a small slice of the crusty wheat bread and about 2/3 of the one of the chicken breasts together with a few bites of mashed potatoes.  It was really delicious.

Joe is NOTHING like any of the men I've ever dated.  He's quite a bit older than I, VERY Southern and pretty well off financially.  Totally not my type, which may be that he IS my type completely!  I'm going to see him again and see what happens.  Why not? 

I've lost another four pounds--I'm now about 13 pounds heavier than I was in high school.  I'm probably a smaller size than high school; the weight isn't a very good indicator as I have so much loose skin.  (Ugh.  I should ask all my readers to send me a few dollars so I can pay for plastic surgery!  LOL!)  

Saturday, I went to Wilmington to spend the day with Shannon, my ex's granddaughter.  God, I love that kid!  When I was in NY last month, I bought her a Tinkerbell lamp--she loves Tink, and she loved the gift.  She and I and her grandmother, Nina, went to lunch (where Nina and I shared the greasiest fish I've ever eaten) and then to the movies to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  I won't spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't seen it, but very early on, I saw the direction in which it was going and started crying like a baby!   By the end of the movie, I had gone through four tissues and a wad of napkins!  Nina cried toward the end, too, but Shannon just seemed to enjoy herself.

I was freezing in the movie theatre.  Part of my problem is my thyroid--I have a hard time adjusting to temperature.  The other thing, of course, is that I've lost 127 pounds of padding!  I have purchased a few light wraps over the past couple months--little "cardigans" to shield myself, but I didn't take it into the movie!  I DID take it with me to the restaurant yesterday--thank goodness, because the place was freezing!  It's been super hot here the past few days, and the contrast between the outside temperature and the inside temperature is just too hard to deal with!

It's Labor Day, which means autumn isn't far behind.  I'm glad--I have some new fall clothing that I really want to wear!  And maybe if it gets a little cooler, my 4th period students will be more inclined to do some work.  I'm spending MY Labor Day working--I have quite a bit of school work to do and my house is a mess.  I hope you're spending yours doing something at least a LITTLE entertaining.  Have a great day, and as always, thanks for reading!
First-date roses!