Bragging a bit.

Today I am going to brag a bit. Actually, I am going to brag a lot. Deal with it. However before the bragging, I need to share a bit of my personal history and thought processes.

There are a lot of things that I dislike doing; lots of activities that make up part of life in the modern world that are necessary, but not articularly enjoyable. Not for me anyway. One of those activities is shopping for new clothes. If I am being totally honest I would say that my feelings about shopping for clothes is more of a hatred than a mere dislike. The experience has never been enjoyable, and often has been downright miserable.

However, because my recent success in losing weight (73 pounds, 6 oz.  as of this morning) it had become very necessary to get some new clothes. As much as I hate shopping for clothes, I hate having my pants fall down around my ankles as I walk across a parking lot even more. Something had to be done.

Now, as it happens, the day I returned from my very enjoyable vacation I had received the newest KingSize Direct catalog in the mail. I have ordered all my clothes from their for the last several years. The timing of the catalogs arrival was particularly good because I had received my commission check the same day. After paying some bills that had been delayed by vacation I even had a few bucks left over. So, I sat down and paged through the catalog. After about twenty minutes I reached for my phone and called them to make the order: twenty minutes later 7 pairs underwear, 7 pairs of socks, two pairs of slacks, and four shirts were on the way to me.

The order arrived yesterday. All the items fit. Now for the bragging part, all of the items, with the exception of the socks, were two sizes SMALLER than my previous order. Yeah, I’m kind of proud of that.

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Back In The Real World

I have been back in the real world, as opposed the vacation world, for three days now. I will be returning to work this afternoon. I am ready to get back to work. Ready to get back to work at my job, and at my diet.

I was rather pleased to see that I did not really gain back any weight while on vacation. The first day back the scale showed a gain of three pounds, but I think that was more a time of day thing. The next step on the scale, yesterday at my normal time, actually showed a loss. So, when I say that I am ready to get back to work on my diet, it is not because I feel that I have lost ground. No, I just mainly want find ways to be more….well successful. I want to find ways to take advantage of the great feelings, the great motivation, I brought back from my vacation. That will be what I work on, what I think about this coming week.

What I Have Learned.

Tuesday evening already. I am running out of week quickly, and I still have quite a bit to do. I really should not spend time writing this post tonight, but I honestly think I would feel worse if I did not take the time. Tonight I am going to spend some time thinking about what I have learned in the 81 days since I started this current journey. There will be no particular order to these thoughts, I am just going to post what comes across my mind. Here goes:

* I have learned that it is much easier to stay on plan, on track, the more people you tell what about your goal; this is not something that can be , or should be, done in isolation.

* I have learned that people will be incredibly supportive when they know you are working toward a goal. This support will come not only from family and friends, but also from from people you would have never expected to be supportive. Hell, even complete strangers will be supportive. It almost restores my faith in the human race.

* I have learned that I cannot keep easily consumed food available. If there is something I can just go grab out of the fridge, or out of cupboard, I will eat far to much of it. Even if it is healthy food. I use food as a drug: I eat when I am upset or angry, or, especially, when I am bored. However, if the food I have is something I actually have to do some work to before I can eat it, I  will not eat except at meal times. If it is easy to eat, I will eat to much. If I have to work at it before getting a quick bite when I am eating for the wrong reasons I will find something else to do. Something easier.

* I have learned that I have to pay attention.

* I have learned that attitude is important; far more important than I have ever before believed.

* I have learned that I have to let go of the failures of the past. The past, my past, does not define you.

* I have learned that no matter how much of it I drink, no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, I still think water, plain water, is bland, tasteless, and should be flavored, caffeinated, and preferably carbonated.

Tuesday January 18, 2011: 405

Ok folks I’m going to brag a bit, but this is my blog and I can do what I want with it.

One week ago today the scale I had ordered from Amazon.com arrived. I weighed myself three times when I got home from work that night, and all three times the scale read 418.00 pounds. Now believe me, I really, really don’t like admitting that I weighed over 400 pounds, but I like even less the thought that I might be accused of being dishonest, so I have to admit the truth of it.  418 pounds.

No, the above fact is just that, a fact. Not the bragging part of this post. The bragging part of the post is this: this morning that same scale recorded a weight of  405 pounds. Yeah, that’s right, 13 pounds down in just a week. You could say that makes me just slightly happy.

Daily Use

Each day I read about 15 different blogs and websites.  A couple these are focused on the news (CNN), a couple are focused on humor (Break.com and Icanhascheezburger.com), but because of some changes I’m trying to make in my own life, because of some habits I’m trying to build in my character, most of the sites I check daily are devoted to frugality, personal organization, personal development, and minimalism.

Sunday I was reading about the 100 Thing Challenge on one of the sites devoted to attaining and maintaining a minimalist lifestyle. This writer was describing how he had arrived at the decision to try and limit his possessions to just 100 items. He, the blog author, had reached a point in his life where he felt his living space was to cluttered, and that the clutter was impacting not only his physical space, but also his “mental space”. He was fed up with the clutter, and in a larger sense with the “consumerist” lifestyle. He decided to see if he could limit all of his possessions to just 100 things.

Think about that; think about limiting all of your possessions to just one hundred items. I have been thinking about it for the last couple of days, and my thoughts go kind of like this:

1. Despite a very great desire on my part to simplify my life in a number of ways, despite a very great desire to de-clutter my life, I don’t think I am any where near ready to limit my total possessions to just 100 items. I want to maintain a minimalists lifestyle, but I want to do it without limiting my hobbies or interests. I’m sure that is possible, but I will have to think some more to figure out how to do it.

2. If one were to so limit one’s possessions to such a small number, they would have to be items that were used regularly, if not every day. I don’t have an idea of the actual number of items I own, and I have not thought about the number of items I actually use on a daily, or near daily basis.

3. Now, that would be an interesting project: Track every item I own that I gets used for a week, or maybe for a month. In order to do that I would have to define what, exactly, is meant by “gets used”? Is reading a book the same as “using” a book? I would also have to rather carefully define other terms. “Computer” would include all the peripherals like monitor, keyboard, power cords, mouse, etc. “Television” would include  the television, cable converter box/tivo and remote control.

I had a lot of other thoughts, but the main thing I wanted to report is that I decided to track what items I actually use on a daily basis. I’m going to do it for at least a week, starting today. Just to keep things simple, I’m not going to include furniture items, but if I decide to extend this experiment after the first week I might decide to start including furniture.  Oh, I’m also not going to report on the clothes I wear, although, again, those items might get included if I expand this project. I will, when appropriate, list what the item was used for, and in cases of items that have more than one feature that is used, I’ll  list all the features that were used.

So, let’s start:

January 4, 2011: Used item list:
1. Alarm clock – wake up alarm
2. Cell phone: alarms, timer, and phone.
3.  2 towels
4. Shaving brush & shaving soap mug
5. Kitchen knife
6. 2 water bottles.
7. Computer system : Multiple uses.
8. Truck.
9. Ipod
10. Cigarette lighter.
11. Truck
12. 3 different fountain pens
13. 1 highlighter
14. Call log note book: used at work to track the accounts I worked during the day
15. Clip board and spare paper
16. Daily log notebook
17. Digital Camera
18. Kindle
19. lap top computer.
20. saucepan
21. Serving bowl
23. serving spoon
24. Fork
25. Desk lamp
26. Messenger bag.
27. 2 pairs of bent nose pliers.
28. drinking glass.
29. Trash can.

…and that’s where I stopped keeping notes for the day. Not even a full day, and not counting clothing, or things like my wallet, etc., and I’ve already used 29 items. I know this probably doesn’t interest anybody but me, but it DOES interest me.

10 For Tuesday.

Ten Things:

1. Tuesday’s Gone is one of Lynrd Skynyrd’s  better songs.
2. Tuesday Weld is a gorgeous actress.
3. I think the Earth Mother is fighting back, and I am wondering where she will strike next.
4. I watched Avatar again, and I still think the effects are amazing, but watching it the second time it reminded me a lot of the plot of Dances  With Wolves.
5. I wonder if restaurants on the Gulf Coast will have reduce prices on “Blackened Shrimp”?
6. I’m bloody sick of rainy weekends.
7. On a related note, I’m really, really looking forward to Crown List this coming weekend.
8. I cannot believe that the Cohen brothers are remaking True Grit. I can’t believe they found an actor willing to try and play Rooster Cogburn.
9. I just finished Changes, the newest novel in the Dresden Files series, and let’s just say  it is appropriately named. I can’t wait to see where Butcher takes the characters next.
10. I still can’t figure out how to weave the half persian chainmaile weave. That is beginning to annoy me.

Stealing a meme

This was stolen from Sarah. Strangely, I feel no guilt.

I am: not quite content.

I want: So many things.

I have: More than I deserve.

I wish: I could forget some things, and remember others.

I hate: People that will not accept responsibility for their actions.

I hear: The Who singing “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

I search: For enlightenment.

I wonder: What next?

I regret: Not so much regret, but I miss my Dad. His birthday was this month, and I’ve been thinking about him a lot.

I love: Right now, I love a good project that can hold my attention.

I miss: See above.

I always : I always will accept a challenge.

I am not: timid, shy, etc.

I dance: rarely.

I sing: badly, but with great joy.

I cry: Very rarely, and in private.

I win: more often than I think I do.

I misplace: My calm, with amazing regularity.

I need: some more wire. 16 gauge brass, for preference . About 20 pounds of it.

I would: slap George Bush. Repeatedly

I should: stop thinking and start doing.