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I am really not a Scrooge.  I enjoy Christmas music.  I like the smells.  I love snow.  I love wearing sweaters, and scarves and having a red nose.

But have any of you READ this blog?

I just lost 35 fucking pounds.

I don’t need stuffing.

Or mashed potatoes

or fucking PIES.

What is up with the goddamned candy and cookies???

I am a lawyer now.

I can’t promise myself (and my fat ass) that i am going to gym EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I can only TRY.  And sometimes, I instead have to attend meetings.  Or wait for assignments.  Or sit in on conference calls. Or erase hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds of beautiful beautiful) words I had written.

Over Thanksgiving … [brace yourselves]  I gained SIX pounds.  SIX!!!

That’s a lot!!  That means I only lost 29.

Which is not 30.

It is less than 30.

and way less than 35

And it sucks.

but … guess what?

last week?

I lost it again.

Now I’m back to 35.

but I know that I’m on the very exploding verge of losing my ground, and gaining weight again.

And having a double chin again.

And that sucks.

__________________________

I now hate the holidays.

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I should be tired.  I have done a lot today.  A lot of work, a lot of exercising, a lot of socializing, a lot of sports practice schlepping, a lot of cleaning, a lot of chatting, a lot of cuddling.

Work still gets an A.  Sometimes I wonder what happened.  Why am I so happy, when people talk about work environments that are supposedly similar to mine in this manner?   I know I’m not in the cut-throat city, but still.  I’m just not seeing it.  And tonight, when I walked down my hallway at 5:30 to talk to a more senior associate about holiday-gift-giving etiquette, I walked past many, many empty offices.

I know, I know.  “Give it time,” or “just you wait and see.”

zuska = optimist.

I believe that my optimism makes good things happen.  It creates a better situation.  All the time.  It’s even, in the past, caused planes to take off when flights would have otherwise been canceled.  I promise.

Tonight, we all did chores.  E took out the recycling, J dusted in the living room, Beloved scrubbed the kitchen floor, I did the bathroom and 2 loads of laundry and straightened and moved furniture to get ready for Friday.

The house is taking shape.

Tomorrow I buy wine, Beloved buys beer.  I then come home (after the girls’ performance and taking the girls out to dinner) and scrub down the kitchen counters and the hardwood floors.  Then we sleep.  On Friday, Beloved vacuums the furniture and makes salsa; I work all day and then stop at the store on my way home to get paper plates and plastic cups; I wipe down the bathroom; throw the bathroom rug in the washer (how does it get dirty so fast?  it gets dirty SO FAST that I know that washing it today will do NOTHING toward it being clean on Friday.  NOTHING); take apart the kitchen table and move it to another room, vacuum the girls’ rug and the living room rug; do a final sweep of the wood floors; set up drinks and snacks; set up all the extra chairs; and otherwise freak out.

Then on Saturday, the girls have basketball games at 10 and 11.  This is okay.  Because basketball is played at the highschool.  The high school is like, 6 blocks from our house.  We do not need a zipcar.  Hell, E doesn’t even need us to walk with her.  And the games are at 10!!  And 11!!  Not 9.  Not 8.  It is downright civilized.

Then I have to make a key lime something or other ….

Anyone have any recipes????

Because that night, we’re going to an early Hannakuh party.

Sunday, I wanted to go out for mine and Beloved’s birthdays (Tuesday and Wednesday).  But I don’t have a babysitter.  😦  Woe is me.   While my kids are able to have spurts of time home alone, I’m not too keen on leaving them home in the evening while hubby and I go out on a date.  That’s a bit much.  Too much.

I really need to go to bed, or I won’t make it to Sunday.

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I will be a lawyer.  Ahhhh.

Beloved is taking the day off and coming to the ceremony with me.  Because he loves me.  We will then (hopefully, depending on timing) go out to lunch.  This place called Wagamama.  Apparently, it’s famous in other cities, mostly in other countries.

I don’t care.  I just want to eat with my husband.  As a lawyer.

____________________________

I went to the gym today.  Man, did I need it!!!

The gym is made pleasurable – yes, pleasurable – by my iPod.  I watch Grey’s Anatomy now.  Before, it was Heroes.  There was a small blip of Prison Break, which was FINE, but not as good as Heroes or Grey.

Today, I was sitting in my office, working on an assignment which has a deadline, but not a super-pressing one – and not an unreasonable one. At 10:30 a.m. (my usual time), I thought, “should I go to the gym?”  It was easy to think of reasons why not.  Very easy.  I mean, come on.  Sitting in a chair … or sweating on a stair master and elliptical?  But then I thought, “Will Meredith start to speak to her sister?  Will she stretch – emotionally – and work things out with Derek?”  And there I am, checking my gym bag to be sure that I have the required clothing. An hour later, I’m sweating buckets, and smiling at the episode I just finished.

I can’t wait until I get my iPod Touch!!  The shows will look soooooo much better.

Sometimes, I watch it on the T, too.  I used to feel like a freak.  Now I know that everyone’s watching over my shoulder, being jealous.

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I want Tivo.  The main reason being that it seems to be the only way I can watch Heroes, Season 2.  I want to watch it.

It seems dumb that I have to get Tivo in order to watch it, but it seems to be the case.  I used to download it onto the iPod, but since NBC and iTunes broke up, I can’t do that anymore.  NBC has free video, but only 5 or 6 at a time.  I checked it out a few weeks ago, and they had episodes 2-6 on line, but I wanted to see Episode 1.  I forgot about it for a while, and went back to look again today, and now it has episodes 4-9.  Or something like that.  It seems to run only 5 at a time … not the entire season.  Which sucks.

It’s also on Amazon Unbox … which I hear is pretty good.  But it is not compatible with Macs.

Which sucks.

And we’ve been wanting Tivo anyway.

But we’ve been doing well at not watching t.v. this year, and quite frankly – I want to watch Heroes on the treadmill … not on Tivo which is connected to my t.v.

Beloved says we shouldn’t get it, because we just upped our cable, and after paying $10/mo for 3 years, we’re suddenly paying $100/mo.  Which has benefits in the form of the WeatherChannel, CNN and ESPN (fooooootball!!!), but, really, is that enough?

We also pay some amount for Netflix.

So while it’s easy to say “oh, but Tivo is only $12/mo” – it does mean that we’re paying close to $150/mo for in-home entertainment.

Not including internet.

Will Tivo just mean I watch MORE t.v.?  When I am happy with watching less?

Or is it really something that I must own if I’m going to keep my calendars turned to 2007, and shortly 2008?

The box is only $99.

The monthly fee is only $12.

I could pay for a yearly fee, at $129.

Worth it?

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J had soccer at 10 a.m. this morning.  I had been a little slow, due to intensity at work, about making a Zipcar reservation.

Her soccer field isn’t that far away.  It’s probably a 20 minute walk.  We never used to get a zipcar to go.  She and Beloved have ridden their bikes, and we’ve done the walk.  But E’s field is super-far away, down in the burbs, and a car is pretty much mandatory.

Today, E is missing soccer, because she went to NYC to see a movie (snark), so perhaps I should have reverted to just walking to J’s game.

But it’s 32 degrees outside.

And a friend called, and asked us to bring the BFF, and she’s not used to walking as much as we are.

So I wanted a Zipcar.  I ended up with one kind of far away, since I didn’t make the reservation until 5:30 yesterday afternoon.

I wasn’t looking forward to leaving the house at 8:30 to take the T to get the car.  IT was cold out.  I wore a down coat.

I got to the car at 9:20, and had 10 minutes to drive home, grab J, grab my wallet (so I could pick up $100 worth of dry cleaning on the way home!!!!), and go get BFF and get to the field by 9:45.  Time was sort of tight.

So I get in the car … there’s no key.

This is the way the  cars work:  Everyone has a card.  There is a swipe/scan box on the windshield, and when you scan your card, the doors unlock.  Once you get in the car, the ignition key is on a draw string doo-hickey hanging from the steering column.  Soemtimes, the doo-hickey breaks, and instead, the key is in the cup holder, or on the seat.

This time, there was no key.  It was nowhere.  No key.

But but but … I don’t have TIME for this.

I called Zipcar.  After confirming 15 different things about my card, my car, my mother, my cat, and my daughter’s birth story, I was finally able to talk to a person.  Who said, “okay, so, can you please check the cupholder?  Now, open the glove compartment, take the books out, and make sure it isn’t in there.”

I told her that I looked EVERYWHERE.  That I would not have called her if I did not look EVERYWHERE.  I looked in the sunglasses holder, I looked in all 4 cupholders, I looked in all 4 door pockets, I looked under the seats, I looked in the cushions of the seats, I looked in the glove compartment … there was nowhere left.

She put me on hold.

I now had 5 minutes to get home.

She asked me to look in a hidden compartment UNDER the cupholder.  I asked HER if I could transfer the reservation to the car sitting next to me.  She said uh, no.  Someone had it reserved for 10:30 (It was now 9:35).  I asked if we could give me that car, and them bring another car to fulfill the 10:30 reservation.

She said no.

She said maybe someone could bring me a key.

I said “Their game starts in 15 minutes!!!!”

I ended up having to hang up on her, call Beloved, tell him to call a cab to take him to BFF’s house to get BFF, and then take them all to the soccer game, and I’d be there as soon as I could.

He was less than thrilled, which pissed me off, because I had no other options at that point.

Then I called BFF’s mom to say we were running behind.  She said her husband was still home, and could run and get J. I told her I’d have it all worked out in time to be at the soccer field after the game.

Then I called Beloved, told him to forget the cab, that BFF’s dad would swing by in a minute.

Then I called Zipcar back.

She told me to look in the cupholder.

Then she told me to look in the glove compartment.

I told her to go to hell, and get me a new fucking car.

No.

I said, “I looked everywhere, it’s not here, I want a different car.”

She transferred my reservation to a different car – I had to take the T 4 stops back toward home, and then walk 1/2 mile to the parking spot.

Not.

Happy.

At.

All.

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The Scene:

A young (but not so young) first year associate is at her desk, having put in 3 solid hours of work since she arrived in the office.  She looks at her gym bag.  It looks back at her.  She thinks of her colleagues, a few years older (in seniority) who have told her, “It doesn’t matter what time you go to the gym, as long as you bring the Leash.”  She looks at her leash.  E-mail had been slow all morning.  She goes over her tasks in her mind:  one case requires some piddly work on a long-term task, the other has her waiting for her next instruction.

She makes up her mind.  It worked out last week under similar circumstances, and it should work out again.  She puts her iPod in her bag, slightly giddy with wondering what will happen in the next episode of Heroes.  She gets on the elevator.   She descends 39 floors.

The gym is deserted.  Exactly why she loves this time of day (why, it’s only 10:15 a.m.).  There are two old men – perhaps partners at her firm?  If so, then from one of the other departments – on the ellipticals.

She goes into the locker room.  She dons her work out clothes.  She hangs her skirt and her sweater on the hangers so sweetly provided.  She puts on her socks, and while reaching for her shoes, notices a red light flashing in her bag.  Oh, it’s the Leash.

Oddly, there are now 4 e-mail messages:

“I’m getting on a plane at 4 p.m., let’s quickly meet at 10:30 to go over what you will all be working on while I’m gone.”

Oh, it’s the team leader.

The other 3 messages are various versions of, “no problem, see you then.”

So our fearless young associate takes off her socks.  She takes off her t-shirt.  She puts back on the nylons, the skirt, the heels.  She leaves her bag in the locker …  and goes to the meeting.

Wondering all the while – what if I’d just gotten on the stair master?  What if I got this, “meet me in 10 minutes” message while dripping sweat?

But at the same time, what if she got the message while sitting in another conference room, on another case?

These are the questions I do not yet have answers to.

But tomorrow, I’m trying again.

Dammit.

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My legs are sore

wanna know why?

Because I went to the gym!  Woo hoo!  I went from 10:30 until noon.  It was great.  The place was deserted, and I was able to watch Heroes all sweaty and in peace.

I had a hard time settling down afterward, though.  I just couldn’t get focused for a while.  I think that if I have more than one case that I’m working on, and my time is more precious than it is right now, I will do better at settling post-gym.

I think.

Right now, it just feels good.

In the meantime, I may have some to learn about how to fill up my plate at work.

I am a person who wants to juggle.  I don’t want to just meander through a short to-do list.  I want to be constantly stressing over whether A, B or C needs to be at the top.

My first week, I was meandering through a 1-item to-do list.  It wasn’t enough.

When they asked me if I wanted a new project, I said yes.

Now today — that one item has sort of grown new heads.  And I have a new project.

Let’s see what the next few weeks brings, shall we?

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As I come into this new phase of my life, I am finding that there are things I must give up.

1)  Sleep

I don’t need that much.  I am perfectly capable of sleeping past 10 a.m. on the weekends, but that messes me up and makes me an insomniac on Sunday nights – during the week, I typically wake around 6 a.m. (and that may go earlier) and despite that, I can never get into bed before midnight.  Perhaps, if I’m not feeling well, I will have one night where I get into the bed at 9.  Perhaps.  If I’m not feeling well.  Maybe.

And I’m fine.  So, who cares.

Right now it’s looking like …

2)  Television

This is not a hard one thus far.  I missed all the season premiers last week, and I sort of could care less.

Last year I watched a lot of shows.  I had a corner of my brain which was disappointed in itself, because there were years in my past where I watched a lot of television, and when life forced me to cut myself off, I felt great.  So why was I moving backward?

I was watching:  Grey’s Anatomy, 24, Heroes (when 24 came on opposite Heroes in January, I gave up Heroes, but recently downloaded the rest of last season’s onto my iPod, and find it a decent entertainment option while exercising), Studio 60, Lost (doesn’t start until January, and I think it may be the one I hold onto), and for the time that it lasted – American Idol.

It ended up quite a commitment.

Now I’m watching, uh, nothing.  And I don’t care.  I don’t have the energy for it – to care about it.  I don’t feel that it has a place within my priorities.

Not to mention the fact that one day, perhaps one summer while the girls are gone and Beloved’s on a publicity tour, I can rent the damned shows on DVD, or I can download them, and catch up – if I want to.  Which I may not.

But then there’s …
3)  Exercise.  

I don’t want to give this up.  Anyone who reads this blog has heard ad nauseum how I’ve lost 30-something pounds (34?) and I’m sorry to say – I would happily lose another 20.  I can’t believe I had gotten that far beyond where I wanted to be.  I’m quite happy with where I am right now, so if I don’t lose another 20, I’m not going to stress.  I know I’m not perfect, but I don’t feel that I owe myself – or those around me – perfect.  I am within normal size ranges, I am healthy, I am active.  I feel attractive.

But I could lose that other 20.

And if I don’t keep moving, I could also gain some of my 30-something back.

That would be unacceptable to me.

100% unacceptable.

I plan to be a little slow at work for the next ____ months as I get my sea legs on and the new class fully integrates with the others.  I don’t really have to worry about billable hours for a couple of months (that starts in December).

I’m hoping to use this slight reprieve to check out the gym in the building.  To toy with arriving at my gym at an earlier hour, before work (likely not gonna happen).  I would like to find a way to build the exercise into my routine.

The more I exercise, the more sleep I can give up.

But how do you exercise from work?   Because I was thinking it would work for me to work for a few hours.  Say, from 7  to 11.  Then go down to the gym and spend an hour or so sweating.

Then shower again?  Or do I not shower at 5:30 at home?  If I shower twice a day, will I be okay?  Will my skin scale off?  Will my hair turn brittle and break off at the scalp?

See, I just don’t know how it’s going to work.

But I believe I will use this week to figure it all out, logistics-wise (I’ll figure out whether or not I physically have time in the day later, when my workload is up and running).

If I can’t make it work, then I suppose I’ll have to go back to the idea of going to my gym here near home when it opens at 5 a.m., shower there, and then leave my gym bag in my locker all day while I traipse off to work.

Either way, I need to find a solution.  One that continues to work with my over all plan of being a full time attorney and being present in my kids’ lives.

Y’all can stop laughing now.

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Yesterday’s trip to CT was mellow and mostly uneventful.  I hung out with a slightly jet-lagged sister, and took part in a 3-way day-long session of tittering over a baby.  My mother, sister and I made fun of ourselves all day for the way we were hovering over the 4 month old Prince.

He is really an amazing baby, and for some reason, he just adores me.  I was harboring a secret suspicion that of all the tittering aunts (well, one was a grandmother, but we were calling ourselves the aunts), I was by far his fave.  But when his mom joined the fray after her day of work, she confirmed my suspicion, and it was no longer secret or a suspicion.  The Prince loves this aunt!!  His mom said, “Zuska, he seems to have a real special bond with you, I wonder why that is??”  He he he.  Favorite aunt!  Favorite aunt!  I win!!  [Hi, sis!  Yes, as you know, I do know that I’m obnoxious.]

My sis is MY favorite aunt, though, because she did my laundry.  She folded my husband’s underwear.  Well, sort of.  she more “lay them in neat piles” because, well, they’re my husband’s underwear.

We had dinner – later than expected – and I had to be the family teetotaler, since I had to drive home.

When Beloved and I went to Amsterdam this summer, we brought home gin.  A bottle for us, and a bottle for my father – who loves gin.  He said that he has loved the gin.  Upon thinking about the gin, he jumped up and RAN to his liquor cabinet, took the gin (in its cool clay engraved bottle) and went to the basement to HIDE the gin. He came back up and as my brother and his wife were walking in the door, he whispered, “do not mention the Amsterdam gin!!!”

Why?  Because my brother would have knocked it back like so much water.  It’s not like we jet over to Amsterdam on a weekly basis to procure more gin!

I got home at 10:30, said ni-nite to my girly-q’s, and talked with Beloved for 2 hours before drifting off.  I had “hoped”* to wake at 7:30 and get my last pre-job gym session in.  Instead I woke at 9:15, and told Beloved that I would take both girls on my party errands so HE could go to the gym.

We went to the grocery store, and to the indy book store to buy a journal (E’s contribution to the Yankee Swap), and of course to Starbucks.  now we’re cleaning – but there isn’t so much to do.  We have 5 hours until the kids come.  J is leaving at the moment that one of the girls gets picked up.

Hopefully, all will go well tonight and tomorrow a.m.  I’m crossin’ my fingers.  Maybe before the last of the girls go home, my parents and sister will arrive.  We’re going to have cake for E and my dad, and we’re going to my favorite restaurant to consume beer and delicious food.

I realized while lying in bed last night that my beer intake must be severely monitored and limited tomorrow.  It is the first time since February that I’m saying this – but I have to go to work the next day, and don’t want to be nursing a hangover.

And I have like zero time to try on my outfit for the first day, and make sure I’m happy with it.  I’ve over packed this final weekend, to say the least.

* “hoped” here means “these are the words I’m using, but in reality, all I want to do is sleep, and for the forces of the universe – and my ability to sleep through alarm clocks – conspire to keep me in the bed until it is too late to go to the gym.”

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I have bicycle seat butt.

This is the best reason to go for weekly bike rides.

When in school, I rode the bike daily.  Everywhere.  To school, home from school, to the store – extra tips to and from school, to the girls’ school for parent-teacher conferences, then back to my school.

Since I finished school, I have been on the bike ZERO times.  That would be since May 18th.

Today, I spent the day on the bike.  It was great.

I was not tired, because I’ve been exercising close to daily (other than in Europe, when Beloved and I walked 4,315 miles per day, so it was okay), and I’m pretty strong right now.

But now, I can’t walk.

Why?

My butt bones hurt.

I may need a new seat.

No, I DO need a new seat.

But I should also ride more often.

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