Thursday, March 1, 2012

Holding strong to at least one pledge

No candy this week—yes!

One of my biggest weaknesses is candy, especially in the single-serving bag available for major holidays. Well, single-serving if you want a thousand calories in one bag. I can’t eat just one. I’ve been subbing sunflower kernels and string cheese for when I just gotta snack. I just wish there was a high-protein, low-fat and carb food I could get in a drive-thru.

I haven’t been sugar-free this week, but I might as well have been. I tried to eat a daughter-made chocolate-covered strawberry and a supermarket cranberry muffin, and both made a painful return trip. As much as I love the flavor the first time, it’s not worth the discomfort.

I guess I should just drink more water. I love water, and I don’t even flavor it up with Crystal Light or other enhancers (although Crystal Light does make a killer mojito flavor I love). Good old water will fill you up, and get you moving with all the trips you’ll need to make down the hall.

I hope you all have no problems with your pledges.

See you next time.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Into that Pleasant Valley Sunday

In 1967, I was a seventh-grader in Palm Desert, California, obsessed with all things Monkees. Had all the albums, collected the pinups in Tiger Beat and 16 magazines, watched the TV show every week. Wrote fan fiction about my school friends being their girlfriends. Obsessed.

At the time, the desert area had lots of open spaces, with dunes that went for miles beyond the housing developments. One afternoon, my family was on a drive and saw a German World War II tank parked at the end of a cul-de-sac. My dad, a WWII veteran, pointed out aspects of the tank and compared it to the American tank he drove in the war. Finding a Nazi tank in a neighborhood wasn’t so weird back then because the pristine desert dunes often served as backdrops to cheap movies filmed outside Hollywood.
About a week after the tank’s appearance, a movie crew set up at the edge of the housing development. Word soon spread that the Monkees were filming. That was all my junior high needed to hear. Our school sat across a dry wash from where filming took place. The student body left school in the middle of the day, trudged through the wash, to arrive at the set. Can’t remember if we saw any Monkees that day, but the principal came by to herd us back to school.

My family came by the set after school and for several days, armed with a Super 8 camera. Somewhere in the bowels of a closet, I have a reel my dad shot of the Monkees on set and waiting between takes. We saw Micky film a scene with a Coke machine perched on a dune. I was able to get all four Monkees’ autographs and for years wouldn’t let anyone touch the pen they used. Sadly, I have no idea where those autographs might be.

The Monkees’ film, Head, didn’t get much of a release in 1968. Of course, I owned the soundtrack. At the time I didn’t like the psychedelic turn they’d taken. I always wanted to see it and didn’t get to until it showed up on Cinemax years later. Very weird film. Besides the Monkees, it featured cameos from Victor Mature, Annette Funicello, Teri Garr, Vito Scotti, Sonny Liston, Carol Doda, Ray Nitschke, Frank Zappa, the director Bob Rafelson and screenwriter Jack Nicholson. (OK, you’d know who those people were if you were my age.)

I write all this in honor of Davy Jones, whose death at 66 was reported today.  Although I loved the Beatles, Stones and other ’60s bands, the Monkees were mine, because they came to my hometown when celebrities of my generation generally didn’t visit. And now that Davy’s gone, I’ve lost a little piece of childhood. Fun facts: David Bowie had to adopt that name because Davy had claimed David Jones. And Davy appeared on the same episode of the Ed Sullivan Show as the Beatles. He performed a number from Oliver!, the West End musical he was starring in at the time.

Rest in peace, Davy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where the heck have I been?

Good question. Why is it so easy to drop good habits and the bad ones just get more entrenched? I got busy with other things in my life that took up writing time, and when I did have time to write, I worked on my novel that I want to enter in a contest in April. (Believe me, that's progress in a way.)

I had nothing new to report, but some of the old was falling away. My eating has become somewhat—somewhat, ha!—erratic and I have not yet found time to go to the gym that I joined in January. I’ve even had dreams where I’ve gone to the gym. How boring is that?

Add to that the fact that my insurance plan changed and all of my health-care providers are on it except my bariatric surgeon. His office is trying to get me approved as an out-of-network patient, otherwise I’ll have to pay over $100 for the office visit and get reimbursed by the insurance company. And if I need a fill to tighten my band, that’s another $500.

Maybe the real issue is that I’ve been missing my husband terribly lately. Some of you know he suffered a stroke in 2010 and has been in a nursing home since May 2010. When I visit him there, I’m just reminded of how great we used to have it. He knows I’m there when I visit, and responds when I kiss him goodbye. He can't read because of his stroke, so he mostly watches TV. I want my husband back, but it just isn’t going to happen. I’m not even sure how to talk to him anymore. We used to share a wealth of private jokes, but I don’t think he understands everything I say. I hesitate to tell him about the changes we’ve made at home, because I don’t know how interesting he’ll find it, or if he’ll feel bad because he’s not there. Maybe it’s a form of survivor’s guilt. I was the one with the host of medical problems, and he walked three to five miles a day, yet he got the stroke.

I have to realize that there is nothing I can do to change the past. What I can change is how I beat myself up for wanting to stay there. No one can do it but me. Insert your upbeat cliché here. You get the idea.

Here is one thing I will commit to this week. I will eat no more candy. Half-price sweets don’t have half the calories, and now that the Easter candy is out, well, I have a rabbit and he won’t eat that junk.

The gym? Let’s try to do that before the weekend is over.

See you next time.