Friday, October 31, 2008


Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. 

I had such a good time enumerating the things I am grateful for last week that I wanted to get in the habit of making sure I recognize the good things in my life.

I'm grateful that more and more awareness is being brought to crucial issues like this one. (If you read nothing else today, click this link and read the whole article.)

I am grateful for those teaching days when my students participate willingly in discussion. I'm especially grateful for those students who don't usually have much to say, but find an author they can engage and enjoy. I realize I have very little to do with this. 

I'm glad I have two crazy kitties. I live alone, but coming home to these suckers that won't stay out of the glass I'm drinking out of, that bite my feet when I'm trying to sleep, that jump on the ledge of the tub every time I take a shower, that squeak at me when I come in from my day, and that love to sleep next to me and wake me up by biting my nose really makes living alone a whole lot easier. 

I'm glad pansies are resilient flowers, or mine would be dead. 

I'm grateful for the recent blog-friends I've made, even though one of them doesn't have a blog. (Hi, Alisha!)

I'm grateful for the pants and skirt I didn't give away when I didn't fit into them, because otherwise, I wouldn't have had anything to wear to teach in today. 

I'm grateful for a professor that encourages thought and humor in his classroom, and because he doesn't see it as his classroom. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Guess who's weighed in at 189 for the past couple of days?

That's right folks, I'm finally out of my 190s. The last time I weighed in in the 180s, I was probably in high school (I remember being 170-ish my freshman year of high school, and 190-ish my freshman year of college).

Christmas Challenge Update: I've lost 9 pounds since whenever it was I started this challenge, and I've got 6 left to lose before Christmas. Only 8 weeks left!! (And three weeks of those eight will be spent with my family and boyfriend, so I've got to be CAREFUL!)

Note to Self: If you would hurry up and incorporate some focused physical activity, those 6 pounds would drop off a lot easier, and you could quit worrying that celebrating the holidays with your family is going to ruin your progress.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Family Ties

I just got off the phone with my mother. Who was slightly inebriated. After drinking half of a margarita. The other half she spilled on my dad's lap. It was a 20-minute conversation that I spent listening to her laugh hysterically. About what? I have no idea. But it was funny.

We do a lot of things like our mothers. I, thank goodness, require just a few more drinks (read: one full margarita, instead of half) to be slap-happy drunk, but once I get there, I, too, laugh like a moron at everything I see. If I can't be a happy drunk, I don't want to be a drunk at all. My mom and I are fabulous together on the rare occasion we drink together (a shared bottle of muscadine wine and you've got yourself a show).

But I'm not just a happy drunk like my mother, I clean like my mother. I cook dinner like my mother, and wash the dishes like her. I argue like my mother, I laugh at the same jokes my mother laughs at. But I eat like my father. That is to say, mindlessly. Anything in front of me is fair game, unless of course, it's healthy.

We all gain weight pretty much the same way--slowly, consistently, and with little notice until one of us points at each other's asses and says, "Hey, your ass is HUGE!" Well, my dad and I get our bellies pointed at; my mother, her ass. We're apples, she's a pear. Together, we're a veritable fruit salad. (And my brother? He's the toothpick we all hate.)

There came a time when I decided that I didn't want to do everything the way my dad does. I stopped going to his church in favor of finding my own. Dad still pretends to be disgruntled when I announce that I'm one of the bleeding heart feminist liberals he hates so much (even though he's voting for Obama next Tuesday!), and he can't understand why on earth I gave up my biology major in favor of studying American Literature (we won't even get into how amazed he is I'm going to Ole Miss when he graduated from Mississippi State--the rivalry is FIERCE, and their game the Saturday after Thanksgiving is going to be funny as hell).

So, if I'm okay with voting, worshiping, and thinking very differently from my parents, why do I insist on keeping up their unhealthy habits? My dad eats because food is there--for this reason, I don't keep unhealthy foods in the house. When I do, they're gone within days. My mom eats because she's stressed or upset. I'm breaking this habit, but I need to learn to work off my emotions with some other constructive activity. Neither exercise, and I quit working out about a month before I moved to Oxford. And why? Because I'm busy, or I can't afford it, or ice cream tastes really good. The same reasons my parents give. It's time to break the chain.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Miscellany

Right now, in this moment, I am utterly and profoundly happy. It's 45* outside, my book review is finished a full 4 hours sooner than it's due (I push it close, around here), and my kitties are acting deliciously giddy. Also, has a plethora of Holiday music stations (including a Motown Holiday station which is just rocking my socks off!!!) to listen to so I don't have to keep searching for artists and giving a thumbs down to not-Christmas songs. And yes, I'm still listening to Christmas music. I can't make it stop! Speaking of, I got a Bath and Body Works email this morning advertising their Christmas scents. I don't like their lotions, but I loooooooove the "smells" of Christmas.

Yesterday, I won a sports bra from Gracie's Gear and Roni. I'm so excited!!! I'll let everyone know when I get it and how I like it. It has a zippered pocket! How cool is that? Seriously, I don't know what took people so long to realize that women's clothes aren't nearly practical enough.

I've only got 24 days left until I get to go home FOR A FULL WEEK!!! for Thanksgiving. So while I've got 3 papers and a lecture to work on before then, it's Thanksgiving! I get to go home soon!

I weighed in this morning at 193.4, 187.0, and 190.4. Yeah, I don't know what's going on with that, but I'm going with 190.4, as that isn't a crazy number for me.

All this randomness demands a picture:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Clothing Issues

One of my favorite dresses is visibly too large on me now. I noticed it today as I was studying shopping. It's an XL from Old Navy, and its meant to be one of those incredibly billowy dresses (which I looooove), but it does have a small elastic bit around the waistline. But even the elastic bit isn't clinging to me anymore.

So although I'm super glad things are getting too big for me, I'm bummed that I'll only be able to wear my favorite pieces for a few weeks (months in some cases) more. Luckily, I saved a bunch of my size 14 jeans, so I only had to buy one new pair. But all my dress pants, except one pair, are already too big. My skirts are either falling off of me or are too small still. Thankfully (I think) my bust measurements pretty much require an XL, even though my waist actually fits a bit better in (most) Larges.

That's the thing with weight loss, though, isn't it? It's so great that we're getting healthy and growing happier and happier with our bodies, but then we've got to splurge on clothes, and I don't think ANY of us have the cash to do that?

I think we should start a swap group. Think a combo of Wardrobe_Remix and Wardrobe Swap Shop (both groups on Flickr which I constantly lurk but haven't joined). Would anyone be interested in joining a group like this? It'd be a great way to get new pieces added to your closet in your size, and since we're all at different stages in our progress, I think there would be a big enough pool of sizes and styles to please a lot of people. Let's think about it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'll admit, I'm a bit of a grumpus. I complain. I stress. I let things get to me. I try to at least be funny about it, but the fact remains that I'm negative way more than I should be. So I try to be grateful. I'm not as cool as Oprah as to keep an actual gratitude journal, but I am learning to stop and meditate on the little kind actions people take when they don't have to.

I had an optometrist's appointment yesterday (I have the worst vision...I can't see anything clearly if it's not 6 inches in front of my face). I was Dr. Strickland's first patient, and I got into the office even before his office employees did. He greeted me as I came in, and did the most thorough eye exam I've ever gotten. He was more than a good optician, though. He was interested in my life, and talked to me like I was important. I've got a follow-up appointment with him next week, and so he gave me his business card. On the back, there was a handwritten note wishing me the best in my studies, as well as him telling me how glad he was to meet me.

I have a classmate who I've yet to see in a bad mood. I've never heard him utter a mean word about anyone.

Last week, we had a rainy day, and a passing professor (who they didn't know) gave some of my students his umbrella.

Dustin drove 17 hours (round trip) just to spend a weekend with me.

This may be a stretch, but I think that one of the hindrances to my striving to be healthy is my attitude. Failing to recognize the things I should be grateful for regularly tends to put me in a bad mood, especially after a long or exhausting day. When I'm in a bad mood, I make unhealthy decisions. Being stressed and constantly negative is itself unhealthy. I know this about myself: the more I focus on the good things I life, the less significant the bad things are. This is not to say that I ignore the problems in my life, but that I give them the weight they deserve, and no more.

I end with a quote, and a ridiculously cute picture.

The happiness of a man in his life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions. -Alfred Lord Tennyson

Monday, October 20, 2008

I have no idea what day it is.

I. am. exhausted.

But I had a fabulous weekend with Dustin. I'll post pictures as soon as I can muster the energy to upload them from my camera.

No real surprise, but I gained. I'll be working this week to get it off, and I'm hoping to carve out some time (it's midterm and paper-proposal week) for some actual, concentrated exercise. I've been relying on my treks across campus (and I do trek, let me tell you) to count for fitness, but my body is demanding more. I just need to make the time for it. Perhaps I'll get these out again:
I had a lot of fun "completing" the first DVD in this set of 4, and I actually felt sexy during a workout (instead of sweaty and jiggly and out of place), so that was pretty much amazing.


I entered the Gracie Gear Giveaway!

Check out Roni’s Weight Loss Blog for more information.

Just a shameless chance to win less boob-jiggles.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I wasn't tech-savvy enough to figure out how to embed the video here, but I suggest you take a look at this video (Thanks to Roni for the link).

I love that this video talks about wanting a healty ideal instead of a thin one. I like to think that I really am shooting for health this time with my weight loss. And while I definitely am making better choices for better reasons, I still allow myself to slip back into thinking that thinness is the goal (which is the reason behind my endless frustration when my weight has increased every day this week beyond any explanation I have to offer). This video is a good reminder for me. I'm in this for the long run, for a long and healthy life.

Aside: I love that this was started by a sorority. A video like this was just not something I expect from a sorority. Ending breast cancer, sure, but ending negative dialougue about weight? It just wasn't in my stereotype. I was never in a sorority, but I date a (non-typical) fratboy, and I teach college sophomores and juniors at the University of Mississippi--a HUGE Greek-oriented school. To be perfectly honest, I have TONS of anti-Greek feelings. I just don't get it. On my good days, I think the organizations are stupid, exclusionary, centered on gendered, racist, and classist ideals, and a distraction for my students' real purpose in going to college--learning. And that's on my good days. On my bad days? Well, let's just hope I'm not teaching on a bad day. (I will add, though, that many of my Greek students--and almost all of them are in a sorority or fraternity--surprise me.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Poor Blondie-Boy

My cat has a gimp. I stepped on him last night (he got under my feet in the kitchen and I didn't know it), and he started limping a few hours later. He doesn't, apparently, hurt badly enough to jump on my desk, scratch at my furniture, or hang from window ledges and door (and for this reason, the vet said I probably didn't need to take him in, unless his limp got worse or he started acting visibly sick). But still, he's my kitteh-baby, and I worry. But really, does this look like a hurt-kitty?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Aren't Mondays Grand?

Yeah, maybe not so much. I'm trying, though.

I weighed in today at 191.6. I've been 191.x all week, so I need to step up my game (Read: Stop eating crap and get my ass off the couch!). I literally did not eat anything substantially healthy over the weekend. Nothing. Well, unless you count that can of pears. That was one thing. I didn't even take my vitamins. I am soooo freaking close to the 180s; think I can make it by Friday or Saturday???

Funny thing. I stepped on the scale on Friday, and it read 189.6. I was stoked. So stoked, that I had to step on it again 2 minutes later (literally, two minutes later), and it was up to 191.2. How does that even happen??

Anyway, Dustin's coming to visit this weekend (are you getting that I'm excited yet?). There will be some excessive foody-ness going on, but I'm planning on taking us the park and getting some walking/frisbee playing in (Note to Self: Purchase a Frisbee). I might try to make it out to the Faulkner house with him too, as it doesn't seem right that I live in Oxford, Mississippi, and have yet to try to glean some Faulknerian genius from his house. Wait, he wrote his novels while drunk? Maybe I can glean some genius from that, too. :o)

Friday, October 10, 2008


This makes me happy.

This is my boyfriend's uniform (clip-on!) tie for his job; he Geek-Squaddles it for Best Buy.
He supports Mammary Resilience, and you should too.
Encourage all the women in your lives to get a mammogram and perform monthly BSEs. That link will take you to's instructions for performing Breast Self Exams. And don't you just love that the woman in the illustration isn't "perfect?!!"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Sun Will Come Out... Tomorrow!!

(Was I the only one who wanted to be Little Orphan Annie as a child?)

Yes, folks, I am in a MUCH better mood today. I think I just needed to get it all out of my system. (And get it out of my system I did! My apologies for all the negativity!!)

I'm down to 192 today, so I'm continuing to show some loss this week. I'm only 2 pounds away from getting the Birmingham weekend weight off again. Just in time for Dustin to visit me again in a couple of weekends!! I'm stoked about him coming to Oxford (like, it's all I can think about stoked), but I seriously need to not go overboard while he's here. My aim is to maintain that weekend. Maintenance is so, so good.

This loss puts me at only 9 pounds left before Christmas. There are 11 weeks left, so I still think I can do it. I just have to be careful the weekend Dustin visits, and the week I have off for Thanksgiving. I think if I shoot for maintenance those weeks, I'll still have plenty of room to reach my goal.

Also, I don't get winded anymore when I walk up to my 3rd floor office, and climbing up the huge hill to my normal parking space isn't the monumental journey I thought it was just a little over a month ago. I'm wearing 14s now, and my bras are too big (which isn't a good thing, but it is, too).

So seriously, to all of you who left me happy comments, encouraging comments, sympathizing comments, "Sister, I've been there" comments, thank you. I needed it, and I appreciate how absolutely freaking amazing you all are. THANK YOU!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008


I realize I've been a bit inconsistent with the blogging lately- I apologize! I finally got caught up with last week's schoolwork, only to have the kitties chew through the cable to my power adapter for my laptop, so I couldn't use my laptop, even though I had the time.

I did weigh-in this morning, and it's been falling steadily (by .2 lb increments) all week, so I am lighter this week, but by how much, I can't say. I don't remember!

Unfortunately, emotionally, I'm not much better off. I do want to thank Inny, Crystal, Karyn, and Kathleen for the positive vibes sent my way on my last post. I'm trying!!!! I've been trying to stay strong, trying to keep my mind off how much I miss Dustin, but it's not working. In fact, today, I'm pretty much losing it, which I hate to admit. In class tonight, just in passing, a classmate mentioned talking about our assignment with his wife. Seriously, I almost lost it, right then in there. And he only mentioned talking about his homework!

I finally got my new power adapter in the mail this afternoon when I got home from class, so of course, the first thing I do is get on Skype and start a video chat with Dustin. I *REALLY* lost it then. I can't help it! Tonight was his mom's birthday, so their whole family have been enjoying a night of celebration. I want to be there. Or, I want them to be here.

And of course, me feeling miserable means I want to stuff my face. Thank goodness I don't have any more junk in the house, because I could seriously go for some ice cream and Doritos right now. I'm trying to convince myself NOT to go to the grocery store for that junk! It's like I told Dustin tonight, when he asked how eating bad food makes sense to me when I feel bad (oh to not be an emotional eater!), "If I can't be happy on the inside, I want to put happy in my mouth." Which sounds dirty, I just realized. But that's really how I'm operating right now. I feel a little stress, a whole lotta missing my hunny, and all I can think about doing to ease the misery is moose tracks ice cream and cool ranch doritos.

Ack, I grumbled and mumbled again. I promise some happiness for my next post!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I ate an ENTIRE medium pepperoni pizza for dinner, along with almost a liter of Diet Coke, and half a thing of CinnaStix. What the hell? Am I trying to kill myself?

I'm not trying to sound self-defeating, but seriously, what was up with my eating ALL of that food? I think it has a lot to do with my feeling pretty bummed out the past couple of days. I am soooo grateful I took a weekend off to be with Dustin, but I've been struggling to keep up with my work this week (I'm miserably behind). I've been skipping the "pink pill" week of my BC, which I know isn't supposed to change anything (considering that the 'period' you have on pink pill week isn't even a true period), but I swear, I'm PMSing. And also, I miss Dustin. A lot. In fact, I'll venture into pathetic-land and say that I'm miserable without him here with me. I can't believe we have to struggle through another 15 months of this mess. Seriously, I've never been glad for time to go by so quickly, but the sooner we all get to December 2009, the better.

Self-pity diatribe ceased.