Monthly Archives: October 2012


Here in the mid-Atlantic, we’re getting ready for Sandy, or Frankenstorm, or whatever we’re calling it these days. Where I live, I think the main thing I need to be concerned about is potential power outages. I’m stocked up with ready-to-eat food, got plenty of candles and an LED lamp. Unless trees come down, I suspect my main concern will be internet withdrawal.

This week has been sorta weird, and I haven’t been to the Y to work out since Monday. Wednesday, I rushed to the dentist with what I was sure was a dental emergency, but turned out to be my TMD disguising itself as a toothache. (That’s issues with the jaw joint and muscles, sometimes called TMJ, though TMJ is actually the designator for the joint itself.) So I’ve been all about pain meds and muscle relaxers and hot packs and face massage for the past few days.

The book? What book?  I haven’t written a word on it for days, and suspect I won’t be able to make much progress on it until after the election, because I’m all election-obsessed and stressed about it. (Do I think that stress might be driving the TMD flareup? Um – yeah!)

The only area I’m succeeding, turns out, is the diet. Tuesday weigh-in was the first in two weeks, and I was down 6.6 pounds for those two weeks. I’m really sticking with eating the right things and writing them all down.

And BTW, that’s a good example of ‘negative self-talk’, when I say that the only thing I’m accomplishing is losing weight. Hey, Joyce, you’re losing weight! You’ve lost fifteen pounds! That’s awesome! Lose the weight and you’ll have more energy and everything you do will be easier – and then you can achieve amazing things!

(I need to work on reprogramming the Little Voice In My Head, because it’s such a downer!)

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Why I miss junk food

You know what I miss most about junk food? It’s not the yummy grease and salt (though those are awesome) – it’s the convenience! Buy a bag of something, open the bag, eat the contents. How great is that?

What brings this up is that I decided tonight to make some sweet potato chips. Sweet potato chips are pretty good. Only problem is – you have to make them. And just to get one potato’s worth of chips, you’ve got to mess up two cookie sheets.

Tonight’s attempt was a fiasco. First? I sliced off the tip of my little finger. Really. Oh, it wasn’t a big chunk, just the very tippy tippy bit. But I thought I was never going to get the bleeding to stop. Bandaging the tip of your finger is hard to do. (At the store I’ve seen bandages specifically for fingertips, but I don’t have any of those.)

And then! Then when I stopped the bleeding and bandaged my finger, I went back to the chips project, got the slices all arranged and in the oven. And then I missed the 10 second window between the chips being limp and the chips being burned – so I wound up with no chips anyway!


Could some food processor out there please make us some healthy chips, sweet potato and otherwise, and not junk them up with every nasty food additive ever devised? Buy the bag, open the bag, eat the contents – and it’s good for you? Wouldn’t that be great?




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Reporting in

No group meeting today, our leader is off to some conference or other. I’m down a couple pounds this week on the home scale, so hope to see some good movement next week on the official weigh-in.

I’m definitely stronger than I was when I started – that’s the biking. And being stronger makes me more willing to do things that used to seem Too Hard. But I’ll tell you the metric I’m really looking forward to – when do my clothes start feeling looser?!

On the book, I’m planning and arranging scenes, so I have no word count to report. Better luck next week?



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Hey, I was supposed to update you folks on the Twelve Week Challenge, wasn’t I?

Well, the news is good. I was down 2.2 pounds, so I lost last week’s gain and a bit more.  My stationary biking is up to 24 minutes, and I pedal a bit over 4 miles.

The book? It’s at 15, 544. That’s 1354 more words than last week.

If it seems like the book is taking back seat to diet and exercise, that’s because it is. I’ve been reading The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business by Charles Duhigg. A lot of it is about basic research and about organizations (interestingly presented, though), but there’s also some good stuff about the bad habits we develop without meaning to and the good habits we try to develop and sometimes fail to create.

The author reports that some habits are ‘keystone habits’. Developing keystone habits makes it easier to develop other good habits and positive lifestyle changes once you’ve developed the keystone habit.

And exercise, it turns out, is a keystone habit. So — huh.

For exercise, I’ve been concentrating on the stationary bike. Why the stationary bike? I love swimming and my dog would appreciate a walk with me. Well, remember my knees? Quick refresher, I have very bad arthritis in the knees – the doc says they really need to be replaced. I’m about due for another round of Euflexxa shots, so they’ve probably worn off by now. But biking makes the knees feel better. Seriously – when I’m biking regularly, not only are the knees more flexible, but they hurt less. If you have arthritis of the knees, just FYI.


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I suppose I should have known that first week’s lost of 8.6 was too good to be true. Second week’s weigh-in – a gain of 1.6 pounds. (And I haven’t been cheating, honest!) I’m trying to reimagine it as a seven pound loss over two weeks — but still. Oh well, onward.

On the book front, I have a word count for the week – 1,109 words, bringing the opus to 14,190. Now, a thousand words a week isn’t really all that good. If I continued on at the same rate, it would take over a year to finish this thing. But it’s progress. And 1100 words is infinity percent better than zero words. (Wait, is that right? Somebody check my math…)


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