Thursday, June 28, 2007

I am so depressed/angry right now

The bank denied our loan. Of course. Nevermind that we have an account with them that is now and has always been in good standing. Nevermind that we have a car loan with them. That's all irrelevant. What matters is that our credit scores and on the brink of fair and good. I'm glad to see that this process is as arbitrary as possible. It brings me unending happiness.

In the meantime, we have to rent the car for another week. Another $150. This is the last week we can afford it. The check we have been expecting is MIA, of course, since it would solve a good portion of our problems. When we do get it it'll probably be for a third of what it's supposed to be. Because I need more to do. I am wavering between just telling the transmission place to go ahead and start and hope things have worked themselves out by next Thursday or Friday (when it would be done) and crying. Option 2 seems really viable right now.

I wish I could say that I was too mad or sad to eat. It's not true. I could eat a lot of Taco Bell right now. It doesn't help that no one's been shopping in a while and food options are limited at best.

I'm just so tired of all this crap. I need a few days of alone time to keep from going crazy. I won't get it, but I need it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Some other stuff

Well, since this is supposed to be at least partially a diet blog, I thought I'd post about the diet. It's nonexistent. I've been off for...I don't know, a while now. I wasn't even on for a week. Stress and working constantly on the house and cleaning and packing and chasing kids and the 400 other things I have to do each day make it hard to spend an hour preparing each meal.

My husband talked to Marty Wolff today (of Biggest Loser fame--and I went to high school with him!) and he said that you won't stick to a plan unless you're eating food you like. Which, at first I was kind of like, "Well, duh," but then I thought about it. On the 6WBMO I was eating chicken at almost every meal. I don't like to eat chicken for a snack. (Unless it's in the form of a fast food chicken sandwich. But anyway.) So I'm thinking that I will add more forms of protein besides egg whites, like peanut butter and soy products. Instead of 2 egg whites for breakfast (if I'm eating them scrambled), I'm going to do an egg white and a whole egg. I'm adding in whole wheat bread and pasta, and a serving of dairy. I have long believed that if you're on a diet plan that makes you give up everything you love, you won't stick to it. I have no idea why I thought this would be any different. Maybe because I really really wanted it to be.

The whole moving thing: I'm not sure how I feel about this. As to the delay, one part of me is glad that I don't have to have everything done yesterday, but another part of me (the bigger part, I think) is frustrated that things are going to take so long. When I make a decision or a plan, I want it done and done fast. Maybe that's why I suck so badly at diets. I'm impatient and I've been fooled by all those before/after montages on TV.

Ugh...foot dragging

I talked to the landlord today, and she said that she hadn't decided if she was going to sell the house or rent it again. She needed time to think about it. I had held out some hope that she could put an ad in the paper right away and maybe get someone in here to rent and we could be out by next weekend. Not happening now. I guess on the plus side that means I can stop working on stuff every second of the day. On the minus side, the next month will be really really hard, because we have an extra $300 (at least) for renting a car, plus another $50 on the car payment to pay for the repairs, plus $500-$700 to make a dent in what we have to pay for the repairs. It just keeps adding up.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another update

It has been decided--we are moving in with my mom. I am trying to stay positive and think of this as one year out of my life to rebuild and get ahead in a way that I would otherwise not be able to.

As Kathy commented, I am very glad that my mom is there when I need her. (Just to clarify, my parents are not divorced, but my dad works/lives in Florida--it's complicated, but he's not usually too involved in stuff until after it's been decided.) DH and I were just talking last night about how lucky we were that we had my mom. The house she lives in (alone up until now) is a 5BR with a finished basement that is more or less set up that it could be use as an in-law suite or whatever--there's a bathroom with shower, large room to be used as a living room with storage, a room that was a laundry room that has a sink, lots of cupboards and a gas hookup that could easily be used as a kitchen (although we won't have our stove down there), and a small room that could be used as a bedroom. Most people in our position wouldn't have that sort of space to move into. That is one thing to be positive about.

Hopefully when all is said and done we'll have the car and credit card paid off and a good amount of savings built up and will be in a position to buy a house instead of moving into yet another apartment.

I do have to admit that all this has wreaked havoc on my diet. I've basically been off the past two days. I'm also concerned that I won't have the money to continue it for at least another month, since there are going to be some costs involved with moving and getting the car fixed, like renting a storage unit and a U-Haul and needing a rental car for a week.

DH and I are going to work on cleaning out the basement tonight after the boys go to bed. I don't want to have to pay for more storage than I need (and ideally we would get rid of everything so that we didn't need any storage at all).

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Things keep getting worse

Last night I was up until 2 researching transmission stuff. I was hoping that it was the torque converter because that would be less expensive than a transmission. This morning I had DH take the car to Auto Zone and get them to use their computer to pull codes off the car to tell us what was wrong. There were three--one a minor emissions thing, one something to do with auxiliary systems, and one that said something about the torque converter. So DH took the car to Certified Transmission and had them check it out. They came back and said that the transmission was shot. Completely. The fluid that had just been put in yesterday was already black, there were pieces of metal and debris inside the transmission that had basically ruined it. The ideal would be to replace the entire transmission. A transmission with a three year warranty is $2000. A transmission with a five year warranty is $2500. It would be possible to replace just the torque converter and have it run, but there were no guarantees. Just replacing the torque converter would probably make the car drivable, but there was still the possibility that it could die and we would then need a new transmission.

I don't know what to do. The place offers financing, but we don't have the extra money per month to pay anything. If I drain savings, we have maybe $500. We are expecting a check at some point in the (hopefully) near future that should be over $1000. My mom owes me $1000 (although I owe her a lot more). If we could get the financing to hold us over until all this money comes in, we would be OK. But if we had to pay monthly we'd be screwed. We are already upside down on this car, now we're tacking another $2000 onto what we already owe. If there was no loan on the car I'd say take it to a dealer and trade it in for $500 but we owe $5000.

We are considering moving in with my mother. It is the last thing that DH and I want to do, but I figure we could probably save $900 a month doing that. That would let us pay off the transmission, pay off the car, and save some money to buy a house (if our credit will let us). DH says that if we move there he wants to stay for at least six months, to get us to the point of our next tax return. I have to say that the last thing I want to do is move in with my mother. Everything just seems so overwhelming right now. I don't know what to do.

I want to cry. And eat. Mostly eat.

We are having some financial problems right now (actually, always) that mostly stem from being a one-income family with a not-very-high income. There is enough money to pay the main bills if nothing goes wrong, but if something goes wrong we are screwed.

Today the car started acting up. DH realized that we hadn't changed the transmission fluid in a loooong time (the car is a five-year-old Kia; if anyone changed the fluid, probably I did it before we got married three years ago) so he topped it off for the time being. Oops, we drive a POS Kia. Kia makes their own special transmission fluid that you cannot purchase anywhere else. (Don't even get me started on this.) We did not know this and DH, being a man, forgot to bring the manual with the name of the fluid we needed into the store and decided that whatever they sold would do just fine. To be fair to him, they only sold one brand of transmission fluid. I would never have thought that it wasn't compatible with a cheapy brand like Kia. Maybe a Mercedes of a BMW would need special fluid, but not a car I paid less than $10K for five years ago.

So anyway, DH adds the transmission fluid. Car immediately starts acting up and of course we are away from home when it does so. And that's not all, oh no. A/C is also being crappy. Needs new windshield wiper blades. A truck kicked up a rock which chipped the windshield which cracked all the way across. Needs new brake pads and possibly rotors. Someone hit it in a parking lot a few weeks ago. And now the transmission.

We took it to the local Auto Zone, where the guy informed DH that you could not buy Kia fluid there, you had to get it from Kia or another mechanic. DH took the car to Grease Monkey on the Auto Zone employee's recommendation and had them flush the fluid and refill with Kia fluid. The car is now almost undriveable, probably through no fault of Grease Monkey. It doesn't reverse, it has trouble getting up even very slight hills (like the one at the end of our street), it doesn't shift gears...I didn't believe that changing the fluid on a car that needed it could hurt it but yes, apparently it can. It seems that sometimes all the grit and crap and pieces of metal in the transmission fluid is all that's keeping a crappy car running, as weird as that sounds. And having the wrong fluid in there, even for a couple of hours, was apparently devastating to the Kia's fragile sensibilities.

The more research into transmissions I do the more depressed I get. My sister owned a Kia way back when--six or seven years ago--and she trashed the transmission. My mom told me she thought it was around $300 to get it fixed. But now I read that a new transmission or even some transmission repairs can run $1000-$2000. The car has 90,000 miles on it and apparently around 100,000 miles is when repairs start getting really pricey and your car turns into a money pit. We do not have the money for pricey repairs. Even if this car was in great shape we are probably close to $1000 upside down on it. We do not have the money for a new car. No relative has the money to loan us to purchase a new car. (And by new I mean "new to us.") Even if we could get this Kia monkey off our back our credit is so bad that we probably couldn't get a loan anyway.

DH had Wednesday off, he will most likely have to call in Thursday and possibly Friday. I have an extremely overactive imagination and it hasn't taken me long to see the absolute worst outcome of this situation: no money = no car = no job = no money. And I feel so terrible for so many reasons. Obviously the prospect of living with my mother thrills me to no end (ha). But also DH had been trying to get this job for 3 1/2 years when he was finally hired, and he loves it. I am sure that losing it would be devastating to him.

I am so depressed right now. If we had a car I would probably go to Taco Bell.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm melting away

Weight today was 229.6! Woohoo! I feel "cautiously optimistic" that this isn't water weight--I am running a serious calorie deficit, so it's not unreasonable that this be real weight, right? Just a quick update--we're off to Hobby Lobby.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm still here

Still on plan, too, although I could still go for a piece of dark chocolate. Apparently that will go away with time. That kind of sucks. I don't know if I want to not eat chocolate anymore; it's never really been a binge food for me. I also can't imagine six weeks without it, let alone the rest of my life. The Six Week Body Makeover (or 6WBMO) people insist that that will go away.

The forums over there have given me a lot of good info, but I've laughed at some things, too. For instance there are a lot of concerns over the plan having enough calories. Someone posted that they had measured their calories for a while with the help of an aunt who was a nutritionist and it consistently came out to less than 1000 calories. One day was 500. I don't know how they were still on the plan because I would have caved in at that point, but I can believe that if you just strictly adhere to the meal suggestions (i.e., 2 oz protein, 1/4 c fruit) that you could eat very few calories. I say strictly adhere meaning if you don't add any of the "free" vegetables, although none of them are very high calorie.

Anyway, the answer to this person's and other's concerns was "but our calories are soooo nutrient packed! We can get away with only 500! Long live 6WBMO!" It was pretty amusing, and total crap if ever there has been total crap. I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, but my understanding of calories is this: a calorie, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. A calorie is a unit of energy. The body needs a minimum of calories to run all its systems and not eat itself. Calories from "whole," unprocessed foods are easier for the body to digest, but it can digest junk food calories too. To my understanding calories and nutrition are mostly separate. The reason you should eat healthily is a) It's easier for the body to process, as I said, and b) You get more food when you eat healthier. There's a little blurb in Glamour magazine each month that is "eat this, or eat all this," which basically shows usable alternatives to your favorite foods/meals. For instance, there was one that showed that instead of eating four fried cheese sticks and beer you could have ten buffalo wings, popcorn, and a couple glasses of wine. Or something. It's the same idea: 500 calories from vegetables, chicken and brown rice goes a lot further than 500 calories from a double cheeseburger.

Of course you know no one said "Excuse me but that's a load of malarkey." Actually everyone chimed in and said "Yes! This is true! That whole 'don't go below 1200 calories' thing? That just means 'without your doctor's blessing.' Oh, you didn't run this by your doctor? Well, Michael Thurmond is close, right?"

The program itself is really not that bad, I actually feel good and like I'm doing good things for my body, but groupthink annoys me no matter what the context.

I think I'm going to go read a magazine. I was cleaning today and found a couple of them that had fallen behind the chest freezer. There's actually one somewhere that I haven't even taken out of the plastic yet, but I'm too lazy to go find it. Oh, a quick note about lazy: I did not do my exercise today. I am going to pull my exercise bike out tomorrow and go to the gym (DH has the day off work) and I have to do the toning program thingy. I hate seeing that thing in the living room, but I need the visual to get me off my butt.

Even though I know I shouldn't...

...I weighed myself this morning. 232.4! Woohoo! 2.6 pounds down, probably water weight this early, but it's still nice to see a difference in the scale so early on. I can't wait to be under 230. I can't wait to be under 200.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I would love some chocolate right now

So far this isn't too bad as far as the food goes, although as the title says a piece of chocolate would be good. After I kicked the whole "rapid results" thing to the curb it was much easier (although now I have a bunch of grapefruit to eat). I actually feel like I'm being healthy on this plan. Breakfast was 3 egg whites and salad; lunch was 2 oz. chicken, 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (made with no butter or milk, but I added a sprinkle of bacon cheddar dip mix, 10 calories per teaspoon and I used less than that), and a cup of that squash vegetable mix. Snack of grilled chicken, mushrooms, and red onion. Dinner chicken curry with broccoli, carrots, red onion, and white rice.

The food may not be bad so far, but going from around 2500 calories a day to around 1200 is hard. I finished dinner maybe half an hour to forty minutes ago and I'm hungry. I am ignoring it. And I discovered that you are supposed to eat all the food in order: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, optional evening snack. Oops.

Also, the literature says that most people don't find that it takes them longer to prepare meals as compared to before. I don't know if it's that it's my first day, but that's crap. Normally I would microwave leftovers or maybe a veggie burger or some form of convenience food if we had it, or maybe I would eat whatever the kids had left on their plates. It took me close to an hour to make lunch and dinner today, and this method of cooking sure generates more dishes. It is healthier, though, so I guess that's my tradeoff.

I did not get to take that walk today--I babysat my niece this morning so I couldn't go then. As a result of having her the kids got put down for naps late and didn't wake up until 4:30, an hour before dinner and not the optimal time to be leaving. I have just now finished making their dinner, cleaning up, making my dinner, and cleaning up after it. I will be mowing the lawn when they go to bed and probably doing some cleaning in the basement, but I would have preferred the walk. I think.

And so it begins

Today is Day One of the Six Week Body Makeover. I had planned on doing all Rapid Results meals (or as many as possible, you're not supposed to do them after you've worked out) but I am rethinking that because, as another poster put it, "a diet of nothing but turkey and grapefruit will push you over the edge." That it will. I have had one meal of egg whites and salad and already I'm snapping at everyone. It doesn't help that I have a headache, although I can't imagine how that could be related to what food I eat. (Or could it? "I have to eat eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast! It's MEDICAL!") (Here's another parentheses for you: I forgot I wasn't breastfeeding anymore. I can take whatever pills I want! Woohoo! Imagine the possibilities!)

So I think the plan for lunch is 2 ounces chicken, grilled; 1/2 cup mashed potato; 1 cup squash blend mixed vegetables. That's not too bad. And I still have a morning snack that I get to eat later, probably tonight, because I didn't eat breakfast until 10:30. I'm pretty sure if I get through the first three days that's the hardest part. Things will probably not be easy after that, but they might be easier.

If I were single this would be a piece of cake. I don't have to feed anyone else but me, so no one else's food needs to be in the house. Except I'm not single, I have a husband and two kids, and they all love junk food. The kitchen is filled with various Helpers, cereal bars, crackers, tater tots, macaroni and cheese, potato chips, hot dogs...when I was single, I DID NOT BUY THESE FOODS. I swear. I never ate hot dogs and macaroni and cheese; not it's on the menu at least once a week. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my family to make it easier to diet, but it would be nice if they could be satisfied eating what I eat--chicken, rice, vegtables, etc. Actually the baby would probably be OK with that. The other two would mutiny.

According to the literature (and my own calculations) the maximum I could lose in the first six weeks is about forty pounds. The minimum I expect to lose is fifteen pounds, although I'm pretty sure their minimum was more than this. That would be nice to see that kind of result--forty pounds is a pretty good motivator to keep going.

Also, you are supposed to do an hour of cardio 5-6 days a week on this plan, and I believe the weather is actually going to cooperate enough for me to walk to the library with the kids without melting.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Scale is Laughing at Me

Yesterday's weight was 232.4; today it is 234.8. Ah, arbitrary weight loss and gain, how I've missed you. I was never exactly thrilled about the two pounds that I lost taking me from 234.6 to 232.4. I know, it sounds weird, but I am highly suspicious of weight loss I did nothing to earn. And by earn, I mean tracking every calorie I eat, keeping them under 1800, and working out an hour a day. Just eating healthy and getting more activity in doesn't cut it in my book, because it's never seemed to do anything before so why should I believe it will now?

Another reason for my suspicion of unearned weight loss is that I have been burned by scales before. The scale I had before I got my new one (which I still don't trust; in fact, I don't trust any scale but I still use them religiously. Go figure.) showed me as weighing 184 just before I got pregnant with N, my 9-month-old. After I gave birth it showed me at 219, then a drop over a few weeks to 207 which I considered my "baseline", my real weight after the excess fluids from the baby were gone. Shortly after that it settled in around 199/200. And then, all of a sudden, an 11 pound loss to put me at 189. I didn't believe it for a second. But it stayed there for a while, so I foolishly accepted it. Then my scale started showing that I had gained 75 pounds or lost ten pounds from when I weighed myself two minutes before. I decided a new scale was in order and, surprise surprise, the new scale showed my weight at 207. I was so disgusted and, frankly, pissed off that I had worked so hard for four months to lose exactly no weight. This was the point at which I decided that diets disgusted me and I wasn't going to do it anymore, I was going to Eat Healthy and Exercise Every Day. Thirty pounds gained and I'm back on the Diet Wagon, even though I really don't want to be there. I guess I'd rather be on the Diet Wagon than the Overweight with Type 2 Diabetes Wagon.

I will be starting the Six Week Body Makeover Sunday. I have warned my husband that I will probably be not fun to be around for the first week. As I put it, "No food makes J angry." As far as I can tell the plan is about 1200 calories a day and you're supposed to do an hour of cardio five days a week, with a toning program three days a week. I am so thrilled, there are no words. Especially since I am starting with the "Rapid Results" program, which seems to be turkey breast, greens, grapefruit, and the occasional half cup of rice or cup of mixed veggies. But it is better than getting diabetes or something, and I'm only doing the Rapid Results for a week. I feel like I need to do something drastic to start to get my mind in the zone of sticking to this program.

As I was typing this, my hands went numb no fewer than five times.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I have a plan...

It's an ambitious one to be sure. I dug out my Six Week Body Makeover book and looked through it and decided that I would do the Rapid Start program. Very few carbs, no dairy, no fruit besides grapefruit, only chicken and fish for protein. Granted, I'm only doing it for the first week to get myself into the dieting mindset. And the rest of the plan will be wonderful after that. We'll see how I do. I just have to focus. Eye on the prize and all that.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Yay! Motivation to lose weight!

My best friend just told me that she is engaged, so woohoo! I do not want to be fat for her wedding--I have until late summer (August or September) of next year to lose an estimated 70 pounds at least. It makes it so much easier to stick to a plan if I have a reason to, and since I'm maid of honor I really want to put my best foot forward, so to speak. No one else that would be in the wedding is overweight and Lord knows that's one way I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb. Who wants to be the fat girl?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tiny quesadilla card sharks

I went to Wal-Mart tonight and on the way I heard this weird Taco Bell ad on the radio. It's the latest in a series featuring various anthropomorphized menu items. This time it was an extreme beef and cheese quesadilla or some such thing. It was trying to enter a high stakes poker tournament and it suddenly struck me that these commercials are weird. Really weird. We are supposed to eat these things? After being told that they can think and speak and would like to be poker champions? I find that slightly disturbing. I should probably not think about this too much or soon I will be a vegetarian.

Speaking of fast food, I told DH at the beginning of the month that I (meaning he had to do it too) wanted to not eat fast food this month. We ate out waaaay too much last month. My reasons were mostly financial, but as bad as I eat sometimes I am convinced that the stuff I can get at Taco Bell and Burger King is much worse. (Which is almost certainly why it's so tasty.) Anyway, he lasted until today. A whole week. That must be some sort of record or something. His reason was that he had a dentist's appointment this morning to get a crown and "forgot" to take lunch because he didn't know how his tooth would feel. Is it just me or does that not make sense? I think this whole thing was planned. When he told me that I was very tempted to go to Taco Bell tonight. He had cheated, didn't I get to, too? But I was strong and I resisted the lure of the Bell. It was hard, but I did it. I kind of wonder if July 1st I'll be running for the car to get a taco or a burger, or if I'll feel good not having eaten the food for a month and will resist. I'd like to think it will be the latter, but I know myself better than that.

Friday, June 8, 2007

A Horrible New Weight

I have lost a pound, down to 235.8. Forgive me if I don't get excited. Losing a pound=good. Weighing 235 pounds=bad. Disgusting. Horrifying. I know there are people out there who are trying to lose a lot more weight than I am--75.8 pounds at last count--but that doesn't mean I can't be depressed about the number anyway.

I went to the gym for the last two days in a row--even if I only did cardio I went. No go today because DH had a dentist's appointment. I will try and do a video while the kids nap later, assuming I don't fall asleep on the couch first.

Friday, June 1, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Things I have accomplished today: rearranged furniture, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed said kitchen floor, fixed a curtain rod, painted a table. Things I wanted to do today but did not get done: go to gym, eat low-calorie foods.

Sigh. I'm proud of what I have accomplished, but I really wish I could get myself more on board with this gym thing. It's so easy to forget to do it, completely block it from my brain until the gym is closed for the night.

I have never understood the whole endorphin rush that you're supposed to get from exercising. It's never happened to me. Never. Not once in my entire life. I played on the golf and tennis teams in high school, I played soccer when I was younger, I still like to bike, play golf, and hike, not to mention the workouts I do at the gym. (I won't call them "regular" workouts because there's nothing regular about working out twice a week for a week and then skipping the gym for the next three weeks.) I have done cardio for an hour at a time, and all I ever felt afterward was tired. Either my brain isn't working right or that whole endorphin thing is way oversold. Probably it's both. Anyway, the reason I started on this tangent was to say that maybe that's part of why I don't like to exercise at the gym. I don't get high like everyone else apparently does. Or am I misinformed and the high is only for extreme sports? But that would be adrenaline, wouldn't it?

My table is dry now, so I'm going to go bring it upstairs and try to be happy about the things I've accomplished instead of dwelling on what I haven't. Yay positive thinking.