More Than You Bargain For

Forgive me Internet, for I have sinned.  It has been eleven days since my last post.  In the last eleven days, I’ve been so busy, doing nothing, I can’t even tell you… Except, that’s kind of what I’m here for.  To tell you.  What I’ve been so busy.  Not doing.  It’s all very confusing.

In the last few days it’s come to my attention, on two separate occasions that I’m a liar.  Well, not a liar, exactly, just not entirely truthful.  One person, who barely knows me, but with whom I’m developing a new friendship, and another person who does know me but who I haven’t seen in a long time have each asked me how I’m doing, what’s new, what’s going on in my life.  On both occasions, I started to answer them with my standard answer:  “Oh, you know, nothing much.  Same ole same ole.  Just working.”

Before I let the words escape my lips, or my finger tips in one case, though, I stopped myself and thought for a moment about the true answer to those questions.  And I thought about something Deb said to me once about how I don’t allow intimacy to happen.  I tend to not let people in.  So I did.  I answered them both honestly… and they both ran away screaming as if their hair was on fire.  OK, fine.  That isn’t true.  But I always fear that is what will happen and I often think that when I do tell the truth they’re secretly thinking, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!  Why did I ask???”

Anyway, the truth is there’s so much stuff going on in my life and in my head right now that I’m finding it very difficult to actually accomplish anything.  Why is it that when we’ve got things pressing on us, we’d rather just shut down and put it all off until it becomes even more stressful than it already was?  Anyone else do that?  No?  Just me?  OK, then!  Moving on.

A lot of what’s going on with me just goes back to the age old question of balance, trying to fit it all in and garner some sense of satisfaction and fulfillment out of life.

A few of the staff in my office and I are taking a High Rise Fire Safety Director Certification class.  There are enough of us doing it that they send the instructor to us and the class is Tuesday mornings here at my office building.  But it is a full fledged Continuing Education course with homework assignments each week.  Next Tuesday we have a Mid-Term test.  At the end of the class which will be June 29, we have a Final Exam.  On June 15 I have a three page term paper due and on June 22 I have to give an oral presentation about it to the class.  The instructor keeps telling us that you have to work pretty hard to fail this class, but it’s bringing up a lot of old anxieties about my ability to perform properly in an educational setting.  (I’m one of them new fangled, non-traditional learners, who doesn’t always do so well with classroom teaching.)  This anxiety is also feeding into my next topic for discussion.

I took the plunge and am officially enrolled in an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course at the local Community College.  It begins on August 23 and goes through late December.  This class will be Monday and Wednesday evenings after work, three hours each night, one and half hours of Lecture and one and a half hours of Lab.  Michelle’s older sister is going to take the class with me and she’s actually taken it before (she let her certification lapse so she has to take it again) so it’ll be nice to a) have someone in the class that I know and 2) have someone that can help me if I get lost.  (Also, she’s eight years older than I am so I know I won’t be the oldest person in the class.)

Before the class starts though, I have to have two separate Tuberculosis (TB) skin tests and the first two of three Hepatitis B vaccination injections.  I also have to have taken Standard First Aid (I’m currently certified in Basic First Aid) and CPR for Medical Professionals (currently certified in Basic Adult CPR).  I’ve gotten the first TB test and the first Hep B shot (something I never wanted to do) and have to go back on June 18th, for the next round.  Fortunately, my health insurance covers the shots and tests and my employer is going to pay for the First Aid/CPR training and my textbooks.  For some reason I’m not being charged tuition for the class.

I have a number of relatively small deadlines looming over me with regard to my normally uninteresting, uneventful job.  I’m working on a Newsletter for the Emergency Response Program I run and I have a self-imposed deadline of June 10th for it to be done.  I have yet to create my contribution to the newsletter because I don’t know how much room there will be for it (It’s a game section).  I have begun the layout process and have yet to receive two articles that are supposed to go into it.  While June 10th is my deadline, there’s an absolute, drop-dead date of June 15th, because I want to distribute it at a Floor Warden Meeting the morning of the 16th.

I need to make some acquisitions for the Emergency Response Program.  They’re not even large acquisitions or tremendously difficult to accomplish, they just take a little effort and I haven’t found the time and the gumption at the same time to make those happen.  The High Rise Fire Safety Director class we’re taking is pointing out a number of procedural changes that need to be made in our program and while my manager is in agreement with the need for changes, getting him pinned down to discuss and agree upon the changes and then implement them is another matter.

My Google Reader has been filling up.  It’s probably more information than you want to know that I only seem to find time, lately, to read that while I’m on the toilet, but I want to try and keep up with all the blogs I read and finding the time for it has been a bit tough of late.  The “good” news is that I’ve been spending more time in said reading position lately, because my knee got infected from my recent trip and I was taking an anti-biotic for it which came with a not so lovely side effect, which the doctor told me would probably happen and just to “muscle through it.”  Fortunately, I took the last of that course of anti-biotics today so now I will hopefully start feeling better in that regard.

I allowed the discomfort of my knee to stop me exercising for the last three weeks now.  It finally feels better (still a bit of a sore but it doesn’t hurt any longer) and I’m recommitting myself to getting fit starting tomorrow.  I’m going to do the Couch to 5K program that I think I’ve mentioned before.  I have an iPhone app that makes it really simple and I had already completed the first week of the program when I had my fall.  So starting Monday I’m going to start that program from the beginning.  The program is nine weeks long so by the first week of August I should be able to run 30 minutes uninterrupted. The rest of the time, I’ve got the pre-prescribed weight lifting program from the Abs Diet program I’m still using.  (By the way, if anyone is keeping track, I’m down to 259 pounds – 50 pounds from a year-ish ago.)

Things are a bit chaotic at home too.  Because of my intent to be healthy, I am making a point of making food and bringing it with me to work.  So everyday, when I leave work, which tends not to be as early as I want it to be, I have a regimine I have to follow when I get home:

  • Change my clothes
  • Feed the cat
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Prepare food for the following day
  • Prepare dinner for that night (by now it’s after 8:00 and I shouldn’t be eating so late)
  • Eat dinner
  • Iron clothes for the next day

I’m still trying to maintain my determination to put less priority on television, but I have programs piling up in my DVR.  Plus there are some shows that need to be watched before Twitter or some other internet outlet spoils them for me.  Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser are two such shows and wouldn’t you know, they’re two hour shows that end late (And the DWTS Results Show interferes with The Biggest Loser)  Fortunately, they’re both over for the season but they’re going to be back in September and that’s going to be tough, with my class being on Mondays and Wednesdays.

My house is a mess and in desperate need of cleaning.  Fortunately, this is a long week-end and, at least in this regard, it’s fortunate that I don’t have plans with Lil’B this week-end so I can get caught up on some of these things.  Tomorrow night I’m going with some friends/acquaintances/complete strangers to see Sex And The City 2, and I’ll have to do some grocery shopping this week-end but other than that I have no specific plans.

I’ve been absolutely exhausted lately.  Trying to get to bed at a reasonable time, but somehow, it usually ends up being between 11:00 and midnight and then I have to get up “early” for work.  That hasn’t been working out terribly well and on Wednesday this week, I was actually later than can be considered acceptable.  We have our staff meeting on Wednesdays at 9:30 and I didn’t get to work until about 9:35.  Fortunately, K was going to be in late from a dental appointment and the meeting was canceled, but I didn’t know that and there’s no excuse for being that late when I know there’s something happening I need to be around for.

With all the deadlines and pressures I’m feeling I’m finding it difficult to focus on anything and buckle down to get the work done.  I have looked at the dashboard for my blog everyday, and everyday, I think, “I need to write something.”  But I don’t even try, because I know it will take a while to do and I should be spending that time on some of these other things I’ve outlined, only I manage to pitter the time away doing nothing at all instead and it’s really rather frustrating.  I haven’t had time to even look at my book for weeks.  I managed to push through the road block I had been stuck with and I’m ready to move forward with the story, but I’m having a hard time finding the time to focus on the task and get the work done without interruptions or distractions.  My creativity is being thoroughly stifled and I’m finding that difficult to accept.

And as if that weren’t enough stress in my life, things are getting tough with Mischa.  He is hovering right around his 18th birthday.  Since I found him abandoned the summer before my senior year in high school, I can’t know exactly how old he was, or when he was born, but the vet then told us he was about 10 weeks old.

Mischa has always been a little bit of a disciplinary/behavioral problem.  I frequently had problems with him urinating on carpeting.  It was fairly typical territorial marking behavior, I think, but it still happened.  I did the best I could to control his opportunities (I learned early on, not to leave blankets, rugs or other fabric items out for him to soil.  I did my best to limit his temptation) but it happened.  Everywhere I’ve ever lived he has peed on the carpet and all I could do was discipline him and do my best to clean it up.  When I was looking for my current apartment, I specifically wanted an un-carpeted apartment.  I looked at a place that had ceramic tile floors through-out.  I liked the place but it didn’t work out.  And then I found my current apartment and it has hard wood floors and I thought it was perfect…

For a long time it was perfect.  But, as they say, all good things must end.  I had purchased a carpet covered cat tree for him so he’d a have a kitty suitable place to lie.  One day he peed on the bottom layer of the cat tree and some of it ran over onto the floor.  I did my best to clean it up, but he did it a few more times so I got rid of the cat tree.  He kept peeing on the floor, so I disciplined him, scrubbed the floor, used an order neutralizing product on it and pushed a cedar chest into that corner of the room.  He peed on the cedar chest and on the floor in front of it.  (All of this happens when I’m not around, by the way.)

Finally, I had no choice but to restrict his access.  I have a pocket door that separates the kitchen/dinette from the rest of the apartment and his litter pan and bowls were in the dinette already, so when I left the house and when I went to bed at night, I would put him in there and close the door, hoping for the best.  Every morning when I got up and every evening when I came home, I opened the door, from which he would shoot like a bolt of lightening and I would grab the broom to sweep all the litter he had scattered around into a pile to clean up… twice a day, every day.

About two and a half weeks ago, he peed in front of the back door, less than two feet from his litter pan.  I disciplined him.  I cleaned it up.  I put down the odor neutralizer.  I hoped for the best.  And the next time I sprung him, I found the puddle right back where it had been.  Every time I released him from the kitchen for ten days I found his puddle of pee at my back door.  For the first time in his life, I started to hate him.  I couldn’t over-look his poor behavior.  I couldn’t make any kind of excuses.  I was getting angry at him.  I didn’t know what to do and for the first time in my life, I contemplated whether euthanasia was an acceptable solution to this problem.  I nipped that thought in the bud right away because as much as I hate what he’s done to my environment and my landlords property, I can not accept that killing him for misbehavior is a solution.  But I was stuck.

Finally the last realistic solution came to me and last Friday after work, I bought a cage for him to live in when I’m not home.  It’s big enough to hold his litter pan and his bowls with some space between them, though he tends to move the bowls close to the litter pan and then scatter litter over them.  Now every day, I come home and have to sweep the litter he still manages to scatter out of the cage into a pile, let him out of the cage and then clean up the cage and bowls before I can feed him dinner.  It’s still taking a lot of work for me, and he hates being in the cage, but at least he’s not peeing on the floor anymore.

I’ve been watching him closely to see if he shows signs of being sick.  He still get’s around fine.  He still can jump up on my lap, when I finally am able to sit down in my chair, without difficulty.  He doesn’t seem like there is anything wrong with him.  And yet, I have an uneasy feeling.  I sense that we’re running out of time.  I have thought that before and it turned out to be wrong and maybe this time will be wrong too.

But I feel badly, because in a way…  I’m ready for him to go.

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True Story

I received this really special e-mail today.  I don’t normally forward or share these things, but sometimes they’re just important enough to pass along.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.  The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.  He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.  As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.  The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.  Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.  Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.  Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son.  As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing.  The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.  The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure.  He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.  The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter’s legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn’t the same ____ing elephant.

This is for anyone who’s ever sent out one of those BS “heart-warming” stories.

Shame

This morning, I became the unsuspecting recipient of someone’s significant trust.  The person in question placed a fair amount of trust in me, by revealing something about himself which he has not shared with anyone outside of his own family circle and a person who is positioned to help him with the issue he described.

The person in question is not someone I have ever met in person, though I would love to get the opportunity, but he is someone I have gotten to “know” by way of the blogosphere and Twitter.  I can understand, from my own experience how it might be easier in a way to reveal information about yourself to someone you do not know in real life.  On the other hand, I can also understand how it might be much more intimidating to reveal something so personal and so potentially damaging to a relative stranger.  Long before this morning, I made a promise to this person to maintain his anonymity so I am and will continue to be very guarded about what I say.

The information that this person shared with me is something he wished he could undo, something that he would like to take back.  He’s working now to fix the problem he created and I’m confident he will be able to do just that.  But the exchange we had got me thinking about shame and how we deal with it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not expert and I’m sure there’s a lot to this topic that I don’t even know to say, let alone have the time for here.

Several years ago, I got a DUI.  (This is not news to many of you.)  I made a bad error in judgment.  I made a bad decision that I should have known better than to make but in the moment I didn’t exercise the kind of caution that I should have and I let my guard down and I took part in an activity that proved to be harmful and dangerous to other people.  And I paid a very dear price.

My friend did something very similar.  His issue wasn’t with drinking, but it was an issue of poor judgment.  It was a bad decision, not exercising the caution he should have.  He let his guard down and took part in an activity that proved harmful and dangerous to other people.  And in his words I heard a lot of shame, embarrassment.

For a long time after my DUI, I was ashamed.  I was embarrassed around the few people who knew about it and I went out of my way to make sure no one else found out.  Whenever I drove past the site of my arrest my grip on the wheel would clinch and my eyes would squint, tightening around the bridge of my nose.  One day I realized, I was holding my breath as I drove by.  I was angry at myself for allowing such a thing to happen and I was ashamed.  I wasn’t moving forward.

I’m not really sure when it happened – I didn’t have anyone tell me what I needed to know – but one day I realized I had to stop being ashamed.  I had to stop the negative feelings that surrounded this terrible thing I had done.  It didn’t mean I was going to be proud of myself.  It didn’t mean I needed to advertise it to the world, it just meant that I had to stop letting the shame overtake me.  One day, I drove by the fateful locale and I looked at the side of the road where months earlier in the wee small hours of the morning I had stood, touching my nose and walking toe to heal, and as I started to tighten my grip and squint my eyes, for just a moment I stepped outside of myself and I looked at what was happening to me…  And I issued a command.  “STOP”.  That was it; just stop.  Stop getting worked up.  Stop letting yourself be hurt and angry and depressed over it.  Stop allowing the shame of your actions over take you.  And it worked.

I realized that DUI didn’t define who I was.  It didn’t make me a bad person; it just made me a person.

There’s a difference between being proud and not being ashamed.  We all have things about which we are not proud, if we were proud of those things there would be something seriously wrong with us.  But at the same time, we can not allow ourselves to feel shamed by these things.  We can not allow the shame that we are inclined toward to affect us and the rest of our lives.  It’s the difference between being ruined by this event and living your life.

I hope these words helped my friend today…  I hope, maybe, they help you, too.

Have a Nice Trip; See You Next Fall

So this week-end was what I refer to as Laundry Week-end, what with how I do two weeks worth of laundry over at Michelle’s apartment on Saturday.  I like a name that tells you what it is. Because I’m doing two weeks worth of laundry, I’m hauling two very full hampers worth of laundry into her apartment, and because she’s *never nice enough to help, I have to do it in two trips.

Michelle’s apartment is on the backside of her building so I have to cross the parking lot and then go to the opposite end of the breezeway to get to her door.  The complex is pet friendly, but I thought they discouraged dogs.  I’ve noticed recently that there seem to be more and more small dogs around in the neighborhood, including at Michelle’s building.  As of this week-end, three of the four balconies that face the parking lot around her breezeway have dogs living in the attached apartments.

As I crossed the parking lot and walked up the path toward the breezeway the dog in the ground floor apartment on my left poked his head through the blinds on the sliding glass door and started barking at me, all menacing and tough-like.  And by menacing and tough-like, I mean the dog was pocket sized and not even remotely intimidating.  I looked at him, laughed and said, “Ooo.  Tough guy!”

I don’t know if it was the dog barking, or me talking that attracted the attention, but just as I took the two inch step up to the next level of sidewalk, I heard barking coming from the right.  I turned and looked to see the dog in the apartment on the second floor, on my right, out on the balcony and had stuck his little curly head between the bars on the railing and started barking at me, as well.  My last thought as I mounted the two steps up to the breezeway was “Oh, Stereo!”

I proceeded down the hall to Michelle’s door and went in to drop off my first load.  “That’s OK.  I’ve got it all,” I called out, more out of tradition than any vain attempt to guilt or shame.  “OK” she replied from behind the closed bathroom door.  She has long since made it clear that she’s not going to feel guilty for not helping me carry my stuff in.

I headed back out to the car for the second load and noted on the way out that the dog inside the ground floor apartment had lost interest.  The dog upstairs was still watching but had ceased barking at me.  After retrieving my second hamper I crossed the sidewalk in front of the path to Michelle’s building, several feet in front of a young to middle aged Asian couple strolling up the sidewalk.  As I headed up the path, I noticed that the upstairs dog was still watching me, so I watched him…

…And forgot about the two inch step up in the path.  I caught the tip of my right big toe on the edge of the sidewalk.  The velocity of my steps propelled me forward and the weight of my full hamper pulled me down.  People talk about such things and talk about it being like it happened in slow motion…  People lie!  OK, maybe they don’t lie, but that’s not what happened to me.  I went down fast and I went down hard.

Based purely on a damage assessment, after the fact, I know my left knee was the first thing to make contact with the sidewalk, because there was no skin left on it, whatsoever.  My left shin has “road rash” on it and my right knee cap has just a little.

In this picture, note the band-aid on my right big toe.  When my toe hit the step, it went down below the step, and the top of the toe rubbed against the concrete removing the skin from there as well.  So, as if it weren’t bad enough having my pants legs (I can’t wear shorts to work, naturally) rubbing against the leg injuries, every pair of work appropriate shoes I own presses right on that part of my big toe as I walk.

It only took a matter of seconds for me to turn over and stand up again and do you know, that Asian couple didn’t even acknowledge anything had happened.  No offers of assistance (which, granted, I would have declined).  No inquiries as to my well being.  It didn’t even seem as though they had looked my way to see what the commotion had been.  (People suck.)

~~~

Four or five years ago, when I was considering my first tattoo but was afraid of how much it would hurt, I asked K about them.  She told me, “It’s kinda of like having road rash.”  I thought, well that’s not nearly as bad as I feared. (Never mind that I hadn’t had road rash in twenty years.)  I can now attest that K was wrong! This is so much worse than any tattoo “pain” I’ve ever had.  And I had something to show for the tattoo pain!

*Every once in a while, Michelle actually does help bring my stuff in, but not usually.  To be fair, though, she moves her car out of her assigned parking space so that I can park there when I arrive, instead of having to park way far away in an unassigned spot with all my stuff.  There’s a connection however, the few times she has helped me bring my stuff in, it’s been because she hasn’t moved her car yet and wants me to follow her as she parks down the hill and then drive her back to her building.

Here We Go Again

Last Monday marked my final day of Personal Training for a little while.  I’m disappointed for sure.  I liked having the help, and the accountability is more helpful than you can imagine.  With someone waiting for you at a set time and day at the gym, it’s a lot harder to blow it off.  With someone telling you how many of which exercises you’re supposed to do, and not feeling sorry for you when you whine and whimper, it’s harder to slack off once you’re there.

Of course, there were some draw backs as well.  Tawaiin’s measure of my success was my weight and measurements.  There’s a whole elaborate set of measurements that they take every three weeks to track your progress.  I suppose that makes sense from a tracking standpoint, but it didn’t matter to me, weight loss wasn’t my primary reason to be there, and toward the end, I found that I was dreading going on the days that he would take my measurements.  My goal was to get stronger, have more endurance.  I’m not sure about the endurance, just yet, but I definitely got stronger, even just working with him one day a week.

Of course, I see a difference in how I look.  My waist is slimmer, my chest is less “moob”-like (that’s man boobs for anyone who doesn’t know.)  There is the slightest of diagonal lines running from my collar bones to my armpits and slightly less slight diagonal bulges running around the outside of my upper arms.  This is good.  I wouldn’t dare say I’m looking buff, far from it.  But this is good.  Imagine what I could have accomplished with twice a week sessions… or, you know, working out any other day of the week.

I couldn’t afford to see Tawaiin twice a week, and sadly, I never really learned how to work out on my own.  For the last month or so, I only went to the gym on Monday’s.  Not getting my money’s worth and not getting the maximum impact.  Nonetheless, I lost twenty-eight pounds; I don’t know how many inches; and four or five percentage points in “BMI”.  When I started, I was fully entrenched in the ”NOT HEALTHY” section of their chart.  On the last night, he took measurements and I was .01% below the “NOT HEALTHY” section in the “Acceptable” category.  I would have to lose another ten percent to fit into the “Fit” category.  I don’t know if that will ever happen.  I did build some strength and endurance, and for that I am grateful.

A few years ago, I signed up for a program through Men’s Health Magazine called The Abs Diet.  I really liked it because it took all the guesswork out of everything.  Computer generated, but fully customizable, weekly meal plans, daily work-out routines ready and waiting, progress tracking all right there on the website.  It was great.  It is for a fee, but it’s a pretty reasonable fee for what you get (about $15.00 a month.)

One of the new features since I last signed up for the program is a support section, a community of users in a forum and a personal journal which can be kept private or made public… Kinda like a blog.

Anyway, I wrote this, this morning and frankly, I don’t think I can sum things up any better than I did:

Yesterday was my first day of my second go round with this diet.  I did the Abs Diet for several months a few years ago.  I liked it and did fairly well with it without going crazy with every little detail.

I really enjoyed having the meal plan laid out for me without having to put much thought into it.  Each week, I printed out a detailed list of meals and a grocery list to accommodate those meals and, bam!, my thinking was done for me.  The part I struggled with was the exercise.  I never really knew what I was doing and my resources were limited.  I lived in an apartment complex with a gym, (now I live in a duplex) but it was a somewhat limited space and in the evenings it was too crowded to be able to make use of it.  I tried to make it in the mornings, and I did for awhile, but it was tough – I’m not a morning person.

(Full disclosure – I was also drinking pretty heavily and it was tough to make that fit into the plan and get up early enough in the mornings to work out.  Now I don’t drink at all, but I’m still not much of a morning person.)

I went on a two week vacation to visit extended family and didn’t work out a single day while I was away and I just never managed to get back on that horse when I came home.

I started that go round at nearly 290 pounds.  The lowest weight I remember seeing on the scale before I gave up was 254.  My weight climbed slowly – or rather, I thought it was slowly – and I was distressed but never motivated to do anything about it.  For the next three years my weighted fluctuated back and forth always climbing a little higher before coming down again and at my worst I was up to 309 pounds.

Through paying closer attention to what I was eating, eliminating Alcohol from my life and trying to be more active in general, in my daily life, that number came back down to about 288 pounds.

Last year, I decided I wanted to consider a career change and become an Emergency Medical Technician.  The field fascinates me and I’ve got some work experience that lends itself in that direction.  I looked at what they have to do, and I looked at my own condition and knew that physically, I can not do it.  I can’t lift the amount of weight an EMT has to lift and I don’t have the stamina to do a physical job all day long.

In October, I joined 24 hour fitness.  In November, I signed up with a personal trainer.  I worked out with him once a week.  I would have liked to do more, and he wanted me to do more, but it was simply too expensive to do more than once a week.  I’ve gotten own to 265 pounds.  Last week was my final session before the funding ran out.  I couldn’t afford to go back again.  I want to go back as soon as I’m able but it’s insanely expensive and I really don’t know where I’m going to find the funding to pay for it.  And then I remembered the Abs Diet.  I remembered the step by step outlines of what exercises to do and what food to eat and everything.  So I signed up again.

Yesterday was the first day.  I printed out my meal plan and my work out plan and set about making it work.  It was a little tough. I’m a big brother and I spend Sunday afternoons with my Little.  We went to a miniature golf/go kart/arcade/etc center.  Fortunately, food never entered the equation yesterday, but it was five hours out of the middle of my day and I didn’t manage to fit my afternoon “snack #2” into the day.  I went to the gym in the morning, later than I had wanted to.  I thought if I could get there early enough, the weight room wouldn’t be terribly packed and I could figure it out.  I realized, only after I got there and started reviewing the paperwork, that I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing.  The machines all look like medieval torture devices and there are limited, if any, instructions.  I ended up faking most of the exercises using the Nautilus type equipment at the other end of the gym that no one wants to use.

I know that I was better off using that equipment than not doing anything at all.  I also know that a leg press is not the same as a squat and that I won’t get the same results by doing different exercises than what the program prescribes.

I like today’s prescription.  Walk for 45 minutes?  I can do that.  That was always my favorite part from the last go round too…  I’m hoping that tomorrow, I can get into the gym super-early before work and fumble around like an idiot with some of the torture devices– er, weight machines and figure out what the hell I’m doing.

I walked in there yesterday telling myself not to worry about the other people and what they might think looking at me as I screwed everything up, but apparently, I didn’t listen.  I know that if I can just acclimate myself to how it all works, I’ll be fine.  It’s just the acclimating that’s proving to be difficult.  Here’s hoping for a better outcome tomorrow.