Friday, February 21, 2014

Finding Happiness Within

I have been reading a really great blog written by a woman who went through a horrible end to her marriage.  In particular she recently wrote something that struck a chord with me about her ex being on a snipe hunt for happiness.  He was on a wild goose chase, searching for something impossible because true happiness is found within, not anywhere in the outside world.

You can read more of what she wrote here:  Snip Hunt

I look back on it and I can see how my husband was truly not content with himself, and so he was continually searching for something to fill that hole inside.

He would drink to excess on weekends on a regular basis and went through phases where he was imbibing every single night.  I think it was a way to cover up his true emotions.  He could never learn that alcohol was not going to make him happy.

He was unable to control his spending habits and stick to a budget.  We accumulated debt not only because of the times he was unemployed, but also because he was buying things we didn't need.  

Then there was the porn, and flirting with other women, and emails with naked pictures.  Sure it probably made him excited at the moment - but it obviously didn't truly fill the void inside him.

Over the 5 years of our relationship and the 1 year of our separation he had 8 different jobs.  Another sign that he was not satisfied with his life.  Sometimes he would mention the chance he had to work at the Banff Springs Hotel (which I think would have been around 1998 after he finished a course in hotel management), with a wistfulness.  As if taking that job would have changed anything.  Not unless he was comfortable with himself. 

I realize now that there is nothing I could do to make him happy.  You can't make another person at peace with themselves - it's like trying to carry water in your hands.  He was always looking for the easy road and a marriage takes hard work.  You would think that he would have learned something from his first marriage - taken some lessons and experience and applied it to our relationship.  No he just continued to make the same mistakes with drinking too much, not controlling his finances, and cheating.  He did not go to counselling with me because that would have shone a light in places he wants to keep hidden.

What I do realize is that I am happy.  I enjoy my new position in the circulation department and the poeple I work with every day.  I like spending time with my family.  My friends are awesome and we have fun when we get together.

I am eating right, exercising and losing weight because I am not focused on someone else (in a flawed way), I am putting me first.

My present and future are filled with good things because I am content with the person I am right now.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tales From Customer Service

No weekly update today.  I was in Victoria and did not go to WW this past Saturday.  All I know is that I ate way too much good food and I still have not gone back to a regular workout schedule.  Hopefully I won't have gained 10 pounds when I do weigh in this Saturday.  I think I would be happy with a 5 pound gain, and then work really hard from there.  It has not been a good couple of weeks at all.

Anyway . . . .

People are crazy.  Actually people are CRAZY - and wacky and weird and mind-boggling.

I have worked in administration/customer service for all of my work life.  First at H&R Block during tax season as a receptionist.  Then there were the many hours providing entertainment to the masses at the video store.  I worked on contract at a call centre for a while - mostly selling electricity and gas contracts to businesses.  Then there were the many years making sure security systems were installed across Canada.  Now it's magazine publishing.  I do think that my job in circulation (subscriptions and distribution) is much better than when I was the sales assistant for the Calgary office.

One thing that all these jobs had in common is that I deal with the public.  Mostly over the phone.  Nothing was life or death - well except for the cases of installing security systems for women getting out of abusive relationships.  Even then, I did not work in the ERC (Emergency Response Centre, much like a 911 operator).  So my biggest issues were making sure installers were on time and people signed their contracts and provided payment.

Back to dealing with the public.  The masses of society.  The first thing I learned was that for some reason people seem to think that yelling and swearing at me is going to get them somewhere.  No, being rude is not going to get you your tax return money any faster.  If you act like a jerk, then I am not inclined to go out of my way to help you out. 

The past couple of weeks in the world of magazine subscriptions have been full of the weirdos.  First there was the man who called in to complain about a renewal letter.  We are just asking you to continue your subscription to our magazine.  He objected to the way that we use the words "bill to" on the letter.  Seriously, he was yelling at me about how it was a bad way to run a business?  I am still confused. 

There was a really nice woman who called in to fix the address on her subscription.  She had finally received the latest issue, but it looked like it had already been read by numerous people.  Who sends back a used magazine?  Especially one with ripped pages and food stains. 

I know I will get a call in March from an angry woman.  She had called in a while ago to yell about how she didn't want her donation to the Alberta Cancer Foundation to go to producing a glossy magazine.  I tried to explain that the funds to create the magazine are not from donations, but she was not listening.  Then she hung up on me.  How am I supposed to take her off the mailing list without her information?  The magazine goes out to about 40,000 people - so knowing that her first name was Carol (or something like that), was no help.  Hopefully she calls me and not reception.

Then there was the nasty email I received telling me to never contact them again.  Well all I was doing was confirming with you that your name has been removed from our database.  Would you not appreciate verification that your request was completed? 

Yep, talking to people sure makes my life interesting. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Grandma's 90th Birthday

My grandmother, my dad's mom, is the only living grandparent I have left.  She grew up in Medicine Hat.  Except for the first 10 years or so of her marriage, that was all in the same house.  The home that my great-grandfather built for my great grandmother back in the early 1920's.

In 2006 (I think?) she moved out of that house and into a seniors condo that was only a few minutes away from her old house.  Then right before Christmas of 2010 she arrived at my parent's house in preparation for all of us celebrating the holidays in Victoria, and the femur bone in her leg broke.  It had a crack in it already from her severe osteoporosis. 

After spending time in the hospital in Edmonton, the hospital in Medicine Hat, and my parent's house - she finally moved into assisted living close to where my parent's live.

Her mind is still pretty good for 90, even if it is selective sometimes and she has troubling remembering things.  Her body on the other hand is slowly failing.  She has congestive heart failure, chronic lung problems and her legs don't move so well. 

On January 30 she turned 90.  My mom asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday.  She requested that we all go out to my parent's house in Victoria.  She and my parents and my youngest brother spent two weeks out there.  Myself, my other younger brother, his girlfriend flew out on Thursday evening.  My cousin and his wife (who is pregnant with the first great-grand child) arrived on Friday afternoon.

I really love this house - this is the view of the back that I took from the beach below

It was a great weekend and my grandmother had a wonderful time.  Everything went well except the part where my mom and I went over to the produce store about 20min away and blew a tire.  Thank goodness for a good samaritan who helped us with the lug nuts. 

We ended up getting back super late last night.  First my dad accidentally booked the return flight for March 9 instead of February 9.  I called Westjet (yeah for 24/7 customer service) and rebooked the flight - but the only one that did not cost us a whole bunch of extra money was the 7:00pm through Vancouver that got us in Edmonton at 12:30am.  Then when we were about the leave Vancouver, there was a medical incident on the incoming flight and we ended up being 30min late.  We landed at 1:05am, got my bag, and a friend of my brother's drove us home.  I was in bed at 2:00am.

Yawn I am so tired today.

If only we had left the house in Victoria about 15min earlier - or I had no checked bag.  We might have made the 6:15 direct flight home.  The agent tried, but the flight was closed unless we had no checked bags.

I plan on going to bed early tonight (after watching Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead).

Here is a picture of me at Hatley Castle on the Royal Roads University campus.  We tried to take a tour inside but it's closed for the season.  We did walk around the museum and grounds a bit. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Biggest Loser Finale - Season 15

I still enjoy watching The Biggest Loser.  Season 13 drove me nuts with the whiny contestants and the people who walked out when they did what thy do every year - and give people who got voted out the chance to come back.  Other than that I have enjoyed the show.

This year had quite a few people that I was rooting for all season long.  That included the winner Rachel Frederickson.  But I do have one issue.

At the finale she weighed in at 105 pounds.  It was the biggest percentage of weight loss in a season at 59.60% (she started at 260 pounds).  My problem is that this final weight put her BMI into the underweight zone.  She looked unhealthy at the finale.  Her arms, face and neck were so thin that it made me think of anorexic Karen Carpenter.

If you look up the healthy BMI range for a 5'4" woman (like Rachel) - the lowest is anywhere from 108 to 117 pounds.  I tend to turn to Weight Watchers that has 114 pounds as the lowest weight for a small framed woman.

If you looked at the weight loss for the other two members of the final three - Rachel could have ended up at 118 pounds and still been declared the winner.  I think with an extra ten pounds or so she would have looked much better. 

My hope is that now that she has won she will find balance and gain back 10 to 20 pounds (I think she looked awesome at makeover week - at 155, and when she left the ranch at 151 she was almost at a healthy BMI).

I also thought that past winners Olivia Ward (Season 11, BMI of 19.5) and Helen Phillips (Season 7, BMI of 18.9) were very thin at the finale.  Still, it was not as drastic looking as Rachel.

Obesity is definitely a real problem in our society (here in Canada and in the US), I know as my BMI is in the Obese range.  What I don't want is young girls and woman to see Rachel and think that they need to be that thin to be healthy.

My goal weight of 165 pounds would put me at a BMI of 24.  This would be the high end of the scale, but perfectly acceptable to me.  I am proud of the fact that I have gone from a BMI of over 46 to a BMI of just over 39.  I am working towards weighing 200 pounds, which would put me down to the overweight category.

I would want the producers of the show to address this, but most likely they will just brush it off.  They should take the opportunity to discuss healthy weight loss and weight goals.  And as of this morning there was just a statement from NBC about support and healthy weight loss blah, blah blah.  I like that Dolvett said that Rachel's journey has not ended yet.

I know that the weight loss on The Biggest Loser is not realistic.  No one has time to workout about 6 hours a day, let alone the energy to do it on such a restricted diet.  The weight loss over the 6-7 months that the contestants are filming the show is harsh, and no one should lose 40 to 50% of their body weight in such a small amount of time.  But this just makes me question how closely the doctors are working with the contestants after they leave the ranch.

I don't think we need to attack Rachel and each other about our opinions on the matter (such as been happening on Twitter since the finale aired).  We just need to recognize that her end weight is not healthy, and hope that in the long run she stays within the healthy weight range for her age and height. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Weekly Update: Jan 29 to Feb 4

It was not a bad week, but I am having difficulty getting exercise back into my schedule after being sick.  I tried one day last week and I ended up having a coughing attack after 5 min.

I think I am finally all better now - but I am having huge motivation issues.  Partly I think because I am home alone and so when I get home I have more tasks to do before I am ready to workout.

Weight Watchers Weigh-In:

Original Weight: 314.8
Previous Weight (Jan 25): 269.4
Today's Weight (Feb 1): 268.6
Change: -0.8
Total Loss: -46.2

Total Loss since May 2012: -53.6
Total Loss since Nov 2005: -67.8

SP Weigh In
Previous Weight (Jan 25): 266.4
Today's Weight (Feb 1): 265.8

I will miss my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday as I am heading out to Victoria for the weekend.  All the Reilly grandchildren will be there to celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday.  Her other son (my uncle) will not be there, but that is a whole other post.

My goal is to not over eat this weekend and hopefully I will be down at the Feb 15 weigh in.  When I was weighing myself for Sparkpeople, I was back up to 271 pounds . . . I am hoping it was just my TOM.

I also really need to get some exercise in this week  Enough with the excuses.