Monday, January 18, 2010

New Year's Revolution Review

Well, it's that time again. 10:39am. December. [I finished this on January 18, still without 2010 Revolutions.] Time to start thinking about New Year's Resolutions. New Year's Resolutions used to be easy for me. They were like a Self-Improvement Ronco Rotisserie. Make 'em and forsake 'em.

2009 ruined everything. I made a horrible mistake. I published my New Year's Resolutions, which were more goals than resolutions, and asked my friends to hold me accountable for them. I am happy to say that my friends didn't help me at all. I'll take that back later. The down side was that my resolutions were out there on the Internet for everyone to see. I tried to forget them, but they haunted me like a garlic-stuffed green olive that you have at lunch and enjoy the rest of the day. They wouldn't go away. They compelled me to keep them. They compelled like a super-massive compelly thing.

Counting my Fifth Resolution, there were five in all. Let's run up the list from bottom to top and see how I did.

5. Determine a 5th Resolution - I immediately jumped right on that one after a few months of forgetting about it. I figured out that before I could ever fully fulfill Resolutions 2, 3 and 4, I would have to do something about my financial situation. So my wife and I decided to get out of debt. We are well on our way. We started in May. We haven't used a credit card since. We payed off about $15,000 of debt along with hail storm repair (both cars and a new roof), three surgeries, heater repairs, refrigerator repairs, new tires, car repairs, birthday parties and Resolution number 4. In March, we barely had enough room on AMEX to charge two nights in San Antonio. Now were getting ready to lay down sweet, clean, cold, hard cashola for air fare to SPAIN, where we will spend a month this summer. How good are we? Very.

Unrelated, but here is a word of warning from our experience. If you want to remain comfortably broke and maintain simple problems like food and rent, then please avoid budgeting like the plague. And don't even think about working any over time. I think this may have been a horrible mistake. Seriously, life was so much more simple then. Three days in San Antonio was easy to fill. Dine in a couple nice restaurants, rush through the zoo and run up and down the river walk a couple times. Then come home and anxiously await the credit card bill. Now how the hell am I supposed fill an entire month in Spain? Really. What am I supposed to do? Hang out in a pub all night and lay on a Valencian beach all day, day after day with no computer beeping or iPhone ringing? And what purpose will my life have when I return home and don't have a mountain of debt to pay off?

Whatever will I do.

4. Give More - We just thought we had given well in 2008. We increased our giving 5 fold. It feels wonderful. Nothing is more fulfilling than Giving. I recommend it. When we Gave in previous years, we usually charged it. We increased our Giving by 500% while working on Resolution number 5. It's a start, but nowhere near what I'm after. Gotta boost the income some more. Gotta get more free time. Got some ideas, just need to breath some life into those ideas. Who is with me ?

3. Music - I must admit I barely squeaked by on this one. I started late, since Resolutions number 5 and 1 were getting all my attention. I did write a few new songs, recorded several old and new songs and jammed a few times. Didn't perform any or Deejay any, but the writing part was my biggest concern. And check this out. I'm writing right now, even as I type!

2. Fresh Air - I don't know if I can rightfully say I fulfilled this one, but I am. I took the family camping twice and camped with the guys once. Went fishing with my Dad and Step-brother once. I put in just over 1,000 miles on my bike. Even though working so hard on Resolution number 5 made this one pretty difficult, we got out a few times.

1. Outlaw Rest Stop - Ok, I take back what I said about my friends not helping me at all. I really appreciate the encouragement from Blanca, Ken and Barbarosa, and I appreciate Ken for sticking with my during all those miles of training. I really only almost killed him only once. Low and behold, Goal number one was accomplished on Saturday, August 29th when I came coasting into the Outlaw beer stop of the Hotter'N Hell 100. Even rode a few more miles after the stop to complete about 106 miles for the day.

I consider this year a huge success. All the "surprises" presented to my family should have made this year the worst year ever, but we turned it into our best. We didn't sit in front of the TV sucking our thumbs while a bad year happened to us. Life dealt us a weak hand this year, but we played some hard cards. Life thought we were bluffing and rode a weak straight. We just kept smiling our silly smiles and kept throwing in chips when Life Raised the stakes.

Coming up next: New Year's Revolution v 10.0


Sans Sugar: Day 4

Finally, I started writing about a day on the day that day is happening. Today. Of course, by the time you read this, today will probably be yesterday or last week. Maybe even earlier today. Get back with me when you think you know.

I've had moments of strong cravings today. Really wanted some tator tots. I can get a huge basket of tots, enough to live on through dinner, for a buck! There is a Reese's Peanut Butter bell on my desk. It has been there since Christmas. I'm showing that Reese's Peanut Butter bell just how much I can resist it. I've wondering if some DDP would make it easier.

Around 2:30, I started feeling hungry. Very hungry. I had a big salad and chicken schnitzel about noon, so I couldn't be THAT hungry. Visions of Snickers began dancing in my head. I could here them calling me from the vending machine. Around 3:00, I started feeling really tired. With only an hour left in my work day, I was really hoping some fresh air would do the trick. I knew a chocolate milk shake would. Besides, I knew I would cheat by having Sliders and fries at Beer Thursday.

At 3:10, which seemed like several hours since 3:00, I began thinking maybe just a sip of DDP would get me to 4:00.

Here is another question that occurred to me today: What about the cheat day?

Sugar Busters allows one cheat day each week. I usually had cheat days on Saturdays. I'm thinking I shouldn't have a cheat day this week, since I will not have gone a full week without. Will it start the cravings all over again? Get back with me when you find out. I mean, I'll get back with you when you find out.

You know what I mean?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sans Sugar: Day 3

Back at work for Day 3 of no sugar. I stopped at Starbucks on the way to work. I ordered a tall decaf drip and gave them my mug to put it in. It ain't easy being green. I did add half a pack of raw sugar to my coffee.

I'm going to allow myself a little raw sugar in a little coffee a few days a week. As long as I cut way back, and as long as I cut out the processed stuff, I will be good.

After I left Starbucks, I got an idea for a book. I emailed some friends to see what they thought about a collaborative effort and they jumped on idea like Fried on Rice.

Writing is a sort of dream of mine. So is dreaming. I dream of writing. I should try to write of dreaming. I often dream of having more dreams. I'll get right to work on that tonight after I go to bed.

Please tell me what I'm talking about.

Are dreams like goals? If you write them down, are they ten times more likely to come true? I had this one with Scarlett Johansson. Isn't she, as a member of our great and human humanity, worth writing down? I think so.

I finished off the last empanada. The carbs are about to seriously be reduced now. I thought about getting a DDP, since it is sugar free. I'm pretty sure that nothing in it is natural, but I could use a little help. I'll have to take it before the beerd.

That's right. I said, "beerd."

I'm writing about Day 3 on Day 4. So far, nothing funny has happened yesterday, unless you think making blueberry and jellybean soft taco is funny. I'm still waiting.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sans Sugar: Day 2

Day two was surprisingly easy. I worked from home. Everything is easier working at home, especially working. It is just crazy how difficult it is working at work, but I guess that's why they call them cubes.

I did have a small square of 70% dark with a dab of Sprouts peanut butter.

I'm writing this on Day 4. Check back later to see how Day 3 went. I know I can't wait to find out.

By the way, nothing funny happened on this day, which is kinda funny in a way. If Day 3 were not already passed, I would commit myself to doing something worth writing about on Day 3. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn't.

I do know this though. Maybe I do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sans Sugar: Day 1

I had my yearly physical yesterday. My first in four years. A few minutes before I fainted, my doctor and I talked about my weight. She told me I needed to work exercise into my schedule no matter how busy I think I am. For those of you keeping score, she is right.

"Well, you're definitely not over weight," she said. "You are in good shape. Just for your record though, you are five pounds heavier than you were in March."

Did she just compliment me, then take it back?

Then she asked me about salt. Do I use much? Do I add extra to my food.

"No. No salt."

"What is your weakness?"

Damn it. She can see right through me. "Sweets. Chocolate," I replied.

"So how much to you have? Maybe something every day or so?"

Great. She's disgusted with me AND I'm probably diabetic. "Lots. Like a few times every day. I just need chocolate."



She doen't understand though. Her job is easy. If she had my job, she'd understand. We can't drink at work. She won't prescribe me any more Ultracet. The only other thing I have is Chocolate and Dr. Pepper.
Surely I jest. Shirley?

So I decided yesterday morning, a few minutes after I fainted, that I am going to cut down on my sweets. No more of my sweet, intoxicating, energy-boosting, mood-saving life-giving chocolate. I also decided that I will start exercising. New Year's Resolution? Maybe. I haven't really made any for this year. Which reminds me, I need to make my New Year's Resolutions for this year.

Yesterday wan't too bad. The cravings weren't bad. They weren't really even cravings, but I had some carbs from the weekends leftovers. When the leftovers are gone, the carbs are gone. Well, except for the 20 boxes of TurrĂ³n my mother-in-law sent us for Christmas.

In addition, I've stopped eating by 7:00pm every night but one since January 1. I'm doing well there.

Wish me luck!