I’m too fat to get dressed in the morning

The reality of my morning “dessing for work” mad dash is that more than half the clothes in my closet don’t fit me. I’ve gained too much weight over the last three years. I’ve gone up in size without reitiring the clothes that no longer fit, and exchanging them for something that actually does.

I’m doing that thing that deluded overweight women and men do all the time: I’m telling myself I will go on a diet or start visiting the gym and go down again. That hasn’t happened. I’m wondering if it will.

A little over four years ago I found myself in a very similar situation. Most of my clothes didn’t fit and I was looking at having to buy a whole new wardrobe because I had “outgrown” my old one. I refused to do that. Instead I went on a very strict but very healthy diet that helped me lose a lot of weight over the next year. I didn’t lose 100 pounds (yes, I have 100 pounds to lose) but it was enough that I looked better and felt better.

I need to do that again.

I’m having a lot of trouble getting motivated. And the motivation issue isn’t just with my health, it’s also in my professional life, my financial life, and my private life.

I am old enough that I know what I need to do, but like so many others, I’m having trouble just doing it.

So what happens when I get dressed is that I try to ignore the clothes I know don’t fit and start to try on outfits for the day. And, as that happens, I discover more clothes that don’t fit or that I tried on clothes I knew didn’t fit but forgot. I’m not a morning person. At the end I have something I think I can live with, and a stack of clothes that will get put up again.

All that so I can go through it again the next morning. Lovely.

What reminds you that you’re overweight?

The History of Raw Fish in my family

Last weekend’s Sunday lunch gathered the entire family at Sushi King. Honestly, sushi wouldn’t have been my first choice, and not because I don’t like it. In fact, I’m rather fond of sushi, at times anyway. I’m the one who introduced the rest to sushi, or at least I tried, a long while ago. It didn’t take. Except for Juan, who’s been a big fan for years now. And now Arianna is dragging me to one sushi place or another constantly, as if there weren’t any other choices at all. But I’ll get to that later.

Good sushi is expensive. And, truthfully, I was already close to going over budget for the week. On top of that, I’ve already dipped into savings once this month because I went over budget a few weeks in a row. (Did I mention that these furlough paychecks are going to be the death of my good financial intentions?) So, a last-minute, command-performance invite to a sushi lunch with every member of my immediate family was the last thing I wanted to hear first thing Sunday morning.

Ten years ago I could barely get Arianna to try sushi, and she proclaimed that she didn’t like it. OK, what she really said was “Raw fish? Ewww!” When Tomas came onto the scene, there was less likelihood of either of them trying anything “exotic.” They stuck to meat and potatoes, and he introduced her to Central American food. Even her cooking is less seasoned than my preference. So when I started to get invites from them to sushi, my first reaction was “to what?”

Fast forward to today and you get a scene where the two of them are inviting the rest of us to new sushi places every other week. My brother-in-law never remembers what he likes from one restaurant to the next; she does all the ordering for both of them. The cynic in my wants to say that they are showing off. Good sushi, as I’ve mentioned, is expensive, a luxury for us. She likes telling others that she had sushi. She likes recommending places to her coworkers, who don’t eat out as often. I don’t know that that’s the truth, but it’s what I sort of believe.

You’d have to know my sister to understand why I think that’s the motivation, even if she may not be aware of it. She won’t go to a restaurant were she has to stand in line to order and pick up her food. The one exception to that is Cafe Express, and that’s only because it’s one of my mother’s favorite places. Arianna likes being waited on, eating places that everyone else isn’t going to, and saying “you need to try that.” That influences where we can go eat.

Of course, when we all go out together, little sister tends to get the deciding vote. Her husband used to question us about it. He couldn’t understand why we ended up deferring to her preferences when choosing where to go. After a few years of marriage (or maybe less than that) he realized that she’s just incredibly vocal about her disappointments when little things go wrong. If, on top of the small things, she’s also at a restaurant she didn’t want to go to in the first place, then she’ll spend the rest of the day/week/whatever telling you how you screwed up. Really, it’s just easier on everyone if we let her pick. And that explains why I’ve had so much sushi lately.

The interesting thing about the whole sushi experience is that, in fact, everyone ate sushi. Well, everyone except for my mother (no surprise), David and Luis. But you have to provide exceptions for four-year-olds. And, really, Luis (my other brother-in-law) wouldn’t even touch pork chops when he first married into the family, so maybe sushi is expecting too much.

However, Linda, and her kids Alicia and Adam, were all eating sushi. For me the big surprise was Adam, who was once the pickiest eater on the face of the planet. I guess he still might be. He couldn’t find anything to eat at Hugo’s brunch, so we had to stop inviting them to go. He wouldn’t try hummus when we went to Greek food. I guess I could go on with one example after another. The point is that his eating, and liking, sushi is always a source of amazement. At least for me.

The fun part is eating. We all say “try this” and pass along plates from one end to the other, delighting in the things others ordered. We ask the names of dishes, as if we’ll order them the next time, and compliment each other on good decisions. We experiment with ginger and wasabi, changing the quantities from one bite to the next. We practice our chopsticks technique until we can use them to eat rice out of a bowl, and watch each other try not to destroy the rolled slices before they make it into our mouths. And we do all this without a single argument marring the lunch.

I’m not going to go on and on about the food itself. Honestly, I barely remember what I ordered. I do know that I liked it, and that others seemed to like it too. And I know that the bill was high enough that I had to pay my portion on a credit card, which I was hoping not to have to use. Which is worse: to use a credit card or to pull money out of savings for lunch?

My biggest challenges in 2011

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, then the fact that I have issues with my weight will not be a surprise. In fact, saying that I have no willpower when it comes to food would probably be a very accurate statement.

This is one of my biggest challenges for this year, years past, and I expect for future years as well.

Of course, I would go so far as to say that, since I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and I have been unable to stick to a diet for more than half a week at an time in the last two years… well, it’s a bigger problem this year than it has been in the past. Or, in other words, I’m the fattest I’ve ever been and show no signs of actually doing something about it.

The other ongoing challenge is the state of my finances. The truth is that, looking at my net worth, I haven’t improved one single bit in the two years I’ve lived in my current apartment. My savings are the same (it goes up, goes down, goes up, goes down), I don’t have a down payment for a house or condo, I haven’t started investing… well, you get the picture.

The only good news I can report is that my credit score has gone up significantly in the past two years. So that’s one thing I can count in the positive column. From a personal aspect, that may be the only one.

Professionally, the last two years have been good. I’m not going to say that I got a big promotion or a huge raise, but I get along well with my boss, the executive team is very happy with my work, my job is (fairly) secure, and I have had some decent raises. My biggest challenge there will be to get my “plan b” into place in case the reported furloughs become layoffs. But I should note that no one has said that word yet, except as gossip.

From a freelancing standpoint, I’ve had a really tough time. My regular customers have been “economied” and new projects have been scarce. And, honestly, I expect this to be my “plan b” so I need to start drumming up business.

Anyway, it’s mid-February and I’m finally taking a good look at the things I should have addressed at the end of December. Not a good sign.

doing nothing

I was sent home from work early yesterday because of the weather. I brought a bunch of work with me so I could finish some things up for today. Instead, I spent 6 straight hours watching television. Then I fell asleep on the couch, with lights and tv on. That’s where I spent the night.

This has become a pattern for me lately. I’m distracted at work. I think this has to do with the fact that furloughs are in effect, winter is full swing (had issues with productivity last year), I really don’t have any freelance work right now, and… well, it’s a trend.

Anyway, about to go into the office, carting the same pile of papers I brought with me yesterday. And I’m hoping today I’m more productive than yesterday.

Of course, my friend tells me that my “non-productive” day is usually equal to others’ “got a lot done” days, so maybe it all equals out.

Should I get an MBA?

It’s that time of year again, when the old year is behind us and we’re well into the new year, when I take a moment to panic and decide that my life isn’t where I’d like it to be and consider how to make it into that elusive ideal. And then I start looking at graduate programs.

I graduated from college nearly 15 years ago. I knew, even when I was an undegrad, that I was going to pursue a graduate degree. But it had taken me 7 years to get my bachelor’s degree (taking semesters off, going part time, working two jobs) and the last thing I wanted to do was go straight into another degree.

So I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited.

At least once or twice a year I take a good look at graduate programs and try to convince myself that it’s time to go back. I research websites. I ask for information packets. I attend information sessions.

Then I take a good look at the price tag.
And I start to make notes about the schedule.
And I take another look at the price tag.
And I remind myself that I don’t really need the degree.

And I wait another year.

I turn forty this year. I think it’s time to make up my mind on whether this is going to happen… or not.

I don’t have to try to go this year. In fact, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pull off getting into a program for this fall. But I do think that I need to make a decision on when I’d like to go, which program is my preference, and start the paperwork.

So I’ve spent a few days looking at my options:

If I could go full-time, and it money wasn’t an issue, I’d also look at:

Know of any part-time graduate programs you’d recommend for a public relations professional?

Anyway, my research jag has just started. Now I’m going to start asking for packets and attending info sessions.

Wish me luck.