Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm doing the best I can…take 2

I started to write this post this morning, but could only get as far as the headline and the sentiment attached to it. I didn't have the emotional strength to recap the past week.

Seven days ago, my boss alerted me to a logo for another college. He felt it looked very close to our new logo. The new logo we've been developing for the past eight months. The new logo that was already on multiple objects in production. The new logo that has a 56-page brand book attached to it. The new logo that will be the "wow" factor to a press conference on April 8 when we officially go from college to university.

Initially, I wasn't worried. In my opinion, they looked nothing like one another. Sure, they both create the same abstract (common) object and they share one (primary) color.

But that would be like saying that these logos are all the same.

I contacted our trademark attorney on Thursday afternoon, to ease the anxiety of my boss. By Monday, I still hadn't heard from the attorney and my boss's anxiety had ramped up. There was no convincing him that, in my professional opinion (20 years in marketing and communications) this was not an issue.

As the week wore on, so did my nerves. When I finally spoke to the attorney, he gave me a lot of lawyer speak. First, he felt there was possible logo infringement. What the what?! How…how …how could anyone think these two images looked alike?

Tuesday night, I tried to cry it out. I've needed a good cry for several weeks and it's just not coming. when I mentioned that to a dear friend, she explained to me that I had no room in my heart or my head for the cry. And she was right. Sadly. I have no room for a good cry right now.

And as time went on, I was questioning my opinion. Not that I thought that the logos were similar enough to cause market confusion. But was I thinking that because I couldn't be objective?

I contacted several of my colleagues (and friends). People in the business, marketing in higher ed and marketing not in higher ed. Every single person agreed with me. "Not even close."

I wrote up a detailed email, recapping the options the attorney gave us, including the very "reasonable course of action to move forward with the good faith belief that we were infringing on another logo," as well as the opinions of our agency and four others in the business. I met with my boss yesterday afternoon. We met as an administrative team this morning.

As a group, we decided that we should move forward as is.

In 41 days we launch. In 41 days, we roll out a new logo. On banners. On signage. Unfurled down the side of a building. In the bookstore on merchandise. In 41 days, the cumulation of more than a year's work.

There will still be work to day the next day, but April 8 is the big day.

Between now and then, I will work out every day. I will take care of myself. I will eat healthy. Not in the way I would like. Not in the way that would contribute to my losing the last 10 pounds.

Right now, I have to accept that I'm maintaining my weight. I cannot gain anything, but I have to be okay with not losing. I'm doing the best I can and for now, that has to be enough.

I am doing my best...

and for now, that has to be enough.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Celebrating 30 Again

This image popped up on my TimeHop this morning. From two years ago…I celebrated hitting 30 pounds lost.

More symbolic was the actual number on the scale. It had, previously, been the lowest weight I had ever been at (going down).

It was a number I had hit in 2005, when we celebrated my parents' 50th anniversary.

Two years today, I hit that number. It was a milestone. A celebration. A number I didn't think I would see again.

This week, I hit that number again. It doesn't feel as good but I'm trying not to dwell on the negative but more that I'm headed back in the right direction.

It is something to celebrate, especially as I read back on previous posts from this year and how hard it's been to get back on track.

I feel positive. I feel strong. And I'm happy to be back at the 30-pound mark, soon to be in a new decade on the scale.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Learning to Walk Away

I have a friend -- a 20+ years friend. Ed and I  met when I worked in Rochester, my first job out of college, and have remained friends, and occasionally friends with benefits, over the years. Between the two of us, we've shared nearly 10 moves, across four sates, but somehow managed to stay in touch.

In 2004, he got married and I moved back to New York. We stayed in even closer contact, as he was hopelessly in love and we were back in the same state, hoping to actually see each other. For lots of reasons -- none that were terribly traumatic -- we never ended up meeting up. Kids, jobs, life, miles. But we emailed and we talked by phone.

Ed supported me emotionally as I dealt with infertility and adoption issues; and I was thrilled at the birth of his first his daughter and then his son.

And then as often happens, as I've seen from the outside looking in, the shine of "hopelessly in love" wears off a little. Two small children. A bigger house. And just about the time I was getting ready to leave New York for Pennsylvania, things between us turned a little strange.

And what was once just harmless flirting between two friends who had been through a lot together, didn't seem so harmless. And didn't seem like a joke.

At first, I played along. What could it hurt? I was a state and several hundred miles away. But when the conversations, the texting, the emails only included innuendo and propositions, I had to make a difficult decision to push back.

As women, we are raised to be pleasing. To not hurt feelings. To go along with things so as not to create conflict. And I think that is the mindset I had; I let it go on for months too long instead of speaking up for myself.

Finally. Finally, I did. I told him that I was not the answer to the problems in his marriage, not the antidote for his unhappiness and we needed to get back to our normal conversations.

It was a proud moment. I came through for myself. (If that sentence doesn't sound like someone who has been through years of therapy…)

And then silence. I didn't hear from him again. It hurt at first, but I had to stand my ground. And as time went on, it hurt less but angered me more.

For two years, I only heard from him with the obligatory Christmas card. And then, seemingly out of the blue, last fall, he sent me an email and apologized, he wrote that he missed his friend.

It took me a few days to respond, but when I did, I told him that I missed him as well. However I couldn't just let go what had happened. I wrote that he had been shitty to me, that a true friend wouldn't have heard the no from me and then dropped me. I expected that from some guy I met in a bar, not from someone who had been my friend since 1994.

He agreed and apologized repeatedly.

And then the weirdness started up in a different way. Emails telling me what a mess his life is (with no elaboration, even when I pressed) and that he really needed to talk to me. I gave him home, work and cell numbers, best times to call me at each, and a reply would come that he was busy with the kids that week, couldn't talk.

A week or so of silence, and then, "I really need to talk to you."

"You know how to reach me. I'm here for you."

This pattern went on for several months and finally I called a mutual friend, one who lives in the same city as Ed and has known him even longer. I hadn't spoken with Dave in easily a year, but again that was due to life and nothing major. I had once been in love with him, he had once broken my heart -- but he is a part of my story and someone I only have positive and genuine feelings for.

Dave filled me in on the background: a house of their price range, a lost job, drinking (both Ed and his wife), emotional issues (Ed's wife). It sounded like a major mess and my heart broke not only for them, but their two kids.

Dave wasn't happy that Ed was pulling me into this, especially after what had transpired between Ed and me two years earlier. When Ed sent his next round of "i need to talk to you" emails, I gave him a very specific time. Shit or get off the pot. If he really needed to speak to me so badly, then let's just do it.

The morning we were supposed to talk, he emailed me and said he was helping his daughter with a school project and couldn't talk.

I didn't respond. There was almost a month of silence and then he emailed and said his wife would be out of town with the kids in February for a week, "maybe we can talk then, or I can come visit you."

Red flag! I responded that I would be happy to talk but a visit, at this point, would be inappropriate.

His response: "Ok, I'm just going to end it all. Good bye."

I forwarded it to Dave, feeling that was really all I could do. I didn't take it seriously, he was playing emotional blackmail with me.

This past week, he emailed me asking if I had time to talk this week. I replied with some nights and times. "OK thanks…PS I miss you."

And then last night, "If I don't connect with you, sorry…I'm working to fix things."

I have put up with more than most would, I think. He has been my friend for 21 years. I felt I owed it to our friendship, but last night, when I read that, I knew that I had done all I could. I was the only one thinking about the value of our friendship.

And so I replied:

I hope you find what you need. I'm here when you want to talk but I can't take the emotional roller coaster, the push and pull you are doing to me with your emails. We don't speak for two years, and then for the last few months you seem to jerk me around telling me you'll call then you're busy then we have to talk then you have to watch the kids then you want to visit me bc your wife is going away (do you remember why we didn't speak for the last two years?!) then you threaten suicide.

No matter how angry and disappointed I was in you, I have been trying to be your friend. No matter how fucked up your life is, you need to be a better friend to me.

I will repeat that I am here when you want to talk.

My heart breaks for him. I have empathy and sympathy and compassion and can't imagine how shitty he must feel every day, given all he's been through the last two years.

But I knew I had made the right call when he wrote back. "OK good bye then."

This is not someone reaching out to a friend, this is someone who wants what he wants when he wants it and the hell with me. If he were really looking to me for help, I had given him ample opportunities. Maybe he hasn't hit rock bottom yet. I hope he will be able to figure his shit out before he does.

But at this point, I can't help him. Not the way he wants me to. Not in the way he needs me to. What he wants would just create a bigger mess in both of our lives. And I am not willing to go back. I am not willing to be "that girl" again.

I'm sorry I couldn't help you, Ed. I hope you find happiness. But now, I have to walk away.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Mind is a Beautiful Mess

I'm eating my stress. And then I'm stressed because I'm overeating. It's a vicious cycle. And one I need to figure out soon because work is not going to get any less stressful as I move toward the biggest project of my career in the next two months.

I've tried to do things the way of my Beachbody coach -- 100% clean eating, not counting calories.

Fail. I need more structure.

I've tried to do things the way of my nutritionist -- a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. 

Fail. By introducing "too many" carbs, I've created a slippery slope that is hard to stop.

I need to get back to -- or closer to -- high protein, low carb.

I've been on this up and down for the past month, trying to figure out the best eating plan for me, when I know all along what it is.

Certainly I can take tips from both techniques -- I've actually really enjoyed making a protein smoothie for breakfast. And adding yogurt as a snack has actually been really helpful -- filling while still satisfying my sweet tooth.

Today was a good day. And tomorrow I see both Terri and the nutritionist. Between the two of them, I'm hoping we can give me some new strategies for dealing with my stress, other than comfort food.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What I Learned this Week

I saw the nutritionist a week ago and she gave me some tools. Some were successful, others not so much.

More filling snacks...think of yogurt as more than breakfast...have a second smoothie. All good.

Have snacks with lots of volume....Special K chips, 28 to a serving. I didn't necessarily eat them mindlessly. I ate a handful and went into the living room. And five minutes later, I got another handful. Finally, I stood at the island in the kitchen and finished off the box. 

Have multiple snacks on hand. Having too many options just made it that much easier to go off track.

And so this morning, I made my meal plan. I really can eat the same thing for each meal, with one or two options to have when packing my lunch and dinner. And that's what I did today.

No diet Pepsi.

No chocolate. Even when offered. Even when I was in Lasker, where one of the deans has a bowl of chocolate.

Ate healthy at a lunch meeting.

One day in the books. Now I focus on Friday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

When did the tide shift?

Work used to be my solace, my routine. Breakfast at 8, snack at 10:30, lunch at noon, snack at 1:30 and 3, leave at 4, work out , dinner and snack, kitchen closed by 7-7:30.

Weekends were the gamble, the unknown. Where eating, diet Pepsi, not enough water got a little out of hand, not so routine.

But somehow, sometime, things shifted. Weekends have become easy, and work days not so much. At some point, I think, the need to reward myself, or comfort myself, with a diet Pepsi or a piece of chocolate, moved out of the comfort/reward phase and into habit.

I'm not sure when, I'm not sure how, and honestly I'm not sure when I realized it, but I have...and so tomorrow, when I go into work, I need to break the cycle, stay away from the sugar, from the pretzels, and even from the flavored water, which I had usually reserved for an afternoon that, after all my water had been drunk for the day.

I'm not going to make promises. Im not going to look too far out, just look at tomorrow. I'm going to pack my food for tomorrow, which does include a lunch meeting, and make a concerted effort...