Not a promising start.

Nothing makes the universe laugh like the sound of plans being made. I post goals – you know, put them out there for the world to see. The universe sees them, too.

Then the universe has a talk with my bosses.

There is a large project at work that is under a crazy tight deadline (i.e., someone screwed something up somewhere), and everyone in my division was asked to volunteer shifts (i.e., we’re all paying for it). I sent in my availability, keeping it loose and general, because I thought scheduling was going to work differently than it apparently did, and…long story short, I’m working 6 pm to 10 pm every Friday night from now until April 8, in addition to my normal work hours.

I’ll be given comp time (basically paid time off, because I’m salaried), but it’s still a lot of hours over a long period of time. In addition to those 6-10 shifts, I also have other shifts scheduled during my regular 7:30-4 workday that supersedes other stuff I’m doing at my job and that often extend an hour past when I’m meant to be done.

All that to say, I’ll have less time for the gym, less time for knitting, and less time for…well, pretty much everything. Still, I guess I’ve made some progress this week. On the health and fitness front, fianc√© and I went to a group for a medically-supervised weight loss program that came highly recommended by my college roommate. It’s almost a ketogenic diet, but not quite. To be honest, it might be a bit extreme for what I think I need to lose, but my fianc√© has considerably more weight to lose than I do, and I think he could use the support. I also like the premise of it, which is that you basically take “a vacation from food”, since you’re eating three meal replacements (which, by the way, were surprisingly tasty – as in, truly tasty, not, “It tastes okay if I close my eyes and hold my nose and think of roses”) and a 350-calorie meal of lean protein and veggies. I’m an extremely emotional eater, and not having to think about what I’m eating or how many calories it’s worth is going to be good for me. The program also includes weekly classes with a dietician and a behavior therapist to help participants change their perspective on and relationship with food while they’re still on the meal replacements.

There’s also something really appealing about not having to cook much at all, or pack lunches, or grocery shop for big runs (and make grocery lists and clip coupons) – and all the time I’ll get back during my “food vacation”. My roommate has lost 70 pounds in about six months. By my definition, I need to lose about 50; by my BMI, I need to lose about 80. Either way, I’m looking at about six months of this – but the payoff is that my wedding dress will fit and riding will be easier because I’ll weigh less. Because it’s medically supervised, we each have to meet with the doctor for an initial screening and consultation and we have to have blood work done. The clinic has limited hours, so we’ll be starting in April.

While I have done approximately nothing on my dissertation, aside from stare at it and go, “I should work on this” (clearly it is 2015 all over again), I have been in contact with our benefits people at work to get set up with the Microsoft Home Use program. I have Pages and Numbers instead of Office and Excel, and while I am typically an Apple girl through and through…Pages and Numbers are most definitely lesser imitations of the Office suite. It’s hard to make meaningful changes to your content when you can’t even figure out what features you’re missing from your word processor.

I’ve been so tired at night that I’ve not been doing much when I get home, but I have still been making time to work on Bailey’s training. We spend a lot of “fun” time together, but he’s a smart bird and I think he could learn a lot of things, so we’ve been working on tricks and concepts. He’s been able to give kisses, stack cups, dunk a ball, and turn on command for about a year now, but now we’re working on colors. Birds have color perception, although it’s different than humans’, but they can distinguish between different shades. Right now we’re working on red versus yellow, since they’re high contrast. He has to hand me a yellow toy when I ask him to “show me yellow,” and he’s pretty good at it. When he reliably hands me only yellow – and/or reliably drops the red when I say, “No, that’s red” – we’ll move on to identifying red. My fondest hope is that he’ll eventually be able to say the color names too, but I’ll live if he never picks it up.

I’ll also still be riding this weekend, because there’s really no way I’m giving that up without a fight. Ideally, I’ll start posting weekly reflections on my rides.