Thursday, January 28, 2010

Livin' Off Carbs, I'm Loco

You know, we are always learning new things about ourselves, aren't we?

This insane week, what I have learned is that when I am tired and burning the candle at both ends, I do some serious carbing!  I mean wow! 

I have been chewing on this:

And these....

So thankfully it is not cookies or chocolate, but still!  I don't know if my brain is trying to convince me that tired must be fueled by empty calories or what, but enough already!  Only one more day!

Bus training has been interesting and today especially so.  Today we role played.  Other trainers and bus drivers assisted with we, the students, taking turns being the driver, while the rest of the students got to join in the fun of pretending to be either small, elementary school students or older, and sometimes way more obnoxious middle or high school students.  The scenarios were not the norm, but were possibilities; things like a guy and a girl picking on another girl's clothes, calling her a "dollar store ho" (Which cracked me up totally), to a couple making out in the back.  One of the drivers was suddenly on her cell phone on the bus (not allowed) and the driver was asking her to turn it off and then we all got into it, yelling at her to get off the phone (pretending to be other students, of course).  She was talking and laughing and we finally realized she actually WAS on the phone with the main office!  Too funny.

It was a little intimidating really; the thought of being on a bus with a bunch of kids, some of which don't behave, being a sub driver, who has never driven the route before, yet alone dealt with the students.  Though nine of us are in the class, one of the trainers told us that not all of us would show to do our behind the wheel training.  I find myself considering each person and wondering which ones will not show up.  One gal I'm not sure about as she is very soft spoken, which in the most perfect of circumstances would be fine but any other circumstance, probably not.  But she could surprise me.

But though I am a bit intimidated, I think I'll be able to handle it.  I think my personality will allow for me to be able to deal with most situations, hopefully with some humor even, as that is generally my way.  I would much rather be able to enjoy these kids and respect them with them respecting me and as I have dealt with all kinds of kids in short doses on mission trips, a 30 minute bus ride should not be an issue.  In a few weeks, I'll let you know how that is working for me.

Tomorrow we are tested and will be let go early, then for me, it is on to study my CDL book in order to pass the written tests through the MVA.  Once those are passed (I have high hopes of being able to do them all in one day) I get my permit and then get my behind the wheel training with the board. 

Okay, onto work and getting a few things done.  Have to stop by mom's tonight and then have praise band later, so it is full day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Be Still My Weary Heart

(Written Tuesday night to post on Wednesday)

So tonight at kickboxing, my beloved GBC called me "honey."  Le sigh.

Okay, now for the rest of the sentence which was something like "That's not a push up, honey."

Yeah, you heard it here.  I cannot for the life of me do a push up.  I don't get it.  To get anywhere near the right form and I don't feel like I have the upper body strength to do them.  What is the secret to training to do these puppies?  Given all the things I have learned to do in the exercise world, this is a major source of frustration for me.

I am really tired tonight and it is only Tuesday.  Class was cold today.  We spent a lot of time outside, in a bus, in the cold, learning how to evacuate special needs kids.  So we were dragging 40 pounds bags to the evacuation door, jumping out and then lifting the bag/child out of the bus.  We manually ran the lift door in the event the mechanics of it broke down.  Tomorrow, we are again outside to learn to set off flares.  My ten year old is so jealous.

Then it was off to the church to work, then home to do laundry, vacuum, pack lunches for the next day, finish dinner etc before racing off the YMCA for kickboxing where my favorite instructor called me "honey" as he insulted my push up....justified as it was as my push ups suck.  Maybe I need to Google them.  Or You Tube them or something.

And the husband has been moody or are odd birds.  Just didn't feel like talking to me tonight which is frustrating for me.  I spend the morning with strangers, the afternoon alone, the evening with children.  By the time I see him I am ready for familar conversation.  Him, not so much.  Just a "how was your day, dear?" would be lovely,....but then again, he will read about my day on this blog tomorrow.  Le sigh.

And I still want my pizza, dammit.

Do I have any readers other than Kim (and Kim, thank you for playing my comment game)?  Am I boring ya'll to tears?  What do I need to do differently?  Tell me as I am a people pleaser by nature.

So how are your weeks going?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Down, Four to Go

Evenings are really hard for me.  I plan out my food all day long but come evening, when dinner is finished and tidied up and lunches are packed, that is when it gets complicated.  And it doesn't even start out badly; cucumbers and some dip, a sugar free jello and I would have been finished had my ten year old not come down and offered me a handful of M & M's.  I don't buy them, don't carry them, but if offered, I am powerless refuse.  Le sigh. 

Well, I survived day one of hell week.  Bus training was interesting.  Only nine of us in the class and a sense of humor is thankfully appreciated, especially given the amount of rules there are for driving a bus.  One woman in the class is semi-annoying as she doesn't want to leave anything to common sense, which translates into everything must be questioned for a Very. Specific. Answer.  Problem is, when it comes to kids on a bus, there is not always a specific answer.  I finally spoke up after one rather long discussion and said "It sounds to me like there are a lot of judgment calls, but err on the side of caution."  It's just better to be safe than sorry.

So after class, I headed out to the church and after putting in my time there, I went to the gym and ran-walked two miles on the treadmill.  You know, there are pros and cons to both treadmill and outside  running.  Treadmill running gets boring, but you can control your speed and your terrain.  It is all even "pavement" running on a mill and the climate is more or less controlled.  Outside, you have the beauty of your surroundings and the ability to actually see in distance how far you have run.  But either way, I am glad I got it done.  Being this busy, like so many other things in life, is stressful and I don't care what your stresses are, though exercise won't solve your problems, it can help you keep your mental health in check.  And that matters, no matter what you may think. 

There are days I have to literally drag myself out the door in my workout attire, either because I am tired, having a crap day or a crap life at the moment, but I am telling you, exercise helps me with all that.  It helps my coping skills.  It puts me in control of something in my life, even if everything else feels totally out of my control. I can take the worst day and make something good come out of it for myself.  It may seem like a small thing but it is truly not insignificant.  I just think it is really true; that becoming stronger physically, helps us to feel empowered with everything else in our lives.  There is absolute truth there.  There is a confidence that comes with becoming healthy and that confidence spills over into all other aspects of our lives.  Just try it.  Better yet, make it a habit.  I believe with all my heart that the results will surprise you.

I think people quit exercise programs because they don't give them enough of a chance.  That definitely used to be me.  The first few weeks it is a chore and one we don't generally feel like doing.  "I have to move....A LOT...and SWEAT.....A LOT."  No one is in a hurry to sign up for that.  And people want to see immediate results...they are not immediate.  But give it a few weeks and you will be surprised.  My body now misses exercise when I have to go a few days without it.  Don't get me wrong; I don't sit around freaking out because I have this intense desire to dump whatever obligation is taking precedence and run to the YMCA.  It's not like that.  But when I have to go a few days without exercise I find myself getting irritable more easily and I feel very sluggish.  Like just let me curl up in a corner and sleep sluggish.  My energy level, my outlook on life, all of it is better with exercise.

And don't let yourself get into an exercise rut either.  Try new things.  Sure, you can find that one workout you LOVE and adore, but if you never mix anything else you, you are likely to get bored and boredom is
 a downward spiral.  Challenge your mind and your body with new things and don't talk yourself out of them before you give them a real chance.  The "I could never do that" mentality probably means you can't.  You've already talked yourself out of it.  The mind is incredibly powerful but it can be used both for evil and for good.  Our bodies are generally capable of so much more than our minds want to accept, so approach new things with a "can do" attitude and you will be surprised at how far you go. 

I've decided that today is Comment Tuesday.  Who's reading?  Leave me a note.  It's been way too quiet around these parts lately!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The But

Okay, so my hell week is officially starting.  Bus driving class from 8-1, then on to the church, then home and trying to work in cooking dinner and a workout.  I don't want to be insane and try to hit the gym five days, so my plan is Monday to run, Tuesday for kickboxing (Michael, I miss you and your butt kicking), take Wednesday and maybe Thursday off, and then run on Friday.  I am hoping one of these nights, The Brit will text me with this message "I am picking up a pizza at Dolces on my way home."  Okay, so that is kind of an "in your face" subliminal message, so I'll let you know how that works out.  I have been craving a slice of pizza from there dipped in some ranch dressing....yum.

I was spending some time this weekend reading Jen's blog over at Prior Fat Girl .  I like Jen's blog a lot as long as I overlook her occasional comment about WLS being a quick fix (Don't I wish that were true), but Jen has lost over 100 pounds with diet and exercise alone.  She is also in her twenties when weight loss is a bit easier than in your forties and what I don't think she understands, is that my life is a lot like hers with food and exercise.  But anyway, she is definitely worth the read and she is very motivating.   Anyway, I ran across something Jillian Michaels said that she had posted on her blog and upon reading this, I realized how guilty I am of this very thing.  In fact, I do it ALL THE TIME. 

The quote:

When I told Jillian how much weight I've lost, she congratulated me. And then (as I always do), I added, "But I still have a long way to go." "Stop," she said. "What does that do," she said, "apart from negate everything you've already accomplished? You're being self-deprecating and disempowering, and that doesn't serve anyone-and especially not you. Be proud of what you've done for yourself."

I received two compliments today alone about my weight loss and to both my answer was exactly that, "I have a long way to go."  I'm really trying to work out why just saying "Thank you.  I've worked really hard." is so difficult for me.  Even now as I write this, I have nothing profound to say as far as why this is an issue for me. 

Compliments growing up were often left-handed from my point of view.  "You have such a pretty face" was always a knife going through me that basically said "You have nice facial features, so too bad you are so fat."  My uncle once told my mother, "If she would just lose that weight, she would be unstoppable."  Now, even though I have accomplished a lot of things in my life, even before losing weight, the weight was still what was being seen; it was the thing that apparently, from his point of view, made me fall short of my full potential. 

There was always a "But", even if it was unspoken.  The thought was there.  Everyone uses "She has such a pretty face" to describe a fat girl.  An idiot director I once had in theater, who decided I could not be in Godspell because of the scene where the disciples had to pretend to be sheep.  He felt I was too fat to full that off, even though I was in my twenties, way smaller than I was at my highest weight and sang the pants out of my audition.  His "But" was "I can't imagine having a show without hearing your voice singing, even if from off stage." ....but you are too fat to be on stage for this production.

So maybe the "But" is so ingrained in me that I now do it myself to save others the trouble of doing it for me in that unspoken-but-may-as-well-be-screamed way I grew up believing always existed.  My head tells me that now when someone comments on how I look, they mean it as a genuine compliment, but the "But" that was written on my soul from a young age, automatically vocalizes "But I still have a long ways to go."  Maybe I don't really believe the comment was warranted.  Maybe I, at times, only see how far I still have to go other than seeing where I came from.

With that being said, I feel like I am talking out of both sides of my face when I write about it not being about weight but about health.  It is about health...but apparently I still have to work on my mental health where my weight and body image is concerned.  Health is hard stuff.  It's not all about body and it's not all about mind and it's not all about relationships.  It's about all of it combined and trying to find balance.  Guess that's why it is a marathon and not a sprint.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Day of Insanity

So my morning started out with�a call from my mother.� She'd had a bad night with her ear and wanted me to call the doctor to see if she could have more pain meds.� I explained to her that the doctor was probably going to want to see her and she became tearful and stated she didn't want to go as every time she goes there, they hurt her.� I agreed to call to see what they would do and my hunch proved correct as the doc wanted to see her.� Fact is, she should no longer be having ear pain, so as she was, he needed to find out what was going on.� I called her back and got instant tears and a flat out refusal to go.� Helpless, I called the doc's office back and the doctor actually got on the phone with me.� I tried to make him understand that though all he was saying was making sense, about how he needed to check her ear, I was dealing with an 81 year old child this morning who was refusing to see him.

The Brit finally called her and told her she needed to go, so we picked her up and took her back to Frederick.� Thankfully, with The Brit with us, he went back with her, so I could wait in the waiting room.� Fact is, I am really bad at seeing someone I care about in pain; I just don't have the stomach for it.� And when she is crying and in pain, I just don't fare well.�

It is so true that when we reach�a certain age, we become the parents.� It is, however, a hard pill to swallow.��

� From there, Aaron had therapy this afternoon and I managed to get laundry almost done.� It would have been completely done but when I asked youngest son to go downstairs and switch over the laundry loads, I did not specify TURNING ON THE DRYER.� Yes, when you are raising men, you need to be very specific apparently.

No workout today; no time, but after two days in a row of running, my body was due for�a break.� So tonight it has been tv and wine, and chillin'.

Happy weekend, peeps!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


First off, let me thank those of you who left me positive comments yesterday based on my rant.  Things feel somewhat better today, though I still feel a bit overwhelmed, but a lot of that has to do with next week, I think.  Working two places next week is not a problem under normal circumstances but my mother is currently not a normal circumstance.  But hopefully, it will all work out.  I'm also working on figuring out a way to workout next week and I think my best bet is going to be going home, picking up my oldest (my youngest is in a club at school and doesn't come home until nearly 6:00) and taking him to the YMCA with me.  He is grounded, so I would make him stay in the gym with me and actually work out for an hour.  He'll live through the experience.

I am slowly discovering that running is rather cathartic for me.  Yesterday, with my head all full of stuff and annoyance and a bit of self pity (and no, there was no cotton in her ear...she was feeling swelling) I went back to the park and did my run-walk again and by the time I was finished, I was feeling much better.  And let me tell you, running outside is the way to go.  So much more interesting than the treadmill and I can actually see the distance I have covered.  So matter how winded I get, there must be something I love about this sport because I keep going back to it.  I always kind of thought there was a runner hidden inside of me, and though she has not fully emerged yet, she is poking her head out to scope out the situation and apparently feeling a bit more confident with each outing. 

Being the blog reader that I am, I have discovered that I have problems finding running blogs of women over 40.  Most of them I have found are women in their twenties and though, good for them for running, I think running a little later in life has its own set of challenges and it is nice to find people to relate to.  So, if you stumble across this little blog and you are a runner over 40, give me a shout out and if you have a blog, give me a URL.  Would love to read you and learn from you.

Moving on....

I didn't give a birthday shout out last week to Jimnotmike and I should have as he turned the big 40, the poor baby.  He had a gathering Saturday night that we went to and he does the best food.  Awesome stuff, like sushi-ish size stuff only it is turkey with a dab of stuffing and cranberry sauce or bite sized meatloaf with a puff of mashed potatoes on top.  Then there was the best birthday cake ever, which I cannot figure out why it was so good as it was not chocolate, but I could have eaten way more of it than I did but I didn't want to get sick off sugar overload.  But YUM.  So, Jim, welcome to the wonderful world of 40; it's not as bad as you think.  I have actually been rather enjoying my time here.  It has its challenges, but every decade does.

Okay, off to run soon and then home to cook dinner and get some stuff done in preparation for hell week next week!

 I'm telling you, when it is just me and the outdoors, there is some kind of magic there.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some Days I Just Feel Like I am Near the End of the Rope

I am not even sure exactly where my problem lies.� Yesterday was difficult.� The sutures came out of my mother's face and ear and of course, the ear was very painful.� Then there was a hematoma in her ear that they had to drain which caused her to about come out of the chair, crying etc.� That kind of stuff is really hard for me to deal with.� As my sister-in-law would say "It is not one of my spiritual gifts."� Definitely not.� So since the ear draining, she has been upset all over again and now she knows she has a second and final thirty minute surgery on February 1st.� Add to that my wonderful brother's lack of ability to give a rat's ass and my mother's instance now over the phone that there is cotton in her ear and can I come over this afternoon to look and I am on the verge of tears myself.� I have not seen my house for more than a few hours in a week, I am on my period and overly tired and emotional and very much feeling as if I am in this all alone....because in many ways, I kind of am.� Everyone else either lives far away or doesn't give a rat's ass (see above mention).� I have to force mom to put things into perspective for me because she goes on about how she thinks the doctor's just want her in pain, so I have to ask if the pain in her ear is as bad as last week.� Of course, it isn't, but she stresses me out by going on and on like it is as bad and then I have to firmly pin her down for an answer.� I don't want to snap at her, but there are moments when I feel I am at the end of my coping ability for at least awhile.� I know it all will pass and soon be water under the bridge, but today I'm not sure if my sanity won't be floating downstream with it.� I was going to go run before going out to look for this cotton that I know is not in her ear, but now I have the guilt thing going on, so I will probably go there first and then trek back to this side of town so I can work out.� I would just like one day of my schedule so I can regroup and not have to be rushing around trying to be in several places at one time.

She has thanked me a million times over and so have two of my siblings (not the rat's ass one of course) and it really isn't that I even mind.� It's that I have other things going on that I can't seem to get to and next week I won't be available at all due to school bus driving training in the morning and working at the church in the afternoon.� I'm only one person unless someone can figure out a way to clone me and do it quickly.

Yes, I am whining.� Yes, I am tired.� Yes, I am tired of hearing how she looks like Frankenstein.� It's frustrating because she WILL HEAL and there are people out there with disfigurements that will never heal.� I know she is not dealing with those people but with herself and that she is 81.� I get it.� But it is still frustrating, because I can't tell my mother to put on her big girl panties and deal with it.� And I can't tell my brother to get his head out of his own ass long enough to help me.� Well, I could but it would not be pretty as when he feels threatened, he just attacks and so do I.�� Besides, it would not accomplish anything.� He isn't going to change.� He doesn't think he is doing anything wrong.� When we were children and bathing together, I once pointed to his boy part and said "I used to have one of those but it fell off."� Though that was not true, I do think his fell off or was ripped off a long time ago because he isn't man enough to accept responsibility at all ever.� It would be one thing if he had trouble seeing his parents in pain.� That I could understand.� But then what would be stopping him from offering to help ME so I can help her?� Exactly.� Nothing.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rethink Dessert

If you don't currently subscribe to Men's Health "Eat This, not That."� you should.� It is quite the eye opener.

Prior to my surgery, it was a rare thing for me to go out to dinner and NOT have dessert.� Obviously and for obvious reasons, most restaurants do not post the *cough, cough* nutritional value of their sweet treats.� Today's version of "Eat This, Not That" was all about this, so giving them full credit, let me share just a few of them with you.

Ah, summertime.� The time of Dairy Queen and ice cream and everyone loves a Blizzard.� Where else can you mix ice cream with your favorite candy?� Beware however, even if you are thinking of getting one as an occasional treat, because you will shoot your daily calorie intake through the roof with their large Raspberry Truffle Blizzard.� This gem will give you a whooping 1,140� calories.� Who would have thought?� Of course, a smaller size will give you less, but just be warned.

Every time we used to go to Red Lobster, I would partake of the Chocolate Wave cake as it was so delicious and moist and now I find out that every time I ate this baby:

I was partaking of 1,490 calories!� That is more calories in one dessert than I often eat in a day!� No thanks, would rather get more caloric bang for my buck with something healthier.

One would think that coffee would be fairly innocent but do not be fooled, peeps.� Starbucks has worked out how to have nice drinks that could put a diabetic into a coma, such as this offender:

This is 20 ounces of a salted caramel signature hot chocolate.� This warm up with raise up your waistline with an astounding 760 calories....IN A BEVERAGE! Insanity!

So watch what you are getting when your sweet tooth is playing up as mine often does.� I try to keep my fridge stocked with sugar free raspberry jello (totally yummy) and if I have to get dessert in a restaurant?� I a make sure there are plenty of people sitting with us, so I don't have more than a bite or two.�

Fruit is also a good sweet tooth satisfier.� Okay, yeah, it isn't chocolate, but tell yourself it is and maybe you can get away with it now and then and if you can't then do dark chocolate.� Funny enough,� not long after my surgery, I was noticing on a message board that WLS patients were shunning fruit.� When I questioned them and said I didn't want to give mine up, they said "That's fine...if you want to slow your weight loss."� Huh?� The thing is that there comes a point where it is not about weight loss but about health.� Fruit is good for you and if it causes me to not lose a few pounds, so be it.� My body needs it and heaven knows, it helps my colon issues.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday is Over?

So as today was so nice out (at least for January), and I was pressed for time, I wan outside.  And yes, I did mean "Wan" which is my abbreviation for a combo of walking and running.  I headed to the fairgrounds and went around it twice.  Not sure of how far it is around it is...I'd like to think a mile, but I could be wrong.  I didn't push myself too hard beings I hadn't worked out at all for a week due to needing to be with my mother so much last week and the weekend.  So I ran until I thought I was going to die and then walked briskly for awhile before repeating.    Not too shabby but I know I really need to start pushing my limits.

I did really like running outside, other than the whole nose running thing, which is probably only a winter thing, I hope.   But the air was nice and there were other people out there running, walking, dog walking, etc.  I didn't time any of my runs, I just kept things easy today.  Would love it if the weather holds up enough to do it again on Wednesday.

The rest of the day was insane.  I had to talk our oldest cat, Jasmine, to the vet as she has been losing some weight.  She feels fine; feisty and playful as ever, but had lost three pounds in three years, which wouldn't be too bad if she hadn't only weighed ten pounds three years ago.  So it is looking like maybe she has hypothyroid, but we won't know for sure till the blood results come back.  She had a heart murmur today, but the vet said if she was hypothyroid, it could be causing that, so we will see how it goes.  The good news is that though the monthly meds aren't cheap (about $45/month but that is opposed to a $600-$800 surgery which I don't want to put an 11 year old cat through, or radiation to shrink the thing which is about $2500.00) they do come in gel form that is rubbed on the cat's ear twice a day.  Way better than pills, dudes!

From there it was a two hour detour to pick up oldest child at his grandparents (next town over), run him to the doctor's office back here in this town for his ADHD meds check up and then back to the grandparents.  I then had dinner with my mama and finally home at 8:30.  So where the hell did Monday go??

My mother is doing fairly well.  Sutures come out tomorrow and then next week, they lower the skin flap from the cheek which has been covering the reconstruction, which means a few more stitches, but hopefully the worst is behind her.  She still insists she looks like Frankenstein (She doesn't...she looks like someone who has had surgery) and won't go anywhere, though I did convince her let me pick her up yesterday and bring her to our place for dinner.  Really needed to get her out of her house for awhile.

And my brother, The Chosen One?  Still hasn't seen her since the day of the surgery.  What a superhero....but then again, I suppose I am bitter where he is concerned.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Sorry that I haven't updated but it has been an insane week.

After a few very bad days, mom seems to be doing better.� She insists she looks like Frankenstein (she doesn't and even if she did it is healing.) and won't listen when I tell her a freakin' paper cut takes longer than two days to heal.� Have had to push the issue of food so she will eat.� The pain in her ear is really bothering her as well though I think that has subsided a bit today.�

So that is where I have been the last few days, and the situation is pretty normal where The Chosen One (the other sibling who lives the closest...about 15 minutes from mom) and his spouse is concerned.� Let me preface this by saying it is a privilege to be able to take care of my mother; that is not where my annoyance comes into play.� Not at all.� The annoyance comes into play by the ASSUMPTION that it is okay and apparently even expected by The Chosen One for me to take off work when there is a family crisis.� My job apparently is not as important as either of theirs, nor is my vacation time, because apparently I don't work as hard as they do...or something.� They have no children nor pets.� Just jobs and each other.� So anything family related that requires actual TIME is my department...not that they actually ever assigned this to me.�

It would just be nice to be considered by them.� For him to maybe say "Are you okay with work and the kids to be able to be here?"� But see, I don't get that.� I get assumptions.� And expectations.�

When my dad was dying, they would come into the house after work, sit back and�chat with him for 30�minutes (he was in the bed most of the time at this point), come out to the kitchen and eat their dinner, go for a "power walk" through the neighborhood, come back and say their goodbyes.� Their schedule cannot be�moved.� No matter how much of a priority exercise is to me, other things take precedence.� I haven't seen the gym since Monday, but they would not change their schedule for a dying father.�

Maybe it all comes down to what people are able to deal with, or with what they can live with.� Again, I am fine taking care of whoever needs to be taken care of, it would just be nice for them to say "Is this okay?" other than to just assume it is when I am balancing a parent who is not well, two children, a job that I have no back-up for, and a husband and house and six cats.� Just a "Is this okay?" or a "Thank you for doing this." does a lot for hard feelings.�

Anyway, with that being said, I have also had a few angels in my life this week:

Robyn, thank you for staying the last three nights with mom so I can go home and tend to parenting and the other things I need to get done without having to worry about mom being alone.� It means more than you know.

The Brit, you have been wonderful about bandage changes�and your presence with mom is so calming.� It is amazing.� I love you and thank you for doing it without complaint.

Margaret, you are never a pest, but a blessing in my life.� Your gift of being able to call me on the phone and pray with me for the situation and just knowing that you "get it" had done wonders for me this week.

Paula, thank�you for just checking in and for offering to round up a few meals I�can take to mom.� She hasn't felt like cooking or eating much, so this was such a gift to simplify things.

And for the multitude of people�that through�Facebook and email have told me they are praying for her.� It is a tremendous gift that is so appreciated.

So there you go.� Happy Friday to each of you.� I am going out with a group of fun and awesome people tonight to alleviate the stress of the week.� Hope each of you is doing the same!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Email Cut and Paste has been a day and a half.  Took mom for her skin cancer removal on the side of her nose.  Well, this thing went so deep that they had to take cartilage from her ear to reconstruct the side of her nose and cut her cheek down to pull that skin flap up over it to generate good blood flow.  All of this as an outpatient and while she was awake.  When they brought me into the room at the end of all this and after being there for five hours, she was crying and shaking and it was one of the rare times I have seen her actually looking 81.  So she is all bandaged up and in pain and God love her, Robyn is staying tonight with her so I can get kids off to school in the morning before going back in to change bandages with Chris.  From there I will see if I can go to work for awhile or if I need to stay with her.  Next week she goes in to get the sutures removed from her face and ear and then a week later, they remove the skin flap or something like that.  Still a little confusing for me. We were expecting MAYBE a skin graft but got a whole lot more than we bargained for.

Bear with me this week.  Will still try to blog each night, but it may not be much and my own health updates will take a backseat to make sure mom is okay.  Please keep her in your prayers as she is in a lot of pain right now.  I look for her to turn a corner after Thursday but today was really rough on her, especially as she didn't sleep all night last night nor did she eat before going in for this today, so that did little for her coping skills. 

I do plan on taking some running clothes to mom's tomorrow so maybe I can at least get in a little activity if she is napping or something.  She lives in a trailer park, so not much traffic.  Might be a good place for my first outdoor run!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

I still have trouble calling myself a runner.  It seems a bit of a stretch to me.  Does running/walking for two miles qualify me as a runner?  Not a clue.

I think a lot of running is mental.  When I was running today on the treadmill, I found myself wondering when I could stop despite the fact that my legs felt good.  I get winded obviously, but not uncomfortably so.  I have to wonder if the bigger problem is that this is something I struggle with realizing I CAN actually do.  A few years ago, if someone had told me I'd running at all, I'd of laughed or asked who the hell was chasing me and was death certain if I got caught?  It is a mind game.  I feel on top of the world when I am finished, while at the same time feel great fear over the thought of a longer run later in the week possibly.  I am going to change things up a bit though.  The weather is finally supposed to warm up into the 40s or 50s by mid week so if this is true, I may take a run/walk at our local fairgrounds.  Would like to experience an outdoor run so I can compare it to the treadmill.  We'll see how it goes.

Food has been going fairly well.  Actually, my scale showed a three pound loss this morning but I am having constipation/hemmie issues again (we strive for TMI around here.  It's a goal) so in...errr...breaking that up, I may have expelled three pounds from my body yesterday, which would make the scale a fluke this morning.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  I've been trying to get myself straightened out with food.  I have challenged myself to eat oatmeal and this morning's breakfast of quick oats with 1% milk, splenda, cinnamon and 1/2 a banana was yummy.  Then there is fruit.  In addition to the half banana, I have had a clementine and an apple today.  Fiber, fiber, fiber. 
Oh, the fun we girls have inherited from our mother!

Tomorrow I am taking the mother to have a skin cancer removed from her nose.  We have to be in Frederick at 8:30 and we could be there all day.  I may bring the laptop in the event I can get internet there which would be nice.  So no work tomorrow, but I do have to get up way earlier in order to get ready, eat and pick mom up by 7:15.  Hopefully I will be back in plenty of time to get ready for kickboxing at 6:30. 

Oh and I sent away for information on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this spring (I think it is that one...or it could be the Susan Komen Walk for Breast Cancer.  If I ever get the information packet, I'll fill you all in on the details.  Hey Susan, you doing either of those walks???

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sweet Friday

Never thought this day would arrive.  I am still suffering from intense insomnia that begins promptly at 2:00 am and fades away allowing me to fall back to sleep around 3:30.  Totally annoying and I am hoping it has something to do with eating a small handful of Hershey Kisses before going to bed.  I have sworn myself off of them tonight (I will actually be glad when they are GONE) so we shall see how it goes.

I discovered something rather important and awesome today.  Fitbloggin is apparently something similar to Blogher but for folks who blog healthy stuff, which is what I have more or less become.  What's really cool is the conference this year is in Baltimore and the bad news is that is $100 to attend. It would be awesome to go but maybe it will be nearby another year in the future. I have spent time tonight perusing the blogs under the "Whose Coming" tab.  I love finding new bloggers to read. 

No workout today as I had big fun lunch plans with Pook, BFFF, BFFF's roomie and PK.  BFFF's roomie is soon heading on his cross cultural for college to Guatemala and then Mexico, going away for a total of four months.  Though he is the newest edition to our group, I'll miss him while he is gone, but he is going on our mission trip with us this summer.
  Probably just as well no workout today as I am dragging the ground a bit, to the point my throat feels a little sore.  But this could just be that I'm overly tired as sometimes tiredness presents itself as borderline illness with me.  Would like to get in some kind of activity this weekend but it is going to be cold (Spring, if you could maybe just hurry up a teeny tiny bit, that would be swell.  kthanks.) and we have already discussed my love of that.

And in other news, in a moment of some kind of annoyance back in September I applied for a job as a substitute bus driver, just to bring in a little extra play money.  Got a letter back before Christmas that they had filled the job I applied for and had honestly forgotten I had applied for, so I didn't think anymore of it.  Today, I get a call from the Board of Ed asking if I was still interested, so I have an interview on Thursday.  I figure it would not be an every day event and it might even be a bit fun.  I'll keep up to date on any progression.

Well, my goal is try to blog Monday-Friday and take weekends off.  I'm not promising anything though.  You could get a blog entry on a weekend if I get inspired or there could be weekdays I can't be bothered or am uninspired.  But I have missed the blogging world during my sporadic break from it the last two months and it feels good to be back into again with some regularity.

So if I don't see you all again till Monday, have a happy and safe weekend and those of you in the cold states, keep warm!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Um, Can You Maybe Do that in Your Head?

I've been a little on the grouchy side lately which makes me a bit snarky.  I think it is the cold weather and maybe some of that seasonal disorder thing because I HATE the cold months...I cannot put enough emphasis on HATE in that sentence either. 

Anyway, was in the gym yesterday, in the little room people rarely use for floor work or medicine ball, kettlebell work and I was alone until this other guy came in.  He was probably in his late twenties to early thirties and he is a regular, but has always struck me as a little bit odd.  So I am working with a kettlebell and doing 15 reps per set of swinging the ball from between my legs, to straight up in the air, when the dude lies down on the floor to do crunches and begins counting....OUT LOUD.  Seriously?  Am I invisible?  Does he think no one else counts? 

So I did the only thing I could do.  I counted out loud too.

I think he got the picture.

I do a lot thinking about this workout thing and how not enough women (and men, but that is a discussion for another day) make the time to do it.  The reasons, I believe have to do with who we are.  We are the caregivers in our families.  We are generally the reason there are hot meals on the tables and clean clothes and food in the fridge.  We are the house cleaners, the ones who run children to the doctor's and pets to the vet.  When the kids are sick, we are generally the ones who stay home from work to care for them.  All those things are in our nature and who we, as women are.  We have always been the caregivers.

Yet the same rules often do not apply to ourselves.  I have even had moments of feeling guilty of all things.  "I have time to work out but my husband works long days and doesn't have the time."  (Again, another discussion for another day).  Why do we feel this way?  Often the majority of the things we do every day, do not draw a paycheck, but how unhappy would the other people who live with us be if we didn't do those things for them?  Our contribution to the family unit cannot have a price attached to it and yes,there are women out there working full time and still having to do all these things and my hat goes off to them, because there is just as much work involved. 

So what happens when we don't take the time to take care of ourselves?  We are given one body to get through this life and this isn't about weight by any means, but about health.  We are so busy giving most of the time that we feel guilty being selfish when we want to go to the gym or go for a walk or run or go cycling.  Chances are, our spouses or our kids are not going to say "Mom, you've been working really hard making our home a nice place to live, so why don't you go do something for you?", so we need to take that time for ourselves.  We aren't being selfish; we are attempting to keep ourselves healthy so we can keep on doing all the things that we do.  Making ourselves a priority is not something we like to think about, but in this circumstance, it is something we need to do.  If our kids or spouse was unhealthy, we would try to do what we could to help them.  We would take them to the doctor or try to prepare more healthy meals or whatever it took.  So why are we any different?  Let's be realistic.  In my house, when the kids are sick, I am here to take care of them.  When the husband is sick, I cater to him a bit more (despite him having the grouchy) and try to make sure he has what he needs.  When I get sick, the kids go to school and the husband goes to work and I have to take of me.  Shouldn't I be doing this all the time? 

So stop feeling guilty about taking care of yourself.  It benefits not only you, but everyone else in your family. 

Oh and Susan, yes!  Would love to meet you both this year!  We have to work that out!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Kind of Sick Joke.....

So today, I had to stop at the grocery store because The Brit needed something he hadn't realized he needed when I did the official shop on Sunday.  So while I was there, I decided to pick up some more of my Crystal Lite Strawberry flavor packets and Wally World didn't have any of it on Sunday and though I bought a pack of the fruit punch....yuck.  Very sweet and kind of gross.  So I searched and searched as I usually don't shop at this store and where do I find the little boxes of sugar free Crystal Lite?  In the same aisle and actually right next to THE CANDY.  Seriously?  C'mon!  I did manage to walk out without candy and only a small bag of trail mix, found in the same aisle.

Jimnotmike left a comment yesterday that was interesting to me in a few ways:

I limit myself to fast food twice a week...kind of like a reward for being a little better about my eating the rest of the time. Course, now that Burger King isn't doing their Mushroom & Swiss Burgers anymore, it will probably be less. CURSE YOU BURGER KING!!! Traveling as much as I do I have to say it's a lot harder to stay away from Fast Food on the road. Time demands just don't always allow for me to sit down for a meal. But what I do now is take my South Beach Bars with me and a jar of natural peanut butter. At least that way I feel like I am getting my protein and vitamins and not just shoving a bunch of gooey fat and cheese into my mouth. If I'm somewhere for more than 10 days I'll request a fridge from the hotel and find a grocery store. Did you know you can make darn beef tips and gravy using a hotel room coffee pot? I also have grilled tuna on the iron. I swear, I should write a book called Room Service! Who Needs Room Service???.

First off, for those of you not in the know, Jim travels with his job....ALOT.  And he is in great shape.  So what he is doing is working for him as he makes it work for him.  He also exercises.  My biggest annoyance is that Taco Bell is stating their thing is a "diet" and I'm sorry, I cannot put any faith in that.  Any foods in moderation can be eaten on occasion, but for me, something like Taco Bell would be an occasional treat (this is an example; I hate Taco Bell.  If I'm going to eat fast food, like Jim, it would be Burger King and in the last twenty months, I have had fast food one time and it was BK and only because it was the dinner stop on a bus trip.  Oh and it was damn good too, but I once again steer away from places with a drive thru unless it is for coffee.) and not a "diet".

Oh and Jim? If you can grill tuna on an iron and beef tips and gravy in a coffee pot, then yes, you need to write a book on hotel room cooking for the travelers who are trying to eat healthy!  Quite innovative!

Last night's kickboxing class was painful and crowded.  I have been a back row girl since I started taking that class close to a year ago.  Of course, as it is January, it was a full house last night and there were so many tall men in the class (usually we have about three guys total other than the instructor) that I moved up with a group of women I have become kickboxing friends with and chat with before class.  They told me I would never go back to the back row now and they are right. I could see what Michael was doing (when I can't see him, I get lost really easily) and was not nearly as concerned with what other people were doing because I couldn't see most of them.  Also being closer to the mirrors had me watching my form a bit more.

But the painful...we are wondering if Michael made it especially grueling to try to weed out some of the resolution people or to see if they were serious.  We had done all the parts of this particular class before but not necessarily in this order of intensity.  I was dog tired by the end of it and dripping wet.  But despite that, I did run today.  Running the day after kickboxing is always a challenge to me as my body  has not quite had 24 hours to recover from an intense cardio workout.  But I did manage an eight minute run and a twelve minute run.  I am discovering tricks for myself too when running inside at the gym.  The soap opera is a must; it gives me something else to focus on and I will make little deals with myself such as "I will start running when the commercials begin and run until the following commercial break.".  I also now cover the display on the treadmill with my towel so I can't watch the minutes tick by.  It makes it much less painful for me.

I am also again tracking my food on My Fitness Pal and I really like it.  I loved the people at Spark People but the site either isn't very user friendly or I am not bright enough to use it and we don't need to take a poll on which answer it is.  I just had problems doing what I wanted to do over there and so far Fitness Pal is proving to be easy to use.  I just don't have a lot of time to try to figure things out and even more than that, I don't have the patience. So it needs to be simple for me to stick with it and this is. 
I can also track my exercise and it takes those calories burned into account with what I ate.  Cool stuff.  Give it a go.  It also helps me be more accountable for what I'm eating. 

And I've lost two pounds this week

Thinking of changing the name of the blog; not the url as that has to stay,  but this blog started out as a knitting blog and it so isn't that anymore.  It's become more health and fitness than anything else.  So what do you think?  Do I change it? 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Healthy Fast Food?

So is anyone else the least bit concerned about Taco Bell's "Drive Thru Diet"?  This bothers me on more levels than I can understand.  For me, "diet" and "fast food" just don't mix.  You have no idea how it is being prepared; and by this I mean what kind of oil, is it fried, etc...not to mention the concerns over the actual hands that prepare it or any other "bodies" that might be living in the establishment, such as mice or bugs.  I only say this as I used to work in a fast food establishment and we had mice every winter. 

The other big concern with me is going through a drive thru often means eating in a car, often while driving, which means you are not focused on your eating, which could cause you to overeat or not realize you are full.

What is very amusing to me is how the commercial says "Results aren't typical".  Really?  They are referring to their spokesperson for this new "diet" who lost 54 pounds in two years by replacing her usual fast food lunch with Taco Bell's diet menu.......AND exercising and cutting her caloric intake from 1750 to 1250.  My personal guess is that the exercise and calorie cutting had more to do with a 54 pound weight loss than Taco Bell.

What also disturbs me is this quote in one article I was reading today:  "The reality is most Americans are on-the-go and will eat foods purchased through a drive-thru an average of 10 times a month," said Ruth Carey, the Blazers' nutritionist, whose role in the push is to offer consumers tips for healthier choices while eating at quick-service restaurants.

Really?  Ten times a month?  Even at 315 pounds, that would have been very excessive for me.  If people are eating fast food that often, it is no wonder we have an obesity epidemic here in this country.  The stuff is just not healthy for you; often even the meals they advertise as "healthy".  Watch the documentary "Super Size Me" to get just an idea of how unhealthy the stuff really is.  Don't let them fool you and they will try.  As people become more health conscience, the fast food industry is being forced to try to fool you into still eating their food because they are relying on your money. 

Meal planning is key and not being on the go when hungry will help keep you away from these places.  Personally, I would not go for the Taco Bell diet.  Do your own shopping and preparing and you are way more in control of what goes in your mouth.

I nearly made the mistake today as I went to Kmart.  Actually, Kmart was the last place I went in a quest to find sweat pants because it is bloody cold here on the East coast and all my workout pants are capris or shorts and Brrrr!  I tried the second hand shops and found two pair that fit me in the waist; one was ugly and other though marked as women's, either had to be mens or made for a giant woman as they were so freaking long.  So by the time I hit Kmart, I was starving.  Did find sweats for $5 a pair and got the last two pair in my size, both in the same color (I really expected shopping to be easier by going from a 3x to an XL, but noooo.  There was an abundance of 2x and 3x and two lousy pair of xl with no option of different colors.  Anyway, Kmart also has my both beloved and dreaded orange slices; not the fruit but the chewy orange sugary goodness....but I resisted and managed to walk by them by reminding myself there was a healthy lunch waiting for me at home.

Do the challenges never end?

Kickboxing tonight and then the new season of The Biggest Loser!

Monday, January 4, 2010

How Do You Know it's January?

If I had been locked inside a time capsule for months without any measurement of time, such as a watch or a calendar, I would be able to tell if it is the first Monday in January, simply by walking into the gym at the YMCA. Generally, my workout time is around 1:00 and I maybe share the space with 10-15 other members, so there is no need to wait for anything.  I can get one of my three favorite treadmills (the larger ones with the fans near television #2 so I can watch "Days of our Lives" while running, which makes the time go by so much faster).  I can shoot into the separate padded floor room to do my sit-ups on the stability ball and my kettlebell workout and not have to share it with anyone.

The first Monday in January it all changes for about 4-6 weeks, which is proof that New Year's Resolutions do exist and that fitness is high on the list.  I was once one of those people; the ones who annoyed me today because I couldn't get where I wanted to be when I wanted to be there.  But once I got over the fact that I was being inconvenienced by the New Year's crowd, I realized it was still a positive thing.  Even if half those people quit coming in a month or two months, the desire to be healthy still exists for most people.  The desire is there and it is simply a matter of making it a habit, if only they stick to it that long.  It takes time, but once the good habit is established, exercise becomes something both the body and the mind craves.  Trust me on this if you are considering starting up an exercise program; stick with it.  You will not be sorry.

So for me today, it was a fast warm up walk for ten minutes, followed by an 8 minute run, then 3 minutes recovery, followed by a ten minute run.  The second ten minutes was actually better for me than the first eight.  Then I did 75 crunches on the stability ball while holding a medicine ball, followed by half of my kettlebell workout.  Why half?  I was sharing the room with an older member of the New Year's crowd and I needed the step for the second part and he was in the way and wasn't going to be done anytime soon.  I had already been there an hour, and wanted to get down the Christmas decorations at home, so I cut out. 

Tomorrow, as I already did the grocery shopping for the week, I would like to come home and do some weight work while watching the above mentioned soap.  Then tomorrow night is kickboxing.

Other than that, not a bad first day back into my schedule.  It actually comes with relief as I feel in my safety zone once more. 

I like it there.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Things I Don't Understand

Why is it suddenly socially acceptable for people to wear their pajamas out in public?  I'm talking about clothing that is obviously pajamas...not like a pair of sweats.  I'm talking about pajama bottoms with little bears or something on them and slippers and "Hey, let's go shopping at Walmart!" (or the mall or anywhere really.  I've seen it all over).  Is this just happening in my little town or is it going on everywhere?  Hell, I won't leave the house without makeup 99.9% of the time...without "real" clothes is just not an option. 

I know I have probably beaten this horse to death, but I keep hoping and praying that maybe each time I address it, one person, just one person sees it and starts to change their way of thinking.  So here's the story:

A young man I have had the privilege of recently meeting, has come out of the closest and admitted to being a homosexual.  As most gay men I have had the joy of knowing in my life, this person has known it about himself for as long as he can remember (because ya know, five year olds out there are making choices about their sexual preferences) and there have been some struggles within his family (which to an extent I understand) and within his church (which I do not nor will I ever truly understand).  A member of this church elected to get on this person's personal web page and point out the error of his ways for all the world to see, as opposed to sending his opinions privately.  It's not that the person was mean, but obviously very opinionated and very unwilling to consider any other way of looking at things.

These kinds of things make me so angry and they frustrate me greatly.  Regardless of what you believe, doesn't a certain amount of common sense have to play into things somewhere?  I don't even understand those people who believe that being gay is a "choice".  Who would make that choice?  I sure as hell wouldn't, given the stigma that is attached to it.  I also know that I didn't "Choose" anything at any point in my life as far as who I was attracted to sexually.  Yet, so many people think they did...and those people seem to think they can just change.  Okay, straight people, if you were suddenly told it was now illegal to be with the opposite sex and that you had to swing the other way, how would you feel?  Could you do it?  Would it be uncomfortable or feel unnatural to you?  Sure it would.  So why on earth do you think it would be any different for them? 

And that whole Sodom and Gomorrah thing was so Old Testament.  What about Jesus and what he came to do for the whole world WAY after that whole incident?  Why is it that Christians never seem to take that into account?  I always place so much more weight on words that Jesus said...he was after all, the Son of God.  Did God intend it for homosexuality to exist?  Probably not, but did he intend for cancer, or child abuse to exist?  Nope, I'm bettin'.  Did he intend for children to be born with sex organs of both sexes, or better yet, did those babies "choose" that?  Couldn't that and homosexuality kind of be tied together at different levels?  And why do Christians feel it is their job to change these folks by quoting scripture to them?  Why not just love them and let God do the rest?  Why does "Christian" and "judgmental" always seem to go together for so many people?  It's not our job. 

Okay, stepping off the soapbox now.  Look, I don't know if I'm right about any of this, but I do think that God has placed it on my heart to talk about it every so often.  I mean, I am a heterosexual female, so why should I care?  Fact is, I do and because I feel so strongly about it, I firmly believe it comes from above. 

So tomorrow it is off to the gym to kick things up a notch.  My veggies are cut up and it is back to better eating, thank God!  How are you spending the first Monday of the new year?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Quiet Entry into 2010

Today has been rather nice and only a tiny bit stressful, as The Brit is sick and is a terrible patient, but more on that later. 

I started getting a little caught up today in preparation for getting back into my regular routine on Monday.  Got the tree down and the plethora of needles that went with it.  So ready for a fake pre-lit tree.  These real ones smell good but are a lot of work and tons of clean up on a daily basis.  Anyway, the rest of the Christmas stuff can stay for awhile, though I will probably put away Santa.  Oh hell, I will probably put away most of it this week, but the tree was the one I was in a hurry for.  Tidied up the basement, which the kids had an absolute train wreck, as per usual, dipped litter and condensed leftover cookies into one tin to use for school lunches. 

As much as I am not in a hurry to go back to work, I am ready for my regular schedule to resume.  I eat better with my routine and my workouts are much more regimented.  The kids have been off school now for almost two weeks, with the large snow we had before Christmas and The Brit has had nearly two weeks vacation too.  Not that I mind having them home, but it does wreak a bit of havoc on my eating and exercise; makes it trickier. It is, at times, harder to eat as well as I would like and still have to feed three other people more than one meal a day, when their tastes are often a bit...pickier than mine. 

And speaking of picky, men should never be allowed to be sick and there is a reason they seem to get sick less often than women.  They make horrible patients.  I knew The Brit was coming down with something yesterday, so last night, I made sure all the alarms in the house were turned off so nothing would wake him up this morning.  I got up around ten and came downstairs and had my coffee and then started undecorating the tree, which I said I was going to do today due to the constant needle clean up.  So when the sick boy woke up and got his breakfast he immediately was grumbling about why the tree had to come down today.  But he got over it and helped me get it outside.  I took some frozen homemade soup out of the freezer figuring that when I am sick, I load up on hot soups and vitamin C to try to get better as quickly as possible.  I didn't want soup today necessarily; I defrosted it for him but was then informed he was certainly not in the mood for soup.   Then there was the complaining about the container I put the dinner vegetable inside of (my smaller ones are in use with leftovers).  So yeah, guys and sick?  So do not go together.  But he is being a bit more agreeable now.  Maybe he is starting to feel moderately better.

Not sure what tomorrow is holding.  Gym maybe?  It's supposed to be incredibly cold this weekend, so any plans to run outside have been dashed.  I'll run in cold, but twenty degrees is pushing things a bit.