Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out of the Blue

You all know who Leisl is....we got back in touch after years of not seeing each other and her friendship has been a blessing to me, as she is another mother raising boys she adopted.� Leisl also runs with me� and is a fantastic writer.� Though I have never suffered the disorder she is writing about, my mother has in the past and occasionally still does to this day.� There is help.

I plead, feverishly, �Dear God, what is happening to me?� Oh God, help me!� Why is this happening to me God?� Help Me!�

����������� Only minutes before, a balmy breeze faintly whisks my hair against my sun dappled face. I catch a fleeting glimpse of the golden glory of the forsythia bushes as I drive the country road. �The moist earth aroma is ancient, yet fresh.� Accelerating the car increases the airflow through the slightly rolled down window.� The whooshing commotion causes my hair to whip more intensely against my dew dusted skin.� The robin�s egg blue sky is feathered with gossamer clouds. I am breathing in measured moments.� The familiarity of the season rushes my senses.�� A swarm of mixed impressions, startlingly, confuses me.� All at once, I feel out of place.� It�s analogous to having bitten into something bitter, expecting a sweet savory taste.� The instantaneous puzzlement crowds my mind and body with shivering sounds, caustic colors, seething scents, tangy tastes and flustered feelings!

�My suddenly saturated hands choke the steering wheel.� An undulating wave of tingling sensations wields its way down from the crown of my head to the bottom of my feet and upward again, increasing the prickling feeling as it reaches my head and face.� I am deaf, except to my hammering heartbeat.�� My thumping heart echoes itself in my head.� The rapidity of my heart rate alarms me and ushers in a careening feeling of doom.� I cannot catch my breath! �I cannot breathe!� I am choking!� I am blistering hot and soaking wet! I struggle to roll the window all the way down!� I need air!� Jarringly the sturdy sound of the impeding air frightens me.� The rush of wind tightens my chest.� A bulky hungry pain remains within my chest cavity.

Hurriedly my left hand tussles with the door handle.� Chaotically I roll the window closed.� I reach my right hand towards the air conditioning unit.� The lengthy shift is punctuated with nausea and amplified by the immediate belief that I AM DYING!� Fortunately, I have a fleeting moment of clarity.� I pull the car over to the shoulder of the road.� The air conditioning pummels my mouth and nostrils.� I have the sensation that I am rocking to and fro between increasing and decreasing in size.� Objects begin to come closer to sight and then rush away into oblivion.� I look out the glaring windshield of my car and see the cobalt blue sky shattering into tiny silvery shards.� I cover my head and wait for the world to crash down around me!� I know I am going to die right here, right now!�� The realization that death is here fuels my fear!

�Dear God, what is happening to me?� Oh God, help me!� Why is this happening to me God?� Help Me!�

My mind challenges my replicating fears, �Why aren�t you answering me God?�

�I repeatedly suggest to myself, �I�m okay�.� I try to speak, but cannot get my breath around the syllables.�� However, this cyclical wish directs my breathing to a more even flow.� My heart rate slows.� I cannot move for an extent of time.� This elongated phase shepherds in a fusion of composure and peace.� Now I am sure, that I MUST BE DEAD!� In diminutive degrees I wrench my hands free from my head, then my face.� My hazy gaze pivots between my trembling hands.� I shout, �Am I dead?� Dear God, am I dead?��

A murmur of a moment slides by, and I sense that I am alive!� Curiously, I feel familiar with myself again.� My inner nature steadily becomes congruent with reality. �Instantly I wonder, �What happened to me?�

Within months I am prone to ongoing episodes of intense physical and mental uneasiness that may last minutes or hours.� Sometimes I experience a series of �attacks� within a one day time frame. Daily the cycle of anxiety grows deeper.� I am exhausted, depressed and embarrassed.� I doubt myself, �Am I going crazy?� I retreat into my home.� I alter my routines.� Another incident may materialize from �out of the blue� trapping me emotionally.� I dread the added dependency on my family.� In response, my husband encourages me to get a health exam.� �After one particularly terrible attack, I agree, �I can no longer live like this!�

On the way to the medical office I pray to God.� Tears spring from my eyes, as I beg, �Please let me be okay.�� My physician suspects that I am suffering from an anxiety disorder.� �Normal� anxiety can be helpful in preparing or motivating us in everyday life, such as preparing for a test or exercising to lose weight.� When physical tension and mental apprehension become excessive, anxiety may begin to interfere with ordinary functioning.� My physician refers me to a psychotherapist for further evaluation.� I am diagnosed with a type of anxiety disorder known as Panic Disorder, which involves experiencing unexpected panic attacks and anticipating additional panic attacks.� According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Panic Disorder �affects about 6 million American adults and is twice as common in women as men.�� Furthermore, I have Agoraphobia, which is prevalent �three times as often in women as in men� as stated in the American Psychiatric Association�s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.� Since I am preoccupied with having a panic attack in an inescapable public area, I avoid any place I can think of!� I confine myself to my home unless I can figure out a way to feel �safe� in another environment.

For the next couple of years, the diagnosis is the outline of my life.� The internal details of my life are the skeleton.� A renovation of my spirit is required.� I aspire to be hopeful. I dedicate myself to the process of becoming better.� But it is not easy.�

I visit my psychotherapist once a week, and on occasion, twice a week.� I commit to exploring painful past experiences, current relationship difficulties, creative identity issues and religious and spiritual belief systems.� As I integrate the work I am doing in therapy with my everyday life, I find that I am praying on a regular basis. �Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.�� (Psalm 54: 2)� Praying helps me to be able to calmly focus, to be thankful, and it improves my ability to ask for what I need, not only from God, but from the people in my life.� In my fourth month of psychotherapy I begin attending a local Seventh Day Adventist Church, Willow Brook. Over the next year, my newly found faith, church members support and my personal growth are elemental to my safety and self-assurance.� In line with my experience, the Johns Hopkins Health Alerts newsletter reports on a study that was published in the journal, Depression and Anxiety (Volume 23, page 266) stating that those individuals that considered religion as �very important had fewer anxiety, panic, and phobia symptoms and less perceived stress than other participants.��� Furthermore, the significance of religion on the participant was �more important in predicting improvement in panic symptoms than age (or) gender.�

According to the licensed psychologist, Ruth Ann Seidman, Ph. D., there are multiple therapeutic techniques with varying emphasis that are recommended in a treatment plan for individuals with Panic Disorder.� Relaxation training is significant to learning to manage anxiety and panic.� Relaxation techniques include abdominal breathing and visualization techniques.� Additionally, it is important to explore underlying issues that may contribute to the anxiety and identify thoughts that may trigger or intensify panic.� Once triggers are identified, solutions for breaking or interrupting the connection between catastrophic thoughts and physical symptoms can be learned as a coping skill.��� Medication may also be recommended by a qualified doctor.� Another important approach to managing Panic Disorder is to make lifestyle changes, such as increasing exercise and assertiveness, and making a plan to manage time and stress more effectively. Other discovery tools, such a journaling and flash cards with coping statements can be fundamental to managing the anxiety associated with Panic Disorder.� Making these changes may aid in facilitating a healthy association between the mind and body.�

�In regards to this relatively common disorder, Dr. Seidman reminds those who suffer with Panic Disorder, �You are not alone.� Help is available and you can feel better.�� She recommends obtaining a referral from a physician or contact the professional organization, the American Psychological Association.� You can seek advice from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or social worker, or your local mental health clinic.�

Thankfully I have been able to improve my life with the help of God, prayer, family, therapy, friends and my own dedication to my own wellness.� The key component to my unexpected journey through Panic Disorder is skillfully managing my anxiety.� �For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.� (2 Timothy 1:7)

copyrighted by Leisl Weaver Miller.�Material is an�unpublished article for the magazine Women of Spirit

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It�s Not The Heat...It�s The Humanity

Jimnotmike became my friend as a byproduct of Fire Pit Frenzy.� We disagee on much (I will probably love Vegas when I see it this summer) if you have followed any of his comments but we agree on enough that he is a keeper!

It�s Not The Heat...It�s The Humanity

As I type this, I have just returned from Las Vegas on a Red-Eye Flight. There is a really really good reason they call them that! So, bear with me, I�m running off 4 hours of sleep on a plane, a 3 hour time difference, and very little else at this point.

Las Vegas, my least favorite city in the world! For years I have had to travel there for work. Thankfully, only about once a year. I�ve always thought it was the flashing lights, the casinos, or the incredibly expensive �everything� that turned me off. Maybe it was the fact that no one seems to be �From� there, even though the suburban sprawl spreads out for miles around The Strip. Finally, after 10 years at this job, and probably the same number of trips to this �Hive of scum and villainy� I have come up with the answer. I dislike Las Vegas because of it�s utter lack of humidity!

Stepping off the plain in the desert makes one immediately start searching their pockets for the lip balm they forgot to bring with them. The combination of hot dry air outside and the air conditioned cold dry air inside, I�m sure, is what keeps the lotion industry in business. Water evaporates so quickly there that people have to have Auto-Fillers on their swimming pools.

Your nose winds up feeling as tho it is lined with sand paper. Your eyes develop the complete inability to create tears, and I won�t even go into the chaffing that occurs on �other� areas of the body. It was 104 degrees yesterday in Las Vegas...104! I know, everyones says, �But it�s a dry heat.� Im sorry, but heat is heat is heat in my book!

None of this really occurred to me until I arrived back at Dulles today. Stepping off the plane in DC, I was greeted, as I always am, by the pollen. But amazingly enough...for the first time in 5 days it reminded me that my nose is on my head to create and produce mucilaginous fluids, that and hold up my glasses. There was finally something there to sniff back or blow out! That wasn�t the least of it. I hurried outside for my first cigarette in 4 hours(addict!) and as I exited the door I found myself wrapped in the warm moist blanket that can only be identified as East Coast Summer. As strange as it sounds it sent a chill down my spine. It was if I could feel every pore on my body drinking deeply of the humidity�s heady brew. I was flooded by such a mixture of relief and joy I wanted to take off my shirt (which I hardly ever do) and spin around like Mary Tyler Moore, tossing the hat I wasn�t wearing into the air. The fountain of humidity had revived me as my cells lapped at it�s intoxicating richness.

I, quite suddenly, felt human again.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Finding Fitness after 40: The Male Perspective

Tod and I have known each other a scary amount of fact not even sure how long...maybe 13ish years?� Anyway, though for as long as I can remember, I had always wanted to give running a try, Tod was the one who inspired me when he took it up a few years ago.

Finding Fitness over 40 the male view!

Okay, first of all this should probably be fitness facing 50 but I am just a guest blogger, so here goes.�

Three years ago if you asked any of my friends and co-workers if I was overweight and out of shape the answer most likely would have been a solid no.� A few honest ones might admit I could use to lose a couple of pounds but overweight, no way.� Well they were wrong and I knew they were wrong but didn't have the motivation to change.

The motivation finally came in the form of a challenge.� A group of people at work had all been complaining about their weight so I proposed we do our own version of :"The Biggest Loser".� Each participant put $20 in a pot.� The person who lost the highest percentage of their goal weight won the money.� I found money and the challenge to be a great motivator and at the end of the contest had lost 102% of my goal weight, a total of 23 pounds.� I felt great.

I continued to walk and eat better for sometime but then came the winter.� I swear I was a bear in a previous life.� I store up fat for the winter and want to sleep until spring. And store up the fat I did.� I gained back 15 of the 23 pounds I lost over the winter.� Got the flu in February and lost 11 pounds. Then gained most of it back.� I was determined to lose it all again.� So that spring the healthy eating started again and the walking and it worked just like it is supposed to. Then it stopped working.� Well that really sucked..I was walking all over town, to the store, to work, to the outlets, everywhere but I had plateaued.

Plateaus are supposed to pleasant places.� A place to view all that surrounds you.� Beautiful vistas! They are not supposed to be a horrible place with no escape.� I decided that if walking wasn't going to do it, I'd try jogging a bit.� OMG Becky it just about killed me!� But I kept at it.� I set a running course and each time picked a new spot to get to before I would let myself walk.� Each time I got a little farther some days more so than others. I started this in May of that year and decided that by Labor Day I would be running the entire course. I missed it by one day. It was a great feeling. I continued to run into the fall cutting back to 3 days a week and maintaining my weight loss. But then lo and behold, 2 weeks before Thanksgiving my appendix ruptured.� Three days in the hospital, two weeks off work and 6 weeks with no physical activity. The good thing was that I reconnected with my Kimmie.� The bad thing it gave me a most excellent reason not to exercise.� It was winter and I once again gained weight but not horribly.

Spring arrived and I started running again and eating better again and the the weight came off again.

My arch nemesis arrived again in the form of cold weather and I was really bad.� The weight came back and I once again had to kick myself in the butt to get moving and eat better.

What can I say I'm cyclical. How long can I continue this pattern?� The answer is until I figure out how to break it, not until it breaks me.

The weight is back off and I'm maintaining.

I haven't been ill since my appendix episode.

I sleep better.

Life is good.

You are never to old to start. I started running at 46.

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.�

Enjoy your Summer and get up and move!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Home Stretch

Well, this is it.� The last time you will hear from me until July 5th.� My guest bloggers are in place (you get four), my bag is mostly packed, snacks for three vehicles are sorted out, money for gas...check, all errands run, bottle of wine chilling in the fridge (Thank you, Tod, who reads my blog and knew my wine concerns for tonight!). All I need to do is fix the stupid vacuum (Gotta love sucking up horrible things like wires in The Genius' room) and I am home free.

No run today.� I figured it was going to be my last quiet morning for awhile, I was working from home, and I was sleeping a little.� The next week will be draining, so I was going to take the rest while I could get it.� Of course, sleeping in for me is 7:45 (Wooo Hooo) and I didn't get to bed til 12:30.

The Lawyer came home early as I had to take him to the doctor for his usual summer session of poison ivy and while we were there, he was diagnosed with strep thoat as well.� They say we make plans and God laughs and he had a good chuckle on me today letting me think I was going to have a nice quiet day!� NOT!

Okay, this is short, but there is still a vacuum to fix and my mind is too full of stuff to write about any one topic.� So you all have a great week and think good thoughts or prayers for our safe travel to North Carolina.�

Thanks to all my guest bloggers for stepping up and Jill, I totally understand and not a problem!

See you on the flip side!

Peace out!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday 13: The Whoopsie Edition

Yes, I missed posting yesterday, so todays Thursday 13 is a list of 13 reasons why I missed it...and I could probably double it given half a chance.� Some of these are yesterday's things to get done and some of them are things which were on my mind yesterday that needed to get accomplished today.

  1. Insane week at work and yesterday I was up to my ears in mission trip, church directory and making last minute arrangements.

  2. Errands, errands, errands: new shower tote for trip, santa claus melon for PK, pumpkin spice bars for my car and my girls riding with me, prescriptions to be picked up.

  3. Yoga class...still trying to decide what I thought about that experience.

  4. Fighting with Staples over severely screwed up church order.

  5. exchanging two shirts I bought on-line which were from the tent of day I will really come to terms with what size I am now.

  6. Trip to Shell's last night for some adult company and a visit with her parents.� Did not get home till nearly 11:00 and then got up at 5:45 to run.

  7. Hair cut.� Had to happen.

  8. Alice Horton's funeral stuff on stupid "Days of Our Lives".� My favorite clan is back in Salem for a visit and it makes me� happy...sad as that is that I find happiness in a soap.


  10. With said heat, I had a delightful swim in a pool belonging to members of the church, bless them!

  11. Going over lists in my head, and on paper and in my head...

  12. Packing.� Yes, I am more or less packed.

  13. Thinking that I still need to bake brownies for the trip and wondering if I can choke down the wine in the fridge tomorrow night that I don't really like.



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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What To Blog About When I Have No Idea

I have so much going around in my mind this week in trying to prepare for next week, that I am totally ADHDing about what to blog about.� I am sitting here trying to cool off while watching The Doctors stick needles in some woman's face and grossing out totally...and then the blog got interrupted by my sugar plummeting due to a couple of Twizzlers.� Yes, I bought some today because my thought was i would take them on the mission trip and then I wound up eating a couple.� They hit me harder than anything else does and I ate them like two hours ago!� But it might not have been just them...I had not eaten since about 11:30 and after a couple of Twizzlers I went for some fruit and I probably needed some protein.� So just had a whole wheat english muffin with some all natural peanut butter so hopefully all will be well by kickboxing time.

I still have things to pick up prior to our early morning departure on Sunday for a seven hour drive.� I am looking forward to the mission trip; not to the drive.� I have some snacks for the car picked up, and some of my own healthier staples ready such as my whole wheat sandwich rounds, oatmeal, crystal lite.�

Later the same day...

Okay, back from kickboxing and have just finished watching "Losing It with Jillian" and this has been a favorite ep for me; actually made me cry.� Overweight parents, kids who worried about them, a father who shuts down and doesn't communicate leaving the mother with no one to lean on.� Heartbreaking.�

I think as women we worry a lot about our families; we worry about health and relationships and men don't always communicate so well.� We often wish they would.� I worry a lot about The Brit. A lot.� Can't imagine life without him.� We aren't young anymore and though I don't feel "middle age" in numbers, I'm almost there.� I worry a lot about The Genius, who has trouble obeying rules at home and I wonder what will happen to him when he gets out in the real world if he continues along the same path.

I can't make anyone else want what is best for them or what I believe is best for them; they have to want it for themselves.� There is nothing I would not do to help them achieve their goals if they would set them. But I can't set them for them.� I so wish I could want it for them and that would be enough, but it isn't and it never will be.� I don't want unreasonable things for them or for myself.� I just want them to live long, healthy lives.

Anyway, the father on the show finally saw what he was doing, how he was shutting down emotionally due to feelings of failure due to weight and the loss of his job.� At the end of the show (total of nine weeks) he had shed 61 pounds, had found another job, resolved to be more open and available for his wife and was oozing confidence.

Brought a tear to my eye.� Mom was down 41 pounds and you could see the strength in their relationship.� Very moving.

I'm trying yoga tomorrow night.� I'm kinda nervous.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sometime Even I Can Catch a Break

What do I mean by that?� I mean that I am single parenting this week and grandma called and wants to see the boys Wednesday thru Saturday.� Two whole days to myself!� Bliss!

As much as the thought of rolling out of bed on a Monday morning at 5:45 does not appeal to me, there is magic to running at 6:00 AM which I did this morning for the first time.� Next to no traffic, low humidity, other runners, who always wave which is awesome and I ran more of my two loops then ever before.� Came home, showered, packed my lunch and got to work EARLY.� Then got tons acccomplished there as I am out next week for the mission trip.� Came home, went through my clothes and shoes for yard sale items, tidied up, washed our bedding and even stopped The Genius from walking off with our lawn mower (without asking, of course) to "help" Michael mow.� Michael does not have a large yard; the problem lied with Michael having to do a chore and The Genius being without a playmate while this went on.� Two steps ahead...gotta stay that ahead of The Genius.�

I love running.� It is truly an addiction.� I went to bed an hour early, knowing my plan was to run early, and I actually woke up twice during the night to check the time.� I think I was actually excited after not running since Friday as well as looking forward to my first early morning run.� And running outside has probably ruined me for the treadmill forever.� So much more interesting outdoors.

So did you all see the news about the "healthy" frozen dinners?� If you didn't, check it out here , especially if you are a fan of these easy meals for weight loss.� It's rather scary.� Though some are actually better for you then then claim to be, there are some that are SO MUCH WORSE for you than they claim to be...such as up to 350% more fat than the package claims.�

�How do they get away with it?� Easy.� Averages.� Cook your own and you know exactly what you are getting.

I love online browsing.� I was looking around on�LiftYourSole� today and can't decide which of these is my favorite.�

I'm rather partial to the second one but like the first one as well.

In other news, The Brit made it to Germany safely.� We will be together exactly one day before I leave the on the mission trip for the week.�

I really need to make up a To Do list and a packing list.� So much to do, and it is quickly becoming so little time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

First off, I need one more guest blogger...ONE!� Thanks to Tod, Leisl, Jim and Laurie for volunteering so far!� One more taker!� Please?

I attempted to do for a run last night...and it was all bad.� Almost as soon as I finished walking and started running, my right knee started bitching.� My legs felt dead and tired (I had run on Monday, kickboxed on Tuesday and run on Wednesday so far, but am trying to increase the number of days I run).� I kept trying but it was a lost cause and I wound up walking the majority of it, telling myself I would never be a real runner and I can kiss any dreams of a 1/2 marathon goodbye because it was never gonna happen.

I worked from home today, which means I can set my own schedule as long as my task (A graduate presentation) is finished by Sunday morning, so I elected to try to get a run in first thing.� I got up, dressed and ate some oatmeal before setting out, feeling a little concerned based on last night's attempt.� I walked to warm up and when I hit my point in the park where I always start running, I started out.�

I felt amazing.

I did two complete loops, walking minimal distances.� At one point during the second loop, where I have a planned place to walk, I felt so good running that I went a bit further.� Got home, showered and then had the whole day ahead of me with my workout behind me which was also amazing!�

I guess the moral of the story is, do not judge your entire running career on one bad run.� We are all going to have those craptastic runs where nothing goes right, we don't feel right and we wonder why we are even putting ourselves through this process other than for pure torture.� Maybe those runs are our bodies way of telling us it needs a break and to go easy today.� It sure paid off for me!

Okay, it is nearly fire�pit time, so you all have a great weekend and don't knock each other over trying to grab that last guest blogger space, ya hear?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday 13: The Top Hat Edition

So the California Bucket List edition is being put off because I am not yet ready.� I started researching things yesterday, but am not yet finished and don't really have the time to mess with it right now.� All right?� All right.

As women, I think we have to wear a lot of hats.� Now I'm not talking about baseball verses snow caps.� I am talking about hats of the not physical kind.� We play a lot of roles in a lot of people's lives and our hats become a part of our identity, for that time period when we are wearing that particular hat.�

And the hats are needed.� I can't very well be a mom in my secretary hat or it gets confusing, so I have to switch.� Go into another mode, another thought process, another frame of mind and we have to do it quickly at times.� There are times my hats change three times in thirty seconds and it can be exhausting.�

Some of the hats are mindless; I slip into them without even thinking about it.� When my kids are around, I am Mom.� When I am with just The Brit, I am Wife or Companion.� Fire Pit nights, I am Friend.� These are easy.� Not much thought involved.

Others, for me, take preparation.� If I have to become a speaker in front of people, I have to prepare.� If I am getting ready to go on a�run, I begin to fall into that mode and it is never a good idea to attempt to sway me from my focus.� I wish I could fall in and out of the Running hat easily, but I can't yet.� I have to mentally prepare myself.� I have to push myself mentally and physically and that requires a different mindset.� Once I am committed to the task, it's all I can see in front of me.� I don't want to be swayed at this point because it takes a lot of mental energy for me to just get out there and accept the task at hand.� I love running.� Truly.� But it is not yet second nature.� It is not like the�Wife hat that slips into place with almost no thought.�Wife is is an easy part of who I am now, though the first few months of being part of a couple was very hard for me.� Not due to lack of love but due to the fact that my norm�was being on my own, making decisions that only affected me. I had to adjust and once I did, all was well.� It was change and it does not always come�effortlessly. �Running, I have only been doing for six months and it is a slow progression.� With every run, I have to set a goal for the run.� I am in training.� I want to run the VA Beach 1/2 in just over a year.�

This time of the year, as I have stated before, the Athlete hat is difficult anyway because there is little to no break from the Mom hat.� I either have to rely on other people or blind trust of my children and the blind trust thing can vary from day to day depending on the boys and how the first half of their day has gone.� So when I know the time frame that my run is going to happen, I begin to mentally prepare the closer I get to that time.� It is a necessity for me and there is no way around it.� If I walk out the door unfocussed and prepared to just "wing it" very little will get accomplished.� I know me.� I need a plan.� Running is HARD.� I think runner wannabes, as I used to be, tend to almost romanticize it a little bit.� People see runners and think how effortless they make it seem.� SO.� NOT. SO.� HARD.� Very hard.

So those who know me have to learn to accept this about me.� I don't want to digress once I am in the mode unless it is a dire emergency.� It has nothing to do with anyone else; it has to do with my ability to prepare mentally.�It's just like when the kids call me at work with an issue (usually of the bickering nature) I�tend to snap at them sometimes because for those four hours a day, my�Employee hat is firmly in place. When I answer the phone at work, assuming it is going to be a work call and it isn't, it holds a certain element of surprise and no time to prepare; only a millisecond. �I have come to realize that the time I drive from work to home during the summer, I am mentally preparing to�change hats from the norm.� I have to�go from Employee to Mom in about ten minutes, where when the kids are in school, I�go from�Employee to Kim, or Athlete�or House Wife as I have a few hours�of alone time to accomplish things without a bunch of thought. �Running during the summer requires thought and planning on my part; what time works best, weather, etc as well as getting mentally prepared to actually RUN. And feeling bad or guilty as I head out the door is also unproductive.� An hour.� One precious hour a day is all I require to keep myself sane.� I gave up smoking.� I no longer do theater apparently.� Food is no longer a hobby.� I need a stress buster and exercise is it.� It helps so much it amazes me.� I was irritable yesterday afternoon; a run, a shower and I no longer felt tied in knots.� It blows my mind a little bit.

So what hats do�you�wear?� Which are the hardest?� Which take preparation because they don't come easily?

My Thursday 13 consists of some of my hats, dashed with a bit of sarcasm and fun, because some of our hats are how we view ourselves in ways that don't make us happy.

1.� Wife

2. Mom

3. Daughter

4. Sibling

5. Maid

6. Chef

7. Referee

8. Sounding Board

9. Athlete

10. Friend

11. Chauffeur

12. Immigrant field (yard) worker

13. Employee

On a side note, I really need two more people to fill in for me the week of June 27th with blog posts!� I have three volunteers so far!� C'mon, you know what wanna!�

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others� comments. It�s easy, and fun!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Exercise Can Be Interesting

So on Monday after work, I met with Tod to get some walking in and we had elected to walk to beautiful *cough cough* downtown Hagerstown.� There are parts of the town that are pretty, don't get me wrong, but the disappointment comes in that for years small businesses have been struggling to survive down there and more times than not, they fail.� But there were a few I had not yet explored, so in the horrid humidity, we headed down.

There�is a little what I call "junk shop" that I pass on one of my routes home that I had been wanting to scope out, so we went there first only to find it closed.� As I was peeking in the window, a woman, smartly dressed in a tank and skirt, approached Tod and asked if he would help her move a grill into her truck.� Well, the grill was freakin' HUGE, but he got it in there with skirt lady's help (and a tiny bit from me).� She then tried to give him $20 which he refused, even when she tried to convince him to go buy his "wife" ice cream. Obviously, I look like i need ice cream.

As he was now rather dirty from moving the grill, I suggested we walk over to the library so he could clean up in the bathroom.� As we walked in front of the library, an elderly woman stopped me and said "Honey, you got a man." Not too sure how to handle the situation, I said, "At the moment, yes."� She then asked if she could borrow him.� I asked her what she needed and she replied "Just a little huggin' and a little kissin'." As we walked away laughing, Tod said "Tell me you know her."

"Nope, never saw her before in my life."

True story.

We finally got a little shopping in, checking out a woman's clothing store, with beautiful things albeit expensive.� We then checked out the downtown thrift store, which has not changed much since my last visit; still junky with stained clothing.� Gross.� Finally, a little consignment shop, where I found a pair of pink, damn capris for $7.� We walked through the square and looked at the evening gowns in the windows of the stores and then back in the general direction of home.� It was then Tod discovered he had left his cell phone in the consignment shop, so his walk turned into a jog (he had already run that morning) back to the store to retrieve it.� I took the opportunity to poke my head into the bead store and pick up a class schedule as I do have�a secret desire to learn to make jewelry.

We walked home via the street when The Brit and I first lived.� Our first apartment was an old historical house that was made up of three apartment and we had the whole first floor, only sharing the building with two other girls. Loved that place.� Tod had actually painted the fireplace in that house to look like marble.� The place had been empty for awhile and as we walked past it, I pointed out to him how his fireplace was still there.� Looking into the other side of the downstairs, I discovered that the layout of our old computer room had been changed a bit.� The wall at one time had fake stone and built in bookshelves which were now gone.� I walked up on the grass to have a closer look even as Tod warned me there were people inside looking at the place.�

These said people, two girls, came out and we told her I had lived there eight years go and she offered to let me go through it!� Made my day!� The new owners had done some serious work, especially on the kitchen, which had been completely updated since we had lived there.� They told us to come back anytime, and I want to find the photos we took when we first moved in to show her next time.� A little walk down memory lane for me on a Monday!

Tomorrow, Thursday 13 and my California Bucket List!

�The buzzing metropolis of Hagerstown.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today, A Chapter Book

Chapter book?� I swear, we never used this verbiage when I was in school.� Picture book, yes.� Chapter book?� Not so much.��

Why can't I inspire the ones that mean the most?

So, I have written before about people telling me I inspire them and those words humble me, even when they don't exactly seem possible.� What I wish though, were that I could inspire the ones closest to me to change their way of thinking about things.�

I worry a lot about losing people before it should happen.� I know we all have an end time in this world, but I� have lots to do and have finally�come to the conclusion that I want to live out my life here for as long as I can and I want to�feel good while doing it.� Yeah, I know Heaven will be amazing, but it is still the unknown and I'm not yet ready to cross over.�

I hate to see people give up or not try or think they can't.� I get that sometimes life throws us for loops and the things we counted on might not happen through no fault of our own.� My favorite quote of the moment is "Why would you chose failure when success is an option?" and it is so true.� Why would anyone?

I know that I chose failure for a long time because I didn't have the stamina to see things through, but can I tell you something?� Standing on this side of 109 pounds down and I know this is where I want to be.� I have something now to compare 315 pounds with.� Before, healthy was an unknown to me.� I had no idea what it felt like.� When you haven't tasted something before, how can you crave it?� But once you get a taste of something sweet like this, you wonder how you ever lived without it before.

I've seen people have a taste and still give it all up.� I was briefly that person before but never really lost enough weight for it to make a difference or I was too young to appreciate the difference.� I know I�can't do it for anybody else.� I can't chose success for them, but it doesn't make me not want to.� I want those dearest to me to live a great life.� To feel good.� To be able to experience all they are able to.� We pass this way but once, so we need to make the most of it.

Success is always an option and that option renews itself every day.� You can chose it.� Chose it now.� Today.

�The Mind is the first to go

I had other things, but now I can't remember what they were.� They will come to me later.� Today has been full of frustrations and I shall be taking them out in kickboxing tonight.� Then the kids come home and the fun of trusting The Genius while I work begins anew.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Totally Stoked!

So finally, after about a kabillion years, I am heading home to Southern California for vacation this summer!� We will be gone for two weeks, seeing family, visiting places and I am planning one night to hook up with my two oldest friends in the world from elementary school. So looking forward to the whole adventure and I am telling all my men "No attitudes allowed about anything!"

But before that trip, there is the mission trip coming up in less than two weeks that I am still not ready for.� Still need to pick up�a few things; toiletries and snacks mostly.� Would love to tell myself I will get up in the mornings to run while I am there and I guess it could happen, but we'll see.� The days are long and the work is hard.� The days start early and end late, so anything could happen.� We'll just have to see.� The Genius is coming again this year and I am hoping he puts some work effort in this time as last time he didn't so much.� We are making sure he is in the same group with his idol in the youth group, and I don't think he would want his idol showing him up.� Hopefully it will be better than last year.

Weekend was good.� Drank far too much wine at Fire pit Friday and went to bed with a horrible headache that I'd had since running at about 4:00 that day.� Saturday, did some charity shops with my mother which is always fun and found a few things.� Hmmm...wonder what the charity shops are like in California!� They are my ultimate shopping experience!

The boys come back from camping tomorrow night and maybe have burned out some energy as I have them all to myself again next week.� Thankfully, this Saturday is scheduled as a girl's day out, so I can have a tiny break before single parenting again.� The Brit will get back on Friday the 25th and The Genius and I leave on the 27th for North Carolina.� Two ships passing in the night for awhile!

Okay, boring blog post today but I had to make myself do it as I really wasn't in the mood.� Have stuff to talk about tomorrow though~!

Friday, June 11, 2010

And So It Begins

Summer is a time of challenge with The Genius and it always has been. I don't know exactly what it is; part of me thinks it is because he does far better with structure and when school is out, his normal schedule is disrupted.� That theory blows my mind a little because the new structure for four hours a morning is he gets to watch television and play the Wii while I am at work, so why act out?� But he does and it began yesterday.

The kids were leaving to go camping Thursday evening, so I told The Lawyer I needed the grass mowed (one of his normal chores) and The Genius he needed to do the weed whacking out front and along the fence in the back.� I told them it could wait until I got home because of Wednesday's rain and the grass would need to dry out a bit.� I also told them that their rooms needed to be tidy before they could leave.

The Lawyer called me at work around 11:30 and said the grass was dry and could he mow and I told him yes.� I asked him if The Genius was going to weed whack and he said no, not right now.� That was fine as they had until 4:00 to get it done.�

So I got home and grass was mowed but I could tell that out front, the weed whacking had not been done at least on the side with the tree.� The tree in front of the house, between the sidewalk and the road has large roots that cannot be mowed over, so that area has to be whacked.� Not done.� Again, it was fine as he had till 4:00, but when I went inside, he informed me he had done it.� I looked out back along the fence and the grass was still as tall as ever and when questioned about it, The Lawyer said, "Mom, he used the mower."� Well, you can't get close enough with the mower which is why his job is WEED WHACKING.� I asked him if he had gotten to his room and he told me yes, it was done.� So I sent him back outside to do the job correctly and I tidied up and vacuumed downstairs.� When I went upstairs to vacuum, what I discovered was that his room was a disaster with crap all over the floor making it impossible to vacuum.� So there was job numero�dos he had to "do over."

The rest of the afternoon went fairly well, until The Lawyer came to ask me if he could take my fishing rod camping and I told him yes.� He went to the basement to get it, and he returned with my rod but no reel.� I asked where the reel was and he told me The Genius had taken it off to put it on HIS rod.� I called The Genius inside and asked him why he did this and he replied, "Well, you barely ever use it."� He had wanted to take his PSP with him camping (he currently doesn't have it in his possession due to lies) and I told him no at this point as I didn't see where he had done anything today to earn that privilege.

So the grandparents finally got there and The Brit got there as we were going to go out to dinner once the kids left. I had hoped to go for a run before as the kids were supposed to leave between 4-5 but the grandparents didn't arrive until 5:30.� So, The Brit went out to help put our bike rack on the grandparent's van so the kids could take their bikes, and I locked up the house.� Upon going to set our alarm with my remote, I discovered all the buttons of the remote missing.� I set the alarm manually using the wall system and went outside where they were still loading the bike rack.� I asked The Genius, who had taken the shed key off my key ring the day before (and due to them being off school, I had not had to set the alarm using my remote since Tuesday morning).� He said he had no idea what had happened to it.� Of course.

The Brit was rather annoyed as to replace a remote costs $50 and they don't just fall apart.� The kids left and I did a search of the house looking for pieces but didn't find any.� We went to dinner and I stewed about what might of happened.� The Brit took my remote apart and his, and mine was missing not only four buttons, but two batteries, a clip�and the inner frame!� This stuff could not come out without the remote being opened and to say the remote was opened meant it had to be closed back up again which meant someone knew something and it wasn't me.

We called The Genius then and he admitted to "dropping it" the previous night.� I questioned where and he said by the desk nearest the kitchen.� We went home and I got down on the floor with a flashlight and wouldn't you know it;�8 missing pieces to this thing and NOT ONE OF THEM ANYWHERE! At that point, The Brit got on the phone and started demanding answers as opposed to lies.� Next confession was that the pieces were IN THE BASEMENT in a white bowl (please keep in mind, I am due to be at a friend's house by 7:30, want to get�a run in and it is now about 6:45).� Went down to basement, found bowl and three buttons and one of two batteries.� None of the other missing pieces.� The Brit got more stern with The Lying Genius, who then said the other pieces were on the floor near the covered litter box.� Went back downstairs, found the clip and one more button.� On a whim, I took the top of the litter box and found the other battery inside THE LITTER BOX.� Keep in mind, it was covered so the battery could not have FALLEN INTO THE BOX.� It had to be thrown inside the box.� One button is still missing today.� The real frustration is that had he just told the truth the first time, not nearly as much time would have been wrapped up in this.� I also doubt he ever "dropped" the remote because I drop my keys numerous times and the thing has never come apart.

The Brit told The Genius to enjoy his camping because he would be grounded when he comes home.� The only reason we didn't go to get him is that we had plans for the weekend and it would have upset the grandmother who is rather nervous anyway.� Probably the wrong thing to do, but we didn't want to punish ourselves either by having to cancel our plans and ruin the grandparent's weekend as well because of his behavior.

Then today we discovered that The Genius, instead of putting the lawn mower away, had chained it to the deck using his bike lock.� Brand new lawn mower, it is supposed to rain this weekend and the key is with The Genius.� I informed The Genius on the phone today that we would be cutting off his lock tonight and he could pay to replace his lock.

So what to do? Am I now stuck bringing him to work with me because of his behavior at home?� How long do we ground him for?� Why does every summer start out this way with him?�

I did get a mile and a half run in before going to my friend's house and it felt wonderful, probably because I was stressed.� Plan to do it again this afternoon too before showering and getting ready for fire pit.� I so need wine!

Happy weekend, kids.� I have three volunteers for guest blogging and would love two more!�

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: The Little Shop Edition

Little Shop meaning "Feed me".� I am constantly amazed how since my surgery, my food tastes have changed so much.� Some of my most beloved "bad" foods are now so sickening sweet to me, I wanna gag.� On the other hand, things that used to make me gag, I now love.� So, I am going to attempt to come up with stuff I now love and hopefully will hit that magical 13 number.

  1. Hummus: Would not get near this stuff with a ten foot pole two years ago, but recently tried it again and am now addicted, at least to the garlic flavored one.� I have one with pine nuts in my fridge to try next.

����Brussel Sprouts.� I hated these mini heads of lettuce and had to keep from hurling even if someone near me was eating them.� Now I love them boiled or baked with EVOO and salt and pepper.� I could make a meal off of them.

Cucumbers.� They are now one of my very favorite snacks.

Almonds.� I have never been a huge fan of nuts other than the honey roasted not good for you peanut variety.� But I have now discovered wasabi and soy almonds and they are wonderful.

And speaking of wasabi...omg... love the stuff! That instant taste of heat that immediately fades.� Only time it is painful is on the occasion when it races up my sinus cavity and my whole face goes red!

Multigrain bread.� Bread with any kind of seedy looking stuff in or on it always made me suspect, but now I adore it.� It takes a little of the guilt away from eating bread, knowing it is not white bread that has been bleached.� Anyone else think all our food bleaching and preservatives is a cancer culprit?

Fruit, fruit and more fruit.� I used to eat fruit occasionally; very occasionally.� Now it is a daily occurrence, especially during the summer when I can frequent our local farmer's markets.� When I am craving something sweet, this is almost always what I reach for now.

The other sweet treat I reach for is sugar free gelatin.� I used to hate any of the Watch�it Wiggle stuff and reached for chocolate pudding instead, sugar free or otherwise.� Now the sugar free chocolate pudding is kind of gross to me.�

Beans.� Another favorite snack is a three bean salad.� Never used to touch it and was never a big fan of kidney beans at all.� Now?� Love it.

Jams sweetened with Splenda.� I don't use a lot of this, but sometimes, I just want jam on something, even a wasa cracker with some cheese (cheddar cheese and strawberry jam on a Wasa.� Seriously, try it).� I also use these jams for cooking things like raspberry pork chops or apricot chicken.

Green Tea.� So good for you and so yummy.� I have not yet warmed up to having it cold, but love it hot.

Edamame.� Had never tried the stuff; adore it now.

Am wracking my brain for one more moreonemoreonemore....OATMEAL!� Whew.� Yes, oatmeal, my breakfast of choice, with some Truvia, cinnamon and a banana.�


�Had a major disagreement with our church lady.� Our copier broke down today and I called the repair guy as we lease it and all of our repairs and supplies are included.� He came up and assessed that we needed a new drum and new developer and he would not be able to have it here till tomorrow.� I called the church lady because she runs the bulletins, and I told her not to come in (YAY me!� A break from the negativity!) and explained why.� I told the pastor what was going on and he reiterated when he had told me a long time and what is just common sense: you don't need a bulletin to have church.� I agree with this statement.� People can come together and worship without paper in their hands.� Told Church Lady this and she freaked; apparently not having a bulletin would make us an "independent church" and "our God is a God of order".� I actually laughed and told her God did not require us to have paper in our hands to worship him.� Then she insisted that it must be "these newer pastors" who felt this way and again, I laughed.� Where does she get these ideas?� I reiterated to her that we were looking at the possibility of not having a bulletin this week, not every week (and only if something goes wrong with repair) and she insisted if the copier didn't work tomorrow, she would go to Staples and run the copies.� Oy.� I am obviously a heathen.

� Church Lady says "Church is all about the paper, not about the heart."

ETA: I am not approving all comments due to the sudden comment spam.� I kept getting stuff from companies wanting to sell slippers or whatnot.� So if your comment does not immediately post, that is why!


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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Scoop

So my kids are going to be away for a week!� Found out last night the grandparents want to take them camping from tomorrow until next Wednesday. Easiest first week of summer vaca ever!�� They were actually really good yesterday, though the test is today as they are home alone.� I woke The Genius up to take his meds before I left while The Lawyer kept sleeping, though I am almost certain that the second I closed the front door and left for work, they were racing downstairs to watch television.� I asked them last night if they would allow me quiet mornings during the summer, meaning, that it is an adjustment for me too, so if they would just sleep until 8:30 when I left, it would be helpful.� I could get myself ready without bickering and questions and they actually did it for me today!� Now they are happily numbing their little minds in front of the television until 12:45.

So the scoop on Godspell.� This was my second weird audition in three months time at this theater.� That improv/diction thing really happened.� I was first to audition and my song went well.� Then Mr. Director asked me to walk upstage as he wanted to hear my diction and he said "Complete the sentence, 'you won't believe this but on the way here...'" I talked briefly about being nervous and that performing was easy, but auditioning was hard.� He laughed and agreed and I was finished.� The next person to get up was about high school age (did I mention Mr. Director is a high school drama teacher and I think several of the kids auditioning were his students?) and when asked to do the same exercise she launched into complete improvisation about monsters trying to eat her car on the way to auditions or something.� The next person to get up, I don't think Mr. Director knew, because he told her "Complete the sentence 'you won't believe this but on the way here...' and make me believe it."� Hello? All i got was diction!� Obviously, he realized his mistake with me and corrected it but it didn't really help me.�

We also had a choreography audition which is not my strong suit.� I can learn choreography, but not in minutes.� I didn't do too badly but had some mess ups.� It is what it is.� When we left, he told us all we would hear something in a day or so.� That was Sunday.� Today is Wednesday and I have heard nothing one way or another.� Totally unprofessional in my opinion.� Has he not cast it yet?� Did he cast it but did not cast me and isn't telling me anything?�Did he key my email incorrectly?� (Yes he was going to email us as opposed to calling us.� Again, not really the right thing, imho).�Sure, I could call, but how awkward is that?

I had called Tod on the way home from auditions to vent about the diction thing and he said he hadn't wanted to tell me before because I was excited about auditions, but he knew I wanted back into theater and he knew I wanted my first experience back to be good but he wasn't sure that was going to happen at this theater.� His last two experiences there in the last year had not been good.� I was told by another friend that this theater is having problems hanging onto directors because they keep pissing them off.� It is also not professional to not have an accompanist at auditions, which we did not have.� After considering all this, I briefly wondered if I wanted to be in the show if I was cast (this now seems to be a total non-issue).� After all, I had been in a show once where I went home and cried because it was over...because it had been a horrible experience.� I did not want that situation again.� Most of my shows I have been in have been wonderful experiences thankfully, but being stuck in something in a volunteer capacity for 8 weeks sucks big time.� Unprofessional to quit so you suck it up and deal and count the days until it is over. Not exactly the theater experience of my dreams.

So anyway, there is the scoop.� Some of the kids auditioning were very good.� Some could carry a tune but that was about it.� One forgot the words to his song and sang so softly he could barely be heard.� Mr. Director also didn't read anyone.� Granted, it is an ensemble show, but the role of Jesus is pretty important. Whoever plays that role can make or break the show.� It has to be right.� When I last saw this show at the dinner theater here in town less than a year ago, the guy who played Jesus, who I had known for years as he played the Artful Dodger in "Oliver" as�a kid and I was the milkmaid, was amazing.� He had it all right; his expressions were especially important and he looked like a loving father watching his children as they sang.� It was beautiful to behold and touched me deeply.� So, yeah, I think the role of Jesus deserves a reading.� Though I have no idea who came out to audition on Saturday, on Sunday, I saw no one who could even potentially play that role.� But again, just going off a singing audition, a dance audition and a talk about monsters, tornadoes etc.� Just sayin'.

The kids being away means no getting up at 6:00 this week too!� The reality of that one just hit me!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How is it Possible...

...that today is the last day of school?�

Tomorrow begins the Great Kim Juggling Act of balancing kids, exercise and sanity.� It is always a challenge.� Ugh.� In some ways, the kids being off school is easier (I am looking at this purely as a logistic thing.� I know the kids love their summer vacations and I am not denying them that.� I loved them when I was a kid too.� But being a parent, summer vacations from school take on an entirely new dimension.� Just sayin'.) in that I have no more lunches to pack, or kids to wake up and get moving in the morning.� I am not as anal about bedtimes during the summer providing they are amusing themselves and not being all in my face after 9:30pm, which for me is adult time, ie. not time to be mom.� I love them, but most parents will tell you that kids can be all consuming every waking moment and the parents who deny this, are liars are not being honest with themselves are better people than I.

So anyway, my goal is hit the pavement three mornings a week in one way or another.� One way would be by getting my butt out of bed at 6:00am. The "another" way would be anything but that in the event I cannot haul my lazy ass out of bed.� I'm thinking I can pull it off a few days a week.� The kids would still be asleep, the temperatures outside would not be up yet and I can then come home, shower and get ready for work.� Doable right?� Totally, right?

We are now less than three weeks away from our mission trip and I would love to have a few guest bloggers in my absence.� Wanted to put it out there to see if I get any volunteers before I ask people directly.� Ya'll know the kind of stuff I talk about here; health, fitness, exercise, surviving summer school vacations.� So, let me know if you are willing to write one and what your topic will be.� Then you can email me at (really need to change that.� What's a knitting needle?) with your article and I can get it set to post on one of my days away.� I will be gone June 27-July 3rd.� If I don't get volunteers I will have to go hit up a few of the blogs I have stalking, and those girls are much more famous than I, so I'm not sure if they will give me the time of day or not.� Just sayin'.� I just hate leaving the blog empty for that long.� I know the world will not cease to exist with no boring little blog entries from me, but it just makes me feel better to know my little corner of the internets is being looked after.

My eating has been much better this week�with the exception of some Milky Way minis...damn whoever brought those into my world this week!��I am feeling much better about the whole thing despite one...*cough* gave me any ideas for healthy snacks.� I know ya'll have 'em, so cough 'em up.�

I also know ya'll are out there, so while I am asking you for stuff today, leave me a little comment and let me know you still exist.� See, in�case you are not a blogger, we love comments.� We love to hear what readers have to say as long as it is polite (I get really annoyed when bloggy friends are attacked rudely by people who don't agree with them.� You can disagree, but really, dudes, can we be nice?) and it actually inspires us to blog.� If we didn't like comments, our journals would not be out there for all the world to see, but still in pretty little spiral bound notebooks with flowers all over the covers.� I like pretty little books actually but still prefer to type my thoughts and occasionally add photos to them without the use of tape.

Lastly, theater people.� I have a question, and Tod, you have already answered this one, so you are excused...from this...not from commenting.� Anyway, if a director says to you "Stand upstage.� I want to hear your diction.� Finish the sentence 'You won't believe this but on the way here...'" does that mean to improvise an entire story about monsters or tornados attacking your car on the way to auditions?� Please keep in mind, this is what I was told and I was first to have to do this.� What comes to your mind when someone wants to hear your diction?

Monday, June 7, 2010


I have become a little complacent.�

I am not gaining weight, but I am no longer losing weight and have not been in quite some time and I am fairly certain of the reasons why. I have been messing around with losing and gaining the same five pounds.� It is so easy, not to necessarily fall back into old habits, but to bend the rules just enough to make a difference in the opposite direction than desired.�

Some of my eating habits are less than stellar.� I have weaknesses and though my weakness where food is concerned is nowhere near what it was 26 months ago, it still exists.� I am not eating regular candy bars, or snack cakes or donuts.� I do weekly eat Twizzlers, have dessert at a meal out, eat bread more than once a day�or pick a less than brilliant selection when we go out to dinner, even when there are better selections present.� Weekends are hard for me.� Eating on weekends is hard for me.� The schedule changes up on those two glorious days when we aren't working.� I don't cook on Saturdays; it is a�treasured and much coveted meal out at a restaurant.� Restaurants have good choices and I don't always make them.�

I need to do better.

I am going to do better.

Though I am so much happier at a size 18 than at a size 28, I am not ready to�be done my weight loss journey.

But I think I strive to want to be normal.� I want to be able to eat like people who have never had a weight problem.� People who can order pizza, or have dessert or drink diet soda.�

But I am not one of those people and will never be.� Those things, for me, lead to failure.� They open the door for even more bad choices.� They are an entryway into a past I have no desire to return to.�

But there are still days when I think "Why can't it just get easier?"

But it doesn't.� Anyone who has ever lost weight will tell you that.� We have to remain ever vigilant.� Dropping the ball is not an option because it is too easy to return to that place of failure and it happens when we are not paying attention.� It happens when we pretend to be someone we are not; when we pretend to be people who do not have food issues.� No one gets to be obese "just because."� We get obese because we have issues with food for some reason or another. We use it in unhealthy ways.� We eat when we are not hungry because we don't take the time to ask ourselves if what we are doing is out of hunger or habit.� Thinking "I could eat" is not the same as thinking "I need to eat because I have not in several hours and I am hungry." "I could eat" can usually be concluded with "because I am bored, stressed, upset, happy, sad..." I have always been an emotional eater and I am not going to rid my life of my emotions, so I have to learn how to not eat my feelings and it is a lifetime process.

I dare say that if it were not for my newfound desire for exercise that I could have done some damage in the last few months as opposed to simply maintaining.

And it simply isn't good enough.

So I return to basics.� Cutting out the bad stuff.

Bread, I love you and though I have learned to make far better choices with you, such as deli rounds and multigrains, you must go back to being an occasional treat.

Twizzlers, we must part ways.� My intense need for chewy foods must be replaced with gum.�

Dessert at a dinner out,� you must go back to being a taste only.� Not a half, not a whole, a taste or two.� Satisfy the craving and move on.

Pretzels, I have to cut you back or out altogether.� I don't need to be snacking nearly as much as I do.

I don't always know what to snack on, which is a problem.� There are times I want to snack.� Generally cukes and dip (FF sour cream with ranch powdered dip) is my choice, but I need options.� If anyone has any, please leave them in the comments and I will love you forever.

Water, we are still friends, but I need more of you in my life.� I have slacked a little bit lately.

Wine.� Beloved, wine.� You must go back to Fridays only. Not that I drink it much more than that but when it was just me and the kids and a non-working medication that week, I had a glass each night as a stress release.� There is a treadmill in the corner of my downstairs and it can release stress every bit as well.

Weight is all about choices.

I need to learn about my cross training.� I need to research and do better.� I need to work out my training for running as I have just been doing what comes.� A half marathon in September of 2011 is on my radar.� I can't just wing it.

Choices.� Making the right ones.� Being accountable.� Today it begins again.�

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why Must I Measure Everything?

So one of the things on my To Do list before I die, is to be cast and perform in the show "Godspell", which is one of my all time favorite shows.� The Apollo theater, where I did my last show eight years ago, and where they did not cast me for "Steel Magnolias" a few months ago, is holding auditions this weekend.�

And I am tempted.

My first concern is that I won't get cast but with 20 roles needed, it is possible (not sure why 20 as there were only 12 disciples and Jesus).� I know that auditioning goes hand in hand with the possibility of not being cast but it doesn't mean I have to like it, especially with wondering if my former weight had anything to do with being landed some rather good character roles in the past.

I would also have to miss the first week of rehearsals potentially due to vacation if we are going anywhere, because though the show auditions this weekend, rehearsals don't start per the website until August 1st.�

There is also the fact that I need a CD to audition with and I have nothing from the show on a vocal accompaniment tape.� I have just called around and found nada.� Zippo. Rein. Gar nichts.� Nothing.� What to do?� I placed a call to my Crisis Intervention guy, aka, Tod, but will not hear from him till this afternoon.� If I could sing "Day by Day" I could be pretty fearless with that...or even "By My Side".

Okay, wrote the above a few hours ago and since then have had the music problem solved thanks to Mandy and, where for 1.99 you can download the instrumentals of all kinds of stuff.� I will be using this again!� So I downloaded "Day by Day" and will rehearse it between now and Sunday at 1:00 when the second wave of auditions are.� I think that if I am not cast in this one, I will be hanging up my theater hat for good.

Tonight, Grad party for one of my youth kids!� Happy weekend, Blog peeps!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday 13: The Overachiever Edition

This is me today because my children are going away for the weekend.� I love them, ya'll know that, but what most parents won't tell you, imho, is that time away from them is also cherished time.� Time to just be an adult and not a parent.� Time to hang with friends without interruptions.� Sheer bliss.� The Teenager,�who shall now be known as The Genius, as he knows everything....just ask him, is off school tomorrow because of the seniors graduating, so he is leaving this afternoon for grandma's house.� Little Brother, who shall now be known as The Lawyer, due to his new ability to argue about every little tiny thing he is asked to do, does have school tomorrow but is then going to great-grandma's right afterwards.� As adults, we shall be going to one of my youth's grad party Friday night, sleeping in Saturday, followed by breakfast and hopefully something fun and then to dinner with friends Saturday night.� I am a happy girl!

So, the answer to Thursday 13 came to me last night when I sat down to sweat on the couch (humidity has been really high for as early as it is!) and was surrounded by all the stuff I have every intention of reading that has been sitting there for quite some least most of it.� Drawing from memory, here are some but not all of the materials surrounding my spot in the living room:


  1. "No Need for Speed" John Bingham

  2. "Who Do I Lean On?" Neta Jackson

  3. "A Change of Altitude" Anita Shreve

  4. Current Runner's World magazine I am still working on completing

  5. "Master Your Metabolism" Jillian Michaels (I started this 14 months still on chapter one)

  6. "Master Your Metabolism Cookbook" Jillian Michaels...fresh out of the library

  7. "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution"

  8. "Change of Heart" Jodi Picoult

  9. "Glimpses of Heaven" Trudy Harris (working on this one for Sunday school lessons for my teens)

  10. Current Health magazine (almost finished that one)

  11. A health periodical that our area gives out for free quarterly.� I have gotten them at the running store and this one at the YMCA.� Usually some good information in them.

  12. "Writing Fiction for Dummies" I still have other dreams I have not realized.

  13. "Once a Runner" by John L. Parker

Whew.� Lots of books and so little time, so you get a bonus...13 reasons why I have this seemingly immovable stack of reading material!

  1. Kids.� Love them but constant interruptions

  2. "Criminal Minds" I have developed a recent addiction of this show and have about 60 eps DVR'd.

  3. Little pink laptop.� 'Nuff said.

  4. "Mom, can you log me on?"

  5. Never ending mounds of laundry

  6. Solitaire on my iTouch.

  7. Stupid soap opera I still watch

  8. Cooking dinner

  9. Packing lunches (will soon not be a distraction for a few weeks)

  10. Scooping cat litter

  11. Cats.� They need lovin's too.

  12. "Mom?"� "Mom?" "Mom?"

  13. Cleaning and vacuuming.

Wanna play Thursday 13?� You can do so here!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Need a Pla-

The above quote is actually from a Friends episode in which they are deciding what to do about something and someone asks if they have a plan and Phoebe says "We don't even have a pla."

Anyway, I need to start focusing on summer fitness preferably without my kids for the serious stuff.� Let's face it, my girls boys can't do more than�a block, mile�few miles of biking before the griping sets in and they are complaining about what hurts and what is wrong with their bikes and "Can we turn around now?"� I lived and learned this last summer and listening to constant complaining kind of takes all the joy out of the activity for me, tho if Tod went along on a Monday it might be doable as at least there would be someone fun to offset the complaining with.�

Yoga is Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 or 7:30, I forget which.� I would like to hit one of these a week to see how I like it.� I also have delusions plans of hauling my ass out of bed early for morning runs before work this summer.� The kidlets would still be sleeping and it would not be so brutally hot.� There is also walking with Tod in the evenings and I am going to kidnap him the first Monday the kids are camping or something to do some hill work at The Woods in WV.� Lots of hills, great scenary and not much traffic.

My main focus for the summer (other than kickboxing which I could not give up if I tried) is running.� Saturday's�5K left me feeling amazing.� Last night's kickboxing class, I felt like a beast with incredible stamina.� Okay, some of this is all in my head, I'm sure, but there is something mental that goes on with actually running in an organized event, even when your time is crap.� The crap time for me was still good because I did it�
even though a woman in the 60-69 age range beat my ass.��But this 5K was the 5K that all future 5Ks will be measured for now.� That is the time to beat and as it is a crap time, that should not be too hard with some practice.�

I have been finding some really cool running stuff online that makes my eyes glaze over (no Brit, do not run out and buy it at this point.� I just think it is cool.).� For example, no slip headbands from Bondiband , this one being my favorite:

Then there is this site of�fitness jewelry at Liftyoursole� with a running line of stuff that is really cool.

And if I get really serious and start to collect me some bibs, there are bibFolios .� I mean, who knew?

And Fivefingers , which are just really neat�and pricey.

��Supposed to be really close to running barefoot without the pain of actually running barefoot.� I find them intriguing, but wonder if I would be bold enough to wear them out running in public!� Could you hear it?� I mean, a year ago, I would be the one saying "What the #%$ does she have on her feet?"

Okay, heading to the gym to start logging my 60 miles in June challenge.� Running tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Race (HA!) Report

Saturday morning was hot, humid and muggy.� I was feeling a little bit under the weather due to something the night before, but I was also determined to shake it.� I checked in, got my number and my chip timer and then did some walking and stretching to warm up while I waited for Leisl.�� It was hot and the bugs were annoying and there were way more people there than I thought there would be.�

Finally found Leisl just minutes before the National Anthem was to be sung and got her sorted out with my nano, as I was going to run with my ipod touch for the first time.� It wouldn't fit in my waist bag with the case, so I removed it.� We were both stoked to get started and The Brit and my boys were there and Leisl's hubby Marlon and her friend Susan.� The anthem was sung and a prayer was said and they counted down.� We had lined up in the back, knowing we were going to be slower runners as first timers.

The beginning felt easy other than my ipod was being as asshat, wanting to only play thirty seconds of each song before switching to another one. Took it out of my bag and tried carrying it and I had a carry it a certain way in order for it to behave.� Not sure what was up with that and haven't had a second run with it yet.� Anyone have any ideas?

Ran to the first water stop and walked long enough to drink down some gatorade.� Started running again until I met my current nemesis...a hill.� Walked up and then resumed running.� Leisl and I stayed more or less together, only really having one longer walk and running the majority.�� I could not run the major hills, so I walked up them as fast as I could.�

The last leg of the run, Leisl sprinted ahead a bit and then her hubby, Marlon was beside me with my youngest son to run me the rest of the way to the finish.�

�Cleavage sweat is sexy, no?

�47:04.� Not terrible for a first timer who was only running a mile at a time before this race.� Gotta tell you, nothing beats the feeling of finishing...nothing.� The reality of even running a 5K badly has not yet set in with me.

� Susan brought flowers for both of us even though I had not met her before Saturday!� Sweet girl.

Told Michael about the run tonight before kickboxing and he thought my time was fabulous for a first time out.� I told him about my relaxing weekend with friends and how people had brought a total of 12 bags of chips for the getaway (I ate strictly the pretzels I brought).� During kickboxing, he was trying to kill us and teased and stated "We need to work off the weekend some of you had, eating 12 bags of chips." We all laughed, even though only a few of us knew the joke, then he said, "What you don't know is that the person who did not eat 12 bags of chips, also ran a 5K this weekend." He indicated me and everyone applauded.� I love my GBC and again, it is just an amazing feeling to have run this thing at all.� The goal now is to do another, after figuring out my ipod issues and doing some hill work, in order to start beating that 47:04 time.

I think I am hooked.