Sunday, December 30, 2012

Up all night

Quite a different scene down here in NYC after the quiet of Albany! We are staying with friends in Brooklyn and going into Manhattan in the evenings.

Fast, bright, intense!

The concert started at midnight last night and ended at 4AM! I slept till 10:30, which isn't great... Could have used more sleep.

Danced for four hours, had two drinks at the venue. Ate well all day, though!

Today we are having a potluck before Phish... I am going to be super mindful about it. I am going to wear my tight dress so that I have to be very aware of my body when I eat.

Felt good last night, though too tired... Not a kid anymore! It was worth it to get out, be with friends and dance though.

Hope everyone is taking care of their minds and bodies this holiday season! I caught up on some blogs, so I know it's half and half! Wishing you all well though :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Prepping for the new year

I am down about a pound from my food and alcohol overdose over the Christmas holiday. Good. Downward trend. Back in the 120s (high 120s, though).

Going to keep it going. Having fresh venison (hunted by a friend of ours), roasted sweet potatoes and sauteed brussels sprouts tonight. Nothing wrong there. :)

The New Year is coming. It is always a fun time of year for us. We love to see music with our friends on this holiday. And often our favorite bands play three to five night runs during this week. So we are going to NYC tomorrow, seeing the Disco Biscuits. Then we will see Phish at MSG on Sunday with a late, late show by my FAVORITE band, Brother's Past in Brooklyn that night. On Monday, New Year's Eve, back to the Disco Biscuits for the big party!

We are prepped for the weekend: have food and healthy snacks so we don't feel tempted to buy fries or pizza in the city when we are hungry. Going into the weekend with a few days of clean eating under my belt. Also going into it with the mindset that I want to be healthy and hot :) I don't want to feel bloated and overweight when I kiss my guy at midnight.

The small things keep me motivated!

The dog is going to be boarded with his favorite vet from Saturday to Wednesday... so we actually get a day at home, New Year's Day, with no dog. Crazy!! I am sure I will be sleeping and recovering that day, though.

I am sure I will post from my iPhone during the weekend. Blogging keeps me honest. As long as I know ONE person is reading this blog, I feel compelled to be honest.... and that keeps me honest! I still slip up with my plans and goals, but I have a long term focus here. Little slips aren't going to ruin me.

Yep. Feeling generally exhausted and sometimes down... BUT I am looking forward to a fun weekend. I think I will not have the time to feel sorry for myself. I look forward to lots of laughs :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Not going to stop..

Not going to stop posting or stop trying! Nope. Christmas was hard. Ate/drank too much. Like I said, I am up to 130 (bleh). But I have been back on track this past day or so... eating normal, eating 95% clean and mostly paleo.

We are heading down to NYC for New Year's. Going to try and make some good food (like chili or such) to bring with me so I don't end up eating WHATEVER.

I want to start the New Year, on New Year's Eve, feeling sexy and light and healthy. That means no crazy indulgences this weekend!

I am at work right now, it is a snowy mess outside, and I want to just curl up with the dog for a nap.

Got 7 hours to go before anything of the sort can happen :)

Anyway, just wanted to check in, let everyone know I am still plugging along, stumbles and all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dealing...

So it is this day. Christmas.

Going to see my family today, but other than that.... this day has lost its importance to me. I am not a Christian. There are no longer any traditions pushing me to cherish the day. No kids to excite about it. So, yeah.

As for my last post.... alcohol. Yep. Pretty sure that has contributed to the fact that I am five pounds heavier than I was a week ago. 5. Bleh.

Today, that ends.

I am not going to end the year in the 130s.

I am not going to have a drink today. I am not going to overeat today.

It ends, it ends, it ends. I won't let the holidays turn me into an overweight, crying mess. This day has no power over me.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Alcohol

Christmas Eve. Not doing so well with the not drinking alcohol thing.

I really think a little less of myself for relying on the numbing effect of alcohol.... but wow, can't seem to give it up.

I am not overeating at the holiday festivities at all. But I sure am consuming a lot of wine I don't need (or shouldn't need!).

It's been a tough week emotionally, and I've been surrounding myself with friends and the inevitable alcohol that comes with social gatherings. And I have been partaking a lot. And I feel vaguely addictive about it... I am drinking it because it helps me forget why I'm sad, because it helps me to stay in the moment and laugh with my friends.

Hm.

Going to my cousin's tonight for some family time.

Going to my uncle's tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Christmas, I am going to eat a sweet bread my dad had made and froze before he died. I am going to go to his and my mother's grave and put flowers down. I am going to have a Christmas completely bereft of all the traditions I am used to. And I am going to cry. And I am going to attempt not to numb myself with wine, because it's important to feel that sadness. I am sad because I love them and want them here with me now. That's not a feeling I want to bury.

Enjoy your families, hug them close this holiday!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hoping the cycle starts new and fresh today...

So, obviously, the world didn't end. Being an archaeologist/anthropologist and a generally educated woman, I didn't expect it to.

Here's is what I am hoping for though: that the solstice yesterday that also marked the end of a Mayan cycle of time WAS an end. An end of a cycle. A start of something new. Something fresh.

This year has been crazy. And hard. And the past few months for me and LOTS of people I know have been especially difficult. And dark.

There have been deaths and losses. Bad job situations. Tragedies. Weird things happening. Accidents.

And they have been increasing in frequency.

And there has been a general malaise or sadness hanging around.

Even I have been hopeless at times.

But, this ending of a cycle, this solstice (which often signifies the start of a new season or a change).... I am hoping it brings fresh energy, fresh moods, and new beginnings for me and the people I love. And the world at large.

I woke up happy. I had a really good day yesterday. A really fun work holiday party where everyone was relaxed and lots of the work tension of the year seemed to dissipate. Then we went to a "It Might Be The End Of Your World, But It Ain't Mayan" party where I wore a slinky little dress, did not overeat (but did have several drinks) and laughed and chatted with lots of people that I love. A very good night.

I wake up happy and hopeful.

It's been hard going. But I have been holding on (even if sometimes I have been holding on to fraying threads with a trembling hand) and waiting for life to turn around. For good things to start outweighing the bad. To smile more than I cry. It has been three months to the day that I found my dad and my life changed forever. I am still grieving, I still miss him. But I am hoping my grief starts to lighten.

Today is a little bigger for me than New Years Day, I have more dreams for what is coming and more determination to make the coming days good ones.

Do good and healthy and loving things for yourself and others as the holidays continue!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

There's so much energy in us....

And I believe it.

"We' re so close to it, so very close to it.
We still have energy in us."

- The Arrival: There's So Much Energy In us

The title is a lyric from a Cloud Cult song. If ever you need to FEEL, feel hope, feel love, feel sorrow, whatever, this is a good band to get that across.

We have SO MUCH in ourselves. We are capable of love and health and passion in our lives. I know it is in me. I've done it. I'm doing it. I'm trying.

One scale read me at 124 today, the other at 128. Truthfully, I would be happy with either, or somewhere in the middle. Was active the last three days in the field and with the dog. Ate clean 90% of the time (I had a mint brownie yesterday, no regrets, but less brownies and more broccoli would be ideal).

With the holidays are coming an impending sense of dread. I miss my dad. I fucking miss my dad so much.

The last three days have seen some pretty awful, down on the floor, painful crying fits.

I want my dad here. He loved Christmas. I was going to help him put up the tree and we were going to get together on Christmas morning and I was going to help him cook so he could relax more and just enjoy.

None of that is going to happen.

There is no Christmas tree.

I really, really hate this Christmas without my dad. He would have loved it.

.....

Now I am crying again. Okay. Damn it.

So, another Cloud Cult song, called The Lessons- The Exploding People:

Building up a belly full of bumble bees.
Pushing down the pain like it's a quarantine.
Baby, sing in choir 'til your tongue falls out,
cuz if you hold it all in it'll all fall out.
And one by one, the people, they explode.

The past aint ever gonna re-come.
So do what you do, cuz what's done is done.
Beat out the pain with a kick drum.
Can't escape from yourself unless you don't run.
And one by one, the people, they explode.

You are your own poison.
You are your own doctor.
You are your own saviour.
You are your own cure.

One by one the people they explode.

You never see the present, cuz you're always looking back.
Or counting down the seconds to your heart attack.
Bottle it up, and the bottle goes crack.
Do what you do, cuz you can't come back.
And one by one, the people, they explode.

.........

And I don't want to explode. I am letting it out. I am crying. I am hurting. I can't hold it in. I am grateful to have a sounding board like this to let it out. I don't always feel free to show people in my life the pain on my face...

So, these are my days, this is my life. I am trying.

I am reading all of your blogs. Forgive me for not commenting too much, I can rarely get my blog reader to work and when I do, I am often tired at the end of the day. I love you all. Be safe.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My days, check in

Posting so that I don't get out of the habit! It really keeps me focused, so I need to stick with it!

Things are.... drudgery right now. Wake up > take care of dog > work > dog > clean house/ run errand > dog > sleep > repeat.

Boring, exhausting, can't wait for a break.

Eating was not good on Sunday, went over calories and had pizza >.< I enjoyed it, but I'm aware it was not a good decision for my health.

Yesterday was gluten free and clean. I made turkey burgers and asparagus for dinner and that's all I ate aside from a glass of almond milk at night. Which is good, night is a dangerous time for me... I get tired and pleasure seeking.

Trying to stay healthy and not get the cold that is making the rounds (Chris was laid up with it all weekend!).

So, yep. My boring, semi-healthy life.

Keep on keeping on, folks. I'm trying to!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ruminations

So, along with the sadness and disbelief over the shooting in CT yesterday, our family is also dealing with another tragedy (one that is not my place to talk about.)

I wonder when this darkness will lift?

But, still, as ever... Life goes on. I am with my grandma and cousins today and will see friends at a gathering tonight.

What is the answer? Why do these things happen? Why is there so much grief, so much sadness?

I am guessing... It's because we are humans. This is a terrible part of being in this group.

The response to these tragedies is to love more. Chris said he is taking these events as a sign to renew his dedication to be a force of goodness, compassion and live. To be a brightness when we are surrounded by dark.

Another blogger, Jenn, said that the last words her children will hear from her every time they part will be I Love You. It's a good life strategy to let all your loved ones hear that all the time!!

Some bloggers have expressed disgust with talking about weight/health/fitness in the wake of this tragedy. I think these things are still life, still a part of it all. I will still make these things a priority... But being with those I live and showing them I love them is still number one priority.

Take care out there. Love your friends and family. Love yourself. Cherish these moments.

And don't use tragedy or sadness as an excuse to treat your body poorly.

Namaste.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Time for a new scale/Dressing for under-indulgence

Our kind of old looking scale has been pretty reliable.

But this week, it has weighed me in at 125.2 every single day this week. Not a single fluctuation. I don't believe the little guy.

I knew it was time for a new scale soon, anyway. I don't want to drop a bundle on one, but I want one that weighs true! Anyone REALLY love theirs?

Even though I don't believe the scale, I do think my weight has been pretty steady this week. I've been eating clean and reasonable amounts. Super active with the dog and with field work this week, too. Everything is status quo, so there is no reason for my weight to go up or down.

In other news, I LOVED the cathedral window dress and how it fit so much (and it made me feel so super sexy) that I bought another dress from the same company (Black Milk):



                        



I am pretty excited! I am a little more nervous about this one since it is WHITE and won't be as forgiving as the darker material of the other dress. But, oh well. You only live once, I suppose :)

I plan to wear one of these dresses to an End of the World party next week because if I am wearing a form fitting, thin material, hide nothing dress.... I will be VERY unlikely to cram junk food into my mouth. For one, people would be able to WATCH my stomach expanding as food filled it (ew haha) and if I am feeling super sexy, why would I want to ruin that? I don't want to hide anything... not my body and not the amount of food I am eating.

I have been super vulenerable and open lately, might as well keep it going :)

Okay, off to work.... I brought sweet potatoes and my chili (which is just meat and veggies) for food today. No way I can eat poorly today because I also didn't bring any money (no temptations!).

Namaste, friends. Hope your day is good!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas

Christmas used to be a huge deal.

To my family, my dad... to me.

I'm not.... really doing much for Christmas this year. No decorations. Very few gifts to be given. No big meal on Christmas day. No traditions.

I don't miss the endless baked goods my dad would provide for the holidays... I just miss him.

I *am* sending out Christmas cards for the first time every... 65 of them, haha! I am taking over my dad's love of sending Christmas cards. It meant a lot to him. And I had all the addresses already compiled because I sent out my Save the Dates for the wedding.

I will see my family (uncles, cousins and the like) on Christmas eve.

I will be with Chris on Christmas.

Sigh.

There is a sadness here, this year.

I do have a full social calendar leading up to Christmas: a party this Friday, two parties on Saturday, work party next Friday, an "end of the world" party after that on Friday, and then I am leaving to go to NYC for four days for the New Years.

And it all feels a little empty.

Well, I am looking at this as an opportunity to make new traditions. Traditions that aren't super commercial, money-focused and food-focused. Next year, my holidays are going to be about sharing time with my new husband, creating a family, and living a full life. Chris and I love the winter solstice... we are thinking of creating some traditions around that.

It's different this year. This year hurts. But I am lucky to not be self-imploding right now. I am alive and that's all I need to be this year. Next year, we can do a little bit more :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making adjustments

Things, on the outside, appear stable.

My life, my weight, the dog, the house, money..... it all SEEMS to be holding steady, going well.

It is kind of strange, since I seem all a mess inside. But I will take what I can get.

Chris took me out to lunch at work today (he is traveling and I have been daily commuting out to his site so I see him for a few hours a day during the week lately, which is nice. It is not as nice as having him home in the evenings, but I will take what I can get). I ate a little more than usual for lunch, but I am paring down my dinner to make up for it.

TV night is tonight. I am going because I want to see people I love and that make me laugh. I am going to try not to drink or overeat because of the social-ness, though.

Got in a ton of activity today, four miles of walks and three hours of carting a 30 pound bucked up and down a hill. It was fine. I am fine. Still holding out in pretty good shape despite the lack of workouts. Just moving, moving, moving every day.... if you don't use it, you lose it, kind of deal :)

I am seeing a lot of crazy weight fluctuations in the blogs I read. Lots of gains. Some huge losses after those gains. Some people just plain gaining. The holidays are CRAZY. So I am hoping to start the New Year at 125, just holding steady. I would have loved to be at 120.... but I realize that that is going to take a LOT of work to get and maintain. It is work, I am quite simply, not willing to put in right now. But I AM willing to put in the effort to stay at my current weight.... I didn't gain over the last holiday season, I refuse to do it this year.

Namaste.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Food affecting mood (and homemade chili)

At least with my weight, if not my emotions!!

Holding in at 125 pounds, with varying .2 or .4 or .8 behind that number.

That is a good sign, at least. My body is not going all crazy, despite how I may feel inside, haha.

Eating very well at home. It's the going to a friend's house that is a problem. In goes the wine, the cheese, the sweets. Gah. The holidays are very tempting. Especially while I am feeling so tired and so sad. Chris and I are both trying to be as mindful as possible.

There is an after work party this Friday. It will be a big challenge for me... lot of snacks and FOUR people are bringing their homemade beer, one of which is a wit (my favorite). I am debating about the rules to set for myself this night and how to prepare during the day. I definitely will try at least one bottle of the wit. I think I will eat lightly but to satisfaction during the day.... and then I will know my calorie limit for a snack at the party.

I have time to think about this and what is really important to me. My eating has been very on track the past couple of days, very clean and very fuel-centered. It helps me mentally when I am not eating processed junk and sugars.

I think eating poorly just adds to my depression and heightens my sadness. I don't just think that... I know that.

I need to act accordingly.

I did something good for myself on Sunday: I made a batch of chili to last me the week, so I can relax and not be cooking every night and ALSO have an easy lunch. I don't care if I eat the chili twice a day all week... it is filling, full of protein and nutrients.

I cooked up chicken and beef in a cast iron skillet... then browned mushrooms, onions and peppers in the juices left behind by the meat. Then I simmered it all in a pot with diced tomatoes and spices.

SUPER simple. No added oils or fats. And the natural fats from the meat and the spices I used (chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, a little cumin, paprika) make it really delicious.

Doing this ahead of time ensures my success for the week. I have prepared, tasty meals made up of ONLY meat and veggies every day. Trying to set myself up for success rather than failure here.

Well... the dog is in daycare till 7 PM, so I am going to use this time wisely: I am going to take a nap. ^.^

Peace, friends.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not wanting to give in

I have had thoughts about not updating this blog.

I really don't want to be accountable anymore!

I want to sleep all day, eat whatever tastes good, stop cleaning the house and not worry about the dog anymore.

I don't think I will do any of these things, but I have to admit - it is something a part of me wants.

I got home today from another terrible and draining day at work and immediately fell asleep. I am exhausted all the time.

So stressed about the job situation.... I lose my job in three weeks and other than a four week teaching job, I have no prospects. This stresses me out intensely. Job stress on top of grief and moving and dealing with a dog that requires more energy than I would have on my best day....

Makes me wish I was the kind of person who could just give up.

Ugh.

Going to try not to go silent and fall into these destructive wants.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fancy dinner, curtains, recovery

Had a really nice weekend that involved a ton of downtime and recovery.

We had a date night with some of our best friends at a French restaurant called La Serre. I had a six ounce filet mignon with mushroom gravy and green beans. I had wine but no dessert! It was nice to be a normal adult eating a fine meal with good conversation.

We got new curtains up in our bedroom, taking down the old dusty, discolored ones. It is amazing what changing your environment can do for your mental health!

Coming soon: ripping down wallpaper and repainting the entire downstairs. I really need this house to look totally different so I can stop being soooo reminded of my past here.

I need newness, freshness.

I need to establish a new life, one that centers around mental and physical health... it is hard to do that in a house that reminds me of my dad's sickness.

So, I am still tired, still dreading the next three weeks of work, but I know I will make it through.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Grief was the reason I got fat in the first place....

All of you out there, who read or comment or offer support in any shape, you make a difference!

Even that one short moment where I am reading a comment, I smile. And that's enough. Knowing that someone took the time out of their day to offer me a bit of warmth... it's amazing.

So thank you!

I still think about weight, am concerned about health, and mourn the loss of my fitness.

Yet my posts are very much about mental health right now. Which, I suppose, is important. People don't get fat just because they like food. There is always something else going on.

I started to gain weight when I was 10.

My mom died when I was 10.

Big surprise, right?

I was devastated, though I didn't go through a normal grieving process... because I was 10, my family was in upheaval, and I turned to food to find some solace. I never knew what it was like to be healthy until I was in my mid-20s. I lost a whole childhood to grief.

I am grieving now.

But I am ACTUALLY grieving. Feeling all the emotions. Literally knocked to my knees somedays by how insanely sad I am.

And fitness has gone on the back burner.

I am hoping the difference this time: I won't eat for solace. I won't get fat because I cannot deal with this grief.

I am dealing with this grief. I am feeling every horrible minute of it. I do realize it is slowly losing its intensity. Someday, it won't be so hard.

I find it kind of... a strange coincidence that I got fat when my mom died, and the year I start writing a weight loss blog, my dad dies.

It is going to be different this time.

I will honor my parents by being a success. By being strong and loving. By trying really, really hard. I want them to be proud of me.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I don't know how to post...

Without being a downer.

Jeez.

I am a dark, gloomy, sad cloud. Not really good for ANYONE to see/read.

Trying to do the right things still: see friends, sleep enough, eat right. Pleasure is hard to find, though.

I deleted three posts I tried to write: they were SO dark and without much hope.

I do have hope though, else I wouldn't be going through these motions. I'm attempting to do things like I would if I felt fine.

TRYING to keep the eating under control. Weight is slowly creeping up because I'm going consistently over calories every day. Yesterday was my first day in two weeks of eating a normal amount of food.

Going to try and make today the second day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ending sleep deprivation/Fig Newtons

I am aware... too painfully aware!... that lack of sleep is contributing to my up and down moods. I know I cannot always control what happens TO me, but I do have control over my reactions. When I am low on sleep, I tend to react poorly... there is more crying, more panicking, etc.

Tonight, I am going to sleep at 9:30.... in about fifteen minutes. Don't have to wake up till 6:45. I haven't gotten more than 5.5 hours of sleep straight in a long time. That's not good for my noggin. I really thrive on 8 hours of sleep (but 7 will suffice for a long time).

So, catching up and hoping that helps.

Feeling tired leads to overeating. I have definitely overeaten in the past couple of days. Due to the sleep thing, and also the boredom cause (I have a 3.5 hour round trip commute when I work in the field.... it gets monotonous!).

Going to nip this behavior in the bud, right quick!

Also, per the fig newtons: my dad had a box of the cookies in the house. Somehow, they never got donated with the other crap food we got rid of. They sat forgotten for two months. But I found them this week. And have eaten 6 of them..... I have to get them OUT of the house before that number exponentially increases.

I really never, never, never keep junk food in the house. It is a stupid temptation. Too easy to cheat on myself.

If I am hungry, I have no option but to bake a sweet potato, saute up some brussels sprouts or drink some almond milk. Nothing damaging.

Having only healthy options in the house also means that I eat when I am HUNGRY, not when I am bored/tired/sad. Bored/tired/sad eating makes me crave carbs, junk and sugar.... not veggies and lean protein. So if there is no junk in the house.... it is easier not to eat poorly even when my mood is low.

Alright, signing off and hoping for a good night of sleep.

Namaste!

Monday, December 3, 2012

And the roller coaster turns to the sky..

Yes. Very up and down. As I said in comments of an earlier post, the ups and downs are killing me.

Trying to be grateful there are any ups at all!

I took my stable, contented life for granted. Got to work pretty hard for the same joys right now!

Well... Pretty happy this evening, even if I am without Chris. And that's because I got that Black Milk dress in the mail I told you about last week or so...

It looks amazing!!! And it's a small! And the proof is in the pudding that I am taking care of my body and eating right (how come I don't usually feel this good about my body and it takes a sexy dress to make me see it???).

Going to keep doing what I'm doing and trying even though it is so hard...

I am honest about my struggles in the hopes that someone else who is struggling finds some connection/strength/hope from my story... To know that even though life feels like its beating you down, it is still SO worth it to try.



Food poisoning!

Wow, not a relaxing weekend.

The crowning moment was when I woke up sobbing and sick due to food poisoning early Sunday morning.

And here I am, trying desperately to feel like there is no cosmic plan to make this time in my life suck donkey balls. It's getting harder!!

Tough weekend with Chris. I have no energy by the time he comes home on Friday night. By then, it's been five days of being alone, being depressed, being overwhelmed, taking care of the animals, working 8 hours a day, cleaning house and trying to cook/eat right. I'm at the end of my rope and when he comes home, I just want to hand the reins over and crawl under a blanket and REST.

Really struggling.

Eating was not good this weekend. Didn't weigh myself mostly because this morning was crazy and sad and partly because I don't want to know.

My Saturday night indulgence was thrown up during the food poisoning episode though :( I haven't been that sick in a limb time... My stomach seized up completely and my back ached insanely.. Terrible. My stomach was sour all Sunday because of it.

I'm in the field now for work till Wednesday... It's a nice break from the lab, but I feel all discombobulated, my schedule is thrown all out of whack. Koda has to get left alone for a longer period than normal... Hope he's alright!

So there's life. Still hard. Being mentally healthy us a bigger struggle than physically right now. Going to keep trying, giving up isn't an option, even though I've never been so sad and exhausted.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Upswing!

Ok. So that last post was on a low day. The lowest day I've had since.... well, since I found my dad in September. I hadn't really reached a super low, depressed, gray, unhappy, crying-every-moment day since then. I've tried to stay positive and upbeat. But, it hit me like a wall.

I recovered. Chris came home. My brother said his Christmas present to me would be to help fix my car. I went and hung out with my friends. I rested.

Life goes on!

Chris and I took our Bed Bath and Beyond gift card to the store today. Bought new, beautiful, modern, fresh curtains. Didn't have to spend a dime of our own money! Used a ton of coupons too :)

Then, we went and picked out Chris and Chris' parents Christmas gift to me: ski boots. They are soft, fit perfect, and will give me some amazing performance upgrades on the mountain.

Printed out a new family picture with us, Chris' parents and his sister and her wife. Printed out the picture of us 46ing on Panther Mountain. Framed them, put them on the mantle. Looks great!!

Life is proceeding. There are light moments. I have a GOOD life.

It was just hard to see that yesterday. My mind went somewhere very dark and couldn't get out. I am lucky to have the people I do in my life, to let me cry, let me despair, and lift me up out of it.

I am doing better :)

There are no promises there won't be another hard day on the horizon. But I promise to always remember that there is an end to the sadness. It is temporary. I will recover.

Have a peaceful day :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Like an idiot....

I backed my car into a tree last night while trying to parallel park (the tree was sticking about half a foot into the street, urg).....

Cracked my bumper, destroyed my taillight.

Because I SURELY needed that. I TOTALLY have the money to fix it. EVERYTHING is going well for me. (please read all the very strong sarcasm in the previous statements!!!)

I just... am overwhelmed.

I wish my dad was here :(

I can't stop crying this morning.

I feel like every little thing that can go wrong, is. I miss the stable, strong rock my dad always was. He made things not seem so bad or overwhelming. He was there.

I'm so sad.

I'm so mad at myself!!!

Got to make it through the workday, bring the car in.... see what kind of damage is done and figure out how to fix it.

Not a great day. Crying at work. Feeling the dark clouds. Wearing a baseball hat because I didn't have time to shower this morning. I feel kind of gross and stupid and worthless. Like I don't know how to live. Not really sure how to snap out of it.

Hoping putting all these feelings down on "paper" will help me shed them.... at least enough that I can get through the workday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Other people's coffee habits... Whoa!!!

I'll preface this by saying I didn't start drinking coffee till about three years ago, so when I was 27. Hated the taste, thought it was a weird thing people did.

Then, I started dating Chris and I needed a lot more energy than was humanly possible hahaha!

I started getting fancy coffee drinks with lots of milk and syrups and crap. Quickly realized that was a silly waste of calories and started weaning myself down to drinking black coffee (usually hazelnut coffee!) and sometimes adding skim milk. This is the only dairy I consume, and the tablespoon or two doesn't really affect me at all.

Chris is and always has been a black coffee drinker. As a treat, he will sometimes use cream, but it's not the norm.

So, onto my story:

I went down to the Green Mountain coffee kiosk that I love so much, got my coffee and went to add some skim milk. There was a line...

One man was filling an empty cup halfway with half and half. Half and half!!!!! Do you want some coffee with that cream, sir? Good Lord!

A girl about my age was taking up the rest of the counter, taking her time adding SIX sugar packets to her already very light small coffee.

Now, it could have been their weekly treat to themselves, but I'm guessing not.

It just shocked me this morning, is all. Thinking about how many state workers in my building are downing 2 - 300 calories once or more a day for COFFEE. It seems like such a waste. I get all the benefits and pleasure from coffee for about 20 calories.

And I didn't start out on black coffee... I taught my taste buds to enjoy it without cream and sugar because I knew it was better in the long run. It only took about a month to wean down to black coffee from a very light and sweet coffee.

Now, if a sweet coffee is your treat, that's your prerogative! Just something I noticed and thought about today.

Little changes make a big difference!

Eating seasonally..

I definitely eat seasonally. I have to, because I eat local as much as I can: what is for sale at the farmer's market from the local farms is what I buy. When I shop at the grocery store, I buy what's on sale... which is often the things that can be grown seasonally because they didn't have to import them from Brazil or something!

This means I eat a ton of fruit (melons and berries!) in the summer and overdose on squash and root vegetables in the winter.

This feels right to me. Even though I get a very different nutrition profile depending on the month, I never feel like I am depleted in any way. I want to go to a nutritionist, get that all confirmed!

Now, ideally, I would eat seaonally based on my ancestry (what the Irish or the Sicilians ate seasonally) because that's what's in my blood, basically. My genes, my evolution... all based on those diets. However, that's a little TOO much work for me.

Sticking with the seasons of the Northeast to ensure I support my local farms :)

I noticed this when I went to go buy my veggies today... I realized I haven't eaten much fruit at ALL in the past few weeks. While, this summer, I was eating about 4 pieces of fruit a day! I thought I was sugar loading because it tasted good... but I just naturally decreased my fruit consumption as the season changed.

Feels very natural and easy.

Another thing I will mention that I heard some time ago: our bodies are atuned to the seasons in a ton of ways, not just with food. But with temperature. Some silly article somewhere recommended not turning the thermostat up too high to mimic summer/spring temps in the winter. It suggested letting your body naturally adjust to cooler temperatures, let your metabolism WORK (it's related to keeping you warm.. burns fuel to do so) and not just keep everything at an even keel all year.

I wonder how much truth there is to that? It kind of makes sense to me.

I keep my thermostat low because I am cheap... but if it is helping my body learn to work, so be it :D

It's getting coooold up here in the northeast... snowing lightly when I let the dog out this morning!!

Keep warm, live well, smile :D

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pre-planned lunches

I made four of these on Monday night do lunch would be SUPER easy, clean, and nutritious for my whole week!

It is my favorite squash bowl!!!

Acorn squash halves baked and filled with ground turkey (natural, no antibiotics), mushrooms, green peppers and onion :)

I wrapped each half in foul so I could just grab them out of the fridge in the morning.

Love it! Takes just a little bit of time at the beginning of the week and I don't have to rely on frozen lunches full of preservatives or a crappy bought lunch.

Also: it's really cheap... And I have no money, so that works, heh.

Eat well and be merry :)

Just keeping honest!

Just a quick post to keep me honest :D

Weight is holding steady. I am eating really clean this week. Feels great, actually.

Still not paleo, sigh... even though I know that's what's best for my body, it is SO HARD to get on that wagon. I am gluten-free, though, which helps. I am getting those rashes on my legs again... the ones I get when I am eating things that inflame my body.

So, honesty: I don't care that I am inflaming my body right now. I am eating my damned gluten free bread. UGH. Why? I don't know.

Actually, today I made the decision NOT  to buy the bread this week (I buy it on Wednesdays at the Farmer's Market)... so when I run out around Friday/Saturday, I won't have anymore. We'll see how it goes. It is such a nice easy pleasureable snack.

Everything else I am eating is pretty much strictly proteins, veggies, with a few nuts and fruits thrown in. So that front is doing well!

Walking everyday, at work and for the dog. Doing a few strength exercises in the evening. Ones that don't make my shoulder go OW.

So... there's my admissions for the day:

I am not doing everything perfectly.

I am eating clean and in reasonable portions.

I am staying active.

My weight is good.

My energy is PRETTY good (I get exhausted by about 7, haha, the days are so full!)

:)

It's good for me to write that stuff down. I know I can do better. I don't want to hurt my body by feeding it things that hurt it.

Namaste, friends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shoulder injury (and why that's NOT an excuse)

So, I haven't really mentioned this to you guys, mostly because I've been in a kind of denial about it myself. (I don't GET hurt, I am always fine!!! ... why do I think I am invincible?)

Starting in August, my shoulder started to hurt. It only really hurt when I was shoveling/etc for work. Then, my dad passed and I stopped doing field work to work in the lab. So, I figured, my shoulder would start to heal because I wasn't using a shovel/pick ax/whatever anymore.

Wrong.Very wrong.

It's been hurting a lot more lately. Doing stupid things like pulling my hair off my shoulder or pushing the clothes to the side in the closet. Uck.

My soon-to-be sister-in-law is a physical therapist and we saw her at Thanksgiving. She did an examination and told me it looked like I had bruised the tendon that runs through my shoulder joint and down my bicep. She recommends physical therapy, ibuprofen and perhaps a cortizol shot in a month or two if nothing improves, just to get the swelling down and let it heal.

Okay. Things to work on. Will do!

HOWEVER, she tested my general shoulder strength and was pleased I haven't stopped using my shoulder because it hurts. Everything except one or two specific movements is strong. (the one that required me to use my bicep muscles when my arm is raised is the weak spot) She cautioned against relying on my "good" shoulder because if I favor one shoulder, the other will start to deteriorate, freeze up, and then it's a big problem.

So. Keep using my arm and my muscles like normal. Don't be afraid of the pain. Do physical therapy stretches. Take ibuprofen.

Get back to normal!

I want to nip this in the bud early. I am kind of mad at myself for waiting four months to even seek out a little bit of help on this matter. I don't want to be laid up, using an injury as an excuse as to why I am gaining weight, why I can't participate.

Also: down to 124 after three days of clean eating post-Thanksgiving :)

Namaste!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Weigh In/Non-forgiving Dress

Chris and I got right back on track after some Thanksgiving indulgences. Ate more than was necessary, but didn't go crazy. No 3000 calorie meals for us!!

Weighed in this morning at 125. So, no real damage done. It is on the higher end of my acceptable weight range. So, I am marking it mentally, tightening the reins, and looking to get back to a more comfortable weight (I like 122 a lot, I feel like I look and feel my best there).

Last holiday season, I lost weight. It felt AMAZING. I loved not being one of those people who gain 7-10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years.

I like feeling/looking h-o-t on New Years Eve. It is a great way to start the year. Starting the year fit and healthy means I don't have to make any resolutions I don't mean to keep... I am already where I want to be and I just have to stay there!

Also, I just ordered a very NON-FORGIVING dress, that I would like to wear for New Years.


So excited!! It's the Cathedral dress from Black Milk Clothing. I've never ordered any of their stuff before (as I said... not forgiving clothing, haha)... I am hopeful that the size I ordered fits and looks good. I would love to rock this dress for one of the New Years shows I am going to!

I will let you know how it looks when it comes... and if it doesn't look horrible, I'll post a picture :D

Have a good day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Hike Since My Dad Died...

And it was bittersweet.

And kind of hard.

I am a little out of shape. And tired. Obviously still dealing with a bit of depression. I wanted to hide under the covers this morning.

But I got out my cold weather gear, loaded up the dog with Chris, and headed down to the Catskills to give it a go.

Here's how it turned out:









I'm a little exhausted. We were only gone for about six or so hours, but wow. My energy is at an all time low!

But, we had a nice time, regardless. Koda, especially, had a ton of fun, and slept for the entire ride back. It felt good to hike, we did a little over four miles and about 1500 feet of elevation gain. Not too shabby.

It felt good to not give into the urge to just curl into a puddle of mush with the cat and sleep the day away.

Still have a little of my fire left :)

Though.... winter hiking doesn't hold the same appeal as it did last year. It's just a lot of planning and organizing and worrying. And it's harder: slippery and such. I think I am just out of the loop right now, kind of flailing around and hoping for the best. 

We will see if I do another hike soon or not. Either way, this DID remind me that I like to be active. My body feels good when it is active. More rowing coming this week. Also, my boss has me scheduled to work out in the field for three days next week... it will be nice to not sit at a desk all day!

Onwards and upwards, friends :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not the best, not the worst!

Quick holiday check in:

I would say I didn't eat perfectly on plan, had an extra helping if stuffing and a crescent roll I shouldn't.. Ate extra bacon in the morning, etc. I would also I ate better than any other year during Thanksgiving!

Also: stuck with my word and didn't have any alcohol!!!

Not drinking probably contributed to the fact that I ate better... I had more control and better sense :D

There was some family stress and drama, but overall I had a pretty relaxing holiday. Ready to pick Koda up from boarding and take a hike this weekend!

Pretty thankful, really hopeful.

Have a good one friends :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

200th Post

Okay, wow. 200 posts. A lot has changed since my First Post.

Here is a list of the difference 8 months and 200 posts can make:

- I am down to a range of 123-125 lbs from 136 lbs

- I eat a mainly paleo diet (90-95% of my food is paleo)

- I eat a 99% gluten free diet

- I have maintained my lowest adult weight for so many months now, I believe it is real (I once touched 131 5 years ago, but never really got to linger below 135 for long... 140 was more the norm)

- I am a 46er (hiked NY's 46 tallest mountains)

- I did my first mud run

- I am engaged

- I took my first two week vacation with the love of my life

- My dad died

- I live in my childhood home

- I inherited my dad's dog

- My job ends in December and I can't go back to it (no more traveling for me with the house and the dog)

- I have a summer teaching job: I will be running my OWN class I need to prepare for

Yep!

I think this maybe is the most tumultuous 8 months of my entire life.

And you were all here to witness it!

It's kind of crazy. I wonder why, at this point in my life, at 30 years old, I decided to start a blog. And it just so happened to coincide with the biggest changes in my life (as far as diet, love life, financial life, pets, living situation and family life go). It seems... serendipitous.

This blog has helped me stay sane and focused while some of the best and worst things have happened to me. I am grateful.

My health is so important to me. Feeling strong and proud has translated into all parts of my life... it has allowed me to get through so much, even the current grief and depression I still feel tugging at my heart.

I am also glad for this record of my life.

It has allowed me to see change is possible. That I can do a lot. That I am a capable woman.

I will not fall apart.

My heart is really so full. I have a new appreciation for life: my life, others lives. I want to grab everyone I love and hold them close, experience this life with them, know that all these breaths and all these moments are precious. Because they are. And I am not going to waste a single one of them (by burying myself in food, by being unhealthy/unenergetic/etc, by not participating, by opting out, by isolating myself.... NONE of these will happen again. I choose life).

I love you all. I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving and can see it for what it really is: a chance to share, to be grateful, to let those you love KNOW you love them. Enjoy every smile, every conversation. I know I will.

Namaste. Truly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaching job!

Ok, so it's not much, but I am excited!

I got hired to teach one course at the state university this summer :D

The experience is going to be great and I am really amped to have this on my resume. Hoping this will spur me into bigger and better things.

I'm still nervous about finances, the fact that I will be unemployed for the winter and spring, wondering what all is going to come in the future.

This is a step, though. I am excited to tackle it!

Just wanted to pop in and share that with you all because I am a little giddy, heh.

Cardio and Cameras

So last night's post was successful! No Kahlua and hot chocolate for me. I did have 30 calories of almond milk with 30 calories of chocolate. But whatever. Way better than the 200+ calories "treat" I had originally, insanely, planned on.

Felt better today :)

Weighed in at 125 today, like I have been for the past three days. Payment for drinking for over a week straight, I imagine. Consequences are real, got to deal with them, accept them and do it better.

Going to be decently busy tonight: prepping for my trip to Chris' parents, packing up Koda and filling out the paperwork for his boarding, and doing all the other house related things I need to be doing.

I plan to row for 20 minutes tonight! I only got to about 15 minutes last night. It's a toughie of a workout! And since I haven't worked out in so long, my cardio is not up to snuff. I am going to use my hand weights and do some strength exercises afterwards. Feels good to use my body again. I am looking forward to Thursday and Friday, I love the long walks Chris and I take up by his parents, they are really beautiful.

I studied my dad's camera last night. He has a really nice digital camera... it is one of those ones that looks like it's not digital, has interchangeable lenses, lots of manual control. It takes GORGEOUS pictures. I snapped a bunch of the cat and dog last night :) I am going to bring it while we are out at his parents and take some nice pictures.

Wish I had more pictures of my dad. He hated having his picture taken, especially in the last ten years. I think he didn't like the way he looked because he was overweight. He was a trim and very handsome man for most of his life. I think it was hard for him to connect his mental image of himself with what happened to him later in life.

Taking that as a lesson:

Don't let yourself go so much that you don't want to see yourself in pictures, creating a situation in which you don't take pictures with your kids. :(

This is for life. I want this now and I want this in the future.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Posting instead of drinking a hot chocolate with Kahlua....

You know, because I said I wanted to put the breaks on my drinking! Mostly because alcohol is numbing AND because I have been treating wine/liquor as a dessert or treat. Not good.

About two hours ago, I ate a nice dinner of a turkey burger and baked sweet potato, with tomatoes and onions on the burger. I had some gluten free bread as a bun (still not 100% paleo). Still, really yummy and filling and only about 450 calories, which is where I like my calories to be for the day.

After dinner, I thought... hmmm, a nice hot chocolate with Kahlua would be nice while I hang out with the dog this evening!

Well, I just got off the rowing machine. Thought about the drink again.

Then, I thought, REALLY?!?!

You just exercised, burned MAYBE 50 calories, and you want to have a non-nutritious dessert drink when you aren't even hungry!

Lame.

So I am posting. Putting it out there. Making it concrete so that I won't trot off into the kitchen and make myself a drink because I am all alone and no one would know but me.

Me knowing is a pretty good reason to not do it, though.

I want to feel good about myself tonight. And tomorrow. And the next day.

So, I am going to have a drink of water, watch TV with the pup and get to bed early.

Good night!!

Thankfulness...

I am going to try my best this Thanksgiving holiday to truly, truly be thankful for the amazing gifts I have been given.

One of those gifts include my body. And if I am thankful for it, genuinely, I won't over-do it on Thanksgiving. I am going to track my food, go on a long walk with Chris in the Root Glen as is our tradition, and feel good about myself that day and all the rest of the days.

Being thankful for something, to me, means that you don't take it for granted.

Chris and Koda went on a super long hike in the High Peaks on Sunday. I couldn't go because I had a bridal shower to attend (which had a small amount of pretty healthy food options, I liked my choices!). I did drink mimosas... a lot, though. I feel like I am turning into a bit of a lush. I had at least one drink every night last week.

Today starts my prohibition on drinking for a while!

I was starting to rely on the alcohol to lift my spirits and bring me somewhere else... I am well aware that I am still grieving and more than a little depressed, but I think if I stop turning to alcohol to soothe those problems, I will be able to deal with them a little better.

Going to jump on my rowing machine after work today :D

Chris is out in Utica for work, and his parents live very close to there, so he is just going to stay out there for the week (even though we have Thur/Fri off) and I am going to join him on Wednesday. Koda is going to be boarded for three days... I am nervous/excited to see how it goes! If it goes well, it opens up a lot of doors for us for potentially getting out of the house for a weekend without the dog.

I've been a bad blogger this weekend. A little too much social time and drink will do that to a girl. Blogging keeps me super honest and super focused. I love reading inspirational blogs. Got to do that today and the rest of the week to keep me on track!

Peace and love, my friends.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Row, row, row your boat

Okay. Nice. Worked out for the first time since mid-September last night. (I've done some little hikes and that mud run, but those were more activities than exercise!) I rowed while I watched The Office!

Um. Super hard.

At the beginning of the year, when I was really working out hard... cardio every day, strength every other day, and getting kind of really ripped... the rower was my favorite workout. It wasn't EASY but it was do-able and fun.

I am a little out of shape (cringe).

I was burning after two minutes! I had to break after ten minutes, did some squats, then tried again.

It is going to take some time to get back to where I was. But I want it!

Also, weighed in today. Felt like it was time to be accountable for my actions (especially since I've been discussing/thinking about people who talk but don't do). I weighed in at about 123 (I have two scales, one weighed me in at 122, the other at 124... most of my weights are averages of the two readings.)

Yay!

I definitely want to get my bad-disordered-emotional eating under control. It's not healthy to think of food like I do sometimes. BUT, I am not piling on the weight, either. I am still tracking (even when I admit to you that I had a cookie or too much wine). I am still 90% paleo. I would say I am 95% completely clean in my eating, as well. I cook for myself twice a day. No store bought meals for me! I don't lay around all day, I am decently active.

The hard and fast rules worked in the past, and they are working now, even when life is going all crazy!

I am not going to get off this path. Common sense works. Clean, whole foods heal your body. Food is medicine. Food is fuel. Activity is important. Moderation is important.

This is for life :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Booyah!! Rowing machine!!

Did it, yeah!

Putting things together is often frustrating for me... And it usually turns out a little wonky on me, heh.

This went well!! I'm pleased :)

Got to run and grab the dog from daycare, but I'm totally using this baby tonight :D

Going to be honest about this cookie...

It is lunch time.

I am eating a gluten-free cookie (soooo much better for me than a normal cookie hahahaha... sarcasm there) and drinking a coffee.

There is a LOVELY chicken sausage and vegetable mix in a tupperware right next to me, next to a tupper ware of sauteed brussels sprouts.

And I am eating a cookie first.

I really don't know why I let the old, bad habits, obese mindset get into my head. I thought about it on the escalator up to my floor. "Hmmm, that cookie is going to taste good this afternoon" (First of all, why I am thinking about my afternoon snack at 11:30 in the morning) "You know what? Food always tastes better when you're hungry. And you're hungry. Eat the cookie now and it will taste AMAZING. You don't want to be too full for it, who cares if you don't eat your lunch!!!"

Uhhhh. It wasn't till I sat down to the computer to do my normal lunchtime blog reading that I realized what I had done!

I was reading Norma and Kelly and Jenn (my three favorite blogs to read and be inspired by)... and I realized, none of those women are acting like I am right now. They are all busting their butts, working out hard, getting or staying right on track.

I'm a mess sometimes.

So, the cookie is gone. Yes, it was delicious. Kind of amazing, really. But it's over now. So, uh, great. Not doing anything for me long term. Just filled up my belly and left me with a vague sense of regret.

DOWNER.

Anyway, to end on a positive note, I got something pretty stellar in the mail last night: A ROWING MACHINE. I seriously love rowers. They are fun for me, get my heart rate up, and I love how my arms look after using one for a few days. There was a groupon for a pretty nice one, so I jumped on it. I know I am still a little too insane/exhausted/depressed to get my butt to the gym... but I am not too insane/exhausted/depressed to do a little rowing while I watch a show in the evening!

Tonight, while the dog is still at daycare, I am going to attempt to assemble the rower. I will post a picture of the finished product if I am successful, haha :)

Ups and downs, my friends, ups and downs. Here's to making sure there are WAY more ups than downs, though!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wedding Dress, Coffee Addiction, and Over Doing It.

Yesterday, I went to go pick up my wedding dress.

I was a little underwhelmed. They had to order the dress a size bigger than my original purchase, because it didn't fit around my chest (and there is NO weight to be lost in my chest, haha). But now, I have a size 8 dress... and it literally falls off of me unless I hold it up. It's big and boxy and has no shape. But there is no point in altering it now, because the wedding is 10 months away (oh. wow. only ten months?? holy crap).

I know it shouldn't matter. But I wanted to look in the mirror and feel beautiful yesterday. I felt like a two year old wearing her mother's dress... I felt silly and little girl-like.

Eh, well. I packed it away in the spare closet and won't bother with it again till about June!

I might be a little complain-y right now because I didn't have coffee today. I am really starting to rely on the little boost of energy I get from coffee, which I tend to drink between 10 - 11 AM. So, being the control freak that I am, I told myself, no coffee today. You will not rely on outside stimulants to live your life. Hahahaha. I am going to stick to the no coffee thing today, even though my brain is begging me for it!!

I knew I never wanted to be someone who needed a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning. I easily follow my rule of not (usually) drinking coffee before 10 AM. I like drinking it then, because it gets me through the mid-day work slump easily.

But now, I am a droopy mess, writing this at lunchtime, ready to take a nap! Going to go get some fresh air and a walk in a few minutes to help with that problem.

Last night, I had two big glasses of red wine and an Italian meal prepared by my friend who is going to be making that same dish this weekend in a competition (had to help her taste test, of course!). Definitely not on plan. The calories weren't outrageous because the portions were very reasonable, but I definitely consumed pasta and meat with preservatives and cheese... and wine. Not on plan at all.

I am purposely bowing out of a social gathering tonight to make sure I don't drink or snack extra. I am starting to enjoy that social eating and drinking too much, so it is time to take a break.

Also, I think Koda would enjoy an entire evening at home with me. He is becoming such a good, good dog. I am glad I struggled through the hardest times last month, it was worth it, even though it almost reduced me to a drooling pile of exhaustion!

Koda is a little calmer, learning the rules a little better, and all the exercise is DEFINITELY helping his mental state. Also, I think he is starting to heal from losing my dad. He doesn't seem as anxious or stressed. I am trying to get there myself :)

Alright, time to go shake off this sleepiness so that I can finish up my work day,

Namaste, friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reading ingredient lists!

So I've been seeing around in the world (health news, podcasts, etc) the new push for people to read ingredient lists rather than just the nutrition label on food. I realized I had slowly morphed into doing this for myself over the past few years!

Now, obviously, one of the golden rules is: don't buy foods with labels on them! (goes right along with shopping along the perimeter of the store).

And if I was perfect, I wouldn't buy food with labels... it would be all fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and nuts!

But I am far from perfect :)

And some things I consider GOOD still have labels on them (which are important to read!), like coconut milk, frozen berries, and ketchup!!

First off, those nutritional labels can be downright misleading. For example, there is a law that says if there is a certain amount of trans fat in a product  (if less than 1 gram of trans fat per serving), the producers can "round down" to 0.... so producers will make whatever gross transfatty product they are selling a small enough portion size so that they can claim there is "0" trans fat in the serving size. All the while, people are eating 3, 4, 5 servings and getting a ton of trans fat in their diets.

Best way to combat that situation: don't just look at the labels and scan down to the trans fat line.... READ THE INGREDIENTS. If there are any hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list, you are consuming trans fats.

Second, I always look in the ingredient list for high fructose corn syrup. If I see that crap in the ingredients for my ketchup, I don't buy it. And almost ALL ketchup has HFCS, I often have to do some serious reading in the condiment aisle to find something made with just tomato and vinegar and sugar. (yes, I totally eat sugar)

And just a general rule I follow: if something HAS a label (eg. is not a whole food), I make sure all the ingredients IN that product are whole foods. No chemicals allowed. For example, when I buy mixed frozen berries, I make sure the ingredients are: raspberries, blueberries, etc. NOT sugar. Fruit has sugar already, I don't need extra :D

It's just that the food manufacturers are so damned sneaky, trying to make you feel like you are doing a good thing by buying their products, when in reality, you're just filling your body with junk.

So, my rules I live by:

- TRY not to buy items that have labels (buy whole foods)
- If an item has a label, read the ingredient list
- If there are chemicals, trans fats, etc in the ingredient list, put it back

One quick note before I get off my soapbox: I don't eat wheat products any more, but for those of you who do, make sure to read the ingredients on your bread! If it says, enriched bleached whole wheat (or some combination), PUT IT BACK. What that basically means is that they have so over-processed the wheat, that they had to put a few vitamins in it to make sure their bread wasn't totally nutritionally devoid. No where near the actual real nutrients you would have gotten from real, unprocessed whole grains. So be savvy!

Keep an eye out for yourselves and your health, it's a dangerous world out there :)

Namaste!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Eating the same breakfast every day...

Chris and I have definitely gotten into a pretty strict habit when it comes to breakfast...

And it's so good for me, I don't wan to change a thing!

Whoever wakes up first or whoever isn't on "dog duty" starts chopping vegetables... I think we might eat almost half our daily recommended veggies for breakfast, which is awesome. We do peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes usually... throwing in other odds and ends, depending what's in the house. Saute those up, then add in two eggs per person. Voila!

We also usually have two slices of turkey bacon per person as well, mm.

It starts my day off so right: TONS of protein and vegetables. That's it. We don't eat toast or anything else with it. It is still full of fiber from the veg, so I stay full on that and the protein.

Chris made the whole breakfast for me this morning while I took care of some things. Super nice :)

The dog is pretty tired from his long weekend with us. We are exhausting him, which I never would have thought possible. I love it when he is all squishy and cuddly!

About to head out and use this extra weekend day to it's fullest: going to get rid of some extra furniture, get some coffee, bring Koda to the petstore so he can get a treat while we pick up cat litter, and then dive right back into organizing the house.... I am trying to tackle the basement, which is so cluttered and confusing to me, but I am chipping away at it. :)

Namaste, friends, I hope your day is full of love and health!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Long weekends mean lots of work...

So, a quick accountability mention since I haven't told you my weight in a while: 125. It's on the high end of the spectrum that I like (120-125 is acceptable weight to me) so definitely trying to be conscious and make better choices to get that number a little more in the middle. It is definitely easy to gain weight with Chris around... he helps me relax, takes some of the chores off my shoulders, I eat more regularly with him here. But, no excuses, still need to keep an eye on my weight and health!

Just a few short weeks ago, long weekends meant sleeping in, doing tons of fun stuff, going on hikes, hanging with friends.

We've got a lot done on the house this week. Chris cleaned up the yard (oh my god. so many leaves.)

Moving things around. Figuring out the basement. Trying to make space. Cleaning things that haven't been moved/cleaned in 20 years.

Starting to see some potentials for this house, lights at the end of the tunnel.

Taking the dog on lots of long walks, trying to exhaust him :)

But I am EXHAUSTED. I took a nap for the first time in months today. Just could not keep my eyes open.

Going to make butternut squash bowls filled with sauteed ground turkey and veggies (again). It is definitely a favorite dinner of mine. Squash, so yum. Meat and veg, so filling.

Sorry for the kind of disjointed, half-sentences kind of post. I really do feel out of it! But, like the advice I give other people, I am just keeping on. If I do it, just keep doing it, eventually it will all work out and I will feel better again. I won't always be sad and exhausted!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend, and thank you to all the veterans out there <3

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This is the shopping haul of a clean/paleo eater!

Meat. Eggs. Vegetables.

All of it is natural, no hormones, no antibiotics.

The only things that have an "ingredient list" are the turkey bacon and chicken sausage. The t-bacon has nitrates and it is my one purposeful bad choice I make... No one is perfect!! :)

But I am trying hard, trying my best, and making sure my house is full of food that heals me from the inside out.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grief strikes out of the blue...

So, if you could tell from my past couple of posts, I've been feeling pretty good. Like this is all possible. (Chris being here this week is one of the reasons I can feel that way!).

I don't feel so overwhelmed. I see that the house will get put together, my life will get put together, and we can be happy.

Then, on my coffee break this morning, I went downstairs at work to mail a letter.  It is my life insurance. Something my dad started and paid for me. Kept for me. Life insurance. If I die.... my dad is dead. We used his life insurance to pay for his funeral. Because he's dead.

Crap.

Started to cry a little bit in the hallway. :(

But, it's okay. It's okay now. I understand I am going to feel this way on and off. I miss him. I'm going to feel that.

I wanted to share something I heard while listing to an older Savage Love Podcast (so bored doing menial tasks at work, I listen to a lot of podcasts!). Someone had called in, grieving, recently having lost her fiance. Dan Savage brought up something he had heard (I think about 9/11) by the Queen of England:

Grief is the price we pay for love. - The Queen of England

It is a price we should all pay willingly, because a life without love is a life of constant grief. A life with love is a life with moments and seasons of grief. - Dan Savage

And that was Dan's thoughts on the matter.

It's true.

I'd pay this price a million times over (and I am scared I will have to :( ) in order to love and be loved and have love in my life. When death happens, this is the price for that love. But I wouldn't change it for all the world.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Favorite snack of the month:

Snack:

About 3/4 a cup of Amande almond milk yogurt (100-130 calories) and a mix of frozen blueberries/raspberries/mango/whatever strikes my fancy. In the morning, I put the yogurt into a small tupper ware, throw the frozen berries in, and by the time I eat it later in the afternoon, the berries are half thawed, have leaked their juices into the yogurt and still have a little pleasant crunch!

Seriously. The sweetness of the berry juice (they are unsweetened frozen berries... I buy the organic ones even!) is amazing. There is NO NEED to buy those pre-mixed yogurts that have all that added sugar and preservatives in them. Berries are natural sugar and out of this world. Also, the bags I buy have the servings listed as TWO and each serving is 60 calories. I make those bags last me 5 or 6 servings, so this snack is always under 200 calories, which is a perfect pick me up :)

I always forget I've packed this little treat and get so excited when I pull it out of my lunchbox. Mmm!

Also, the plain Amande yogurt (http://amandeyogurt.com/) is SO good. There is something really delicious about it... it doesn't exactly taste like almonds, it's got it's own thing going on.

I don't get paid to rave about things I love, I just want to share them with the world, haha. Give it a try!

So much less stress!

It is amazing. Chris being here is so, so, so good.

Glad I am marrying him :) He obviously makes my life better!

It stinks that he has to travel for work most of the year. But it is making me appreciate the times he is here.

I gain weight when he is here, haha, I think just because my stress levels immediately decrease when he is here. Hugs, and reassurance, and help with the dog, and someone to eat dinner with so I make a better dinner.

I am relaxed for the first time in a long time this week. Sleeping a lot, getting some chill out time, it is really really nice.

The house and my life are still a horrible mess, though, and my to-do list is a mile long.

OH WELL.

We have a three day weekend this weekend and we have no plans so far. Hopefully we can make a little dent in that list. :)

I didn't know what to do for dinner last night, so I roasted some sweet potatoes and made an avocado, onion, mushroom and bacon (half real bacon, half turkey bacon haha) little salad to put on top of them. It was weird but really delicious! Duh, bacon and avocado and sweet potatoes... no way that wasn't going to taste good.

I also drank wine last night while we had our Survivor night with friends.

So high calorie day, going to do a lower calorie day today to balance that all out.

Hope everyone is having a good day, still thinking of those in NY/NJ (a lot of my friends are affected by this storm, many just getting power back in the past couple of days), and hoping this crazy, weird, kind of dark part of the year starts to brighten up!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Simple roasted chicken = super tasty nice times

Just had an amazing dinner, totally paleo, very little prep time.

I splurged and got the free range, no antibiotic whole chicken (1.99/lb instead of 1.29/lb for the normal chicken).

It. Was. So. Worth. It.

Seriously, we lightly sprayed the chicken with olive oil to get a little but of pepper and herbs to stick, then plopped the sucker down in a roasting pan on top of a layer of cut up parsnips, carrots and celeriac.

The chicken needed almost nothing, it was naturally one of the tastiest chickens I've ever had! The veggies cooked in the chicken's juices and were perfectly tender and tasty!

Protein and vegetables for dinner, just the way my body likes it :)

AND a one pan meal is always super awesome because of the lack of dishwashing! Aaaaand we have delicious leftovers for lunch (I live making a yummy paleo dinner and having it for lunch the next day... Takes a lot of the guesswork out of things... Reduces the chance I'll eat something that isn't quite good for me)

So, yep, just wanted to share that eating right can be simple, tasty and totally awesome :)

No excuses thus holiday season everyone, no excuses!

Because it's hard... (another wake, my mom, trying to do this right)

Chris and I have been saying that a lot this week.

Life is hard.

Why does this hurt? Because it's hard.

This isn't easy.

...

And so on and so on.

It sure isn't getting any easier. Went to a colleague's wake last night. It is a big loss to the world that he isn't here anymore. He was so good hearted and fun.

Emotions are running rampant :(

I went, though, because after my dad's wake, I know how important it is for the family to see the support, to feel the love that people have for their lost one. So I went, hugged his wife (who I've never met before) and told her how much we all love and miss him. It was cathartic, though it was hard.

And today is the 20th anniversary of my mom's death. That's not easy. Not at all.

But...

It's a LITTLE easier this week. Chris is local so that he can vote. :) It is nice to have him here. To have a break from constantly having to pay attention to every little thing! Koda freaking loves him so much, too, so the dog's attention is totally on Chris when he is here, heh.

He is also trying to eat strict paleo, so having him around keeps me on a track a little better as well.

We had all-natural ground turkey with brocolli and green peppers last night, lightly seasoned. Super simple, really filling, great protein and vitamins. I'm glad to get back to the simple stuff.

I have those leftovers stuffed into half an acorn squash for lunch.

Food is on track. That gets my brain on the right track.

Going to keep on keeping on... even though it's hard.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pictures from the Mud Run:

The Starting Line: Clean and a little late (haha, but it's not a timed event, so they don't care when you start!)

The only action shot... obviously we didn't have camera's on the course! ... I am the one wrapped up in the space/survival metallic blanket for warmth!


The Finish! Chris is the only clean one because he didn't get flattened by the fence in the mud crawl!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Successful Mud Run!!!

Not going to be long because I am TIRED, but I just got home from my first Mud Run, it was a Tough Mudder warm up at Jiminy Peak, MA.

Five miles, up and down, up and down the mountain with 12 obstacles like a mud crawl under HEAVY fence, 20 foot cargo net climbs, crawling over inner tubes tied together over a freezing lake, and carrying a 25 lb bag of sand up and down the mountain.

Let me just say: I killed it.

My body hasn't deteriorated, all my hard work this year has paid off! I was RUNNING up steep mountain slopes, carrying weight, pushing through. Super proud.

It was a team event and we had to stick with our team throughout. Finished in 2:45. :)

It was tough, for sure. But I felt all my training coming back to me. My body knew how to act, it responded well. Mentally, I felt great, too... I didn't doubt myself, I just kept charging on!

The biggest obstacle: the cold! I got covered in mud at the end of mile one and I was FREEZING, especially for the parts when we were on top of the mountain, 30 degrees outside, wind blowing. Lost all feeling in my fingers, which was tough for the cargo net climb!

But, hey, I'm tough :)

Love it, love my body, going to continue to do right by it and challenge myself!


Me, muscles bulging after the Mud Run, hehehe

Friday, November 2, 2012

Low weight/Mud run/Questionnaire

Weight is pretty low this morning... 121.5. I *am* still tracking all my food, calories and macronutrients, so I guess I can understand why I am not putting on weight, even through my ups and downs. It is just strange for a girl who hovered at 140 most of the time since getting out of obesity to just sit comfortably in the low 120s. I kind of don't believe it.

I am supposing that the major overhaul that went on in the past year really took root? Consistent activity, eating clean, eating Paleo, being mindful, not drinking all the time, etc.... those habits are still with me. Aside from my Halloween insanity, I did eat clean this week.

On the exercise front, not a lot has been getting done... however, I am pretty active in the "I'm moving around all day" sense. I walk a lot at work, and on my lunch break. I walk the dog in the mornings and evenings. I move things and clean and am just generally busy from the time I get home to the time I go to bed.

I miss the consistent exercise. I miss STRENGTH TRAINING the most. I miss feeling powerful.

Tomorrow, I hope, is going to jump start me back into purposeful exercise. I have a Mud Run I signed up for in the spring (when I was tough, strong, and all was well with the world). It is 4 miles, up a mountain, with obstacles. Oooookay.

It will be the first purposeful exercise I've done since my dad passed away.

I am hoping I do well (in that I don't fall down, unable to continue, red faced and struggling to breathe), with residual toughness from this year of being strong.

I am hoping that it is a HUGE wake up call to me... I hope it reminds me how important exercise is and how good it makes me feel. Being in nature while I exercise is super good for me (I miss hiking, wow).

I will let you know how I do.

Okay. So I saw this questionnaire on Norma's blog, which she got from Hangy Hippo's blog and wanted to do it as a good practice for me to stay mindful of what is going on inside my crazy, messed up head:

I view food as… 90% of the time, I view food as fuel. I eat things that are palatable to me, of course, but I eat a balanced diet, making sure to keep carbs around 50%, proteins and fats at 25ish%. I eat "super" foods every day, like sweet potatoes, spinach, and berries. Somewhere in this journey, it became very important to me to make sure my body has EVERYTHING it needs to be healthy (dying because I didn't take care of myself sounds awful to me :( it became even more true when my dad, who ate very poorly and didn't exercise, died suddenly because of his heart). However, I will not lie... a certain percentage of the time, I eat for pleasure, to soothe my anxiety or to divert my attention. I've never completely gotten rid of that mindset that made me fat in the first place.
My weight is… currently the lowest it has EVER been: 121.5. Before getting healthy, I was in the upper 190s. My previous low, when I was in my mid 20s, was 133. Then I hovered around 135-142 for the rest of the time. I thought it was impossible for me to be in the 120s at ALL, much less almost out of them. I do want to see 119 next... though right now, I am a little wrapped up in my grief. I need to be shaken out of my complacency to get to the next level.
When I think about my body, I think… that I have failed it. I regret so much what I've done to my body in the past. Now, presently, I can see my body for the gift that it is. I wish it didn't bear the scars of my past, but theyremind me of how important it is to treat my body well.
What I want in terms of health is… to stay at a healthy weight, to continue to have great blood pressure and cholesterol scores, to keep toxins out of my body.
The most important thing I’ve learned about for my own body is… that it is a reflection of and contributor to my mental state. If I am depressed, my body shows it. If I am out of shape, I am depressed. It is a vicous cycle I don't want to get back into!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Broke that promise to myself...

Pretty disappointed in myself. Bleh.

Chris came home last night with a bag of Halloween candy.  I wasn't going to give out candy so that *I* wouldn't be tempted.

I had just spent hours doing things that needed to get done, then I went downstairs and cooked and cleaned for an hour... and Chris came home and all hell broke loose: dog went nuts, Chris knocked a picture off the wall and it broke, trick or treaters rang the doorbell, and I felt overwhelmed and crazy.

So I ate a stupid, processed, dumb, awful Reese's peanut butter cup.

And then an Almond Joy.

And then I went to my friends house and ate a cupcake.

And cheese.

And Kitkats.

I was overemotional, eating out of stress, eating to relieve anxiety.

It was disorded. I felt right back into full swing disorded eating territory. I felt crazy.

(Now: just in case Chris reads this, I will say I would rather him come home and set my life all spinning and nutty than not have him there at all! ... I am just incapable of dealing with stress right now and that's my fault, not his!)

Anyway. I felt really bad about my behavior and myself.

I just feel like I CAN'T do it. The dog pees in the house no matter HOW right I take care of him, how out of my way I go to make sure he is walked late at night and let out early in the morning and I take his water away at 7 PM and UHHGHGHGHGHG. I can't take care of this stupid dog and I am trying so hard to feel love and compassion for the dog and NOT like he is just the hugest problem in this world.

How can I take care of my life? I can barely take care of the dog and get anything else in my life done (fixing the house, writing my dissertation, etc). How did I ever think I could be a full fledged grown up and take care of things? I'm falling apart.

I don't want to eat to soothe myself.

And I haven't been! Not since I found my dad on Sept. 22nd. I didn't emotionally eat through any of my immediate grief and stress. So why last night? Why, why, why. Damn it.

Is this blog going to become a record about my slow descent into insanity? Hope not.

Hope you don't continue reading me into next year to see me gain weight, withdrawn, mentally sick and isolated, not having accomplished anything but high levels of stress and the inability to deal with it.

I hope I can find a way to swing this around the other way.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Anti-climax of Halloween

I love Halloween. LOOOOOOVE it.

But the actual day is often very... disappointing, especially when it doesn't fall on a weekend.

The Halloween party I went to was amazing.

Today... well, I don't know what I am going to do. Several friends are going out to see a band and dress up again. I don't know that I have the energy for it. Got to be up early tomorrow to get Koda to daycare. (ugh haha I feel like such a boring person to say that!). Others are getting together to eat junk and watch movies. Hmmm, not my ideal situation. Trying to be healthy with my eating while I am not really working out.

We'll see, we'll see.

I just got back from the Farmer's Market held on the state plaza (right outside where I work). Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and amazing gluten free bread (okay, I haven't gone strict paleo with Chris yet... I really am struggling to do so!).

Decently tired today. Chris came home last night from traveling.. it was actually kind of a hard night for us. He was a little stressed and anxious... and I tried my best to have patience for it, but it is so, so, so hard when *I* am insanely stressed and anxious pretty much every second of the day. But we'll work through it. This is a hard time... I can't forget that both our lives just got uprooted and this is still new and we still don't know how to do it right!

Anyway.

Putting it out there that I am not going to eat ANY processed Halloween candy today. Those little mini bars trigger me so hard. My dad used to keep them in the house ALL year. Ack! I would go through handfuls a day. Nuh-uh. Not today. Going to eat well today. Not going to let celebrations derail me. I can still watch movies with my friends or go out dancing with them without candy, haha. Also: no alcohol. I hit my limit on Saturday. None for a good, long while.

So that's my promise to myself.

Hope everyone else has a happy and healthy Halloween :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Composure

We fared through the hurricane very well... we didn't lose power and nothing appears amiss in my neighborhood. In fact, I fell asleep at 9:30 and never saw any rain (the weather people said it would rain ALL day yesterday, heavily... we only had a sprinkline!).

I got something for Koda in the mail yesterday: Composure dog treats! They are meant for high stress/high anxiety dogs to help them chill out for things like car rides, vet visits, etc. I gave him one just to see if it changed his mood at all.... UHHHH totally did. This is him at 7:30 last night:


This is a dog that NEVER stops moving and thinking and playing and worrying till late at night. He is just such a high energy dog... even four miles of walks and outside play time doesn't touch his demeanor. He is a sweetheart, just insanely energetic!

Sooooo... we had a good night last night, haha. Very chill, watched some bad TV, cuddled and went to bed early.

Pretty damn grateful!

My weight is holding at about 125... I am up because I partied pretty damn hard, haha. My fiance is going strict paleo starting today, so that is going to help us get on track and healthy for the holidays especially.

We have good days and bad days. Yesterday was a good day. Here's hoping today is too :)

Love to everyone who had to suffer from the hurricane, I hope today is better for you!