Thursday, April 17, 2014

Number Nine Number Nine Number Nine

I am infinitely grateful for this blog in ways
that I often do not express.
Well this one and the old one. 
They are one and the same in my mind.
M Bug will turn nine on Saturday
and I love that I have a little place where
I told stories about him
and posted pictures
and just sort kept a little journal.
Most of it was from before Missy 
and to see our lives before we had two kiddos
is fascinating and amazing.
So cool !

I know I have not written about 
the kids as much as I did back then.
There are many reasons for that.
Time, energy, wherewithal, desire.
I feel the kids are getting older 
and to put every detail of our lives or theirs
on the Internet is a weird thing.
I do not need the blog in ways I did when 
M Bug was little and I was fresh new Momma
who desperately needed my own space
away from being Mommy and work.

However, that blog is the closest thing I have 
to a letter to M Bug from what life was like before 
when he was an only
and we were much younger and new 
to this parenting business.

M Bug,
This is for you on your ninth birthday:
Someone told me there are not many of you
in this world and he was right.
You are one of a kind in the best most amazingly cool ways!
You are an old soul with the kindest of hearts.
You are passionate.
You are sweet.
You are smart.
You are funnier than I have ever been in my whole life.
You are tough and yet sensitive.
You are sporty and yet you are a fantastic artist.
You love books about history and shows about animals
and when you want to set about learning something
you do with a fire not many have in their lives.
You want to do everything so well
that is hurts my heart to see you 
frustrated when you cannot be perfect at everything.
You still love your blanket and your stuffed pup
and you are okay with it, like hey take me for
what I am, like me for me and do not try to change me.
You are a good sport (most of the time!)
You work hard if you do not get something
and yet oh my this year, this grade...
it has been a tough one.
Fear not for life will only become more
intricate and difficult and if you are fearful
you will be constantly mired in unhappiness.
Your internal strength and wit will take you 
places you imagine and I think anything you 
imagine will come true.
I know you dream of traveling the world
and it will happen because you are you.
I am so very proud of you.
I know your baby sister makes you crazy
but always look after her and remember
that as long as you take good care of her
she will always think the sun rises and sets over
your head; she just wants to be like you
and that is a compliment, a huge one.
Hold that compliment dear to your heart.
No matter what happens in this life
know that we love and cherish you 
with all of our hearts!
You are special and loved and adored.
Happy 9th Birthday.
Love to you,

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fresh Path

Whenever I stop writing here which has been more and more often over time, I generally think at some point weeks ago, I want to start writing again. It is good for me. It is cathartic and it is like a salve for my soul. It sure beat paying a lot of money of therapy – which I do not look down upon at all, but that is expensive so… writing, I am going to start writing again.

Often I find myself thinking about where to start. Time has passed and so much has happened and I do not necessarily want to rehash the past even though it has been a rough few months in my world emotionally speaking I just want to look forward. I will start with the banal of items on my list to write about. The first one is LONG…

Yep, that subject is health and fitness. It is funny because long ago in another time and place I earned a degree in Health and Fitness Management. I truly thought I wanted to help people get fit and I loved to be fit and in a most undefined way I thought that was the career path for me. Over the past few years, I have thought about this more and more often. I miss that world of helping people, seeing the plan click and stick, the goals and accomplishments hard fought for and won.  I often find people at the Y when I spend time there more often to cheer for.  There was one woman I saw slowly jog/walking at the Y every evening when I was there years ago and I have watched her journey and I have silently shouted praises to her.  She has lost a lot of weight and I know she is regular runner, she’s done a few half marathons and she works hard and she has no idea about me nor that I have watched her journey but I am so proud of her.  That is weird, right?

When I hurt my foot last year and ended up wearing “the boot” forever, I had to come up with a new plan for myself.  At first, in my mind, it involved working out to stay fit to be able to run again. I thought I will be well enough to run again and train for marathon I previously signed up for that will happen in April… Oh how humbled I am at the force with which reality can strike back.  I am still slowly working my way through retraining myself to run without getting re-injured. I have read several articles about the fear of re-injury and I know I am in that place BUT I also need to go slowly for me.  See difficult emotional period of life the past few months mentioned above.  The fact is since I stopped running I have lost 7 lbs which is about 3 lbs off of the 10 lbs I have been “trying” to lose since I started running several years ago!  There have been ups and down in there but I am 100 percent certain that my current weight loss would not have happened had I not been injured. 

I feel beyond just numbers I feel better. I feel better about my body image and it is nice to wear clothing without hating everything I put on! For instance, I went from a size 8 to size 6 in pants.  I am stronger – I have been lifting weights with some consistency for 8 months or so.  I have definition to my arms and abs that I did not have at all in those months and years of running.  I have a lot more fun “working out” then I ever did with running in that I am doing so much more variety that I never really get bored and when I do get bored (more accurately tired… I am always tired!) I just take more breaks and do not beat myself silly about not working out every day.

While I miss running/training with an intensity I reserve for few things I am not quite ready to remount the training horse (heh…) I like that I do not have to stick to some crazy plan and because I can tend to be rigid about training – go hard or go home –  I find myself happy to enjoy running when I can and doing the 30-35 minutes runs I have been doing.  I did tell K that I wanted to start running with more consistency in April doing 3-4 days a week so I can increase mileage and see how my foot/body handles it.  I would like to get past the current “re-training” schedule and perhaps start to train for a fall ½ marathon. I miss the long stuff but we shall see…

What I have been doing that works:
Eating differently – I technically would not say I ate poorly before but let’s just say I was not doing myself any favors.  I basically cut all bread/pasta out of my diet.  I tend to lean toward GF products now. I know that pisses off some people with serious health issues from consuming gluten. I am forever grateful that there are more readily available products though.  I try to mostly eat only whole foods – non processed, non-chemical, etc… you get the idea.  I cook/bake with olive oil and real organic butter (my favorites are Kerrygold and Organic Valley for butter.) I eat only Fage yogurt and I change it up – some weeks I do the higher fat kind, other weeks I do the non-fat.  I use as many fruit and veggies in any meal I am having as I can. I found a great GF cereal that I love so I get some of the calcium from the non-fat milk I use in that. 

I stopped drinking all together. No more beer/wine. I have not had soda since I was preggers with M Bug but I was drinking a lot of root beer and LaCroix in the recent past. I stopped that too.  Water, Coffee, and Traditional Organics Mint or Ginger tea are the main things I drink – occasionally I like a glass of lemonade but that is rare.

There are two things that I do eat that just make me giddy with happiness that I wanted to share: I make my own homemade nachos – organic chips, grated block cheeses (Organic Valley and Cabot), Jack’s salsa (mild) and low fat sour cream (generally organic). My favorite snack food!  Also, I have an obsession with high end dark chocolate (any fair trade kind will do… and there are tons of them these days!) However my current fav is Alter Ego: Dark coconut toffee organic chocolate. Oh… I mean I dream about that stuff!

I am not crazy or hardcore – I find that balance is everything in my life.  I also do just enough.  If I am still hungry after eating, I wait and drink some water to see how I am feeling.  Then I go find something else to eat.  I find eating can be mindless so I really have worked to make eating a mindful process.  I do think as our society has become increasing industrialized and we have to go faster, do more, etc… we think we cannot do eat healthier due to time and energy and it is hard to make our own meals and expensive and why to all this work, etc… the facts are it is expensive to eat a certain way (which is sad given the country we live in and the wonderful resources we have) and it is harder – sure I would rather go out to eat lunch and dinner for that matter every day, no dishes, no cleaning, no gripes about my cooking but oh my does food ever taste better and more interesting and I am happier and I weigh less and look/feel better because I take the time and energy to focus on those good things versus ease.  There are so many fads running amuck out there as always and I know when I look at those fads I find myself critically thinking about them – yes, there are some benefits to any diet or fad but at the end of the day it is simple – eat well, exercise well and all will follow BUT it takes time. 

I do lots of different “stuff”. I have been running, biking, swimming, cross training, lifting weights, planking, sit-ups, running stairs, using the exercise ball, crafting crazy new workouts out of ones I have seen on Pinterest… you get the idea.  I do something as often as I can.  Even if it is doing sit-ups while watching Believe on the television. 

I got a Fitbit for Christmas and I just love the hell out of that thing. I like it because it reminds me how active I am/have been/could be in a day.  Yesterday I did not technically “workout” but I walked over 10,000 steps and ran up and down the stairs doing laundry 13 times. That amounted to 4.5 miles of steps!  I have no idea how accurate it is but even if it’s not accurate it is a friendly reminder to keep moving!

Anything can be a workout.  Basketball with the kids.  Gardening the yard.  Doing laundry. Dusting/sweeping/moping/cleaning the bathrooms/making the beds. AND the trick is to do this stuff and then NOT reward yourself with food.  Reward yourself with a mental pat on the back.  You did it, be proud, be loud, but do not say ‘hey I worked in the garden all day I can now sit back and pile drive chips and dip into my mouth and wash it down with 8 beers!’ (Only me?? Yes well do not do this, it is bad!)

Running is a great form of exercise but if I am only exclusively running I am not technically taking care of my whole body.  Nuff said. I need to do a variety of things or else I will have issues with joints or well you know stress fractures in my heel (how?? I still am in awe of my ability to do that!) I cannot run to the exclusion of everything else. It will not work for me especially as I *ehem* get older! Plus it makes running more fun to do.  So cross train and run are a good combo (for me.)

Everything takes time - I have been seeing a lot of “fad” stuff from women around my age (or those closing in 40 quickly) and I am appalled.  Everything will work for a bit but the key is maintenance.  How do you maintain something?  The fact is we all need a break. I ended up hitting the proverbial wall in March.  I did some stuff but not to the level I had been and I started to slip with my diet and exercise.  It was rough… I am back mentally to my commitment of getting healthy and fit again. I think the key is not only that it takes time but to allow yourself a break but how long that break lasts is up to you.  Years of a break?  Bad idea probably.  A couple of weeks… fair enough.

For me, I have exactly three known things I struggle with. 
Emotional upsets/female issues: part of this is a bit out of my control nature and good stuff like that – I get really exhausted like I have never ever felt before for a full week or more every month plus the week of my “female” time – I literally have to crush the desire to just lie down and sleep vs. work out.  This is a new thing for me and the intensity of it has really amped up in just in the past 18 months or so. At first I thought it was a fluke then I started to notice a pattern. It is rough and finding my inner strength on this front takes a lot out of me.  The situation with my Mom for instance threw me for a loop. I was doing really well up till that event and then I just start to knock myself for being a bad person, etc… I tend to let the overwhelming emotions surrounding my female time to completely crush me and I am still trying to come up ways to deal with this/work through it.

Sleep/exhaustion: this is mostly manufactured by me. Yes, a week out of the month I am spent from being a girl/hormones/etc but I also have a bed time that is wholly inadequate for the lifestyle I want to lead. I need to get myself to bed at the latest by 11 pm (10 pm would be super ideal) and I am currently generally going to bed at 12-1 am.  Oaf.  Not good.  Still also trying to come up with ways to deal with this/work through it.

Being kind to myself: A lifetime of telling myself how awful I am and reminding myself nonstop about all of the mistakes I have made is a hard thing to just up and change. It is actually the thing I have made the most strides on of these three. I let go a lot more.  I still wake up in the middle of night sometimes flipping out about things but mostly I just let it go (like the song… OH GAWD THAT SONG!) I think that for the most part I just do not see everything as big and dramatic anymore AND honestly I cannot go back and change anything. I can only learn and go forward so I do for the most part. I think the guilt, depression, and anxiety are really my deal killers but totally apart from being kind to me in a sense.  Also we can “save” those for another blog post (You: oh goody gum drops!)

Long and long of it. I am excited for spring time, for losing that last three pounds, for the possibility of running regularly again and maybe even racing. I am excited to do weights to continue to define my arms and abs and expand on the current excitement about eating healthy.  More to come hopefully!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Deep Wells

I am often not sure where my depression and loneliness come from.  Those two things well up deep from within me and I cannot hide from them.  I try.  I fight tooth and nail to stop them.  I will be okay, happily meandering through the days when out of seemingly the clear blue yonder I am struck by it all.  I suppose I say seemingly because often times there are signs but I miss them.  Easily angered, tired beyond words, sadness over little things are meaningless but seem to hurt me deep inside.  I feel sad today that I am feeling so lonely and depressed quite frankly.  That sadness is not helping things out.  I thought perhaps I would try to write about it.  That does help... or makes it worse. 

I feel bad for being so annoyed with the peanuts right now.  We are all stuck inside.  I am tired of fighting with M Bug about homework.  And Missy about learning to read and well... everything.  She is a strong willed girl.  I appreciate that in her but I also grow increasing frustrated by it over time.  Then there is the nearly constant bickering between them.  Age or boy vs. girl or whatever - it just totally sucks.  I am bummed that M Bug does not want to try harder in school and I believe that this is just a phase and that 3rd grade is a tough year all round but I am not sure I am entirely equipped to deal with it given the fact that I gave up almost entirely on school around grade three. 

I am tired of the yelling from K and I.  I feel like K does not just try to calmly talk to them but everything is a hounding, loud, drill sergeant lesson. If he could just save some of that for special times and not be the way he is all the time... It sets me off. I feel like since he does it I can do it and I HATE it. I think to myself at odd times why do we do that, I wake myself up in the night with intense guilt over it all.

I feel an intense loneliness about friendships and I do not understand how come I do not allow more close friendships with people and sometimes I just feel drained by the process of being a good friend to everyone but also that I do not quite understand being left out by some, am I that unfriendly or unkind that I cannot be a good friend to people no matter what, that the faults I see in myself bother me in others and on and on and I worry over everything I do and say after I have done and said it and it is a terrifically awful cycle that I have grown to hate and know oh so well as I have done this/been this way since I was quite young. It makes me feel like such a shitty person overall...

The grime, dust and dirt of my house hurts me.  I cannot keep up with it all. I cannot get laundry done or floors cleaned or bathrooms in order.  I like that order. It makes all of the other stuff that feels bad, feel better. That is where my OCD comes from.  The order of a orderly clean neat home makes me able to tackle the rest of my life in a more sane way.

I am tired of sickness even though this year has been relatively easy as compared to past years.

Work.  I just... I do not know what to do there.  Or I do.  But again and again ten years gone now I feel this is maybe just not the right place for me and I suck at this job and I am tired of fighting with J for candidates and placements... I just want to make the money and be a contributor to our family financially in a meaningful way and I do not want to worry about spending money on clothing or fun things or taking vacations and actually enjoying them versus worrying over every last thing I do and I most definitely do not want to have ASJ mad at me again and again and again. I just want to have some success there that is big this year. I want that so badly I can taste it and I am frustrated that is still elusive after all of these years... still.

Running - working out - losing weight.  It is like a mantra in my head. I want to run, it hurts so I cannot. I want to work out but there is never enough time and I keep falling down a pit when it comes to eating that makes me stay where I am weight wise (or seemingly).  I have had some success in my overall fitness but I think that in my heart I am deeply sad that I cannot run and I do not understand why my body revolts on me every time I find something I love.  When I swam I had shoulder troubles that sidelined me.  Now this foot stuff and running.  Why??

My Mom and Dad and Uncle and Brother and Sister all drag at my soul. I feel sad that I am not with them more to help them but in the same vein I am not sure that I could do anything and I would feel worse if I was there "helping". It is rock and this is my hard place. I feel lonesome for my family - my family.  All over that we know so little of each other even if they make me crazy.

There is more and more and more I could write and I cannot stop my brain from running some times... the one thing I would LIKE TO STOP FROM RUNNING!

I am just... depressed. I am struggling to keep my head over the water.  To let go.  To see the good and not the bad.  To shove away the waves of sadness and lonely depression that is seemingly crushing me right now.  The sense of ugly that comes from my core that I have never understood.  That I have over the years controlled with many things...alcohol, shopping, not eating, over eating, over exercising, the excess of emotions that are around me... I need to find a way to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get out of the deep well of loneliness that I am currently swimming in.  However I do that...I just need to do it and now as it is this is a precarious slope I am slipping down right now.  I need to dig my feet in, make a plan and go forward.  Turn my face to the light, embrace the happiness, and stop the depression now, however I do can do that... but it hurts. It is easier to be sad/depressed/lonely.  That hurts too but it is easier than fighting.  It just is, that is super hard to explain to anyone who does not get it.  It is easier to wallow then dig out.  Dig in... whatever.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014


After my last post the proverbial shit hit the fan and things just sort of fell to bits (to me) in my world.  It started out with a shitty email from my Mom about the Christmas gift I got her and went from there.  I was initially angry then sad then I felt bad. I wrote her an email back that was kind but honest -something I have not ever done.  Usually I would just sit and be angry/upset/sad or I would write an angry mean email. This time I did neither and felt much better.

I dropped that boot like it was hot (er a hot potato... that thing sucked!) But I was disappointed to realize how much my foot still hurt having been unused mostly for 16 long weeks.  That realization that I still have a long recovery period was a tough pill to swallow.

I was tired, work was dragging, things were not going the way I'd hoped at work by the end of the year and work related stuff just seemed to get worse.  Missy got sick (Strep) then so did I.  The kids were exhausted yet hyper for Christmas which always seems to make them bicker even more than usual and I was sick.  SICK. Did I mention sick?  Oy with the sick.  We had my in-laws with us at New Year's and it was good but kind of weird.  And a lot of travel for Hockey that was not a huge deal but just added to that sense of the deep winter blues.

Any who, the first part of January was better mentally for me but both kids got... sick (Strep again).  M Bug had strep throat that manifested itself into this Scarlet Fever type rash and it took him out for an entire week.  Poor kid.  The snow and cold temps kept the kids home for another few days so January was mostly a wild bust in some ways.

The good news is that while January has been a weird month, I really came out of the work haze recently and realized that I needed to focus.  Focus every bit of myself on work to accomplish my goals this year. Still writing this at work is sort of an unfocused thing... that is okay. I had to get ONE post in for January 2014!)

On the other hand, my house is dusty and dirty and the fitness goals I set out that I miraculously managed to hang onto until I got sick in December have kind of gone to the way side. I am fighting to get back to working out.  M Bug is going a track "club/class" so it gives me the opportunity to workout while he is running and I can do that 12 week plan to get back to running at least two days of the week.  I reassessed my goals and I would still like to get down to at least 125 weight wise. I am curious about body-fat and I am considering getting that tested.  I decided that core was the only thing I can really focus on right now anyway.

Every 20 (ahem 30) minute run I have done makes my foot hurt.  Not in the places it hurt before but the ligaments around my heel hurt mostly and I am terrified to re injure the stupid thing because NO NO NOT THAT BOOT!  No amount of stretching seems to make that stop.  My worst fear is never running again like I was.  I have sort of been fighting away those fears with all of my might.  I will run again.  That is what I have been telling myself.  I can and will.  It just need to be patient.  So ABS I will have even if I cannot run a marathon any time soon.  In all seriousness, I am loving that some of the flab I hated before is slowly melting away.  I am also amazed at how far I let that go and how long it takes to rebuild muscles/lose flab that seems at home where it is - I am working to evict it - NOW!  Honestly, I have zero desire to go do Crossfit or get all hard core into weightlifting but I am considering investing in some additional weights/kettle balls.  I like being stronger again and redefining my body in a way running never did.

As for my dusty dirty house, oh well.  I am trying to do a little bit at a time which has always been my mantra anyway.  I think it is this time of year when everything seems dirty and dusty when I get a little more anxious about things of that nature.  Spring is somewhere around that corner, I just know it!!

I do feel that sense of re-emergence.  I can run albeit a little bit at a time. I am seeing results from all of the hard work (Swimming, biking, rowing,weights, cross training). Slow results but results none the less.  I am enjoying time with the kids even the sick or stuck at home due to snow/extreme cold/ice time.  I am not sick and I no longer feel I am fighting the stress/anxiety at every turn that was so deeply effecting me last year (if anything depression is one thing I need to be aware and careful of - it is like a ninja in my world - out of no where it will kick me in the gut and take me down).  I am having fun at work now that there is a small core of fun younger people here.  I am going to succeed at work this year come hell or high water!  I am going to run again by the end of this year... or next year... or the year after!   Life is good.

I feel like butterfly!  HA.  Just kidding. (Sort of) (a stronger healthier butterfly) (still kidding) (ah moving on...)

This song is in a Nissan commercial of all the things but I heard it several months back and loved it! The other one is not in a commercial that I am aware of.  These two songs make me want to work/workout harder! Enjoy and enjoy. Oh and you are welcome too :)!

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Year In Running: 2013

My year in running.


That was short.

I had SUCH high expectations. I should probably link back to last year at this time when I wrote a post about my goals and my high hopes for 2013.  Four or five half marathons and a BIG goal to break into the 1:30 range.  I did two half's and never broke into the 1:30 range because I broke my damn foot (essentially).

I really struggled with training and running both half marathons and by the time I went to the doctor and put this boot on 12 weeks ago next Wednesday I was over running.

So there was that.  This year I have no idea what my mileage total was.  I ran two 5ks and two half marathons.  I trained for three half marathons. I wore a boot for 12 weeks.

I am stronger, leaner, and healthier than I was in August and I am okay now with not being able to run. I can see the strange dynamic I had set up with running.  I traded addictions if you will - I am good like that - addiction is my thing apparently.  I was not having as much fun as I was having when I started to run AND I was hurt.  2013 sort of sucked.

I biked a shit ton (that is an actual amount if you look it up...) and I started swimming 1-2 days per week as I could fit it in.  I am lifting weights anywhere from 3-5 days per week, and doing a lot of sit ups/planks/push ups/wall sits. Whatever I can do to keep myself entertained, lose weight, and develop the core I was sorely missing all of these years since having babies.

Of course that does not mean I am not plotting 2014 already.

I plan to wear the boot till the new year literally.  I have been diligently going to the chiropractor. I need to get back to my strengthening exercising (for my foot). I was doing those consistently but stopped when we discovered the cracked foundation and subsequent ripping up of the room/holidays/paint the room/etc.  It was all more than I could handle. I noticed a lot of pain in my heel when I have not worn the boot for a few days at a time here and there recently and freaked out thinking it was NEVER going to heal.  Then Dr. Mandy showed me that it is just the ligaments/muscles around my ankle have atrophied so much that they are sore because they are being made to work again when they have not been working all these weeks in that boot.

I printed out the "running" plan.  That is one I found that starts someone back to running after an injury such as a mine. I plan to take things slowly and steadily.  I hope to test that plan out on the 1st day of the new year and go from there.  It is a 12 week plan so if all goes well with that plan by April I should be able to slowly start back to running regularly again.  Caveat.

I will continue to incorporate biking and swimming and weights into my workout life.  I will never again just run.  I plan to try to run three days a week after (fingers crossed) a successful 12 week reintroduction into running.  Another caveat.

If I notice any continued heel pain I will got back in the boot for another 8 weeks. I have read that this kind of injury can require 18-20 weeks in a boot so I will do what I need to do to be FULLY healed at the end of this all.

If I can be running regularly again by the summer, I will be thrilled.  I have zero plans to run any races in 2014.  If I do it will be local 5k or 10ks as long as my foot is completely healed.

Pie in the sky goal - a half marathon next fall October 2014.

My biggest and most important running/fitness goals for 2014 = Get healthy/do no more harm to my body/lose some more weight/get leaner/more fit/ HAVE FUN!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


First thing this morning I was reading this link and number 10 could not be more true!  Well they are all true but number 10 is how I am feeling. I have in the past 60 days or so cut out or changed the way I have been eating again, radically.  Last year when I was so sick and thought I had stomach cancer (which I did not, drama much?) I felt like changing my diet was akin to death.  I did NOT want to change. I fought it angrily and unhappily.  I wanted to keep eating the stuff I ate because it was easy and surely it was healthy because I know how to be healthy and there is no way I was going to change, that. is. all.  The truth is I was not being healthy for me.

Eating a different way is made harder because one has a family. I felt like making two different meals was (a) a pain the ass and (b) absurdly expensive and (c) ohmagawd I am tired already now I have to make two meals?  Honestly?  It is more work and I often make stuff for myself and tend to make a less difficult meal for everyone else. I feel selfish for doing that.  Annie's organic mac and cheese for them and a meal for me that took me 75 minutes to prepare.  The kids hate my food.  M Bug bitches about the way things taste.  I did make a huge shift recently but really most everything still tastes the same.  Oh well.  I am working on just sucking up the criticism and trying really hard to let it go.  I feel like in the end the more I do to improve what we are eating the better off they will be in the end.

Missy over the years has reacted to the coloring in foods - red dyes in particular. At first I just thought the hives she would get were related to some cold or virus she had at the time but then it kept happening over and over again.  She is not outright allergic to it and it has seems to have improved however I keep thinking of her tiny body riddled with hives from eating red M&Ms and I feel like crap for that.

I also believe that when M Bug eats too much refined sugars and certain type of additives in foods he gets super moody, almost aggressive and/or hyper.  I have literally watched him transform from calm and cool to a wild beast in a few minutes after eating junk food.  It is sort of like a parenting nightmare and while parents joke about it - oh look sugar rush... ha ha. I have sort of come to dread it because he has to come down off that sugar high and it is usually really awful.  I mean like he is a wreck.  Now I know there are other factors in this and very well he could just be tired and she really could just be having a viral reaction to being sick but...

The things I have learned in the past few months are that we, as in the United States of America, allow a ton more additives and preservatives into our foods that other countries do not.  Those countries do not allow them because (1) they cause cancer and (2) they are harmful and disruptive to our bodily systems which effects not just out internal body but our environment (think of your waste - any time you use the potty that is your bodies way of off loading things it does not need and anything in your waste goes down the drain and into our the ground thus contaminating everything.)

I have dialed back on the processed foods a lot.  If I do buy something I go for the organic alternative despite the cost.  I hate that in some ways because my grocery bill has once again jumped up to a crazy amount.  I am still mostly avoiding bread - especially pretend whole wheat breads - the kind I thought was SO good for me but it turns out are just as bad as buying white bread.  I have made a huge shift toward non GMO foods.  I am working hard on switching to a more plant based diet.  I have really cut back on refined sugars (oaf that one is hard. I mean like epically difficult.) I drink tea when I get a craving for something sweet which seems odd since herbal tea really is not sweet but it both hydrates me and keep me from thinking about sweets and all that I want to eat (plus Mint and Ginger teas help with my tummy troubles).  I see an acupuncturist regularly and take all of her strange Chinese herbal remedies even though I have no idea what  I am taking they work and I am sad that she is talking about retiring but there will be someone else I am sure, I have faith in that. I have no more allergies - like none at all no more itching throat, I can breath normally and I have zero trouble with my sinuses something that has been a non stop issue for the past two decades.

Really the point of this entirely too long post is that I have seen a huge difference in a lot of things which is WHY I am even writing this - PRAISE BE (#10 on that list way up there.) I have lost weight - something I have struggled to do for five years. I have wanted to lose 5-10 lbs for several years but never could. Suddenly magically the weight is slowly melting away.  MAGICAL.  I have had acne that has plagued me for years and especially the past few years it has become worse and worse. I thought that had to do with changing hormones.  I joked that I was going through my second puberty. I was mortified by it (totally an ego thing I know...) Magically it has dissipated.  I get normal acne around my period but not the month long raging acne sessions with welts that would come out of no where and ache for days at a time. My sleep had improved.  My bowl movements (ahem) have returned to normal.  I am less anxious/depressed.  My anxiety was become debilitating.  Like I was fearful to go out of the house some days. I have more energy and feel less dragging exhaustion.  I feel down right peppy most days!

Now there are a pile of other factors - my job has been better. I made the decision to be more happy and work through issues as they come up rather then fling them into a pile and hope that pile did not fall over on top of me at some point in the future.  I have all but stopped drinking alcohol of any kind.  I have changed up my exercise routine to include a more varied schedule of events including weight lifting.  I have been working on short periods (three to five minutes) of meditation.  I think most importantly rather that looking at this in an angry and unhappy fashion I have embraced it.  I have done things that I know are good for me and the results are overwhelming.  I see what a huge difference living actively is doing for me versus the way I was living (and eating) which is to say passively.

I still have areas to work on.  I am working on continued awareness of my feelings and how I treat myself (being aware of what my internal monologue is really - my natural inclination is negative btw, working on positive) as well as stress.  Also, the kiddos are a whole different ball of wax - I need to take initiative in that realm soon because what I am currently doing is not working.  I need to take initiative in one area of how I take care of myself with regards to sleep - how much I get and when I go to sleep and how not sleeping enough is really effecting my daily life and productivity as a human being.

The take away is baby steps - make small changes versus huge grand sweeping changes.  Stand back and assess what you can do but if you choose to do it do it with an open and happy heart or else it will all be for naught and you will bang your proverbial head on the wall (or door or cement ground or whatever other painful place one can bang their heads.)  These changes for me have been magical and yet not. I mean they are basic things.  Things that when I really drilled down I realized I was not doing well and mostly I had fallen into old bad habits and/or easy bad habits.

We have radically changed the foods we ate as children.  SO I fear that most people think 'well I ate those M&Ms as a kid and I grew up to be just fine' BUT the sad fact is that the M&Ms (or insert any foods in that sentence really) we ate as kids are radically different from the kind my kids are eating.  It is troublesome. GMOs were introduced into our food system in 1996 (coincidentally that was around the time I started having massive  allergy related issues - two visits to the ER because processed foods I ate got me so sick my throat closed shut on me!) and the US does not regulate the kinds of additives/preservatives the way other countries do.  We have seen a rampant increase in GMOs and other things we should not be consuming in our diets with little to no scientific data about how it is effecting our genetic make-up and overall what is doing to us and our environment.  Corn is not corn any more - it is super corn (and not like wee little corn on the cobs running around wearing tiny little capes to save the day...) in fact super corn may just be ruining your day every day.

Just be mindful.   Ignore the expense.  Start small.  Think big.  Give it time (6-8 months). Be strong. Let me know if it changes anything in your life!  Praise BE!  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


After I put this boot on eight weeks ago today in fact I thought now what.  Actually I thought that well before the boot actually entered my life because I stopped running probably four weeks before that.  I did spend those first weeks without the boot wandering aimlessly through little workouts here and there.  Around the time the boot came into my life I decided that I was not going to sit around wallowing in self pity but instead do something BIG about the situation at hand.

I put that boot on. Eight weeks ago. Some days in there I thought it would never heal. I am finally feeling the changes.  Still a while to go but there is a small glimmer of hope/light there. I can finally free my mind from the more negative thoughts like the never running again ones and see that maybe, just maybe I will get back to soon!

I started going to see a chiropractor in town to help with the pain and treatment.

I put together a loose plan for working out at least five days a week, six if I could.

40-60 minutes on our recumbent bike.

I started to integrate weights and my exercise ball into this routine - arms and legs on alternating days.

Planks, sit ups, push ups and any other crazy thing I could find to do that involved strengthening my body.

Wall sits are my friends wall sits rock!

So do planks - no seriously how did I not do these two things before when I just ran?

A colleague of mine has done the unimaginable - she has me in the pool swimming a couple of days a week!
(which has been fabulously fun despite my anxiety and perceived hatred of swimming until recently!)

I have been very careful about how and what I eat.

I do not really do dessert as often as I was.

I have mostly cut out breads though I do still enjoy both breads and dessert I am just more thoughtful about it.

I have decreased or cut out some foods that did not make sense and I was eating just to eat - granola nut type bars for instance - just ridiculous to eat those every day with so much fat in them.

I increased my water consumption including ginger and mint teas for my tummy.

I completely cut out eating after dinner.  I just do not do it any more

The big thing right now that I am working on it getting back to a more plant based whole foods less processed foods diet and I am working very hard to cut GMOs out of my diet. I will say this - since mostly cutting bread/whole wheat grains out (I would only eat whole wheat everything that is the kicker) out of my diet I have had ZERO allergies. I always thought the allergies were seasonal but I do not even take allergy medicine any more when I used to take it daily.  I used to have a scratchy itchy throat and TONS of sinus issues every spring and fall.  Nothing this year.  Nada.  None.  Craziest thing ever.
I do not weigh myself often.  At the height of eating issues in college and grad school I would weigh myself 2-3 times a day to see where I was. I was discussing my weigh loss with a colleague.  She said so how much have you lost.  I said well I have not really lost any per say. I mean have checked. I am right around 129 which is maybe 2-4 lbs less than when I ran and did nothing else.  However I have changed my body fat content. More than anything I think.  I would say that I am more muscular.  If you only do cardio like running it is like living in a vacuum.  If there is no weight bearing activities in there or stretching or balance improvement then you will end up injured especially at my advanced age of forty ;).  I am leaner than I was six months ago. I can see the difference in my arms, my belly and even oddly my legs. I have more definition.

I have not been crazy about losing weight, not like I was in my teens and 20s.  Mostly I am just aware and working hard.  I suppose I do spend a fair amount of time working out every evening but honestly I am more laid back too. I mean I am watching TV or reading a book so it takes me longer or I think oh I will do sit ups so I can finish out this show for instance.  Also, I definitely listen to my body. If I am exhausted I either skip the workout or I do a shortened workout - 30 minutes on the bike and that is it.  Just something to get my heart rate up and then get some rest. I think overall I am fascinated by the changed.  There were whole years after I gave birth to M Bug where I thought I will never be fit again.  And even more recently even with running I felt large and in charge and unhappy about how I looked but I just accepted it, assumed that having babies had permanently altered my body.  Or that is the story I feed myself.  Like a bag of chips, I was telling myself I needed to be like that.  Not that I thought I looked bad or anything like that but now that I look and more importantly feel better I am amazed and pleasantly surprised and tickled that the slow steady work is paying off.
At the end of the day my one and only goal was to be a better stronger healthier runner when I could run again.  I feel like that will mostly be the case whether I can run again or not.  I like how I feel right now, it is amazing and cool and I would not trade a bag of chips for this at all!