Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Day

I am feeling much better. Life doesn't seem as dismal. I think it's because I have a plan. :-D

My "Plan" is simply to Just Do It. Dan Widen, who coined that phrase, was a smart, smart man. There are SO many excuses, reasons, complaints why I can't/won't/don't want to do something. I could sit around the rest of my life reasoning out all the "why's". But I won't. Because I'd just end up a fat, disappointed, dejected old lady. And that, my friend, is NOT my plan.

The path to health is very simple. Eat Less, Move More (hi, Dawnie!). Exercise and Eat Right. It's not rocket science. I don't have to pay oodles and oodles of money for a private chef and trainer in order to be successful. I just have to set my mind to it and then follow through.

So, my current plan is this:

*Do a round of HCG in January, hopefully losing 10-12 pounds.
*No more HCG until after March, but begin exercising regularly and counting calories.
*After March, see where I'm at and how I'm feeling, and perhaps do another round of HCG.

The reason HCG is included in my current plan is because it works. It's fast. It's the way I've lost the majority of the weight, and I know I can do it. So I'm choosing for HCG to be part of my journey. I know it's not for everyone; I can understand if it seems like the easy way out. But for me, it works.

I do know that I need to learn healthy habits. I need to learn to discipline myself to exercise. I need to learn portion control/watching my calories. I don't intend to count calories the rest of my life, but I would like to get a basic understanding of how many calories are in foods.

Otherwise, the weight will pile back on. I don't want to be a yoyo dieter. I want to just be HEALTHY. That is my goal. Get off this excess flab and be a trim person; a healthy person.

I'm happy to have a plan. I'm excited to see the scale start moving again, in the downward direction. ;-) I'm looking forward to my rolls disappearing, to fitting in my clothes, to getting dressed in the morning and not having a feeling of dread regarding what I look like hang over my head all day. I'm looking forward to being more active, to playing with my kids and riding bikes and jumping on trampolines without feeling like I'll die of a heart attack. I look forward to living to my full potential, living with a strong, fit body.

I know I won't have the most amazing body out there, and that is just fine with me. That's not my goal. I don't need to be ripped or have a swimsuit model's physique. That's not even realistic. But to be the appropriate weight/fat percentage for my body... THAT is my goal.

So look forward to seeing me do my Leslie Sansone Walking video, and working my way back up to Jillian's Shred. I'll see how much exercise I can do while on HCG, but I'm not going to push myself over the edge with it. Exercise will be included in the second phase, for sure.

I'll keep you posted on how this all goes down! Happy 2011 To Me!!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Enough is Enough

Ugh. Today is Christmas. Supposed to be a day of joy and laughter, love and peace, bright shining faces, right? *sigh*

My 3 kids all have viral upper respiratory infections and asthma, as I've mentioned. They all get inhaler treatments every 4 hours. They also are coughing and sneezing like no one's business. So that means I get to stay home with them today. I just am not willing to take them to my in-laws and potentially expose either MIL who is on chemo and radiation, or Macy who is just 3 months old, to the germs. I don't know if my kids are contagious, but I would never ever get over it if my children's germs caused someone to get sick.

Owen had RSV when he was just 6 weeks old, and the days we spent in the hospital are not something I'd wish on anyone. I also don't want to be responsible for weakening my MIL's body even more, by introducing germs that can turn into pneumonia or something worse.

So here I sit. With my 3 sick kids. Trying not to dissolve into a puddle of tears. I know it's for the best. In fact, it was my decision. Josh wanted to stay home, but it's his family. And I don't know how many more Christmases we'll have with his mom as healthy as she is right now, so I wouldn't dream of making him miss that. MIL and FIL even said it was fine to come. But I just can't. I would be stressed and worried the whole time, and it's just not worth it.

Also, I weighed myself today. Insert gigantic, melancholy sigh. 147. I can't believe it. But I do know that there are more factors weighing in (ha, I made a pun) than just eating too much. Don't get me wrong, I've been doing that in spades. But it's also my TOM, I'm constipated (as usual), I haven't been drinking water and I have been eating salty foods.

And today, I'm just done with it all. I'm DONE with living for food. I don't feel like I consciously live for it, but these past 3 weeks especially, I've been mindlessly eating. Just putting things in my mouth, chewing, swallowing, grabbing another handful. Repeat ad nauseum. I disgust myself. I have no self-control. No will power.

It's really hard being alone with the kids for so much of the time. Josh was gone 9 out of 13 days the last two weeks. He was home 4 times, and not even full days, except for last Sat and Sun. We don't have a washer and dryer so I've been carting loads and loads of laundry back and forth to my mom's and the laundromat. The kids are sick, extra extra grumpy, malicious to each other. I ran out of my drops from Dr. Ray because I didn't order more in time because I had to wait for Josh to get paid. And now I feel like I'm playing catch-up, except things are worse than normal because it's PMS time which means my hormones are out just from that.

I feel... overwhelmed. Like I'm carrying around a huge sack of boulders on my shoulders. I missed a birthday party for one of my best friends because Josh wasn't back from WA in time. Actually, he did get in around 7:30 and the party didn't start til 9, but I was so incredibly exhausted and the kids were all needing breathing treatments, and I was just on the verge of a breakdown so I didn't go. It wouldn't have been nice for me to crash the party with my sobbing and wailing. But I still feel bad.

I feel...dread. Because nothing is going to get better anytime soon. Josh will continue to be gone 4 days a week until who knows when, but at least the next 6 months. Maybe a year. MIL seems to be doing okay, but I can tell the treatments are starting to wear on her. She's tired and cold. She has no appetite. Her hair is starting to fall out. And I can't bear to see her like that. Yet, there's not really anything I can do. I take her to her radiation appointments sometimes, and chat with her, which is actually really nice for both of us. But I can see her withering away before my very eyes and it's just too much.

I feel...obese. I need to start exercising, but don't know when to do it. I wanted to start jogging in the evenings, except I can't do that now because Josh isn't here. I could do it Fri, Sat, Sun but usually by the time the weekend gets here I have zero energy or stamina left. I guess I'll just have to fit my video in at some point during the day. Yet at the same time I look in the mirror and my heart falls. I'm fat. Really, I am. I can see where the fat is accumulating and the muscles are lost in the mass that is me. My pants are like a tourniquet around my waist. My muffin top is vying for a Guinness World Record. My arms probably cause earthquakes in Japan from all their jiggling.

I feel...unhealthy. I need to improve what I eat. We're pretty much settled in completely now so I can focus on eating more healthfully. I got rid of our microwave, and I haven't regretted it or missed it. I don't buy chicken nuggets or corn dogs for my kids anymore, except on the very rare occasion. I need to eat more salad, but it's hard, especially in the winter when I'm always cold and want warm food. I should just make a huge pot of soup and eat that for a while. I need to start counting calories, but don't even really know where to start because I have to run back and forth to the computer for every. single. food. item.

I want to do HCG, but am really scared it's going to whack out my hormones again. Yet, it's the only way I've been successful at losing weight. It works. It's fast. I could probably get off ALL my excess weight in 3 rounds. I'm going to Europe in March for a women's conference and I don't want to be self-conscious about my weight and how tight my clothes are.

I feel a tiny bit better getting all that off my chest. I'm not looking for sympathy, because I know how good I actually have it. I have a husband who adores me, who helps me more than he has to, who loves me with every single fiber in his being. I have 3 healthy (for the most part) :-P, intelligent, funny children who love me despite all my shortcomings. I have wonderful, amazing, loyal friends and family who support me in whatever way they can.

Sometimes it's just nice to vent. To put into writing everything that I'm feeling and thinking. And that's what this post is. A vent. A rant. I don't want to complain, or end up bitter or resentful. And I don't think it's wrong or unhealthy to write out what I'm feeling and thinking. I don't want to make a habit of it, of always complaining about life and things I can't change. But for today, it was helpful.

Now I'll go hitch up my (way too tight) big girl pants and get back to work. There's housework to be done, and an inner work inside myself going on that needs to be tended and cared for. And I need to figure out a plan of attack for myself. How I'm going to conquer my unhealthy eating habits and conquer my weight. Because I will persevere and I will reach my goal.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the season to be.... sick

Hi guys,
Just wanted to check in here real quick. We've been a bit under the weather. Both my boys have viral upper respiratory infections coupled with asthma. Last night was a night of little sleep, as they were coughing all night. Christian coughed so hard he fell out of bed! He also was choking and broke blood vessels in his face, poor guy.

He had a vicious, racking cough and ended up throwing up. All over me. And my face. And in my mouth. :-O I kid you not, the kiddo projectile vomited all over my face and it leaked in my mouth. The joys of being a parent, right? I couldn't even open my mouth to call Josh to come help. So I did what any sane person would do and just started crying. ;-)

We ended up getting him all cleaned up and tucked back into bed and when he whispered, "I love you, mama." everything was immediately all better and worth it. I have really been cherishing my kids lately. Part of it is the fact that due to the fact that my drops from Dr. Ray are working amazingly well, I feel like for the first time in a LOOOOOONG time I'm able to appreciate and enjoy who these little beings are. I enjoy my role as a mother and wife, and even go so far as to find JOY in it! Who knew!?!?

I am so thankful for my three sweetie-pies, for my wonderful husband (even if he does have to be gone 50% of the time right now for work) and that God has allowed us all to be relatively healthy. Even upper respiratory infections and asthma have treatments and methods to help make the patient more comfortable. And they aren't cancer. Or life threatening.

I'm doing pretty good, otherwise. Didn't weigh myself this morning as I just dragged myself out of bed due to little sleep last night, and got the kids and myself some breakfast before I remembered that I was supposed to weigh. I'll try to do it tomorrow, but don't expect to see much change.

I really need to focus on getting back to drinking lots of water. I lost my 1.5 liter water bottle somewhere along the way, and it was so handy to have sitting out on the counter so I could just take a swig here and there throughout the day. So I need to find another alternative. It usually works just as well for me to have a pitcher and glass sitting out and drink that throughout the day. I'm an oddball and don't like cold water. I can drink way more if it's room temp so it works well for me to just have it sitting out.

Well, I'd better go... My kiddos are in their beds and I have a toilet to unclog, dishes to do and a book to read. ;-)

Hope you all are doing well!!! And having a joyful and merry holiday season!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Heavy Burdens

Hi All,
Sorry it took me so long to write a post. I didn't have internet when I expected to, and then once I got it set up, I didn't have time/energy to blog.

Josh works out of town 4 days a week for now, so I'm a single mom during that time. It's actually gone amazingly well. All I can say is thank the good Lord above for Dr. Ray and his treatments!!

Also, in the last 3 months I personally know 3 people who have either died or been diagnosed with some form of cancer. What is up with that? Seriously, it freaks me out, sets me on edge and is totally unsettling. The latest little girl is only 6 and has a very aggressive form and her dad is good friends with Josh. When her mom was telling me the diagnosis/prognosis my heart just sunk and ever since I've had a vague sense of dread.

Cancer sucks. It can go away, now. What on earth is going on??? It is crazy how many people I know have been affected with it in such a short amount of time. It makes me extremely thankful for my healthy husband and children. I have always taken it for granted before now. Never again. I will consciously thank God that He has kept my children and husband whole and healthy.

Weight wise I'm doing okay. Holding steady at 145, which is 4 pounds up from my "normal" weight. I'm a little worried about it, but just glad it's not creeping higher. I really thought when I stepped on the scale on Monday that I'd be in the 150's. I feel huge and bloated. My pants are tight and I have 4 pounds of muffin top. Seriously, it all went straight to my waist.

I plan to do a round of HCG in January. I'm excited to see how I do now that I am on new drops from Dr. Ray. And I'm ready to be at a healthy weight where I can feel good about myself. For a long time, this weight has been good and fine for me. But I just feel like if I can get these last pounds off then I could get dressed in the morning and not worry about it for the rest of the day. That's what I would like. To not think about my clothes and what I look like. Just be healthy.

I do plan to start attempting to jog/run, but probably not til after my round of HCG,

Mary Beth- I don't really know how to describe Dr. Ray's treatments. On his business card he calls it "bio-nutritional health". I can only describe it as science fictionish. He has this mouse pad type thing that reads the electrical energies of your body and with that he can tell what hormones and chemicals are off. He also does live blood viewing and can tell how your cells are doing. The treatment is "beamed" into you. I don't know how else to describe it. But I do know I have seen tangible results, as have my friends and family.

Hopefully you guys have stuck with me during my long absence. :-D I'm off to try to catch up on you guys now.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This Is It!!

Well, folks, this is my last blog post from up yonder. The next time I post I'll be amidst the chaos of unpacked boxes, but I'll be in my cheery, warm, cozy living room!

So crazy. I can't even really comprehend it. It still feels surreal. Like I'm dreaming. Weird that I can feel that way, despite the barren wilderness of the house we're in right now. Almost everything is packed, besides the fridge, our toiletries and clothes. And the big furniture like beds, couches and the kitchen table that I couldn't get downstairs by myself.

Hopefully everything goes without a hitch tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath, but it'd be nice. ;-)

We have 3 strapping young lads coming to help load the truck. Josh will drive the moving van and I'll drive the mini van and my bro will follow behind in his car. Funny thing... one of the boys coming to help is currently on the HCG diet. He was so relived when he found out I'd done it, so I could make the right food for him. :-D

I feel bad that all my spices and everything are packed away, so I'm just getting him a rotisserie chicken and a bag of peas. His request. ;-)

The kids are sort of falling apart due to lack of sleep and living in the barren wilderness that this house has become. Plus they are just having bad attitudes in general. It's not so fun, but we're dealing.

This weekend is insanely busy. We get home sometime tomorrow afternoon/evening after traveling +/-4 hours and unpack what we can. Saturday morning we unpack more then at 3pm go to our church Christmas celebration. Sunday at 9:45a.m. Kate has a field trip with the kiddos from church. At 1:00 there is a birthday party for my niece, and I'm supposed to go over at noon to help decorate. Then Monday morning Josh heads back up here for work.

EEEKKKKKK!

Good thing I'm still feeling so good after seeing Dr. Ray. Praying it continues.

Eating has been pretty good, quantity wise. QUALITY is a whole 'nother beast, but I'm going easy on myself seeing as everything is packed up. I had an orange for breakfast, 2 taquitos and a big salad for lunch, and a handful of chips and one slice of pizza for dinner. Oh, and half a Twix.

I need to get off here. Josh is working til who knows when and I've got kiddos to bathe and a dog to wash and the last few items to pack up. Oh, and hardcore cleaning. Bleh. :-P

I'll check in on Monday, hopefully, and fill you all in on how it went!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3 days

Good Morning, Folks!

So yesterday... yeah I got nothing done. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nil. Oops. I was just plumb drained of energy, I sat down and decided that felt pretty nice and just didn't really get up the rest of the day. Oh well, today will be more productive. It has to. We only have 3 days left!

I packed the scale up earlier in the week and this morning it occurred to me that my next weigh-in will be at home. In my lovely home. So weird! Everything happened so incredibly quickly that I don't think it really had time to sink in. As I say good-bye to my friends here it feels like a little piece of my heart is being ripped out. I hadn't realized how close I had become to them. I thought it would be a breeze to move home to my beloved house, my beloved family and my beloved friends. But I didn't count on the friends up here becoming just as beloved.

I am really, really going to miss them. It's not like I'll never see them; I will. But it isn't the same as being able to sit in their homes and drink coffee and chat with them.

Anyway, it's been hard, but it's something I will work through. Without leaning on food for support. Eating has been going okay. I've had a few sugar cookies and some cream cheese danish over the last 2 days. I need to just say no to it, because they are worthless, empty calories and they don't even taste that good.

I did get in 3 liters of water yesterday, so that was good. My tacos were super delicious!

Amy, I just get pinto beans, soak them overnight, rinse and drain them, then fill the pan with clean water 3/4 full. Boil over medium heat for 1-2 hours (or longer, if you want). Once they are tender and soft, I drain and rinse them again, then add a bit of water and salt to taste. That's it! I serve them in a corn tortilla that I've lightly fried in oil, with sour cream and cheese. Simple, but oh, so good. Lucky me there are leftover beans, so I'll be eating it for lunch again today.

My boys are on the rampage so I must go. Sleep deprivation on a 3 and 4 year old is not pretty. Especially when they're already a little off because their house is being packed up and put away around their very ears. Much patience to be gained today!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Posting on the fly

Busy, busy, busy.

Just wanted to post to say I got in between 4 and 4.5 liters of water yesterday. That's between 136 and 153 ounces of water.

I still feel oddly dehydrated. Today it's been much slower going, with the water. I tried to chug it this morning, but got sick so I had to stop. Still working on my first 1.5 liters. Hoping to get in at least 2 liters, which still falls short of what I "should" be drinking. I've heard you're supposed to drink half your body weight, which for me would be between 70 and 73 ounces. Two liters is about 68 ounces.

Anyway, that was a whole lotta nonsense about water.

I hurt my back yesterday. I guess that's what happens when you lug heavy boxes of food and kitchen appliances, solid wood bookshelves, lamps and all manner of other things down two flights of stairs. I couldn't walk last night; my leg kept giving out and I would fall down. I had already packed the ibuprofen, so I went to bed praying it would be better today. It doesn't hurt as bad and I can walk, but I'm scared to carry heavy boxes and the rest of the furniture that still needs to make it's way down to the garage.

I sort of need to, though, cuz Josh is working late tonight, has a work dinner tomorrow and is working late again on Thursday. And Friday morning is when we start loading the truck. Hmmmm. We'll see how it all works out.

I'm making homemade tacos today; as in, making my own pinto beans. They are so incredibly delicious and easy. I kept the oil out, just so I can fry my corn tortillas in it. =) I also made potato soup last night; so so so good. I have tomato soup and grilled cheese on hand, and other than that we'll have to do take out. But I'm pleased with the meals I've been able to scrape together with the unpacked food stuff.

I haven't eaten anything yet today and it's 11:28, so I should get on that. I'm not much of a breakfast person in general. Well, I'm off to get lunch for my boys. They must nap today. Owen was up at 4 yesterday and never really fell back asleep and then didn't nap. Grumpy is the understatement of the year. And when the boys are bickering it is a lot harder to be productive.

Hope you all are doing well!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm the Boss

Today has gone well, so far.

I started off by waking up on my own around 6:30. Laid in bed for a bit, then had to go to the bathroom so I got up. Decided to weigh myself. 145.8. Bleh. Hmmmm, interesting; I just typed 154.8; in my mind I'm not out of the 150's I guess. Anyway, didn't worry too too much about the scale, as I did eat (a moderate portion) of salty chinese food last night, and I did have a pretty bad weekend of snacking.

Showered, and then after I got dressed I slid back under the covers and read for a bit. My boys had been up for a while and Josh had them settled in the living room with a movie and cereal, and Kate wasn't awake yet, so I got some blissfully quiet reading time in. Super nice. =)

Then once the kiddos were up, I got up and we got ready for the day. I filled up my 1.5 liter water bottle, got the kids dressed, teeth brushed, hair done, and we were out the door. I dropped Kate off at the bus stop, then the boys and I headed to Goodwill with yet another load of stuff. I have gotten rid of SO MUCH stuff. It feels amazing. I think we've made 4 or 5 trips to Goodwill, and I anticipate at least 1 or 2 more. So super duper nice.

Anyway, on the way I decided that at every stoplight I'd drink some water. And let me tell you, there were a LOT of stop lights. So by the time we got home at 9:45 I'd already polished off a full water bottle. 1.5 liters of water down the gullet! Yay! I came home, started a pot of coffee and enjoyed a cup while reading a bit more.

Now it's lunchtime and I just refilled my water bottle and will drink it up, for 3 liters of water. I'm shooting for a bit more today, so we'll see if I can get it all in. The really weird thing is that I feel dehydrated????? My lips are chapped and my throat is parched. No idea why, as I've been drinking more water the last 3 days than I have in a very, very, very long time. Strange.

Today while driving I had an epiphany. Not an original one, to be sure, but still an "Aha" moment for me.

I am in charge. I am the boss. I am the one with the power to change. If I want to lose weight, by golly I can do it! It doesn't depend on my circumstances, it doesn't depend on the people around me, it doesn't depend on the season of the year. Me. Moi. Myself. That's who is in control, to an extent, of this journey. I decide what to put, or not put, into my body.

I also realized that, for me, this is not just a physical journey. It's a spiritual one. I know Dawne, Amy and Jen can relate to this. I can't do it on my own; I need help from God. Instead of turning to food to relieve my stress, anxiety, fears, etc... I need to turn to Him. So this will be an interesting new path for me to walk.

Even though the scale showed such a high number, I have peace. I know I won't remain at that number. I know I can change. I know I can drink more water and make healthy eating choices. Despite the fact that we're moving in 4 days and I've packed up all my food/baking stuff and we'll be eating out almost exclusively this week. Despite the emotions I'm feeling; feelings of being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work I've done already and what is left to do. Feelings of deep sadness for the friends I'm leaving behind. Feelings of joy that I'll be near my family and friends. Feelings of cautious hope that maybe, just maybe I've found the answer I've been searching for, for the last 3 years. Food can't help any of that. It doesn't change any of it.

I'm thankful for the empowerment I've gotten, just with that realization. I'm excited for the future. And even though I honestly can't figure out whether to laugh or cry, even though it is so incredibly bittersweet to be moving back, even though I don't know what the future holds, I *do* know that it's not all out of my control. I can treat my body with respect, I can nourish it, exercise it, and take care of it. I can love it. Imagine that!? Love my body? Who would have thought that possible!? When I look in the mirror all I see are the imperfections. The things I wish I could change. But that's a part of my journey as well. Learning to love those imperfections. Learning to not demand perfection of myself. Learning that I am not a failure for not being perfect.

So, the Skinny Turtle is back in the saddle, and is patiently, faithfully, slowly walking this path in front of me. And I can't say how grateful I am for you who follow along and encourage me, who are on similar paths. I'm so glad we have each other.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hallelujah!

Hi guys!

I'm back. I had a pretty great trip. Not much sleep was had, but all in all it was profitable and that's what matters.

I didn't have any snafus with my flight; wasn't running crazily towards the gate, didn't sit next to any creepies (although the lady on the flight back insisted on jabbing me in the ribs the whole time) and since I took Drammamine I was totally relaxed and not sick. WOOT!

And guess what? I totally sat on Santa's lap. Yeah, I'm 32 and I sat on Santa. Now, to be honest, I didn't want to sit on his lap. I assumed I'd stand next to him, like all the other grown-ups. But he patted his knee, so I hopped up. You can't see it, but I'm leaning all my weight on my right arm, which is wrapped behind my back and grabbing onto the arm of the chair, and also on my feet on the stool.

(Sorry for the bad picture; it's a picture of a picture... taken on my cell phone, no less. And that's not a shining orb of light on my shoulder... it's just a reflection of the flash.) ;-)

Ok, he was sorta creepy. He was wearing red lipstick (for the pictures, I assume) and when I told him I wanted an all-expenses-paid vacation to the Bahamas for Christmas he replied, "Only if you take me with you." Ewwwww!!!

Anyway, Dr. Ray is a saint. A full on saint. He came into the office JUST FOR US. He was supposed to be leaving for Vegas, where he was competing in a rodeo. Have I mentioned he is a cowboy? He is. Big, gold buckle, Wranglers, cowboy boots, the whole shebang. Anyway, he came in just for me, my mom and my sister. My grandma and her friend also ended up being seen.

So I got the test done on the chemicals in my brain and when the results showed up, Dr. Ray said, "Holy Smokes!". He explained that the positive numbers were what my body was lacking, and the higher the number the more my body needed/wanted it. He said anything between 1 and 20 is "normal". Well, one of the things was at 172!!!!!!! I don't know what it was, and neither did he. I tried to do some research and all I came up with were some huge medical jargon. I know it has something to do with my eyes (!!) and my nervous system, but don't know exactly what.

Anyway, he "beamed" it into me 3 times; normally it's just once. But he said since it was so high he wanted to give me a lot of it.

He also adjusted my neck and back (he is a chiropractor as well) and did some other laser beam thing that helped with the tension in my muscles in my head and neck.

So that was really helpful for me to see; just confirmation that something was wrong and it wasn't all in my head. My thyroid and serotonin were also off, so he fixed those as well.

I felt pretty good the whole time, despite the lack of sleep and poor eating choices. We ate Mexican food after our appointment. I ordered a chimichanga (basically a deep-fried burrito) but ended up just pulling the shredded beef out of it and not eating the deep fried tortilla. Then we ordered in pizza and I snacked A LOT. Petit Ecolier cookies, Fiddle Faddle, these chai cookies my mom brought, chocolate covered pretzels, etc... I way overdid it on Friday.

Today, however, has been a super star success!!! It's 6:15 and I've already had 3 LITERS of water, you guys!!! GO ME!!!!!! I am super proud of myself. I worked really hard while I was gone to drink water, too, but the tap water in our hotel tasted horrible. So it was hard. I've just decided that my body needs water and I need to drink it. So there. Done and done.

For breakfast I had some scrambled eggs, one turkey sausage and 1/4c of fried potatoes. Lunch was one slice of pizza. I had one ranger cookie and we have some friends coming over for dinner and we're having chinese. I'm pretty full from the water, so I won't overindulge.

I also got a TON accomplished today, moving-wise. I have been packing, carting, cleaning, scrubbing all day long. We have a huge pile of Goodwill stuff, almost everything is packed that can be, and I scrubbed the walls, cupboards and appliances. Phew!

MaryBeth-It is SO insane how many similarities there are between us!!!! So crazy. I carry a lot of my tension in my head, so my scalp does tingle/ache. Josh gives me a headrub every night and oh my goodness, it feels so good. I can feel my tension melting away. If your hair is still falling out and you're getting cold every day I'd definitely have them take another look at your thyroid levels. Sounds like it's off to me.

I'm happy to be back, happy to have some answers (and hoping they'll stick!!!) and happy with my success with water drinking. Little baby steps! Slow and Steady!!

I'm doing this thing. I've found when I keep myself busy (cleaning, packing, etc...) I eat WAY less. Basically just my meals and a snack at the end of the day, usually. But when I sit around on the computer or reading or just piddling around, I get bored and eat. So that's good for me to realize.

Jen-I'll be in touch about the swapping babysitting for running idea. I think I'm going to start out under the cover of darkness at first; and then when I get myself into some form of running and can make it more than 10 feet without passing out, then maybe I'll run during the day. ;-)

Amy-I had no idea you lived in Arizona! I was in Scottsdale; are you close? Maybe we can arrange a visit if you're semi-close, the next time I go down to see Dr. Ray??

I hope you all are well and had a good weekend! We move this Friday, so this week will be busy but I'll check in as I can. I am so thankful for your comments and support!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting There

Mary Beth, I HATE having to go to the bathroom all the time, too!!!!! Seriously, I do. And it seems like I get those last few glasses of water in before bed and then I have to pop in and out of bed several times before I can finally go to sleep. So annoying.

Anyway, I did drink a whole pitcher of water yesterday. It's not enough, but it's a good start. I also was doing much better with my eating... until I made Ranger Cookies. Do you know what those are? They have oatmeal, coconut and we put Craisins in them. I ate WAY too many. I was hungry and since I'm trying not to get more groceries before we move, I didn't have any good stuff on hand. And the cookies were convenient. I had an excruciating headache all day, was super grumpy and lethargic. So not worth it.

Today I have done WAY better. I had a banana and peanut butter for breakfast and some Progresso chicken soup with oyster crackers for lunch. And one SMALL ranger cookie for dessert. I've been drinking water and haven't had anything else to eat. Oh,wait, 1 piece of chocolate toffee candy.

I leave tonight for Arizona and I am really hoping and praying that this time we'll find the answer. I have high hopes, as he is going to do the test on my brain to see if the chemicals are in balance. In the past I've only had my hormones tested, which were always off. And boy howdy, are they ever off again!!

Every day around 4:00 I get FREEZING cold. I'm talking bone-chilling. My bones and joints ache, I have to run and put on a couple of pairs of socks and sweatshirts and usually get a cup of something hot--coffee or tea. And my hair is falling out like crazy. It's insane. I'm surprised I have any left.

Anyway, so I know my thyroid is out. Plus the weight gain; granted I've been eating FAR too many calories and exercising FAR too little (none, actually). But this sudden weight gain scared me. I was holding steady for weeks and haven't changed my eating habits enough to warrant a 5 pound gain. I was down a bit this morning to 144.8, so that was good news.

Heading down in the right direction. I think the water helps flush out any sodium buildup and it also helps me not to feel hungry. So I plan to continue with that and will do my best while in Arizona. I'm meeting my grandma and aunt, and my mom and sister are also coming. I'm really looking forward to it. And most of all I am praying that this brain chemical treatment plan will be the answer. It makes sense.

If I take a Xanax or 2 a day, I'm golden. I'm calm, don't react like a fire-breathing dragon, I'm rational. And Xanax deals with serotonin in the brain. SO if I can fix that naturally (because you can't just take 1 or 2 Xanax a day without side effects... addiction, namely) then that would be such a huge answer to prayer and a HUGE stress relief.

So we'll see how it goes. I feel hopeful.

The packing is going well. I've been really trying to do more this week. It's so hard to figure out what to pack when. Like, this week I was just going gung-ho, but then realized that I'd packed up all my spices and kitchen utensils so we basically have to eat out until we move. I have cereal and what not, but most everything else is packed. I dread the cleaning, but I have a good friend coming to help with that part, too.

And I am purging. Boy howdy am I ever purging. It feels so great to get rid of all this stuff! It's not even necessarily junk or crappy items. But it's just surplus and I don't need it or use it. I can't wait to be settled into my sweet little home, with big, bright, open, sunny areas and less clutter. Bliss.

Once I get settled in at home, I plan to figure out some type of exercise program. I don't know what yet, but I look forward to figuring it out.

The funny thing is that there is something inside of me that longs to run. It seems like it would feel sooo good, it would be so refreshing. But when I actually do it, my body rebels. My knees and ankles hurt, I can't get into a good rhythm/cadence. I ran in high school and it got me into shape so fast! So I'm thinking maybe I'll start out slow (HOLLA, Dawnie!!) and just jog/walk around my block a couple of times and then work my way up to running. I'm not fast; I'm more endurance. So I don't expect to break any world records for the time it takes me to run a mile. But it would just be nice to be doing something active.

The idea of running and having some time in solitude to think, to work out my frustrations, to breathe the fresh air... it just pulls at something inside of me. So I'm going to work towards that.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll be back on Saturday, but we have a busy day of moving couches and dinner with friends, so I probably won't post again until Sunday or Monday.

PS If you guys are into style at all, Bryn is having a fabulous giveaway!!!! Super amazing items. Go check it out!! (I got another entry for blogging about it, but I love her blog and her work. Plus, she lives in South Carolina!!!!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Water

I am cuh-razy busy getting ready for AZ tomorrow and trying to pack our house for the Big Move next week. (!!!)

But, I just wanted to come on and say that my MAIN goal today is to drink LOTS of water. Yesterday I did much better than I have in a loooooooong time. I don't know exactly how much I drank, but it was at least 1 full pitcher, plus some tea. I don't know how many ounces this pitcher is.

Anyway, I plan to keep drinking today. I know it can't hurt anything and I desperately need to get in the habit of re-hydrating my body.

Hope you all are doing well!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For Liss

I just watched Eat, Pray, Love (so disappointing; the book is far and away MUCH better) but I can still hear Ketut saying "Liss" instead of Liz. And my sister's name is Liz. So this is for you, Liss!!

First of all, answers to questions:

1. Are you going to get tested for celiac disease?
Yes, hopefully when I get back home and establish care with a competent doctor.

2. How often do you throw up each week? (just curious if it's as bad as it used to be)
It varies. Some weeks I throw up 3-4 times and other weeks not at all. It depends on stress and what I eat.

3. Did you know Debbie Sanchez is coming to my house tonight to talk about Pre-paid legal?
I know it now! (Since you asked this, like, eons ago).

4. What is your favorite thing to do during the day?
Read blogs or books. But once I get home and am in close proximity to my friends, that will expand to include visits and coffee dates.

5. What is your BIGGEST pet peeve?
Josh not putting on his seatbelt as soon as he gets in the car. He waits until he is actually driving to put it on. GRRRRRRR.

Okay, thanks Mary Beth, Amy, Dawne, and Steve for the comments!!

Ok, so here's the deal. I'm not giving up. The whole PREMISE of this blog is "Slow and Steady". So I'm going to honor that and just keep plugging along, even though it feels like I can't finish ANYTHING I start. Not even a cup of coffee. Seriously, that's how spastic I am. I rarely even finish my coffee, so it doesn't matter that I use 1/4 c of creamer in it. Seriously, I do. Sorry if that made you gag.

I see Dr. Ray this Friday and I am hoping and praying that he is able to give me some more long-term answers and help. I just need something to stick. I do plan to be serious about my weight loss and learning to live a healthy lifestyle in general. I didn't manage to drink much water yesterday. Um, it was only 2 small glasses right before bed. Oops.

I need like a huge white board with all the things I need to do, so I can check them off:

VITAMINS
WATER
PROTEIN
EXERCISE
HORMONE DROPS
SLEEP

Maybe once we're back in our house I can come up with something.

Today I need to keep packing. I had 1 crepe for breakfast and I'm working on a cup of coffee. It's 11:30 and I'll try to have a salad for lunch. Bleh. I really hate making salads. Jen made a very good, valid point; if the salads were easier to make, I'd eat them more. So I need to take some time and prep a bunch of the stuff so I can throw it all together, instead of having to wash and chop everything every time.

Has anyone used Debbie Meyer's Green Bags?
Or something similar? I'm thinking if I get the baby spinach from Costco and these bags help keep it from going slimy and bad that it would help tremendously. Also if I have the other stuff all chopped and prepped.

I really don't want this weight to keep creeping back on. Those were the perfect descriptive words, Dawne. They are just creeping... slowly but surely piling back on. And it must be stopped.

I really hope to figure out a plan that I can stick to, something that works consistently, once we're settled in back at home.

Well, I'm off to pack. Seriously. It's not gonna magically happen, unfortunately. :-P

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hibernating Bear

Thanks to those who took the time to comment on my last post.

It seems there are a few people reading. And I decided that I'm doing this for myself and not to see how many people are following along. This is my journey, so even if no one reads, I will keep at it.

Especially after weighing in this morning. 145.2. GULP. Apparently all my excessive eating and drinking has caught up with me. Granted, it is my TOM and I'm bloated and craving/eating salt. But still. I really hate moving my ticker back, in the wrong direction. My poor turtle. She has learned much patience on this journey.

I don't have lots of time right now, or even much time in the coming weeks. In 11 days we'll be moving back, and in the meantime I leave for AZ this Thursday. So I have LOTS of packing, cleaning, organizing, and other things to do until our move is complete.

But I have decided I have to put more effort into living healthier. This year the holidays have seemed so overwhelming and stressful, and I know a large part of that is due to the fact that holidays = food. People bake and buy goodies and they are in abundance, all around. And that is so STRESSFUL when you're on the weight-loss path, or even just learning moderation.

However, I'm not going to throw in the towel and I'm going to make a conscience effort to lose these 5 pounds I've gained. And then continue to lose the rest of this excess weight. I can see it on my body now. I have a thick layer of fat around my stomach that is exactly where the 5 pounds is sitting. My pants are tight and the muffin top abounds. Basically I'm a bear who is well prepared to hibernate. :-D

Poor Pooh Bear didn't know when to stop; he hasn't learned moderation yet. And see how unhappy he looks!?

I'll try to continue to post; I just saw/figured out the option to write a post and have it publish at a later date, so I can maybe do something like that. ANYWAY, I'll try to at least check in to let you know how I'm doing and to keep myself accountable. I'm not trying to count calories or do anything like that just yet. Life is much too crazy for that right now; I don't have the time or desire to run to my computer umpteen times a day to find out how many calories are in things.

But I'll choose to put healthy food in my mouth, and I really, really, really am going to work hard at drinking water.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks again for all the comments and I promise to answer all the questions soon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Honest Scrap Award

My dear friend Dawne has bestowed the Honest Scrap award on me! (By the way, Dawne, when I was reading your blog last week my husband happened to walk by and see the pictures at the top of your header. He exclaimed, "WOW! That lady has lost a ton of weight and looks amazing!" I just shook my head in absolute, total agreement. You look amazing and you just plain ARE amazing.

Back to the award...












I am supposed to tell you ten honest things about myself, so here I go:

1) If I could have one wish (at this moment) it would be that I could be 100% healthy. Emotionally, Chemically, Physically. No more hormone/chemical imbalances, no more digestion issues, and no emotional scars.

2) I wonder if anyone (besides the faithful few commenters) even read this blog.

3) I am really self-conscious about my red hair.

4) I am REALLY bad at diets/counting calories. Thus, no weight loss.

5) I am afraid all the years of throwing up has damaged the enamel on my teeth and I'll end up with, like, dentures by the time I'm 40. *shudder*

6) I'd go on a vacation every 3 months if I could.

7) Dutch apple pie with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is my all-time favorite dessert.

8) I have really bad night-vision. Because of this I have a PARANOIA of crosswalks at night. I am so, so, so afraid that someone will be crossing in the darkness and I won't see them. Whenever I come to one, I slow WAY down and open my eyes as big as they'll go and look all around. Basically, I turn into an owl-in-slow-motion and creep over the crosswalk.

9) I use my measuring cups/spoons almost every single day.

10) My oldest child just lost her first tooth! I feel so grown up.

Okay, that was fun. =)

But now I want to know... Do you have any questions for me? I'm going to do a Q&A type thing.

If you have questions (especially if you read but have never posted before!) ask away. =)

I want to know who is reading and what you want to know about me.

Hi, my name is Ruth Anne and I'm working on being a Skinny Turtle. Nice to meet you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Musings

It is so hard for me to stick to something and see it through to the end!

Even the list I wrote, what, a week ago?? I can't remember what I was going to change, besides drinking more water. Except, I haven't drunk more water. Oh, neither have I done any exercise videos. Blah.

I feel too overwhelmed to take on any additional tasks, but at the same time I'm feeling overwhelmed by my complete lack of action in the area of physical fitness. I feel like I *should* be doing a video, drinking water, counting calories, watching what I eat, etc...

However just thinking about all that makes me want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and hibernate for the winter. I think I'd make a very good bear. I can eat and eat and eat and then sleep and sleep and sleep. :-D

For now I'm just floating around, doing (some) of what I need to do. I did step on the scale finally. It's hard for me to weigh in the mornings now because that means I have to take off my clothes and it's too cold for that! I sleep in socks, pants, shirt and a sweatshirt and the thought of taking it off in the freezing cold just to see the scale is not a nice way to start the morning.

A couple of times I've stepped on the scale and it's been up... like the last two weeks. 141.6 isn't horrible (considering how I'm eating and NOT exercising) but it's still moving in the wrong direction.

I guess part of me feels like I'll just see Dr. Ray in Dec and hopefully he can help me enough so that in January I can do another round of HCG. Have I already mentioned this? I'm having deja vu.

Anyway, I feel pretty restless and unsettled. No routine really, no concrete plan. At least, not one that I have energy to carry out at this point.

The good news is I've definitely been having fewer headaches. Thanks Erin for the insight that glasses and contact prescriptions can actually be different. I plan to make another eye appointment once we're settled in at home in December. For now I wear my glasses around the house and my contacts when I go out.

I don't have much else to report, so I'll sign off. If you got through that boring, mundane post give yourself a big pat on the back. ;-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No more hawking wares

Hi Guys,
Sorry about the Shutterfly posts... I mean, if you're a blogger and want free cards, well then, you're welcome for the info. Otherwise sorry to the other readers.

Back to life, back to reality.... Name that band!

Anyhoo, I have something quite interesting to report. When I wear my glasses... NO HEADACHES. NO BLURRY VISION. Is that weird, or what!? My glasses and contacts are the same prescription.

I wore my glasses for 2 days and had not one single headache, nor did my vision get blurry. Yesterday I wore my contacts and I had a headache most of the day. It didn't affect my vision, but by the end of the day my eyes were burning and stinging and watering. Like I'd been chopping onions in a smoke filled room. Very strange!

I use disposable contact and this pair is new and not expired by any means. But to play it safe I've been wearing my glasses (which Joshie boy loves) ;-). The only problem... I really don't know if heads can lose weight but SOMETHING has happened. My glasses are too big and constantly slide down my nose. Now, I do have a pin head. I admit it. I could probably have fit into child size glasses. But the kiddie frames weren't quite sophisticated enough for me.

I'm thinking about buying a new pair of glasses, but can't remember what size frame I need. Maybe I'll call and find out. I never thought I'd give up contact for glasses, but if that takes away my headaches, I'll do it for sure.

In other news, the doctor's office called and left a message for me yesterday. But they wouldn't say what it was regarding, just to call back. I called them back this morning and the receptionist said I needed to talk to the doc but she was in with a patient. So I'm waiting for her to call back with all kinds of things running through my head. It's not usually a good sign, right? I mean before I've always just received a letter in the mail saying my PAP smear and everything else turned out normal. Hmmmmm.

I'll report back once I know why she's calling. Maybe she's calling to apologize for being so inept. HA. ;-P

**EDITED TO ADD** She was calling back to say everything was normal. Hmmm. Guess maybe they are trying to save trees and not mail out the results. Ah well, all's well that ends well!

Hope you're having a good day!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shutterfly Give Away

Ahem. Apparently there is more to the Shutterfly Holiday card giveaway than I first thought. Which is fine; you very rarely get something for nothing, right?

In order for me to get the goods I have to follow the protocol, so here I go!

I haven't actually used Shutterfly before, but I was browsing their site and found the perfect holiday card for us to use this year. I've always like the idea of photo Christmas cards, but was hesitant to actually use them because they were so... Christmasy. I mean, do people really want a MERRY CHRISTMAS card hanging around all year? I know I enjoy getting photos of our friends and family, but don't necessarily like the extreme holiday greetings.

Enter the solution!



That's not my family. Obviously. ;-) (WHERE is Jack in those photos???) BUT, I do love the card. Faith, hope and love are timeless. And in light of my MIL's brain tumor, these virtues are something this coming year should be full of. It's also something everyone else can appreciate all year long, too.

Shutterfly has a whole SLEW of photo cards to choose from. Check them out here.

They also have photo mugs here. What better way to start the day than with a cup of joe and the smiling faces of the ones you love!? Genius!! Add a personalized beverage choice (hot cocoa, tea, coffee, etc...) and you've got a thoughtful, individual gift. Score!

And guess what else? I had no idea Shutterfly even did this, but it's really cool. Let's say you're on vacation in the Caribbean. And you take a picture that a) takes your breath away and b) reminds you of your sweet retreat. You don't want to just have it sitting in a folder on your computer desktop, or tucked away in some dusty album somewhere. So what do you do? Contact Shutterfly and they'll PRINT IT ON CANVAS. Say whaa...!? Yep, take a look here at some examples. Awesome, no?

I don't know about you, but I've already got my card designed and in my shopping cart at shutterfly.com, complete with pictures of my real, actual family. ;-)

Go check it out! They are having some great deals/promo codes right now, too. Bonus!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shutterfly Promo and My Sister's Blog

So, you may or may not have seen this around blogland, but Shutterfly is doing a promotion for bloggers!! I've never ordered Christmas photo cards before, but now that we're all set with our professional pics, I think I'm ready to give it a go! And Shutterfly is making that easier than ever by offering 50 free prints!

Check out the deets here!!

Also, my sister has started her own blog, and she is pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself! Check it out here, and be prepared to read the whole thing with a goofy grin on your face, and maybe a tear in your eye here and there. Talented. Smart. Witty. Compassionate. Amazing.

Love you, Liz!!!!

Joyous In Hope

Go to the beginning and read from there. It'll make more sense, that way. She has a tale to tell; Jerry Springer ain't got nothing on her. And don't be shy to leave a comment if you enjoy her wonderful writing style!

Back to our regularly programmed schedule tomorrow. :-D

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I got no R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. It was a yucky day and I ran out of time and energy.

I saw the "doctor" yesterday. Pshaw! She calls herself a doctor, but get this... She didn't have me fill out ANY paperwork. She has/had NO IDEA of any of my medical history!!! And she didn't get it from anywhere else. Isn't that weird!? How on earth can she give me a comprehensive exam if she has no idea of my past medical history?? She can't.

I explained all of my head symptoms, and actually I had quite a headache while in the office. She seemed to diagnose me immediately as having migraines and didn't budge from there. She also refused to do any blood work, even though I specifically asked, because "it was done in the last 18 months and was normal." How did she know this? I told her. But then realized later that it's been longer than that, and HELLO!? I just got finished telling her I'm having memory problems. ARGH!!!!

So, no blood work whatsoever. No celiac test. No nothing except a routine physical and a prescription for migraine meds. Which, I've taken twice and won't be taking anymore. I was instructed to take one pill at the onset of my headache; I can take up to 4 pills a day. I usually get these headaches 2-3 times a day. But after taking the meds twice, I'm not impressed. They actually made me feel much worse. The side effects are nausea and dizziness. Um, no thanks. I already have that with my headaches. Plus, it makes my head feel like it's going to explode from all the pressure and makes the muscles in my neck and jaw super tight. I just read the package and it says if that happens to stop taking it and call the doctor. And it clearly states the medicine won't lessen the frequency of the headaches, it's just supposed to take care of the symptoms when you get one. I don't want to be taking 3-4 pills a day of this stuff.

SUPER. DUPER. FRUSTRATING.

So, yeah. I feel like it was a waste of time, like I wasn't taken seriously and now I'm even more discouraged. I had to just pick a doctor at random, and it didn't turn out so well for me. I think I'll wait to see Dr. Ray in December and then once I'm moved back in at home I'll find someone who can recommend a good practitioner to me. The only good thing about my visit yesterday is that I weighed 143 on their scale, with all of my clothes on (including a sweatshirt).

But for now, the headaches and vision problems continue. It is so crazy how bad my eyes get. I pointed out yesterday that I couldn't read the sign on the wall across from me, but it didn't seem to register with the doc. Either that, or she thought the migraine meds would help with my eye sight.

To make matters worse, I am completely and utterly exhausted. If I didn't know better, I'd think I was pregnant, but I'm not. Although part of the reason I'm so tired is because I keep having weird dreams about me being pregnant, having a baby, and then there is something wrong with the baby. The dreams are very realistic and I have "felt" the baby moving in my stomach more than one night in a row. It's all very strange and I don't know what to make of it. Any dream interpreters out there?

I know that a baby is a sign of new life and there are lots of changes and new beginnings going on around here, but this is a little ridiculous.

So that's the news on me. Yesterday after taking the first pill for my migraine I felt like I'd been run over by 31 semi-trucks. This morning my whole body feels bruised. My joints ache, my muscles feel like I've had Hulk Hogan perform deep tissue massage on them, my head wants to explode like a helium balloon that's been filled too full. Not pretty.

I haven't attempted to do an exercise video. I can barely get out of bed, off the couch, etc... to make food and take Kate to school and pick her up. No way Jillian is getting anything out of me right now. She'll just have to hold her horses.

I did get a passel of boxes today. Ha, I just said passel. :-P So I can begin the tedious process of packing. Yay. Not. But I'll just blast good music and have coffee and tea on hand to help me get through it. Hopefully the headaches will start to taper off. If not, I may have to hire a moving company. Or my siblings.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Things Are Changing

Okay, so I obviously did not make it back on for another post yesterday. But better late than never.

This year is going to be a year of change. It's already started, what with mom's brain tumor and the move back home. But it's also going to be a year of healthy changes for me.

For starters, I have an appointment tomorrow morning to see the doctor about the headaches/vision changes/memory problems I've been having. I'm also going to get tested for Celiac Disease. That could explain the mystery pain I have in my abdomen that comes and goes randomly, and also a lot of other issues.

I haven't had a general physical check-up since I don't know when. I always just had my female exam after having a baby and called it good. But it's been 3 years since my last baby and I haven't been diligent to have a physical, so it's time. I also need to check on the status of my prolapsing bladder. This is something that is actually a HUGE underlying cause of stress.

I'm 32. As my gynecologist said, "People who are in their 30's don't HAVE prolapsed bladders. It's not something we see in people unless they are much older." Except, that I DO have it and it's a heavy burden I carry around. I'm supposed to do about a bajillion kegels a day to help fix it, except that I don't. Why not? Because I forget, I don't have the stamina to do a bajillion so I don't even start, and because, quite honestly, they make me feel weird. The other option to "fix" my bladder is to have the surgery that pins it up in place, only they don't really do it on young women (that I know of) and don't know how it would affect me long term, or if it would even be successful long term.

STRESS!!!!!!!!

I'm getting majorly overwhelmed just typing it out and thinking about it. It's just another thing on my plate that I need to be responsible for, but feel totally incapable of taking on anything else. But something has to change. I have to take charge of my health. Because, quite simply, I can't go on like this.

So tomorrow starts the process. Scratch that, today I'll start the process by doing 25 kegels. You've got to start somewhere, right?

I read a really interesting article yesterday. Here's the link. Basically it's about a professor who ate Twinkies, Hostess and Little Debbie cakes, Doritos, etc... only for two months. HOWEVER, he limited his calories to a healthy amount. For him it was less than 1,800 a day. And guess what? He lost 27 pounds in 8 weeks. Shocking, right! I mean, the guy was eating HFCS, processed, nutrient deficient food and yet he still lost weight. AND his bad cholesterol went down, his good cholesterol went up and BMI became healthy and normal.

It was really eye opening for me, that YES. The amount of calories I consume really does matter. Even if it's "healthy" calories.

You see, for a while I've been totally okay with where I'm at right now. I lost 33 pounds (or so, depending on the day), dropped 3 or 4 dress sizes and am smaller than I've been in the last 6 years. It's been nice. But. There's always a "but", isn't there? :-P We got our family pictures back. Whoa, Nelly.

Basically my rear and thighs took up a much larger portion of the pictures than I'd like. And I realized that although I am much smaller than I have previously been in recent years, I'm still not done with this weight loss journey. I still have some weight and inches to lose. And I'd like to do it this year, so that by my 33rd birthday I'll be at goal.

I figure I have around 15 pounds to go, possibly 20 if I want to be really aggressive about it. You see, I'm only 5'4" with a small frame. So, honestly, 140 isn't such a great, healthy weight to be at. According to "the experts" I should weigh anywhere between 114 and 127. Clearly, 140 is significantly higher than that. If I lost 15 pounds I'd be at 125 which is still the "higher" end of the range, but is something that is attainable. I don't think I'll ever be 114 and I don't feel like I need to weigh that little. I've changed my ticker to reflect these changes.

And the thing is, I feel ready again. Not to do HCG necessarily (although I'd do it in a heartbeat if I knew it wouldn't mess up my hormones... and I may do it again, but I'll get to that in a bit.) But I'm ready to take charge and begin working to lose these extra pounds and rolls. And the easiest thing I can do right now is start counting my calories; keeping track of my food a la Sunshine Mama. Since I've never counted calories, it's a bit harder/takes more work for me because I honestly have NO IDEA how many calories things are. So I have to constantly run to the computer to look up the caloric values of different food items.

But even still, it *IS* something I can do from home, starting right now. I'd also like to work out, but that will be something I have to figure out as I go. I really love the spinning class, but with Owen freaking out on me and sobbing, I just can't do it right now. I can't take anymore emotional strain, and seeing his chubby cheeks with tears streaming down them is just too much. Can. Not. Do. It. And I have to be okay with that. I can't force myself or him to change anything right now.

So I think I'll start trying to do my videos again. I have The Shred (Lord help me, I haven't forgotten how HARD that one is!!) and also a Leslie Sansone walking DVD. Once we move home I'm going to figure out if it's feasible to walk my daughter to school. It's a little ways and I just don't know if I'd have time to get everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door for the 20 minute walk it'll probably take to get us there. But we'll see, because that'd be a really easy way to get in some exercise.

Getting back to the HCG... that is by FAR the easiest way I've ever known to lose weight. It works. I've gained a bit here and there, but usually I lose it again and it's never more than 2 pounds. On Monday I weighed in at 141.6, but I'd had pizza AND fries on Sunday, had eaten junk food all weekend and had a full fat, full sugar latte. But to be able to eat all of that and still only be up 0.6 from the week before is pretty amazing. The point, though, is that I don't want the scale to go up.

I'm seeing Dr. Ray the beginning of December and he's going to do the tests on my brain and whatnot. I'm hoping that between him and my appointment tomorrow I'll have some answers that will hopefully allow me to do another round of HCG in January. If not, I'll have to do it the old fashioned way, with diet and exercise. I know it will take longer and be harder (for me, personally), but in the end it's the results that matter. Not the road you take to get there.

This is going to be a test for me. I'm really, really bad at finishing what I start. I fizzle out somewhere along the way and never actually complete anything. I'll be motivated for a while and then life happens and I give up. So this is going to be a lesson in perseverance and endurance for me... Basically, I'm resurrecting the Skinny Turtle and the premise behind it. Slow and steady, keeping on until I reach the goal.

So that's what is swirling around in my brain today, and my plan for going forward. I'm also planning to cut back on wheat, but I will continue to eat it until my test results come back, as I was instructed to do.

In a nutshell here's my plan:

Workout 3x a week.
Track and stay within my calories in order to lose 2lbs a week.
Drink 70 oz of water a day. (THIS IS SOOOOOOOOOO HARD FOR ME!!)
Limit and possibly completely cut out wheat.
Take care of my body by doing kegels and taking my vitamins/supplements.

Lord help me, I feel like I need a nanny for myself to make sure I get all that done! :-D

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEE!

Hi Guys,
First of all... sorry I lied. I totally thought I'd be posting this weekend, but A) I forgot the laptop and B) I actually rarely get a chance to sit and be on the computer when we're down visiting family.

Anyway, I had a great time. My birthday was yesterday; I'm a grown-up now. I'm 32 years old! :-O I do NOT feel that old; I pretty much stopped aging at 24. ;-)

I've always LOVED my birthday. I love that it's in the fall, specifically in November. I've always looked forward to it with great anticipation and I've always had a lovely day. I don't remember a single year that I was disappointed with my birthday.

This year was going to be different, I thought. With Kris' tumor and us living in Seattle I thought it just wasn't going to be the same; wasn't going to be as fun. But I was wrong. My friends and family absolutely made my day wonderful!

On Friday night I hung out and chatted with my friends, on Saturday I had a party with my side of the family and then hung out with Josh's side of the family later in the day. On Sunday, my actual birthday, I got tons of birthday wishes. SO much fun, and SUCH a needed ray of sunshine in my life.

Plus, I made out like a bandit!

I got:
*A new phone. The LG Sentio.
*LOTS of socks!!!!!!!!
*Super Awesome Mixing Bowls!!!! With Lids!!!!
*Chai Tea!!!!
* Dorothea Benton Frank Books!!!!
*Moose Munch!!!!!
*Candles!!!!
*A New Purse!!! (That's not mine, but it's very similar)
*Wine, Almond Joys and EAR PLUGS!!!! (THANKS, Jen!!) :-D It's an inside joke, Yes, we're weird and crazy, and that's what makes us such good friends. :0) (And for the life of me I can't figure out how to post pictures side by side... help??)


*Sea Salt Chocolate!!!!
*And a long drive home in the pouring rain, with a screaming child that ended with the bag of Almond Joys disappearing, Josh and I singing the Wonder Pets theme song quite loudly, and general silliness all around. :-D

All in all it was a wonderful day and I am so thankful to have been blessed with such amazing friends and family. Seriously. Out of the ballpark awesome.

I will do another post later today, or maybe tomorrow, about my weight and things I plan to change in this, my thirty-second year of life. =)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thank You

You guys, I just want to say a great, big, THANK YOU.

Thank you to each one who takes the time to comment, with sincere, genuine thoughts. They really do mean so much to me. I can't even tell you how much better I feel today. I know part of it was just getting it off my chest, and even though there are still deeper issues that I need to deal with, just getting a bit of it out there has helped so much.

You guys are so kind, and I am thankful for every single one of you. Thank you so much for your care and concern.


I'm packing up and cleaning our house-- getting ready to head back home for the weekend again. I'm actually motivated today, which is super nice. The rest of this week I've pretty much resembled a slug with low blood sugar. :-P Laying around doing pretty much nothing.

But today I shall be an accomplished woman! I will do all the laundry, which is about 6 loads, I'm going to change the bedding so we'll come home to clean linens, the kitchen is already cleaned. I'm going to clean the bathrooms and vacuum. I've got my Christmas music playing (don't hate!) and I'm wearing my new apron from The Ruffled Owl.

I won a 50% off coupon from her newly launched site, and you guys. I got the CUTEST apron!! Seriously, go check her out. If you like to bake and cook and look GREAT while you do it, she is your woman. You can customize your apron from the style to the fabric. I got the "Julia" in the black damask pattern with a cranberry pocket and towel ring. I love it!

I think I might have been born a couple decades too late. ;-) Once Josh gets home and we have a second to spare, I'll have him snap a picture of me in it.

Well, I'd best get off my booty and get back to my work. I just wanted to sincerely thank you for all your kind words and let you know I'm doing much better today.

Have a great one! OH! I'm planning to take my laptop and *hopefully* I'll have internet access so I can post tomorrow. If nothing shows up... well then you know that the internet is being a poopy head. :-D

Happy Thursday, dear friends!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Venting

Today is a day for me to vent, so either bear with me or feel free to skip today's post. ;-)

I am stressed. So very, very stressed. To the point of being physically ill, as I've mentioned. But here's the deal... I'm worried about myself.

Yes, I'm worried about my MIL, but the truth is she has lived a good life. I believe in Heaven, so I know we'll see each other again, whether she has 4 years or 40 years left. It's definitely something I'm working through, because it is a shock, but there is also an underlying peace there.

Having her sudden life threatening illness so close at hand has made me look at my own life. And the truth is, I don't like what I see. I haven't been anywhere near the mother or wife I want to be. I know part of it is out of my control; I'm working on getting the postpartum depression that still haunts me under control. It's a process and it's not finished yet.

The thing is, I'm a hypochondriac. All my life I've been afraid of one thing. Brain Tumors. Every time I had a headache, I'd get worried that I had a tumor. When I was pregnant and had migraines, I worried about what was going on in my brain that I couldn't see. I've wanted to have an MRI just to make sure everything looks okay, but at the same time couldn't bear to think about doing that because what if everything WASN'T okay.

And now my very own MIL has one. A brain tumor, of all things. And it makes my hypochondriac-ness go into overdrive. What if I have one? I know the chances are small to none. Realistically, I know that. But I've been afraid of it all my life and now it's hitting close to home. And I have "symptoms".

I get headaches that affect my vision. At least once a day, sometimes two or three times. I can't see; my eyes get all blurry and can't focus. I can't drive when I have a headache like that, because I can't see the road signs. It's like I took my contacts out, only I didn't. I have sharp, shooting pains in specific areas of my head. I can't remember things; words, directions, etc... It takes me forever to think of the word I'm trying to say. Last night I spent 2 full minutes trying to think up Mary Poppins' name.

It just freaks me out and stresses me out. Because if something is wrong with me and I die... what will my kiddos remember of me? That is what troubles me. I don't want them to have memories of an angry, frustrated mama, someone who yells frequently and gets upset at the drop of a hat. Which is how it is now. Which also makes me think I have a tumor or something, because my personality has definitely changed.

I am not the same person Josh married almost 7 years ago. I have no threshold; I go from peaceful to enraged in a split second, and that is NOT normal. I keep thinking maybe it's just the PPD, the hormones that are out of balance. But it seems like even with taking my drops from Dr. Ray the problem is never resolved. I have an appointment with him in December where he is actually going to run a test on my brain. He can fix serotonin and other chemical imbalances in the brain that cause depression, bi-polar, etc...

You see, the women in my family are very unbalanced. It goes back for generations. Bi-polar, depression, and lots of other unpleasant things. So maybe that's my problem. Chemically imbalanced in the brain. I have no idea, but I am very excited to see if Dr. Ray's treatment will help.

I don't like being the person I am right now. It's absolutely the worst version of myself. I don't want my children to grow up with this kind of mother. So I'm praying Dr. Ray has an answer; something that will permanently fix whatever is broken in my body/brain.

Anyway, I don't know if this is even making sense or if I'm coming across as a hysterical, unreasonable, immature, selfish brat. But it's what I'm dealing with right now. It's the reason I can't keep food down and I can't sleep. It's the reason my stomach is constantly in knots. Just typing all this out has my head swimming and my eyes fuzzy and the pains in my head acting up. I feel the bile rising in my throat. I need help.

Then, on top of it all, my precious baby boy fell yesterday and hit his mouth on the curb. It looks horrible and I'm fairly certain his front teeth will either turn gray or fall out. I called the dentist, but there isn't anything they can do. Just look at my sweetheart. =( He's trying to say "cheeeeese". Heartbreaking, no?


There was blood. Lots and lots of blood. I thought I was going to pass out, because mama don't do blood. It was spurting out of his mouth. For those of you who have seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it was akin to a "flesh wound".

Bleh. I'm working on having a good, positive attitude, but I just had to get all that out. It helps me to just acknowledge the things that are bothering me, and then try to move on in a healthy way. Believe it or not there's even more underlying issues that have me stressed to the max, but I think this post is heavy enough for one day.

I never did make the almond joy. I just can't get up the energy for such an endeavor, and it's probably better not to tempt myself with it. I did make some potato soup, and while not entirely nutritious, it has stayed down every time I've eaten it. So that's a plus.

I'm wrapping this up for now and will be back tomorrow with a more positive post. Hopefully.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nuts

So my plan was to eat raw almonds, meat and cheese, etc... But in reality I'm making almond joy with the nuts. Hmmm, what's wrong with this picture? :-P

I did eat a sandwich today and so far so good. It's really crazy how the chocolate stays down just fine but the wholesome, healthy food wants to get out of my belly. Dang stress.

Today is a special day; my youngest turns 3 today! He is so sweet and funny. He says things that are just hilarious. Like, when he's really mad about something he'll yell, "MOM! THIS IS A SITUATION!!" And we don't watch Jersey Shore, I swear. We only have basic cable.

He'll also do something and then proudly say, "I did great!" He still hates the daycare at the gym, and I don't know if I have the emotional wherewithal to deal with that before we move. So we'll see how often I get to spinning class. =(

He totally doesn't associate birthdays with gifts yet, so every time someone gives him a present his face lights up and he is just so cute I could eat him up!

Here he is this morning, helping me make the cupcakes for his birthday, and with the special red plate that the birthday person gets to use all day:


And here are a couple pictures of him from our family session. Awww, I do so love this boy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chocolate and Coffee, Packing and Purging

Hello All,
Wow, it was weird to be without computer access for a week. I didn't realize how much I am actually on a computer normally!

Thank you again for all the prayers and well wishes for my MIL. She is doing well and is at home now. She will be starting radiation and chemo in the next few weeks. Although they got approximately 95% of the tumor, it did not change her prognosis. From what we understand she has around 5-6 years of life left. And we are so incredibly thankful for the time we have left with her. I personally continue to pray for a miracle, that God will heal her completely, but at the same time I don't know what His will is. In any case, we have her with us now and we will cherish these times.

I have been subsisting on chocolate and coffee. Anytime I try to eat a "real" meal I end up getting sick and throwing up. My stomach is constantly uneasy and upset. Pretty much the only thing that usually stays down is chocolate, and probably because I eat small bits at a time. Now that I'm back home I'm trying to eat almonds, meat and cheese, and other small snacks/meals. I'm hoping that will stay down. The combination of coffee and chocolate with no real food on a body under stress is not pretty.

In other news, we are moving back home. I think I'm still in shock a little. We had planned to be here for 3 years, maybe for the long haul after that. But with Josh's mom being sick, we just felt we needed to be closer. And God worked things out perfectly so that his boss is actually quite excited to have him back in the other office. Things have gone downhill fast without my handsome man there. It's so amazing to see how God plans things and works things. And now we get to move home and be close to our family during this time.

Things change so quickly. One minute you think you're going to be living 4+hours from your friends and family, but everything is right with the world. The next moment you are moving home to your beloved house and close to friends and family but someone very dear to you is dying. It has taught me more than ever to just take one day at a time. Live one day at a time, and live that day to the fullest.

I'm not talking about skydiving and doing your "bucket list" every day. I'm talking about making sure I hug my kids and tell them I love them. Letting Josh know that I appreciate his support and help more than he can fathom, not getting irritated when my kiddos do the crazy things that kids do. Making sure that my life is lived in such a way that I am a blessing to the ones I'm around.

Although we are sad to be leaving our friends here, friends we were just getting to know better, we are excited to move back into our little house. There will be much purging of "stuff". Our house that we've rented is about 500 square feet larger than our house back home, so we get to purge and get rid of lots of things we don't need. I love doing this; it feels so good to get rid of all that junk and clutter.

So that's what I'll be doing. Praying for my MIL. Eating small meals. And chocolate. What can I say, it really is helping me these days, as long as I eat it in moderation. Packing. Purging. Working to make each day count.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It went well!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your prayers!!!

Mom had her surgery yesterday and it went very well. :-D

They were able to be more aggressive with the removal of the tumor than they originally thought they were going to be, meaning they got more out. They also said that just from the quick look they got at it that they would rate the tumor itself mid to low aggressiveness, meaning it may not grow back as quickly or aggressively.

She did very well during the surgery and her vitals were all good. She is talking and looks good.

They are doing another MRI today to make sure everything is doing well and then she will be moved out of ICU.

Thank you again, so very much, for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today is the day

Hi Friends,
We ended up staying here instead of going back after the weekend. I haven't had access to a computer, thus the lack of posting.

Today is the day that my mother-in-law has her brain surgery. It's at 10a.m. this morning. The tumor is quite large; taking up close to 40% of the left side of her brain.

Please pray that the doctor's hands are precise and sure, guided by God, and that they get as much of the tumor out as possible.

Thanks for your prayers for our family during this time; they mean the world to us!!!

I will be in town here through the weekend, so if I get access to a computer again I will most definitely update you on how everything went.

Lots of love to everyone!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fessing Up Early

Hi my bloggie friends!

We are leaving tonight to spend some time with our family back home. I am so ecstatic. I can't wait to see them, hug them, cry with them, laugh with them. Mom's surgery is on Tuesday, so we're getting in some quality family time before things change anymore than they already have. I'll be gone from tonight til Sunday evening, so I'm doing my Fess' Up early.

I confess:

*It really, really bugs me when people who have "professional" blogs (designers and such) have typos in their posts! It's not just an occasional slip up; I'm thinking of one blog in particular. It is littered with typos and grammar mistakes, and it makes the author seem illiterate. I wouldn't trust her with my business, even though she does amazing work.

*I got a few more photos back from our shoot the other day. Here is a cute one.

*I am now reading The Help and I'm enjoying it a lot. Some day I'm going to do a post on all my favorite books.

*My heart broke in two this morning when Kate was asking more questions about Grandma's surgery. She was crying that they were going to have to cut her head to get the tumor out.

*My heart shattered when the first question Kate asked after we told her that Grandma had a really bad owie in her head, and sometimes owies are so bad that people die and go to heaven was... "Daddy, are you going to die and go to heaven, too?" Shattered.

*I am sending a care package in the mail to a friend of mine who had her baby 4 weeks early. A baby girl named Eloise Elizabeth. I love that name! I'm sending her some pumpkin muffins, at her request.

*Our vacuum cleaner is on it's last legs. We've had it for 7 years and I'm unreasonably excited about getting a new one.

*Yesterday 4 huge raccoons lumbered across the road in broad daylight, not 20 feet in front of the boys and I.

*I am very flattered that the famous Miz Fit takes the time out of her busy schedule to comment!! (Thank you, Carla!!)

*My rice pudding is gone. My Almond Joy habit hasn't slowed down one bit. When we get back I'm going to make a pan of homemade Almond Joy.

*Every night Josh and I watch Psych and eat Almond Joys. Anybody seen it? We watch it on Netflix and it's a huge stress reliever for us. We don't have to think about anything except enjoying the show.

*My mother-in-law's surgery is on Tuesday. Her name is Kris. All prayers, good juju and energy are appreciated. =)

*I'll be back on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend and give lots of hugs and kisses to those you love! I know I will be.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thankful

First of all, thank you so much for your prayers and sweet words. They mean so much.

It looks like Mom will be having surgery next week, so we're planning to go down this weekend and have some family time beforehand.

I can't wait to see everyone, hug everyone, and spend quality time with them. It's really hard being far away and unable to do anything or help anyone.

Mom is an amazing woman. She has given birth to 16 children; no multiples. Her oldest two are less than a year apart; Irish Twins. Josh and his older sister are the same age for 3 days. Basically, she had a baby every 12-18 months for 16 years. She is simply amazing.

She is full of love and care.

I hear all these horrible mother-in-law stories, and I am so blessed to never have experienced any of that. I started calling her "mom" early on, during my engagement to Josh. Between her and my mom, I am truly blessed.

Things are going pretty well here. I haven't been to spinning class in a week. My boys have been sick, and then finding out about Mom's tumor, I didn't have the emotional capacity to deal with leaving Owen screaming and kicking in the daycare. I just couldn't do it. I'm hoping to possibly start back next week.

I was doing well with the no wheat, then after the cereal incident it's gone a bit downhill. We had a young couple over for dinner and I made Swiss Chicken (so easy, and so good), homemade crescent rolls (thanks for the recipe, Tereza!), homemade honey butter, corn, and salad. Oh, and a pumpkin roll for dessert. I had 2 rolls and a small piece of the pumpkin cream cheese roll.

I've been nibbling on the rolls, honey butter and pumpkin dessert ever since. And I've been paying the price. Horrible, pounding headaches and bloating. Some stomach cramps and digestion issues. Bleh.

I'll continue to do my best to steer clear of them, but I'm gonna need some help from above. I clearly can't do it on my own. I am an emotional eater. It's something I working through.

We had family pictures taken yesterday. The weather was gorgeous and I've seen a few sneak peeks, and they turned out so well! The kids cooperated far better than I expected, and the photographer was phenomenal.

I may or may not have stolen these from her FB site...

I can't wait to see all of them. We paid for the whole CD, so we'll be getting around 150 pictures. So excited.

And in light of recent circumstances, I am so thankful for these 3 little souls. And for my husband.