Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A resolution free zone…

I don't make New Year's resolutions.  Why?  Because resolutions typically fail.

Let's talk about this - I speak in terms of goals.  Goals are concrete desires/ambitions whereas resolutions are a firm commitment to do or not do something.

A small distinction but an important one.

Resolutions also tend to set people up for failure - if your resolution is to work out 5 days per week for an hour each time and you work out 3 and one was 30 minutes, then it's simple to get discouraged because you broke your resolution.  BUT if your goal is to improve your fitness and you worked out the same can you say you made progress towards your goal?

You betcha.

No matter what you call it though, tomorrow offers a brand spanking new chance.  Remember those pics of 2009 Jen?  She started on a path to a new life in 2010.  It wasn't fast or easy.  And the 10-15 pounds I need to lose again?  That ain't going to be easy this time either.

But can 2015 be your year?  Can it be the year you got back to your high school weight?  Can it be the year you ran your first 5K?  Can it be the year you quit smoking?  It sure as hell can be.

Keep these things in mind - Progress, not perfection.  The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.  If you're doing it right you will cry tears of joy and tears of sadness - sometimes in the same day!

Can you support me in my efforts?  Because I hope to be a small support in helping you!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One last day…

There is one last day left in 2014.  Hard to believe.  Time to make some goals for 2015, right?

Today was low key for me.  I finished up almost everything that I had on my “to do” list and just chilled.

I did start today off – while watching The Walking Dead marathon – with a 7 mile treadmill run. 

I came up and checked my stats and with that run I ran an even 1,250 miles in 2014.  Not bad considering how much I had to cut back in mileage due to injury! 

When you add biking, walking, elliptical and hiking to that number, I come in at having traveled 2,316 miles and –according to Runkeeper, I burned 227,131 calories – hey that’s about the number of calories I ate Xmas day!! Winking smile

So, I guess I’m going to have to bite the bullet and weigh myself.  I have been feeling pretty good and I’m hoping seeing the number in cold black lettering won’t completely throw a black cloud over me. 

Where do you stand heading into the new year?  Feeling good?  Scared?  Ready?  Let me know!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

I am frozen SOLID!

Not sure if you guys are aware, but in my job we are actually forced to take the week between Xmas and New Year’s off – using our vacation time of course.  Isn’t that all kinds of fucked up?

Through begging – I am allowed to work one day and this year will be Wednesday.  So, since I am using my time and have the days off I’m trying to make the most of it.

This is decidedly NOT my time of year that I would like to take off, for sure.  I like to take the time off where I can lay out in the sun!

Anyway, so for Xmas this year, one of the gifts that I bought Marc was the Garmin Virb Elite.  Marc has been wanting one of those action camera that are really popular now and I did something I hate – I did exhaustive research on a techie item to determine the best one!  Anyway, I think I made the right choice for Marc’s needs and wants!

Today we took the dogs out to a beach to run around and play.  It was effing COLD and windy there!  So we didn’t spend a lot of time there as I wanted to.  But the dogs got to run up and down the empty beach and chase balls and have a grand old time!

Marc brought his Virb and took a short video of them playing.  You can hear how windy it was – yuck! 

Chakotay and Archer on the beach

But the boys had a great time and the sun was partially out so I got some sun.  Win-win.

On the way back, we went right by out vet’s office so I stopped to run Chakotay in and get an official weight on him – 89 pounds!!!  My little pudgster and I both will be working on trimming numbers won’t we?

Today was a success eating wise – a healthy lunch and then for dinner we had catfish for the first time!  I loved it, but Marc was not so thrilled.  Paired with quinoa and kale?  I consider that a very healthy dinner.  Closing the year out, I am slowly getting back on track!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What does the future hold?


For those of you that have never met her, I’d like to introduce you to December 2009 Jen.  2009 Jen was huge.  She had to shop online for clothes for the most part because regular stores didn’t carry her size.  She had sleep apnea and her knees hurt.

2009 Jen had a lot of denial going on.  She had a husband who loved her and had convinced herself she was fit because she could take the dogs on a 2 mile walk.  So she was alright, right?

2009 Jen knew she wanted to lose weight, but she had for years – and had done very little to make it happen.

2009 Jen had absolutely no idea how her life was about to change.


Now I want you to meet December 2011 Jen.  Her life had changed a lot in the last 2 years.  She had started eating healthy and losing weight.  December 2011 Jen had not only run her first mile, but had actually raced in a 5K race. 

December 2011 Jen was getting a lot of compliments from people.  It felt good.  She had more energy and had ditched the sleep apnea machine.  She was shopping in not just normal stores, but the normal sections of stores!


And here my friends, is December 2014 Jen.  This Jen has done a lot since 2011.  She hit goal, went through surgery to remove excess skin and has experienced gaining some of her weight back.

She also has run half marathons and has a richer and fuller life then she ever expected.

She still struggles on a daily basis with eating right and exercising and this has surprised her some.  But when she looks back to December 2009 Jen, she sees how far she has come!

As all of us count the few remaining days to 2015, we are plugging in our goals.  For those of you out there who may be in just the beginning of your journey – take a look at how different the Jen pictures are just 5 years apart.

And remember – I am not special or amazing.  I am just a normal chick who made choices to transform her life.  If you start, you can reach your goals, too!  You can look back at your December pics 1, 2, 10 years from now and see how different your life is!!  I didn’t have faith that I could do and yet – here I am! 

I’ve got some weight to lose and some goals to accomplish – join me, will ya?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

From the Captain Obvious files...

Putting all the Xmas decorations away is not nearly as enjoyable as putting them up!  But that's what we did today.  I always love getting the house decorated, but re-claiming space in my living room is a relief.  The cats were not as happy to see their hiding space - aka the tree - disappear! 

I am also cleaning space in my head.  I unfortunately had to watch at Xmas as someone who I care about was brought down emotionally by being treated like shit by family for no reason.  I have been thinking about this a lot and I realized - no one should be subjected to that treatment - especially by family.

When I was fat, I let people disrespect me and treat me like crap.  I think part of me felt I deserved it - for being such an embarrasment.  But whether I'm fat or thin, I DON'T deserve it.  Neither does the person I care about.  And, if you are in this situation, you don't either!  So part of my goal for 2015 is to not allow myself to be anyone's doormat!  To be labeled as less than.  And I hope you will stand up for yourself!

In other news I have to share how happy I am about Chakotay.  People who have kids brag on their kids all the time.  I have dogs so I'm gonna brag on them!!

Yesterday I took the dogs running and walking for 12 miles and I worried later that I might have pushed Chakotay too hard.  But this morning he was raring to go.  The mild weather continues so we took a 6 mile walk.  Afterwards we played outside and Chakotay ran around and chased a ball and even brought it back.  "Fetch" has never been one of his strong suits lol!!

For Archer this is no biggie but for my lazy fat boy (which I say with love) - it's a sure sign that he is getting more fit.

So for both of us - we are heading into 2015 in good shape fitness wise.  But we both need to curb our eating!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Deconstructing Xmas!

Well, we made it guys – we’re past Xmas!  So now what?

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be taking time to sit back and evaluate where I stand and where I’m going.

We went to Marc’s sister’s house for Xmas yesterday.  I was worried that his father’s diagnosis would put a damper on the celebrations.  But, happily it did not.  His dad was in extremely good spirits and no one dwelled on the cancer diagnosis – we did talk a little about the upcoming test which will tell us more, but everyone was positive and upbeat about it.

I think we were all just glad that he was here and healthy for this Xmas.  Next year is not promised to any of us so it only makes sense to enjoy it while we can. 

I will have to face the scale at some point, but it wasn’t today.  Have you ever heard of the strategy some people use for quitting smoking?  Where they lock themselves in a room and smoke like crazy until they basically make themselves sick and then they don’t feel like smoking again.

I think I might have done that with sweets!  After the last few days, all I wanted today was healthy food!

I also got out with the dogs and did 12 miles running and walking.  I felt great!

So I feel ready to face the new year with some positive energy.  I hope everyone else out there is feeling optimistic about the future!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!


I am wishing everyone out there a Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a fun, festive and drama-free day!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Xmas miracle of sorts…

It feels like a miracle.  I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 119.7 – NOT!!!

That really would be a fucking miracle!!!  That number is but a distant memory.

But there was a miracle of sorts today.  First, because of the short week, I had to run two courts today and juggle getting everyone drug tested and conferencing with 2 different groups of people.  And it went more smoothly then I ever could have wished for!

Then, forecasts have been calling for torrential rain and high winds in our area today.  While this is coming - we are promised, it did not happen today.  Instead, come lunch time it was overcast and damp, but around 42 degrees and not raining.

For the second day in a row, I changed and headed out to run.  And run I did.  I was really sore after running a 10K yesterday, but soon loosened up and for the second day in a row, felt great!  I ran 6.58 miles and it was glorious.

When I got back to work, I prepared lunch and thought about how great I felt.

In fact, in just about every freaking aspect of my life right now – except a scale number – I feel so happy and positive.

And then I thought FUCK THE SCALE!  It is a number.  That’s it. 

So, clearly the high of Xmas is getting to me.  And I’ll probably crash afterwards.

But being able to run makes me optimistic that I can burn it off come the new year.

And for now, I just want to enjoy my time with family and not worry about my weight.

So that’s the plan my peeps – how about you?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Perspective or Rationalization?

I have a 2 day work week this week.  So I headed in this morning pretty excited to kill 2 days and then it’s time for Xmas!!

Today was – by Northern NY standards – a gorgeous December day.  It was 38 degrees, no wind and about mid-morning the sun started to peek out.  So it wasn’t a mental struggle to get my ass out there for a lunch time run.

I felt pretty great – I am faithfully doing 20 minutes of electrical stimulation on both the Achilles as well as newly developed Planter Fasciitis (sigh…) every night, and there was little pain.  I warmed up almost immediately and felt strong and relaxed as I did my regular route around the city.

When I got back to work I started thinking about my weight gain.  And the one side of me made this pitch:

Listen, you are a 42 year old formerly morbidly obese woman who just ran 6.25 miles in 51 minutes.  You are wearing a size small dress.  And, more importantly you are a good person.  Gaining or losing weight doesn’t change that!  So, give yourself a break – have some cookies without guilt.  You’ll get back on track!”

Then there was the other voice who sternly said:

Ok, so you were able to run, big whoop.  Your time was slow compared to the past because you’ve gained so much weight!  Go ahead and eat that cookie and tell yourself you’re fine.  But you’re just going to keep gaining weight.  You’ll get fat again like so many other people who lose weight.  And you’re a good person?  You want to be a big FAT good person?”

No one warned me what a mental game this continues to be.  I feel a little alone here, guys – am I the only one struggling with my weight this holiday season?  Am I the only crazy person who wages war in my head?

Are maybe both voices right?


Sunday, December 21, 2014



As I continue to evaluate where I stand, I was thinking whether or not today had been a success.  I was looking up definitions and quotes about success.

It seems like people have vastly different ways of defining success.  Some define it as happiness.  Some definitions talk about how well you face adversity.  Some people claim to be a success because they are happy.

So I can use a dry, dictionary definition, but when you’re talking about life, it doesn’t always fit into black and white definitions.

Today I got up and immediately got a new chicken recipe out and got it going in the crockpot.  My plan was to take the dogs out for a walk and run, but it was pretty cold.  I decided I would wait until the afternoon.

Marc went over to check on his father.  I played on the computer but then decided that I should get some cleaning done in preparation for everyone coming over.  That turned into a cleaning frenzy. 

By the time Marc got back I was in the midst of cleaning and when he asked if I was going to work out I told him I was instead going to finish cleaning and then would work out after lunch.

After lunch, it was still cold, but the sun was peeking out, so Marc and I decided to try biking.  We suited up – and went for a 16 mile ride – about all we could take in the cold!

We got home in time for me to warm up while watching the end of the Dolphins game and then we went down to the workout room to lift some weights.

We then ate the chicken with some roasted veggies. 


So was this a successful today?  NOPE.  Because did I mention I also ate 2 cookies today?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Metaphor time…

Let’s play pretend for a minute, can we?  Let’s suppose one day you walk outside and there sits a $10 bill.  You look around and don’t see where it might have came from.

So you consider yourself lucky and pocket it.  The next day you go out and there sits another $10. 

And then for the next few years every time you go outside, there’s money waiting for you.  The amount varies.  Sometimes it’s $100 sometimes it’s a measly $1.  You never know where it comes from.  But after a while you get used to it being there.  You begin to count on it.

And then one day, suddenly, there’s no money.  You don’t freak out – you’ve saved up.  One day of no money won’t hurt.  But then over the next few days there’s still no money to be found.  And panic starts to set in.  You’ve learned to count on this money.  You’ve planned your lifestyle around this money.

And it’s scary.  Because you don’t know where it came from in the first place – so what if it’s gone for good?

Ok, I think you guys might see where I’m going with this – I’m afraid that this is what has happened to my motivation.

You see, I don’t know why I made this life change.  And I don’t know why after 38 years, I started to take care of myself.

And I don’t know how I found the dedication and commitment to do things like run half marathons and work out twice a day every day.  To refuse to eat bad foods and focus on clean eating.

Like the money, I’m afraid the stream has dried up.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m doing pretty well.  I’m looking forward to Xmas.  My mood is great – especially considering that this is the shortest day of the year and I’m normally moping like crazy.  I’m kicking ass in organization – all my gifts are bought, wrapped and organized.

Today Marc and I bought everything we need for the party here and for what I’m going to make to take to his sister’s on Xmas Day.

I am prepared to clean tomorrow, but there’s not a lot I need to do.

But motivation to eat right and exercise?  That has just. fucking. vanished.

I want to eat recklessly.  I don’t want to lift weights or run.  I want to take it easy.  I want to hunt down every piece of chocolate on earth and cram it down my throat.

What if I can’t get it together guys?  What if January 1 hits and I still can’t get back to Thin Jen?  What happens then?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hurry up and wait....

We're about at an interesting time that I face every year.  It's the time when I want time to speed up and simultaneously want time to slow down.  I am very excited for Xmas to get here, but then it's over way too fast.

With all that is going on in my life I find myself very reflective.  We are approaching the 5 year anniversary of when my life change truly started.  5 years seems like yesterday and an eternity ago all at once.

I feel like I'm going to be entering yet another new phase which is exciting and scary.

But for now, I'm going to coast to the end of the year - there's a lot of love and fun to be had over the next week!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winner winner turkey dinner!

We take our victories where we can, right?

Today I am feeling good about some minor victories.

First off, I didn't eat my feelings last night.  Marc is handling the news about his father really well, and Dad is also doing as well - if not better - then we could expect.  He has to be stressed and worried, but ate lunch with Marc and ate really well - a big deal for an elderly man!  Marc checked on him today and he is hanging in there.

I've felt great about the support I've received from you guys - readers of my blog - for your comments about the silliness of my red hair to the seriousness of what we are and will be facing.

Today I received a visit from an old client who just happens to be battling cancer himself.  He is unwaveringly positive, clean and sober, and actively involved in the recovery community.  Seeing him renewed my faith in what I do...

We had a Xmas work outing today at a local restaurant  And while everyone else had burgers and fries, I ordered a salad.  I'll be honest that when those huge burgers and fries came (complete with a side of melted cheese) - well I threw a small mental pity party for myself.  But I know that I would have regretted it afterwards had a eaten a bunch of greasy fries. 

I am doing okay maintaining my weight - too high but maintaining - which is my goal.  I even squeezed into some pants today that have always been a little tight.

And remember that turkey I effed up a couple weeks ago?  Well, I stripped the meat and boiled the carcass the next day and froze everything.  I made it into a turkey soup tonight.  We’re just about to eat and hopefully it tastes good!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Not what we were hoping for…

Well guys, I wish I had good news to report, but it is as we feared - the big "C" word.  Prognosis? We don't know yet, another test is needed.

It's easy to say that we're lucky - he is 96 years old.  And as someone who lost my father when he was only 42, don't I know that!  But it still fucking sucks.

Needless to say, this puts a damper on my good spirits, and all I can do is hug Marc and be grateful for every moment I have with my loved ones.

This is too simple to forget - we need to cherish those we love because life is too fragile.

In that vein, I called my grandmother today who was prepared to spend Xmas alone, but everyone was trying to convince her that someone or someONES from the family would get her from her place up here to have her spend Xmas with us.  Because Xmas is at my house, I thought I would specifically let her know that we would love for her to be with us.

She had to know this, but she seemed thrilled to hear from me and very excited to join us for the holiday.  I am lucky to have her still in my life – it’s easy to assume family knows this, but hearing it?  I think it mattered.

Putting things in perspective today....


Monday, December 15, 2014

Dear Achilles, Merry Xmas!

My Achilles received a present today – the electrical stimulation unit arrived by priority mail!

As I told you guys I ran/walked with the dogs yesterday for 10 miles, and I was pretty happy to not be in very much pain from it!  I got up in the night and was a bit gimpy, but nothing like in the past. 

But I wasn’t pain free, either, and that is the goal.  I’m hoping that doing the treatment daily will make a huge difference.  

Chakotay was also a bit limpy from the run, but he is great today – Marc even took the boys for a walk earlier and he’s not limping at all tonight!

I received mostly rave reviews from people for the red hair today!  One person even told me that she envied my “out there” style and I am confident she meant it as a compliment.  One woman I work with told me it was terrible as was the dress I was wearing.  **Sigh** you can’t win them all, I guess…

Overall, I am taking all of this as a good sign that the year is ending on some optimistic notes and am hopeful that the news regarding Marc’s dad tomorrow continues this trend.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Run and then run some more!

I know this!  I preach it!  And then I eat crap and think that I can take the dogs on a 10 mile run walk this morning and think that this will make things even!

But I'm choosing to look on the bright side of things today.  I ran and walked with the dogs today.  A total of 10 miles and 7.5 were running!  And my Achilles doesn't feel like agony!

That is a good thing, right?

While on paper I should be down in the dumps I'm not!  I'm upset about my weight, worried about Marc's dad (we'll know something on Tuesday) and feel a little restless right now.  But I also am excited about Xmas and feel optimistic about the upcoming new year.

I don't even regret the red hair!  We'll see how people react tomorrow!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Just a little change…

Here we are halfway through the month.  I can’t believe we have almost arrived at Christmas.  It will be here and gone before we know it.

In a lot of ways I feel completely and totally in control.  I have 1 gift for Marc that was shipped yesterday, but other then that, all my shopping is done, wrapped and organized. 

My house is pretty clean so there won’t be a lot to do before having everyone over for Xmas Eve.  Yesterday, I bought everything that won’t spoil that I’m going to make for Xmas and Xmas Eve.

Even with my exercise I’m okay.  After a very long day yesterday, I still got my ass downstairs and was running on the treadmill at 6:30 at night!

But then there’s my eating.  It’s the only thing I can’t get under control.  And while I’m okay not LOSING from now until January 1st.  I don’t want to gain a ton, either and that appears to be where I’m headed.  For a few days I’m great and then – well, not so much.

I am aching for a change.  My wonderfully beautiful and talented Aunt Karla posted a pic to Facebook of one of the rooms she decorated in her house for Xmas.  It is gorgeous – like something out of a magazine.  And my Uncle Kevin, who is slightly less beautiful, but just as talented (Winking smile), commented that she should open her own decorating business.  And I jumped on that saying we could start a business together, because I LOVE decorating. 

I allowed myself for a moment to reflect on if I only had the courage to truly do something like that.  To pick up, move south and start a whole new adventure!!  I WISH I was that type of person.  Because I really feel like a need something different in my life.  Part of it is the weather – I keep telling myself that just another week, and we start getting more light.

Could I really be having a mid-life crisis?

So instead I made one little change – one thing that I had the courage to do that is no big whoop to most but to me?


Yes, I went red for the holidays!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hey! I remember you!

This week Thin Jen made a valiant return to our lives.  She hadn't gone missing completely, of course, but she hasn't had the strong and much needed presence that I’ve been used to.

It has felt good to feel back in control.  Now, in reality, it's only been a few days, but knowing it's possible to be back on track is pretty relieving.  It is obviously about choices. 

This has been a pretty bland week without much to challenge my resolve.  And I know that I can and WILL be going off the rails several times before the month’s end.  But I am okay with that – my practicing.

I want to leave you with a video of Archer and my Hallmark Xmas decoration!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Open up and say ahhhh!

I almost had to eat my virtual words today.  Which would actually be fitting considering how I'm pretty much eating everything else in sight!!!

I said nothing would be unusual this week.  And then I woke up with a start at 2:20 this morning and the power went out.  So I waited and it flashed on and immediately back off.  Marc got up and confirmed that the lights were off all down our street.  So I set my phone to go off at the regular time and envisioned myself coming to work today without having showered and hair in a ponytail.

Fortunately, they restored it about 30 minutes before I had to get up.

I am starting to get into the Xmas spirit and dressed a little festively today and had Marc take my pic in front of the tree.  When he sent me the pics, I was pretty horrified at how terrible I look!


So I guess this serves as both my Xmas and my new "before" pic.  PLEASE let it be a before pic!!

My friend Jess told me today that she is considering that calories don't exist for the rest of this month.  Oh I so WISH that were true!!

BUT I want to end today's post on a couple positive notes - after running 6.40 miles yesterday at about an 8:35 per minute mile, I had almost ZERO pain last night or today.  And since we are expecting a huge storm starting tonight I decided to do another short run today.

I ran only 3 miles, but did it in 24 minutes exactly AND had no pain.  Whoop whoop!  I am feeling optimistic that I can be a real runner again.  Maybe not where I was, but at least my running career isn't over completely!

Marc is at the doctor's with his dad and will be home late.  The thought of pizza and stuffing myself sat in my mind for some time.  We deserve it!  But instead when he gets home there will be homemade tomato soup waiting for him and we'll make wraps with chicken and lots of veggies!

Practice, day 2, accomplished!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dress rehearsal?

I have felt off kilter for a long time now.  From my injuries and physical therapy to being totally off track eating wise I just feel like I don't know who I am anymore.

So this morning I woke up and realized this should be a "normal" week.  I'm done with physical therapy, I am working a full week, and I have no parties or anything else planned that should derail me.

In theory, anyway!!

I was very busy at work this morning and looked out the window shortly before lunch to see filtered sun, very little wind and I was informed by the Weather Channel that the temperature was in the high 20's.

Fat Jen didn't have one of her many excuses to not run outside and we suited up and headed out.  For 6.5 miles.  My pace was slow and the weight I've gained was obvious with every step.  But I ran.  Mr. Achilles offered a little protest but I generally felt pretty good.

I could almost feel myself slowly returning to my new old normal.  Oh yeah - I remember what it's like to be a runner.  Oh yeah - I remember what's it's like to eat a healthy lunch!  Oh yeah - I remember what it's like to feel like a thin person.  Oh yeah - I don't have to throw myself a pity party today.

I can't promise you or myself that this mental reinvigoration will last.  But there is some research to show that when people practice healthy behaviors for some time without committing 100% to a lifestyle change they are more successful then people who suddenly decide to make the change all at once.

And I realized that's what I did in 2010.  I didn't set a deadline.  Instead I made some changes.  Like going from 1-2 Mountain Dews per day to 1-2 per week.  And from almost no exercise to walking a few times per week.

After some time "practicing" I made a full commitment and ended up 225 pounds lighter!

So December, you are a practice month!  And come January I will hopefully ready to be completely back to Thin Jen mode!!

Who wants to practice with me?


Sunday, December 7, 2014


Anyone been wondering where I have been?  Maybe not…

Thursday, the early December curse continued as we received some potentially bad health news about Marc’s dad.  We don’t know anything yet, so I’ll wait before entering drama mode.

Friday dawned and I had been asked to be a speaker for a group of professionals.  That, fortunately went off without a hitch.  I was able to spend a minute reflecting on the difference between speaking in front of a large group now versus when I was fat.  I always have been pretty good at and comfortable at public speaking, but there is even less pressure now that I don’t worry about being judged.

Friday night brought me to a housewarming party.  And stuffing myself silly.  I really am baffled why I can’t get back on track, eating wise.

Yesterday, though, I was determined to make some progress.  So first thing in the morning I was outside with the dogs and we did walk/run intervals.  Chakotay started off strong but was lagging some by the end, but in total we ran 7 and walked 3.  Not too shabby.

And then it was time to concentrate on making dinner for my mother for her birthday.

I had decided to make a full turkey for my first time ever.  I got advise from various people and bought those Reynolds bags.  First off, I didn’t remove the giblets.  We noticed quite quickly, forturately, but had to take the turkey back out of the oven, unwrap it from the bag, and get the giblets out. 

As a reward for their hard exercise that morning, the boys got the giblets! 


Mom and her boyfriend, Lee, arrived and I was quite impressed with the way everything was coming out.  I thought my timing was perfect.

Until we cut into the turkey and it was still pink.

Back into the oven and waiting.  When it was ready, Marc began cutting and – something wasn’t quite right.

Lee gently shared that we were cutting into the back.

Yes, I had cooked the fucker upside down.

I was pretty upset at my screw up, but really, the only harm was no crispy skin.  Which isn’t that good for you anyway.  The turkey was moist and I had made some acorn squash that I stuffed with fresh cranberries and walnuts.  That was awesome.

So despite some folly, it was a good evening.  But seriously, people, could I be a bigger IDIOT?

Today is the anniversary of my head on car collision when I was 16.  So I will get through today and leave the curses behind me!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Making it through the rain…

I made it through yesterday with only some sadness and melancholy.  You would think 24 years later (!) it wouldn't hurt as much, but as anyone who has lost someone - especially suddenly - can attest, those feelings don’t fade.

I do feel with this milestone passed I'm on the path to a good season.

My Christmas shopping is almost done!  I have been eating extremely well, but a huge test comes tomorrow.  3 employees are retiring so we are having a big party for them.  With PIZZA and salad.

Did I mention there would be pizza?  And cupcakes.  And brownies.


Fuck me.


Of course I can eat the salad and I don't have to eat dessert.  Yes, that's a choice I can and SHOULD make.

And then there's the part of me that throws the I shouldn't have to be deprived tantrum.  We'll see.

I had my last physical therapy appointment today.  My Achilles has actually been really good.  I'm not 100% pain free, but I feel like I’m made huge progress and the last week it’s felt great even after running.  They have submitted the request for the electrical stimulation unit to the insurance company which should be approved so I can continue that treatment at home.

So, so far a good start to the true holiday season.  Onwards and upwards!!

Quotes About Moving Forward 0001 (5)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Last month of the year!!

Welcome to December!  For someone who has slight *cough* OCD, starting a new month on a Monday has a certain perfect symmetry to it.

December 1st brings mixed emotions to me.  It's my mother's birthday.  I'm having her over this weekend for dinner.  I'd tell you what I'm making, but she reads this and I want it to be a surprise!!  I did call her to wish her happy birthday!

On the other hand, this day is always marred by tomorrow's anniversary of my father's death.  And this date marks the day we sent my Rottweiler, Riker, to the Rainbow Bridge after a horrific battle with bone cancer.

I've felt anxious and restless all day today.  Usually working out helps but a tough core workout at noon hasn’t touched it.  Even putting on Christmas music hasn't done squat to ease my mind.

I just want to get through the next couple of days and then can hopefully get into the holiday season!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

As we end November...

November is shutting its door and this quote sums up where I am mentally.

I am peaceful and thankful.  

I am not sure if I can hold on to this, but I feel like I have gained perspective lately.  

Life is not perfect and I have areas that I would like to change.  But perfection is an unattainable goal.  Can pretty damn good be good enough?  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

It’s that time of year!

We spent yesterday decorating the house for Christmas.  Each year we trade off who in our family hosts, and this year is our turn so I really wanted to make it fully decorated.

I always hate after Christmas meticulously  putting away the lights into their boxes and each ornament and decoration into its box, but boy, it is worth it every year when we get everything out!  No wrestling with lights and swearing in this household!  We have to replace some blown bulbs, of course, but everything has been put away so precisely that we just have to place everything in its Christmas place!

I got out the dogs sweaters – the are always SO PROUD to wear them – it’s pretty funny.  They jump around and just show off!















I’m hoping for a warm up to put some lights up outside…that would be a bonus!

I also spent yesterday decidedly NOT back on track food or exercise wise.

So today I resolved that I was not waiting until Monday to get on the wagon!  I grabbed the dogs and went out into the cold morning air.  We ran/walked 6 miles and I really challenged Chakotay who is not a fan of running.  But he did great, including running a full mile our last mile.

I felt great about this and ate a healthy lunch and when we went in to pick some necessities up, I ignored the sweets on clearance and instead bought items for my turkey chili.

Once again, it’s a one day at a time program, and for this day, I’ll claim success!

Friday, November 28, 2014

I’ll take victories where I can get them…

How did everyone make out yesterday?  Did you stick to the plan – whatever plan you made?

I didn’t weigh myself yesterday morning.  From Wednesday’s weigh in I knew that I failed in my goal and although seeing the actual number shouldn’t have mattered, it would have.

I started the day by cooking some things up for one of the dishes I was bringing to Thanksgiving dinner – a crock pot wild rice and mushroom stuffing.  Cooking onions at 7 AM isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, but it had to be done to get in the crockpot before we left for the race.

With all that cooked and into the crockpot, I got ready to run.  I haven’t done a lot of 5K’s and was looking forward to the shorter, fun race.


We got to the place and it was PACKED.  It was a cold day and there was some slush on the roads from the previous night’s small snowfall.

We lined up – packed shoulder to shoulder – and they saw us off with a loud horn.  It was a little slippery and about .5 miles in, we headed down a steep downhill and I am always SO afraid of falling that I slowed wayyyyyy up and people went FLYING by me.  But on the straight away, I gassed it up.

I was surprised and thrilled that with my Achilles and how I haven’t been running as much and when I have it’s been slow on the treadmill, that I felt STRONG.  About 2 miles in, I felt like I was flying!  I didn’t look at my Garmin, preferring to just run with the crowd – and listen to the spectators yell “Love your tutu!!”

Before I knew it, the finish line was out in front of me and I had some in the tank and sprinted. 

My time?  25:02!  Not too shabby right?  I mean, for what I’ve been dealing with and the conditions?  I’m going to say that while I failed in my weight goal, I succeeded in my racing.

I came in 135th – BUT it was out of 643 people – including the teenage boy who won coming in at – get this – 16:04!! 

I was a little heartbroken to see that I came in 4th in my age group – just barely nudging me out of a medal!!

In good spirits we headed home to shower, get ready and make a couple of other dishes for Thanksgiving.

We spent the rest of the day with Marc’s family, and I ate way way way too much, but I had planned on this.

I now have to decide what happens between now and Christmas.  I know that I need to lose weight – but I’ve known this for months and haven’t done anything about it.

Many people make it a goal to MAINTAIN during this period and then get on to losing after the holidays.

Fill me in guys – what are you going to do for the season?


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Get bent…

I’m not broken, just bent a little bit.  And for today?  I’m okay with that.

I expected to be in a deep funk after the news yesterday, and I did spend some time feeling anxious and also sorry for myself.  But I got home and instead of eating myself into a food coma, which Fat Jen really wanted to do, I ran on the treadmill.  And I was okay.

I then made dinner and really felt okay about the world.

I stepped on the scale this morning and saw a disappointing 127.9.  Far away from where I wanted to be.  And yet I still didn’t succumb to depression.

I am bent.  My weight, my Achilles, but I’m not broken – I’m okay.

I will run in the Turkey Trot tomorrow and won’t have the best time.  I will spend the day with family.  I will laugh and eat way too much! 

That’s OK!

Because what I’m starting to realize is that being a little bit bent?  It’s a hell of a lot easier then constantly trying to be straight every minute of every day.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

[Enter many swear words here]

Today has turned out to be pretty crappy.  I went to my physical therapy appointment today and told them how I have been feeling and what the results have been with the specific exercises they have been having me do.

While my Achilles is much improved from where I started, there is still pain and swelling.  And, after the mileage I put in Sunday, the pain was pretty significant.

They are basically out of ideas.  Nothing seems to be having a lasting effect.

So all the time - not to mention lots and lots of money - that has been spent, and I'm better but still pretty fucked.

I'm trying not to be such a drama queen.  As far as impairments go?  I'm pretty lucky.  I can still run, but probably not long distances.  But I do have to wallow in this for a bit and feel sorry for myself...


Monday, November 24, 2014


With Christmas coming, I know that a lot of you might be interested in either asking someone to buy you a FitBit or buying one for someone else.


I know very little about these devices, but they are all the rage.  So Marc decided to try one for himself. 

Check out his extremely detailed review on his blog, Random Bits & Bytes!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sliding into danger….

Ok, it’s not danger exactly, but we are headed into what most of us would label as the season to stuff our faces.

Yes, Thanksgiving to New Year’s is – at least for me – the most wonderfully fattening time of the year. 

Not only do we have all kinds of holiday celebrating, but we are also reaching the days where there is the least amount of light – which leads to depression and a desire for me to jab a knife in the eye of anyone who gets between me and carbs.

Now add this to the mix – I am horribly superstitious – did you know that?  And this time of year – within a few days of one another marks the following anniversaries:

  • My father’s death
  • A head on car collision
  • having to put my Rottweiler, Riker to sleep
  • The death of my ferret, Kira

It is not a good time of year.

I am headed into this holiday season with a reasonably good attitude.  It was mild today and most of the FEET of snow we had built up melted.  I got out first thing this morning and went on a walk/run with the dogs for 8 full miles.

I then ordered a couple of Xmas gifts online, played a couple computer games, did some laundry and then headed to the basement and ran on the treadmill while watching football.  Another 8 miles – we’ll see how Mr. Achilles reacts to that later….

I also ate extremely well today.  I just finished a brilliant home made pork stir fry dish loaded with fresh vegetables and brown/wild rice cooked in the rice cooker.

And I feel great about that – BUT, I’m going to be honest here – I can’t wait for Thanksgiving Day and all the indulgences it brings.

I am not going to make my weight goal on Thursday, either, which makes me feel like a bit of a failure.  But I’m not beating myself up, either, which is a victory in itself.
I continue to navigate and negotiate with myself.  Hold on tight – this should be an interesting sprint to the end of the year.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Feel the flow....

Feel the flow is a common phrase they use in yoga.  Right now I'm feeling that flow.   I think I've mentioned here before that many times in my life I've felt like a spectator of my life.  But right now?  I feel grounded and peaceful.

The last couple days we've been setting up our new cable and especially internet.  For those of you that have had high speed internet for years - like the rest of the civilized world, it's probably difficult for you to understand how truly life changing it is for us.

I know I told you guys about buying a TV earlier this summer.  It is a smart TV.  So the last 2 days, Marc and I streamed yoga videos from youtube - it was so effing cool!  I know I'm a dork.

Today we worked out and then went into the store so I could buy what I need to make the dishes I bring to Thanksgiving.   It was still early when we got home and I reluctantly started cleaning the kitchen which was a disaster area.  I hate cleaning, but once I start - I was feeling the flow - and attacked the rest of the house.  A couple hours later, I had a very clean house and that priceless sense of having accomplished something.

Marc chose an extremely challenging yoga video - as I sit here 4 hours later my shoulders are still aching!  And then I made a cheesy cauliflower soup for dinner.

I feel in the zone.  I'm even not having fits about my weight today!  How long can I hold onto this?  My grip is tight!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hey, moron, things are good!

My friend asked me how things were going today.

Things are great, actually.  Other then the freaking weather.

But really, what do I have to complain about?  I have a home, work is going great, and the miracle happened today - they FINALLY installed high speed internet!!!

I have a wonderful husband and our marriage is fantastic.  Archer's ear is virtually healed and the rest of our managerie is in great shape.

My Achilles feels wonderful!  I ran again tonight - on the treadmill again - but I'm hardly feeling any pain!  I have to run outside to really test it, but damn - this is something I feared would never happen.

And yet...I can't surrender to happiness. Why?  Because of the number.  That blasted number on the scale that greets me every morning.  It taunts me, tells me I'm a miserable fat failure.  

I think some times that I've gotten beyond that.  And I really have improved.  But wayyyy inside it tears at me.  Every single morning.  It's STUPID.  So so so stupid.  And yet real...

Will I ever get there?  I guess it's like everything about this a journey - persistence and patience...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The BUZZZZ of healing?

We survived round 1 of the storm - I'd say we got pretty close to 2 feet.  AND guess what?  Round 2 is headed our way!  Good times, people - does anyone live in hot weather and have a guest house that you'd love to put me up in???

So let's talk physical therapy.  I told you about last Thursday and the woman who does mechanics.  Then Friday, I saw another woman who massaged and pulled on my Achilles, foot and calf.  Both days I also had the electrical stimulation and this weekend I felt really good!  A 6 mile power walk with the dogs and almost no pain.  Then the 7 mile run.  Which hurt, but nothing like in the past.

Yesterday another session of a specific squat designed to challenge the ankle joint and Achilles. Followed by the electrical stim.   I did plyometrics and went 5 miles on the dreadmill and very little pain during and almost no pain getting up in the night!

So today I saw the mechanics lady again.  She is firmly convinced that the answer lies in my ankle joint - me?  I think it's electrical stimulation that’s doing wonders.  Either way, something is working - and that is good.  The pain I feel is usually not TERRIBLE pain, it's just a chronic always there pain.  And the thing with chronic pain is that you sometimes don't even know it's there until you're not in pain!  So Saturday I suddenly realized - while in the shower - that I wasn't in pain!!  It was strange!

The physical therapist’s office is going to submit to my insurance for them to authorize me getting one of those stimulation machines so I can use it at home.  They cost - get this - $3,000!!!  So first we have to see if it's approved and then see how much of that they cover.

But I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A wacky day!

What a bizarre day!  I got up to pee twice in the night and we had no snow.  So I thought we were home free.  But then the alarm went off and the first words I heard?  “Oh SHIT!” from Marc.  We couldn’t even see the chicken coop that sits just a few feet from our bedroom window!

So I take a shower, eat breakfast and get all ready and head into this:


As I headed in, 3 cars were off the road.  But then, just a few miles from my house?  Cleared up COMPLETELY.  That’s how lake effect works!

I went into physical therapy.  While I was sitting there, I got a text that they were closing all building owned by the county.  So after physical therapy I got to head home.

Marc and I did P90X Plyometrics and were watched almost the whole time by this guy:


It was blizzard conditions, so I didn’t even take the dogs out to play!  The high winds made for frigid temps.

I managed NOT to eat myself into a food coma, but trust me, I wanted to!  I was, for some reason, nervous and hyped up. 

On the bright side, I got good news at physical therapy today and have another appointment tomorrow – I’ll fill you in, then.  So – other then this weather – I hope things are looking up!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow and Porn…

The apocalypse is coming.  At least that's what the weathermen are predicting.  A monster of a snowstorm is heading directly towards us and we are supposed to get NAILED.

I just read that they are talking 5 inches of snow PER HOUR and 45 MPH winds.  Well fuck me.  Of course this is lake effect snow.  Which means 10 minutes south of where I live could get blistered while my house gets next to nothing – or vice-versa.  We won't know until it moves in.  It's starting tonight and won't end until Wednesday afternoon.

You all know how I feel about weather like this.  So I'm already throwing myself a pity party on top of the feeling sorry for myself dance I've been doing for weeks.

And then - welcome to the holidays and FOOD PORN!!!  Facebook is always good for that, but this time of year it really ramps up.  Page after page of sinfully calorie ridden treats that just scream to me.  MUST MAKE, MUST EAT!

I worked out yesterday - 19 miles on our stationary recumbent bike and then I ran 7 miles on the treadmill.  7 miles which is - absolutely pathetically - my longest run in months.  My reward?  An astronomically high scale number this morning.

And today?  I didn't want to work out during my lunch hour and the following thought didn't just cross my mind - it sat down in my mind, kicked back, and made itself very, very at home.  What was that thought?

Well, I decided that I was going to pretty much bail on exercising and would eat whatever I wanted through Xmas and then would get back on track come January.  Yup - that was my thought and, as visions of Oreos and brownies and shopping and eating out during my lunch hour gleefully played out in my head, I wanted to – as Picard would say “Make it so!”  It was a lovely, enticing fantasy.

When people are talking to me about my "amazing" change, do you think they suspect what a true phony I really am??


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Understanding change…

I don’t know why I have been thinking about change lately, but it’s really been weighing (haha – no pun intended) on my mind, especially with my current struggle to get my weight back down to a reasonable – if not ideal – number.

When I work with recovering addicts, we often talk about change and how hard it is.  I often say to them “Stopping using drugs is the easy part.  If this journey was just about not using, I would be out of a job!”

And guess what – the same applies to weight loss.  The eating less and moving more?  That’s a matter of science.  It’s that easy.  It’s the mental change that is such a challenge.

That’s why for so many people who have weight loss surgery, it doesn’t work.  They either don’t lose, or lose and then gain it back.  Because the change for many is not a mental change.  It’s a physical one and that can only take you so far. 

And please don’t think that this me being judgmental, because it’s not.  It just is a reality. 

Just the other day I was talking to a new physical therapist who was trying something different on me (that’s a story for later) and we were talking about how I “duck walk” – with my toes pointed out.  And I told her I thought she needed to know that this is not from the Achilles injury, but rather from years of being obese and my thighs being so large that my feet needed to point out.

She told me – like I have heard many times – that my weight loss was “amazing”.

But my weight loss is really not amazing.  What is amazing is what I changed mentally.  Which is what is so hard to explain to people.  I can talk all day about healthy foods and protein and being active.  But what I can’t do is explain why and how I went from being someone who CHOSE to sit on my ass and eat unhealthy foods to being someone who made a commitment to eating healthy things, to saying NO to foods I really wanted to eat and being someone who half the time wouldn’t get up to get my own soda out of the fridge to exercising 2 hours a day.

Everyone – and I mean everyone – has the capacity for change.  But not all of us choose to exercise it.

Every single drug addict out there has the ability to stop using drugs.  Every single person who wants to lose weight CAN lose weight!  People can choose to be nicer, to be better parents, to learn and to grow.  But it’s hard.  So fucking hard at times.  And we might not be able to change as much as we want.

But we can make changes to take us towards our goals. Most people simply don’t make the choice.  Which is why people see my physical change as being “amazing”.  Because most of us don’t make good choices.  I didn’t for many years.  And I still make lots and lots of bad choices.

But the next time you are thinking about your goals you might want to visit what block there is mentally to your change rather then just looking at what is happening physically.


Friday, November 14, 2014

A day in the (food) life -

A cup of coffee and an envelope of Quaker Oatmeal – lower sugar.  Today’s selection – maple and brown sugar.
A package of Miracle Noodles – angel hair:
A package of imitation crab meat:
Mixed together and microwaved for 4 minutes:
A banana and water:
A huge salad – includes Romaine Lettuce, spinach, carrots, celery, broccoli, olives, cranberries, fat free feta cheese:
And topped with 6 ounces of grilled boneless pork:
And a glass of skim milk.
Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2 and 2…

2 weeks from today is Thanksgiving.  I stepped on the scale this morning and weighed 126.9.  Which means if I want to meet one of my 2 goals, I have to lose at least 2 pounds.  I'm not sure that is realistic.

But I won't give up.

I ran 6 easy miles on the treadmill last night and my Achilles and opposite knee are pretty sore.  But I feel like the 5K Turkey Trot will be comfortable.  Probably I won't win a medal but I'll finish.

Marc took Archer in to see the vet this morning.  The hematoma is pretty well healed.  She thinks the ear infection is as well but wants us to continue with the topical antibiotics for a week just to be sure.  No further appointment needed.  Yay!

I tried something new for lunch today.  I brought in 2 cups of canned pumpkin (160 cals) and mixed that with a spinach and garlic chicken sausage (80 cals) and mixed it up with salt and cinnamon.  It was actually really good!

I find myself interested in experimenting with new tastes and coming up with different things to eat rather then a salad every day.

I had PT this afternoon.  I saw a different woman who was trained in “mechanics”.  I feel as if I have plateaued in my treatment and so do they, so they are trying to rule out that this is some sort of ankle/bone issue that is causing the problem.  I ran up and down stairs, did a ton of squats and stretched and she pulled and pushed on my foot.  AND?  Inconclusive Sad smile 

But she hooked me up to the electrical stimulator for 15 minutes and I came home and ran 4 and had virtually no pain and have no pain here an hour or so later.  So that has to be good, right?  We’ll see how I feel when I get up to pee in the middle of the night.

What I am noticing is that I am being so much less harsh on myself.  I still have my moments, and I’m not happy with my weight, BUT I also don’t spend hours obsessively berating myself.  And that is good news, too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fighting like cats and dogs...

I thought I would shows you a pic of the absolutely vicious fights that happen when you have a house full of cats and dogs...

Hope it brings a smile to your face!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Cable Guy...

Marc and I moved into our house in 1998.  We live pretty rural, although a main highway passes near us.  At the time, we tried to get cable but it didn't even go down the main road.  So we got Direct TV and used dial-up to access the internet.

A few years later, they ran cable down the main road.  We were excited not just so much for cable, but for getting high speed internet.  But even though the cable went .25 miles from us, Time-Warner told us that the cost would be $11,000 to run it!  Are you kidding??

They then ran it down our remote road from the opposite side.  And stopped .7 miles from us.

We have been battling, battling and battling with them for years.  I've written nasty e-mails to them.  I've called and harassed them.  And still we were living in the hell of no high speed internet.  We bought a Mifi card a few years ago.  Better then dial-up, but still agonizingly slow.  We talked about paying for satellite, but it is extremely expensive and people we know  who have it are largely unhappy with the service.

So we can't watch videos or anything streaming.  We can't download anything as even a small file takes hours.  With the internet increasingly being necessary for everyday things, it has been a little slice of hell.

This summer we noticed a company running a line from a cell tower near us to the road.  The workers  were contracted to run it and told us it was a fiber-optic line and they didn't know anything else. 

Hoping against hope I called Time-Warner again.  I actually received a call back from a local employee named Phil.  He knew exactly who I was and where I lived (I wonder if he knows all the nasty things I've said about his company?!)  He told me that T-Mobile had contracted with them to run and line and yes, because of that, finally, after all these years he could get us service.  He said that he had been "trying to get you guys service for years!"

He told me it would take up to three months to run the line.  I told him I didn't believe it would really happen and he assured me it would.  July ended, August, September passed and we saw nothing.  I called Phil's cell phone and he assured me that they were waiting for a "build order" from the powers that be, but it was going to happen.  And then?  2 weeks ago Marc saw them running a line to the pole near us.  Could this really be happening?

After not hearing from them, I called Phil again on Friday and told him it was his favorite stalker calling.  He laughed and said that line was all set but now they needed a "turn on order". 

So last night we arrived back from our ride and I told you guys that we heard the doorbell.  It was around 6:30 PM and we wondered who the heck it cold be.  It was David from Time-Warner.  "I hear you want internet?" he said.  I said "Since 1998!!"  He laughed.  I'm glad he thought it was funny! 

And within minutes there was a signed contract and the promise of "in a few days" he would have us up and running.

Marc is beyond excited.  I am happy, but until I am able to sit down and easily watch my first cute kittens playing video on Youtube, I'm not going to believe it's real!!!