Saturday, May 31, 2014

Closing the door on May 2014.

We have arrived at the last day of May.  First off, I want to thank everyone who sent me good vibes knowing that I was crashing and burning a bit the last few days.

I know that you will find this completely shocking - NOT!  But I can tend to be a little bit of a hysteric.  Turns out I was making a gigantic mountain out of a very small molehill.  I had created a whole scenario of disaster which didn't materialize.  So I am good.

Where do I stand this last day of May?  Marc and I slept in the latest we have slept in (ok we weren't sleeping, but TMI!!) in months and months.  We are planning on going on a hiking adventure today.  We are as solid I think as we have ever been and for that I am supremely thankful!

Exercise - I gotta admit, I have fallen off the wagon hard.  Since the half-marathon I have not been running as much as usual and have lost my desire.  I have tried to offer all kinds of rationalizations - like "I'm just taking it easy on my Achilles" but that - like all other excuses - is bullshit.  My lifting sessions have also felt somewhat anemic.  I have been very active, but not as focused.  I plan to re-focus on that - we'll see how my long run goes tomorrow!

Weight - I weighed in this morning at 121.0.  That 1 pound above my red line and at least 3 pounds from where I would like to be.  And that's been the consistent pattern throughout May.  And somehow - I just can't bring myself to care.  I feel like I should care.  But I just don't.  So have I resigned myself to a higher weight?  Maybe?  Does that make me a failure?

And where do the other members of the family stand?

I continue to work on Chakotay's weight - which I'm measuring him, not weighing him.  He is slowwwwwwly losing some inches.  Now that we are able to walk and hike more, that should get better.

The baby chicks?  I didn't share this with you guys because it was SO horrible and we'd never had it happen before.  But a couple of days after we moved the baby chicks into the coop, the older hens attacked one of the babies.  They pecked off a whole bunch of her feathers and then the skin on her skull down to the BONE.  It was horrific and the baby ended up dying.  A lot of people who have had chickens insist to me that the baby must have been sick - even though she seemed fine - and the other hens instinctually knew it and got rid of her.

At any rate, what's done is done.  The other 7 are doing great and there have been no more incidents.  The older hens are laying away so we are having our fresh eggs and selling some by the road. 

I still have an itch.  That itch for a change.  The desire to take a risk and alter my path.  But overall, heading into not just a new month, but a new year of my life, I am feeling surprisingly positive and optimistic.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The easy way out...

I had a teacher in high school who was a pretty cool guy.  Like me, he spent his high school career in musicals, plays and other performance oriented pursuits.  I remember one day I had him for a study hall class and we were talking about the musical that we were currently doing.  He had been in the same one (Oklahoma!) when he was high school.  He told me that his dream had been to be on Broadway.

 I asked him why, then, he had became a teacher instead of heading to New York City to pursue his dream.

 "Because I like to know that I'm going to eat tomorrow..." he said matter-of-factly.

 I had that same dream and came to the same conclusion.  I asked myself if I was willing to work my ass off in crappy jobs, living in a cramped apartment, going to audition after audition hoping against all odds that my dream would come true.

 The answer was no.  So I took the easy, safer path.  A degree from a state college and then on to my Master's and then accepting and working my way up in jobs that I loved, but weren't exactly my dream.

 And I've been content. Having a home and a wonderful partner and lots of hobbies and the financial freedom to live pretty well - that's a helluva lot more then some people get!  In fact, like my weight, I know that some people would kill for what I have.

 But now - having made 1 revolutionary life change - I find myself seriously considering another.  How do you decide, though?  Staying right where I am is safe, and I'm happy. But there is another life that calls to me.  It would mean a major risk.  What if I fail?  What if, like many people have, I make this life altering decision and follow my heart only to find that what I thought was my dream turns out to be a nightmare and I totally regret giving up the life I had?

There is no going back.  If I ring this bell it can't be un-rung.  
 And the other side of the coin is what if I make this life-altering decision and it is everything I always dreamed of and I'm wildly happy beyond what I thought was possible?

So how do I decide?  Taking a huge risk goes completely against my nature.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Two sides to a story....

Dear body,

I fucking hate you.  I hate how after a weekend of working outside and running and walking and refusing what I really wanted to eat for something more healthy that you have “rewarded” me by a weight gain of 4 pounds since Saturday.

I hate your disgusting thighs and how so much extra skin hangs down that it looks like you have elephant legs.  I hate your flabby ass. 

I hate the stretch marks covering your stomach.

I hate the dark scar that goes all the way around your body.

I hate your extremely tiny boobs and square shape that makes you look like a brick.  I hate that you are so short.

I hate that you will never have been and never will be pretty.

Dear Body,

I fucking love you.

I love how, even after years of obesity and inactivity, that you now can run half marathons - and in pretty decent time!

I love your strong muscles and how you can carry and push heavy objects without needing help from anyone.

I love that you are forgiving and that if I eat right the weight should come back down within a few days.

I love that although you scar badly, that you heal fast and made it through a major surgery without complications.

Although you may never win any beauty contests, I love that for a woman about to turn 42 that you look pretty good.

I love your healthy nails and teeth and hair and your smooth skin.

I love that every scar on your body tells a story from an event in your life - like falling off your bike at age 10.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day...

When I was a teenager I was not a fan of Memorial Day.  I was in the marching band.  For the 7 years of middle and high school I was required to march in the Memorial Day parade.  And every year except 1 it rained and was miserable.  So we marched and played in gross heavy wet uniforms.

I was lucky enough at the time to not have experienced a significant loss and I was a selfish brat of an adolescent and didn't think of much beyond what directly effected me.

Today dawned beautiful - warm breezy sunny.  I quickly went through the veggie garden again with the rototiller.  Then I really got down to work.  For 4 hours I planted the garden, fixed the fence around it, and then began working on planting containers of flowers.  4 hours is a long time to think if you are so inclined.

And I was today.  I thought about my father and grandfathers.  I thought about people I miss - both veterans and non-veterans.  I know that there are others out there that paid more tribute to today then I did, but it was time to reflect on my life and the lives of others.

We don't live anywhere near where my dad is buried.  But we are only 1.5 miles from the cemetery where Marc's mother and brother are buried.  Marc's Dad and sister had planted fresh flowers on their graves and Marc's dad really wanted us to visit.  So before dinner we took the dogs for a walk and stopped in to see.

Neither Marc nor I like visiting graves.  But it felt peaceful today.

 A serene end to a productive and welcome long weekend.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


My original plan today was to get my veggie garden planted and some of my flower plants.  But after looking at the forecast for today and tomorrow and thinking about what I wanted to do - work wise and play wise - with the last 2 days of the long weekend, we decided to hike today and save the "work" for tomorrow.

 So my scheduled "long run Sunday" was cut a little short as I did only 10 miles and we headed out to a trail an hour from us.  We ended up hiking 8 miles. 

 Not bad for exercise today.  On the way home we stopped at Walmart to get dinner and a few things.  By that time I was HUNGRY.  First off, it's good to feel truly hungry - physical hungry and not that emotional "I'm anxious" or "I'm bored" desire to nosh.  But when I'm in that state of hunger and being a little worn out?  I don't always make the best choices.

So we walk into Walmart and the first thing we see is:

It's not a coincidence my friends that the minute you walk into most Walmarts, there is a case full of these high calories but oh so fucking delicious beauties!

 "Me WAAANNNT!!!  PIZZA GOOOOOODDDD!". Fat Jen wailed.

Thin Jen explained that there was better choices.  But Fat Jen?  She began "talking" quickly and frantically about the amount of calories we burned today and oh how good pizza is.

Thin Jen managed to move past the display case only to encounter the deli section with the mouth watering smells of fried chicken.  Fat Jen looked to Marc to see if he would back her, but Marc had a poker face on.  "Whatever you want is fine with me."

Under her breath, Fat Jen grumbled "Pick a side, Motherfucker!"  She can be mean when she fears losing!
 Thin Jen then looked a little further and saw the deli meat.  A decision was made and Thin Jen came out the victor.  Dinner ended up being a honey roasted turkey wrap with reduced fat swiss cheese and a bean based soup.  

 That pizza would have been good.  And the world would haven't ended if that was the choice I ultimately made.  Next time?  Maybe i choose the pizza.  But soon I'm going to crawl into bed feeling really positive about the decisions I made today.  

 That's always a good thing at the end of the day!!  


Saturday, May 24, 2014

From highs to lows and back again!!

With all the anticipation of the half marathon last week and then being nervous about my doctor's appointment, I had been through a small emotional roller coaster.  And I didn't think I had pushed myself that hard at the 1/2 - my time wasn't that good.
But last week after the 1/2 I walked or ran an additional few miles every day - I had traveled 44 miles last week by Thursday night.  I probably should have rested a little more, but the winter was so terrible, that when it's nice, I just can't take being inside!!  It's like the sun calls to me!!

I then made what was apparently a stupid choice and worked my legs HARD on Thursday night.  When Friday rolled around I was emotionally a bit spent and my legs felt like lead.  So I didn't run at lunch - instead I went shopping for flowers and seeds.  **GUILT ALERT**

As Marc said - and as I would tell anyone else in the world - when your body tells you something you must listen.  But I still felt tremendous guilt.  An hour of yoga when I got home felt good, but I still felt a little unproductive.

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed though and - believe it or not - skipping yesterday's workout did not result in a gain of 50 pounds overnight.  I was determined to get something accomplished today.

And I'm thrilled to report I did.  When we got up it looked like it was going to be a cloudy cool day and rain was threatening.  But shortly after noon, the skies cleared and the sun popped out, warming everything up.  I've been so upset about the delayed spring keeping me from putting in my veggie garden.  Today, I got the rototiller out and worked up the whole thing - refreshing the soil and smashing the weeds to death.  
How does one look this sexy rototilling?  It's a gift, people, a gift!
With that task accomplished, I began weeding my flower beds.  I was able to get them all weeded and ready for planting tomorrow!  I then moved on to the mess that was my herb garden and got that all cleaned out for some annual herbs to join the ones that returned from last year.

I am tired and smelly tonight and I feel fantastic.  I am looking forward to a hearty dinner and curling up with Marc tonight to watch a movie.
And - because I can't resist - and I know I can't be the only one out there that LOVES a bargain.  Marc and I took our garbage over to the transfer center today and on the way back we stopped at a couple of garage sales.  
We scored these very expensive almost brand new backpacks for the dogs for - guess how much??

 $1 EACH!!!!!!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gratitude and attitude...

Last November I made a point in each blog post that month to name something that I was thankful for.  I try to remain grateful for everything I have but real life has a way of narrowing our view at times and I can't be the only one who loses sight of what we do have.

With my doctor's appointment over and good news I received I found myself pretty reflective today.  As I got out of the shower this morning and stared at my naked body in the mirror, I rubbed my stomach and thought "I think I love food too much to weigh under 120..."  And for once that thought didn't make me hate myself.

I thought about weighing over 300 pounds and how grateful I would have been then to magically be made 150 pounds - let alone the 123 that I weighed this morning.

And I think about some people I know with SO LITTLE that are so happy just to be alive and clean and sober - I can learn a lesson from them.

 I have a home, a husband who loves me, and SO MANY MORE blessings in my life.  I can't get complacent, of course, but with that birthday fast approaching I think i could use a little more gratitude.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Doctor, doctor give me the news....

Today was the day to have my 6 month follow up to my doctor.  Specifically, I have been taking the Red Yeast Rice for just over 6 months and I was anxiety-ridden about my cholesterol levels and what they would say.

I had in my mind exactly how this appointment was going to go.  I was going to walk in and the first thing the doctor would ask me is why I had gained so much weight.  Then he was going to go over my labs and show me that my cholesterol level had not only not gone down, but that they were astronomically high.

Then he was going to tell me that I must go on a statin drug.

Guess what??  I was wrong in the best way!!!  

He immediately got to the point.  My overall cholesterol is 210 - which is actually 5 points higher then a year ago.  BUT my HDL (good cholesterol) has increased to a sky high number of 73.  Which according to him is fantastic.  My triglycerides are rock bottom low at 70.  

But here is the best news.  My LDL or bad cholesterol dropped from 133 last year (and I think it was even higher 6 months ago) to 123!!!  It's in the "near optimal" category.  


The doc was extremely happy with these numbers.  According to him, having either high HDL OR LDL numbers pushes your TOTAL cholesterol number higher and since it is only 10 points above ideal, he is not concerned even a little bit.  And my ratios?  They are all in the "Ideal" category.

"Keep doing what you are doing!" he said. 

I asked him about my weight.  He scoffed at my concern.  I was - to my surprise - only .3 pounds over where I was 6 months ago - I was 124.0 today on their scale.  I told him - with a smile - my excuse was carb loading last week for my 1/2 marathon.  He found that amusing.  He said that I am muscular, I look great, I just ran a half-marathon and came in 13th place (yes, I did brag to him), and that, in his medical opinion, I am doing great and should be seen as an "inspiration" to anyone who wants to lose some weight.
Wow.  That was unexpected.  FINALLY some good medical news for me!
All other labs - glucose, kidney, thyroid were completely normal.  My resting heart rate in the office was 57 and my oxygen level was 99%.  My temperature was 97.0 - no wonder I'm always cold!  And my blood pressure was 110/70.
The only news that I was not happy with was something that I know needs to happen.  It's booby squishing time. Yes, I'm almost 42 and need to start getting a yearly mammogram. 
So I am a happy girl today.  The doc and I agreed that I will continue taking the Red Yeast Rice caps - neither he nor I can say for sure that this is what dropped my LDL so much, but since I have no side effects from taking 2 caps a day and they're pretty cheap, it's definitely worth it to continue. I also take a fish oil capsule every night - as do Chakotay and Archer - and I'll continue that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fatter or fitter?

The news is full of reports of how fat we are becoming as a nation.  Childhood obesity rates on apparently sky high.  And it seems that we are eating more processed foods and we are getting lazier.

On the other hand there are more and more fitness sites online - Fitocracy, Runkeeper, Mapmyrun, myfitnesspal, weighttraining, etc.  

And we have more and more technology to keep us in shape - running watches, fitbits, apps to check calories at your local restaurants.  The FDA is revising nutrional labels to help us eat right  and most places have made it easy to order healthy dishes - from Applebee's to Ruby Tuesdays - they're all offering low cal options.

 So you would think that this means people are considering their health and doing something about it!

But all one has to do is look around and you will easily see not just overweight but morbidly obese people - young and old - they are everywhere.

So what do you think?  Where do we stand as a nation?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Determinism, chaos theory, fate?

My friend casually said the other day "Everything happens for a reason!"

I asked if she really believes that and she replied "Absolutely!"

I wish I did!  It would make things so much easier!  I don't pretend to be anywhere NEAR smart enough to understand chaos theory like some readers out there can (Hello Marc and Erik!)
But my rudimentary understanding is that what seems random and totally without reason in our lives actually has a defined structure and is following a logical path - we just can't see it.

 But how can you possibly think that the terrible, unspeakably horrible things that happen in the world are happening for a reason?  Children with cancer, a drunk driver mowing down a family, someone losing their job, finding out your wife is cheating on you - that's just fate?

 And doesn't it remove our sense of responsibility?  Despite my vow to get back on track today no matter what I fucked that up badly.  And the guilt and shame I am feeling?  Well, if I can just convince myself it happened for a reason I could merrily go to bed and not think about what I'll do tomorrow  - because it's all pre-ordained, right?

 So for me events - be them good or bad - they don't come from some grand design by a diety or the universe.  We control our paths by and large by the million choices we make a day - including our reactions to the random obstacles and gifts we find along the way.

 As I tell my clients "All you can do is what YOU can do"

 I hope tomorrow I will do the right thing...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Reflections after racing...

Let's start with a full on DORK pic of me that a photographer took at the race yesterday:

 Somewhere around mile 12.5

Marc's pic is decidedly better!

I've been thinking a lot today.  For starters Sunday is typically my long run day.  I didn't think that I had  pushed myself that hard yesterday, but just about every part of my lower body disagreed with that.  Overnight my left IT band ached for the first time in a very long time and my knee also spoke up.  

I looked up what people typically do after running a 1/2 marathon.  Lots of articles spoke about these long races being "really hard" and "taking a toll" on the body.  I scoffed at that.  NOT in an arrogant way, you see, but the way I look at it is if I am capable of doing it - well, then it can't be that hard!!  Lots of websites recommended a rest day.

So I wasn't sure what to do for exercise this morning.  I decided to take the dogs and do a brisk walk.  Once we got out there, I got to thinking how Chakotay remains out of shape, so I decided to do a light run.  For 5 miles we alternated .25 miles walking and .25 miles running.  That first .25 mile run?  My body felt like it was breaking down.  But soon it loosened up and by halfway through I felt fantastic.  I am so glad this is the choice I made.  Although I'm not sure that the dogs agree, because after that and an afternoon of playing outside, this is what they look like:

After the race yesterday a woman who works in a related field whom I have known for years but only casually came over to me and congratulated me.  She remarked that people who have never met me and didn't know that she knows me were talking about me the other day.  They were apparently saying that they see me running and how "amazing" I am.  As at this time she was telling me that I was cramming a muffin in my mouth, I waited for her to tell me the punch line - that she told them that she knows the truth and I am in no way someone to look up to!  Of course she didn't say that and instead looked me dead in the eye and said "Jennifer, you need to know that you truly are an inspiration..."

There are no words - NO WORDS - to describe how hearing this still makes me feel.  I am humbled and embarrassed and flattered and inspired myself all at the same time.  Knowing that some people look up to me in any way is a bit overwhelming and I feel a certain responsibility to live up to those expectations - which I believe is a good thing.  

Before I sign off today, I want to wish my Uncle Kevin a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  

 If you ever read the comments of this blog, you will have seen his very smart ass replies to some of my posts.  At one point in time, he, his daughter, my mother, Marc and I and my brother and his good friend were quite a close and motley crew.  But, as happens, our lives went on and we are all so busy now, that I don't see him nearly enough.  But - unlike some friends and relatives that tend to grow apart - I have absolutely not a shred of doubt in my mind that if I ever found myself in need, I could count on him 110%.  That's pretty precious these days!!

So, Happy Birthday Asshole!!  Marc and I send love and farts in your general direction!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Another 13.1 in the books...

Well, I have another 1/2 marathon under my belt!

Today I raced in the Heather A. Freeman Run to the Sun.  I like this race as it supports a good cause.  Not that there's anything wrong with running a non charity race but I like knowing that the entry fee is going to something important.

Anyway, as promised, we awoke to partly sunny skies, but a miserably cold 36 degrees.  Damn that's cold.  By the time we arrived at the race at 8 AM, it was a blistering 42.  My first 1/2 was this one a year ago, and looking in my scrapbook, it was indeed 10 degrees warmer, but there was a terribly cold rain, so I shouldn't complain.

 Before we left - with Marc's typical miserable expression whenever he gets his pic taken!

Marc again wished me luck as he had to hang around for an hour for the 10K to start.  The horn sounded right on time and we were off.  It took less then 2 miles before we established what would transpire for the entire race.  One group jumped out in the lead and then there was a sizable gap and then some other packs quite far behind.  I was at the ass end of the lead pack.  From mile 2 on, we ran this way - seeming to stay paced with each other.

Here I am at the start.  My tapering was right on point this year as I felt of strong mind and body.
At mile 3 we entered a cul-de-sac.  Last year a number of racers were coming out of there just as I was entering - not so this time.  I saw no one on my way in and as I came out - just before mile 4 - a whole group was just entering.  I was surprised - I am still not used to thinking of myself as being a lead pack person.  

They had markers noting each mile and when I hit mile 6 I was disappointed to see that their signs were about .25 miles off as my Garmin said 5.74.  Last year we ended and my Garmin said that we had run only 12.6 miles and I had written the race organizers an e-mail (I'm guessing I'm not the only one - we are an obsessive lot as a whole) requesting that they re-measure for this year's race.

Mile 7 last year and this year was miserable.  It's almost exclusively an uphill battle with one major hill and wide open farmland that just let loose the wind.  Largely I was fine except my hands - who would have thought we would have needed gloves in the middle of May when it was 87 degrees just three days ago??!!

I continued to glare at the back of a woman and her husband who I had been steadily running behind - neither gaining or losing ground - from the beginning.  They must run together all the time because they were a PERFECTLY oiled unit running as one.  They were so in sync it was almost weird.  At the 8 mile sign, she reached into her runner's pack and I could see her hand her hubby some gels and she ate some herself.  I wasn't sure that she was the only woman in front of me, but I suspected she was.  

I thought about taking this time to speed up and make my move even though their re-fueling hadn't really slowed them down.  But I knew I had 5 more miles to go, too.  Like a sign, my MP3 Player began playing "Steady As She Goes" by The Raconteurs and, silly or not, I took that as a sign to keep the pace.  

But I steadily and slowly began gaining on them.  At the Mile 9 sign, I had caught them.  Realizing this, the girl looked frantic and began running fast to pass me.  But she kept looking back at her husband and finally slowed and grabbed for his arm.  What the hell did she think she was going to do - drag him for 4 miles?  Above my music I  heard her say "COME ON!!!"   I could hear him say something and then heard "Just GO then!!"  And she did.  She blew past me.  I was hoping that she would burn out, but no such luck - she was GONE.

Bitch.  I mean - what a fine racer!

So I kept running and fortunately the last 3 miles of this race (as opposed to the the up and down hills which marks the first 10 miles) is relatively flat.  So that last section, knowing that I was almost done and it being a nice surface was pretty cool.  I had come to terms that I wasn't going to win and no one was close behind me - save a young guy that I had just passed - so I was able to just run for the fun of it.

I hit the sign that said mile 12 and looked at my Garmin which read 11.44.  I was happy to be nearing the finish and was disappointed at the same time that it was about to be over.  I was also upset about the discrepancy in the miles.  Just over .5 miles later and we turned off our route and met up with the 5 and 10K walkers and runners.  I kept waiting and waiting for the 13 sign to appear and then saw a sign that read 6 miles (10K) and looked at my watch and saw that the distance was now correct - no wonder that last mile seemed to long!  It was actually over 1.5 miles.  They clearly kept the signs all along the 1/2 course the same and just extended at the end!

I took the last turn and saw the finish sign.  I knew I had been going along at a pretty good pace and my goal had been to finish in 1:40.  I squinted as the red LED numbers got closed and I sailed over the line at 1:39:22!!  Goal met!!  I heard the announcer say "Jennifer Hudson Mosher just finished her half-marathon.  And it looks like Jennifer is the 2nd place female - good job!"

So, here I am again - 2nd place - which makes me the #1 loser, right?  

I grabbed the water bottle held out for me by one of the volunteers and they gave me my medal for finishing the half.  Immediately - of course - over to the food tent.  And then I waited for Marc to finish his 10K.  

Final stats:  13th place overall - there were 105 half-marathoners.
2nd place female and first in my age group - I was creamed by a 28 year old.

Marc had a fantastic finish.  One of his fastest times and he does not really consider himself a runner!
He placed 18th out of 101 10K'ers and blistered his record time coming in at 51:03.

Collecting my 2nd place finish prize - you can see how frigging WINDY it was!!

For coming in 2nd I was awarded a 1/2 hour massage at a local beauty parlor.  Pretty exciting as I have never had a professional massage!!

So at the end of the day I'm pretty happy.  I really would have liked to get first, but I ran a good race and simply got beat.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday....

Friday, May 16, 2014

Can't you just play nice?

This week the weather has been BEAUTIFUL.  Highs soared into the 80's.  After work I came home and almost every day, Marc and I hauled the weights out of our basement and did a workout outside rather then in the basement.

After being in an office all day, it felt great to be outside in the fresh air doing my workouts.  However, we only have weights up to 25 pounds so I haven’t been lifting heavy.  Combine this with cutting back on my running in preparation for the ½ marathon tomorrow?  

Well, I’m not feeling too impressed with myself today.

Today has been marked by rapidly falling temperatures, wind and TORRENTIAL rain.  Although the rain is actually not as bad as they were predicting.  Tomorrow, fortunately, we are going to be back to sunny skies, although the half starts at 8AM and it’s going to be very chilly - they are saying about 43 degrees!

So wish me luck in the race, and be prepared for a long and boring report of how it went!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I'll quit tomorrow...

When I worked in outpatient counseling we would occasionally show our groups movies that had been made about addiction.  Most of these were badly acted movies produced on a small budget designed specifically to be bought by rehabs and outpatient programs to dramatize and educate while theoretically entertaining.  One of these movies was called “I’ll Quit Tomorrow” and was about a man in danger of losing his wife and family as well as his job so he was coerced into entering rehab. 

This fictional character was based on many “functional alcoholics”.  He said that he could quit any time he wanted and was always telling his wife that he would quit “tomorrow” but every tomorrow he found an excuse to continue drinking. 

Which is why - if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time - you will always see that I’m harping on not waiting but beginning a lifestyle change IMMEDIATELY.  Because “tomorrow” never seems to come.

However, there has been some research done specifically on smokers.  It showed that smokers who picked a quit date but allowed themselves to continue smoking without restriction leading up to that quit date were pretty successful. 

So could that work in terms of weight loss?  I mean you can’t pick a “quit date” to stop eating food, right?  But you can make commitments to a lifestyle change. 

Here are the smoking cessation strategies that might be applied based on the START acronym:

S = Set a quit date.

Choose a date within the next 2 weeks, so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.

Ok, so this is easy enough - pick a start date - circle it on your calendar!

T = Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit.

This is a tough one.  People are really reluctant to announce to the world that they are going to make a big change for lots of reasons.  But telling people does hold you accountable.  And yes, maybe knowing that you’ll get that disapproving look when you head for the box of donuts will help you say no to them!

A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you'll face while quitting.

Being prepared for things like sugar withdrawal and how you are going to handle next week’s work luncheon - those are all important things to consider.

R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work.

Throw away all the crap food in your house.  Get rid of the sodas.  Clean you desk at work out of the candy.  Go through your car and remove the candy bars that are stashed in your glove compartment!  Lucky you, though, you get to replace them with healthy things!

T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.

There are medications that can be used to aid in weight loss, although in my opinion they should be the last resort.  BUT, so many of us that want to lose weight have issues that our doctors can help us address to give us the best chance possible of being successful.  Have him/her order a full blood panel.  Make sure that your thyroid is in order, that you don’t have diabetes, that you blood pressure is normal before you start the lifestyle change.  This is especially true if you are incorporating an exercise program!

So there you go.  Quitting “tomorrow” may work for you.  For me?  Well, since I’m tapering and carb loading for the ½ marathon on Saturday, AND I’ve faced some challenges this week, I’m a little off track.  So Monday, May 19th, is back on the wagon time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Solid as a rock!

Guess whose birthday it is today?  It’s my wonderful husband Marc’s b-day!

How lucky am I to have this man in my life.  He has been my rock for so many years.  I cannot imagine my life without him.

He is not perfect - who is?  Certainly not me!

But despite my flaws Marc has been by my side every step of the way.  He’s been there for the worst days of my life - like the day my father died - and for the happiest moments - getting my Master’s Degree, hitting my goal weight.

When I hear women talk about having husbands that don’t support them emotionally, it just baffles me.  Men who complain about their wives taking time to exercise or cooking something that they don’t like.  Or men who sabotage their weight loss efforts by bringing unhealthy foods into the home.

I totally believe that I would still be obese if Marc had not supported me in all my lifestyle changes.  We are a team!  Yesterday he met me during my lunch so we could take a short walk for mid-day exercise.  It’s not a big deal - except it is.

He has made me feel great about myself - loving me completely from when I was “chubby” up to morbidly obese and down to normal sized. 

So to the best friend I have ever had - my biggest support - my husband - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I hope you have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A simple life?

Well, where do I start?

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, then you’ve probably been able to tell that I just haven’t been myself lately.

I’ve hit the proverbial wall, I think. I’ve lost my motivation for just about everything. It’s not that I’ve given up - I’m just at the point where I don’t care about much of anything and I’ve wondering what comes next.

I’ve made such extraordinary changes in my life and for the last couple of years I’ve been content basking in these changes and appreciating how much more positive and open to possibilities my life is.  And that was enough.

And it’s not.

I’m not searching for excitement - it’s the exact opposite. I want a simpler life.

Someone once asked me why I didn’t watch that show “The Apprentice” with Donald Trump. I answered - with complete honesty - “Because if Donald himself landed one of his helicopters in my back yard and asked me personally to come work for him, the answer would be ‘NO!’”

Don’t get me wrong - the draw of money is a big motivator for me - who doesn’t like nice things? But that life in the fastlane - working yourself to death and partying and running with the big dogs? That holds no appeal to me.

We live right next to the Amish. And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to live like they do, either. BUT - there’s something appealing about the simplicity of their lives. No bureaucratic bullshit to deal with. No worries about car payments and 401 K’s and broken pipes.

The Amish kids that live near us are really friendly. They wave at me while I’m out running. I wonder how they would react if I tried to explain to them the concept of finding time to exercise. Or the need to count calories. I wonder what look of bafflement would come over their faces if I told them about standing on a scale and judging my worth by what number was reflected back.

They don’t worry about “finding time” to exercise. Or whether they “should” have a 2nd piece of bread. Their lifestyle is simpler and easier in that respect.  They work hard.  And they play when they can.

So I’m thinking something needs to change. I’m not sure what. Or maybe this is just a phase. Either way, I’m discontent. And at my age, I don’t want that anymore. I want....more.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day!

Well, Moms - today is your day!  I hope that you have a wonderful day!

My hope is that you are being served breakfast in bed, that you get to spend time with you children and that you celebrate how amazing you are as a woman.

I hope concerns about life and your weight take a back seat today and that you instead take a moment to realize how lucky you are.  Take a moment and honor you mother, your grandmother and any other woman that you admire.

I will be spending the day with my mother and my plan is to relax and have fun!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday update...

For absolutely no reasonable reason I've found myself off kilter this week.  I was so happy for Friday to get here.

I stepped outside to leave this morning - in a short sleeve dress - with NO coat and I felt...odd.  Then I realized it was because I wasn't cold!  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this is the first time in fucking MONTHS that I have been warm!!

The noon hour brought temps in the low 80's and extreme humidity.  Because my body is not used to this weather running was difficult.  I had a very tough time breathing.  But, TRUST ME - I am not complaining!!! I will happily adjust!

 I came home and we went outside to do our weekly yoga session.  I have desperately waiting for this weather to arrive!  I almost cried!

After dinner I walked around a little and this is how late this spring is - normally on Marc's b-day then lilacs are full bloom.  Guess what?  There aren't even any blossoms on the trees and his b-day is next week!

I then realized tonight was the night to try my goal of a cartwheel!  So I positioned myself and gave it a shot.

And promptly landed on my ass.

 Try #2 resulted in the same.  More tries and my ass continued to hit the grass.  Marc came out and said I wasn't getting my legs up high enough.  So I tried again and finally on try #10?

I fell on my ass.

Apparently losing weight doesn't result in instant coordination.  Who knew??  So this goal remains elusive to me.  I won't give up that dream, yet, though!!!

And, finally, tonight was moving night for the baby chicks.  We moved them from the basement into the coop.  They were chirping desperately in fear as we carried them out and when we set them down they immediately huddled in the corner together.  Poor little small-brained shits!  Fortunately the adult hens and the rooster showed no interest whatsoever in them so they'll be fine.

I can't say the same for my ass :))

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I seem to be missing something....

I probably knew this in the back of my mind but it became clear to me about 7:30 PM last night why I've felt so edgy the last few days.  I had to stop eating around that time because I was getting my blood drawn this morning.

And so I went into the lab at 8AM and the phlebotomist drew - no joke - at least 8 vials of blood.  I was looking away because I am a big ole baby so I'm not exactly sure how many vials.  They also had ordered a urine sample - which I did manage a smile as I peed in the cup considering how many times I watch OTHER people pee into cups in a week!

Anyway I had the blood drawn because I have a doctor's appointment in 2 weeks.  I am really anxious about this appointment.  I have been taking the Red Yeast Rice caps for just over 6 months.  I am sooooo hoping that my cholesterol levels will have come down.  Because I know that if they haven't, the doctor will be insisting that I start taking cholesterol lowering drugs.  Which I am bound and determined that I won't take.

And then there's the ominous birthday coming up in less then a month.  I'll be turning 42 which as I'm mentioned here many times is the age that my father died of a heart attack.  

For all the vanity I have about how I look and why I want to be thin - it really should be more about my health, right?  And, DAMN IT, I worked HARD to get where I am - not by a pill or an easy way out, but by hard work.  

As I ran during lunch today, I envisioned little workman in my body doing their jobs of cleaning out my arteries and removing any and all build up.  If that sounds familiar to you, you might have read the story "Stationary Bike" by Stephen King which was in his Just After Sunset book.

I feel good physically and clearly am in the best shape of my life.  All things considered, I am reasonably confident that this will be a positive doctor's appointment.  But life is so short, so precious, so fragile sometimes, that I can't help fearing this appointment.

It may be a long two weeks!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Is "average" okay?

I think it's quite a coincidence - or maybe not - that these things both came into my view yesterday.  The famous psychologist Carl Jung would say that this was Synchronicity not coincidence!

Yesterday a woman on the weight loss site - a woman who I admire and who recently is back on track after a fall - posted both in her blog as well as as a message about perfectionism.  She said that she has the mindset - like so many of us - that she has to be perfect  in this journey.  And she talked about how ridiculous it was that she was okay not exercising at all and drinking several sodas a day when she wasn't on track, but now that she is on track she feels that she MUST get in 10,000 steps per day and completely eliminate soda from her life.  

This would be opposed to, say, making improvements like taking 6,000 steps per day and drinking 1 soda per day.  Not perfect, but certainly better then where she came from.  

I certainly know what she is saying!!  And the debate took place and is still taking place about whether it is ok to hold yourself to a "perfection" standard or just be better then yesterday.

I looked at my own life and how I was so hugely fat that I weighed more then your average linebacker and never exercised and now I feel like a "fat blob" if I weigh over 120 and my abs aren't showing.  Ridiculous, right?

Then, while watching 24 last night (Oh I was so happy to see Jack Bauer again!!) there was an ad sponsored by GNC.  The ad talked about being "average" and how average is NOT okay.  That we should strive to be the very absolute best that we can be at all times.  That we shouldn't settle but instead push ourselves to eat better, run faster, lift harder.  

You can see the commercial on youtube if you are interested.  

So who is right?  What happens if we expect perfect but can't achieve it?  But what happens if we only give half-assed efforts in our lives?

It is a quandary that I don't claim to have the answer to.  I know the pain of settling.  But I also know the pain of expecting unrealistic perfection from myself and others.

And today I found myself looking at the list of everyone who is pre-registered for the half-marathon I am running on May 17th.  And I was trying to see if I recognized the names from other races.  And I was wondering what their time was going to be.  Because this idiot - thinks that even though I couldn't run a MILE 4 years ago - that I must - MUST - come in first in this half-marathon or I am a failure.  Utterly stupid, right?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

I'll admit that I was totally ignorant to what Cinco De Mayo celebrates.  So I looked it up.  It was an early battle between Mexico and France that Mexico won.  What I found interesting is that this holiday doesn't celebrate the ultimate victory in the war, but in this specific battle because it was so unexpected that Mexico would win and it also gave them confidence that they could win this war.

How that evolved into a day to get shitfaced I'm not sure!

Anyway, I hope for everyone today you can take a moment and appreciate the victory or victories that you can give yourself credit for!  Losing weight and taking control of your life is SO hard and I don't know if the "war" every really ends.  But there are lots and lots of battles and I want to encourage you to look at the battles you have won.

I'll admit that I am having a very tough time doing that today.  I am totally down on myself.  I am trying to have faith in the advice given on the Go Kaleo site about the consequences - temporary consequences - of increasing calories.  But I feel like a fat blob of worthlessness today.

But I have faced MUCH harder battles then this one.  So I will grit my teeth and hold on.  I won't be getting drunk though  LOL


Sunday, May 4, 2014


One of those days.  You know, those days when I feel entitled.  

 Since my half marathon is in 2 weeks, today was to be a very long run followed by starting to cut back in order to have a strong and rested body and hopefully have a great time.  But apparently mother nature had a different game plan.  I woke up and it was 38 degrees.  And pouring rain.  And incredibly windy.  Sigh...

I managed just 13 on the treadmill, so I got some miles in, but not in "real world" conditions.  Which meant that I felt sorry for myself.  So when Marc and I later went to the mall and I started craving something sweet?  Well I am entitled to endulge, right?
 I find myself asking questions like this lately.  I didn't lose 225 pounds by allowing myself to entitlements.  So what makes me think that I can get away with it now?  On the other hand, haven't I earned some measure of leeway?

Well, that's partially what this "experiment" I've been engaging in is about.  But when the scale tomorrow continues the upward trend?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Learning to relax...

Those of you that read this blog know what a challenge I find it to relax.  This is one of the reasons that Yoga is so good for me.  It challenges me physically and mentally in a way that no other exercise does.

Before I ever learned about yoga, I thought it was a hippy dippy type stretching with a lot of OHMMMMMM noises.  So when we started doing it, I wasn't prepared for how physically challenging it is!

When I weight lift, it's the challenge of just pushing my muscles to the limit.  Often with gritted teeth and lots o' grunting.  And running - well that's a whole mind body complication of forcing your heart and legs and mind to all get on board and to do a sustained intense activity.

Yoga is so different then that.  It's the difficulty of letting your body go.  And often it involves statically sitting in positions where every muscle is screaming "MAKE IT STOP!" while you are supposed to just relax into it.

I never - in a million years - would have thought that Marc would do yoga with me.  But he is as much into it as I am.  We just finished doing Rodney Yee's Power Yoga.  There's a setting on the DVD that instead of having Rodney give you detailed instructions, he just lists off the poses.  "Left leg forward into a lunge - Warrior I - push-up position - upward dog - now downward dog"  Is an example. We've been doing yoga long enough that this is all we need.

So here we were in the living room with this playing and for an hour, we quietly went through the DVD, not saying a word to one another.  However, I was aware of his presence and we moved in absolute sync.  I was able to be fully in tune with my own body and concentrate on deepening myself into positions while still feeling completely and totally connected to Marc.  

It's something unlike anything else.  I cannot stress to you how much I recommend integrating yoga into your life - not only for physical fitness, but to get to know your body and mentally strengthen yourself!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life!

May didn't arrive here in Northern NY in a very pleasant manner!  It POURED all yesterday and this morning.  I always try to get my veggie garden planted and growing around this time of year, but we have been VERY delayed getting the garden tilled up and ready due to the terrible spring weather.

And now, with the rain?  Well, if I had a few hot and adventurous friends, we could make some $$$$ by using the garden as a mud wrestling pit and charge admission...  Hmmm... not a bad idea...  Anyway - it's going to take a some really nice warm and dry days to even come close to being able to get it ready for planting.  GRRRR.... and the forecast is not promising for as far as the eye can see!

So I'm frustrated.

I weighed in at 120.4 this morning.  Not ideal, but within the range I've been all winter.  And this is despite eating more in general and eating like a pig over the weekend.  On the bright side, I have been on plan all week.  Almost blew it today when someone brought in donut holes - also known as little turds of evil from the gods.  But I successfully avoiding shoving several in my mouth at once.

RAIN means it is now dreadmill time.  Today is not the start to May that I wanted, but I'm going to accept it and move forward!