Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome 2011!!

Well here we are in the last few hours of 2010. I used to hate New Year's Eve. I'm not sure why exactly, but I just dreaded it. Now, I love it! I couldn't ask for better dates in my two boys and honestly there is no one I would rather kiss at midnight than them. They're the most important people in my life and I see no better way to bring in a new year than with them. The past few years I've let them stay up until midnight and they've really enjoyed that. So we're home with some sparkling cider waiting for that ball to drop.

I ran/walked a 5K today for a local adult/child daycare center. I did this same race last year after being on Weight Watchers for just two months. So, I was at least 45 pounds heavier last year. I hadn't really trained again this year, but I could tell a huge difference in how much I was able to run. I did something strange to a muscle in my leg about halfway through or I think I would have done even better. I'm proud of myself either way because I finished it and I feel like it's a great way to send out 2010!

I haven't eaten very well today, but this is the last day of that and the place is pretty well cleaned out of junk anyway. I'm looking forward to making a fresh start with a much cleaner diet.

I have lots of things I'd like to accomplish in 2011 though I wouldn't say I'm making resolutions. My youngest son heard someone mention resolutions on TV the other day and he said, "Mommy we need a new year's revolution." Well, with any luck, we'll have a revolution in our little family. I'm not going to share what I'm working towards in the new year. I find people try to push you down or criticize you if they know what you're working toward, so I keep things to myself until I need help or until I'm far enough along that I feel like people will be supportive.

So I hope you are having a great New Year's Eve and that you are spending it in a way that is pleasing to you. I also hope that you have a fabulous 2011!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

So Christmas Is Over...

Did everyone enjoy their holiday and time with friends and family? I had a nearly perfect day until the evening. The boys were great and so excited with what they received and I felt good because they were still happy even though I spent and bought a lot less than in years past. It's nice to know that I picked out things that they really like and that we don't just have a ton of junk that will sit around. The food was good, but I ate way too much. I plan to throw away a good bit of stuff today though. I feel horrible about wasting food but the boys won't eat it and I will and it's just not what I need to be doing right now. So, out it goes.

My evening was pretty rough. I have pretty severe anxiety issues and had recently stopped taking my medication because of the cost. My ex had planned a trip for the kids today and the area they were going was expecting some heavy snow. I came pretty close to a full meltdown about the idea of them traveling in the snow. But sometimes when things are feeling really bad you just need to reach out to those around you and you will find the support you need to get through it. I learned (not that I didn't know already) that I have some pretty amazing friends. I even found a source of inspiration for dealing with the feelings I have from a total stranger. For the first time someone expressed the guilt I feel over my anxiety and it was like a lightbulb came on in my head. I think the guilt of not feeling good when I'm in situations where I should feel great it was has been eating at me all of these years. For the first time, someone pointed it out to me and made me feel like it was OK to feel the feelings I have when I have them. Because of these people I woke up with a whole lot less dread and my children arrived safely at their destination this morning.

Now we are just a week away from the beginning of the new year. I have a lot of plans, a lot of hopes, and a lot of dreams and I must say that I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Looking Ahead and Being Thankful

So Christmas is almost here and I haven't written in forever. I wish I could say that my mood about the holidays has improved exponentially, but it hasn't. I has improved though. It's hard not to be happy when you see how excited your children are about the prospect of something great under the tree on Christmas morning. I've also enjoyed having them home with me during the day, even if they have driven me a little crazy.

But since Christmas is almost ready to pass us by, it's time to look toward 2011. I don't really make resolutions for the new year, but I do like to look at the year that has just passed and think about what was good and what I'd like to improve upon in the next year. 2010 was the year for me to finally get a handle on my weight and while I'm not totally there yet, I do feel like I'm on the right track. This past week has been a test, a test that I have failed, but it's taught be even more about my habits. I know that Weight Watchers will be permanent for me now. I've let myself lose control this week and it's been ugly. Tomorrow is my weigh in and I'm just hoping that my gain is less than five pounds. I'm not going to let it get me down though. I know what I did, and what the consequences will be. I also know that I've felt like total crap and that it wasn't worth it. So, I still have work to do, but I'm also still learning and I know 2011 will see the end of the last of my weight.

Another thing that I really have on my mind for 2011 is gratitude. In November a bunch of people on Facebook decided to post something they were grateful for each day. I participated and I found it to be a fun exercise. I was actually kind of sorry to see the month come to an end. Then the other day I was watching TV and saw a man who had written a thank you note every day for a year and he wrote a book about the experience and how wonderful it was. It made me start to think about how irritated I've been by people lately and how doing something like this might really help me find more good things in the world. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with it, but I think I'm going to try. If anyone is interested, the book comes out on December 28th.

365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life

I've also realized that I need to trust my instincts a little more often. If I feel like I need to say something to someone, I'm going to say it. If I feel like something isn't quite right with a situation, then I'm going to do something about it. Ignoring my instincts has always led to trouble, and life is too short to keep things inside.

So, do you make resolutions? Anything you want in the coming year?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Woo Hoo Weight Watchers!

Weight Watchers has once again proven why they are the leaders in the healthy weight industry with their new program! Points Plus was unveiled today and I attended an extra meeting just to get the scoop and get going! There couldn't be a better plan for someone who is a vegetarian! Why there is a focus on getting more protein it doesn't do what I feared and make you have more than you really need. Let's face it, the standard American diet has too much protein already. The very best part about the new plan is that now all fruits and nearly all vegetables are free!!!! What more could a veggie ask for? In just my first day on the new plan I can already tell I will be far more satisfied and hopefully I will kick the rest of this weight. Shockingly I weighed in the day after Thanksgiving and saw a .6 gain, but when I weighed in today I was down 1.8! That makes me 5.2 pounds from goal and I trust Points Plus to get me the rest of the way there in no time!

I got some good news about one of my classes that I'm struggling in and I got my Christmas decorations drug out of the closet and got the closet organized. With the exception of some unpleasant news in the evening I had a really great day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Putting the Positive Vibes Out There

Thanksgiving has come and gone! We had a great meal complete with Tofurky. It was amazingly yummy and my oldest went back for a second huge slice. He loved it! The youngest didn't try any of it because when we went to the orthodontist on Wednesday they decided to go ahead and put his braces on. So, he wasn't feeling like eating much but mashed potatoes. He didn't seem to mind it very much though and he thinks he looks very cool with his braces on. I guess that's the good part about them putting braces on when you're a lot younger, your ego hasn't kicked in yet.

Friday I braved the scale after a week of being really bad and not tracking a bit. I managed to only put on six tenths of a pound, so I wasn't too mad at myself. It isn't just the holiday that caused me to be bad. Weight Watchers is releasing their new program tomorrow and so I've been slacking in anticipation of that. The leader at the Friday meeting is a vegetarian and he said that I will probably be happier with the new plan. I'm very excited and really hope I can kick my butt into gear and lose the rest of this weight.

Tonight I was reminded that along with this new plan, I have to focus on things that I want to happen. It isn't just about following this program, it's about visualizing the outcome. A very dear friend of mine was given an unused ticket to an event that he has always wanted to attend. The person who gave it to him had not been able to go, and knew that my friend would love to have the ticket because of how neat it looked and what it was for. After the other person left, he looked at me and said "I have always wanted to go to this. I'm going to put this ticket where I can see it. It's been added to my list and because I'm putting it out there, I will get to go." And you know what? I know he will. He makes a list every year of things he wants to do in the coming year and he usually gets to do most of them. A lot of them are out of his means, or seem a little far-fetched, and yet, they still happen in some way. I know that when I do that, it works for me too. I just have to remember to do it, and to really make sure that's where my focus is. It's hard to do when you have a big mess like I do right now, but I know it works and I'm going to give it a valiant effort!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What a Day!

Today was a little wild. Nothing terribly exciting happened, but I got a wild hair the other day to be crafty and so I ran all over town looking for the things I needed. I spent a good bit of time between thrift stores and Goodwill. I guess I never noticed, but t-shirts are not as cheap as you would expect in Goodwill. My favorite thrift store has the ones that you get from donating blood or running in a race or something for $1.50, but they were $3.50 in Goodwill! I'm going to be cutting them up, so I really don't want to pay very much for them. I'm going to ask friends and family to pass theirs on to me if they plan to donate, but I guess I'll really be looking at yard sales this summer.

During my travels I was sitting at a top sign and this old style mini-van passed me with the words "We're Hung" written across the side windows. I was a little confused and hoping for more information. I got it when they turned the corner and I saw "We're Men" written on the other side. I have to assume they were feeling a bit less than real men driving in a mini-van...or at least that's what I hope they were thinking when they wrote that!

On another note, on the way to school this morning my oldest was telling me that the supervising teacher of his club at school was asking them about what they were going to have for Thanksgiving dinner. My son told them that we were having Tofurkey, mashed potatoes, and Weight Watchers pumpkin pie (that is accurate, but it's not all we're having). I assume she was being funny, but she told him she was sorry. That sort of irritated me a little. Why be sorry that he's not having an antibiotic laden bird who likely lived and died in a horrible manner and a pie that tastes just as good, if not better, than a regular pumpkin pie? Thanksgiving does have it's typical menu, but there's no reason you can't enjoy all of the good foods prepared in a better way. Not to mention that my kids get a meal with me and with their dad so it's not like they're missing out on anything. I asked him if he was upset that we weren't having things that were totally traditional and he said "No, I like it that we're different." That's my boy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Almost Thanksgiving

It's been forever since I've written anything here and I'm sorry. Life has just been a little nuts and I'm the queen of procrastination. I honestly cannot believe that Thursday is Thanksgiving! I wish I could say that I am excited about it, but I'm really not. I don't enjoy the holidays and look forward to them being over. I've followed the trend of posting something I'm grateful for on Facebook ever day this month just to remind myself not to be in a total funk until January 2nd. There are a lot of reasons I don't enjoy the holidays, but I'm not going to get into all of them here and bring everyone else down. Let's just say that this year, I'm in an exception funk.

But, since Thanksgiving is coming, like it or not, I have to prepare a meal of some sort. We've never been big turkey eaters, so that's not something anyone cares too much about giving up due to my new vegetarian lifestyle. I only cook for myself, my mother and my kids so no one really gets to bothered about what we have. If they want some meat, I'll fix something, but if not, that's fine with me. The oldest has only requested mashed potatoes and gravy, and the youngest wants cheese burritos. I did by a Tofurkey today just because. I have no idea what it will taste like, but I think it's funny to say it, which is why I bought it. I bought vegan gravy too. This could be one interesting Thanksgiving feast.

I'm still kind of stuck around the same weight. These last few pounds are proving to be a bugger to get off and I'm hoping the release of the new WW plan will jump start me into getting them off. I go to my doctor in two weeks. I'm not looking forward to it (who ever does) because I don't have any insurance now, but I'm down about 30 pounds since the last time I saw him so he will likely be very pleased.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ten Years Ago

I can't even believe that ten years has passed already, but ten years ago I was waking up to a day that would end with the moment that changed my life forever.

My day started out just like most had for the past few weeks. I had left my job to prepare for the birth of my first child, and was now three days overdue and feeling pretty miserable. It was a Friday and I had a doctor's appointment on Monday that I was certain I would make. At that point I truly thought he was planning to stay inside forever! After work my (then) husband and I decided to go out to dinner. We were sitting at a stoplight when I felt a contraction. I'd been having pretty intense Braxton-Hicks contractions, but these felt different. They were less intense and not painful, but different. I didn't say anything, but I noted the time. We got to the restaurant, sat down, and I felt another one. I asked him how long it had been since the time I had the first one and he told me fourteen minutes. He got all excited when I told him what I'd felt, but I wasn't convinced. All through dinner, every fourteen minutes, there would be another one. When we were finished we went to another restaurant that we liked to hang out at. A lot of our friends were there and everyone was keeping up with the timing. Around ten we decided we should head home. My mother was there and she told me I should make sure my bag was packed and I was ready to go.

I truly thought the contractions would stop, but I did what she suggested. I went home, showered, finished packing my bag and timed a few more contractions. By the time I was ready for bed, they were eight minutes apart, but not at all painful. I went to bed and fell asleep easily. At 1am I felt a very distinct pop and sat straight up in bed. My water had broken! I ran to the bathroom with my husband fast on my heels. We both started laughing and he asked me what we should do. I told him the contractions had stopped, but that since the doctor told us to come to the hospital when my water broke, I thought we should go. We made a few calls to family, got our stuff and were on the way. No one had warned me that once your water breaks, it doesn't always stop. By the time we got to the hospital I was totally soaked from the waist down. We walked into the ER and the nurse actually said "Can I help you?". Um, really, ya think? So I told her I was pretty sure my water had broken and they sent me up to labor and delivery.

I was shocked to learn that I was only two centimeters dilated at that point. The labor wasn't horribly long, but I didn't have any pain medication and with each contraction his heartbeat would drop so the nurses were constantly moving me around to more uncomfortable positions and wouldn't let me be where I wanted to be. By the time I got to eight centimeters (yes 8, and no drugs yet) the doctor came in and said he wanted to do a c-section. It was now October 21st and just so happened to be my father-in-laws birthday. When we first told him my due date he said I was going to have him on his birthday. Turned out, he was going to be right.

So off to the OR we went. A very kind nurse had me lean against her and told me that I would feel a slight prick and then I would start to go numb. She barely had the words out before my butt and legs were totally numb. Then they laid me down, got everything ready and brought my husband in to sit with me at my head. My anesthesiologist was really nice and had me laughing the whole time. He would also tell my ex when he should look at what was happening. I felt a slight tug here and there and within a few minutes he was out. I remember seeing him for the first time being held up by the doctor and thinking he had a lot of blond hair. Turns out that was my imagination and my lack of being able to wear glasses or contacts in the OR. I got to see his little face briefly before they took him away.

The rest of the day was kind of a blur. I remember being very shaky and not really wanting to hold him for fear of dropping him. He was a champion nurser which was great but he never would let me put him down or let the nurses keep him in the nursery for very long. After four (ugh) days in the hospital we were finally going home. I was totally freaked out! I couldn't believe that they were letting us take him home by ourselves!! But we all survived.

Happy 10th Birthday Baby Duck!

Monday, October 11, 2010

From the Driver's Mouth

I had an occasion to be in a small group of people Saturday night. In this group there was a man whom I had not met before but found rather easy to talk to. Over the course of the conversation it came out that I'm a vegetarian. I can't remember the way it all came out, but he responded that he was a driver for one of our local poultry plants, but that he did not eat the birds himself. I asked him if he drove chickens or turkeys and learned that he hauls turkeys. I couldn't resist and had to ask him if his job was the reason that he didn't eat turkey. He told me that he wasn't a big turkey eater before taking this job, but he didn't eat them at all now. I of course wanted to know why and he said something along the lines of "If you've seen what I have, you wouldn't be able to eat them". I haven't seen what he has, only heard about it, and I can't eat them. I can't even begin to imagine what he has seen...nor do I want to.

But if this doesn't tell us something about the conditions of the meat processing facilities in our country then what will? And at what point will those who work at these places stand up and say something? I understand that in this economy you can't jeopardize your job, but there are lots of ways to report things anonymously. If things are so bad that it changes how you eat, what else should you be doing?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bye Bye Fat!

Today is my one year anniversary on Weight Watchers. Yes, for one year I have been counting points and doing weekly meetings and weigh-in's. I had hopes of reaching goal by one year but as the date approached I saw that wasn't going to happen and looked for a new goal. I realized I was very close to the fifty pound mark so that became my goal. Lose fifty pounds in one year.

I was a very good girl this week, only eating a few things off my normal routine and managed to lose 2.6 pounds for a total of 51 pounds!!! That means I averaged almost one pound a week for the entire year. I'm not going to talk about how easy it was or how I never struggled because none of that is true. I made my poor leader work for her money. I had weeks where I would gain and lose the same pound over and over. I had weeks of no loss and weeks of unexplained gains. But as my leader kept reminding me, it's really about averages. She was totally right!

I have about seven pounds left before I hit my goal at Weight Watchers and about ten more after that to hit my personal goal. I can honestly say that this is a lifestyle for me now. I will probably always have to count points and that's fine with me. Food can be an addiction just like any other substance, except you have to have food to live. Weight Watchers gives you the tools to manage food in such a way where you never feel like you are missing out on anything. I know I sound like a commercial, but everything I'm saying is true.

When I joined one year ago I weighed 211 pounds. That was more than I weighed the day I went into the hospital to give birth to my oldest child! I always thought I carried the weight well and didn't look as big as I was. I am also pretty healthy, so I told myself that if my weight ever started to impact my health I would do something about it. This was really stupid considering that our weight always impacts our health even if the outward signs are not currently visible. But, it's what I told myself. So, when I started getting horrible heartburn and the doctor suggested a medication I realized I was done. I refused to go on a medication for something I could do something about and joined Weight Watchers instead.

I didn't tell many people at first. I didn't want people judging what I was putting into my mouth or shaking their head when they realized I'd failed at yet another diet. But, when the weight started coming off and people started asking, I had to come clean. Since then several other people I know have joined and are losing. It's great to see others getting healthy in a way that I know will change their lives.

So, bye bye 51 pounds of fat and hello new me! Don't worry, you'll hear me scream when I hit my goal weight!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Forever Behind

I feel like I'm always behind. It doesn't matter how hard I work at things, something is always left undone and/or late. Right now I'm behind in two of my three classes. One only slightly and the other horribly. I will get caught up on the work, but then in a few days I'll be behind again for some reason. I'm always behind in cleaning and laundry. I am behind on work, and behind (as in haven't done a damn thing) for another blog I'm supposed to be writing for, and really want to write for.

I do waste a fair amount of time on the wonderful world of Facebook, but honestly I don't think cutting that out would get me any less behind. At least when I'm on the computer I usually have several tabs going at the same time and often one of them is work or school. I don't know what my problem is. I am a big procrastinator, but that's only on stuff I really hate and there isn't too much of that. I can't imagine how much of a mess I would be if I still held a real job and had my kids full time. There's really no good excuse for why things are so out of control. I guess it's just one of my many flaws.

Things have been stressful in my life the past few days. I have a habit of things going really really well for a while and then something happens and it all goes to shit in a second. I figure this is likely my fault too and that's why I call it a habit. I'm the common denominator. So, I've been in kind of a crappy mood the past few days. I also haven't been eating well and the stress has caused me to lose almost four pounds. That's the good news though. I'm trying to hit that 50 pound mark before my one year Weight Watchers anniversary and it looks like I might do it. It's not the best way to get the weight off, but I'll take it if I'm going through the stress anyway.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Birthday Recap and Eating Everything in Sight!

So I think the birthday went really well. I have a constant sense of anxiety around birthday's and Christmas because I always want them to be extra special. He seemed to really enjoy his presents and his birthday dinner and he said he had a great day, so that's all I could hope for! I was totally worn out by the end of the day and we didn't even have a big party.

The rest of this week has been insane though. I have been really stressed out the past few days and so I have just been eating everything in sight! I have been craving salt which is really strange for me and so I expect tomorrow's weigh in to be horrible! I had my pity party yesterday and now I will face the music tomorrow and work on undoing the damage.

I've made some decisions about what I want to do with my life during this little pity party so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Eight Years Ago

One of the two happiest days of my life happened eight years ago tomorrow. My Nanner Bean was born!

My ex-husband and I had decided that we wanted to have our children two years apart. I still remember how that played out. There came a point where I said, if we want to have them two years apart, we better get started. Not very long after that I carried the pregnancy test out with a stupid grin on my face and told him that we must be the most fertile couple in the world.

On September 19th, 2002 and two we became proud parents for the second time. He was actually born on his due date which surprised me. I had a doctors appointment that day, but after having contractions the whole day prior to his birth I doubted we were going to make it to that appointment. Sure enough, just before four in the morning my water broke. I jumped up from a sound sleep, said "My water broke!" and ran to the bathroom. Pretty much the same thing had happened with my older son as well. Except that with him, the contractions stopped after my water broke. This time, they kept coming harder and closer together. We had switched to a midwife practice after a less than pleasant experience with our OB-GYN and she had told us to call when my water broke. So, I called and told her what was going on. She told me I could come in whenever I was ready, but that I could wait at home until the contractions got closer together. We called my mother-in-law and told her to come and get our older son and then when she arrived I decided it was time to go. I was going to attempt a VBAC and I didn't want to take any chances.

Everything about my labor was pretty similar to the first, except I had an amazing midwife to help me through it this time. She almost never left the room, let me move around just like I wanted, and I was even able to get in the whirlpool tub. I was pressing on without medication pretty well, but at eight centimeters I got stuck. The same thing had happened with my first and that is when the doctor had decided to do the c-section. My midwife looked at me and said, "You are going to hate me, but I want you to turn over on your left side. It is going to hurt so much worse, but we need to get him out." At that same time she called the doctor to have him make his way in to the hospital. When she told me she was going to do that because she thought he might need to use suction, I was determined to get him out! I turned over on my side and the pain that had been bearable became so intense so fast I couldn't believe it. I gripped the bed rail so hard my knuckles were white! At one point, my ex looked at me and said, "You can relax, your contraction is over." I looked at him and said, "No, I can't relax, it is one BIG LONG contraction! I don't care what that stupid monitor says!"

The midwife had been right, I wanted to kill her, but it worked. I went from eight to ten in just a few minutes and then started to push. I suspect that medication gives the woman a little more control over the pushing part of delivery. I had no control. They had told me that even though it was my second baby, I might still push for two hours since I had never pushed with the first. He was out in fifteen minutes.

I remember looking down and seeing his little body but not hearing anything. I sort of panicked and kept asking if he was OK. My midwife said he was fine. I said, "Why isn't he crying?" She said, "Here you go." and he started right up. He got to stay in the room with us for all of his tests and to be cleaned up and I just watched him and marveled at how amazing he was. He was a champion nurser right from the beginning and thanks to the kindness of the midwives we got to go home with him the next morning.

So much has happened in the eight years since that day. He's the same height as his older brother, but outweighs him by almost ten pounds. He still loves so many little boy things like playing with trucks and just digging in the dirt. He loves to collect things and he is still such the momma's little boy. He still crawls up on my lap (only now he takes up way more than my lap) and he still tells me he loves me all the time. Him and his brother are my whole world and I never knew how amazing life could be until they were in it!

Happy 8th Birthday Nanner Bean!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Perception VS. Reality

Today was a pretty good day for me. I was not expecting any sort of a loss at Weight Watchers and I ended up losing a pound! It'd been staying pretty well on plan, and early in the week I was able to get a fair amount of exercise before I came down with a cold and didn't feel like it anymore. But this was one of those weeks where I didn't really feel like I knew where I was with things and so I was still surprised by the results. This loss brings me back to being exactly ten pounds from my goal weight, and nearly a fifty pound loss. My one year anniversary with WW is coming up at the beginning of October and I would really like to be at goal by then, but I'd settle for hitting that fifty pound mark.

This nearly fifty pound weight loss has really driven home the concept of perception versus reality. The reality is, I have lost 48 pounds and almost five clothing sizes. The reality is that I can almost wear a size 10 which I'm not sure has ever happened to me. The reality is, I feel amazing and I know that while I still have a ways to go, I look better than I ever have.

But the perception is that I still weigh over 200 pounds. My brain still has the image of the way I looked almost a year ago stuck there like it has been etched on. Someone in my WW meeting said something very wise once. They said it's hard to get the old image out of your head, because your weight didn't just fall off over night. You didn't wake up one morning 50 pounds lighter and so shocked by the way you looked that you just jumped right into that new you.

I didn't get to be 70 pounds overweight by having a healthy relationship with food or by loving my body or the way I looked. Those things have improved nearly 100% since joining WW a year ago, but that has taken a years worth of work. I expected to be so excited about the way that I look that shopping would be a fun experience and I would just be thrilled to wear all of these things that I couldn't wear before.

But, the reality has been much different. The reality has left me standing in Kohl's for two days in a row looking at clothes that I would have loved to have worn a year ago and still not having the courage to try them on. The reality has left me thinking that I can't possibly pay any money for clothes that won't fit again in a few months. The reality has left me leaving with a pair of shoes and a purse (which I love, don't get me wrong) because those are the only items I can trust to fit me and look OK. The reality is, shopping for clothes still isn't that much fun.

But another reality is that I know it will get fun. I know that because this is the life that I have chosen for myself now and because I know I cannot go back to my old weight. So eventually my new body will become etched into my brain and I will enjoy going into the store and trying on those things I always admired. I will know that I can spend the money on something and have it fit in a few months.

I do know things are starting to shift though. I recently went to my favorite thrift store and found a brand new dress with the tags still on that I instantly feel in love with. It was a size 10 but I tried it on anyway. It nearly fit and since it was only $7 I bought it because I know it will fit very soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Things that annoy me

I feel like I'm reasonably easy to get along with. Maybe. Who knows.

But some things annoy me. Some things really get under my skin. I won't go into all of them because that could take a while, but I experienced one of them this evening. Perhaps I'm just sensitive, but perhaps people are stupid. I tend to think it's the latter.

I have a friend who owns a little burger joint and I created and maintain a Facebook page for him. I try to post his daily specials as often as I can and let him know what people are saying. Today his special was this amazing chicken salad that his wife makes. You have never had a chicken salad sandwich until you have had one of these. Before going veg I ate plenty of these sandwiches. In fact, since going veg I gave myself permission to have one the last time they were available. My body was NOT happy so when they became available again today I did not indulge. But, I did post the special on the Facebook page.

One of my friends commented that she was corn, wheat and gluten free now or she would be all over one of those sandwiches because they are so good. Another person (whom I admit I do not know) posted this "God gave us wheat, corn, gluten --- and MEAT!!" and basically told her to man up and eat the sandwich. Now, she did go on to say that she shouldn't if she was allergic, but come on! Number one, she is allergic, deathly so. The poor girl has a very limited diet because of her allergies. So while this woman did acknowledge the possibility of an allergy she only did so after basically saying if God made it, then you should eat it. But she basically said anyone who chooses not to eat those things has a problem. Notice the emphasis on meat?

So why is it not OK for someone to choose not to eat those foods for whatever reason? If it is OK to choose not to eat them, is it only OK if it's because of an allergy and not a personal choice?

This is not the first time I've encountered this type of reaction. I have had countless people act like I was some sort of lunatic for not eating meat. I admit to being a little militant about it. I still give my children meat when they ask for it, but I do find myself a little grossed out when I handle it or see others eat it now. Sure, I'd like everyone to go vegetarian for a lot of different reasons, but I know that's not likely to happen. From time to time, I'm sure I have my judgments about meat eaters. But, I don't try to force feed anyone green beans just because "God made them".

And if you believe that God made all of those things (which admittedly I do not) then why do you eat so much crap that God did not make? If you're so concerned with people eating what God made then you should probably look toward a vegetarian diet. Sure plants and animals have always been here, but plants were edible before we figured out a way to eat the animals, so maybe that wasn't their intended purpose.

Oh and I have to get my car worked on tomorrow. That may be more of the reason for the above rant than anything else.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Being Busy

When I was pregnant for the first time everyone told me that my life was getting ready to be insane. They told me how hard it was going to be to have this new baby and how I was never going to get any rest or any time to myself. Both were true of course. But, now that my children are older, I have to say that I think the baby part was a lot easier! Sure, they cried a lot and I couldn't figure out why and there were the diapers and constant sleeplessness, but when you sat them down somewhere, they generally stayed put.

Then came the walking, and then the talking. Now, it seems like there is a never ending stream of things to do. We have homework, field trips, golf, football, the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, I love it! I wouldn't change any of it for the world, but it seems like we never stop going!

Saturday we went to our farmer's market which we haven't been to in forever because we just never have the time. It was so nice to pick up some fresh local produce and have some delicious treats while we were there. Then it was off to two hours of football practice, followed by a quick lunch, then on to a local children's event that proved to be totally insane and not really worth the effort. Then we came home, got cleaned up and went off to golf.

Today I got a lot of things done which was good and now I'm looking on to the busy week ahead. Overall I think it will be a good week, with the exception of the car repairs I have scheduled for Tuesday. I've been having some problems with my car and I am just dreading the diagnosis of the problems and the bill to follow. I love having a car to get around in, but I do not love the repair bills!

The end of the week should be great though. My baby boy is turning eight on Sunday!! I seriously cannot believe it. I know everyone says that, but I really can't. I have friends who are having babies right now and it feels like that just happened to me. I still remember so much of the experience of having him and really truly thought I'd have more after him so it's a little sad that he's getting so big. It's also a little sad because now both of my kids can officially come out of their booster seats. I won't actually take them out, but they can. Both of them are still small enough that my seats don't fit them as well as I would like, so in my car and in their father's cars, they still use a booster. Call us paranoid...I don't care!

He's very excited of course and now I just have to figure out what I'm going to get him! I really want to find a toy golf cart. He is still really into playing with cars (which I love) and since he likes golf, I think that would be fun. No luck so far though. I also have to order a cake and figure out what else we are going to do! Then I get to repeat it all in a month when my first born turns 10!! EEEK!

I guess busy is good, it means I'm still alive!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 -Nine Years Later

Like most Americans today I have spent a little bit of time remembering where I was on September, 11th. My first born son was about to turn one-year-old and due to constant sleep deprivation we awoke after the first tower had been struck. The rest of the day was a total fog for me. I went about my daily routines but couldn't help but wonder what kind of world we would live in from now on. I wondered if I'd made a huge mistake by bringing my son into the world. I think this was a common thought around the country that day.

I have serious issues with anxiety. I worry way more than an average human being and I'm very thankful for the wonderful medications that exist to help people like me. I wasn't taking any such medication at the time however, and so for weeks after the event of 9/11 I obsessed over it. I watched every ounce of news coverage and read everything written about the day. I did this after watching the movie Titanic as well, and that had happened years ago. My obsession with the deaths of the people on that boat became consuming. The massacre at Columbine High School was by far the worst to date, including 9/11. There was something about that event that rocked me like no other of its kind. I needed to know everything about that day, those kids...everything. The last event I did this with was Hurricane Katrina. Since that I have gone on medication to deal with my paralyzing anxiety. But in addition to the medication, I've also learned that I cannot watch any coverage of these types of events on TV or read about them.

I guess that could be viewed as sticking my head in the sand, but I see it as preservation of my sanity. I read just enough to know what happened, and then that's it. My mind is simply not strong enough to handle it. Perhaps that's selfish given that so many people have lived through these things and I only watch them happen on TV. I'm sure that's true to some extent. But, I know how bad these things impact me, and I have two children who need me to have my wits about me every day, and I can promise you that during these events, I did not.

So my lack of attention and focus on the events of this day nine years ago does not mean that I don't care. It does not mean that I will ever forget what happened, or that I don't think about the victims. What it does mean is that I have moved on. I have learned how to process these awful things and see that our world is still a good place. I remember that we bonded together as a nation and that we joined with other nations who shared our grief. I also remember that people were born on this day, people got married on this day, the world did keep spinning and does continue to spin on 9/11 every year. While I remember those who lost their lives, I know that the only way we can honor their memory is to live our own lives. We can take the day to honor them and remember them, but we must live out the rest of our days looking for the good things in the world.

I no longer worry that I may have made a mistake by bringing children into this scary world. I don't live in fear anymore. I remember something a nurse told me once. She said, "This is the exception, not the rule". The horrors of our world sometimes seem like they are taking over, but if you stop and really look, you'll see that they are the exception and not the rule.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Worst Field Trip EVER!

I try to go on as many of my sons field trips as I can. This is partly because I know the teachers need help, and partly because I'm a very paranoid individual and I'm always afraid something will happen to one of them! The latter reason became a little more valid today when one of the students on the field trip was taken away by ambulance. The child was from a different school, but it made my paranoia worse!

That was just one part of the suckishness that was this trip. We went to our local fairgrounds for what was supposed to be some sort of farm safety/day in the life sort of thing. Luckily the weather was beautiful or it would have been even more miserable. Overall it might have been a nice experience but the organizers tried to cram entirely too much stuff into the day and so we were just herded around the grounds all day. We weren't able to spend much time anywhere and so the different presenters would often be in mid-presentation when we'd have to move on to the next stop. Most of the stops were very boring, and way over the heads of these fourth graders.

It was even more annoying to me for several reasons. There were several people there talking about animals and food related topics. The first stop we made dealt with chickens. One of the presenters was from George's poultry which is one of our largest poultry processors in the area. So here they are telling us about all the gear they have to wear into the chicken houses and showing us how they give the animals water. The whole time I'm fuming over the fact that these kids are being taught about the factory farming of chickens and not how they should live. Then they let the kids hold chicks. That wouldn't be so bad except there was no rhyme or reason to it so the kids were just manhandling them and I worried that all of those babies would be dead by the end of the day.

Fast forward through some other boring exhibits to the dairy exhibit. The farmer proceeded to tell us about all of the things the dairy cows eat...none of which were things any of them should eat. Then he quizzed the kids on what they should be eating. Thankfully my wonderful son looked at me and said "None of that is what they should be eating". If we'd had more time I would have asked him to repeat that to the farmer.

Then after a number of even more agonizing exhibits and lunch we were on to the Virginia Cooperative Extension's presentation on the food pyramid. I think most people, even non-vegetarians, would agree that the new pyramid is just insanely confusing. The lady did a pretty nice job of explaining it, but the old pyramid was more logical even if I didn't agree with it's breakdown. Aside from that, there were several other issues at this stop. There were two people there to present, but only one spoke. The one who spoke was quite overweight. She was certainly knowledgeable, but how can you speak to kids about good nutrition and exercise when it's clear you don't practice it? It's sort of like going to an overweight doctor (I'll post on that another time). In addition to that, it was clear that there was a very big slant toward the use of corn products. She spent most of the time talking about corn and where it could be found in our food. That's great...except she was making it sound like corn was this miracle food. Well, I enjoy some corn, but I don't enjoy the high fructose corn syrup that's in everything these days! So, I wasn't a huge fan of the way that presentation went.

There were a few good parts of the trip. The farrier was interesting and I learned a lot about horseshoeing from him. Of course, that just made me miss riding again. Overall though, this trip was a total bust. Both of us came home exhausted and with major headaches. I truly hope that they don't repeat this trip next year when my other child is in the fourth grade.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weight Loss = Change in Vision?

I'm not talking about eyesight here, I'm talking about how you view the world once you have lost weight. I've lost nearly 50 pounds (it would be 50 if I could get myself under control) and I've found that since I have lost weight my vision of the world has truly changed. This may or may not be a good thing.

Being aware of my own weight has always made me aware of the weight of others. I think we, women especially, look for others who we feel look like us. We want to size them up, see how we feel about the way they look, and therefore form an opinion about how we must look to other based on that. What I've found is that when I was heavier I had a very distorted view of how I looked. I thought I was thinner than I was, or that I carried it better than I did. That's probably why I stayed that way so long.

I do the same thing to some degree now, but I think it's a little bit healthier. Now that I have a better self-image I tend to look at other women and think "I could wear that", or "I'm as pretty as she is". It may still be a little nuts, but the self talk is at least healthier.

The problem I have now is that I'm far more aware of the unhealthy things others do, and in particular, the unhealthy things people do to their children. This weight loss has not been easy for me, so I'm not suggesting that it is easy for anyone else or that I'm somehow superior because I have taken steps to lose weight. I could easily start my old habits back up tomorrow and go right back to where I was. That's the reason I know I'll always have to stay with Weight Watchers. I have a problem, and I'm always going to need help with it. Getting help is fine, and more of us should ask for it.

But back to my new vision. My children have always been good eaters and I've always done my best to make sure they eat healthy. They've always eaten healthier than I have because I was afraid of them ending up fat like me. I make them eat even healthier now because I eat healthier and see the value in those foods more than I used to. They play football now and we've been to quite a few practices already. The amount of obesity is pretty astounding when so many people are gathered in one place. It's one thing to look at it in the adults, I can see myself in all of them. But, from my new perspective it is very painful to see it in the children. Because my children have a healthy father and because I was so careful to keep my bad habits from spilling over to them, I have healthy kids. The only person I was killing was myself.

It is much harder to look at when you see these people killing themselves and their kids. One boy on my sons team is a good six inches shorter than my eight year-old and outweighs him by twenty pounds. He's a sweet kid and cute as can be, but I can't help but have an anxiety attack over what is happening inside of that little body. I want to say that I'm not judging his parents, who are large as well, but I guess I am to some degree. I could have continued to kill myself with food and it wouldn't have hurt anyone else for a long time to any serious degree. But, if my habits were killing my kids and I didn't stop it how could I have lived with myself? An eight year-old boy cannot go shopping for himself and isn't likely to make the request for healthier food on his own. Not only that, he's not likely to take too kindly to being asked to eat green beans when the rest of his family is eating potato chips. Healthy kids start with healthy parents, and even though my kids were doing pretty good, I see how much better they are doing now.

I know all of this must sound horrible, but the internal dialogue isn't what you might think. I'm not mentally abusing them and calling them terrible parents. My brain is searching for ways to help them. I'm searching for ideas as to how to get one of the parties motivated to make a change in their life and the lives of their family members. Could I get through to the parents in some way? Could I get the children to get through to the parents?

So I guess losing weight has made me a judgmental person, but I hope that I can take that and turn it into something good. I hope that if my mouth ever opens it's only to share my story and offer suggestions of they're asked for. I hope any actions I take are just offerings of support and that people know that I've been there and want to help.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This has been one of those weeks that you are happy to see end! When I worked a traditional job I looked forward to the weekend like everyone else. Now that I don't, it's still fun, but it doesn't have the same impact. Of course now I have the added stress of no money that comes with no job, but that's a whole different story. This week my part-time job required me to do something very time consuming, and very frustrating. It wasn't that big of a deal but on top of everything else I was feeling it just about caused me to go into a crying jag in the middle of Rite Aid.

I survived, it's Friday and I'm very happy to see the weekend! Today I have nothing on the agenda except lunch with my very best friend and I'm so excited about that. I love her like a sister, but our busy lives don't allow us much time together. So, I'm super excited to see her and catch up on her life.

I gained a little bit of weight again this week Grr! I worked out like a maniac and kept within my points, but I was still up and therefore farther away from the position I want with Weight Watchers. I think two things contributed to these gains. I could have been a little more careful on the diet. While I was within points, I had a lot of sodium. I also allowed myself to get my thyroid medication all screwed up so I didn't take it for a while and that might have something to do with it as well. My guy also pointed out that I really should be drinking more water and I totally know that to be true. I usually only drink water while I'm working out and the rest of the time it is diet soda. I'm addicted to diet soda like a smoker is to cigarettes and it's the one habit I still have that I would really love to break.

So, I'm going to do my very best to work on kicking my soda habit! Any suggestions?

Have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I get enough protein. Do you get enough fiber?

I have a little button on my Facebook page that says something along those lines. Every time I tell someone I'm a vegetarian I know I'm either going to hear "How do you get protein?" or get the look. It amazes me that people don't realize that protein comes in many different forms and that it is quite easy to get what you need without meat in your diet. Not to mention that those forms of protein are so much healthier! I expect the question, and I'm fine with it, but sometimes it is a little irksome. Especially so when the person asking you has clearly had more than their fair share of protein over the years!

Now, perhaps if anyone reads this blog they can help me with "the look" that I get. It may have something to do with the area in which I live, but I get this look like people think I'm nuts. Vegetarians and vegans are everywhere, so why do I still get that look? Not everyone loves to eat steak! While I admit to enjoying meat in the past, I never liked steak and I never liked other meats so much that I couldn't live without them. My lifestyle is a choice. It's something I do for a variety of reasons and health is not first on that list. I remember a woman telling me should just couldn't live without eating ribs ever again and just didn't know how I could do it. Well, she doesn't have to live without them if she doesn't want to. I'm not asking her to do that. Do I wish she would choose them from a place that raised and killed the animals? Sure I do, but I know that might not happen. But it just sort of bugged me that she couldn't ever wrap her brain around the idea that I find other things to be more important than eating a big slab of meat!

I think the next time I get that look, I'm going to ask the person if they get enough fiber. Because based on that facial expression I'm thinking things might be a little backed up!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Life Update

Haven't posted in forever, so I thought I should do a quick update.

I'm enjoying being a vegetarian more and more as time goes on. It's a lot easier to find vegetarian options when dining out than I thought and I just feel so much better all over. I did make a rare exception the other day and paid for it. I have a friend whose wife makes the most AMAZING chicken salad that I have ever tasted. It's just beyond words. Well, I had the option to have some the other day and I just could not turn it down despite everything I feel about eating meat. Well, that was a mistake. The sandwich was as great as I thought it would be and I felt terrible for hours afterward. I guess it's like eating fried foods when you haven't done that in a long time either. So, I guess I can honestly say I'm a vegetarian now, because that won't be happening again.

School starts for the kids on the 24th and while I will miss them like crazy, I think it will be good for all of use to get back into that routine. I start again on the 30th and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm also nervous about all the work. I'm also considering taking a course at the community college to become a personal trainer. It's not something I would have ever considered in the past but now that I've lost almost fifty pounds it seems like something I could actually do. Now I just have to find the money for the course.

In even more personal news, I've started seeing someone. I'm not going to give any details at this point, but it's going very very well and I'm very happy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Women, Food, God and 48 Pounds

How's that for a title? So, I suck at keeping up with this blog, but I'm not sure anyone actually reads it, so that's probably fine. Anywho...

The book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth is all the rage right now. She's been on Oprah and the book is a bestseller. I had previously read a book by Roth so I decided I'd see what all the fuss was about. I was a little skeptical at first because I don't really do the "God" thing anymore. I mean I suppose I believe that there is a higher power than ourselves, but I'm not religious and I don't want to read about how Jesus will save me from my weight. Thankfully this book was nothing I feared. I finished it quickly as it was a pretty easy read and I have to say that I do think it is something all women should read, even if they don't feel like they have food issues.

After nearly a year on Weight Watchers (which Roth had tried when it was far more restrictive) I feel like I'm starting to come too grips with the reasons I eat the way I do and in addition to that, the reasons I behave the way I do in other areas of my life. She did have a lot of really good things to say and it opened my eyes even further. I suspect it would be even more helpful to someone just starting out on a journey toward a healthier lifestyle.

Even more exciting that that, I have now lost 48 pounds! I weigh in on Thursday and I suspect I may have gained a little bit of that back this week, but that's OK. I still don't know exactly how I managed to lose the 4.2 pounds I lost last week so if a little comes back I'm fine with that. I had also donated blood that morning which may have accounted for some of that loss and in doing that and not eating enough I almost fainted in Subway after the meeting. Lucky for me, I have great friends who got my blood sugar back up quickly and I felt mostly normal for the rest of the day.

This means that I am now only 10 pounds away from my goal at Weight Watchers and 20 pounds away from my personal goal! I still can't believe it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I am terrible at waiting. Seriously, I'm the most impatient person I've ever met. I cannot stand to wait for anything and I know it's really annoying to anyone who has to deal with me on a regular basis.

Things are uber stressful around here right now. A lot of things are going on, and a lot of things could happen soon. But I have to wait on everything. It sucks! I know it's part of life and rushing thing is never good, especially if it's important, but I'm just not good at this.

The weight loss is still going pretty well, but again with the waiting! I've lost nearly 45 pounds now and that brings me to about 15 pounds shy of the goal I've set with Weight Watchers (25 pounds from my personal goal) and the closer I get, the harder it is to wait to see what I'll look like and how I'll feel. I think there is some fear there too. I'm afraid of getting so close and failing. I'm afraid of getting there and then backsliding.

So, if anyone has any words of wisdom about waiting, I could really use them now!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weight Loss Revelations

I started my journey toward a healthy weight in October. I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting not knowing what to expect. I had already spent tons of money over the years on gym memberships, diet books, other weight loss programs and tons of different foods. So, when I made the decision to go to Weight Watchers I didn't have a whole lot of confidence that it would work. I told myself that I would give it a few weeks and that no matter what I would follow the program. If after that time I didn't see any results, I vowed that I wouldn't waste the money and quit. I fully expected to quit, but since that first day I've lost 41.8 pounds.

The past two weeks have been a struggle though. I've gained a small amount and then had a small loss. It was starting to get frustrating, but I know that's just a part of this process now and that I have to find new ways to motivate myself and keep pursuing my goal. Yesterday I had a pretty awesome realization about my new body that made me want to keep going more than ever. Once a year the boys and I go to a local water park courtesy of our life insurance company. It's a lot of fun, but it also requires a great deal of energy. We went to the park yesterday and did all of the things we normally do there. They have this great lazy river where you get into tubes and float around. Last year when I was doing this I would try to jump up through the center of the tube and pull my legs up to get into the position that I wanted to be in. Every time I tried it it was really difficult and one time I flipped myself completely over in the water during an attempt. But this year I was doing the same thing and had no trouble at all. After the second time I did it, I thought "Did they change these tubes?". Then it dawned on me, I've lost 40 pounds!!! They didn't change, I did! It was awesome feeling! Not long after that the boys wanted to go down the large tube slides. This requires climbing up a steep flight of stairs carrying an awkward two seater tube. Last year when I did this I was so out of breath by the time I was barely able to enjoy going down the slide. This time, I was a little winded (I think you'd have to be an athlete not to be) but it wasn't near as bad and so much more fun!

So, while I may not be at my goal yet, and I still have a setbacks, it's moments like these that make it so worth the effort and make me want to keep going.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday Randomness

Lots of stuff has been going on so this is just going to be a lot of rambling.

My oldest is at camp for the whole week :( We dropped him off on Sunday evening and won't be picking him up until Friday evening. We're taking the youngest to a mini camp tomorrow evening and picking him up Friday as well. I miss them like crazy while they're gone so this is a hard week. It's been weird only having one kid at home too. I'm used to them entertaining (or trying to kill each other) and now I'm the one who has to do the entertaining. There's a lot less drama here with only one though that's for sure. It will be nice to have them both back though.

I've gained a pound back over the last two weeks but I'm not stressing about that. Yesterday I had someone tell me that someone who had just met me didn't believe I'd ever been heavy. It was nice to hear. I dug up some pictures of myself at my biggest and it was a real shocker. I was amazed at how large I really was and how I thought I looked. I honestly didn't think I looked as big as I was. I also didn't think I'd changed that much, but clearly I have. So, I'm happy even with the slight gain.

There has been a lot of other stuff going on in my life that I don't feel too comfortable sharing on here at this point. However, I will say that they have been an interesting test of the power of positive thinking (or negative, whichever the case may be). Based on how so many things have played out recently I realize that the only course of action is to maintain a positive attitude and focus on the outcomes I desire. The hows of all of those things will take care of themselves.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Last Week of School!

So tomorrow is the beginning of the last week of school for the boys and I can't wait! Oh sure, I'm ready for them to go back when the time comes, but I also love it when they are out of school and we can worry less about bedtime and homework and such. It's great to just be able to go out in the evenings and do things we want without having to constantly think about what has to get done.

I'm taking a break for the summer myself. After seriously overdoing my schedule last semester and ending up with my first "F" ever :( I decided I couldn't cram it all in like I was trying and do a good job. So, now I won't graduate until May and I'm fine with that. I'm also fine with the "F". I didn't do the work plain and simple. It would have broken my heart when I was in high school, but now it's just a sign that I need to slow it down.

After my last Weight Watchers meeting (where I gained 2/10 boo) I realized that I'm only 17 pounds from goal!!!! Holy crap! I still want to lose 10 more after goal to be in the middle of the healthy weight range for my height, but once I hit goal I'm going to be so freaking happy!! If you had told me in October that I'd be at this point now I would have told you that you were crazy. Sure, others have lost it faster, but I never thought I'd lose the weight. Now, I have all of these things I want to do and ways I want to test my body and that's something I never thought I'd feel. It's amazing and I owe it all to WW!!

Hope your week is great!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lazy Monday

I had all sorts of plans for today. I decided not to work (my job is flexible) today and get some stuff done around the house and do some more of my online job. I did manage to get a three mile walk in, but that was it. I honestly don't know what I wasted the time on, but Facebook and a nap took up a little too much of it.

On a more productive note, I went to the doctor last week to discuss my thyroid medication with him. He lowered my dosage the last time I had it checked and I've felt like garbage since. My hair has been falling out way more than I'm used to, and I cannot stay awake for anything. I told him I couldn't handle the way I was feeling on this dosage and he agreed to let me go back on the old one since I felt good on it and was only slightly overmedicated on it. I have to go back in a month to see what it looks like. He was very impressed with the weight loss (which now stands at 40.4 pounds) and just kept telling me how great it was. He's happy with where I am now even though I'm still overweight but he's also very happy with my goal of 145. He was also very supportive of my new vegetarian diet and while he did crack a few hippie jokes (and then admitted that was an unfair stereotype) he didn't say anything about getting enough protein or anything like I expected. Overall it was a great visit and I hope the medicine improves how I'm feeling so I don't have too many more days like today.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sorry I've been MIA

You know how it goes. You get busy, you get behind on posting and then you feel like it's been too long. But here I am anyway, and here's just a mismash of what's been going on.

My semester is over and it didn't go very well (at least by my standards). I had five classes and one of them was a bear! It's a two part course, the second part will be in the fall, and it took up all my time. I managed to get a B in that class, an A in my psych lab and a C+ in another English class. I had two other English classes and didn't manage to get any of the work completed. One of the two professors offered to give me a passing withdraw which means I can take it again without if impacting my GPA this semester (YAY)! The other offered me an extension if I turned in one paper. I really wanted to do that because it's so much cheaper, but I just didn't have the money for the cost of the extension of enough of the reading done to get a good paper finished. I expect that professor to fail me and I totally understand that. It will be my first ever F though and that will be rough. I'll be taking it again in the fall either way.

Things are still going well on the vegetarian front. I still don't miss meat at all and have been finding some great new meals. I'm still not totally there on the vegan thing. I'm almost there but sour cream and laughing cow cheese are tripping me up. I've found vegan sour cream, cream cheese, and butter but the points are so high on Weight Watchers that they aren't worth it.

Speaking of WW I'm doing OK but I could be doing so much better. I've lost 39 pounds so far and it feels amazing, but I've been slacking the past few weeks. This week has been horrible, I've been eating like crazy and I expect a gain at the meeting on Thursday. I'll get back on track, but I feel like crap right now and I just want to eat. WW is a lifestyle and not a diet though. I won't beat myself up about it anymore!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Books Should Be Written

Yes they should. Books should be written about my mad procrastination skills! Seriously, it's insane. I used to be pretty on top of things when I was working full time, but now that I have no set schedule and work is different every week I'm a mess! Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining. I really prefer this over the alternatives (OK, I'll take full time pay) but I need to force myself to at least try to stick to some sort of schedule so that things get done. So here's the rundown for the week...

About 10 hours of work in four stores (two are 20 minutes away) squeezed in somewhere
Zumba classes on Tuesday and Friday
Brownies delivered to my son's school Wednesday morning and lunch with friends in the afternoon
Lunch with my son on Thursday, then Weight Watchers in the evening since I can't go in the afternoon
Hopefully doing something with my best friend on Friday
Archery for my oldest on Saturday

Doesn't sound too bad, but I also need to fit in...
Wax that must be rescheduled since I can't go Thursday
Car inspection and oil change HAS to be done this week
Call my doctor about the fact that my hair is falling out and I'm narcoleptic and pray he doesn't make me come in to see him
Four papers for school and a final exam as well as turning in an extension form and $150 for one of the classes since I didn't do anything for the class (with the exception of the paper I'll do this week to get the extension)
I have a ton of plants on my front porch that are going to die if I don't get them in my garden
Online work for extra money since I'm as broke as they come right now

I'm tired now. Is the week over?

But honestly, I LOVE my life and things may be crazy, but they just keep getting better!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Have you hugged your planet today? I have to admit that I didn't do anything special to celebrate the day. Not eating meat is all I did I guess. I did turn down a plastic bag, but other than that, nothing monumental. I had things I wanted to do, but as with most things I want to do right now, they just aren't happening.

It was an interesting day though. I lost one pound at Weight Watchers, but because I gained last week it was really only 4/10 of a pound. I found that I'm likely not eating enough. I really upped my exercise this past week but I didn't eat enough of my weekly points. I'm going to try eating more this week and see if it helps. Fingers crossed it doesn't hurt!

I've felt like total crap for a few months now. I practically have narcolepsy and my hair is falling out by the handful. This is usually an indication that my thyroid medicine needs to be adjusted. So, I had the blood work done and my doctor says my medication is OK. So, is it the diet? Well I'm thinking it could be, but not in the way most people would assume. I recently learned that soy is really not good for people with a thyroid problem. I'm not eating a ton of it, but my intake has increased enough that I'm thinking it might be impacting it. On top of that, I also learned that a lot of commercial veggie burgers have a toxic chemical called Hexane in them. So, I'm thinking that it's time to cut out the soy. I'm also going to research more ways to get iron in case I'm anemic.

So, no meat, still working to cut out the dairy, and cutting out the soy. Looks like I might be heading toward a mostly raw food diet soon.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Finally Friday

Everyone is always waiting for the weekend right? This week was pretty crazy for me, but the weekend isn't going to be any less crazy so I'm not sure it makes a difference that it's Friday. I'm getting up at 4:30 tomorrow morning to help my friend shoot baseball pictures for tons of little children. It's going to be crazy and I'm going to be exhausted. I'm going to spend all day Sunday trying to get caught up in school. I have two classes that I've done no work for. It's not because I didn't want to do the work, I was actually looking forward to the classes, but I took way too many classes with way too much reading in the same semester. I e-mailed one of the professors to explain to her what happened and she (without my asking) told me she would give me a WP which is a passing withdraw. That means I have to take the class again, but it won't impact my GPA. I decided to give it a go with the other class as well so we'll see what she says. Keep your fingers crossed because I've never failed a class before and I don't want to start now.

Today was an interesting food day. I had to do an Easter to Mother's Day card changeover in a store that takes a long time, but I thought I'd be done in plenty of time for lunch. So, I was craving a donut really bad and decided to splurge and get one. I knew it was a lot of WW points, but I figured I was going to be fine because I'd be home for lunch and dinner. WRONG! I was at my store from 8-1:30 and by the time I was done I was shaking I was so hungry. Literally the only place to eat near the store was Burger King. They have a veggie burger there so I gave it a shot. It was really good! I didn't think about what they might put on it though and they loaded it with mayo. So, it ended up being a ton of points as well and blew my day. But, I still managed to have a good meal without having to get a salad and even though I don't love fast food restaurants, at least I know I have an option when I go there. Next time I'll have them hold the mayo though!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day!!

I'm sitting outside right now enjoying the warm spring weather and just being thankful for how great everything is right now! There are always things we wish we could change, or improve, but sometimes it's good to just sit back and think about all of the great things in life. I'm healthy, my kids are healthy, we have food to eat and a roof over our heads. What more could we ask for?

I live in a pretty small apartment with basically no yard. I also kill any plant that comes near me. But, this year in an effort to save some money on my new lifestyle I decided I was going to try very hard to grow some vegetables in containers on my porch. My local Rec department also has a community garden where for $30 you get a tilled plot and access to water. I sent an e-mail to the director to see if there was any space available and was told there was a wait list. Yesterday I got an e-mail letting me know that someone had dropped out and now I get a plot!! I'm so excited, but I'm also really nervous. There are a good many rules about maintaining the space, and I've only had a garden one other time in my life and my ex-husband pretty much handled that, so I have no clue what I'm getting into. I'm not going to get fancy though. I'm going to buy already started plants so I know what I'm working with and just go from there. My friend Diane has offered to help and so I'm hoping she knows more than I do, so that together we will be able to reap the benefits of some produce grown by our own hands. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Last night I finished reading Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman. Talk about an eye-opening book. If you are not familiar with him, he is a former cattle rancher who owned a massive commercial farm. He is now a vegan and food safety advocate. If you have heard of him it is probably because he was the man sued along with Oprah by the Texas cattle ranchers for her statements about beef. I know that people often say that you can't really be informed if you haven't experienced something first hand. Well, the way I see it, if you can operate a large scale farm that practices the same methods of farming as other commercial farms all over the country and then go vegan because of that, then you have walked the walk, and can now talk the talk. He knows what he did, he knows what his friends and fellow farms do to raise their animals and so if anyone should know whether or not our food is safe, it's him. He doesn't think it is.
      This book is very easy to read, he's a pretty no nonsense kind of guy and doesn't bog you down with a lot of facts or terms that are hard to understand. But he is very blunt and if you really want to continue a life of eating meat then you probably shouldn't read this book. It's not quite as gross as some of the other books I've read on the subject (although there was one part about putting things back in a cow that weren't supposed to come out) but he gets the message across very well. If you can read this and not at least consider what you're eating and how it impacts your health and the environment then there's something a little off in your brain.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

No More Beatings

So I think I'm a little over two weeks into this foray and while I'm not doing well on the dairy side of things, being a vegetarian is quite easy. Vegan is still going to be a difficult, if attainable, goal for me.

I have learned a few things during this beginning part of the process. The first is that shockingly (at least to me) it is much easier to eat out at local restaurants than at chains if you are a vegetarian. I know that my local restaurants cater to a wide variety of people, but given that this is a big farming area and that pretty much everyone I know loves meat, I didn't expect to see as many vegetarian options as I have.

In the past month I've eaten out a bit more than I normally do. Part of this is because my birthday falls in this month and so I was either taken out, or treated myself to a meal out. I went with my mother to a chain restaurant while we were in another town shopping a few weeks back. This was before I decided that I had to make a clear start if I was ever going to do this, and I ended up eating meat because I couldn't figure out a better choice. We went to this particular place because they have a Weight Watchers friendly menu and we are both on the plan. I looked at every item on the menu and was hard pressed to find something without meat. I also couldn't figure out what I could order that would still be a real meal without the meat and not kill me with the other stuff. So I went with the safety net of the WW chicken. You would think that chain restaurants would be all about catering to the special diets given that they are much more likely to be sued by someone for not having something on their menu that they could order. I'd never consider suing because there was no vegetarian option, but we are a sue happy country.

Since that meal, I've eaten meals at two different local restaurants and was very pleased to find vegetarian entrees clearly labeled as such. They were also amazing! So once again, eating local wins out and I'll be going back to support local businesses who support my eating habits!

I also learned (and here's where the post title comes in) that meat and dairy in some form are in EVERYTHING!!! Seriously, it is very hard to avoid some variant of meat or dairy product in any processed food. Even things you wouldn't really think to look for them in. I'm trying to avoid processed foods as much as possible, but some pretty simple things I'm used to being able to use have meat or dairy in them. I noticed that I had started to become a little obsessed with reading labels to check for these hidden things and that I was feeling bad when I found them in something I thought would be safe. So last night I decided that I won't beat myself up over those things. I'm only two weeks in for starters and this is a major life change for me. I also have a pretty limited range of stores to shop in here and so my ability to find some of the better versions of common items is not that easy. So, I'm just going to keep doing the best I can. I realize that simply cutting the actual meat itself is a huge step and helps the environment and my body. Hopefully as time goes on I will learn more substitutions and find new things to enjoy that help me move away from the things that I was beating myself up over naturally.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm In Love With Jamie Oliver

It's been a long time since I've felt this way about a man and I'm just ticked that he's married.

Seriously though, did you watch the sneak preview of his new show called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? In the pilot episode he went to an elementary school in Huntington West Virginia to see if he could not only make over the way the children were eating in school, but at home as well. Huntington was recently voted the fattest city in America which is saying something because we're the fattest country in the world! I have family near this area of WV and my cousin spent a lot of time in a hospital in Huntington when she was born, so I thought it was pretty interesting to watch a show so close to home so to speak.

I was prepared for how bad the food situation would be. I was NOT prepared for how much of a fight Jamie was going to have or how terribly nasty people would be to him about this. What shocked me the most was the cafeteria staff and how down on the whole idea they were. I mean I guess I could see feeling a little threatened by some stranger coming in and messing with your system, but I could not believe how strongly they defended what they served!! You would have thought he had walked into their homes and criticized their cooking. Funny thing, is that he actually did go into the home of one family and told the mother how horrible the food was that she was feeding her family and she thanked him! Not these women though! They did nothing to help him, nothing to support what he was trying to do and before all was said and done he was in tears!

I won't spoil the whole show in case you haven't seen it. If you want to watch it, you can find the full episode here. The season premiere is Friday March 26 and I hope that they get on board with him fast!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is It Official?

So when are you an official vegetarian? How long do you have to abstain from eating meat before you can call yourself a vegetarian to others? I guess it has technically only been a week since I've eaten any meat. I ate on campus last Saturday and due to the very limited choices I had a little bit of sausage gravy. I'm not sure there was actually any sausage in it...but I believe the essence of meat still counts as meat.

The only remaining meat in the house is some of my oldest son's deer bologna and some soup that contains meat. I don't anticipate eating either of those things myself, but they are here. I still haven't given up dairy. I am using up the last of my cow's milk and it won't be replaced. I still have a lot of laughing cow cheese wedges and sour cream and I'm still not sure what I'm going to do without those. My youngest loves sour cream and so I doubt it will be banished from the house. I'm giving myself a lot more time on the vegan conversion though. Funny how I thought I didn't like dairy that much, but there are those few items that I just seem to have to have.

If I had any internal debate about becoming a vegetarian it was gone quickly when I read a few more chapters of Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman the other night. His description of his practices on his factory farm sealed the deal for me. I won't go into any details since you might be eating and reading, but it involved putting some items back into the cow that never should have come out to begin with. So, while I may have a slip up from time to time, I think I can call myself a vegetarian. Perhaps just saying it out loud will help me avoid the slip ups all together.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Politics - I'm Over Them

I used to really enjoy politics. I liked the excitement of an election and learning about the different candidates. I have almost always been on the losing side considering I'm a very liberal person in a very conservative area. I have my opinions like everyone else, but I feel like I give them pretty respectively most of the time. I can't say that I've never been disrespectful, but I do try to watch what I say. I think I'm more aware of this because I have so many conservative friends. It comes with the territory. I was even married to a conservative man. You just can't avoid them here ;)

So, yes, I voted for Obama and no, I'm not sorry I did. He still represents what I believe in and I still think he has the ability to bring us back from a horrible time. But, I am so over politics. Being on the "winning" side this time has made me loathe it. During the eight years we had Bush I just listened to the conservatives around me and most of the time I kept my mouth shut. I didn't like it, but making my friends mad wasn't the way to change anything. They have their beliefs and I have mine. He was the President of the United States and I respected his office. I didn't put foul bumper stickers on my car and I didn't join any anti-Bush Facebook groups until he left office.

I don't know how my conservative friends felt when they saw anti-Bush sentiments from their liberal friends. I hope that I never made them feel bad. But, I can tell you how it makes me feel. It makes me wonder why you are my friend? When you say nasty things (and I don't just mean disagree with him, I mean nasty) about the President that I voted for, or the causes that I truly believe in then it makes me wonder why you like me at all. This is part of who I am! I have spent years respecting and being friends with a lot of conservatives and while I may have disagreed with them, I don't feel like I slapped them in the face. So, if you feel so strongly that liberals are the devil and that we will be the ruination of this country, then you are essentially saying that I'm a horrible person who doesn't care about the US or its people.

I am very far from being a conservative, but if I felt like my conservative friends had nothing valuable to offer this country and were just a waste of oxygen, then I wouldn't be friends with them. So, why are you friends with me?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Heaven in a Pan!!

I've been reading a blog called Green and Crunchy. This woman is amazing! She feeds a family of seven an entirely vegan, and mostly raw diet. I just read in awe! But, I got bold and decided to make one of the recipes she posted because it just looked so amazing. I tried out my hand at making these chocolate covered energy bars. I didn't have exactly the same ingredients, but everything was similar. They were very easy to make and didn't take long at all. My only mistake was having the pan sitting on my warm stove. It caused the coconut oil to separate from the rest of the mixture a little resulting in a slightly greasy bar. But putting them in the freezer for a few minutes like she suggested anyway almost took care of that problem entirely.

Let me just say that these things are SO incredibly good that I could eat the whole pan!! I won't always put the chocolate on them (she doesn't either) but they will be a great replacement to the bars that I normally buy for the boys.

Friday, March 12, 2010

FoodMatters and My Thyroid

I watched FoodMatters last night. I enjoyed it and found it very informative. I also visited the website associated with the film and found a few things I don't care for. I don't believe in colonics. I'm sorry if you do, but I've watched enough Dr. Oz and The Drs. to believe that it's just not necessary or even safe to have a procedure like that performed. Aside from that, I though there was a lot of very good information in the film.

The thing I found most interesting was one of the teachers talking about how the body heals. She said that you can't cure heart disease in a person and not cure other ailments they may have. She didn't mean, of course, through procedures designed for one specific ailment. She meant (I assume) that when we heal our bodies through proper diet and exercise and other healing methods, then our body is healed. You can't pick and choose healing. I thought that was a very interesting idea.

I've been on thyroid medication for an under active thyroid since tenth grade. It's hard to tell how long I'd really had the problem, but this is when it was finally found. Over the years I've noticed that the level of medication that I need is very much dependent on my weight. The heavier I am, the higher dosage I need. As soon as I start to lose weight, I have to come down in dosage. The last time I had blood drawn for my thyroid test I had lost close to 20 pounds. My doctor called and said they needed to lower my dosage. I figured they would because I'd noticed my hair had started to fall out more than normal. So, I switched does. Now I've lost over 30 pounds and I can tell that the medicine is still not right. I'm tired all the time despite all of the exercise I am getting and how much better I'm eating. I have to go back in and have another test. I'm very curious to see what he will say this time.

So now I'm thinking, am I curing this? Is it possible that as I eat better, exercise more, and lose more weight I won't need the medication anymore? I've been told, and read in a variety of places that my type of thyroid condition is not a curable version. Some people are able to go off medication, but I've always been told that I will be on it for the rest of my life. I'm starting to think that's not the case and looking forward to seeing if this will go away as I heal my body through proper diet and exercise.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This Isn't Going to Be Cheap

I'm still in the beginning phases of this shift to vegetarian/vegan so I'm learning a lot. It's weird that I would pick something to care so much about, since I hate to cook and have a kitchen that isn't too friendly. But it is what it is. I've been going through recipes and looking for common ingredients so I know what I should have on hand. I have been to every grocery store and health food store in town and even one out of town to collect what I need. Now, I'm aware that some of the things I'm buying like flours and oils won't be bought on a very regular basis, but I can already tell that this is going to be a very expensive lifestyle.

I was aware that there would be an increase in cost. Real food costs money and this country would be in much better health if we spent more money on food. I keep telling myself that while I'm looking for these special ingredients and finding their huge price tags. I'm a bargain shopper, so this isn't easy for me. I think vegetarian is a little less expensive than vegan though. Finding things without dairy in a small meat loving town is really hard. I do think that as time goes on it will get easier and I will learn to make more things by hand. But for right now, I am looking for good job suggestions!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Fabulous Birthday

Today is my 30th birthday! I have to say it was probably one of the best birthday's I've ever had!

I went to Weight Watchers with the hopes of having lost enough to hit my 30 pound loss. I only needed .4 pounds and I lost 3!! I was shocked to say the least. So as of my 30th birthday I have lost 32.6 pounds. I'm so excited! After the meeting my dear friend Diane took me out for a veggie sub at Subway. I then went and bought some vegetarian friendly (not quite vegan friendly) items at the store. Then I went and spent WAY too much money at Kohl's buying the much lusted after Kitchenaid stand mixer. Swoon!!!!

My darling little boys got of the bus with cards that they made for me and we had dinner at Chick-Fil-A. Now, I'm not really a Chick-Fil-A fan for a variety of reasons, but it was a fundraiser night for their school, so we went. It was kind of funny because I noticed that once we had our food we had almost no chicken on the tray. We had salads, fruit, some waffle fries (it's my birthday come on!) and the chicken noodle soup. So the soup was all the chicken we had and it was barely touched. We did indulge in the brownies though.

After our meal we went to Barnes & Noble for a play that my youngest was acting in. Very cute and he did very well. It was comical to look around during the play because the majority of the adult members of the audience were from his family. My ex and his wife were there, the ex's mom and dad, the step-mom's mother and her friend, my mom, me, and it just happens that the ex's cousin has children at the same school so they were there too.

We spent another unmentionable sum of money on books and came home to my gift from the boys. With the help of their step-mom they picked out an adorable dog that says "I love you" when you squeeze him. He's for when they aren't with me.

Tomorrow the ex and his wife and the boys are taking me out for Ethiopian food!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Challenge of Vegan

As I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of dairy. I used to eat a lot of cereal with milk and a lot of ice cream, but that was prior to Weight Watchers. However, what I do eat, I'm pretty attached to and I believe that along with all of the things dairy hides in, these will be my biggest challenges. If you happen to know of some delicious vegan alternative that would be great! There is vegan chocolate right?

  • Sour cream - I LOVE sour cream. I put it on everything!
  • Laughing cow cheese wedges - These are my only condiment on sandwiches.
  • Yogurt - I don't eat a lot of it, but enough that I'll miss it.
  • Ice cream - There are a few WW friendly ice cream bars that I really like. I think I can make some vegan alternatives to satisfy this though.


I did some shopping today at stores I NEVER go to. I'm a huge bargain hunter and these are bargain stores, but they are just out of my way.

First up was Sharp Shopper which tons of people I know swear by. I got some good stuff, but I'm still not all that impressed. I buy a lot of the same things, so I know what I pay for them and I can get a lot of the same things cheaper other places. I did find canned fruit in its own juice which is hard to find. Some organic applesauce, and Bare Naked granola for only $1.99! I also got a huge bag of frozen organic green beans for $2.99. Nothing spectacular, but not too bad either.

Then to Goodwill. I'm always hoping to find treasures here, but I always just find junk. Did get two books.

Next was Ollie's. Again, I'm not impressed, but got some organic tea for my tea loving son, a book and a pizza cutter.

Finally it was Save & Prosper. There are two in town and this one was by Ollie's. Total DUMP! I did get some tea, but I'll never go back.

I was very careful while shopping to look at the labels. I was remembering Michael Pollan talking about the number of ingredients on a label. Most of the things I bought had two to three things at most. This morning I cleaned out the freezer and gave my mom a bunch of frozen fish. She's not going to jump on my veg bandwagon, so the food shouldn't go to waste. Tomorrow is trash day and some other stuff is going to go to the dump. No one needs Crunch n' Munch so it's going.

So not a total waste of my time, but not a terribly exciting way to spend my last day as a 29-year-old.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The UPS Man Cometh

And he brought two things I've been looking forward to getting my hands on!

I'm going to use this to make some yummy things I've seen on other blogs, and to keep some of the fresh fruits like apples and bananas from going to waste because we don't eat them fast enough. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

I bought No More Bull and read it before I realized he had another book, so now I have to read it too!

Vegetarian FAIL!

So I haven't really set any dates for my transition from a meat eater, to vegetarian to vegan. I figured I'd just take it slow and ease into it. My birthday is Thursday and my ex-husband and his wife are taking me out for dinner on Friday. Since I'm not sure where we are going I don't want to put any limitations on myself until after that meal. Eating with others (which I don't do too often) will be one of the challenges to this. This is a personal choice, but I know there will be questions and I don't want my answers to make people feel bad.

Anyway, this morning I was making breakfast for the boys and found myself stealing bites of the sausage I was warming up for them. FAIL! To my credit, it came from T&E Meat Market so I feel a little better about it, but clearly this is going to be harder than I thought. My meals rarely contain a lot of meat, but it is going to be bites of things here and there that trip me up. It's a process though. I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

I didn't want to go into too much detail in my other post about the way this will all go down because it had already become very long. My children will likely not become vegetarians with me unless they make that choice on their own. They live with their dad and step-mom half the time and me half the time and so they will still have plenty of meat in their diet. My oldest is already a deer hunter so he will be eating his kills. They are certainly old enough to make that choice for themselves though, so if they were to decided to go with me on this journey, then I think everyone would support that. Over time I hope to eliminate the meat from my house, so they'll only be getting it at some meals. It will be interesting to see how their own personal tastes develop in all of this as well as mine.