deep breath

Like most people, I was/am saddened by the terrorist attacks – all of them. I feel sorrow and true disgust at the horrific events that don’t seem to end.  The attacks on Paris sent my heart racing.

My brother and sister-in-law live there.  Many of my new friends and my new family live there.  I felt like I got punched in the stomach.  Thankfully, my brother is currently in New York but I panicked thinking of my sister-in-law and the others.  Given my propensity to think the worst (which has increased since my mom passed suddenly in 2011), I was so scared.  I’m beyond grateful my sister-in-law, family and friends overseas, are safe.

this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012
this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012

The anxiety hasn’t completely left me – I know, surprise, surprise.  I woke up today all kinds of out of sorts.  It was going to be a very packed day and it felt daunting.  I was supposed to do a PT session on my own today and this was somehow going to fit into my lunch break, in-between back to back to back meetings.  All of the stomach acid.

I made the executive decision to skip the PT session – I can still fit it in before my actual session on Wednesday.  I was able to catch up on some administrative tasks, which had been sitting on my to do list, taunting me.  I also realized I wanted some comfort food.

and some comfort memories – my dad and I in Paris this summer

Well, I realized it yesterday but I had to work so I had popcorn for dinner instead.  But tonight – tonight I wanted to feed my feelings.  I’ve been craving meat (not chicken or turkey), probably related to my iron deficiency, and I found my way to a stroganoff recipe.  How could I forget about stroganoff?!  I’ve only made it one other time in the last 12 years – crazypants!

I searched pinterest and found a recipe that satisfied my gluten-free needs.  Did you know cream of mushroom soup has wheat in it?  I wasn’t sure it would taste as good without that ol’ standby but I should’ve trusted.  The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes.  This was all homemade and business!

No pictures of my creation because stroganoff doesn’t photograph well.

Also, I ignored the salt recommendations, because I thought I was smarter?  You probably still could if you wanted to but I found I needed to add salt afterward.  I also practically doubled (or maybe more) the paprika because paprika and I are tight.

view from Sacre-Coeur in Paris

The stroganoff hit the spot.  Not only did it satisfy my taste buds but it was nice to go through the routine of cooking.  I haven’t cooked in a long time and making this bad boy was calming.  P.S. Read all of the directions before you start!  I had to scramble a bit.

Tomorrow is another filled to gills work day.  But I will have stroganoff leftovers waiting for me at the end of the day.

My thoughts continue to be with the victims of all of the attacks of this last week and previous ones.  I have so many dear memories from the two weeks I spent in France this summer celebrating my brother’s wedding and it hurts my heart to think of all of this devastation.

running can’t fix everything

You know how people say/imply running can cure for all that ails you?  Well, I’m here to say, this isn’t true…

my feelings tasted like peanut butter m & m's
my feelings tasted like peanut butter m & m’s

Let me back up.  Yesterday was a crummy day.  A friend of mine hurt my feelings on Monday and in my true over-analyzing fashion, I couldn’t let it go.  It kept going through my mind, over and over.  In reality, the hurt-feelings aspect has been going on for a while now but it got to a breaking point on Monday.  I couldn’t do much about it that day so yesterday became the day of “the festering wound”.  Gross image, eh?

I won’t even insert a picture of what I was able to find on the internet.

I thought I would try to go for a run to make myself feel better – the magic of running, right?  It will fix everything!  Well, it didn’t.  Turns out trying to run while you are crying really interrupts your breathing and running.  Finally, I sat down under a tree and just bawled my eyes out.  I got up to finish my run but it was as lackluster as it was before the big crying session.

You know what I realized during this run?  Well, two things actually:

1.  My mental game is WAY off.  All I could think about was how horrible I felt emotionally and my running was suffering for it.  I had to walk bigger chunks, I was hot, I wanted to quit.  The fact I made it the whole loop is a miracle in itself and will get stored in my “if you can run through that, you can run through this” memory/strength bank.  I recently read an article about mental toughness and I thought about it again last night – here it is:

totally not my picture - it's the one from the article
totally not my picture – it’s the one from the article

2.  Sometimes running can’t fix problems that sit in our souls.  They can act as a band-aid and I will admit the mini-burst of endorphins got me through the rest of the evening without feeling too sorry for myself.  But life is tricky and depending on anything too much just sets me up for disappointment.  Truthfully, had I gone out and had the best run I’ve had in months, I still don’t think it could have rescued me from the blues (although it would have helped a bit more!).  And there was no way that a great run could’ve happened – see number one.

I’m not sure if I am glad I went out there and ran last night but I guess it gave me a new place (aside from my couch) to expel some of my emotions. Probably getting outside and some fresh air was a positive.  And it really drove home how my negativity toward myself and my running abilities needs to be adjusted. Stat.

Ahhh… sorry for the pity party.  Things will get better…

so much room for activity!

One week ago today, I had my stomach follow-up.  Two of the recommendation biggies were exercise more and follow the GERD diet.  I’ve had moderate success with the GERD diet, and today marks the 1 week anniversary of only having ONE cup of coffee a day – YAY!

I’m a beast in training

Now where I’ve been even more successful is with the working out piece.  Listen to this:  last week I worked out 4 times.  This one is exciting folks.  I can’t remember the last time I hit 4 days.  At first I felt guilty because it has been so long since this happened and then I hit myself upside the head and replaced it with loads and loads of pride.

Last Tuesday I swam for 37 mins.  Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I ran/walked on my pal the treadmill.  I’m even typing this with a smile on my face.

This week, I’ve had some success as well.  Tuesday night I swam for 40 minutes.  I worked on my stroke and kicking and let me tell you, I was wiped out after it.  I did swim faster, which is always a cool thing but my endurance is iffy so my heart was a beatin’.  After my swim session, I came home and knocked out (I use that term loosely as it was HARD) 3 miles on the treadmill.

I know.  Two works in the same day.  I checked the mirror to make sure it was still me.

I will say, I was exhausted yesterday.  I had to work late so I didn’t swim nor did I run.  Rather, I ate way too many servings of Chicago style popcorn.  Yet another form of popcorn crack – take my word for it.  I wanted to stop but I

I demolished that popcorn… not quite like this though… next time

Tonight is another round of swimming and running.  I know it’s pushing my fitness in a positive way.  The other major benefit?  It’s been an emotionally exhausting week (see emotionally indulging in popcorn above) and at the end of my swim, the overwhelming sense of anxiety had dissipated by leaps and bounds.  I didn’t even realize it until about 2 hours after I was finished.  It’s making me a believer in this whole meditative exercise choice.

swimming and me = besties

As mentioned, the emotional roller coaster has, of course, had an effect on my tummy.  I decided to try to reintroduce a few things to my diet in regards to the FODMAP diet and this was a disaster.  Last weekend I was learning/trying to accept my conflicting new diets and now I need to figure out to implement them.  Spreadsheet world here I come!

I haven’t figured out if Friday will be a swim day or not but I think I might need it.  Running will be high on the agenda for the weekend as I need to push past this 3 mile business.  I need to add some mileage in order not to crawl across the finish line in this impending 8k… which is 2 weeks away – EEK!

me = ass

So there were two different posts rattling around in my brain.  I decided to go right ahead with the ol’ karma hates me post.  I think it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote one of these.  Seriously, doesn’t it seem like some individuals totally get bypassed by her?  Well, don’t you worry, I’m one of the chosen ones.  If being visited by karma, never feel alone – I’m positive I am right there with you.

I’m sure this is what karma looks like

Now, I should first admit a couple of things.  I’m an ass.  Not all of the time, but this week I was.  I didn’t even really mean to be said ass but it happened.  I made some pretty decent mistakes & instead of karma allowing me to slink off into a corner to lick my wounds I got an audience.

no wait! I want to be put in a corner!

Me = Ass:  One major work error where all of my higher up bosses got to be privy to my mistake. One personal mistake, which while may not have the biggest audience, makes me feel worse than the work one did.  And then there were the smaller work & personal ass-ish things that came into play off and on all week.  So, I’m not saying that I don’t deserve karma’s attention but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish she would lose my digits.  Pretty please?!
While I was all retail-therapying it up in Target yesterday (you see, I already hit Yankee Candle and Old Navy online earlier in the week), I realized I have to learn to simply brush the shit away.  It’s true.  I promise you, I’m going to think about how I messed up – how I misread ppl & how I could’ve/should’ve done just a few minor things differently & this whole week would have been different.  Even though what’s ailing me at the moment isn’t actual shit (they are important things), I can’t change what happened.  My proclivity toward rehashing my mistakes & rehashing & then rehashing them again, sure isn’t changing the situations.  Those are said and done.  I’m great at accepting responsibility mind you, rather I need to work on the whole concept of damage control (not target) & then moving on.  I don’t have much confidence in my ability to do this at this moment…

I will admit, I made a rookie mistake & went against my cardinal rule of “never say it can’t get any worse”.  Last week I lamented about what a doozy of a week it was and while I don’t think I actually said it I sure as hell implied it.  The universe spoke up with a rousing rendition of “OH YEAH?!”  A challenging week has ensued & my only hope for the rest of these days are some personal victories – ones that have eluded me so far: only drinking one coffee per day, not scavenging for chocolate in the mid-afternoon when I’m clutching at my sanity for dear life, crossing all of my I’s & T’s (um-apparently i’s need crossing now), not oversleeping & not letting the !#*%^ tears fall.  Or maybe if I accomplished even a couple of these it could at least be considered a draw.
It’s not really a weekend in my working world but I hope for those of you who are weekending, that it’s a good one – maybe a nap?  Maybe some holiday shopping?  Maybe hanging out with friends and family?  I will leave you with a song that I am currently OBSESSED with despite the strange video.  It kind of fits my mood right now.

Later alleges toe (<— I tried to write later alligators and this came up instead.  I like it)

less is more

Day 23.  I officially have “completed” more days than I have left.  Yes, I realize we all know how math works but I’m so happy!  Essentially, it’s like the moment I hit mile 14 in the marathon while doing Dopey.  At that point I knew I could finish.  And as you know, (PSA), knowledge is power!

one of my prouder life moments
one of my prouder life moments

To be honest – I really felt this way last week around day 17.  It was nice to be a tad bit more than half way done.  As per my experience, my feelings are mixed on this Whole30 deal.  If you would like to read what I have so far, my posts are here, and here.   I refer to the timeline quite a bit on the Whole30 site as I found it to be fairly accurate.  Unfortunately, some pieces are still missing.

1.  Where is my mo’fo’ Tiger Blood?!  Seriously, I’m currently awaiting feeling like I have 20 thousand watts of energy coursing through my body.  I DO have more energy but I expected feeling like a bunny – bounding about in a meadow.  No bunny feelings here.  I’m a bit disappointed.

tiger blood
my bro-in-law sent me this so at least I could have a picture of my non-existent tiger blood

2.  Losing inches and weight is where it’s at man.  I was reading through a blog somewhere on the interwebs and they were writing that doing the Whole30 and eating paleo was a way to lose weight without doing any work.  Umm… no.  Yep, there is an initial weight loss from cutting sugar and it’s true I’ve yet to really work out, however, it has been work.  Maybe not in the way we usually think about it but still work.  Not to mention, I’m sure just like with any elimination diet, you can still gain weight due to portions.

3.  This weekend I went to a dear friend’s daughter’s first birthday.  Yay!  I was THAT person.  I brought my own pork chop for lunch as they were having pulled pork with bbq sauce.  I ate the veggies (thanks!)!  At cake time, I brought one of my breakfast “cookies” to help ward off some of sugar’s siren’s call.  We went out to dinner later that evening and brunch the next day and both times I went all When Harry Met Sally on them.  I felt like an idiot.  A high maintenance idiot at that.

4.  On my drive out of town, I stopped by McDonald’s for an ice coffee – black.  Along with my pork chop, I brought some almond milk.  I pulled up to the window and the handed me a cup of deliciousness, a.k.a. coffee with cream and sugar.  I’m not even kidding when a part of me ALMOST just took it and ran!  But I explained the error and a not-as-tasty coffee was passed along to me instead.  *Sigh*.

5.  Essentially, in times of stress or sadness, I still want to find comfort in food.  I thought this would have passed by now.

6.  My skin IS much clearer.  I hate it when other people are right.

7.  I suppose my sweet tooth has changed somewhat.  I gave one of my AUUUHHHMAZE Balls to my friend to taste and she was not terribly impressed (really kind of hated them).  To me they are the BEST!

8.  Meal planning is much easier.  It always seemed so daunting in the past but now that I’ve been doing it for three weeks, it’s better.  I cooked pork chops the other night, even.  Look at me!  I don’t feel as intimidated as I did before about cooking certain foods and I actually have some energy to put things together in the evening times.  Plus, I can look at something in the fridge and figure out a meal from those ingredients.

this is what it used to fee like

9.  It’s been a really good segway to the FODMAP diet.  I’ll be switching over to that when the Whole30 is over and it won’t require a terrible number of changes, which is nice.

10.  I certainly don’t think this is an easy process.  I’ve been having food dreams.  One night it was some chinese take out and another night a giant burger.  Last night it was some kind of coffee drink.  Then I wake up kind of freaked out that I blew it.

11.  I truly thought I was going to HAVE to cheat at some point in order to make it.  I’m happy I haven’t despite wanting to!  They don’t really mention too much about managing cravings  during women’s cycles and I think if they added some info it would be helpful.  That was a trying time for sure!

12. I don’t believe “I’ve got this in the bag” or that the remaining days will be all easy as pie – yum, PIE.  I’m determined though.  I am going to start making a menu for next week (aside from Thanksgiving, which still boggles my mind that it’s here) to make sure I don’t hover food for the sake of hovering.  Food is fuel only – right?!


day 13 of the whole30 & feeling a bit salty

Day 13

I made it through the first week of no sugar, dairy, grains or legumes.  The sugar deprivation was/is still challenging.  You see, I depend on sugar as a coping mechanism – taking that away means I get to ride out some of those feelings.  I think I like my feelings covered in chocolate better…

Nevertheless, I’m wicked proud of myself.  Foods I thought I would miss terribly haven’t been overly strong on my radar, which is also surprising.  I miss foods being convenient but I don’t always miss those foods.  Well, except for yogurt.  I really like yogurt.

How I’m feeling:

I haven’t experienced that “jump out of bed with the energy of 10 super humans” quite yet.  I’m not a morning person & am guessing this will never change.  I DO wake up & don’t feel quite as groggy as I did before.  And as promised, I have more sustainable energy throughout the day.   I don’t feel I’m thinking with more clarity or anything like that-but I don’t feel like a zombie either.  Also, I have more energy/drive to do things (like cook a meal) when I get done with work.

I’ve lost inches.  I can feel it in the clothes I’m wearing.  I’ve followed orders & not stepped on the scale & honoring this has been a struggle.  I just want to KNOW!  But as I mentioned, I don’t feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man anymore.  I’m guessing this could have something to do with the fact that my coffee drinks were clocking in at a whopping 330 calories every morning.  Cutting these for a week was equal to the number of calories necessary to lose a pound.  It definitely makes me think about future coffee ingredients.

Last week I would be starving by the time my next meal hit.  It was obnoxious.  I kept feeling I shouldn’t be that hungry given the amount of food I felt like I was eating.  Where did it go?  Suddenly I was envisioning tighter pants & I was worried.  This week it has somewhat calmed down.  I’m certainly hungry for my next meal but I don’t feel like a bottomless pit anymore.

There are good things about this process/plan.  Today I’m feeling kind of ragey and emotional.  There are some hormones to blame (so there are some non-stable emotions involved and way to much pain that I can’t take motrin for) , my stomach isn’t feeling up to par and what I really WANT is a diet 7up.  Or something… seriously, I don’t know what it is.  But this morning, I almost started crying when I thought about the next 17 cups of crappy coffee I’m going to be drinking and then DID start crying when office mate asked me what was wrong.  Sure, I was feeling a bit salty about a few other things but nothing that warranted actual tears.  And there were tears – plural – none of that one dramatic, yet soulful tear sliding down the cheek.  Nope, facial floodsville.  It does coincide with the Whole30 timeline.  Essentially, I’m grieving some of my lost foods.  This probably attributes to my not knowing what I want per say just that I want ALL of the foods I am not currently eating.

I hear ya, Britt

I’m guessing this phase will pass?  It says it will but I’m having my doubts on this Friday afternoon…  I’m sticking it out though…

***I made it through –  day 14

a juicy meltdown

I had a post all written for yesterday that included talking about how I often have “delayed long run hunger”.  This is just what it sounds like – I’m typically not terribly hungry the day after a longer run but the day after that?  Oh baby!  I am one starvin’ marvin.  So, yeah, that post is hanging out in my drafts.

Why?  Because yesterday  I felt ill.  I had a dizzy spell in the morning and forgot that these can make me feel really nauseous.  I went into work and hung in there until noon and then I went home.  I was donezo.  Now, as I was laying on my couch, I need to be honest, I didn’t want ANY MORE DAMN JUICE.  Seriously.  I was over it.

What did I want?  I don’t even know.  Actually, when I was feeling really sick I wanted some eggs and toast.  That sounded the best.  Instead. I made a juice and it wasn’t bad but it didn’t squash (ha! a food pun for the win!) the feeling that I wanted to eat.  I wasn’t hungry.  Nope… simply feeling very emotional.

One of the blog posts I read about a woman juicing said she had a day when it all seemed like too much.  When I read it, I thought this was silly and couldn’t imagine a time when I would be crying because of the cleanse.  It didn’t make any sense to me.  But I am here to tell you folks, it’s true.  I desperately wanted to comfort feed these emotions because in my mind, whatever food was calling to me (Chipotle if you are wondering) would CERTAINLY make me feel better!  Or maybe even pizza?  What about a sandwich or some fries?

See where I am going with this?  I needed an intervention, stat.  I texted office mate and asked him to assure me that siren’s call to emotionally eat were all lies.  He obliged:

textThankfully this helped calm me from the crap-eating ledge.  I know it sounds silly and now I am making light of it a bit but it was real.  I was crying.  I was also immersed in movies surrounding the theme of “hey we are in our 30’s and our lives are f-ed up!” – not my best choice.  When I talked with office mate today he said it’s all part of it and that he went through it some time in the middle as well.  Again… reassuring that I’m not a lunatic and a juicing meltdown is totally normal.

thanks honey boo boo

The other negative part was I decided to weigh myself yesterday.  I wore a dress earlier in the day and someone took a picture.  I didn’t quite look as svelte as I originally thought – surely the scale won’t lie?!  Well, that was a mistake.  The weight loss wasn’t any different from the first week.  “Why am I even doing this?!” ran rampant through my mind, also fueling the meltdown.  It’s suggested not to weigh in because the weight is going to fluctuate so much.  Sure enough, this morning I was three pounds lighter than I was yesterday.

So, I am still juicing.  It was a close call.  I think the third week is like mile 18 or 20 of a marathon.  Or mile 7 or 8 of a half.  I feel I am so close to finishing but it is going to take so much more  freakin’ effort to get there.  I told myself, “you only have one more Monday after this,” it helped.  Onward juicing soldiers…