The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

My biggest fear

I took a break from journaling for a while.  And it wasn’t a good idea.  I was busier than normal, so in my free time I “relaxed”.  But since I was anxious, relaxation wasn’t really relaxation.  I tried to rest, but it didn’t work.   I ended up getting into a frenzy trying to get my career going, life going, and of course, snacking like I hadn’t eaten in a week, but really I was pretty full.

I figured out a long time ago stress and anxiety trigger my overeating.  It also triggers my inability to rest and sleep well.  So it’s a double edge sword.  When really all you need to do is calm your mind, my mind can’t stop – which keeps my body going too.

So here I am, still a bit anxious about the future, and 1.5 lbs heavier in a week.  Not a good idea to skip journaling.

I have had some good moments.  I’ve joined a ladies group and met some fun gals.  I’ve made progress on working on my career goals.  I’ve still been exercising every day and gaining fitness ground (my weight gain is complete proof that you can’t exercise away a bad diet).  I’ve had some good times.

But I always feel this negative ball in the pit of my stomach.  Sometimes I know why.  Many times I don’t.  I feel like right now it’s a bunch of things all at once.  But I’ll share with you the main thing on my mind right now.  It’s personal, so I’ll try to be vague.

I’ve always had an issue with fear of abandonment.  I don’t have a relationship with my father, and had a very poor one when I was a child.  It all stems from that.  And even as a child if a family member or friend left me (even just for a small amount of time) for someone else, it was like I was stabbed in the chest.  I took it as proof that I was unlovable.

And even as an adult, I still have this fear.  It’s definitely not as extreme as when I was younger.  I don’t cry and pitch a fit to get someone to stay with me.  But I do go through an anxiety spiral, and sometimes it can get pretty bad.

Now, the current situation.  My husband is very close with his family.  Which is a wonderful, beautiful thing.  I like his family, but would not consider myself close to them.  They are all very much alike and have always been close.  I am different, an outsider, someone who they had to let into the clique and are dealing with it, but still not quite fitting in.  So it’s a little awkward for all of us.  It has improved over time and I hope it will continue until it becomes natural and fitting that I’m part of the group.  I’m sure it will, actually.

But lately, old habits are starting to show signs of peaking in.

When dating, engaged and even as newlyweds, my husband would “leave me” for times to go visit his family.  Usually it was most holiday weekends.  He would just go up every day to visit them (they live about an hour away) – or even spend the whole weekend up there (spending the night and all).  I, though I like his family, do not want to spend my entire holiday weekend at their home.  When we had this discussion I could tell it rocked his world a bit and was not well received by others when all of a sudden he wasn’t spending the entire weekend with them.  But it has gotten better and I think more accepted.

But this coming Labor Day weekend, you guessed it, there are signs that he may be spending a good bit of it at his family’s place (without me).  It scares me. That old habits may be coming back.  My fear of abandonment has been triggered and it makes me anxious.  And while he may just spend Monday up there, to my fear and anxiety it feels like all weekend.  I know it’s irrational, but I can’t seem to tell my mind that.  Obviously it’s fine that he wants to spend time with them.  It’s healthy, it’s natural, it’s good.  But my mind takes this one step and blows it up to full blown abandonment.  That soon he will be spending every weekend up there and leaving me all alone, that I won’t have a husband, that I’ll just be sad and unloved.

And the bad part of my anxiety is that I attribute a lot of these fears to myself.  Like it’s my fault that he wants to abandon me.  That I’m not doing enough to keep him around and interested.  That I’m just not good enough.

So yeah, that can cause a girl to feel pretty lousy and fill the sadness with sugar cookies and vanilla ice cream.

But I have to snap out of this.  I need to snap out of this.  I want to snap out of this.

Every time these fears seem to seep up from the pit of my stomach to the forefront of my brain, I can fight them.  I can realize how irrational they are.  But when they are down in the pit, I don’t usually fight them, even though they still effect my wellbeing.  I need to fight them constantly.  So that is what I’ll be working on.

I went shopping with my mother several weeks ago and we went into a home store that had a lot of those subway art style paintings with the inspirational sayings.  I commented on how sad it is that we need those to remind us to enjoy life, relax, don’t let others steal our joy.  But I think I may need some of those.  Maybe I won’t invest in the art, but print out or write out a few of my favorites and post them around the home.  I’m sure my husband will think I’m nuts, but he supports me no matter what – nuts or not!  (See, why would I have this fear???  It’s so sad!!)

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3 tasty nickel free breakfast recipes

Monday night I had a breakdown.  It wasn’t full-blown, but man did I want it to be.  It was one of those days where the little things weren’t going correctly, and when you have the weight of the world already on your shoulders, the little things are a big deal.  Sorry, “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  Sometimes we can only rely on the small stuff in life.

So as I laid in the fetal position on the couch with tear filled eyes, my husband came to the rescue.  I woke up to a rainy day, a dog that splashed in puddles and got me covered in mud (and not my dog – which makes it worse!), a ruined scheduled run, a repair man coming (nothing is more stressful than waiting around for a repair man), and a ruined dinner by stinky chicken.  The husband took over.  He seemed a bit frustrated, which is completely acceptable, but he did the work.  And that made me feel happy, grateful, and bad.  I hate it when I don’t come through for him, so it always stings a bit when he has to pick me up and put our world back together.

I wrote him a note yesterday.  We do that on occasion.  Write a word document and email it to each other.  It’s cheesy, but it works for us.

The gist of what I wrote came down to this:

  • I have no sense of control over the big picture in my life.  And I’ve been working for over 2 years to get out of my current job situation, and I’m still stuck in the same place.  So when little things don’t go as planned, my world seems like pure chaos.  Doomsday thinking.
  • We do have some happy stuff planned in the future (think a year from now future), but I don’t like to look at that because it depresses me.  And yes, I’m still working to get myself out of my job and into my chosen career, but I’m still not there.  And I don’t look into the future because it makes me that much more disappointed and frustrated with my current state.

He of course knew this.  It was just reaffirming what he suspected.  But it helps to get it out, and to have someone else hear it.  So if you have a hard time putting things into actual vocal words like I do, write letters.  It really helps!

Now on to the nickel free world I’m not trying to create for myself.

I love breakfast.  It’s my favorite meal of the day and I could eat breakfast foods for all 3 meals if it were up to me.  And with my limitations in my diet, it’s easy to go for bagels and muffins every day for breakfast.  And I did that a few mornings when I first started my elimination diet.  But the bloated, icky feeling I was having on a daily basis reminded me I can’t do that.

So now I create healthy low nickel breakfast meals.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Banana and eggs “pancakes”.  These are thinner than regular pancakes but have a surprising pancake feel to them.  And I love bananas, so the flavor is right up my alley.  Now I’m only suppose to have bananas a few times a week, so when I do, I make these pancakes.
    • Take 2 whole eggs (or 4 egg whites) and a banana – put in a blender and mix well.
    • Pour the batter on to a preheated griddle and cook just like you would a regular pancake (they bubble up and everything!)
    • Flip when the bottom is set and cook an extra few minutes until the whole cake is set.
    • I usually end up pouring all the batter in at once and create one big pancake, cut it into 4 quarters when it’s time to flip, and then flip as best as I can.  I comes out looking a bit messy, but they are tasty and filling!
  • Fruit and yogurt
    • This is an easy and tasty breakfast.  Take plain or vanilla flavored Greek or Regular yogurt and mix in your favorite fruits (except for the one’s that are high in nickel – pineapple, dates, raspberries).  I usually go for blueberries and strawberries.  For a little crunch, I add in Corn Puff cereal (or you could also get a white rice based cereal like Rice Krispies).
  • Egg white and veggie scramble
    • I use 100% liquid egg whites for this and usually leftover vegetables from the dinner the night before, such as chopped broccoli, asparagus, or sweet peppers.
    • Put the veggies in a pan on medium heat to get them crisp and flavorful again.  Then pour in 1/2 cup of liquid egg whites.  Add any seasoning you like, such as basil, parsley or dill.  Cook until the eggs are set and done.
    • If you want an extra umph, you can add some shredded cheese to this recipe.  Cheese always makes things taste better.  Just don’t go overboard or your breakfast will start to head towards the unhealthy side.

I rotate these three breakfast feasts and have been happy.  Breakfast is still my favorite meal of the day, even at low nickel!

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A Nickel Free Diet

Most people don’t think of foods when it comes to a nickel allergy.  And I never did either.  I knew I was allergic to nickel ever since I got my ears pierced at 11 years old.  I was so excited!!  And then, when I got my first pair of “cool” earrings from Claire’s, my ears immediately became red, itchy and swollen.  I always get a rash when I wear jewelry with nickel in it.  I can’t even wear most sunglasses or watches because of the nickel content in them.  It was devastating as an 11-year-old who wanted to wear colorful early 90s jewelry like all her friends.  But as an adult, it hasn’t been that big of a deal.

Until May.  One morning in May, I woke up and my lips were swollen twice their normal size and were itchy and burning.  They became very flaky as well.  I could just wipe away dry skin for hours.

A trip to the local pharmacist brought me home with Burt’s Bees (all natural) chap stick and antihistamines.  I also would apply ice to my lips to help with the swelling.  A few days later, and no improvement, I called my dermatologist.  I couldn’t get in to see her for a few weeks (she’s a busy lady), and luckily the swelling did go down and the pain improved.  She said it was most likely an allergy, and gave me a cortisone cream to apply for 2 weeks.  At 2 weeks, there was improvement and the pain all but went away, but there was still clearly rash remnants around  my lips.  And a couple days after I stopped the cortisone, they started to hurt again.  So another call to the dermatologist and I was set up with skin allergy testing.

Specifically, I got the TRUE TEST patch test.  The process was not fun.

Day 1: apply stickers to my back.  And I’m a small girl (5’1″) so my back was pretty much fully covered in stickers.  These stickers each contained a different allergen.  I noticed unpleasant sensations once they put the stickers on.  Uh oh.

Day 2: agony as the allergens were doing their thing.  I was not allowed to sweat, shower, etc. during this time.  By the end of the day, I had a visible rash on my back (according to my husband) that itched like crazy!!

Day 3: woo hoo!  Stickers come off!  I was so excited!  I got an initial reading from the nurse, who talked about the big swelling itchy rash on my back from nickel and a few other spots that I also had a reaction to (gold and carba mix).  It was a relief to get the stickers off my back, but I had to wait another 24 hours before being able to shower, medicate, etc.

Day 4: finally I saw the dermatologist who told me about my severe reaction to nickel and average reactions to gold and carba mix.  To my surprise, she mentioned that nickel was found in certain foods and eating these foods could cause a reaction.  She gave me a list of foods to take home and suggested I try an elimination diet to see if it helps.

So here I am, on day 8 of my elimination diet.

The foods I can not have, are the healthy foods that I gravitate towards for my daily diet, plus the cravings I often have.  Foods like spinach, kale, almonds, peanut butter, chickpeas and any soy products, chocolate, pineapple, oats, whole grains – all off limits.  And the foods low in nickel are not my favorites.  I’m not a big fan of corn, potatoes or white flour products.  They tend to make me feel bloated and fatigued.  But that’s what I’m allowed to have.  I can have broccoli, cauliflower, meats, eggs, yogurt, cheese and asparagus, which is making up the bulk of my diet right now.  But let’s face it.  Those foods in excess get boring – and I find myself reaching for the refined carbs my husband snacks on too often.  Not great.

Here is the list my dermatologist gave me.  I’ve seen so many different and conflicting lists, but of course I’m going by my dermatologist and not by random internet sights.

On day 8, I think there is a slight improvement in my lips.  There definitely is still a rash there and on occasion they itch or burn.  I’ve read on others blogs that the reactions can take a couple of weeks to clear up.  So I’m hoping this isn’t all in vain and that my rash will go away.  I also hope I can add my favorite foods back into my diet without any problems, but if this diet works, the odds of that happening are slim.

I miss random things like quinoa and flax seeds?  Who misses those?  But I look at recipes and say, “no, can’t have that” all the time, which is frustrating.

I just have to get through these next several weeks and see what happens.  I did weigh myself this morning and I don’t weigh as much as I thought I did, which is a relief.  But I still feel like I’m carrying around an extra 5 lbs because of my diet.  Where are my leafy greens and fiber-filled carbs??  Oh how I need you!!


A summary of my life at this moment

I have this song stuck in my head.  Animal by Neon Trees.  Specifically the beginning.  “Here we go again….”

Our difficulties and problems always seem to come back to us.  Like a boomerang.  I’ve been trying my best to deal lately by focusing on other things.  Work, family, taking care of others, and just going through the motions of self-care but not really putting my heart into them.  And I realized, I need to recognize my difficulties.  It’s not a bad thing to admit you are struggling.  It’s actually a show of strength to admit that you are frustrated, scared, lost.

And while I’m not in despair or depression, I am a bit anxious and frustrated.  And that’s ok.  That’s not weak.  That’s life.

My best way of dealing with these issues is through words.  And as I’ve seen my most trusted ears get a bit tired of hearing about my issues over and over again, I’m turning my blog into my ear for a bit.  I promise not every post will be whiny, woe is me, victimized ranting.  That’s never fun to read.  But I will be going off my focus for a bit until I can get my footing.  And then, the blog will be (hopefully) be reborn into its true intention.

So what’s up with my life right now?  Not one major thing.  Lots of little things.

  • My health:
    • I still have some minor personal health issues I’m dealing with.  I’ll spare you the details, but it still gets to me whenever I see symptoms pop up.  While it’s treatable, it does require a trip to the doctor to get prescriptions, and it is unpleasant and somewhat disheartening that I still am susceptible to this issue.
    • I did a great job on the 21 day fix, but after the program stopped, and my stresses remained, the weight started coming back.  I’m starting the PiYo challenge tomorrow but I’m pretty sure I’ve regained all the weight I lost on the 21 day fix in these past couple weeks.  I’m disappointed in myself that I let that happen.
    • My allergies.  Yikes.  So I’ve been on the “nickel free” diet for a week now, with no real improvement in my lips.  To be fair, I did eat a ton of foods I wasn’t suppose to eat on Sunday as a farewell of sorts and I woke up with a pretty bad reaction on my lips.  It’s been a week, and somewhat better but not a lot.  But these reactions do take a long time to clear.  It’s just frustrating that I’m eating food I’d rather not be eating (especially the not as healthy options) and not seeing results.  I have to do this program for a month at least to try to clear the reaction.  1 week down.  My tummy definitely feels the difference in eating though (not in a good way!)
  • My family’s health:
    • My mother-in-law’s surgery was a success, but she is still in a health battle.  This is stressful for so many reasons, of course the main one being that it’s difficult to see a family member struggle with serious health issues.
    • My dog is healing.  Slowly.  We’ve be taking her to doggie rehab where they have been working on speeding up her recovery from 2 very strained hip extensor muscles.  She seems to be more “bouncy” and happy, which we take to mean she’s feeling better.  Though we do still see her gait and sitting pattern are not quite up to par, so she is definitely not healed.  She is tired of being cooped up to reduce her movement.  Poor thing!
  • My career:
    • I’ve decided to go after what excites me career-wise.  That does scare me a bit, but it’s a great thing.  I have always loved fitness and have extensive training, education and job experience in the field.  I did switch fields for a while to focus on my own health issues.  It’s hard to take care of yourself when your job is to take care of others.  And it has been very difficult to get back into that field now that my health issues (except for the minor one’s listed above) are under control.
    • I am still working, and ok with it, but it doesn’t excite me, which frustrates me.

I think that’s it, although I’m so tired right now there is probably more things on my shoulders that I have “forgotten” about.  It will all come out in due time though, I’m sure.

So there we have it.  I’m not sharing this for pity or to bum anyone out.  I’m just sharing this as a starting point.  I’ve been trying so hard to be happy and excited about the future, that I’ve neglected the little things that are nagging at me.  It’s time I fix that.  So the first step is airing it all out.  These things cause me much distress.  Now, it’s time to work on them so they don’t!

Tomorrow I will report my weigh-in.  I’m scared, but it will happen.  I’ll also keep you updated on my PiYo challenge, my low nickel diet, and everything else in my life.  Hopefully sharing these things will be of some benefit to all of us – motivation, relation, and just a sense of letting go of burden, even if just for a brief moment.

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21 Days Done

Yesterday was the end of my 21 days on the Beachbody 21 day fix.  Woo hoo!  I made it through!

I really enjoyed the program.  It gave me the motivation and accountability to not go off the deep end with my eating, which I tend to do when I’m stressed or tired.  And boy let me tell you, these past 21 days were full of stressful moments and sleepiness.  Usually for 3 weeks of that, I would gain.  But I didn’t.  I lost!

I came into this not expecting to lose a lot of weight.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a lot of weight to lose.

I decided to join in on the 21 day fix because I was eating way too much.  My exercise was great, my weight was fine, but it was above my “comfort zone” and some of my clothes were not fitting right.  I knew I needed to get my eating under control and not eat half a container of peanut butter when stress hits (yes, I’ve done that!).  I figured I’d lose 3 lbs, 1 a week.  And I lost 4.  So yay, goal surpassed!

And really I could have lost more.  My stress this final week did take over a bit so I ate more graham crackers and wheat crackers than I was supposed to.  I also ate a bit too much peanut butter.  But, I did not eat a whole box of crackers, limited myself to a tablespoon of peanut butter at a time (I was not supposed to eat more than 2 teaspoons a day), and I ate graham crackers instead of hitting the candy jar.  So all in all, even though I did not beat my stress eating, the program definitely helped me curtail it!

And now I look at food a bit differently.  I used to carb load, because honestly it’s just what I like.  I would seek out carbs for every meal and snack and it was the basis of my diet.  I definitely did not need as many carbs as I was eating, even though they are usually healthy carbs.

Now I have meals and snacks with no carbs.  I still incorporate healthy carbohydrates into my diet, but they are not the staple of every meal.  I eat fruit or Greek yogurt for a snack instead of grabbing the Triscuits.  I haven’t had carbs for breakfast in quite a while.  And eating more veggies and protein has really made me feel fuller.  The last time I had some oatmeal (for a snack), I felt bloated and too full.  I like feeling lighter and comfortable instead.  I’ve taught my body to like that again, and it makes me so happy!

I followed the workout plan that came with the program and I really loved the DVDs!  They were all challenging and I was a sweaty mess following them all!  I was able to incorporate some running into the program as well, which I liked.

I did do the shakeology as well.  I got the combo pack which is 7 strawberry, 7 chocolate and 7 vanilla flavored.  I tried each of them with just water, and bleck!  I honestly had to drink it with a straw towards the back of my mouth so less tongue action, and follow it with a water chaser to get the flavor out.  I couldn’t even finish the whole smoothie and would just drink half and force the other half down the next morning.

They are MUCH better with add ins!  I actually kind of enjoyed them with additions.  I hate that it went against my portions, so I missed out on extras throughout the day, but they needed the extras.  My fav combinations were:

Strawberry, half a banana and 1/4 cup of pineapple

Chocolate and a banana

Vanilla and 1/4 banana with 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

I added 10 oz of water to each and about 1/2 cup of ice cubes.  Blend and enjoy.  Those I could definitely finish!

All in all, I can see what the buzz is about with this program.  I loved having the Facebook interaction with my coach (also a good friend of mine, which helps) and checking in every day.  I loved knowing my workouts.  I loved relearning good eating habits.  And I loved seeing my abs return!  Here’s my favorite “after” picture.


I’m not a coach, and I’m not considering becoming a coach.  But I have to be honest.  I like this program and may even join another Beachbody program sometime in the near future.  (Did anyone say PiYo?)


Adjustments Needed

Is it Tuesday?  Yeah, I think today is Tuesday.

This week I was supposed to be on vacation, but alas, I am not.  The main reason being the pup’s state of health.  She’s doing better now, but she was to be accompanying us on this vacation and we figured taking her miles and miles away from her vet was not a good idea.  And with my mother-in-laws surgery and me with the horrible allergy testing last week, we decided to cancel.

And yes, I am a bit pouty.  Only because there are no real vacations planned for the rest of the year and I desperately want/need a getaway!

Oh well, such is life.  Suck it up and live on, right?

Since I was supposed to be on vacation, work is minimal.  I kept my time off while the husband is working.  I am lucky in that I have more flexibility than him, but really my time off isn’t fun without him around.  I’ve been cleaning, exercising, and then cleaning some more.  Yay vacation!

Ok, sorry that was my last pouting moment!!

So, this Sunday will be day 21 of my 21 Day Fix.  This week I attempted some different recipes – like stuffed peppers and a quinoa taco bake.  Some were kind of blah while others were decent.  The quinoa taco bake was pretty good and it will probably go in my normal rotation, but I’ve had the most success with just herbs and lemon juice on meat and veggies.  We love the 21 day all-purpose seasoning mix, and I’m excited to try the other 2 mixes she provides as well!  I’ll make sure to put the yummy recipes and seasonings on my to-blog list so look for those in the future!

I’m still liking the workouts and they are still challenging me.  Yay!  I’m doubling up on my workouts this week too.  That’s fun for me (I’m weird, right??)

And as of yesterday, I have lost a total of 4 pounds on the Fix.  My realistic goal for the 3 weeks was 3 lbs, so that’s pretty exciting!  And again, not going hungry.  So yay!

Results of the allergy test were a bit unexpected.  Well, expected, but more dramatic than I thought.  I’ve never really been able to wear sunglasses (or regular glasses), earrings, most rings, and some necklaces and bracelets because I’d develop a rash.  It’s been that way since I was a kid.  Nickel allergy is not uncommon, so I expected that to come out positive.

Well, it’s uber-positive.  Big time reaction.  I still have a HUGE rash on my back from nickel.

My dermatologist suggested I go on a low nickel diet.  She gave me some copies from a book she had on nickel allergies and foods.  What foods are high in nickel?  Just all the staples of my diet!!

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Whole Grains
  • Oats
  • Soy protein
  • Rice
  • Sesame and sunflower seeds
  • Pineapple
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • and the worst of all…chocolate!

I’m suppose to avoid these foods?!?!  How??

That is a big journey I’m going to have to take.

Right now, my pantry and fridge are full of these items, so I will have to eat them up and then find replacements.  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  I want healthy replacements – not white bread, white pasta and corn.  It’s so sad, so sad!

Plus, I need to figure out what makeup, lotions, etc. have nickel in them and rid myself of those and get new non-nickel products.  That’s harder than you think.  Packaging doesn’t really tell you if it has nickel in it.  Oh sigh.

So, yeah, this post was a little more pouty than I wanted it to be.  I’m really not that unhappy.  I’m pretty happy, actually!  I just am “adjusting”.


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Updates and happiness

I have exciting news!  But before I get to that, a few updates are in order.

  1. My mother-in-law’s surgery, while more difficult than expected (though are surgeries ever easier than expected??), was successful.  She is resting as best as she can and I’m sure anxious to get out of the hospital and on the mend.
  2. Getting the dog into doggie rehab is harder than expected.  Thankfully she has not had any major pain episodes since this weekend.
  3. Skin allergy testing is cruel and usual. My back is covered in stickers and tape!  Barely any skin visible.  You know how annoying it is when you have a band-aid over a joint – like on your finger or knee?  Imagine that annoyance times 100 – and on a major part of your body!  Moving is possible, but awkward.  Plus ever since they put it on me, I’ve had a burning sensation and itching on my back.  I guess that’s expected when they put a bunch of chemicals and preservatives on your back to test for allergic reactions.  Tomorrow morning I finally get these stickers off – and I can’t wait!!
  4. I’m still going strong on the 21 day fix.  I can tell this week is going to be rough, but I must power through.  Stress = tired = want to eat constantly!  And I can’t workout until Friday afternoon due to the allergy tests, so healthy eating and portion control must be a priority to me.  It’ll be tough, but I can do it.  I need to do it!

Ok, now that the updates are out of the way, let’s focus on something positive and happy!

A fabulous fellow blogger, and a great inspiration to me, nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogging Award.  I am truly honored!  Thank you Vegas Mother Runner!  (If you haven’t checked her blog out yet, do it!  She’s fantastically inspiring!)

So, with this award I have a few tasks.

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you. (Thank you again Vegas Mother Runner!!)
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.


Seven facts about me:

  1. I have a ridiculously scientific mind.  While I absolutely love writing, I’m always thinking cause and effect.  I am fascinated by how the body works, how medicine heals, surgical procedures, etc.  Whenever anyone I know is ill or injured, I immediately think of the anatomy and physiology of the disorder.
  2. As a kid, I refused to wear jackets and dresses.  I would freeze in the winter because I hated wearing coats.  And while this is typical of toddlers, I did this through MIDDLE SCHOOL!  Can you imagine a 13-year-old shivering in the cold because she refused to wear a coat?  Doesn’t make much sense, but that was me.
  3. I hate seafood.  Of all kind.  Even the smell of it makes me a bit nauseated.
  4. I love The Container Store and want everything to be uber-organized.  Pictures of perfectly organized pantries, laundry rooms, closets and offices make me swoon.  However, I hate putting forth the effort to do the organization and keeping it organized.  About 2-3 times a year I will get the overwhelming feeling to organize, and take full advantage of it.  But the rest of the time, I’m a slob at heart.
  5. I find workout clothes cuter than non-workout clothes.  Really!  I think a pair of running shorts and cute tank is much more adorable than a pretty dress.  I don’t know why.
  6. I’m afraid of birds.  All birds.
  7. Finally, things I don’t like to admit but are true.  I hate coffee, tea, wine and beer.  I will have a sip of an alcoholic beverage maybe 3 times a year from someone else’s glass.  And it’s fine, but not for me.  I’m not against alcohol.  I just don’t like the taste.  I can’t even stand the smell of coffee, so whenever a friend wants to meet at Starbucks I quickly come up with a non-coffee alternative!  And I’ve tried several different types of tea (including sweet tea – as I am a Southern Girl), and I just don’t have the palate for it.

And my Nominees are (in no particular order):

  1. Thinking About Living
  2. Find Joy
  3. Running for Kicks and Giggles
  4. Out Running
  5. Adina’s Musings
  6. Shh…Fit Happens
  7. The Duck and The Owl
  8. Life. Forever Curious.
  9. The Journey
  10. Less Flowers More Feelings
  11. 52 Things 52 Weeks
  12. Let’s Reach Success
  13. Abby Has Issues
  14. Mel’s Favs
  15. The War in My Brain

Thanks again for the recognition and be sure to check out the above blogs!



Fixing what’s broken

If I had magical powers, I would fix everything that’s broken in my life right now.  This includes:

  • my health/allergies
  • my mother-in-law is ill (though for personal reasons, I will not be giving details on this)
  • my stress level
  • and my dog’s slipped disc!

So what do you do when your dog has a slipped disc?  She trembles in pain, sometimes so much that she gives herself a simultaneous anxiety attack and upset stomach.  It’s heartbreaking and we can’t seem to do anything to help prevent it.  Her favorite time of day by far, dinner time, has now become a feared time in my household.

The dog is still overly excited for dinner, and eats with vigor, which is great!  Except, she gets so excited and eats so vigorously she seems to really upset her back, which leads to big problems.  We’ve tried feeding her small, frequent meals.  We are currently hand feeding her so she can’t gulp everything down in two seconds.  Neither one seems to make a big difference.  We know for at least 1 hour, usually more, after she eats dinner, we will be in for a big ride of pain from the dog.  We have one more “plan” to see if we can keep her calm with dinner which will take place tonight.  Fingers crossed it works!

Last night’s attack was crazy bad and included pacing, walking backwards (which I googled and can indicate pain or a neurological disorder) and lots of heaving and belching.  We actually had plans to eat dinner out with friends, but had to cancel.  We’ve also cancelled a vacation and trip to see friends because of the dog’s injury.  And after 2 weeks of this, I’m exhausted and I know she is too!  I just want this all resolved!  Let’s hope this weeks vet trips are helpful, because the previous 2 weeks vet trips did not seem to heal the issue.

My mother-in-law will be having surgery tomorrow.  We are all praying for an easy, successful surgery and recovery for her!  It’ll be a nervous morning in our household (and theirs) for sure!

Also tomorrow, I’m starting day 1 of skin allergy testing.  I’m not at all looking forward to it, so I’m trying not to think about it.  Next topic!

My biggest health problem, besides stress which unfortunately at the moment can not be avoided, is my disastrous eating habits.  To help with that, I signed up for the 21 day fix by beach body and I’ve just completed week 1 of the program.

At first, it was really hard to figure out what to eat and when.  I found myself saving portions because I didn’t want to use them all up and then not be able to eat later on in the day.  Plus, I have medication I take at night that I need to eat with a snack or else I get really bad nausea, so I had to save something for that.

And it ended up I saved so much I didn’t eat all my portions in a day.  I guess I didn’t have to go a bit hungry and skip a snack earlier in the day!

But by now, I’ve got it pretty much down.  I know what I can eat, and have a routine of when I eat my carbs, my healthy fat, my proteins, fruits, veggies, etc.

And you know what, I LOVE IT!

I haven’t gone out to eat (last night’s dinner was cancelled due to the dog), so I’m not sure how I would handle that, but eating at home is a breeze.  I’m actually starting to feel hungry again and hear my stomach roar, which is so satisfying, and feels great when I can feed that hunger nutritiously!

I can easily not grab a chip or cracker from the bag that my husband is snacking on.  (Which not only boosts my confidence and helps my waistline, but we’ve saved a lot of money in snacks just this past week alone!)

And we’ve had Mexican night, Chinese night, Italian night.  I’m not eating bland foods and my husband loves it too!

It’s all about portion control.  Honestly, I probably could have done this without ordering the plan, but my husband and I talked about it and we decided that having a little skin in the game was the push I needed to help myself eat better.  And it’s definitely working!

And in 1 week, I can visibly see my smaller waist, my clothes are a bit loser, and I’ve lost 2.5 lbs!

I’m excited to end the program, just because there are a few foods I would love to indulge in.  I miss cookies.  But I’m also scared, because I don’t want to fall off the wagon and start eating cookies after every meal (like I was sort of doing before).  An occasional cookie is all I want to do.  So it’ll be interesting to see how I continue post-21 days.  I guess that is a worry for the future though, and not now.  Now I’m just focusing on my health, the dogs health, and my family’s safety and health!




July 4th recap

The weekend is over, and most of it was spent caring for the sick and injured dog.  I’m pretty sure her tummy issues have resolved, but we are keeping her on probiotics just in case.  Her bulging disc is the main culprit.  And the little rascal won’t stay still!!  Every time I move, she moves.  I think she’s restless/bored, but just ends up hurting herself.  Poor dear!  But she is getting better, so that’s a great thing!

We did get our 4 mile July 4th race in.  I was surprised by how much faster my husband ran than me, or at least I thought he did.  We ran through neighborhood streets and I couldn’t spot him during the run.  So I thought my husband (who never trains more than 2 miles), left me in the dust.  He did beat me, but by only 2 minutes.  I had visions of him pacing around checking his watch wondering where I was.

I did great!  My first mile was tough, but it always is, especially on races.  My body doesn’t respond well going from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds flat.  So I was feeling it big time during mile 1.  But by mile 2 I was in my groove and felt great.  A bit too great.  I think I ran it too fast because mile 3 was a big time struggle for me.  People were passing left and right.  By mile four I was so excited to almost be done that I cranked up my speed and finished with a time of 34:30, which is about 2 minutes faster than my training time.  Yay!  I was very happy, but wish I would have paced myself better.  I’m horrible at pacing!!

After the race, we cleaned up, went to the grocery store to buy items to grill out.  Even though we had burgers on Saturday and Wednesday of the week, we agreed it was necessary to grill out burgers on July 4th.

The rest of the day was spent sitting as still as possible on the couch so the dog wouldn’t move.  It was like we had a sleeping baby!  We’d wait for her to fall asleep and then tip toe out of the room to do whatever it was we needed to do.  So funny!

Saturday we spent the day at my in-laws on the Lake.  We didn’t go out on the lake, but spent the afternoon sitting on the deck, chatting and eating dinner (burgers again – I’m so sick of burgers!).  We left the dog in a room alone in the home, and she slept most of the day away, which was great.  We brought so much stuff with us, dog beds, blankets, medicine, dog gates, again it was like we had a baby.  Such an odd feeling!

Sunday was a chill day for the most part.  We did go to a deep stretch class which was incredibly beneficial after all the running and carrying of dogs over the week.

Overall, I had a great weekend and holiday!  I hope you all did too!

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Books, dogs and diets

I just finished reading The Maze Runner.  I love to read, and I enjoy reading adult lit, but I have a soft spot for young adult lit.  I love the Hunger Games trilogy, blasted through the Divergent trilogy, and am now on to my next trilogy.

For those of you who don’t know the basic story line, it’s about young teenage boys who had their memory swiped and are forced to live in a valley for lack of a better term, form a functioning society, all while trying to find a way back to their normal world through a series of mazes.  It keeps you on edge and wanting to read more.  The boys in the book created their own form of slang, and I find myself using it now.  “Good that” is one that always pops into my head and when I’m going through plans.  It’s the equivalent of “ok” or “got it”.  Good that!

Other news in my life is that I have an injured and sick dog.  Poor thing is miserable!

We spent Sunday night at the Emergency Vet for a probably bulging disc.  She was shivering and whimpering in pain.  It just broke our hearts!  After a lengthy visit, we walked away with 2 medications and a pup that seemed to feel better.

Then, Monday night she wasn’t acting all that well.  After dinner she went into a fit of pain that lasted about 20 minutes.

Tuesday morning, after another fit of pain after eating, and talking to her normal vet and the emergency vet, I took her to her regular vet for a work in appointment.  Several hours later she was diagnosed with a second ailment: gastritis.  We exited with 3 additional medications.

So now I have a sick and injured little girl who has to take medicine about every hour of the day.  She seems to be doing better, but still not anywhere close to feeling good.  My poor baby!!

So that’s been my life in a nutshell this week.  Trying to get in some low impact (to not disturb the dog) exercise at home so I can keep an eye on her, give her meds, cleaning every room except for the den, which has become nothing but a big dog bed, and hoping for signs of healing in her.  Fingers crossed for us!!

I do start my first day of training for the administrator position at my neighborhood Yoga studio today.  I’m excited but I’m not used to having such big chunks of time marked off on my calendar.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it quickly, but right now it gives me a little anxiety.  Luckily my husband can work from home during that time to care for the sickling.

Tomorrow is the 4th.  We don’t have any big plans other than running a 4 mile race in the morning.  Hopefully it won’t be too hot for us.  And hopefully we will all have a relaxing and fun day (dog included!)

Then Monday I start the Beachbody 21 day fix.  One of my dear friends is a coach, and since my eating has been horrendous for a while now, I took the plunge and signed up.  I’ll excited (and a little nervous) to start, but will give you updates along the way.

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!!  Happy Birthday America!