Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do you see what I see?

I'm happy to report that all my worries about my surgery are gone and things are looking up! Everything is healing perfectly and I am starting to feel human again. All it took was a little time and patience. Here's the overarching lesson in all of this. Don't be nonchalant about surgery. MAKE SURE YOUR DOCTOR GIVES YOU A RANGE OF EXPECTATIONS. A little more prodding on my part with my doctor would have made this past 9 days so much more enjoyable.

I swear I asked him how I would feel and if I would see double after surgery and he told me I would be just fine. His "just fine" meant that the first 7 days would suck and in about 10 days I would be fine. I took it to mean that I will be fine right after surgery. That's the expectation I had when I was sent home with the orders of "take tylenol for discomfort." I didn't realize that my eye would ache some 5 days post-op and would require major narcotics and muscle relaxers to ease the pain. I didn't realize that my double vision would make it hard to drive and nearly impossible to shop (just a few days before Christmas). I also didn't realize that the "shiner" I would develop per my Doc was more like a rainbow of colors on the normally white parts of my eye than a typical black eye we all think of when the term shiner is used.

It's all good. I just have to apologize to my husband and kids for being a total lump on Christmas day trying not to puke from the Vicodin, and more to my husband for not picking up any last minute gifts for him to open Christmas morning. I have to thank my husband for doing basically everything around the house for the past week - all with a smile on his face.

So I got my New Year wish of single vision - now I need to shop!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Eye Thing

So here's the lowdown on my eye surgery:

Over the past several years, I have noticed in pictures that my head is always slightly tilted to the right. Figuring it was just all my training in school pictures to cock your head to one side, I didn't think much of it at first. I also noticed that when I lay down in bed to watch TV and was on my left side, I would see double. I could lay on my right side and see the TV just fine. Do you ever stare at something and close one eye, then close the other eye and see how the image you're looking at jumps? I do that all the time, and thought it was a perfectly normal phenomenon. Turns out it is in some cases, but not to the severity that I experience it. It only took me about 5 years of mentioning this to my OD at Simon eye that she mentioned I have a mild case of 4th nerve palsy. My eye surgeon calls it something else. Not technically "palsy" but some mild weakness. Chances are I've had this most of the life, but because it is so minor, it's never been very apparent. To the untrained eye, you would never think anything was wrong with my eyes, besides that fact they are freakishly large and bit buggy. They don't noticeably cross, and my slight eye droop is just that - slight. But upon recent examination from my primary care doc, my eye surgeon, my plastic surgeon, and another ocular plastic surgeon, seems like everything is related to this 4th nerve thing.

I'll break it down for you. When my head is perfectly straight, I see double. I have to tilt my head just a tad to the right in order to have single vision. The head tilt over time has caused my eyelid droop and some whacked out muscle development in my neck where one side is pliable and stretched and the other side is really tight and always aches. While my surgeon initially (last year) didn't recommend surgery because my impairment was so minor, I convinced him to do it this year as my neck pain has been getting worse and I'm tired of tilting my head. I also don't want to be 80 with my ear to my shoulder if I can help it.

So this morning I went under general anesthesia and my Dr. performed the recession of my left oblique inferior muscle in my left eye. Besides looking and feeling like I got popped in the eye, recovery has been going well. Oh except for when I asked for some anti-nausea meds and the nurse spilled it all over my hand instead of getting it in my IV. Oh well, luckily I had some pills at home that I took while kneeling over the toilet almost puking! Throwing up is the worst. I did manage to sleep most of the day and kept everything "down."

Not sure if the operation was a success or not. My double vision is worse than it was before surgery, and in order to see single vision I now have to tilt my head to the left - almost at a 45 degree angle or just close one eye. I chose the closing of one eye to pound out this entry. I can't remember if results are supposed to be immediate or not, so I'll be calling the Dr. tomorrow to see. If a revision needs to be made, I need to go back under the knife before Jan 1 when my new crappy insurance kicks in.

My surgeon warned me that an overcorrection is certainly possible, so I don't blame him at all for this. He is great - and I know he'll do whatever it takes to get me the best results possible.

So my new Santa wish is no double vision in 2012 - unless of course it's martini-induced!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Categorically, things I’m thankful for . . .

1. My printer is just steps away from my desk.
2. My walk from the parking lot to my building is covered.
3. Lives are not hanging in the balance based on the actions I take.
4. My work/life balance rocks.
5. I get to travel.

1. Everyone is healthy.
2. We all (4) live in the same house every day.
3. My kids are smart and kind, so is my husband.
4. We get to eat dinner together a few times every week.
5. I can hear giggles and horseplay on a Saturday mornings before the grown-ups have gotten out of bed.

1. I have true friends.
2. My hair is versatile.
3. I have big eyes with great lashes.
4. I am sincerely generous.
5. I have a great sense of humor – Lord knows it’s required!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I took a private surfing lesson on a Sunday in early October. It was an impulse decision upon my return from my 2nd LA trip in couple of weeks. On that last trip, I spent one morning/early afternoon on a quick tour of LA's beaches. Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes. What I wanted to do was languish in the sand, close my eyes and relax. What I did instead was drive along the coast, and stop in a few places to get a better look at the scene and take a few pictures. I lingered on a pier and watched some surfers. I don't think I've ever actually watched anyone surf up close like that before.

When I lived at the beach the summer I was 18, I never really hung out with anyone that surfed. All my friends either played beach volleyball or partied. I did plenty of both that summer. I had never been exposed to the art of surfing. I guess if I had, I probably would have tried it before. For some reason, my LA experience inspired me to give it a try. The only water sport I'd attempted before was water skiing. And besides feeling like I'd received a super sonic salt water douche, I wouldn't characterize my experience as actually skiing. More like being dragged from a boat with a rope.

Once I booked my lesson, I tried, although not very hard, to get someone to come with me, just to capture the experience on film. My son had baseball practice that afternoon, and since the beach was close to 2 hours away, it didn't seem feasible to drag the family along with me. Then I started to worry about how awful I would probably be on the surf board, or how I hate the way I look with wet hair, or it's October and I have no tan - so why would I want any photos taken during my lesson? So I was resigned to the fact I would do this alone. I don't need any more emabarassing facebook photos out there.

Turns out I was so wrong about not trying harder to find me a photographer to tag along. Turns out - I'm actually pretty good on a surfboard!

Upon meeting my 23 year old, tow-head instructor, Seth, I was thinking to myself, "What the heck have I gotten myself into?" We had to drive about 10 minutes to get to the location, and he continued to warn me that I shouldn't get discouraged if I can't get up on the board, and people sometimes need 2 or 3 lessons before they feel comfortable, etc. When we finally arrived, I stripped off my sweats to reveal my pink polka dot bottoms and my borrowed long-sleeved rash guard top. I slipped my flip flops off and decided to leave my towel and my bag with sunglasses, a comb and a ball cap in the van. I wasn't going to be some high-maintenance housewife client. I was trying to get into character. We shared the load of the 9" long board and hiked about 1/4 mile to the surf.
As we headed into the water, I could tell Seth thought he was in for a rough hour. Poor kid. I would have to give him a huge tip for making him freeze in the water trying to help me check off surfing from my bucket list.

Long story short, I got up on the board my first try. Seth told me that he has never had anyone get up on their first try, beside some freakishly athletic 6 year old he taught a few years ago. Certainly never any adults. I'm convinced that my years of ballet has given me some mad balancing skills. I spent the hour catching and riding a bunch of waves. I only fell off twice. I learned that you are not supposed to carry your board over your head when trying to get out past the waves. I also learned that you have to protect your face when you fall, just in case your board flips up on you. I truly never thought I would be able to do this, and I can't wait to try again.

Before I left for my lesson I assured my husband that, "It's not like I'm going to buy a surfboard and start a new hobby. I just want to see if I can do it." Now, I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a surfboard, and I know I will be surfing again next Spring. I'm even trying to figure out where I can go to get in some surfing before then. I can't wait to have someone document my next outing. Hopefully I'll be tan and have hair that looks cute when it's wet by then.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Must Exercise

I have totally fallen off the exercise wagon. It happened in late- July and has been spotty at best since then. Hmmm – that’s around the same time I had a major friend falling-out. Connection? Perhaps. That’s a whole other blog. I’d love to spill details on here, but it’s too close for comfort. Suffice it to say, no friendship is bullet proof, and there is no such thing as water under the bridge.

On a lighter note - I did manage to complete 2 weeks of something called the I-Diet, which is no more than a 1200 calorie per day menu plan that attempts to curb your cravings. Most days, I would rather eat 1200 calories of crap to lose weight, but I did manage to stick to it for awhile. My problem is I don’t enjoy having to “stick” to anything. That is where the exercise factor comes along. If I could just make exercise a habit, what I eat wouldn’t matter so much.

And now that Halloween is over and I have about 7 pounds of candy calling my name, I’d better get back on the exercise train, or else. I refuse to hover back into the 140’s and quite frankly, I deserve to be in the 120’s if I do say so myself.

There’s always tomorrow. . . I have already started the day off poorly - A few handfuls of candy corn and more than a handful of assorted chocolate snack-sized candy bars. I’m meeting a friend out after work, so I’m sure dinner won’t be the healthiest, and I’ll be lucky to avoid any wine. Not to mention the late-night dip I know I’m going to take into the candy bowl at my house when I get home

I have been watching some good TV lately, although I’ve obviously broken my rule about watching it only from the treadmill. In my bed, under the covers at 5am is SO much more appealing! Perhaps if I write it, I will do it. Don’t hold your breath, but I suppose it’s worth a try! Treadmill, tomorrow morning it is. My current line-up includes some great new shows like American Horror Story and Once Upon a Time.

P.S. – I haven’t officially written about my surfing lesson. I’ll get working on that – since there’s a possibility I might get the chance to surf next week in TX!! I did order one of those stupid family stick figure stickers (including both dogs) for my car. I almost got one for the cat (with angle wings), since he died last year. I know – what is happening to me? My image is of a surfer! It’s so obnoxious – I love it!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Hoarder-In-Training

This picture says it all. Actually, this only shows about 10% of her room. But trust me, the other 90% is just as bad if not worse. Articles on the floor include dirty clothes, dog toys, stickers, lip balm, books, hairbrushes, ribbons, trash, jewelry, shoes, pom-poms, wrapping paper, an assortment of glitter, a pillow, a pillow pet, and an oar. That’s right, a wooden oar and I have no clue.

Now before we begin, let’s examine the resources she has available to her on a daily basis. It’s not like she doesn’t have the proper tools she needs to keep a clean room. You may be surprised to know that an entire bookcase in her room is full of rectangular baskets that are currently empty. It’s as if each night she just dumps the contents of said baskets onto the floor. I am careful to ensure that she has ample storage room for her belongings. Everything I listed above that is on her floor right now, does have a proper home in her room.

In my futile quest to instill in her a modicum of responsibility, I have tried a variety of approaches to get her to straighten up. When she was 3, the “toy fairy” would come at night and abscond with any toys she left on the floor. The fairy would in turn deliver them to boys and girls who kept their rooms neat and tidy. That worked for a week or 2. Then the fairy got lazy and kind of pissed off that expensive toys were left out and the fairy didn’t feel like throwing away significant investments. A couple years later, we tried the old, you-cannot-watch-TV-until-your-room-is-straightened-up threats. In lieu of TV, she would just stay in her room and make even MORE of a mess. Then we got our new puppy. Surely the site of her dog turning her toys, books and even shoes into chew toys would be the perfect deterrent. Not so much. She’s perfectly fine with her things being destroyed (because she knows I’ll replace the important items) and she’s fine with the mess (she doesn’t take up all that much room on her bed) She’s fine with her clean clothes sitting folded on her bed and not in her drawers (they’re easier to grab on the bed) and the open dresser drawers just don’t bother her at all.

Part of me just wants to leave it this way and let her bury herself in her crap. A tiny part of me wonders if she’s got serious hoarding tendencies. She does LOVE cats. Hmmmm.

The other part of me can’t wait to get it all straightened up. But I know in a matter of days, it will go back to the way it is now. I want to be able to commit to not buying her ANYTHING unless her room is kept clean. I’ve even considered stripping her room of EVERYTHING except a clean change of clothes – a strategy I hear on Dr. Laura’s radio show almost daily. But I just don’t have the gumption or the storage room to do it.

What are YOUR strategies to keeping kids’s rooms clean and organized? Or do I just need to RELAX?

PS - I hoped to get a better picture of the mess today for this post, but when I returned home from work she and Daddy were already cleaning up. Make that Daddy was cleaning up, she was supervising. Ugh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Boo Hoo! You're cordially invited to my pity party.

Here's the latest:

I can do a bridge. Not for very long, but I feel the walkover is eminent! I've been doing lots of hand stands and round offs. Even in restaurants with my daughter. Thank goodness I am a regular at a few places where we can get away with that kind of behavior. Kind of fun!

Let's examine today's Food Diary:

Breakfast - red delicious apple and 7 honey wheat pretzels (190)
Lunch - 2 hard boiled eggs and 2 saltines (165)
Snacks - Supreme Protein PB&J Bar & Popcorn (300)
Dinner - sliced tomatoes, broccoli & cauliflower, filet mignon (300)

Probably too few calories, but I'm pretty sure I've got something stored if my body needs it. I have to get into a bathing suit Friday at Dorney Park with the kids. More importantly, there's a very good chance I may be on a California beach next week. There's my motivation for the next few days.

I haven't really been doing any regular exercise. That's due to the fact that I got some kind of illness last week that started out as a stomach bug and migrated into some sinus gook. Made me pretty tired and when I'm sick I like to eat bad things. I was convinced that I was probably gaining weight, but I avoided the scale. Only to be pleasantly surprised that I hadn't gained an ounce. I guess my metabolism goes into overdrive when I'm sick. Which would explain why I got so hungry and managed to avoid any major poundage setbacks.

I aspire to get back to my morning workouts, but the next few days will not be conducive to my plan. Today was the kid's first day of school, and since Ells woke me up around 4:30 to tell me she was scared of something, I couldn't get back to sleep. So my 6am alarm was replaced with my 7:15 alarm, which gives me just enough time to shower, get the kids up and fed in time for the school bus. Tomorrow, I have to drag the kids out of bed at 6:30 to get the dogs to their new Daycare for a temperament test in Wilmington, drive back home and do the morning bus thing with the kids again by 8:20. Don't get me started on the whole Doggie Daycare drama. I'll save that for another post. Tomorrow night and Thursday night are cheer nights. I will be driving both nights since NEXT week I will be in LA for work and unable to contribute my driving duties to the carpool. So it looks like Thursday morning and Friday morning may be viable workout times for me. Sucks that this all has to be analyzed so.

Speaking of scheduling conflicts, I also had to turn down my ballet teaching job that was supposed to start this fall. With Elliana's cheerleading, Braedon's baseball and my work schedule that sometimes includes last minute travel plans, I felt like it was just too much and I couldn't commit to EVERY MONDAY NIGHT at 6 to teach a class. I would have ended up maybe teaching half the classes and pissing off a bunch of parents, and possible the school as well. While it was the absolute right thing for me to do, I'm terribly disappointed. It was all this ballet excitement that helped me get off my ass last year. I haven't taken a class for myself in about 4 months. Totally bummed. I have reminded my husband of his duty to go earn double his salary already. But I'm not holding my breath.

I'm starting to come to terms with my current existence that involves a full time job that is turning into a career, and does not include being Suzy homemaker, stay-at-home-mom. I'm still not accepting it, but it's starting to sink in. Not necessarily a good thing, but I don't feel like there is much I can do about it. The impact to our current lifestyle if I were to quit my job would be unacceptable to all 4 of us. Not much more to say.

Pity Party on people!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's all about the calories

I won't talk too much about the last few days. Let's just say there was a dinner at Charcoal Pit for my husband's b-day, a dinner at Friendly's - just because. Another dinner out Saturday when we lost power for several hours. Suffice it to say I haven't lost any weight this past week.

This morning I weighed 140.5 lbs. Today was a good day! Watched Most Eligible Dallas while finishing 3 miles on the treadmill this morning. I had some interesting food choices, but overall, I moved more and ate less.

Breakfast - yogurt and a banana
Lunch - Chocolate covered almonds and a chocolate chip cookie. I know, it all started out with a trip to the cafe for a diet coke - they were giving away cookies with every purchase. I do NOT turn down free sweets. And for some reason the chocolate covered almonds seemed like the perfect compliment to the cookie. I had packed my lunch, but I knew this would tide me over.
Late Afternoon snack - apple, 1/2 tomato with a tiny slab of fresh mozzerella, a tiny bowl of whole wheat pasta with a pesto sauce. (this was part of what was supposed to be my lunch that I decided to eat around 4pm as I was pretty hungry).
Dinner - 1C portion of my crock pot concoction - Pork tenderloin, diced tomatoes, white kidney beans, brown rice and taco seasoning. Low cal, tasty and good for you (minus the sodium from the seasoning - but that's part of what makes it good!)

According to my fitness pal app, if today were like today, I'd weigh 135.5 lbs in 5 weeks.

I just need to put about 100 of these days together. That's the hard part.

Friday, August 12, 2011

141: It’s not just a route number in Wilmington – much to my chagrin.

That’s the official number on the scale this morning. I guess it could be worse. I haven’t been treating myself very well for close to 4 weeks now and I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if the number was higher. I did manage to drag myself out of bed this morning around 6am and get in about 30 minutes of cardio and some core exercises. I may try to walk at lunch, but I’m so busy at work, that might not be possible.

Spending 3+ hours this week watching Elliana’s tumbling classes has really made we wish I could just stand in the background with my own private spotter and attempt to do all the things they are learning. That would be a great workout! I even went so far as to try to do a back bend this morning. Not sure what happened to my arm strength, but I’m guessing that trying to support 141 pounds is much harder than the 100 or so that I needed to support that last time I actually did one. I could barely get my head off the ground – it wasn’t pretty. But I may have found a new goal in all of this. I want to be able to do an unassisted back walkover in another 4 weeks. I can already do a cartwheel and a round-off (or “round-up” as Ells like to call it). I have one of those exercise balls that I can use to stretch out my back, and I’m pretty sure I know what to do to get my arms stronger. I’ll have to figure out the rest on my own and see what I can accomplish. While I will continue to watch her practices periodically, I need to remember that staying at the gym is far better than sneaking out to McDonald’s across the street for a little snack.

My diet so far today is on track, as usual. You know I usually don’t screw things up until after 1pm.

I’ll check back in later to provide the dirty details.

If anyone knows of an open/adult tumbling class, please share.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Day of Gluttony

So, how did yesterday turn out you might be wondering? Dinner included a giant bowl of linguine and clams, along with a few bites of chocolate layer cake with chocolate cream cheese icing. Curse you Aurora Pizza!!

Today wasn't much better:

Kashi cereal with almond milk (200 calories)
Blueberries (100 calories)
Cantalope (80 calories)
Lunch @ the Queen - a few slices of gourmet pizza, half a grilled chicken sandwich, some french fries and some eggplant fries. (who knows how many calories - too many I'm sure)
White chocolate macadamia nut cookie (170 calories) I really need to stay out of the cafe at work - always get me in trouble.
McDonald's hot fudge sundae w/ peanuts (375 calories)

Total calories = 1600+
Calories burned = big fat, bloated zero.

Every morning this week, instead of be-bopping down to the treadmill and getting my sweat on, I've been enjoying lazy mornings in bed with Ells and Dash watching my trashy TV before 7am. We watched Toddlers and Tiaras this morning. Elliana knew Eden Wood would win the pageant - duh. Dash just chewed on his stuffed turtle.

On the bright side - I documented the day. There's always tomorrow. I have high hopes for an early morning workout and a better diet day. Mama's gotta get caught up on LA Ink.

How do YOU get out of a working out or dieting rut?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

140+ and I can't move my arms

Hello, my name is Catherine. It’s been 2 weeks since my last blog entry.

So, apparently vowing to document everything I eat doesn’t necessarily lead to better eating. I guess it works when you actually keep your word and actually document and share your daily intake. Sometimes I feel like I can’t stick to anything for more than a week or so. What is wrong with me?

So, since my last post I have had mostly bad eating days. Today, for example:

Kashi cereal with almond milk (200 calories)
½ Chicken pesto sandwich (200 calories)
8 honey wheat pretzels (120 calories)
2 white chocolate macadamia cookies (340 calories)

It’s only 2pm, I’m up to 860 total calories for the day, and I still have to eat dinner. The last week or so of my diet looks about the same as above, if not worse. I haven’t done any serious cardio in over a week. I did manage to train with a friend at the gym this past Sunday. I hadn’t lifted in at least 6 months. We did chest and biceps, along with some core work. Today is the first day I have full range of motion back in my shoulders. I was up all night due to severe muscle pain in my shoulders and arms. And I’m not usually a wuss when it comes to pain, but what I did Sunday was just plain stupid and I am now paying for it. I’m considering dipping into my cache of Vicodin/Percocet just to take the edge off for today.

I am going to attempt to get back on track starting now and continue to update here with my diet and exercise regimen, assuming I create one. I am back up over 140lbs and really just frustrated and pissed off at myself.

Otherwise life is grand. I got to travel to Chicago last week for work and experienced an unexpected upgrade at the Four Seasons Hotel, a fabulous client reception at Morton’s, and a very overpriced massage the next morning. Elliana is now a fulltime member of a competitive cheerleading team and starts her twice a week tumbling and choreography instruction this week. Braedon is signed up for fall ball in a new league where he will get to try out his pitching skills. Chris will be coaching. I am supposed to be teaching ballet at HAC in September once a week, yet I haven’t been to a ballet class since March. Chris turns 40 on the 16th, and I’ve got a few surprises up my sleeve for him over the next week or 2. And I just got tickets to Dorney Park for the beginning of September. I keep forgetting to tell the kids about it, but I know they will be thrilled.

I’m still contemplating that dragonfly tattoo, but I’m thinking that after 3, I may cross over into some kind of bizarre tattooed counterculture. If it’s any easier to lose weight over there – I’m in!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cat's Mid-Vacation Check-In

So I've not posted in a few days. Been too busy enjoying the beach and the weather! Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were mega-beach days. 4+ hours in the sand. Braedon has mastered the boogie board and we have to drag him out of the water to eat lunch. Ells is all about making friends of all ages on the beach. She flutters around and by the end of the day she knows everyone within a 50 ft. radius by name. Evening entertainment has included a mini-date night for Chris and me on Monday, the Ocean City Maryland Boardwalk Tuesday and some Mexican food on the beach at Que Pasa in Dewey Beach.

Monday, I got in about 30 minutes on the treadmill at the gym. Tuesday morning I ran outside just over 3 miles. It was much cooler and I didn't feel like I was going to throw up from the heat - always a bonus. Today, I decided to take a break - no workout.

My food intake hasn't been disastrous, but it hasn't been great either. Breakfast and lunch each day have been pretty much the same, Fiber One cereal with almond milk, and a half of a cold cut sandwich with some pretzels and maybe a protein bar. Monday night dinner was some chicken and pork barbecue with some evilly delicious corn bread. I may have had a martini or 2 on my mini-date. I also may have taken the kid's to a candy store late night. There were chocolate covered Oreos & pretzels and a truffle or 2. Tuesday was boardwalk pizza with an ice cream cone. Tonight I ate way too much guacamole, and we went to Candy Kitchen, Kohr Brothers AND Dolle's. Need I say more?

I am going to try and count calories a little better the remaining days of my vacation, but I'm not making any promises. Here's the deal - my clothes still fit, I don't look terrible in my bikini, and I'm having a great time with my family. Besides, if your chocolate has fruit inside of it, that's healthy - right?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My new mantra: I love my kids, I love my kids, I love my kids!

I do love my kids, but man, are they annoying. I know that are excited to be on vacation, and they are just wound up about going to the pool and the beach. Chris and I have threatened to drive them back home about 50 times today if they don't start listening to us. We both really need to take a deep breath and be more patient with them. Vacations like these are just a reminder that once you have kids, you are totally living for them, and selfishness is not an option. Neither is a quiet dip in the pool or a quick dip in the ocean.We spent about an hour at the pool this morning, had lunch and headed to the beach around noon. A pretty wicked thunderstorm closed the beach around 2:30 and the open-trolly ride home in the downpour made for some comic relief. This is what we do at the beach when it rains:
The kids got some more time in the sand after dinner wading in the water and watching some older kids wake boarding.

I give the day about a 7 overall.

I managed to run outside this morning around 8am. But man, was it hot! I'm used to running in my basement where it's nice and cool, even when it's 100+ outside. I lasted about 2 miles in the actual heat and humidity before I felt like I was going to puke, and had to walk the last mile back to the condo. I also did some ab work this evening - was inpsired by my women's health magazine - perfect beach reading!

Breakfast - 1 egg with a laughing cow cheese wedge, some fiber One raisin bran crunch and almond milk and some blueberries (350 calories)
Lunch - pretzel chips and another cheese wedge and a protein bar (350 calories)
Snacks - 2 Keebler Fudge stripe cookies. (115 calories)
Dinner - 3 steamed blue crabs, 3 hush puppies, a handful of kettle chips and a Kohr Bros. custard. (about 800 calories)

So I'm pretty sure I went over my calories for the day, but I didn't totally blow it. I don't feel deprived and I got some exercise, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it. Still not relaxing all that much - have to work on that. So here's to a better day tomorrow. More beach-time, less rain, less whining and fewer Mommy-threats. Amen.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Destination Relaxation

We piled linens for 3 beds, 4 pillows, clothes for 4 for a week, bathing suits, beach chairs, various sundries, beach towels, bath towels, sunscreen, goggles, computers, phones chargers, camera, 4 humans and 2 dogs into my Pilot around 1pm today. Luckily the dogs only had a short trip to their daycare. The 4 humans suffered through close to 4 hours in the car before we got to the house. The AC was off, and I guess I expected it to be, but it was 90 degrees in the place. So we dumped our stuff, and headed out for dinner and groceries hoping the condo would cool off by the time we got home. Luckily it did! So the kids haven't gotten to swim or go to the beach, or even see a boardwalk yet, but we have 6 more days. We have plans to meet up with a whole bunch of friends old and new, and the community we're staying in offers a ton of activities, along with a fitness center with classes galore. So I have no excuses . . . I did workout this morning, did 20 minutes of interval training, and 20 minutes walking on an incline. Burned about 500 calories and got caught up on NY ink.

Breakfast: 2 full eggs and 2 egg whites scrambled with some laughing cow cheese. I also had a protein bar (400 calories)
Lunch: Wawa Buffalo Blue Chicken Wrap and half of a Take 5 bar (500 calories) Best thing I could find on the road that would fill me up and taste good.
Dinner: Apple Martini - some fried calamari and a few scallops, shrimp, mussels and clams (500 calories)
Dessert: Rita's custard (200 calories)

So today wasn't perfect, and I'm on vacation, so I don't expect it to be. My goal for the next 6 days is to RELAX, get some exercise, and enjoy time with my family and friends. There is no scale here, so I will have to wait until next Saturday to weigh in. That's probably a good thing - for now.

PS. Don't tell work that I have Wifi here at the beach!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

So much for a day off

So I was supposed to take a vacation day to prepare for our week at the beach. I ended up working most of the day. Luckily, I got a lot accomplished in a short amount of time and I feel even better about being incommunicado with work for 9 full days starting tomorrow.
Food and exercise-wise, today was a good day. I woke up weighing 139 lbs. I finished 45 minutes on the treadmill, this time with an incline - about 500 calories. Watched the season finale of Housewives of NYC. Always adequate entertainment for a home workout.

Breakfast - Supreme Protein protein bar - 200 calories
Lunch - Tuna salad and pretzel chips; 4 strawberries - 400 calories
Dinner - Green apple martini and crab/basil ravioli - ?? Calories. Probably 800.

I was so busy running errands and working, that I didn't get a chance to have any snacks. Probably a good thing since dinner was an unexpected treat. I could probably have dessert, but I'm not going to press my luck. I'm done for the day.

Another pair of flip flops came in the mail today for Ells. They are still on her feet. Let's hope they make it back into her closed closet and not in Dash's mouth.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stressed out: Vacation pending

Super busy and at work today. Provided a nice distraction from food. There were even brownies in the kitchen leftover from some partner visit that I managed to resist. I was able to get through 45 minutes of cardio. Watched Million Dollar Decorators and part of Flippin' Out. What would I do without the Bravo network? I know Andy Cohen and I would be friends - if he knew me.

Food Diary:
Breakfast Cheerios with skim milk and a granny smith apple
am snack Greek Yogurt
Lunch Steamed veggies - mushrooms, broccoli and squash with a
tuna salad sandwich on light whole wheat bread.
pm snack Pretzels and cheese, popcorn, baby carrots and some
dinner protein bar, some more tuna salad with some pretzel chips.

According to my fitness pal If everyday were like today, I'd weigh 134.5 in 5 weeks. Sounds good to me. I burned 475 calories and ate about 1500. I weighed 139.5 this morning.

I've been pretty stressed with work - lots to do before I take vacation. I have been staying late in the office and working from home in the evenings. Tonight will be no different. I hope I can actually take tomorrow off as planned. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

5 pairs of flip flops - I'm grumpy and hungry

We have a new puppy. He's about 7 months old and loves to eat flip flops. The first pair he destroyed were mine. Since then we are diligent about keeping our shoes out of harm's way and keeping an eye out for any misplaced flip flops that might fall prey to our little Dash. My kids have serious trouble paying attention to where they leave their shoes and more trouble paying attention when the puppy is chewing on something he shouldn't be RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM.
We leave for a beach vacation on Saturday, and my daughter still doesn't have a pair of flip flops, despite that fact that I have purchased her 3 pairs in the last month. Each time she gets a new pair they get worn for the day, she takes them off in the kitchen and leaves them on the bench - where the dog can reach them, and about an hour later, I find them in his mouth, destroyed. The latest pair succumbed the most quickly. I think she owned them for less than 24 hours. Wore them to camp, came home, left them on the bench and when I called home around dinner time to tell everyone I was still working, she announced, almost with a chuckle that Dash got her flip flops. Are you freaking kidding me? I'll but her next pair at the beach, at least the dog won't be around to destroy them and they'll have a chance at lasting for at least a week.

So how did I do today? I'm tired, stressed out at work, annoyed at the dog and my kids. Good thing I work out in the morning! I did another 60 minutes on the treadmill and did some free weights just before 6am.
Here's what I ate: This may have been worse if I hadn't left my purse at home today. No money to cheat! Another good strategy!

8am Diet Coke
9am Supreme Protein PB&J bar 200 calories
11am Pretzels with cheese 145 calories
1pm Turkey Chili 250 calories
2pm strawberries 50 calories
2:45 Popcorn 100 calories
3:30 1/2 protein bar 200 calories
6:30 blueberries 80 calories
7pm Pretzel chips with tuna salad 275 calories

According to myfitnesspal:
If every day were like today... You'd weigh 132.6 lbs in 5 weeks
Today, I weighed 140.5 I probably should be eating a bit more- but I'm afraid if I eat anything else, it may snowball into something bad - so I'm going to stop here.

Anyone with tips for preventing Dash from eating any more shoes, aside from sending him back to the pound - let me know.

My Grandmother and dragonflies

My Dad's Mother, my Mom-mom Schiavelli, or Mom-mom "spaghetti" as my children referred to her before they could pronounce Schiavelli, died on July 3rd. She had been hospitalized the week before and luckily, I was able to spend a great deal of time with her the few days before her death. She was 87 years old, a traditional italian wife and mother who doted on and cared for her husband up until his death 3 years ago. She was a breast cancer survivor. She was a marvelous cook, a really good scrabble player and I have so many wonderful memories of her that I hold close to my heart. We had gotten much closer since the death of my grandfather. My grandmother spent most, if not all of her energy caring for him especially during the last several years of his life. I remember after he died thinking 1 of 2 things may happen. She would bounce back and enjoy her time to do the things she couldn't do before, or she would fall into some kind of funk and live out the rest of her life sad and depressed. When I found out that she was headed to Wildwood with a friend of hers a week or so after the funeral - I knew she was going to be OK.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer last summer and although she was not going through aggressive treatment, she was able to remain comfortable and relatively healthy for several months before feeling sick and eventually succumbing to this crappy disease. I will say - she lived her life pretty much the way she wanted to and she was loved by everyone who encountered her and was lucky enough to have her in their life.

I could go on and on, but I will share just some of my favorite memories both old and new:

  1. Her fingernails. They were thick and well manicured. When she told stories at the dining room table, I would notice her hands folding a napkin or smoothing out the tablecloth.

  2. Her jewelry - mostly costume that she kept in her dresser and would let me peruse and try on anytime I wanted.

  3. Raiding her pantry closet in Pleasant Hills for chewing gum and candy. Pop-pop loved chocolate, Mom-mom loved her Wrigley's and there was always ample amounts of both for the taking.

  4. Watching her play Ant Smasher on my smart phone. This kept her entertained while in the hospital this past winter.

  5. Hearing her say "you're so cute!" to both of my kids while giving them her Mom-mom hugs.

  6. The look on her face when she would see my daughter. I am so glad I brought Ells to see her in the hospital just a few days before she died. It was a great, happy visit!

  7. Bringing her GeneralTso's chicken - one of her favs!

  8. Her love for rice pudding and Vanilla milkshakes

  9. Recently sharing all my photos and videos of the kids with her on my Mac and watching her reaction to seeing many pictures she had never seen before.

  10. Dancing in the livingroom in Pleasant Hills at Christmas time.

  11. Playing bingo and Rummy tiles with her and my kids.

I was a mess at her funeral. I couldn't stop crying. Everytime I saw her laid out in her coffin, or when I saw friends and relatives giving their condolences to my Dad or my Aunts, I cried. I still cry. I miss her very much and even though I spent as much time with her as a could over the years, I wish I had spent more time with her. She was the best story teller - and I could sit and listen to her for hours upon hours talking about the "olden days". She was beautiful inside and out. I hope to have inherited some of her youthful genes, but most of all I hope I have the love and kindness in my heart that she possessed.

A week ago at our pool there I noticed a very large, very beautiful dragonfly just hanging around. The other night we went to a Blue Rocks game, and a dragonfly would not leave us alone. High speed fly-bys, and even landed on my husband's head. I drive by my grandmother's cemetary every day to and from work. It's only open from 8:30-4 each day, so it's normally closed when I'm passing by. Yesterday morning I was running late and noticed the gate was open as I stopped at a red light. I thought about popping in for a visit, but realized I probably should just head to work. The moment the light turned green, a dragonfly landed on the hood of my car, and it flitted around the car for about 2 blocks as I drove away.

I googled it this morning and found the following:

Dragonflies are messengers of the elemental world. Some cultures believe they are symbols for renewal, change, maturity, and depth of character. Now I've never been really into the elemental world, but I'm taking all this in and can't help but wonder if someone's trying to tell me something.

I'm keeping my eyes, ears and heart open. I'm am missing my Mom-mom and hoping she has more to tell me in the years to come. I'm also thinking I may need another tattoo . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 1 of My Public Food Diary

So - this is the first of many daily updates I plan to post outlining my daily food and exercise activities. Today started off with a bang - 60+ minutes on the treadmill at 6am. Burned about 600 calories while watching the Bachelorette on my DVR. I weighed 140.

Food intake - well that's another story. Despite the fact that the summary from states "if every day were like today . . . you'd weigh 134.5 in 5 weeks", my food choices leave a little to be desired. I started off pretty well - 1/2 a protein bar and a couple of eggs for breakfast. Turkey chili for lunch. I also drank close to 40 oz of diet coke before 1pm. I should probably ditch the soda for more water. Not today. For a snack I had some honey wheat pretzels and laughing cow swiss cheese - a very satisfying snack for about 150 calories. Another snack of baby carrots and some microwave popcorn - another 150 calories.

I should also mention that I'm taking bee pollen supplements. 2 capsules 3x a day. The first 2 I took this am felt like they were stuck in my throat all morning. Anyway - up until 4pm today, I had consumed about 800 calories. With the exercise I did, I had about 600 more to go for the day. I had plans to eat some leftover pork ribs (300 calories) and maybe another protein bar and some fruit. The best laid plans . . .
At 4pm I had a meeting, and the red velvet cheesecake was there. It was a celebration of sorts. I decided to just share a piece with my friend. I ended up eating 3/4 of that piece and another sliver just for myself. So that became my dinner & dessert. All consumed before 5pm. I'm not too disappointed. Luckily the cheesecake was filling, so I'm not really hungry and it didn't send me into some feeding frenzy - always a good thing! I'm sure I won't eat anything else today. But some meat and fruit would have obviously been a better choice. There's always tomorrow!

I will say that the prospect of sharing everything I ate today definitely came into play when faced with food choices. I bet if I wasn't doing this - I would have snuck in another piece or 2 of cake, and I would have most likely eaten dinner as well. Here's to small victories and to better choices tomorrow.

And right on cue, my DH opens up a bag of Tostitos and salsa. Dear Lord, let me be strong.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Food Addiction

The first step is admitting you have a problem - right? Ok. I am absolutely, positively convinced that I have some kind of food addiction. I have foods that trigger uncontrollable eating - primarily chocolate. I pretty much think about food all the time. And if there is "forbidden" food around, I can't stop thinking about it.

Here are a few ways I'm working around this addiction.

At work, we have a community fridge/freezer. Someone stocked it with several boxes of fudge bars and chocolate ice cream bars leftover from an event. This happened once before about 3 months ago, and no kidding, I must have eaten 2, 3 sometimes 4 of those bars each day, before they were all gone. So when the email came out this time notifying everyone of the treats, I quickly replied to all and pledged to pay $50 to anyone who caught me eating an ice cream bar. So far it's working, but there are still a few boxes left - I'm trying to be strong.

Tonight after dinner, I was hungry and craving something bad. The kids were eating Swedish Fish. I could have eaten a few handfuls. Instead, I decided to take my little one to Justice for a little retail therapy. I didn't have anything else to eat - yeah me - but I spent $70 on crap she didn't need.

While at Costco yesterday, I noticed they had my favorite 800-lb gorilla chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. I normally would buy them, have one instead of a real meal, and some nights when everyone was asleep I'd have 1 or 2 just because they are so good. This time, I walked halfway back to my cart, turned around and put them back in the display case. If I don't buy them, I can't eat them.

The other morning while out at breakfast, my DH ordered his weekly cinnamon bun as an appetizer that we usually all share. I resisted even a small bite, knowing that would set me off on a bad binge that might have lasted the whole weekend. I told my husband that ordering that is like doing shots in front of an alcoholic. I think he thinks I may be too dramatic, but I think I'm on to something.

I'm convinced that if I wasn't working out - practically 7 days a week for an hour + each day - I would be morbidly obese. Easily. I don't want to workout to eat anymore. I want to workout and eat right and get smaller. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to use this blog as a food/exercise/body diary for the next 30 days. Each day, I will post what I eat, how many calories I'm ingesting and how I'm feeling about what I'm eating (or not eating!). I will detail my daily workouts and even document my weight and some measurements.

Right now it's Monday night - I weigh 140.5 lbs. I walked/jogged 60 minutes this morning on the treadmill. Burned about 600 calories and ate about 1200 calories. I'll get more detailed on the food tomorrow. I'm too tired to go back and try to remember it all :)

PS. I'm hungry, but I'm afraid to eat anything.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My NYC adventure

So for my birthday, I decided to treat myself to an intensive 8-day teacher training program through the American Ballet Theater. The result, assuming I pass the final exam, would be certification to teach Primary through Level3 Ballet. I would be in NYC Friday – the following Saturday, spending each day 9-5 working and studying with other dancers and teachers from around the world. I planned to spend my evenings taking open ballet classes all over the city. I planned to meet up with my 2nd cousin, who works at bar in Chelsea. I planned to meet my long-lost step-cousin that I just met through facebook for a drink. So, things didn’t go quite as planned, BUT I loved every minute of my time in the City. I didn’t make it to a ballet class every night. I didn’t get together with either of my cousins. BUT . . . Here’s what I did do:

1. I ditched the blonde hair at a swanky salon in SOHO and spent a fortune doing so
2. I celebrated my 38th birthday all by myself
3. I was a vegetarian (by accident) for about 6 days – the best carpaccio I’ve had broke my streak – totally worth it.
4. I walked and walked and walked and walked – even more than I should have considering every time I got out of a subway station I had to walk at least a block or 2 before I realized I was walking the wrong way. NOTE – the compass app on my Driod SUCKS!!
5. I learned how to tell the difference between a 2/4 March, a 3/4 Polonaise and a 4/4 time signature all with live accompaniment.
6. I met some really sweet, interesting and talented people and dancers
7. I saw NYC Ballet at Lincoln Center - my 1st time!
8. I drank lots of wine
9. I slept a little bit
10. I spent time with a dear old friend, who thankfully had a trip on Friday to save myself from more wine and no sleep – although the 3 days we did spend together wasn’t enough.

So the January funk is long gone. Now I’m having total NYC withdrawal. I’ve got some new opportunities at work that should bring some welcomed change. I’m hoping to get the one that will allow me to travel a bit more. NYC made me realize I really need to get out more. It’s good for me and everyone around me.

This week it’s back to reality. I’m definitely going back for training next year, but hopefully I’ll get out and about way before then!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year: Same Old Me

So it's a brand new year, and I'm waist deep in my annual funk - that's my fat waist! Every since I can remember, this first week of January gets me down. As a kid, I never wanted to go back to school after the long winter break. As an adult, especially since my kids are in school, I never want to go back to work after being off with them for so long. The extra few pounds I always seem to pick up this time of year don't help either. You see, on a 5'2" frame, 5 pounds actually changes your dress size. So at this point, nothing really fits me very well, it's cold and dark outside, I feel like I spent too much money over the holidays, I've exercised maybe twice in the last 4 weeks, and I'm not loving work. Thus the funk.

I have to sign up the kids for summer camp next week. I'm not sure why this has to be done so early in the year, but nevertheless, this adds to my anxiety. Having to dish out 50% of the cost for camp, trying to figure out which week during the summer we'll taking off for "vacation". Then I jump to the if-I-didn't-have-to-work-I wouldn't-have-to-deal-with-dumping-the-kids-in-summer-camp guilt. It's just a painful reminder that I work because I have to and not because I want to. I was so lucky growing up. My mom was home when I got off the bus every day, and I got to have a Spring Break and a Summer Break every year. My kids "get" to go from before care, to school, to after care. And when school's on break, they go to full day camp. I hate that.

I see my kids for a few hours each night and it usually goes something like this . . . "Did you do your homework, good, let me check it. How about you spell that word correctly when you write it since it's typed right there on that page. Can you please hang your coat up and put your water bottle in the sink? No you cannot download that app, no I will not put a canopy on your bed, can you not hang on the dog like that? Can you please sit still and just eat your dinner? Put your dishes in the sink please. OK, 20 more minutes of ICarly and its right to bed. OK it's 8, go up get showered and get to bed. Love you, see you in the morning. What do you want? Go upstairs and do not come down again. Goodnight." It's pathetic, I hate it and I don't think it's going to change. I hope they forgive me someday.

The other half of my funkalicious state is weight and body image related. I started back with Pilates (at least for 5 more once-a-week sessions - thanks, Mom!) I'm also back to my Tuesday night ballet class. But seriously, after seeing myself in the mirrors tonight in class, I may not go back until I lose at least 5 pounds. Right now I'm a disgrace to the art if you ask me. Doesn't help that I also seem to be eating everything in sight. Started out respectfully this morning with my bowl of oatmeal. Lunch was a salad and potato chips. Then I polished off 3 granola bars and some popcorn in the office this afternoon. Also not disastrous, but when I got home from ballet, I raided the brownie pan, had lots of leftover wonton soup, vanilla ice cream and a Hershey bar. Good news is that like every good little manic dieter, I've managed to clear out all the junk food for tomorrow (by eating it!)

I picked up a new book the other day. Actually, thanks to my gadget-loving husband and my new Nook e-reader, I picked up a new e-book. A Course in Weight loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering your Weight Forever. Perhaps this will give me a new perspective on the whole eating debacle.

Sorry this post of all over the place. Money, work, food, exercise. Had to all come to a head someday. All that said, yes I have things I need to work on. They are mostly within my control and I have to choose to commit to change them. I can do it. I just wish it were easier.
Despite my rants, my life is pretty great. I have a wonderful family and great friends that I love very much and who love me for the chubby, working mom that I am. Funk or no funk.