Tag: diet

Slowing Things Down

I don’t think I have mentioned on this blog I have started a new pain treatment at the Utah Chronic Pain Center.  This is a dual approach of hormone balancing and laser/decompression treatment all supervised by nurse practitioners and doctors.   As part of the treatment I am supposed to remain active but not cause my muscles to be overly swollen, tender or pulled.   This would revert all of our progress.  I am also supposed avoid bending, twisting or sudden movement.  As a result I have moved from working out 4-6 times a week to more like 2-3 times a week.  I have also been a little less intense on the diet; although I don’t really have an excuse for that.

I have also been specifically told by the doctor to stop mixed martial arts for the moment because it is too jarring and too much potential for my muscles to be strained.  I miss it and hope to be back soon but for the moment, the treatment is very expensive and I’m inclined to listen. :).

Here’s the weird thing- I feel great.  I feel energetic, happy, and relatively free from pain.  In all the years I was working out hard core I kept expecting to be energetic from exercise but never really felt it.  All those endorphins were a myth to me, never a reality (and I mean never).  I can’t explain it but I feel healthier now than I have in years.  Hmmmm… Why does my body have to be a freakazoid and not response like everyone else’s!  Can any of you relate to what I am saying?  Please, please share your experiences.

Now I have to get training again soon because I have the GSL swim coming up and I have been woefully out of the water this year.  (With everything crazy for Poler and Grabber I haven’t had time to get to the pool as much as I would like.  Going tomorrow though!).

What do you think of this?  Am I just deluding myself that these behaviors are making me feel good.  I don’t think so.  I really feel good.  Most importantly I am not in constant pain when I breath, move, bend over or walk.  What should I do in the future because I don’t want to lose all the training I worked so hard for but it was making me feel terrible and it never got easier after 3 years?  Never.   What would you do?  It’s like I have to decide pain or fat?

It’s so hard because you feel like you should almost be feeling bad when you are training but usually that goes away after a while.  For me it was a constant bad reaction to exercise.  Even swimming would leave me weak and frustrated.  There’s a limit how long a person can live like that especially without losing much weight.

I’m puzzled because it seems to go against what doctors and medical science thinks for me to feel better not exercising.  Thoughts?  All I know is what my body is telling me and it is definitely telling me to slow things down.

slow and steady wins the race
slow and steady wins the race

The Food Trifecta

So here’s the deal with food.  Over the years I’ve learned that all foods and recipes fall into three categories- it is either fast, cheap or healthy.  What I’ve found is you can usually get 2 out of 3 but the 3 out of 3 foods are very rare (egg dishes almost always fit all 3 but its still hard to find)

For instance, ramen noodles are fast and cheap but definitely not healthy.  A salad is usually fast (depending on chopping time) and healthy but isn’t cheap.  Homemade veggie burgers may be healthy and cheap but not fast.  Macaroni and cheese is fast and cheap but not healthy. Seafood like crab and mussels are healthy and fast but definitely not cheap. You get the idea.

In the end I think you have to pick which 2 areas you are going to focus on most.  If you have the budget than you can focus on fast and healthy.  If you don’t than focus on healthy and cheap.  If health isn’t as big a deal focus on fast and cheap.  Etc.

I just find this type of prioritizing to be helpful. You cannot focus on everything.  Perhaps with kids there is a fourth factor of ‘kid friendly’.  I’m not sure.

For me, I focus more on fast and healthy and less on cheap. Not that I’ll be buying caviar or lobster daily but its just where your focus is. To make things faster I may pay more to buy some salad bar items or prepared items from the deli.

I guess my trifecta doesn’t apply to deserts because let’s be honest 2 out of 3 would rarely apply.  I would just focus on taste for that category.

Taste is a given for anything I eat.  Above all it should be tasty! This is true except for protein drinks which I detest but drink anyway because they are good for me.  (And yes, I’ve tried ALL the brands…). Aside from protein drinks,  I prefer to not have an instant gag reflex when I swallow food. 🙂

What do you think of my trifecta?  Where do you fall on it?

Btw, I’m going on a diet tomorrow.  Not looking forward to it at all.  Please forgive me if I’m a bit grumpy.  Stupid diets…

No Vacation: No Distraction

Everyone knows I’m a huge traveler and love experiencing new places, cultures and food.  So you might find it surprising when I talk about my plans for the summer. I have decided to take NO VACATIONS.

No Beach This Year 😦

Here’s why:

I have a goal to swim a 5k at the Deer Creek Open Water Swim.  This is an ambitious goal- 3 times what I struggled to swim at the GSL race.  I know I will not be able to accomplish this goal without some serious dedication.   Even with the dedication it will be a challenge.

I had thought about going to Disneyland but I have to go to California for work/reunion (doesn’t count as a vacation, more like a business trip) and if you add Disneyland it will be 2 weeks away from my training.  I can’t risk that.

I also decided to put the  money I would have put to travel towards my training.  I have started meeting with a dietician and am taking UFC kickboxing classes (they are so much fun and the trainer is great!).  This week I was supposed to take the week off and rest my muscles…I have worked out every day.  Not too successful.  Sorry doc!

I’ve also been watching what eat even more carefully and am using myfitnesspal.com to help me keep track.  I found I was either eating too much or too little.  Now it is closer to the right balance.  By not going on vacation I am able to control my diet more carefully.

I still have vacation days to use but I plan on applying those to recovery days and then if I have extra I may take a trip in the winter to NYC.  Maybe New York for Christmas! (The Tony awards peaked my interest in a couple shows).

What I would love to do is save money so I can go to the swim camps in Costa Rica.   That would be a dream come true! It would also be an easy trip to go by myself because it is planned, group oriented.  I don’t feel like I am a good enough swimmer yet for it to be worth it but I’d love to go!

http://www.costaricadreamswimcamps.com/costaricadreamswimcamps.com/Welcome.html

I’m really going to miss the beach this year. It’s just not summer without the beach but at least I have a salt lake to enjoy and there is always the man-made strangeness of Black Ridge in Herriman.

Black Ridge reservoir (more like a cow pond behind some houses) strange place but nice!

I’ve just got to make sure that with no vacation I don’t make myself crazy.  I’ve got to find ways to relax within my normal schedule.  Especially with training this could be difficult.  I do not want to get over-stressed like I did before the GSL (no promises but I’m going to try!).

What do you do to relax when you can’t vacation or travel?

 

Calmness

So this week has been tough.  Lots of drama from lots of sources including most prominently myself.  I think when it comes down to it seeing that 289 scared me.  It made me feel like 3 years of effort was all for not, and that’s a scary thought.  Everyone likes to think that their life has value and that they aren’t wasting time on a fool’s errand. For it to seemingly all go away was almost more than I could process.

It still scares me but I’ve made some progress-

Well, I went to my gym today.  Met with the dietician and it was actually pretty helpful.  We have some good plans that I’ve already implemented and we will see how it goes.  Then I met with my trainer who has stood by me for 2 years through it all.  I’m not going to lie there were tears and frustration and then smiles. The good news is I weighed using the fancy scale at the gym and it said 277.  Still a gain but only 4 lbs.  That I can live with without a panic attack!

Now I’m moving forward and going to do all I can to be successful.  If the meds make me gain despite all I can do than so be it.  My journey will still have meaning even if I get back to 313.  If that happens I can start again and keep trying.

Facing that fear of regression is actually a huge victory.  I’m sure anyone out there that has lost has had to face a similar fear.

Thanks in advance for all your support as I  get ready for this race and achieve greater health in my body.  I know it will be a rocky road ahead but I am determined to push forward, and try again.

I still wonder what it is that God is trying to teach me and why does this have to be so hard? I’m not ashamed to say I don’t know the answer but someday I will.  He knows and He is guiding me each day.

I thought of my favorite author today.  The book, aside from scripture, that I read when I feel sad or hopeless- A Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh.  I just love it.

Here are some quotes from it that I love and felt strongly today.

Don’t wish me happiness – I don’t expect to be happy it’s gotten beyond that, somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor – I will need them all.

“I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.”

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith.

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.

I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.

Anyway, hope you all have a great Memorial Day.  Hugs from your smilingldsgirl.

Pain or Fat?

So recently I’ve been presented with a question- would I rather be skinny or free from pain?  The answer is undeniably free from pain.   Last year I started having chronic pain in my ribcage and chest area.  After over a year of doctors and misdiagnosis I finally found something that helped with the pain- turns out I have a low thyroid.

In February the doctor put me on levothyroxine and the results were amazing.  My pain was reduced almost immediately.  I can’t tell you what a relief this was for me.  It was like a nearly 2 year monkey was finally off of my back.  My recovery from exercise improved considerably; thereby allowing me to push harder in my sets and train more frequently.

Last week, for instance, I had 5 days of intense training, one right after another. These were no ordinary workouts and yet Sunday came around and I felt pretty good.  A little bit of pain but nothing compared to the overwhelming, almost debilitating pain I experienced last year.

This was all very exciting! On Tuesday I went in for my second follow up appointment.  My trainer had noticed I had gained weight in February but I had dismissed it as one of those things.  You can imagine my shock that I was back up to 284! I blame the medicine because its the only major change that has occurred during that time period.  I was so frustrated.  Don’t most people lose weight when taking thyroid meds?  Naturally my freakish body can never have a normal reaction to anything.  It always has to be complicated.

Basically my doctor told me that the thyroid meds mess up your metabolism in good and bad ways.  Unfortunately they make you super sensitive to bad carbs and sugar.  Now I was not eating much sugar previous to this appointment but I was trying to work it in with moderation.  Evidently with this medicine I can’t have any of it. 😦

Its frustrating because in many ways I feel like I am setting myself up for eventual failure.  Nobody is perfect all the time in a diet and clearly moderation is not good enough.  I gained nearly 15 lbs since I started taking the meds despite my careful eating and training!

The thing is that I feel great! I feel energetic and healthy.  I think I look great.  So why does the stupid scale matter?  Maybe it shouldn’t.  Its just I worked so hard to lose that weight.  Took 3 years out of my life and to see it go away was so disheartening.  Thank goodness for my music because it was the lift I needed this week.

I also get frustrated being on the extreme diets because I feel like they make me super self-critical and over-introspective.  I feel guilty for everything I do, nothing seems quite good enough.  That’s why I avoided dieting for so long because it turns me into this person I hate.  People say ‘don’t diet.  Just make small lifestyle changes’.  Well, I’m sorry but small lifestyle changes don’t work.  I gained 15lbs on moderation and lifestyle changes!

For some reason going hard core is the only thing that seems to work and I refuse to have weight loss surgery. It seems like I’m stuck. Ahhhh! And then I think of that woman on the plane who wouldn’t sit next to me and I remember that so many people still see me as a fattie who disgusts them.  The whole thing makes me crazy and feel so frustrated.  I don’t know what to do but to try with the sugar fast and not give up.

In the end, I feel like I have to chose between feeling good and pain free and losing weight.  That is a really lame decision to have to make.  At least with the sugar fast I can tell my doctor confidently that I am doing all I can to eat right and exercise.  If I can’t keep it up forever well that’s a choice for another day.  I can do my best today and if I still gain what else can you do?

I just have to keep reminding myself that I did not start this process to improve my appearance.  I really didn’t.  I started this process because I wanted to have energy, to do more, to be more active.  I think anyone would be hard pressed to say I haven’t achieved that goal.

If it was the choice between looking a certain way and feeling pain what would you pick?  Be honest! Maybe God just wants me to look like this for some reason?  He’s gotten me to a healthy point but getting below 250 (my dream) seems to be an impossible task. I’ve been working so hard for over 3 years. Maybe I need to try something else? I don’t know but I am trying my best to not feel defeated and to keep trying. That’s all I can do- keep trying.

Still, its been a bit of a downer of a week.  Thanks everyone for your support no matter my size.  Thanks for reminding me that I’m still a good person and I’ve still accomplished great things no matter my weight.  Forget the stupid scale! (or at least try to…Sigh)

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/body-image/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/maggie-goes-on-a-diet/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/skinny-skinny-skinny/

Before and After Scams

So how many times have you seen an ad for a diet and it shows a before and after photo of a participant with amazing results?  All the time.  Well, 20/20 had an expose on the diet industry on Friday and while most of it was old hat to me this segment stood out.  Evidently its an internet sensation with over 8 million hits but I’d never seen it.  I just had to share it with all of you:

I personally hate dieting and I know lifestyle changes are the important thing but let’s be honest to have significant results you do need make changes, which could be interpreted as a diet.  I sometimes feel resentful of all the sacrifices and things I have to give up. I’ve got a bit of a rebellious streak and I hate being told no.  I have friends who don’t eat dairy, grain, all meat, red meat, all starches,  fruit, all sweeteners, are vegan, vegetarian, eat raw, only organic etc. Not to mention no fast or processed food ever.  I even have a friend who won’t eat mushrooms because of some perceived health problem.  It sometimes makes me a little crazy.  You are going to take all that away from me and mushrooms…

I think most of all I miss baking.  I never make anything with yeast or that smells nice any more.  I never get out my cake decorating supplies.  In fact, my fondant has gotten all hard.  A sad, sad site…

Anyway, I do the best I can and am happy with my progress.  I’ve been training really hard for the upcoming race in the Great Salt Lake and I’m confident I will finish.  (First practice in lake this Wednesday!).  I’m certainly giving it my all.  This week I did 4 intense training sessions (I got a massage today and the lady said my upper back was total tightness.  That’s a swimmer for you!).  I also ate very well, including attending a raw food class on Tuesday that was a lot of fun (it was exactly what you would expect a raw food class to be like in every way.  Kate and I even got scolded for talking in class!)

You just have to keep plugging away day-by-day, try to make good choices, and don’t by into the quick fixes, trends and scams.  It will only lead to depression and a rapidly decreasing pocket book.

 

Breakfast Burritos

Since I started my fitness quest one of my greatest food struggles has been eating a good breakfast.  I just have no appetite in the morning and what appetite I do have usually craves high carb items such as cereal or toast (and don’t get me started on french toast and cinnamon rolls!).  I like eggs well enough the rest of the day but in the morning cooking them and getting a pan all dirty seems like the biggest burden in the world!

With a few exceptions most of the ready made breakfast foods are terrible for you and very expensive (was just at store and package of VitaTops cost $5.39!).  This left me frustrated and most of the time hungry through lunch (and usually through my morning work out).

So, one of the reasons I wanted to get a new freezer was to be able to easily make green and otherwise healthy smoothies and freeze breakfast meals in advance.  This would allow me to have a healthy breakfast without dirtying pans each morning or coming up with something to make.  I had seen freezer breakfast burritos on pinterest and thought I should try my hand at making a healthy version. Today I was at Sunflower Organic Market and their frozen vegetables/fruit was 2 for $3, a great deal!

Without a real recipe I purchased what sounded good to me for my burritos, came home and set to work. You could of course use non-frozen vegetables.  It just saved me some chopping and prep time.

The finished product! Healthy Breakfast Burrito

(I’m going to try to do my recipe Pioneer Woman style because I just finished her book and read her new cookbook.)

Breakfast Burritos Healthy-style!

24 low carb multigrain tortillas (60 calories, 2 grams fat each.  If I do it again I’d try to find slightly bigger tortillas to have more room to fold)

2 lbs chicken sausage removed from casing (I used a green chile chicken sausage they sell at sunflower)

2 bell peppers color of your choice diced

1 large onion diced

1 bag flat leaf frozen spinach thawed and moisture squeezed out

2 10 oz bags frozen thawed sweet potatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

2 bags 10 oz frozen mixed mushrooms, moisture squeezed out and diced

Cook pepper and onion in olive oil until soft.  Add chicken sausage, mushrooms and spinach.  Once chicken is cooked add sweet potatoes.

In a separate bowl whisk:

2 dozen eggs

2 cups of milk

Grate 1 lb of pepper jack and sharp cheddar and add to your preference

(Next time I would add a healthy dose of hot sauce because I used almost 1/2 a bottle once it was cooked to give more flavor.  It sounds like a lot but when you see how much I made it really wasn’t overly spicy.  I thought the chili sausages would have more spice.  A spicy pepper or two wouldn’t be bad with the bells depending on your spice preference)

I then put half of my meat mixture in a mixing bowl and left the other half in my dutch oven (it was too much to cook together even with my large dutch oven).

I poured half of the egg mixture over each meat mixture.  The bowl I put in the microwave and stirred at 5 minute intervals and the dutch oven I cooked over the stove top.  They both turned out really good! Once cooked I put the mixture on cookie sheets (and added hot sauce for more flavor)

The stove-top version
the microwave version

Then I took a heaping 1/3 cup of filling on each tortilla, rolling it up and folding the ends in.

The assembly line!

I ended up with 2 dozen burritos and extra toppings which I food savered for later. I’m now doing a light freeze so they are easier to work with and then will wrap and food save some of them.  I should have a nice reservoir of breakfasts to enjoy for some time!

The finished product. Healthy breakfast burritos for many days to come!

I’m excited about this project and look forward to making many more variations.  It could be really good with tofu or steak.  Whatever you like.  Test it out and see what you come up with and put it in the comments section.  We all can work together to be healthier and still have tasty, affordable food.  🙂  Enjoy!

No to Weight Loss Surgery

I have a little time so I wanted to post about a topic I’ve had to consider over the last two years.   Recently I had another doctor suggest gastric bypass surgery as a solution to my weight loss (I’ve had 4 doctors suggest it in the last 3 years).  This is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves but let me explain why I chose to do things the old fashioned way:

1. My goal in starting this journey was not to be skinny.  I did this because I felt GOOD about myself, not the other way around.  It was to become active, and I have done that.  I wanted to be able to do more- to go surfing, to try rock climbing, to swim  a mile, and I’ve done all 3!

If you have not worked out the mental and emotional sides of weight loss/weight gain a dramatic weight loss via surgery will not permanently solve those problems.

2. You have all of these strange restrictions after getting the surgery like not mixing fluids with food. Plus you can only eat 3/4-1 cup of food at each meal.  (In truth the surgery just forces you to drastically restrict your calorie intake). Many who have the surgery develop nutrient deficiencies and have to take shots and supplements.

3. Because your fluids are limited exercise can be difficult and painful. (They recommend taking an hour to drink 8 ounces of water!).

4. Surgery always has risks (My former roommate had gastric bypass and as a result got addicted to lortab and is now deceased, so that should be reason enough for me to be cautious.).

5. You cannot take any anti-inflamatories because of risk of bleeding and ulcers. With  my fibromyalgia this would be a terrible problem. (even though I try to avoid any drugs sometimes the pain is too great)

6. Many people have to get multiple surgeries.

7. The stomach organs are very sensitive to infection, irritation and problem.  (Gastric bypass is the only surgery I am aware of that purposefully hampers a human organ from fully functioning. This can’ t help but cause some trauma to the human body).

8. My situation is not serious enough to require it.  For example, my A1C is a doing well at 5.3.  Most people who qualify for gastric bypass have much higher A1Cs and have as a goal getting below 6.  I seem to be able to control my diabetes symptoms on my own. I have also lost 53 lbs in the last 3 years and expect more progress to come.

9.  I want my victory to be my own, not at the hands of a surgeon’s scalpel.  If it takes me 10 years to reach my ideal weight it will be worth it. I will be able to tell my nieces that they can overcome any challenge on their own (with support from family and friends of course)

10. Hashimoto’s disease (thyroid disease), and other violent gastrointestinal diseases can result from gastric bypass. With autoimmune and irritable bowel problems running in my family I feel it is best to tread lightly in this area of the body.

11. I basically think it is forced anorexia.  Sorry but that’s how I feel.  In fact, there are cases of women developing eating disorders after the surgery.   They even have a name for it Acute Psychotic Disorder After Gastric Bypass Surgery. Eating right is a constant battle but its a battle worth engaging in. The way I am doing it I am learning how to eat for my specific body all the time, not to recover from a surgery.

12.  I hate surgeries and don’t respond well to anesthesia.

13.  Its very expensive.  From what I’ve read costing between $10,000 to $30,000, which I don’t have and if I did I would use it to get more training time, travel time, and go to that open water swim camp in Coasta Rica, or I’d love to do all the open waters swims in Hawaii. (I’ve got lots of dreams!).

14. I’ve gotten everything I want out of the program I’m currently doing.  Even if the weight loss is slow and can be frustrating, would I not have most of those frustrations in a different way post-surgery?  I like my life.  I’m active and happy and think I look cute in clothes so I don’t feel a need.

15. The surgical starvation only works for about 6-9 months and then you are back to maintaining on your own.  Not worth it for me. Sorry!

16.  You can die from the surgery, and not always right away.  I was just reading about a lady who died 3 years later from complications.

17.  Gastric bypass does not change your brain.  You still crave all the same things, you just can’t eat them.  Sure once you can eat more you might hold fast for a while but how long will your brain and body cave?  I prefer to work with the brain first and focus on changing the cravings.  That’s why I did the sugar fast and will probably do it again.

18.  I’m happy with who I am and the health trajectory that I am on.  (Ok.  I might have repeated that one twice but it is true. I’m healthy, all my vitals are normal.  I’m not a diabetic risk anymore.  There is no reason for great alarm or drastic measures.

Like I said, everyone has to make their own decision and this is mine.  I chose to not have gastric bypass and try my best to keep up an active lifestyle instead.  I believe this is the choice God wants me to make for me.  Every person must address their health in his or her own way.  This is just my conclusion.  No gastric bypass surgery for me.I’d take sore muscles and a low GI diet any day of the week.

Good luck as you make your choices.

There's a smile on my face!

Twin Cakes

As all my facebook friends know I’ve found a new obsession.  Twin Cakes raw gluten-free snack bites.  These delectable ‘cookies’ are low glycemic, low sugar, low carb and despite their small size they pack a ton of flavor.  I like them so much that I emailed the owner (one of the twins Lori) and she agreed to give me a bulk rate.  I now have 16 bags coming this week- that’s 160 balls in various flavors:

the brownie bites are very rich. Under 100 calories, 6 gr sugar, 9 carbs. For strong chocolate lovers only.
mint chocolate coconut bites
spiced hazelnut dough balls

And I ordered the Cinnamon Coconut bites which they do not have a photo for on their site.  I will sell bags to anyone who is interested at cost. This is really just a way for me to get healthy goodies at a discount.  I’m not making anything. Call me for the prices. They are between 8-10.

Spiced hazelnut dough ball –  4 bags for
Brownie bite – 4 bags
Cinnamon coconut bite – 4 bags
Mint Chip coconut bite –  4 bags

There are 10 bites/balls per bag.

If you are lucky enough to live near certain stores that carry their product I am very envious.  I can’t say how delicious I think they are.  I just love them so much!   If someone tried to tell me I couldn’t eat them I think the fangs would come out.

Ingredients for brownie bites (as an example) maple syrup, cocoa powder, coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flour (all organic).

Ingredients for cinnamon coconut bites- coconut flakes, maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut butter, cinnamon (all organic).

Most ‘healthy sweets’ taste just awful which leaves me craving for the bad stuff.  These bites are full of flavor.  You really don’t need to eat more than one.  Plus they last forever.  If refrigerated could have them for many months. They are also vegan for anyone interested in that.

It actually means something to me to be able to eat something sweet and have it not ruin my diet.  Something sweet that actually tastes GOOD! It really does add to the quality of my life.  The first time I tried one I literally had a few tears. I had just finished the sugar fast and it was like yes! This I can live with.  This is delicious! This is the sweet life!

Now, you cant eat bags and bags.  They are still a sweet but they are all pretty strong.  The temptation to eat more than 1 is usually not there for me.

If you come by my place ask to try one.  I want to get as many of my friends hooked as I can so I can make more bulk orders, possibly lowering costs even more or convincing Whole Foods or someplace around here to stock them.  They make me very happy.

So, if you are interested in any of the above items at the above prices let me know.  Again, I’m not making anything on this.  In fact, I will absorb the minor shipping charge.  No pressure because any that aren’t sold will be saved for me to gladly eat but if you want let me know.

I applaud people like the twins at Twin Cakes and Elana Amsterdam at Elana’s Pantry because they make good tasting products/recipes despite their dietary restrictions.  They aren’t happy with a ‘kinda, sorta, tastes like the real thing’ treat.  No,  they wanted something genuinely delicious.

I admire that type of thinking.  Too often I feel discouraged because something has been removed from my diet.  I don’t think ‘how could I make it work and make it still taste delicious’.  People like this inspire me to do better and be more adventurous.

I’ve got sweets coming…Life is good! :).

Btw- anyone who comes new to book club will get to try them.  This should definitely entice you to come!  (It sure would entice me!)

Random Thoughts IV

This is one of my random jumbled posts.

1. Got home yesterday.  Long day at the airport (funny that when I’m volunteering my seat up the wait isn’t so bad because I get a free ticket but if I’m delayed its torture!).  Fun trip visiting the fam and my parents.  I particularly enjoyed spending 2 nights with my sister and her family.  I find I get more out of one-on-one interactions rather than chaotic groups.  Its hard to go from being the sole ruler of my roost to being surrounded by people.  Does it seem selfish to say that?  Oh well, its true.

2.  Thanks to my Dad who gave up his bed and slept on the floor so I would have a place to sleep for 2 of the nights home.  Thanks Dad!  I had a great time at the Turkey Trot and totally want to do it next year but it was very exacting on my body.  I had serious pain for 3 days.  It hurt to sit up, move, walk, do anything.  Having sleep on a comfortable bed was essential to my muscle recovery.

3. I am not good at hiding my emotions.  Never have been.  If I’m hungry, tired, upset, frustrated, or in pain most people know.  I try to keep it inside and ‘be a trooper’ but I can never seem to pull it off.  Thank goodness I have understanding family and friends.  I suppose this is one benefit of living alone.  I can moan and groan all I want to myself!

4. I must express my doubts about the sugar fast.  It doesn’t seem to be changing my cravings.  I still crave sweets bad and when I eat them they taste just as great as they did before…I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up!  If I’m honest I really kind of hate it.  I hate dieting in general because I feel it excludes me from a full life experience.  Still, I suppose it is a necessary evil.

5. Good news on the Poler front!  We had a very successful Black Friday sales weekend and are looking forward to a great Christmas season.  There are still bugs to work out but congrats to my the Poler team for a great start!  Particular shout out to my brother who has worked so hard on this new company.

6. I am setting up my tree tomorrow!  Can’t wait.  Its a tight squeeze with my new sofa but I will make it work.

7. Speaking of new furniture I made one black friday purchase- a new ottoman for my main room.  Now I have one for each sofa.  Isn’t it pretty and only $73!  Thank you Walmart! (Yes, I am a Walmart shopper. In fact, I think they get a bum rap.  They have reasonable insurance for their employees, livable wages and their products are in general good quality.  I’ve actually been more impressed with their furniture/decor items than Ikea or Target and really are either of those 2 companies any less of a corporate giant?).

8. It has actually happened, my friends, I don’t have to convince myself to exercise anymore!  For literally years it was a chore to get my but out the door.  This week I realized I actually want to go and feel remorse when I can’t go.  This is particularly true for swimming (which I haven’t done for over a week 😦 ).  I really miss it when I can’t do it.  I was going to swim on Thursday with my friends but then there ended up being work commitments and I can’t go. The person asked “Do you have to go swim?”.  Its honestly like asking if I need to eat lunch.  Well, technically I could survive without it but I will miss it!

9.  I decided during this trip that I am going to start walking/running once a week from now on.  With how difficult my recovery was from the 5k I need to work out those walking muscles more often.  Walking is such an easy thing to do while traveling and swimming is very difficult (at least in the winter). Anyone want to be my weekly walking buddy?

10. My friends are going to swim the Great Salt Lake through the Winter. They have a group called the Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club.  They have already swam in 46 degree water!  I think it would be a fun adventure to join with them but my fibromyalgia would be super painful.  Its just not worth it for the rush.

11.  Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful but having 4 mini-jobs can be stressful.  I feel a little stretched each and every way. Especially coming home from a trip is always rough.  I worked a lot this trip but it never seems to be quite enough.  At least I don’t have to push myself like some of the other people in my company.

I used to think I wanted to be an ambitious business leader but I really am glad to be free from the stress and pressure.  I am happy with my little roles and the difference I make.  I will be grateful when the routine of Poler is set in stone and when other pending issues are finalized. (I have my employee review next Monday.  Here’s to hoping I do well and maybe even get a raise! Haven’t had one in 2 years).

Do you think because I’m not the dynamic business woman or politician I dreamed of as a child I’m a bit of a sell-out?  Are we not all sell-outs in one way or another as adults…?

12. Lately I’ve been fascinated with the Revolutionary generation.  Last year I read a book called Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts and loved it.  Now we are rereading that for my book club.  I have also been reading Founding Brothers by Joseph Elis and am enjoying that.  It goes into great depth into many things I didn’t know much about such as Washington’s Farewell Address, Benjamin Franklin’s support of abolition, the controversy of Jay’s Treaty.

It also elaborates on topics I did know about such as the friendship/feud between Adams and Jefferson, Jefferson’s strategy as the first party politician, James Madison’s skillful quiet power, Abigail Adams role in her husbands presidential cabinet and more.  It is so interesting.  As I’ve read I keep coming up with parallels to the issues facing politicians and the similar strategies used to win elections that still exist today.  Its amazing how with all that’s changed some things never change.

13. Don’t mean to end on a somber note but I can’t begin to describe how disgusted I am with what’s gone on at Penn State.  I was horrified to see people cheering for anyone even remotely involved in this terrible tragedy.  Our thoughts should be on the victims, not on football.  I love sports but let’s have a bit of perspective people!

14. Finally I am a little sad because I now have 2 months left in my current ward.  In January I turn the big 31 and that means I am out of the single adult ward.  I can either go to the midsingles or the family ward.  Haven’t decided what I will do.  Any experiences either way? I’d love to hear them.  Our midsingles ward has over 600 people so honestly I’m afraid of getting lost with either choice.

I guess I will just have to be extra vigilant in making friends and being outgoing. (Maybe my new ottoman will help with that!).  I’m sincerely sorry to be leaving my ward and particularly my calling.  It has been a wonderful sanctuary from a year that has been one of the toughest of my life.  I will always be grateful for home and visiting teachers, RS President and bishop who took care of me when I really needed it. Thanks!

15.  I wish I could be in Hawaii right now…but that’s pretty much true of every day of my life!

16.  Saw 2 movies over the break, Hugo and Muppets Movie.  Enjoyed both.  Hugo was a work of art in movie form; however,  a little slow and I don’t know if I ever bonded to any of the characters.  Movies are played as an unmitigated good in the plot and while I enjoy a good movie I don’t know if they are as important as Hugo would have you believe. Still, well worth a viewing. See it in 3D if you can.  One of the best uses of 3D I’ve ever seen.  It didn’t have the murkiness of most 3D.

The Muppets movie was GREAT!!  I loved it.  I thought it was funny, I loved the music, and the whole thing made me smile throughout.  While I think children will enjoy it I think it is designed for young adults my age.  There were tons of references to the Muppets I knew growing up and I found them all charming.  I just really loved it.

17.  No I did not see Breaking Dawn.

18. Best movies I’ve seen this year- The Help, Midnight in Paris and Harry  Potter.  Favorite performances so far Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain in The Help, Alan Rickman in Harry Potter, Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemmingway in Midnight in Paris. Best animated movie by far Winnie the Pooh (best soundtrack also)

19.  Finally, I went speed dating a couple of weeks ago and actually had a good time.  However, I definitely realized that my fear of animals is totally not normal! Btw, if that thing in Ohio with the exotic animals had happened by me I think I’d have a heart attack.  There are 911 calls of people saying ‘I’m on the freeway and just saw a lion’.  Can you imagine?

20.  Do you like the cool new theme for the blog?  Got to switch things up every now and then.  I am trying to figure out why I got double the hits this same time last year?  Tell me blog readers what have I done differently? 🙂

21. One last thing- a couple of weeks ago I gave my phone number out to a boy for the first time in my life.  It felt totally cliched but I was proud of myself.  He never called but hey its a step in the right direction! Probably sad that it took me to age 30 to do that.  Oh well!