Murphy’s Law

Why is it that every time I need to get some good sleep to prepare for a big day, I get almost no sleep? I think the universe is messing with me.

Today I needed sleep for several reasons:

  1. I started the 30-Day Shred and wanted to have the energy for it.
  2. I’m starting a new eating plan. Giving up some of my favorites will be hard and if I’m tired, I’m more likely to give in.
  3. I have a work meeting that I need to be sharp for.

Last night was not just a case of insomnia. Rather, it was one thing after another causing me to lose sleep.

I started off shooting myself in the foot by popping in a movie (“The Bounty Hunter” – I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars. And maybe a half extra star for the scene of Gerard Butler without his shirt on) at 8:00, that I knew would go past 9 p.m. (my usual bedtime). And instead of stopping it part way, we watched the whole thing. So now it’s about 9:45ish.

During the movie, Samson was being all weird. He kept running to the back door and he’d bark or growl but when I tried to let him out he’d back away. Uh, thanks for freakin’ me out Dude! Is there an ax murderer back there? Is there some rabid raccoon ready to dart in and infect us all? Or perhaps he sensed a raindrop because that would scare him most of all…

I started to get ready for bed and as I brushed my teeth remembered that I needed to talk to CJ about a few things coming up this week (his birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, etc). It was 10:30 by the time I actually made it to bed.

Strike 1.

About 1:30 a.m. I woke up to Isabella crying. I think she had a bad dream because it was that kind of terrifying shrieky cry that stabs me right in the heart. I was prepared to jump out of bed and to her resvue but CJ beat me to it. I was already awake though and my heart was pounding for my little Munchkin. Then my mind started racing to all the things going on this week. So I tossed and I turned.

Strike 2.

I started hearing noises too, like someone in the house. I thought back to Samsons’ spookiness earlier and thought for sure we were about to be robbed/kidnapped/murdered. My mind raced to an image of me and CJ getting shot and then me dragging my body to Samson’s kennel, where I let him out to go attack. As he’s tearing  up the intruder limb by limb, and CJ is calling the police, I crawl in to Isabella’s room and manage to pull her out and shield her with my body, if he comes back for us.

Ok, so I have a wild imagination.

Then my knee decided to join the party and get in on the action.

Strike 3.

Here’s the back story on my knees. I have had trouble with both my whole life. My patella don’t have the “point” on the bottom that lock them in to the groove between the femur and the tibia. Also, my tendons are slightly misaligned and tend to pull outward more strongly than inward. Consequently, my kneecaps slip out-of-place all the time. When I was younger, it happened a lot. I could be walking, running, standing up, going up/down stairs…it didn’t matter. The kneecap would just slip out and then back in real quick, causing me to fall.

I have dislocated both knees 3 times, the most severe one happening in college on my right side. My kneecap slipped, pulled a piece of bone with it, then got stuck on the outside of my leg. I had to physically push it back in while writhing around on the floor in pain, swearing like a sailor. That one put me in a full leg brace and on crutches for 3 months, during the summer. Yeah, that was fun. I looked really hot too. It’s hard to be a sexy young college gal when you’re hobling around in 100 degree weather with a big thick ugly brace on your leg, covering your kneecap that is swollen to the size of a softball. How I ever got me a boyfriend that summer I’ll never know.

It doesn’t happen as much these days because my muscles are stronger. Still, I always wear braces when playing volleyball, because of the side to side movement.

Back to last night. During the middle of the night, when I was tossing and turning, my right knee decided to go in to its fire dance. That’s what I call it because of how it feels. It starts slow. The first sensation is that of someone taking a hot poker and jamming it in to the middle of my knee cap. Then the heat starts to spread up and down my leg until it reaches my ankle and hip. At that point, the fire starts getting hotter and hotter causing my whole leg to throb and burn. This only happens when I’m really tired. Not sure if it’s arthritis or nerve pain or what. It doesn’t hurt to move it or walk on it and the only thing that will stop the pain is 4 Ibuprofen (and it has to be 4 – it laughs if I just take 2 and 3 takes the edge off but doesn’t stop it altogether. It’s that last 4th soldier that can beat the fire in to submission).

I finally got up and took the meds and then went to lay out in the living room. Sometimes if I have insomnia, it helps to move to a different place. So I grabbed my Steelers blanket and curled up on the couch. The pain finally went away after about 30 min., and I drifted off to sleep.

And woke up again at 2:30…3:30…4:30…and then when my alarm went off at 5:30.

I hit snooze but couldn’t go back to sleep so I dragged myself up to do the Shred. Nothing was going to keep me from a good butt-kicking!

Here’s hoping I can get to bed early tonight and make up for the “zzz’s” I missed out on last night!

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Old Mother Hubbard

Ok so I’m not old and my last name isn’t Hubbard, but one thing I do have in common with this English nursery rhyme is that my cupboards sure were bare!

[That and she obviously had a dog with an independent and mischievous personality, which I totally do too. Smoking a pipe? Standing on his head? Reading the news? Yes, I can absolutely see Samson doing all those things along with stealing money from my wallet and taking CJ’s car for a joy ride. Then he’d come back home, give us this look and hope he could get away with it.]

Anywho, I digress.

As I was saying, our cupboards were in fact very bare and when that happens, so does another phenomenon – I eat like crap. That’s right, I totally blamed my poor eating on our pantry. Take that! Ok so my poor choices are part of it too but the fact of the matter is that when the selection at home is limited, I have to get creative when making meals/snacks and I tend to get lazy and just grab junk. Or eat out, which is neither friendly to my waist or wallet.

My main goal was two-fold – 1) get items that can be used in a variety of ways, thus giving me lots of options, and 2) buy healthy foods. Oh, and for the sake of our budget, keep it under $100. In particular, I wanted to buy items that I could take to work, so they had to be portable. What can I say, I spend almost half of my waking hours during the week at the office and I want to make sure I have healthy foods to eat while I’m there.

So, I made a list, checked it twice and then headed out to the store! [I also grabbed my coupons because it was double coupon day at Hy-Vee! Booya!]

2 hours later, I was back home and very happy with my haul. Not only did I meet my 2 goals but the grand total of the bill came to $98.97! Go Sarah, go Sarah, it’s your budget-day, go Sarah!

Here’s what I got as far as healthy items for me to take to work (meaning, I won’t show you pics of the dog bones I got Samson or the Ziploc bags that were purchased):

Frozen/Refrigerated items

  • Salad mix
  • Sweet Potato Fries (we had these for dinner last night and they were awe.some.
  • Edamame
  • VitaMuffin Tops (double chocolate of course)
  • Chocolate Milk (a childhood favorite)
  • Laughing Cow Light French Onion cheese spread (mmmmmm)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Healthy Choice Steamers (for when we don’t have any leftovers for me to take)

Not pictured (because I forgot about them – oops!)

  • Carrot chips*
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese  

*Yes, I know that buying carrot chips as opposed to whole carrots is more expensive, but for me, it’s worth it. I am not a fan of the orange veggie so anyway to make it EASY for me to eat them is good. These chips are the perfect size/shape for throwing on a sandwich/burger or dipping into dressing or peanut butter (yes, carrots in PB. Sounds gross but it’s de-lish!).

The reason you don’t see a lot of fruits on the list is because CJ had gone out the day before and gotten some already. Apples, oranges, strawberries and pears – oh my!

Dry goods:

  • Pop-Secret HomeStyle microwave popcorn (snack bags)  – hands down, my fav microwave popcorn. It has that salty buttery taste that reminds me of what mom used to make!
  • Triscuit reduced fat crackers
  • FiberOne 90 calorie bars – Chocolate Peanut Butter

Not pictured:

  • Nilla Wafers
  • Cheese-its
  • Tortilla Chips

Doesn’t seem like a lot of food (sure seemed like more in the cart and as the total was being tallied at the cash register!) but the possibilities are endless! Cottage cheese and pears! Carrot chips and peanut butter! Triscuits smeared with the Laughing Cow cheese!

Here is how my menu looked today:

  • Post workout drink: Small glass of chocolate milk (fact: chocolate milk is just as good, if not better, at helping you recover from a workout than Gatorade or water due to its high carb and protein content. Plus it tastes way better and makes me feel like a kid again!).
  • Breakfast: oatmeal with strawberries
  • Mid-morning snack: apple and FiberOne bar (not as good as it looks on the package but still tasty)
  • Lunch: big salad paired with one of the Healthy Choice Steamers
  • Mid-afternoon snack: microwave popcorn
  • Dinner: Chicken and broccoli Mac n’cheese with a veggie/fruit and bread
  • Evening snack: 2 Girl Scout cookies (we have like 10 boxes of these so it is my duty to eat them up)

Pretty good, eh? And tomorrow will probably be something totally different, with no repeats. Gotta love that!

I’m really, really, excited about my now full cupboard. What can I say, I dig food. And more specifically, yummy, easy food.

I also had a productive weekend in the de-cluttering department but more to come on that tomorrow. If I revealed everything today, you all might fall over and die from sheer excitement. And I don’t want to be held responsible for that (Death by Blogging).

So, come back tomorrow and until then, healthy eating!!

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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Today marks the beginning of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. While it’s not the funniest or most entertaining topic to write about, it is an important one, and one that I can relate to.

I don’t have an eating disorder in the clinical sense of the word. I don’t starve myself to lose weight and I don’t purge after eating. But I do have eating issues. I talked last week about how much I love food and eating. I made light of it at the time but got real serious about just how bad my diet has been when I found myself in another night of pain and agony in the bathroom on Friday. See, while eating so much junk food hasn’t caused me to gain weight, it has caused other issues. My energy levels have been low, I’ve felt tired all week, I have a hard time concentrating, and my regularity flew out the window causing Friday night’s incident.

In my blog last Monday about my food habits, I mentioned that I needed some kind of goal or catalyst to eat right. That was brought up again during lunch this week with friends. Someone mentioned having a light bulb moment a few years ago and realizing then that she needed to do something about her weight and eating habits. Well Friday night was my light bulb moment. As I sat on the toilet waiting for the next wave of cramps and pain to come I thought to myself, “I’m really getting tired of this. Why is my body going through this cycle again?” It was then that I realized it wasn’t food poisoning or salmonella or the flu causing me such discomfort – it was my own choices.

We’re supposed to eat for fuel and nutrients, plain and simple. It’s not for entertainment, therapy or sport, but that’s how our society has made it out to be. Last week my diet consisted of cookies, cakes, donuts, bagels, french fries, cheeseburgers, Cheetos, candy, hash browns and various other forms of starch and sugar. We’re supposed to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day right? I probably had 5 all week. No wonder I felt like crap! I ate all that stuff because I was stressed and it was easy and convenient.

Well no more. The light bulb went off on Friday and I realized that I need to change my ways of eating not necessarily to lose weight but keep my body functioning properly. Heart disease runs in my family and if things don’t change, I’ll be headed down the same path as my dad and all his siblings. I started the change yesterday. I drank lots of fluids and tried to work in fruits and vegetables as much as possible. I don’t think I got my full 5 in, but it was a good start. I also limited my junk food to one item. I knew we were going to be celebrating my nephew’s birthday in the evening so I didn’t have any sweets until the cake was served that night. And you know what? It really wasn’t that hard. It helped that the memory (and discomfort) were still fresh in my mind from Friday night. As the days go on it will probably be harder before it becomes a habit, but I can do it. I have to.

Not only does NEDA week focus on eating, it also focuses on body image. So many young girls out there are trying to make themselves look like the super models and celebrities they see on TV. How sad is it that kids are so worried about how they look that they stop being kids? I personally didn’t start becoming self conscious of my looks until high school but the age is getting younger and younger. I over heard an elementary school girl ask her mom at Kohl’s one time if the jeans she was trying on made her look fat. The mom said no in one breath but in the next, said that they should probably hit the gym when they were done shopping.

We all need to focus on loving ourselves for who we are rather than hating the image we see in the mirror. As Caitlyn from Operation Beautiful says, “WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!”

I encourage everyone to use this week to take a close look at yourself. What are you doing to sabotage your self? Do your eating habits need to change? Does your negative self-talk need to stop? Is there a young girl or boy in your life who you see going down a wrong path that you could help? Whatever it is, do it this week. And keep doing it.

This afternoon I’m participating in the local NEDA Week Walk. Instead of charging us an entry fee, participants are encouraged to bring clothing items to donate. I used this as an opportunity to go through my closet and pull out the items that cause me to feel bad about myself. The dress that I try on from time to time and then promptly take off because I feel fat in it. The shirt that is just a little too tight and shows all the wrong things. I don’t need these items in my closet taunting me and someone else could use them and look fabulous.

My new goal is not to lose weight or find that perfect number on the scale, but rather to find healthy ways to fuel my body and mind. I am beautiful and I can do this. So can you.


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Make it Stop!

Last night was a humdinger. I’ll preface this post by saying it involves the bathroom so if you’re grossed out by such conversation, leave now. Don’t worry, I won’t get too graphic. I know it’s kind of personal and not something people talk about, but hey, it happens to everyone so here goes.

The day started out with Samson puking. I was eating my breakfast and watching the TODAY show, not really paying attention to the world around me when I hear, “Oh Samson, really?” I turn around to see that Samson has proceeded to upchuck the entire contents of his stomach on the carpet which included all his breakfast plus the 2 treats I had given him. It was all undigested so I could easily make out each piece. We stopped him before he could eat it back up and got him outside. CJ gets squeamish around bodily fluids so I cleaned it up (though he did help me scoop it onto the dustpan and in to the garbage – yes I said scoop).

The rest of the day was fine. I worked from home because it was a holiday for my client but not for my company so it was either take PTO or work. I chose to work, but thankfully could do it from home. Anyway, I had a perfectly lovely day for the most part and was logged off by 4:00.

I was in the mood to bake so I got busy on some chocolate chip cookies, sampling the dough as I went. I mean, you can’t NOT do that. Heck, if it were up to me, I’d make a batch of cookie dough just to eat and never bake! But, I don’t do that (much). I finished up with my preparations and put the dough in the ‘fridge (baking tip: cookies have better form if you chill the dough before baking it. My dear friend Katie told me that trick and it works!). Then I set to work on dinner. We were going to have chicken parmesan. I made the breading, cut up the chicken, coated it and put it in the oven. As I was doing dishes I got a wave of cramps but it passed quickly so I didn’t think much of it. Just then Munchkin awoke from her nap so I went in to get her. As I was changing her diaper, I got another wave of cramps, a little more intense this time.

Uh oh. I know the drill. It’s just like contractions. The closer together and more intense they are, the sooner the “package” will arrive.

I finished up with Munchkin and took her in to the bedroom where CJ was folding laundry. I told him, she’s all yours man, I got a date with the bathroom. She cried when I went in the master bath and closed the door. I was all, “Honey, trust me, you do not want to be in here with what I think is coming.”

The cramps came and went. They got worse and worse. I started getting feverish. I started getting nauseous. I didn’t know which end things were going to come out of! I was having visions of fainting again and really did not want that to happen. This went on for 15 minutes! I seriously felt like I was in labor again. I tried doing La Maze breathing and it worked just as well as it did during actual labor (translation: not at all). I called out for an epidural but no one would bring it to me. So instead I squeezed the holy living bejeezus out of my hand. Maybe that’s why I was feeling light-headed…finally, the packaged deployed and things subsided.

Phew. It was over. I breathed a sign of relief and went back out to join my family.

Then the universe pointed a finger at me and laughed.

5 minutes later I was back in the bathroom. This time I brought the garbage can in with me in case I had to hurl. I was in there for another 20 minutes going through the same ordeal as before. I was calling out to Jesus, Buddha, Zeus, Thor and anyone else who could possibly help me. By the beard of Oden make this stop!!  This time, there were multiple packages being deployed and they kept coming. I didn’t think a person of my size could have so much in her!

By the time it ended I was spent. I curled up on the bed in the fetal position and waited to die. Surely I was on my death-bed after experiencing something so awful. I closed my eyes, thanked God for a good life and eeked out a whispered “I love you” to my family.

Then the world went black.

I woke up 5 minutes later and realized I hadn’t died but instead took a cat nap. I crawled out of bed and went to join my family, eating toast and drinking tea while they had chicken parmesan. But I didn’t care, so long as the ordeal was over. And this time it really was.

When I got up today I weighed myself out of curiosity and am down 3 pounds. Yep, that’s right, I “delivered” 3 pounds worth of, uh, “stuff” last night. Oi vey. When I told CJ that he said, “Guess it was time for some good poopin’.” Gee, thanks honey.

On the up side, one of my New Year’s resolutions is now met! Though, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to do it this way. I would much rather exercise for 24 hours straight than go through that again.

I’m better today for the most part. Still watching what I eat but things seem to be operating normally. Not sure if I got a little stomach bug or if it was something I ate (raw cookie dough anyone?) but whatever it was, I hope it never happens again!

P.S. Samson is fine too. I think he just likes to puke sometimes – it’s a nice morning snack.

Sweatin’ to the Oldies

It’s been 3 weeks since I last worked out. That’s way too long for me. I hate missing a couple days much less 3 weeks! I had good excuses though…really!

First, I was sick with a cold. I usually try to work out anyway when I’m sick but this cold was too much. Then I got a concussion. Funny enough, they sort of frown upon working out when you have a head injury. Wonder why…? Anyway, it actually took 2 weeks to get over that so there you go.

Last night, as I was setting the alarm clock, I was bound and determined to get back at it and work out the next morning. Oddly, when my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m., I was ready. I didn’t even think about not getting up or hitting snooze. I literally bounded out of bed (mostly because I didn’t want my alarm to wake the baby) and got to it.

Boy did it feel good. There is just no substitute for sweating and tiring out your  muscles. I felt really great afterwards and have had so much more energy today than I had the last 2 weeks combined! Ha! I’ll probably sleep better tonight too.

Exercise has always invigorated me and that’s why I try not to stray too far from it. Even if I can only get in 30 minutes, I try to do something. Tomorrow will be a challenge because I have to drop Samson off at Doggie Day Care around 7:30 a.m. which means I’d have to get up at 5 or before if I want to get my workout in. I can do it though! Consistency is key!