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Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice

Soaking in the hot tub, the day darkened by racing grey clouds, I enjoy the first soft drops of rain as the sky begins to open up. Happy Winter Solstice to me*

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I ventured forth last evening to pick up groceries for the Minestrone Soup I was making for the company potluck today, and was disconcerted to discover that I am apparently the only girl in town without fashionable boots! From UGGs to knee high buckled lovelies they were being worn by all and sundry alike. And there I was in my hiking boots - no flare, no fashion, no fun. I should have known, all the other girls in the office are wearing them. I am rather sick to death of being poor and fat and old and lately even feeling ugly.

Which brings me to a couple of recent disturbing events. And you know how I love to go on about those!

The first was going to work with dirty hair last week  because I just couldn't face the shower that morning. So at lunch, being driven crazy by the weight of it, I zipped over to Great Clips and had a shampoo and a trim. Great way to spend lunch by the way - takes an hour all told and is very relaxing after the stress of the office. But those lights - you know the ones - glaring down on you from above the mirror and stripping away any ability you might normally practice to overlook imperfections. And I barely recognized myself. And the double chin - OMG. I knew I had gained weight, just as I knew it was probably due to the anti-inflammatory I was taking , but seeing it there so stark and naked to the world and myself was devastating. How I wanted to run and hide, to make believe that wasn't really me, to reassure myself I was still in there somewhere. And I sat there trying not to look closely as my hair was trimmed, and tried to just relax and enjoy the feel of her fingers on my scalp as she blew my hair dry.

The second event was overhearing one of the younger girls in our office (going through a divorce and in the 'diet & workout mode' some women enjoy experiencing in such circumstances) asking another young, thin and fit co-worker, "How can someone just let themselves go? She must have been 250 pounds!" She herself is working on those last 15 pounds and mentioned she would like to lose 30  more - my god she would be so thin! But it made me feel...defensive. I wanted to go out to her cubicle and explain about how a series of unfortunate events can lead some of us to choose food as a gateway to comfort. And how lucky she was to not be a slave to food and cravings and... I had a whole lecture down in my head before I realized what a fucking cop out it was. Bottom line, she was lucky enough to actually care about herself - her  muchness was intact. Mine wasn't.

At the beginning of this Blog I think my intent was to 'get my life back' after one such unfortunate event topped all others before or since. And at times I have felt like I was actually moving towards something that might be termed 'normal'. But mostly it's been a roller coaster of ups and downs - oh, much like life is for most people. I think. As I once read, there is no control group for a human life (Eat Pray Love.) But I see those who seem to move effortlessly through their lives, caring about themselves, engaged in those around them, actually having a life I guess I would say. And I wonder why that's not me. I always felt like I was a 'good' person; doing the right things, helping others, being kind. Why not to myself? Of course I have always felt 'apart' from the world too. I might have mentioned before how surprised I was one day when another mother picking up her child from Kindergarten mentioned that she had seen me driving in town earlier. What? She recognized me behind my dark glasses? It was such a strong thought, and made me realize how invisible I really felt that I should be so surprised she could identify me.

My Sister spent years in therapy, and continues having an 'examined' life, and is always ready with something for me to read or listen to that will help; she perceives me as broken and I often rebel because the notion pisses me off. The truth is, she is right is some respects. But even as I type that the dragon inside bristles and I feel smoke coming out of my ears. My muchness is restless, which I will take as a good sign this morning.

Ranting and Raving over; back to the minestrone soup, and work, and the potluck where I will feel fat and old and out of place. Which is crazy because all but one are ever so nice. And they will all be in leggings, short skirts, long sweaters, and tall boots. I guess I am just jealous, and it hurts to know I am the only one responsible for where I am and how I look and what I wear and that I have, as she said, 'let myself go'. How embarrassing.

One thing remains true - writing helps me think, and it usually leaves me feeling at least a little peaceful.

And there will be wonderful soup for lunch.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gingerbread et al

How can one be stuffed, and still feel the need to eat. Surely there is something seriously wrong here.

I didn't check the time when I left, but Kaylee and I made it out for a walk, after perusing the Montanaeque form of my figure in the mirror and trying to talk myself out of it. Who wants to see this? How can I go walkabout looking like this? The anticipatory shame almost overwhelmed my common sense, which thank heavens I was born with, but it failed to keep me from going through the motions. Walking socks, warm moccasins, gloves on my hands, then out the door with Kaylee on her leash. Many times she stopped and gave me the 'please can't we just go home' look, big sad eyes tinged with apprehension. On the course of our meanderings she was lunged at twice by big ferocious dogs, so I can't really get mad at her. I just tell her I'll protect her and gently urge her along. What torture it must be for her, on those short little dachshund legs, feeling the height of the world pressing down. But my quiet desperation prevailed and we took what was a long walk for her - over a mile and a half.

Yes it was painful at times, but the day was gorgeous and it was good to be outside for a change.

No giving up, no more mashed potatoes this year, and no more wallowing.

Walk, align, work, and eat plants - obviously the feel good particles from my walk are hard at work. Evidenced by my urge to type, Bazinga!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'cause I'm already standing on the ground

I figured out today that part of the reason I have been feeling so down, is that I am feeling badly for both of us. It's not just a big self pity pool, but a pity pool in general and large enough for both of us to fit. Somehow that helped put things into perspective today, and after a really challenging day at 'work' I finally achieved some semblance of calm as I arrived home and was actually glad to be there. It felt so strange to feel 'normal' for a spell - no overwhelming despair, no demons of helplessness roosting on my shoulders - just a 'peaceful easy feeling' that let me feel as though, for that moment, I belonged in the world and everything was okay.

I hadn't quite realized how constant my state of stress has been. I knew I had been eating compulsively, and for the most part hiding from the world, but this time when the cloud lifted it felt different. Like underneath it all I had become different - sort of forged into something new.

Of course typing this I see that it's just a manic episode on the rise. Oh well. It was nice. This usually doesn't happen at the end of the day, I wonder if it will extend into my dreams  - and maybe they will be good ones.

But I'm adding the label 'Manic' - I may as well start tracking how often this upward swing happens. Just in case, say, a Dr. were to ask I could pull up my blog and search under Manic and TaDa - there would be a detailed record chronicling my craziness.

As I like to say, "I'm just sayin"!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Holiday Blues

I know our lives are the sum of the decisions we've made along the way. But I didn't intend to end up alone so much, and I'm not sure how this happened. It's always been hard to put myself out there - to be social and connected - so really it shouldn't surprise me that this is where I am right now.

It's just sad when I think of the big round Thanksgiving table that my grandparents would set up each year, and how we filled that table up, and how this year it's just me. I am the one who moved hundreds of miles away from my parents house and my siblings. I am the one who divorced my husband, then lost both him and our son. I am the one who said no when invited to go with my daughter and her extended family for the day. It was all me, and it just hurts tonight.

This is not how I intended things to turn out. And while I have many things to be grateful for, at the moment I can't seem to assign any significance to them. Really, it's just all too pathetic, or rather, I am. At least for now. For just a moment.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


There is something to be said for the Human Spirit, something about endurance in the face of all odds or the ability to bounce back despite the burdens our world can and does impose.

Lying in bed this morning I was listing the pains and torments of being overweight, how this last fast ten pounds I have gained has sent me spinning back into a past of aches and bloating and being so uncomfortable in my own skin I can barely function. After squirming around in bed trying to find a position without pain I finally lay still like a fish on a dock, all the fight gone out of me. In that moment I ceased to care, to struggle, and for a moment felt a deep and overwhelming despair that was quite morbid and peaceful. But being Human I found that in the very next moment I was reviewing the food I would eat this day to begin my obesity remedy yet again. I envisioned myself weighing out raw veggies and nuts and seeds and thinking about the green smoothie I would have for breakfast and the dressing I would make for my dinner salad. I planned a refrigerator cleaned out of all remaining veggies to make a lentil soup and a trip to the store for lettuce and walnuts.

I might just be over reacting to having pizza three times in two days, but can one really over react when it comes to eating for nutrition? I don't think so, the more nutrients at the party the merrier I say!

Starting the day with my old friends optimism and determination is nice. I wish I could find a way to make them stick around for a while. 

Monday, November 5, 2012


Why is there not a word as special to the morning as twilight is to the ending of the day? Predawn is an insult to the light and shadows, the muted colours, the crisp air; it is but an announcement of the forthcoming glory of the sunrise - which I in no way wish to diminish - instead of being an ode to the wonderfulness of the morning just before sunrise. In fact evening also has dusk - what's up with that?

I'm just saying. We need a new morning word or two.

It was so quiet as we trekked down to the pond and back not even a duck quacked - THEY have nothing to do with daylight savings, wafting quietly upon the dark water. Upon reaching home the honk of a single goose finally broke the day open and the small twitterings of the birds soon followed.

I am grateful for the pockets of wildlife I encounter when I am out and about. Grateful for my little dog to venture forth with me. Grateful that I was able to take a walk this morning.

My 'extra' hour was well  spent.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I should be thrilled. I've run my errands; the fidge is stocked; dinner prepped, ready for the oven, and large enough to supply lunches all week; and I even cleaned out the last two gutter sections on the house. It's a beautiful Fall day, if a little warm, and I laid in the sun and read for a bit while Kaylee joined me for some sunbathing too. Got the laundry done yesterday and today I picked up two new thermals for work while I was out running amuck. So why can't I cheer up. I am so grateful for many things in my life, and I know full well that there are many would do much for the creature comforts I have, but this pain just sucks the life out of me until I am blue with despair.

I've been doing my exercises and I have been walking and icing and taking my pills and yes I expect a miracle.  I expect my body to rebound like it was 20 instead of 57 and no amount of common sense can convince me otherwise.

I think it's time for a drink.

Oh, and the splash is me diving into the pity pool.

2 Mile

The morning was cool and foggy, and heading out for my walk I couldn't help but admire the enriched colours and clean lines that the fog had left behind as it touched every stalk and leaf with it's gentle bath. The tall golden grasses, the dark bark of the trees, everything looked fresh and new and ready to be immortalized in a picture. Further down the road my quiet was broken by the raft of ducks that had collected in a morning chorus on the pond. What a racket! I love this path that runs between and betwixt the pond and the channel where egrets were hopping about with their head plumage spiking as they faced each other in their morning dance. And one great white stalking grandly down the bank, holding court for all the common egrets at play.

My thought this morning as I dressed to go walking was that there would be a sunrise to enjoy at one point, making it worth the dark and chilly effort. Nevertheless I was surprised by the light as I rounded the park to turn back towards home. Across the park and beyond the pond and even past the golden foothills there it was, a golden disc gleaming brightly behind the dark silhouettes of the trees that dotted the landscape. Sending to earth it's golden shafts that reached to the lawn in brilliant fans, I could barely drag my eyes away and walked with sunspots for the next quarter mile. I must have stopped a dozen times admiring the view and holding my hands up to frame a shot of the light beams that shot between the trees -why am I not carrying my camera with me; so crazy.

Finally back home to find Kaylee perched on the arm of the couch waiting patiently for me. The two mile walk is too long for her until I feel her paw is completely healed, and upon seeing her expectant little face I promise to take her out later for a short jaunt just to the pond and back.

I felt so many things this morning; first a tiny bit grumpy at making myself go out and walk, then grateful I was able to go out and swing my arms and feast my eyes on so much glory, and finally warm and a little sweaty and proud of myself for a walk well done.

Wool socks and crocs - very comfortable and warm to walk in on a dry cold mornings so no more excuses. It has been a good weekend of walking and healthy food, and I hear a Garden Pie calling my name for dinner. I think I will even make a little gravy using a little coconut oil and garbanzo flour: I can imagine the smells of it baking already.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

oh the pain

My shins are killing me - two days of walking in my Nike's and I wonder how I ever did this five miles at a time. I also remember constantly stretching my calves and despite my best efforts waking up with a charley horse in one calf or the other during those years. Bananas were the solution, ramping up the magnesium and or potassium (?) seemed to reduce the chances of waking in panic and pain. Funny how it never occurred to me either then or back in my running days (a couple of lifetimes ago in high school) that the pain meant I wasn't suppose to be doing what I was doing, rather than that I was deficient in some way.

To this day I include a banana with breakfast, either in my green smoothie or on my toast and nut butter.

Now I just want to find some warm neutral heel winter walking shoes and do the same 2 mile route and see what happens. It is really the shoes or is it just me being out of shape; wow, it is so easy to find a roosting place for inadequacy on my shoulders. More years later than I want to count and it's still about me not being good enough? Somebody please send me a psychotherapist! Or not, I'll figure it out.

But not this morning. It's cold, I have oatmeal bubbling on the stove, and my walk can just go take a hike this morning - pun intended.

I will walk at lunch in my crocs. And weather permitting (yes I am a fair weather walker) I will take Kaylee out when I get home from work. Sigh, my road to hell is so well paved.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I have been following Dani's walking blog, switched my foot gear to monkey shoes, and despite these efforts have not made much progress in my efforts to try a new approach to getting healthy. Or healthier. Or not so gross. Whatever. But this morning I discovered something. It was too cold to wear my new shoes, my toes were frozen just from my brief excursion into the back yard to put peanuts out for the squirrels and blue jays. And I had just mapped a walking route at Map My Walk after reading about it in aforesaid blog. The idea of trekking out for two miles with cold toes kept me in my chair for about an hour while I finished up  my 'farming' chores online. Then it occurred to me that instead of waiting until I had the perfect 'winter neutral heel walking gear' I could just wear my Nikes. Millions do.

So off I went, without Kaylee because her paw is still healing, determined to make it the whole route. It didn't take more than a dozen steps to realize I was walking differently. Like my body had a different center of gravity and I was using my thighs more and my feet less. Over the course of the next hour while I walked I noticed that as I became accustomed to the shoes the tendency was to push off harder with my feet and my shoulders would hunch and my head would begin to strain forward. I immediately relaxed my shoulders, brought my head back into alignment and took the tension out of my feet - how great it felt!

Gone is the stress of not walking correctly; I will wear my monkey shoes in mild weather to remind myself how if feels to walk, and the tennys when it's cold or wet until I can find something better now that I know I can reign in the impulse to walk out of whack, so to speak.  I think a trip to Dom's today is in order, maybe they have some good winter walking shoes.

Also while walking today I realized that I keep trying to piece meal out my writing.  The reality is that I can't write about one thing (food, walking, craziness) without all the rest. I am all of it, and I should keep it all in one place.  And this is the logical location. I like the new Map My Walk site, I think it will keep me motivated to be able to schedule different 2-mile walks and I am hoping other facebook friends will join me there. But this is where I will write and tie it all together.

Yes, it's feeling a little manic this morning. But it feels good after a bout of crazy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September in a nutshell

I celebrated the beginning of September with my daughter's birthday, and my head swam as it tends to at this time of year with plans for losing some weight before the holiday season. Then as my son's birthday loomed all my plans went out the window in favour of stress eating. And I disappeared for a while. This past Sunday I woke up feeling better, and could feel the depression lifting like fog off a lake. I'm having to battle my way through though, it hasn't been a clean  on and off switch, more like the dimmer switch is being turned to lighten things up a bit at a time. But at least it's turning ..... mostly ... at least I think it is ... that light isn't attached to the front of a train is it?

I slept in my own bed last night instead of the office - it was strange not having Kaylee tangled around my legs but I slept rather well and it was nice to have the house dark and quiet for a change. And yesterday I was listening to 'The Long Goodbye' by Brooks & Dunn; guess crying on the way home is better than eating in the car. Isn't that what recovery is all about? Trading food for feelings?  But it made me think that I need to let my heart break so I can get over it instead of lingering in this limbo land. If my mind is so made up why can't I just let go? God I make myself crazy.

Come on October, bring it on!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Another Blog

In an attempt to separate my rantings about food from the rest of my craziness and to hopefully garner some support in my attempt to walk more and eat healthier I set up a new blog this week. Hopefully the friend I invited to join me will participate. I didn't get off to a great start, but that would be typical of me. Walkabout is intended to be a place we can share how our day went, be honest and make progress in the right direction: walking more and making healthier food choices. Even if it turns out to be just me, eventually I can merge the blogs, I think. Guess I am still looking for that one magic bullet (pun intended) that will help me care enough to turn the corner from good intentions drive to healthy girl boulevard. The above link is to my incredibly depressing day two post at the new blog. Things are not looking up - YET! But they will, even in my food induced drug haze I can at least see that  much. They will.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A quiet walk

It is rare that I can convince myself to leave the house to walk unaccompanied. I have to have a story in my ears to venture forth, a distraction, a shield from my thoughts that tend toward the morbid once let loose. But this morning my shuffle was not cooperating and time was running short if I was going to walk before work.

I'll thank Danni for the inspiration to get my feet out the door. (Dani's Blog)

I took a deep breath, clipped Kaylee to her leash and headed out in my toe shoes, which I think Dani calls her monkey feet.

It wasn't too bad. A few songs inserted themselves into my walking rhythm, I heard little noises I don't normally register with my ear buds in, and mostly just enjoyed the quiet. It could have been prettier, the high grey clouds casting a pall over everything, but that in itself lends an appreciated gloom to the walk.

It is becoming a habit, these early morning jaunts.

Good for me!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Photo Op

Yesterday morning I was up at 6 and out the door for a walk, and arriving at the pond some ten minutes later I found a beautiful picture waiting for me. The pond was perfectly still and darkly glassy with a small family of ducks gliding ever so quietly through the moonlit dappled water; not a ripple did they make. The backdrop of  foothills crested with the pale strawberry of a burgeoning sunrise intensified the stark black outline of the trees growing on the banks of the pond, and above it all in the still mostly black sky were the old and new moons joined at the crescent while a bright planet anchored the whole breathtaking scenario from its place of honour high above. (get a grip girly..anyway...) My kingdom for a camera, I thought. I really need to start taking one with me when I actually get out and about.

I kept my eyes searching upwards as I made my way home, admiring the different views and how one tree in the foreground made me think I was slogging my way through a jungle while the next bristly outline took me swooshing into a forest. Perspective, that mover and shaker of personalities, ideas, prejudices - we are not just what we eat, we are what we see and feel and hear. And if I think we are all so wonderfully unique, why can I not appreciate those differences in others? Why am I missing the gaggle of girls on my side of the gymnasium instead of being irritated by the different (and oh so obviously wrong) perspectives of others?

Why my brain is beating this particular dead horse I have no idea. And my choice of words saddens me because they are so bereft of hope. I am what I am and everyone else go fuck themselves?

How mature am I!?!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

From the Shoulders Up

My sis gave me some CD's from Aligned and Well some time ago, and I discovered a little Rhomboid Push up that really helped with temporary relief of my back pain. Today I am determined to follow all of the exercises in the entire CD, From the Shoulders Up.  Why am I so stubborn about exercising at home? So I have to move a table out of the way, so there may be someone tripping over me to get to the door, so my little dog will be licking and wiggling and snuggling all over my face while I try to exercise. I hate bad excuses.  So this Saturday I will walk, and do the alignment exercises, and do my home office work.

Hopefully a manageable Saturday.

I find it interesting that I was previously without a tag for Exercise. This has been remedied.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A darling girl

Some memories are seared into ones brain, and so it is with the drive to Merritt hospital in Oakland on the morning of September 5th, 1980.  I remember the feel of the morning, the closeness of my husband and myself in the car, the excitement of knowing that this day we would greet our new daughter. While the interlude is a little fuzzy, the actual birth, the tasting of wine by all, and the total satisfaction and exhaustion of a job well done will remain with me forever. I can close my eyes and be back in the hospital,surrounded by the dim light that filtered through the hanging curtains by my bed, and revel once again in the perfect little face of my daughter.

I am so grateful

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stretched out flat

This morning I was stretched by KP and actually felt taller all day. I hope the traction helps. Seriously.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labour Day, how I offend thee

Words tumbled out of my mouth this morning, tired, I suppose, of being caged for so long. Honest words but hurtful. I don't want this life anymore. And I have hurt my friend, and myself, but it is a long time coming and there is no going back. I don't know how we will make it through this, but we will. There is a life for each of us out there, but in the meantime I am left with a quaking stomach and frayed nerves. I certainly know how to ruin a holiday, which is rather ironic given the way this one has unfolded.

But that was the trigger after all - I can't go through another holiday season in this half life I have created for myself. I just can't. Instead I have to be brave and trust that everything will work out. Not as it is intended, I don't buy into that, but just as it will. Please let there be a lit window for each of us to open after the closing of this particular door. Please.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I have loved the idea of having a Vitamix for years, but couldn't justify the expense. Now that my Magic Bullet has died and I couldn't get my hands on a Nutribullet yesterday I am once again contemplating investing in the Vitamix. How is spending $350 at once worse than diddling away $25\Mo on a gym membership I no longer use?  14 Months of waste or 14 months of fresh healthy soups, spreads, dressings & smoothies. And if I want to juice I just use a 'juice' recipe and strain it through cheesecloth or a nut bag. Why juice?  Eliminating the fiber so massive amounts of micro nutrients have a straight shot to your cells without the toll booth of digestion slowing the process down. It's the whole go to bed with an empty stomach so your immune system has a rest from digestion and can get on with maintenance and repair work idea put into place 24/7.

I've just about sold myself. I saw the Vitamix box at Costco yesterday. I've spent the morning reading reviews and testimonies and blogs etc.  I'm only hesitating because of my penny pinching gene.

Time to scrutinize the budget.

But I think the recipe for this Autumn Smoothie may have sold me.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hot & Cold

I want the mornings warm enough to walk without bundling up and the evenings cool enough to roast veggies in the oven. Those are rare and wonderful days, and apparently today will not be one of them. My little piggies are yelling at me to climb back into the warm bed and a cold green smoothie for breakfast is the furthest thing from my mind. Instead the box of butter pecan cake mix is calling me from the kitchen. I brought it home thinking to make dessert last night using it in conjunction with the can of pumpkin I have camped out in the cupboard. Just the idea of having the aroma of baking cake wafting through the house is making me salivate. Oh what a wretched creature am I!

On the flip side I need to go pick up a new Bullet, after years of abuse mine finally died. I see they have a new Nutri Bullet now- "more power" as Tim the tool man has often said. I envision a long weekend of healthy food and numerous walks, tick marks on the honey do list, and maybe an outing to the local chop shop for some much needed attention to my hair.

Another Saturday, another chance to catch up, clean up, and make up for lost time. And all I want to do is put a cake in to bake and curl up with a good book.  Like I could hold a book. Or should eat the cake.

And I can't find my Fitbit again!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

get'cher 'manic' on

I am wary of my slightly manic tendencies this morning. 

I woke early (thanks Kaylee and whatever wildlife she was protecting us from), finished listening to my audio book as I lay enjoying the grey cool dawn that hovered outside my soft warm bed, read a couple of chapters out of my Eat Right America booklet for inspiration, and then made a luscious breakfast saute of onion, potato and spinach. 

I cleaned up after breakfast (what?) and am dressed and ready for walking. It was when I clipped on my FitBit and wondered if I should make this a 10,000 step Saturday that I realized I was in manic mode.

Manic mode scares me, I don't have a great history of handling this abundance of energy very well, often overwhelmed by my intentions to the point of instigating a premature crash - as in on the couch with a bowl of something bad.

This morning is a little different because I am also in observer mode. What can I do around the house to make it feel better without stressing my back, what can I make to eat that doesn't entail using up what back I have so I can do something, anything, else besides cook today, and lets edit down the list of PT exercises I should be doing to just those that are ... least painful? most effective? fun? It's Saturday, I shouldn't be inflicting pain, not even upon myself. Maybe just the foam roller to stretch out the old spine - wonder what Katy thinks of that particular torture device.

So my Honey Do list (again, I am the honey) is shrinking as I type and after my walk I will pare it down even more; something along the lines of: clean off the patio table and pick up two flowers to plant in empty pots; walk morning, noon & evening to rack up those steps, and  pick up some pre-chopped veggies to throw in the crock pot with the greens I need to use up.

I'm so excited that the weather is going to be back down in the 80's for the day, that I only need to go into the office if I want, that I am looking forward to walking, and that healthy food is on my menu for the day.

As M would say, 'it's all good'.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The weight of the world

Kaylee and I made it to the pond and back today; she sniffing long unused trails and me sporting my new fivefingers walking shoes. And while it was wonderful to feel like I had accomplished something once I stood  gazing out over the water and searching for ducks while being gently buffeted by a cool morning breeze, it was the thought that squirmed its way in between the words of my audio book that opened my eyes as I approached the last part of my walk back home. These shoes were forcing me to take responsibility for my weight. No deep cushion to rebound off of as I strode forward,  no bounce to my step increasing my speed (how we all need to win). Just thoughtful steps one after the other moving me along at the speed of ... me.

And with the thought that I was in fact supporting my own weight, came the breath of an idea that I could in fact support the responsibility of taking care of myself in the same careful measured way that these shoes were compelling me to walk. One careful step at a time instead of struggling under the burden of the undone honey do lists that kept me bound to immobility.

How many times have I looked forward to the weekend and all of the things I wished to accomplish only to veg out in front of the tv instead.  Being overwhelmed is such a constant state of affairs in my attic that I rarely follow through on my good intentions.

So today my one careful step forward will be to weigh out 2 pounds of veggies and divide them into what I will eat raw and what I will cook into something wonderful.

I expected to meet old friends long unseen as I reached the pond today, but I guess they were all out and about taking care of their own business. Meeting a bit of myself instead was an unexpected surprise.

Now to stretch my calves before I cool down any more!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Daily Goal: Sufficient unto the day is the walk I take. 

I don't know yet if these new fivefinger walking shoes are weird, healthy or just my latest attempt to motivate myself to get out and walk.  What I do know is that I can see my left ankle is swollen - is this really from the damage done when I sprained it so badly about ten years or more ago? I stepped out of the front door, tripped, twisted my left ankle and landed on my right foot so hard I broke my leg.

I will continue to wear them inside the house on and off this weekend and then decide if I am keeping them to walk in or returning them. I can tell already that they might be a titch small, and also that they could potentially be very comfortable. I'll have to be careful walking and do some googling about that before I hit the pavement - but at least my energy is positive and my outlook hopeful.

I want to send a shout out to Dani for her encouragement - catching up on her walktheyearblog is helping me in more ways than one. I love her writing style and guess what? She reminds me of... of me! Or who I could have been, or am but only barely, or something along those lines. Anyway, great reading in short spurts each day is a wonderful thing to be able to lay my eyes on at a whim.

I have not been walking everyday, I have been doing my PT exercises more regularly - well sort of - and so grateful that my pain has been less all week. I just need to dial back on everything I want to do and remember I will pay for it later if I'm not a little more careful now. Less pain doesn't mean I get to pretend I am healthy and do too much.

I will walk
I will eat plants
I will heal
I will be happy

How is that for a short precise list?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Temptation to Game

My pain level has not been this low since March. At times it was actually gone yesterday, and this morning an hour has disappeared while I 'found things' in my favorite little facebook getaway, Hidden Chronicles or something. Is this seriously how I want to spend my keyboarding time? It was a thoughtless gesture, one made of habit rather than desire. I'm not sure I'm that girl anymore; audio book filling up my head, fingers and eyes engaged in mindless clicking and searching. Yes, it's a great way to disappear, but I don't think I want to do that so much anymore. It served it's purpose, but I am stronger mentally - well, more so than I was anyway - and I can think of other ways to use this new-found pain-free zone.

It's a lovely cool morning, how about puttering outside? Once Upon A Time that was my favorite summer 'quiet time all to myself rejuvenating' activity. Or a walk with Kaylee before work? Or some prep time in the kitchen so dinner is an easy peasy affair when I drag myself in exhausted at the end of another grueling work day.(another story for another day.)

I just need to wake up to the possibilities, and not let myself fall into old habits. That being said, I am ever so grateful for this new stronger anti-inflammatory med that gave me such relief yesterday, and I am actually looking forward to the difference it might make today. Yesterday it meant 3 quality hours with my granddaughter - and with a three year old that means going from one thing to the next with nary a break! And that after work. That moment when I realized I wasn't grumpy and impatient with pain was just...spectacular!

So now that my brain is atwirl I need to settle down and reflect on the fact that what I need to do while feeling up to it are my neck and shoulder exercises - not playing around with all the small everyday things that I have been missing. P&T baby; do the work, recover, then you can start checking off that not so much of a bucket list. What is that list called when it's not a bucket list? Oh yea, a honey do list.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I finally have a prescription to try, a super anti inflammatory that the druggist suggested would even negate the need for the Tylenol I usually take with my ibuprofen. I know, drugs, blech. But seriously, being in pain MOST of the time has done significant damage to my mental stability and moral. This is just a tool so I can do the exercises, so that I can hopefully recover some semblance of my previously noteworthy deportment while I work on fixing my back, and front, and whatever.

In any case I feel more hope this morning than I have in a while. Go me.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

think think think

My days have become a marathon of thinking - how is my head positioned, have I moved my head five times to the left this hour, why the fuck did I lift that bag of birdseed this morning?!? I am in constant posture review trying to avoid being in pain and then go make a single big mistake because for a moment I acted on instinct. At least the birds will be happy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A year of walking?

My sister has been talking about restorative exercise with Katy for a long time, maybe a couple of years, and I think it's wonderful. I am so happy that she loves the classes, that she is pain free, and that she has a place to go and be healthy. She has even given me a set of CD's that I have attempted a couple of times. But I can't seem to make them a part of my everyday routine, and yes of course I have a list of reasons, the lack of a comfortable space being at the top of the list and my lazy nature being at the root of it.

But I have been struggling like never before with my health this year. And I am just about sick and tired enough of being sick and tired to maybe do something about it. It started in March when I fell, and things got really bad; I couldn't walk more than a block without my front shoulder busting out in pain, and becoming breathless. I was scared, so scared that I signed up for health insurance when it became available in July. Now here I am several scans, tests and PT appointments later and they have no magical cures. Nothing is wrong with my heart and they can't tell my what happened in the fall; they suspect my neck is involved but don't see anything damaged in the MRI. The two times I spent a half hour with my PT doing pressure releases down my neck, shoulder, ribs and arm were wonderful, but have done nothing to alleviate the pain.  And the exercises she has assigned left me in so much pain the first weekend I was in tears and self medicating with my partners pain pills and beer. Which I have repeated on more than one occasion since.

So at my PT appointment yesterday she says I need to walk. I explained how painful it was, so she said just walk slow, do NOT swing my arm, and if it hurts slow down more.  Which I did this morning, three blocks down then over one and three blocks back. I've been trying to dampen the pain all day - ice pack, shoulder pad massager, ibuprofen and tylenol. This is my weekend, I was so looking forward to a relatively pain free day. Yes I did some laundry, and some light grocery shopping, and took a much needed trip to the library for more audio books - but I was careful, and shouldn't be in this much pain.

Why am I typing if I am in pain? Because it distracts me. And because my day brought me into contact with 1. my email that I rarely check and which had the link from my sister to Katy's blog for shoulder pain which led me to 2. Dani's blog about walking everyday.

The Universe is yelling at me, and I am trying to listen.  I may not blog everyday like Dani, but I will try to walk everyday for a year. If I can't do at least that much.... well, I'm just going to that's all. And I need to make myself a space in the house where I can follow the CD's a few times a week. Basically, I need to take care of myself since the Dr. doesn't seem to be able to do it for me. Go figure.

They don't have to be long walks do they?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Really, one more thing?

What is up with my stomach, aren't the various aches and stabbing pains I already have enough to do penance for whatever evils I am paying for, do I really need one more thing to malfunction right now? Is it stress, the constant worry I carry around from day to day eating me up inside? Or is it the ibuprofen; my body finally saying enough already?

I go to a 'Neck Class' today at kp, I can only wonder what good this will do. It is the individual evaluation afterwards I  have pinned my hopes on, that maybe a technician has seen this before and knows exactly what I can do to start working towards fixing it.

In the meantime I have logged a lifetime of hours in front of the Olympics in the past few days - Oh to be an athlete again. That is certainly a dream. I want to be able to shoot, I want that piece of me back.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Morning Greens

As opposed to Morning Blues. I have a carrot juice, peach, strawberry, baby greens and flax meal smoothie ready to drink in the car on the way to work. iPod shuffle loaded up with 2 hours of audio book (no I do not wish to discuss the redundancy of that last comment) and my tennys on as encouragement to walk during lunch. It may be a slow painful walk, but a walk it will be. Fridays I downgrade from jeans to yoga pants for the office; I've seen worse.

I finally have the Dr's referral to PT (Physical Therapy, otherwise known as Pain & Torture to those in the know) and have left them a message to set up an appointment. As I type my right shoulder hurts and my right arm zips with various  pains and pins up and down along the nerves - this seems like something that could be diagnosed, no? I'm sorry, I like her and all, but I think I need a new Dr. And I wrote to her as such, which finally got the previously requested PT referral granted.

TGIF!  I am not working this weekend! Will I really get the fridge cleaned out and a juicer on the counter? Only the day will tell.

As I did not wear Fitbit yesterday I wonder where the little bit went!!
 132 steps taken

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Desiring Motion

Do we need goals? For motivation to arise within us does there need to be a catalyst? Science tells us that a body in motion stays in motion - how does it get there? What begins the first swing of the pendulum? Is there a gradual movement that eventually becomes a sway which in turn becomes a cage swinging around and around like the ride I use to love as a child? That ride was all about me; hands on the bars of opposing sides of the cage, shifting my weight back and forth until swinging high enough to breach the top and fall down the other side. Then it was easy, keeping my weight first to one side and then the other until my time was up and I had to let it fall into it's natural back and forth rhythm, it's weight slowing the momentum until gradually coming to rest at the bottom where I had to step out and give up my turn to another. I loved it, I loved accomplishing something, and I had a love\hate relationship with the feeling of cresting the top knowing I was about to fall, then in love again with the speed of the descent.  How this reconciles with the girl who grew up being car sick and not being able to sit on a swing without getting vertigo is beyond me. Maybe because I was in control; I learned in my early 50's that I could tell my brain which way the car was going to turn ahead of the motion and it would keep me from getting so motion sick. That the disconnect was in the communication between my eyes and ears - my brain not translating info from my eyes to my balance center in my ears. Made sense, I tried it, and surprise surprise it worked. That was the same year I discovered I could read in the car by holding the book up in front of me instead of down on my lap.

But back to motivation - I have always been lacking, and yes, whined about it here somewhere more than once I am sure. I want some magical feeling of impetus to propel me forward, to guide me towards fulfillment of my wishes and dreams. I am a hard worker if it's for someone else; helping them seems to give me great motivation. So why not for myself? Why isn't helping myself motivation enough to spin me into action. Is there another disconnect in my brain that I can discover and fix?  And how would I go about finding this, this thing, that is missing so I can compensate for it. I don't think I will find it in a pill.

My brain is trying to connect the messages coming out of my fingertips this morning - from motivation, to being in control of the cage, to finding a solution to my carsickness. I know it is all connected, I know there is an answer in there somewhere.

What did Holmes say? The hunt is afoot?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Last day (30/30)

Day before yesterday: it's all a blur, I forgot to post yesterday - sliding back into the old habit of doing a little gaming before work instead instead of writing. Didn't even think about it until I was leaving for work. Oh well, I almost made it thirty days.

News from the Dr. this morning is, and I quote, 'the heart stress test was ok'. She said we could try physical therapy if I wanted for the shoulder & back pain. Great. Maybe it's time for a 2nd opinion, because I can't keep going through each day in pain. Guess it's time to follow through on at least one intention and get the juicer and see if I can't make a difference to my own health.

Sincerely disappointed this morning, I wanted a clear path forward; it's so much easier to work at something when you know for certain you are making a difference towards a positive result. I guess that's what faith is all about, and maybe it's time for me to have faith in my ability to heal myself.

Maybe I need to find an acupuncturist here in town, it seems to have helped H with his shoulder problem.

 4256 steps taken

O dark thirty .. again (28/30)

Another 4:30am rising. I have this rule about laying in bed; it's fine as long as it's relaxing, as soon as I start thinking about work I am up and out of there.

Yesterday: Water, check.

Breakfast: Green smoothie with carrot juice
Lunch: Sourdough veggie sandwich
Dinner: Caribbean salad at Chilie's
Dessert: Handfuls of cashews

I started lentils and beans in the crock pot yesterday, but the power went out and even with the previous day & night of soaking they were not cooked through when I took them out after 7 hours on high. I'll finish them on the stove this evening for dinner. They smelled wonderful anyway, and I have high hopes that this is a wonderful new recipe. I think I will pop over to whole foods this week to see if they have the black lentils that the recipe called for to have on hand for the next go round.

Three more days of drinking and posting. Has it made a difference? Any difference at all? I am not sure, but only the next thirty will tell.

I'm going back to bed.

Fitbit spent the day fastened to my pajamas. Umph.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crankiness loses it's bloom (27/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.

Breakfast: Sourdough toast with almond butter, flax meal, honey & sliced banana
Snack: Medium popcorn at theater
Lunch: Taco salad, no cheese, sour cream or shell
Dinner: Chopped salad

Saw  Dark Knight Rises yesterday, and knowing it was almost a three hour movie I chose a medium popcorn instead of my usual small. Then to a local favorite for a taco salad. I skipped most of the bad stuff leaving only rice as the loophole in an otherwise healthy list of ingredients. Why, after all that popcorn, I even needed to eat lunch after the movie is beyond me. Or why  I needed dinner last night either; this morning I feel full, swollen and cranky. Of course the cranky part is nothing new, in fact thinking about it I realize that is the landscape through which I experience everything else. For years. What ever happened to 'change your thoughts, change your feelings' or my resolve at the beginning of this blog to get back to being myself and doing the things I love? When did it become a chronicle of unhappiness and woes, or was it always and I am once again on the edge of being sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Certainly the heart stress of the last few months must affect how I feel about the way I live, mustn't it? Or will I take it under my wing with all the other 'oh well' moments I have safely tucked in there.

The desire, MY desire, is to be a naturally happy person, that is the kernel of me, but apparently my candy coated shell is still a rather bitter chocolate. So what is it I really want? Calm and happy comes to mind. I envision the energy and health needed to garden, to hold a book, to go to archery shoots. The oomph to go on camera safaris and participate in holidays, and even just walk the dog.

I did walk her yesterday; just around the block, the pain blossoming in my shoulder and arm and driving me back home before I had barely begun. I use to walk five miles a day, five days a week; I want that me back. Not that I would drag short stuff on such an endeavor, but I would like to at least get her to the pond and back a few times a week. Speaking of stretching her short little legs, I had better do it now before the heat of the day drives away my motivation. (Note to self on future book title, "To the Pond and Back.")
 4352 steps taken

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Linkage (26/30)

Yesterday: Water, probably

Everyone at kp was great, making me comfortable, guiding me through the cardiac stress test in 3 instead of 4 hours. The big surprise was after the actual stress test and before the 2nd imaging session they sent me to eat. This I expected, but not that they would tell me to eat something high in fat and protein, explaining that this would enhance the detail in the image.  Also recommended was more caffeine to flush the stress meds; all that being recounted I can now do my food list with justification in place.

Breakfast: cheese omelette, buttered English muffin and hot chocolate
Lunch: homemade veggie sandwich (yes, more bread!)
Dinner: BEER,  a couple of crackers with guacamole that my granddaughter was sharing with me and another handful of same whole grain wheat thins (very disappointing by themselves but a great crunch) with a pre-made package of  Dal Makhani. Yummy, quick, full of good stuff and best of all comforting.  I do need to add here that the package was only a buck fifty from big lots - great price for a tasty fast food dinner and I will be going back for more. This would be great over dirty rice which I could have ready in the freezer.

Thinking that I need to make my own batch of the luscious stew I had for dinner I found a crock pot recipe online and it's going in the crock pot tomorrow. Today I need to find black lentils so that I can soak them and the kidney beans overnight. Also, to the recipe I will add a bag of baby super greens from Safeway; this should be a  perfect dish in which to hide some extra greens.

 4844 steps taken

Friday, July 20, 2012

kp (25/30)

So busy getting ready for Kaiser (kp) this morning I almost forgot my entry and I have to leave in three minutes.

Yesterday: Water, check.  Food, okay - I'll update later about the yummy sandwich I made for lunch and then again for dinner it was so good.

Barely slept last night so I must be  more anxious about this test than I thought.

Off I go.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Update: The scans of my heart were beautiful, and the technician didn't see anything extraordinary. Maybe one place where there might be a partial blockage. He says the Dr. will be contacting me, probably within 24 hours, and that it will most likely just be a conversation about food, exercise and aspirin.  I am more determined than ever to do the juice fast I have been preparing for, and even stopped at Big Lots to rule out that they might have one. I have five days to get my hands on one, and if necessary I can drop by Costco one day at lunch.

Sandwiches: Sliced sourdough bread, one side smeared with almond butter and laced with thinly sliced red onion. The other side was layers, in order, of veganaise0 smashed avocado, sliced cucumbers, spicy sprouts and fresh red pepper slices. Throw the two halves together and viola - a wonderful sandwich; I had another one today for lunch. If you have not had a nut butter and red onions together in a sandwich you a missing a luscious treat.
 3998 steps taken

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Still Cranky (24/30)

Yesterday: Water, maybe.

Breakfast: peaches, flax and oatmeal, brown sugar
Lunch: Muffin from Starbucks (vendor gift)
Snack: lemon cake from Starbucks
Dinner: bag of southwest veggies with black beans, green enchilada sauce
Dessert: broiled corn tortillas with jam

My lack of shopping & cooking last weekend has really screwed me up. I am so used to having my veggie soup for lunch and my apple on the way home. I'm up way too early this morning, but since I need to be on the road earlier than usual tomorrow I figure it's okay. Instead of going to work at this ungodly hour I think I need to make myself run down to the store for greens and apples.

I'm sneezing, I don't want to go anywhere or do anything. I wish I could hold a book and cuddle up with Kaylee and a soft blanket and read myself into oblivion. Instead I will sneak clothes out of the bedroom and listen to my audio book while going shopping.

Note to self: you are blessed - literally millions would love to have your life.
 3604 steps taken

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cranky (23/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.
Breakfast: peach and oatmeal with flax
Lunch: veggie sandwich on whole wheat with avocado
Dinner: Potato and veggie patty

I'm not sure which pill I am taking that keeps me awake in the evening, or why my body is not cooperating. The last two days I have been up early, yet when I go to bed I lay there my body hurting and my mind restless. I am not sure what I do during the day that sometimes the pain is worse than others, and I think it might be time to grab another bottle of tylenol pm. I hate to do it, but I also hate the discomfort I am in when going to bed.

It is suppose to be 81 today so I hope to walk at  noon; just a slow stroll around the business park to get some steps in and take a break between two meetings.

I realize this morning that I have unrealistic expectations, that I have fallen into the old mindset that my Dr. will see something from my MRI that will trigger a treatment that will 'fix' my back, shoulder, chest pain. This morning everything seems futile and I shudder to think of the money spent on my 'benefits'. But I know it had to be done, and I know something will come of it.

Well this is a pathetic number, maybe that is linked to the pain. I'll try to hit 5,000 today and see if it makes a difference in sleep too. As it surely should.
 1807 steps taken

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

21 days to form a habit (22/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.
Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over soup
Snack: apple
Dinner: last of lentil soup, chopped salad

While entering the subject line I remembered that this isn't just the 22nd day of my 30 days of water, it's also the 22nd day in a row that I have written here. Not wonderful little snipits, mostly just status updates, but hopefully also the beginning of a habit. Writers should write as a discipline, I've always heard, not just as their whimsy leads them. Of course this might be like the rest of my life - unguided, without plan or path, I might just stumble across a successful publishing. But for therapy, I need it to be more of a discipline so it pleases me I have been consistent in this small effort. My hope is that I am now officially back in the habit of hydrating as well as typing.

I am officially out of greens, I do not yet have a juicer (lost out to an auto-bidder on Ebay this Sunday past) and have yet to clean out the refrigerator - which I really want to do before going grocery shopping. Maybe this  morning instead of going in early to work I can get that much done. Lord knows I am too wretched after  work to do much, if anything, besides prepare dinner. So plan of action today - clean fridge this morning, stop for groceries on the way home including something already prepared for dinner.

The cats are glaring, they certainly know how to get a point across.

No steps recorded yesterday, little Fitbit spent the day resting on his? her? charger. I did walk at lunch, it was painful, but at least I was out moving.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Cometh (21/30)

Yesterday: Water, I think so.  The day passed in a fog, the Lorazepam I took in the morning to keep calm during the MRI seeming to last the whole day long. I was more than a lump on a log, I was the log; old timber fallen ages ago lying heavy, immovable, so much a part of the forest floor as to be indistinguishable from the bedrock upon which it lay so far below. And while I did take a catnap shortly after getting home, upon waking I remained in the big comfy chair and watched the second season of Game of Thrones straight through, only shifting positions occasionally. Strange Day.

The one positive thing I did yesterday was to walk laps around the courtyard while I waited for my turn in the mobile MRI unit. It took about 15 minutes of strolling before the pain forced me to my seat. The technicians running the scan were nice chatty girls, complimenting me on how my grey was streaking through my hair, how they wouldn't resort to covering theirs up if it were pretty like mine. I think the course of 'keeping the patient calm and distracted' must have had a chapter on flattery. Then they scooted me on to the narrow bed, covered me up, braced my head in place, and scooted me in. At first I thought I would count so I could anticipate about when the noise should stop, then I switched to a mantra - four minutes being too long to count - and ended up dreaming of the floor plan my house would have someday.  Someday.

Breakfast: peaches, flax meal, a scoop of left over oats heated up together
Snack: apple
Lunch: Big Mac less beef plus tomatoes
Dessert: a pint of peanut butter & chocolate ice cream
Dinner: deviled egg from7-11

Well, that went well. I am blaming the Lorazepam again, my inhibitions out the window along with my fight or flight response that it is intended to subdue. I wanted something sweet, the sandwich just happened to be in the path between refrigerator and cash register. So  much for my Sunday cooking and office work, for smogging the car or bathing the dog. I grieve for all similar days, wasted to various devils; grief, depression, sheer laziness. What a world, what a world. And here it is Monday again.

 4377 steps taken

Sunday, July 15, 2012

MRI date with Kaiser (20/30)

Yesterday: Water, check.
Breakfast: Steel cut oats, pecans, strawberries, date, brown sugar
Lunch: chopped salad with peach, sunflower seed, vinegar dressing
Dinner: left over veggie soup with bisquick lite dumplings
Dessert: fresh peaches (yum)

Watched the first season of Game of Thrones in between laundry, dishes & vacuuming. Took a ten minute sun bath in the back yard and cuddled a lot with Kaylee. A perfect rest day.

Today I head up to Kaiser for the MRI of my neck, chest and shoulder. I am hoping they find something definitive to treat for this pain. But I imagine that I won't get my follow up appt. with the Dr. until after they do the Myocardial test this coming Friday. In the meantime the pain is a little better than it has been and I'm really taking it easy.  Blood pressure remains low and the only side effect of the meds is a little more muddled thinking than is usual when trying to work.

Time to get clean and prepare for the trip to WC.
 2452 steps taken

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another Saturday (19/30)

Tomorrow I might be buying a juicer on Ebay.  The bid right now is at $49.50 including the $20 for shipping. If that doesn't work out I'll keep looking, there are lots of them up for bid. I suspected as much - juicing is something that sounds like a good idea but I can see where you would get tired of the bother. For me it's about a fast lane to health and then part of an ongoing battle to keep it. I need to clean up inside and this seems the quickest way. In the meantime I need to eat like I speak, I'm such a hypocrite.

Item pictureYesterday: Water, check

Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over veggie soup
Snack: apple, sweet potato fries, vanilla malt
Dinner: quinoa pasta with veggie ragu
Dessert: flour tortilla with pepper jelly rolled up inside

Total stress eating starting with the drive through on the way home after work. I haven't felt that 'possessed' in a while, but given how this week has gone it does not surprise me. I am very stressed about the upcoming MRI and Myocardial whatever test. The fact that I turn to the drug that is highly responsible for my bad health right now speaks volumes about me I think. But when there is stress on all fronts (work, health, family) at the same time it's a little hard to handle. Which is probably part of the reason we humans are getting bigger and bigger - so much stress and so little mainstream relief that does not involve food, drugs or alcohol. We need mandatory Zumba classes or something.

But like most other mornings, today I wake up with the intention to eat healthy. I have a refrigerator to clean out today, and I'm thinking to make some sort of curry flavoured stoup for next week's lunches. I also need to prep lettuce and chopped veggies for quick salads next week to have on hand for dinners. Just the same old weekend chores I guess.

Brrrr....after a couple days at 100° we are back to beach weather - the cold grey  mornings are about the only reason I don't want to live at the beach. I think I could deal with the sand, but not the grey. But a cold weekend morning has me thinking about a hot breakfast. I think a hot breakfast of steel cut oats is in order this morning with pecans and strawberries and flax meal and a touch of brown sugar. I can finish up my water and listen to my audio book while the oats cook - the combo of cooking and listening keeps away the blues, at least for a while. And I do sort of have the blues this morning, because H and I had another disagreement on the phone last night. We are the definition of the catch phrase 'irreconcilable differences' and it's becoming unbearable; watching our slow demise is part of the stress that is literally killing me.

I need Yoga! Or at least the restorative exercise tapes...time to dig them out and put them to use.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dinner Dilemma (18/30)

126/79 - The blood pressure meds have my numbers down; amazing that it's something that works so instantaneously.

Yesterday:  Water, check.
Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over veggie soup
Dinner: sourdough bread with veganaise and sliced tomatoes, strawberry coconut milk
Dessert: small glass of red wine

Frozen strawberries blended up with coconut milk is a wonderful summer treat, almost a strawberry shake it's so thick and yummy. Alanna was here to share the batch and that always makes a meal more fun. I'm feeling a tiny bit guilty about the salt I sprinkled over my tomato slices - my hands swollen this morning and my arm tingly - but I love tomato sandwiches and don't indulge in them very often anymore. I remember when I could go through a half loaf of bread in a day making and eating one sandwich after another for each meal of the day I love them so much. Ahhh, youth.

And look at where my eating habits have landed me. It's more than that, it's the lack of balance in my  life. On one side of the teeter totter is too much food, work and tv - on the other a distinct lack of exercise in the last 8 years since I injured my back. "Do nothing" in order to heal that repetitive back injury should not have kept me from walking, I have no excuse other than laziness and depression. For those couple of years that I walked regularly and took the time to eat well I shaved off enough weight to feel comfortable in my jeans for the first time in years. It felt so good. And then going back to work and the depression at my situation hitting home really threw me for a loop; fast food started creeping back into my life as well as bad choices, and here I am. I would get home exhausted and eat in front of the tv before falling asleep - what a well lived life!

And I'm doing the same thing now - working too many hours, coming home exhausted and in pain, and eating badly in front of the tv before passing out. Breakfast and lunch I can handle, it's the evenings that get me. So I'm thinking I should start making a green smoothie for dinner too.

Just took a break to make sure I still have an active PayPal account (I do) and to find some juicers to bid on (I did). So hopefully Sunday at noon I will get the one I want and can proceed with the plan to start doing juice fasts soon.

Steps yesterday: Fitbit battery ran out, so no steps logged - but it was a typical work day, nothing extra. In fact, until I get the all clear from the Dr. I don't know why I even bother to put it on!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Myocardial Perfusion (17/30)

Imagining something is wrong, and then having your Dr. suspect something is wrong are two completely different feelings. When you do it, there is a back voice saying, 'you silly goose, you're fine'. But when the Dr. starts ordering tests and telling you what to do and not do that little voice replaces it's reassurances with something akin to panic. Or maybe this is just what 'caring' feels like; no wonder I tried giving it up - I do not like how I feel, nor did I like being up at 4am. Oh well, it is what it is. At least H is on the road and I don't have to creep around being quiet.

Back to the business at hand. Yesterday:  Water, check

Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: left over veggie soup with dark red kidney beans
Snack: apple
Dinner: nuked potatoes with captains sauce & peaches

I worked through lunch and left work after 8 hours. Going home to rest before picking up A I had a call from the Nuclear Medicine lab at Kaiser - my Dr. had requested an appointment be made for me to have my heart scanned after reviewing my ekg from yesterday. Then she sent me an email saying to start taking aspirin  everyday. After calling in and finding out the scope of the test I began to worry a little.  On a positive note, I used H's wrist cuff to measure blood pressure and mine was in the normal range for a change - so the Doc picked the rights meds, that's good.

After picking up A we went by Open Heart to pick up bread to feed the ducks, and they sent me home with two big containers of strawberries - perfect for summer smoothies. We came home to pick up Kaylee, then headed down to feed the ducks - what fun, even with the 100° weather urging us on to hurry up and finish. We tore through a bag of bread surrounded by mostly brown feathered friends then high tailed it back to the car and air conditioning. Home to peaches, apples and Bubble Guppies I collapsed on the chair in front of the fan and didn't move for half an hour - just beat. This, I remind myself, is why I waited for insurance, is why I wanted to be checked out, is why I want to be fixed. This should not have been so exhausting.

This is why I will eat better today, all day, than I have in a very long time. Because if they say I need a stent, then I will balk, because I know this is reversible with nutrition and exercise. And I know that studies show that stents do not reduce the chance of heart attacks. So why not skip the surgery and go straight for the life long cure. I know all about Eat to Live, and while I do try to eat for nutrition, the stress in my left has me reaching for the bad stuff way too often. Time to take control of my life for maybe the first time ever.

Guess where I found the Fitbit yesterday? On the fricken charger of course. Sigh.

 1765 steps taken

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beta Blockers (16/30)

Yesterday:  Water, check
Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: apple
Dinner: left over corn chips, goat cheese & pepper jam with a glass of wine

Doctor Appt.: Blood pressure high, and finally agreed to meds. Oh well, it is what it is. She had me go down to have a chest xray and an ekg, and Sunday I go for an MRI. Then the follow up visit to see if there is anything they can fix to relieve me of this pain I've been living with for the last three months. She wants my triglycerides down, and I agreed to go in  and do blood work in a month. So once again I have 30 days to make a difference. Surprisingly she thought that I could, and I do too. My days are fine, I just need to clean up the evenings. My goal is to put the word out to see if anyone has a juicer I can borrow. Then start doing  'juice fasts' from join the reboot dot com for dinners. I've just printed out a few pages of recipes and for some reason this morning the idea of drinking my meals is very exciting. I am tired to death of eating and the compulsive way that I do it at night.

Still can't find the Fitbit - I imagine walking around Kaiser yesterday replaced any steps that I didn't take at lunch so probably the average 2-3 thousand for the day.

Off to post for a juice loaner!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another disappointment (15/30)

The intent behind my 30 days of water was for it to be a stepping stone to get back on track. To eat better and to move more are the next two steps, and then I knew I would be at a place where I felt I was taking care of myself. That being done I could then do a juice fast knowing I wouldn't rebound afterwards, that I would have good habits to sustain me once I had accomplished the fast and not ruin all my efforts on that front with a dive into a bowl of Mac N Cheese. But I am not staying true to the intent of my 30 days.  Instead it has become a leash that I pull against daily, and I am the dog chained to my good intentions; snarling and fighting to fight free like the beast that I am. Yes, I am drinking all the water I planned each day, but there ends the quality. At least it feels that way after this past week.

When will I learn that when it comes to food what I imagine is rarely what I get. I was so looking forward to the fried fish last night, and I kept imagining the way it had been from Louise's years ago. Instead of square flaky lengths of cod there were flat fillets, and the batter was flatter too, not the wonderful mix of crisp and fluffy that I remembered. And while every indulgence lately has ended with me feeling like crap, I seem to forget that as soon as the next temptation starts wreaking havoc with my neurons upstairs - or whatever drives my obsessive thoughts of food. And all the grease, ugh. Last night about an hour after dinner I started feeling like I had been run over by a truck, and this morning I am heavy and feeling just as flat emotionally as my fish were last night.

I need to get a grip. I need to embrace my plan as the wholesome guide I intended it to be. I need a lot of things apparently, so why can't I want them with my whole heart and follow through?

Yesterday: Water, check

Breakfast:  left over potato dipped in Captain's Sauce
Lunch: left over veggie soup with dark red kidney beans thrown in
Snack: big luscious apple
Dinner: fried fish, onion rings, shrimp & potatoes - and of course Captain's Sauce

My brain is begging for something green this morning, hmmmm - I wonder why! Maybe my Dr. visit this afternoon will help motivate me, which sounds like a cop out, I am the master of my universe, no?

Steps: once again my Fitbit is MIA. I thought I was leaving it in the same place each night but didn't see it yesterday morning and couldn't find it last night. But I didn't walk at lunch, I worked through and came home early. OMG - lol, every little 'bit' helps! I need to find that sucker.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Another Monday (14/30)

Yesterday: Day of Rest

Breakfast: orange/mango/carrot juice from the store
Lunch: chopped salad
Snack: crackers with goat cheese and pepper jam
Dinner: green hash ( potato, corn, beans, peppers sauteed with huge amounts of baby power greens)
Dessert: flour tortilla with honey drizzled on it

I made Captain's Sauce yesterday, it's a tartar sauce with sweet red peppers and jalapenos added to it. I used Veganaise to make it; so expensive to use, but then I thought of all those factory chickens stacked up pumping out eggs and just don't want to buy into the industry. Anyway, I could have made the veganaise, but really wanted this recipe to come out right - the flavour was such a strong memory and I wanted to recreate it without mishap. I put some of it on my hash for dinner and it was ever so good. Today we will pick up fish to have with it, so I am already planning a splurge for dinner tonight. Food has become our table of truce -not that we ever sit at an actual table- and my chair is becoming VERY uncomfortable.

The problem right now is that I am using food to stifle my voice; there are things that I need to say and I just can't propel the words out through my clenched lips. Maybe I should write a letter, at this point that would be more kind than my continued silence. I may 'not care' about much in the big picture, but about this I apparently do or I wouldn't be making myself sick with stress. And as is usual my stress is painted all over my face, I look like a teenager this morning with a huge zit on my chin, and scabbed over cancer sores on my lip. I am literally making myself sick. I have known for a while that the combination of sun and peanuts are a serious invitation to cancer sores, yet last week I kept grabbing handfuls of peanuts for a late night snack and laid out in the sun for short periods 'to get in some D' a couple of times last week. Added to the existing foundation of stress and mixed up with a little caffeine and the recipe was complete - not just one but four of the little bastards erupted on my lower lip. I think the water is helping to clear them out quickly, along with my Immune and Serum, but it's still hard to wear this face to work today. Unfortunately I do not have a spare 'me' mask in the closet, and go I must with my wreckage on display for all to see.

Tomorrow I go to a Dr.'s appointment, and I am thinking I might be in a better place mentally to stay on track after that.  I really need a good standing up and brushing off; what a lovely mental image, standing in the middle of a deserted old west town, whacking myself with a large brimmed hat and plumes of dust retreating in great billowing clouds from my sorrow ridden clothes.

I'd better go stretch and cook and leave this maudlin place I am drawing myself into. No steps counted yesterday; I'll go clip on the Fitbit on my way to the kitchen.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

teeter totter (13/30)

Yesterday: water probably, food and exercise not so much. If I had a graph of these 30 days I think it would be slow agonizing spiral downwards in terms of consistency. Which would be great if it were a weight loss graph instead of one charting a goal of upward rising accomplishments. Grabbing my steps off of the Fitbit site i see that I got in more than I thought. While I didn't reach my goal of 5000 steps I did have more than a usual working day. I did work about 7 1/2 hours and accomplished quite a bit; I will lay that at the door of my cup of decaff that was most assuredly NOT. Being the only one there on a Saturday it was quiet, no interruptions to break my concentration, and the time flew like it only can when under the influence of something.

Breakfast: sausage muffin and decaff coffee that wasn't decaff (I'm thinking)
Lunch: left over veggie wrap
Dinner: Kung Pao tofu, veggie chow mein, spring rolls, szechuan broccoli
Dessert: crackers and chili pepper jam

I'm so glad that it's Sunday, that I'm not going in to the office, and that I have some time to regroup and get ready for the next six days. That being said I am already planning a divergence, just a little side trip off my path. I am in possession of a recipe I have been wanting to make for a long time, a spicy tartar sauce, and at some point today I will make it, and go grab some fish from Louisa's  to have with it. Maybe. Depends on if the sauce needs to set up and have time for the flavours (red bell pepper and jalapeno) to meld.

I think officially today's goal is to not over extend my planning and be overwhelmed into immobility.
     Convert a recipe from 3 gallons to a pint, shop for same and prepare
     Clean out fridge, fill with plants purchased at shopping trip, cook a pot of something for lunches
     And Rest

Time to get busy :)

 3053 steps taken

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"It's starting to feel a little better" (12/30)

The birds are up and about and singing in the new day. I don't always hear them in the morning, and I just love it.

Yesterday:  Water check, veggies check, walking check. Lunch was amazing. We walked down to Max's Diner and I had the roasted veggie wrap. It was good, full of spinach, mushrooms, red peppers and a little bit of feta thrown in. But it was the arugula salad that came with it that was amazing. It was full of corn and potatoes, onions and...I don't remember, but tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette and so delicious. I brought half the wrap back to the office and it will be my lunch today.

Yes, working another six day week, but we are almost to the end of the 'big push' and I just need to do it right now. No one is making me, except my own sweet self. Lou Holtz plays in there somewhere, "Do right, do your best, treat others like you want to be treated."  Something like that, but a golden rule that explains how I have tried to live my life. I think I have written about this before, and how I should refine it to read, "and treat myself how I treat others." Or maybe, "treat myself how I expect others to treat themselves."

Bottom line: I feel much better about myself this morning than I did yesterday, I woke up with more energy, and my attitude has been shifted up a notch.  Besides eating better, I am back on my O'Tropin spray morning and night and that may play a part too. I would just really appreciate my mood stepping out of the elevator up here on the 8th floor and resting for a bit before riding the rails up and down again. Mixed metaphor? Oh well, it says it.

Breakfast: green smoothie
Lunch: veggie wrap & salad
Snack: Oatmeal cookie from Starbucks with nuts and fruit (vendor gift)
Dinner: Veggie patty on bakery roll (last one thank god) with lots of onion & lettuce
Dessert: Nada

Gulped my water down this morning and my hands are swollen, so now we know why lunch was so awesome yesterday. I'll get in some extra water today to flush that out. Off to the races!

 5150 steps taken