Saturday, December 14, 2013

Semantics and One Little Pill a Day

Today was as close to a day of total freedom as a responsible adult can get.

I had my alarm set for 9.  What was I thinking?  At 9 I reset it to 10. And at 10 I hit snooze three times.  And each time the music woke me, I justified remaining in bed with "I don't have anywhere to be".  That's awful close to "I have no reason to get out of bed". Sometimes semantics is the only thing separating carefree relaxation from major depressive disorder.

Well...semantics and one little pill a day.

When I finally dragged my butt out of bed and put clothes on my fat ass (don't ask about my diet of late, mnkay?  It's Christmas.), I risked life and limb to drive across the frozen Ohio tundra to take the dog to get his hair cut.  That's the responsible adult portion of our program.  Boo needed a haircut. And a bath.  Bad.

While Boobear got his beauty treatment I slipped and slid over to The Farm, the location of the dog rescue where I volunteer.  I walked dogs and threw tennis balls and petted and played with these sweet, trusting souls who deserve so much better than they have so far received out of life.  I consider myself lucky to be able to do this for an hour or two more weekends than not. The sense of purpose this work brings is sometimes all that keeps me going from 5pm Friday 'till 8:30am Monday.

As I was about to leave The Farm, not because I had anywhere to go but just because I was done, I got a call from Boss Lady, the rescue's founder, asking if I could stick around and introduce one of the dogs to a lady she was sending over.  Sure! No problem! Anything to feel useful for a few more minutes.

As I waited in my car for the lady to make her way to The Farm, I watched the snow fall.  If Norman Rockwell had been asked to do a painting called "Farm in Winter" this would have been it.  A tidy farmhouse with a wrap-around porch, a big red barn where horses live.  Cute little red...I don't know...chicken coops?  What am I, a farmer?  Spit rail fencing.  Big old trees.  The family's dogs came out to visit me for a bit.  Boss Lady's dad, with his long, white beard, made an appearance wearing a Santa hat.  I shit you not.  Even in my head I couldn't paint such a perfect picture.

The lady came, she and her prospective adoptive dog hit it off very nicely.  I reported back to Boss Lady and left The Farm just in time to pick Boo up at the groomers.  He is so adorable now, fluffy and clean with no more hair hanging in his eyes.

When I got home The Boy and his girlfriend were here.  I can easily go a week without seeing The Boy, even though we live in the same house, so this was a nice surprise.  I miss his face.  But soon enough he informed me "Mom, you smell like dog".  He's a real poet that one.  So I wandered off to shower and they left.

I was supposed to have a date tonight.  He flaked on me.  Why do guys do that?  "I'll call you tomorrow and we'll firm things up".  Yeah...sure you will.  Why ask me out in the first place if you're not going to follow through?  Is it just an ego thing?  Are you just trying to see if you CAN get the date even though you don't actually want to go on it?

Boys are stupid, regardless of age.

I'm pretty good at lying to myself but given that I turned my car sideways on my way home from my travels this afternoon I don't think I'm bullshitting myself when I say I was better off at home tonight, snuggling with a pint of cappuccino gelato.  The date was going to be 20 miles away and the snow has continued to fall.

I just let the dogs out for their last potty and yard patrol of the night.  It's one of those windless winter nights that make me think, just for a split second, that I've gone deaf when I stick my head out to call them in.  It's so still it almost feels like outside is actually a vast indoor room, like I could talk to my neighbors without raising my voice.  And without the wind I could stand on the deck in my socks and pajamas and watch my dogs romp through the first real snow of the year.

So today I did only what I wanted to do. I played with dogs and I got to see The Boy and I got to live in a winter wonderland.  It was a beautiful day.

And now, even though I've only been up for 12 1/2 hours, I could go to bed if I wanted. Instead, I will go read in bed, not having to worry about keeping anyone awake.  Living the dream, right?

I think I'm going to need a bigger pill.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful

As I waited impatiently for my coffee, I heard "How's your day going, Ma'am?".  I snapped out of my daze and just laughed.  It was all I could do.

I know when someone asks that question they expect, and usually WANT to hear something as deep as "Good, you?".  But I just couldn't say it.  And as much as I hate to be Debbie Downer, when I got done chuckling, I answered his question.

"I've had better days", I said.   "I just got so aggravated with work that I had to get up and walk away.  So I'm here.  I have to go back, but it's nice to be out of there for a few minutes"

As he handed me my coffee, this young man said to me "Well for what it's worth, if nobody has told you today that they love you, I LOVE YOU.  From one human being to another.  I love you"

I said "Thank you.  I love you too".  And I smiled.  Given how my day was going up until that moment, just the smile was miracle enough.

I've thought about that encounter several times in the past couple of days.  Not only the sweetness of that young man, but also the fact that I DO have someone who says "I love you" to me every single day.

Each morning I open the basement door and yell down the steps to make sure The Boy is awake.

"Alex?......Alex????"

"Yeah"

"I'm leaving.  You up?"

"Yeah"

"Ok...love you"

"Ok...I love you too"

Every.  Single.  Day.

It won't be long until the only reason I'll have to open the basement door is to grab the extra bag of dog food, visit the dreadmill or peek down there with one wary eye to make sure the sump pump is keeping up with the rain.  If I want to hear his voice I'll have to pick up the phone, and I know it won't be appreciated if I do it every single morning.  So for today, I'm counting my blessings.  I am very lucky.  And I am....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quinoa Chicken Stirfry

I know I promised you guys a potato soup recipe, but honestly it didn't turn out so great.  I need to tweak it before I'll want to put it up here.

But today I made some really good stuff.  I had a hideous day at work, and at one point I got so ticked off because a project wasn't going as I needed it to that I knew I was faced with three choices.  Throw something, start crying or walk away.  So I walked away.

Now before you go thinking I made the right choice, know that I walked straight across the street to Starbucks, where I got a skinny iced mocha and a peanut butter cup cookie.  Because the skinny cancels out the cookie right?

As it turns out, no.  Not right. Go figure.

So four hours later, at 7pm, when I was finally on my way home from work, I found myself wondering what I could make for dinner that would be quick and low calorie, but would be satisfying enough to hopefully keep me from entering "fuck it" mode and eating everything in sight.

Because eating everything in sight because you've blown your diet for the day is like running your cell phone over with your car because you dropped it.

Or some such shit.

Now if you know me, you know I'm not much of a cook.  And when I do cook I'm really not one for flying by the seat of my pants.  I run my kitchen like I run the rest of my life.  By the book. That way when it all goes kaflooey I can say "Well I just did what the book said".  See how that works? So I prefer if my food comes in a box that says how long to microwave it, but barring that I need a very specific recipe, with instructions that could be understood by a three year old.

So I can't really say what came over me that resulted in me throwing the following ingredients together.  Maybe the caffeine, sugar and artificial sweeteners in my afternoon snack messed with my head.  If so, I should thank the Barista, because it turned out pretty darn good.

Here's what you need:

3 cups Birds Eye Pepper Stir-Fry
3 oz Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Chunks
1/2 cup Cooked Red Quinoa
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
Splash of soy sauce
Olive Oil Spray

Spray a frying pan with olive oil, throw the vegetables and chicken in together and saute on medium heat.  By the time the veggies are cooked the chicken will be heated through.  When nearly done add the spices, soy sauce and quinoa.  Stir together just until quinoa is heated.

Serves one.  And you will not want to share.



The links are to the brands/varieties of what I had in the house.  The red quinoa is pretty but white would work just as well.

Everything in this recipe is pretty much a staple in my kitchen.  Whenever I make quinoa I make WAY more than I need so I'll have some in the fridge for later.  And the peppers and chicken are just handy to keep in the freezer.

The nutritionals look like this:


I'll definitely make this again. Though I'm not sure what to call it.  Quinoa Chicken Stirfry?  Boring but accurate.  And really it's a miracle I managed to pull a decent meal out of my...um...hat after the day I've had.  You can't expect a clever name too.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Chicken & Somethings

As I said the other day, I've been hoarding recipes on Pinterest and never making any of them. I feel great shame. But since I'm not generally the best cook and I'm usually way too hungry by the time I get home from work to actually, yaknow, harness fire to make food edible, I'm starting out with slow-cooker recipes.

I've shied away from many slow-cooker recipes in the past because, even on a normal workday, It's a good ten hours between when I head out the door and when I roll back in the garage.  Most of the recipes call for far less time than that, even on low.  I've tried having it all ready and in the fridge, relying on The Boy to turn it on high when he gets home from school, but the damn kid went and grew up and got a job.  The ungrateful little.....

So I decided a trip to WalMart was in order.  Since I don't have any pajamas which I would consider ratty enough to wear there, I went straight from cleaning a dog kennel and playing with puppies, hoping a layer of dog hair, dirt and the slight aroma of dog poo would distract the natives from the fact that I was wearing a bra.

It worked.  I got out alive with this beauty:



This makes my third slow-cooker. I already have one this size and a smaller one, but neither of them is programmable.  This one not only has a timer but it also comes with a lid holder and free Spanish lessons.

 Olla De Coccion Lenta = Slow Cooker.  Thank you Farberware.

In case I'm ever in a foreign country and need to make sure they're aware how hot I am.

The user's manual is mostly in pictures and it wasn't until I actually got this thing installed that I figured out it's a lid holder.  Before that I thought maybe Farberware also made gynecological exam implements and there was an unfortunate mix-up at the factory.

Even Boo was a little scared.

Armed with my shiny new crock pot, I decided to make Chicken & Dumplings. I found a recipe on my go-to website for all things slow-cooker that won't make my ass grow, Skinny Ms

I did make a few changes, not always for the better, to Skinny Ms.' recipe, and it didn't come out exactly as I would have hoped, so I'm going to call this a whole new creation...let's call it

Chicken & Somethings.  

Here's what you need:


All this crap

Stew Ingredients:
    6 cups chicken broth.  Preferably low sodium & fat free but, yaknow, shit happens.
    3 boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
    1 medium onion peeled & diced
    2 cloves minced garlic
    7 oz baby carrots
    1 cup frozen green beans
    2 stalks celery, diced
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    Himilayan sea salt to taste (if you got the low-sodium broth, you'll make up for it here)
    2 bay leaves

Somethings Ingredients
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (learn from my fail, get WHITE whole wheat flour)
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 egg
    2 tbsp coconut oil
    3/4 cup skim milk

Stew Instructions:  The original recipe basically said to just throw it all in the crock pot, stir to combine, cook on low 5 hours.  Sounds like just my speed but I read here that you should never just throw your meat into the pot raw, which is why I specifically bought a slow cooker with a removable, stove-safe pot for browning meat.  Unfortunately, as I unpacked the pot, I realized I needed to run it on high with a few cups of water before using it for the first time.  So while it burned off all of the toxic stuff I ended up dirtying a frying pan to brown the chicken.  But I should say that the chicken turned out DEEEE-LICIOUS.  So bonappetit.com knows their shit.

ANYway, after I browned the chicken lightly, just on the outside, still raw in the middle, THEN I put all of the "stew" ingredients together in the crock pot and put it on low for 5 hours.

Since it was a new crock pot and I have this irrational fear of electrical fires, I did this on a weekend when I could be home the whole time and oh my GOSH did it smell amazing!!!

After 5 hours, I turned the crock pot on high and brought the broth to a boil.  It took about a half hour to get to boiling.  While I was waiting, I mixed up the somethings.

Somethings Instructions
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Mix 'em up good, heat up your coconut oil just enough to make it liquid (or use canola oil if you have it in the house) and cut it into the dry stuff with a fork.  Add the milk and mix with a fork just until consistently moist.

Once your broth is boiling, drop your somethings mixture by teaspoon-size lumps on to the top of the broth.  They'll float.  Don't try to mix it up or push it down. It pretty much took up the whole top layer of the crock pot, which I think was fine. It looked sort of like a biscuit crust.  Cook it on high for another hour, THEN mix it up to break up the dumplings right before serving.

It was apparently supposed to look something like this.

Aint it Purty?

But yeah, um...no. 


Not sure exactly what it is.....
.....but there's a crapton of it.

The flavor is VERY good.  But the "dumplings" were the consistency of your average, everyday wheat bread soaked in broth.  Not hideous, but not "dumpling-like".

Now it did call for white whole wheat flour, but I can't imagine that would make much difference in anything but the color.  The original recipe didn't call for egg but there were many comments on the website about the dumplings falling apart so they suggested adding egg.  But still....I think if I do this again I'll call it soup and leave out the somethings.  If I want dumplings I'll use my mom's dumpling recipe and just deal with it being higher calorie.

As-is, the nutritionals look like this:


This is WAY higher than the Skinny Ms nutritionals, I think because their version calls for something called "Chicken Breast Fillets".  I don't know what that is, but I'm guessing it's a fraction of the chicken I used.  And the plentiful, big chunks of chicken are not something I'd want to give up.

If I made it just as a soup it would only be about 175 calories per serving, but I would probably add noodles or maybe quinoa.  If I do that, bet your booty I'll post the recipe.  

Today's lunch...I'll probably pull one of these or maybe a serving of Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili out of the freezer.  Either way it's good, filling stuff on a cool fall day. 

Next time: Slow Cooker Cream of Potato Soup

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili

I realized the other day that I had 178 recipes pinned to my Recipes board on Pinterest.  Of these 178 I had made approximately none.  Ok maybe three...ish.  But why am I hoarding recipes if I'm not going to make them?

So since I'm out of the cast and into the annoying-ass boot (which, by comparison, is awesome, but still may befall a fate which will render it accidentally and unavoidably...um...burned) I've decided I need to start cooking again.

So I started out slow and easy, with an easy slow cooker recipe.

I saw a post on Skinny Ms.' Skinny Slow Cooker Facebook page showing a delicious looking Chicken & Dumplings recipe which, like most slow cooker recipes, called for a cooking time of 6-8 hours.  I commented that it looked great but it would be burned before I got home from work and two things happened:

The site admin posted a bunch of recipes which called for more like 8-10 hours.

I found out that they make slow cookers with timers just for this reason.  Who knew?

So last weekend I bought the ingredients for both that chicken & dumplings recipe and a chili recipe which had a significantly longer cooking time.   And I committed to cooking and writing about it.

And...here we are.



I made this chili recipe for last night's dinner, but instead of using ground turkey I used six Boca All American Flame Grilled Burgers, and I opted for the vegetable broth option, making the recipe vegetarian.  If not for the cheese in the Boca burger it might be vegan but, alas, no.

I cooked it a total of 10 1/2 hours and when I got home I was disappointed to find that it appeared to be burned.  But when I stirred it I found that it was fine.  A tinch on the dry side, but I only used 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth and the recipe says to use 2 cups if you prefer a thinner chili.

Being the OCD numbers geek that I am, I ran the nutritionals and it comes in a bit higher calorie than Skinny Ms' version.  Next time I might cut back to four boca burgers, because it was super...umm..?  faux-meaty?  And maybe next time I'll use water.


The best thing about slow cooking, aside from good food, is coming home to a house that smells like Becky Homecky has been slaving away all day in your kitchen, and this definitely fit the bill for that.  Making some nice homemade (or even a Jiffy mix) cornbread would have enhanced the effect, but my Friday was just a big ol' dollop of cold gravy topping on a shit sandwich of a week, so I stopped at Giant Eagle and got some of their pre-made cornbread muffins.

Becky Homecky can kiss my ass.

So 10 minutes after I walked in the door I was on the couch with my feet up, wearing my jammies, with a nice a hot bowl of clean-eating, healthy, low-ish calorie, extremely tasty chili that includes no ingredients that ever had a face.

And to think some people go OUT on Friday night.

Served on my bejammied lap with cornbread mixed in, as God intended chili to be served.

It was so good I'm having it again tonight.  

Oh yeah, and today I bought a crock pot with a timer.  Because really who DOESN'T need three slow cookers?  

Chicken & dumplings here I come. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

You Say Obsession. I say....well, yeah..Obsession

First....I am in a MUCH MUCH MUCH better mood today than I was the last time I wrote. Because holy CRAP was that ever a gigantic bummer-y bummer or what?

Getting my stupid birthday behind me probably helped a bunch with my mood.  And my super duper awesome friends who have come and got me out of this depressing-ass house have brought enormous relief to my woe-is-me-ness.  And the fact that I have only nine days before my cast will (the doctor said MIGHT but trust me...it fucking WILL) come off and I will be able to get places without being a pain in the ass to all involved.  And finally because I have found a few more things to keep my brain busy.  But the thing is that when one is home-bound the majority of the time, it's really hard to walk away from something that is good and doesn't cost a bunch of money or make your ass wider (it's hard to walk way from the things that DO cost a bunch of money or make your ass wider, but let's not talk about that, mnkay?) so there are times when I realize holy crap I just watched six episodes in a row of The Good Wife, is that healthy? Is this an obsession?  Yes (obsession) and no (healthy)....but throwing myself down the basement steps isn't super healthy either and that might well have happened if I didn't find a way out of the funk I was in...so we make do.

So yeah, The Good Wife.  Holy crap why didn't anyone tell me how great this show is?  Ok yeah someone did but I don't like her so why would I listen?  Oh and if YOU told me about it, I don't mean you.  You're awesome.  Clearly I just don't pay attention.  Bygones.

John Green and, less specifically, Vlogbrothers (ok yes that link was from Brotherhood 2.0.  Don't be difficult.  It's the same guys).  These guys vlog several times a week....and they talk really fast.  I blog maybe once a month and it takes me FOR. FREAKING. EVER.  They, therefore, are brilliant.

Broscience.  Funny stuff.  And it's as close as I can come to going to the gym right now.

Firefly. Because it's awesome.  But it does it make me sad that something with such brilliant dialogue could be cancelled after only 14 episodes.  What's wrong with the world?  Sigh.

Not a NEW obsession but OH MY GOD YOU GUYS ALLIE BROSH IS BLOGGING AGAIN!!!  All is right in the world.  Maybe.  Almost.

Why are you still here?  I just pointed you to oodles and oodles of awesomeness!!!

Today's lunch:  Garden Lites Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt.  Looks NOTHING like this...but tastes really good.

veggiechili

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Musings from Gimpville

Lately I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning.  I mean aside from the physical difficulty associated with not being allowed to bear any weight on my cast-covered right foot, combined with the fact that I am too uncoordinated to use crutches, leaving me pushing myself from bed to bath and back on a wheeled office chair.  It's beyond physical difficulty.  It's more a case of lying there looking at the ceiling and wondering "If I get up, what's in it for me?"

During the week it is the paycheck which my employers have generously agreed to continue to provide while I work from home during these four to eight weeks of imprisonment.  On the weekend it's the love for my dogs, and reluctance to clean up pee and poo that gets me down the steps, on my ass.

Some might call this pity party that makes me want to sleep all day "Cabin Fever". If that's a cutsey term for severe depression brought on by the inability to leave one's home then yeah, I'm pretty sure I have that.  I may have circled back for an extra helping.

Since I had surgery 17 days ago (17 days? Seriously??  It feels like a year!) I've been out of the house four times.  The doctor by taxi, the office with coworkers, the grocery store with a friend and last night to a friend's house to visit.  The most recent outing ended a five-day stretch of home-bound misery and was desperately needed.  We had a very nice visit, good company, good wine and good food.  I was home in six hours, and a half hour after that I was already cursing the walls and stairs and pink fiberglass cast that keep me prisoner here.  Today The Boy was supposed to take me grocery shopping and when he said "I'm in a big hurry, I'll just pick up what you need" I had a little melt-down...because I didn't get to go to the grocery store.  I recognize this is not the behavior of a rational person.

Day after tomorrow is my birthday.  The boy is taking me out to dinner.  By that I mean that he is driving me, in my car, to a restaurant of my choosing (as long as it's not too far away and doesn't take too long) where I will buy food for both of us, then he will bring me back home and leave me here alone so he can go out with his friends.  There is not one person on this planet from whom I would expect a gift.  I would be thrilled with a card, though I know I'll get emails and Facebook well-wishes. A coworker will bring me lunch.

Times like this I have to wonder where I went wrong.  How did I end up 48 and alone?  I have good friends, any of whom I could call and say "Hey..it's my birthday, take me somewhere!" and they would.  But how did I end up this age without someone with whom it is just assumed I will spend my birthday? A significant other. 

We make our choices I suppose, but never did I think it would come down to taking a taxi to a doctor's appointment because I don't have anyone to take me, or forcing The Boy to spend time with me against his will to keep me from sitting alone and wondering exactly where I ruined my life, or relying on my dogs for the majority of my daily interactions.  

Sorry...I don't have a happy end for this one.  I thought writing would make me feel better.  Wrong again.  I guess I can just offer the advice that if you have a family, cherish them.  If you have one of those pain in the ass families that's always wanting to get together, make time and do it. Because they may not always be there, and you may find yourself relying on friends, neighbors and coworkers in your time of need.  It's humbling, that's for sure.

Today's lunch....Big Mac & small fries.  I had to threaten The Boy to get him to bring it to me.  Good times.

Edit-----What a fucking ray of sunshine I am, huh?  I'm pulling my head out of my ass long enough to acknowledge that I am LUCKY in that my physical situation is temporary.  And I'm lucky to have a boy I can guilt into giving me the gift of his time on my birthday, and friends who take time out of their busy lives to come get my gimpy ass to save my sanity. Hell even my ex husband would come get me if I need him to.  But I do think I realize how the elderly become homeless and crazy.  Yes, I mourn the absence of a Significant Other or big family to help me, but there are some people who have NOBODY...and that would be soul-crushing and mind-breakingly sad.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Using the Interwebz as God Intended

I have all this stuff I should be doing on my lunch break.  And I don't mean woe-is-me type stuff.  I don't have a pile of shit that needs to be shoveled from point A to point B, nor are there a bunch of unwieldy large rocks that will remain forever freakishly huge if Yours Truly doesn't break them into smaller, more manageable, rocks.  I'm talking about sitting in my air conditioned office, eating my Subway sandwich and balancing my checkbook, making some personal phone calls, maybe writing something hilarious and thought-provoking and worth reading.

But what am I doing?

Reading Baby Sideburns, looking at Funny Dog Pictures, becoming obsessed with music videos and wasting time gathering lots of useless knowledge (because everything on the internet is true).

That's what Al Gore invented the internet for, right?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Things I Should Be Doing Other Than Writing

I wish I was a writer.  I don't even mean that in the sense of "One who is paid to write", though that would be awesome beyond belief, but I just mean someone who regularly composes more than emails and Facebook blurbs (I do, beeteedubs, rule both of those venues).

I mean like I would like to be able to tell people "I am the author of Blogoverlunch.  You've never heard of it?  Oh it's a blog on blogspot.com, you should go check it out!" and know that if they do they would find something more entertaining than my vacation pictures or musings on a three month old news story.  I want to be able to point people there and know there will always be something new and relatively entertaining.

Yeah, I also want to be able to invite people into my home and know it will always be clean.  Like that'll happen.

Every time I vow to be better about most things (responsible, grown up things), I experience a crazy and fascinating metamorphosis.  I become.....

Credit: I have no freaking clue but if anyone knows who does this comic let me know because she is AWESOME!!!

But the thing of it is is, this writing deal is something I actually ENJOY.  So why don't I do it more?

Because my brain insists that before I make time to write I need to.....
  • Do the laundry
  • Clean the bathrooms
  • Clean The Pug's ears
  • Mop the floors (running Scooba doesn't count)
  • Vacuum (running Roomba doesn't count)
  • Force The Boy to eat a healthy meal
  • Mow the Goddamned yard
  • Fertilize the Goddamned yard
  • Weed the Goddamned yard
  • Burn down the Goddamned yard
  • Shave my legs
  • Pluck my eyebrows
  • Revolutionize Payroll as we know it
  • Make everyone who doesn't like me love me
  • Mend fences
  • Build fences
  • Fireproof bridges
  • Go to the grocery store
  • Go to therapy
  • Go to the chiropractor
  • Power wash the house
  • Stain the deck
  • Write a mission statement
  • Join a gym
  • Become vegetarian
  • Plant a garden
  • Learn to garden
  • Rescue some dogs
  • Wash my dogs
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Run the dishwasher
  • Repeat repeat repeat
  • Repave the driveway
  • Burn the grass clippings
  • Get more sleep
  • Learn to be realistic
  • Google images about procrastination
  • Figure out the source of the comic

And so the blog waits.

But you guys I'm going to try to move BOL up on the to-do list.  Somewhere under laundry, grocery shopping and making sure the Board of Health doesn't cordon off my house.  

I miss you.  

So hey!  Good news!!  I have to have foot surgery in about three weeks.  I will be in a cast for a month and unable to drive.  I'll be a prisoner to my home, with my laptop as my only connection to the outside world (well, yaknow, aside from all of my awesome friends who have offered to help me and take me places....cut me some slack, it's called "poetic license").  I won't be able to work in the Goddamned yard.  What a shame.  I'm heartbroken. I'll be limited as to the stuff I can do around the house.  I also won't be able to drive to McDonald's for my beloved iced coffee...but I'm almost ok with it.  My point is I will have far less pulling at me and I hope to make more time to write

For now, however, thar's weeds out thar that need killin.  

Today's lunch...holy crap it's lunchtime!  Where did the morning go?  Gotta run!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Dreaded Vacation Slideshow

To the 18 people who viewed my blog last week...or the one person who viewed it 18 times...thank you!  But, what the heck were you looking for?

To the rest of you, I'm sorry I've been so absent.  I've been pretty dang busy, as you'll see below.

Remember when you were a kid and you'd be visiting family and they'd bring out the slide projector and looked at vacation pictures?  Yeah...buckle up.

The Boy and I went on a cruise.  On Carnival.  Yes, I'm brave like that (or I'm CHEAP like that).  Eight days with The Boy.  And I didn't even force him to do it.  Turns out HE'S the brave one.

On Saturday the 25th we jumped in the car (I say that as though it wasn't a monumental, stress-inducing feat of planning and work both at the office and at home) and drove to Baltimore.  It's a 6 1/2 hour drive without stops.  With a 47 year old woman possessing a bladder the size of a pea and an 18 year old smoker who isn't allowed to smoke in the car it's more like 8 hours.  Thank God for Pandora's comedy channels, making it only seem like 20 hours.

We spent the night at THE WORST HOTEL EVER.  Upon arrival The Boy found a bathing suit hanging on the back of the bathroom door, causing (paranoid) me to wonder if the previous guests weren't entirely checked out.  The whole place smelled overwhelmingly like my grandmother and (I shit you not) the water was BROWN.  When I called the front desk to inform them that the sink and tub water was coming out brown the response was "Yeah sorry, that happens sometimes".  And this was a four star hotel!  Very disappointing.

Sunday afternoon we boarded the ship.

SO freeping cute!

This was The Boy's first cruise.  I truly expected him to find a group of people his age and desert me.  I was armed with several books, one being full of writing prompts.  A little notebook and my laptop.  But it turned out to be lots of really good Mom/Boy time.  So my lack of inspired writing is his fault.

Sunday evening, all day Monday and all day Tuesday we looked at a whole lot of this, which was exactly what I needed.

Oooh...aaahhh.

Chillin.

We could not have asked for nicer weather.  We swam a little.  Went to comedy shows at night.  But mostly just relaxed.  We even sat in our little cabin and rented a couple of movies...because that's what we felt like doing...so mneh.


On Wednesday we were in Port Canaveral Florida.  We went to Coco beach.  The ocean was rough and I'm a big baby.  We swam a little, we went to Pizza Hut for lunch (gee...whose choice do you think THAT was?) and we went back to the boat...uh ship.  Whatever.

On Thursday we were in the Bahamas.  Nassau.  We took a bus to Atlantis.  Oh my GOSH is this place beautiful!  But HUGE!!!


Our "little" ship on the right.

Ok Mom, enough with the pictures.



Dolphin Cay was beautiful and the dolphins were just SO cool!  This one was pregnant.  She was very sweet.

Two beers, two mudslides, two APPETIZERS..$75.  
Buying The Boy his first legal beer...priceless.

Friday we were in Freeport, but only from 7am to 1:30 PM.  We decided not to even get off the ship.  My foot was DONE after all the walking in Florida and Nassau.  So we relaxed.

Our view of Freeport.

The rest of the trip was just on the boat, just me an the boy hanging out, which was fine with me.

 The view from our favorite seat on the deck.

We got back to Baltimore on Sunday morning and were home on Sunday night.  I unpacked Sunday night and re-packed on Monday night.  I was on a plane to Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.  I spent three days in a classroom during the day and here at night.

I'm DONE.  I'm whopped and I'm glad to be home.  I missed The Boy while I was in Chicgao and I missed my dogs the whole dang time.  Now I'm at the point where I have so much to do I'm frozen in indecision....and therefore doing this.  And not a very good job of it at that.  I'm sorry it's such an uninspired blog entry.  It is,  remember, The Boy's fault.

Today's lunch.....no idea.  Frozen in indecision again.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A & F You.

Lately I've been beating myself up a lot.  I mean A LOT.  I'm sure this will come as a huge surprise to all of you, but I'm not perfect.  It's ok.  Sit down if you're feeling light-headed.  Have a glass of water, or some vodka.  Breathe into a paper bag.  I know I just rocked your reality but it's going to be fine.  You had to face it eventually.

I'm overweight.  And while losing 25 lbs had somewhat lowered the volume on the "you are a fat piece of shit" voices in my head, a recent plateau has sort of kicked my self-esteem in the ass.  And by "plateau" I mean several weeks that have consisted of three days of bingeing followed by four days of starving myself.

I'm undateable.  I don't really know why this is, but it is.  It has been proven again and again.  There was a time when I had it on good authority (the aforementioned voices) that my undateability was due to my fat-piece-of-shit-ness.  But I had expected that the minute my BMI moved from the obese area on the chart to the overweight area on the chart men all around would suddenly be able to see past the now slightly thinner layer of fat and notice my redeeming qualities.  Alas this has not been the case.  The men who say they want a no-drama, low-maintenance, real woman actually seem to want a 25 year old hoochie-mama with fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake boobs and fake hair.

This is not to say I have not had suitors, but seventy year old men, men who are six inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter than me, men without teeth, men whose opening line is "nice body baby"...these are not my target demographic.  Call me picky.

My house is falling apart.  The one point of pride I had, the fact that I've managed to keep this house, the only house The Boy has ever known, for seven years post-divorce, has been overshadowed by dysfunctional smoke detectors, wrinkly carpet, broken screens, freakishly healthy weeds and faulty wiring.

Then there's my outlook on life.  As you might have guessed I'm not exactly a ray of fucking sunshine lately.  It could have something to do with the fact that my stupid foot is still broken.  Maybe there's some truth to the whole exercise-endorphin-mood thing.  Who knew?

But my point is this...I've been doing a really good job of beating myself bloody, figuratively speaking.  This is a long-cultivated skill, learned at a very young age.

When I was twelve my mom took me shopping for school clothes.  She was appalled to discover that, at the prematurely advanced height of 5'9" I was wearing a size 13.  This prompted my first diet.  Every day for lunch I had a peach.  And only a peach.  Oh and I could have as many ice cubes as I could eat.  The "you're a fat piece of shit" voice was born.  It was kept alive through my teens by a steady diet of bullies, barbie, mainstream media, TV, magazines and boys who, while I had no problem finding a date in my teens, made it clear that I could stand to take off a few pounds.

And by no means am I delusional enough to think that I'm at all unique in all of this.  Find me a woman who doesn't beat herself up over her appearance on a daily basis and I'll show you....hell I don't know, because I don't think she exists.

And then this waste of skin comes along:

Uglier on the inside.

I'm not really upset that he doesn't want ME shopping in his store.  I'd be about as likely to want to wear something from Abercrombie and Fitch as I would wear a pair of overalls from Baby Gap or a pair of work boots from...well, wherever they sell work boots.  What pisses me off is that this ugly inside and out sorry excuse for a human being has found yet another way to separate what he and society consider the pretty people from the not so pretty people.

In the past, what, 50 years or so we've managed to drastically reduce discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation but we, as a society, still place such a value on size that shitbags like this are allowed to publicly admit not only to wanting to keep the the less-than beautiful people (as judged by him) out of his store but also he flat-out states that he discriminates in his hiring practices....and that is LEGAL.

That's right...he couldn't say he hires only one gender.  He couldn't say he only hires under a certain age (though it's implied and obviously very very true) or ethnicity but it's completely legal and professionally acceptable for him to admit to hiring only thin employees.

That, my friends, is some serious bullshit there.

Like the teenage girl who is five pounds (FIVE POUNDS) overweight isn't beating herself up enough...now she has to feel self-conscious when she goes into A & F with her skinny friends, not to buy clothes...because she knows they won't fit her...but just to BE with her skinny friends while they shop.  Tell me she's not going to go home and dive into a pint of Ben & Jerry's when it's all over.  This is how it starts.

In the end I think karma will stomp this guy's ass into a pulp and I'll tell you why.  His target customer, cute and thin as they may be....for the most part they don't have the kind of funds that can support a company of that size.  They go to school, they hang out at the mall, MAYBE they work part time at McD's for gas money but a pair of A & F jeans would be a week's pay for them so guess who buys them....their overweight, overworked, middle-aged mommies.  I'm sickened by the fact that I have supported this fucktard, either by giving The Boy gift cards so he could shop with his friends, or by following him around the dark, cologne-soaked store while he picked out an overpriced shirt or pair of jeans.  No more.  And I'm not alone in this.

We beat ourselves up enough every day...the last thing we need is some botoxed, capped teeth, overpaid pretentious self-loathing turdbag telling us he doesn't want us in his store.  

My guess is American Eagle and Aeropostale are loving this.  As for me, I'm happy at Wal Mart.  They have a whole department made just for me.  :)

Today's lunch.....A mother's day treat.  A mocha frappe and chicken McWrap.  I'll starve myself tomorrow.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dear Facebook


Dear Facebook,

Enough with the mobile updates every other day FFS!

1) While it's updating, AGAIN, I can't get on Facebook to bitch about the fact that Facebook is updating. AGAIN.

2) Something like ten updates in the past two months and it is STILL the only app I have that doesn't switch to landscape orientation when I turn my phone sideways.  Get with the program!

3) During the long updates I want to yell at my phone "WHAT THE HELL IS TAKING SO LONG???"

4) During the short updates I want to yell at my phone "REALLY?  You made me update for THAT?  What was so important you couldn't add it to TOMORROW'S update?

5) Enough of this nonsense....give me my money back.

Love, Me

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Told Me So

How many times do I have to tell myself "I told you so!" before I start to listen to me?

This stupid foot injury of mine.  It started out back in late October when I helped a friend move.  Knowing I'd be doing a lot of walking I wore my most comfortable shoes.  Unfortunately they're not the most supportive and at some point carrying boxes across her gravel driveway I started experiencing searing, blinding, mind-blowing agony some discomfort.  I might have twisted it.  I'm not sure.  I'm so uncoordinated that nearly falling on my face doesn't even register in my memory anymore.

The pain continued for a couple weeks until I finally called my foot doc.  Unable to return from her vacation just to see moi, I settled on my family doc.  He diagnosed me with tendinitis in my foot, which seemed entirely reasonable since I've already had it in both elbows and both shoulders.  He sent me home with orders to stay off it for a week and a note for work saying I had to wear tennis shoes basically forever.  He refused to put an end date on it, saying that he did not understand why businesses insist that people wear shoes that are unhealthy for their feet.

Preach it Brother!!!

So I stayed off of it for a weekend, and I wore sneakers for a couple weeks, and everything seemed better so I went back to business as usual.

But roughly mid-February the pain returned.  I actually went to the foot doc this time.  She took x-rays, saw nothing, and got on board the tendinitis train.  She told me to stay off the elliptical, wear sneakers, and try to stay off it as much as possible.

I stayed off the elliptical and wore sneakers.  I kind of forgot about the last part.

I went back in two weeks and told her I didn't think it was tendinitis.  I'm far too familiar with that bitch, and this aint her.  She assured me it was, because my x-rays looked fine.  She offered me a cortisone shot, which I refused.  It was a temporary fix for my elbows so why would it help my foot?  I continued to wear sneakers and stay off the elliptical.  I tried to stay off the foot but since that meant making The Boy actually, yaknow, DO stuff, it was difficult and frankly more unpleasant than the pain, so I continued to do far more walking than I should.

And it kept getting worse.

So finally at my third biweekly appointment, after saying once again "This does not feel like tendinitis.  It feels BROKEN", I agreed to the cortisone shot.  And I agreed to keep it elevated, stay off it for all but the barest of necessities, and I worked from home for the remainder of the week.  Who am I to argue?  I'm not a doctor.

Except that it continued to get worse.

My physical therapist was the one who finally encouraged me to seek a second opinion.

So when the radiologist at the orthopedist's office said "Want to see?" and I hobbled around the protective wall to look at the screen, what to my wandering eyes should appear but a break that any moron could see.  But not being an expert I pointed and said "Um....what's that?" and the radiologist replied "Well I'm no doctor, but it sure looks like a break to me"

Yep...the foot is borked (adj.- broken so entirely that the word to describe it is also effed up.)

The doctor explained to me that I have a Jones Fracture, to which he added "When they name a fracture, it's never good".

WHY doesn't anyone, including me, listen to me??  Why didn't I get a second opinion earlier on?  And why am I resisting the urge to hobble to my foot doc's office and plant my crutch firmly in her...

Moving on.  Violence is never the answer.

Now the new doc said that even if I had come to him in the first place he probably wouldn't have seen the break on the original x-rays.  These types of breaks often don't show when they're new.  And what we're seeing now is not so much the break but more the new bone formation.  His protocol would have been to send me home with exactly the same instructions I received from my foot doc, BUT when I returned two weeks later reporting continued pain, he would have taken new x-rays, at which point the break would have been visible.

Grrrrr....

The theory is that it was a very slight crack back on October, which caused comparably little pain and healed in a few weeks.  BUT there is a 30% to 50% re-injury rate with Jones Fracture, so I re-broke it in February, gradually making it worse until recently when I finally started staying off it, at which point it finally started to heal.

From here on out I need to wear supportive shoes more often than not and I need to continue to lose weight to keep it from re-breaking.  Or is it re-re-breaking?

So anyway, I'm on the mend, in a boot and on crutches.  Going on day four and the foot feels GREAT...the rest of my body feels like it's been hit by a bus.  You guys walking on crutches is HARD.  I have bruises on my upper ribs under my arms and the muscles in my chest, arms and even abs feel like I've been abducted and tortured by Jillian Michaels on her period.  I spent a good portion of yesterday sitting around feeling sorry for myself because the automatic air freshener in the laundry room has run out and it's just too much trouble to go to the store and get a refill.  Seriously EVERYTHING is hard.  I sit here in my jammies right now because getting ready to go anywhere feels like an ordeal on par with construction of the pyramids.  But I do need to undertake this endeavor because The Boy will be home soon to take his invalid mother out to lunch and to the grocery store.

I'm not sure if it's the fact we now know it's broken or the fact that I could take him down with the swing of a crutch but The Boy's attitude toward helping me has improved and he's no longer accusing me of "milking it" (oh yes he did).  So hopefully we can have a nice lunch and get the shopping done without either of us leaving the other at the restaurant or store.  We're going to need to figure out how to get along soon because come the end of May we will spend 7 days on a very big boat together, sharing a very tiny room at night.  Here's hoping the doc's prediction that I'll be healed by then comes true, and The Boy and I are still talking to each other when the cruise is over.

Today's lunch...something from First Watch.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Not You, Not Lazy, Not Crazy

It's funny how the exact same experience can teach you something entirely different when you do it a second time.  When I did The Ultimate Reset last summer I found it immensely rewarding, and I lost 14 pounds, but I pretty much immediately went back to my old ways.  Yeah, I had a couple of new recipes under my belt, but the first non-reset day I went out to eat, and overdid it, and within probably a month I had gained back every ounce and then some.

This time around I found it much easier, probably because I knew what to expect and none of the recipes were new to me.  But I also learned several new lessons, and they stuck with me this time.

I learned that hunger doesn't have to be scary.  I learned that my body does not process carbs properly.  I learned that a meal without meat doesn't have to feel like deprivation.  I learned that sugar is my enemy, not just in what it does to the number on the scale but in how it makes me feel.

I also learned that I was filling a hole with food.  And when I didn't have enough food at my disposal to fill the hole I tried to fill it with things.  And when I stopped trying to do that I started trying to fill it with experiences.  I haven't quite learned how to just be comfortable with the hole, but I'm not trying to plaster it over with mashed potatoes, purses or facials any more either.

I lost 15 pounds in three weeks this time around.  A pound more than the last time.  But this time I learned that there is less pleasure in a big loss if you're sure you're going to put it all right back on again, which I was.  I was terrified!

So I found a therapist, who really didn't work out.  She taught me some tricks, but tricks isn't what I wanted.  I wanted to learn why I stop at Burger King on the way home from a dinner date, or why I spend an entire evening making trips to the kitchen every 10 minutes or why I can't go to a party, have ONE glass of wine and a small plate of food and be done with it.  Her answer to everything was "just take Lean Cuisine with you".  I wanted to find out how to eat like a normal person and she tried to make me even less normal.

Coincidentally, at just about the same time, I also reconnected with a dear friend who knows everything there is to know about eating disorders, because she's had one her whole adult life.  She has been a greater help than the therapist and she doesn't even charge me $75 per hour.  She keeps me accountable and she understands what it's like to be ashamed of your body and what you put in it.  And I can tell her exactly what I ate and she won't judge me, but she will help me figure out how to do better next time.

In the ten weeks since finishing The Reset I've lost eleven pounds.  Those eleven little pounds carry triple the pride and sense of accomplishment of the previous 15...because my own decisions made them happen, and because by ten weeks out after the last Reset I had undone all of the hard work and un-learned all of the lessons.

It helps that for about eight of those weeks (before I hurt my foot) I was going to the gym.  Even now I'm tempted to say "only" 2 or 3 times a week.  Which brings me to what was a pretty big decision for me.

I quit Beachbody.

I got to the point where I felt like a failure because I was "only" working out, at the time, FIVE times a week,.  In spite of all of my new found habits, my hard work, gained muscle tone and yes a little lost weight I didn't have that before and after bikini picture to show for it so it all meant nothing.  I didn't WANT to inflict pain on myself on a daily basis to get the kind of success my peers had.  I just wanted to be healthy, and that didn't feel like success.

There is a "no pain no gain" mentality that permeates the coach culture.  The motivational sayings posted all over Facebook, the "thinspiration" photographs of sculpted abs.  The "Whether you think you can or you think you can you're right" and "You can have success or you can have excuses but you can't have both" and the "The only thing standing between you and your goals is the bullshit story you tell yourself" attitude.  The proud status updates of people who just "shredded" their legs, or "destroyed" their upper body. The attitude that if you want it bad enough you will bleed for it if necessary.  I bought in to all of it.  So when I had pain, I pushed through it.  I told myself to quit my fucking whining, cowgirl up and LIFT...no matter what.   I lifted until I couldn't any more.

When my doctor told me I couldn't lift for six weeks I was crushed.  I felt like I was finally making progress and I had been kicked back to the bottom of the ladder.

In an effort not to start gaining weight I joined a gym.  I met with a personal trainer who showed me which exercises I could do without hurting my shoulders.  And for the first time someone took some time to talk to me about my abs.

When I was 19 I was cut open hip to hip because I had a cyst on my ovary.  Then when I was 30 I had The Boy.  I gained 50 lbs, stretching the heck out of my stomach, and I had a c-section to boot.  Ever since I haven't been able to do a single crunch, much less a sit up.  I can't do the hundred, I can't plank.  I just...can't.

I've left exercises classes in tears.  I've cried right through Beachbody workouts.  I've told myself over and over again that the problem is just that I'm not trying hard enough.

My personal trainer took time to work with me, rather than just saying "try harder".  She showed me several exercises, and asked me where I felt each one.  My answer was always "In my back".  Finally she said "I'm stumped.  I recommend you talk to a physical therapist"

Since I was already getting weekly physical therapy for a foot injury I asked my PT about my stomach.  She had me lay back, she poked at my stomach a bit and said "Yep...you have diastasis recti.  The last thing you should be doing is crunches or planking.  You're making it worse every time you try"



Who knew...I'm not lazy and I'm not crazy.



Now I have a whole new set of exercises which should help close the gaping hole in my stomach muscles and help strengthen them.  BUT I also have orders from my PT to NEVER try to do crunches again.  She says she wouldn't recommend them to ANY client over 40.


So one day when one of the coaches who actually has a few certifications under his belt posted something about how a workout should cause discomfort but not pain, and my first reaction was to want to reply "Really?  Someone should tell the rest of the company!!", it occurred to me that I might not be in the right mindset to be selling these products.


Will I ever go back?  Maybe.  The products are good.  I still swear by Shakeology and the workouts are great when done within reason.  I'd love to coach MY WAY, sensibly catering to people my age.  The "KILL that workout no matter what" mentality may be perfect for twenty-somethings but for those of us pushing 50 it can be dangerous.

But nobody wants to buy fitness products from the chubby chick.  I can go back in six months if I want.  If I keep up the way I have been I may actually have that before/after picture by then...though it will be MY kind of before/after.  No bikini.

Since I'm still using Shakeology, and since my most recent weight-loss success was sparked by The Ultimate Reset, I will have no qualms about crediting my success to the company when I finally have that side-by-side photo.

One of my favorite coaches has a saying.  Be you, but make it about them.  I liked that.  Be you.  It flies in the face of "Find someone who has what you want and do what they do".  It says that you can have success YOUR WAY.   Because I'm not you.  And as it turns out I'm not lazy and I'm not crazy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dear Healthy Choice

Dear Healthy Choice,

As I find myself imprisoned in my kitchen working from home this week, I don't have the same array of choices for lunch as I enjoy when I get to actually venture out to a real office with real grown-ups, so Today I was forced to consume your Homestyle Salisbury Steak for lunch.

First, my congratulations on the staying-power of whatever chemicals create the flavors in the meat-like product which you call salisbury steak.  In spite of the thick layer of ice which enveloped this entire entree, it remained a passable approximation of ground and cooked animal flesh.  Bravo.

I do have one question.  Of the 320 calories this meal is reported to provide, how many of those calories should I subtract for the impressive amount of "gravy" and "dessert fruit topping" which remains in the container after the meal is consumed?  While I would imagine there is some sort of mantra in the diet food industry which probably equates to "dry is bad, add more juice", providing so little meat-like-substance and frozen potato bits that one could not consume all of the gravy if each solid bite were eaten with a ladel of liquid, and allowing the fruit dessert pieces (Apples?  I'm just spitballing here, you tell me) to float in such a pool of syrupy liquid that I imagine them flailing and yelling "Can't Swim!!!" in their little fruity voices....well it's just a cruel, cruel joke.

I mean I'm not a proud woman.  I have been known to lick the frosting off the cellophane film atop a Weight Watcher's dessert, and I regularly crunch the ice that comes with my iced coffee lest a little bit of creamy goodness be lost, but I draw the line just short of drinking gravy out of your microwavable plastic handy disposable cookware.  I do have my standards.

So I suppose I can only guess how many calories I actually consumed.  Let's estimate based on the enjoyment of the meal and say.....50.  Yeah, that feels about right.

Love, Me

Today's lunch...all but this.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Plugged Up Inelegant Blob


I can't tell you how many times since I last posted here I've sat down and tried to come up with something worth reading.  And each time it sounds more and more like my old Live Journal feed.  Just a diary of what's going on in my life, rather than what BOL was supposed to be; something with meaning and maybe a little flair.  Write-y rather than "here's what I did today".  

I think the problem is that there is so much in my head right now.  There IS so much going on that is affecting me as a person, changing me, pissing me off and breaking my heart and shaping me and when I try to funnel it from my brain to my fingers to BOL it clogs up, then squirts out in a big, very inelegant blob.  

I'm plugged up.

So maybe the solution is to take off the lid, clean out the spout, empty it all out and start over.  You, my friend, have fallen into that process.  Prepare to be unimpressed.  I’m about to overshare in a very stream-of-consciousness kind of way that will probably leave many of you scratching your head and saying “who cares?”.  But those of you who have asked when I’m going to start writing again, you know who you are, you take your chances on what you get when I lift the lid on my life like this.

The first thing I think of as far as what’s going on with me right now is…well…FUCKING OW.  I have tendinitis in my foot (Yes, it’s spelled that way.  Even though it’s an inflammation of the tendOn….with an O…when you make it an ‘itis’ it gets an I…stupid language) which first of all has me in so much pain I can hardly see straight.  It’s sucking up a good portion of my brain power.  It’s bad.  This teeny-tiny little tendon on the outside of my right foot, between mid-foot and pinky toe, is running and RUINING my life right now.  I’ve had to start wearing sneakers to work (this requires a doctor’s note and an act of congress), park in the visitor’s parking space (I’m pretty sure I’m going to hell for this), stop going to the gym and to church (just because both are too much walking).  I go to work, I go home, I make the quickest, easiest dinner possible, and I sit with my foot elevated and iced until bedtime.  That’s my routine and I FUCKING HATE IT.

By the time my mom was my age she had an illegally-obtained handicap permit hanging in her car, she didn't work but she had a cleaning lady.  She used the motorized cart at the grocery store and she didn't cook.  My dad did everything for her due to her physical limitations, some real and some perceived, all caused by her morbid obesity.   

Perhaps because of how she was, incapable of or unwilling to do anything for herself, asking everything of others, I have a really REALLY hard time asking for help.  It is killing me to have to ask The Boy to take me to the grocery store, drop me at the door, meet me inside and run and fetch items for me.  I nearly broke down in tears last week when I had to ask him to take the dogs to get their toenails cut.  I do NOT want this for him.  

My boss is encouraging me to talk to my foot doctor about getting a temporary handicap permit so that I can park in the handicap spot rather than one of our only two visitor’s spots.  I know this makes perfect logical sense.  I know it would help in the healing process if I didn't have to park in BFE and walk everywhere I go.  I know I might be healed already if I could just limit my walking.  But I also know it goes against everything I believe, everything I want to be, to be 47 years old, have all my limbs and be parking in a handicap parking space.

I’m getting physical therapy once a week, seeing the foot doctor every second Tuesday.  I go back in three days. 

So yeah, FUCKING OW.

Changing gears.

I’m not a Beachbody Coach anymore.  I’ve started to write about that probably six times and I’m struggling with finding a way to say what I’m thinking without sounding like I’m bad-mouthing the company or the other coaches.  I’m having a hard time making it come out right.  For now I have to do some day-job stuff, and this is long enough already.  So maybe I’ll tackle that tomorrow. 

 I feel a little bit un-plugged.  Not in the MTV acoustic guitar way.  More in inelegant blob way. 

Maybe I’m back.  I’ve missed you guys.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Feelings Schmeelings

Last time I did The Ultimate Reset I kept hearing people talk about buried feelings and emotions coming to the surface.  I was all like "FEELINGS SCHMEELINGS, what are you babies whining about?  Get over here an help me chop carrots!"

This time around...whoa buddy.

I'm having a very hard time staying in control on a program that really does feed me plenty.  But it doesn't feed me iced mocha and Christmas cookies and milkshakes and it doesn't let me eat when I'm not hungry and that's a real problem.  I've definitely been filling a void with food and now that I can't do that all kinds of nasty stuff is coming up out of that hole.

Nice visual huh?  You're welcome.

Yesterday I had a major melt-down because I can't go to church.  I mean sure I CAN. There is no restraining order or anything (that you know of).  And to be perfectly honest until maybe two years ago I had no real desire to go.  I've always subscribed to the Amy Farrah Fowler school of religion.  I don't object to the concept of a deity, but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.

But over the last couple of years, well since The Man left and Mom died and I sort of asked The Big Guy for help and got it, I've felt like I'd like to go.  The thing is when I was a kid we used to go to church once or twice a year.  And every time I went I felt like I didn't fit in.  People weren't friendly at all.  Pretty much the opposite.  It wasn't until I grew up until I figured out it may have had something to do with my mom's big hair and long red nails and mini-skirts and go-go boots and the fact that lots of people knew she was cheating on my dad.

But even putting that experience aside (cheeyah right), I feel like some churches are more about a fashion show and gossip-fest than fellowship and worship and having a better relationship with God, which is what I'm looking for. I don't expect to be BFF's with everyone on day one but I don't want to feel judged and looked down upon and that's what comes to mind when I think of church.

And there's this weird phenomenon.  I don't know what it is exactly but every damn time I walk into a church I start to cry.  Doesn't matter if it's for a wedding, a funeral (understandable, of course) or what.  I dissolve into a big puddle of snot and tears.

So when I think about going to church, I picture myself walking into this place where I don't know anyone, dressed wrong (because, yaknow, I'm me)



 ....and immediately starting to cry.

Doesn't make me feel any closer to The Man, yaknow?

But still I have this pull.  And it's immensely frustrating.  It's a little tug of war that sometimes leans toward "You can do this.  Who cares what other people think?" and sometimes leans more toward "You freaking coward! You can't even do THIS??", and other times it's more like "Are you crazy?  You need to spend Sunday at the office!!"

Yeah, there are a few voices.

And I'm having all of this inner turmoil during a time where I couldn't keep up at work if I worked 60 hours a week, yet I have to leave at 6 to cook dinner, then make the next day's lunch, then clean up the kitchen and I don't get done until 9 or 9:30, then I start all over again.

So....I have an appointment Friday with a psychologist who specializes in eating disorders.  Maybe she can help me figure out something else to fill the void with to stop this kind of stuff from oozing out.  Maybe gambling or drugs.  That sounds like fun!!!

Today's lunch.  Day 7.  Microgreen salad and zucchini cashew soup.  Good stuff.  But I still want a mocha.

Photo: Day 7. Lunch. Microgreen salad with home made dressing and zucchini cashew soup. This soup is lick-the-bowl good!
http://myultimatereset.com/TGILLAND

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Complete self-control. It's not normal.

The frustrating thing about The Ultimate Reset is that you spend so much time around food but get to eat so little of it. Not that I'm wasting away to nothing.  There is plenty of food on this plan, but I've gotten far too used to shoving any pretty thing I see in my fat maw and now I have to have complete self-control.  It's not normal.

If you live in an area that has a really good health food store it has to be easier but the nearest Whole Foods is 45 minutes away and the little natural stores around here just don't fit the bill.  So I spend hours and hours wandering stores full of food I'm not allowed to have in search of the items I am.

Normally I do my grocery shopping on my way home on Friday night.  Yes, my life is THAT fun.  But I'm in and out in an hour and home to relax.  Yesterday I went to Wal Mart, the big super duper mammoth extravaganza Wal Mart with the grocery store in it, thinking surely they would have what I needed.  I went in with a list and came out with a hatred of humanity, and a list.  I seriously was wondering if there is a snowstorm predicted of which I'm not aware because EVERYONE was freaking shopping.  And I found myself to be, more often than not, either the person standing by at a polite distance waiting for someone to finish looking (and looking, and looking) at the EXACT item I need to get, or the person with a cart up my ass, navigated by an impatient a-hole who wanted what I was looking at.

People suck.

But it was Wal Mart, land of the bunny slippers, pajama pants and bikini tops.  Why would I expect manners?

So today I set out to Earth Fare.  I had never been there and had high hopes that it would be like Whole Foods but closer.  It was not.  It's a nice enough store but the shelves were bare.  Seriously...is there a meteor headed toward earth or something and everyone is stocking up but me??  Clue me in! I mean they had no cucumbers.  NO CUCUMBERS!!  A place called Earth Fare being out of cucumbers is like Wal Mart being out of Pop Tarts and Mac & Cheese.

So from there I went to Heinen's.  Now I love the Heinen's by my house. I would shop there all the time if I won the lottery (I'm an Aldi's girl, but they don't carry jicama or miso paste).  But I went to the Heinen's in Rocky River.  Or, as it's known by the locals, just "River"...said in a snotty tone, looking down one's nose.  It's a pretty snooty neighborhood.  I saw more than one person shopping from a list on their iPad.  Seriously?  Even if I HAD an iPad I would not bring it to the grocery store with me.  Everyone is dressed to the nines (no bunny slippers here).  Mostly yuppie families, who come all together, husband, wife and children.  In their Lexus SUV or Cadillac Escalade.  Who does that?  When Alex was little I did ANYTHING to avoid dragging him to the store with me.  And I think in 16 years of marriage the Ex went with me maybe twice.  But for these families it's an outing.  And the couples, with their 2.4 children, block the WHOLE FREAKING ISLE, while mom reads about the gluten content in the bread and dad makes sure the beer he's picking out is made from organic hops and barley.

Turns out I hate rich people too.

All in all I think I've spent about six hours this weekend dealing with groceries...driving to and fro, shopping and putting it away.  Next weekend I think I'll just pull up my big girl panties and drive the 90 minutes round trip to Whole Foods.  The people are nice there.  I don't recall wanting to kill anyone any of the times I've gone.  It will be worth the gas money.

But I did realize a few things.  First, it is really REALLY, just incredibly super duper hard for me to go ANYWHERE on the weekend without stopping for an iced mocha.  Often that's the only reason I brush my teeth and put on clothes on Saturday, and that's pathetic.

Second, it does not seem natural for me to not have a 'treat' of some sort when I'm done shopping.  A bottle of iced tea, or Starbuck's iced coffee, or a candy bar or a chocolate covered pretzel.  It's just really hard to stick to the list.  Like much harder than I thought.

And third, I'm tempted to fill whatever hole I've dumping food into with...stuff.  When I was at Wal Mart yesterday I didn't just walk the food isles, I covered the whole store.  I didn't know what I was looking for, but I was looking for something.  I didn't find it. Turns out they don't sell love or self-respect.

Today between Earth Fare and Heinen's I really wanted to go to Target or Ulta or any of a bunch of other places, even though I don't need anything.  I even considered going to the mall and getting one of those $10 ten-minute chair massages.  Just something, just for me.  Some comfort since I can't have comfort food, I guess.

How do normal people without food addictions deal with this?  I want to get control on my eating but I don't want to shift my fixation to shopping or drinking or sleeping or anything else.  Can't I just live my life and do what I need to do and be happy with what I have?  Is that possible?  Is that the sign of a person who is psychologically and emotionally healthy?  Or is it just an unrealistic dream?

I don't know.

Anyway I did go off-list with one item.  I was really, really hungry and a half hour from home and I bought this:

IMG_1800.jpg


Some call it sesame kale chips.  I call it photographic evidence that I am not right in the head.  It's not TECHNICALLY off plan.  Everything in it is on the list of foods I'm allowed to have.  But it was $7.49!! And it means no after-dinner snack (I was going to have baby carrots and hummus) and also dinner will be VERY late due to the time I have to wait between eating, taking supplements and eating again.

Yes, I ate kale chips in the car on the way home.  And I enjoyed them.  What is WRONG with me?

I guess that's the big question. But it's only day four.  I have 17 days before I'm left to my own food decisions.  Hopefully I can figure something out before then.