Jan 24, 2014

I Blame the Frozen Pipes

So, it was a normal morning.  I dragged my sorry butt out of bed at 5:15 this morning after hitting the snooze button multiple times and began to get ready for work.

Tim goes downstairs and announces that we have a problem:  the kitchen sink pipes were frozen.  I panic because all I have been hearing about is pipes bursting and the thousands of dollars it costs to fix said frozen pipes.  This is a real concern, because apparently Ohio has somehow been relocated and placed in the middle of Ant-frickin-arctica.  It is also a concern because we just spent our savings account on a new furance.  So, I call work and tell them I will be late, because we are trying to thaw out the pipes.  My boss is a super nice guy and told me just to stay home.  I am conflicted with this because I am one of those people that gets major guilty feelings for missing work.  Time to take the anxiety meds!


Tim drives around town looking for small space heaters because we need one to heat up the area of the garage where the frozen pipes are located.  He finally finds one at Meijer...probably the last one in the tri-state area.

I decide that while we are waiting for the heater to do its magic, it would be a great idea for me to pick up donuts and coffee.  I am stressed, right?  I have a million things to do at work and here I sit at home cursing at a piece of frozen metal.  I want a donut, damn it!  No, I want TWO donuts!  I want a chocolate frosted one and one of those cinnamon twisted ones with glaze.  I want a giant cup of coffee cause it is cold outside! I giant cup of coffee with a load of cream and two packets of sugar.  Do I listen to my inner voice, that says, "Courtney, your jeans are so loose on you this week and you just fit into a pair of jeans that you haven't been able to zip in months."   Nope.  I go out into the Antarctic temperatures to buy sugar laden, carb-filled, delicious  donuts.  Then, I get home and eat both of them...along with the large cup of sweetened coffee.

This donut indulgence got me to thinking...

I am not a stress eater.  (What? ...you may say...)  Just hear me out!

I am NOT a stress eater.  When I am really upset and stressed about something, I do not eat.  I lose my appetite.  I can't eat.  When I was at the worst of my anxiety problem, I went almost two days with barely eating a morsel.

I eat badly when I am suddenly thrown off my routine.  I had a plan for today.  I had a lunch packed.  I was ready to go about my business like I do every day.  Something came up though and my schedule was totally thrown for a loop.  So somewhere in my distorted thinking, I rationalized by saying, "Well, the day is already wacko!  May as well have a donut!  May as well do whatever I want, because the day had no regard for my plans!"  I know how ridiculous this sounds.  I cannot really accurately put my frame of mind into words.

Am I disappointed in myself? Yes.  Am I beating myself up over it?  Not really.  I know that I will back into my routine soon and things will be back to normal.  I guess I am just trying to tell myself that life happens and to roll with the punches.  What happened today is not a giant deal. It was just an inconvenience.

There will be more donuts.  I am just glad that I am thinking all of this through rather than hating myself. That's progress, I think.

Did I mention that I fit into jeans this morning that have not fastened in months?  ;)

Jan 22, 2014

It's Wednesday!!!

Life After I Dew

So what if...

I am going to be in school forever because we have had a record amount of snow days due to the record amount of cold weather and snow this year.  I am not gonna complain about a day off every now and then, but let's get this winter crap over with!

My feet are frozen because I do not have slippers and the kitchen floor is likely as cold as an ice skating rink.  Well, I have slippers, but I am having a hard time finding one of them.  D'oh!  I guess I could have one warm foot?

I always see awesome sales on clothes and things I want really bad when I have no money whatsoever to spend on myself right now.

Having a day off would be the PERFECT opportunity to get caught up on my cleaning, but I am not really gonna do it.  I will just have to clean it again because the kids will undo everything I did AND I have a four year old in the next room playing with watercolors.  Need I say more?

I wish I could have kept my son with me today instead of sending him off to school. (His school was open, mine wasn't.)  I love spending time with that little goober.

I am doing really well on my eating plan, but choose to torture myself by pinning recipes on Pinterest for things like Orange Dreamcicle Cupcakes and Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge. 

I took the time to curl my hair today and I am pretty much going nowhere.

The music on my iPod is just awful.  I need to revamp. Maybe that is what I will do this afternoon.  You know, because I need to update my playlists more than I need to clean the house and make sure my family has clean underwear.  Priorities!

I keep thinking about how if I didn't have to pay a horrendous amount of money on daycare for Darcy, I could afford to have a new car instead of the one I currently drive. Her weekly tuition is literally the same as one monthly car payment on a small sedan.  Ugh. 

I am out of things to say!  Happy Wednesday!

Jan 21, 2014

Healthy Foods I Wish I Liked

As I have started to clean up my eating, I have tried a lot of new foods -- many of which I have liked.  There are still, however, many healthy foods that I REALLY wish I actually liked.  Maybe I am cooking some of them wrong, but honestly, I have tried several of these things time and time again.  For a lot of them it comes down to texture.  I am a texture person and if it feels odd in my mouth, I just cannot do it.

So, without further ado, here are some healthy foods that I really wish I liked:

I have been picky about eggs for as long as I can remember.  I do not like them runny or hard boiled.  I will eat them scrambled if they are well done and I have toast to help choke it down. I will also eat omelets because the veggies, meat, and cheese hide the full egg flavor -- kind of defeats the purpose of the health value of an egg.  This is a food where the texture, smell, and taste get to me.  I really don't think that I will ever acquire a taste for these bad boys.  I so wish I could eat a hard boiled egg for some healthy protein as a snack though.  Ain't happenin'!

I have gotten a little bit better when it comes to beans over the years.  Beans have ALWAYS been a texture issue.  As I have gotten older, I have started to gradually introduce more beans into my diet.  I love green beans now.  I also will throw some black beans into a soup or Mexican dip and I enjoy them.  I am not to a point where I can eat a big fork full of beans though.  Not yet.  Maybe someday.

I wish I could stir fruit into this as a healthy breakfast or snack.  It would be so convenient.  I just don't like this stuff -- plain and simple.

I try this stuff time and time again.  I try different mix ins and fresh fruit.  I try to make this stuff tasty.  It just feels like I am eating sour cream and it is SO THICK.  I do like versions with the fruit already mixed in.  I know there is added sugar.  I know it is not as good for me.  Another reason, I wish I could mix in fruit with the plain version and enjoy it.  I can't.  I have tried -- as recently as last week.

Maybe I haven't found a great way to prepare this yet.  I know you have to rinse it off, etc.  It still just tastes so bitter to me.  I have tried cooking it in broth.  I have tried some of the creative quinoa recipes courtesy of Pinterest.  I am at a loss.  I have not found a way that I enjoy eating quinoa.

I know that tofu is supposed to take on the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you are cooking it in. Texture is my issue here...plus it really does taste odd to me.  I will likely never jump on the tofu band wagon.

I love avocado when it is mashed up with sour cream and pico de gallo.  Nothing beats an awesome guacamole!  Unfortunately, I do not like avocado in its pure form.  Believe me, I have tried it time and again. Again, it is a texture issue.  I know that sounds so dumb, but it is what it is!  Certain textures make me gag.

I have tried making this several times.  I have not given up on this one, but there is no way that I will ever be able to pretend it is actual spaghetti.  I just don't care for it as a substitute.  I actually DO like zucchini as a substitute though.  

I do like cauliflower.  I just do not care for the mashed version.  Like with spaghetti squash, I cannot pretend it is potatoes.  Again, maybe I need a new way to make them, but the times I have tried, I have spent a long time ricing the stuff and mashing.  Then, it is not what I really wanted......cause, I, uh, wanted potatoes.  Oh well, I will just find other ways to prepare my cauliflower.

I am open to suggestions for the preparation of any of these foods ---except eggs.  I don't think I will ever be able to handle eggs. Like I said, I really do WANT to like these foods.  What about you though?  Are there any healthy foods that you just cannot get on board with?

Jan 19, 2014

It NEVER Fails!!

I don't know what it is, but every time I revamp my eating and exercise plan, I seem to start my period that very week.  Therefore, I never really get an accurate weigh in --- because I am all bloated and crap. I do not plan it this way, it just seems to always be the way it works out.  Maybe PMS causes me to get so pissed off at my body, that I recommit to change.  Who knows? Oh well, hopefully it will show in next week's weigh in. I can say, however, that I did hop on the scale this morning (fully clothed) and on my period, and I weighed the same as I weighed last week.  Soooo, to me that means I lost something.  I hope...

Weight loss or no, I had a really good week.

Good stuff that happened:

  • I stuck to my meal plan (for the most part).  I ate chocolate yesterday, but it was not an insane amount.  I am sorry, but cannot live in a world where chocolate is off limits. 

  • I made it to the gym when I could.  
  • I kept a positive attitude, even when things weren't "perfect."
  • I had a solid meal plan.   

Things I could have done better:

  • I worked late and got home late two nights this week.  One of those nights, I probably could have gone to the gym, but let the late night be an excuse not to go.  I have to end those excuses.
  • I need to drink more water.  I get hooked on coffee in the mornings and drink that when I should be drinking my water. 
  • I need to eat more than a piece of fruit for breakfast.  I am hungry again before I even get to work.

Things I am switching up this week:

  • I still have a meal plan in place, but I have changed it around so that I will not get bored.  I mentioned above that I need to do better at breakfast.  The problem is that I have to eat on the go.  Sooo, I bought some whey protein.  I plan to take a protein shake with me in the car AND the piece of fruit. This should do better at keeping me full.
  • I am outlining a workout plan this week as well.  I am noticing that my endurance is really improving (so proud of that!), so I am going to challenge myself more.  I get to wrapped up in doing what is comfortable.  Time to push the envelope a little!
  • I tend to get lazy with exercise on the weekends.  Therefore, I am going to plan to work out at least one day during the weekend and make it a good one!  
  • I am going to take part in at least one class at my gym this week. 
  • More water!!  I mentioned the coffee habit.  I am going to limit myself to one cup and drink water after that. 
  • Keep a smile on my face and remember that I am worth it!

Daily Dose of Del Signore

Jan 12, 2014

Ready for the Week!

Everywhere you look, people are talking about the importance of planning.  It is so darned true!  I entered last week with no plan.  There was an "idea" of a plan, but the plan did not materialize.  Well, I am writing this post on a Sunday night, and the food for my lunches is all ready to go and I have a menu planned out for dinners.

It is crazy how empowering a plan actually is.  Tonight, I grilled some Chipotle Marinated Chicken -- this is quite possibly the BEST marinade recipe I have ever made in my entire life.  I make it again and again, and I never get sick of it!  I plan to pack a portion of this in my lunch each day.

I am carb cycling, so on my low carb days, I am pairing this with steamed vegetables.  On the higher carb days, I will be pairing it with a small serving of brown rice and some grilled peppers and onions.

I grilled a big pile of peppers and onions ahead of time, so all I will have to do is scoop some into my bowl.

For breakfast, I bought some plain greek yogurt.  I am pairing it with some thawed frozen berries with some Stevia sprinkled on top.  

Snacks will consist of fresh fruit, raw almonds, and low sodium deli turkey or roast beef.

In a separate effort to get motivated for working out, I purchased some new "gym gear."  I was hesitant to buy anything since having to spend a ton of money on a new furnace recently.  I could not, however, pass up the huge sale at Old Navy on their active wear.  

Forgive the awful mirror selfies.  I am so bad at taking them -- I think mostly because I feel so strange doing it.  I got 2 pair of the Old Navy compression pants, which are just awesome!  I also got a pullover, which I also fell in love with.  When my budget allows, I am going to have to purchase more items from their collection.  They fit and feel great!

I also got a new pair of running shoes right after Christmas for a mere $22 on sale.  

You can't see them, but in addition to that, I bought 2 new sports bras from Meijer.  Thanks to "MPerks", I was able to get them buy one get one half off.  

So, hopefully with my awesome food that is prepped and my new gym clothes, I will be well on my way to a successful week!  How did you prepare yourself for this week!

Daily Dose of Del Signore

Jan 8, 2014

My Latest Fitness Crush

During my very long path towards fitness -- a path which is often lined with mud, rocks, and doggie doo -- I look for inspiration.  I get my inspiration in a number of ways.  Entering the blogging world has inspired me, because not only do I get to talk to people about my own story, but I also get to read theirs.  I have a list of blogs that I visit on a regular basis and am so impressed with the stories that I see.  I also like to read self-help books related to fitness.  I am always on the search for ideas to help me with nutrition and exercise.

I also like to watch fitness related TV shows.  I was a big fan of the Biggest Loser for a long time, but I can't stomach it anymore.  Watching people participate in obstacle courses reminiscent of  those in Nickelodeon's Double Dare while living in a secluded ranch does not inspire me anymore. It doesn't inspire me because it isn't real life. Sure, seeing them struggle with the inner demons that brought them there is real and emotional. Watching them drop weight after working hard in the gym is good to see.  It just is not relate-able for me and my efforts with weight loss in the midst of the struggles present in daily life.  I also got really sick of the product placement.  "Come here and make lunch! We are going to eat this Progresso soup! It is highly processed and full of unhealthy amounts of sodium! Enjoy!"   I still do like Jillian.  I enjoy her podcast as well as her workout DVDs. The woman knows what she is doing.   She was my fitness crush for a long time.  By crush I don't mean that I had fantasies about us running off together into the sunset.  My definition of a fitness crush is the person or people that I look to for advice fitness wise that I cannot get enough of.  Their words inspire me.  Their advice makes sense.  They are my mentors even though I will likely never have the opportunity to stand in the same room with them.  While I still have feelings for Jillian, and we had a good run, someone has taken her place in my fitness heart.

That person is....

Chris Powell.  I love this guy -- not because he is adorable...well, maybe a little bit, but mostly because he inspires me.  Up until about a month ago, I didn't even know who this guy was -- because apparently I was living under a rock or something.  You see, through all the weight loss blogs I follow, I stumbled across the Instagram account of Jaqui McCoy.  She was a participant in ABC's Extreme Weight Loss.  I saw her amazing before and after pictures and decided to look her up and read about her story.  Through that, I stumbled across her Extreme Weight Loss episode on YouTube.  Chris Powell is the trainer, who helps these participants with their transformations.  I mean, it is still TV magic -- there are still unrealistic aspects, but at least these participants still have to battle the challenges of doing the work at home -- some even while still working full time jobs.  I fell in love with the show and started watching more episodes and became more intrigued with Chris' approach.  

Soooo, I went out and bought

I got this because I wanted to read the details of his nutrition and fitness plan.  I needed suggestions for the gym -- besides the machines.  (I had a free appointment with a personal trainer, and it was not very helpful. She was really young and inexperienced and basically told me that she would make it easy on me.  I don't want you to be easy on me!  I have been too easy on myself for too long!)  I also wanted to read about carb cycling.  

I am not going to get into what carb cycling is (maybe another time), but I wanted an easy to follow meal plan that is doable.  I tried Whole 30, and while I did lose weight, it was not realistic for me to stick with.  I went back to counting calories, but still wasn't getting the results that I wanted.  While counting calories is important, I still need a framework.  This seemed like one that I could do and keep doing.

I also love Chris' wife, Heidi.  I have been reading her blog also.  She gives lots of great information for fitness, managing a healthier lifestyle while being a working mom, and nutrition -- including great recipes.  I pretty much just want them to adopt me into their adorable family and beat my fat ass into a skinny ass.  

So, yeah, the Powells are my current obsession.  I can't help myself, but inspiration is inspiration.  I will take it whenever I can!   Who is your fitness crush?  

Jan 7, 2014

Holiday Photo Dump

I am behind on recapping my holiday break.  Whoops!  I am not going to go on with a ton of details about how I spent my break.  Just thought I would share some photos and a few blurbs!

We went back to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo with my parents.  We all had a nice time.  We had a great time -- and they did to!  I was surprised since crowds are my dad's own personal hell.  He did well though!

That weekend we had a movie night.  I felt it was absolutely necessary that Aidan watch Home Alone.  I knew he would love it.  Turns out that both kids did.  We do not own the movies.  We rented them off Amazon.  This was probably a good thing since if we had it they would still be watching it on repeat.

Christmas Eve!  I love this picture so much.  They look so sweet in their Christmas outfits.

Aidan got a Ninja Turtle play set from his Aunt Carrie.  He was loving it!  He was taking it very seriously.

Darcy on Christmas Day.  Cutie.

Darcy got giant color sheets and crayons for Christmas.  We had fun coloring together.  

Darcy took this picture of the boys enjoying the new Wii U.

Darcy wanted to pose in her new pajama set.  Such a sweetie pie.  I know I have more pictures of her, but Aidan isn't always a fan of getting his picture taken.

A few days after Christmas, we learned we needed to buy a new furnace.  We went from Sunday night until Tuesday at about noon with no heat.  It was awful, but I just feel very lucky that it didn't happen this week when we are experiencing negative temperatures.  When the new thermostat was installed, that was the temperature in the house.  Brrrr...

Darcy and I snuggling under piles of blankets before the heat was turned back on.

Shortly after the heat came back, we got this.  Not nearly as much as other parts of the country, but still kinda pretty.

So, there ya go!  My holiday break photo dump.

Jan 6, 2014

Steps in the Right Direction

This has been a very trying three weeks for me.  That is one reason why I have not taken the time to blog.

I have been under unbelievable stress at work.  I am not going to get into the details, because I am a professional and do not want to bad mouth by workplace on the interwebs.  Just know that three weeks ago, was the lowest I have ever felt.  It was so bad that...

  • I was getting in my car in the morning and sobbing before pulling out of the driveway because I did NOT want to go in.  
  • When pulling into the parking lot at work, I would get this horrible sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
  • Once I actually entered the building, my hands would start shaking.   Sometimes I would actually have to go to the restroom near my office and vomit.
  • I went a couple days at a time without eating -- or barely eating anything at all.  I had completely lost my appetite.
  • I would have spells where I would get intense chills.  I could not breathe.  I would burst into tears.
I was having anxiety attacks.  I have NEVER had anxiety attacks before in my 34 years on this planet.

When I was not at work, my mind was ALWAYS racing with "What if" scenarios about work. I was dwelling on things that I could tell myself were not that big of a deal.  It didn't matter though.  I was OBSESSING.  I was unable to enjoy my family.  I was unable to have fun.  Even if I was somewhere fun, that nagging, obsessive worry was always running through my head.  I was a wreck.  It was impossible for me to just relax.  It was exhausting.

It took two very dear co-workers and friends to convince me that I needed help and that I cannot be ashamed to ask for it.

Help? What is that?

I have never been one to ask for help.  I put problems on my shoulders and decide that I am going to solve the problems.  I take on problems at home and at work.  I am the problem solver.  What I didn't realize is that the weight on my shoulders was slowly driving me into the ground.  I was collapsing underneath it all.

I decided enough was enough and made a doctor's appointment.

During the appointment, I was evaluated and was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  Turns out the obsessive thoughts are not normal.   Who knew?  I have lived my life this way for as long as I can remember.  I just thought I was a worrier.  Turns out there was a lot more to it than that.

I also learned that my serotonin levels were barely there.  You know? Serotonin? The hormone that is directly involved with telling our brain that we are happy.  It is also linked to memory.  Another very interesting thing is that along with the happy feelings it gives our brain, the feeling of being full at a meal comes from serotonin.  Sooo, let me get this straight...the FAT GIRL has rock bottom levels of a key part sending the "I'm full" message to the brain??  Imagine that craziness!!

The doctor put me on some medication.  One that takes awhile to start working and one that works quickly for the really bad days.   The slower one has started working, and I am feeling better.  The worry is still there, but I am human, after all.  The fast acting stuff may as well be a tranquilizer dart.  Sooo, I cannot take it.  I can see how it works though.  You cannot have an anxiety attack if your are drooling on your pillow for the vast majority of the day.

I am also planning to seek counseling.  I need help learning how to manage stress and to just tell people "no!" I am a people pleaser.  I am perfectionist. There is nothing wrong with either one at certain levels, but I have taken it overboard.

Soooo, while my New Year's resolution is to get healthier weight and fitness wise.  I have decided that this year I am going to focus on self improvement as a whole.  I need to get myself in a happier place mentally and perhaps the fitness will fall into place.  I am still going to work on weight loss -- but I am hoping that I will see more success when I am happier overall.  I want to accept myself and with that comes accepting my flaws -- and instead of beating myself up over them, understanding which ones are just part of being me and which ones actually could be improved upon.

Asking for help is a huge step for me.  I am proud of making that step.


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