Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ending on a high note!

I remember the first of this month.  We were on vacation, Marc and I and our boys took a long hike.  Life was grand!

Then we got home.  I faced the scale and have been stuck at a horrible number all month long.  Archer got sick.  Physical therapy is going pretty well, but I lost desire to run.  I've been feeling BLAH and have just wanted this month to END.

I wasn't aware that Mr. October is a sensitive fellow and he couldn't bear leaving with us on bad terms.  So he decided to step up his game.

First he had a talk with the scale and worked out a compromise.  I was 126.3 this morning.  Certainly not where I want to be, but headed in the right direction.

Over the last day or so Archer's ear has seemed better.  Instead of a thick river of yellowish green goo gushing out, it has been a bloody pink trickle.  The vet visit this morning confirmed that he is healing well.  I was hoping he would be completely better by now, but like the scale we're headed in the right direction.

And then today I went for a run.  There was no arguing with myself or insisting that I HAD TO run because I'm so fat.  It was simply a "I think I'll run a few miles.". And so I ran 3 - and then I felt like continuing so I ran 3 more.  And I felt great even though it was cold and cloudy.

So I'm pretty happy to be ushering October out on a high note!  And I hope Mr. October lets Miss November know that I deserve to be treated right!!!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chasing Happiness…

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who is generally unhappy with her life right now.  She is desperate for something to change, but she has felt this way for months and she still feels this way.

In AA they use the phrase "If nothing changes, nothing changes". In that spirit I asked her how much longer she plans on being unhappy.  She told me that was a question she couldn't answer.

I think that she is waiting for miracle - a magic fairy to come make everything better.

Boy do I know that wishful thinking.  I spent year after year being miserable and fat, WISHING something would change, but not doing a fucking thing about it except getting fatter and fatter.

I feel a little stuck like that right now.  I want to be happy.  But, if I'm being honest, I don't want to work right now for the happiness I seek - being thin.  I want the magic fairy to sprinkle thin dust on me while I sit on my ass and eat whatever I want.

Yesterday I went into a meeting and there were cupcakes.  FUCK ME!

As I tried desperately to avoid eye contact with those liberally frosted bastards, my friend Sue tried to pass them down - "Jen wants one" she said.

"No, Jen wants THREE!"  I said " But her fat ass isn't getting ANY". And people laughed.

Later in the day I was happy that I hadn't eaten one, but in that moment I would have been really happy to chow down!

So I'm trying to find that balance, still.  Living a full life, being a normal weight, short term gratification versus long term happy.  It ain't easy, folks - at least not for me 2.5 years into maintenance...


Monday, October 27, 2014


I woke up this morning to - you guessed it - GREY skies.  I felt - in the spirit of the season - like a zombie.  Standing on the scale, cleaning Archer's ear out, squeezing my huge ass into my skirt.

I had a productive morning at work, but late in the morning I found out that my mother's cat, Toes, made his trip to the Rainbow Bridge this morning.  Toes started his life as a fragile abandoned kitten.  But my mother and her boyfriend took him in and he spent the last 16 years as a adored member of the family.

16 great years is a wonderful life for a cat, but it is still tremendously sad to lose a loved one.  And out of nowhere I burst into tears.  The tears of sadness for my mother and her boyfriend - of course.  But also I think my worry about Archer, and my weight gain, and the GREY - they all came together in that moment.

I pulled myself together quickly, fortunately, and suddenly NEEDED to run.  I changed my clothes and looked out the window, and - like a beautifully wrapped gift - the clouds were breaking apart and bright, glorious sunshine appeared.

If you are a runner, you know that many times you can tell how the run will be right away.  From practically the first step I knew I was going to have a great run.  And I did.  My best run in what feels like - and may in fact be - MONTHS.

My pace was SLOW. But I didn't care.  I ran with no demands or expectations.  I ran because it felt great to run.

I thought about life and Toes and the future.  And then I thought about nothing.  At 3.5 miles in, my MP3 player picked "Kathy's Song" by Simon and Garfunkel.  Not a traditional running song, but I came to a hill just then and felt like I was gliding up it.

My Achilles and hamstring both hurt some.  But mentally?  What a sweet and unexpected relief.  When I got back and was in the bathroom changing, I felt tears in my eyes again - this time of happiness.

I hope that this is yet another new start - a time of healing.

And I hope Toes is greeting old friends at the Bridge....


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Spinning my wheels….

My plan this weekend was to spin my wheels literally.  I wanted to take the bike out on a nice long ride.  Instead I feel like I’m spinning figuratively – and going nowhere.

The entire weekend has brought the same thing ALL. DAY. LONG.

Mid 40’s, GREY CLOUDS and vacillating between raining, spitting or looking like it’s going to rain.  And, oh yeah – a heavy dose of wind.

I could have ridden, of course.  But I’m trying to do things that involve exercising because I like it and to keep fit instead of as a punishment.  And riding in spitting rain and wind didn’t cut it.

My eating yesterday was off the charts terrible.  And I didn’t give a fuck.  I started to continue that trend today mentally, but fortunately I dug out this healthy recipe I’ve been wanting to try.  With food in the crockpot awaiting us, I feel less tempted to go off the rails.

Archer’s ear is still horrible and cleaning it out 4 times a day while he shakes and screeches in pain is a fucking NIGHTMARE.

I am treading water and trying to keep my head above.  I did manage a 6 mile power walk on the treadmill while watching the 2nd half of the Dolphins game, but the Jen that used to burn hundreds of calories running on a Sunday – she seems like a distant memory – or maybe even a figment of my imagination…


Friday, October 24, 2014

Washing the grey away…

I'm in a very weird place right now. 

I almost always wear a skirt or dress to work, but last night I pulled out one of my favorite pairs of pants that I haven't worn since spring.  They are pretty skin tight, so I stared at them this morning wondering if they would even zip up with my weight gain.

Fortunately, they did, proving once again – I guess - that numbers on a scale aren't the whole story.

I went to physical therapy and after the treatment she actually put me through a pretty vigorous routine, including box jumps, grapevines and balancing squats on a Bosu ball.

Even though it was a gorgeous day for fall - sunny and high 50's - I just could not bring myself to go out and run.  I have lost all motivation.

I walked in the sun instead and the many voices inside me staged a vicious debate to whether I am a lazy fat cow or whether it is okay to just take a break.  I can't say who won.

I do know that I'm feeling a little like a spectator of my life and that I seem to have lost sight of the prize so to speak.

Towards the end of my walk I quieted the ruckus in my head and asked what my goal or goals are.  The resounding silence actually surprised me.

Maybe that means I'm lost or maybe I need to just be okay where I am for a while.  Is being a decent - although not ideal - weight okay?  Can I just be relatively active and fit and not SUPER RUNNER GIRL?

I am such an all or nothing person that I really struggle with that mentally.  I believe in pushing your limits and being the best you can be.  But I also am getting to the point of wanting just to be happy and healthy.  It seems like common sense, right? 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Appetite for Destruction…

Food cravings are a weird thing.  Last week I really wanted broccoli of all things.  I eat a ton of veggies and broccoli is a staple for me.  But must be something that broccoli has in it was missing from my diet because I just wanted a plateful.  Which I indulged in.

Unfortunately, my cravings are rarely for something healthy like that!

I crave sweets WAY more now then I did when I was fat.  At the time I would knock down a DOOR for things like bread covered in butter, but chocolate?  Nah.  I probably ate 2 candy bars a year.

But now I crave sweets a LOT.  It is difficult to manage sometimes.

This week though, I've had a bizarre craving - I want PROCESSED foods.

I literally have not eaten an Oreo cookie in probably 3 years.  But I could sit down and eat through a bag right now.

It's not even specifically the sweet taste I'm after - I am totally fantasizing about things like Little Debbie snacks and those terrible packaged cake things.  How weird is that?

The scale ignored my plea for mercy yesterday - I weighed in this morning at a dismal 127.1.  I keep reminding myself of that.  But Fat Jen doesn't give a flying fuck right now - she just wants some crap in her PLEASEANDTHAANKYOU!

She will, instead, get haddock and a pumpkin/sweet potato bisque for dinner tonight.

I hope that will shut her up!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shades of Grey…

No I’m not talking about that dirty book that a lot of you have read!  I haven’t because I want to keep my mind as it is – as pure as the driven snow Open-mouthed smile

I got up and it was cold, drizzly and GREY.  Like it’s been for DAYS.  It feels like it’s been perpetually just before sundown all day for days.  I don’t live in Seattle for a reason, people!!

I had to start my day cleaning out Archer’s ear.  It’s always a delight to deal with a river of yeast and my baby screaming in pain.

Then it was on to this:


Nothing bad – this is how they wrap me prior to the phonophoresis treatment.

I do think the treatments are working.  Not only does the Achilles feel better, but it’s softer and more “normal” feeling instead of being a hard swollen shell.

I had thought about running today, but it was windy and cold.  So I pussied out and went to our back – and rarely used – stairwell at work.  It’s concrete grey.  The walls, the stairs.  Grey.  Dimly lit.

So for an hour I ran up and down 124 stairs with only my music keeping me company.  Oh, yeah, and the “Poor me” voice in my head.

Nothing tremendously wrong – I mean grey is definitely better then black.

But I could use some light – literally and figuratively.  And that could start with the scale tomorrow, hear that, you rotten bastard???


Monday, October 20, 2014

What goes up….

Must continue to go up and up and up, apparently.  Which is what is happening with the scale.  I seriously, seriously feel like just giving up right now.

After a week of eating extremely well and far below my TDEE the scale didn’t budge an inch.

And then I apparently felt that running a 10K early in the morning entitles me to eat and eat and eat the entire rest of the day.  So when I step on the scale this morning and it shows a weight GAIN?  I must be a moron to be surprised.

What goes up but then comes DOWN on the other hand, is my mood.

I’ve felt really good and was even not that depressed about coming in 2nd in my 10K yesterday. 

But then last night I felt myself starting to crash.  The cherry on top was my poor little bug-a-boo, Archer.

The hematoma has been healing really well – I’ve been faithfully milking out the port, and each day there has been less fluid and the fluid that comes out had changed from a dark red to a light pinkish color.

But last night I opened the port and a fucking river of pus just POURED out.  And I was trying to clean it out and Archer was just YELPING in pain.

I finally cleaned it out and he lay down and just SHOOK – either because he was running a fever or was in pain or both,

He hasn’t been acting like himself and when I opened the port this morning, another flood of bright green pus.

So I was worried and depressed all day.  I walked at lunch and just alternated between worry and berating myself for gaining weight and having absolutely no self-control.

Marc took Archer to the vet’s and fortunately, it’s not as bad as I thought – the ear infection is still pretty bad.  But the vet took samples and the massive goop coming out of his port is yeast and debris.  Not great news, but better then a severe infection!  So some meds, continue to clean the port and ear wash.

I truly, truly don’t know how to get back on track at this point and feel a little lost.  The cold rainy weather doesn’t help the cause as every fiber of my being SCREAMS “EAT CARBS NOW!”


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Harvest Run 10K.

A couple of months ago, we heard about a local 10K to benefit their volunteer rescue squad.  We signed up – with me optimistically – and foolishly – having faith that I would be back to my old running self by then.

I have obviously NOT been in prime running shape and this race has been hanging over my head.

I ran 6.2 on Thursday, but stopped twice and the hamstring is still in rough shape.  And my endurance is just not there.

But – unlike me – I was feeling positive and optimistic this morning – even when my alarm went off at 6:45AM and it was 35 degrees out!

Marc and I have an unspoken routine now on race mornings – I’m making coffee, he’s letting the dogs out – we’re getting dressed – all of this without saying much.

Then we take our obligatory pre-race picture:harvest3

This is the 2nd annual Harvest Run and the first year we did it.  We arrive and see that it looks like it is going to be a very small turnout.  I mentioned to Marc that the Empire State Marathon and Half Marathon is going on in Syracuse today which may have stolen some racers from this event.

We sign in, get our t-shirts and beginning pinning our numbers on.  It was cold and cloudy but thankfully not much wind and we got to wait inside the building.

We line up and without any pre-race fanfare, we are off.  I quickly pass a woman and older man.  By .5 miles in, they both pass me and then we seem to even out. 

This is the first time this has ever happened to me – the man fades and I end up running next to this woman.  We run together, in perfect unison for most of the race.  I have headphones on – she doesn’t – and we don’t acknowledge each other.  We hit 1.6 miles and there is the water table with people to tell the 5K’ers to turn around.  For the first time ever, I seriously consider turning around. 

My hamstring is starting to ache a little and I realize that if I turn around for the first – and probably last time ever – I would win a 5K.

But I decide to soldier on and continue running with this woman.  We are out in a long stretch of farmland and the whole thing is slightly uphill.  I console myself by telling myself it will be bliss when we turn around.

Now I’ve run long enough that I’ve gotten pretty decent at knowing distance.  And I knew we had to be close to 3.1 miles, but I didn’t see the turnaround ANYWHERE.

Finally they road directors come into sight and – the bastards – they went way too far.  We turn around at 3.35 miles.  But, gloriously, even though the wind is light, it is a relief to have it at my back and we are on a nice, sweet, downhill grade.

If you were a stranger watching us, you would have sworn this woman and I run together all the time – I mean we were in perfect sync!

Shortly after the turn around I pass Marc and I’m thrilled!  I knew that if he kept it up he was going to be the first man to finish!

At 4.5 miles, the hamstring is yelling pretty well.  I’m not consciously trying to keep up with this woman, but if you’ve ever run in a race, you know that you just unconsciously try to stay with someone.

I know that she has me at this point and I won’t be able to pass her at the end.  So I purposely stop for water.  I drink and she pulls ahead. 

I finish it out and realize that I’m feeling pretty good.  I cross the finish line at 54:44 which is dismal.  But then I look at my watch and we came in at 6.7 miles.  An average of 8:10 MM.  Still wayyyyyy off my best time, but all things considered, I’m not heart-broken.

Another 2nd place finish. 

Marc crosses the line in first for men – YAY!

The awards ceremony is short.  No medals for the medal box, but we both received a heart rate watch and a cool 10K tag for our kicks!




















It was still early and we had both gotten a little chilled waiting for the awards to start.  So we headed home for a quick HOT shower and some more coffee before a quick run in to grab some groceries before the Dolphins game starts.

As we drove in, I was feeling really, really good.  My hamstring hurt a little, and while the Achilles is definitely improving it was aching.  BUT - I had just run 6.7 miles without only a 10 second stop for water.  I started to think that my running career is NOT over. 

And now I sit here typing this – and life feels like it is clicking back into place, little by little.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Recipe: Beef and Vegetable Stew

This is a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for a while and I’m finally making it for tonight – hope it’s good!

It’s a slow cooker recipe, so get out your slow cooker!

First take 1 pound lean beef and cut it into bite sized pieces.  I then seasoned it with McCormicks’s Worcestershire Pub seasoning to give it a little bite. 


Cut up 2 large carrots into pieces.







Cut up 6 ounces of potatoes.







Chop up an onion.







Now open a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup – the healthy request kind.







Now throw everything into the Slow Cooker







Add 1 cup of beef broth.







Add 1/2 teaspoon Marjoram.







Stir it up and set to low for 8 hours.







But wait, we’re not done yet!

About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, add 8 ounces of frozen cut green beans to the cooker, stir it up and set to high.







And – HERE IT IS!  Oh can I get a yummmmmmm!!!


Friday, October 17, 2014


It’s Friday night!  Parrrrrrrttttttyyyyyy, right?

Maybe for most people, but not for me!

I posted this on my Facebook page:

“15.5 mile bike ride after work - butternut squash is in the oven, chicken on the grill and I'm in my flannel PJ's - life is good!”

And, no, it was not tongue in cheek.

I don’t know if there is any correlation between people who party and are on the go versus stay at home type people and weight.

I think there are things about both lifestyles that could make you fat.

For me, I have no desire to head out on a Friday night 95% of the time.  Not even to see a movie at the mall.

It’s getting to that time of year when it gets dark really early here.  So as soon as I got home, I rushed around and Marc and I headed out to bike.

We got home at 5:45 ish and I cut up the butternut squash, threw it in the oven and then headed to the bathroom for a hot shower while Marc put the chicken on the grill.

In just a couple minutes, we will eat – in front of the tv watching “The Voice” that we recorded earlier this week.

Some people would find this mind-numbingly dull I have no doubt.  For me?  It’s my version of an ideal fall Friday night!


Thursday, October 16, 2014


I ran today.  I think the Achilles felt better after only one treatment but it could have been the placebo effect.  I’ll really know tonight when I get up and pee because it always hurts like hell after I run earlier in the day and then am in bed awhile.  The hamstring is not fully healed and hurt, but not terribly.

As I stopped to wait to cross the street about 4.75 miles in and didn’t want to keep going, I thought about motivation, pain and healing.

And I thought about Archer whose hematoma is healing extremely well, but the ear infection is still really bad.  He is such a good boy as I’ve had to clean out the drain and apply the antibiotic cream twice a day for a week!

But mostly I thought about my hairdresser.

I went after work and, as soon as I walked in, I saw her.  She looked great, and not really any different except for her head – which normally has funky colored long hair – it was instead wrapped in a pink wrap with a large cute scissors pin in it.

“Hi Jennifer!” she said – with no hint of self-pity.  I was wordless and instead went over and gave her a huge hug.  I hoped it didn’t make her uncomfortable – she hugged back.

I told her I wanted her to fill me in, unless she was sick of talking about it.

As she shampooed and then cut my hair, I had her tell me what the last 10 weeks of her life have been like.

She is 45.  There is no history of breast cancer in her family.  She doesn’t smoke or drink.  She’s not overweight and eats well. 

In other words there is no reason she should have cancer.  And yet…

She talked about both breasts being removed, and implants put in and the chemo that took her hair.  And she shared this with me with a smile and not even a bit – not a tiny bit – of “feel sorry for me” attitude.

She had the surgery done at the same hospital I had my skin removed and we talked a little about that.

We also talked about her dogs – her crazy Springer Spaniels who – like my dogs after my surgery – instinctively knew something was wrong and were gentle and calm around her.

I told her I was blown away by how positive she was.  She assured me that was not always the case and that she has “her moments” but being at work helps because it makes her feel “normal”.

She checked me out and we exchanged another big hug – this time with her initiating which made me feel good.

I thought I would be depressed and shaken after seeing her, but instead I felt inspired and impressed and hopeful.

I have a 10K on Sunday and was pitying myself earlier today – how slow my time is and how I probably won’t do that well.

I hope when I start running I remember Jodi and realize that a first place finish means nothing in the grand scheme of things, and that being alive and healthy – that’s what matters!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Off kilter…

I’ve had one of those days where I feel like I’ve been running in place.  Like a hamster on a wheel – going crazy and making no progress.

I’ve been hyped up and nervous all day – I don’t know if it was because I was anticipating my first treatment or what.

Anyway, I finally made it through what was an extremely busy work day and headed to the physical therapist.

The first thing they did was to wrap my ankle in an very warm heating pad.  This loosens the Achilles and also opens the pores.  They kept that on for 10 minutes.

Then the therapist came in.  I laid on my stomach while she smeared the hydrocortisone on and began rubbing it with the ultrasound.   It was cold, but otherwise didn’t really feel like anything.  We chatted as she worked it all around the area.

After that was complete, she showed my some stretching exercises.  They are all stretches I do, anyway.  Hopefully they’ll make a difference as the treatment starts to work.

She told me that she didn’t want to get my hopes up, but she thought she saw a “positive reaction” even during the first treatment.  We’ll see.

It looks the same to me and I don’t feel anything different which I’m not supposed to.

My next treatment is Friday.  Keep your fingers crossed, will ya?


Monday, October 13, 2014



I have a hard time giving myself credit a lot of the time.  I always think of things UNdone instead of done, if that makes any sense.

Today Marc asked if I wanted to bike in to our nearest Starbucks and get a coffee as he had some credits on his card he needed to use up.

I agreed.  We got on our bikes and YOWZA!  My legs were shot from the trail ride yesterday.  But I kept going – into a stiff wind – and got loosened up.

We arrived at Starbucks at 10 miles and relaxed and had a coffee.  When we were done Marc asked if I wanted to head home or do a longer ride.

Longer it was.  We rode through the city and then headed to the park.  Our main park lies on top of a large hill so all roads are a steep incline to get to the top where it levels off.  Marc stopped near the bottom and suggested we walk our bikes up.  I told him that I wanted to try riding it.  He was skeptical and said “You know, this is extremely steep – it’s going to take a lot of energy to get up!”

For him it’s nothing.  But for me – even though I’m in good shape – my quads just don’t have the muscle tone needed – when Marc and I ride, even on fairly small hills, he just smokes it and I am left in the dust!

I told him the worst that could happen is I’d have to stop and walk it and he could wait for me at the top.  We went – with him easily moving up the hill.  Me?  Huffing, puffing, quads burning, heart rate sky high!  And then?  I was there!!

“You know what?” I said breathlessly to Marc.  “What?” he replied.  “Your wife fucking ROCKS!” I said without shame.

And guess what guys?  In that moment – I believed it. 

I do rock.  Right now in my life I weigh too much.  I’m pretty much a disaster running wise.  I don’t always make the best food choices.  My house could definitely be cleaner.  I could go on and on about my faults.

All that being said?  I’m doing pretty okay in my life!  Maybe even more then okay.

So, for one moment in time, act like me.  Tell yourself how much you fucking ROCK.  Say it loud.  And mean it. 

And meaning it once?  Maybe that will lead to meaning it more.  I hope so!  Liking yourself is definitely better then hating yourself.  Hell yes.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hit the trails…

As planned we got up and around fairly early this morning and headed an hour south of us to bike the Oswego County Recreational Trail

We hike trails all the time – as you guys know - and had hiked this one with the dogs.  It is built on an old railroad bed and I remembered it as being covered in crushed stone.

Uh – I remembered wrong.  We took off and it was definitely a TRAIL.  Extremely rocky, pitted, mud holes, loose dirt, you name it.  I wasn’t enjoying myself, but I thought it might get better.  By 7 miles in I was sick of it.  I was slipping and sliding and scared that I was going to have a wipeout.  We reached part of the trail where there is a large parking area at 10.5 miles and Marc crossed over into the new part of the trail which I saw was a little grassy and I thought might be better riding.  IT. WASN’T. 

I stopped riding a mile in and yelled to Marc who turned around.  It was also 11:40 AM and I hadn’t eaten yet today.  He handed me a Quest bar (AKA – food of the gods) – and I confessed I was NOT having a good time.  Marc asked why I hadn’t told him sooner and said that he, too, was hating it, even though he had brought his mountain bike. 

So he pulled out his phone and said that the next time we reached an intersection we could follow the roads back.  He calculated 15 miles back on the roads – 15 on ROAD versus 10 on trail??!!  NO CONTEST!!

I found myself very tired on the way back – trail biking is apparently a WHOLE different task on the body.  And there were a lot of steep hills.  But compared to slipping and sliding along – yeah.

I’ll stick to roads, thank you very much!

We made it safely to the car, changed our clothes and headed to a local apple orchard where we picked a ton of apples which chowing down on some different varieties to see what we wanted to get.

So, today was another learning experience, and I don’t regret the choice at all.  My worst day as a fit and healthy person is 10X better then my best day as a fat and unhealthy one.

quotes life lessons (12)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

There we are...


That's the number that greeted me when I braved the scale this morning.  I should probably be happy.  It could have been worse.  But I was just sad.  Sad and there was a feeling of - what?  Resignation?

And then I got my annual survey from the National Weight Control Registry.  I went to the site and the first 2 question were "What was your weight 1 year ago?" "What is your weight today?"

When I entered those numbers the next questioned emerged: "WHY HAVE YOU GAINED WEIGHT?"  It felt so judgmental!!  I was embarrassed.  Embarrassed by words on a computer screen!

I did my best to push this to the back of my mind.  I cleaned out Archer's ear - including "milking" the tube to drain the blood.  Newsflash - GROSS!!  But the ear is already looking a ton better - I am hoping my baby is on the mend!!

I then took the boys for a brisk walk, raked up the chicken coop and added fresh bedding and picked what was left in the garden that was any good - a few tomatoes, a couple of remaining zucchini and - yay! - a whole bunch of spaghetti squash.

Tomorrow is going to be a beautiful fall day - sunny and high 50's.  So Marc and I packed the bikes up tonight and are planning on heading down to ride a long trail followed by some apple picking at an orchard down there.

I am hoping for an ideal and fun day - where 10 pounds is as irrelevant as can be...

Friday, October 10, 2014

My poor baby boy!!

This week had been pretty good until today!

It started out shitty x100.  And then the topper came at about 2:45 when Marc texted me and said that Archer was in bad shape.  He described his ear as being incredibly swollen and bloody.

I called the vet's and they could get him in, so I flew out of work.  By the time I got home, his ear was completely swollen shut and there was fresh and crusted blood all over.

The diagnosis is a severe hematoma deep in the ear with a extremely bad ear infection in addition!

They had to slice it open and put in a large tube which I have to open and drain twice a day and also I have to slather on a gooey powerful antibiotic.

I cleaned it out once since he is dripping blood all over and he yowled and whined in pain.

I hate hurting my baby!!

Hematomas are common, but ones deep in the ear like this are not and raise the risk of complications.

Please everyone - send healing vibes to my sweet baby boy!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Things changing in an instant…

I’ve been ON POINT with my eating this week.  I’ve felt pretty proud of that – even though that’s just what I should be doing.

And exercise wise – especially running again?  I did 6 today and felt really good.  NO hamstring pain!  We’ll see if that weird knee thing pops up after some period of inactivity.  It’s fine right now…

This afternoon I had this debate with myself about weighing in tomorrow.  I should know where I stand right?  But what if it’s BAD?  What if it’s really bad?  I mean I clearly am heavier, but most my clothes fit – you know the whole bullshit stuff I do.

After work I headed to the salon I go to to get my hair cut.  I‘ve been seeing this woman Jodi for a few years now and get my hair cut every 8 weeks.  She is an animal lover too, and we have fun discussions while she cuts my hair.  She is about my age and funky – like a lot of these stylists – and seems like a truly wonderful person.

I get to the salon and don’t see Jodi.  When they ask if they can help me and I say who I am there to see, they murmured at one another.  I am then told she is out.

Assuming she called in sick, I turn into insta-bitch because that is me.  I was annoyed that they hadn’t called to let me know and re-scheduled me.

And then she said something about Jodi being SICK.  I looked at the woman and told her I had no idea what she was referring to.

Turns out in the 8 short weeks since I’ve seen her, Jodi has been diagnosed with breast cancer, had a double mastectomy and is undergoing chemo. 

Holy fuck. 

How many more of these wake up calls do I need before I realize that a few pounds - it’s okay to want to get them off, but DAMN – it’s really not worth the drama I create in my mind.

They scheduled me for next week and I hope Jodi will be back and I get to see her – even though I am the type of person who typically tries to avoid these situations.  Part of my head in the sand thing.

I’ll let you know how it goes if she is well enough to return and what her prognosis is.

And I hope I step on the scale tomorrow morning and let the number be just a number I need to work on, not a big mind game.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Give me some THERAPY!

Nope, haven’t decided to see a Psychologist – even though some of you think I need it!

I woke up this morning with virtually no hamstring pain so that was awesome.  However right below my knee on the outer part?  Extreme pain.  Seriously??!!  And, as always, the Achilles was terrible.

But I'm not too worried about the under knee part because is it located right on a muscle and is where it has hurt some biking, so I'm hoping it's just overuse of a new muscle.  And, as I write this, the pain has greatly diminished.

I went to the physical therapy place first thing this morning.  The therapist was a balding, chunky dude in his 50's named Chris who I was instantly comfortable with.

Tons of questions and then a bunch of tests - pushing pulling standing etc.  He stated that he totally disagrees with the doctor on the diagnosis of retrocalcaneal bursitis.  He grabbed an area and SQUEEZED and there was no pain.  He told me that this is where it would hurt for that ailment.  He then grabbed the area where it is swollen and SQUEEZED and I screamed in pain.  He said that it is Achilles Tendonitis.  Again, SERIOUSLY??!!

BUT, the treatment is the same so the diagnosis is largely irrelevant at this time.  AND he is pretty optimistic about its chances of success.

I'm glad he is, because I am not!

My insurance has to approve the treatments but since they have already scheduled me for next week, hopefully that means it is a formality.  He wants to do 2-3 treatments per week for 6 weeks.  Their first opening is next Friday and I am on the cancel list in case something opens up.

He gave me some new stretches and prescribed icing - all which have done ZERO to fix this.  I can run, but he wants me to take it easy and no grand mileage.  All other exercises I can do as much as I want.

So, we'll see.  I am so mad at my body right now - which is not productive....


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Looking doubt and fear in the eye…

I am feeling pretty good about my efforts to get back on track.  It hasn't been very long, granted, but as with recovery, it's a one day at a time program.  As I tell my clients, every day that you are doing the RIGHT thing is a day that you're not doing the WRONG thing.

And I faced my fear today.  I ran.  For the first time in 2 1/2 weeks!  I was able to run 4 miles and then did an additional 2 miles in a run/walk combo.

I was hoping there would be ZERO hamstring pain.  That was not the case.  It's much better but still hurt.  The main test will be tomorrow morning though.  If it doesn't hurt after having pushed it, that will be a good sign.

I know how stupid this sounds but I actually felt almost sick to my stomach with fear about running.  I was determined to run yesterday, but pussied out.  Marc and I took a bike ride instead.  So today I cleared that hurdle – which was more mental then physical - by getting some miles in.  I see the physical therapist tomorrow and I'm anxious to see what he or she will tell me.

My eating has been great and I am continuing to get a bunch of small tasks done - all in my efforts of refresh and renew.

October is not typically my favorite month, but in have to say I'm liking October 2014 pretty well so far!!



Monday, October 6, 2014

What’s for dinner?

I promised – since there were several requests – to post more specific ideas for meals.
So, I thought I’d show you tonight’s meal!

So what have we here?

BTW – since I am trying to get back on track, I am weighing everything rigorously using my kitchen scale.

The meat is Perdue boneless turkey breast.  8 ounces = 220 cals.  Marc cooked it on the stove top and seasoned with McCormick Molasses Bacon spice.
Then we have 8 ounces of sweet potato.  I microwaved it for 5 minutes and then put a little cinnamon, sea salt, and pepper on it, wrapped tight in aluminum foil and cooked in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.  200 calories.
A glass of skim milk – 100 calories.


And finally, 20 ounces of zucchini from our garden.  Cut in half, seasoned with McCormick barbeque spice, and cooked in the oven for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.  80 calories.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Back to basics…

53 days.  That’s how many days are left until Thanksgiving.  The last few years, that day has started out with Marc and I running the 5K Turkey Trot.

I have 2 goals that morning – 1) to be healthy enough to run.  2) to weigh less then 125 pounds.

How do I accomplish this is the question?

Well, by getting back to basics.

What do I weigh now?  No idea.  But I have no doubt that it is even worse then before I left on vacation.  Which is why I’m not going to weigh myself for a while.

My hamstring seems to be good, but I have not run in – believe it or not – over 2 weeks.  The thought of running again actually makes me feel sick to my stomach in fear.

Fear is STUPID.  What do I have to be afraid of?  I don’t know.  But I need to pop that cherry.  It may mean – in the whole getting back to basics thing – that I return to a run/walk routine to get my mojo back.  And would that be the worse thing ever?  Of course not.  But I have to be a drama queen, right?

I go to the physical therapist for the first time this week to talk about the treatment for the retrocalcaneal bursitis.  And then hopefully start the treatments.  And then hope that they work!!!

My back to basics started yesterday.  I was like a crazed woman needing this new start.  I was almost frantic in trying to get things done – unpacking, doing wash, all those things.  But I also gave myself a pedicure, gave the dogs a bath – I even changed my purse over to a new purse I scored for cheap.  We went in to pick up supplies at Walmart and I even bought some storage crate things and reorganized my closet!

It was like I needed to strip myself down – change myself.  Today that pattern will continue as I expect to clean the house top to bottom.  A fresh and clean new outlook.

I started yesterday with weight lifting which we usually do on Saturdays and later ran on the elliptical (Am I skinny yet?)

I also ate well.  I made turkey chili for dinner.  And paired it with sugar free Jello.  Fat Jen tried to explain that we were still technically on vacation and we could have our new start on Monday, but Thin Jen plugged her ears.  I believe that there may be a lot of fucking wonderful sugar free Jello in our near future….

So yes, I am feeling refreshed and renewed, but also sorry for myself.  I think if these treatments work and the hammy is healed, then I’ll be doing a lot better. 

I just have to NOT go to extremes like I tend to do.  No trying to run 10 miles at once for a while, no cutting back so drastically on calories that I am starving and end up stuffing myself on the weekends. 

I can do this!  Thanksgiving is 53 days away.  What are your goals when you wake up that morning?


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Home again, home again...

We traveled home yesterday arriving safe and sound.  This was truly one of the best vacations of my life.  

I am approaching getting back into a regular routine with a mixture of dread and relief.  I ate good things for the most part while on vacation.  We had brought with us very healthy meals.  Once again, it was portion control that kicked my ass.  Trail mix is great - unless you eat HANDFUL after HANDFUL of it in one sitting!

I feel horrifically fat and have to get down to brass tax.  

But for now, how about some pics?

As promised, I put the Covered Bridges tour in its own album which you can see here:

How about a few others just for fun?
Our cabin

 Some swim time!

The Tamarack Trail in Pymatuning State Park

 A short break at Maurice Goddard State Park

The trail around Wilhelm Lake

McKeever Trail

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Taking on Ohio...

We are less then a mile from the Ohio border here, but hadn't crossed into it yet this trip.

Totally worn out from yesterday, we slept in late and tried to decide what the day would hold.  I had some desire to do another hike, but 2 full days of hiking had left me craving something different for today.

We started googling things we could do, and soon found that Ohio is known for its covered bridges.

We thought that sounded interesting, so we looked and found a website that takes you on a self-guided tour of several of the bridges north of here.

So we packed up and decided to check out a few of them.  It was pretty interesting and we traveled from bridge to bridge through rural Ohio.  We jumped out at each stop and took a ton of pics.

For anyone who is interested, I will be uploading the pics in the next few days and will link to an album.

We ended up traveling right up to the north tip of Ohio where the 8th covered bridge on the map was.  It was about 2PM, so we stopped for lunch at a park overlooking Lake Erie.  We let the dogs take a dip in the lake and walked a short stretch of the boardwalk.

From there, we decided not to continue the tour that would have taken us far west and instead headed back.  We have not had a campfire yet this trip and our last night here seemed like it would be the perfect ending to our vacation.  

So we stopped and picked up some firewood and then back to the cabin.  Because it is our last night, we took the dogs down to the beach for the final time.  It was low's 70's, sunny and as still as can be.  So we hung out on the deserted beach for a while relaxing and watching the dogs play and the sailboats out on the water.

We head back to reality tomorrow.  Usually I am ready to head home after being away, but I don't want this trip to end...  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A great day for a hike!

As planned, we got up bright and early this morning and packed ourselves full of a hearty breakfast and then loaded up our backpacks and headed to Maurice Goddard State Park.  It's about 30 minutes from the park where we are staying.

We arrived early and located the main, long, hiking trail.  The trail is paved and if you do the whole thing, you go completely around Wilhelm Lake.  That was our plan.  The weather was what I anticipated for a crisp fall day when I made the reservations months ago - mostly cloudy and low to mid 60's.  

This trail is used a lot by bicyclists,  Although it is paved it features a LOT of sharp downhill descents, steep climbs and sharp turns.  The trail was mostly covered with a thick layer of beautifully colored leaves that had fallen.  Because they were recently fallen, they had that nice fall scent and not the rotting smell that happens after they sit there for a while.

The trail was beautiful and we took in the fall sites and smells.  The dogs had their backpacks on and we let them off leash and they stayed right with us, veering off only occasionally to chase the chipmunks that we saw in bunches!  

We also saw several Blue Herons looking for fish along the water.  As for people?  We only encountered a few bicyclists.

We stopped at a marina for a pit stop about 5.5 miles in and took in the sites of the dam that was built to create the lake,

Shortly after that, the sun came out and the temperature rose dramatically.  We shed our sweatshirts and soaked it up.  I was a bit worried about Chakotay, but he hung in like a champ!

At mile 10, we reached a beautiful area where you could launch boats and there were picnic tables.  It was a perfect location to have lunch and take a break.  We met some very friendly guys who were putting in a fishing boat - one of them had a heavy Boston accent and told me how much he loved Boxers.

We moved the picnic table into the sun and enjoyed a very leisurely lunch.  Our backpacks were noticeably lighter for the short 2 miles we had left!

We finished up at just over 12 miles but it was still early, so we headed over to another hiking trail.  This was was supposed to be very short, but it was the more challenging steep hiking through the woods and under and over fallen trees and other obstacles.  Unfortunately we veered off course and kept heading deeper into the woods and it was well beyond the supposed .75 miles each way, so we reversed course and got back to Dexter at 2 miles.

Back at the cabin I threw in a pork loin to cook - one thing about being in a cabin - with a full stove, oven and fridge, it is easier to eat the right things!!

The boys got rewarded for the exercise and for their good behavior with some marrow bones and then we chilled out and watched some tv on Marc's laptop.

We are going to bed exhausted in the best way!