2017-10-22 Too Much

I’ve got words in my head that are in the Chorus of a popular Dave Matthews Band song, Too Much.

I eat too much, I drink too much, I want too much, too much. I don’t know what that song is really about, probably fame, but I’m feeling the chorus. Feeling it pretty heavy in my stomach and in my head today. I guess I kind of overdid it yesterday. Things were rolling along OK, right up until I went with Leah to the monthly “wine night” party that she goes to.

Sure, I may have had too much wine, but the real problem was the food. It’s like every person or couple that walked in the door brought a huge plate of deliciousness. Not to mention that the hostess, Susan, had three cheese plates with crackers and meat and also cooked these little bacon wrapped sausages drizzled with brown sugar and butter. They were delicious, but all of it was just “Too Much”.

When I went to bed last night I had serious thoughts about doing some sort of a cleanse or fast for a couple of days. Maybe starting Monday when the kids go back to their dad’s house for the week I will alter my diet for a few days just to get back to feeling well again. Even waking up this morning I’m not liking the way I look or feel and typically mornings are when I feel the best.

The lack of exercise is also running circles of havoc in my brain this AM, like missing one day is going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. I know it won’t but that is not stopping my mind from trying to find time for me to double up on some things today. We’ll that is what my mind is doing. Meanwhile, my body just wants to go back to bed. I think today is going to be a struggle. I guess we’ll see.

Suck it up, suck it up, suck it up, yeah,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-10-21 Have This Instead of That

Yesterday was another very satisfying day. It was a nice balance of all the things I love to do. The only thing a little lacking in my week this week has been sleep. One would think that as much as I harp on sleep being so important, I would have found a way to stick to those “better decisions”. Last night was the 3rd night in a row I had good intentions but just could not quite get to sleep “on time”.

It’s tough when you have teenagers and their timetable for sleep is “I’ll get to it when I get to it”. I’ve read that kids need more sleep, but hell, when you have that much energy how can that possibly be true? Despite late nights, they got up each morning in good spirits and ready to take on the day. So I ask “Where can I get some of what she had?” 😉

I can’t quite put the blame for my staying up to late on them though, I’ve had my own agendas. One day I procrastinated getting my financials together for a meeting the next day and found myself in a pile of paperwork at midnight. One day I was home late and then had conversations with the kids and talked for quite a while with Simon on the phone. Last night it was writing. I had a goal to write a poem about “Love and Justice” for the specific purpose of submitting to a publication and so I did just that but it took me really close to the midnight hour before I gave up (didn’t finish) and went to sleep.

However, I did decide to sacrifice something else this morning for the sake of sleeping in. I skipped my morning exercise routine. “GASP”. When you just have so many things you want to do, sometimes you have to switch it up and give other activities some attention. I’m sure missing out on the workout will not have any affect whatsoever on my overall master plan. Despite how much I have been really digging that “me” time at the gym, I didn’t really miss it this morning.

In truth, there’s no way I could sleep in, fit that in, AND make it to the writing workshop at 11:30. The alternate plan, now in action, was to wake up when I wake up, finish my poem, and then get ready to head downtown. So far so good (I’m awake and finished the poem – yay!). So really, instead of flexing my physical muscles today I will be flexing my mental one and doing something else I really love to do. This switch-a-roo is going to continue throughout the day and I will probably not even have time to get my steps “GASP GASP”.

The workshop I am going to is being conducted by the same two women who did the poetry reading I went to a few nights ago. They are allowing 50 participants and I signed up over a month ago. The last one I went to had about 10 people in it, so if it is a packed house like they are saying it will be, it is going to be a very different experience.

Time to get going now. There are parenting things that also need attention. It is Saturday and the kids are still sleeping. No wonder they don’t have issues staying up so late. 😃

Ready to Roll,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-17 The Ultimate Broken Record

Sometimes I say the same things over and over and that can get really boring. But just like that song that is “your ultimate favorite”, there’s another record out there we repeat over and over again and it remains just as sweet as the day (night) before… sleep.

No doubts about it, I’m a huge fan. I’ve gone through times in my life where a good night sleep has been really elusive. From those times I can make two direct connections.

First is the fact that the status of my life and relationships and work impact my sleep. Without fail. In tough times when I’m stressed or have too much going on or dealing with a large life problem, I can’t sleep. I’m afflicted with insomnia. I wake up at all hours and my brain is firing on all cylinders. It’s trying to find a way out. It’s trying to solve the problem.

You only have to rewind right here on this very blog to earlier this year to read the evidence. I was a complete mess and inside the darkest place. That darkness was terrifying and I didn’t want to close my eyes for the monsters waiting at 2AM.

I was dealing with the end of a five year relationship that I could not let go of and on top of that a job that was killing me. Every day a new crisis and I felt responsible for all of it. The not sleeping well bled into the day and resulted in exhaustion and the inability to function. I was “on” when I had to be and very much “off” the rest of the time.

This meant my home life suffered, my children suffered, and I personally suffered. Which leads directly to the second connection and that is that lack of sleep causes mental distress.

If you don’t get enough, you start to go coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. Sadness, anxiety, memory loss, mental focus, and lack of enthusiasm for life are all intensified by sleep deprivation. What’s worse is that all of this leads right back to the first problem.

This is an ugly viscous cycle that can be a downward spiral into oblivion. You’re stressed and can’t sleep and the lack of sleep makes the stress worse. If you don’t break the cycle how can you ever recover? And what if it’s something worse like depression. That spiral can lead to thoughts of suicide. That’s when the brain has exhausted all other solutions and come to the conclusion that it’s the only way out.

Thankfully I did not fall far enough to get to that place, but I was not so far from it that I could not see it. I could see how someone might end up in that place. I could recognize my own dark thoughts about not wanting to try and navigate my life as it was any longer and for a moment had a glimpse of what that would be like. It was terrifying.

I drank so much one night that I ended up drunk and naked in my shower with the water pouring down on me as I cried aloud that “I just can’t do it anymore” and that “I don’t want to have to do it anymore”. Most of the rest of that night was a blur, and thankfully I had a friend close by that took care of me.

Even in my despair I recognized sleep as a key factor for finding my way back. Again rewind to blog post after blog post where I wrote about sleep. So many times, in fact, that I created a category for it so anyone who wanted to follow just that part of my journey could tune into all things sleep related. So far just this year, I’ve written about sleep 46 times, 47 if you count this one (gotta love statistics).

I went through trials of taking sleep aid meds, trying to regulate my sleep by going to bed at the same time every night, and watching the results on my FitBit to see my progress. Each week I was becoming increasingly more aware that it would be a combination of stress reduction and better choices. If you are following along, this culminated in me deciding to quit my job and take some time off of work. It was the best decision of my life.

Every day I’m awake and every night I sleep I get farther and farther away from that terrible state I was in. I’m pleased to report that I’m sleeping well almost every night now and have been free of medications and suppliments for months. I’m not yet getting a full solid 8 hours a night, but I am able to sleep through the night and I think it is now down to just choosing to go to bed at 10 every night. My average night sleep is hovering right around 7 hours, which is worlds better than where I was.

Thankfully the cycle works in the other direction too. The less stress you have, the better sleep you get, and the more relaxed and stress free your days are. I’m not yet to the point of going back to work, but I know that when I do, I will be able to take on whatever challenges are before me. I’m actually getting excited at some of the possibilities that are out there. I’m attributing a huge amount of my bounce back to getting this sleep thing under control.

The bottom line is, whatever is going on in life, sleep is a concern and needs to be a priority. In the constant balancing act between self and work and relationships and family, there should be no compromise when it comes to sleep.

That being stated, I’m just one person and by no means an expert so don’t take my word for it. Here’s a really great article that goes into a deeper dive about sleep and it’s importance in your overall health. Just one more click down the rabbit hole and you’ll be a believer too.

The Importance of Sleep

From this article it’s clear that sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of issues and has a huge impact on your physical health as well. It’s just one more supporting set of facts that confirm that my quitting my job may actually add years back to my life.😃

No need to bookmark any of this though, because like sleep, this is one record that will always be on repeat and I am sure if one waits long enough, it WILL “play” it again.

No Longer Sleepless in Omaha,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-14 A Full Day of Coloradoing

Today I was up early (before the sun) and had first breakfast in the solitude of my brother’s kitchen. Then when everyone else got up, he cooked us breakfast so I ate again. We waited a little bit after that before heading out for our hike because there was a pretty good fog covering the area. When it finally cleared (and mom was ready to go) we headed out in the direction of Boulder.

We went for a hike at a place called Halls Ranch. We took a moderate trail with some elevation that had lots of boulders and rocks on the path. We were nearly the only ones on foot as most people were traversing the trail on mountain bikes. It was very impressive to watch some of these people navigate over the really rugged terrain. I bet Simon would have really dug it. The hike was about 5 miles round trip, but at the top/end of the trail, we were not really as high as you could go so my bro decided we could leave the trail and go the rest of the way up to check out the view from the top. Our mom stayed below on a bench.

It was not that tough for me to follow him up, but my socks and shoes got covered in these little spikey sticker things. They tortured me the entire hike back down. The view from the top wasn’t really that great. Half way back down the trail and I very much lost enthusiasm and was just ready to be done. Alas, what goes up, must come down.

After the hike we drove back into Boulder for lunch. We had empanadas and I believe that was the name of the place. My brother’s office is in Boulder so he’s there all the time and knows all the places to have lunch. It was good.

When we got back to his house I was wiped out and ready for a nap. I am not sure how long I slept but when I woke, the sun was already going down. I drove my mom to a place she wanted to go shopping and I wandered around the store for a bit. I still only got 16K steps today which isn’t even as much as I have been getting on a regular day back home. I miss my routine and my gym and my Jazzercise.

Both my brother’s kids are in high school and they had their homecoming dance tonight. So the parents dropped the kids off at school and then the four of us went out for dinner. I’m super tired again now and feel like I have ate a ton of food and not gotten enough activity to make up for it.

My mom has decided we would just drive home tomorrow so a good night sleep is in order for us to be in the car all day again. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow for sure.

Tired Typing,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-08 Five Guys Burgers and Fries.. 2.5

How many guys does it take to make an above average cheeseburger? More than Five Guys apparently. 😛

Of all the burger joints in all the world, how did THIS one become a national chain?

For starters, the atmosphere is “meh” at best, very fast-food-ish which I guess might be what they were going for considering you order at the counter. They get a plus in my book for the peanuts, but it seems really odd and not necessary unless they are expecting people are so starved when they arrive and have to wait in a long line (which we did not thank goodness).

The menu was also meh.. it’s a burger joint, so that’s their main thing but very one-trick-pony in that you order a single or a double and then choose any toppings you want. This philosophy is OK for people who eat a lot and consume a lot of toppings, however, me and my people don’t so having to pay for someone else’s toppings with that outrageous price point was incredibly off-putting.

Case in point.. Z gets a single hamburger, plain (YES I said PLAIN??!) and we pay just as much for that (5+ bucks) as my cheeseburger with onions and pickles and peppers and tomato and mustard and cheese. Just wrong. Same story for C only a touch worse because he did not even get a burger, he ordered a hot dog. What is wrong with my children?!

Anyway, for that price I would expect a really great cheeseburger because that’s the caliber of place this is. It’s a step above fast food and a step below an average dine-in, serve you at the table restaurant. Sadly, the burger fell short of average.

The bun was OK, there was not enough cheese (IMO), and nothing so special about the seasonings or the toppings. I’m writing this 24 hours past my experience and I can’t think of a damn thing noteworthy to say about it. Hence the below average rating.

I’m not quite done with my rant about the price though. The entire meal, which consisted of two “small” burgers, a small fry, two drinks and a hot dog came to 30 dollars. WHAT???!!! How in the Fuck did that happen? I’ve never in my life spent 30 bucks at a fast food place for me and my kids before and quite literally don’t even spend that much when we go to a restaurant normally. I could have had three complete burger meals at Red Robin for that price which would have all included bottomless fries.

Oh, and speaking of the fries, they are terrible. Overly seasoned and not crispy enough at all. I originally wanted to score this a 2.75 but now that I’ve remembered everything, I am going to go with a 2.5.

This is an over-rated franchise,
With prices that make me agonize
Burgers that won’t win any prize
And just down-right terrible Fries.
I’ve given this place one to many tries.
Time to say never again.. to Five Guys.

Never Again!
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-24 Sunday Status Update

Day 5 of being ill, slept like shit last night because of congestion and my throat and cough are worse now. What the hell.

As a result, my stats are taking a serious dive:

Fitbit Steps.. Today – 6K so far.
7 Day Average – Just over 12K (above my official daily goal but below what my new goal has been 15K). 28 day average, about the same. Time to step up my game. 😛

Jazzercise .. Only two classes this week, though I also did one yoga/pilates class and one “group strike” class.

Sleep.. Back down to 6 hours a night. Maybe the E2 is messing with that because it does not seem to record the naps. I’m still not really trying to do the E2 until I feel better (though I’m still only getting like 5 hours the last couple of nights and no naps).

Eating.. I’ve been eating better overall, but have not been able to stay off caffeine or the drink (party last night at my house). I think the small changes are good. I’ve minimized gluten and dairy and so perhaps not going off things completely, but just making better choices overall.

Work.. Still Unemployed. Living the dream one day at a time. 😃

Relationship Status.. Unofficially dating someone?! I hosted a party at my house last night for Jeff and Steph and told him about it and he showed up. He was actually the first one here and the last one gone. Sort of unexpected and I was pleasantly surprised, and also mildly anxious as my ex-husband was also in attendance (being friends with Jeff and Steph too). Yowza. Does this mean we are dating? I’m not one to like putting labels on things, but I’d kind of like to know what to say the status is.

At the present moment I am drinking a concoction consisting of hot water, apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon, ginger, and cinnamon. I googled natural sore throat remedies and then threw everything I had on hand in the kitchen into the same cup. It’s actually quite good. Not sure if it will help, but worth a shot and nice to try and do something.

Feels like it’s time for a nap again now, I’m just exhausted.
Looking for the Corner,
~Miss SugarCooking

2017-09-22 I Wish I Had a Treadmill

I like going to the gym because when I do it’s like dedicated time to myself and I know I’m going to workout because there is nothing else to do there, save for the occasional sauna sitting. I’m focussed and have specific goals in mind. I even like to take classes now, which was not always the case due to my social anxiety, but having instructor led exercise makes me work harder. Sometimes, though, I wish I could just walk in the comfort of my own home and not have to go anywhere.

Take now for example. I woke up at 5am today and not by choice. Whatever illness that creeped into my body a few days ago is still trying it’s damnedest to keep hold of me and I’m just laying there in my bed for an hour thinking about.. well nothing of consequence really. If I had a treadmill, I would probably get up an walk.

I’ve often thought that if I had a treadmill I would not mind walking and watching a show. Right now, I’m not watching any TV at all because I sort of can’t stand to see the time it wastes and I have not allowed myself to dig into anything good. I know if I start watching a really good series, then I probably will binge on it, and then I will feel bad about not getting other things done. If I was walking, then I could at least feel good about getting steps while I enjoy a show.

When I stayed in Ademir and Crystal’s basement this past spring, they had a treadmill there complete with a standing/slanted desk built around it and I actually walked while I worked. I could easily do conference calls and some tasks while walking. That’s a total win-win.

Of all the things I put on my to-do list all the time, getting my steps is not one of them because it’s a daily goal. It’s always there and even when I feel under the weather (like now), I still want to get it done. I may not be doing high-intensity cardio stuff, but any activity is a “step” in the right direction. 😉

I’m going to put this on my wishlist. I’ve started a list of things I would like to have but can’t justify spending money on right now without income. Perhaps that will somehow become an incentive for me to really start looking again. Maybe.

Time to Make the Donuts,
~Miss SugarCookie