2017-08-19 Satisfying Saturday

I could talk about the health tests I took yesterday. That was pretty cool, and I want to talk about it but now does not feel like the time.

I just got back from an evening bike ride which started at my house and led me into and past downtown Papillion and then west on the Patio trail to 108th. It started out as an evening ride, but it’s almost 10PM now and pitch black. The sunset was pretty awesome but the ride got really buggy after that and I had not explored west on the trail before so I was really trying to pay attention to where I was. At one point I got a bug right in the eye and I had to stop for like five minutes to try and fix that. Ewwww. When I arrived home (pretty much 10 minutes ago), I took some benadryl because something else on the trail triggered my allergies. I have not had a lot of seasonal allergies for a few years now, so I am quite surprised, but hopefully the benadryl will fix it and also make me nice and drowsy.

Back it up a little bit and I grilled out tonight and also cooked my first zucchini from my garden. It’s really an event because I did not have any last year, likely due to lack of pollination where it was located and this year I messed with it so much I’m surprised the plants are even still alive. That being said, I only cooked half and the other half will be tomorrow night when I am having guests over. So tonight was kind of the trial run.

Back it up a little more and I went to the driving range with Barb and we hit balls to try and remember how to do that for our annual golf outing next Saturday. I golf once a year. That’s it. One time with Barb in her husbands work outing and after that we store our clubs away for another year. I hate golf and I think she does too. We just have fun drinking and driving the golf cart. Isn’t that why people play anyway?! 😉

The rest of the day I spent cleaning and doing things around the house and yard to also prepare for my guests tomorrow. I’m having a new “friend” and his daughter over for dinner so he can see my place and the kids can play together. They are coming over around 2PM and then staying through dinner. I’m not sure how the afternoon and evening will go but I’m hoping for the best. It’s one of those things.. I’m unsure and have some amount of anxiety but it is going to happen and whatever happens happens so I just should just let it. Still, I want to make a good impression so I at least want the house to be presentable. I mean, I should wait till later to reveal the fact that I only vacuum a few times a year. Right?

If nothing else, it is a good excuse to clean and finish a few unfinished projects. Now that I’ve done that, I feel very satisfied with the result so no matter what, I’ll have that to enjoy.

All in all, I am very satisfied with how today turned out. I’ve been feeling happy and positive all day, which is nice. I think that benadryl is kicking in so I’m going to head to bed. Hopefully I will have another great day tomorrow.

Toes Crossed,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-18 In the Name of Health

Today is Friday and this day is JAM PACKED with goodness. It’s not even 6AM but my body has decided that more sleep is just not going to happen. Rather my brain has decided. I drop the kids off to school at 8AM and the first thing I am doing is going to UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha) Exercise Physiology Laboratory located in the Health and Kinesiology (H&K) building. I have an appointment at 9AM for fitness testing. Today I am doing three tests.

The first one is an resting metabolic rate test. This is where you sit in a resting position for like 30 minutes basically doing nothing but breathing into a tube. What this test will reveal is how many calories I burn per day if I were to do no activity whatsoever. I think this is a really good baseline test because not only will I be able to calculate calories in/calories out, but as my muscle mass increases, my RMR should also increase. For that test I had to fast for 12 hours, which means I have not eaten since dinner at 6:30PM last night. I can’t remember the last time I went to bed hungry. It’s probably part of the reason I had such a rotten night sleep.

The second test is an underwater body fat percentage test. Years ago I had the one they do with the calipers at my gym and frankly I don’t remember the result. This is obviously another good one for baseline muscle mass and a good indicator on my health. These tests are too expensive to have done all the time to check progress, but it would be very interesting to do them every couple of years to see how things change both as I increase my activity, which I have been trying to do, and also as I age.

The last test is a VO2 Max test which measures how well the body consumes/uses oxygen under a cardio load. It is pretty much an indicator on my cardiovascular fitness. What they do for this test is have you breathe in a tube while performing some cardio exercise. Typically this is a treadmill or bike. I hate running on a treadmill and it is hell on my knees so I chose the bike option. They start at an easy pace and then over time increase the difficulty until you simply can’t do more. That is why it is a “max” test. I consider myself a somewhat healthy person, but I don’t think my cardio endurance is very good. I get winded jogging a block or going up a flight of stairs. It will be very interesting to see these results. I am not sure if I will get the actual results today.

I was turned on to this by a discussion I had with Lance who lives in Denver when I was out to visit a few months back. He’s doing the testing in about a week (at CU) and he wanted to have a bet about who was in better shape. He’s a tall thin dude who hikes and bikes and also lives at a higher altitude, so I told him “no way”. I’m not a sucker and I know a losing bet when I hear it. He’s convinced I am in better shape but I think he was just trying to lead me into saying yes.

After that I am sure I will be starving and want to eat lunch and I am supposed to meet Chris in Blackstone at 1. That might sound familiar if you follow along as we were supposed to meet this past Tuesday and that once again was cancelled. Third time is the charm.

At 3 or 4 I am meeting Steph for happy hour. It’s her last day of work. She said I “inspired her” to quit her job. She was pretty much fed up with her company anyway so it was not a surprise. We are going to toast to “sweet freedom” with margaritas at someplace in Papillion. That concludes what I have actually planned and I am guessing that after all that, I will be pretty done in and ready to come home and rest.

If there is one thing that I really wanted to do during my time off work, it was get more healthy and on a good path with my fitness plan. I won’t be able to tell with just this one round of testing if I’ve made progress already, but I will have a better idea where I am at now and get a sense for what I need to do in the future. Of course, that goes hand in hand with the choices I make for what I eat, but that will be another topic for another day.

To Health!
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-13 Today is Mine

When I woke this morning at 7:33 after about 7 hours of sleep I said to myself, “Today is going to be my day”. I said it in a nice way, like I was going to hug the day and enjoy every minute of it’s time. Not in a mean sort of ownership way.

I’m rolling into a phase here where I intend to take my time and enjoy it and really do things I want to do. If that means I eat some ice cream and take a nap, then that is what it means. If it means I go on a 40 mile bike ride, then hooray for that. I’m going to try to not worry about the small things and appreciate all the wonderful parts of my life and the world around me.

So here now, after most of the day has come and gone, is “My Sunday” Status Update…

Jazzercise at 8:30 with one of my favorite instructors was a success. It was a great start to the day. When it was over at 9:30 though, I was done and left to go back home.

I spent about a half an hour putzing on the internets and completed my Red Cross “Rapid Pass” for the third time in two weeks. I have not needed it due to the low iron, but as I got in my car to drive to today’s location I said to myself again “Today is going to be my day”. Low and behold, my hemoglobin was 13.6 and so I was allowed to donate. Yes!! Great success.

After that I did a few random chores around the house and changed to go meet my sister downtown for Sushi. We went to Hiro 88 which I have not been to for sometime and it was awesome. I did not feel bad for ordering and eating the crab rangoon or some of each of the five rolls we selected or drinking two most delicious purple kimono drinks.

When I arrived back home I was really full and feeling very much like a nap would be a great idea but when I laid down, Josh texted and wanted to go for a walk. So I opted to get the steps instead. We went to Walnut which is about an hour walk and toward the end of it we both remarked that the trail is getting kind of boring. It really is. He also was lamenting about being hungry so we drove to Qdoba where he had a quesadilla and I had chips and queso. I knew I had overdone it when my stomach started to hurt. Too much goodness in one day.

That brings us to right about now. 7PM and the sun is starting to get low in the sky. I’ve had good conversations, good food, 15K steps, and am really ready for my kids to return home tonight. Today was my day. Tomorrow will be ours together.

Hasta Manana,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-11 Who Am I?

Today I dug a trench in my back yard and it’s almost ready for me to start doing the brick work. I also went for a bike ride and discovered where/how the Patio trail connects with the Keystone trail, so that 4th of July mystery has been solved. After that I took a nap and then went to Jazzercise which was closely followed by a walk at the high school track. It was a very full day indeed. Most of it, I spent alone.

Spending the day alone means lots of music in my ears and lots of thinking. I came to two conclusions…

The first is that I am really sick of the music on my phone and need some sort of introduction to something new. I don’t know if that means using a new app or something or just hanging out with different people who have different tastes.

The second is that it is sometimes difficult to define ones self. Who am I? If you take away my children, my job, my friends and family, and any ties to some partner in life, what am I left with? What do I like? As a person who is historically both a people pleaser and the most easy going/amiable to any plan, I’ve always gone with the flow. I’ve always done what other people have wanted me to do. When I am left alone, as I am now,  completely alone, who am I?

Today I chose a bike ride and some other exercise. I chose to work in my yard and ignore cleaning my house. I chose to write instead of read and I chose to be outside instead of inside. So is that who I am? What else is there? If someone were to ask me if there was anything in the world I could do what would it be? I don’t think I know. Does anyone know the answer to this for themselves? Does anyone really know who they are as a person or are we defined by our jobs and relationships?

I intend to find out who I am without my job, but I don’t want to separate myself from relationships because that’s my lifeline. That’s my safety net. As much as I feel over-burdened by my responsibilities to maintain my relationships sometimes, I would simply not know what to do without them. I would be lost and at risk of falling through without a net and potentially suffering some dire consequences.

OK, true confession time. It’s 9PM on a Friday and I’m all alone and getting ready for bed. I had two glasses of wine with my dinner of leftovers and am a little bit buzzed from that (yes, two glasses and that’s it). I’m about ready to go to bed for the night and tomorrow I am going to wake up and have all the same choices I had today. Will I chose the same things or try something new? Will I connect with people or remain alone for the day? Will I hang my hat on waiting for something to happen to me or will I go out and MAKE something happen. I don’t know. I don’t think I will know until tomorrow gets here and I’m right in the middle of it.

I guess if you really want to know, you will have to click back tomorrow and find out. Oh, now how is that for suspense? Haha!

Until Tomorrow. Gnight,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-05 Not Ready for “What Now”

It’s just past 6AM and I’ve been awake since 4 something. The sun is just around the corner and there is light outside now and I’ve opened the curtains and the windows which is a sure sign I’ve given up the notion of any more sleeping on this night.

I was so tired when I wrote yesterday’s post that I had to go back and re-read what it was all about. Apparently, I have some more topics brewing in my brain but not quite ready to commit to any deep commentary on any of them. I feel quite the same about my life in general. I’m not really ready to commit to starting a relationship. I’m not really ready to commit to finding my next career. I’m not really ready to commit to any other drastic changes or endeavors in my life.

I’ve taken the last month to decompress from my last work situation and have adjusted quite easily to a lifestyle of leisure. I really fancy waking up every day refreshed and relaxed with no responsibility save to those few commitments I’ve made for meet-ups and what my kids might need or want. I’ve commented to several folks recently that it would be really easy to get used to this, if only my bank account could handle that long term (which it can’t of course).

I’ve tried to be very observant and self-reflecting on how I feel and how different situations make me feel and what impact certain events have had on my mood and demeanor. I’m doing this analysis to try and better understand myself while I have the time to do it. That “mirror” is a valuable tool in improving ones life, but unless you have the time to really look at it and then actually think about what you see, it might be a wasted minute. Josh and I had a conversation about the mirror as a tool yesterday and I think he was referring more to a literal mirror than my figurative form, but the application of the idea is the same none the less.

Last night I caught my own reflection in a window in my kitchen and I am reminded of my physical flaws. Some which can be corrected with some hard work and dedication to activity and food consumption behavior modification. Some that are just how I was built which I have no control to change save for expensive plastic surgery. For the most part, I’m OK with the way I look, but thinking about being in a relationship again, or starting down that path makes me feel self conscious or more aware of some of those flaws because I would be subject to what someone else thinks about it. It should not matter, but it does. No sense denying that.

As July is a closed month now, and open for evaluation, I very much think it was a well rounded attempt to unwind from the working world. A good vacation, lots of time spent meeting up with people and talking, and a fair bit of experimentation in the dating world. It’s now the 5th day of August and I’m starting to try to define what this month in my life will be all about. I’ve recognized through my reflecting that I do tend to over-commit to things, and took the ‘re-connecting’ with people too far. The end result was often a stressed feeling as well as too many unhealthy meals, which is a result of not a lot of choices for the actual meet-ups themselves. I’m going to cut back on both in August as well as cut off my attempts at meeting new people.

I would like to also really start figuring this diet thing out. Less meals out and more cooking at home will allow me to eat healthier. I may not be ready to start thinking about big life changes, but the diet is so important and something I really have complete control of so there are no excuses to fixing that. Despite my early start to the day today, I’m also hopeful the improvement I have seen in my sleep lately will continue.

It’s almost 7AM now and though the sun is up, it is very overcast outside. I think the chances for rain today are good so it might be a fabulous day to lounge around and drink coffee and read a book. Perhaps I will go get a Jazzercise set in early just so I can feel well balanced and not feel guilty later if I do end up having a lazy day. At this very moment, however, I’m not even ready for that yet.

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-05 Mission Accomplished

I made my solo ride to the river on the 4th. I made it all the way there and back – about 40 miles round trip and it was absolutely amazing. I don’t have words to describe the range of emotions I felt along the way, or at least now words to do it justice. Pure joy and sadness, longing, regret, hope, elation. Wave after wave with every song in my ear and the ache in my body as I pushed my legs hard.

The sun set on my way home and it was beautiful. The skyline around me dotted with fireworks as blue just sort of faded into darkness. There was a very brief time the horizon was pink and orange but it was so brief I hardly had time to capture it with my camera. In truth, I stopped a lot on the way to the river and so on the way home, I just wanted to ride without interruption. I wanted to enjoy the moment I was in and not worry about trying to save it for the future. In society today we spend too much time on putting our lives into a frame for display and not enough on just being in the moment. At least that is how I feel about it.

It was dark by the time I hit the Keystone/Papio trail exchange and I missed it. Then I decided not to exit on Harrison street because climbing the hill from 66th to 80th would have been too much for my already weak legs. I opted instead to exit in Ralston on Q street and that area of town was a mess of people and cars everywhere for some big fireworks display. It was rough getting back to my place, but by 11PM, I had finally made it. Another 4th over. Now I am ready for what is next.

Feeling Satisfied,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-06-30 Last Day of June

Today is the last day of June and the last day of the first half of the year. I’m historically into being retrospective and analyzing things in order to make adjustments and improvements but not sure I’m really in the mood for a deep dive into that right now. Perhaps just a slight toe-dip in the shallow end…

When I started this little adventure in January I was in desperate need of SOMETHING. I was in need of something but not sure what it was. I knew I was not in a good place with my life and that changes needed to be made, but I really had no idea what the real problems were and what I should be doing. My initial conclusions were to write about it and try to focus on my health. That is exactly what I did.

I’ve put more effort into exercise and making sure I get good physical activity more. I’ve realized this is not easy to do because of time constraints. It takes time to go out walking, or hit the Jazzercise classes, or the gym. As a person with lots of responsibilities and limited time, the struggle is not with improving my fitness, it’s with balancing my time.

I’ve put some effort into improving my diet. I went through the whole food tracker app analysis phase and determined the right app for me only to stop using it only a few weeks after that decision was made. The truth is, I’ve done a lot of research in the past about eating healthy and know what I should and should not be doing and more importantly, I know what works for me and I know what my weaknesses are.

I’m addicted to sugar (most Americans are). I’m often in a hurry (most Americans are) and opt for the quick easy meal, which is often a less healthy choice. And eating and drinking is a social thing, because there is not a lot of other things to do, so we tend to meet up over a meal or coffee or a few drinks. Given all of this, it stands to reason that when I’m home in my own space with time on my time, I have the ability to make better choices. I can spend a few minutes making a delicious salad or something else that’s not all sugar and fat. Again, the missing ingredient is time.

It is the same thing with sleep, which is the thing I have struggled with the most to try and course correct. I’ve definitely had some ups and downs. I can look at my FitBit history and see weeks I had 4 and 5 hours average sleep and some where I was almost at 7 hours. I’m off taking any meds now to aid sleep and going in the right direction with it, but still not making the best decisions when it comes to going to bed at a decent time. Because, well… time.

Since I am only dipping my toe into the thought puzzle game today, and am probably already ankle deep, I’m going to stop there. If I start talking about work and relationships and road trips and cheeseburgers, my head will be under water before you know it and frankly, I don’t have time for that right now. (How appropriate).

Perhaps there will be more of a retrospective later. For now, time to get up and get moving.

Happy Last Day of June!
~Miss SugarCookie