2018-06-04 List Of Ten Things…

… to do when you fall asleep at 9PM and wake up before the butt crack of dawn:

1. Open the curtains and windows cuz it’s a beautiful day.

2. Realize the sunrise is amazing and put on sweatpants to stand in your driveway to take some pics.

3. Decide better shots are waiting at the top of the hill and get in your car and drive.

4. Take some great snaps of a pink cloud filled sky from your car while stopped at stoplights.

5. Go to Wal-mart cuz you are out of oatmeal and cilantro and you’re in pajamas already so you’ll fit right in.

6. Get in your car and drive home cuz the sunrise is finished and you’re so over it.

7. Put your groceries away.

8. Change out the filter in your water pitcher.

9. Check Sunday stats in your AWS environment and update the customer metrics spreaadsheet.

10. Hit the Gym!

That’s been my day so far.. and it’s just now only 7:30am!

I’ve got other lists if you are interested. Just ask me. 😜

Getting to the gym early and some ass-hat is on my machine. Not only am I on a different machine, but I forgot my water and that bites. On the bright side, the tunes in my ear are brilliant so far. Right now it’s “The Fear” by Lily Allen. A classic. She was pretty much a one album Wonder, but I still dig when those tunes come up in the shuffle.

Sprinkle in a little Cake and some Imagine Dragons and “Walaa” … Magic!

And just about the time I think it can’t get better, I realize I’m playing one of my favorite gym mix playlists. No wonder. It’s not the Universe that’s magic, it’s just me and another one of my lists.

It’s Monday again and I’m on this kick where I choose some area to focus on and set a goal for the week. This week it’s got to be food and diet, and crossing not one, not two, but 5 things off my June list. Since I’m traveling about half of this month, I’ve got a limited amount of time to work with, and a seemingly never ending list of “stuff” that needs to get done.

On the food thing, I’m instituting a list of restrictions and a few other “rules”. I’m not going all cray-cray with it, like starting that Whole 30 nonsense again (yet). I’m going to see how I do with just a few steps in that general direction first.

1. Gluten free. Yeah… no bread. Bread makes you fat.

2. No added sugars (with a few realistic exceptions). Sugar makes you fat.

3. Minimize dairy.. just a reasonable amount of cheese.

4. Drinking at least 120 oz water every day.

5. Fasting from 8pm till 11am each day

I think that’s enough for now. We’ll see what turns out to be the hardest part.

On the monthly goals list I’m planning to check off the following:

1. Get my W4 changed.

2. Order my summer school books.

3. Get the recall maintenance on my car scheduled/done.

4. Use my Recyclebank points before they go away forever (hey that’s today).

5. Get tomato/pepper cages and get them put in.

Ok, I think that’s enough lists for one day/week. It’s time to stop planning and start crossing that shit off.

Making Monday My Bitch!

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-06-03 A Sunday with Significance

But first.. weekly stats! The top areas of focus this week were sleep and work so I’ll start there.

Sleep.. 7 hours and 12 mites average sleep per night. Score! That’s 12 minutes above goal and I only missed hitting that two of 7 nights. Next stop – 7 and a half. It’s all about baby steps though, and not being too unrealistic. This week I’ll be with My sweetheart and that means I’m liable to get less sleep. I should set an overall long term goal to be to average out to 7 hours a night. My Fitbit supports calculating averages for a week, month, three months, and for the year. Interesting that I’m already really close to the 7 hour mark for this year (6 hours and 57 minutes) so maybe I should shoot for 7.5 instead. 🤔

Work.. The last two weeks have been great. This past week I clocked my new minimum of 30 hours. It’s my new minimum because now I have to foot the bill for the kids’ health insurance which got dropped when my ex quit his job in April. It’s an extra 600 bucks a month. Gross! Interesting side note, he’s just this week quit yet another job. Supposedly he has another lined up AND is saying he’s putting the kids on the new company plan. I’ll believe it when I see it cuz i just can’t trust anything really unless there’s proof. I. Short.. I’ve got to maintain at least 30 hours to stay qualified for my company plan. And those extra hours will not yield a higher paycheck because the cost of the insurance will be more than the extra I’m making. 🙄

Now for the best of the rest..

Exercise. Average 11k steps and zero Jazzercise classes. That’s right, a big fat goose egg for the exercise classes. I also happened to do my monthly pulse check on finances yesterday and those classes cost me 60 bucks a month. As a consequence, and figuring the low class participation is a trend that’s going to continue all summer, I went ahead and cancelled my membership. WHAT??! 😮 Words I never dreamed I would write, but I’m realistic and if I’m not getting out of it what I put in 💲💲💲, it’s not worth it. The dollar rules a lot of life decisions, this is no exception. 🤑

I’m going to take a break for at least as long as I need to in order to take advantage of the bonus plan. Which are deals they offer former customers to return like 1 whole year for 399. That would basically cut my cost in half. That’s a sweet deal. In the mean time, I’ll be doing more outside and can pick up some classes at the gym to compensate, when I have time.

In other news, my diet/eating still needs to be reined in. I weigh more now than I have for like 10 years. I know exercise is not my problem… I know it’s food and potentials changes in my metabolism. Getting old sucks. The most ducked up part of all of it is this trend started when I did that insane Whole 30 diet with my sister in January. I didn’t loose any weight those 30 days and have been steady climbing ever since. I’ve gained about 10 lbs, which doesn’t sound like a lot but for me it is.

It’s bothered me so much I’ve considered going back on the Whole Foods diet just to see if it has any affect doing a second round. I’ve also considered going gluten free again. If I do either of these two things, it will be a good test of how JS handles me having food restrictions. Matt never took that well and was not supportive. It always bugged me the way he would roll his eyes about that stuff. Whatever.

Actually part of my weight gain could be a result of being in a new relationship and happy and just enjoying indulging in all the wonderful things in life together. Yeah, we work out together but we also eat together and having someone else cooking and serving me means I haven’t been choosing my own portion size. That’s gonna change this week.

Which brings me to why today is significant. Today is our 3 month Anniversary AND later today we are having a Meetup at his house where our kids will meet for the first time. Yowza! I’m trying not to think about it too much. I mean, they are all teenagers and I’m sure it will be fine. But I can’t help but have some anxiety thinking about it.

It’s going to be a fantastic Sunday! It’s beautiful out, the birds are singing, and everything is going my way. I’m so fortunate and I know it. This June is going to be busy and just balls-out amazing with the trips planned. Cheers to a great start to it all.

Rolling Into Sunday Sumner Fun,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. If you tuned in to see how last nights cliffhanger turned out, all I have to say about it is that Sleep took over and after I posted I never even got back out of bed. (So lame! 😜)

2018-03-12 The Thin Mint Struggle

Welcome to a new week and we’re rolling into mid March like lambs and lions living together.. real pre-old testament stuff. Sooth sayers and Ceasar slayers, Shakespeare rising from his grave. Beware.. the mass hysteria.

The kids are already enjoying their spring break by staying up late on a Sunday and sleeping in. I’m back at the gym and the man in black is here in black and running on the last treadmill in the row. I’ve got Work to do and a party to prep for and everything feels right with the world.

Yesterday I crossed my heart about really digging my heels in and eating healthy this week and I’m doing it. I know what works and I know what I have to do. If I can make it through the candy and ice cream and potato chips and pizza that my darling daughter has planned for her party, I can make it through anything. It’s the ultimate test.

I know I can do it because I have before. After having babies my metabolism had shifted greatly and I could no longer eat whatever I wanted like I could in my teens and twenties. After having my Z I struggled greatly. I was heavier than ever before in my life and gaining instead of loosing. I really had to figure out what worked for me.

I can’t talk to People about this. They look at me and roll their eyes. I said something to my mom and she literally made a face at me and waved her hand up like “go away with that”. Thanks for the support mom. I’m thin, but the truth is, I’ve had to work to get back here and to maintain.

And if a person has gone through what I have, which is a whole other thing I need to dedicate a post to, then they would truly understand what I mean when I say “It never really leaves my mind”. The self image and body issues and feelings of not being worthy are real.

I might try to make a funny comment on twitter like “Thin mints have cookie issues too”, but underneath that is a contant struggle. It’s part of why I dedicate so much time to setting goals and keeping track of stats.

Unfortunately at this point, my healthy appetite for exercise is not going to do much more for me because food is the problem. Food is NOT the problem.. my choices are the problem. I’m my own worst enemy. I can be super motivated at the start of the day like now, but by late afternoon I’m saying “screw it, I’m having what I want”.

I think it’s tough for me because I don’t have external support. If I’m truly compiling a wish list for my ideal partner in life, this would be on it. I want someone who also wants to eat healthy and support me in my struggle. If I were to look at my two past long term relationships I see this…

The first one was a major contributing factor to the cause of my problems.

The second really didn’t support me at all. He knew, but was mostly annoyed every time I was trying some new “fad” thing. Low carb, gluten free, mini-fasts and unreasonable restrictions. When he heard about my Whole 30 from Josh, apparently he issued a major eye roll. Whatever.

Like I stated, there’s more but it’s worthy of some dedicated time and well thought out writing. So I’ll quit now.

Time to get my Monday on!

Let’s Do This,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-08 Today is a Good Day to Start

This is one of the tag lines on the blog I started in 2010. I think it’s a thing I tried to tell myself more than saying it to anyone else because I often use excuses why I’m not doing something.

* it’s not the start of the week or month.

* I’ve got all this food in my refrigerator I don’t want to go to waste.

* I won’t have time.

* I can’t afford it.

* I’m afraid of what people will think.

The biggest hurdle I have is getting out of my own way. Sometimes those excuses are valid, but most of the time I just need to strike through all of it and say to myself.. “Today is a good day to start”.

As we enter a new year I find myself more open than ever to the possibilities of life. I just started a new job. I just started back to school and on top of that, I’ve also committed to starting something else.. 30 days of eating only Whole Foods.

That’s right. I’m doing the whole 30 diet which will not require too much extra time aside from planning meals and grocery shopping, which I have to do anyway. What it will require is willpower.

This way of eating was totally meant for me because I’m a meat and potatoes girl at heart. However, I am addicted to sugar and love cheese. Not having alcohol will not be a problem but the whole thing will make social events, lunches out and such, a challenge.

I think doing something like this is only possible with the support from the members of your household and close family and friends. Not only are they there to encourage but also hold accountable. My sister and I are doing this together and now my friend Becky is making it a trio. I wish more people would join us but nobody at Christmas events seemed all that interested.

I think it’s also important to have rewards and celebrate success. I have yet to define that because I’ve pretty much put myself on serious monetary restriction for the foreseeable future. I need to find something I can reward myself with that doesn’t cost money. That’s going to take some deeper consideration for sure.

Today is Day 1. We wanted to wait for things to settle after the new year to start. Now, here it is, Monday. The start of a new week and essentially my first day wearing my big girl pants again. I’ll be working on turning in my lecture notes from residency and my kids are coming back home after a long break apart. But I can’t let any of that become an excuse not to start.

On the contrary. I want to propose the opposite.. today isn’t just a good day to start. It’s a great one!

Cheers to new Beginnings (with water of course),

~Miss SugarCookie

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

2017-08-09 Isn’t it Ironic

Today I went to the Red Cross blood drive just down the street. I have a long history of attempting to donate blood which is really great for several different reasons.

First and most obviously, you are doing something good and helping people and that gives me a nice feeling. They say that every time you donate blood, you are potentially helping up to three people who need it. The Red Cross is always saying that supplies are low, but right now they are in dire need and my in-box is getting bombarded with requests. My selflessness ends there however.

It’s really also kind of a free health screening. They check your temp and blood pressure and hemoglobin. I think they test you blood for several icky things which would normally cost money at a clinic or lab.

The third reason would be a slight departure from my normal routine which is kind of nice. I used to schedule around lunchtime and it takes a little time so it was an extra few moments of something different to just sit back and relax. That sound strange, but that is how I feel about it. And nobody is ever going to question my long lunch if they know that is my intent. What kind of a person would harp on someone for doing something good like that? Not many.

So today I went to donate and was rejected, for the second time in one week. I was rejected due to my hemoglobin being low which is iron in the blood. You can’t donate if you are a female and your count is less than 12.5. Today mine was 12.1 so I was turned away. I think it was last Thursday or Friday when I tried at the library and it was 11.5. This is why I say I have a long history of “attempting” to donate. My iron is often low.

For several years I took a supplement every day. I first started doing that not because I was not able to donate, but because I had seen my PCP and my blood work showed like 9. something and he suggested it. That’s not low enough to be a serious concern but he stated it could be a contributing factor to why I was so fatigued all the time. So I started taking some every day. My levels came up but I don’t think the fatigue ever really went away. I think my body just naturally has low hemoglobin.

Durning those years, I was always right around the threshold. Sometimes I would make it and sometimes I would be turned away. My grandfather donated regularly and I wanted to follow in his footsteps in giving back in some way. I never did a ton of research into why my iron would be low or what I could do to boost it naturally, I just accepted that the pill was sort of working and that was good enough.

It did, however, yield another unpleasant side effect that I did not even realize until this year. I would have really heavy periods with lots of blood clots. I came to this conclusion because someone suggested I stop taking the iron and see what affect that had on my system. Magically, after about a month or so, my period returned to normal. So that was it, I was done with that supplement for sure. Except it meant that I also had to give up donating. Damn.

I began researching natural ways of increasing the iron in your diet in the hopes that eating foods rich in iron would have a positive impact on my numbers, yet keep those nasty once-a-month episodes from being too terrible. What I found is that some things I like to eat already are high on the list of foods rich in iron. Hamburger number one, spinach and leafy greens and broccoli, dark chocolate, molasses, whole wheat bread ,quinoa, apricots and strawberries and raisons are among the top. Beans too, but gross, I don’t eat beans.

So I made sure I have something every day. I love cheeseburgers so that’s like a top win. It might even be part of the reason I like red meat so much. My body is craving what it is lacking. People say it does that, and seeks out what it wants. Perhaps there is some truth to that. However, the science of increasing iron in your system does not stop there. One has to consider absorption. With my levels still being too low last week, I began looking into this as well.

I had done a quick search at one point and found out that calcium inhibits the uptake of iron into the system and that vitamin C actually increases it. So the easy take away from that is stay away from dairy when you are having an iron meal and also pair it with something like orange juice. When I was taking the supplements, I always took it with orange juice anyway, so now that I am making my own juice, that works out perfectly.

To make matters a little more complex, though, just eating spinach may not have been doing me any good. Apparently there is another thing in spinach, called an Oxilate which prohibits the intake of iron. So spinach becomes a net zero for trying to increase the iron. Same thing with the strawberries and whole wheat (though that is because of phytates and not oxalates – oh my).

I’ve been doing more and more digging into this and have several sites that confirm that absorption is just as important as what you are eating that contains iron. In fact, about a quarter of the things on the list of foods high in iron were also on the list of foods to avoid if you want to absorb more iron. How ironic (pun intended). Iron from animals such as beef and fish are more easily absorbed that that from plant sources.. but there is apparently no perfect pairing to maximize the benefit.

Anyway, after I was turned away today from donating, I was so angry. I don’t want to give up because I am not a quitter, nor am I willing to let go of the benefits I get from donating. I have a feeling that my body is the way it is naturally, and that my iron will always be slightly low and I intend to continue to try and sort this out. I just find it so ironic that this one tiny thing that I want to do is something I can’t do and it feels so outside of my control. Grrrr.

I’ve made another appointment to try again Sunday. So between now and then, I guess it’s all cheeseburgers and orange juice for me. I guess if there is a silver lining, that would be it. 😉

Isn’t it Ironic.. Don’t you think?
A little too Ironic..
Yeah I really do think.
~Miss SugarCookie

P.S. Thanks Alanis for the Complimentary Close

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