2017-12-03 Sunday Status Update and Reflection

Some days I feel so positive about my progress and some days I just feel like a follow through failure. Braeaking it all down with statistics helps me realize the reality and take feelings out of the story. These “pulse checks” are therefore very helpful. It’s also helpful to compare one moment in time to another. That way I can truly see if I’m making progress and meeting my goals.

Here’s today’s snapshot…

Exercise/Steps: My average steps for the last 7 days was just shy of 20k steps per day. This is on par with where I was two weeks ago but about twice as much as I was getting at the start of the year.

I went to about 6 Jazzercise classes for the week which is also about the same as last week but I’m doing more of this now than at the start of the year as well. I’m still using 8 pound weights but don’t think I can go any heavier because 8 pounds is pretty taxing on my joints.

Sleep: My 7 day average was 6 hours and 50 minutes. This is worse than the last four previous weeks which were all 7+ hours average per night. My goal has been 8 for so long but I’m feeling that’s unrealistic. I’m going to adjust accordingly and shoot for 7.5 hours. I’ve still felt rested and energized for the day when I wake up and I think that’s the important thing. I’m now able to sleep through the night which is HUGE! A year ago I was so far from that it’s crazy and was even still struggling six months ago. I’m attributing my improved mood and energy to this one factor and therefore know for certain the changes I’ve made in my life were not just good ones.. they were absolute necessity.

Eating: It was a tough week and my willpower was low. I had too much junk with sugar in it. I’ve decided I’m going gluten free… and I started a couple of days ago. If that seems familiar, it’s because it is. I just copy/pasted that from two weeks ago. It’s exactly the same. I caved on the gluten free thing a few times and broke down and had too many sweets. But a few days ago, on December 1st, I re-committed myself to being gluten free. It’s time to get serious. I’m not going to try and fool myself into thinking I can also cut dairy or sugar at the same time. So this month I’m going to focus on just that one change.

Employment: Still None. My MFA residency starts this month and I’m now actively engaged in looking for a job.

Relationships: I now have a backlog of writing to do on this subject.. for romantic relationships and new things regarding family, but I’ve not found dedicated time to do so because of other priorities. Of course I’m still single and unsure what to do about these of my life, but it’s not like it’s a thing you can set goals around and make “progress”. Am I Right?

Looking forward to:

1. Monday – Pounding the world wide electronic superhighway for a job. (Yes.. I’m actually excited about this).
2. Tuesday – An evening in or out with my lovely sister. .
3. Wednesday – Showing my HVAC who is boss and filing away the final episode of that saga.
4. Thursday – Lunch with Leah.
5. Friday – FriYay!
6. Saturday – Christmas cookie chaos!!

Life is Still Good,
~Miss SugarCookie

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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

2017-10-21 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

2017-09-22 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

2017-09-09 A Fine Time on Nine Nine

Today I woke up early (surprise surprise), but it was OK because I went to bed early so I achieved over nine hours of sleep. That’s a thing that seems to be steadily getting better and I’ve called out the key factors on this before but it bears repeating…
1.) What is on my brain or my level of stress or anxiety any given day which is largely outside of my control, or at least partially out of my control.
2.) What time I choose to go to bed which is completely within my control.
3.) The amount of activity during the day. The more the better.

I’m getting better and better at going to bed at a respectable hour and really nailing the exercise and activity lately. The only thing left is to somehow work on the brain activity. I think meditation might help with that some, but as I stated several posts ago, quieting my brain via normal mediation will take some real work and discipline. And Falling asleep is never an issue, but staying asleep when I wake up is the challenge.

If I can learn to meditate and clear my mind, perhaps I can use that somehow at the magic 4 oclock hour when it’s trying to ramp back up into problem solving mode and I only want to fall back asleep.

That’s probably enough repeating myself about the sleep thing.. I did actually do some noteworthy things today including seeing my new special someone and a meet up with my good friend Amy and hauling my kids around town on errands. It was a pretty good day full of lots of great conversations. All of that quality time with people means my exercise and step count suffered, but I’ve had a pretty above average week thus far and having a low day will not affect my average too much. Besides, the QT was totally worth the numbers taking a hit.

The kids sort of got on each other’s nerves late in the afternoon and once we arrived back home they were happily separated. I had considered a movie or going to Defy Gravity but given the mood, it was better that we all went to our separate corners. I think I also needed a little “alone” time too, but ended up spending most of the evening with Z helping her nurse a burn injury received from a hot glue gun.

It’s past 10:30PM now and I am just getting to writing. Truth be told, I am already getting sleepy and don’t have much in me to elaborate on anything further tonight.

Good Night and Sweet Dreams,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-02 Saturday Triple Play

Yesterday I worked tirelessly on my edging project, including returning/exchanging bags of paving sand to Home Depot because I got the wrong ones first time around. In my infinite wisdom I had decided to lay all the bricks in first (which I did early this week) to get a nice clean line just the way I wanted it. Step two, which if I am really counting is probably step four or five, was to pull them all out again to level with the sand.

I thought “no big deal”, until I could not get them to level and I could not get the curves to come out the same way I did the first time. In addition, something went awry with the slope and the more I went up and around the first curve, the more dirt I had to add back into the trench to keep each paver even with the one before. At 3:30PM I took a break to go pick up Z at school and spend some QT with her and it was probably a good thing. My frustration was at it’s peak. Mostly because I thought this whole step would take a couple of hours and I had spent my whole damn day working at it and was not even half done.

When I arrived back home I continued on for a little bit, until it started to rain. That is when I quit for the day.

So when I woke up this morning at 5:30 AM, I could not get it out of my head and was bound and determined to finish. I was outside by 7AM and the first few bricks were once again a challenge, but after that they started to get easier and easier as the slope declined. In two hours I finished the entire second half, and am much happier about the way that half turned out. I can’t quite figure out what it was yesterday that was making it so difficult but easily let that go with the success I had today. I felt so good about it being done (at least this step), that I went and did a Jazzercise class.

After Jazzercise I headed to CB to help my dad and his wife move out of their apartment and into a condo. I say “help”, but I was only there for a couple of hours and only did about two carloads of stuff. Their apartment is on the third floor and they have lived there for a very long time. Why anyone would choose to live on the third floor is beyond me, but I guess they are finally done with the steps too. I probably went up and down those steps dozens of times hauling armloads of clothes I am pretty sure they have not worn for years. It always amazes me how many things people have.

I am far from being a minimalist, but I definitely have that mindset. “Things” are a burden on a person. Upkeep and storage for things you rarely use or wear or look at is not awesome. I have a large house, but lots of space and not a lot of furniture to fill it up just because I have rooms. In the last two years, and especially with my move, I have gotten rid of a lot of things and it makes me feel lighter. So, going into the back corners of someone else’s closet and seeing what they have just kind of rubs me the wrong way. If you don’t need it, get rid of it.

Anyway, so if I consider the move and the stairs a workout, that’s about three workouts for me so far today. I think that is enough. I’m supposed to be spending some time with my new friend today and at the present moment waiting for him to text and let me know when he is finished with his trail ride. There is no way I was going to suggest accompanying him on that as I am 1.) Physically worn out 2.) Needing a few new items like gloves before I do that again and 3.) Want to practice more solo before I go with him again.

In fact, I think I am so worn out I am going to lay down for a bit. I know I will not be able to sleep, but some rest will do me good. Hopefully that will give me enough energy to get me through whatever we might decide to do this evening. I’m excited to see him again, but still being very level headed about the whole thing. I’m trying not to let the hopeless romantic in me let my imagination get carried away.

Just Keep Swinging,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-10 Strange Days

This week has been so strange. Despite having a few things planned, it seems that nothing is going according to plan. Some of it has been unexpectedly awesome and some of it has been just rotten. I’ll start with rotten so I can end on a positive note.

Yesterday I wrote about my attempt to donate blood and how that turned out. I was so angry. I just hate being turned away and maybe it is because I hate rejection and possibly it is because it feels like a situation that is completely out of my control. Either way, I was just so angry and I felt like punching something when I got back in my car. It was like a mini temper tantrum and that’s not me. I’m very even keel and there is not a lot that makes me angry. This did it though. I channeled that anger into yesterday’s post and also researching more about the diet where low iron is concerned. I tried to take that negative and turn it into a positive and I sort of feel better about it. Sort of.

Yesterday afternoon I had a plan to do Jazzercise, a strength class followed by a dance-mixx class. I was all geared up to do the 45 minute strength set, which was with one of the toughest instructors in my opinion. About 5 minutes in I felt a twinge of a headache, which I had not had going into the class. Another 10 minutes and it was really starting to ramp up into something substantial and about 30 minutes in I was convinced I was having a migraine. On my back doing ab-crunches looking directly up at the light and starting to feel like I wanted to toss the contents of my stomach. The sensitivity to light is a sure sign of a migraine.

Of course I was in the front row and of course it was a strength class which requires one have weights and a ball and a resistance tube and a matt. So many things borrowed from various locations around the room to put away and it would have been very disruptive for me to just quit and put those things away. So I powered through it. It would also look very strange if someone quit 30 minutes into a 45 minute class. I put about 10 to 15% effort into each next exercise until it was finally through. It’s funny how sometimes 15 minutes can seem like an eternity.

When class was over I packed up my things and put all that eq away and high-tailed it out of there. No second class was in the cards for me. After having been afflicted by migraines off and on for my entire adult life, I know the best way to combat them is dark and quiet and sleep, with meds if necessary. That is what I intended to do.

I arrived home and promptly took an Excederine migraine pill, which is just acetaminophen, caffeine, and aspirin. Then I had a bowl of cereal. Then I went up to my room and took a promethazine to combat the nausea. The promethazine also has a nice side effect of making me really drowsy. That’s kind of an understatement though. It actually helps me have a deep relaxing sleep, if I fall asleep. After I took that I had a nice hot shower and then fell into my bed. I was probably asleep in like 5 minutes. No kidding.

According to my Fitbit that was 6:09PM that I fell asleep. The last thing I remember was texting Josh that if I was unresponsive, it was because I was asleep. We were supposed to go to dinner when he finished his work for the day. Apparently he texted and even knocked on my door when he was in the area and I was unresponsive.

I woke up around 9pm, very groggy like I was still in the middle of that drug-induced fog. The headache was gone but my body hurt like I had fallen asleep so suddenly and then slept wrong. It was the strangest feeling. I had a bite to eat and texted with Josh and then decided it would be best if I just let my body sleep and went back to bed. That was about 10:15pm. I slept until 7:30 this morning. Adding it up that was almost 12 hours total. I have not slept that much in forever. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I slept that long. Wow.

Right now I’m at the Toyota service shop getting an oil change. It was good that I woke up when I did so I did not miss my appointment. However, my Mac is very low on power (< 5%) and I don’t have the power cord so I’m going to have to save the “good” for when I’m back home and plugged in.

More Laterz,
~Miss SugarCookie