2018-01-28 Sunday Status Update – Totally Phoning This One In

Happy Sunday People! Let’s make this quick so we can get back to the good life…

Sleep.. Average 7 hours 36 minutes a night.

Exercise.. Average 22,372 per day.

Healthy eating.. Day 21 of 30 of the Whole 30. See yesterday’s post for the details.

Employment status.. Full time gig, working part time hours.

Student status.. Full time and starting to panic!

Relationship status.. Actively looking despite my current student status. 😜

That’s it.. I’m Out.
~Miss SugarCookie


2018-01-21 Sunday Status Update

Sleep.. Average 8 hours and 14 minutes last week. That’s freaking amazing!!! The consistency is getting better and I think that’s a direct result of my diligence and really establishing a great routine. It’s only January and I’m already hitting my goal! 😴😊✅🎉

Eating.. Still on the Whole 30. Today is Day 14. I’m almost half way there and still love eggs. I’ve perfected my guacamole and have established a planning/cooking routine that works. Evenings (between 7 and bedtime) are the toughest to fight through cravings. I’m probably eating too many fruits and nuts but that’s going to have to be ok.

Exercise.. 18,615 average steps per day. Four Jazzercise classes and back up to 8 pound free weights in class.

Employment status.. I didn’t quite hit 20 hours this week. That’s got to change.

Relationship status.. Single.

Student status.. I’m a full time student trying to get it done on part time hours. This has to change too. I need to ramp things up and put in some serious reading in the next week.

This week I’m looking forward to lunch with Sam today, Amy on Tuesday, and a family Birthday lunch on Wednesday with my mom and sisters. It will really be the first test of eating at restaurants on this Whole 30 plan. I definitely see some salads in my future.

Time to Hit it and Git it!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-15 TKO from a Kick in the Head

Last night something happened that has not happened in a really long time. I got kicked in the head by a migraine and it totally took me out. Typically there’s something that triggers a headache. Last time I recall was in August and it was the night before the total solar eclipse and a terrible smell in our hotel room hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s most commonly some smell, like that, or cigarette smoke. Sometimes it’s stress, I think, but if I already have a headache, even a minor one, it’s more likely to evolve into a migraine when my emotions are in some heightened state.

That must have been what happened last night. Since starting the Whole 30 I have not been drinking any coffee. As it turns out, I hate coffee. What I really like is cream and sugar and coffee is just the pairing I’ve been using to get those other things into my system. I know I am prone to caffeine withdrawal, so I have been giving myself a regulated dose of caffeine each day, normally before my morning workout. Yesterday I didn’t have a morning workout and being off my routine (still), I forgot.

By the time 6PM rolled around, I started to feel a slight twinge in my right temple and as I went about my business making dinner and doing other random things in the kitchen, it slowly got worse. I realized then I had not had any caffeine that day and was planning on going to the gym to get some steps after all the chores were done so I had one then. I’ve also been taking cir cumin daily as a natural anti-anflamitory and I had one of those too.

At the gym my headache subsided a bit and I did some cardio and some walking and writing. When I got home, I went to settle into a spot with one of my new books and the headache came back, only worse. I took another cir cumin and an aspirin. I’ve been trying to stay away from OTC Tylenol or ibuprofen and so I abstained from both of those. Five or ten pages more of Robert Creeley and I knew it wasn’t going away without a fight. That’s when I decided to concede.

The key indicators of a full blown migraine are nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, and movement. Several years back, I was prescribed promethazine to counteract the nausea and the side effect of that is serious drowsiness. Well, that’s kind of an understatement. That stuff hits me hard. One pill and I sleep like a baby for hours and hours. Not a bad side effect, but it also leaves me not being able to get up and function in the AM. So I try not to take it if I don’t have to. Last night I did.

I told the kids to be responsible and that I was going to be down for the count and then I went to bed. Your head pounding to the point you are worried something inside could burst and you are going to die is not an easy tune to fall asleep to. I laid there suffering until the meds took hold and put me under.

Eleven hours later, I got up. I felt so exhausted and could have stayed in bed longer, but it was already 9:30 and there were things to do. I took my circumin and caffeine right away to try and wake up.

This situation used to be way more common that it is now. I can remember a time when I had migraines several times a month and that was just miserable. Its like your whole world comes to a halt and no matter what you have planned, there is nothing you can do about it. I know there are people who suffer from them frequently and I honestly don’t know how they function. It’s a very powerless feeling.

In any case, I’m finally getting started with some productive things this morning (which is now almost noon), and I’ve got to get my son to a doctors appointment this afternoon and both the kids are still sleeping. I think without my guidance last night, they both stayed awake way longer than they should have. It’s a good thing today there was no school today due to it being MLK Jr. day.

Happy Monday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-14 Sushiless Sunday Status Update

No Sushi for me today. I’m on day 7 of the Whole 30, which means no rice, which means no sushi. Waaaaaa.

While I am on the subject of food, for today’s status, lets just start there. Here are my musings about this Whole 30 thing so far…

Day 1 – I love eggs, this is going to be easy.
Day 2 – I love avocados, this is going to be easy.
Day 3 – Just bought another set of groceries to make some delicious meals, but I’m hungry for something right now and I don’t want to cook. My sister is cooking dinner for me, what a relief.
Day 4 – I love chili, and this was so easy. The guacamole I made to go on top just like my sister did is a great idea.
Day 5 – Eggs for breakfast, again. Still delicious, but I’m still hungry.
Day 6 – I think I might be eating too many nuts, but that’s not cheating right? I’ll just have another RX bar. That’s not cheating right?
Day 7 – I need to make that cauliflower rice thing before the cauliflower that I bought goes bad.

I’m still doing it, but recognize I need to ration my nuts and probably only go to the bars as a last resort. I read the label on a box of Larbars yesterday, and though all the ingredients are all whole with nothing off limits, it’s still “processed food” which is counter to the spirit of the program. The first ingredient is “dates”, which is also telling. Dates are “sugar bombs”, and if there is one goal I have in mind with doing this experiment, it’s that I can overcome my addiction to sugar.

I ate one yesterday, they are really sweet and I’m going to resist having any more until after the program is done. It’s one thing to have resolve, but another to maintain that resolve and not give in to tempation in the face of something so easy and already within arms reach. I haven’t been very tempted by the things that are in my pantry, which is a good sign. But can I hold steady with something as tasty as that? Time will tell.

With this sudden change in diet, I have seen a little bit of fall out so far in my energy levels. I have not been able to kick into high gear at the gym and have had a tough time with Jazzercise a few days this week. My overall activity has not changed much though.

5 Jazzercise classes and an average of 18K steps a day. I only missed my daily goal of 15K steps once and that was the day of the ice and snow where I was basically trapped at home all day.

Relationship status…
Single and (for the moment) happily so.

Employment status…
Part time and really digging it.

Student status…
Full time and trying to find my groove and figure out where to focus my efforts.

And last, but never least – Sleep!…
Average of 7 hours and 23 minutes a night, so close to my 7.5 goal! I have high hopes for this week. I can do it!!!

That’s probably it for now. Time to get today’s party started!

Stay Warm,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-11 First Snow Day of the Year

My normal routine was interrupted today and mother nature is to blame… or to thank, depending on how you look at it.

It’s almost 9AM and I just woke up. I went to sleep just after 11PM last night knowing school was cancelled and the kids would not have to get up. Even with that thought, I woke up at 4AM anyway and started thinking about a number of things. Nothing of any real consequence, mind you, just stuff my brain is currently puzzling on. I was, however, able to fall back asleep by4:30 or 5.

Then, the alarm went off at 6:30 and I stopped it. That time, I was able to fall back to sleep almost immediately

I woke up just a few minutes ago and was shocked to find it was almost 9. That hasn’t happened since November 27th and even then, I went to bed after midnight. I really dig having a Fitbit and being able to know the exact stats on these things.

Anyway, the wind outside is pretty fierce at times and right now the snow is coming down fairly steadily. With dropping temps overnight and rain turning to snow, it means the roads will be an icy death rink and there’s no way I’m going anywhere until that gets cleared up. At least not in my car anyway.

So there will be no morning session at the gym today and no errand running and thankfully no chauffeuring to school. I’m going to let the kids sleep as long as they want and then enjoy having a whole extra day with them here that I would not normally get. I missed out while I was away at residency and I feel like we haven’t really re-connected yet.

I’ll still get some work in, and some AWS training in, and some reading and or writing in, but I’m going to allow myself to enjoy this departure from the norm. I think right now, some hot tea is in order and maybe some nice tunes to get the day going.

So Delightful,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-06 MFA Residency Day 6 – A Song Stuck On Repeat

After a while, all the days here seem to run together and there’s no difference from one to the next. It’s a steady rotation that cycles through eating and workshop and lecture and readings and then more eating. There’s lots of eating. I’ve never eaten this regularly since before I left home at 18.

I typically like that kind of routine but without all the comforts of home it starts to feel like Work trips I’ve been on where I have to be “on”, and it’s getting downright exhausting. Last night I tried to break up the monotony by having a couple glasses of wine at and after dinner. It was a little temporary relief from my anxiety, but not much.

I slept like garbage again last night so that’s not helping.

Something else a little different from yesterday was the dynamic in workshop. It was my day to be “workshopped”.

We all had to submit a small sampling of our work before residency and this was collected into packets and distributed to everyone. Then each day in workshop someone’s work comes under scrutiny by a small group (seven people, two faculty and five students). Yesterday it was my “turn”.

I’ve never had anyone ever give me feedback on anything I’ve written before, outside of teachers in school which was over 20 years ago now. It was interesting.

Interesting is a word you use when something is different but you’re not sure how you feel about it yet. Or, in my case, you have mixed emotions you haven’t figured out how to express yet. Let me see if I can give it a shot…

Some of the feedback was obvious, and conclusions I had already come to in doing a deeper dive into my own work this past month. Having someone validate that was good though, because it means I’m on the right track. That felt great.

(I need to include less abstraction and more concrete details and imagery. Too much rhyme that’s not necessary).

Other comments were more generalizations about me as a writer and they were very intuitive and I had to hold back tears. Literally. It wasn’t bad, but just hit so close to the heart of my life and that was surprising. Perhaps those comments were somewhat colored from previous interactions at Residency, but I’d like to think it comes through in my writing, which is what I want.

Those tears I was holding back were fueled with emotion (as I often am under the surface), but it wasn’t a bad thing.

After our time was up I had to go straight downstairs for the next lecture and so I had to push those emotions down. It wasn’t until after that that I was able to go back to the sanctuary of my room and let it out. I think I had more than just workshop bottled inside.

It was probably the last two or three days of emotional moments. It felt good to let it out.

It was like that break in the middle of the song where the singer makes a departure from the established patterns of melody and verse. It was refreshing.

And then we had to eat again.

I write of this like they are forcing us to eat, shoving the food in our general direction. That’s not the case, but if you don’t go to the dining room during meal hours, you don’t get to eat. That creates the feeling of being forced to eat. One could also leave for a meal, but that would of course involve leaving and coming back, and the schedule is pretty tight for that during the day. If I left to go somewhere at night I’d probably get in my car to drive and end up at my house and in that case, I’m not taking advantage of things I’ve paid for.

This whole thing is quite expensive and why would I pay for a night in a hotel or a meal at some shitty Mexican restaurant if I’ve already paid for filet? That’s just crazy talk.

In any case, these days and nights that are like a song stuck on repeat are nearing their end, so I just want to make the most of the time I have left. At the moment that means getting off this treadmill and going back to my room to get ready for breakfast.

Until Next Time,

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-12-31 Sunday Status Update – NYE Style

Which is to say. I’m dropping the ball.

I’m exhausted and my mind is in a fog which seems to be swirling in a manor very unnatural to fog. It’s speed more like clouds foreshadowing a tornado. I have so much information and inspiration that has been dropped on me these past three days that I am barely able to pick out one thing from the next and even if I were able to, there’s no way in hell I’m going to be able to achieve any sort of focus to do anything with it.

I tried to nap.. twice. Both times the outcome was laughable, only I’m not laughing. I felt slightly trapped yesterday and today that feeling has been intensified and I’ve spiraled into (almost) panic mode. Sleep is of the utmost importance and I don’t care if the temperature is -2 or 102, I feel like I need to get home. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. I also feel that the very fact that I can go home, is not helping.

If I couldn’t go home, my brain would not be lingering on the idea. I would have dismissed it and moved on. As it is, though, my cat is home alone and my warm bed is there too. I could leave right after dinner and have my car safely in the garage before negative double digits arrive. And so I lie here, with one of the longer breaks we have been given, while the fate of the rest of our semester hangs in the balance with the decision of the mentors being made.

How my year has been and what my goals are or were and if I have met them are very far from the front of my thoughts. I don’t have the desire to look up how I did on sleep these past two weeks or steps or talk about food or exercise. I really don’t care and I know all of that will be there waiting for my when my left brain kicks back in. I’ll get to it. I have no doubt. But not today.

I’ve also jinxed myself twice today already and am afraid because bad things come in threes. I told a gal at breakfast (yes, I ended up sitting with people at breakfast – they sat with me actually) that I don’t get many headaches anymore and I stopped taking OTC pain meds like Tylenol and ibuprofen and instead I take curcumin. It’s an extract of Tumeric and a natural inflammatory and it really works. Later that morning I got a headache.

Then I told someone, who I believe was the same person, that I don’t drink soda. And now I’m having a huge craving for Dr. Pepper. I’m a hypocrite if I walk out the door of my room to the vending machine and get one. I’m hoping if I wait long enough the craving will pass. But what’s next? I sure as hell am not going to say anything to anyone about my fear of breaking down on the road on the way home when it’s -9 out. Ooops. I just did.

Now that I’m up and writing, I feel a little better. When people ask me why I write, perhaps this is what I should tell them.

I’ve got a few options on what I can do until dinner which is now 40 minutes and counting. It’s early tonight, due to the NYE celebration and I’m thankful. I should be able to eat in short order (and I am staying to eat because that fancy holiday dinner was included in the cost of my “fee” for staying here), but after that, I think I’ve decided to go home. I also want to see if they reveal who the mentors will be this term.

I guess this one is a cliffhanger and you’ll just have to click back in next time for the big reveal.

Stay Safe and Warm!
~Miss SugarCookie