Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Careful with the weights!

So I over-did it Monday night with the weights. I lifted dumbbells over my head, you know, trying to tone & strengthen my arms. Well that backfired. Yesterday I started get pain & stiffness in my right upper arm, shoulder, & neck area. I ended up in Urgent Care last night to get a trigger point shot in my shoulder. It’s been about 18 hours since the shot & I am feeling better. I think I’ll stick to the treadmill & give up weights for a while!

I’m having a bit of struggle right now with eating. Nothing sounds good & cooking sounds like way too much work. I really don’t even WANT to eat anything. I know part of it is the medication I am on. The pharmacist told me that I would feel this way & to force myself to at least eat something every few hours. So I have been doing that.

Breakfast is usually either a piece of 12-grain toast with peanut butter or a bowl of raisin bran cereal. Lunch is a yogurt & maybe an apple or a hard-boiled egg with a couple slices of deli meat. Dinner is whatever the family wants. I try to make sure that I have veggies & protein throughout the day. I can honestly say that at this point French fries are not even the least bit appealing to me. : ) For now anyway!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Affordable exercise

One thing I’ve noticed about trying to weight is that I find myself attracted to all kinds of machines & tools that are designed for exercise. A person could literally spend hundreds of dollars on equipment. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend, and I don’t have room to store all kinds of equipment. We do have a treadmill (that was given to us), a Crossbow (like a Bowflex only cheaper), and some dumbbells. I haven’t actually incorporated the Crossbow into my exercise routine, but I do plan on it at some point. is a site that shows you exercises you can do to target specific areas. Some of the exercises even have video examples of how to do a specific exercise. This website offers free information and step-by-step instructions. The equipment shown is pretty basic, a ball and a mat are really the main pieces shown.

If you don’t have hand weights you can always use canned goods for weights. Seriously!

Another tip I read was that you should like the clothing you wear to exercise. That you will exercise more if you are wearing something that you like and you think looks good. I suppose that does make sense. But I would have a hard time justifying buying new clothes to workout in!
I do want to get a ball at some point. I think it would work great for crunches. Maybe then my back wouldn’t be so sore!! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009


I decided to post the picture of the cupcake we made for April’s class using the picture that Family Fun magazine has on it’s website. Of course their picture is much better. : )
We made the hot dog ones. They turned out very cute!

Weekly Menu

Last week was so hectic for us. We had April’s party with her friends on Thursday, which I had to make a cake for. And of course she wanted to take treats on Friday for her class. So I had to make cupcakes for that. Then we had family from out of town over the weekend. So this week I am taking it easy – and I’m out of creativity. : )

Monday – chili dogs (no bun for me though), side salad
Tuesday – baked chicken breasts, peas
Wednesday – tuna salad on 12-grain bread, cottage cheese
Thursday – leftovers
Friday – pork chops, salad

Friday, April 24, 2009

Adventures in Cupcake Frosting

Last night I had to frost and decorate the cupcakes for April to take to school for her birthday. After I frosted her cake for her party I didn’t have much frosting left, about enough to do ½ a dozen cupcakes….. or so I thought. I sent my husband to the store to pick up 2 containers of frosting. While he was outside with the girls I finished frosting the cupcakes. The original container went a lot further than I thought. I only needed enough to frost a couple cupcakes out of one of the new containers. I probably actually could have made the original container work if I really needed to, but figured I better use at least some of the frosting I made him run to the store to get.

So I hid the unopened frosting in the cupboard. Is that wrong of me????

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Guess who’s wearing a pair of jeans that she hasn’t fit into in 2 years??? Come on, I know you can figure it out….. Okay, okay! I’ll tell you who.


Uh huh! That’s right! (Pause for dancing and booty shaking….)

The funniest part is that about 2 months ago I almost threw away the jeans I am wearing right now! At that point I had almost decided that I would get rid of anything I had in single-digit sizes because I would never, ever fit in them again. Yeehaw!
(Come on! Shake it with me now!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sometimes we shouldn't get the things we want....

Tonight I was talking to my mom on the phone about the realization I had over the weekend regarding having another baby. Let me back up a little and start from the beginning.....

I had my daughter in April of 2002. It was amazing. I was so in love with this little person that absolutely nothing in the world mattered. I loved everything about being a mom. I loved getting up with her during the night (and she was up every hour and a half!). I loved nursing her. I was working full time and typically getting about 3-5 hours of sleep a night. My boss where I worked at the time often commented on how he didn't know how I did it - working full time and functioning on so little sleep and still keeping my composure.

When April was about 2 I started having these feelings about wanting another child. I knew I could do it. I knew I would be good at it, it was in my blood and consumed every thought during the day and every dream at night. Layne was adamant about not having another. And I admit I was upset and angry. I was taking the birth control pill every night and as I swallowed it I would say a prayer that God let me conceive even though I was taking the pill. After all HE could make it happen!

Each year went by. I'd have periods of time where I was okay with not having another, after all it would only be a matter of time, right??? Then I'd have times where I would just cry so hard in the shower, deep gut-wrenching cries because the one thing I truly wanted would never be mine. All my friends were pregnant with their second child. My sister-in-law was pregnant with her second child. And here I was, empty. It actually seemed like a cruel joke. I literally got phone calls for a couple days from everyone telling me they were pregnant. I'd try to sound happy on the phone with them, but as soon as I clicked the phone off the sobs would start. Why them? Why not me? I was so consumed with jealousy that I was probably barely even civil to the people that were important to me.

As the months passed and they all became swollen from pregnancy it took everything in me to even face them. Often after I'd be around one of them I'd be doused with depression. Everywhere I went were these cute, beautiful, sweet-smelling babies.

Don't get me wrong. I was happy for all of them. But I was feeling so sorry for myself. Even when I started having medical problems in August 2008 I wanted to have a baby.

So what was my realization this past weekend? My girlfriend of 30 years was over this past weekend with her baby. He is beautiful and so good tempered. But he still required a lot of attention. I realized that there is no way I could have a baby. The meds I'm on would certainly cause birth defects, and that's if I could even get pregnant anyway. I have endometriosis and have had 2 surgeries to help with this problem. If I did become pregnant I would certainly have to go off the meds I'm on. Which means I would in constant pain, and that doesn't sound appealing at all! How would I even be able to care for a child that was completely dependant on me?

It's kind of funny how for so many years I have wanted something so badly and prayed for it to be mine; but now my prayers have changed. I've realized that while God may not have given me what I wanted, He certainly knew what he was doing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What about exercise?

Exercise is a very important part of weight loss. And I admit, it’s not something that I am always good at doing. It is so easy to come up with excuses not to do it.

“I’m too tired.”
“I have too much to do and don’t have time.”
“I don’t feel like it.”

Etcetera, etcetera. Trust me, I am the queen of excuses. Not something I am proud of. In my efforts to lose weight I have begun to incorporate exercise into my normal day through a variety of ways without having to necessarily set aside a certain amount of time.

A few examples:

If I go into the basement to do a load of laundry I may do a set of curls with the dumbbells and then do lunges across the basement till I get to the washing machine or dryer. On my way back I will reverse this and do the lunges & then do another set of curls. When I go up the stairs I may take 2 stairs at a time to work my leg muscles some more.

If I go upstairs to our master bedroom to get another load of laundry I may lie on the floor and do crunches until my stomach hurts & I can’t possibly do another one.

If I need to go to the store for a couple items (that aren’t real heavy!) I may walk to the store & back. The store is about 1 ½ miles from my house. This is a little time consuming, but it’s so relaxing to be outside walking & so much more enjoyable than the treadmill! Not everyone is within walking distance of the store, but there may be another errand you need to do that you can incorporate exercise into. You get the idea.

I’m sure there are other things that you can think of to break up the monotony of exercise. I also know that exercise may be more beneficial if you do it all at once so your muscles get warmed up and really worked out instead of getting breaks, but sometimes we don’t have or want to take an hour from our day to dedicate to exercise.

I do know that for myself, whether I exercise in short spurts or all at once, I always feel better afterwards!

Food Substitutions

I had a comment posted yesterday on regarding the diet plan I am following. The comment was from SonyaAnn. She said that she will be doing good at eating healthy & then will come across a new recipe that she wants to try & will blow her healthy eating habits. A very important thing to think about is that any recipe can be modified to make it healthier.

One of the easiest ways to substitute is to use a version of a product that is reduced fat or fat free. Some foods also have sugar free versions or reduced sugar versions, swap a full sugar ingredient for one that is reduced. It’s amazing how many calories and/or fat grams a person can eliminate from their diet by swapping foods for their reduced fat/sugar counterparts.

Another change that you can make is to limit breads, pastas, rices, & potatoes. If you are going to eat them make sure you don’t eat the “white” version. AND check the labels. Often these foods are labeled as “wheat” or are brown so we think they are healthier. This can be very misleading because many foods that are “whole wheat” are just as bad for us as the white versions because of all the sugars. Usually if it’s marked multi-grain your pretty safe – but not always! You will find that it really does pay to check labels.

To be honest, I have eaten virtually no bread, potatoes, rice, or pasta since I started. The second week was truly the most challenging because our bodies crave the sugars we get from these foods when we are used to eating them regularly. And I ate them pretty much every single day, maybe even more than once each day. By the time the second week was over though I really didn’t crave these things any more.

Once in a while I do get a craving for something like chocolate cake (although I’ve only had this craving twice). When I got this craving I waited a while to see if it would pass, when it became evident that it wasn’t going to I bought a chocolate cake donut & ate about half of it. That was enough to satisfy my craving & I didn’t completely blow the progress I had already made.

One of the hardest things for me to change was my fruit habit. I was used to eating all the fruits that quickly turned to sugars. I needed to change that. Apples are great because the skin is full of fibers & berries are also another great choice when it comes to fruits.

Here is a link to check out healthier alternatives to everyday foods (mostly condiments):

You can also Google “Glycemic Index” to get more information about what the Glycemic index of foods is. The higher the number the quicker your body converts it into sugar & subsequently, fat.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Diet question answered

Miriam asked what kind of diet I am on that enabled me to lose 16 pounds in 5 weeks. The answer to this actually has several parts to it.

The doctor insisted I lose some weight. While I’m not obese for my height, I am overweight. Doctor wants me to get down to 120. Which is still a long ways away! He advised cutting out most breads (can eat some multigrain), white pastas, & white potatoes. He also advised that besides watching carbs I also pay attention to the glycemic index in foods. Some foods, such as watermelon, have high glycemic index. So while we tend to eat watermelon because we think it’s good for us, it is actually one of those “sneaky” fruits that we should eat rarely. I for one have always thought that since watermelon is so well, watery, it probably passes through us very quickly & is probably very good for us. The reason I called it a “sneaky” fruit is because the fruits that tend to be very juicy (any of your melons, peaches, pineapple, etc) have a high glycemic index. The fruit & the juices from the fruit turn to sugar almost instantly and then your body converts those items to fat. Fruit juices are also terrible for anyone who is trying to lose weight to drink, just for this same reason.

In short, the doctor basically suggested that I follow a diet that someone with diabetes should follow (I don’t have diabetes though). He suggested I follow a diet such as this because you get results quickly and it’s a very healthy way to eat.

In addition to the diet I have been walking, although not as regularly as I should. I am much better about walking on the weekends than I am during the week.

Another reason was stress. Some of the medications I have been prescribed are very expensive & it’s been very stressful to get my insurance company to pay for them. Once they do pay for them they are still very expensive and it causes a lot of stress for me when so much money is spent on insurance, doctor visits, paying hospital bills, & medications & there is little money left for anything else! Another stressor for me is over-analyzing. When I have any problems I tend to over-analyze, especially when it concerns communicating with someone about something that I am sure they will see as bad news. I get myself so worked up over it and usually their reaction is 500x better than what I had anticipated.
So that is how I have done it so far. After the first couple weeks of changing eating habits it really has become easier.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekly Menu

Gosh, it's been weeks I think since I have posted a menu. I really haven't planned any menus out & because of that dinner times around here have been somewhat chaotic. In an effort to get back to an organized dinner time I am back to menu planning. I am still following the diet the doctor had suggested.

Monday - green salad with steak cubes & balsamic vinegar with olive oil

Tuesday - turkey kielbasa with sauteed zucchini (I got the Hillshire Farms turkey kielbasa on markdown for $1 each, I picked up 3 of them. Probably should have gotten more!)

Wednesday -pork loin with green chilies (crock-pot) and corn tortillas

Thursday - pizza (for April & her friends), deli meats & cheeses for Layne & I

Friday - not sure, my husband's brother will be in town so it's kind of up in the air

So there it is.

Weight Update

When I had visited the doctor 5 weeks ago I weighed 158 pounds (gasp!). I know that's terrible for my height. This morning when I weighed myself I weighed 142 pounds! How awesome is that?!?!? I've lost 16 pounds. It seems like a lot was lost quickly. But it was hard to stick to the diet some days. I really honestly only had 1 day that I had a breakdown and ate a pork tenderloin sandwich and a piece of carrot cake. And it was DELICIOUS! There will be days I that I am weak. But where I am at right now feels pretty darn good.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I have too much energy....

Today I actually woke up and was almost ready to get up. : ) I kind of wanted to lay in bed and go back to sleep. But after several minutes of laying there without being able to fall asleep I decided it was time to get up. I walked on the treadmill for a while - which I hate doing! I would much rather walk outside but it's been raining here all day. : (

After the treadmill and a shower we ran to the store quick to pick up toilet paper. (Gotta have that!) Since we got home I've been very restless and I've cleaned more today than I remember ever doing. I'm sure it's a side effect of the new meds. And while I like getting things cleaned and accomplished I don't really like the way I feel. Todays the first day I've felt like this. I'm hoping that after a few more days I'll be used to the medicine and it won't be so bad.

In the meantime my house is loving it!

Canceling Netzero - What a pain!!!

Before we had DSL we had our internet service through Netzero. Once we got DSL I called Netzero to cancel & they talked me into keeping access to the account so I could still receive/send emails from that account. I did it simply because I hadn't transferred email addresses over to our new account. For several months I have been charged a $4.95 fee to still have this account. I finally called them to completely cancel the account (which I acknowledge I should have done quite some time ago). Talk about a draining process! It was very hard to understand the guy and he trying to talk me into keeping the account and/or getting antivirus protection from them. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times I said "no, I just want the account cancelled". Then he offered me to keep the account free of charge for a couple months. I told him "no, because I really don't want to have to call again". After about 15 minutes he finally said "okay I have cancelled your account will see no further charges. The last charge to the account was on April 16th". Whew!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

What do you do when you don't have a cotton ball? You improvise!

A couple days ago after I had showered I was looking for a cotton ball to apply my witch hazel & tea tree oil concoction on my face. As fate would have it I was out of cotton balls! What’s a girl to do when she needs a cotton ball & there are none around?

I’ll tell you what I did. I got a sock out of my husband’s stash that had seen better days. I cut it into sections. Voila! I just created re-usable “cotton balls”. I’m sure someone before me has done this; I just haven’t read about it. : )

One of the good things about not having to buy more cotton balls is that it is now an expense I can avoid. Not that they cost much, but hey every little bit helps.

Another good thing is that it has to be better for the environment than all those cotton balls at the landfills. Of course they don’t take up much room, but I wonder how long they “hang around”?

The third good thing is that since you really don’t have to be careful when you launder them. Of course if you have a sensitive face you may wish to launder them with your delicates. (Oooh, delicates. Doesn’t that make me sound sophisticated?!?!)
Have a Super Friday!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Coming out of the dark

I know I have neglected this blog for some time now. My posts have been infrequent at best. I have been in a bit of a slump attitude-wise & was really having a hard time coming up with things that I wanted to write about because I was having such a negative attitude. Every time I did start writing something to post it turned into a negative rant, and that is not really me & not the way I want this blog to be.

I think everything really came to a head this last Monday. I had my follow-up doctor visit to see in general how things are going with my muscle problems. I had completed a sleep study a couple weeks prior that they had already called & given me the results of. Well…. Things are usually not what they seem. The reason for the sleep study was to see if I was getting enough quality sleep to rule out sleep deprivation as the problem with my muscles. They also wanted to check me for sleep apnea because it runs in my family.

My doctor brought up the sleep test. He said they reviewed it again & he believes I have a form of narcolepsy. They gave me a prescription for it & off I went. I went to the pharmacy to fill it, when I went back a few minutes later they said it would be $87.77!! Holy cow! I was not expecting that. I didn’t even have enough money to pay for it. (One of my other meds is $120 a month & I had just refilled it Sunday.) So I was a bit depressed. I had hoped to fill it & start taking it the next day hoping it would help me overcome my sleepiness.

The next morning I called the doctors office & asked if there was an alternative medicine that I could take so they called in another prescription. I picked it up after work; it was $45.07 for a month. (Mind you I have 2 insurance policies that offer prescription coverage and my co-pays for meds is still outrageous – at least I think it is!)

I honestly have to say that I started to notice results almost immediately when I started the new med. It was so nice to feel at least somewhat energetic & refreshed. The past few years I have been in a bit of a funk. I couldn’t get motivated to do anything. I would wake up in the mornings to the alarm clock & some days I would literally cry because I’d still be so tired – even though I probably just had 9 hours of sleep!! (That is not an exaggeration either!)

I’m so hopeful that this medicine will help me function. I hate taking another medication but am desperate to be able to be ME again!! I am normally a very happy person. One guy that I work with once asked me how I could be so happy all time (obviously this was before all my problems started late last summer). My answer to him was “I choose to be happy, why waste my energy being angry?”

That’s the person I was & the person I like. Not that I’ve ever hated myself. I was just having all kinds of negative feelings that I don’t typically have. And I was becoming very insecure & hiding my feelings in foods & sarcasm. Not cool.
So I’m pretty sure that I am on my way back to being the happy go-lucky lady I was before!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Coupons & Simpler Times

This weekend at the hotel we received free newspapers. Even on Sunday we received the edition with the coupons, ads, etc. I love Sunday papers, and especially love them when they are free. I decided a couple things. 1. People who live up by the Twin Cities get far more and better coupons than I do. 2. I’m paying far too much for the crummy small city paper I get with hardly any coupons in it.

Currently our newspaper typically has one little section of coupons on Sundays (the Smart Source section) and usually that is more of the product order forms than it is even coupons. As we drove home Sunday I clipped coupons. By the time we reached our house & took a little nap I was energized to go on a shopping expedition. And it was much needed since I didn’t get any groceries for more than a week before we left. : )

Here is a summary of my shopping trip:

Total spent before coupons: $59.85
Coupon total: $11.64
After coupons: $48.21

Admittedly I bought Easter Lilies for $8.98 (plus tax) that I didn’t need. But I really wanted this. I love the smell of Easter Lilies. They remind me of my Grandma Donna. She had perfume in her bathroom called Lily of the Valley. It was one of the things that I somehow got after she died of cancer about 14 years ago. I kept it in my bathroom. When we moved into our house about 10 years ago I would go upstairs when I was missing her and give a spray of the perfume. It was a comfort thing and made me feel close to her.

Isn’t it funny how certain smells take us to another place in time. Easter was always a huge thing for our family. My grandparents would come back from their winter home in Texas in time for Easter. It was usually the first big family get together (with many to follow) for the year. Grandpa & Grandma would hide tons of plastic eggs with money around their home & yard for all of us grandkids. There would usually be 1 special egg per child that held a $5 or $10 bill and then the rest was us for grabs. We could each get a certain number. The younger kids got to look for theirs first. It was great. There was tons of food and tons of laughs. We’d be at their home from the time church got out till it was dark outside. (sigh)

What I wouldn’t give to relive that for just a few minutes. Back then life wasn’t complicated. Kids could run around outside – and even chose to. Life didn’t revolve around the TV, computer, or video games. Families talked and enjoyed being together.

Makes me wonder, where did the world to wrong???

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mall of America trip

I started this post to write about our weekend trip to the Mall of America. But it was starting to turn into a rant, yet again. So I decided to say nothing instead……for now anyway. : )

Monday, April 6, 2009


Wow. I didn’t realize that it’s been a whole week since I updated my blog! Time really does fly by when you’re busy.

My mother must have been terribly bored today. I got an email from her this morning with the following information:

On November 13, 1988 I got my period for the first time. (Which means I’ve had my period for over 20 years. Isn’t that enough?!?!)
On January 22, 1988 I got my first pair of glasses. (Had Lasik eye surgery in 2004 – thank heavens!)
On May 7, 1989 I was confirmed.
That is some useful information. It was kind of fun to get that information though. Can you imagine all the money I’d have if I didn’t have to buy 20+ years of pads & tampons!!! Okay, I just figured it up & I would have saved at LEAST $1008.00 if I hadn’t bought them. Maybe I should have just constructed a hut to go sit in for a week each month & just let it flow like you read about in the books like “The Red Tent”. Ew. That would be pretty gross! But it’s something to think about….