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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tomorrow won't be day one

This morning something threw my day off.  I got some stuff done regardless, but I was feeling blech.
The day moved slowly, or it moved quickly and I didn’t notice, I’m not sure.  I ended up going out for a run later in the day than I anticipated, but it was a good run and I even got some stuff done during the run.  Just over five miles later life was a little better.
When I got home I threw an extra shirt on and my jacket, grabbed my earmuffs and a small backpack with a few things and headed out to Big Y to pick up some grass fed ground beef.
The tweak of my day was sitting in my head and I wanted comfort.  Read: chocolate, chips, ice cream.
I walked past Mama Cakes, this terrific cupcake place on Elm Street.  They make tiny cupcakes that are super tasty.
Fortunately they were closed.
Rite Aid is next to Big Y and I passed it on the way in, so of course I went in.  They have Russell Stover Vanilla Cream Eggs.  I had one in my hand.  I thought about it for a minute.
I struggled.
Then I put it back, I decided I could stop on the way home if I wanted to.
I went in to Big Y.  The bakery is right next to the entrance I use.  They have these super delicious two bite chocolate cupcakes - 12 to a pack.
I had a pack in my hand.
I was sane enough to look at the nutrition label where I saw that three cupcakes are 340 calories.
Given that I knew I would eat the entire package, I decided to put it back.  I didn’t do the math (1360 calories) until just now, but even so,  just seemed like a bit too much.
I picked up a cucumber and some brocolli and the beef that I wanted.
Then I walked over to the frozen foods section.
There is only one reason to go there.
Ice cream.
I looked at the Talenti, I always hope they will have the Toasted Almond.  But they don’t.  I have to go to Guidos if I want that.  And honestly, it wasn’t that good.  But I have this thought pattern in my head that it’s super delicious.
Then I moved to check out the Ben & Jerry’s.  I was nominally looking for one of the new Core flavors.  They didn’t have it.  But I looked at The Tonight Dough, another Core flavor, Pistachio Pistachio.
Then I contemplated the Talenti Belgian Chocolate.
But I’ve never tried that and I’m not going to trust my need to feel better or anesthetize myself to untried ice cream.
Since nothing yelled to me to bring it home I walked away from the refrigerated section.
And I moved to the seasonal candy area.
There might be Russell Stover Vanilla Cream Eggs.
There weren’t.
But there were all kinds of other things - M&Ms, Peeps, jelly beans.
And the seasonal candy is right next the potato chips.  I had a bag of Lay’s Classics in my hand.  Then I looked at the Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread chips.
I looked at the Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread chips.
I may never have mentioned this here - those new flavors of Lay’s?
They disgust me.
But I seriously contemplated them.
I went through the check out and didn’t buy the Rocky Road Snickers.
I put the beef, brocolli, raw cheddar and cucumber into my backpack and headed out across the parking lot.
Toward the Rite Aid - it was the only way.
With great force of will, and thoughts of the pinaeapple and potatoes (read future french fries) waiting for me at home, I didn’t walk into Rite Aid - I headed diagonally across the parking lot, out onto the sidewalk and home.
I don’t feel particularly better than I did before.
I’m not psyched that I don’t have any chocolate in my house right now.
I’m pleased that I won’t wake up in a sugar coma tomorrow.
I’m glad that I realized I was reaching out for anesthesia and I didn’t give in.
Today is day six.

Tomorrow won’t be day one.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I had a sandwich for lunch

I did a half marathon on the 14th.  I was in DC with my friend Dianna.  We had been talking about the RnR DC half for a couple of years and it finally came together this year.  We haven’t seen each other in 34 years, as luck would have it we got along perfectly.  The weather was great on Thursday and Friday as we walked around DC seeing the National Zoo and the Smithsonian, and when we went to the expo.
Not so much on Saturday.  It was cold and rainy.  I had a yogurt - not Greek, not plain, not any kind that is good for me - at the hotel.  I had picked it up with a banana the day before at Target when we were picking up our ponchos in anticipation of the following days rain.  I totally forgot the banana.  Oops.
We took the Metro to the general area of the start and walked up Constitution to the start of the race.  Because of the rain we planned to get there later than we might have otherwise and we walked up the sidewalk until we got to the starting line - then we went through the gates and started running.
I started with my poncho on, but made it less than a mile before I took it off.  Under that I had a lightweight Pearl Izumi windbreaker over a $10 throw away jersey from One More Mile that I had picked up at the expo, Smartwool glove liners (mismatched - one lavendar, one black) mid-weight tights, Darn Tough ankle socks and my new sneaks (I did wear them once or twice beforehand).  It wasn’t long before I took off the windbreaker and tucked it into the small pocket of my tank.  Then the sleeves got rolled up.  Then the ankle zips on the tights got unzipped and the tights rolled up.
I made it that way to mile 5.  Then the initial warm-up from running was taken over by the cold rain and I got chilly again.  The sleeves got pushed down, the tights were rolled down, but not re-zipped.
The gloves never came off.
The point of this, however, is what I ate.  Ordinarily when I run early, I run without eating.  I make sure to drink a couple of glasses of water first to rehydrate a bit, then I head out on my run.
One might think that I could do that for the race.
One would be wrong.
Perhaps if I had skipped the sugary yogurt I would have been fine.
As it was I was running mile six and I was starting to get hungry.  There were a few folks at the side of the road offering beer, seriously - beer.  I ran past a guy with his youngish daughter offering meat and beer.  I saw a woman walk up to them thinking it was - not beer.  She was disappointed and, apparently, not interested in their brisket and beer.  But just passed that tent there were folks offering bagels.  I ran a bit past it and then I thought BAGEL and turned around.  I took a third of an everything bagel and ate it as I ran.  That provided an interesting challenge, I don’t like cream cheese so it was pretty dry.  But it provided the sugar I needed in that moment.
In mile seven at the water station they also had GU.  I ran past the woman offering salted watermelon because that sounds disgusting to me.  I ended up with a vanilla bean GU.  I tucked it in the pocket of my tights and kept running.
I used the GU somewhere after mile 10 I think.  It helped.
When I got to the end I took a water bottle, drank it down.  Then I picked up two more to take with me.  Then I got a couple of small bottles of chocolate milk.  I drank one down and carried the other with the two water bottles.
That wasn’t the best plan, they were really, really cold.  And I was soaking wet and freezing so holding cold bottles next to my body, just not smart.  Still, I was going to need the water, probably before I got back to the hotel.
Dianna and I got back to the hotel, when we walked in, after the doors closed, we both stopped and said, oh my gosh it is soooooo warm in here.  It was really the best part of the day after being so cold.
We showered and changed and then met up with Bonnie for lunch.  I had eggs, bacon, a side of french toast.
Today I had a sandwich for lunch.  It’s my 5th day without sugar.  And that should mean that I’m not eating bread.  But I had a doctors appointment this morning at 9 and then I was running errands and a friend called me to see if I wanted to do lunch, which of course I did.  We agreed to meet in Northampton at Haymarket, though neither one of us can ever remember the name of the place until we get there.
They have this amazing sandwich - fried egg, mozzarella, pesto on ciabatta bread.   Which is what I chose.
I got home after lunch, did a couple of things around the house and went for a run.  I was aiming for 7+, it’s chilly, but sunny and the sidewalks are clear.
I was about a mile in to the run when I got that empty feeling, that feeling that I wouldn’t make it much farther because I was out of gas.
Crap, I thought, I should have skipped the bread and had some protein.
I kept going.  I walked some.  I ran some.  I cut off a side street that I normally do and shorted my 7 by .24.
I was a bit disappointed by that, but I was so damn glad to be home.
I made some bacon and felt much better.
Note to self, learn the damn lesson - low carb for crying out loud, ya feel better, ya function better, ya look better.
There are times when the carbs can save you, like during the half marathon.  I was undertrained, wet and cold, carbs were a big help.  Today, not so much.  

However, tonight I am falling asleep on the couch, not because I’m drugged with sugar, but because I’m tired after a tough run.  That is the reward for giving up sugar, even if I did have bread today.  At least I learned a lesson.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I just said no

Tonight I said no to chocolate chip cookies.
Without even thinking about it.
And I didn’t regret it.
Even when I remembered how amazing these cookies are.
Walking down the hall toward the end of my shift (2-10pm) Rachel saw me and said, I have some chocolate chip cookies, would you like one?
No thanks.
That was it . . . no thanks.
No hesitation, no thought, no contemplation, no agonizing.  Just, no thanks.
A bit later, possibly after I had left the building - no, I just remembered I told another friend and she was going to raid Rachel’s locker, so there was still the opportunity to go get some - I remembered the last time I had these cookies.  At the time I told Rachel that I may never have to eat another cookie ever as that was the best cookie I had ever eaten.  My apologies to mom, she makes the best Snickerdoodles and Molasses cookies ever, but this chocolate chip cookie was transcendent.
So there I was, remembering the experience of that cookie and I thought, crap I could have had one.
WAIT!  I said no to an amazing chocolate chip cookie - without thinking about it, on the second day of being sugar free (this time), which also was a pretty stressful day.

Wahoooza!  I am a freakin rock star!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ode to my Mom

Mothers Day is coming up . . . not really soon, but I’ve been thinking of my mom a lot lately and I’ve written about my dad bunches so I’m writing this love letter to my mom.
My mom is kind of a hardass.  She is tough.  A friend of ours found out that she was afraid of large vehicles and said the best way to get over that was . . . learn to drive one.  So my little mommy (one of my nicknames for mom) headed down to the bus company and learned to drive a school bus.
That was 1976.  She got a job driving bus and kept it up until last November at the age of 78.  She was one of those drivers who would stop a bus in the middle of her route and just stay there until the kids started to behave.
She has told me, on more than one occasion, to get over it.  Doesn’t matter what it is or was . . . get over it.
I spent the summer after college at home.  I had use of the car because she was using her school bus and was able to bring it home.  In August she came to me and said, I’m going to need the car back, I think you should leave.
So I moved to Boston.
It was pretty terrifying at the time, but necessary.  And great.
Then there are the times, the times when my world is crumbling and all I want is someone on my side.
And my mom is right there.  With a mommy hug, even when it’s over the phone.
There is nothing in the world like a mommy hug.  It makes everything okay.  Maybe just for the moment of the hug, but often that’s all that’s necessary.
My mom gives amazing mommy hugs and everything is right in the world when she wraps her arms around me.
She’s really talented as well.  She sings beautifully.  It must gall her that her daughter can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but she never said that.
9th grade dance
She is very crafty.  She made clothes for us when we were kids, Halloween costumes as well.  She made me a witch costume with a huge pointed hat, I LOVED it.  She made velour robes for me and my sister when we were kids.  They went over our heads and had partial zips with grosgrain ribbon around running around the neck and the zips.  Mine was dark green and I felt like a princess in it.  I had a pair of pink and purple pants she made, they were fantastic.  Now I have a quilt that has patches from those pants and tons of other things she made me, including the blue velvet dress I had for my 6th birthday.  To the right you can see the dress she made for my 9th grade dance.  Clearly she was having more fun than I was.  (And I think we can all see the inspiration for Bieber's hairstyle, circa 1978 I believe)  We have amazing wall hangings at Christmas that my mom made.  As with the singing, I don’t have that talent.  Ah well.
Mom taught me to knit when I was young, not sure how old, but not very.  I love to knit.  And, unlike the singing and crafty stuff, I’m pretty good at it.  Mom made me a blanket when I was a kid.  It has an orange T and a yellow S on a red background.  And it’s HUGE.  My mom designed it and knit it.  It’s one of my most favorite possessions.
She’s helped me move countless times.
She’s bailed me out of more than one sticky situation, varying in nature.
When I was in my 20s I took one week of my two weeks of vacation to head to Connecticut to hang out with my mom, doing exciting things like laundry.  When I got more vacation time, I took more time to hang out with mom.  We had ridiculously good times doing absurdly ordinary things.
And we laugh.  A lot.
Which might be the best of all.
I love my mom and I tell her often.  Right now that doesn’t feel like enough.  Right now I just want to share with all y’all that my mom is super awesome.

Tell your mom  you love her, she’ll really appreciate it and it’ll make you feel great.

Mom and her dad at Happy Pappy weekend at Skidmore
Mom and her mom

Mom and her MIL
Mom and Dad, Christmas 2014

Not always easy to remember this, but I know I am blessed to have the relationship I have with my mom.  I am always grateful for it.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A typical sugar coated evening

If this resonates, you may be a sugar addict.
By the by, today is day one.  I’ve started before, we all know that.  I’ve failed at it, we all know that too.  But stick with me, I am feeling determined - and after the better part of a fake half gallon of Breyer’s Oreo Cookie ice cream yesterday, I felt so lousy I had to commit.  I woke up this morning thinking about last night.  And the last few before that.  I thought I would share the experience with you, it might help you understand my commitment to dumping sugar.
The last few days have looked like some version of the following:
Wake up, catch up on e-mail and FB on my phone.  Cats curled up on my shoulders, chest or belly purring away.  Reach the point where getting out of bed is absolutely necessary.  Then try not to trip over the cats.
Grab something in the kitchen - chips, goldfish, ice cream, whatever is available - curl up on the couch under my blankets with my computer and turn on the TV.  Eat whatever came out of the kitchen with me.
There are days when I might make an effort first thing, make an actual meal, but if the sugar or equal junk food is grabbable and eatable with no work, so that’s most likely to happen.
Sit all day streaming Hot in Cleveland (seriously, that’s what I’ve been watching for days) and watching FB to see if anything interesting is happening.
Then look up and find out it’s 2:45.
Wonder what the hell happened to the day.
Look up again and discover it’s 6:07.
Possibly get dressed and go to the grocery store - if I “need” more sugar.
Get back on the couch.
Eat sugar.
Maybe make some real food out of desperation at 9:17.
Shortly after that begin losing consciousness.  Occasionally waking enough to register a few seconds of an episode.
At 1:45, 2:15, 3:05 I begin to come out of the coma enough to get off the couch, brush my teeth and crawl into bed.
Where I sleep like the dead until 7:30, wake up enough to look at the clock and snuggle with kitties then doze again until 9:45.
It’s completely miserable.
So yesterday I didn’t eat sugar.  Because the fog is intolerable.
Today I woke up, made some calls, made some taco salad, didn’t eat sugar.
I’m still curled up on the couch in my jammies with my cats curled up on me, but it’s really cold in here and I work till 10.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sugar, it'll suck the life right out of you

I had sugar yesterday.  As I told you a bit back, I’ve been off the wagon since my mom’s birthday in November.  It’s been an ebb and flow kind of thing, some days/weeks are better than others, some are worse.
I had a fantastic weekend in DC with friends, the kind of weekend that makes me long for a Monday through Friday work schedule.  I saw three people that I haven’t seen since I was 18 and one that I haven’t seen in a few years.  Quality time with each of them was great.  We’re already planning for next year.
I was kind of at a loss.
So I ate sugar.
And it sucked the life right out of me.
I’m not sure when I went to bed last night.  I passed out asleep on my couch, around 10:45/11, woke up around 1:45 and crawled into bed.
And slept until 10:45 this morning.
Twelve freaking hours.
And I wasn’t that tired after my weekend.
Twelve hours.
And I can assure you, I have PLENTY to do.  I have some cleaning and organizing (because though I have lived here since the end of September, I haven’t gotten it together), I have to update my YNAB (the budget software I use), I have to find my tax documents for my appointment with my tax guy on Thursday, I have to grocery shop.  I feel fairly certain that I’ve missed something there - oh, I have to get to the bank.  And I’ve probably missed more.
Yet I was asleep for twelve hours.
And now I’m sitting on the couch writing this with a warm kitty sleeping on my lap.  The writing is good, but it comes from a horrible place - wasted time, 12 - seriously 12!!! - hours of sleep and a pretty good fog when I woke up.  And now it’s 1:09 and nothing has been accomplished.
More significantly, it comes from pain.
Physical pain.
When I eat sugar, my body hurts.  I woke up I pain.  My whole body hurt because I had been in bed for so long.  But the real problem is my hands.  When I eat sugar my hands hurt.
A lot.
It makes me wonder how long my hands will even work.  It makes me wonder how I got quite so much arthritis and how it can even possibly hurt this much.
It makes a slow start to my days because it takes a long time for them to warm up and start working.
That gives me plenty of time to think about what an idiot I am - doing this entirely to myself.
And this time I was completely, totally and comfortably on the wagon - and I made a bad choice that put me right back in my addiction.
It sucks.  I can’t even sort of tell you how much it sucks.
But as my dad points out - looking back doesn’t do me any good.  I can only look forward and do my best to get back to the place I was.

Which is why I say to you - sugar, it’ll suck the life right out of you.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Todays Theme: Wake up!

I saw this photo on FB this morning.

It’s a tremendous reminder.
I spent the weekend in Washington DC with a friend I haven’t seen since high school.  We hadn’t seen each other in . . . carry the one . . . 34 years.  We have been connected on FB for awhile and we talked about doing the Rock N Roll DC for a few years, we were going to do it for my 50th birthday, but it didn’t come together.  It came together this year and we celebrated my 52nd birthday in DC this weekend.
We did 12 miles of site seeing on Thursday (we had a really early flight),  We did 9 miles of site seeing on Friday.  On Saturday we did the RnR half marathon - it was 45 degrees and raining.  Still, my friend and I had loads of fun.
Until it was time to go home, the line was long and we didn’t move for awhile - that was cold and painful.
When we walked into the hotel we both stopped as soon as the door closed and said, ohhhhhhhhh, it’s soooooo warm.
Among all of this we met up with another friend I haven’t seen in about 34 years, she and I went to camp together.  We also met up with a friend I met doing the New England Classic, haven’t seen her in a few years.  We laughed a lot, which was a blast, and nice because she has dealt with some difficult losses this year.
Then yesterday morning we met up with another friend of ours from high school.  She suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.  She sprained her ankle and this developed.  She has severe pain that is unpredictable and moves around her limbs, her back has been giving her agonizing pain, people don’t believe that she is in pain and believe she should be at work and not on disability and question why she has a handicapped tag.
We caught up on our lives - work (me), kids (them), where families are (shockingly my family is the only one still in Cheshire).  It was fantastic.
We’re already committed to a visit next year, when we head down for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon . . . we want bling.
Then this morning I woke up and saw the picture above.  It is so very, very true.  My body aches from the weekend - but I walked all over town and ran a half marathon that I hadn’t fully trained for.  I was a bit sad being home - but I had a fantastic weekend with friends that felt like a much longer vacation.  I came home to an empty house - but I don’t have to rely on other people to drive me around.
And I haven’t been suffering from random excruciating pain for six years.
My friend just wants to be pain free, she wants to be able to stand in the rain to cheer for her (possibly idiot) friends running a half marathon in the cold rain in DC.  She wants to be off the painkillers.  She wants to be walking around fog free.

So today I’m looking at all my challenges, and there are plenty, I assure you, and I’m going to remember that the things I take for granted - someone else is praying for.