Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Not Quitting

Don’t Quit (Edgar A. Guest Poem)

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low but the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit…
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many failures turn about
When we might have won had we stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow…
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out…
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

(Edgar A. Guest)

How profound. I just happened across this poem and I can't be happier that I did. There have been so many times I've felt like quitting. There are many more times that I have quit (in the past). This time has been a bit different in that I'm still trying hard to get back on the track. Trying really hard to not lose focus. Trying even harder not to put back on the weight that I've worked so hard to take off, and harder still to keep those bad eating habits at bay. 
This journey does have a lot of "twists and turns", just like most anything in life that is worth having/doing/accomplishing. One of the things I keep trying to keep in my mind is that as hard as it is to take off every pound, it's a heck of a lot harder to carry around more pounds. I really realized this earlier today when I was carrying my pre-schooler who was napping in from the car. He weighs about 35 pounds. By the time I got to his bedroom (no stairs), my heart was racing and I was out of breath. I took a moment to think about the fact that not that long ago I had 35 + another 10 on me. No wonder I never felt good. It was a huge reminder of the many, many reasons I am on this journey in the first place. 
So, like I said, I happened across the above poems while fooling around on the interweb...then I come across this article from CBS about why you're not achieving your goals. Interesting little read. For me, I would have to say that I don't always "own" my goal and I've always tried to go-it-alone. Big mistakes. 
In the past, my weight-loss efforts were for other people. Not because anyone specifically "asked" me to lose weight, but I thought I would do it to "show them", that sort of thing. Never reached my full term goals. And I was always "afraid" to ask for help. As if I'm weak. Not this go around. I've had the help of my hubs and two trainers. Right now I am more alone than I would like to be. Hopefully I can get hubs on board soon though. And as soon as the funds allow, I will be re-hiring my trainer. Until then, it's "Uncle" Gym and I. 

Still dragging

I've been feeling very blah as of late. Not sure why. I love the holiday season, so it's not that. I think some of it is that I've been very upset with myself for losing focus. I've worked so hard over this last year, but have been dragging behind since September. I've done OK (using loosely) with the eating, but certainly things could have been much, much better!

The last two weeks have been the worst. I swore I wasn't going to let Thanksgiving throw me off too much. It's just one day. No need to indulge in the days preceding. Wish I stuck to that plan!  A lot of it is emotional eating. I hate Thanksgiving. Not sure why. Just do. I know I am in the minority here, and that's OK. I love what the day stands for, just don't like it as a whole. I am glad to see it gone.

This week I am better though. Back to being a bit focused. I still feel a bit out-of-touch with myself, but am trying really hard to find a reason why. I'll get there.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friend Makin' Mondays: Holiday Shopping

I've been out of the loop for way too long. Part of it is that I was focusing on other stuff like getting the house cleaned, prepping for Thanksgiving and getting some crafting done for my son's school. It's been busy around here and I've been pulling back. I'm trying to claw my way back into the world though, so please bear with me while I try to find my spot. I'll talk more about that this week. 
Onto FMM:

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Holiday Shopping

  1. Do you like to shop? Not really. Although I do love my Target runs. 
  2. Have you started shopping for Christmas gifts yet? Of course! I am an early shopper. I try to have everyone except my kids done by Thanksgiving. I just about had that accomplished. Still have one niece to get something for though - they get tough as they get older. I tend to over buy for my kids so I try to wait until later to do their shopping so I don't forget that I have already bought them 100 things. :D 
  3. Did you shop on Black Friday?  If so, what did you buy? I'm not typically into the Black Friday thing. I don't like crowds. I hate it when people push and shove and behave like barbarians. However, I did decide to partake in the activity this year. My reasoning was two-fold; 1. We could use a new TV. and 2. There were things in the Toys R Us ad that I wouldn't have otherwise bought if they weren't on a really good deal. That all being said, I dropped hubs off at Target to wait in line for the TV while I headed over to TRU for the toys. I did have to wait for 2 hours in the cold, but it wasn't all that bad. I would certainly do it again. Hubs on the other hand?  He had to wait for 5 hours in the freezing cold with people who were, well...not sure how to finish that statement while being nice. And to add to that, Target security wouldn't let me get in line with him. So, I waited in the car. At least I was warm. Sorry honey.  Anyway, he did get the TV but you won't be seeing him on the curbside again in any year to come. 
  4. List a few of your favorite stores.  Target and  Michaels
  5. What is the last thing you purchased for yourself (food and drinks excluded?) clothes. I hit the holiday sale at The Avenue on Saturday. Did pretty well for myself.
  6. Do you prefer to shop in-store or online?  In-store. I like having what I want when I want it. 
  7. If you could purchase one thing that you don’t need at all for yourself today, what would it be?  Not sure. Either a camera (not in dire need of one but the two I have (DSLR and point/shoot are both on their way out) or a Silhouette Cameo. 
  8. Does your significant other shop with you?  Do they love it/hate it? Sometimes. He doesn't mind shopping. 
  9. Do you shop at thrift stores? No. I don't have the patience to ruffle through racks. Wish I did, could save me some serious cash. :D 
  10. When you’re holiday shopping, do you make lists?  Yes. I have an app for that. ;-) 
Now it’s your turn so copy and paste, add your own answers then come back here and link up!  Happy Monday friends!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Great workout

My schedule was thrown to pieces yesterday. The plan was to hit-the-gym right when my father came home (he's home early and can watch the boys for me while I am out), but that didn't happen. My eldest was all out of sorts and I wasn't about to leave him with his grandfather for an hour. By the time my husband got home, the kids were fed, and the bedtime routine was started, I was pooped. The last thing I wanted to do was a workout. But, I sucked it up and went.

I pulled into the gym to see a sea of cars and people. I couldn't believe my eyes. The gym was the busiest I have ever seen it. There are always classes of some sort going on so I tend not to panic. Although, I was a little worried when I had to park in one of the last open spots. YIKES!  Gonna be busy!  Anyway, I walk in with a crowd of people. No exaggeration either. The woman behind me even commented on it being so busy. It was like a Black Friday sale was happening! Seriously.

Lucky for me my bike was open. Good thing too because all the elliptical and treadmills were in use. Couldn't believe it. So, I hop on my bike and decide it's too busy in the gym for a full workout so I will only do the bike. And I gave myself permission to go easy seeing as this breathing thing is rough with this lingering cold. What ended up happening was a different story.

Here I was on my bike pedaling away. I noticed I wasn't in too rough of a shape so I pedaled harder and faster. I made it to 5 miles in just over 22 minutes. (I do a slow warm up for 3 mins so I am fairly pleased with the time). I hop off the bike to see all these muscle heads pumping iron. I really didn't want to fight for weights. I walked around for a few minutes and decided that there isn't any reason we all can't share. I kicked my ass. OK, so I kicked my arm's ass...it was great. I haven't done a full upper body workout in weeks. No pain. Can't wait to try the bench press and some pushups again! Can't. Stop. Me.

Tonight was no different. I hit the gym a little later than what I would have liked but got a decent workout in. Just did the bike tonight though. I have a one hour block scheduled for my gym time in the morning so I opted to rest the muscles today. Thursday is always a gym-day as my son has tennis lessons so I get to work out while he's learning. Win-win.

So, as far as the gym goes, I am rocking it this week.
Food wise? I'm OK. I've been feeling shaky and not right so have been eating a little more than I should be. I need a few days of balanced eating under my belt so the sugar spikes can stop.

Overall, it hasn't been a bad start to the week.

The Monday Grind

Coming off a relaxing and very full weekend makes getting back into the weekly grind a little rough. I stayed up late last night to watch the football game. Was bummed at half-time when the score was too tight and couldn't call it a night. Slept like a baby though once the Pats drove it home for a win...needed that big time! So, it makes for a (slightly) happier Monday.

Like a lot of other people out there, this is the start of the busy season. It always feels like something needs to get done so something else needs to be put on the back burner while everything else is being tended to. I started thinking that way about my weight loss journey. Things have been on hold for the last three weeks. It would be so easy to just say "maintain" until after Christmas and New Year's. Let's face it, there's going to be a lot of cooking next week. Lot's to be done to prep for that both this week and next. Then we fly right into the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

Adding to all that, I also chair a booth at my son's school for the "Holiday Shop". The school holds a shop for the kids to buy things for their loved ones for the holiday season. It's a great idea. I went to the same school when I was a kid and still have very fond memories of some of the items I bought (i.e. the pet rock I lovingly bought for my grandfather. He was such a sport with loving and taking care of the rock. I was so proud.) Anyway, I am making 200+ picture frames for the event. It's getting down to crunch time and it all needs to get done along with all the other stuff.

Crazy times are ahead. But, that doesn't mean it's OK to fluff off the other important stuff. My half a second thought of letting myself maintain for the holiday season was met with frustration with myself for even contemplating that idea. Let's face it, there is always going to be something standing in our way of our goals. If we don't stand up to those somethings now, we will never reach the goals we have and thus always feel like a failure.

So, my goals for this week are:
1. No eating out (although, I already broke that one this morning with my schedule so I will have to work a little harder on that one).

2. Continue planning (I did a meal plan for the week - just have to plan for the unplanned).

3. Gym!  Monday: 20 mins cardio then upper body
               Tuesday: 20 mins cardio then lower body
               Wednesday: 30 mins cardio
               Thursday: 20 mins cardio mix upper and lower depending on how I'm feeling
               Friday: 30 mins cardio
               Saturday: 30 mins cardio - C25K

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Update

What a nice, relaxing weekend. I got to have some much needed "me" time. I find it so important to have some time to myself, makes me a better Mom, Wife and Friend. 

That is the good news. The bad news? The eating hasn't been anything close to stellar. We ate out three times and just had a fairly large Sunday dinner. (Thanks Honey, it was yummy), but my stomach is killing me. I guess it's a good thing...a reminder of sorts that I shouldn't be eating this way and no am "paying the piper" as they say. Here comes the heartburn. Going to be a long night. 

The coming week is going to be about digging deep to find that spark I had at the beginning. I need to get back to the basics here. The gym needs to be in the forefront of my mind. I don't want to have another weekend like this where I eat too much and feel so full I could pop. I've done so well at kicking that habit, don't want it to come creeping back in on me. 

So, here is to digging deep and finding it in me to get things moving again! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all Veterans past and present for all you do and have done to protect our freedoms.
And I can't forget to thank the families of all Veterans for all the sacrifices they have made. 

Thank you! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pain, Pain, go away!

I'm starting to have a rough time with my pain levels. I haven't had much by way of bone pain all summer long and here we are about to enter the long, cold months of winter and I am starting to be in pain. Again. It was just about a year ago that I had the worst pain in my leg - ever. I wanted to cut it off. Just recently I had a similar pain in my hand. I've also had small pains in my hip. I just keep fluffing it off, hoping it's just in my imagination, but it's real.

I am 36 years old. I shouldn't have all these "ailments" (as my late grandmother would say). But boy am I feeling old today!  My fingertips are starting to turn a dark purple/blue color from the Raynaud's and my hand just aches. I'm doing everything I can to just not cry. I don't want to cry because the pain is unbearable (it's not), but because of the utter despair I feel. What is going on with me?

I was virtually pain-free all summer long. I felt great. Today is a totally different story. I feel like everything is falling apart. I'm finding myself desperately searching the internet for answers. I'm even thinking about doing the gluten-free thing again for awhile to see what happens. And yet, I am also thinking that there is something about environmental changes that my body just. doesn't. like.

When I was thirteen I went swimming in my very cold pool in late May. I would beg and beg and beg my father to open the pool and he ultimately would just to keep me quiet. Well, that particular year I jumped in the pool did my swimming thing, came out and had all these bumps all over me. Didn't know what they were. Whatever. I warmed up, went back in and after awhile came back out again. I will never forget what happened next. I was standing on our back deck chatting with my mom, grandmother and my friend. I was all wrapped up in a towel, still wet from the pool. When all of a sudden my limbs got weak. I rushed to sit down. I could only think. Speaking was so difficult. There was a ringing in my head like you wouldn't believe. I was trying to say "call 911" but I couldn't muster up the energy. Then I started to lose my eyesight. I guess I did say that allowed because my mother pushed my head down between my legs so I wouldn't pass out. After warming me up a bit, I was able to get dressed and warm up in bed. I remember my grandmother coming in to check on me and she commented on how grey I was. 

It turned out that I had cold-induced urticaria (hives). The doctor told my mother how lucky I was that things didn't go worse. Basically, I was lucky to be alive. I should have gone to the hospital that day, but I luckily had an angel on my shoulder that day. 

As it turns out, I have urticaria again. This time it's heat-induced.  I thought I wrote about it over the summer but I can't find any such posting. I had a rash over the summer. I got the same rash the previous summer too. No one could tell me what it was. I had a biopsy done this summer and it turned out to be urticaria, most likely from the sun. When summer ended, so did the rash. 

So, this is what is making me think my symptoms are environmentally triggered. This pain I'm having, I've had for the last 3, maybe 4 winters. Getting worse with each passing year. So, needless to say, I am back on the warpath of finding out just what is going on with me. I've set up another appointment with the rhumetologist. That appointment is in early December. Until then, I will be here reading and reading and reading; searching for answers. 

I don't mean so sound like a Debbie Downer. I really don't. I've always said "I have MGUS, it doesn't have me" and that still holds true. When you're in pain though, the game changes a bit...I just want answers. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tough to get old

This is a cake I made for my Mom's friend who turned 50. 

I walked into the doctor's office yesterday carrying my not-quite three year old who was just waking. Of course, all eyes are on him and ultimately me; being the mom who's carrying in a sleeping "baby". 

I check in and move on over to the door closest to where I will be called so I won't have to carry him further than I need to. (The little bugger is getting heavy!) I sit down and take a quick glance around the room. Not only are all eyes on me, but I am the youngest one in there. 

My goodness, I thought. Everyone else in that waiting room was at least 60 but most were in their 70's I would say. Half had canes. One had a walker. The women were mostly scowling. One man reminded me of my late grandfather, especially when he flirted with the nurse who came to get him. There was one woman who commented on how good my little guy was, then told me she had to go to the bathroom (again). 

The older man with the walker was there with his wife. He kept looking at my little guy with a little grin on his face as if he were remembering days of his young-ins or his (great?)grandkids. I noticed the two of them chattering together so comfortably. They just seemed to fit together like a glove. He got called away and came back with his arm bandaged and his sleeve rolled up. His wife lovingly fixed him up, unrolling his sleeve so he wouldn't get cold - or look ridiculous - either way, it was sweet. 

Then I began to think about how lucky I am to be with the man of my dreams. He's so good to me. He fusses over me just the way that little old lady did to her man. So sweet and caring. I'm so lucky to have that in my life and thought about how when we're old and grey, that will be us too. 

I then thought about how rough it really must be to get old. Thinking about all the changes my body has gone through in just my thirties alone - YIKES!  "Can't" wait to see what the forties and beyond bring. Seeing how many people in the waiting room had canes and bathroom issues made me really stop to think about how I need to get myself back on the track to wellness. None of us know how long we have on this planet. I especially worry that my time is going to be cut short with the MGUS lurking down my neck. All the more reason to get up and move. And eat a carrot stick or two. :) 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I know, I know. I'm a day (8days) late and a few dollars short. But, due to last week's storm we had to move Trick-or-Treating to this past Sunday.

The town decided to make the hours a little earlier than our usual. We headed out while it was still very light out. Strange. There was about a 60% participation rate with the handing out of the candy. I suspect it had more to do with the date change than anything else. Some people (us included) left bowls out on the front steps for the little ghouls to grab from. Typically my Mom would stay at the house to hand out the candy but she was off at the Patriots game. Both my husband and I really enjoy going out with the kids so we decided to leave the bowl out.

Trick-or-Treating not on Halloween is very strange. It's November and we're doing Halloween stuff. The kids didn't seem to mind though. They were so happy to have their Halloween and their candy. My little guy really got into it this year. So cute to watch him go up to the door to say "trish-a-treats" and "thank youuuu" only to turn and run saying "YIPEEE" or "YAHOO" followed by a little dance move. As he got tired, his big brother was sweet and would grab him a pieces of candy. So nice how they can help each other out at times.

When we finally got home, I let them have just about whatever they wanted. I am from the school of thought that says to let them have all they want that night, they won't want much more after then. And I was right. My eldest ate himself into a small bellyache. The little guy could have kept going but it was bed time. The little one carried his pumpkin around all day yesterday. We gave them both 3 pieces of candy to last the day. It was amazing to watch my little one ration his supply to make it last the day. As of noon today, neither of them have asked for a morsel of candy. Well, they could have asked the hubs and I don't know about it...I will just pretend no one has asked.

And to the most important part: How am I handling the candy in the house?  Not bad. I had the kids pay their tax that night. I had one mini kit-kat yesterday and that's been it. I don't even want any. I am in a good place this week. I told myself that I wasn't going to have anymore and I haven't. I'm being as on as I can be to Thanksgiving. It's a little difficult with a cold. I find I am much more hungry when I' am fighting a cold. It's also harder to workout because of the weakness. I feel fine just as long as I keep a low profile. And that's what I am doing the next day or so. Keeping a low profile so I can get this cold out of me and then I will punch-it-up at the gym.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Well, that was fun. Or not.
I'm talking about the roller coaster ride of life from last week, and even prior to last week.
Don't get me wrong, disaster was adverted...but it was a near-miss.

Bringing us back to our last adventure; I was about to host a Halloween Party for the kids. Now, when I invited half of my son's school to the party, I was planning on having it outside! We haven't had rain on Halloween weekend in YEARS! History has also shown the last weekend of October to be unseasonably warm. So, here we are. Getting ready for a Halloween Party all the while prepping for a storm. Not just any storm mind you. Not a little rain. Not a little wind. Nope. We're talking a full-on nor'easter!  In October?  You've got to be kidding me?

So, all the plans I had for making the yard all spooky and doing a haunted house in the play structure went right out the window. Have to move it all inside. Totally not prepared for that! Staying up later than I should have, I decked out my kitchen and living room to resemble some spooky haunted house. My kids got a kick out of all the cobwebs, spiders, bats, and upside down photos on the walls.

And no good Halloween party would be complete without spooky faire. I carved a "puking" pumpkin, made "severed" finger cookies (thanks to Rachel Ray's recipies), a witch's brew, and decorate-your-own cupcakes complete with worms and spiders on the ready.

Getting through the day was a challenge. I was exhausted and ready to drink - heavily afterwards. I had 24 kids in my house!  All at once. Some parents stayed. Thank goodness. They were my back-up, hostages even. I needed all the adult help I could get!  First we started the party with a ring-toss game using a witches hat. I handed out prizes to the few how "rung" the hat. That was a mistake. The kids then took it upon themselves to continue playing the hat game in between us setting up the next activities. The wanted prizes and more prizes. I was distracted. They knew it. I knew it. The won. 

After the hat game, I had set up a craft table. While some were doing crafts, others were doing the donut-on-a-string game. I think that was my favorite game to watch. The kids were really good sports, some were even a little competitive. Fun, all the same. 

The last "major" activity was "wrap the mummy" where you have a team of 3 to 4 kids who use toilet paper to wrap one of their team mates up in. It was my most anticipated game. I thought it would be a big hit. Not-so-much. We had 7 teams of kids. I think 2 of the teams had GREAT fun, while at least 2 had melt-downs. The rest were just along for the ride. 

Needless to say, it was a fun party. A bit stressful at times, but we made it through. 

That night came with a bit more fun...SNOW!  What!  Seriously?  Yes, seriously. What a nightmare. Here is a picture of some snow on our little Halloween decorations out in the front. 
One of my good friends asked me if I'd like to head out for a drink after the party. Why, yes!  We headed out and ended up deciding to stay around town because the snow was very heavy and coming down at a good clip. When we returned to the car we had to break out the scraper to get all the snow off. Boy was I wishing I wore my snowboots! In October? What?  

The drive home was nuts. We realized right away that some people had already lost power. Part of the road we were on was closed too. This was nuts. We were behind snow plows and bobbing and weaving through downed tree limbs. The storm had just started. It was going to be a long night. 

When I got home, I took a look in my yard to see a few limbs already down. Not fifteen minutes after being home did the power go out. We sat in the dark listening to all the crackling and booms from the trees breaking all around us. It was crazy. 

Here are a few pictures of my yard from the next morning...

No major damage was done. Amazingly enough. There was one huge branch a foot from my car. But my car was unscathed. Amazing. That white fence in the background took a little beating. My neighbors just put that up about a year ago. We seemed to have fixed it though. Hoping nothing else falls on it. There was also a table in the back that hasn't been put away yet for the winter. A large branch fell on that too. We thought there would have been glass all over the place for sure. Nope. Didn't break. Lucky. 

The worst part of all of this was the power being out. I'm in a good area of the grid. We don't typically lose power and if we do it's usually only for a few hours. It was out for a day or so once back in the 80's (so my parents tell me) and it's been out a few other times since I've lived here, but never more than 8-12 hours. This was a different story. We were out from Saturday 9:00PM (ish) to 4:00AM Wednesday. It was cold and dark. Everyone got grouchy. Eating well wasn't a part of the equation. Stores were closed. A McDonald's and a Dunkin Donuts was open along with a few other fast food places. It was a mess. 

I was very thankful for my neighbor who scored a few camping generators from someone. We were able to run the heat so we didn't freeze to death. I almost cried when they got that hooked up. I don't think I could have been any happier. It's amazing what the little things will do when you are down. I just kept thinking about other real disasters like tornado, earthquake, tsunami, and hurricane victims. We were lucky to have zero damage to our house. As crappy as it was to hunt for open places to eat and to have to bundle up really tight to keep warm, we still had/have a roof over our heads. Really need to be thankful for that! 

And a little side note to this power outage story. Earlier in the week my son had a field trip to a local "colonial day" home. The kids were excited to "live colonial day" style. Well, for a day they were. They even got tired and bored with it all very quickly. 

So, I have been wanting to get on here and write and get all back on track since we got our power back last Wednesday. It just wasn't in the cards. Wednesday was spent clearing and cleaning out the fridge and shopping to replace all lost items. Also had a ton of laundry and general cleaning to catch up on. Amazing what a lack of electricity can do to your daily chores. 

The kids didn't get back into school until Friday. By then I was burned out. Still kind of am. I need a break. The weekend helped a little but I am still feeling a little frayed. Nothing a little me time won't heal. 

So, here we are. I have a fridge stocked with healthy goodness. I have a plan for the gym this week. (hoping I can handle that, I've been fighting a cold). I'm back to tracking everything that goes into my mouth and I have a menu plan. As the saying goes: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" (unknown).