Saturday, April 30, 2016

FODMAP Challenge Week Two: Fructose

The Challenge

So this week's food challenge was fructose, and I was definitely a bit more invested in this group since many of the foods I love are in it.  The challenge foods I used were cherries and asparagus.  I honestly don't eat cherries a ton simply because they are so messy, but I bought frozen ones so that I could throw them into oatmeal and that kind of thing.  I added asparagus to my lunches (rice and chicken) throughout the week except for Thursday when the challenge was to eat fructose foods three times in a day.  That day I had cherries in my oatmeal and asparagus at my other two meals.

The Results

I don't know if this had anything to do with the fructose really, I personally think it didn't, but I have had insane heartburn this week.  On Sunday we went to this Prince tribute thing in Portland and I had a little too much to drink, so I honestly think that was a lot of it because I'm old and that's just how things are now.  I finally broke down and took a Prilosec on Tuesday night, which seemed to mostly set me straight.

I have mixed feelings about this week.  There were no cramps or gas after eating my challenge foods which is great, but I still feel like it immediately affected my constipation somewhat.  Looking at my notes for the week, I technically "went" most days, but without being too graphic the output was not what it should have been considering how much I eat.  I eat anywhere from 1600 to 1900 calories a day depending on how much I exercise, and let's just say the bathroom trips haven't reflected that.  I always feel like I need to go but nothing happens, so that really sucked.  I mean that's the whole point of this, is figuring out what foods are affecting my digestive system, but it really blows to have something as innocent as a few spears of asparagus wreck you.

The Verdict

I won't lie, this one had me a bit bummed out because I feel like it's another category where I will have to limit the foods to "occasional only".  I really, really hope the rest of the challenges don't go like this.  I really want to be able to add in some different foods because I really need the variety!

The next challenge group is mannitol and my challenge foods for this one are even higher value to me than the fructose group!  I'm using mushrooms and sweet potatoes for my challenge foods, two things I have desperately missed in my diet and used to eat all of the time.  I won't lie, I'll be hardcore depressed if this group doesn't go well.  I love sweet potatoes and mushrooms.  Like, obsessively love them.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Delayed Thinner Thursday

Hey guys, sorry for the delay!  Yesterday we got to work and the internet was down.  To keep busy I started my post in Word Pad, then they sent us home because there was no ETA on getting the internet back and I had no way to transfer the post to myself!  Anyway, better late than never eh?

Previous Weight:  191.2
Today's Weight:  190.4
Difference:  -0.8

Oh.  Mah.  Gawd.

Obviously I'm happy with my weigh in, mostly because I am just so, so close to being in the 180's!  This is the lowest I have been in years, like...many, many years.  It's such a fantastic feeling.  I've really worked hard and been on point with both exercise and diet the last couple of weeks and I really feel like it's paid off.  Big shocker, having your shit together is effective.  ;)

Another thing I did was take measurements, which I've tried to do sporadically throughout my journey.  If you don't take measurements, PLEASE do it.  Don't put it off, take those measurements once every couple of months!  I've talked about this before but sometimes it's such an ego boost compared to weighing yourself.  We all know the scale can be totally douchey sometimes and fluctuate randomly whereas your measurements are just kind of a set thing.  Case in point, I have lost 4 pounds since March 4th, which really isn't a lot if we're going by the "lose a pound a week" standard.  However, I have lost FIVE inches from my body in the same time period.  Here's how things broke down measurement-wise since measuring on March 1st:

Neck:  -0.5
Bust:  -1.5
Waist:  -1.5
Left Thigh: -1
Right Thigh: -0.5

I am excited on so many levels.  First of all with my waist, a lot of that is reflective of how bloated and in pain I was due to the IBS stuff, so it's such a victory to me and so telling that I am down 1.5 inches since March (ie starting the FODMAP plan).  I know at least some of that is due to not being bloated all of the time.  And I'm always happy to lose any amount around my bust because I've always hated my boobs and am one of those rare women who would be thrilled to have an A or B cup.  (To any smaller ladies reading this, you are beautiful as is, wonderful and lucky!) My back feels so much better now and there are yoga moves and stretches that I couldn't do before that I can now because I don't have Jessica Rabbit boobs thwarting me.  Oh, and clothes actually fit!  The thighs are a victory too since I have been trying my hardest to get that area to budge for a very long time so seeing those numbers go down is pretty awesome.  I don't want a thigh gap or anything like that, I just want stronger, toned legs.

I straight up owe this to starting to do strength workouts and HIIT, and you're going to hear me sing the praises of this stuff a lot.  I've never had my body change like I'm seeing it change lately, and I really wish I'd kind of mentally gotten on board with it sooner.  It's almost a blessing that I had the freakout about running because it kind of forced me into doing these strength workouts.  I don't know what clicked in my brain, but I have found them so much more approachable and enjoyable and even when I do hour long workouts I feel like they fly by.  There were times with running where I was just literally out there for hours it seemed like.  I also feel like I don't argue with myself about doing strength/HIIT or wring my hands about it, it's just kind of this unspoken thing that when I get home from work I'm going to take the laptop upstairs and get my workout in before dinner.  It's also changed how I feel about my body.  I mean look, I'm not exactly proud of my stretch marks or the inevitable loose skin that I'm going to have.  Trust me, my stomach and thighs are going to be a disaster, yet I'm somehow not bothered by it most days due to my giddiness over my strength.  I am ridiculously proud when I see the beginnings of definition in my stomach, when I'm strong enough to do "girl" push ups and when I see more and more muscle popping out in my arms and thighs.  I was giddy Wednesday after a strength workout because after a whole 40 minutes of squats and deadlifts with 10 pound weights (20 pounds total), I realized that I could have comfortably done 15 or even 20 pounds each.  I've always had very weak arms, so finally feeling like I have some strength and power is very exciting!

Lately I have been kind of having this meta discussion with myself about my journey and me in general.  I am so happy with where I am now and where I'm going, but am also experiencing a lot of sadness/regret that I haven't gotten to this place sooner.  I've been at this on and off since 2009, so...7 freaking years.  I feel so aggravated with myself when I look back on old posts and think about all the time I've wasted and dicking around I've done.  I've gotten in my own way a lot for the past 7 years.  It's just been kind of exhausting and I'm ready to stop messing around.  I just want to get it over with and be in maintenance.  I know maintenance is its own separate deal and comes with challenges, but I'd love to be out of the actively losing weight stage.  The irony is, I think I'll actually be pretty good at maintenance because generally that's why I've lost so slowly.  I go through periods of maintaining, then have the shitlord tough love chat with myself and go about my merry way.  But the fact of  the matter is that I still have about 50-55 pounds to lose and if I keep losing at a rate of 2 pounds a month, just God...I'll be at this forever.  Like 2 more years forever.   I just want to get it over with.  Not in an unsafe or obsessive way, but I just want to keep having my shit together and doing what I need to do.  I have found what works for me, but I need to keep finding the determination to stick with it and not go through these periods of stalling.  I would love to end this year with a glass of champagne in my hand, watching the clock count down to 2017 and being at maintenance.  Maybe that's a bit aggressive, but I've spent so long being and feeling unhealthy, and I just want to get it over with so that I can have a healthy body going into my 40's.  Like seriously, that's kind of my mantra at this point.  Get it over with.  Get to the other side and start a new chapter.

Anyway, I know this has been kind of a serious, touchy feely post but it's just kind of been where I'm at lately.  And it's a good thing, I think it's good to have those periods of reflection and ask yourself the hard questions.

Friday, April 22, 2016

FODMAP Challenge Week One: Lactose

So I'll be doing food challenges for my FODMAP stuff until the end of May, and will be updating the results of each challenge group once per week.  I'll try to keep these as non-gross as possible, I promise.  ;)

Just to recap, FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols, hence the abbreviation!  Each one of those kooky words is a different type of FODMAP, so during the challenge phases you are testing one group at a time to see what it is that's causing you issues.  Reintroducing challenge food is pretty simple.  You choose a high FODMAP item from the group you are testing, making sure the food only has that one FODMAP since some foods have multiple FODMAPs.  Then you eat designated portions of this food throughout the week and monitor for symptoms.  If you have immediate symptoms, then that food group is something that triggers your IBS and must be avoided.  If you don't have any symptoms, then the food is likely fine for you to eat, and you can add it back into your diet once you have fully completed all of your food challenges.

The Challenge

This week I tested lactose, and my challenge foods were plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and vanilla ice cream (sweetened with sugar, not corn syrup or inulin).  I did go off the schedule a little bit and begin the challenge early, but I ate an appropriate portion size each time.

The Results

I unfortunately did notice symptoms when adding lactose back into my diet, certainly not like when I eat onions, but it definitely didn't agree with me as much as I would have liked.  The main thing was that after enjoying 2 months of pleasant regularity, things started getting backed up by the third day once I added lactose back in, which is obviously a huge deal and my main pain point for the last year.  I didn't have any stomach pains, but there was a lot of weird gurgling and just an "off" feeling after having my challenge foods.  I did also experience a small bit of bloating.

The Verdict?

Lactose did unfortunately have a constipating effect, so I think we can safely assume that it's an issue for me.  It is a bit disappointing, but I'm not completely heartbroken about it.  While I did start with this group solely because I wanted to eat at a new ice cream place over the weekend, lactose actually wasn't on my priority list.  I have been perfectly happy with the lactose free milk and creamer, and the cheeses on the low FODMAP list (cheddar, Parmesan, mozzarella) are some of my faves so I'm not feeling deprived really.  I do miss my Tillamook yogurt, but Green Valley Organics makes a pretty solid lactose free kefir that I really like and use for my smoothies.  

Since it didn't give me cramps or serious bloating and since the constipation wasn't immediate, I'm probably going to approach lactose as something I should limit but can have as a very occasional treat.  As I told Eric, I can't see going the rest of my life and never having an ice cream from Salt & Straw or a sprinkling of goat cheese on a salad.  I think if I keep it to once every 2 weeks/once a month, I'll be good.  Again, it's disappointing but it's good to know for scientific purposes.

My next challenge group  will be the fructose group, and I'll be using cherries and asparagus as my challenge foods.  I'm definitely more invested in this group since there are many things I like to eat off of it!  I could eat a bundle of asparagus by myself, so I'll definitely be sad if I have issues!  Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thinner Thursday

When I started writing this post, rumors were swirling that Prince had died, then it was confirmed and everything I was writing seems meaningless now.  I had to take a few hours before finishing and publishing this.  It still feels meaningless, but in the spirit of accountability I'm posting it.  I know some might think it's crazy to be so invested when a musician dies.  But music is everything to me.  It is such a part of my every day life.  It's strengthened and comforted me on more than one occasion.  It's been part of the greatest joys of my life.  Music is like family to me.  I feel like I can't stop grieving this year.

There's not much I can say about Prince that hasn't been said already.  What a horrible, aching loss it is for the world.  What an incredible musician he was, and by all accounts a very nice guy.  Prince was part of the induction of George Harrison into the Rock Hall and played one of the greatest guitar solos ever performed during "Still My Guitar Gently Weeps".  I get chills whenever I watch and listen to it and when I see the beaming smile on Dhani Harrison's face.  Humility is always a great quality in an artist and usually makes me respect them more, but Prince smirks a lot during this performance because he KNOWS he's nailing it.  He knows he's amazing.  He deserves to smirk because he was the best.  Irreplaceable.  Not of this world.  Deeply missed already and always.

Anyway, I had a good weigh in today, but I can barely care about it.  It seems stupid to even care about it.  I know it's important for my health and happiness, but I'm just too sad today.

Today's Weigh In

Previous Weight:  192.8
Today's Weight:  191.2
Difference:  -1.6

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Policy Regarding Guest Posts/Product Reviews

So this is awkward, but due to recent email requests I felt that I needed to address what my stance is regarding guest posts and product reviews.  You will note a brand new statement there on the sidebar regarding these things, and I will elaborate a little more in this post why I've done that.  I get emails now and again from people asking me if they can do a guest post on my blog, or if I will promote their product/website/blog.  The short answer is no.

The only way I would ever entertain a guest post is if I personally knew the person and felt it directly related to the blog.  Like let's say my brother ran another race with me and PR'd or something, I might ask him to write a blurb about the experience.  Or if one of my Lovely Ladies had an inspirational something or another going on, I might ask them to write something/do an interview of sorts, although they all have their own blogs so I'd likely just point you towards their own content.  What I don't want (and this may or may not be a direct example) is to allow a guest post from someone selling life insurance since there is a whisper thin thread connecting it to health somehow.  That doesn't even make sense right?  And it would look awfully weird in between posts on my fitness stuff and regaling you guys with whatever thousandth concert I've been to that week.

The same thing goes for any product, blog, podcast etc. that I mention on the blog.  I want it to 100% directly relate to my life and be something that has personally helped me.  I talk about Fitness Blender and Cooking Light magazine a lot because those are two things I use on weekly if not daily basis.  I love both those things and have personally benefited from them, so I talk about them and sing their praises.  I don't do it for an personal gain, I'm just trying to help a brother/sister out.  I'm not going to write an entire post dedicated to a blog or a product that I don't use, even if I get paid.  This will sound like a dick thing to say, but I have been working on this blog for a very long time.  I've spend years, time and effort creating content and talking about my experiences and organically picking up readers.  If you have a project you're passionate about then frankly, you need to pay your dues and do the same thing.  If you're creating good content then trust me, people will find it.  It may not happen overnight, but they'll find it.  And if I were to be perfectly honest, it's not like I'm some darling of the blog world.  It's not like I'm Oprah and people are waiting with bated breath to see what products I'm into.  Being mentioned on my blog isn't exactly going to make you blow up into fame.

Anyway, that's a long winded way of saying that if I write about a blog or product and say "hey, I really like this and you guys should check it out," I want you to know that is 100% me and not because of an outside influence.  It's just how I personally want to run my blog and my life, and I'm going to keep it that way.

At the end of the day, I don't have an agenda and I don't do this blog for profit.  I do it as an accountability tool for myself and as a very public journal that I can look back on, and because I hope if others are out there struggling they'll stumble on this blog and maybe relate to my experience.  I have strong feelings about making people pay for help and being taken advantage of, which is so easy to do since people are desperate for help when they're trying to get healthy.  What I don't want is for people to read my stuff and wonder if they should have their bullshit detectors up.  If I start doing any kind of paid endorsement stuff or random guest posts, then I feel that hurts the honesty and trust I've built up with my readership, and I am just not interested in doing that.  I like building readers organically, and I like writing my blog the way I want to write it.  Paid endorsements and that kind of thing just seem like an albatross hanging from my neck that I honestly don't want.

I hope people understand that I'm not being a jerk.  I did take my email address off the sidebar since really the only emails I was getting were these kinds of emails.  If there is some kind of clamor from readers wanting to have contact with me, I'll consider putting it back up, but I doubt I'll get that clamor.

Anyways, thanks for reading and letting me do this PSA!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Ode to Two Gomers

I am a little sad today because I found out that my favorite podcast, Two Gomers Run For Their Lives, is coming to an end.  I just needed to take a moment and talk about the podcast and what it's meant to my life and my fitness.

My fitness journey journey began in 2009 at 250 pounds.  It was the lowest point of my life, and I knew I needed to do something but felt completely lost and overwhelmed.  I had always wanted to run but didn't know remotely where to start.  I stumbled on the Gomers when I was searching on iTunes for running advice podcasts.  I had no idea what I was doing and I was completely scared and overwhelmed by "serious" podcasts.  I thought that maybe a fat dork like me just wasn't cut out for running.  When I saw the description of their podcast I became intrigued, then I listened and became hooked.  It was funny, charming and inspiring all at the same time.  It was fun listening to them figure out running, fun to listen to them chat about Star Wars and Full House and especially fun to listen to what an absolutely solid friendship these guys have.  Their antics and stories have made me laugh aloud at my desk many, many times.

Most importantly, it gave me the courage and inspiration to start running, and helped me be at peace with the fact that I was going to be bad at it when I was starting out.  The Gomers made me realize that it was okay that I didn't know what in the Seven Hells I was doing when it came to running.  That it's okay to be silly and geeky and figure things out along the way. That you can work towards a goal and be successful even if you're a Gomer.

It's been fun to follow them through the years and watch both of them become fit and healthy.  The difference in their fitness levels from where they started is incredible and inspiring.  They went from running in khaki shorts to running marathons and doing triathalons, all while remaining hilarious and putting out one of the most entertaining podcasts I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.   I too have changed over the years.  I kind of know what I'm doing most days, and while I'm taking a hiatus from running, I'm pretty confident at it now.  I've significantly slimmed down and am steadily getting slimmer, am much healthier and feel like I have my shit together most days.  Their podcast has been a constant thread in my life, and I admittedly am a little heartbroken that it will end.

Here's the thing, as incredibly sad as their podcast ending makes me, I get it.  Adding fitness into your life and striving to live a healthy life can be very challenging, and when you add a public accountability element to the mix, it does add an unspoken level of pressure.  I sometimes feel stress and pressure with maintaining this blog (purely self driven) and barely anyone reads it.  I cannot imagine putting together a regular podcast and having the pressure of hundreds of listeners who are clamoring for fresh content and new episodes.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.  Sometimes you need a break and sometimes you need to do what is best for your life, family and mental health.  That doesn't always mesh with trying to put together something like a blog or a podcast to keep yourself accountable and also inspire people.  So I am sad, but I'm grateful for the seasons the Gomers were able to give us.

If you have not listened to their podcast, you really should.  It's on iTunes under "Two Gomers Run For Their Lives", and they are now in their 7th season, but you really must go back and start at Season 1 to appreciate the strides these guys have made.  They will be doing one final season after this and the theme will be a sub 5 marathon.  I wish them the best of luck and have 100% confidence they can do it!

Steven and Anthony?  Thank you.  Thank you for making running and fitness approachable and something that anyone can tackle.  Thank you for inspiring me and countless other people.  Thank you for being charming and honest about the good and the bad.  Thanks for taking countless hours out of your lives to put together this podcast.  You both are and always will be an inspiration to fellow Gomers everywhere!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekend Recap

We had a pretty big, awesome weekend after a long hiatus of mostly being hermits.  Eric and I both were so exhausted last year with our heavy traveling and social calendar that we both kind of have run screaming in the other direction, but decided to get out and about this weekend.


So Friday was big since we went to see Paul McCartney.  I have now seen Paul three times in my life (twice in concert and once when he inducted/sang with Ringo at the Rock Hall ceremony in 2015), and it never gets old.  Y'all know how I am about my music, so needless to say seeing Paul is hugely thrilling for me.  It's heavy, seeing someone who influenced music as we know it, and I fully admit to openly crying through the end of the show.  How do you not cry when you hear "Hey Jude" sung by Paul McCartney and thousands of people all at once?

There was one blip in the evening, a small blip really.  We went to a Thai place we'd never been to before for dinner since I determined that Pad Thai in a reasonable amount is safe for me to eat.  Except when they brought my Pad Thai out, it had a very generous handful of tiny red onion pieces in it.  I was so completely bummed out and irritated.  I have never in my life seen any restaurant put red onion in Pad Thai, much less have it chopped in microscopic bits, but of course I would manage to find the one restaurant in the world that does when I am on this godforsaken diet.  I did my best to pick out the onion and be careful, but of course ingested several pieces of it.  The result was almost immediate, and 20 minutes later I was having the most painful stomach cramps, heartburn and was burping like crazy.  The next day I had a very specific pain right under my breast bone, the same pain that caused me to reach out to my doctor in the first place.  It is very clear that onion is a trigger for me, to the point that I'm not even going to bother testing it when I go to the fructan challenge phase.  I'm going to test garlic, gluten and things like beets, but onion can pretty much go to hell.


Saturday was Record Store Day, so we decided to shake the mold off and drive into Portland to walk around, go to a record shop and do our duty to keep the record stores alive.  It was hard to choose, but I ended up getting a Gene Vincent and a Sex Pistols album.  The Sex Pistols album was a impulse purchase on my way to the counter.  Apparently I do like bright, shiny things.

My food challenges officially begin Monday and I was supposed to text the fructose group (I was going to do cherries and asparagus as my challenge foods), but this cool new market thing opened up.  When Eric told me that our very favorite ice cream shop had a stand in there with soft serve ice cream, well...I called an audible and decided to switch my Week 1 challenge to lactose instead.

I got a small cup of vanilla custard with their homemade Magic Shell chocolate sauce, and it was the appropriate half cup serving size for ice cream since I didn't want to go crazy.  VERY tasty, although the chocolate was almost too bitter for me.  I would have been just as happy with the plain ice cream.  I know it sounds crazy, but having soft serve up here is a big deal.  Soft serve ice cream joints don't exist up here, and the only time I ever get to have it is if we go back East to see Eric's family or when we go to the Oregon State Fair.  (Holla to the Oregon Dairy Women stand!)  Some Oregonians go crazy and wait hours in line for disgusting Chick-fil-a, (no seriously, people camped in the parking lot for 2 days before it opened...with their toddlers) I get giddy for soft serve, what can I say.

The challenge went pretty well, I didn't notice any ill effects from it as far as stomach pains.  I'm going to go shopping today and get plain yogurt and maybe cottage cheese for my other challenge days.  That's what I miss eating the most besides normal ice cream.


Sunday was my shelter shift as usual, and then that night my aunt and I went to see Bonnie Raitt.  We had the BEST time, although of course my aunt and I could have fun sitting and reading the telephone book pretty much, it's just how we are.  But Bonnie was incredible, she is such a great vocalist and guitar player.  My rock and roll lifestyle is catching up with me though, I desperately needed a nap by this afternoon!

This week is pretty mellow for the most part.  I am obviously doing my lactose challenge and will recap my experience at the end of the week!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thinner Thursday

Weigh In

Previous Weight:  192.8
Current Weight:  192.8
Difference:  0

So this week I stepped on the scale and had maintained from last week.  At the end of the day I'm okay with this despite being a little disappointed.  I was up a couple of pounds at the beginning of the week due to lady business and all of that, so I feel happy that things swung back down, but of course it's a bummer to not have actually lost anything.  I am just very impatient to have the scale move, I feel like I've been dicking around with the same 5 pounds for like 7 months.  I'd love to be in the 180's by next month, but we'll see I guess.


I've done fairly well with fitness this week, it's mostly been my work walks because as any fellow woman can attest, there is always one week a month where working out sucks.  Y'all know what I'm sayin'.  Anyways, yesterday was the first day I did one of my Fitness Blender workouts.  It totally kicked my ass because I am able to go deeper into squats and more adequately do some of the exercises that were in this particular workout.  It's great to see that progress and be able to go a little harder, but I was shaking by the time I was done!  I have to admit, I am getting to where I love that feeling.  I know that makes me a freak, but I love feeling the effects of a good workout and knowing that it will help change my body.

I am also going strong on my dumbell arm workout challenge for the month.  The ten pound weights are still hard as hell but are getting less so.


My nutrition has been steady this week, although on Tuesday I had a bit of a blip in a dinner out with friends.  I looked over the menu ahead of time and chose a gluten free pizza that I thought I'd be able to customize.  Unfortunately the chef let me know actual crust had garlic in it, so I had to quickly choose something else, which unfortunately ended up being tater tots.  I could have chosen a salad with chicken, but the the chicken would have likely had garlic because it's in MF'ing everything, so I went safe.  There is a debate online of whether tater tots are gluten free, but regardless, I did the best I could.  I have to say, the absolute worst thing about this FODMAP crap is eating out.  It is so incredibly stressful, especially since I pride myself on not being a fussy eater and having to make all of these special requests and be THAT person at the table sucks.  I know it's worth it, I know it's for my health and I'm not just being a hipster white girl hoseweed, but it still sucks.  I did discover that I can have Pad Thai, which makes me so happy since I really missed eating Thai food!

I do have my business together at home and at work at least.  Last night I made a really nice stir fry with chicken, vegetables and tons of fresh basil.  I've continued to do grains with tons of frozen vegetables for work lunches, and that has been a really low maintenance and enjoyable way to approach things.  It takes 100% of the stress out of it and will be something I continue no matter what I'm ultimately able to add back into my diet.  The bonus is that I've been able to get 3 servings out of each regular sized bag of veggies, which is why I gently side eye anyone who says it's expensive to eat healthy!  Each of my lunches is probably like $2-$4 when all is said and done.

I've also been on an oatmeal kick lately for breakfast.  Sometimes I make an actual bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and berries, and sometimes I just throw a half cup of rolled oats into the blender when I'm making smoothies just to bulk it up and give it more fiber.  I know that probably sounds gross, but it's really good and filling, plus you don't really notice it!  It's also fast, because usually I don't like to bother with the whole to do of cooking oatmeal.

Everything Else

It's been a really good week on a personal level.  I booked a ticket to Minneapolis in June to see a very dear, longtime friend of mine whom I've known since we were wee babes.  I haven't seen her in about 6-7 years, and I'm so very happy and excited to meet up with her and catch up.  I've really missed her!  The best part is that I only paid $12 for the flight because my stellar husband gave me all of his airline miles!

I also have this side project thing I do on Twitter that I don't want to be too specific about because it's something I run behind the scenes, and don't want to have my face/personal information attached to it.  I know that sounds all sexy and mafia like, it's really not all that exciting, I just don't want to get doxxed and have crazy people know where I live!  It's just a passion project of mine that has to do with the Rock Hall.  ANYWAYS, I had some movement on this project this week and had some bigger name people reach out to me and we corresponded back and forth a bit.  One of these people was pretty meaningful to me and it was a huge head trip to be chatting with this guy on private message.  I could not stop freaking out all day yesterday!

And also, Molly is 100% back to normal.  Of course normal for her is clawing my face and almost getting my eye in the process (the bitch is trying to turn me into Harvey Dent/Two Face, I swear), smacking into my face and jamming her nose into everyone's delicate areas but you know...she's back to normal.  Admittedly it's great to see her back to her old self, even if her old self is kind of a jerk.  ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Catching Up

I mean to write a post Sunday recapping the weekend and I was like, "well the weekend's not over, so I'll wait."  Then I was going to write it yesterday but you know, job and work and all that noise.  Anyway, here we are, recapping the weekend on a Tuesday.

The weekend was pretty good and most of the excitement for Eric and I was Friday night because it was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.  HBO isn't showing the ceremony until April 30th, but since we're mega dorks we put Eric's twitter on Chromecast and monitored for information and bootleg clips.  Between that and Youtube clips we were able to watch most of the ceremony, although it was crappy sound/video quality.  We ooh'd, ahh'd and drank.  I drank so much that I then made gluten free carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Against my better judgement, I decided to have a cupcake with frosting when I'd planned to just have the cupcake part.  Cream cheese in on the high FODMAP list for the diet, but as you can see, the cupcakes looked so beautiful with their glorious snowcapped frosting and coconut flakes that I just had to have one.  Within 20 minutes I had horrible stomach pains and bloating, it was absolutely gnarly.  Because I am a glutton for punishment I tried one again the next day to see if I would have a similar reaction and I didn't really, although I didn't feel great afterwards.  I feel a bit guilty that I "cheated" so close to the end of my elimination phase, but I guess I should be mildly prepared now that adding lactose back in may go poorly.

On Saturday I was able to meet up with Katie from Runs for Cookies and a couple of her readers.  To make it extra confusing, the girl in the middle there is also a Katie and is one of my readers as well.  (Hi Katie!)  We all had a really nice chat, and I'm glad that RFC Katie had such a nice time in Portland plus a great race!

Afterwards Eric and I decided to run some boring married people errands, exciting stuff like getting Molly a new bag of food and going into Target for one specific item, leaving without that item while buying a ton of random stuff.  While we were there I had a clandestine meeting with a bad boy...

I also bought...wait for it....a size TEN pair of shorts.  I couldn't believe it.  Now, I'm not that naive, I think a little bit of that is vanity sizing since I tried on another pair of shorts that was a size 12 and tight.  But, I'm very excited that this will be the first summer EVER that I will feel comfortable and confident wearing shorts.  I'm especially motivated because of our Los Angeles trip in July,  partly because of vanity and partly because it will be hot AF there in July.  For once I want to be able to dress comfortably against the punishing LA heat!

On Sunday I had my shelter shift as usual, then Eric and I took a nice hike at a nature park near our house.  We walked for well over an hour, it was just nice to be outside in a quiet place, just chatting and being together.  That's the best kind of exercise, when it doesn't feel like exercise!  When we left the park I had a next from my aunt asking if we wanted to meet them at a local beer pub, so did!  We sat for four hours just catching up, laughing and acting silly.  I sadly can't really have beer due to the whole gluten thing, though I did sneak a couple tastes of beers from everyone else.

While I did purposely have a couple of high FODMAP items this weekend, I am otherwise in a much better place with the nutrition thing than last month.  The frozen vegetables have been the key, and it makes me feel SO dumb that I didn't do it sooner.  This week's bulk cooked grain du jour is quinoa, so every day I just grab a scoop of quinoa and top it with a variety of frozen vegetables.  (Today was carrots, green beans and spinach).  BOOM, easy, stress free lunch.  It's also good to have a ton of vegetables available that aren't going to spoil.  I'm not saying it's thrilling, but I oddly enjoy the simplicity of it, especially since this whole diet thing has made me hyper aware of how I feel.  Now if I eat something that doesn't set well with me, it is immediate and very noticeable.  I didn't realize how much heartburn and stomach pains I was having until I started this diet and now basically have none of that.  I literally felt like crap all of the time and just didn't realize it.  When I have something that my stomach doesn't like, it's pretty swift to let me know.

I am oddly nervous about starting to add food back in because I feel really good right now, and I'm scared of feeling sick again if I start adding things back in.  Logically I wouldn't eat those things if they make me sick in the testing phase, I guess I'm just scared of the testing process since I don't want to be constipated again, and I worry that something will trigger that.  It's nice to be somewhat regular again and I don't want to lose the progress I've gained.    I mean all I can do is test and move on with my life, but it's still scary.

I am not too optimistic about my weigh in this week due to being a woman nonsense.  Less said about that the better, but I suspect I'll be up a pound due to bloating and other assorted fun.  It never fails, I have the best week of my weight loss journey, and then my period swoops in to keep me from getting to cocky about it.  Anyway, we'll see though.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thinner Thursday, Powered By Kale

Previous Weight:  194.8
Current Weight:  192.8
Difference: -2 pounds

So my last recorded weigh in was on March 17th, though I did weigh last week and was 194.7.  Officially I'm down 1.9 pounds, but if we're going by recorded weights then I'm down 2 pounds.  I highly doubt you guys will tar and feather me over the numbers!  ;)  Regardless, I am very pleased with this weigh in.  This is officially the lowest weight of my journey yet, and it makes me oddly nervous but happy.  Every milestone like this brings just a little more relief.

Kale Chat

I decided to rock a scoop of rice with vegetables again for lunch.  I cut up another squash then decided to throw a handful of kale into the mix too.  I also threw in some butter because I'm me and butter is delicious.  It was a nice, filling lunch with a side of pineapple as a treat.  Technically I'm not supposed to have more than 2 servings of fruit, but today I decided to live dangerously and have 3 servings.

I'm Walkin'

Apparently I'm into tough love with myself lately because besides the "get yourself together" diet chat I had with myself, I had another sassy talk with myself today at lunch.  Our weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately, perfect in fact, so this morning I was like "Oh I'll go for an extra walk at lunch just to get in additional activity and challenge minutes for our Lovely Ladies challenge."  Of course by the time lunchtime rolled around, I started hemming and hawing about it.  Sassy Personality chimed in the middle of all of my waffling and was like, "Bitch.  You have whined and complained about how crappy the weather is for months, now it's beautiful and you don't want to walk???  Just shut up and get your ass out there."  So I stopped having a Three Faces of Eve crisis at my desk and got out there, and of course I loved it and would have majorly regretted NOT walking.  Thank you Sassy Personality!


I accidentally took this, but decided it was kinda cool

Yours Truly
Mother Goose

So like most office parks we have quite a few Canadian geese who like to hang out, eat grass and take multiple dumps on the sidewalk that would rival a Great Dane's.  I don't mind geese really although I'm very cognizant that they will pretty much eat your soul if you anger them, so I try to be respectful around them and listen for the dreaded hissing sound that is the warning bell before your soul is eaten.  They've never bothered us on our walks, so I'm good with the geese.

We had one pair in particular hanging around our office parking lot and it was clear they were getting ready to nest.  The male never outright threatened us but definitely kept a very beady eye when we would approach.  The male did once bow up at my car like he was going to fight it.  My offense was driving into our work driveway, which both he and his partner decided were a really rad place to hang out and sleep.  The female goose finally made her nest and has been sitting on it for about 2 weeks, and the male disappeared out of nowhere, which was puzzling because I thought the males stuck around to guard.  I don't know why it's bothered me so much, I guess I just worry about the poor female.  She literally NEVER moves.  I just wonder if she ever gets to eat or drink anything.

Eric and I began a little goofy thing yesterday because I was commenting how sad it made me to see her alone, and was like "I guess Mother Goose can do bad all by herself."  This devolved into coming up with goose themed movie titles about empowered women, which also extended to my Lovely Ladies since we all love a good bizarre tangent.  Some of the groan worthy selections are:

  • Mother Goose In Rodanthe
  • Mother Goose Under The Tuscan Sun
  • How Mother Goose Got Her Groove Back
  • Eat. Pray. Goose.
  • Goose Floats
  • Pretty Goose
  • Erin Gooseovich (my personal fave, credit to Des)

Yep, I need a life.

I will keep you posted on the seat of your pants drama of Mother Goose's eggs hatching!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Big Girl Panties, Money Pit Dogs and an Oatmeal Recipe

So our poor dear Molly has been very sick since Saturday night.  I'm happy to report that she's almost back to 100%, but it was definitely stressful and debatable for a few days.  In a nutshell she was having major, horrible stomach distress with vomiting, the runs and all that fun stuff.  She was somewhat better Sunday but then hardcore relapsed on Monday.  She quit eating food and drinking water, there was an emergency vet trip AND a normal vet trip involved.  I worked from home for two very stressful days, tried to comfort her as she was so sick, cleaned up dog vomit out of my new-ish car and cried a lot.  We've been without our last dog Natasha for 3 years, but those wounds still feel fresh and like it happened just yesterday.  I won't lie to you, at one point I was freaking out that I was going to have 2 dogs die within 3 years.  Thankfully Molly has recovered, though my credit card may need a doctor by the time things are said and done.

"Momma I don't feel so good."  :(

A mere day later, begging at the table like always!
So that is the negative part of the week, I just kind of wanted to get it out of the way!

In happier news I have indeed found my big girl panties this week AND put them on when it comes to my diet.  I got to Trader Joe's and stocked up on a lot of FODMAP friendly fresh and frozen vegetables as well as lean proteins.  I've actually done quite well when it comes to eating in a more balanced and healthy way, and I definitely feel better because of it!  Like today, I was just going to bring a scoop of rice and a bit of leftover turkey for lunch, but I took the time to slice up a carrot and a squash to add to the top of it.  It made the meal much more filling and interesting and added extra bulk and nutrition with very few calories.  It literally took 30 extra seconds to do it, and it's the kind of thing I've been needing to do!

I've also been very diligently tracking in MFP (no more "eh, I'm not going to add the last 3 things I ate because I don't feel like it or want to acknowledge it").  I feel like I'm finally pulling out of this funk.  I am on my elimination phase for the rest of this week and all of next week, so starting the 18th I'll begin the "challenge" phases.  I know I promised I wouldn't bore you guys with my diet stuff, but I do want to write about my challenge phases for my own tracking purposes, plus who knows, maybe it will help someone out there.  I'm excited but nervous to see how things go and what I will ultimately be able to add back into my diet.  I think some things like onions will be a no go, and other things will be fine infrequently in small amounts, but I won't know until I get started I guess.

I'm also back to exercising, and have really been digging this one barre workout from Fitness Blender.  It's challenging in the best type of way, where I'm eager to keep doing it until I can ace the whole thing (flutter kicks you will not defeat me!) instead of dreading it.  I can't recommend Fitness Blender enough in general, they have fantastic videos and I've really enjoyed every one I've tried.  (I promise I'm not a paid schill for them, I just really like them!)  I'm also redoing my dumbbell challenge for the month of April, but this time with 10 pound weights.  I'm pleasantly surprised how much I like doing the weight related stuff, and I'd really like to work towards being able to do that challenge with 20 pound weights.  That will be awhile since 10 pounds is pretty darn challenging, but it's a good goal to work towards!  I've always had weak little arms (cue the Dirty Dancing "Spaghetti arrrrrrrrrrrrms!!"), so I'd like to change that.

Finally I wanted to leave you with this really awesome carrot cake baked oatmeal recipe I made on Tuesday.

I based it on this recipe from, but I did make several changes.  For starters, mine isn't vegan, I did use regular old milk since I can't have almond milk on this diet.  I used lactose free whole milk, because I'm not about the skim milk life.  Seriously people life is short, drink whole milk.  I can't have raisins so I omitted those, but I did add in a half cup of unsweetened coconut and a cup of fresh pineapple.  Y' was so delicious.  The serving size on her recipe is 6, but honestly I made it 4 servings because I like bigger meals and don't really do snacks.  Admittedly my version was pretty high calorie at 587 calories, so you could either cut out the whole milk/coconut and use almond or skim, or just reduce the portion size.

Tomorrow is Thinner Thursday and will also mark the first time I've weighed in like 2 weeks.  Yikes!  Will be interesting to see where I'm at.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hitting Reset: AKA Get Over Yourself & Eat Some Effing Kale

I just realize that I've not posted much lately, so I need to remedy that!  In a nutshell I really struggled in March.  It is 100% due to this diet, it has completely and utterly thrown my world off balance to the point that it shames me.  

I have huge mental and emotional responses to any suggestion of having my food restricted.  I have no idea why, I certainly have no huge Dr. Phil Show worthy underlying secret or past event that I can think of that causes me to be this way.  I guess the closest thing I can come up with is that when I was super overweight, all I wanted in the world was to be normal.  That was my mantra, "why can't I just eat like a normal person and be thin?"  Then suddenly over the past year, I discovered how to do exactly what I've always dreamed of:  eat things I like, be a healthy weight, don't obsess about food and generally be normal.  I had food 100% figured out finally for the first time in my life, and doing this FODMAP thing yanked it out of my grasp.  I've reverted to my same behavior when I would force myself to do whatever weird diet du jour existed.  I feel frustrated, restricted and especially upset about eating out.  The restrictions on this diet are so weird that I've basically given up on trying to go out to eat for the most part.  It's simply too stressful and too much of a hassle.  I feel bad and like I've subjected Eric to BS food (to be clear, that is 100% my projection and neurosis, he always eats anything I make cheerfully and without complaint), so I stress even about meals I make.

I have stuck to the FODMAP diet 100%, and I will say, it has helped somewhat.  I am seeing patterns of being "regular", and Jessica would be so proud of me because I even take notes every single day about reactions/symptoms and poop.  (AKA worst diary ever).  But my day to day diet is absolutely atrocious because I feel paralyzed foodwise for some reason.  There's no reason for this, because there is plenty of stuff you can have on FODMAP, but I basically eat no vegetables.  I basically live on tortillas, Corn Thins, peanut butter and eggs.  I eat like the poorest of poor college students.  I let my feelings get in the way of my workouts, and basically stopped about mid month.  I mean I do walk at least one mile a day, but that's been about it.  In a nutshell, I've sucked.

But you know what, it's all got to stop.  And I apologize, because I'm about to get sweary, so I hope you have some pearls to clutch.  Anyway, I need to get over this, big time.  I stepped on the scale yesterday and weighed the exact same weight that I started March off with, 194.8.  The same. Fucking.  Weight.  I wasted a whole month wringing my hands and getting in my own way.  That is a month I could have been spending getting to goal.  Is the diet a huge change?  Yes  Should it have derailed me this much?  Absolutely not.  And now I'm really pissed at myself, like enormously.    I am a strong, independent, grown ass woman and a college graduate, and I let my feelings about some stupid ass TEMPORARY diet that is HELPING me derail my efforts.  Ridiculous.  So now, as my blog post title suggests April is officially the month of "get over yourself and eat some fucking kale".  I mean for heaven's sake you know, this is truly not that difficult.  You know what doesn't create an athletic body with lean muscle?  Sitting and wallowing and bitching about my feelings.  You know what will keep me stagnant and no where close to my goal?  Bitching and wallowing.  Seriously, I need to stop bitching and wallowing.

ANYWAYS, April will be different.  The diet will be continuing 100% until the week of the 18th, then the process of testing each FODMAP category will kick in and will be on going until the end of May.  All that withstanding, I am going to STFU and start adding FODMAP friendly vegetables as meal sides and likely making separate meals for myself.  That takes the stress out of me feeling bad for making Eric eat bland food, and I can just mind my own plate and calm the hell down.  And I need to quit eating like a garbage disposal, which is what I've been doing.  I know better.  It's not that difficult to get some bags of frozen vegetables and add them as meal sides.  Like for real.

And I'm going to get back to my HIIT and arm workouts, which I was loving actually.  I love seeing new muscle definition in my body, I like how being stronger makes me feel and how it makes my body look.  I'm going to keep up with my walks and not skip any, and I'm going to hit my goal minutes of activity (1500!) for the month.  In other words, I'm going to get on with it.  And yes, I did eat kale today.  I shut up and threw a handful in a smoothie this morning and also made a rather large kale salad.  I feel different and feel good, and I know things will be better this month.