Monday, October 27, 2014

Mind Over Matter

That's what I kept telling myself today on the treadmill. For 10 minutes, 10 consecutive minutes, I ran. It wasn't fast but I ran without stopping. I counted my breathing, I ignored my legs and turned the music up louder.

It's been a long time since I've run for that long without stopping. I so want to get back to where I was a year ago.

Time. Practice. Stamina. Training. And never giving up.

I can do this.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finding balance

I'm back on track, even if I'm not 100% clean eating. 

If I had to give myself a grade myself, it would be a B- for both Wednesday and yesterday. Wednesday, I didn't exercise, but I did stay well within my calorie range, even if my protein/carb ratio was a little off.

Yesterday, I could have eaten better, but I did stay within calories and do some intense HIIT for more than an hour last night. 

Today I'm hoping for more of a balance, eating clean for 90% of the day and getting a good workout in.

I'm still having my moments mood-wise, but my days are more good than bad.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Decent Day

A good day, a decent day, sometimes hard day. The mouth hunger tried to get the best of me but I hung in there.

Hoping tomorrow is a little easier.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Still Wallowing

I'm not sure what's going on in my head. I could kill or cry at the drop of a hat. I've eaten my weight in chocolate in the past five days and don't really care. Except I do, just not when I'm eating it.

My PMS has come and gone. My period has come and gone. And yet, my mood is still here. Black. Dark. Cranky. Miserable. Sad. That's me.

Work has been rough. I'm feeling disenchanted, like I haven't made a difference in my two plus years.

People are annoying me.

The dog is waking me up at 3am to go out and 4am to eat.

But all of those things have happened before -- and I've never been in this foul of a mood.

And then tonight, as I was getting out of the shower, I broke down. Finally. I needed a good cry and finally got it. The poor dog was scared -- he had never seen my cry like that and he cried along with me. This is one area where the cat is definitely the tougher of the species. Casey knew what to do when I cried. Casey was the strong one. Tonight, I ended up being the strong one for Bernie and didn't get to cry nearly as much as I wanted to.

But it hit me as I was crying. A very dear friend is going through IVF. I even reread part of my blog last night -- another contributor to my mood I'm sure. But it hit me tonight. It's not that she's going through it and reminding me of all I went through.

It's going to be the outcome. I'm scared. Scared for her, but more scared for me. I need her to get pregnant. I need this to be a success. I want her to succeed and get pregnant and carry to term and have a healthy baby. All of the the things I couldn't do, all the things my body failed at. My fragility is tied to her IVF cycle.

And once I had that conscious thought, once I realized what had been weighing me down, I felt lighter (except for the aforementioned bag of Dove mints and dark chocolate kisses in my belly).

I know I have no control over her body -- no more than I had over mine. I can be supportive. I can tell her what to expect. I can help her get through the disappointment of her cycle being cancelled this month because of abnormal hormone levels. And knowing that is half the battle.

Tonight, hopefully I will be able to fall back to sleep immediately after taking the dog out at 3am. Will be able to forcefully tell him to lay down at 4am -- and he will for another hour -- and will go right back to sleep. I need a good night's sleep. I need my mind to shut off, because for the past week, I've stayed awake since 3am, tossing, turning and thinking. Three of the very worst things you can do when you're supposed to be asleep.

So tonight, there will be sleep.

And tomorrow there will be good, clean healthy eating. So much so that I am going to bore you to tears and not only use myFitnessPal tomorrow, but also record my food here. And probably the next day.

A prayer for my girl who is dealing with the disappointment of a cancelled cycle. So many hopes and then just like that, nope gotta wait until next month. Sigh....I remember those updates, that news was as bad a negative test because it meant the same thing. It meant, I'm not pregnant this month.

And so while she won't be pregnant this month, she could be next month. And while I'm not going to lose all the weight I've gained in the past week in one day, I can do something about it tomorrow.

No more wallowing. Maybe some more crying. And being good to myself again.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How I got over Cooper

Two...almost three...years ago, I had a baby named Cooper. For four days, he was mine. Or so I thought. And then he wasn't.

And earlier this year, my neighbors got a puppy, and named him Cooper. It was something I contemplated naming my own dog. But it felt like I was naming my dog after a dead baby. Even though he -- the baby -- wasn't dead, that's the way I have to think about him. And so I named my puppy after Bernie Williams. And then, Cooper came home a month later.

I told Lee -- who we will forever just refer to now as EB (ex-boyfriend) -- that it bothered me, that I would get over it, but it bothered me that they took my baby's name. This, of course, after I had to remind him of the Cooper situation in my life. And then he literally said, I have to take a shower, I'll talk to you tomorrow.

I was dumbfounded. And hurt. And we actually broke up the next day.

Suddenly, Cooper the dog was not the biggest worry in my life. After a few month of trying to figure out if the unhappiness I was experiencing in the relationship, if the things I felt were missing were just compromise or really and truly things that were missing.

And having EB not "get" why having a Cooper live next to me was initially going to be difficult was the bitch slap in the face. This wasn't about compromise, this was a basic need not getting met.

And so Cooper the dog became about how boyfriend became ex-boyfriend and not about my once-baby.

And now Cooper the dog is really just about how he is the arch-nemisis of Bernie and there is no negative connotation for me. (other than I really want Bernie to like him.)

So thanks EB for making it hurtful in a different way, but also a much easier hurt to get over.

And that…is how I got over Cooper.

Friday, October 17, 2014

LIght a Candle

Wednesday was infant and pregnancy loss day. I lit a candle that night, said a little prayer, not only for my actual miscarriage but also the 15 embryos that were placed inside of my uterus (two or three at a time) and didn't stick.

Apparently, and according to Wikipedia (because let's face it, that where we get all of our information), in 1988, President Reagan designated the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

It was something I hadn't heard about until the last five years. And not just because it was something I experienced. I think that people are more open with their grief, sharing (and sometimes over-sharing) their highs and lows.

Growing up, and in my 20s, I knew no one who went through fertility treatment. Or I should say, I knew OF no one. It wasn't something you talked about. You either got pregnant or you didn't. If you went for treatment, it was all very hush-hush, whether for fear of feeling like a failure or fear of condemnation or something else…fertility treatment, shots, IVF, IUI, sperm banks -- those were all things that happened in the movies or on TV. And even then, with very little realism or detail. (Don't get me started on the episode of Friends, "The One with Phoebe's Uterus.")

But in my 30s, it became a little more OK to talk about. Long before I knew that my eggs didn't mature on their own and that my egg reserve was comparable to that of a post-menopausal woman, I started to hear about people going through IVF procedures. A single birth here. Triplets there. Twins over there. And another set of twins to join the single birth.

And then my own struggles. And more and more people going through it. At last count, I know of nearly 20 kids in my immediate life who were conceived in a doctor's office.

Suddenly -- or maybe not so suddenly, but eventually -- it became OK to talk about the struggles to conceive. And just as that became OK to share, so too did the struggles when conception didn't work. In addition to my baby, who should have turned five this past September, there are another six or seven angel babies in my immediate life.

The year I graduated from high school, Ronald Reagan recognized a struggle that I had no idea would affect me so deeply 20 years later. For the most part, I am "over" what I went through as much as I can be.  And that is to say that I have made peace with the fact that I will never be a mother, but that doesn't mean that the little green monster doesn't come out when someone announces she's pregnant, that doesn't mean that I don't feel sad and have a tiny pity party for me when I think about what could have been.

But those moments aren't marked on the calendar, I'm not aware that they're coming. Something little will trigger a moment of sadness. Something out of the blue. Sometimes it's Halloween. This year is was the first day of school as I realized that my baby would have been starting kindergarden. And who knows when someone is going to announce a pregnancy?

And so Wednesday night, I lit the candle because I felt I owed it to the movement of awareness. I had a very conscious thought about the miscarriage and the embryos (though I had to look up how many embryos there were when I started to write this post). But there was no sadness. Not even numbness. It was all very matter-of-fact.

And so maybe next October 15 I will write a blog post, or light a candle or post something to Facebook. Or maybe I won't. Maybe the day will sail right by without me realizing.

I guess because there are enough surprise days throughout the year that remind me of the missing baby, of the lost opportunities, of the lost life I could have had, that I don't necessarily need one noted on the calendar to remind me. But I'm happy that it exists, that women can get the support they need and that lost pregnancies can be remembered for the lost life they represented and not forgotten as a family secret, never to be talked about.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


So this happened today:

* too many hershey miniatures to count
* annoying work people
* Wendy's for lunch
* two diet sodas

So this HAD to happen tonight:

* 65 minutes on the treadmill, with some intense HIIT
* more than 700 calories burned
* and only a protein shake for dinner

Thankfully, I don't have to weigh in until next week, but I do need to get over the PMS and annoying work people excuse. I wallowed in it for two days. Time to pull up my big girl pants and get back to business.

And so snack, lunch and breakfast packed for tomorrow...with a goal of 100 ounces of water in the work day.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Last year, I had a goal of "doing" (walking and running) 1,000 miles in the year. I was on pace, I was doing it. And then December happened.

I was getting ready to put my 18-year-old cat down and close on my house. Add in a boyfriend who didn't like to work out and....well. I fell short of my goal.

Tonight on FB I saw a friend post about her goal until the end of the year. 100 miles in the last 100 days of the year. There are now 79 days left so I'm shooting 80 miles, with a stretch goal of 100. Totally doable. Completely.

And not even hard. I did 4.5 today after work.

But what the goal does is bigger than the actual goal, bigger than the actual accomplishment. It's the habit, it's the mindset, it's the training. It will push me.

I'm a very competitive person, and funny enough, I can be competitive with myself.

So 80...scratch that 100+ miles by the end of the year.

And 1,000 in 2015.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


A wise man once said, "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it's lethal."

I disagree. I crave routine. Routine keeps me sane. And happy. And healthy.

Certainly I am capable -- and often really enjoy -- mixing things up. But those are the treats. The chocolate you enjoy once a week. The beer you have on the weekends. Getting a massage. Those aren't things you can do every day.

September, as I've mentioned, was not routine in any way. From having an exchange student, to board meetings, presentations and after-hours work events, to my parents visiting, my routine went right out the window. And with no routine, there was less clean eating, less exercise, less structure to my health.

With all of that also comes less willpower. More mouth hunger.

Mouth hunger is an interesting phenomena. If you've never experienced it, it's kind of like eating out of boredom. But the feeling, the absolute need to eat, is overwhelming. Physically, you're not hungry. Often times you're full, but you still have this strong sensation to eat. I'm able to recognize it. I'm not always able to stop myself, but at least, I recognize it.

Last week when my parents were visiting, I made my dad several batches of cookies. I literally had a carb hangover -- my stomach hurt from the amount of sugar I put in my body -- and yet, every time I went by the Ziploc bags of cookies, I took two of three. Every single time.

I'm sure there are lots of underlying reasons behind these eating disorder triggers -- and I leave that to my therapist to figure out. But just as quickly as the mouth hunger was uncontrollable, once I got back into a routine, my willpower returned.

October started for me on September 29, when I had my house back to myself, when work meetings seemed to go back to normal and when I was able to plan my meals, pack my lunches and find time on the treadmill.

Sunday, I was wanting something sweet. I had a bag of m&m's in the freezer for baking. (Another aside, I can have all sorts of junk food in my house. If it's not opened, I won't eat it. It won't even tempt me. Once opened, all bets are off.) But Sunday, I felt I could handle it.

I opened the m&m's, put a serving size in a small container and sealed up the bag. I enjoyed every m&m, took my time eating them and really tasted them. And while I thought about them once or twice, I have not gone back to the bag. That is a huge win.

And so, apologies to Paulo Coehlo, but I'll stick to my routine. For me, lack of routine is lethal.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Keeping it real

About eight years ago, I had an eating disorder. It was some sort of bulimia. More specifically, exercise bulimia. I would eat about 1000 calories a day (or less) and work out for several hours. Some days, I had a net negative calories of 500 or more.

My body shut down and I couldn't lose weight. So I ate less and exercised more. I became afraid of food. I worked through it, but sometimes swing to the other end of the spectrum where I binge and over eat.

Today, was another good eating day. One hundred percent perfect. And because I ran last night, I knew going into today that I didn't need to run tonight. That a couple good walks with the dog would be enough. But as Bernie and I were on a 45-minute walk, I kept thinking that I needed to get on the treadmill went I got home.

And I had the angel on one shoulder, devil on the other, talk with myself in my head. Eating well, eating clean, is 80% of the battle, exercise is only 20. I know this. Just like I know the difference between true hunger and mouth hunger, and yet there are times when I'm not hungry, when I'm actually full, and I will continue to eat. Because of the mouth hunger.

So tonight, as I was battling in my head, I reminded myself of that cycle I was on in the mid-2000s, and that it was actually healthier that I just get in my 10,000+ steps, that I finish the evening on a high note with dinner and a protein shake for snack, and maybe another walk with the dog around the neighborhood, but that I don't need to sweat, I don't need to burn 400 calories in a half hour, that eating well, and moving, is enough.

If I keep up these healthy habits, there will be a time, not very long from now even , that I won't focus so much on this, that it becomes second nature. But for now, until that time, the thoughts will need to be a little obsessive, at least constant. I need the vigilance until the obsession just becomes habit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Staying on this side of the bridge

I'm in a zone, starting the month off well. I know it's only been three days, but it's been three days of clean eating and great exercise.

October is promising to be a low-hassle, if not hassle-free, month for me to focus on me.

I may fall down 10 times, but I will get up every time and keep on going.

Journaling kept me honest at the beginning of September so here we go again. You might get bored with my posts about food and working out, but it's the only way I know how to keep at it.

My brother was sick for most of this year and is, thankfully, on the road to recovery. His doctor told him to "stay on this side of the bridge," meaning don't focus on being 100% better, focus on one step at a time.

So while I would love to say that I'm getting close to the 180s, I have to tell myself to stay on this side of the bridge. My focus right now is 192. That's it. Nothing beyond that.

Right now, this side of the bridge is the low 190s and I won't venture a glance across at the 180s just yet.