Sunday, December 30, 2012

Getting The Party Started

Ok, so it's no party, not really. But I realize I haven't been eating well. I'm not pigging out, but I'm not eating healthy. I need to cut back on frozen pizza.

I went ahead and ordered myself a harvest box. Haven't done that lately. I went with foods that I know I like to eat. Some staples that will last a while, like potatoes and sweet potatoes, some fruit, and some greens. I will base my meals around using up these fruits and veg before they go bad. Oh, and half a dozen eggs, because what the hell.

I got swiss chard, because I know I can cook it easily with some chopped onion and balsamic vinegar and it makes a good side. Could even crumble some cooked bacon in it. Spinach is great for so many things, and I could start making my own little pizzas again. Probably a lot better for me than frozen pizza. With my appetite now, I could get 4 pizzas out of 1 package of naan. That's half a piece for each pizza. I love fresh spinach on my pizza. And winter squash. I get whatever they send, but I love squash. All squash.

I just need some protein options. If you know me at all, you know I don't eat a lot of meat. I like meat well enough, but I just don't like to eat it all the time. So I need some good protein options that aren't meat. I think I'll raid my vegan friends' blogs, and allrecipes.com. I like that site. And my Gordon Ramsay cookbook. Mmmmmmm, I should make those blueberry muffins again.

So what brought this on? Even with the skinny supplement, I noticed that if I don't work out somewhat regularly, I don't lose weight. So I ran 3 days last week. I plan to run at least 3 days this week and start my new strength training routine, also 3 days. Want to help? On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, ask me if I've done my SimpleFit. Don't nag, don't lecture, just ask. If I haven't done it, I will feel guilty all on my own.

Oh! So I got my new sports bras in the mail. Mom gave me money for Christmas, and J sent me a gift certificate for the exact amount of a bra-tank from Lynx Sportswear. I read about these online and wanted to give it a try. I still love my Enells, but 2 layers of fabric under a tank top is a lot in El Paso summers. I took my measurements and checked the Lynx size chart. Of course I was right in-between sizes. I went with the smaller one, knowing how sensitive my chest it. I placed the order on Christmas day.

Surprisingly, I got an email that same day from Lynx. They were working! She told me that they've been giving us between-sizes women the option to try both sizes and return the one that doesn't fit. They even include a pre-paid envelope. So sure! I'll try it. Like Enell, they have their own sizing system based on your measurements. Their sports bras each have a number and a style. The styles are based on how large your chest is compared to your rib cage. You have the Sprint, the Dart, and the Zoom. Of course, I'm right between the Dart and the Zoom. The tanks aren't offered in the Zoom yet, so I only really had 1 option there.

My package was actually delivered on Friday, but I didn't check the mail that day and didn't realize I'd gotten my bras until it was dark and cold out. Remy and I walked to the mailbox Saturday morning to get them. Yes, I tried them on right away. Well, I let them warm up first. It was cold.

I tried both the Dart and Zoom, and definitely like the Dart better. The Zoom looked a little odd on me, could the shortness of my torso a little, and seemed to have just a bit extra fabric. I honestly wondered if I needed a smaller band at first. But I tried the Dart back on, and tried on the tank. I made sure everything was well adjusted and in place. I just wore it for a few minutes, then did a test. Jumping, running back and forth in my hallway, jiggle, jiggle. Very little to no movement, and the band stayed in place even on the loosest setting. That's one of the pros with this bra - adjustable band.

So I will keep these, send back the Zoom. My only complaint at this point is that my sports bra has more white than the ones on the site. If you look at them, they have a white center, color sides, white back, and black trim. Well, mine has white trim. You know me, I like things dark. I only ordered blue so Amber wouldn't nag me. (Just kidding, Amber. You know I love you.) But hey, I had color options other than black, white, and pink, so I'm not that upset by it.

So this is a single layer of fabric, and the white pieces are actually a mesh fabric, which means VENTILATION!! I'm looking forward to cooler runs this summer! I might have to order another tank top if I love it as much as I think I will. I'll run in my sports bra today or tomorrow (whenever I get out to run) and give a formal review over on Bra Crusader. With pics. Maybe I'll double post it, both here and there. We'll see. And yes, I can actually get much more detailed about the bras and how they fit. Cuz I'm like that.

Well this post ended up longer than I expected. Not a bad thing. I'm kinda having a lazy Sunday. I thoroughly vacuumed my couches yesterday. Haven't done that in a while. I even took off the seat cushions and vacuumed under them. On the big couch I found a pencil and 2 cat toys. On the loveseat, I found a yarn needle and another cat toy. Duke came out when I was done (he hates the vacuum, it's too loud) and played with one of the mice I found off an on the rest of the day. So cute.

Last thought. I promise. Remember my post about listening to more music? I'm doing it today. Nothing good on TV, and I wasn't really paying attention to it anyway, so I put it on a music channel. Classic Alternative. It's actually channel 666 on my TV. I love that. (Yes, that is my sense of humor. If you know me at all, you know that.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oh Yeah! Shoe Review! (Vivobarefoot Neo)

I found a great deal on the Vivobarefoot Neo from the Clymb (if you want to sign up, ask me and I'll send you a referral!). Vivo is a brand I've been looking at for a while because they have a lot of zero drop minimal shoes.

I got them and of course tried them on right away. J even got to help me pick the color, which it seems they don't make anymore. Glad I got my blue! I really wore them first for our FRG holiday party. On my feet most of the day and no soreness. They slip on easily and fit wonderfully. Lots of room in my toes, nice and snug on the heel. They are more of a cross training shoe and just a running shoe, and have a simple design that looks cute for everyday wear.

I have worn them for 2 short runs now (3.5 miles) that each included some walking (stupid cold and laziness). But the shoes have been amazing. No hot spots. No discomfort. Feet feel great. They don't pick up pebbles and thorns like my New Balance do. They have a removable insole, which some people apparently replace with orthotics. I personally think that makes no sense. Buy a minimal shoe and then stick an orthotic in it? Whatever.

 I haven't tried them without socks yet. It's cold out there. Don't know if I will. My underarmor running socks are rather nice and very lightweight, so they aren't too much in the summer. We'll see. These shoes do have a thicker upper, so my feet might get hot when it warms up out there.

I am very much in love with these shoes. I will be doing more long runs over the next few weeks, and a half marathon on January 12.

This is the same half marathon I wasn't able to run a year ago because I picked a fight with a sidewalk and lost. I am not letting that happen this year. I will run it. And it's right here on Bliss, so no travel woes.

Oh noes! Almost forgot pics!

Yes, that's Remy lying next to me. And an old shoe in the background.

Outside (and Rem)

Inside

Top

Getting Back On Track

I admit, I've been slacking on my running. Like, a lot. But I got out with Remy on Christmas Eve and ran. We'll head out this afternoon as well. And next week, I'll start the Simple Fit program. Week will consist of 3 days of running and 3 days of strength training. At least at first. Then I'll start adding swimming and biking back in to alternate with running. But I really need to stick with a strength program.

I have also started another health regime - lotion. Simple, yes? But I just now started putting lotion on my arms and legs every day, instead of just when they get so dry that they itch. What started this? Getting fed up with my ridged fingernails.

The vertical ridges in my nails have just gotten worse over time. I of course did my favorite thing and researched it on teh interwebz. A couple sites suggested dehydration as a cause. Kinda makes sense. They've gotten worse since moving to this dry climate, and my cuticles have always been rather dry and cracked. So I'm trying to drink enough water during the day, and using lotion. At night before bed I slather aquaphor on my hands and rub it all in.

Along with my ridgey nails, I had a bad eczema flair up. It's mostly on my right foot, and mostly on 1 poor toe. A little on the left foot, and one little bump on my finger. My toe actually got stiff and sore and was all red, swollen and itchy. I think the run on Monday irritated it a bit. Again, I turn to teh majykal interwebz. Some people recommend soaking the area in vinegar. One lady actually drinks 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day. My favorite? Mentholatum. I'm already slathering it all over my nose every night.

So I created my own treatment. Morning and night, I use a cotton ball to swab the toes with apple cider vinegar. Then I slather them in mentholatum. I love that stuff. Yesterday, the toe was still sore, and just the toe seam on a sock hurt. I wrapped 2 of the toes on my right foot in gauze. That way they could breathe, but it would soak up any sweat. Socks and shoes were fine. It looked better last night, and looks a bit better than that this morning. Yay!

My cold seems to be doing better. I stopped the drugs and just have a stuffy nose sometimes. One side of my nose got very sore and even swollen a little. I was kinda worried when it looked like I was getting some sores, but then it itched, and I realized it could be a new location for eczema. Oh yay. I put mentholatum on it a few times a day and I'm gentle with the tissues. It's looking better. I've been using my neti pot as well. I cannot use plain water in it, but have to add a little salt. It's saline or nothing for my nose, apparently.

I'm also going to try to get back on track with my sewing. I have that damn quilt that I haven't finished yet. And a skirt that I really want to start wearing, but it's in 2 pieces with no waistband. Must Finish! After that, I would like to finish my pineapple wreath (called that because of how the fabric is pieced on, similar to the outside of a pineapple) so I can hang it up next year. And I never did make Misty's quilt. I have all the material, so it needs done.

I'm having fun crocheting hats. Making them for little kids only so far. I think I want to find a nice lacy style one for myself. I have some pretty alpaca yarn that would look good, as long as it's enough. Worth a shot anyway.

Since today is the day after Christmas, and I don't have to be anywhere, I think I might stay in my PJs all day. I could stand to do a load of laundry, and then dirty my running clothes again right away, but oh well. Looks like 1 to 2 pm will be the least windy today, so I'll aim for then. Hmm. Better get that laundry going. OR, I could wait and do it after the run......

Yeah. that rather makes more sense. Instead, I should probably put all the wrapping paper away so I can use the dining room table for sewing again. :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Music

Today is Christmas Eve. For J, it's Christmas Eve evening. Since he already opened his gift that I want to talk about, I can, well, talk about it.

There isn't much you can send to your husband for Christmas when he's deployed. There's nothing he needs, not much that he wants and can use over there, so what do I do? I came up with the idea a couple weeks ago.

I recorded a little video of me singing J's favorite Christmas carol, The Little Drummer Boy. I found a karaoke track on youtube that was in a good key and at a good speed. You wouldn't believe how many versions are out there, some fast, some slooooow, and in all vocal ranges. Crazy. But I found a good one at the very last minute.

I had three options for recording my video: my laptop, my phone, and my digital camera. I did a short test of all three to see which had the best sound quality. The iphone won, hands down. Then I had to find the right place in my house. I ended up in the dining room. I set my laptop on the table, plugged in the desktop speakers, and propped my phone up on the monitor like I do when J and I facetime. I just used facetime as a verb *shutter*.

Anywho, I ended up having to set my laptop on a box to raise it up. And then another box. But it put it at just the right height. I start recording, and Duke jumps up on his table, which is in the dining room, and noisy. He scratched at his collar, which makes noise, and then Bosco (our doggy visitor for Christmas) whined. Stop, reset, take 2. Bosco whine pretty early on. Stop, reset, take 3. Duke comes to my feet and meows. Ugh! really?

I took a break, let the dogs outside to play, and tried again. I made it through the song without interruption, but decided that I didn't like the camera angle. This is when I added the second box. Final take, made it through, no interruptions, and it was the best yet. It wasn't going to get any better, and the dogs were ready to come inside.

I noticed something at this point. I was in a good mood. I had woke up a little depressed, but making this video for J really cheered me up. I had forgotten how good singing can make me feel. Anymore, I really only sing to myself, usually in the car. And since I haven't been doing much driving around, I haven't been singing much.

A while back, I looked around for a community choir I could join. I found a small one that was pretty new, and decided to go. I stayed for 1 semester (it ran on a school-year schedule). I couldn't go back. There were people with no pitch, many who didn't read music, and it was so unprofessional, I couldn't take it. I know, it's a volunteer thing, but if you say that you want to appear professional, you should at least try.

I haven't found anything to replace that, and I sing less often than I used to. Of course I still head back to Kansas every Easter for annual Good Friday date, but that's once a year. There's this talent "show" here on post. Most the "talents" are music, of course. Part of me thinks I should audition. But what the hell would I sing? Should I go classical? Should I try something more modern? I don't know. Would I need to supply back-up tracks?  I don't know. Auditions are in January.

One way or another, I think I need to add more music back into my life. Even if I just turn the TV to a music station (like musicchoice, not MTV), and listen, if a song I like comes on I'll start singing along. So yeah, I'm going to sing more. I still have stage fright, so no, I probably won't sing for you. But I need to start singing for myself more often. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Project Update: Good Health

Is that what I called this project? I don't remember, and don't feel like looking it up.

So I guess I didn't blog about starting the feverfew? I looked back and couldn't find it. Quick review then, mom and I were talking about my migraines during my last one, about a month ago. We thought it would be worth it for me to try feverfew. It's an herb. It's natural. I bought some at GNC and started taking one pill twice a day. The pills are 380mg each. I stopped taking the verapamil.

This all took place about a month ago. I don't remember when exactly. Since then, I have had some headaches, but I take ibuprofen and they go away, or at least stay under control. The worst headache I've had since I started the feverfew was a sinus headache a few days ago. And it really was just a sinus headache. Today I'm having some icepicks. I ate breakfast and I'm drinking some green tea. I will take ibuprofen in a little while if I have any more.

Wait. Strike that. I just remembered last Wednesday. My head was kinda hurting during the day. By evening, ibuprofen wasn't working. I had a holiday party to attend, lasted 2 hours, then I went home and took some tramadol and went to bed. I felt so much better the next morning. That was during my period, so I'm sure it was hormone based. I know there isn't much I can do for menstrual migraines. I'm already using the pill to limit how many periods I have.

BUT, other than my hormone triggered migraine, that only lasted 1 day, I have been migraine free. So I'll keep up the feverfew. It seems to be making a difference. And yes, it makes me feel good to know its an herb and not chemicals.

In other health news, I have a cold. It started with a scratchy throat, then my nose got stuffy. I'm taking mucinex and using afrin nose spray. My cold cocktail. It's getting better, but my nose is still pretty stuffed up.

Also, weight loss! I weigh 146 as of this morning! So close to my original goal of 145! I have been slacking quite a bit in the fitness department. This cold sure didn't help matters. I found a strength training program that I want to try. I just have trouble motivating myself. It's called Simple Fit and uses pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. All you need is a pull-up bar, and I have J's that I can use. No, I cannot currently do a single pull-up, but they do give options for those of us that can't do those.

In non-health news, we are dog-sitting this week. Bosco's family flew home for a funeral (during the holidays, sad news). He's with us for a little more than a week. He's about the same size as Rem, but older and fatter. I can say that because his mama told me he's fat. He's a sweetheart. He was checking out my bedroom this morning, saw Duke laying on the floor in the corner, kinda sniffed in the cat's direction, then moved on. So Duke is actually staying downstairs and not hiding the whole time. Remy really likes Bosco and will choose to sit by him instead of by me.

And now that all this is in writing, I need to shower so I can go run errands with the Smiths! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

On Being A Dog Owner

*WARNING* Talking about dog puke. Be careful if that grosses you out. Scroll down and I'll let you know when the yuck stops.


My dog has a bit of a sensitive stomach. He's been known to get emotionally upset to the point that he gets physically sick. He used to eat so fast that the food didn't stay down. He ate so many june bugs once that he coughed them all back up.

He's lucky that I don't gross out easily. J is also lucky, since I do all the cleaning up and treating of the sick critters. I've learned, with Rem, that I have to give him a little time and be patient when he gets sick. He'll often just sick up once and get over it. I look for signs, like not wanting to eat, lethargy, or differences in his poop before getting too worried.

There was one time when Remy was getting sick in the middle of the night once a week. Just once a week for a few weeks in a row. I couldn't find any connection to anything he was eating. It wasn't always the same day, or the same time of night, but it would be towards the middle of the week, and just once. We ended up going to a vet because we were taking him with us on a long weekend trip. We also went to a different vet than our usual one. They gave him, like, 4 different meds and a bland food diet. I stopped all but 1 of his meds the next day. The 1 I kept? Pepcid. The same as your or I would take. He only gets half a pill at a time, but it really seems to make a difference when his stomach is upset.

Why am I talking about this? He puked up all his food at 0230 last night. I'm very lucky that he prefers to be sick outside and will head to the back door when he doesn't feel good. Keeps the yuck off the carpet and makes it much easier to clean up. He'll usually stay outside until he feels better. Well last night he came back in, we tried to go back to bed, but he then rang his bells to go outside. Before I could get to the back door, he was puking up the grass he'd eaten after the first time. Ugh. OH, and this was after I stepped in some of the first yuck. Le sigh.

So we cleaned up some more, and he stayed outside for a while. By "we" I really mean "me." He didn't come back in until I made him come in. He was barking at something, maybe someone walking by, and I didn't want to disturb the neighbors. Finally went back to bed an hour after all this started.

This is the second time this week. He did the same thing a couple nights ago. Tuesday morning, to be exact. Now part of me wants to rush him to the vet and see what's wrong. BUT, there's a good chance that there is nothing wrong. I've been trying to remember everything he's eaten the past few days, to see if I gave him anything that could be making him sick. The only thing I can think of right now is his soft dog treats. They're chewy milkbone treats that he's been getting most of this year. But it's the only thing I can think of that I might have given him on days before getting sick, and not the days in between. I checked the treats and found out they were expired, which adds to the suspicion.

He's not acting tired or mopey. He ate a sick puppy breakfast (dry food mixed with some soft food). He won't be getting anymore of those treats (I threw the rest away), and I really think I won't be seeing him get sick anymore. On Tuesday, he ate a normal dinner with no problem. I expect the same today.

*End of Yuck

Let's talk more about owning a dog. I don't mind being the main caregiver for the dog, because I really really wanted a dog. Like, REALLY wanted one. Yes, I get tired of cleaning dog poop, I don't like cleaning up puke, I get annoyed with how much I have to vacuum. But the benefits of this crazy mutt make it all worth it. He can always make me smile, even if he was just getting in trouble. He obviously loves me and needs me. He even loves the cat, and hell, the cat has become a little affectionate with him.

I'm part of a facebook group for helping military families in my city with pets. They search for lost pets, search for owners of found pets, and try to find homes for strays. They make sure people follow the city laws about rehoming pets. The sad part is that you see a lot of military families who would rather give away their pet than move with it. You see the same excuses over and over again: I'm pregnant, my husband is deploying, pet A doesn't get along with pet B (even though they've only been together for a couple weeks), I just can't give it the attention it needs.

When I adopted Duke, he had some separation anxiety. He would cry when I left and cry when I came home. He probably cried all day long. I worked an 8 hour day and had a hour total of drive time, so he was home alone all day. Over time he realized that I kept coming back home, and that anxiety eased. We moved with him, from apartment, to small house, to duplex, then to another state, and again to another house. He hates travel, but is so glad to be with us. He's even traveled with me before. He stayed at Grandpa Weigel's, where he was scared to death of the cuckoo clock, and at my parent's place. He still gets excited when I get home. He still greets me at the door. And if I've been gone overnight, I can hear him meowing from the garage. I would do just about anything for that damn cat.

Now that Duke is FeLV positive, I know that there is very little chance of him coming with me if we were to get orders overseas. I can't imagine not taking him with me. We don't even have orders to leave here yet, and I've made arrangements for the just in case scenario. My mother assured me that they would take in Duke should that situation arise. I told her I would buy them a self-scooping litter box so that she would just have to empty the basket or whatever. But you know, should that day come, I will be in tears over leaving my kitty behind. I love that little stinker and can't imagine him not being part of our lives.

Yet these people will have a dog or cat for years, will raise it from a baby, and then decide they don't want to drive that far with it, so they'll just give it to someone else. It's mind boggling. I cannot comprehend how these people can just give up so easily.

Now don't get me wrong. I have surrendered a pet before. Our first cat, Lenore, A.K.A. Spawn of Satan, was my first kitty. We got her as a kitten. We raised her. We had her spayed. We got her declawed (front only) to save our arms and legs. She was a very violent cat. She loved to fight and would always come back for more. She had some weird, unexplainable habits, like eating clothing. I mean it. Especially knits and fleece, she would chew a chunk out and eat it. We had her for 2 years and she just got weirder and meaner. I reached a breaking point when she ate a whole in my brand new sweater that my sister gave me for my birthday. She pulled it through the holes in the laundry hamper to eat it. But even then, I couldn't bear to take her to the humane society. J did the dirty deed for me. He felt horrible because he ended up taking her on my actual birthday.

I was miserable about that decision. I felt like a failed her.

When I got Duke, I was careful to pick a cat with a personality that fit with my life and my needs. When we picked Remy, we looked for a dog that fit our personalities and wasn't just a hyper bundle of nerves. We worked with Duke and the pup to make sure they would get along. We put a lot of effort into these pets, and it makes me so happy to know that they are happy with us. I still wonder sometimes if they ever found a home for Lenore. J told them about her violent nature and they witnessed it first hand. We suggested someone with a farm, since she would have been an amazing mouser, but I never would have let her around kids.

This is probably the longest post I've written in a while. I like animals. I like animals better than people. Animals don't judge. Animals don't talk behind your back. Animals don't cause drama.

As I write this, Remy is lying at my feet and Duke is in the bedroom, probably on my bed. I will take these critters with me everywhere I can possibly take them. They make my life more livable, and I will make sure they have a comfortable life in return. I can't wait to see how they react when J gets home. I know they will both be excited to see him. Even Duke, who was afraid of men when I first got him. Duke is my proof that love and patience can change an animal's whole attitude. And we are proof that animals can change our attitudes.

EDIT: Let's add some photos, just for fun.

He seems to think he still fits in the cat bed.

PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

holding his chew for him

I honestly don't know. That's the dog's food bowl.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Skinny: Month The Second

Down one more pound this week. My body seems very happy with a pound-a-week weight loss. I've settled into this every time I've lost weight. I am perfectly happy with it. However, it makes for a rather boring weekly blog update. So! From now on, let's make it monthly. Or whenever I remember to do it. Or somewhere in between.

I have been having some dry mouth stuff. It's mostly right around the inside of my mouth and on my lips. Gets pretty bad some days. Aquaphor seems to help the most, so I'm going to pick up one of the aquaphor lip tubes that will fit in my pocket.

In other news, my first migraine since starting the fever few is trying to start, but it's hormone based, so it doesn't mean the fever few isn't working. Just means I'm PMSing like hell. Ugh. Fatigued also. Don't want to do anything.

So now I'm not updating The Skinny weekly, and I've finished My Body, so what do I write about? Suggestions? Ideas?

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Body: To Top It All Off...

The head. You have all heard about my head. Oh yes. But I will finish this little blog series I started.

Let's start with what you already know. I have been getting migraines since I was 17. I very clearly remember my first migraine. It happened in Denver. Mom and I had gone down for my Great Aunt's funeral. I got the worst headache I'd ever had. Mom asked me some questions and knew it was a migraine. She gave me one of her nasal imitrex. I ate black olives to wash out the taste of it draining down the back of my throat. Ate the whole can. Then I slept for a while and felt better when I woke up.

That was my senior year of high school, and I had more migraines after that. I carried a cocktail of OTC painkillers in my backpack. I wore sunglasses in class because the fluorescent lighting hurt my eyes. I also often wore stretchy gloves in class because my hands were cold. People thought I was either drunk or high.

I used my mom's imitrex through college. Or maybe the doc gave me my own prescription. I don't remember. After college, when I started working, I was having migraines with a low pain level that lasted days, sometimes a whole week. I'd have lots of symptoms like sensitivity to light and sound, vertigo, nausea, tingly fingers, and for a while tenderness at my temples. I saw a doc who ordered an MRI. Results were normal. She gave me imitrex pills. The pills were a higher dose than the nasal kind, and I experienced tightness in my jaw and throat that were worse than the migraines. I started to only take it if I could go lay down right away. I tried some other drugs, but none seemed to really make a difference. You know what did finally make a difference? I got fired. 4 years at the same job and I got fired with no warning. My stress level suddenly dropped and I got fewer migraines.

Since then, I've tried losing weight, getting in shape, and even more drugs. While I like the weight loss and getting in shape, they haven't really helped the migraines. Right now I'm taking feverfew, and haven't had a migraine since I started it. Let's see how long that lasts. I now get a higher pain level and fewer symptoms.

Ok. Other things about my head. I have hair that is fine, on the thin side, and straight. It has no body. When I wore it long, it would just hang there, so it was often in a ponytail or messy bun. It has never held curl well. I went through stages of perming it. Once as a kid and once as an adult. The adult me called it a body wave. Haha. My hair has now been short for 8 years. And by short I mean never below the bottoms of my ears. What I consider short, most "short hair" style magazines call very short. I also have 2 cowlicks; to the right of the crown, and along the nape of my neck. The hair on my neck grows to the left. It's also medium brown naturally. It was dark blonde as a kid and has slowly darkened to medium brown. With hair dye, it has been every natural color and some unnatural colors. It has been just about every shade of red possible.

What else? Piercings! All my piercings are on my head. First was the usual lobe piercing when I was 9. Aunt Debbie got them pierced for my birthday. Second lobe holes I got in Switzerland when I was 18 and touring Europe with the Wyoming Ambassadors of Music. Next was the cartilage on my left ear when I was, oh, 20? That one got a bad infection once that I got antibiotics for. I got my nose pierced when I was, um, 27 I think. Misty went with me. Finally, I got my conch pierced on the right ear. When was that? Last summer? Here in El Paso at any rate. I love it.

Also on my head, I have acne. At 32 years old. And it's not going anywhere. I've been using the honey mask I blogged about, and I like how it makes my skin feel. I figure it's something I'll be dealing with for a long time.

If you want to know about the inside of my head, it's a mystery still to me. I can't tell you why I'm a cynic, or why I often dream about paranormal things and violence. I can't tell you why I love to count things but hate doing math, or why I love to edit but can't write for crap. I can't explain why my mom and sister and I often know just when to call each other, or when something very emotional has happened to one of us.

And that wraps it up. My body, from head to toe. Or toe to head. Whatever. 

Half Marathon #4

I took it easy, I took pictures, I even posted one on Facebook during the race. I walked when I felt like it. I finished at 2:36:?? and don't really care.

I was very disappointed in the race organization. This is part of a series of half marathons over a range of States. I paid quite a bit for this race. I know it was to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, and yes I totally support that organization. However, it was the worst race bag I have ever received. With all the sponsors on the back of the tshirt, you're telling me that none of them had any free crap to give out? None of them wanted to put something with their logo in the bag to draw in new customers?

The water stations were oddly placed, not at regular mile markers. They did have enough cups though! But the finish line could have used a few more people guiding runners in, and they were completely out of fruit when I finished. I really just wanted half a banana, but all the had were granola bars and mini M&M cookies. Yes, cookies.

The race website said there would be music on the course. The only music was from 2 vehicles that volunteers had parked, opened the doors, and blared music from. The "live music" at the finish was 2 kids, looked like they were from the local university, with guitars and a keyboard. They did covers. Yes, they were talented, but I had been expecting more. They talked it up and then didn't deliver.

I won't be doing this race again.

I went to lunch afterwards with some other runners I know, then headed home. Remy was happy to see me and started napping as soon as we got home. He and his friend Javvy have a great time together, even when getting in trouble. Their first adventure Friday evening was to head a block over from Javvy's house to their friend Bella's. They literally knocked on the front door.

Bella's parents invited me over for dinner last night, which was very welcome since I didn't feel like cooking. I got to play with the kiddos and talk running with Eric. Good times. Oh, and Eric's homebrew Irish Stout was delicious.

Since yesterday morning was anything but lazy, I decided this morning could be a lazy one. Remy seems to agree. Later today we will do a short run or long walk, depending on how my legs feel. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Skinny: What Week Are We On Now?

Week 4? Is that it? Oh well. I don't care.

149 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I had a moment there. Yes, the scale this morning was just to the left of 150, meaning I have finally broke that plateau and met the goal I set for myself so long ago when I was doing Weight Watchers.

It really is a relief. After a whole year, I feel I can finally continue on this journey. I'm getting somewhere again.

I've been having some dry mouth, but not too horrible. I think some of it was whatever bug I fought off this week as well. Eating is going good. Still able to stop when I'm full. I think that's making the biggest difference, still.

I ordered more pills. Should have ordered sooner, but I'm slow like that. I even paid for faster shipping, so I hope they don't get lost this time.

In other news, doctor's appointment was short and sweet this morning. He'd never heard of feverfew, but said if it's working to go ahead and stick with it. So I'll do that. I've decided to give up on the pre-natal vitamins. After 2 months I have seen absolutely no change in my nails. They are as crappy as ever. And I feel like I'm taking SO MANY pills. Ugh.

I feel like I should celebrate, but I am having a mild headache today. Maybe a soda with lunch will help. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Brain Dumping

I finally have energy today. Ran errands and didn't feel dead after! So I took Remy for a run this afternoon. He was so excited, but I had to drag him after the halfway! Silly dog. We walked a while and he was ready to run again. All the way to the park, where he spent a few minutes finding the perfect spot to poop.

This all makes me a little less nervous about this weekend. I've decided I'm not going to push for any kind of record. I'm going to just run and enjoy the view. The middle 3 miles of the run are along the Rio Grande, which is actually more than just mud puddle up in Las Cruces.

I still have my doctor's appointment tomorrow. Going to just tell him that I'm not taking the verapamil anymore and I want to keep with the fever few since it seems to be working. I also need a new birth control script. Only 1 refill left, so I may as well get a new one now.

I owe everyone a Skinny update tomorrow (I think it's going to be good!) and will throw in a doctor update if anything exciting happens. Then I get to have lunch with a dear friend who is getting ready to move back to the east coast. And the evening is mine. To do with as I please. Well, not really.

Took Duke to the vet today. His ears were really dirty and itchy, but they didn't really see anything wrong. They gave me some drops and cleaned his ears. They also gave him the antibiotic shot since I'll be taking him back in Friday morning for a teeth cleaning. That means I have to take his food away at 6pm Thursday night. And have to put up all water before bed. He drinks from the same bowl as the dog, so pup has to go without water overnight, too. I usually fill the bowl for him when I get Duke in his carrier to head out. If he's desperate, I'll put water outside for him in the morning. Just can't let Duke get any.

I've noticed recently that Duke isn't excited about his dry food anymore. He eats it, but not all of it. He used to jump up and run at the first sound of his automatic feeder going off. Now he might look in that direction. I'm hoping it's just that his teeth and gums need cleaned. He still chows down on his weekly soft food treat. And he's still a big boy.

While we're talking pets, Remy is still being a crybaby. Am I a bad mommy when I tell him to stop being a crybaby? He got some good exercise and some time at the park today. But this evening he got whiny again. I don't know. Maybe I just have a whiny pup.

Ok. Brain seems empty again. I think it's time for tea. and maybe a piece of chocolate.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Body: Neck & Shoulders

In my mind, my neck and shoulders are eternally connected, one and the same. I carry all my stress and tension in my neck and shoulders. I also slouch, much to my mother's dismay. I've always had bad posture, although it has gotten somewhat better over the years.

My shoulders are always tense, the muscles are always very tight. In college, I started getting a huge knot on top of my right shoulder when I spent any time at the computer. It was right up by my neck and rather painful. I could feel a lump sometimes, it was so bad. That was when I taught myself to use the computer mouse with my left hand. To this day, I can use my left hand all day long, but if I use my right, I get that knot. Just with the computer mouse.

When I started bike riding 2 years ago, I found I would get a horrible pinching feeling in my right shoulder blade, very sharp and painful if I moved. Icyhot seemed to ease it over time, and I've made adjustments to my bike as well. I don't get that pain as easily anymore.

A few weeks ago, I had that sharp pain again, on a daily basis. I would put icyhot on it, I used heating pads on it. I finally gave in and got a half hour massage. It helped a lot, but even the masseuse seemed surprised at how much tension I have in that area.

Lately, my neck has been the problem. I can't seem to sleep on my right side, but I'm just fine on my left side. I wouldn't be surprised if this is related to my jaw. I know the neck muscles are connected to the jaw, and my right jaw is the one that pops the easiest. As in, whenever I want to pop it. It freaks out some people. If I hug someone taller than me, like J, I often find myself popping my jaw against their chest or shoulder. J hates it. I can't help it. That's the jaw that will pop when I eat chewy things, like bagels. I'll probably mention my jaws again next week when I get to my head.

I know I could go get a massage regularly and it would probably ease the tension, at least somewhat, but we all know I'm not so great at spending money. So I make do. The yoga I've been doing seems to help. It relaxes me in general, which helps with a lot of things.

However, I don't think I'll make it to yoga this week. I have a ceremony to attend that starts a half hour after class ends tomorrow, and I can't really show up in yoga clothes. Plus, I seem to be fighting off some kind of bug. I'll feel fine in the morning, then around 1100 I am suddenly exhausted. Yesterday I had a very low grade fever. No fever today, but I seem to be peeing out more than I'm drinking in. TMI? Oh well. I'm resting and taking some extra vitamin C. This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have the Las Cruces Half Marathon this coming Saturday. Le sigh.

For some good news, I haven't had any more migraines this month *knock on wood.* I've been taking feverfew twice a day. I have had some headaches, and had some migraine-type pains yesterday, but I have been able to take OTC pain meds to control it. Yay! I have until Thursday for that to stay true. Thursday morning is a doc appointment. I think I'll try staying on the feverfew and leave the verapamil behind. Need a new BC prescription also.

Ok. Enough for now. Even blogging is making me tired today. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wanted

I've been thinking lately about what I want. Not anything deep or philosophical, but rather material, frivolous wants.

My mother has been asking what I want for Christmas. I can't really think of anything for me. My first thoughts were of some things for the house, but those aren't really for ME. I would love a new sewing machine, but that's more than a christmas gift. I've been wanting some new shoes, but that's something I have to shop for myself, with my weird feet. So all I can think of is to ask for shopping money.

Then there's J. He wants to do this crazy bike ride in Colorado next June. It's right up his alley, and something I do not want to do. I am more than willing to go back up to that area, and would love to do some other support role for it. I fully support him in this, and love the idea of the ride itself, it's just beyond my skill level.

It's a 3 day event, and since I would be supporting him for 3 days, he feels we should also do something I want to do. But what?

I don't know of any big events I want to attend, or any special place I want to go. About the only thing I can think of is to go camping or get a cabin in the woods. I would love to just be away from civilization for a few days, surrounded by trees, hopefully some water nearby. I want to take Remy for a hike and maybe do some fishing. Is that weird?

I've also been searching for a bike. I want a simple bike that I can hop on and ride around post. I want to be able to ride to my friend's house or the PX without having to deal with fancy shoes. I want something that's more comfortable for a simple ride and that has some cargo capabilities. I am drawn to the look of cruisers, but don't want fat tires that are made for the beach. I've been looking more at comfort and hybrid bikes. I may end up buying a basic bike and changing certain components, like the handle bars. Might even repaint it if I don't really like the color. Women's bikes all tend to be flowery pastels or bright colors. I would love black. My biggest problem is that the bikes I really like are expensive.

A friend has a bike she doesn't ride anymore that I am going to check out. If I like the frame and tires enough, I can get the bike and change things without breaking the bank.

Speaking of wants, I save up some of my weekly spending budget and went shopping today. I spent more than I had planned on, but I'm so happy with my purchases. I got 4 long-sleeve Ts, 4 short-sleeve Ts, 3 tanks with adjustable straps, 3 tube tops for layering under lower cut tops, and a red sweater. For $80. It's rare for me to spend that much on myself all at once. I usually buy 1 or two things at a time, over a long stretch. But I've been rather unhappy with my shirts lately. I love the simplicity of a solid colored T, and the ones I have just weren't fitting well. The joys of losing weight.

As for Remy, I can't tell what he wants. He whines a lot. He'll whine in the kitchen, he'll whine in front of the bar (stocked with wine), he'll stand in front of me and whine. I have no idea what he wants. Le sigh. Poor pup. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Skinny: Week 3

Yeah, so I'm a day late. But yesterday was a holiday. Yeah, actually, I just forgot.

I did weigh myself yesterday. 150. 1 pound away from breaking this damn plateau.

I didn't eat as healthy this past week. Also felt a little lazy and didn't work out as much. Could be why I only went down 1 pound. Could just be slowing down as my body adjusts to the pills.

So yeah, not much to report on that front. I gotta get my a few good runs in this week, as next weekend is the Las Cruces Half Marathon. Oh Yeah! I signed up for that! Ha. Just not feeling it right now.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and of course I over-ate. It's what you're supposed to do that day, isn't it?

I did not go shopping today. I avoided shopping and shopping areas. I don't like people. I may brave some shopping tomorrow to see about getting those tshirts from A'gaci.

Just to fill you in on what it's like to blog in my house, I have my laptop literally on my lap. I find it more comfortable to type this way. Duke is also on my lap, between me and the laptop. My right arm has to reach over him to type. He's so happy.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pinterest My Face

Title? Yeah, I don't know either. It's all I got tonight.

I'm on Pinterest. I like it. I've discovered some cool things there, found some good recipes, and found some total BS.

I've been having a bad acne breakout. Like, really bad. I wash my face with neutrogena stress control acne wash in the shower every morning, I use a great moisturizer, and I clean my face with biore wipes in the evening. I have a zit gel, but it seemed to make the breakout worse.

I looked a little on pinterest, but found my recipe on a google search. I wanted a DIY face mask to help acne. I discovered this. So simple, and I had all the ingredients. I pinned it to save the link and share. Then I tried it.

First time I made a mistake. I ran a hot bath, got in, washed my face and applied mask. The main ingredient is honey, and honey gets runny with heat. So yeah, it dripped all over and didn't stay on. I only left it on 15 minutes before the drips were driving me bonkers. My skin felt good, though.

I tried it again tonight. One batch had enough for 2 full face masks. I cleaned with a biore wipe, held a warm cloth on my face for a minute, then applied mask. I left it on the full 30 minutes this time. It did drip, but not nearly as much. Just the natural body heat in my face softened the honey. It's doesn't taste too bad if it gets on your lips, but I couldn't just eat a spoonful.

That's my sexy hair. And PJs I've had forever.

I rinsed with hot water and held a hot cloth on my face for a minute, then used witch hazel and a moisturizer.

From Saturday to Wednesday, my skin has started to clear up. I don't know how much of it was the mask, but It does make my skin feel good. I've been using witch hazel twice a day, and the zit gel only at night as a spot treatment, and not every night. It seems to be working.

I really do hate having this much acne at (almost) 32, but my mom still gets zits, so I know what I have to look forward to. I have always struggled with acne. I don't wear heavy makeup, just some concealer most days, and only if I have bad zits. When I get dressed up or have a reason for more makeup, I have a lightweight powder foundation.

I know that washing my face with a cream wash and water would probably be a little better than the biore wipes, but I find it hard to remember to do that. The wipes are easy for me. I grab one, wipe my face and neck, and toss it. One minute and I'm done.

I do like this mask and think I will keep using it periodically. Oh, and I only use raw, local honey. Yes yes. It's the way to go. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Body: The Chest

Oh the chest. My chest is special in many ways. I have large breasts on a very short torso and arthritic ribs. I can't bra shop in El Paso because they just don't carry my size in any of the stores. Even Dillard's, which carries my size online, doesn't stock them in either of the local stores. Which is a shame since I'm sure many of the women in this city could use options like that, but that's another matter.

Being large chested, I wear mostly underwire bras, which give more support and defined shape. But some days my ribs just can't handle the wires and I wear my soft-cup bra. It's hard for me to find nice soft-cup bras because they tend to be full coverage, which doesn't work so well on my short torso. I avoid full coverage.

As for the ribs, I've had arthritis there since I was about 15. At first, mom and I thought I might have asthma. I was having trouble breathing on rainy days. My ribs would ache, making breathing painful. Mom ran into our old doctor who had since retired and asked his opinion. He said it's arthritis. We tried capsaicin cream but it burned too much for me. Aleve seemed to help. I don't remember it bothering me too much in high school.

When I went to college, and especially when I started living in KS year round, it pretty much went away. I think having a constant level of humidity made the difference. We moved to El Paso and my arthritis came back. I didn't know what was going on at first. My ribs were tender and painful and it hurt to breath too deep. I put some icyhot on it and it got better. Then I remembered my arthritis. Oh yay. It bothers me most in the transition from dry to wet, which is noticeable in climates like this. Humid days here are like normal days in KS. I'm able to take care of it with aleve and icyhot.

I suppose upper back would fall into this category, so let me tell you about my college-mark. It's like a birthmark, but I got it in college. My friend and I went tanning. It was my first time in a tanning bed. We only went the once, I think. Sometime after that, not too long after, I noticed a large patch on my back that was slightly darker than the rest of my skin. Tan instead of white. It's barely noticeable, but it's there. Doesn't bother me. I have a birthmark on my foot with similar but darker coloration, in a smaller patch.

Hm, back to the chest now. I do have a large chest, and I used to hate it. Most of you that read this know this story already. I didn't like my chest, thought about reduction surgery, and bras hurt me. I did a lot of searching on the internet and decided I was wearing the wrong bra size. I went to a Dillards and tried on a few bras on my own, then let one of the clerks help me. She agreed with the size I had picked, 36G. Before that I had been wearing a 38DD.

I lost some weight and dropped to a 34G in UK sizing. In US sizing, that's a 34I, and I haven't found any US brands that make an I cup. So I wear imported bras. If I stick with my favorite brands, Fantasie and Freya, I can usually guarantee a fit in my size. I'm not down to a 32G. I don't think my band size will drop any more than this. Cup might go down a bit more. I could handle that. It opens up more bra options for me.

Ok, ok. Enough blabbing about me boobs. And I don't think you need a picture of this one. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hate Fail

I decided to walk into the new A'gaci store on post today. I haven been turning up my nose since before this store even opened. Just another teeny bopper ugly fashions store, and probably all over priced.

I was waiting for some friends to show up for a coffee date, and thought, "What the hell, let's go do some hatin'." I walked in through the shoe section, where you see giant stilletto platform heels in all colors with studs and spikes. Ugh.

But that's when something bad happened. I saw some boots. Some really cute boots. With low heels. So I checked them out and something even worse happened. They're only $35. Uh oh. Good price for cute boots? We'll see.

I walked around the outer edge of the store looking at clothes. Now, sure, there were tons of styles I would never be caught dead in. There were also some really cute things. Some. I saw some great cardigans and jackets. And the prices were good. Some of the prices were great. I was somewhat impressed, admittedly.

And then, oh then, then I discovered the tshirt section. Long sleeve, short sleeve, crew neck, v-neck, all solid colors. All cheaper than Target. Um, hello? I love Target tshirts. And? AND? Tank tops. With no built in bra. For cheap!

Now, these are juniors sizes. But according to their size chart, I think I can wear a large. I will definitely try  a couple on before buying anything. So yes, I am actually planning on going back and buying some new tshirts. I can replace the ones I wear all the time that dip just a bit too low and how off which bra I'm wearing. I'm still in a bit of shock. I actually like this store. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Skinny: Week the Second

Yes, Week the Second. I like to say it that way and I don't know why. It's fun.

Scale this morning said 151. Another 2 pounds. If it keeps up I will break the plateau next week. Even if it slows down to 1 pound a week I'll break it in 2 weeks. Feels good.

There are some days when I just don't feel hungry and have to make myself eat something. But then again, I've always had those days. I am noticing that it's easier to stop eating. I'm not sure I can explain it in a way you can understand, but it's almost like it's easier for me to realize that I'm full and stop eating. So when I do eat and still feel hungry, I feel ok getting a little more to eat.

Perfect example is yesterday. I wasn't hungry at lunch but knew I needed to eat. I was out shopping and there was a little teriyaki place right there with a $5 chicken teriyaki bowl. I got it to go and brought it home. Looking at it, I knew it was too much so I got a bowl and only scooped out half of it. It was OK. Nothing spectacular. (Although Duke spent 5 minutes trying to get some before going to munch on his kitty food, after which he came back hoping I would have changed my mind and give him some chicken.) I ate, and was full.

For dinner, I had some leftover spaghetti bake. I ate it, it was tasty, and I still felt hungry. I rummaged around in the fridge and remembered I had blackberries. I ate some fresh blackberries and felt comfortably full. I did have room for a little dessert later, a brownie with a little pumpkin ice cream.

I used to eat when I was bored. Not all the time, but it seemed more often lately. I know I'm not the only one who did this because I've read about it in multiple articles. You get bored, and your body somehow says, "maybe if we eat something we won't be bored anymore." So you eat, but you're still bored, so you eat a little more. Endless fail cycle.

I haven't done that at all the past 2 weeks. If I feel hungry in the mid morning or mid afternoon, I'll eat just a little something, like a piece of fruit or a handful of wheat thins, and I'm not hungry anymore. That leads me to believe that I really was hungry and just needed a little snack. Instead of boredom eating.

As for energy and sleep, I still try to get at least 8 hours, but 8 hours is enough now. I used to get 9 hours and still not want to get out of bed. Now I can let the alarm wake me at 0600 and actually get out of bed. Well, actually, Duke has been waking me up at 0550 wanting his morning drink. Of course this gets Remy up and in the room wanting loves and to go outside. All I ask is that they wait for the alarm to go off. Remy seems to understand this better than Duke. Duke is a grumpy old man.

My mornings seem to have a little more energy. I'm getting things done. Afternoons are about like they always were. I have noticed a little bit of dizziness if I stand up quickly, but it's not all the time. I've always gotten that from time to time and was warned about a chance of it with these pills.

The other thing I've noticed is dry lips. Most of you know that I'm addicted to my Burt's Bees chapstick. I love that shtuff. But lately, my lips feel dry and chapped all the time. Dry mouth is supposed to be a side effect, but I think my body has interpreted it as dry lips. I've been using aquaphor on my lips in the morning and evening, and my Burt's Bees the rest of the time. I talked to my sis about this and she's noticed it lately, too. It can't be weather since we're in very different climates. And I've been trying to drink lots of water since this started.

So yeah. I've talked a lot about little mundane things. Wow. Is this stuff actually interesting to anyone but me?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Body: Tummy Time

I'm late! Ack! I was distracted by puppy mayhem on Monday.

So we're on to the stomach. Oh, the stomach. I hate my stomach. It's where I carry most of my weight, which apparently isn't a healthy sign for my heart or cholesterol. It has gotten better with losing weight, of course, but still not where I want it to be. Of course, neither is my weight.

Fat days always revolve around my stomach. It will look pudgy no matter what I put on. Some days I'm very grateful for a large chest because it still sticks out farther than my stomach. Yes, that makes me feel better. I'd rather have big boobs than a big stomach.

My waist is a story in itself. It's very high, right under my rib cage. Actually, right at the bottom rib would be a better description. That's my natural waist. Maybe it only seems so high because my whole torso is so short. We measured my torso once at a sporting goods store, for backpacks, like hiking backpacks, and it only came to 14 1/2 inches. Most women's packs start at 15 or 16 inches for a small. Some brands carry an extra small which is what I will have to get when I get a new pack.

Anywho, back to the stomach. The weight carries on the front mostly. My back has never looked as heavy as the front. I don't mind my back. No strong feelings about it either way. It's the front that bothers me.

I do get some muffin top if I'm not careful with how my pants fit. OH, and belly buttons. I don't like them. I don't know what it is about them, but I'm not fond of belly buttons. They are there and aren't going anywhere, but don't expect me to be fond of any. Even J's. Even on babies. I just ignore them.

I don't want six pack abs or anything like that. I don't need to be chiseled. My role model for abs is my first belly dance teacher, Maya Zahira. She had a tummy, a soft one, but not fat or flabby. Smooth. When she demonstrated belly rolls, you learned that she had a six pack hiding behind a smooth exterior. She can isolate different sections of ab muscle individually. It's amazing. I don't think I'll ever really be able to do that, but I like the idea of strong abs that aren't chiseled looking.

Ok. I promised a photo with this one.

anyone else craving a muffin now?
See how it suddenly cuts it at the top? That's my ribs. That's where my natural waistline is. Right under my boobs. Ugh. I can't believe I'm putting this on teh interwebz. BTW, I bought these jeans so they would be snug enough to now to still fit when I lose more weight. It's called motivation. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Skinny: Week 1

It's been an interesting week. The first day I felt a little light headed, but thought it was just me. The next day, I was freezing cold for no reason (it was 74 degrees in my house) and eventually took my temperature. I had a very low fever. Uh oh.

The next day, I scraped the laser stamp off of my pill and didn't take it until after running the half marathon. I was worried about taking it before. I didn't feel any symptoms, no fever, no light headed feeling. So Sunday I experimented. I left the stamp on. Again, nothing. Monday was the first day of 2 pills, with stamps, I felt great.

So I apparently had a mild bug over the weekend and ran it out of my system on Saturday. Huh.

Anyway, I can't expect much in the first week of these pills, but I have noticed that it's easier to get out of bed in the morning, even if I didn't get my usual 8 hours. I seem to feel more motivated most days this week. Except yesterday, but that was a migraine day. I didn't do any workouts, took Remy to the dog park for a play date, then spent the rest of the day reading.

I weighed myself and am down to 153 today. Still feeling very unmotivated to do anything physical today. I decided to take a break. Could be the migraine still hanging around. I don't seem to get the random munchies that I used to get, and I can eat a regular portion and be full, so no more whole boxes of mac and cheese. I hope that keeps up.

Mmmm, yeah, I think the migraine is still there a bit. It's not been bad enough for prescriptions yet and I'll try to keep it that way.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Body: The Gluteus No-So-Maximus

Hey! It's Monday!

I don't have much of a butt. Never have. I'm top-heavy. I get it from Mom. The flat butt.

My hips are actually on the wide side. I remember someone, don't know who but probably some random old lady, tell me I have child-bearing hips. Oh yeah. Just what every 12 year old girl wants to hear. The nice thing about those wide hips is they help balance out my large chest.

J swears my butt has gotten more shape to it since I started running. I can't tell, but then, he looks at it more than I do. I do have trouble with jeans always trying to make me look like a plumber. And I hate belts so don't even suggest it.

My hips are pretty flexible, too. I can fold in half easily in yoga.

Damn. Not much to say about my butt. I don't have any strong feelings about it. I wouldn't mind a little more curve to it, but it's OK.

So yeah. I have a butt. And hips.

Sorry this was such a boring post. Next week is the abdomen. I'm sure that one will be better.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Oh Hey! I'm A Runner!

Forgot! I ran a half marathon yesterday. How can one forget that, right? I just forgot to blog about it.

Official results are out so here's my post.

I ran the half marathon distance of the Fort Bliss Marathon (first annual). My goal was to keep an average 10 min/mile pace. I was more nervous for this race than any others. I think that was somewhat because it was my first race all on my own. No husband, no mother, just me. It didn't help that I didn't feel so good the day before. Had a low grade fever. Tylenol took care of it, but it had me a little worried.

I didn't sleep very well either. Nervous dreams kept waking me up. I woke up early and got ready. I had laid out my stuff the night before. Made a smoothie for breakfast.

The run itself was pretty good. I had my music and tracked myself with Strava.

They had water stations ever 2 miles. I usually don't drink at the first water station so I ran past it. Then at mile 4, they were out of cups. WTF, right? Again at mile 6, no cups. Now I was pissed. How do you not put enough cups at the water stations?! Holy Hell.

I went ahead and took my energy gel at mile 6. Finally at mile 8, they had just restocked cups and I got some water. I stopped again at mile 10. They had water just one mile later, at 11, instead of mile 12. Probably because right after mile 11 is where the half marathon split off from the full marathon. Then the halfers had to run the rest with no water. Only 2.1 miles though. No problem.

On my splits, I started off a little too fast, the first mile was 8:48. I slowed it down and kept it around 9:30 until mile 8. Finally get some water and I slowed down some. I don't know what happened in mile 11, but I slowed way down, to an 11:20 pace. I picked it back up for the last 2 miles, and really ran it home for the last tenth of a mile.

My official time was 2:09:22. I finished 10th out of 20 in my age group, and 128th overall. I beat my goal by a minute, and set a new PR.

No more races until the Las Cruces Half in December. A month away. I don't know if I'll try for a new PR or just run and have fun.

After the run, my good friend took me out to brunch and then to 2 different bazaars. I got a little christmas shopping done. By then we were both exhausted. I had a relaxing evening with the critters and went to bed early. I slept great last night. 

Gratefulness

Many people are doing the thankful days thing on Facebook. You know, where you post something you are thankful for every day of the month for the month of November. 

I will not be doing that. 

I've been looking for things to be grateful for for the past month. Every day I talk to J, I'm thankful for the technology that allows us to video chat, even on days when the connection is spotty. On days we don't get to talk, I'm grateful that our relationship is strong and that a day without talking won't hurt anything. 

I'm grateful that he's in "an undisclosed location in southwest Asia" and has it relatively easy compared to so many other Soldiers. I'm also grateful that there are units stationed there to support the units in Afghanistan, especially since I know some guys headed there soon. 

I'm grateful for Rembrandt and all the smiles he puts on my face. I'm grateful for Duke and all the snuggles. 

I'm grateful for my mom and sister and how often I get to talk with them. I'm grateful for my Dad and how hard he has always worked for his family. I'm grateful for in-laws that don't fit the stereotypes, that I actually like to spend time with. I'm grateful for having 2 gorgeous nieces, and their father that I know won't let anything happen to them or my sister.

I'm grateful for my friends from other places, who keep in touch with me. I'm grateful for my friends here, who understand Army life and are such a source of support for me. 

I'm grateful for this nice house we are living in. I'm grateful that we can afford to live in a place like this. 

I'm grateful for the volunteer opportunities I've discovered, and for the experience of not having a job. Although I would be grateful for a job right now, too. 

But I'm not grateful for these things just because Thanksgiving is coming up. I'm always grateful. I'm not the biggest fan of the holiday season, and I don't like the push to be thankful just because it's thanksgiving. Be thankful all the time. I hate how commercial the holidays have become. It's not about decorations and gifts and feasts. It's about us, family and friends. Even if you can't afford gifts and cards, let your family and friends know that you care, all year. That's the only gift anyone needs.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Skinny: Day 1

USPS pulled through (after I complained through the 800 number) and got my package to me yesterday. Two days late and no explanation, but at least I have it. Signature Skinny Amp'd. Here are the ingredients:


Bee Pollen 83mg
Sickelsenna Seed 64mg
Cassia 62mg
Seville Orange Flower 37mg
Chinese Yam 52mg
Aloe 37mg
Green Tea 23mg

I'm to take 1 pill before breakfast for 4 days. If I don't have any odd reactions, I move it up to 2 pills a day. Shelley (the lady I bought them from) also warned me about the laser stamp. They started laser stamping the amp'd version so people wouldn't confuse it with the non-amp'd. It's just a little black "ampd" on the capsule. But some people, including Shelley, started having some flu-like symptoms. Her friend, who also takes it, told her to scrape the stamp off. She did, and was fine. So if I complain of flu-like symptoms, tell me to remove the stamp. 

The first few days will put my body through a detox. I'll be in the bathroom more often. I might just pee more. One of the most common side effects is dry mouth, but that will just make me drink more water. Nothing wrong with that. 

So I weighed in this morning at an even 155. Nice, since I kinda pigged out the past week. I managed to get rid of the Reese's pumpkins by giving some to the soldiers stationed in front of my house to make sure cars didn't run over the trick-or-treaters. I gave them some water bottles, too. And I got rid of a chunk of cookies by giving them to the Smiths. 

So now I need to cook up my veggies that I have. I have a recipe for bacony bok choy, and another for smashed cauliflower. Plus I have a spaghetti squash that I like just roasted with a little butter on it. I might try something that J was reading about - eat more earlier and less later. So eat a big breakfast, a good lunch, and a light dinner. I usually go the reverse order, so the heaviest meal is right before I lay down and do nothing for 8 hours. It rather makes sense to switch it up. This morning I had cheese and toast, Charla style. Whole wheat toast, 2 slices, with garlic and herb spreadable cheese. It's so tasty. I'm going to keep spready cheese in the house just for toast now. Would be good with savory flavors of philly cream cheese, too. What I really want, though, is some goat cheese. MMMMMMMMM, goat cheese.

Where was I going with that? I don't know either. 

So let's end with a little side note. Today is my husband's 31st birthday. He is far away from me, but always in my heart (aw, mushy stuff!). Seriously, J is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He gave me the confidence to make changes in my life. It's that confidence that put me on this journey to a healthier me. It's how I became a runner. This makes 2 years in a row that we are apart for his birthday. I hope next year to spend it together doing something fun. Hell, maybe we'll find a marathon to run. Happy Birthday, Love of my Life!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Confessions: Things That Make Me Anxious

Time for a confession post. I desperately need a massage. I have this huge knot in my shoulder that is killing me, and I need it gone before the half marathon on Saturday. 

But for some reason, the idea of calling to schedule a massage makes me very anxious. There is a spa right here on post, nearby, but I still just get so anxious. I can't explain it. 

Guess if you want some background, I have never had a massage before. I usually have J give me a shoulder rub and then he pops my back and I feel so much better. Well that's a little impossible right now. I have a heating pad on my shoulder and need to take some more ibuprofen. 

But why do I feel this way? Sometimes just talking on the phone with anyone at all makes me anxious, but usually only with people I don't know. I've been meaning to get a massage for a while now, and the anxiety keeps me from calling and scheduling an appointment. I have the money. I've even googled it so I have an idea of what to expect. I'm all prepared, right? But I can't make that phone call. 

It's one of those weird things about me. 

So. If someone feels the need to call the spa on post and schedule me a 30 minute massage, I would feel obligated to go. I'd even pay. But for some reason I have trouble forcing myself to do it. 

Oh the life of an introvert. I don't like dealing with people. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Update: Weight Loss and Fitness

I promised an update.

So, I did the 50K bike ride (30 miles) for the Tour de Tolerance on Sunday the 28th. It was chilly! I don't know my official time, but my Strava said I finished in 2:05 and some seconds. That's a PR for 30 miles.

Tour de Tolerance benefits the El Paso Holocaust Museum. It's a great place and if you're in the area, you should check it out.

On Saturday I have the half marathon for the first annual Fort Bliss Marathon. Here on post, so not a far drive or anything. I'm feeling pretty good about it.

I signed up for the Las Cruces Half Marathon on December 2. Some girls I know are also running it so maybe we can carpool up there. It's not very far, and after I get my car fixed I could drive a nice automatic vehicle up there if I need to.

I am hoping to start the Insane Amp'd pills on Thursday. They were supposed to be here yesterday, and the tracking number says they were delivered, but I don't have the package. I called USPS and they documented it and will contact my local post office. I call the local office first and it just rang for 2 minutes. Hopefully they will get it figured out tomorrow and get my package to me! I paid for that!

Basically, this supplement will boost my metabolism and help my body flush out toxins. So it will make me pee more. The lady I bought it from has used it herself. She has physical and medical issues that make working out very hard for her and that slow down her metabolism. She's able to lose weight with this. She said I will probably have less appetite but more energy. I need to be sure to eat at least 3 times a day, so that will be like I was in high school and beginning college. Some days I wasn't really hungry at all but ate because I knew I needed food.

I'm hoping this might help me with how much I sleep, too. I can get 8 or 9 hours and still be tired the next day. Boosting my metabolism might also help me regulate body temperature, so maybe I won't get cold so easily all the time.

I have been pretty bad since I ordered the stuff and kinda let myself go a little crazy, eating whatever. I'll weigh myself the day I start and keep track, maybe once a week, maybe not quite so often at first. I start with 1 pill a day and if that sits well I can move to the recommended 2 pills after a few days. I take them in the morning before eating anything, but not too long before I eat or it can upset my stomach.

I'll try to keep blogging regularly about it, along with my weekly My Body post. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Body: Thighs (and knees)

Let's start with the knees. I think I like putting a joint in with another body part.

My knees are bony. They have this knot that sticks out and makes kneeling painful. Thanks, Mom! When I do pilates and yoga, I have to have extra cushion under my knees. I used to think they were weak knees, but now I don't know what made me think that. It was probably just an excuse to not run. Ha! Lot of good that did me.

Otherwise, my knees are just knees. Although the left one has a purple scar that looks like a bruise and I think some nerve damage. When I had my fight with the sidewalk back in January I banged it really hard. It had this big numb spot for months after. It is still a little numb in a certain spot, but it gets more and more feeling back as time goes on. I have lots of little scars all over my legs. I have varicose veins. But I also usually have bruises, so I just don't think much about any of that.

Moving on to the thighs. Oh my thighs. I don't like them much. They are large and the inner thighs rub together when I run. And walk. The fabric of my pants tends to wear out at the inner thigh. If I'm not careful, I get chafe there. Although admittedly, it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. Since I've started losing weight, the rubbing isn't as bad or as frequent. I used to hate wearing skirts because my thighs would rub, and I also hate wearing pantyhose or tights. So no skirts. Pants for me.

I wear skirts now. Especially skirts with pockets. I love pockets. But I can wear a skirt all day and not worry about chafe on my thighs. Sometimes it will feel a little iffy, but I can use regular lotion and I'm fine. I have more skirts in my closet now than I've had probably since I was a little girl. I even have material to make myself a couple skirts. And I just realized I can put a cargo pocket on the long skirt I plan to make and it would be super awesome. Like, the awesome sauce. Oh yeah.

My thighs have also started to get some more muscle definition. Not as much as the calves, but it's still there. They're not the most flexible, but I'm working on that. Again, it's those damn inner thighs. That's where I'm least flexible. Which is part of why I'm doing the yoga. Flexibility, easing the tightness I get in my leg muscles, and I find it very relaxing. It helps me de-stress. I'm really falling in love with Yoga.

So as much as I don't like my thighs, I'm starting to like them more.

Tomorrow, if I remember, I'll update you on my races and weight loss. Next week - my hips and butt. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Body: Calves (moo)

I'm late! I should have done this Monday! Oh well.

Honestly, I've always liked my calves. They start at my tiny little ankles. I do have tiny ankles. As in skinny. And I have a beautiful tattoo on one of those ankles. I love dressy shoes that strap around the ankle because it shows off how tiny they are.

My calves have never been big, and always had a little definition. I didn't pay much attention to them as a kid. What kid looks at their calves? But I remember my sister once pointing out a muscle definition line down the outside of my calf and saying she was jealous of that.

Now that I'm running and biking, that muscle definition is more clear. It does make shaving a little more fun. I have to go over that area a second time, usually. But I love them. I like knee length skirts and capri pants that show off my calves. I have one formal dress that's tea length that I love. I wear it with strappy heels. I think my legs look awesome in it. Really, I love my calves.

It's probably an odd body part to like, but when people ask me my favorite part of my body, it's probably my calves. Although I do have trouble with tall boots sometimes. With my tiny ankles, the boots get slouchy in the ankle area. So I'm careful about what boots I get, but then, I'm careful about all my shoes :)

I guess this means I need a photo. BRB.

of course, it's the tattooed leg

not the best photo, but I can see my muscles!
Those are my calves. I have different feelings about my calves and thighs, so I wanted to blog them separately. There you have it. My favorite body part. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Successful Day

My head is feeling quite a bit better this evening. It still hurt when I woke up, so I took tramadol and tylenol. Went grocery shopping, then talked to J.

I was able to get the house pretty clean, even with breaks for my head. This afternoon I took a second dose of tramadol + tylenol and rested a bit. Then I decided to bake cookies. I had picked up a bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips this morning. I used their recipe on the back. I don't know that it's any different than the Nestle Tollhouse recipe, but they turned out a little flat. Still tasty, though.
That's my Dr. Who shirt under the Dr. Who apron

A friend who is moving soon came over and had a cookie and beer, then I started on my wontons. I used my mom's recipe for a pork and shrimp filling. It made 35 wontons. I guess I fill them full because the recipe said I would get about 48.
baked, not fried

The wonton wrappers came with a recipe for crab rangoon filling. I didn't have crab, but I had cream cheese, so I made a few cream cheese filled wontons. Still had wrappers. I started thinking...

I chopped up an apple, sprinkled a little sugar and a lot of cinnamon, and then melted some butter on it. I filled the rest of my wrappers and sprinkled those ones with cinnamon sugar.
The little ones are cream cheese

So tomorrow I just have to cook some rice and make some tea. I picked up cute halloween plates to use (paper of course) and even a little halloween candy to put out. Did I mention that I like halloween? OH! and I grabbed a little box of rice candy and a box of pocky, and found a small bag of fortune cookies. I think I'm set for tomorrow night. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Frustrations

I cancelled my Weight Watchers account today. I'm still stuck at my plateau. It doesn't help that I'm on day 3 of a migraine.

So about the weight loss. I'm still going to keep tracking with my fitness pal. But I'm looking into try a supplement. I hate supplements. I don't really believe in them. But I'm at a point where I don't know what else to try.

I know 2 people using the one I'm looking at - my sister and her old high school friend. Dot was at a similar place to me, not a lot to lose, but stuck at a plateau. Her doctor agreed that she should try it and is monitoring her use of it. And it's working. She broke her plateau. Her friend is like me and doesn't believe in weight loss supplements, but again, hit a plateau. She did tons of research before choosing this supplement.

It's called Signature SKINNY Insane AMP'D. You take 2 pills in the morning before breakfast. That's easy enough. The lady Dot orders from is in our home state of Wyoming. I can call her and talk to her about it, see if that one is the best one for me, or if I should start with another one. 

As for the migraine, yeah. Started friday, the kind with side effects and little pain. Let me take that back. I had the invisible headband (where it feels like I have a headband on, or my sunglasses on my head, but I don't) and mild vertigo, but that was it. Friday had more pressure, some vertigo, and mild pain with lots of tension in my neck and shoulders. 

I had planned on a bike ride Saturday, but woke up with the migraine still. I spent all day in my PJs. Did manage to dye my hair. This morning I didn't have the side effects, but the pain was coming stronger. After 2 days of maxalt, I switched to tramadol. I've been able to just do 1 pill every 6 or so hours. My upper back is very sore, so I'm also taking ibuprofen. 

This really has to go away. I need to clean house tomorrow. Book club is Tuesday. I'm making wontons and white rice. I think I'll do some iced green tea as well. Oh yeah, you may not know, we're doing a Chinese and Japanese theme potluck since our book was about a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl. 

Anywho, it's windy out, stormy, and I keep getting vertigo. I think I should go to bed. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Body: Feet First

I honestly don't remember what inspired this. But I was in bed the other night, thinking about how I should do this blog. And it turned into a series of blogs. It started with my feet, I know that much. I was thinking I should write about my feet, which are not a favorite body part of mine. I was composing an Ode to my feet in bed. I moved on and thought I should cover all the main body parts (I'll skip the innards) from the feet to my head. So here we go!

Feet. Feet were meant to be ugly. My feet are complicated. I have a deformed toe on each foot (really, I do). I have tiny little toe nails that are impossible to paint. I have an odd space between the big toe and the next toe, and then the rest are all crammed together. I have a narrow heel, slightly high instep, and wide toe box. I have no arch. Zero. Nada. Zilch. That makes me pronate (feet roll in) quite a bit. Why doesn't my browser recognize pronate as a word? 

Shoes are a whole other story. I remember as a kid having the shoe guy glue foam arch supports in my shoes. They were never comfortable. I grew up knowing that the cheap flat shoes that I loved were "bad" for my flat feet. As I got older I would go through stages of cheap shoes, to nice shoes with good arch support, back to cheap shoes.

When J and I started doing the minimal shoe thing, I told my Mom about it, and she wasn't surprised. She said she couldn't keep shoes on me since I was born. I do know I've always loved being barefoot. Never been a big fan of socks. So switching to as little shoe as possible wasn't a big stretch for me. Ha.

My feet are not pretty. I never paint my toes. Well, so rarely it's not even annual. I have horrid callouses. I mean horrid. And now I have eczema on my feet. It started on fingers, and spread to my toes. Then my face. I guess that's another post.

Anywho! Feet! Yes feet. I have never in my life ever had a pedicure. Well, not a real pedicure. Well, not from a professional. I've had pedicures from my best friend and from her nieces. In fact, for years, I hid my feet.

It's my deformity. Yes it is a deformity. It didn't form correctly, so it is deformed. I've had doctors look at it. It doesn't cause pain, doesn't throw me off balance, doesn't really do anything at all. One doc said it's probably just a tendon that didn't grow with the others or is pulled taut for some reason. My midget toes, as I call them, barely have a toe nail. The nail bed is pretty much nonexistent. It has all the knuckles, but they're like piled on top of each other. I can't wear shoes that are cut low over the toes because they rub on the midgets, and while they don't seem to have a lot of feeling the rest of the time, you put a shoe seam on them and they scream. Vibram 5 Fingers? Oh hell no!

People always have to ask about it. I don't mind little kids asking. They just kinda look at it funny and then look at me. It's simple. Adults want to know if I have an extra toe, or if I'm missing a toe (I never understand that one). And how did it happen? And why? And I don't know? How could I not know? Was it always like that? When did it happen?

I'd rather you just look, think "how odd" and move on. Please and thank you.

Of course, my feet have their pluses. I know how to make it look like I have a bit of an arch. I can stand on one foot, either foot, and I'm getting better at it with the Yoga classes. I was always pretty good at standing for long amounts of time.

I walk a lot, including the Bataan. I can run now, and just ran over a mountain. I am picky about my shoes again, but in a different way. I still love being barefoot and hate socks. That also means I get runner toe sometimes, but I already believe feet were meant to be ugly, so yeah. My feet have really been taking me places lately. And Rembrandt loves them. Of course, he loves all feet, but hey, he loves me.

OMG I got so lost in this post. First Rembrandt wanted some snuggles. Then Duke tried to crawl on my laptop and hit the delete key. Then a friend started texting with gmail trouble. Oh, and I got a phone call from a weird number with no answer, and a google search said it tends to be a scammer anyway. Dog wanted out, then cat wanted out, now both want in. BRB.

I'll finish with a picture, so you can see my weird feet. I promise I will not do pictures for every body part. Just the PG ones. Then again, I could just make sure the body part is clothed. I guess that would make it PG.

My tootsies and tattoo #1
 And just for your viewing pleasure, interruption first.
the flash makes my eyes weird, mommy
I hope people read the whole post just for this final photo. It's worth it.