Thursday, March 7, 2019

It's happening

Last weekend (and, I think, the weekend before as well), I was feeling like a total failure. I couldn't do this.

See cookies. Eat cookies. Alllll of them.

Road trip. Snacks. Sweet and salty. Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom.

Hungry? No. Dessert? Yes.

I had just started weight training, so my body was (I think) retaining a ton of water and because of my  indulgent lifestyle, the scale showed it. I still felt so out of control. I couldn't do it. I felt unhappy.

Now that I sit here thinking back on all this, I'm astonished at what changed for me. I'll start with last Sunday. I don't know if you, dear reader, are the religious sort. I am very much the religious sort. I firmly believe that belief in something, Someone, larger and greater than yourself, can work miracles. I don't have to go into details, but I will say that I had a day of introspection and discussion with my God about what my goals were.

I hope I don't sound disrespectful when I say this, but God is one great personal trainer.

I also hope I don't sound melodramatic with the rest of this, but I'm recovering from food addiction. And with God's help, it's working. I know because this week has been phenomenal with keeping it together food-wise.

And tonight, I just went out with some girlfriends to see a movie. Afterward, the plan was to meet some more friends for ice cream. We walked to the ice cream place right next to the theater and you know what? I didn't want ice cream. I wanted to hang out with my friends, but really, I'd just seen a hilarious movie with some of them, I'd had a great time, and I was more than fine to just call it a night. I didn't want ice cream so I didn't eat it. And I knew that if I went inside and got some, I'd still eat it. And then I wouldn't feel very good. So I left. And it was fine. It. Was. A. Miracle.

I still eat ice cream sometimes. I still eat treats once in a while. I still go to the gym and work my butt off, still run hard, and I still count macros. But you guys, it's working. It's happening.

I'm overcoming.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Rambling, to get me through

It's about 8 am on a Wednesday. I ran 4 miles this morning in 34ยบ weather (all the people in the northerly country are either laughing or giving this Arizona girl really dirty looks right now). My lungs hate me during the winter. My legs hated me on this run. My whole body is just TIRED.

I ate a great breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1 whole egg, spinach, turkey, and a side of grapefruit. I enjoyed every bite. And craved bread.


I wanna get out of the house but it's freaking cold (fist bump thin blooded desert rats). I'm tired. Holy crap I want some bread.

Okay, okay, deep breath, woman. Here's my plan of attack: I'm going to go take some vitamins. I'm going to let the kids watch TV while I take a nice, hot shower. I'm going to put on the thickest sweats I have and go organize my office. I like organizing. I'm going to plot my novels in my head while I do it. I'm going to text a girlfriend and invite her and the kids over to play.

If I'm still dying after all that, I'm going to eat a spoonful of almond butter. That always helps.

Thanks for reading. Feeling better now.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Day 1: Victory and Sweet, Carbolicious Failure

Did I mention I was going to start my sugar cleanse on the 17th? Well, I decided to give it a go on the 16th. I had a great breakfast and lunch, then went to my cousin's wedding. It was gorgeous. And get this: they had a dessert bar. The cream puffs called to me.

But I RESISTED, baby. I left early, which I regretted, because it looked like everyone had fun at the reception and I don't spend nearly enough time with my cousins. But I had to get away from those treats. (That's not the only reason I left; my husband had a meeting to go to that day too. Still regretted not staying an extra half hour though).

I didn't eat any treats. I call that a major victory. But I still feel like I failed my family a little.

Then later that day, my husband got us dinner from Whataburger. I was SO hungry. You know, all that healthy eating and a 10k run that morning; it gave this girl the munchies. I ate all the things. It was good. It was bad.

Then Sunday came around. My official "first day" of this new regime. I made my family crepes because I want to keep a Sunday tradition of a fun and yummy breakfast while we have a little family time together.

Another victory for me: I did eat two small crepes, but they were paired with some scrambled eggs and turkey. It was SOOOO good and well within my carb range. Lunch wasn't bad: tacos with corn tortillas. Then I hit the chips and salsa. Whoops.

That's not the bad part though. I made brownies for a dinner at my dad's later: the kind with chocolate chip cookie on the bottom and oreos baked in the brownie layer. And of course, I pounded the chocolate chips and licked the brownie batter off the spatula as though it were nectar from the gods.

It got worse.

My sister made white chocolate raspberry scones and holy fudge, those things perfectly hit every little craving neuron in my brain/mouth continuum. I could not stop. Then of course I had to eat a brownie. Or two. Ugh, you guys, I couldn't stop!!

I listened to a very interesting podcast (found here: about how sugar is not actually addictive, at least from a neurological standpoint. It was a really good podcast (Thanks, Hannah!!), but I couldn't help disagreeing, at least on some points.

If sugar isn't addictive, why do I still feel so enslaved by it? They presented some great principles in the podcast, some that I plan on incorporating into my habits, but I still have to treat this like an addiction until I can say no to the treats and not hate life. Or maybe give into just one treat and not turn into the monster that ate all the things.

Today is a new day. Trying again.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Sugar Cleanse

Remember when I had gestational diabetes? I do. I remember how hard it was to eat right. But oh man, was it worth it.

Lately I've been doing pretty awful with my eating habits. We're talking all-out food addiction. You wouldn't know it looking at me. I'm pretty slim, sorta strong, and I can run 5 miles in one go (slowly. But I can). But food is my crutch. I've been using it to self-medicate. I eat when I'm not hungry, even when I'm full! I succumb to every craving, and if there are no treats in the house, I make them.

Brownie in a mug, anyone?

I don't feel "free" to eat what I want. I don't feel like I'm "loving myself the way I am." I feel out of control. I feel like a slave. Even now, I'm sitting here at 8:21 am and I'm dying to eat another chocolate-covered strawberry I got from my dad for Valentine's Day. I already had one this morning. Like, I can't stop thinking about it. I will probably succumb.

It's a horrible attitude. It's not empowering. It's addiction.

I'm admitting this to the world (or at least, whoever is following my long-neglected blog), because I'm trying to change. I'm trying to gain back control. It's not about losing weight, although I'd like to do that too. I'd like to look at a plate of brownies and think: "that's nice, but maybe another time" instead of: "oh my gosh, all of you--in my mouth. Now."

My goal is to go 30 days. 30 days on my gestational diabetes diet. I'm not going to count calories. I'm going to eat as clean as I can, eat only when I'm hungry, and keep my blood sugar steady. I don't have a way to check my blood sugar (holy crap, have you seen the price of diabetes testing supplies??? Don't get me started. I feel for people who have to do this every day, dozens of times a day, their whole lives). But I do have the ability to track my carbs.

So, to sum up: Starting February 17th, 2019, I'm starting this cleanse. After the 30 days are up, I'm going to take stock of how I feel. I'm going to evaluate other things I've been struggling with too:

1. Asthma
2. Fatigue during the day
3. Insomnia at night
4. Stamina during workouts.
5. Inches
6. Weight
7. Overall mental health

I KNOW I'm going to be crabby. My system has been overloaded with sugar for too long and getting rid of it is going to make my nucleus accumbens very upset (the part of the brain associated with motivation, novelty, and reward according to Part of my "therapy" for this addiction is to write when I'm feeling stressed or having cravings in order to work through the negative feelings. So be prepared for lots of blog posts documenting my progress.

Here we go.

I haven't had that chocolate covered strawberry yet. And it's 8:34 am.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Ok, I really need to post more

I'm pitching a class to teach at the ANWA conference in September.

How's that for an introduction after such a long break? ANWA (American Night Writer's Association) is a group of writers, mostly women (not all), mostly members of the Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints (also not all). Last year, I decided I wanted to get back into writing. I felt a pull. More than just a desire; it was like a call. So I started up again. And I went to the ANWA writer's conference in September.

Oh. My. Gosh. I'd found my tribe. This group of people, all at different ages, skill levels, professional stages of accomplishment, were INCREDIBLE!! So supportive, so nice, so nerdy like me. I made new friends, most of whom I communicate with on Facebook, and got so much motivation to dive more deeply into the writing world.

So when they sent out the call for class pitches, I knew I wanted to teach. I really like teaching (when it's a subject everyone is interested in and I don't have to grade homework all day). But what could I teach? I'm not a published author. I've just been doing this for a long, long time. I've been making up stories since I was a kid and started my first novel in high school 20 years ago (oh my word, don't even ask about that first novel. It'll never, ever see the light of day).

Anyway, to make a very long story short, I discovered a subject I thought I could teach and started the pitch. I needed to enter a blog or website address. Umm... I haven't updated in like, over a year!

So here's my little update! (I hope to continue keeping up with this, just to get some writing practice in. Get juices flowing. That kind of stuff).

Bret is working hard at the dental practice. Still loving his work and being amazing at taking care of people. He was called to be the bishop of our ward last November (three weeks after I'd just had major surgery). It's been... interesting. Definitely challenging, but I've seen some great blessings happen. He's also building a shed in our back yard. From scratch. People, the man is freaking talented.

Dragonfly is in first grade. He struggled a lot with homework at first but he's back into a good rhythm and he's doing great. He's a sweet boy and loves to be helpful except when it comes to cleaning his room. He loves doing art and helping his daddy with fixing the motorcycles. He also loves to ride bikes and play with friends. He still won't touch potatoes in any shape or form.

Bumblebee is snuggled up next to me as we speak, holding his Mimi (his blanket Great-Granny gave him when he was born), and sucking his thumb. His smile and his beautiful brown eyes light up the world! He's currently in preschool and LOVING it!! He loves going on "adventures" and riding his big brother's scooter (the three-wheeled one he got for Christmas isn't fast enough. Facepalm).

Butterfly is almost 2. She gets into everything. She's curious, she's fearless (except when it comes to Santa Claus), and she's sassy. She's talking up a storm. And like her nickname, she's a total social butterfly, charming the crap out of everyone she meets.

Me? Working on a few novels. One is a sequel, one is a retelling. And I picked up another old, completed project for fun and I'm going through it with a fine-toothed comb. I'm also running (it's my therapy). I did a half marathon a year ago and I'm gearing up to do another one this fall. Trying to work on being a better wife and mom while always on the lookout for a new show to binge while I fold laundry. Right now it's Gilmore Girls.

My goals: love my family fiercely. Finish two novels. Teach at ANWA. Run a half marathon.

Wow. I've never typed all that out before. Here's to goals, adventures, and keeping this ole infernal journal updated.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Resistance is futile? HA!

Last night, I went to a church activity for the women. I made brownies to help with the needed refreshments. The place was swimming in cookies, brownies, and cake.

But I didn't eat a crumb of it! HA! Take THAT, sugar cravings!!

Normally, I'd've inhaled at least one of each kind of dessert. Staying away from the sweets knowing they'll spike my blood sugar is hard, but oh my gosh is it possible and empowering. It's not worth the health of my baby or sabotaging these good habits I've started.

I still crave sweets. All. The. Time. I saw a craisin on the floor once. I wanted it more than anything. (Granted, a single craisin wouldn't do anything, but a single serving has more carbs in it than I'm allowed to eat in one meal).

Ladies, you can do it. You can control this. And if you can't, even after all you can do, it's going to be okay. Trust me, even my doctor didn't think I could maintain healthy blood sugar levels without insulin.

Wanna see what my three-hour test numbers were? Of course you do!

Fasting: 80 (Normal is below 95, so this one was actually good).
Drink melted otter pop juice.
One hour test: 191 (normal is below 140)
Two hour test: 192 (normal is below 120)
Three hour test: 162 (not sure what normal is on this one, but I was over)

NOT good.

But I'm doing it! It IS possible. You can do it too. You will see amazing things happen. You'll feel better, you'll miss cookies, you'll hit and miss, you'll make mistakes, you'll learn, and you'll conquer.

And when it's all over, you'll let yourself have a chocolate shake because pregnancy is hard and childbirth is hard.

Speaking of childbirth...I've got my day scheduled! On March 15th, 2017, my little Miss will be born!

Spare me the Ides of March jokes. It's nerve-wracking enough as it is going under a knife. Caesar would know.

Oh dang. I did it, didn't I?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Gestational Diabetes: week one complete

I'm telling you, this is both a blessing and a curse.

Things I miss:
Sub Sandwiches (but I don't really eat those much during pregnancy anyway because of the stupid listeria scare with the deli meat. Ugh).
Ice cream with hot fudge.

Things I don't miss:
Extra pounds.

I'm serious. Since starting my gd diet, I've LOST weight. Which, technically speaking, isn't encouraged during pregnancy. But I'd already gained a little too much, so with the weight that came off, I'm just about where I should be weight-gain-wise. And since I have to follow the diet for the next five-and-a-half weeks (or 38 days, if I get to schedule the c-section on the day I want. But who's counting?), only the baby is going to gain weight.

So far, baby girl seems to be doing great. At my last appointment, the doctor did an NST (non-stress test, which was non-stressful for the baby, but since I couldn't find a sitter for my two boys, they were in the room vying for full view of Octonauts on the iPad. Mom was a little stressed). Her movement and heart rate were perfect. She's very wiggly, which is very reassuring to this high-anxiety mama.

The doctor was VERY pleased with my numbers this week. I only had 1 reading over the limit (165. The two-hour glucose limit is 120) and it was because I had a bowl of canned chunky chicken noodle soup and five, yes FIVE Ritz crackers. Every other time, my numbers have been awesome just with diet and light exercise. He did say it might be harder to control as I get closer to my due date and the placenta gets bigger. We'll see.

For now, I'm going to keep at it and indulge in a few of the things I AM allowed:

1. Surprise, surprise, cereal!! I have to measure out less than a full serving and I have to eat it with almond milk but this is seriously no big deal for me. I get my Cheerios and a huge plate of scrambled eggs. Hooray!!

2. A late night snack. I'm not kidding, they TELL you that you NEED a snack before bed in order to keep your morning numbers low. Woo hoo!!! And my go-to snack of choice? Oikos vanilla greek yogurt! It's SO yummy, has tons of protein, and even with the sugar, my morning numbers have always been normal (and the doctor said those are the hardest to control, so yay!).

3. All. The. Almond. Butter. I. Want. I'm allergic to peanut butter so I eat almond butter instead. Sometimes a spoonful to hold me over between snack and meal time. It's the best.

On to week two.