Category : Random Musings

Random Musings
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Puzzles

“Well, you’re a little bit OCD, a little bit manic, a little depressed, and you have a little anxiety.”

Translation: You, my dear, are a confusing hot damn mess.

He’s a professional, so of course he wouldn’t say that – out loud.

The next week, after a few minutes – “You are SO repressed.”

Yep, I know. As long as I don’t think about the things that make me anxious, I don’t feel as anxious. So let’s just not think about that. But could he please explain my out-sized reactions to every little thing that goes wrong?

Oh, that’s right, I’m repressed.

“We’ve got work to do.” A less professional therapist would have been rubbing his hands together with unrepressed glee (see what I did there?).

Not sure if I should be relieved or a little concerned that he seems so excited.

I think I’m a puzzle.

I don’t really mind being a puzzle. What I hate was not being able to solve my puzzle – which is why I called him. For the first time in my life, I’m too close to the “problem” to pick it apart, think about it, and figure it out.

Not being a clear-cut case for him to diagnose didn’t really surprise me much, either. I never have been like other people.

You can’t grow boobs at age eight (yes, really), get zits by 10, and then stop growing by 13 so that everyone else develops all around you and think you’re like anyone else.

Differences at those ages can be devastating (ask me how I know). Differences as an adult either have to be hidden or celebrated. Or you can be like me and just never talk about them.

I keep reading about how you stop giving fuck about stuff when you hit age 40. I’m almost 37, and I can’t decide if I care or not (I always was an early developer – see above. Why wait until I’m the big 4-0 to stop caring what other people think?).

On one hand, I’m me and people will either accept that or not.

On the other hand, the idea of rejection dries my mouth and makes me nauseous.

On one hand, I care desperately about myself. The past several months have been a journey in mental health, physical well-being, and food intolerances that have come out of nowhere. I want to be healthy, damn it.

On the other hand, think I’m ugly or think I’m “pretty” – it doesn’t matter to me. Am I fat or am I curvy or am I work in progress? Damn if I know.

See? I’m a puzzle.

Scratch beneath the surface a little. You’re a puzzle, too.

We’re all puzzles. The real question is do we want to solve it?

Maybe I’m not ready for the big 4-0 yet because yes, I still care enough to figure out this new, seemingly unsolvable puzzle.

 

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Fine: A Conversation With Myself

You consider yourself honest, right?

Of course I do. I think being truthful is an important quality. It’s part of having integrity.

So why do you lie?

I don’t lie!!

When someone asks, “How are you doing?” you always say “Fine.”

Of course I do, we all do that.

But you’re not always fine, are you?

Of course not. No one is.

So why don’t you tell the “truth?”

Because most people don’t want to hear the real answer. Or they’d think I was strange or crazy or oversharing. I know I don’t love it when a stranger answers that question with their life story.

Now I know that’s a lie. You love it.

Oh sure, because I’m nosy/curious, and I love getting a glimpse into people’s psyche.

Okay, so why don’t you do that for other people?

Trust issues.

With your family and friends?! Try another one.

Well that’s different. I don’t want them to worry about me. And I don’t want to talk about stuff I don’t have answers to yet.

I can buy that, but isn’t a lie of omission still a lie?

Maybe, but not every truth needs to be spoken at every moment.

Aren’t you justifying your actions a little?

Maybe, but some things really can be kept private. And in the course of social interaction, it’s much better to give a quick “Fine” or when someone asks, “What’s new?” to say “Not much.” It’s not a harmful lie. It doesn’t hurt anyone, and not telling doesn’t put me or anyone else in danger. They won’t feel foolish if (when) they find out later, and I’m not using untruths to manipulate a situation. So yes, white lies and lies of omissions are okay, and I’m still an honest person who uses them.

Hmmm. I see your point. So how do you feel about this whole “conversation” with yourself.

Fine.

Yes, this was a real conversation I had with myself (in my head) while driving down the road.

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Facebook is My Cookbook: The Power of the Save Option

Please tell me I’m not the only one who decides I can make every single video recipe shared on Facebook. Please?

For sure, I have certain criteria before I decide I’m willing to commit time and resources:

  • It must be food we would eat – or that I can browbeat my children into trying.
  • It must be made with ingredients I could actually find in my local Publix.
  • It must be (deceptively) easy.
  • Bonus points if it’s made with the slow cooker.

Thankfully, that’s kind of the new thing in sharing recipes. Is it easy? Will our kids eat it? Yes? Than a million parents sigh in content and add a new meal to the rotation of things our kids probably won’t eat, but might, so we all live in perpetual hope.

After I listened to my mom and aunt talk about how sharing recipes or being tagged in a post to “save” it was an annoying option (but the only one they knew), I swooped in for the rescue – imagine a cape, a phone, and a Facebook account.

“Do you know how to ‘save’ posts you like on Facebook?”

Nope, they didn’t. I figure if they don’t, neither do a lot of other people. It’s actually pretty easy. It’s called the save function, and it’s turned Facebook into my cookbook:

Facebook is my new cookbook thanks to the saved options.

Okay, so the zucchini tots are less likely to be made than the apple dump cake, but you see my point. How did I do it?

It’s very simple.

Saving posts from your browser:

In your feed or on the Facebook page the recipe (or whatever) comes from, find the one you want to save.

Then, click the down arrow in the top right corner of the post, and you’ll get a drop-down menu. It looks like this:

Save Video on Facebook 1

Viola! You’ve saved your favorite recipe or article or whatever. It works for any post on Facebook.

Now, it’s time to go see it later.

When you’re on your browser, you’ve got a list of menu items on the left side of the screen. Find the one that says “Saved” and click it.

Finding saving videos on Facebook

What about on your phone? It’s not much different. Watch:

I’m using an iPhone so if you’re on Android it might look a little different, but the principle is the same.

Find the post you want to save, and click the down-arrow in the top right corner.

image1

Don’t judge me. I’m smart-assy, and I know it!

Now it’s time to find it. Look at the bottom of the page on your phone when you have Facebook open. See that “More” option? Click it!

image2

See the “Saved” option at the bottom of the list? There it is. Just click on it, and you’ll see everything you’ve saved.

Of course, if you’re like me, you may have to scroll for a while to find things you saved weeks ago, but they’re in there. And when you’re done and no longer want to keep whatever you’ve saved, you can click on the “X” in the top right corner of the saved post, and it’ll be archived for you.

So while I hope I’m not the only one who’s turned Facebook into my own personal cookbook, I also hope I’m not the only one using the “Saved” function either.

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My Dog Eats Better Than I Do

My dog eats better than I do

(This post contains affiliate links.)

I tease John that while we might not ever have babies together (this factory is closed, y’all), Saki and any other pets that come after him are definitely our furbabies.

Case in point, once we’d put our application in and met Saki at the rescue, we were pretty positive he would be ours. Our home is clean. We’re not freaks (on any official records, at least). And we – as far as we knew – were the only ones asking for him. It was just a matter of time.

But we weren’t going to jinx ourselves either.

We didn’t buy a toy, a bag of food, nothing until he was safe in our arms. But like parents of actual babies (and the furry kind), it didn’t stop us from looking. Sure, when you have a baby, you go to Babies R Us or Target. Where do you go when you’re anticipating your furbaby?

For us, it was Petco. PetSmart is a 45 minute drive away, Petco, five minutes. ‘Nuff said.

We strolled the aisles, imagining whether he’d like this toy or that (John rejected the Stars Wars toys which shocked me but admitted if they offered Doctor Who toys, he’d be all over that), considering what supplies we might need (Canine Estates gives you a huge package when you adopt – pet bed, toys, food, etc.)

When we hit the food aisle, we both started reading labels like we were CrossFit addicts looking for Paleo-friendly snacks.

For whatever reason that neither of us can explain, we hit on the idea of grain-free, all natural everything. We went to Petco at least three times before Saki came home to us. Three, y’all.

By the time he was ours, we’d decided. We’d try Merrick, all natural, whole foods, no grains, and see if he liked it.

Although Canine Estates gave us some food, we quickly made the transition to our preferred brand, and lo and behold, he loved it. Couldn’t get enough of it! Yay, parenting win! (Which, by the way, is much easier than an actual kid/parenting win.)

Sometimes I look at my dinner and I look at his and think, “The dog is eating better than I am today.”

He’s also an expensive date. One can is nearly $3 in the store. And since he’s started protesting the dry food that we mix in, I’m staring down the barrel of what buying canned food for a picky eater is going to cost (hell, he really is one of my kids). I have a feeling I’m going to be buying in bulk soon.

Oh, you thought I’d just switch to a cheaper food? Don’t be silly. This is my baby we’re talking about. He deserves only the best.

Or as my mother smirked one day, “Now you understand the joys of spoiling someone you love. I do it my grandchildren, and you’re doing it with your dog.”

And that was also the day my mom dropped the mic on me.

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When Weight Loss Became More About My Health Than My Jean Size

Disclaimer 1: I am in no way giving medical advice to anyone. Do not use anything here as advice on how to deal with your health. If you have health concerns, please see a doctor.

Disclaimer 2: Affiliate links are included throughout this post. 

When Weight Loss Became More About My Health Than My Jean SizeI don’t consider myself a stupid person. I like to think I’ve learned from the mistakes of those who have come before me. So when I tell you that I had a medical something occur, I really can’t explain why I didn’t take myself to the doctor immediately. With grandparents who died from cancer found too late and an almost sister-in-law who never went to the doctor and thought feeling bad was “normal,” I should know better than to play around with my health.

But I didn’t. Thank God, it wasn’t anything as serious as cancer.

I Felt Bad Every Single Day

Something was wrong though. I was always tired (more than the I’m-a-Mom-I’m-always-tired kind of way). Some days I could barely open my eyes. I nearly fell asleep driving one too many times. At night, though, I couldn’t fall asleep if you paid me. Or if I did, I never stayed asleep.

At the same time, my headaches – both tension and migraine – were becoming more frequent. My stomach hurt every day, and I was constantly bloated. (Ask any woman, and she can tell you the difference between bloat and fat. This was bloat.)

And then, the worst happened (which probably isn’t the worst, but it spurred me to action), I gained five pounds in 14 days – with no changes to my diet. The scale had been steadily going up for 18 months. Part of it was my own fault with my love of coffee-flavored chocolate drinks. But something wasn’t adding up.

The only way I could lose weight was to go to extremes:

  • Too few calories which only caused more headaches and exhaustion
  • Zero sugar, zero carbs, zero grains, nothing but extremes – which is a first world problem, I know – but I don’t like extremes. I like moderation. This was the opposite of that.

I should be ashamed to admit it was the five pound gain that pushed me to do something. I should be, but I’m not. We’ve all got our triggers, and this was mine. I was 30 pounds away from my all-time heaviest. I knew it wasn’t just poor diet choices causing the problem.

At the same time, I was breaking out like I was 12 again and growing lots of hair in weird places, while losing the hair on my head. I planned to ask my doctor about PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – in May at my next visit. I’ve always presented with the classic symptoms (minus the infertility) but never pursued it because I’m done having babies so I don’t really care about not being fertile. I figured I was on birth control, my cycle was now non-existent, so there was nothing to worry about.

I think I was wrong.

Were PCOS and Insulin Resistance the Problem?

On a whim, I decided to look up the symptoms and problems associated with PCOS. I know, I know, rookie mistake. I could have convinced myself I was dying thanks to Doctor Google, but instead, I got very lucky. I found resources that spoke intelligently about PCOS.

That’s where I discovered “insulin resistance.” This isn’t diabetes or pre-diabetes, but you might think of it as pre-pre-diabeties. It’s a common problem with PCOS, and basically, it means your body doesn’t know how to handle sugar in your body, and when it can’t turn it to energy, it turns it to fat.

What the hell?

That lead me on a journey to read more about insulin resistance, in general. Before I decided to self-diagnose myself, I figured I should dive a little deeper.

It’s thought that 25 percent of all adults probably have insulin resistance and don’t even know it. Common symptoms are bloating, weight gain, inability to process certain foods, big crashes after eating sugar, constant fatigue. It can’t always be tested for because you might have okay blood sugar results if you take a fasting glucose test.

I started putting two and two together.

Every OBGYN I’ve ever known since I got pregnant with Aidan has asked if I was diagnosed with PCOS after hearing me talk about my typical cycle.

PCOS and insulin resistance are often (but not always) found together.

Every symptom of insulin resistance was something I experienced on a near daily basis.

When the suggestion to correct the problem was simply to “cut out sugar” and eat whole foods, a massive, gigantic, ultra-bright LED lightbulb went on over my head.

It Was Time to Do Some Reading

The only “diets” that had worked for me since Sean was born (six years ago) had been low/no sugar, all natural diets. Always. I liked the standard way of counting calories and losing weight, but it didn’t work anymore.

I’d considered low/no sugar/carbs/bread thing “extreme” because they forced you to cut out every single convenience on the planet or make them entirely from scratch (I’m looking at you, Paleo), and this Mama don’t have time for all that. Sometimes, I need convenience. And damn, sometimes I need a mocha latte frappy coffee goodness thing.

Yes, need.

So here I am with my light bulb moment, but I needed more. And the internet is a bear when you’re trying to verify that your information is real and not something a random person pulled out of their ass.

It was time to turn to my trusted source since before Google was a baby – the library. Now, I know that anyone can write down anything and get it published. I also know that it’s exceedingly hard to find up-to-date information in a library or even in the printed form. Still, books are something I trust.

I found three books to look through, hoping to find something would strike me “right” – meaning it was right on some ephemeral, inexplicable instinctive level.

The GI Diet by Rick Gallop (2002 edition)

The Sugar Solution from Prevention Magazine (2006 edition)

Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels (2009 edition)

They all kind of said the same thing, but in different ways and at different levels. They were also published several years apart from one another, and you can tell information and thinking changed over the years.

The GI Diet is about the Glycemic Index, how foods affect your blood sugar. Some foods are better for you than others, of course. But a lot of foods I consider whole, healthy, and natural were on Don’t Eat list. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. And, because this was 2002, he kept telling me to drink diet sodas. Nope, not going to work. Too outdated.

The Sugar Solution discussed real world, doable (for me) solutions, and also said very clearly that “treats” and “indulgences” were fine in real moderation. Ya know, not the moderation where you tell yourself it’s been 24 whole hours since you ate cake, so you should be able to have cake again. The kind of moderation where you only have one small piece of cake maybe once a week.

Master Your Metabolism was something I could agree with on an intellectual level – the fake foods, chemicals in everything, and environment are killing us. But I couldn’t change my life or my diet as drastically as Jillian was advocating. I love Jillian, and I believe in her message, “If it doesn’t come from the ground or have a mother, don’t eat it.” But we’re back to that need for convenience. Convenience isn’t evil, but too much of a good thing is almost always bad for you.

The Plan

I’m a moderation girl, through and through. The Sugar Solution was my solution.

Basically, the plan is to eat whole, fresh foods, very little processed foods, and to understand some foods with low glycemic index still aren’t good for you (like potato chips) but foods that have a high GI are okay (yay, I can have potatoes!).

I eat every three hours (6 times a day). Mini meals, y’all. Protein, good carbs, all that. Whatever I’m eating is as whole as I can get it, has no or very little added sugar, and I shoot for 30 to 60 grams of carbs each time I eat. I’m pretty sure I come in much lower most of the time. The idea, according to The Sugar Solution, is to keep my blood sugar at a steady level and eat foods that are low on the glycemic index.

This is very new so I don’t know if I’m going to see any real benefits or not. But in the short time I’ve tried this, I’ve seen a few things.

  • No bloating
  • No headaches
  • More energy – John asked where I’d been hiding, he’d forgotten what a chatty, constantly moving woman I can be.
  • And I lost six pounds the first week.

Is this the cure? I don’t know. I’m cautiously optimistic. I have to be – I battled the same five pounds for six months, then gained a few, and battled those five pounds, then gained a few more. You see the pattern?

If this doesn’t help, if it’s not sustainable, I’ll talk to my doctors later this year at my annual. (Okay, okay, if the headaches, bloating, and exhaustion come back, I’ll go sooner.)

But it feels right.

I eat healthy foods 95% of the time, and I feel better. I feel like myself again.

This isn’t about what size my jeans are.

This isn’t about what I look like.

This is about my health and how I want to spend my life. Me? I’d much rather be healthy and able to participate in my life than eat whatever the hell sounds good at the moment but become a sleepy blob on the couch who never does a damn thing.

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3 Things I’ve Learned Walking My Dog

3 Things I've Learned While Walking My DogThe family Christmas present (yes, it’s nearly the end of February, and I’m still discussing Christmas presents) was to finally after months of begging, pleading, and eyelash-batting to find the perfect-for-us family dog. The boys asked, too, but no one begs, pleads, or bats eyelashes like an only child (even if I am 36).

We started in October but were ignored by the first first two foster/adoption/rescue agencies we contacted. Ignored, y’all. And I don’t mean that I sent an email or application and then psycho-called them two hours later. I mean we waited the entire amount of time they asked for on their own websites, and then sent follow-up emails after that. One place didn’t even have a working phone number listed!

Look, I get that most rescues are 100% volunteer-run but either business for adopting dogs is so good you don’t need to check your email or y’all need to find a better way to keep up with those of us ready, willing, and able to adopt.

Finally, and proving that good things come to those who wait, we stumbled upon a local small dog rescue, Canine Estates (if you live in the Tampa Bay area, I highly recommend them!). They not only got back with us, they were enthusiastic when we said we wanted to come by and visit our first choice – who had no use for us and wouldn’t even sniff our hands.

The Universe works in mysterious ways because we met Saki that day – a 10 year old Miniature-Pinscher/Chiahuahua mix who was so underweight all we wanted to do was feed him – and buy him a new sweater. His was an ugly orange and had a small hole in it. I thought about that sweater for days.

Fast forward two months later, and he’s found his place in our little family – loved and spoiled by all of us. Because I work from home, I spend the most amount of time with him…which means I’ve had plenty to learn.

First there was learning just how similar raising kids really is to having my own furbaby, then there were a few other lessons I’ve learned on our multiple daily walks:

I’m Always Looking Down

I look down a lot. Most of the time it’s for poop, usually his. Small dogs make small poop. Try finding that in the middle of the night. But I’m also looking for old, rotten, ready-to-make-my-shoes-stink poop that other people can’t be bothered to pick up from their own dog. Oh yeah, if you don’t pick up your dog’s poop in public places, I’m totally judging you.

I’m also curious to find out what is so damned special about that one blade of grass, one leaf, one low-hanging branch on the bush, you name it. Because, according to Saki, it’s really, really interesting. We must sniff each one we come across for at least a minute.

He’s a Great Workout Partner

Walking Saki is a good workout. But don’t be mistaken – oh no, not for running (he’s only 12 lbs and about 6 inches off the ground). We tried running for a few days because he was always so happy to go outside and moved really fast. That lasted for three days until we both grew tired of it. He slowed down (a little) after that – such a good boy!

No, now I get an arm workout holding the leash tight. He doesn’t want to run but he still wants to go faster than what I consider a fast walk. Plus, bonus!, I get a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout – they’re all the rage, ya know. We  walk several steps, stop, walk a few more, stop, practically run, stop abruptly wrenching my arms out of the sockets – giving my arms even more of a workout. Thanks, Saki! Who’s a good boy??

All. The. People. Want to Say Hi

But none of them really want to talk to me. I’m good with that. Please, socialize with my little dog with the big attitude. He’ll sniff you and move on when he’s ready. Yes, you’ll probably be in mid-sentence, telling him what a sweet boy he is. He’s done, we’re moving on.

If our neighbors don’t give me a glance, I’m good with that. No. Really. I have a three-feet-of-personal-space rule and the only one who can get me to break it is Saki. Plus also, I don’t talk to strangers because my Mama raised me right.

We smile more in our family, laugh more, talk more, hang out now that Saki’s here (and we were pretty well-adjusted before). He’s the absolute perfect edition for our family – big personality, bigger attitude, and all.

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I Never Have Enough Time

Part of my attempt to sloooooow down a little, to be just a little less frantic and frenetic, is due (in part) to a constant sense of impending doom.

I spend most of my time worried I won’t meet a deadline, I’ll arrive late, or that I’ll miss something.

Wow. Can we say “anxious?”

Here’s the deal…

As a kid, I was taught that to be “on-time” isn’t much different from being late. And truly being on-time means I’m at least five minutes early, but 15 minutes would be better.

My (God love them) strict, freaking-out, never had to do this with anyone but me, parents were so afraid of…what, I’m not sure yet – I’ll figure it out when Aidan turns 16, I’m sure…that when I was finally allowed out of the house, on my own, with a curfew, it was made perfectly clear that being late wasn’t going to be an option.

Of course, the only way to rebel was to be fabulously late (twice) before I graduated high school. I still don’t know if the fun I had staying out and not caring about my missed curfew was worth the inability to leave my home without an adult for several months.

Over the years, that desire need freak-out about being on time translated into never being late for anything. Ever.

And somehow I became best friends with a woman who, for years, couldn’t arrive on time if her life depended on it. Strange how life works, isn’t it? I never condemned her for being late – although plenty of people consider being late a sign of rudeness, and in some people, I think it is due to a lack of respect.

The good thing about always being early is that you can plan – for parking, for the perfect seat, and how you’re going to make an exit. It also helps establish a very responsible persona so the one time you are late, no matter how much you’re freaking out, you’re forgiven because people in your inner circle know you’re never late.

Now that I work from home, there are only two times of day I have to (as in, required by law) care about being on time – school drop off and school pick up. And no matter how well I know the drive (and traffic) or how often we do it, I am convinced I’m going to be late. Late is a relative term of course because I have a 45 minute window both in the morning and afternoon.

But all this on-time and being early stuff also means I have a fairly strict internal timeline that is almost always running.

Must do the thing (pick a thing, any thing) at this time.

Must drive to the place (again, pick a place, any place) at this time.

In between, must do ALL OF THE THINGS or life as we know it will end.

And by end, I mean I may have to write an article while the boys are home (a torturous hell I can’t begin to describe) or work after dinner (which makes me pout a little because I enjoy my downtime) or, and here’s the worst thing…I will freak the fuck out that I never have enough time, that I won’t get it all done, and people will hate me forever because I’m not the most dependable, responsible human being alive.

Really? Anxious might not be a strong enough word to describe my issue.

So what am I? I’m always on-time, often early, and usually a hot mess of stress.

Hence, the need to slow the hell down and stop worrying quite as much. I have to trust myself, trust my process, and find balance. Which means understanding that I’ll get there when I get there – and I’ll get it all done on time – because that’s what I do. And I have to stop thinking of “on-time” as 15 minutes early. Otherwise, I’m going to make myself more anxious than I already am.

Today’s post is part of the BlogHer January daily prompt on Balance: Do you feel you’re usually on-time, running late, or too early?

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What I’m Thinking When I Get a Migraine

I have no idea if I’ve been getting migraines for years, or it’s a more recent development. All my life, headaches have been a constant – tension, stress, caffeine-withdrawal, sugar-withdrawal, you name it, and I had a headache.

It wasn’t until I was describing Aidan’s migraines to his new pediatrician last year that everything changed.

“So is it you or his dad that gets migraines?”

Apparently, for him to get them at his age, it may be hereditary. I shrugged and said, “Me, I guess. I always have headaches. Some are worse than others.”

For years, I thought I got nothing but sinus headaches, until I learned that people commonly misdiagnose migraines for sinus issues. I never had sinus infections, but I always had the headache.

If saying makes it so, that one conversation a year ago has brought migraines to the forefront of my life. I can’t go a month without getting one, and they’re absolutely awful each time.

Sometime between the first twinge of pain and the next morning when I wake up feeling hungover minus the fun of drinking my weight in margaritas, there are very specific things that run through my mind.

  1. Headache alert. Do I need caffeine or sugar? When was the last time I ate? An iced tea will make it better. It always makes it better!
  2. Ugh, this tea isn’t working. Why did I think this would work? It never works.
  3. I just want to close my eyes. Don’t close your eyes – you’re driving!
  4. Should I take something? Eh, probably too late. I can make it through.
  5. Don’t anyone make a sound. Don’t breathe. Don’t squeak. Don’t walk. Do. Nothing!
  6. What. The. Fuck?! I’m dying. I’m sure of it. Nothing should hurt this bad.
  7. The light! When did they get so damned bright?!
  8. I probably should have taken the ibuprofen.
  9. If I could just go to sleep, this will be over soon enough. Please let me fall asleep.
  10. I will kill the next person who turns on a lamp, breathes too close to my ear, or thinks a thought too loudly, I swear to God.

The last migraine was a doozy. A sharp, piercing pain in my left temple that made me both light and sound sensitive. I was in bed for 12 hours and still woke up with a residual headache.

I lie to myself every time I feel a headache coming on. It won’t be bad. I can handle it.

I know why I do it. For years, no matter how bad the headache, I went to work and powered through. So either I’m a weenie who can’t hang anymore or the headaches have gotten worse…or, the most realistic answer is I no longer feel the need to be Super Woman and when it hurts, I say it hurts. Or some weird combination of the three.

But, I’m not a complete idiot. The only over the counter thing that’s ever worked has been Excedrin Migraine, and after months of going without (because I’m part idiot who doesn’t take meds when she should or keep them around or even ask anyone to buy them for her), I’ve got a bottle ready and waiting – which means I won’t get another migraine for weeks. I can live with that.

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New Weight Loss Motivation: Motorcycles and Sex

I’m a firm believer that until you find the right motivation to do anything, it’ll never happen. Weight loss is no different.

Ten years ago, the motivation was a widening ass and finally confronting a picture of myself. Three years, and 88 pounds later, I was healthier, fitter, and feeling better than I ever had.

Sean was born less than a year later, and since then, I’ve battled my weight. Up. Down. Static. Was it child birth? Was it hitting my 30s? Was it finding love and not worrying about attracting someone new? Was it working from home, living in yoga pants, and discovering mocha latte everything?

The answer is yes – to all of them.

John and I have been talking about losing weight again for a few months. He lost a magical 26 pounds in six weeks, but he had to have dental surgery and a liquid diet to do it. Me? I went to the doctor who said, “You are too young to have high blood pressure. Losing weight will get this under control.” (The perfect 120 over 80 I’d had even in my fattest years was gone – clearly, I’m not in my 20s anymore.)

And still I’ve struggled. Part of that is because I’m comfortable being rounder, curvier, and softer than I once was. It helps to be loved by someone who has no desire to change me and loves me as I am.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not feeling the ill effects of having gained 30 pounds in 18 months.

Muscles ache that never did before.

My energy is almost non-existent.

I feel bad more often than not. Something always hurts, aches, or just makes me feel like a busted can of biscuits.

But the real motivating factors have hit most recently…and I wouldn’t have confirmation without John’s kind but firm honesty.

“Was last night a little more difficult because I’m bigger?”

We’d had sex (yay!) in our preferred position (double yay!) and the bits and pieces hadn’t fit together quite the way they normally did. John is not a stupid man. He wouldn’t just come out and say it was a problem or the reason, but if I’m dumb enough to ask, he’s going to give it to me straight – something I value about him.

He cringed, averted his eyes, made eye contact again, and gave a quick nod. Then, he waited…I think for me to explode on him. I know that’s the stereotypical thing for women to do – ask a question, hate the honest answer, and kill the messenger. I’m no stereotype.

“Damn it. Well, okay. I’ve got work to do.”

My mind starts spinning, and I’m in a panic because everything I’ve tried for the past year (well, everything that doesn’t require giving up sugary drinks and empty calories) hasn’t worked. He offers to help and we’ll do it together – because he doesn’t want to gain back the 26 pounds he just lost, and he’d like to lose a little more.

Fast forward a few days later. I’m on the back of his motorcycle – a rare occurrence. I didn’t feel as solid on it as I usually do. A couple of times, I saw him struggle and heard a murmured, “Whoa, steady” under his breath.

I’m not one who’ll shy away from (most) hard truths, especially when I think I already know the answer. When we arrived home, I asked the inevitable.

“Did you struggle to keep our balance because of me?”

Again, the cringe, averted eyes, and soft honesty. “Partly. It’s windy today, too.”

Everyone has some thing that motivates them to do whatever it is they need to do. Of course, some people ignore the motivation, refuse to give up immediate comforts for future pay off, and nothing changes. But some of us, when we find our motivation to make changes, we grab them with both hands and cling to them, using them as a guiding force.

I could never have imagined that sex and motorcycles would be the motivating factors for me. But damn it, I like my pleasures in life, and I’m sure as hell not giving up on great sex (in a preferred position) and fast rides on motorcycles for a few too many mocha latte drinks and sitting on my butt all day.

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Random Musings
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Happy Thanksgiving!

My aunt and uncle are coming over for Thanksgiving…and so is John’s mom. This is the first meeting between our families. I’m going to sit back, eat turkey until I can’t move (so thankful for stretchy pants), and just watch the blog fodder roll in.

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