Wednesday, May 30, 2012



In a state of peaceful happiness.
Satisfy (someone).
  1. A state of satisfaction: "the greater part of the century was a time of content".
  2. The things that are held or included in something.
adjective.  contented - pleased - satisfied - glad - happy
verb.  satisfy - gratify - please - indulge - suffice
noun.  contents - satisfaction - contentment - capacity - volume

I've talked a lot about the different goals I've set for this year and there they are - to the right...staring at me every day.  But there is one that has gotten woefully ignored.  "Be CONTENT."  Content was the word I picked for 2012 as well.  So let's take a closer look.  First, when I look at the definition above, there are a full words that I find ironic.  "Satisfy, capacity, volume."  Those sound an awful lot like words people losing weight use, huh?  How many times have we said something to the effect of "I can't believe I feel satisfied on such a small volume of food."  Well...funny enough, when I made this had nothing to do with that.  It was about emotional well being.  Which leads to "Glad, happy, pleased."  

Well, as I've been looking over my past blog posts and reading the last couple years beginning to end, I realize that the last few months have been anything but "content."  I realized that this new position is not for me, that my boss is a dolt and really doesn't like me and that I'm just terribly unhappy here at work.  But many good things have happened in the last 6 months too.  Some have been small...some have been big.  But they were largely ignored.  They were acknowledged by a brief smile or sigh and I moved on.  Why is it so much easier for me to focus on the negative, rather than relish in the positive?  Well, that stops today folks.  No, I'm not going to be Pollyanna from here on out.  That's never been my style and I don't see that changing just because I say it will.  But there's going to be more of an effort to embrace the good things that happen day to day.  And when bad things happen, there will be more of an effort to see the silver lining, or at least look for it instead of chalking it up to yet another way karma is trying to screw me over.  Holly had a great post where she takes a terrible day and puts it in an amazing perspective. 

So you can't just SAY you're going to do something and then POOF!  It's done.  You gotta take steps to make it happen.  So first step, I'm going to list all the good things that have happened so far this year.  Feel free to skip down to where I tell you my plan for continuing the Contentment Cha-Cha but I gotta get this stuff out.
  • We're out of credit card debt.  For the first time in 13 years, we have NO credit card debt.  We had accumulated an embarrassing amount and while it took 5 years of paying with nothing but cash, we did it.  We have student loans...that's it.  That's our debt.  We are no longer slaves to the credit card machine!
  • My brother in law is still alive.  He was given 6-12 months to live when he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010.  He has survived 17 months and his MRI's are still stable.  Each memory he creates with my niece and nephew is a memory they'll actually be able to hold on to as they get a little older.  I am so grateful that he has survived long enough (and continues to thrive) for them to have real memories of their father that will comfort them in the years to come.
  • My husband and children are healthy.  We fight colds, flus, ear infections, stomach bugs...but overall, we're immensely lucky in health.  
  • We live where we want to live.  No, not in the house we want to live in but in the neighborhood.  I went to high school in this same neighborhood.  It's a great school district, lots to do, great parks and friendly neighbors, it's safe and even though we have to rent a townhouse to be able to afford to be here, it's worth it.  Some day I hope we can buy a home in this area but for right now, I'm content to just be able to BE here.
  • My kids are awesome.  They have their moments, that's for sure.  But they play pretty well together and they try their best to not be too much most of the time.  They love each other and don't mind sharing a room in this townhouse we rent so we can be where we want to be.  They're grateful for what we have and don't ask for much, which makes me wish I could give them more.  But this town home, the getting out of debt, staying within reasonable budgets is going to pay off for them in the future...and while they don't know it, it's why they'll be able to have a car when they turn 16, buy a prom dress without stressing, join teams and clubs and take class trips and buy new school clothes every year without worry.  
  • Hubby and I have been together 13 years this coming August (married for 9).  I met him when I was 18.  While we've had our ups and downs and faced the monotony of routine, I'm so lucky to have him.  He lives to make me smile and most days, he definitely does.  He's a wonderful father and pulls his weight around the house.  I'm very lucky to have met him so early in my life so that I can spend most of my life with him.
  • I make decent money.  I hate my job...that's been obvious but it has granted us the ability for Hubby to leave the job he hated to look for something better and, God willing, he's found it.  It's enabled us to worry a little less about making ends meet which for the last several years, has been a constant struggle.  
  • While I've never been the most popular girl in school, I have several close friends, some I've known since high school and some only the last couple years.  They're there when I need them, they listen without judging (and if they do judge, they keep it to themselves) and they love me for who I am and don't expect, nor want, me to change.  Hold on to people like that.  You never know when you'll need help hiding a body.
So all these things are good things.  They're all reasons to be happy.  To be content.  Day in and day out.  I need to remember that.  So moving forward, each and every day, I'm going to write down one thing to be content about.  There will be days when I repeat myself.  There may be days where my health is the only thing I can pull out, but that's OK.  It's an important one.  They even have that saying "At least you have your health."  It wouldn't be a saying if it weren't a big one.  On days I post, I'll include my "content" thought of the day here.  Lucky you.  I'm also really going to stretch myself and try to take something that may initially be seen as a negative and find the positive in it (a la Holly).  

What makes you content in life?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rougher Than I Thought

************************TMI ALERT*************************

So I wanted to share this experience as there may be some women who want to get this done sometime and maybe my experience may help.  On Thursday afternoon, I had the Novasure procedure at my doctor's office. Basically, it's where they insert a mesh into your uterus, it inflates out so that it's touches all surfaces of the uterus sending out electrodes to destroy the lining.  The point is the lighten your periods, or in some cases, eliminate them altogether.  More info is here.  My procedure was done in my doc's office under general anesthesia.  From the time I walked into the office to when I walked out probably only took about an hour and a half.  I had some mild cramping the first 2 days and so far, no significant discharge (they say this can happen even a couple weeks out so I'm knocking on wood that it's not too bad).  Now what was bad?  And here's where the TMI comes in.  I don't know if it was the anesthesia, the pain meds or the general trauma of having anything done to your body like this, but Saturday is when the gas and constipation hit.  I'm talking doubled over, didn't want to get off my couch kind of pain.  Saturday night, the dulcolax and gas-x kicked in and I spent every half hour to an hour on the toilet.  Finally relief came Sunday morning and I was 100% by Monday.  So far, so good.  Since my last child, my periods have been all over the place (even while on birth control) and since I'm done having kiddos, I'm really hoping this procedure "takes."

So I spent most of my weekend recuperating.  Sunday evening, we went to a Memorial Day shindig at Hubby's friends' house and Monday we hung out at home and tried out our new Babycakes Cake Pop maker, which my mother thought we needed.  The girls had a lot of fun with it and I wish I would've snapped a picture of the cake pop bouquet we took over to my parents yesterday after we were all done.  They looked pretty good and I'm proud to say I only had one.  Incidentally, while this thing does put off some heat and parental supervision is definitely required, my kids love this thing!

So last night, for whatever reason, I had a really hard time getting to sleep.  There must've been something in the air because Hubby was pretty restless as well.  My youngest woke up around 11 complaining that her ear hurt.  I really hope we don't have another ear infection in the works.  But I say all this to say I got about 4 hours of sleep last night and I'm beat.  I started dreading coming back to work on Sunday (you know you hate your job when...) so this is the icing on the cake pop, so to speak.  I got a text from my boss over the weekend saying there's an issue for me to handle first thing this morning so I suppose I should be working on that but so far, I'm too tired and unmotivated to even check my email to see what it is.  All I know is that lots of caffeine is needed today.  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and for those of you Stateside, enjoy your shortened workweek.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why I Chose My Goal

OK.  I'm jumping on the bandwagon a bit with this one.  A couple posts ago when my frustration was showing through, Morgan left me a comment:

I have a question about your goal though, why is it your goal? You have been struggling for a while now to 'drop those last 30 lbs' or 'get back on track'. Why aren't you happy where you are at now? Why can't you just be in maintenance? Is it a number you have in mind or a size, what keeps you thinking you have to keep trying to make it and have not already made it?

This is a VERY fair question.  

Then I read posts from Kristin about goal setting and Steph about how she chose her goal weight and even changed that goal weight to suit her individual needs.  So I decided to "weigh in" (get it?  WEIGH in?  I crack myself up!) on why I set the goals I did.

I started at 230 lbs.  I am 5 feet tall.  I am merely 4 inches away from being a technical little person.  I want everyone to keep that in mind as many have set weight goals higher than mine and, like Morgan, may wonder why I insist on pushing lower.  It's because I'm way shorter than most of you!  

OK, first the dreaded BMI.  While I don't like BMI charts as a whole because they don't take muscle mass into consideration, let's roll with it for a minute.  At 230, my BMI was 44.9 (Morbidly Obese).  At my current weight of 155, it's 30.3 (STILL Obese!!!).  So, first and foremost, I'd like to actually make it to "overweight" but even more than that, I want to be "NORMAL."  So what gets me to normal?  125 lbs gets me on the upper end of normal.

So that was one thing.  The other thing is I carry most of my weight in my stomach and for women (and I think men but I'm not sure) this is a very bad thing.  Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some types of cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrom and sleep apnea.  

125 is almost exactly 100 lbs down.  That would be pretty cool to see.  So at the very beginning of this whole thing, I talked to my doc about it and he said, with a lapband, I'd be a success at about 150 (Great!  Almost there!) but he also said, he's sure I have some type of personal goal and that I would not necessarily be healthy at 150 and so ultimately it's up to me to choose my goal.  So I chose 150 to be a lapband success.  140 to be "happy" and 125 to be my "OMFG!  Can you believe I only weight 125 freakin' lbs?!?!"  And honestly if I get to 130, I would totally dexatrim my way to 125 to see for a day on the scale and then each a cheeseburger to rest at 130.  But I digress.

So there you have WHY I chose my initial goal.  It is the OMFG weight that I put on my ticker because anything worth doing is worth doing right.  

So I am 155.  A mere 5 lbs away from what my lapband doctor told me a successful journey would look like.  Will I be satisfied in 5 lbs?  No I won't.  And the reason is because I'M JUST NOT HAPPY with this weight.  I don't feel as fit as I'd like.  I still struggle with lethargy.  I still struggle with RUNNING.  I'm still a flabby mess.  I don't particularly like the way I look in dresses yet.  I am not SATISFIED where I am.  

At minimum, I've got another 15 lbs in me.  And TRUST ME, it's not like I'm starving myself or only eating celery here and am stuck at this weight.  I eat what I want, when I want and as much as I want of stuff.  Does this behavior need to stop?   Only if I actually want to reach my goals.  And I DO.  I WANT TO REACH MY GOAL.  As I've been reading through my old blog posts, I'm finding the flame.  I'm finding the drive.  I'm finding the ME that started this whole thing and wants to finish it.  Will the journey ever be over?  No...that's something we all seem to learn.  We will always struggle, we will always obsess and we'll always fear gaining that weight back.  We must be diligence in maintenance but I'm not in  Maintenanceville yet.

I should also note that I'm willing to change my goals.  There have been many in Blogland that have.  Amy made it to goal and then decided she could go further.  Catherine made it to goal and her body naturally kept losing past that and by "naturally" I mean between her spin classes and portions and active lifestyle, etc.  Steph made it to goal and then below goal and realized that was too low and then back up to goal.  Everyone is different.  If I get down to 140 and I'm satisfied with that (and no, this is not a bikini body for me.  I've had 2 kids...those days are GONE!), then I'll adjust my ticker, throw myself a ticker tape parade (get it?  TICKER tape???  Man!  I am on a ROLL today!!!) and declare myself at goal.  I promise.  But just because my body has naturally decided that eating the crap I've been eating in the portions I've been eating is good enough, that doesn't mean it's good enough for me.

Now on to Steph's point about liking yourself where you are, no matter what the scale says.  I do.  I have other things I'm working on...the social thing, the parenting thing, the being a good housekeeper thing.  I've got insecurity issues I'm working through and a laundry list of other things.  But this blog is mostly for the physical so that tends to be what we keep focused on.

So there you have it.  How Panda Chooses Goals, in a nut shell.  Today is going to be crazy at work.  I have a half day tomorrow and then Friday and Monday off so not sure if I'll get around to posting again this week.  But I'll try to be following along on my iphone and commenting when I can.  So a Hump Day Happy Thought...maybe on goals?

Just wanted to include a pic of my girls messing around, waiting for Hubby to come home last night.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Still Here...!  I'm truly overwhelmed by the response to my last post.  I promise I wasn't looking for an ego boost but I sure got one.  And just to clarify, I would never stop reading or commenting as I love following along with everyone's lives (it's better than the soap operas I used to watch as a kid) but I find myself finding it hard to come up with blog posts that don't say the same thing over and over, but I digress.  Obviously, I am here and writing so it is what it is for now.

Moving on to the weekend.  Double ugh!  So kiddos were sick last week with that stomach yuckiness.  Hubby caught it Friday and it hit me like a truck Saturday afternoon.  Let's rewind a bit though shall we?

So Friday, I started reading through my blog.  I made it to October 2010.  Just 3 months into my banding.  I'm determined to read the entire thing through but wow...I had a lot to say before I was even banded.  For those newer to my blog, you may not have realized that I was initially declined by insurance for my band and I was devastated.  I want to emphasize this only for those who are going through the insurance hoops took over 2 months of wheeling and dealing before I was able to get my surgery approved (and that was after the 6 month supervised diet, psych eval, nutrition consult and $1000 program fee).  And while I whine and carry on, I have lost over 70 lbs that I know I couldn't lose on my own so it was worth every tear, post, phone call, letter, etc. that I went through.  Anyway, I was reading through how my training walks were going preparing for the 3 Day and realized how much I missed those long walks on the weekends.  So I decided to see what I could do about that.  So I ping'd the only person who might understand that and might be crazy enough to do it with BFF.  I texted her and said "Could I talk you into doing some training walks, or runs or hikes every once in awhile in the morning?"  She responded "How often and how early?" I said, "Every couple weeks.  About 6 a.m."  Her answer?  "How about tomorrow?"  Now I honestly think she was calling my bluff but I couldn't very well say no to the very first one so I said "Sure."  So at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, we went for a hike.  It felt great.  Some parts of the trail were pretty steep so felt like we got a good workout.  My friend and I both have a version of mapmyrun (she has map my dogwalk...they're all pretty much identical) apps on our iphones so we were able to see how far we went.  The only thing I'm not real sure about it if it really takes into account the elevation or just how FAR on a line you move.  Gotta look into that.  Anyway, according to that, we went 4.38 miles in 2:14.  Not too shabby and it felt good getting out and being active.  I'm going to spend 2 weeks looking into a hike I've never done before (not difficult out here as I've only done one peak) and we'll both try something new and hopefully not get lost.  I'm liking this plan.
Early morning in the Valley of the Sun
So I get home Saturday morning, about 8, to my sickly husband and 2 kids.  Feed them breakfast, go to my parents' house (we're house sitting) to feed the dog and christen the pool for the first swim of the summer.  For some reason, my youngest is now terrified of being let go in the water.  She was swimming fine at the end of last summer so I'm hoping she gets over this and loosens up again.  Water was still a bit cool.  Anyway, by Saturday afternoon, I had the stomach bug coming out both ends and we went home and I went to bed.  It was still touch and go Sunday but am at work this morning.  This bug is nasty but it is short lived.  Everyone seems to recover within 24 hours.  Also, while Hubby and the girls were nursed back to health with 7up and Gingerale, I remain carbonation free.  I didn't want to tempt the pain gods on top of everything else.
Just had to include this.  My mom learned to text! And pictures even!  This is my dad at the Dbacks game in Kansas City..

So where are we this morning?  As I said, I'm at work but not incredibly motivated by it.  Aunt Flo came to town Saturday which is awesome (please note the sarcasm here).  I have my ablation scheduled for Thursday so that's not going to be incredibly fun but hopefully pays off in the long run.  And so in Candyland when we don't feel particularly motivated and it happens to be a Monday, then the best thing for us is a Monday DEMotivator, yes?  And, in honor of A.J.'s comment on my last post, I thought maybe this one would be most appreciated:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TTT - Warning - Downer Post

1.  I'm losing motivation to blog.  I don't know if it's because I don't seem to be getting much out of it anymore or if it's because I'm sick of repeating myself (back on track, etc.) or if it's because my weight loss has been stalled for so long.

2.  I'm trying to push through this because blogging has led me to have many awesome people in my life for inspiration and support that I never would've found otherwise and blogging has been great therapy for me.

3.  I haven't eaten primal all week.  I have yet to exercise.  My Warrior Dash is in 155 days.  Eek!

4.  My BFF has decided to come to Vegas with Hubby and me to cheer me on and celebrate my success.  Her hubby is coming too.  It will be great fun but I hope this pushes me to make sure I'm good and ready for it as there will actually be someone other than Hubby watching.

5.  I'm going to spend the rest of the week looking over old posts.  I may just read my blog from start to finish and hope that I can capture 2 things.  1) The inspiration to continue documenting my journey and realize that this journey will never be over and 2) rekindle that motivation I had in the beginning before everything just kind of fizzled out.

6.  My oldest daughter is now sick.  She woke up vomiting last night.  I still came to work today and we're trying to figure out how to deal with the whole daycare situation today.  I may end up leaving early.  Sometimes it really sucks being a working mom.  ETA:  My mom was able to watch her today.  We're now home and she's resting on the couch with the TV off (per her request).  You know she must not be feeling well.

7.  I hate my job.

8.  Hubby's contract with the big company has been extended to the end of September.  On the one hand, it's nice to have the additional 4 months of income.  On the other hand, we were really hoping for a permanent position to be offered.

9.  We couldn't go out to celebrate Mother's Day because the kid was sick and now we can't celebrate the extension of Hubby's contract because the other kid's sick.  Ugh.

10.  I'm shocked I thought of 10 things today.  I know they weren't the most uplifting and that's another reason blogland is less appealing to me these days as I'm sure it is to any followers still making it over on a semi daily basis.  Hoping the oulook brightens soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Banded Plication

So I just heard about this and found it interesting.  There's a new WLS available called banded plication.  A link explaining the procedure fully is here.  Basically the idea is they combine making the actual stomach smaller with a band to bring the benefits of both a bypass and a band.  They fold the stomach over, basically creating one half the size and then place the band.  There's another link here that goes on to say how 23% of banded patients have complications such as slippage, erosion, port flips, etc.  That number sounds higher than I remember but perhaps I had rose colored glasses on.  I found this part particularly interesting -

Recently, the idea of combining the two procedures sort of a “belt and suspenders” type approach was introduced.  The theory behind this technique is that the plication is performed to begin the initial weight loss process.  The weight loss continues as the patient changes their behavior through proper eating habits and exercise.  If the patients then down the road, usually 8 months to a year later, slows to lose all the weight that they would like or if the weight loss plateaus, then the band adjustments begin.  This theoretically might decrease complications associated with the band might as many of the bands complications i.e. port site infection, flippage etc, are related to adjustments of the band.

I admit the idea of being able to do something new a year out of surgery to re-jump the weight loss is certainly appealing.  I also wonder if it provides somewhat of a safety net.  There's still no cutting, they're not rerouting anything directly to your intestines or anything.  So if plication doesn't work, you have the band and vice versa.  Would we see as many band removals this way?  Would we see less people spending thousands of dollars on surgery only to find that it wasn't the right surgery for them?  In a lot of ways, I imagine this would be a money saver in a sense.  It's still laproscopic so they can do 2 procedures in one and if you find yourself stalled,  you still have OPTIONS.  Studies are still early and big studies comparing this procedure to RNY or sleeve haven't even been done yet so it seems fairly new.

Anyway, what really interested me in this is that I heard from my doctor's newsletter that he'll be doing these as well.  I wonder if it's due to a lack of successful patients?  I've always loved my doc and he's big on aftercare and support groups and all that and it's easy to get scheduled for fills and unfills, etc.  Anyway, I found this interesting and would love to hear your thoughts on it.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Weekend Stuff

Friday, my daughter lost her 9th tooth!  Seriously...I have no idea how the child can still eat!  Luckily the other ones have come in pretty quickly!

So Saturday I went to the Bridal Shower.  Ugh, ugh, ugh.  I was dressed OK.  Jeans, cute top, wedge shoes.  Cute casual, not sloppy casual.  But once I was about a block away from  the house that  the  shower was being held at, I realized I was in trouble.  The gate guard (oh  yeah...THAT type of neighborhood) told me how to get to the house.  I pull up and it's redonkilously big and beautiful and RICH.  I'm awkward in social situations with people I've known for YEARS and now I'm going to a shower where I don't know anybody AND they're high falutin'.  I entertained the thought of texting my friend, apologizing that I couldn't make it at the last minute and just going home.  But instead, I  decided to face my fears and go anyway.  For the first time ever doing this, I wish I had gone with Option A.  *sigh*  First, I was the only one there NOT in a dress.  I was also the only one there who couldn't tell you who makes the latest designer shoes that everyone must have and also the only one  who spent less than $100 on a shower gift.  The whole afternoon was awkward and terrible and didn't make me feel so good about myself.  I was as friendly as I could be given the situation but I felt like hell that I allowed these people to make me feel so badly about myself.  To top it off, I started questioning whether I even want to hang  out with a person who comes from this kind of environment.  Mind you, this girl has never been anything but nice to me, has  never seemed uppity  to me, has even had us over to her house for beer pong and chicken pot pie.  Honestly, if I were to stop being friends with this girl just because she comes from a lot of money then I'm no better than the women who think they're better than me because I don't have a lot of money.  Right?  I need to get over myself...and over my shortcomings, lack of income, and general insecurities and move on with it.  I'll still go to the wedding but you can bet your butt I'm going to be doing some serious dress shopping before then!  To give you an idea...Some pics I snapped on my way out  (I bailed a little early so no one saw me take them)
The front door.  Seriously, it's like going into Oz, it's so big.

Before you get to said "Oz" door

1/3 of the driveway - that's right, 8 cars on 1/3  of the driveway!

View from back.  The pool is actually in the front because it has a better view.  Kinda weird.

Other 1/3 of driveway as I was leaving.  

Sunday started off nice.  I woke up at 8  (which is totally sleeping in at my house) to red roses, a new french press and a jewelry box.  Awwww...they done good.  Then things went rather downhill from there.  My youngest started puking everything up.  Poor thing!  And yet she refused to go to sleep.  I took my oldest daughter to see the Avengers which she loved but  I felt bad leaving Hubby and little girl alone.  Then we went to my mom's house to deliver her cards and catch up from her trip to South Carolina.  Lori fell asleep there for a couple hours so at least she got some rest.  She was finally able to keep some crackers down last night.  She's home today.  My mom was kind enough to watch her for a few hours so I can dial into the conference calls I need to be on this morning.

So  how did I do over the weekend?  Crappy!  I ate anything and everything and didn't log a calorie of it. Portions were fine but the choices were abysmal.  I'm feeling rather grumpy today about everything in general.  So there ya have it.  My weekend and Monday morning in a nutshell.

I don't really feel like doing it but it's Monday so I gotta...Monday DEMotivator:

Friday, May 11, 2012

BYOC & Stuff

I did well yesterday.  I've decided that Thursdays will be Wine Night as Thursdays suck at work and I need it by Thursday night.  I did indulge in one glass of Moscato last night but it was totally worth it.  Came in about 100 calories over the goal but no worries there.  Ate paleo all day and logged accordingly.

Today's Plan:
Breakfast: Frittata and coffee
Lunch:  Apple Chicken (but may pick up a salad somewhere as that sounds better)
Dinner:  No idea.

Not much of a plan, is it?  Didn't realize the marinaded chicken I was going to make has to marinate overnight.  Oops.

So I have a post planned about something I saw in the news (non weight related) but this post is already going to be ridiculously long so I'll hold off.

Also, my sister and her husband were interviewed for their local news station about his battle with brain cancer.  May is brain cancer awareness month so if you'd like to see them and hear their story...the link is here.  I am so proud of how they've handled everything and they've become real advocates for a cure and helping others in their situation.

Alrighty, time for BYOC, Courtesy of Draz - Link to the right ---->

It’s Friday fun day! That means it’s time for BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy! We answer a few questions to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break. Copy to your own blog if you so desire and have fun!

1. Are you a “wake up on the first beep of the alarm clock” or a “hit the snooze button 50 times before you get up” kind of person? Is your alarm clock set to the right time?

• I used to hate snoozing.  I woke up when the alarm went off...period.  Now I snooze two or three times and then I get up.  I'm sure this drives Hubby crazy since I get up an hour before him (and that's after the snoozing).  I think this early schedule for the last 2 years is finally taking its toll.  Also, with the sleep disorder, I'm still just so tired when that alarm goes off.  It's interesting this question was brought up today as I was 20 minutes late to work because I somehow turned my alarm completely off and overslept.  

2. Do you decorate for any holidays other than Christmas?

• I only decorate for Christmas but not because I don't want to.  I grew up in a house that decorated for Christmas, Easter and Halloween.  I have no other decorations than for Christmas and I find it hard to justify the money to buy that when we're still struggling financially.  I will say that I've always wanted to have one of those Pier 1 Imports houses that changes its entire decor for every season.  *sigh*  Someday...

3. Would you consider yourself a spontaneous fly by the seat of your pants kind of person or a massive OCD controlling planner kind of person or someone in between?

• I used to be spontaneous.  When I was 18, I decided at 8 pm that I wanted to drive to Mexico just because I hadn't been there and a friend and I did (this was before the drug cartels were killing people along the borders).  When I lived in Columbus with Hubby, I came home Thursday afternoon and said, "How do you feel about a road trip to Milwaukee for a book signing?"  "When?" he asked.  "Tomorrow morning."  And we did.  Now I have children and the energy and spontaneity has been sucked right out of me.  The closest thing to spontaneous I have now was last weekend when I called my niece on Friday to see if she could babysit Saturday afternoon so Hubby and I could see a movie.  It's smaller by scale but still felt good to just "do" and "be" as opposed to having it planned out 2 weeks ahead of time just to see a movie.  This was a really long answer to this very simple question.

4. Tell me some of your MUST have hair products that you use consistently….you know - share your “hair routine”.

• My sister is the one who spends an hour doing her hair.  Mine gets washed and brushed and I use a smoothing cream to keep it from being frizzy.  It air dries.  Done and done.

5. Repeat question: How was your week and what are your upcoming weekend plans?

Week was good.  Paleo went well overall.  A few hiccups but nothing too extreme.  Stayed within my calories and only veered out of paleo eating a couple of times.  I had no sweets or processed sugar (outside of my coffee and one glass of wine) so I feel good about that.  One of my BFF's started a blog that I LOVE - find it here.  Weekend plans are slim.  I have a bridal shower on Saturday, Hubby might take the girls to a movie during that time...maybe.  I'm a little nervous about the shower as it's for someone who I'm "kind of" friends with and I won't know anyone else there.  The old me would totally bail on this and make some excuse not to go but I'm doing it.  And that's the extent of it.  I'll go visit my mom on Sunday.  There ya have it.  Exciting stuff.

To all the mothers and mothers in training out there (Baby boom here at work...this is why I'm not drinking the water here)...
Happy Mother's Day!!

Keeping with a Mom's Day theme, here's the Friday Funny:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wetzel Pretzel

So paleo was just so/so yesterday.  Was doing fine...stuck to plan and then BAM!  Wetzel Pretzel.  I went to the mall to shop for a bridal shower gift and it called my name.  OK...maybe I went hunting around for it.  Anyway, I bought one bag of the wetzel bitz and ate about a third of it.  I'm not proud of it and it certainly wasn't worth it.  But I logged it in mfp like a good little girl and still came out 100 calories below my target.  The important thing is I got back on track by dinner.  And dinner turned out pretty good.  I made Apple Chicken and super easy and surprisingly good.  My girls liked it so that's saying something.  Here's the recipe.

Chicken Apple


(4-6oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or use leftover chicken from another meal)
tsp sea salt (optional)
tsp freshly ground black pepper
Tbs coconut oil
large apple
tsp cinnamon or allspice


Dice chicken breasts. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil when hot.
Add diced chicken and cook until slightly pink (about 150° F).
Grate apple into pan.
Add cinnamon or allspice.
Continue to cook until chicken is done and apple is tender.

Here's a pic of how mine turned out.  Forgot to take it straight away so it's already been picked at a bit.

Anyway...pretty good eats.  So out of nowhere, we got this huge storm in Arizona and me, being mom of the year, let my kids go out and play in it.
So Food Plan today:
Breakfast:  Frittata and coffee (noticing a pattern here)
Lunch:  Apple Chicken with vegetables
Dinner:  Steak and mashed cauliflower
Snacks:  Nuts

I feel good about the plan and where I'm heading.  I'm not weighing myself until the 15th but I'm not expecting much.  I had gained 3 lbs from my lowest so I'm hoping just to see that low number again.  Toodles!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paleo Day 3

Yesterday went well overall.  I did have an apple with peanut butter last night to fight off the sweet tooth and the peanut butter brought me in at 62 calories over my goal but I didn't break down and have a blizzard or anything.  Those sugar cravings are at full force and I know if I can just get past these first couple days, it'll get better but it's definitely rough at the beginning.

Food Plan Today:
Breakfast:  Coffee with cream and sugar
Lunch:  Paleo Shepherd's Pie
Dinner: Apple Chicken (new recipe...if it's any good I'll post it here)
Snacks if needed:  Nuts

So I should probably explain a little bit about paleo (I did a huge long post about it here) and how what I do is just a touch different.  So paleo is eating like a caveman before they invented preservatives and hydrogenated oils, etc.  This means cutting out ALL processed food which includes pasta, wheat, dairy, etc.  It also means eating organic as much as you can.  Getting back to eating NATURAL stuff...even "all natural" boxed food has been processed in some way.  So there you have it.  So am I paleo in the strictest sense?  No, absolutely not.  I do eat dairy as I think calcium is important and I don't like taking supplements but also, I'm not lactose intolerant at all (A LOT of people are and don't realize it) so milk just isn't a biggie for me.  Now, I don't use much.  I have cream in my coffee and use cheese in recipes and that's about the extent of it.  That's the biggest thing...then you have smaller things like my goal being 80/20.  The peanut butter last night was not paleo (if it were organic, all natural peanut butter, it would've been but didn't have that handy in the house).  But it's better than the alternatives so I'm OK with it.  I also use sugar in my coffee but it's the equivalent of two packets for the entire day so I don't sweat it much.

So there you have it.  As for the paleo shepherd's pie, that's basically just using a cauliflower/turnip blend instead of potatoes (even though potatoes are TECHNICALLY primal, the turnips are healthier).  We also did use cream of mushroom soup which is not all that paleo.  There are some people who can get very judgmental about the paleo thing...hard to believe I know...that if you're not 100% then you're not doing it.  Well, to them I say "Phooey!"  I think the more you can eat all natural and eliminate the chemicals in your life, the better.  Truth be told, we're less paleo and more "primal blueprint" but they overlap on most details.

Another day, another dollar.  I'm back in the office today.  My little one is feeling better so off to preschool she goes.  I feel so bad that she just had to sit around all day watching TV.  Since I had to work from home, I couldn't entertain her much but she behaved beautifully which may have been a testament to how poorly she was feeling.
Lori on the couch - where she spent the vast majority of her day

The big news at work was non news.  Uppity Ups become bigger uppity ups and a rah-rah session for my company.  Whatevs.

How about a Hump Day Happy Thought to keep us all in the right frame of mind this week?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Paleo Day 2

Day 1 went pretty well.  I AM surprised at how difficult it is to stay  under 1200 calories though.  I DO think it estimates my coffee calorie intake a bit  high but whatever.  I came in 92 calories under the calorie goal and got 91 g of protein in.  Of course,  mfp says  that's way too much and also thinks I take in too much fat but I'll just have to live with mfp's opinion on that.  Paleo is similar to low carb in that it doesn't think fat by itself is a bad thing.  So I'm not going to worry to much about it.  I even managed to stick to my food plan despite having to leave work midday to pick up my youngest as she was running a temperature of a 103.  Hubby is actually who picked  her up from school but since he's  not permanent yet, I didn't want him having to take the rest of the day off.  So  we looked like quite the corporate pair yesterday.  Hubby picked her up and got her to the doctor and then I met them there to take her home.  He was in his  business attire and for  whatever reason, I was wearing a skirt and nice blouse yesterday.  Talk about sharing the load and new gender roles.  It just struck me as funny.  This IS the modern family.  But despite the shake up of schedule, I stuck to my food plan.

Today I'm home with my daughter.  Being able to work from home is such a blessing in times  like this...I don't get behind on anything and I don't have to use sick time.  Awesome.  I have a plan for the day.  Just wrapping up breakfast which is the same as yesterday.

Meal Plan:
Breakfast:  Frittata and coffee
Lunch:  Tuna with tomato slices
Snack:  Nuts or an apple
Dinner:  Paleo Shepherd's Pie

We'll see how I do.  Forgot to mention my NSV over the weekend!  So Hubby and I went to see Avengers and we were deciding if we wanted popcorn AND nachos or just nachos and  we realized that we weren't hungry so we didn't get anything.  Not even a drink.  This one was tough because it felt like we SHOULD get a snack because that's what we do when we go to the movies.  But we didn't.  Very proud of us.

One thing I am struggling with is the "no soda" rule.  To recap, I gave up soda at the beginning of my banded journey and slowly went back to having maybe 1 every once in every couple weeks. I finally figured out that my horrible shoulder pain was caused by the carbonation.  So I gave up all carbonation soda, no beer, no sparkling wine...  It's been several months  now and no pain.  Great!  For some reason, the last couple weeks I have wanted a coke or a beer so bad!  I think it's the hotter weather and nothing tastes better than a nice cold soda on a hot day.  So far I have withstood the temptation because it's not just about being healthy or the sugar or the empty calories, it's about the pain.  The pain that actually had me unable to get out of bed one day.  So I'm not going to do it.  But I miss it.  Isn't that jacked up?  Anywhoo...hope you're all doing well.  Thanks to Angie for checking in on me today!   She's doing great with tracking and is motivating me to stick with it.

In other news, I think there's some big announcement coming at work.  The signs are there...unannounced meeting at 8:30 this morning,  our quarterly business meeting  at 10 and then an uppity up scheduled a follow up call immediately following.  Generally, this doesn't bode  well.  We shall see.  I'm bummed I'm not there...but I've got some eyes and ears keeping me posted.  

Happy Tuesday all!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 1 Paleo

And so it begins.  Another week, another chance to do right by ourselves.  I've got a plan.  Hubby and I spent yesterday planning out our food for the week and did some grocery shopping.  So meal plan for today.

Morning coffee with sugar and cream.
Breakfast:  Crustless Frittata
Lunch:  Tuna salad with tomato slices
Snack:  Nuts
Dinner: Chicken fajitas minus tortillas

I'm tracking my food and exercise on my fitness pal so that may help with accountability.  I sure hope so.  This week is all about the food my friends.  Detoxing my body of all the processed junk.  Next week, I'll incorporate the exercise.  I'm not aiming for perfection...80/20 rule still applies but I'm knuckling down.

Weekend was good.  The girls had a play date Saturday morning so it was good to get them out of the house and playing with some other kids in the neighborhood.  Saturday afternoon, we cleaned bathrooms and had lunch (exciting stuff).  Then at the last minute,  Hubby and I had our niece come to babysit and we saw the Avengers movie and went out to dinner.  It was nice to see a movie when it first comes out as opposed to months later for a change and this movie (if you like the comic hero movies) was AWESOME.  Truly enjoyed it.

Sunday, we did the grocery shopping, picked up some odds and ends at Target, tried to find something new for me at Kohl's (struck out) and then hung out at home.  Really wasn't ready to come back to work today but tis life.

I have yet to have my engagement and wedding bands resized and don't plan to until I know I am done losing weight which I'm assuming will be when I hit goal.  Luckily, it fits on my right hand but it still makes my left hand feel bare.  So for the last week or so, I've started wearing a ring that used to belong to my grandmother on my left hand.  I think it looks pretty good.  I have no idea if the diamonds are real (it's definitely NOT a silver or gold band) but it's sparkly and will be a good place holder until I have my rings resized.

So that's all I got this Monday morning.  I'm about to log my coffee in mfp to get started with that.  Special thanks to Angie and Andrea who friended me on there to show support.  It is definitely appreciated!

Monday DEMotivator:

Friday, May 4, 2012

MFP/Paleo Starts Monday! blogger.  One of my oldest friends has started a blog...No, it's not about weight loss.  She's a technical writer, a novelist and a bookworm so that's what her blog is all about.  If you're a book lover, a grammar enthusiast, an aspiring writer or anything in between, please go check her out.  It's her first blog and she's pretty entertaining.  :)  Her link is here.

I joined My Fitness Pal.  I'm trying to work something out with Angie to hold eachother accountable and she thinks this will be a good way to do it so I'm on board!  I'll start logging Monday morning.  I also downloaded the app to my phone (Have I mentioned how much I heart my phone? LOL).  I'm excited...if anything, just to see where my protein and calories shake out on the new paleo way of eating.

I'm also excited about my new paleo plan.  I'm going to spend some time this weekend meal planning and shopping...maybe doing some research.

I've already asked my friends at work to please support this effort by not even inviting me out to lunch or to Starbucks next week.  I need to detox.  Once I feel like I'm on a good plan, I'll allow myself one lunch out a week (that has more to do with money than anything else) and one coffee house drink a week on Saturday or Sunday morning with Hubby.  Next week the focus is on food...not so much exercise.  One change at a time, right?  So next week, I'm focusing on food and then the week after, I'll start my exercise plan.

BYOC, courtesy of Drazil (link to the right):
1.  Do you have any Mother's Day traditions?
Not really.  Ron usually makes breakfast but he makes breakfast all the time.  I usually get to sleep in which is AWESOME.  Flowers and cards and lots of kisses.

2.  Do you take a daily vitamin?  Why or why not?
No.  I did...for awhile.  Was pretty religious about it.  But I just don't think it's necessary.  Shouldn't you feel better if you're getting all your vitamins.  I never felt a difference and I'm lazy.

3.  Do you wear perfume every day?  If yes, what kind?
No.  I don't buy perfume for myself so I only ever have it when Hubby buys it for me.  THEN I wear it every day.  My favorite that he got me once was Cashmere Mist.  I smelled good for a good year or so with that.  Hehe.

4.  When you walk or run or work out outside - what do you take with you?
This seriously depends.  Before, I would take my running pack with me that had my phone, water and bandaids.  Now, I have an armband for my iphone so I'll probably start using that more also.

5.  Repeat Question.  Summarize your week.
Eh. So so.  Real life is fine.  Nothing too exciting.  Blogland is good.  Ready for the weekend.

Friday Funny:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ten Thing Thursday 5-3-12

1.  Paleo starts Monday.  I had told Hubby that I'm willing to give this a real, honest effort.  It's not just about another "fad" diet...what's "fad" about giving up all the processed stuff for real food?  Right?

2.  I hate Dr. Oz.  There I said and I know I'll get flamed for it.  "But Panda!  He's so awesome!  And cute!  How can you hate Dr. Oz?!?!  Dr. Oz loves us!"  Well, let me tell you fictional fans...I cannot stand how someone who is a doctor (and yes, he is a REAL honest to God doctor) constantly pushes the latest diet craze stuff on a national television show.  Here are some titles of his recent episodes: Fat-Burner in a Bottle, Flat Belly in 30 Days, Solutions for a Big Belly or a Big Butt, Supercharged Drinks to Make You Look Young, 7-Day Calorie Confusion Meal Plan. These are fads people!!!  This isn't the kind of stuff the medical community should be hyping.

3.  My oldest starts Summer Break on May 25th.  Where did this school year go???  That means double the daycare costs for the summer...ugh.

4.  I had a colleague at work praise my recent efforts and say how knowledgeable I am for just 6 months into this new role.  Can she tell my boss that?

5.  I'm an Iphone addict.  There I said it...I'm not ashamed.

6.  I had seen a groupon for unlimited crossfit classes at a nearby gym for $47.  Talked to Hubby about it.  He said do it.  I forgot and missed the deal.  Maybe I forgot on purpose?  Ugh.

7.  I keep meaning to clean my desk at work.  2 weeks ago, I bought cleaner and keep planning to bring it in and I don't.  The dust bunnies are killing me.

8.  I need a vacation.  Like a real honest to goodness vacation...a week off of work at least, even if I don't go anywhere...

9.  I had a gynecology appointment yesterday where they did an endometrial biopsy - meaning they stick this brush up your vajayjay and spin it around.  I saw a different doctor than my normal one and he says, "Let's hammer this out."  I told him that was a very poor word choice.

10.  Making commitment to going to a rock gym for the first time in the next two weeks.  This is something I've been wanting to try for awhile...gotta check it out.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Come to Jesus Moment

OK...I don't want to make any religious folks mad out there with this frame of reference but I feel a "Come to Jesus" moment coming on.  I told Hubby last night that it was coming but right now, I'm going to say it to you and myself via my blog because this is the stuff that's rattling around in my brain.  I have 171 days to go until the Warrior Dash and STILL 30 lbs to go until I reach my goal weight and I have been doing NOTHING to help myself accomplish either of these goals.  I have NOT been watching what I eat, I have NOT been watching my portions, I have NOT been abstaining from sugary treats.  Why did I go through the hassle of having surgery if I wasn't going to commit to going the whole way?  Why did I incur all kinds of copays and deductibles and months and months of my time and gas to go downtown to these doctor appointments if I wasn't going to USE this tool the way it is meant to be USED?  Do I need a fill?  I don't think so.  When I eat RIGHT, I can't eat much and I stay satisfied for hours.  I'll re-evaluate once I'm really paying attention to what I'm eating.  There are so many people out there with more obstacles than me hitting their goals every day while I sit on my lazy bum and DO NOTHING.  Well, that stops...NOW.  I'm getting my head back in the game one small change at a time.  Getting back to the good habits and first and foremost, that means no more sugary treats or fast food!  NONE.  Period.  This is one trip to a coffee house a week.  Period.  That's it.  NO MORE than that.  It's going Paleo starting Monday.  Getting rid of all the processed food and manmade junk.  It's exercising...getting outside or inside or whatever and MOVING.  It's no more enabling Hubby to do the same bad stuff!  We're terrible role models for eachother and that needs to stop.  We need to be strong when the other is feeling weak.  We need to be the sane one when the other one is on the brink.

I know this post is kinda rambly but I'm so frustrated with myself at this point.  I cannot stand people who bitch and moan and complain about things but take no steps to better the situation.  And look what I'm doing.  I log on here, blog about this or that and complain that I'm not losing weight.  It's true...I'm upfront with everyone about why that is.  I make no excuses and take full responsibility but that just makes it even dumber.  At least if I were in denial, then a well placed ass kicking may wake me up.  So so tired of having this same chat with myself over and over and over again.  Seriously...what is it going to take to get my butt in gear?  What kind of wake up call do I need to do what I know I need to do?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Flowers for me?

So I got home from work yesterday and couldn't take my living room/dining room looking the way it did. So I cleaned.  I clean on weekends.  I do my laundry on weekends.  Every Saturday morning is spent cleaning my house.  Well...with the runs and everything else, that didn't get done.  So my girls and I cleaned yesterday.  We picked up, did laundry, did dishes, threw out the trash, straightened up, dusted the tables...  And then I was tired.  So I texted Hubby and told him he was making dinner.  He said, "K. Why?"  and I answered simply, "Cause I'm tired."  So Hubby gets home after stopping at the grocery store to pick up a few things and he walks through the door...with flowers.  I asked why he was bringing me flowers and he said, "Because you said you were tired."  How lucky am I?
Some  of the flowers got taken by a couple neighborhood kids who came over to play but  that was cool.  Anyway, it made my evening.

You may notice in the background there is a treadmill.  It's a good one.  It's a livestrong one with 8 million different preprogrammed workouts, incline ability, you can hook your ipod to it, etc., etc.,  One day I'll get on it.