Working on the 3rd of July

Raise your hand if you have to work today! Raise both of your hands if you’re bitter and ticked off about it!! *raises both hands and scowls*

I don’t know why I didn’t just take the day off, but honestly I wasn’t bothered by working today until I found out that our corporate office got to take the day off. On Thursday an email was sent to all the corporate employees saying that they could take Monday off, but my department (which is hyuuuuuuuge) got no such email. And that really chaps my hide. But since I’m bitter and my workload is light, I’m taking the opportunity to blog at ya. Not sure if that’s a good thing for you or not, but whatever, just roll with it.

I’m cranky today. Allergies, not enough coffee, bitter disappointment with my life…all of these are just following me around this morning like a black cloud over my head. I actually had a pretty good weekend – very chill, did some grocery shopping, read a lot, played some board games with the fam (in which my husband rolled not one but TWO Yahtzees in a single game. I’ve book him a flight to Vegas asap)…so I’m not sure why I woke up grumpy this morning – maybe it’s the rainy, cloudy day – it should never be rainy and cloudy on or around the 4th of July. It’s almost like how sunny and 70° weather feels wrong at Christmas time (unless you live in Australia where that’s the norm – shout out to my Aussie readers! *highfive*).

So what’re your plans for the 4th? For the last couple of years, we have gone to the local park where they put on a fireworks display, but last year we noticed a much sketchier crowd than in years past AND we also noticed that the organizers used the same sequence of fireworks over and over again. Every two minutes you’d get a dejavu and then we realized, oh…same fireworks. So this year my kids want to just buy some fireworks and shoot them off at our house (we live in a rural-ish area, so we can do that).

I hope you all have a safe and happy Independence Day, and for those of you outside of the US, I hope you have a safe and happy Tuesday. 🙂

‘Murica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vitamin D results

Hey!

In my last post, I talked about how low my VitD was and how it had affected me. I’ve been taking a liquid Vit D supplement for the last month and got my levels retested last week. I talked to my doctor today and I’m happy to say my levels went from 15 to 35, which is still a little on the low end of the normal range, but I am already feeling better than I did. I’m going to continue taking this and get my levels tested again in a month – hopefully by then I’ll be closer to 50, which is where my doctor would like me to be.

In addition to the Vit D supplement, I’m also taking a multivitamin and an antidepressant. I feel much more calm and dare I say, clear headed. Oh, and I try to make it to the park for a walk in the sunshine at lease a couple of days a week – that helps my mental clarity a ton!

I am also cleaning up my diet, which is probably what I should have started with but hey, better late than never! More vegetables, less sugar…yada yada yada. You know the drill. I think I’m finally ready to trade cookies for feeling better. Not to say I’ll never have another cookie ever again, but I consume so much sugar and processed junk it’s amazing. Gone are the days when I could eat like a teenager and get away with it (honestly, I haven’t been able to get away with it for nearly 20 years, but let’s not focus on that, mkay?)

My new healthy living venture took a detour, but I’m ready to get back at it now.  Gotta get workin’ on my winter body so I’ll look good in jeans and sweaters (because I’ve already missed the window for a good summer body!!) 🙂

 

*Amazon links are affiliate links, fyi. 

 

Well that explains a lot!

I mentioned yesterday that I had my Vitamin D levels tested and was waiting on the results. I just talked to my doctor’s office and they had my results.

Just for reference, the normal range for Vitamin D levels is 30 – 100 units, with optimal levels being around 50 units.

My Vitamin D level is 15.

Joey-Tribbiani-Shocked-Reaction-Friends

I know, Joey! I can’t believe it either! (source)

Fifteen!! That’s pretty low. No wonder I feel cranky and tired all the time.

So of course I Googled “symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency” and turns out there’s a whole lot of stuff that can happen when there isn’t enough Vit D floating around in your body.

According to all my in-depth research (read: everything I could find on Google), some common symptoms include:

  • Foggy thinking
  • Bone pain
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Low mood
  • Low sex drive
  • Bone fractures
  • Weak muscles
  • High blood pressure

I currently suffer from 6 of those symptoms. So yeah…a Vitamin D deficiency explains a lot about what has been happening with me lately.

My doctor has prescribed getting outside for at least 15 minutes every day to soak up some sun, as well as liquid Vitamin D drops at a high-ish dose for the next month, then I’ll go back and have my levels tested again to see how much they’ve come up and adjust my dose from there.

wpid-20151025_093044.jpg

I’ll be spending more time here. 

I knew (KNEW!!!) there was something “off” inside my body, but I thought it was hormones. Having a Vitamin D deficiency never even entered my mind until my nurse suggested it, and I am so glad she did. I hope to be feeling better soon.

 

My rubber band snapped

I had a bit of a detour on my road to a new healthy lifestyle, which is why I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. The last 6 weeks have been busy, busy, busy with end of school year activities and sports wrapping up, and typically I am just counting down the days until school lets out and we can all relax (as are most people with school-age children). But this year felt different…I could feel myself drowning, but my mind kept saying “No, no, everything’s fine! Haha! I’m fine, everything’s fine!” Except I wasn’t fine. It’s as if I had a rubber band in the middle of my chest and with each passing week that rubber band got stretched a bit more, and a bit more, and a bit more, until it finally snapped. I was like Stretch Armstrong over here, except I didn’t go back to my regular shape.

tiny-stretch-armstrong

Did you know they make tiny Stretch Armstrongs? I didn’t either, but now I want one. Get it here.

I have been feeling foggy, and irritable, and just so tired for awhile now. I thought I was sleeping really well at night but I never felt rested. A couple of weeks ago, I went into a drugstore to pick up some milk and in the 15 minutes I was there, I must have yawned a dozen times. I had zero motivation to do…well, anything really. I just wanted to sit on the couch and watch tv and not move and not think and not be bothered by the world. I was just so OVER IT.

I called my doctor and made an appointment to get my hormones checked because I just KNEW something wonky was happening inside me. At my appointment, I talked with the nurse who was so sympathetic because she had just recently gone through the same thing, so she suggested we deep-dive into my hormones and test everything, including my Vitamin D levels. After I talked with the nurse, my doctor (who I am very close to, who I’ve known my whole life, and who means the world to me) came into the room and with a sympathetic look said “Hi Sweetheart” and it was at that point that the dam burst and I cried myself into a puddle right there in his arms. He sat me down, took my hands in his, looked me right in the eye and said “Are you exhausted? Do you feel like you have no motivation? Do you feel maybe a little bit depressed?” to which I nodded yes on all counts, and he said “Don’t worry, we can take care of it”. I think just having someone look me in the eye and say “I hear you” is the most validating thing in the world.

I went back last week to get my results, and guess who is Normal Nelly on everything???? Seriously, everything was in the normal range: estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, ALL OF IT. The only thing in the “out of range” category was my cholesterol, which is 233, and which I already knew was a little high so no surprise there. My Vitamin D missed the inspection for some reason, so I had to redo that one and I should get those result this week. My doctor said that the only people who have normal Vit D levels are roofers and linemen – basically people who work outside all day every day.

My doctor’s prescription for me is to take a multivitamin, a Vit D supplement, and a low dose of antidepressant (temporarily). I balked at the antidepressant at first, but then I decided that I would at least try it for a little while to see if it really changed anything. Then he said we would work on fixing my neck/shoulder issue (I have a pinched nerve or something that has become a literal pain in my  neck), and then we can work on my weight. And I’m still working with Emily to find ways to keep me happy and sane.

I’m sharing this because I know there are others out there who are in denial about how they are feeling, like I was. I have a habit of trying to PollyAnna my way through things (“IT’S ALL FINE, REALLY!” *nervous laughter*), but the truth is, sometimes things aren’t fine, or they won’t be fine after xyz is finished, or when {insert sport} season is over, or when whatever situation has reached its end. I didn’t want to wait to feel better, I wanted to feel better now.

I’m so glad I talked to my doctor and Emily, because it feels good to get help, even if that help is just so that someone can say “I hear you and I will help you.”

 

*Amazon links are affiliate links. I get a small commission, but anything I link to is something that I personally recommend or am using myself or just really want.

Zig Zag is all I do these days.

Well, as is par for my course, after I wrote my last post about how I approach food I then went on to stuff my face at every meal for a week. I had a conversation with Emily about this and she asked, “so why the self-sabotage???” and I had to think for a few minutes before I finally came up with “because trusting my body feels foreign and weird and uncomfortable even though it also feels really good and exciting and right.” Even if change is good, change can still feel odd…like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet…until you do it often enough to feel normal. So I obviously have some more work to do on this, which is fine…I never expected it to be a linear thing. Zig Zag is more my style anyway.

This last weekend really did a trip on my mind & body. My youngest daughter, who just turned 12, had a birthday sleepover on Friday with 5 of her friends. Let me tell you, six middle school girls having a sleep over is a bad idea as it sounds, but let me also tell you why I thought we could pull this off: because individually, these girls are polite and well-behaved and I’ve seen them one on one with my daughter and they were great. However, I have since learned that when you get 6 of them together, all bets are off. There were tears and hurt feelings and arguments and even my daughter agreed that WE ARE NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN. I played it cool for the most part, but inside I was a nervous wreck. Then Saturday afternoon after the sleepover, we had to hustle to drop off the girls and make it to our friend’s high school graduation, then all of Sunday afternoon was spent at my middle daughter’s last club volleyball tournament of the season. It was a very busy weekend in which I don’t think I ate a decent meal at all – mostly it was just grazing and snacking and even though I tried to keep it as nutritious as possible, it was still really lacking. And I didn’t sleep well all weekend, which means that I still, on Tuesday, don’t feel like I have recovered. I took a long walk after work yesterday to help alleviate some of the stress I’m feeling,  but it just seemed to make me even more tired.

Actually I have felt really tired for the last 2 or 3 weeks and just don’t feel like my normal self, so I have made an appointment with my doctor to have some blood work done. It could be my hormones, it could be allergies, it could be stress, it could a combination of everything…I don’t know; I just know that I need some help because I don’t feel good right now. Hopefully my doctor can help me get some answers and maybe get a plan going to help me feel better.

April and May are ridiculously busy months, but things should be winding down considerably after this week. This is the last week of school for all 3 of my kids (my youngest gets out next Tuesday, but there aren’t any activities planned for next week – thank goodness), and I am so ready for a break! I would really love to go away for a long weekend somewhere, but unfortunately there just isn’t any money in the budget for that right now. Maybe soon though.

How I approach food these days

Let’s talk about food for a minute, shall we? After all, it is my favorite subject.

lizfood

Not me, but I wish it were. 

Actually I don’t want to talk about certain kinds of foods, but how I approach eating as a general rule. In the last couple-ish years, I’ve been working A LOT on my relationship with food and I’m happy to say that I’m finally recognizing some great results. I no longer binge, and my emotional eating has been cut way, way back. Yeah sometimes I still eat for emotions, but guess what? EVERYONE DOES SOMETIMES. It’s only a problem if it becomes a habit you can’t control. But I digress…

So, Thursday night is a great example of how I decide what I’m going to eat. My daughter had a band concert that evening and afterwards we went to Braum’s because that’s what we always do after evening school activities. Braum’s is an ice cream/dairy store/hamburger place and if you don’t know Braum’s then I’m sorry that the Lord is not letting you live your best life because, man…you are missing out. Anyway, so we walk into Braum’s and immediately there is a big sign for a new Strawberry spinach chicken salad they are now offering and if you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of pairing strawberries with spinach and chicken. So I’m thinking I’m going to get that salad, but then I smell the hamburgers and here’s how my thought process went down:

  • The salad looks really good and fresh
  • but the hamburgers and fries smell delicious
  • but if I get the hamburger and fries, I’m probably going to feel really full and bloated
  • and it’s almost 8:30pm, do I really want to go to bed feeling that way?
  • I think I’d rather not feel so full because that wouldn’t make me feel very good so
  • Salad it is!

I had the salad because I knew that it was probably more nutritious than the burger, and also because I just didn’t want to feel sluggish and heavy, like I knew I would if I had the burger & fries.

And in case you think me super virtuous, after I ate my salad I was eyeing my daughter’s leftover fries and decided to have some but as I did, this was my thought process:

  • I wonder if those fries taste good?
  • I’m going to take a bite and as I eat this I’m going to focus on how they actually taste vs. how I WANT them to taste and whether or not they’re actually worth eating
  • Hmmm, it’s okay, nothing special really. I mean, they’re alright, but not worth making myself feel too full.

I ate a total of 3 fries and then I was done with them. Didn’t want them any longer. (I know, right?! Who’da thunk it?!)

Now, back in the day, I would have gotten the salad (because that’s what all dieters “should” do – ugh), but I would have been lusting after the burger and fries (and ice cream for dessert) and I would have walked away feeling deprived and probably a little ticked off, but since it was MY decision to eat based on what would make me feel the best in that moment, it was easy to not choose the burger, and it was easy to stop at three french fries and it was easy to say no to ice cream when my husband asked if I wanted any before we left.

This is the piece that was missing for all those years I spent trying to lose weight. It has to be my decision to eat what feels good for me and yes most of the time that’s going to be protein & vegetables, butonce in a while it might be ice cream. I’m taking away the judgment and focusing on what feels good for me in that moment. You can call it mindful eating, you can call it intuitive eating, but really I’m just paying attention to how I want to feel and what behaviors are going to get me there – that is what guides my food choices.

If this resonates with you, next time you have an eating opportunity I invite you to really think about what would feel good for you in that moment. Does your body need something soothing like soup? Does it need a big salad loaded with crunchy fresh vegetables? Do you really even need to eat all…maybe a big glass of water or hot tea is what you need? Maybe you do need that square of chocolate or that spoonful of peanut butter, who knows? Just try to pay attention to your body and ask it what it needs…see how that feels, and then notice how you feel after you eat as well because that matters too. 

It’s much more fun to approach eating with a curious mind – just try it and see!

 

 

 

Three Days in row. Where’s my gold star?

Had to peel myself out of bed this morning – 5:15 came way too early! But I got up and did this full body video, except for the jumping jacks. The video description said “low impact” but to me jumping jacks are not low impact, so I just did a side step, toe tap thing while the instructor did 5000 jumping jacks. Jumping jacks + 200 lbs on a 5’3″ frame = NO. Not only do I not like jumping jacks, I pretty much don’t like any kind of jumping in general because TOO MANY THINGS BOUNCE AROUND ON ME. And yes, I have an industrial strength sports bra (I found it! It was hidden in my pj drawer) that keeps everything in place but I still hate jumping, so I’m not gonna do it and you can’t make me. So there.

Something else she did that I wasn’t going to do was that she did knee push ups on a hard floor without a mat. Whaaaaat? I guess you can do that when you have young healthy knees, but for this old lady it just wasn’t gonna happen, so I did standing push ups against the counter at first, then later I just trotted over to the living room carpet when push ups came around again (same with the plank exercise too).

Some good things about this video are she included a warm up and a cool down and she even included water breaks. It was challenging but it didn’t feel impossible. One kinda weird thing is that there was no music, but that could be good because you could use your own music if you wanted to. Oh, and she’s foreign (but spoke English) but I didn’t really even need to hear what she said, I could just watch and follow along.

By the end I was fairly sweaty and I felt good, so that’s a winner for me. I’ll be keeping this video in my rotation.