Rain = Book Day

Today is a miserable rainy day and the weather man calls for more misery and more rain.

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I might battle the weather and go shopping or I might finally get into the first Lord of the Rings book. I am just at the part that Bilbo disappears at his own birthday party. So, like page 20. Nothing significant. And, I have all three of the books plus The Hobbit. So, I have some work to do.

I have a lot to read actually. For me, the reading is good but I also love hunting for these books. I like hording them. I love organizing them. I just love seeing them there. I never get anxious about a big “to read” pile. In fact, it makes me happy.  All my Preciouses.

I will eventually read them all and then I trade them at the bookstore or give them away. I’ll keep only the really special ones.

Recently, I picked up about 20 books from the Goodwill and added them to my stack and I told you about that friends of the library book sale where I racked up. Just awesome. I love when it’s a good day of book picking.

Here is my religious basket. I have a few that I read a little bit from each day.

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This is a tiny stack I have hidden on my dresser

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This is my standard size crate over flowing with frivolous romance novels.

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This is sort of a keeper shelve next to my bed.

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I house my cookbooks and dieting books here. There are also a few series. I have the Twilight series, which I read and may read again. I have the Illustrated versions of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code books.

There are some series and some miscellaneous books from Philippa Gregory (you’ll recognize her from the Other Boleyn Girl). There is Love in the Time of Cholera, which I read and raved about. I also have an unread copy of his book One Hundred Years of Solitude. Lastly, there is the entire Harry Potter series, of which I only got hallway through the Goblet of Fire a few years back but I have plans to re-read the series in its entirety.

Then, there is the mother load pile, which has a bit of everything. Most of these are bestsellers or ones people are talking about. I haven’t organized them yet.   So, it’s a mess of religious, romance, bestsellers, fiction, non-fiction, etc.  I’m trying to negotiate some more real estate around the house to get these puppies more organized.

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Lastly, I have my Kindle.

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I am starting quite a collection on it. For a long time, I didn’t get one. It was only after I ran out of things to read on a vacation that I decided I was going to get one but I still resisted and it took me still a couple of more years before I took the plunge. I just bought this cheap one about two months ago and I love it!

I love reading from an actual book but it is just too sweet to buy a book, have it instantly, and read it on a very light weight reader and press my tiny little pinky finger to get to the next page.  No flipping a page on this thing. Plus, you don’t need a bookshelf for your books.  I can’t rave about it enough.

Now, that I’ve done a pass through of my books, I think I’ll take the time to organize them some more and straighten them out.  Honestly, that sounds like fun to me.

At War

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Doesn’t that face just break your heart? It looks like it should be on one of those Humane Society Donation commercials.

Before you call PETA on me, know that this is some good old redneck crate training right here, which is legal and humane if done properly. That dog is fine. She’s spoiled rotten, in fact.

She fights me every step of the way too. She willing goes into the crate when I throw her favorite treat in there but once the treat is gone and she realizes she is behind bars, all hell breaks loose.

The first time, she took my bed skirt and yanked it through her cage bars as hard as she could. I heard her banging around but I thought it was the usual just trying to bust out. She gets really loud and until I hear a blow torch, I’m not moving. Anyway, I woke up the next morning with half a bed skirt and pieces of torn white fabric inside my puppy’s cage. Honestly, I didn’t bat an eye lash. Nothing surprises me out of Ginger-Bear. And, I’m not surprised I slept through her ripping and tearing my bed. I’m heavily medicated. That’s how I sleep at night, if you were wondering that very question.

Lest you think I’m a cruel pup parent, know that she is not house broken and crate training is the best way I know how to deal with that. I just can’t stand for her to quietly, in the middle of the night, sneak off to the corner of the bedroom, do some pretty awful business and me wake up in the morning to that God awful smell. Not to mention the cleaning involved.

And, yes, I let my dog out properly throughout the day and night. Her internal clock is messed up because she won’t do anything at 10pm (the last outing of the night) and then want to go in the wee hours of the morning. Now, I have her waking me up pretty early in the morning to go outside, which I’ll take. That’s the deal: I make sure if she really needs out, I let her out and I immediately take her outside.

Anyway, every night I’ve been trying to go to sleep to the not so soothing whine of an imprisoned dachshund. We’ve been playing a game of chicken. She whines. She shakes the cage. She bangs around. I swear she is flinging her bone at the cage walls. I ignore her. Occasionally, I talk to her and try to calm her down. This last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Sometimes, you think she is done for the night and then she starts back up again. I just deal with it. I know it’s for her own good.

I want her crate trained for potty reasons and for when I travel. I don’t want her running around the car or freaked out when everything turns strange to her. I want her to think of the cage as her very own little home. It can be done. I’ve done it before with all my dogs. At first, there is some resistance with whining and a little unhappiness but then they learn to love it because it’s a happy place. It’s nice, warm, and soft. There are toys and treats.

I’ve been winning the nightly battles but confess that a few nights, she put up such a stink that I just opened up the gate thinking, “You win! Now shut the front door and GO TO SLEEP!”

Last night, I won. Like big time. There was maybe 5 minutes whining and then she was fast asleep before I even stopped playing around on the internet.

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She really is a good dog and I love that Ginger Bear a lot. Having her is one of my good therapies.

Cleaning Day

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You know that feeling? The one where you look around and say, “Man, I’m a pig. This place is a dump!”

Well, I’m there. It starts with a pile of unfolded towels. A day’s outfit thrown on the floor. Then, the dresser gets cluttered with miscellaneous crap.

Before you know it, it looks like a bomb went off. That’s where I am with my bedroom, my closet and my craft room/office.

Just crap everywhere. One traveling roommate of mine once told me that I explode on a room.

Even yesterday, my mom came into my room and the look on her face said it all. I just said simply, “Don’t judge me.” But, I could tell. She was judging.

I knew it was time anyway. I’ve just been slob about my environment.

So, today, for however long it takes, I’ll be bagging up trash, donations and tidying up the spaces around me.

Namaste.

Consistency, Where Art Thou?

I was sitting on my couch last night scrolling through Facebook and this picture pops up.

Progress

I was blown away by such a drastic transformation so I clicked on it and read the article. It’s worth reading. Heck, her blog is worth surfing through. She really kicks booty.

http://thegetinshapegirl.com/consistency-is-the-key-to-weightloss/

My takeaway:

This girl once had an unhealthy relationship with food and she conquered it.

It’s going to take a while to lose weight. No waking up one day and being 10 pounds lighter. Dang it!

If you fall off the “eat right” wagon, move on. Make your next meal a healthy one.

Have moderation

Lift weights regularly

Do a lot of walking, stretching and general moving around

Eat mostly healthy & nutritious foods

DO NOT STRESS. Stressing holds on to fat.

Do these things. Remain patient and have faith.

I sensed some Paleo and Crossfit at work here and sure enough, she is doing it.

http://thegetinshapegirl.com/my-one-year-crossfit-affair/

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I made these jars after getting the idea from a Weight Watcher’s Facebook page. The idea is that when you lose a pound, you take a rock/marble from the “To Lose Pounds” jar and put in the other “Lost Pounds” jar. Well, I’ve been transferring the same four marble rocks back and forth.

Today, I decided I would use the jars and the idea to count healthy meals and workouts.

One Healthy Meal = Marble into “Lost Jar”

One Serious Workout = Marble into “Lost Jar”

Hopefully, we can get some consistency around here and I won’t have to resort to these childish mind games for too long.

Organization

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My crazy little puppy woke me up like a military bugle horn at 6am this morning. She needed to go outside. On one hand, you want to praise her for the wakeup call instead of just making a restroom where she is but I couldn’t help but be a little groggy and disgruntled. That’s a job for coffee!

By the way, since she has now been relieved, she is back to sleep. Probably for the rest of the day.

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It’s 7:06am.  And, I have some time to kill.

Despite the early doggy alarm, I have a clear, clean and fresh mind. Last night before I went to bed, I got everything out of my brain. Believe it. Even my most trivial thoughts were evicted.

One of the things that has helped me mentally is to take my notebook with me everywhere and I write down everything that comes to my mind.  You don’t have to worry about forgetting something.  Those thoughts can plague you so I try to eliminate that mind drama as much as possible.

I plan everything out. I get a kick out of being super organized in my mind, around my person and where I live. Pretty much my whole life is compartmentalized. I love notebooks, pens, baskets, containers, pouches, etc.

I have notebooks upon notebooks. I found that journals and diaries make excellent notebooks but I look for anything as large as can be but still fit into my purse.

My notebooks mostly turn into lists. To do list. Reading lists. List of wants.  Random thoughts. Slogans. Expressions.  Words of encouragement. Goals. Future plans. I do not keep one thing in my mind. Everything gets very finely broken down on paper. Even the tiniest detail of my life.

For example, I wrote out last night:
Sunday:
Wake up
Let Ginger Out
Get a cup of coffee
Weigh myself and put date and time into old dieting book.
Take multivitamin and fish oil
Watch Joel Osteen at 8am (which will now be 7:30, thank you Ginger)

About the Old Dieting Book. I was really successful 2.5 years ago about losing weight. Not just losing weight but being healthly and being very strong. I wrote everything down on my success so now I can go back to that.

Today, I want to start tracking in that notebook and going through it to refresh myself on all the information. I want to eat like that again. I already got what I could from the grocery store yesterday.

TODAY’S TO DO LIST:
Clean out frig
Do Laundry
Clean Room
Work in the garden
Organize gym bag
Clean out car

Somewhat related.  Here is an article I came across on a fitness blog.  It popped up on my Facebook feed.

The Only 7 Things We Truly Can Control in Life—and How to Rock Them All

http://greatist.com/grow/what-you-can-control-for-happiness-success?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=textlink&utm_campaign=latest-articles

I really like #6. Eat Smart.

Even though it might taste great, junk food is a net negative. It makes your brain and body slow and sad. Consuming too much sugar has been linked to all kinds of medical conditions (including metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease), not to mention mood swings and crashes that kill productivity. Plus, processed foods have been proven to exacerbate, if not cause, chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and even breast cancer [5] [6]. Simple fixes like keeping a bag of carrots or a bowl of fruit handy help us pick up the healthier choice when we’re depleted and hungry and reaching for the closest snack. Easy-to-whip-up, convenient-to-carry portable snacks can be delicious and nutritious.

It makes your brain and body slow and sad.

Sigh.  I get it. I know that. I know that but even so reading it again gave me an awareness.  Shaking my head.  When you are in the rut, it’s so hard . . . . . well, you know the drill.

That girl is gone

I’m sitting here enjoying my black coffee and Weight Watchers oatmeal spruced up with almonds and peanut butter. I have one more cup of Weight Watchers oatmeal in my cabinet. At least I think so. I keep finding them. I only bought one pack.

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Let’s see. . . They are not bad but not good either. I’ll be happy to switch back to the Lower Sugar Quaker oatmeal. I know oatmeal is non-paleo. But, it’s a healthy quick easy breakfast. I need something that is going to stick to the ribs and I don’t feel like making a big Zone-approved breakfast every morning. I’ve done it but now I think I’ll reserve that for the weekends.

I’m missing a program called My Fit foods. You could just go into the grocery store and pick up a breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack with no work. I love healthy already prepared foods.

http://www.myfitfoods.com/

We don’t have anything like that here. I’m on my own.

I quit Weight Watchers today. I put my reason down as “the product was not worth the price” and that’s true. I probably could afford it if I stretched things but I wasn’t going to unless I was really committed and I’m just not. I learned everything I needed to and I just need to hunker down and put it to practice. So, yeah, I guess I just used them and now I’m off. I know everyone says you need the weigh-ins and the meetings but that’s not true. I’ve lost weight before without any of that jazz. Besides, I’m obviously not scared of their weigh in’s. I’ll go in and weigh a completely trashed number and just look at the clerk like “what? Oh no, the program definitely works. I just had pizza and a Blizzard last night. Severe depression, ya know.”

And, that’s the truth. This depression is kicking my ass. People who knew me before wouldn’t even recognize me. I’m a complete downer.

I threw myself at the mercy of the clinician yesterday and we agreed that a change in medication would be appropriate. She even suggested we set up an emergency appointment with the doc, which I advised was not necessary but . . . we might be getting there. I was having some strange thoughts last night. I’m still able to control things. Thank God. But, imagine reading a book and then being in that scene. I’m not even kidding. It becomes as real as me and you sitting here at our computers. On one hand, it’s a cool mind trip and nice to take vacation to a imaginary world. On the other hand, it’s completely scary and freaks me out. I couldn’t take my medication fast enough and, as usual, it knocked me right out. Woke up this morning just fine. No delusions.

I digress. The clinician and I talked about my complete lack of ambition. This is just not who I am. I’m a achiever. In order to feel good about myself, I need to accomplish something significant everyday even if it is running a couple of miles. I’ve been robbed of that and I blame the medication. So, we are going to dial those back a bit, change em or whatever the doc thinks will get us to the middle. Not the running around crazy Mel but not the zombie either.

My clinician also stressed that I’m just not the person I was. Can’t un-ring the bell. Can’t close the curtain. I’ve been scarred for the rest of my life and I have to learn to live with all this newness.

Other helpful advice: When was the last time I was truly happy?

I told her two and a half years ago. Just before my breakdown. I was truly happy. I loved everything about my life.

She told me to write down the things that made me happy and try, at least open myself up to the possibility, of gradually trying to do those things in the upcoming weeks.

Lastly, I have to find my strengths. Write them down. And, then make sure I am putting them to use.

But, she gave me this caveat: Try to stay in the present as much as possible. I’m not the girl I was two and a half years ago so those goals and ambitions may not be applicable. Think about who I am now. Concentrate on this girl.

Concentrate on this girl. Not the girl I was.

Therapy Thursday

As you know, today is mental health day for me. Yesterday was physical examination day at the parish health clinic since I only have “Family Planning” Medicaid. So, I got the latest in sexually transmitted disease testing (all negative. Yay!) and all the contraceptive education and supplies a girl could need.

This is actually important because I cannot procreate while on these medications per my psychiatrist’s orders. Not to mention that I do not want to pass on this mental clink to my offspring. At the health clinic, I was given the news that I am at such an advanced age (but still young at 34) that should I get pregnant, there would be a high chance of something going wrong. And, it only increases as each year passes. Not to say, the doctor went on to reassure me, that older women do not have healthy babies. It’s just that the risks are high.

I assured each of my doctors when this topic comes up that I pretty much decided not to have children. If I do get the urge, I’ll just adopt a baby that needs me.

I love the story of Kym Whitley just randomly receiving a call to come pick up a baby at the hospital.

If that happens to me or a baby otherwise drops in my lap, I’ll be a parent.

For right now, I’m content to be the crazy Auntie.

Today, I pick up medications and meet with the clinician. Before now, I’ve been sugar coating my disposition but I’m going to be honest. I’m going to tell her that I have a habit of putting on a smile and pretending everything is ok. But, it’s not. I am really struggling with myself. I need help to conquer this. And, a lavender scented bath with some soft music is not going to cure me.

These medications feel like they are holding me back. Not helping me. I’m tempted to stop them but I know I can’t. Stopping the medication has only hurt me even more. But, it really is tempting. Without medication, I operate in a typical manic state and I love it! I love having the energy of ten people. I love being able to do 10 things at once. I miss my old self. How am I ever going to get on my feet like this? I feel held back.

It’s definitely something we’ll have to discuss today. I’m a little sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Bacon Grease & Candy

This is what I’m dealing with around me.

I’m not strong in the first place and then we have this Southern temptation.

A friend once said salt and butter makes anything taste good.

My mom lives by that creed.

I told you I can have potatoes. I’ m thinking Weight Watchers did not have these potatoes in mind.

They are swimming in bacon grease and so freaking good. I can’t resist.

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It was also fish night. An otherwise healthy option. Until you dip them in batter and drown those puppies in oil. It makes them very crispy. And, who loves crispy food? Me.

So, of course, I ate it. It was so good.

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But, here is my victory. My parents made a candy run and brought back this bounty.

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That I did not partake in. I wasn’t tempted by the candy.

My temptation is real food smoothed in  animal fat. Any kind of fat. Bacon grease is the best.

Yeah, I have my work cut out of me living in this house. So, I offer up this prayer:

Lord, please help me be completely disgusted by food like this.  Give me the strength to enjoy salad while my beloved little piggies enjoy their Southern dinner and candy. Please Lord. A little help here.  Thanks!

No Forgiveness

I lazily rolled out of bed this morning. I didn’t want to but Ginger Bear, the pup, needed to go outside so I did. Thank God for her. She’s my therapy dog. Without her, I would probably just lay in bed all day. But, she forces me to get up.

Now, I am sitting in front of my computer with a cup of black coffee wondering just what the heck I’m going to tell you.

Probably the most pressing thing on my mind is my weight. Sigh. Broken record, I know.

I feel it constantly. In my back. In my joints. I’ve never felt like this before. But, then I’ve never been this heavy before.

Is the weight holding me down? Is it the medication? The depression? Probably all of it.

I used to fight anything and everything, including the battle of the bulge. Now, I’ve given up.

I am a Weight Watchers Loser and not in a good way. I thought about quitting these past few days. I lost 4 pounds then I stopped tracking and went back to my old eating ways. I instantly gained all the weight back and then a few extra pounds.

I realize that weight scale number can keep going up. I could just get bigger and bigger. That scares me.

My body used to be forgiving. I could eat what I want and I would never, never in a million years, hit the 200 barrier. Now, I’ve barreled past it no problem. It was incredibility easy. I am shocked about that.

I should be ashamed and embarrassed by my number but I don’t care. The thing that bothers me the most is how awful I feel. I have no energy. I hurt everywhere especially my back. I can’t find a comfortable position.

I did a Body Fat Analysis in September 2011. My lean mass was 107. Right now, I am carrying around roughing 120 extra pounds. No wonder my poor body is protesting. Just before I had my breakdown I was 161 pounds and I had 54.74 fat mass then. I hated myself for that. I watched what I ate. I worked out almost daily. I was determined to get the fat mass down. Now, I can’t work up the enthusiasm for a walk.

I am fat.
I am disgusting.
I hate being in my own skin.
I am uncomfortable.
I ache all over.
My back really really hurts.
I am constantly tired.
I don’t want to do anything.

What is the solution? What is the plan?

Well, quitting Weight Watchers is NOT one of them. Yesterday, I dragged myself there. Even before the meeting, I went for a 1 mile walk. The meeting helped. Just being in that environment.

I’m not on the Simple Start program anymore. That’s just a 2 week “jump start program.” I’m doing the same principles. It’s name has just changed. It’s called Simply Filling now. Same healthy foods and eating. Lots of vegetables, some fruit, lean protein, whole wheat.

Instead of 7 anything you want points a day, you just get them all at once for the week. A 49 anything you want to eat points for the week. To do whatever you want with them.

I’ve decided I’m using that for regular mayo and maybe pasta. I’m not digging the fat free stuff and the whole wheat pasta taste like cardboard. I’d rather have vegetables or something.

Just doing it one day, I lost 2 pounds of that weight I packed on so fast the past few days.

Here is my Simple Filling Breakfast. Straight from the book.
On the menu:
Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Potato
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Scramble eggs with fresh peppers and onions. Serve with roasted potato.

I love that potatoes are an option. My leader said, “Potatoes are not bad. It’s what people do with them.” So, I can’t have French fries but I can have a roasted potato with olive oil. It’s like food sex with your pants on, if you ask me.