Thursday, December 25, 2014

Too Full

So, um, yah, ... I over-ate. Too much Christmas dinner. Then, too many Christmas cookies.

I was stuffing to drown out uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes it's easier to be uncomfortable in my own skin by over-eating than to be uncomfortable with feelings. The results? I now have a stomach that is making rumbling noises and feeling stretched to the max. And still have emotional garbage to deal with. Great.

All because holidays are stressful. I came back to the house where I grew up and where I lived again for the past four years. I've only been gone a few months, but I have changed a lot. The way I used to live here is no longer the way I want to live. I've been battling that for the last few days and it is exhausting. 

The second night here I contemplated changing my flight home to leave earlier (Salt Lake City is now home) just because of how overwhelmed I felt. I didn't change my flight; I reminded myself that things are always worse in the middle of the night, and that I should not jump into this decision, but at least I knew I could change flights if it still felt necessary in the light of day.

Today, I again contemplated changing flights home to leave earlier. These last few days have been very hard. I've changed; a lot of things here stayed the same, but not in good ways. I was angry, frustrated, and sad, but I didn't want to spoil the dinner with relatives, so I put on a happy face. I gave myself permission to enjoy my other relatives and then later face my feelings when I was in a safe space.

On the drive home at 5:30 I was exhausted. I wanted to crawl into bed (actually lying on my bed as I write this).  The sad thing is, I still have yet to deal with the feelings that we're making me feel yucky earlier.

Now that several hours have passed these feelings don't seem so overwhelming. (Or is that just because I'm so full that I'm having a hard time feeling emotions?) I am thinking more rationally about the situation. I can make it five more days. (I think. I hope.) But I have a lot of thinking to do as I plan for future trips home, in order to take care of myself and my needs so that I feel safe and taken care of.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

More Than a Number

This weekend was the final weigh-in before the holidays. Didn't lose that last 0.7 pounds last week to make my goal; in fact, I am up a bit. And guess what- I'm ok with that.

The holidays, and preparations for them, are stressful enough without the addition of weight loss. Weight loss is hard enough without the stress of the holidays. I know why the scale went up a bit this week. I didn't eat very well. I did exercise, but I didn't eat enough fruits and veggies like I like to and I ate way more sweets than I care to admit to. So yah, the scale went up a bit.

I'll keep doing what I need to do to take care of myself this week. I'll enjoy Christmas Day dinner with family and while I won't go overboard with eating, I won't worry about staying under a certain number of calories. My plan is to fill my plate with lots of veggies and protein, take the special foods that I don't get often and the foods that I enjoy. And taste the other foods. And, if something special or that is only served on special occasions isn't as good as I had hoped, I give myself permission to leave it on my plate.

I'm not worried about the number on the scale because I know I am so much more and have achieved so many great things this year.
I can run. (Slowly, but I can do it!)
I can walk a long ways.
I can hike.
I can plank.
I can chase my niece and nephew around playing football and not get winded.
I can climb rock walls.
I can dance.
I can sing.
I feel comfortable in my own skin. With and without clothes on. I can look at myself naked in the mirror and like what I see.
I can play with  my students.
I can crawl around on the floor with them.
I can walk into a crowded room and not want to be a wall flower, but rather want to mingle and meet people.
I can laugh with others and at myself.
I can speak my mind and ask for what I want and need (do you know how liberating this is!?).
I can love and be loved.
There are so many things I can do, that I'm not going to let a number on a scale bring me down.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Getting Back On Track

Making progress despite "mistakes" along the way.
I've been (mostly) sugar-free since Wednesday. Mostly only natural sugars from fruits, but you know... it's the holidays and there's lots of goodies being shared. It can be hard to resist.

Thankfully, I was feeling more like myself for my dinner date last night. And he was so sweet. I had been going crazy for no reason (other than the sugar overload coursing through my body and making me feel off).

I did have some homemade candy this afternoon that had been part of a present from a student. It was so good that I couldn't hardly stop myself. Ok, I could have stopped myself, but thankfully they only gave me a little bit so I didn't do too much damage. ...and I spent about an hour and a half on the treadmill/elliptical this evening to make up for it. I'm feeling pretty darned good.

Tomorrow I will weigh in in the morning. We'll see what the scale says; will I make my goal before Christmas? Regardless of what the scale says, I'm feeling really good and looking really good. My clothes fit well. I feel healthy and happy and whole. I feel vibrant.

Now, I just need to remember those things every time I encounter sweets over the holidays so I can stay focused on keeping me healthy and happy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

I've had it up to here!

I need to give myself an extra measure of grace today.
I'm stressed. I'm tired. I'm tense. I'm ready to cry. The cat keeps meowing (in a come hither, I'm in heat sort of way), I can't get the lid on the plastic container I'm packing, I keep nibbling at the fudge that I'm packaging up to give away (even though I don't want to eat it), my computer is working really slowly (and I might throw it out the window- or through the window!), and ... and I don't understand men.

I know, I know. It's the sugar. Sugar does bad things to me; it makes my body achy and makes my mind play games.

As if this season isn't stressful enough I'm dating a guy (and dating always is stressful). He seems like a pretty good guy. At least most of the time. He cheered me up earlier this evening with some funny texts. Now I want to throttle him. His last message, after I said "good night" was "cheers". Who says "cheers"? Are we toasting and I don't know it?! Or is there some other reason for a casual (platonic friends) greeting? More than likely, I'm reading too much in to this.

Ok, so given the circumstances it's not surprising that I'm feeling stressed and anxious about dating. Yes, there's the whole "sugar makes me kinda crazy thing", but there was a spot in my past where dating at this time of year caused me a lot of hurt. The sugar craze is dredging up that memory. The guy I was dating started talking to another girl while I was gone for Christmas. When he picked me up from the airport on New Years Eve he confessed this all to me and broke up with me. Jerk. So, yah, I'm coming up to this holiday with a little trepidation. I know the guy I'm dating now isn't the guy I was dating back then. I'm pretty sure (like 95%) that he likes me; he's just not good at saying it so it leaves me uncertain sometimes. (And yah, there was another guy I dated who never told me how he felt. Months after I told him I loved him he still hadn't said it back, which is a big reason I broke up with him. I needed to not only see and feel how he felt about me, but I also I needed to hear it. I told him this evening that I like him, in a text, and he never acknowledged or responded. I'm a little hurt.) I know I need to leave the past in the past. I know THIS guy is NOT THOSE guys. But the sugar is making me think crazy thoughts. I need to stop the sugar so I can stop some of the crazy thoughts. I need to stop the sugar so I can think rationally.

I need to stop the sugar. Not only is it making me crazy, it's going to make my body achy and yucky. I already noticed the yucky feeling this afternoon when working out. My body didn't have any energy to really push the cardio because I haven't been fueling it properly. My workout this evening was tough. I'm glad I went and it made me feel a little better, but I don't feel as good after as I usually do.

I need to stop the sugar and get back on track with what I know my body wants and what makes me feel good because I'm seven-tenths of a pound away from my goal weight. 0.7 pounds! And I already printed my Christmas letter saying I met my goal weight this December. I don't want to make a liar out of myself.

Somebody stop me before I drive myself crazy! Oh, wait, that somebody is me.

I'm going to bed. Not getting enough sleep will only add to the stress. So if I can't stop the world and get off, I can at least go to bed and shut the world out for several hours.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Tuesday I was feeling overwhelmed by emotions. At the time, I really had no idea why, but I was losing it. I was crying for no reason. I was feeling anxious, irritable, and confused. I thought that exercising might help, but in the midst of planking I started bawling again. No clue why, but I was overwhelmed.

I tried to do my EBT meditation, and that helped for a moment, but then a few moments later I was bawling again for seemingly no reason.

I decided to give myself the night off. Trying to attempt my "to do" list was stressing me out more, so I made a little dinner of potatoes O'Brien and scrambled eggs (which, just my luck, I burned a little), and then I sat down to knit. Knitting is usually a relaxing activity for me and it helped me Tuesday night. And around 9:30 pm, I sent myself to bed a little earlier than usual.

Wednesday morning I woke up to the "Overwhelmed" playing on the radio.

As I listened, I connected with the desire to be overwhelmed by God, not by my emotions and so I pondered again, why was I feeling this way?

My shoulders hurt, like I was carrying a lot of tension, but the day had been pretty good.
My joints hurt, especially my legs, like I'd run outside instead of on the treadmill, but I hadn't.
I was tired, but I'd gotten a fair amount of sleep.
My stomach hurt, but I thought I'd eaten pretty well. Ok, so maybe not great, but a can of Progresso was better than fast food, right?

So, why was I feeling like this? And then it hit me: all the sugar from Thanksgiving dinner. Cranberry jell-o salad, two slices of pie, ice cream, and whipped cream. And another slice of pie the next day. Yep, that would do it to me.

As soon as I had that realization, I felt a wave of peace wash over me. I felt peace knowing  what was "wrong" with me. They were just feelings, and feelings are neither right nor wrong, but I was confused as to why I was feeling them.

Armed with this knowledge, I have been trying fiercely to cut out sugar, except for the natural kind from my diet. I had a little hiccup last night as I had some pop with dinner. I noticed that I'm still slightly irritable this morning (but that could also be because the caffeine in the pop kept me up late). But, I'm doing SOOOOOO much better than I was on Tuesday. I'm no longer feeling overwhelmed by emotions and instead letting myself be overwhelmed by God's love and care for me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Plans

I started mentally processing what my plans for Thanksgiving would be a few weeks ago. For the meal that is. What and how I would eat. When and if I would exercise. Nothing completely definite yet as I will be a house guest so it can be hard to say for sure what the menu will be or what the day will hold, but I know what I can and need to do to take care of myself: limit the carbs and sweets to my body feels good. Try to get physical activity/movement in as able.

I also decided that this was a week that I was going to try to just hold steady. Sort of practice for when I reach my weight goal of maintaining it. I had a big loss last week so it would only be fitting to maintain, and in light of the holiday this week it seems even more fitting to not try to push myself too hard to lose weight, but to just try to hold steady.

So, this morning I changed my settings on my food tracker to "maintain current weight" and it automatically upped my calories. I get about an extra 800 calories more than what I'd been eating to lose 1.5 lbs a week. Wow! I'm already planning to conserve calories the day before and after, therefore allowing myself to enjoy all the food I want on Thanksgiving day without fear of going over my calorie goals. I am also going to listen to my body and not over eat. There will be leftovers. I can always have more later (except our GBC- that always goes quickly so I hope we make lots!). Listen to my body. Eat slowly so that I can enjoy the food and so that I can gauge how full I'm getting or if I still have room for one more helping.

I know that some of these goals are vague and may be hard to keep, but I've still got a few more days to solidify things and giving myself freedom from worry about calories and weight loss/gain feels very significant for me. I feel proud that I'm taking care of myself this way.

Please share your Thanksgiving survival plans.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Observing Myself

I just noticed that I want to go eat a bunch of the leftover doughnuts and muffins in the kitchen.

Wow. I must be stressed.

I'm overtired. I overslept on Monday. I didn't go to bed early enough Monday night. So far, it's been a rough week.

I'm anxious. How do I play this whole dating situation? Do I write back? Do I not, do I just wait?

I also noticed a few minutes before that I just wanted to cry. Connecting that to the "I want to go eat all the doughnuts" desire, I realized I'm stressed. What is something loving and nurturing I can do for myself right now?

I will remind myself that these are just feelings. They aren't good or bad, they simply are.

I'm also going to give myself permission to cry in a safe space if it will help. And permission to nap when I get home. Then we I get up from my nap I'll have a healthy dinner and exercise. Those things sound loving and nurturing towards myself. Ahh...I love self-care.

How do you care for yourself when you are stressed?

Listening, Prayers, and Relief

Yesterday was a rough day.

I woke up late. My alarm never went off. I had set it; I just forgot to turn it on. My roommate woke me up 5 minutes after she wanted to leave for work. Thankfully, she was gracious and kind about me oversleeping and told me to not worry about it.

But still, waking up late sets the tone for the day and mine was off all day.

I missed our staff devotions because when I got to school I discovered a bunch of little things that I had forgotten to do to prepare for the day. I felt like I was behind all day.

I texted the guy I had a date with on Friday night (date #4) to say that I had a good time and thanks for dinner. And any chance of seeing him again. Though I know the date went well, and despite the fact that I know he's a mellow, laid back guy, despite the fact that it's only date #4, his response made me anxious. Does he not like me? Does he not like me as much as I thought? What's going on?

That evening I was all out of sorts. I was anxious, agitated, and tired. I succumbed to tears. Those tears and snuggling my roommate's kitty helped a bit. I also took some time to use my EBT skills and do a "cycle" to go through my feelings, essential pains, and earned rewards of struggling through this. I felt somewhat lifted by listening to my body.

But when I went to bed, more tears came. That's when I finally cried out to Jesus.

Jesus, I need your help here. I'm feeling anxious. I don't know what to do. Help me through this. Take this burden and this worry from me tonight. Help me to sleep in Your peace.

And I slept. Peacefully in the arms of Jesus. Thanks be to God.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Milestone Celebration

Ok, I've said it again and again: it's important to celebrate along the way, so today I'm celebrating having reached another milestone. But first, let me say, I am NOT a runner.

One of my goals at the end of last December was to run. Not like I wanted to train for a marathon or anything, but I wanted to have the freedom to move my body in that way. I wanted to be able to run around with "my kids" and my niece and nephew. (My kids are my students.)

Today I ran around with "my kids" and had a blast! I joined in the game of tag during PE this afternoon. And I had so much fun. I could fake running slow so they could tag me not because I really was slow.

As I reflected on that success this evening as I left the fitness center I walked a little taller, with my back a little straighter, and a smile on my face. I have reached one of my goals and it feels great.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Write Your Story

Every day is a choice. Every moment is a choice.

Today I started with some healthy choices. I felt good from my better eating habits and exercise habits over the last few days.

I've been burning close to 1000 calories a day from physical activity the last several days. I'm feeling physically good. And, by lunch time I was also starving from all the extra calories burned.

There just happened to be a leftover cupcake sitting in the kitchen at lunch time. I was starving. I'd eaten my healthy salad and was still hungry. It was calling my name and my willpower was low. So I ate it.

Later I got a sugar headache. I wasn't feeling great and I had a choice to make. Do I give in and grab some more crap? Or do I do a 180 and go back to healthy snacks? I thought about how my body would feel and chose the afternoon snack that would make me feel best. I chose the banana and string cheese.

I'm so glad I did. I know that if I had  given in to the junk cravings that I would be feeling miserable right now. But I didn't give in. I got out of the sugar funk and when I got home I grabbed a healthy snack before hitting the fitness center.

I burned almost another 1000 calories. And I'm feeling healthy and good... and hungry. I think I'm going to go grab a piece of fruit and some protein.

Monday, November 10, 2014

It Takes a Village

It takes a village to raise a child.

It also takes a village to succeed on this journey.

That's the reason I started this blog. I wanted to share my journey and provide encouragement to others. I hope that through sharing my ups and downs we can build our villages and find support on our journeys.

Today I read a great blog article about the "#1 Habit You Should Have to Lose Weight". (Read it here) It reminded me of why this is so important to me. I need you. And hopefully, you need me, too.

So, on that note, I want to share some successes with you.

1- I'm staying away from sugar, mostly. I had a small bowl of gelato on a date the other night. I didn't finish it, and I didn't let it set me off on a sugar binge for days. It was a small victory.

2- I've been working out regularly. My doctor says I'm at a good weight, but if I wanted I could lose 5-10 more pounds. He also said I need to focus on toning. So, I'm beefing up the abs work to tone my middle a bit more.

3. And because of that hard work.... drum roll, please.... I'm down another notch on my belt! At the end of the belt. Kind of sad because I love this belt. Guess it's time to go shopping again.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I Did It!

I did it. I made it a whole day without sugary snacks. (There was a slight setback yesterday. After I posted on my blog yesterday, I ate an apple fritter donut at church. I did not feel good while doing it. Not only because I had just posted about not eating sugar, but also because of how it made me physically feel.)

Today, my body is feeling better already. Not great, because I'm still flushing some sugar from my system and therefore my joints are still a little achy and some muscles are still stiff, but a lot better. I felt more positive; less grouchy and irritable. More energetic, less lethargic. My workout felt great, more pep in my step.

It's really helpful to stay away from the sweets when I reflect on how I feel when I eat well and observe the feelings in my body. The best part was while on the treadmill I felt like my waist was slimmer and less puffy and jiggly. It felt like things were back in place.

I feel grateful for the effort I put into taking care of myself. I am worth it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


You got me wanting you.

I can't help myself, I love you and nobody else.

(And in honor of the recent holiday:) 
I want candy! Lots of candy!

Hello. My name is Becky 
and I'm a sugar addict.

I love sugar. Sugar does not love me.
I love sugar for the sweet taste. It instantly satisfies. It provides a rush.

But sugar always lets me down. There's always a crash later. I get a headache. I get stiff and my joints ache. It get....well, to put it nicely, I get irritable and grouchy. (Some might say bitchy.) Sugar turns me into a not nice, not good feeling person. But it's so addicting that I keep wanting more not matter how much I know it will hurt me later. It's a vicious cycle.

I'm tired of this cycle. I need to remind myself of why I like NOT eating sugary sweets. I need to remember the positives of eating healthy, low-sugar/no-sugar treats. I need to remember what sugar turns me into (a not nice person who doesn't feel good). I'm going to post these reminders by my pantry.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Where Am I Going?

I've had some off weeks these last several weeks. Hence only one post in October.
I was sick for the middle portion of the month, then spent the next week trying to recover from what was missed while I was sick. While I was sick I started out taking "ok" care of myself, eating fairly well the first few days and getting enough rest, but then things changed. I didn't rest as much and therefore I was too tired to prepare the good foods I knew my body needed. I gave into cravings and tiredness. I ordered pizza and ate junk. It took me a while to get better even after I was over the cold I didn't feel good because I was full of junk.
I knew what I needed to do to feel better: eat better and get back on the exercise routine. So I did just that and started feeling better. I felt so much better that I thought I would be ok to have some candy and sweets at a Halloween party.
I was so wrong.
Today I feel awful. Friday morning I was celebrating officially being down 70 pounds this year. Today, the scale has fluctuated up again and I'm feeling lousy because of the sugar. My body aches. I have a headache. I'm feeling irritable and cranky (that's partly due, though, to the fact that I had to go in to work on my day off).
I've done some thinking the last few days. Why have I been indulging in the sugar and junk that I KNOW will make me feel lousy? Why do I do this when I'm so close to my goal that the end is in sight? Am I afraid of reaching my goal? Where am I going? I've lost sight of how far I've come and where I am headed.

I don't think that's the answer. I think I've been on this journey for so long that I stopped celebrating the small victories and celebrating myself and my progress.
So starting now I'm recognizing my accomplishment and how far I've come in this journey. Tomorrow, I'm going to go buy myself  the new jeans that I've been waiting for and deserve. I'm also going to start back on the healthy eating and exercising plan. (I've found a a great buns workout  from the TODAY show on Facebook!)
I feel proud of how far I've come.
I feel proud of the small changes I've made.
I feel proud of myself sticking with this for so long.
I feel alive.
I feel vibrant.
I feel healthy.
I feel beautiful.
I feel proud that the inner me is now available for all to see.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Little Happy Dance

Oh, by the way, I wanted to share another little victory: I'm now on the FOURTH notch in the belt and it's a little loose! Gonna need a new belt soon!

Also, all my size 14s are too big. Going clothes shopping on Friday for a couple pairs of pants and some tops as I whittle my waist down. And possibly some new shoes....because a girl can never have too many shoes. (But seriously, I do need some new fall/winter work shoes so this is totally reasonable. Sandal season is winding to an end.)

I Am Joy

I'm learning to let go.

It's not easy. It doesn't happen overnight.

Several weeks ago my boyfriend and I decided to move on in different directions. (That's a really nice, adult way of saying we broke up.) I cried, a lot. I ate cookies and sweets and other "crap"; I'm an emotional eater, it's what I do. I've been working on NOT eating because of my emotions, but in times of extreme stress (say the end of a significant relationship) those old habits resurface. I did less damage than I would have in the past, but I still did them. I'm not perfect. (Guess what? I don't have to be either!) And if it makes you feel any better, I did work out to try to compensate for some of the "damage" the sweets did to my diet. It certainly made me feel better as I burned off calories and frustrations.

I started dating again. The first one was awkward and I never heard from him again. The second one asked me out again. It was nice, but also a little awkward. He asked me out a third time... we'll see. Guys number three and four are also in the line-up for dates this weekend. Whew, I'm not sure how I'll keep them all straight!

Sunbursts through clouds on my walk home on September 30th.
Sun reflecting off the clouds on my walk home on October 1st.

Ahhhh. It's a beautiful evening.
Still, occasional feelings about my previous boyfriend come up. This weekend I had some tears. I remembered and missed the fun times he and I had together. He took me on many dating adventures. We supported each other through some tough times. I met his family. Big stuff. I missed it. I missed his friendship.

As I walked home yesterday (5 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes) I had some time to think. I thought about why I was sad about the past relationship and the excitement of looking forward to new potential relationships.A tear or two may have come to my eye as I saw beautiful views and thought of how he would have loved to see and photograph them. Lots of mixed feelings on my walk and lots of time to think about things. By the time I got home yesterday I was "thought out" and the only thing on my mind was how tired and hungry I was; after all, I was walking during dinner time.

Today, I felt such peace on my walk home. No longer feeling mixed emotions; ready to let go of the past and even more now looking forward to the future. I felt happy about the progress I've made in letting him go and moving on. I feel grateful for the time we shared, the lessons I learned about myself and love and life, and that I was able to give and receive (in his own way) love. And I am looking forward to taking what I've learned about myself and relationships and love to use in the future. I feel happy.

As I walked home I thought of those lessons and when I thought of him I felt peace. No longing. No regrets. Just peace. I saw a beautiful sunset and thought of how much he would have enjoyed photographing the stunning colors and light. It was a lovely feeling and a lovely moment. I feel proud of myself for that.

I am joy. And that is the best part.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

(Sub)Urban Hiker Girl Sets Out

My favorite kind of flower grows wild here!
Urban Hiker Girl set out today on a suburban walk. It was a beautiful fall day and I just couldn't stand sitting around indoors all day, so I put on shorts and a long sleeved t-shirt, tied on my tennis shoes, grabbed my headphones, turned on my GPS to map my walk and set out. 

Along the way I sang along to the music, saw some beautiful sights, and did some thinking. 
Not a lot, but just a little.

I thought about how flat it is here. No hills, so the walk was pretty mild compared to my urban hikes in Seattle.

And I thought about how absolutely beautiful it is here, but in a different way from Seattle. I can't say that I have a favorite, but I am so grateful for my home here.

And I thought about what a beautiful day it was and what a beautiful sunset we will have.

I love my new home.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reality Check

I stepped on the scale this morning. The numbers reflected what I knew was true. Despite the extra exercise I'd done on Saturday, I had eaten a lot of crap on Sunday and the scale had gone up. Fortunately (?), this wasn't my official weigh in day, so I didn't have to enter it into record. It was just a reality check. That, and the red bumps on my face are the evidence that I have not been eating well for several days and so my body was reflecting that.

Determined to not go on my date on Saturday feeling bloated or with red bumps on my face, I planned my food for the day. I also determined that I was going to be extra focused on eating well, logging everything, and continuing the good exercise routine I'd gotten back into last week.

I did well today, planning out my lunch and prepacking it the night before really helped. This morning all I had to do was pull my lunch bag out of the fridge and I was set with my morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. On the way to work I logged all the food I was planning to eat and what I'd eaten for breakfast and I was 100 calories under my goal for the day. Knowing I might have time to exercise after work before going to the movie I knew I'd be ok to have/take with me, a light, healthy snack to eat at the movie theater if I got hungry.

When I got home from work today I realized that I didn't have as much time to exercise before the move (and check the mail, pick up a package, eat dinner, and change my clothes), so I decided to skip the workout, secure in the knowledge that I'd already accounted for all my food today and I had room to spare so I didn't need to work out in order to enjoy dinner guilt-free.

Everything changed after I picked up my packages.

I was only expecting a box of books that I'd ordered. Instead, there was a second package. As I read my address and recognized the handwriting, I lost my appetite and started to feel upset. As I walked back to my apartment, I tried very hard to not cry but all was lost once I entered the safety of my home. I started crying and immediately wanted cookies, even though I was no longer hungry.

Not ready to deal with the package's contents or the sender, I stuck it in our spare bedroom that I rarely enter, knowing it would stay there safely and unnoticed until I was ready to deal with it later (whenever that might be).

I steeled myself to stick with the healthy dinner that I had planned (yummy leftover chili). "No cookies- remember your upcoming date!" I told myself. That got me through the process of heating it in the microwave. As I started to dry the tears I found my appetite return.

As I finished my dinner I reflected on how much my feelings hand changed in the past 30 minutes and what an effect it had on my appetite and cravings. I had come home hungry and looking forward to my yummy leftover chili, but after opening the mail and seeing a package that I'd forgotten was coming I'd lost my appetite and my cravings for cookies (sweets) were running rampant. I won this battle, the war will still continue as I rewire my brain and how I respond to emotions.

Deep breath. You can do it, girl.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A New Salad

This week's salad is simple, but tasty. Spinach, a hard boiled egg, a strip of bacon cut into pieces, and honey mustard dressing. I wanted to as some purple onion, too, but don't have one. Will have to add that tomorrow.
Please share your favorite salad fixings!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Why Did I Eat That?

Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies
with raisins, dates, and walnuts
Why did I eat all those cookies?
How did I eat all those cookies?

We scooted out of work before 4pm today- quite an accomplishment- because we had to be back at 6:30pm for Back to School Night. I changed into some comfy clothes to relax in until needing to go back to work (when I would put my work clothes back on), sat down on the couch with a school project, and started working.

Oh, but before I got to work I grabbed a cookie from the bowl on the counter. Just one, I thought to myself. I started working on labeling the kids names in my recording binder and munched my cookie. I decided to grab two more cookies as I continued to work. Then two more...then two more... pretty soon there were only four left in the bowl.

Ack! I immediately felt shame and embarrassment- what if my roommate sees that almost all of the cookies are gone? What will she think of me? I better hide the evidence. I tried to convince myself that I was saving myself from eating any more cookies as I put them into the freezer. And I WAS saving myself- I was minimizing harm. I ate a lot of cookies, but not ALL of the cookies. But mostly I was trying to hide the evidence from my roommate that I ate a lot of cookies. I was ashamed of myself.

At Back to School Night I started to get a stomach ache. I jokingly told a couple coworkers about all the cookies I ate, saying I must be stressed, trying to laugh off my shame and hoping they wouldn't judge me and think I was a pig. Or fat. Or other terrible things.

I was shocked when one of my coworkers said, "Oh, I know. I can sit down and go through Oreo's without even thinking when I'm stressed." If I were a cartoon my eyes would have bugged out of my head. Here I had judged her thinking she was "normal" and that she would judge me as being a horrible person for eating all those cookies, and I found out she stress eats, too. And then another person chimed in, too. Maybe I'm not such a "bad" person after all. Maybe there's a lot of people who do this. Maybe I don't have to be ashamed. Maybe I'll be ok.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Think I'm in Love

our walk last weekend
I think I'm in love- with Utah. How could you not love it here surrounded by all this natural beauty? Granted, the food/restaurant choices leave something to be desired and make me miss Seattle, but oh the beauty of this place!
And I'm in love with the new me. I'm so proud of how hard I've worked and happy about how I feel and
the view from school in the morning
look. How I feel now is an amazing, drastic difference to how I felt a year ago. I love being me and am absolutely comfortable in my own skin. (Except the day after I eat almost an entire pizza with my roommates help, then I'm not so comfy, but pizza aside, I'm happy being me.)
My roommate and I go hiking every weekend, sometimes twice in a weekend. Last weekend's "hike" didn't quite turn out as hoped, but our walk around the park allowed us some good time to chat with and get to know another coworker of ours.
I love being more active and having more energy. I've been able to jog even. THAT I don't love, and I may never love it, but I do LOVE that I'm able to do it. It's wonderful how my body can move.
First Day of First Grade 2014

Second Day of School 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Accidentally on Purpose Hikes

Deer along the trail.
Yesterday, Heather and I decided to go for a short hike in the evening. We'd spent most of the day indoors and running errands. I suggested that we get out and enjoy the beautiful area on a short hike nearby. Heather easily and quickly agreed.

We grabbed some food and hit the road. I thought I had a good idea of where we were going to I started directing us without aid of a map or GPS... silly me. I did know where we were going, only I didn't know there was a more direct route to get us where we wanted to go- straight down the road from our apartment it connects to the road up Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. Despite my inadequacy as a map reader/navigator, we eventually found our destination: Willow Heights.

The trail behind us on the way up.
It was a hike just to get to the trailhead. We had to park on the highway and then walk a couple "blocks" through a neighborhood to the actual trail. At the beginning of the trail we saw a couple of deer, but after that we didn't really see any wildlife (other than bugs).

The book said it was a mellow grade and the walking was easy, but Heather and I thought differently. We were breathing hard just to get to the trail- it was quite an incline the whole way, until we got to the big meadow. When we crossed the big meadow we enjoyed the view of the ski slopes across the canyon before heading on to the pond.

We made a quick stop at the pond before turning back because it was getting dark. We stopped for a selfie with the mountain behind us and then hurried down the trail and back to the car. We definitely want to go back again when we have more daylight so that we can go around the pond and try the optional trail extension.

Selfie with the ski lift on the mountain across the valley.

Did I mention...

...the amazing sunset?

Today, we picked another trail in the same canyon. We headed for Doughnut/Donut Falls. The guidebook said it was 9 miles down the road, but as we approached mile 10 we decided to pull off and consult the book again. We realized that where we stopped on the shoulder there appeared to be a road, so we decided to take a chance and see where it might lead. We realized that it was the route we were looking for!

We headed down the road and it eventually became unpaved. It was an abrupt switch with a big hole; we think we may have left some of Heather's car on the pavement as we drove onto the gravel. People were parked all along the edge of the road, despite the "no parking any time" signs. We continued heading down the road, hoping to find some closer parking. (We did.)

It was a nice, low grade on a wide path. When we got to the creek, we scrambled down to the bank and along the water. We tried to stay dry as we climbed ("scrambled") up the rock along the waterfall. The view from the top was spectacular and I was quite proud of myself for climbing. There was a time in the past where I would have been too afraid to try and not in good enough shape to even consider it if I wasn't scared.

We went back down to the "hole" in the rock and did the obligatory photos under the falls, wading in the water (despite the signs directing us not to- everyone else was doing it). It was extremely cold and my toes felt a little numb. On the rest of the descent down or crossing the creek, we didn't worry about staying dry. Our shoes were already water-logged and we were cold and dirty.

Roommate selfie!
This was by far our favorite hike so far. I'd like to come back again, perhaps when my brother's family comes to visit. (I beg my niece and nephew could easily scramble up the rocks.)

On the way home we realized that here we are living in "Salt Lake City" and we still have yet to see "The Lake." Stay tuned for a future adventure to see "The Lake!"
Doughnut/Donut Falls

Above the hole

The cave below the hole.

It was great- but the water was freezing cold!

Spectacular views!