Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Oh my...

Well.  It has been a while since I have written here.  I have a lot of things going on, personally, and I cannot write about them here right now.  What's rather ironic is that I have a lot to say.  Lots and lots.  I am a talker and a writer.  I want to talk everything out and at the same time I want to write down all my thoughts.  And here, on my blog, I tend to write what I want to say.  I don't have to write about what other people think, or want to hear.  It is my place to write what I want, how I want, everyone else's opinions be damned.

But I do try not to hurt people purposefully.  Because above all, I believe that I am a kind and good person. And in those circumstances when what I am thinking or want to say is hurtful or maybe just not public-forum-stuff, well, then I need to be quiet. And write in a private (read: not online) journal because the writing, too, has an important place in my life.  It helps me to reflect, to sort things through.  Sometimes it helps me to breathe, just getting those thoughts out of my head.

So I ask you to bear with me during my self-imposed blog silence.  I am doing well.  Better than well, at times.  And hey, I am doing the NJ Mudderella race on May 10th (the day after my, gulp, 39th, birthday) with some awesome high school mates.  I think it is just the thing I need right now.  Because we are stronger than we realize, all of us, especially when we have amazing family and friends surrounding us.  I will be sure to post some pictures of the awesomeness that will be me covered in mud and smiling.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fast Metabolism Diet Update

Hey there!  Long time no blog!  I have been a busy bee...planning out, preparing, packing all my food for the past several weeks.  I had officially finished the 28 days of the Fast Metabolism Diet last week. I am here to give you my recap and my next steps.

I got through 3 weeks without ANY cheating.  Like, not even one bite of Lilly's mac & cheese.  Not one sip of glorious coffee.  Then we had Valentine's Day, which fell on a Friday.  I did well on that day, tried not to stress when the chicken I had ordered at dinner was dredged in flour.  Week 4 I had a few "cheats" and again, I tried not to stress about it.  What I had realized was that I was beginning to plan what I wanted to eat when I finished the diet.  I was not planning on eating steamed broccoli folks. It was more like a fried food and sweets fest.  Not the best idea after losing 20+ pounds.  So, in reality, my cheats of a piece of chocolate here and there were more to avoid binging after the 28 days were over.  I am sure there are better ways to handle it, but it is what worked for me at this time.

On day 28 I actually had an actual cheat day for myself.  We used a gift card and went out to dinner.  I had a cupcake from one of my favorite bakeries.  Thought tangent: Is it odd that I have favorite bakeries?  That I could tell you which bakery in the area has the best of  something?  My plan was, get it out of my system and move on, re-starting the 28 day plan the next day.

I did well for the first 2 days and then I fell off the proverbial wagon.  The good news is that I did not go flying off, taking everything down with me.  I still followed the diet for the most part, but I had a few non-diet items.  But, a positive this week is that I added exercise to my routine.  I did 3 days of pretty intense exercise this week, so far.  I also had my period, which, I'm sorry, but makes chocolate acceptable.  It just does. I tried hard not to stress about going off the diet a bit.  I need to be able to eat a cheeseburger once in a while without a major guilt trip for myself. As my one friend pointed out to me, even when I did go off the diet I was not going crazy with the food.

My updated plan is this: Continue the rest of this weekend as I have the last few days by sticking to the plan for the most part, but not stressing if I do not follow it exactly.  Monday, start again.  I will have a solid 10 days or so before St. Patrick's Day craziness hits.  I want to be able to enjoy a piece of Irish Soda Bread with butter thankyouverymuch!  So I do 10-14 days of strict diet following, not stress about the high, holy holiday, and get right back to the plan.

Also, now that I added the exercise back into my routine, I will continue with that.  I use the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVDs.  They get the job done, especially in this #@%& arctic weather we have been experiencing here in NJ.  If I do some walking and some yoga, I should have a pretty balanced work out routine.

Many people have asked me if this diet was easy to follow.  My answer is no, it is not.  But not because the rules are hard or the food is disgusting.  It is hard because I want to eat what I want to eat.  And that is not necessarily celery and turkey bacon.  Knowing myself, it is probably more like a doughnut.  Or a cupcake.  But the rules are clear and scientifically-based.  I feel better when I am following the diet.  I have lost weight.  Noticeable weight.  My blood pressure is way down.  I had not ONE single day of acid reflux while following the diet.  Except for the time I ordered eggs with jalepenos and there were more peppers than eggs.  My skin is clearer.  People have commented that my eyes look clearer.  I'll take it.  As I have said before, if a diet (like WW) tells me I can have chocolate cake, as long as it is within my points, I will figure out a way to have chocolate cake every day, damnit.  I will.  And I have.

The truth is, I want to be around to see my daughter grow up.  She is such an amazing kid and I want to see how she is going to tackle the world.  I want to hold her when she needs to be held, and help give her a push when she needs that, too.  I do not want my only grandchild to be an American Girl.  A long life is not guaranteed for any of us, I know, but why hurry things along?  I am choosing healthy.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fast Metabolism Diet

I have been going back and forth about whether I would blog about this.  I am on a diet.  In some ways this is a very private topic but in other ways it is completely the opposite.  I have spoken about my weight and my desire and need to lose some (or a lot) of it before.  I have not been successful. Obviously.  I don't mean that in a deprecating way.  Whether a diet, or lifestyle change if you prefer, is successful, is painfully obvious to those around you.

I have been losing and gaining the same 10 pounds or so. I was feeling like I needed something drastic. I don't mean a fad diet, rather, a diet that was drastically different from what I have been trying.  The truth is that I know how to eat a healthy diet.  I know to exercise.  My problem is that when I am on WW or similar, I always make room for the candy/cake/donuts.  Basically, I sabotage myself.  The sugar gets me every time.

A few of my friends/co-workers started a diet called the Fast Metabolism Diet and man, they looked amazing.  But more importantly, they felt better, with more energy.  They lost that sluggish feeling, along with some pounds.  They did not have lots to lose, but they have kept it off.  One lent me the book.  I looked at the cover, but didn't even crack it open for months.  I had a lot of excuses for why I could not do it.

Before the holidays I felt like I was in a good groove.  I had lost 5 pounds and felt good about it.  But for some reason I could not sustain it.  I do have some thyroid issues that were at play but I felt that wasn't all.  I was beginning to feel like I needed a drastic change.  After I recovered from the flu in early January I made the decision to bite the bullet.

I am now beginning Week 2 on the Fast Metabolism Diet.  I have definitely lost weight and inches (I should have measured!) and I am beginning to taste food differently.  The no sugar, no caffeine withdrawal fog I was in for a few days seems to be gone.  I have not had even 1 incident of acid reflux. I am feeling hope that I can lose this weight and keep it off.  I have not felt that in a really long time.  Maybe ever.

Week 1 was hard.  Super hard.  And frankly, it still is hard but getting a little easier.  Phase 2 which is protein and veggies only is really, really challenging for me.  I have to plan this week better than I did last week.  Now that I have gone through all 3 phases I feel as if I can plan a bit better; plus I know what I can look forward to after getting through phase 2.

As I mentioned above, I can always find a way to include sweets on any diet/lifestyle change I make. Because this one does not allow for refined sugars I went cold turkey. erg. I realized just how much of a sugar fiend I am.  I thought of it constantly.  There were many, many instances when my first thought was to grab some gummy worms, etc. For no reason. Just because I wanted them.  I am learning that being kind to myself and taking care of myself does not mean eating a piece of candy whenever I want. The good news is that after not having refined sugar for 4 days, a sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon, sea salt and raw nuts tasted heavenly, as did the celery with unsweetened almond butter.  I believe having the rules of the diet helps my willpower.  If I make my own rules (as with WW) then I never say I cannot have x, y, z.  I have just a little bit, which eventually becomes more than a treat every once in awhile.

So I will try to do some updates through the week and maybe even post some recipes, if I find something super yummy.  Whatever you do..pray, positive vibes...I will take them all.  My daughter deserves to have her mom around for as long as possible, and I have to do my part by taking control of my food and eating.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

new kindergarten update, plus zip lining!

In my last post I explained why I was taking Lilly out of the kindergarten where she was and place her in my home district.  Lilly has been there for 2 weeks.  Almost immediately she seemed much calmer at home.  The morning time anxiety that we had been seeing was greatly reduced.  On the 2nd day she did decide that she had changed her mind and wanted to go back to school with me.  Once she realized that was not a viable option, she moved forward and has been doing great!

We are helping her catch up with the curriculum.  She is working very hard on learning her letters, manuscript-style, because this district places importance on it, whereas the last one did not.  She also has tons more homework every night.  Most importantly, she has made friends, and she is happy!

Lilly had a big day this past weekend when she attended Camp Riverbend's Family Camp Day.  My parents came to walk around with her, since Vinnie was working.  Lilly went to the high ropes course, climbed the high wall, and then zip lined down.  I was insanely proud of her when I found out!  I am so grateful my parents were there to encourage her and cheer her on while I was doing my baking thing with the other families.

climbing the wall

she made it to the top

zip line!

the swing.  Love that smile!

Next up...Halloween!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A mom's lesson in bullying...and trust

I have written about bullying before, referring to my own experiences as a child who was bullied.  I have gone to anti-bullying seminars as a camp counselor and as a teacher.  I did not think that I would be thinking about bullying and my 5 year-old daughter who is in kindergarten.  I thought had a few years to deal with that.  I was wrong.  

To be clear, I do not know or think that Lilly was bullied in the sense of what the new laws call bullying.  But old-fashioned bullying?  Yeah, that happened to my kindergartner.  

It started with headaches and stomachaches in the morning.  Crying, telling me that she didn't want to go to school.  Classic signs that something was wrong.  It took a little while to tease out the situation, especially because Lilly was commuting with me into Hoboken each day.  It is a long, sometimes ardous commute.  I wondered if it was the commute alone that was causing her distress.  

About 2 weeks ago it came to my attention, because Lilly tells all, that a certain child in her class was bothering her.  Usually physically (punching, hitting, etc.) but also doing some other things that really frightened her and made her feel uncomfortable.  I wrote to the teacher and principal and was told they were working on the issue, because it was not just my daughter being targeted.  However, the incidents kept occuring.  Little ones, but something every day.  It was notable to Lilly when she had a day without an incident.  Yikes.  

Here is where it gets a little tricky.  Lilly goes to the school where I work.  Her principal is my boss; her teacher my colleague. Our district allows BOE employees to bring their children into the district for schooling. (with special permissions, of course)  I had an inkling that the commute might be too much for Lilly.  Heck, it's too much for me some days.  Lilly is such a good kid and rule follower that I had not anticipated problems in th classroom.  

The bottom line is that I realized that Lilly did not feel safe, emotionally or physically, in that classroom.  The school did offer other solutions, but combined with our crazy commute, my husband and I decided the best action to take would be to put her in our town school system.  

Our new school staff has so far been a pleasure to work with, even holding a space for her in the room I requested.  Lilly is going to be with her BFF Christian, about which she is over the moon excited.  She will not have to be in the car for an hour each way.  She will eat breakfast at home, not in the car, and Daddy will bring her to school.  She will not be so exhausted that we cannot do anything after school.  We had not been able to start Irish dance yet or even see her MumMum who lives the next town over because of the sheer exhaustion that we both have had.  She was tired and super cranky every day.  It was noticable to other people, even.  

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  I was getting so concerned with doing the right thing for Lilly.  I wanted her to know that she could get through this difficult situation and we would face it head on together.  I did not want her to think it was okay to quit or run away because it was hard.  However, I really wanted her to know that I trusted her feelings and intuition.  She may not have been able to tell me that she felt unsafe in so many words.  But she told me the actions and words of others, and I saw her reactions to situations.  I needed to listen to my daughter.  I needed to trust her feelings, and she needed to know that I trusted her feelings.  

I am confident that Vinnie and I took the correct action for Lilly's well-being.  I am excited for her as she begins this new chapter of kindergarten.  Lessons learned from this?  Trust your child.  Be their advocate.  Trust your parent intuition.  You know your child best.