I am Jen, Jen I am

my journey towards happy and healthy healing…inside and out!

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

sugar-induced belly ache

I will make no excuses. I ate terribly. I ate a lot of sweets and junkie foods.

I can’t even tell you I stopped after gaining a bit this week.

Nope, I ate even worse saturday and sunday.

I kept saying it IS my birthday weekend.


Ben & Jerry’s

Cake Pops (made by my awesome daughter)

Very little fruit and veg.

I realize, I have no control when it comes to certain foods.  Sweets are a huge problem for me. I want to whatever sweet it is, until it is all gone. ALL GONE.  I seem to be ok until I have had that first _________ {fill in the blank with cookies, brownies, cake pops, or whatever IS is}  Once I have that first one, I want more. For example, there were oreos last week. The husband brought them home; he thought I would like them. Well, I DID like them…so much, that every time I walked into the kitchen, I helped myself to 2 or 3.

I may need to detox from sugar.

Monday was a better food day, but I did not track and log my food. I have no idea how many points I consumed. I do know, I had way less sugary junk. In fact, my principal brought in a birthday cake for me during our staff meeting and I sliced everyone a piece but I didn’t have any myself.  I didn’t want it and I didn’t eat it.

I need a break from sugar!!

It may even be time for drastic restrictions from the sweet junk I love so much!

[photo source]

While I think this picture is hilarious, I think I have a real problem with sweet stuff. I just cannot seem to say no. I also don’t seem to be able to handle sweets in moderation. It is like that potato chip commercial, “I bet ya can’t eat just one!”


So, it is time to not eat that first one!


weighing in

Yesterday was Week 4 Weigh-in with Weight Watchers. (yeah, don’t try to say that 5 times fast) I had my first gain since rejoining. I had a “stay -the-same” but not a gain.  The only surprise about this weigh-in was that I only gained 8/10 of a pound.

I realized something.

When the nice WW lady has me step on the scale, she just tells me what I am up or down or if I stayed the same.  I never have to look at the scale. I never have to do that little scale-dance. You know the one, where you jump on and off the scale at least 4 times to make sure you have the lowest weight. I truly am using the scale as just one tool.

This past week…

I ate like crap.

I did not track.

I did not workout consistently.

I did not drink enough water each day.


So, a little gain is to be expected.


This week’s WW meeting topic was stress/emotional eating.  We talked  all about what stresses us and what we eat when we are stressed. We talked about things to do instead of eat when we are stressed.

Did you know….


spelled backwards is



It was a good meeting, full of useful tips. I would like to say I have eaten better since weigh-in but I have NOT. I have definitely been letting my birthday and stress about things I can’t really blog about (sensitive, work stuff) be my excuse to eat like crap all damn day.

I have plenty of ways to combat the emotional eating, I just haven’t used any of them.

This week I have plans. BIG plans. I am starting New Rules of Lifting for Women (#NROLFW). I will be blogging about that with my Iron Sisters – a lovely group of crazy biotches that thanks to twitter by way Shrinking Jeans I now call friends and sisters and sometimes skanks.

I will not beat myself up for the last week. I will instead focus on the week ahead. I am in this for so much more than weight loss. I am in it to be strong and healthy and physically fit.  I will continue to work on my recovery, because that is still a long road. I have many many #babysteps to take. Work that must be done. Work that is mental and physical, food and non-food, inside and out.

I don’t really care what the number is on the scale. My jeans are too tight to wear comfortably. I feel mushy and fat. and out of breath. and achy (ok, part of that is surgery/recovery related). That is seriously not about a number on the scale. I know all these feelings are directly related to what I am eating.  I have been eating like crap so I feel like crap. hmmm. I need to track and focus on eating real food.

I am hoping  that making a commitment to workout regularly…and I made one heck of a commitment…helps with the rest, including my eating. Those Iron Sisters are some serious accountability. Plus Kerry is my IRL friend and we joined the gym together. I need to get back in the workout groove. I tend to eat better when I am physically active. Sore muscles are good reminders to eat wisely.

Week 1 of #NROLFW here I come!

Better eating here I come!


WW Week #: 4

Total Loss: -3.6lbs

This Week’s change: +0.8


WW starting date: 1/28/12

week 1 (2/4/12) -3.6

week 2 (2/11/12) no change [period week]

week 3 (2/18/12) -0.8

week 4 (2/25/12) +0.8

all about me


Yep, it is my birthday!

And even though I have to work…dang school, it IS a holiday!!

I am going to enjoy my day!

Me and the husband will make and enjoy a  lovely dinner together. (Flank Steak stuffed with a spinach concoction,  a side of pasta with a butternut squash sauce and a caesar-like salad)

M lovely daughter will make me some sort of cake this weekend! Last year she made homemade dark chocolate cupcakes with a cookies & cream icing that was AMAZING! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with this year!!


I am GUEST POSTING over at Deb’s place! Check it out, I ramble on about lessons I learned while recovering from knee and ankle surgery!


[photo source]

so, I joined a gym

Last week a local gym had the deal of a lifetime….

an offer I just couldn’t refuse…(couldn’t help myself)

6 months for $99. Membership isn’t skimpy either. I have access to all 4 locations, all the classes, trainer sessions and something else but I forget.

I treated myself to an early birthday present!

Yesterday after work, I had my first appointment with a trainer.  Frank. I started out by telling Frank all about my surgeries and recovery.  He took me into the AOS (Art of Strength – kinda like what I think CrossFit looks like) room and started me doing kettlebells.  I alternated swings with jumping jacks to start. On the second round, I was not able to do jumping jacks. The jacks hurt my knee on the jump-out. Frank gave me some alternatives.

I wore my polar HRM (I am an ambassador and it is nice to be getting back to moving and grooving so I can use my HRM) but I forgot to actually start the workout. I was able to see my heart rate when I looked at my wrist, but I didn’t record all the data.

During my workout with Frank, every time I looked at my wrist my HR was up way high. WAY high, up at or near my HRmax.  I don’t know how much longer Frank was going to have me workout but he cut it short when after a round of KB swings followed by these pushup-thingies, my HR was up so high I felt pukey.


I gotta tell you, I don’t think I am ready for training. Or at least not with that trainer. I don’t really feel like I was listened. To be honest, I don’t think he was watching me the whole time.  And then the session was just sort of over.

Today, I am sore. Correction, my arms are sore.  My legs are ok but my arms are pretty sore. I am loving the sore feeling. I am still not in love with the trainer.  I cannot expect a trainer to know about my injuries/surgery so I can’t expect them to know how to help me. I have to be the expert on my body and since I still have more recovery to go through and I am the best trainer for my body.

Of course, I am going to need help. I have been reading New Rules of Lifting for Women, and I somehow conned  talked a few of my friends into joining me in a mission for strength.  I need this!! First of all, I just joined a gym. I paid for it, I damn well better use the damn gym. And second, I have gained weight I need to lose it but just counting points isn’t enough to make the kind of food changes that will help me lose. I need the fitness component. I know I feel better when I workout regularly. I am in no shape to start running….to be honest, I don’t want to run right now.

Today Trish, of I am Succeeding, blogged this:

“it hit me!! I have been trying to run a marathon race without ever training or running a smaller race first! I dive right in expecting too much too soon. Not taking things in a progressive manner.

So I am going to begin “training” taking things progressively and one step at a time, trying to enjoy this process and making life changes that are doable for me as I go.” 

I swear, I did a double take! I could have written those very words. I have lived those words. Hello…me over here, trained for a half marathon with only one 5K, that I only ran half,  under my belt.

I cannot.CANNOT. do that this time around. I have to ease into this so I don’t do any damage to my newly fixed knee and ankle. I have to ease into this so I want to continue doing it…if I kill myself I won’t love it…if I don’t love it, I won’t live it.

It has been a hell of a week.

I have been a mess. An emotional mess.

But yesterday I went to the gym and today I remembered how much I sorta like sore muscles.

It’s a start.

I am ready for the next step.

The next very small step!


clearing the head

Some things just need to get said, so I can move on!

  • I started a 2-week Nightshade (potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and eggplant-basically) Elimination Experiment.
  • I only last 4 days before I broke. I have been eating tomatoes or peppers or potatoes in some combination or another almost every day….it was hard to not have any. I broke and needed tomatoes.
  • I had a thing at work. I can’t talk about it but it was a very emotional thing and I didn’t even realize how anxious I was for things today until I talked with a coworker this morning.
  • Cryptic I know! This thing was really emotional.
  • I ate a lot of crap this weekend. At first, it was just a couple of cookies, then it was ice cream for lunch.
  • For a part of this weekend, I sneaked a cookie or two every time I walked into the kitchen.
  • I had a 3-day weekend and I ate like crap.
  • I did get in some movement in the shape of serious housecleaning. My house looks good! 
  • Today was a day: a Tuesday that felt like a Monday.  Eating was ok until dinner; the chicken was still frozen and we ordered out. I did go to the gym and my trainer appointment made me wanna puke.
  • Tomorrow is another day.
  • What happened has happened.
  • But tomorrow is waiting.
  • Go to BED!
  • Get a good night’s sleep, tomorrow is a BUSY day!

Some times, a girl just has to ramble the things that are rumbling in her head.

Now, I can move forward with a clear head!

WW, Week 3

I haven’t been posting a lot about weight loss here on this blog. Weight has not been my focus for far too long. Let me clarify, I will not make weight and weight loss and the number on the scale the sole reason for my existence. I  need to take some pounds off; my joints would feel better, I would breathe easier walking up the steps. I will be honest…it would be nice for my clothes to fit again.

Anyhoo…today was my third week at Weight Watchers. Let’s just say, this is the week where my bitchy frenemy shows up, so I wasn’t even thinking about  the scale. I knew I had tracked everything I ate this week and I had an all around good week.   But, one never knows how the scale will react when that bitch is around. I stepped on the scale with no expectations but I was pleasantly surprised with staying the same as last week.

Today’s meeting was focused on TRACKING.

Stephanie (my awesome WW leader) started out today’s meeting by asking us what our motivation for coming in that first day.

I listened to lots of worthy reasons.

My reason for joining WW this time: After this bout with injury and surgery and my general laziness, I have gained so much weight back. When it was time to go back to work after surgery-absense, none of my clothes fit.

And then my mom joined WW and asked me to join with her. It’s a nice way to spend time with my mom and learning. (sidenote, I really am loving WW’s focus on real food)

Stephanie then asked us about tracking! Whoa! The responses around the room ranged from anger and hatred for tracking to the complacent, “I gotta track” mentality. It was interesting.  She asked us to grade our tracking, with A being the highest grade and D the lowest.

Right now, I would say I am giving myself a B+ – I tracked just about everything I ate. I didn’t really track the healthy guidelines or feelings.  <At the end of the meeting, I bought myself a 3-month tracker and I am setting the goal of filling it up. I will track what I eat AND my feelings and hunger.>

Stephanie then told us when Jennifer Hudson was asked what motivates her to track, she responded, “Because I get to look like this and all I have to do is track!”

Jennifer Hudson does look good! And she obviously is happy with the way she looks.

I want to be happy with the way I look. I want to see myself as my husband sees me. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. That really isn’t a number on the scale.

The last time I felt really good with how I looked, I was not at my “ideal” weight. I WAS training for a half marathon. I was moving and grooving. I was eating well enough to sustain training in the middle to end of summer and I felt great. I don’t think losing weight will automatically make me feel better or be in love with my body. I think losing weight will make it easier to get moving. I know I feel better when I move more.

In the past, I have been the world’s worst tracker. I always start out with great intentions on day one of tracking but then peter out by day 4. I have been tracking online for last 2 week weeks. I bought a paper-book tracker because I want to be a little better about writing it down as I eat so I can make little notes. I will still used e-tools because I am loving it!

My Challenges this week:

I am preparing to do a little food experiment. I have been talking with a friend, who happens to be  a RD, about food connections to arthritis inflammation. He suggested I eliminate night shades (eggplant, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes) for two weeks to see if I can get some relief. I really hate elimination diets and I always seem to want what I can’t have but this is for a greater good. If I can give my joints any help I will.  I thought this was going to be easypeasy but it is harder to just eliminate peppers and tomatoes.  I get paid on Wednesday and that is grocery shopping day – I will plan and write lists so Thursday I can begin the 2-week experiment. I like this experiment…in two weeks I either notice a difference or not.

I still have a few (two) more appointments with  physical therapy before I go back to the ortho surgeon for my 3 month follow up on Friday.


Anyhoo, I am hoping to be discharged from PT. And actually, barring any craziness of doc’s part, Doug, my PT, thinks I should be discharged no problem. Last appointment, I was feeling great. I started out on the bike to warm up and I asked Doug what he wanted me to start with, he said “cartwheels.” And being the smartass I am, I did the damn cartwheel. I gotta admit, I was a bit worried but I did it! And I looked good doing it! I got a big high-five from Doug and then he made me do squats. I hadn’t done them yet and it felt really good to do squats pain-free. I like squats as much as I do not like lunges.  Lunges hurt.

This week I want to add in 2 walking dvds. One Mile is enough for a start. So this is my goal for this week: 2 1-mile walking dvds, 2 PT sessions, and nightly icing down!

[Photo Source]

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Habits (I’m jumping in)

My girl, Kenlie, has been doing this “friend makin’ monday” thing for a while. I am finally jumping on the bandwagon.  I need an excuse to blog a bit more often! 😉


FMM: Habits

  1. Are you proactive, or do you procrastinate?  I am a total procrastinator!!
  2. Do you eat breakfast everyday? If so, what’s a typical meal like? Yes. I go on kicks – last week I had coach’s oats with a banana and sugar-free syrup mixed in, this week I have omelet muffins and toast.
  3. How much time do you spend watching TV on an average day? Too much! The TV is always on at my house.
  4. Do you talk on the phone, or do you prefer e-mail and/or text messages?  For the most part, I prefer text or email. I
  5. Do you exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening? I am getting my workout groove back! I usually prefer the right after school.
  6. Do you take time for yourself regularly? If so, how do you spend that time?  I think I take plenty of me time! I have no problem telling Q its time for mommy to have some non-kid time! She is also 12…I think that makes it easier…since more often than not, she is the one ditching me!!
  7. How often do you make your bed? Never. I just hate it!
  8. Do you plan meals? If so, how far in advance?  I plan my meals every week.
  9. Do you wake up at the same time everyday? I get up around 6:30 on school days. I sleep as long as I can on the weekends.
  10. How often do you brush your teeth?  Before school, after school and before bed.


Not  the most in-depth answers…next time I will write more!

until then,

hugs and kisses!

my weekend, its not over yet!

My weekend was not all that exciting but it was perfect!!

Saturday morning started with a big cup of coffee and lounging with Q while we both woke up. She is finally at that age where she enjoys lounging and slowly coming to life on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Then I went to my Weight Watchers meeting.  I lost 3.6 pounds for my first week on plan.  I am making a 5-pound-at-a-time goal for this go-around with WW BUT I have a bigger goal of learning how to eat to live, feel, and BE happy.

Truth: I know it has only been a week, but I moved more and ate more fruits and vegetables this week than I have in a while AND that has me feeling so GOOD!!!

After my meeting, I attempted to have a yoga meetup with my girlfriend, Kerry.  Our plans were fumbled but we bounced back and wound up at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and girl talk! We totally needed it – we haven’t seen each other since before my surgery and it has been even longer since we last hung out! Aaah, there is something to be said of the restorative powers of coffee and chatting to make a girl feel allllllright!!

The kid decided to go hang out with my mom for the night, so we had a kid-free evening. We watched The Hangover 2! And I rounded out the evening by chasing my stupid cat all over the yard because he escaped around midnight when I let Lucy out.

Sunday has been a mellow, relaxing and productive day. I did some food prep for the week, did many loads of laundry, and ordered a new phone. I still have grocery shopping, more food prep, and lesson plans to write before I can call it quits on my day. I have made spinach cakes and omelet muffins. I roasted, peeled and cut up beets for salads and side veggies. I baked sweet potatoes to make sweet-potato skins but the skins fell apart so I am working on turning it around (maybe just the inside part of recipe).  I still l have black-bean burgers to make.

I have made a tentative meal plan:

Monday: Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore over pasta with salad

Tuesday: Venison Steaks and pasta salad

Wednesday: Crockpot Honey Chicken over rice with a green veg on the side

Thursday: Chicken Bruschetta Bake & salad

Friday: Beef Quesadillas and (WW)Mexican-Inspired Vegetable soup


Truth: I am hoping to get some Tilapia or Shrimp at the grocery store to switch out Thursday night’s dinner. For no other reason then I am wanting seafood.

working hard & need to recharge

It has been a busy week!

My husband has been out of work for most of the last 3 years. Occasionally he does some painting work with a friend and this was one of those occasions. In fact, he has worked the last three days and will be working tomorrow and saturday as well. This is the first stretch like this is quite awhile. We lucked out, because I really needed him to help me with the ankle and knee surgery and recovery.

Anywhoo. He has worked the last few days and that means I have been handing all the house stuffs. Painting is hard work and my poor husband is exhausted after a long day on the job. I don’t mind picking up some slack (we are good like that to each other) but it is exhausting. It makes me realize just how quickly one forgets what it was like when she was a single mom, working and going to college…aaah, the energy of a 20-something.

Work has been long and tiring. We are starting a new marking period at school and grades are due. The week a new marking period starts is always a loooong week. Lots of extra grading and extra paperwork!! The days drag.  aaahhh but it is Friday!

I have already had two physical therapy appointments and I have one more today! They have added new exercises each appointment. On Wednesday, they added in lunges! OMG!! I have such dread of the lunge. I can only drop my knee a small bit before it hurts and I am to stop when it hurts. I want to be upset about my lunge-ability but I am not. In fact, I am seeing this as a starting point. I never liked lunges, but I could do them, and now I am determined to do right by my body and slowly gain back my lunge-ability. I also started standing on one foot (the bad ankle/knee leg) on the bosu (I stood on the flat side).  I can only wait to see what torture…err…exercises they add on me today! ; )

I have made dinner every night this week, plus household chores, plus running errands (like going to the bread store, or corner market for milk, or the bank)…seriously, I just have become spoiled with my husband at home taking care of all those things.

I managed to get in an actual non-physical therapy workout. I recently received a yoga dvd and on Tuesday Q and I tested it out. {I will have an actual review of this dvd later when I test it out a few more times.} I had sore shoulder and arm muscles the day after yoga! I also rode the stationary bike at school for 15 minutes on yoga day.  Sore muscles and working up a sweat (during PT and non-PT) made me feel alive! I feel like I am back in action and it feels marvelous!!

I really am back in action.

I am working.

I am taking care of my family.

I am taking care of me (physically and mentally).

I am watching what I eat, adding in extra fruits and veggies.

I am feeling good!

It is amazing how I feel so tired and so good at the same time. I credit that with eating better, sleeping/resting when I need it, and moving my body again. I am growing stronger with each PT session and each day I tackle the steps at school. I even feel stronger for having tackled yoga…and truth be told, I have a new appreciation for yoga. My body was sore after one little 30-minute beginner’s dvd.

I am tired but excited.

I am also very proud of myself.

Yesterday, I was tired. And sore. I took a rest day. I was planning on another 15-minutes on the stationary bike and more yoga but I decided my body was trying to tell me something. So, I rested!

And yaknow what?!? I feel refreshed this morning. Now, nothing crazy…I still rather dislike mornings…but I am ready to face the day!


I have been very whiny the last few days.

But I have also been very smiley, so its not all bad!!

Bring it, Friday!!

I am gonna get through school and physical therapy today and then I hope to recharge my batteries this weekend. I’d like to say it won’t be a busy weekend but it is gearing up to be busy.

My agenda:

  • #weightwatchers meeting
  • super bowl party
  • yoga
  • walk outside
  • lesson plans
  • menu plan
  • food prep
  • clean something
  • maybe blog, it’d be nice to blog more than once a week…I have so much in my head, I need to blog.

Ok, do it will be busy but I will do plenty of recharging!!


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