Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Again with this?

So I mentioned the P@xil was causing some weight gain, right? Well add on the general "holiday" feeling of the past few weeks (L's birthday, Halloween, call week/election clusterf&ck, travel, Thanksgiving) and that "some" has become the difference between fitting in my clothes...and not. When I weighed myself this morning I was 8 pounds up from my pre-P@xil weight---and that was in the past 12 weeks.

It just crept up, you know. A piece of candy here and there. A pumpkin beer with dinner. An extra afternoon snack. Cheese, crackers, cheese curls, wine, cocktails, tacos, french fries, and ETC.... I couldn't wear my non-stretchy jeans this Sunday. Then last night some black work pants I ordered in my "loose" size came in...and would NOT fit. I'm taking them back, I'm not about to waste $$ on pants that may or may not even look good when and if they ever fit, but I'm not really in the mood to buy a whole new sized up wardrobe either. I'm itchy and uncomfortable wearing tights and a stretchy dress today because I couldn't face the idea of pants this morning. But tights are also...tight.

I started thinking about doing low carb, or counting calories, or some other intensive change, but SHU's post (and especially the comments) has made me re-think this method. Sure, it WORKS to do a "re-set" and get the confidence boost of losing weight in a short time frame but unless I think of a long-term solution this is going to be a recurring problem. It already has been. I've written about this before...more than once!

And no "intuitive eating" doesn't really work for me (what does that even mean?) If I "listen to my body", I would be stuffing my face with cheez-its and spicy peanuts all the live-long day. I have to IGNORE my wants and focus on my body's NEEDS. Which is also going to mean feeling a little hungry some times, especially at bed time. I've gotten in the habit (AGAIN) of snacking after dinner. We eat at 6ish, and if I'm still awake at 9:30 or 10, I'm genuinely hungry again. And I'm decidedly NOT in the mood for carrots or apples, which I am all too happy to munch on at 11am or 3pm.

One thing that always works is just...going to bed. If I'm asleep by 9:30, I'm not snacking. And I'm never ever hungry in the morning, so its definitely not like I'm just shifting the snacks to a different time. Not buying things I want to snack on also works well. If here is no cheese, it won't end up in my belly. We need to throw away the candy (we bought WAY too much for Halloween and still have a ton left). Cutting out the drinking. Bringing snacks for work (like raw veggies, fruit, or a small portion of soup) so I'm not tempted to run down to the cafeteria or vending machine for french fries or chips.

We have 4 weeks before we go to MIL for 10 days, and eating & drinking are definitely NOT going to be "clean" for that time, so I want to get on track. Any other tips that work for you?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Backwards and Forwards

The rest of the weekend continued to be awesome. The birthday party/football game was fun---even though we left before half-time, noticing that all the kids were half-asleep (both of mine fell asleep on the way home). It was nice to socialize and do something brand new. The kids got to high-five all the players before they came out for the game, which was super cute and exciting for them.

Sunday I went for a solo run---for the first time in months! It was tough. I was sore from Bodypump on Saturday, and it took my legs a long long time to find my stride. But eventually I did, and I definitely have gotten faster. I can feel the muscles in my thigh being recruited to push my along as I pick up speed. It was fun.

I also did a lot of chores on Sunday---loads of laundry and loads of cooking. I took the boys to see a children's theater production that was really well done, and was a fun & special way to end the weekend. I had planned to go to bed early but G and I just kept talking (and drinking wine)---I guess I didn't want the holiday feeling to end.

This morning was rough. And today has been far from efficient. I'm getting my head back into it, checking things off my list, and working on #1 of the 2 papers I want to submit by year's end. I also wasted indulged lazed decided to spend some time catching up on the news & a whole slew of excellent blog posts that I tried to avoid all weekend.

Did Thanksgiving come early this year? It feels like it. I can't believe its "holiday season" already. I didn't get around to decorating. We will do it Saturday. I want the boys to participate. I'm again re-evaluating how I want to focus our energy for the holidays this year...definitely going with less emphasis on the material gifts for the kids and more on the idea of family/love/sharing/giving.

I think I've met my goal of posting here every working day so far. I'm not sure it has helped me reach my actual intention of improving my writing, making connections, and sharing insights here. A lot of my posts have been phoned-in, so to speak, just trying to get some words out so I can check the box. Yet, before the month I was checking in rarely with bullets and "quick updates", too. I'm not sure how to motivate myself to increase quality and quantity.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

The weekend has been mostly good so far. There were some....moments...on Thursday, where the kids were fighting/hitting/shouting and I lost it, and then I took it out some more on my husband, etc... But overall, we've been relaxing, playing games, eating yummy food, etc...

We had our "traditional" (i.e. we had it last year) Thanksgiving meal of roast chicken, buttermilk biscuits, roasted veggies & dessert. B and I made pumpkin Nutella bread and it was as good as it sounds. I don't really like turkey and even the smallest turkey is too big for the 4 of us, so the chicken is perfect.

I went to the gym this morning while G took the boys to B's karate class and breakfast. Now I'm at work waiting for the media to warm so I can feed some cells (I didn't want to wait another week to grow them up for some experiments I need for the paper I'm writing). Then I'll head to the grocery store. We have a birthday party for L's friend this evening that involves going to a college football game which starts at 7:30 (they didn't know the game time when they planned this & bought the tickets, it was only announced this week). Its L's best friend, and we really like the parents, so hopefully it'll be fun.

I want to get the tree put up this weekend, and the other holiday decorations. I'll cook for the week tomorrow, too, because we have a busy few days coming up. Its nice to have this pause in our lives to chill out for a few days.

Hope you are all having a relaxing long weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately

I've been reading a lot (as usual!)

Here's a rundown of what I've read in the past few months:

Intuition (Allegra Goodman): This was a book club read. We all found it sort of meh. The premise is really interesting--about scientific misconduct in an academic (life sciences) lab, and they got a lot right about the environment. But the character development was terrible, and I didn't care about anyone. Also she left the ending very vague, which sometimes works, but really didn't here.

The Secret History (Donna Tartt): Oh my. Don't bother. Tedious, long, hated every single character more and more as the book went on, and an undercurrent of creepiness that just made me feel gross reading it.

Sleeping Giants (Sylvain Neuvel): I surprisingly loved this! Sci-fi, and with an extremely wacky, out-there premise, but also good character development and relationships and a fast-moving plot. A quick read, and it looks like there is a sequel in the works.

A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles): I already mentioned how much I love this, but can I say it again? LOVE. Such witty, sharp writing. Interesting, lovable characters. And the book cemented my belief that the meaning of life (or at least the path the happiness) lies in finding a purpose, and making connections.  The backdrop of the Bolshevik revolution in Moscow added quite a bit of intrigue (and some education, on my part). 

A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry): This book was...not for me, at least not right now (sorry SHU!). It was long. So very very long. I read it off and on since September and JUST finished it. And it was, far and away, the most depressing book I have ever read. All the characters were just so pitiful. It just went from bad to worse...and then there was a faint glimmer of hope around 2/3 through, and I started really liking it...and then it all went to absolute utter shit. Don't get me wrong, it is interesting---there are a LOT of deep themes about the society of the time, politics, culture, love and friendship, privilege and bigotry---I think it'd make a great book club or classroom discussion (except for the length), but oh man, this is not what I needed at the moment, and it left me in despair, without even a flicker of hope for the world.

Library of Souls (Ransom Riggs): 3rd (and last?) in the Miss Peregrine's fantasy series. I like these, it was action-packed, moderately creepy and complex. There is a teen love story mixed in that straddled the line into cheesy at times, but overall good.

Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon): I tore through this short YA read in one day. It reminded me of a cross between Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park & Attachments...until the twist at the end. About young love, parent-child love, and what it means to be ALIVE. Recommend. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Today I am grateful for:
  • My super-warm sherpa-lined boots. No matter how cold it is, my feet are nice and toasty!
  • My early morning workouts. In and out & home for breakfast after a major calorie burn
  • A positive parent-teacher meeting. "B is a great kid, very polite and inquisitive" she started off. There were definitely things to work on ("following directions"), but its so nice to hear something good about your kid!
  • L and his goofy drama-queen self. He went to the doctor and got 2 shots yesterday. Oh man, the kid carried on ALL NIGHT as if he'd had his leg amputated. "But make sure you take my shirt of carefully" "But how am I going to sleep because my arm hurts" "OH you touched my arm where it hurts!"(when I barely grazed against him). It was so funny---until he woke me up at midnight because his arms hurt again. BUT I'm grateful that...
  • G was already up, just coming to bed, and took over, so I could go immediately back to sleep in the warm bed.

Monday, November 21, 2016

No sleep until...

We had our weekend away. It was mostly...challenging. The kids were in rare form---an 11 out of 10 on the grumpiness/uncooperative scale. The weather made a sudden turn for freezing and awful Sunday. As usual when we are somewhere new (especially with all 4 of us in one room), I slept like crap. I was SO TIRED when we got home yesterday evening (in an Uber, since we missed our train connection), yet we had to cook & prep lunches & get groceries because Monday always comes.

The bright spot was G & I getting to go on a date night Saturday night, while his cousin watched the boys and got them ready for bed. We did get home before they fell asleep, but we had fun. I drank one glass of wine too much because we just weren't ready to leave the restaurant, and I paid for it big time Sunday morning. We had some fun with the kids Saturday morning at the park, too, when it was warm and picturesque.

Today I am dragging. I've had a headache all day despite going to bed before 9 last night, after a simple meal and lots of hydration. Its cold & windy outside, though it looks like the sun came out. I have to go to a parent-teacher conference at B's school & then rush to go get him from aftercare, a mile away (G is taking L to his 5-year-old check up). I haven't been super at all productive.

Thankfully we have a HelloFresh delivery waiting on our doorstep for dinner (btw, if you want to try it out, email me & I can hook you up with a free box). I'm a little in love with the brainless approach to getting food on the table. I do pride myself with being good at pre-planning and re-using and being creative in the kitchen but one less thing these days is sometimes the difference between sanity and completely losing it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

So Little Time...

I feel super pressed for time the past few days. We are traveling for the weekend, leaving right after I finish a morning clinic and journal club presentation. I haven't packed; we haven't done laundry in a while. I went on a field trip with L this morning, we made it home in time to pick B up from school. I supervised homework & snacks and planted the tulip bulbs that probably won't grow because they were already starting to sprout from being indoors & too warm too long.

I also threw in some laundry. Now the boys are bugging me to play games, but I had to deal with some patient phone calls & I'm quickly writing this post before I change over the laundry. Then I have to walk the dog and start dinner & making lunches for tomorrow for the kids. And then pack.
(G is working late, which we had already planned, since I was not going to work today). And parcel out dog food & get things ready for the dog sitter.

Next week there are only 3 days of work, and I've got to finish the paper I'm writing, plus a pilot grant application, some experiments we are trying to optimize, and the usual clinical stuff. And B has half days all 3 days (though he'll go to aftercare) and I have to go try to reschedule the parent-teacher conference they scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 2pm because that is just not happening!

Add to that the fact that we've planned NOTHING for Thanksgiving---either the meal or the long weekend, and its suddenly "holiday season" and we have to start getting gifts for teachers, etc... as well as think of what to get for the kids! And B's birthday party is in a month, and I've thought of nothing except booking the venue (his karate/aftercare place). We need to get out invites, and first pick a theme, plan food/cake/activities.

Yes, this post is basically my to-do list for the next few weeks, and if it reads a bit frantic its because I'm feeling that way. Now to go try and focus on "games" while my mind keeps thinking of what needs to happen next!