Thursday, September 27, 2012

At Least For Me...

Debby (from Debby Weighs In) is a maintenance blogger who I've been reading for a couple of years. She recently wrote a great blog post, The Hunger Games, about how for the next 30 days she is trying to eat when she's hungry and not eat unless she's hungry and stop when she's had enough. An experiment of sorts, to see just how much food she really needs.

I completely relate to her desire to do this because I too have noticed as I age that I seem to need much less food.  Not a happy place for a foodie like me, but still it's reality. I commented on the blog that I, too, should try an experiment like that because I know for a fact that when I'm counting calories, if I have calories "left" there are times when I would eat something more, even though I am not hungry. That is just dumb and also goes to show how much more is involved in eating than just plain old stomach growling hunger. At least for me.


I went back to the foot doctor on Tuesday and his decision is to send me for an MRI. I will be going next Tuesday and then we'll go from there. His reasoning is that if the issue with my foot was simple, the shot I had on the 13th would have taken care of it. At this point, these are all the things that could be possibly wrong with my foot:

  • The worst ever case of Plantar Fasciitis. If this turns out to be so, he will set me up for a series of injections.
  • Calcaneal Fat Pad Injury. It’s very important not to have steroid shots if this is the injury as they thin the fat pad.  This would be treated by heel taping, icing, rest, and probably professional custom orthotics.
  • Plantar Fasciitis Rupture. This would be treated by putting me in a boot cast for 4-6 weeks.
  • Nerve entrapment.  There are a couple of nerves in the heel that can become entrapped.  The treatment for this is surgery.
  • Cancaneal stress fracture. This would probably treated by a boot cast and crutches to start.  It would also mean a complete halt to all weight bearing activity for 8-17 weeks.
As you can see, it's pretty important at this point for him to figure out exactly what is going on vs. just going by symptoms so the proper treatment can (finally) be applied. He said any or all of these issues would definitely show up in the MRI.

You know I immediately went home and spent the evening Googling all of these things.  Probably shouldn't have as Dr. Google tends to present the worst case scenarios. Worst case scenarios make me fearful.  Fear and pain are not a good combination. At least for me.


"I'm not a skinny girl. I push it. I'm at the limit of chubbiness at all times, but I'm happy at all times."

"Everybody has a weakness (and) mine is food. If you love food and you love red wine and they put you in France, you're in a good place and you're in a bad place at the same time. You have to weigh yourself every day, and you have to have an alarm number. When you get to that number, you have to start putting it in reverse."

~ Actress Salma Hayek talking about her weight ~

I want happiness and wouldn't mind being on the edge of chubby, especially if my curves were in the same place as Salma's. Only two things I disagree with here: I don't think you have to be living exclusively in France to have this issue and I don't think you have to weigh yourself every day. Maybe  you don't even need a scale, but you do need some sort of measure that is an alarm: be it clothing, the scale, or even health issues.

Putting it in reverse is easier to say than to actually do. At least for me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Ten

10.  Disassembled the patio over the weekend.  Bittersweet end of summer.  Last of the tomatoes pulled off the topsy turvey:

9.  I can't believe how fast it has cooled down.  Makes me want to eat heartier food, which I'm not sure is a good thing.  That's why portion control is important. I made my first batch of Roasted Zucchini Soup for lunches this week and I changed over the decorations to reflect the season.

8.  Friday, while eating my lunch salad, I thought I felt a tooth wigglilng.  By Saturday morning I was sure.  I only have one crown in my mouth and it was loose.  I spent the whole weekend worrying that it was going to come off while I was sleeping and I'd swallow it.  Thankfully that did not happen and my dentist got me right in Monday morning and was able to recement it.

7. Saturday, we went out and celebrated last week's football pick win.  Yep, he was the loser - but he's such a good sport. Or maybe he was just happy that I also had a coupon for the restaurant I chose.

6.  Shared an order of these chips and a salad to start.  These were Buffalo Kettle Chips:  warm chips with pieces of melty blue cheese and hot sauce!  Ended up taking about half of them home and as we never ate dinner since we had such a late lunch, I enjoyed the rest of them around 8 o'clock with a glass of wine.

5.  The reason I wanted to come to this restaurant:  Macaroni & Cheese pizza.  Plus they do an 8" personal size pizza. I had them add some bacon.  Comfort food, which I needed due to my foot and loose tooth and a really sucky black belt cycle class on Saturday morning.  It hit the spot and I had half of it left which is now in the freezer to have as a treat another day.

4.  While I was at the dentist Monday morning, I stopped by the OB-GYN to make an appointment.  They're in the same building and the last couple times I called to try to make one they told me he was fully booked and they didn't have his schedule past when he was booked.  As it has now been too long since I last went, I thought maybe standing there in person would better help me get an appointment.  The scheduler looked right at me and said, "He's quite busy, fully booked until December and I don't have his calendar after that."  So I said, "This is why I haven't been here in 3 years.  Because every single time I've called this is what I was told.  Do I need to find another doctor?  Can you perhaps recommend one?"  Next thing I knew the office manager was standing there and I left with an appointment for October 16th.

3.  My foot was ignorant all weekend long.  I pretty much spent the entire weekend with it on ice any time I was at home.  I called the doctor Friday and asked for a call back.  He never called.  I was not a happy camper but I called again yesterday morning and asked for him to be left another message and decided I'd make another appointment to go back in, not even knowing if I need to.  When they told me he couldn't see me until October 12th, I lost it, but not yelling lost it.  I started crying and told them their service was lousy for a current patient and that I didn't think they even cared about their patients.  Next thing I knew I was getting a call from the doctor's nurse/personal assistant/office manager.  About an hour after that, I had an appointment to see him today at 4:15.

2.  How sad is it that these doctors are so overbooked like that?  This country's medical systems needs an overhaul!  But let's hear it for proactive office managers.

1.  'Nuff said!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sick and Tired

I've been silent for most of the week because I'm sick (insert booing and hissing here).  After being up coughing all night long Tuesday night, I called my doctor and got in there Wednesday.  She said I have bronchitis.  Are you kidding me?  How on earth I got it I'll never know because I haven't been around sick people.  Mr. Helen informed me I'm in good company as more than half of the University of Connecticut's football team was struck down last week too.  I  really do hope that the pills and potions she gave me are magic because I am sick and tired of being sick and tired! And to add insult to injury, they made me weigh.  I stood backwards on the scale and told her not to tell me as I didn't want to be mortified by the actual number.  Her comment?  "I can tell you haven't been able to run and exercise like normal."  Sighhhhhh.  My bucket-o-drugs:

The one thing I will say is that I have flat out refused to let this latest thing derail my resolve.  Monday I did my strength training and interval 5K on the treadmill.  Tuesday, I did strength training and another interval 5K on the treadmill in the morning and then went to Muay Thai that evening.  Wednesday, I got up and did my first outside 5K since the shots were put in my foot.  Thursday, I slept in as the bronchitis caught up with me but I went to Muay Thai in the evening. This morning I ran a slower 4 miles (no intervals) and Saturday morning I have my special black belt prep class from 7:30-9.

My foot has been slower to feel better than I would like and I'm sure some of that is due to the tendinitis I had developed due to the heel injury. Right now I seem to have a really good day followed by a so-so day.  I actually have a call into my podiatrist right now as I want to have a discussion to determine if I need to come in and have another shot. I don't think I ever mentioned it but not one of the three doctors (one MD, one Sports Medicine Kinesiologist, and one Podiatrist) could agree on what was wrong with my foot so I've basically been attacking it in every way possible.  Thought maybe you'd like to see some of the gadgets:

This is a brace that is used for tendinitis and plantar fasciitis.  It keeps the foot flexed so that the tendons are straight. At first I was wearing it for me heel (it didn't help) but now I'm wearing it for the tendinitis on the left side of my foot.  I can't wear it to bed because it's bulky and Mr. Helen sleeps to my left so it would be annoying to him.  Instead, I've been carting it to work and if I know I'll be sitting for a while, I put it on.  Then once I'm home and sitting, I wear it until bed time.

These are all natural medicines for inflammation.  One is a cream that I rub all over my foot, the other is a pill to get the inflammation internally.  I'm not sure how effective they are for long term but I'd rather try natural stuff than constantly be taking Aleve or Motrin.

And this is my favorite thing ever!  I would even recommend this if you ever just have achy feet.  It is a sock, which has places to insert ice packs. One ice pack is on top where the tendinitis is and the other is below my sore heel.

Finally, at the end of July, I invested in a pair of orthopedic flip flops from Orthaheel..  I wanted to be able to wear a sandal and my regular old cheap flip flops were only making my foot hurt more.  These came in super handy around house too because I have wood floors and let me tell you, those feel extra hard when you have a sore foot.  I liked the flip flops so much, just this week I bought a pair of their slippers.  While expensive, I think these were good investments for the long range health of my feet.

I think I've given this foot thing the whole college try.  Now I just wish the damn thing would heal!

What I'm most proud of this week is that I have kept my eating controlled.  While I've often found myself still wanting to Pain Eat/Medicate, I have simply just refused to do it.  I suppose I just feel done and want to move on from the fog I've been in for almost 6 months.  I also have been building in planned treats.  My treat on Wednesday was a homemade chunky chicken salad sandwich on the beautiful dark rye pumpernickel bread I bought at the Big E, with a serving of Ruffles potato chips.  That might not sound like a treat to some of you, but normally I would put that chicken salad over greens and eat cucumber "chips."  My next treat is scheduled for Saturday but I'm not sure what it will be yet.  I won the football picks last weekend so Mr. Helen has to wine and dine me!  Well, not wine what the antibiotics and all but maybe dine and dessert?

Even with all the creeping crud I've got going on, I'm feeling more like myself than I have in a while.  Let's hope this trend continues.

Monday, September 17, 2012

No Magic Pills

Mr. Helen and I decided to play the football picks game against each other again this year.  Winner gets to pick a meal out paid for by the loser. He won week 1 but only by a game.  Still, a win is a win.  We had made plans over the summer to go up and visit his youngest sister and her husband over the weekend and go the The Big E with them.  Most New England States don't have a state fair - we tend to have town fairs and county fairs instead.  The Big E is the closest thing to a state fair but it's for all six New England States.  It doesn't change much from year to year but we hadn't been in a couple years and were looking forward to it. I love the individual state "houses" which are replicas of each state's original State House and showcase that state's people, products and attractions.  I also love the Craft Common which showcases all sorts of arts and crafts, available for sale of course.  Mr. Helen loves to go for the food.  Besides food sales in the state houses, there are vendors galore selling food for every appetite.  He decided to celebrate his victory by eating his way through the day.  Thankfully, for the most part he was willing to share and that meant we sampled lots of different things.  Quite a fun day, even with all the walking.  My foot did OK for the first couple of hours and not so OK for the last couple of hours - aching but not swelling.  The good thing though is that when I got up on Sunday, it was not swollen nor did I have pain.  Time will tell and there's a chance I may have to have another shot.

Friday I kept feeling a tickle in my throat.  Over the day at the Big E, I got raspier and raspier and it felt like it landed in my chest with a thud.  I have been having some issues with the very high weed pollen we have right now so I'm not sure if it's allergies or if I'm developing bronchitis.  In either case, is it okay for me to feel frustrated?  I just want to feel better and be able to have my life back!!

It seems neither the foot shots or Allegra are magic pills.


Last week, I spent the week just trying to eat healthfully, but eat exactly what I wanted in smaller portions.  I pretty much kept myself from overeating by promising myself that I could eat anything I wanted at the Big E.  One day I was really hungry - stomach growling hungry - so I decided to have an apple with peanut butter even though mentally I thought I'd had enough food.  After I ate it, my mind sort of went to the dark side where I started feeling that I shouldn't have eaten it because it probably was too many calories total for the day.  My exercise last week was so limited due to my foot swelling and hurting that I was already feeling that I shouldn't even legitimately feel hunger.  I wanted to catch that downward spiral so I decided to track what I'd eaten for the day and see just how "bad" I'd been.  Imagine my surprise when my total caloric intake was 1543.  While that might be a bit high considering my exercise issues, it certainly was not the thousands of calories I thought I'd been consuming.  So each day, at the end of the day, I tracked what I ate prior to going to bed.  I consistently stayed between 1400-1600 calories.  I'm happy with that and even happier to know that I do know what and how much to eat.  I'm continuing with that this week and using Lori's suggestion of building in a treat every 3-4 days as that seems to be when I want to dive off the deep end and eat senselessly.  But treat will mean that my calories will be more towards 1600 - again not thousands of extra calories.

I have to admit, I wish there was a magic pill for all this but I guess it's just going to take diligence in eating healthfully day in and day out.


I got up this morning and my foot felt completely normal so I decided to try a run on my treadmill. First I did about 15 minutes of strength training.  I need to get back to that and I know it so I made myself do it. One upper body move, one lower body move and core exercises. Because I want to lose weight I figured that doing some high intensity intervals would be the way to go with my run. Put the treadmill at a 1% incline and started off walking at 4 mph for 2 minutes, then jogged for 1 minute. I kept increasing the speed until I wasn't walking but was running slowly at 5.4 mph and sprinting at 6.2 mph. Then I slowly decreased the amount of running time while increasing the sprinting time. Got a 5K done. This is the fastest I've been able to run since my foot started hurting me in April. Color me happy!

No magic pills here either - just some hard work ahead of me to get my speed back.  But all in all, it's a good start.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

 -Walt Disney

Friday, September 14, 2012

Italian Sausage Soup for the Foot

When the weather starts to get cooler, I start wanting to make soup.  As much as I love soup I think of it as a cool weather food, much like pot roast and braised short ribs.  I will admit to ordering French Onion Soup in a restaurant even in the midst of summer - that's a soup I've yet to try to make.  Maybe this winter?

Last weekend, after the torrential rain, it got cooler than normal and I immediately decided to make one of our favorites: Italian Sausage Soup.  The recipe was given to me by a friend years ago and of course, I've adapted it to suit our tastes.  Though the original recipe calls for regular Italian sausage - and I did make it with that the first time - we found it to be greasier than we like.  So then I tried reduced fat Italian sausage but still, I felt like I had to make it the day before and let it sit overnight in the fridge so the fat would harden and I could pick it off the top.  Finally, I ended up trying Turkey Italian Sausage and even Mr. Don't Give Me Low Fat-Reduced Fat Anything Helen said it was the best version yet and so that is what I've stuck with over the years.  The recipe also calls for spinach to be added at the end but Mr. Helen doesn't like cooked spinach at all so what I do is make the soup and when I'm ready to ladle it out, I put baby spinach in the bottom of my bowl and stir it around and it wilts just right.    Here is my version:

Italian Sausage Soup
1 lb. Turkey Italian Sausage (~5-6 links) or if you can find it not in the casings, even better.
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 cup sliced carrots
    1 cup sliced celery

    2 tsp. dried basil or a couple T fresh chopped basil
    1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes with juice
    3 cans 99% fat free chicken broth
    1/3 cup orzo
    Optional: 10 oz. box of frozen spinach, thawed and water pressed out, or one 6 oz. bag baby spinach leaves.

Remove sausage from casings and put in a large soup pot. Brown sausage until all traces of pink are gone. Stir in onions, carrots, celery, parsley and basil. Saute for about 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add in orzo and cook another 10 minutes.  If using spinach, turn off the heat, stir it in just until wilted.

Makes 8 one-cup servings.
Per serving: 174 calories, 6g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, 15g protein

I had a bowl of this when I got home from the doctor and it was just the perfect combination of great flavor and comfort.

Foot Update!
On Monday, my foot started swelling up for no apparent reason.  It was sore along the outer edge too so I iced it and hobbled through the day.  By Tuesday, I couldn't wear normal shoes to work and I've been wearing flip flops ever since.  When I got to the doctor yesterday I told him that the situation was beyond what I could take anymore.  That I couldn't even think for the pain and that my exercise had gone to hell in a handbasket.  He examined my foot again and told me that due to the heel injury, I'd developed  Peroneus Tendinitis. Nothing to be done for that except ice/motrin and wait it out because tendons can be damaged by shots. Then he gave me two shots right on the side of my heel.  I did not cry or kick him but I did lay there gasping "Owww, owww, owww, owww."   Thankfully for the first couple of hours the whole foot was sort of numb and what a blessed relief that was.  Then the anesthesia that was mixed in the shot wore off and I swear I could feel my heart beat in my heel.  OY.  But the good news is that today my heel already feels different - more like bruised than injured and the bruised feeling seems directed towards the injection site.  I'm hoping, praying and crossing my fingers that this is going to do the trick and I can get my life back.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday Ten

10. In the last 24 hours, the search words that have brought people to my blog are "beef and broccoli."  There was also a "beef and broccoli helen" search.  All of that then led them to the Crockpot Beef and Broccoli recipe post I wrote back in February.  So, whoever searched with the word Helen - just come straight here to this blog and then you can click on the recipe tab at the top of the page and you'll find all the recipes I've shared, including that one.

9. The gel the doctor prescribed for my foot is not working.  Well, it does work but only temporarily. I think the injury is too far gone at this point. Thankfully, I didn't waste money on it as it seems to be working great on Mr. Helen's tennis elbow, so he's happy I got it.  Thursday I go back to the doctor and will begin a series of shots.  Thursday cannot come fast enough.

8. We are enjoying our new mattress.  We bought a Sealy Posturpedic and were able to get one of the nicer ones between the sale and our best customer discount.  I did try the iComfort and also a Tempurpedic.  One day maybe, when I have $2000 to spend on a mattress.  In the meantime we're sleeping better, although Mr. Helen swears that I still sleep as illustrated by this diagram:

7. Ran in capris and a long-sleeved shirt this morning as it was only 49 degrees.  Yes, that's below normal temps for this time of year.  Brrrrr!

6.  I am the only woman candidate from my dojo for black belt in Muay Thai this cycle.  Last Saturday during the black belt prep class I completely showed up the other 2 (male) candidates, who for some reason don't know their material.  To the point where they were singled out at the end of class and told to get their act together or they wouldn't be considered further and I was told great job.  Proud of myself for not letting them drag me down with them, because they tried to.  Both of them seem to have "issues" with women.

5.  "Life exists beyond 50."  Good to know.

4. My friend Em's bridal shower was on Saturday.  It was a blast.  There was an ocean theme and we made our own "favors" when we painted t-shirts by pressing them with rubber fish paint had been applied to.  Here's my shirt, the awesome octopus cake with jelly-fish and oyster cupcakes made by Em's sister, a closeup of the cupcake I ate, and the shark hat that was decorated with ribbons from her gifts and that she will wear to her rehearsal.

3. While perusing Facebook this morning I saw this.  I think karma (and Chris Powell) are trying to tell me something. "Call upon every ounce of your discipline today. You simply must stick to the plan."

2.  I've decided to use this blog once again for accountability.  Maybe if I put out here how ridiculous I'm being it will help me to stop the insanity (remember her?).   I want to lose 35 pounds.  Well I think that's what I want to lose as I don't know what I weigh right now and I'm using my Zero Scale again.  Adjustments may be made to that number but based on clothing it's what I'm aiming for right now.

1. Why do you think it's as hard to lose 35 pounds as it is to lose 100?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Helen Two Point Oh One Two

When I announced at the end of 2011 that the world should look out because Helen 2.012 was on the way, I had no idea that Helen 2.012 would actually be a slower, fatter version of Helen 2.011.  Helen 2.011 was doing so well - things were actually going great.  I was losing around a pound a week, my running was great and was actually speeding up, and I was consistently doing a short but sweet strength training program.  I actually made it to Helen 2.012 and 1/4 before it all fell apart.

While I haven't gained back everything I'd lost up until my foot injury in April, I've gained back way more than I would have liked.  I've pretty much spent the summer struggling to exercise enough, medicating with food, and on occasion, adult beverages. (For whatever reason I have no problem abstaining from alcohol for the most part - maybe because my running and Muay Thai feel better when I don't partake?)  Truly food is my medication of choice and more specifically food like white pasta and desserts and cheese and things that really should be only occasional treats.  As my pants will now testify, I had way too many treats.

I have so many reasons to straighten up and fly right when it comes to my diet...
  • Em's wedding, which is just 6 weeks away (I'd love to lose 10 lbs. by then)
  • A formal engagement party that is 8 weeks away.  And by formal I mean very shi-shi at a yacht club - cocktail attire, etc.
  • Black belt testing that will take place some time in December
Not to mention facing seasonal clothing changeover very soon (sooner than I'd like) and once again being worried about  last year's clothing fitting properly

And yet, I cannot seem to get my freak flag to fly and just do it.

I spent a good chunk of August thinking about how I wanted to proceed so that I can be done with this and consider myself a maintenance blogger.  Not that I don't think some vigilance is required in maintenance, but I've got to get there first.  So, I sort of instituted a plan the last week of August - even though my foot still hurts.  Why sort of?  Because  I do quite well for 3-4 days at a time and then everything just goes to hell in a handbasket. Which promptly undoes the good days.  And that is annoying the heck out of me!

 If I could figure it out, I would, and I'd stop it. So far I haven't been able to but I do keep trying. Believe me, when I'm struggling to get through a run or a Muay Thai class because of how heavy I feel am, I make all sorts of new resolutions that I'm just going to buckle down and do it. And I do.  For 3-4 days and then....

I'm making my own self crazy.

Nike had a great marketing campaign with JUST DO IT. You know why?  Because there comes a time when all the plans, dreams, thoughts, etc. have to be put into action.  You have to Just Do It.

How to get myself to just do it is another story.  So, if you're reading this and you've ever had a setback and figured out how to snap back to it and do it, please share with me in the comments below.  I am not looking for tips like "drink more water" etc., I want to know HOW you made yourself start to do it and keep on consistently.

If you're not in that place and you're struggling like I am, take this post and know you're not alone.  Oh, and please comment and say anything you'd like.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Face Your Fears

This is a note that I wrote and posted on Facebook following testing for my black-brown belt at Muay Thai last Thursday. I didn't realize how many life lessons I would learn through Muay Thai and this testing definitely brought one forward.


Earlier this week, someone was telling me about a stressful situation and I could see their thoughts were spiraling downward so I asked, "What would you do if the worst thing you imagine in this situation happened?"

I've been thinking about that a lot lately as I've gone through the special "cycle" classes that prepare us to receive our black belts.  I've had some real fears about knowing the material but not being able to actually do it and those fears have been exacerbated by the fact that several of the people who should be testing for black belt with me have decided to defer.  Which means I may be one of two people testing in my dojo - or maybe even the only one.

Last week I had the pleasure of having the Shihan at my home for a visit and I flat out asked him, "If I'm the only one, will I have to perform the test requirements by myself or will you put me with another dojo?" He didn't even hesitate and simply said, "You'll have to do it alone."

As you can imagine, that statement made my fears rear up full force - to the point where if I even thought about it, I felt sick to my stomach.  Not especially great timing as this week was belt test week.

All day yesterday my foot, which has been dogging me since April,  was hurting.  Throbbing to the point where I almost couldn't think for the noise it was making in my head.  It hurt so much I considered calling the Kyoshi to say that I simply couldn't come to the test... but this was a test I didn't want to miss:  testing for my Black/Brown belt. So, off I went throbbing foot and all.  

During the test, we had to sprint and elevate and jump and do things that made it hurt more I think.  Not an ideal situation to say the least but I was simply trying to power through it.  Even that rubs my perfectionism the wrong way though - I really dislike have to modify anything.  I want to do it perfectly.  

We were put through the usual bag, combo and fitness work and then at the end of the test, I was put in spotlight in front of the entire group.  As I'm in cycles for black belt I've been practicing my combos and weapons like crazy - even to the point where I recite the moves as I drive to and from work every day.  I've had people 'testing' me and even though I know that material cold, something about standing in front of people needing to perform it correctly turns my stomach, my brain goes blank and I freeze.

So there I was in front of everyone and Sensei Sheryle called out a combo and I did it.  She called out a second combo and I did it.  Then she called out a third combo and it happened to be one of the first combos I learned.  I've known it well for a couple of years.  But then, THE WORST THING HAPPENED.  I froze.  My mind went blank and I couldn't remember the first moves.  I thought I was going to be sick in front of the whole testing class.  My vision even went a little dark.  As if I was in a tunnel I heard Mr. Helen and my teammates encourage me.  I felt my heart start racing and I knew if I didn't get this it would be the end of me for sure.  I shook my head, the fog sort of lifted and it came to me. I did the combo.  (According to my biased husband, I "ROCKED" all my material  and looked like a black belt candidate - I'll take that!)

When all was said and done, I had the honor of having my Kyoshi present me with my Black-Brown belt.  I'm thinking that this might be one of my favorite belts I've ever received.

At our dojo we say a Black Belt is a White Belt who didn't quit. It's a simple but true statement.  Now I add, that  a Black Belt is a White Belt who faced their fears head on and knocked them down.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday Ten

1. I went to the doctor on Friday morning and he did not give me shots in my foot.  He views those as a last resort prior to possible surgical intervention so he wanted me to try an anti-inflammatory gel that I rub on my foot 3 times a day.  I'm not sure still how I feel about it but if it doesn't work, I will go back and then get the shots.  He wanted me back in a week but I couldn't get a followup appointment until the 21st so I have 3 weeks of gel rubbing to do.

2.  My sweet niece Gracie started first grade last week.  My sister is always telling me how Gracie should have been my daughter what with her love of sparkly, blingy things. In fact she says Gracie's motto is "the more bling, the better."  And shoes.  She loves shoes.  Look at her first day outfit - the shoes are the bomb!

3.  Gracie's brother Jacob started 4th grade this year and has lost all looks of being a baby boy.  He's so grown up and handsome.  Did you know Mr. Helen takes him every single Wednesday for 'man time' ever since Gary died?   3 1/2 years now.  We sure are going to miss these kids when they move in a couple weeks but I think Mr. Helen is going to really feel the void.

4.  We had to go shopping for a new mattress.  Ours was somewhere between 10-15 years old and my lower back was starting to feel every inner spring in the dumb thing. We went to the place where we've bought all our furniture and as we are such great customers we always end up getting something extra.  So, we're in the bed department laying on one mattress after another - plush, firm, gel, memory foam, etc. and the salesman says, "Be sure to lay on it like you sleep, don't just lay on your back."  Mr. Helen pipes up and says, "Oh, I'm a back sleeper anyway, but she's a roller."  HEY!  You try being me for one night:  hot, cold, sweaty, cold, shoulder aching because I laid on it too long, hot again, need water, need the bathroom... I deserve to roll around all I want!

5. I spent part of the long weekend doing some of those troublesome chores that I haven't wanted to do all summer.  Like cleaning up and reorganizing my shelves in the garage.  They had become so choked with stuff that I hated to try to find something.  We ended up taking a truckload of stuff to the local thrift store that sells household goods then uses the money to feed and shelter the homeless.  Every single time I've gone in the garage the past few days I just feel... happier.

6. I have decided I do not like Stevia.  No matter what form it comes in or how it's used it leaves an aftertaste in my mouth that I do not like.  Therefore, I am consciously avoiding it and products that contain it.  I'm not a big sugar user in the first place so if I need something, I'd rather have a little bit of regular sugar.

7.  Speaking of food "substitutes," if you didn't see Lori's post on the Faking of Food, click right there and read it.  I couldn't agree more with everything she said.  Food faking has got to come to an end.  I loved her reference to the Snackwell cookie syndrome because I was a WW leader during that time and had so many members who got caught up in that low-fat trap.

8.  The other thing I did was refurbish the bottom cabinets in the kitchen.  Previous owners had done a refacing so the cabinets look new but they're not.  The bottoms had pieces of shelf paper that were constantly moving and hard to keep clean.  I saw an idea on Pinterest to use peel and stick vinyl tiles to refurbish so I went out and bought the materials.  Yesterday it was finally not too hot and humid so I went for it.  It took me 2 hours to do 3 cabinets but look how great the finished project is.  I feel so crafty now that I've actually completed something I Pinned!

9. Been thinking a lot about this:

10.  Sunday was Doing A 180's third anniversary .  Part of me can't believe it's been three years already and the other part can't believe I'm still blogging.