Friday, January 30, 2015


I'm not being a lazy blogger, we have been just literally overwhelmed with the snow that fell Monday-Wednesday. Mr. Helen was out in it for nearly 8 hours digging us out then his father.  The snow was so deep he had to walk to his father's house - even our truck couldn't get down our unplowed road. When they finally did plow, there is barely enough room for one car to get through.  I have been silently praying there are no serious medical emergencies in any of the neighborhoods where it is like this.

In this photo, on the left near the garage are our trash bins - Can't even see the recycle bin, it's under the snow..  That's how high the snow was.

In my city in particular, the kids have not been in school all week.  We have a high population of walkers and there are no sidewalks right now.  The city does not have the resources to move the snow and honestly with the narrow streets and all the cars, there is no where to put it. We are literally buried.

We didn't score Jim Cantori from the Weather Channel, but we did get a segment on CNN.  This is the city I live in.  Click on this link to see the CNN story.

In addition to sub zero temperatures, there are 3 more storms in the forecast for the next 7 days.  In fact, it's snowing right now.

I realized last night that this is the time of year, every year, when I consider just packing up and leaving. Yep, I'm thinking it again.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shadows and Other Stuff

Well, it's time for me to announce that I'm sick and tired of the cold already.  While there is supposedly a big storm coming for Saturday, we really haven't had a lot of snow.  But it has been so cold and windy.  Cold enough to freeze my water bottle and iPhone when I go out to run. I think it's just extra hard this time of year because it's cold AND dark.  Not a good combination to be faced with every single morning at 4:45. Some days I hit the stoop and my brain is all

... and that's when I generally head towards the treadmill.  Even though it's cold out there too, I warm up faster and of course, there's no wind chill.  The issue with that is while treadmill running gets the job done, it's b-o-r-i-n-g!  The other morning I just kept repeating "6-8 more weeks and this will be over."


Little Helen responded to our request for a date by asking us to block off July 23-25.  Other than that, we pretty much have no clue what is going to happen.  We finally decided just to completely back off and whatever happens, happens.  It was just too frustrating and upsetting trying to get them to open up.  I know there are those out there who think that since she's a 35 year old adult woman, that's the approach that should have been taken in the first place,  But this is my only child and for her entire life I've looked forward to be excited WITH her about planning a wedding.  That's not what's happening and so all I can do is move on.


The first thing I moved on to is planning our vacation!  That's always fun, right?  We already knew we wouldn't be going to the Caribbean this year.  Even being able to stay in our friend's home, it's an expensive vacation.  We thought about going to Montauk, New York but couldn't find reasonable accommodations.  My sister tried to talk us into coming to the Hamptons anyway, and staying with her.  It's a nice offer because she has an in-ground pool, the beaches (including Montauk) are nearby, and there are plenty of excellent restaurants.  But the truth is, if we did that it wouldn't really be "our" vacation because the kids are there and instead of having time as a couple it ends up being more of a family thing.  Then we looked at Cape Cod where we haven't been there since our disastrous trip in 2010.  We love the Cape but as I started looking at prices to rent a cottage, I started thinking I should expand where we might go... where could we go in driving distance?  Suddenly I thought of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I've always wanted to go there and we already know we like North Carolina.  So as I explored, I realized I could get us a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house in the Outer Banks for what we'd pay for a tiny cottage on the Cape.  I figured I'd have to talk Mr. Helen into it because he is not a fan of long drives, but he was on board from the get go. I found us a great house just one block from the beach, so Outer Banks it is!  Neither of us has ever been there and I'm so excited for us to go and explore a new place together. While I'm super excited to see a couple new lighthouses (I seek them out on vacations), is it terrible to admit that one of the things I'm most looking forward to is Eastern North Carolina vinegar based pulled pork?  LOL!


Things are up and down with the nutritionist.  Or rather I should say my weight has been up and down - lost 3 pounds the first week, then immediately gained 2 back the second week eating and exercising the same both weeks.  My immediate reaction was how much I hate the scale.  I seriously wanted to scream.  But my second reaction was to be glad to show her exactly what I've been dealing with for years.  If she can figure this out, it will be my hallelujah you hear.

And just about the time I'm ready to give up hope, I get a sign, of sorts...

When I was running yesterday morning, I was on the downhill stretch home running smack in the middle of the street (you can do that at 5:30 am).  The street lights were casting shadows ahead of me.  I noticed one right away - it was tall and thin and sort of graceful looking.  But then I noticed a closer shadow: shorter, chubbier and clunking along.  I realized that the closer darker shadow was how I really looked.  Then it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, while I could see my present, just a little bit ahead, was my future.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Big Ball of Frustration.

Well, that about describes how things have been feeling lately.  I think it's the great storm of many areas of my life being unsettled with no settling down in the near future to be seen.

While Little Helen finally picked a wedding date, signed a contract for a venue and began the process of putting some things together, within a week they had backed out of everything, and now everything is up in the air again.  In all honestly, they just want to be married - and they want to have a celebration of some sort - but can't seem to settle down enough to agree on who, if anyone, should be present and how much they want to spend.

At this point, Mr. Helen has to turn in his vacation request for 2015.  He is the senior person in his department so everyone else has to wait until his requests are in.  I have this great underlying fear that he will not be able to participate in some of the wedding fesivities (if, indeed, they happen at all) due to Little Helen's indecision.  I know I need to just let this go but it has remained a big knot in my stomach.

Then there's our nutty weather.  They keep telling us it's way below normal temps.  Granted, I realize there are other parts of the country that are much worse, but that is why I don't live there!!! With the inescapable cold and darkness, it makes my morning workouts feel... junky.  When I got done working out yesterday morning, I just felt like I'd wasted my time.  Almost as if I can't work out hard enough because it's so cold. My old body seems to need more time to warm up and want to go in the mornings as well.  Why, oh why, do I have to work?  I wish the lottery gods would answer my prayers!

Adding to all that is something very stupid.  The food tracking I'm doing for the nutritionist is making me feel like I'm on a diet.  I mean, in a way, I am because she is tweaking my diet to see if we can get my metabolism started.  But truth be told, I am eating a lot more than I was before so in that way it doesn't feel like a diet.  It's something about the food tracking .  It making me worry about what I'm eating and if I'm hitting my macros, even though I'm not supposed to.  And that is making me grumpy.  I'm not even sure what to do about this except text and email her which is what she said to do if I'm feeling this way.  She's great and answers me right back and is quite encouraging but I HATE FEELING DIETY.  (Yes I just yelled.) And I've already warned her that feeling this way is not good because when I weigh myself if I don't see what I think I should, I will probably have a hissy fit.

It's funny how all of these things are really nothing I can control and yet I let them bother me.  I know I need to relax and let them all go.  I just wish I could figure out how.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"This Is Going to be an Interesting Journey"

I started working with my nutritionist friend and I have to say I'm quite intrigued.

She had me do some tracking via MyFitnessPal so that she could see what I typically eat and how I exercise.  I also had to weigh myself (boo! hiss!).  Then I did a survey about typical patterns (i.e., how many times a day I eat, how much I snack, what I drink, sleep patterns, etc.

Based on all that information AND my hypothyroidism, she sent me a plan with both a minimum calorie allotment along with ratios for protein/fats/carbohydrates, plus a recommendation for some vitamins she thinks I should be taking to support my thyroid.  This means I have to track my food, but the great thing is, all I need to do is track it, not pay attention to any of the numbers.  She looks at it every day and then emails or texts me regarding what she sees.

Well, it's only a few days in and pretty much what we've discovered is this (as per her text to me):
"You have been under eating along with exercising which can lower your metabolism.  It's even more complex when you throw in your hypothyroidism... this is going to be an interesting journey."
It's going to be a balancing act for sure, as it is very easy to overeat with hypothyroidism due to reduced metabolism.  The spot of sunshine in all this is she is thrilled with the quality of my food intake (I knew I've always had a good diet!).  I guess a lot of her clients have issues with this, particularly due to too much sugar and too much takeout, neither of which is an issue for me (now that holiday eating is done lol!). Best of all, for me anyway, is no food is off limits right now, except for sugary drinks - not a problem at all!

She also really, really likes the Neila Rey workouts I've been doing, though she did give me a short weight lifting routine that I can manage right in my family room.  I tried it on Saturday and think I'll do that once a week or so, just to change things up.

I have to admit, doing this has re-energized my will to meal plan.  Of course, it didn't hurt that I'm coming off the holiday extras and wanting to eat cleaner. I made one of our favorites for dinner on Sunday - it cooked while I was at the mall:  Crockpot Banana Pepper Roast Beef.  It's been a long time since we had this and I'd forgotten how flavorful and delicious it is! I love having it in the lettuce cups with chopped tomato and smashed avocado on top.

 And, I'm feeling hopeful, for the first time in a long time... hoping that we can come up with 'my' magic formula that will help straighten out my metabolism.  Maybe then I will finally and permanently get the health and body results that I feel like I deserve.  Time will tell, I suppose.