Nov 20, 2009

Zenith, my Gran: 8/9/20 - 11/20/04

I love to remember the crunchy feel of Gran's hair... the tiny tv next to her bed, and Tums (free for the taking) in her top drawer. I remember the journal she used to keep, and she would let me read it, when she lived in the old house. She said it wasn't personal stuff, just what happened every day. I loved that a journal could be like that, just an account of time. I loved the way she smelled, like fresh powder. And she would let me play with the skin on her hands, and I would press a vein and wonder if that would harm her. I remember when I became taller than she was, and to hug her felt so small, but full of bigness. I loved her vegetable soup and ground turkey salad, but most of all her cinnamon toast on white bread, with enough margarine that there were pockets of wetness.

Nov 11, 2009

Yucky food makes you feel yucky

Since my last blog post, I guess you couldn't say that I've been on a Yucky Food Bender, but in light of my desire to be healthy, lose weight, and feel great, I have been bending. Since that post, I have had:
  • Chipotle full-size (oversized really) veggie burrito (probably 800 calories by itself),
  • 2 Twinkies (thanks to listening to Twinkie podcast by Stuff You Should Know guys)
  • then for dinner that night, smartly only had about 2 cups of steamed cauliflower with about 1/2 tablespooon of butter
  • started out good the next day with 2 small David's Healthy Balls (made with oats, pecan, flax seed, agave nectar, dark chocolate, mango, and apricots)
  • then, Chinese Buffet, where I didn't really hold back, except for declining the fried donut afterwards
  • and for dinner last night, 2 canned biscuits, 2 pieces of maple sausage, and scrambled eggs

First, let's start with the Chipotle. I thought I was making somewhat of a healthy choice... veggie burrito and all that. However, once that thing got crammed with all the veggie stuff they had on the bar, it was big enough to wrap in a blanket to stand in as a newborn baby on a TV show. I physically could not fit any part of it in my mouth, and had to obtain a fork to shovel it out from the inside of the burrito. Needless to say, after that I was FULL. And also, even though there are no taste buds in my stomach, it was actually burning from all the hot stuff in there.

Driving home from Cleveland after Chipotle, my belly full of newborn-sized burrito, I felt hungry about an hour later. Not "hungry" per se, but felt like "I'd love something sweet right now, like 6 donuts."

Next, I listened to Stuff You Should Know's podcast about Twinkies. I have never craved a Twinkie in my life, and have eaten probably less than a dozen in that time. Well, after learning that there is pretty much nothing made by God in a Twinkie, and they are as resilient as Birkenstock uppers, I desired and caved in to not only one but two of those tasty treats.

Immediately after eating the Twinkies, I felt a dull throbbing headache behind my eyes. It's as if the unnatural glycerides in those pastries had already worked their evil selves into my brain, and were punishing me.

Made a good decision that night: decided to skip traditional "dinner," and go for a big bowl of cauliflower.

Yesterday at lunch, after having gotten busy and only eaten about 150 calories in delicious David's Balls for breakfast, and after the day had turned cloudy and rainy and cold, I suggested to my co-worker that we go to the Chinese buffet, our favorite place on such days. This decision was also a result of not having planned very well for my lunch that day, having only a Lean Cuisine and rotten broccoli to look forward to back at work. So, Chinese Buffet ensued, with all the pleasures that we know and love about it.

Yesterday afternoon, felt like crap. Bloated, thirsty, tired, depressed. Went to the gym that afternoon anyway, had a great time, and sweated out some of the horribleness.

For dinner, my plan was to again pretty much skip it for some steamed veggies, but I ended up at the dreaded Wal Mart (because I needed things that weren't available at Kroger), and it took me over an hour to find the things I had come for. Got home much later than I had planned, and didn't even feel like fighting the urge to have what everyone else was having: scrambled eggs, canned biscuits, and sausage.

This morning, woke up in excruciating stomach pain. Just some trapped gas in there that wanted to kill me for having eaten like I have, and it nearly succeeded.

So now I am feeling better. I am done with crap food for awhile. It sucks, and it makes me feel sucky. Why do I have to remind myself of that so often? By now I should know it by heart.

Nov 9, 2009

In Cleveland this morning at Bryan's eye appointment. Missing my boys, but also hated to leave Kevin's today. I've never known a place so warm and inviting; there's something so special about that place.

Ate pretty well this weekend, skipped dinner last night sortof by accident, and replaced it with a delicously-made apple tart with freshly whipped cream. I have a rule that food made with love is always okay, in reasonable quantities and accounted for in other ways. Another rule that has helped me to succeed so far has been that if I don't finish calorie counting one day, it doesn't make me feel like I should stop counting altogether. New day, fresh start! So, I'm off to enter my 2 deliciously poached eggs, 1 slice of fresh sour dough bread, and 1/4 piece of Lilly's Chocolate bar (thankfully the last bit, SO delicious).

Nov 4, 2009

Communing with Apples

When I was a little kid I used to love apples. On some days when we would come home from school, Mom would have a snack ready for us, which was often apple slices and peanut butter. She would sit down at the table with us while we ate, and ask us about our days. That's the kind of thing makes you feel loved after a hard day on the playground.

I think I had a bit of a hypochondriac thing going on when I was a kid though, because I heard once that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," and I decided to really take it to heart. I would literally eat one every day, and I remember being disappointed when my front teeth were gone and I could only eat apples with great effort.

As I grew up though, I came to like stuff like honey buns and cheese curls a lot more than crunchy, fresh apples. That seems like a normal progression for a kid... it would be nice if there were some way to keep kids eating the good stuff when they're little, and all the way 'till they're grown up. But instead, we all have to do it our own way for awhile, before we can come back to realizing that the good stuff really is good... and some of us never even get there.

So anyway, now I'm doing this low calorie healthy thing, and it's also prime apple season. I'm back to the apple a day routine, just like when I was 8. This time though, I'm eating an apple to help get me through the afternoon doldrums, and I need it to last. I need to really enjoy it. Well, I've found that with apples, that's not difficult.

Eating my afternoon apple has turned into a ritual for me. I don't just consume the apple: I commune with it. I chew each bite slowly and carefully, and not only have I found that different sections of an apple have different flavors, but that the flavors in different sections are different depending on what type of apple you're eating. I've learned that near the bottom is some of the best apple there is, and I've also learned to get every edible bite out of it before throwing out the core for the ants and worms.

I've even started thinking about the spiritual relevance of the apple... Eve and all that. Apples are a symbolic reminder to us. They remind us of what we've given up to be here in this life on Earth, and what we're allowed to enjoy because of our choice. So, I enjoy the apple, and I try to enjoy everything about this life that we have chosen for ourselves. I don't want to squander my time here, because this is it; this is my time away from God, out here on my own in the relative darkness. But with things like apples, magnificent gray clouds, and heartfelt hugs, we are never alone or forgotten.

Nov 3, 2009

Welcome to my blog!

Hello! So, this is going to be my blog... my very own spot on the web. So, I'm Laura. I am happily a wife and mother, and like most mothers, my family is the most important thing in the world to me. They are the biggest reason that I love life like I do. Every day is a beautiful adventure with them! For them, and because I want to be around a long time to see them and their children, and their children's children grow up... and because even now at age 31 I look forward to sitting around at age 90 with nothing to have to do with myself except make it to the bathroom... for these reasons, I have decided to live my life to the fullest, and part of that is being healthy.

For the past few months, I have been trying out a new way of life. I'm counting calories, eating healthier foods, and exercising regularly. This is something that I've been trying to do for a long time, and have never really been able to get myself motivated to do it. I was always telling myself that I was happy eating whatever I want to eat and not being able to jog even a few feet without feeling winded.

A few months ago though, I decided I had to change. I had already begun refusing to buy clothes a size bigger than my previous clothes had been, had begun feeling before and after huge fast food meals like I might actually be an the early stage of diabetes, and I was starting my second year of a degree program in Public Health. I just couldn't tell myself anymore that I could live this way forever, because I couldn't.

I was fortunate enough on that very day to run across two awesome podcasts that I have come to love. One is Roni's Weigh, which is done by this amazing lady who has lost 70-some pounds and kept it off for several years now. Her words really got into my head, and I realized that I didn't have to view a "diet" as an extreme way to lose weight fast; I can use the word "diet" to describe what I eat, and therefore I can never be "on" or "off" of my "diet." Sometimes what I eat could include a chocolate chip cookie or 3 slices of pizza, but usually what I eat will be healthy. It will promote health in my body and mind, and my body and mind will thrive because of it.

The other podcast, which I saw right away as a light-hearted counter to the first, is Two Gomers Run a Marathon (or, at that time, a Half Marathon). This one is just two guys, kinda geeky, never before have been runners, who decided "to do something they've never done before." I was surprised right away with how much I loved and identified with these guys. They are awesome, and they did end up running a half-marathon, and are on their way to the full marathon, even though when they started out, Gomer 1 (Anthony) said something like "Dude, after those first 15 steps, I hit... The Wall." They are great.

So now here I am. I've lost 20 pounds so far, I am in no hurry, and I've decided to branch out with a blog of my own... Here I go. The rest of my life, here I come!

P.S. If you'd like to read about my first few months of progress, check out my old blog at