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The Return of PMS.... why?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

CD1.... so not a surprise. The anxiety of yesterday combined with the munchies of last night suggested AF was going to be early this month and.... here she is.

This is the second month in a row that I've had PMS bad enough to be aware of being anxious. I used to have really bad PMS. When I started working out it disappeared. I'm not sure why it's back.

Lots of things are 'off' this summer. There is more stress than usual. I have certainly not been getting enough sleep in the weeks leading up to AF (cruise last time, Olympics this time). And my exercise is a bit stepped down because I am missing at least one workout a week due to travel/appointments and shortening 2 to fit them in during my daughter's tutoring sessions.

I'm not sure which of those 3 things are the trigger but I am, certainly, looking forward to the structure of fall which should help with at least 2 of the 3!

We found out yesterday that we CAN go on our family vacation. Yay! We'd already paid for the cottage so not going was a double whammy - no vacation AND no guarantee that we'd be reimbursed for that cost. Now I need to pack us up in 2 days. Yikes. The hardest part is that restaurant options are horrendous so I do almost all the cooking.... and groceries are SO expensive and different from home that we try to bring a lot of the groceries with us to avoid the expense and stress of cooking food we love with groceries that don't quite line up.

I'm starting the prep today by making DH's birthday dessert - a full-fat but so-delicious cheesecake. I encouraged him to pick what he TRULY wanted - no attempt to make it 'easy' for me prep-wise or nutrition-wise. I sure don't mind splurging on something truly delicious, especially if I know he really loves it.

The ubiquitous PEI french fry? THAT is a whole other story!

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Under 150 calorie peanut butter banana muffins

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
6 Tbs crunchy peanut butter
3 Tbs light olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 3/4 oz white whole wheat flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice

1. Preheat oven to 350ー.

2. To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with
a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add
flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended.

4. Lightly grease muffin tins. Use large cookie scoop to fill tins, 1 scoop per tin.

5. Bake at 350ー for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center
comes out clean.

6. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove muffins
from pans; cool.

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
Calories: 145
Calories From Fat: 49
Total Fat: 5.7g
Cholesterol: 20.1mg
Sodium: 133.6mg
Potassium: 155.4mg
Carbohydrates: 21.6g
Fiber: 2.4g
Sugar: 12.4g
Protein: 3.8g

Comments: Peanut butter is whipped into the basic recipe for a moist banana
muffin with a hint of nutty flavor.

Original Recipe Author: Maureen Callahan

Adapted from: Maureen Callahan, Cooking Light OCTOBER 2010


Running away from it all

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

This was one of those mornings where it would have been really easy to skip the gym. And I did put it off for about an hour. But... I knew how I was feeling and I knew what would fix it... so I put on my big girl sneakers and headed to the gym.

5K + cool down at 5MPH at a 2% incline. It felt GOOD. (I totally forgot that I wasn't in my 'special' running shoes until I was already 5' in so I just kept the speed low and kept going.)

So glad I made myself go to the gym! It gave me the energy to face the chores I have to do today and to, hopefully, have some patience with my kids who REALLY need to do some more of their summer work today.

Running for 2012:
64 miles + 3.25 miles = 67.25 miles
47 days until my next 5K

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SNEVIL1 8/7/2012 12:06PM

    Way to go! I have been putting off working out this morning too. I am going to do the 6 miles of hills by my house. Problem is the longer i put it off the hotter it gets outside lol. Oh well. I'll do it soon.

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KCWIND 8/7/2012 11:51AM

  Congrats! Thanks for sharing. It motivates us all.

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 8/7/2012 11:50AM


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How I Got to be 176 Pounds

Monday, August 06, 2012

I spent most of my teens and twenties at a healthy weight. Yes, I got there in a rather unhealthy way at age 12 but I got there.... and I stayed there until I got pregnant with my son at 26... returned there only to get pregnant with my daughter at 28.... and never returned. Until I said 'enough is enough' on her 10th birthday and just about 2 years later I am just about 10 months into maintenance.

How does a person who spent so much time at a healthy weight spend 10 years overweight and, eventually, obese? By coping with stress poorly. My daughter has a LOT of health and educational issues. When she was 4, my 6 year old son developed life-threatening food allergies and as he's progressed through school we've found out that he has more than his fair share of educational issues as well. For a person who grew up healthy and breezed through school and expected her children to do the same, this amounted to a life full of very unexpected stresses. And I did NOT cope with them well. I ate to comfort myself. I drank to comfort myself. I ate to celebrate getting through crises. And I drank to do the same. I found myself so exhausted by the mental, emotional, and physical work of dealing with these unexpected stresses that I made little, if any, time for physical activity. People told me it would help. I could not see how carving out the time and energy for one more thing could help me at all. So I yo yo'd - losing when I had the energy to focus on counting calories and making time for exercise, gaining when I was overwhelmed and seeking comfort in the wrong things. Until I ended up broken (due to an arm injury that was just horrible) and obese and totally fed up with myself for letting myself get in that state.

In addition, I had started to pass those lessons on to my daughter :-( A trip to the hospital meant starting the day with a huge chocolate milk and a delicious baked good from Au Bon Pain and ending the day (or taking a break from the day) for a fat-laden lunch of Au Bon Pain mac'n'cheese and high fructose corn syrup sweetened gatorade. I noticed she didn't just do it on hospital days. She also used food for comfort dealing with other stresses too :-(

By the time she'd been through 4 years of surgeries both she and I were obese :-( And, really, enough was enough! Just like she learned bad habits from me, she has now learned and adopted good ones along side me.

We each ate a healthy breakfast today. We each at a healthy lunch today. I got my workout in this morning and she will get hers in in just a few minutes. Yes, she splurged on a low fat cone at McDonald's after her appointment but it was NOT a jumbo brownie at Au Bon Pain. And tonight we are all splurging on homemade low-fat spaghetti sauce with homemade low-fat meatballs served over Barilla Plus pasta with fresh grated parmesan - in reasonable portions. I did NOT ask hubby to pick up crusty white bread on the way home (as much as I r-e-a-l-l-y wanted him to) and I WILL resist opening a bottle of red wine (because I know on a night like tonight I would not stop with 1 glass). My budget will even allow for me to have my low-fat skinny cow ice cream cone later tonight when we are watching the Olympics.

Even though everything went VERY well today and it looks like DD is not going to have to go back into the OR (but she will have to have work done in the doctor's office that will be very unpleasant for her), today was really stressful and I am in need of comfort and, for better or for worse, I do still use food for comfort. This is a meal that is HUGE comfort food for me. I am relieved that I have found a way to still be able to have it without it blowing my calorie budget.

On a brighter note.... the doctor (who hasn't seen me since July 2011 and not in a calm setting since much earlier in 2011 - probably when I was still close to obese).... was amazed at how big the kids are. 'You've both gotten so big but mom still looks the same.' And then she did a double take..... and asked me if I'd lost weight :-)

She's actually part of my inspiration. One morning in pre-op she told DD how she had had a good (healthy) dinner and gone to bed early even though it was the night of a huge football game and then she'd gotten up early to go to the gym before she came to the hospital to operate on her. It was a real light bulb moment. How could I say I didn't have time to exercise when this woman - this VERY successful, VERY talented, VERY hard-working surgeon - had time to? The jig was UP! Maybe someday I'll share that with her :-)

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MOONSTORMER 8/7/2012 11:20AM

    well done!

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DAWNFIRE72 8/7/2012 1:23AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think you should definetly let the person who inspired you know how she touched your life.

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SNEVIL1 8/6/2012 10:16PM

    It is brave to share so much of yourself. You have come a long way and are doing fantastic! Everyone has their struggles, but it sounds like you are are at a place where you can be in control of these struggles. Way to go:)

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    You have been through so much and I know you won't let yourself go backward.
You deserve so much credit for turning things around and all that you have accomplished. BTW.....that is exactly what we had for supper plus fresh green beans!

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Stress, stress, stress, stress

Monday, August 06, 2012

Summer is supposed to be fun but this summer has started feeling more stressful than fun. Day-to-day the heat is a minor but ongoing stress. It is really too hot to be outside doing anything. Maybe if this was normal for us we'd cope better but it seems everyone is sweltering here. I hate that we are inside 'hanging out' so much but there is little outdoor escape from the heat. Week-over-week we are dealing with a lack of routine. May be nothing to many but our whole family craves routine. I really wish that summer vacation wasn't so long or had more structure or something. I think we were 'done' with the freedom of 'nothing to do' a few weeks ago! Month-over-month we have a lot of stress from 'outside' things we can not control but which are making our lives unpredictable. Heck, our only family vacation for this summer is supposed to start on Friday and we don't even know if it's happening. This is a trip that takes a lot of prep work and we've not even started because there's no point if we can't go. Can not express how stressful that is for DH (who's work demands jeopardize HIS birthday trip) and me (who does most of the prepwork). Ugh. At least the kids don't see phased!

Today we go to Boston to discuss an upcoming surgery for my daughter. The surgery itself is no big deal but going under anesthesia is always a big deal for her. I have to go it alone (without DH) because he just can NOT get away from work right now. Stressful. For him. For me. For the kids.

Doing my best to cope. These stresses are not new to us. My poor coping mechanisms are what got me to the starting point of my wellness journey. It's a conscious effort to stick with my healthy coping mechanisms when the stresses start piling up again. I'm such a perfectionist. If I can't eat healthily for one meal (and believe me dealing with a commute into Boston and hospital waits will necessitate eating out - toting healthy meals is just more stress than I can deal with) it's so tempting to give up for a few more. If I have to adjust my workout schedule (which I've had to do 2-3 days a week all summer due to appointments, travel, camps) it's so tempting to just not work out. I have to keep reminding myself that if I eat poorly and/or don't workout I feel physically cruddy and when I feel physically cruddy I feel emotionally cruddy. And that's just the immediate consequences of my poor choices!

I have to remember that doing the best I can with each little decision is GOOD ENOUGH. The best I can do may not be perfect but it's still the best *I* can do in the particular situation I face. Breathe.........

Edited to add:

DD's tutoring went well. I got Centergy in (which really helps). The appointment went well (looks like we can do it in the office vs the OR). Now to avoid food temptations at the train station and get home to make a healthy dinner!

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JED5HOME 8/7/2012 10:24AM

    You are going through a stress time but I can see you are not letting it beat you...you are beating it! Keep strong and good luck with your Daughter's surgery.

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DAWNFIRE72 8/6/2012 4:29PM

    I know what you mean about the heat causing stress. I think across the board everyone seems to be having a much warmer than usual summer and for some it also started late (we just started getting hot weather on a consistent basis in the last 2 weeks).

I hope that your daughter's surgery goes smoothly. It does sound like you have a lot going on that could derail you, but sounds like you are coping in the best way you can.

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KANOE10 8/6/2012 9:35AM

    Good luck with dealing with all of that stress, travel, and surgery.

You are right..just aim for doing the best you can with all of the things you have to deal with.

Hope your daughter's surgery goes well. Try to take walks around the hospital in the Ac if possible. Th

emoticon emoticon

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CELIAMINER 8/6/2012 8:51AM

    Good luck with the summer stress, and I hope your daughter's surgery is easy and successful.


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MOONSTORMER 8/6/2012 8:42AM

    geez! stress is difficult and forces us to evaluate what we're doing and if the stress if worthwhile. i hope that you find your rhythm again soon!

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LATTELEE 8/6/2012 7:40AM

  humidity, it drains energy!

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