JOYFOCUS's SparkPeople Blog JOYFOCUS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 5 blog is coming! This is a very short entry, I'm cheating to beat the clock. But it was a good day! Sat, 19 Jul 2014 23:58:53 EST Day 4! A kind doctor brought ice cream sandwiches to the unit. If I hadn't brought my lunch, I would have pounced like a starved hyena. That little pile of chicken breast and bell peppers was a humble house of hunger next to that shining castle of Klondike bars, but I held fast and the temptation passed. I am sure that the nutrition value of what I ate was superior, and it got me through the night, so I am pleased with myself. However, a physician who brings munchies to the nurses in the middle of t... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 09:06:08 EST Day 3, I'm one-seventh of the way there! It's easier to blog when I get in from work. Ever so tired, but enthusiastic about the possibilities ahead! Also, losing 1 pound is ridiculously gratifying. I know such a small amount is probably just a fluctuation, but I am still proud. I hope that everyone is having an excellent day! Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:47:28 EST Day 2 of renewed commitment There is a definite pattern of letting my work come between my healthy goals and me. Or rather, letting work come first and my healthy goals are a dim 4th or 5th in line. Then I get a chance to come up for air, look around, and say, "Oh my goodness! It has been 3 weeks, 3 months, a year since I did anything healthy and followed through on my goals!" <BR> <BR> That's not to say I don't try to keep the healthy behaviors going during those times, but without the accountability and reinforcement... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:25:47 EST Starting over in a new state Well, I have a new job and a new apartment in a completely different part of the country. Husband and little dogs will hopefully be coming with the majority of our household goods within 2 weeks. I have just the bare essentials here to enable me to get to work, but I have a food scale and an internet connection, so that means I can spark. <BR> <BR> I wish I had something hilarious to share, but mainly I'm just grateful to finally have the chance to get back into the Spark community and surro... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:03:05 EST Has it really been 70 days? My last sparkpeople activity is dated 70 days ago. Wow. That is a long time to be missing in action. <BR> <BR> I am so tired. Just fried. Things have been extraordinarily rough. My life has not improved. Exhaustion is just making everything a blur. <BR> <BR> I still have my good husband and my bad little dogs. My physical health hasn't degraded too much, I don't think. My emotional reserves are pretty much tapped out. I need to rest and regroup. I had 4 nights off recently, and I pretty mu... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 10:46:24 EST Where did the week go?!? OMG, I haven't blogged in 7 days! I plead being busy and fatigued. I have only gained 3 pounds during my time away from Spark, so I'm sitting at 251. Could definitely be worse! <BR> <BR> I very much would like to slow down, but it's just not an option right now. Wheels are in motion to get us some help, but it takes time to train new people and we're all still learning ourselves. It's all very intense and exciting, to be part of something new and important like the burn unit, but it is also ... Sun, 27 Oct 2013 21:52:05 EST Starting Again I am ready to re-commit to the Spark project now. I've reached my monetary goal, but have decided to use the funds to enroll in a wound care certification course offered by Emory University rather than go to the conference. It's more practical and would have wider and longer-lasting benefits. <BR> <BR> Leon ate the charging cord for my FitBit. He also destroyed 2 pairs of orthotic shoe inserts. I may have gotten him for free, but he is an expensive dog! I wouldn't trade him for the world, th... Sat, 19 Oct 2013 20:37:03 EST 147 hours in 2 weeks I am fried, dried, and laid to the side. <BR> <BR> I don't even know how to talk about everything that has happened. I'm just putting one foot in front of the other right now. <BR> <BR> I'm crushed by the loss of a mentor to a stupid worst-case scenario accident. I'm thrilled by the steady growth of my knowledge. I'm touched by the sweetness of growing friendships. I'm deeply irritated by the persistence of Slick. I'm proud of the development of my skills. I'm terrified out here at the ed... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:34:52 EST Official September Goal Blog Okay, official starting weight for September is 251 pounds. At the end of September, I would like to see 245. That is 100 pounds from my ultimate goal. Six pounds in a month is reasonable and do-able. If I do more, that is fabulous, but I'm trying to take into account how crazy life is right now, and I don't want to set myself up for failure. <BR> <BR> I have been doing well with the food tracking, which is good because that is a non-negotiable part of this process. I've got the app for my p... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 18:36:53 EST Letters in the sand I keep writing blog entries and then they don't get posted. One was lost to an unfortunate internet outage, one was hilarious but probably would have violated community standards and so in a rare moment of good taste I deleted it, and there were a handful of emotion-based screeds that were definitely better left unposted. <BR> <BR> I see blog entries as messages in a bottle to my future self, snapshots of this journey, a chance to communicate with spark friends, or opportunities to untangle... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 13:26:42 EST Well, it's the end of August I'm out of orientation now, officially. Tonight will be my first shift on my own in the burn unit. I'm selfishly praying that we can get a float nurse to come task, so that it won't be just the two of us working. I know that if the merde hits the fan, we could squawk for help from one of the other units, but if everything goes smoothly it will just be very busy. <BR> <BR> Somehow, Ticker Fish has swum all the way over to 251.8 pounds! I doubt I will lose .9 pounds in two days, but I have go... Fri, 30 Aug 2013 18:45:05 EST I am exhausted Everyone is tired, I know that. It's like the default setting for everyone's lives. Work, family, trying to be involved in your community, trying to have friends, trying to exercise, it all consumes every minute of time, for everyone. I know that I am not unique. Everyone is struggling, and I feel guilty for even complaining about it. <BR> <BR> I've spent about 30 of the past 48 hours asleep, no joke. I don't think I'm depressed, even though I have had some pretty negative thoughts. Mostly a... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 22:01:56 EST Lots of work, not a lot of Sparking Wow. I haven't had very much time for Sparking or blogging due to work. I failed to track my food for the past 3 days, and I succumbed to the vending machine twice. I was out of sparkfood and starving. I don't understand why I've been so disorganized! <BR> <BR> I've been offered work with an extra 9 dollars an hour for incentive tonight, but I just don't think I can do it. I'm tired, so very tired, even after being off last night. I have to get myself together. But I am going to have to wo... Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:02:57 EST another short check-in Dr. Backpack walked in this morning toting two plague doctor masks. He was surprised I knew what they were. I almost told him to avoid flaming orangutangs, but I was tired and didn't want to have to explain the allusion if he didn't get it. It was an odd morning. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:41:56 EST short note Had a good night at work last night. Still beset by insecurity, still feel like I'm fumbling. Still doing my best. Just petrified that I'm going to be declared too slow. I miss feeling like I know what I'm doing. Thu, 8 Aug 2013 09:55:15 EST I found my intensity!!!! What a difference a day makes! This morning I attended my very first spin class, and I am in love. I was hanging over the bars, sweat pouring off my face, vaguely worried that I might throw up if I tried to drink some water, heart beating hard and fast, and I knew that I had found the intense thing I was supposed to be doing. Good Lord not every day, but I will do it often. It was entirely different from the abortive attempt at aerobics yesterday. <BR> <BR> I wasn't able to do everything, b... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 09:15:31 EST And then there was food! It seems so weird to have spent the morning worried about not working out right, and then to be talking about my indulgent birthday plate. But I've been walking extra miles and saving space in my calorie budget for this, because I knew it was coming and I wanted to be able to enjoy it without guilt. I looked up the menu ahead of time, picked out what I wanted to have, and searched for what seemed to be the closest approximation of nutrition information for those foods. As part of an overall p... Tue, 6 Aug 2013 15:45:19 EST I don't know what to do. Got to the health club at 0515, shinned into my swimsuit, and then discovered that there is no water aerobics at 0530 on Tuesdays. Oh noes! But there is a regular aerobics class then, oh yayz! Shinned out of swimsuit, back into t-shirt and the hated stretchy pants, ran up the stairs to the classroom. Was confronted with a much younger and fitter array of co-exercisers in brightly colored spandex; no biggie, I need to meet new people, and they look successful at having a healthy lifestyle. The... Tue, 6 Aug 2013 09:46:57 EST It's been a great night, but it's time for bed! I made it to the 0530 water aerobics class and worked very hard! That was a few hours after doing a 45 minute workout video, so I am satisfied that I have been active enough today. I need rest and healing after I work, but I'm going to try to be more active on nights off than I have been. It's not all-or-nothing. It's going to be more at some times and less at others, but at least a little all the time. That seems like a good approach. <BR> <BR> I went to the store after the health club and ... Fri, 2 Aug 2013 09:31:19 EST Starting off August in a good way July went pretty well, I think. Started off at 266, ended at 256, which is double my July goal of getting Ticker Fish to swim 5 pounds to the right. <BR> <BR> My goal of tracking my food rigorously was less difficult once I had my kitchen set up properly! Every bite, lick, and taste were accounted for as accurately as I possibly could, so I did meet that goal. <BR> <BR> I fell short on my goal of doing 30 minutes of yoga every day without fail, and in general did not meet my exercise goals.... Fri, 2 Aug 2013 05:37:31 EST Improvement Last night got off to a really rocky start, but by midshift we were humming along and we actually had a little bit of downtime to do the kind of things that we never have time for, like stocking and cleaning the unit. All in all, I have to say it was a pretty good night. The senior nurse who chewed me out last night offered some pointers for improvement, and actually gave me a little bit of praise! She said that I was "a proactive person" and "not a sit-down person." Yay! Evidently the proble... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 10:10:46 EST A very long night Got the news last night, we're not going to be only a burn unit any longer, we're getting a new neuro specialist and he's getting half the unit. So we're going to be burn/neuro. I am not enthusiastic. They are two completely different patient populations with completely different needs. I do not have a choice, it's a done deal, and I'll just have to cope. <BR> <BR> Got the news this morning, my hospital has been purchased by another health management system. It just happens to be the one I j... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:21:42 EST Losing weight weird Worked last night, I have tonight and tomorrow night to go, and then I'll be off for 3 nights. I am so ready! <BR> <BR> I'm losing weight in weird places. My ankles are tiny! And my wrists are looking bony. Hey body, those aren't exactly my areas of greatest need. Mon, 29 Jul 2013 10:02:02 EST Back to work last night It went pretty well. I'm not used to pediatric patients, but in Burns we get them all ages. <BR> <BR> I'm still learning, and I'm trying not to castigate myself too badly for not being perfect, but it is very hard. I sure hope I can get my confidence up soon. Sun, 28 Jul 2013 10:03:19 EST Real Jeans, ladies and gentlemen! In my last blog post, I was so busy thinking about the things I needed to work on, that I forgot to include an exciting triumph. I am wearing real jeans! Honest-to-goodness denim, no stretchy business, and a real waistband, no elastic. Yes, they're a size 24, they're LA Blues and not Levis, and I have a wide flat butt and not bunchy buns, but they FIT. They're not agonizingly tight, they fasten easily, they're good heavy denim, and I can move in them. They do all the things that a good pair o... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 05:33:25 EST July goals are not looking so hot Looking at my progress towards the goals I set at the beginning of July, it's rather a mixed bag. I did reach 258 before the end of the month, and I have tracked everything like a champ, so I'm glad about those things. I haven't kept up with my exercise goals, however. <BR> <BR> I'm puzzled and annoyed. How hard can 10 minutes of organized activity be? Not even 10 minutes 3 times a day as is recommended, just doing it once a day would be enough to meet the goal. I think Coach Nicole is just ... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 00:58:41 EST My enemy, Slick Oh babies, the Slick was thick this past week. <BR> <BR> For anyone needing a definition of Slick, I'm still trying to come up with a succinct way to describe it. It's arrogance, it's trying to build yourself up by tearing other people down, it's a lack of respect for other people and their skill. It's the ugly part of confidence and being good at what you do. It's a bad attitude to lay on other people, and it's a horrible cramped way to live. You're always jockeying for position, posturing... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:21:19 EST Dithering about Booker T. and the MG's Hey Spark Friends! I have missed you all terribly! I promise I shall make the rounds of everyone's blogs and catch up with your lives. I hope that you all had a really good week! <BR> <BR> Unless there is some kind of mass casualty event, I am NEVER going to work 6 nights in a row again. I know 7 on/7 off makes it easier to make the schedule, but staffing is not my problem. I'll cheerfully and gratefully work, but it's too hard on body and soul for me to do it that way. The work is just too ... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 00:30:14 EST quick check-in Just finished my third night. I've been in Burns every night, and it looks like the next 3 will be also. I'm glad, because this is what I wanted to learn. It's really hard work, and I feel like I have been hit with a hammer. All of my co-workers have been awesome and I'm trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible, but there is definitely a learning curve. <BR> <BR> Food is going splendidly. The pre-portioned ziplocs were definitely a good idea. I wish I had more variety, though. Turkey... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 10:09:44 EST Getting ready to head out Well, here comes that 6-night stretch. <BR> <BR> Scrubs are all clean, food is pre-measured into ziploc bags and labeled as to contents and calorie count, so I can just grab and go. The kitchen and fridge are finally clean and organized. It took a gas-powered weedeater with heavy-duty line, but the weeds are defeated out back so that the little dogs can relieve themselves without difficulty. Several boxes have been unpacked and the contents put away; there are still a few to go, but they'v... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 19:10:44 EST Cooking Rabbit, a trip report with pictures It was rather a success, I think. My husband's verdict: "Tastes like chicken." Well, yes, it pretty much does. It's a lean, lean meat and rabbits are small, so they aren't a meal by themselves. It takes vegetables or dumplings to round them out. <BR> <BR> Here are the ingredients used for tonight's effort: <img src=""> Three gala apples, some baby red potatoes, celery, a red onion, some baby carrots, parsley, a rabbit, apple juice, sunf... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 23:09:35 EST Bugs for supper! Bugs Bunny, that is. I have obtained a rabbit, so I'm going to cook it tonight, with apples and onions and maybe a little bit of cream sauce. Meant to do it yesterday, but my husband was very keen to go to a movie and a restaurant, have a date night. We saw Pacific Rim and then ate shrimp ceviche and avocados until we fell over. It was definitely worth changing supper plans for! <BR> <BR> Tue, 16 Jul 2013 03:55:15 EST Ticker Fish is traveling! The scale informs me that my weight is 260.6 pounds. This is a victory, and I am pleased. There was a time when reaching 300 pounds was also a victory. The scale victories are nice, but the non-scale victories are more important. I'm building the life I want to have. <BR> <BR> If the scale didn't exist, I would still be happier now than I was before I started. I am knee-deep in life changes right now, and I'm looking forward to when all this is just routine. I confess to choking on the lea... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 02:48:19 EST No Hercule, yet. Well, the bad news is that Hercule's bucket, my good cast iron skillet, the paddle and whisk for my Kitchen-Aid mixer, and all the blades for my Cuisinart food processor/blender are lost to history. The good news is that all knives are present and accounted for, I still have my grandmother's small cast-iron skillet, found my mandoline so the food processor isn't critical, and my excellent electronic food scale is fully operational and sitting on the counter. <BR> <BR> The best news is that ... Sun, 14 Jul 2013 14:42:37 EST Hercule shall live again I managed a bare 4400 steps today and did 12 flights of steps. Frankly, I feel like I've been hit with a bat; it felt like I moved much more than that! I may try doing the entire yoga video tonight, rather than just the 30 minute warm-up. Husband is home, he can corral Leon for a while. They can male-bond up in the mancave while Hattie and I pursue serenity, or something. <BR> <BR> The pork loin was really good, nice and pink and juicy. We ate supper like adults at the table, with real plate... Sun, 14 Jul 2013 01:58:23 EST my barbeque sauce I am getting a LOT of pleasure out of having a functional kitchen. It took 2 days to get it cleared out and rearranged, but I've been using it and loving it. There's still more work to do to get it up to proper standards, but it is now a good kitchen. I've cooked more in the past couple of weeks than I have in 2 years! <BR> <BR> My barbeque sauce is not a prize-winner. It's not like Letha's. Letha has a famous rib place back where we used to live, and I heard that someone asked her for her r... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 18:58:19 EST My housekeeping assistant I have a little helper, and his name is Leon. He makes sure that there is no paper on the floor, or random objects out of place. He even made sure I got the sheets washed today! <BR> <BR> Of course, he accomplished this by throwing up next to my face, on said sheets. Feathers. He had industriously been removing feathers from a pillow through a corner that was peeking out from the pillowcase. But then there were feathers lying about, and that wouldn't do. So he ate them. Such a tidy little f... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 17:00:33 EST I've been butter-bombed! After reading BKMTWINMOM's post about barbequed ribs, I decided that nothing would do but that I go to get a pork loin, spank it with some rub, and leave it overnight so I could cook it tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Whereupon I promptly locked myself out of the house, thanks to Leon's shenanigans. Fortunately, I had my phone in my pocket and could call my brother, who has a spare key. I had about a 30 minute wait in the shade, purseless and porkless. I wandered up and down the street a little, looking... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 22:54:00 EST The Eat Beast does not have to work tonight Here's a heck of a lead-in: the glory of womanhood is upon me, so I've turned into an eat-beast for the last 2 days. The good news is that there isn't any junk in the house except for microwave popcorn, and at least that is a whole-grain food. The vending machine near the critical care area doesn't have a card reader and I only had a $5 bill, so I was saved from the honeybuns. The delicious, delicious honeybuns. <em>46</em> I cleared out my entire snack stash, though. Nary an almond, piece... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 16:42:08 EST About to get busy I've got a 3 night stretch coming, my first run of consecutive shifts since I started the new job. I've got a lot to do to prepare: Go to the store and get healthy food, get my scrubs straight, make sure the house is reasonably square so that nothing falls apart before Saturday morning. <BR> <BR> I can use the Sparkpeople mobile app to track my food and the Fitbit app will automatically update my fitness. I'll be away from home for about 14 hours each day, which will leave me 8 for sleep and... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 16:28:35 EST Goals From today's Spark Coach activities: Spend a few minutes writing about the reasons behind your fitness and weight-loss goals. What is your true motivation? What do you hope to achieve or experience after reaching your goal? <BR> <BR> I am stiff and inflexible in body and mind. I want to be able to move in any direction I want, maybe even several directions at once like in dancing, without pain. I want to be confident. I want to be relaxed, even when it's all hitting the fan at once. I want ... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:18:45 EST Big Highs and lows Worked last night, had a fairly good shift. Starting to get the hang of some of the paperwork and routines, but slow as Christmas. Just slow, slow, slow. Still got out on time, and met a dear friend for breakfast, though! <BR> <BR> We hung out at Shoney's for 3 hours, just talking a mile a minute. We made sure the girl got a big tip, though, since we took up her booth for so long. They weren't covered over, and we were pretty low maintenance, but still, that's what you do when you use a plac... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 23:08:23 EST It's hard to do yoga with a puppy Leon has decided that the yoga mat is delicious, the block is delicious, the strap is delicious, and apparently my nose is also delicious. His little behind is going outside for 30 minutes and I'm going to start over. Mon, 8 Jul 2013 18:09:45 EST Wow, I can tell I had time off! Shindig at my mom's was canceled due to drama, but no one called me and told me. Ooops! I opted out of work last night, so I could sleep and be ready for the day, and had also asked for tonight off because I figured I'd need the recovery time. So that's 2 shifts I could have worked, but no one called me Friday to tell me so I could adjust my plans. I'm only annoyed though, not seriously hacked off. It's been nice, puttering around with the Krackens, reading, and doing laundry. <BR> <BR> It i... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 00:36:19 EST My inner extrovert is peeking out My Spark Friend Felinebetter posted a blog the other day with a neat awareness exercise. I want to quote from her page for a minute, but I can't seem to get the block quote formatted properly. So I'm just going to put "QUOTE" on either side of it. <BR> <BR> BEGIN QUOTE: In her book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, author Julia Cameron includes an exercise “to excavate our own pasts for the shards of buried dreams and delights.” While answering these prompts, she sugg... Sun, 7 Jul 2013 14:39:51 EST Phrase of the Day: "Bony Vine" Had my first shift in Burns last night, with a different preceptor. Didn't know about it in advance, so I didn't have any treats for him. It's just as well, I am pretty sure Trash and Firecrackers will work retroactively, lol! It looks like I'm going to have a very "loosely organized" orientation, switching preceptors frequently based on the needs of the two units, ICU and BICU. Some people have a low tolerance for that, but it has never bothered me to follow multiple people when I'm orientin... Sat, 6 Jul 2013 19:31:48 EST First night went pretty well There were not enough patients in burns to justify having me over there, so my first night was spent shadowing my preceptor in the regular ICU. Everyone was very kind and welcoming, and the treats were the exact right thing to bring! I tried hard to make myself useful, and I think I made a decent impression. It's an older crew, lots of experience, not a lot of Slick, some inevitable amount of politics but not a snakepit. I can do this. I can be here. <BR> <BR> Tracking accuracy was great yes... Fri, 5 Jul 2013 18:33:25 EST I need more sleep I'm all over the clock right now. Been up for 3 hours, need to go back to bed to grab some rest before going in tonight. My husband is chiding me to go to sleep. The Krakens don't care, they want to go in and out, in and out, in and out. <BR> <BR> Scrubs are clean, Spark food is ready and waiting in the fridge. There is nothing left for me to do. And so, to bed! Thu, 4 Jul 2013 12:48:22 EST Ticker Fish is ready to go to his little bubble bed. And I'm ready to join him! Dishes are done, laundry is in the dryer, and yoga has been yoga-ed. My total dollars in the jar so far this month: 6. Three for exercise of 30 mins or greater, two for nutrition tracker accuracy, and one for walking 5 miles. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow night is my first shift at my new job. I picked up a gift for my preceptor at the local shrine to good eats that I talked about in my previous blog. Since I don't know him at all, I got him some Trash (cheesy), some Firecrac... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 00:49:38 EST