30 Day Challenge Results: My Chocolate Addiction

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Photo by http://www.picjumbo.com

Day 1:
Going into this I know it isn’t going to be easy, but I’m excited about starting the challenge and hoping when I am done I will have made some positive changes.

Day 2:
At work in the afternoon I am jonesing for some chocolate.  It becomes all I can think about.  I eat a banana and peanut butter as a snack and feel satisfied.
Later I am reading e-mails and answering phone calls and start feeling very stressed out.  The urge for chocolate returns tenfold.   I go for another hour before I give in and buy some chocolate and eat way too much.  I eat it when I am pumping so my coworkers don’t see me and know I already blew the challenge, and my calorie goal for the day.
I feel terrible that I gave in already and realize that I do have a sugar addiction, particularly chocolate.  I know I use chocolate as a crutch and a stress reliever.

Day 3:
Knowing that I failed yesterday makes me try harder and stay strong today.

Day 4:
I do well all morning,  workout during my lunch break, and have a great salad for lunch.  Late afternoon I get stressed out and reach for chocolate.  I manage to eat just a piece instead of a whole bag.

Day 5:
Right away it starts out as a tough day.  I have oatmeal and coffee for breakfast and then fruit and yogurt once I get to work.  An important project keeps me at my desk most of the day and my thoughts keep going back to finding something to munch on.  By lunch I give in and have a cookie… or three.

Day 6:
Saturday at home helps me stay on track.  I can’t go to the cafeteria or a vending machine to cheat on the challenge.

Day 7:
I have a little bit of chocolate ice cream in the evening but otherwise well all day.

So I pretty much sucked at the first week (or two) of the challenge.  I already knew that I use food as a crutch, a drug, but I didn’t really realize just how much, particularly chocolate.  I found that I was thinking (obsessing) over chocolate a lot.

I started to change the way I thought about the challenge.  Instead of finishing the challenge as my goal, I decided to use my desire for losing 20 pounds as my end goal and the challenge as a tool to accomplish that. During the next week I do better and only give in to chocolate once.  I did try to workout more consistently and feel like that has helped.  In this last week I have been focusing on getting in all my recommended servings of vegetables and fruits and have felt so full that I haven’t wanted to give in to cravings.
I have lost 5 pounds and feel better.  I think I would be open to doing another 30 day challenge,  but probably one that is not as strict.
Have you ever tried a challenge like this?  How did it turn out for you?

Just Somebody That I Used to Know

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Photo by Tyler McRobert, downloaded from http://www.unsplash.com

Gotye was on the radio when I was in the car earlier and his song got me thinking.  I work at a hospital and recently saw an ex-boyfriend of mine in the hallway in front of a vending machine getting a snack for his young son.  I knew from seeing a friend of mine comment on his feed on Facebook (I am not Facebook friends with him) that his wife just had a second child.

From down the hall I couldn’t tell, but I didn’t think it registered with him who I was.  Perhaps he did recognize me but his face did not betray it.  I wouldn’t hold it against him if he didn’t know it was me.  When we dated I had long curly hair and now have a short straight pixie.  At that time I also weighed about 20 pounds less than I do now.  It has been about eight and a half years since then, so he could have legitimately not known the stranger walking down the hall was me.  Or, he could have just felt awkward about a potential meeting and used not having enough quarters for the machine as a cover and turned away before I reached the cafeteria.  And I wouldn’t blame him.

He was the last guy that I dated that I really liked before I met my husband.  We had opposite work schedules, opposing religious views, and didn’t get to see each other a lot, but when we did we got along famously.  Everything was great, or so I thought.  I was quite blindsided when he came over to my apartment one night and ended our relationship.  It was the most horrible and embarrassing breakup I have ever had.

He came over one night after I got off of work.  I was happy to see him because we hadn’t gotten to hang out for a few days and I had gotten him a gift that I was excited to watch him open.  He opened the gift and liked it.  I opened a bottle of wine and served cheese with crackers, but hadn’t had any supper beforehand.  Big mistake.  On our second bottle of wine he broke the news that he was breaking up with me.  I tried to remain stoic, something hard to do when you are very wine buzzed and teeming with emotion. I wanted to present my side of things and give what I thought were very valid reasons not to break up.  We talked a little bit more and all of a sudden I felt the urge to be sick.  I ran from the living room to the kitchen on my way to the bathroom.  He followed, probably alarmed by my rapid bolt from the room.  I didn’t make it to the bathroom and puked Merlot in the kitchen sink.  I then ran to the bathroom and could not get the toilet lid open quick enough before feeling my stomach begin to heave again, so I leaned over and puked in the bathtub, more than once.  He saw that too.  After I finished I walked down the hall to lay in my bed and he left.  We never talked again;  I was so mortified then at what happened that I never tried to contact him.  The memory is still embarrassing to this day.

The world turns, people move on and meet other people, become happy.  My little family is so wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.  I am so lucky to have my fabulous husband and sweet child.

It”s weird.  Why is it that breakups are always so awkward, even so long after, even when you are over it?   Why couldn’t I walk a little faster down the hallway and say, “Hey…”?  Why is it so hard to be able to walk up to someone and say, “You have such a cute family, congratulations!”?  I don’t know.

 

Everything Always Happens All At Once

I haven’t posted much lately.  I’m working on it.  I don’t really have much excuse except to say that rarely has life been boring lately.   It seems as though everything happens all at once. 
Big changes at work… Our family has all had either colds or the stomach flu… Abby cut a tooth and is working on others… She’ll be walking unassisted any day now… graduations… funerals… all sorts of things.  I hope things slow down a little bit!

She Has a Tooth!

Abby woke up several times in the night and was very clingy when I tried to get her to sleep alone.  This morning she was very fussy and didn’t seem happy no matter what I tried.  I just thought she was over tired but then I saw it- her first tooth had pushed through her gum.  Poor girl, no wonder she was as a grump!

Sleep Training, Part II

Night 4
At bedtime after nursing she wanted to fall asleep instead of playing, so I knew she was tired.  She whined a little as I lowered her into bed but did not cry.  She fell asleep right away and slept for a little over an hour.  When I next heard her cry on the monitor she quieted quickly but I could hear her move around for a while.  I nursed her again an hour later and she fell asleep in my arms.  As I was leaving her bedroom the floor creaked and she sat up in bed but did not cry as I closed the door.  she slept for a little while but it was stormy and the thunder and lightning kept waking her up so we finished out the night on the couch together.

Night 5
Our routine was off because we had traveled out of town to celebrate Mother’s Day with family.  Abby didn’t get all her naps in for the day so she was whiny when we got home.  She was almost asleep when I put her in bed and did not cry.  Unfortunately, a little over an hour later we had to go to the basement because of severe storms so she woke when I took her out of the crib.  She slept on my lap for over an hour until it was safe to go back upstairs.  She slept alone in bed for two more hours after that but was hungry.  I fell asleep while nursing so we spent two more hours on the couch before it was time to start the day.

Night 6
Abby was a very sleepy girl.  We read books before bed and she was whining as I read each book, but after we finished and I closed each one to put away on the bookshelf she whined more, as if she didn’t want to stop reading.  Her gums were sore and bothering her so I hoped some Motrin would help her sleep.  She was very drowsy when I lay her in bed and rolled over right away go go to sleep.  As soon as she realized I was leaving the room though, she was on her feet and screaming.  I told her I would be back to check on her in a few minutes if she hadn’t yet fallen asleep and closed the door.  I could hear her lay down and start snoring instantly.  She woke six times in the night: twice only going back to sleep after nursing, the other times she fell asleep almost as soon as I left the room.

Night 7
I am not feeling well, so I go to bed when Abby does at 8:00.  She cries for about 30 seconds when I put her in bed but quickly quiets.  An hour later she wakes and wants to nurse, then does not want to go back to bed.  She cries for a few minutes and then she sleeps.  In fourty-five minutes she wants to get up again.  I try to comfort her and go back to bed.  She cries again and my husband takes her out of bed and tries to snuggle on the couch but she isn’t happy.  I get up and hold her for a while and she calms down.  After she falls asleep I put her back in bed but she will not stay asleep; it is stormy outside and she acts scared so I snuggle with her longer.

After a week I think we have made a lot of progress.  For the most part, Abby will lay down and go to sleep when I put her in bed.  I have been able to sleep more in bed and haven’t spent more than a couple hours at a time on the couch with her.  It hasn’t been easy, but it has been much easier than I expected.  I think if we stay on our current course it will only continue to get easier.

The Teavana Perfectea Maker

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The Teavana Starter Kit

When my sister told me she had mailed my birthday present and it is, “one of my favorite things in the whole world,” I was intrigued, especially because my sister always finds the best gifts.  After excitedly waiting, yesterday I received my gift and it is pretty awesome. 

She sent me the Teavana Starter Kit and four loose teas: Raspberry Limeaide herbal tea infusion, Caramel Chai flavored roobios, Caramel Sea Salt flavored tea blend, and Caramel Almond Ammareti herbal tea infusion.   The starter kit includes a Teavana 16 oz Perfectea Maker, 1lb Perfectea rock sugar, and a gray Teavana tea tin. 

This morning I decided to try the Caramel Almond Ammareti herbal tea. http://www.teavana.com tea.  According to the package this tea is made of apple pieces, cinnamon, coconut chips, beetroot pieces, and artificial flavoring.  When I open the package I am surrounded by an incredible scent.  It smells like a delicious treat from a bakery and looks like a yummy snack mix.  Most teas I have seen look like an unidentifiable mixture of small pieces; this tea is full of large chunks of ingredients I can easily identify. 

I placed a spoonful of tea and a chunk of sugar into the basin of the Perfectea maker and then poured hot water on top.  As the tea began to steep, a pretty pink color bloomed.  In a few minutes it was ready to go.  With the Perfectea Maker you just place the maker on top of your teacup or mug and the gravity plate on the under side opens up to let the brewed tea pour into the cup.  When the Maker is lifted off of the cup the flow of tea is stopped.  All tea leaves or fruit and herb pieces remain in the maker. After trying the Perfectea Maker I must say I like it much more than using a ball for my loose tea.

The flavor of the Caramel Almond Ammareti tea is almost like a nutty cinnamon roll but with soft notes of coconut and caramel.  Delicious!  The perfect flavor for a rainy day and a good book.  I am excited to try the others!

You can check out Teavna products in Teavana stores or on their website at http:// www.teavana.com.

Happy Mother’s Day

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My pretty flowers

Today marks my first Mother’s Day.   We will be celebrating the day by meeting my mother, grandmother, and a few of my aunts (and assorted families) for lunch out of town.  We will then spend the rest of the afternoon with my husband’s parents and take them out for supper.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you ladies out there!

Sleep Training

Four nights ago I made my mind up that it was time to start sleep training.  I have to admit that I came to this decision in the middle of a pity party for one.  I was somewhat reclining on the couch with a squirming, half asleep baby rolling around on top of me trying to get comfortable.  My lower back was aching and my right arm was numb.  I just started going back to the gym during lunch and my whole body was exausted.  I had had enough of sleeping on the couch, enough of nights not spent in bed next to my husband, enough of being uncomfortable.  I broke down and cried like a baby because all I wanted was a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep. 
I decided then and there that the next night would be different.  Abby sleeps alone at daycare, without protest, so I know she can do it at home too.
So, Wednesday evening as I was feeding Abby I decided it was time for a heart to heart. 
“Tonight you are going to sleep in your own bed.  Mommy loves snuggling with you, but it’s time you slept alone like you do at daycare.  We are going to try tonight, and tomorrow, and every night until you can do it.”

Night 1
When it was time for bed I took her to her bedroom and put her in her crib.  She cried right away.  Then screamed.  She held on to the crib slats and jumped up and down.  I turned on her white noise machine and monitor, the closed the bedroom door.
Five minutes later she was still crying so I went to her room.  I bent over the rails and gave her a hug and told her everything was OK.  “You’re not being punished and not being ignored; you just need to learn to sleep in your own bed sweetie.” 
After ten minutes she was still going strong so I went back and repeated what I had just done.  Again she jumped uo and down and pulled at me as I gave her a hug.  At this point the sweet little face looking so upset made me doubt myself.  “I will be back in ten minutes if you are still awake,” I said and kissed the top of her head.
As I waited in the living room listening to her over the monitor I could hear her stop crying and lay down.  She whispered to herself and then started crying again, quieter this time.  When my timer went off I returned to her room and she got louder when she saw me.  I kissed and hugged her, got down on her level and told her that she needed to go to sleep.  I left the room and set my timer for fifteen minutes this time.  In less than five minutes she had fallen asleep and I could hear her snoring.
She woke up three hours later and wanted to nurse.  I placed her back in the crib afterwards.  She cried for about a minute but lay down and went back to sleep for another three hours.  She woke again and nursed. We snuggled for thirty minutes and then it was time to get up and begin our morning routine.
I was surprised at how well she had done the night before and praised her for it.

Night 2
After supper Abby had a bubble bath and nursed before bedtime.  I placed her in her crib and she cried but did not scream or jump up and down.  Almost immediately she lay down and went to sleep.  She slept for almost two hours and then wanted to nurse.  Again she went to sleep right away when put in her bed.  She woke three hours later to nurse again but then slept until 5:00.  I made sure to praise her for sleeping so well by herself.

Night 3
I could tell Abby was very tired.  Her daycare had a get together for parents after 5:00 so we stayed about an hour and she got some extra play time in.  She is a very friendly and outgoing baby and had fun smiling and laughing for the other moms.  She happily jumped up and down for almost a whole hour while the other kids played Ring Around the Rosie and Simon Says and wore herself out.  After supper she wanted to cuddle instead of playing with her toys so it was obvious that she was sleepy. She nursed and then I took her to bed.  she cried for about a minute and then fell asleep.
An hour later she was awake and upset.  I nursed her and she fell asleep but woke as I placed her in the crib.  She cried and didn’t want me to let her go.  I told her I would be back in a few minutes to check on her if she was still awake.  She fell asleep in a few minutes.  Thirty minutes later she woke again.  I tried to comfort her and rub her back and she fell asleep.  Thirty minutes passed again and she woke up.  This time she would not lay back down so I nursed her again and then she slept.  Twenty minutes later she woke up.  I comforted her and went to bed myself.  Half an hour later she was awake again. I let her cry for a little while but she didn’t go back to sleep so I got out of bed and comforted her until she fell asleep while I rubbed her back.  Twenty minutes later she woke up.  My husband went in to check on her and she got very worked up.  It seemed that each time I finally fell asleep she would start to cry again.  By this time it was very late and I knew she would be awake and ready to play around 5:00 a.m.  I lost my resolve and did what I said I wasn’t going to do- I snuggled with her for the next three hours.   She slept a little longer than I expected and we got up at 6:00 a.m. this morning.

Naps on the weekends have been a struggle lately.  Last weekend I tried to get her to nap alone and it was horrible.  Encouraged by our success thus far, I was hoping that she would nap as easily today.  After cleaning all the pancake off of her face and hands a little bit ago I noticed that she was rubbing her eyes and yawning.  I just took her back to her room.  She objected but after three minutes she quieted down and is now sleeping as I type this. 

I’m sure we have a ways to go yet, but I think we are off to a good start!