Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, New Challenge

Now this looks like fun (Skinnybuns would surely say she knows I love a challenge and a community and always... ALWAYS I love prizes).

These folks are doing a fitness challenge and I am all about it. You can choose to do the weight part as well (I need both) but I am just excited to see the fitness part.

Since my October hip surgery the most I am able to do is short walks (with short steps) around my neighborhood, but even that doesn't seem to motivate me. So perhaps this challenge will!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

10 Tips for Surviving a Rough Spot

Nope, I am not doing PALEO. But I have been reading a bit about it, and looking at recipes, and I saw this article from and I want to share it.

#7- Learning to Triage has been my lesson for this summer. WAY too many demands, still no ability to clone myself. In fact, I was at my daughter's summer camp volunteering for 5 days to do crafts with 175 kids (and some crafty adults) when I got a text asking me to volunteer to teach a craft class in early October. I don't even teach crafts- I was only doing so at camp out of love for my daughter- it's not like this is a skill or passion of mine. Anyhow, right before I felt guilty and agreed I stopped. No. I am not doing this. THIS week is my craft "give" for the year, no more. It felt really good to say no, almost as good as ice cream.

I do try to pick up the occasional extra condiment when I am out and about (salt packets, mustard packets- some places have lemon packets and/or vinegar packets, which is very fancy) and that helps me make an emergency eating kit.

Anyhow, read on- I hope you get something from this as I did :)

When the Going Gets Tough: 10 Tips for Surviving a Rough Spot
By Sébastien Noël
Last updated on June 28th, 2013

Sticking to Paleo (any diet) is hard enough on an ordinary day. But every so often, life just goes above and beyond to rain on your parade. Sometimes it’s a family emergency that leaves you dashing from work straight to the hospital every day with no chance to even think about cooking healthy food. Sometimes it’s as simple as a monster project at work or a hectic finals week. And sometimes it’s the unique form of nutritional hell that is air travel. But one way or another, it’s going to happen to all of us, and the common factor is stress.

Stressful times in your life are when your body needs the most nourishment, but they’re also the times when that nourishment is hardest to get. The good news is that a rough spot doesn’t have to derail all your efforts to keep yourself healthy, especially not if you plan for it in advance, and don’t wait until the crisis actually hits.

Anatomy of a Rough Spot

Think of your decision-making process as a pair of scales. On one side are all the things that support a healthy lifestyle, both internal (the desire to lose weight, to be healthy and fit, to have more energy) and external (good food being available and affordable). On the other side of the scale are all the things that tempt you to make unhealthy choices, both internal (cravings, desire for comfort food) and external (the lack of anything healthy to eat, the cost of good food, lack of time to sleep or work out). Just like any scale, whichever side is “heavier” wins out – that’s the decision you’re ultimately going to make.

Rough spots in your life all take weight off the “healthy” side of the scale and add it to the “unhealthy” side. Internally, they’re usually accompanied by all kinds of negative emotions like fear, grief, and loneliness. This can make you lose track of your long-term health goals, and leave you craving sugary “comfort foods.”

Externally, rough spots are often a perfect storm of circumstances that can defeat even the best of intentions. Sometimes, you don’t have a lot of control over your own food (think of getting stuck in a hospital or an airport). You’re often time crunched, and even smart people make bad decisions when they’re rushed. Money is another factor; eating well on a budget is possible, but it’s hard to learn at first.

A Word about Playing Superhero: Don’t. 
In the middle of all these internal and external problems, the temptation to play the superhero is very enticing: “I’ve had 6 hours of sleep in the past 3 days, and I’m an emotional wreck from the car accident yesterday that sent my daughter to the ER with three broken ribs, but I’m still getting up at 5am to squeeze in a workout before my 10-hour shift, and if there’s nothing Paleo to eat during the hospital visiting hours afterwards, I’ll just have another caffeine pill and tough it out. I have to be strong enough. Everyone is counting on me.”

As absurd as it sounds, this is extremely compelling in the moment. You’re needed. You’re important. You’re that indispensable person who’s holding the world together. Deciding to singlehandedly take on the impossible and win gives you a crazy adrenaline rush, and sometimes, that’s the only good feeling around.

The “scale model” of making decisions in the middle of a rough spot should clearly show why this approach is a bad idea. Many different things can weigh down the healthy side of the scale; willpower is only one of them. Trusting to willpower alone is weakening your response to the situation, because it’s an artificial limit, (and as discussed in the article on willpower, it isn’t likely to work anyway). That frantic burst of energy fades fast; it won’t power you through the long term.

Looking at willpower as just one of the many weights on the scale gives you a valuable distance from the tendency to blame yourself for every imperfection, because you can see all the other factors involved. If you’re struggling to make healthy choices during a hard time in your life, it’s not because you’re weak, stupid, lazy, or unmotivated. It’s a simple mathematical calculation: the weight on the “unhealthy” side of the scale is heavier than the weight on the “healthy” side. So don’t waste time and energy beating yourself up; it’s not helpful anyway. Instead, use that time and energy to re-balance all the different weights on the scale.

10 Tips for When the Going Gets Tough

10. Ask for help. Most people love the chance to be someone else’s hero, but they can’t help you if they don’t know you need it. Make it clear that they can say no if they’re too busy, but there’s no harm in asking. Some little favors that can make a big difference:

  • “Here’s 10 bucks; would you mind grabbing me ______________ while you’re at the store?” (add weight to the “healthy” side of the balance by making it easier to eat good food)
  • “Would you mind picking Jimmy up from school today?” (add weight to the “healthy” side by giving you extra time to work out, cook, or just take a nap)
  • “Would you mind taking that bowl of candy off your desk just for today? I’m trying to eat healthy, and it’s a really rough day for me; I could use a little help.” (take weight off the “unhealthy” side by removing easy access to junk food)

9. Reshuffle your resources. All rough spots give you a “crunch” in at least one area – time, money, energy, patience, environment (lack of access to good food), or something else. All of these “crunches” are weights on the unhealthy side of the scale. But not all crises crunch you in everything simultaneously. Sometimes, you can use what you have to make up for what you don’t.

In particular, you can often exchange time or energy for money. You can either pay someone for the convenience of buying your food pre-made, or take the time to make it yourself for less. So if you’re broke but not busy, use your time to look up the cheapest recipes you can find and cook all your food at home (here’s a list of money-saving tips to get you started). On the other hand, if you’re busy or exhausted but you have extra cash, consider getting your groceries delivered, buying a bunch of pre-cut vegetables and rotisserie chicken for dinner, or otherwise paying someone to save your precious minutes.

8. Reward yourself.  You are making a series of difficult choices under extremely tough circumstances. Little rewards make you feel better, reducing the desire for comfort foods to mask the pain (taking weight off the “unhealthy choices” side of the scale).

“Rewarding” yourself with unhealthy food is obviously counterproductive, but what about a new bottle of nail polish, a desktop toy, or a trip to the movies? If you don’t have time for anything in the moment, make a plan for a reward you can enjoy when the rough spot is over, so you’ll have something to look forward to.

It doesn’t have to cost money, either. Rewards can be as simple as taking 30 seconds to congratulate yourself on a job well done. Humans crave praise: think of the way a kid’s eyes light up at a sincere compliment from a parent or a coach. Adults need that affirmation just as much; we’re just better at hiding it. Even if you feel a little silly, take the time to celebrate yourself for getting through an especially tough day. You deserve it.

7. Learn to triage. The triage system was developed as an efficient and useful way of distributing medical resources under the brutally stressful conditions of a military hospital. It sorts patients into 3 groups:

  • People who will live if they have to wait for care.
  • People who are already dead/will die whether they get medical care or not.
  • People who will live if they get immediate care, but will die if they don’t.

The first group gets put on a waitlist. The second group gets some strong painkillers and a quiet bed if they’re lucky. The third group gets the bulk of the available medical resources, because that’s where those resources will do the most good.

How does this have anything to do with Paleo? Going through a rough spot in your life is like being a doctor on a battlefield: too many demands, and not enough resources. So you need to divide the demands into three groups:

  • Things that can wait.
  • Things you can’t fix no matter what you do.
  • Areas where acting right now can actually make a difference.

Leave the first group alone for now; you can deal with them when you’re through the rough spot. Let the second group go because there’s nothing you can do so there’s no point wasting time and energy on them. Focus on the third group, the areas where your time, energy, and other resources can actually help.

This helps you apply your resources most effectively. Thinking back to the scale, if you have a decision that’s too heavily weighted against you from the start, don’t waste your resources uselessly weighing down the healthy end. It just drains you of time, energy, and money that you could have used more effectively somewhere else.

6. Prioritize. Closely related to triaging is the art of setting priorities. This means ranking the items in the 3rd triage category (areas where acting right now can actually help) in order of how important they are. Some things in this category are urgent (immediately demanding attention, like a new Facebook notification), but they just aren’t important (related to your long-term goals and values, like spending time with your family). Setting priorities helps you stay focused on what really matters.

Sit down with a pen and paper and plan out your schedule, your budget, or whatever it is that’s stressing you out. First, write out your priorities, from most to least important.  Then, start at the top, and write down how much of your scarce resources you’ll need to dedicate to each priority.

To prevent getting distracted by urgent-but-not-important things, it helps to post the priority list somewhere very visible, or use it to make a detailed daily outline of how you’re going to spend your resources (time, money, energy, or whatever else it is), and then stick to it.

This process can be brutal. It’s very difficult to accept that you just don’t have enough resources for all the things that are important to you. Here especially, there’s that temptation to play the superhero, to temporarily avoid the pain of trimming down your expectations by declaring against all reason that you can squeeze 30 hours of work into a 24-hour day.

But the reality is that you aren’t that superhero, and you have 24 hours to work with just like the rest of us. You cannot win a one-(wo)man war with reality. Acknowledge the existence of your limits and direct your resources into what’s truly important (not just urgent): you’ll ultimately have more control over your own life and fewer regrets. You’ll have to pick your battles, but you’re much more likely to win the ones you do choose to fight.

Like triaging, setting priorities helps you decide where you can best use the weights at your disposal, and where you’ll have to compromise to make sure the important things get done. (And as a side note, it’s okay and normal for your priorities to change along the way. In fact, it’s good to re-evaluate every time your life takes a major change. The list is a tool to help you live, not a set of ironclad rules that you need to follow.)

5. Inspire yourself. Psyching yourself up to play the superhero by doing everything at once is counterproductive. But once you’ve made a logical decision about what you can and can’t take on (using the priorities/triage system above), there’s definitely a time to give your emotional motivation a boost by hunting down some inspirational or motivating resources (adding more weight to the “healthy” side of the scale).

Read a new health-related book, or re-read an old favorite. Watch an inspirational movie. Think of a quote that always makes you feel like you’re ready to take on the world, and post it somewhere visible. If you always struggle with Paleo when you’re travelling, paperclip it to your passport. Other good places include the background of your phone or computer, the inside of a cupboard door, or the inside of your wallet. Some ideas to get you started:

  • “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
  • “A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world” – Paul Dudley White
  • “You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of proactively participating in shaping the world your children will inherit.” – Joel Salatin
  • “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Alternately, you could do the same thing with pictures that remind you of your priorities. The point is just to throw more weight onto that side of the scale, in whatever way is most compelling to you.

4. Let go of perfection. Recognize that Paleo won’t always be at the top of your priority list. It might be time to make the best choices that align with your current priorities, and commit to rearranging your priorities when the crisis is over.

This sounds like defeatism. It’s not. It’s not about totally throwing your diet to the winds. It’s notabout gorging on junk food “while you can,” on the theory that helping an elderly parent through palliative care will somehow be less heartbreaking if you singlehandedly keep Ben & Jerry’s in business. It’s about eating well when it doesn’t conflict with your higher priorities, and letting go of guilt and judgment when you can’t do everything at once.

Freeing yourself from the pressure to stay perfectly on track can actually help in the long run, because one late-night run to IHOP when nothing else is open doesn’t lead to a slippery slope of “well, I failed; might as well give up the whole thing.” In other words, it actually takes a huge weight of negative emotions off the “unhealthy” side of the scale. When the crisis is over, you won’t have to pull yourself out of a hole of self-hatred and feelings of failure, because the period of less-than-perfect food quality was all part of the plan.

3. Break it up. If thinking about the next six months is overwhelming, think about the next week. If that’s overwhelming, think about the upcoming day. If even that’s overwhelming, just think about the next hour, or the next 5 minutes. Your mind and body are screaming for chocolate-chip cookies, but can you grit your teeth and hold out for 5 more minutes? There are 300 seconds in 5 minutes; count them one by one. Name all the states you can, alphabetically or geographically. Go through your phone and delete all your old text messages. Sing the most inane pop song you can remember (in your head or out loud). Memorize your driver’s license number. Clean the toilet.

This sounds ridiculous, but here’s the kicker: when you commit to the next 5 minutes, you’re tapping into the incredible motivational power of setting specific, realistic, measurable goals. Achieving a goal sets off a powerful chemical response in your brain, a flood of dopamine that sets off the exact same reward pathways that the cookies would have, only without the stomachache. If you can just power through that first 5 minutes, you’ll get an instant energy boost to help you keep it up.

2. Practice stress management. Stress (from any source) has a sneaky way of overwhelming all the willpower and good intentions in the world. Some people feel the overpowering urge to mask the stress with comfort food; others unintentionally starve themselves of nutrients because they’re just too stressed to eat. And who has energy for cooking dinner or going to the gym after a night spent lying awake and worrying?

Productive stress management techniques (that actually address the problem, instead of just covering it up) are much more effective than trying to force through this kind of resistance on willpower alone. Again, don’t try to play the superhero. Look for better ways to tip the scale in your favor:

  • Keep a journal, even if you think you’re a lousy writer. Just writing “I hate my life and I want to die” over and over again can be surprisingly therapeutic. Or indulge your inner 5-year-old with some sparkly crayons and have fun doodling.

  • Take a deep breath. Look out the window, or away from whatever your stressor is, and breathe in as much air as your lungs can hold. Then blow it out again. Meditating is even better if you’re already in the habit, but most of us aren’t, and taking up a habit of meditation in the middle of a crisis is realistically not going to happen.

  • Take a walk. Just a spin around the block is often enough.

1. Plan ahead. Planning ahead gets the number 1 spot because it’s the easiest and most effective method – and also the one most of us are least likely to actually do. Human beings are chronically bad at planning for problems that aren’t right in front of our noses (think of the huge number of people who have a new car every two years, but no retirement savings). And then we’re chronically getting blindsided by crazy emergencies that randomly crop up when we least expect them.

You can’t plan for specific emergencies in advance, but you can make an all-purpose grab-and-go Paleo SOS kit that will power you through the day if your routine gets thrown off, giving an unexpected crisis much less power to throw you off your Paleo game.

Here’s a sample Paleo SOS kit for one person:


  • 2 cans or single-serving foil packages of fish (whatever kind you like, as long as it doesn’t require a can opener)
  • 1 Larabar (or a similar Paleo-friendly energy bar)
  • Small container or a few packets of salt and pepper
  • 3 of your favorite tea bags, with some squeeze packets of honey if you take it.
  • 3 packets of instant coffee, if you drink it
  • A serving-size bar of dark chocolate
  • Single-serving squeeze packets of almond butter or another nut butter
  • Single-serving packages of Natural Calm
  • Bag of jerky
  • Knife, fork, and spoon
  • Paper napkins or baby wipes
  • Sealed plastic bottle of water (so you don’t have to worry about it staying fresh)
  • 2 or 3 index cards with recipes so easy you could throw them together with your eyes closed (in case you’re stranded living at someone else’s house)

Other Stuff

  • A pocket-sized book that makes you smile (to read instead of giving in to cravings for junk food). From Touch of Trash- I like Sudoku, word search and other game books as well. I like to keep a copy of a favorite previously read book in my trunk also, in case I get stick somewhere.
  • A copy of all your important keys (house, car, bike lock, office, etc.)
  • Small notebook and a pen
  • 1 day’s supply of any medications or supplements you take, clearly labeled
  • 4-5 pads or tampons (for women)
This gives you more resources to work with. In terms of the scale analogy above, you’ve just radically changed your entire food environment to put more weight on the “healthy” side. You don’t have to use willpower as much because you don’t have as many hoops to jump through just to make good choices about what to put in your body.

The hardest part about this is just getting up and doing it before the crisis happens. You probably even have most of these things in your house right now, and it only takes a few minutes to get them together – go do it!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

If it walks like a duck...

A friend shared this video with me, and it got me thinking.

  1. Boo on whoever neglected these ducks.
  2. What the heck, why are they so hesitant to get in the water. It's GOOD for them, it makes and keeps them healthy. They need it.
Why wouldn't a creature do something that is naturally good for them and that they'll enjoy more and more as time goes on.

Every vet will tell a duck "duck, get in the water, you'll be SO glad you did. Don't stay in that tiny pen and eat crummy food- go to the water, move your legs, hunt for duckweed and vegetation hat will fuel your ducky body to have energy and feel better.

The ducks get herded toward the water by well meaning friends.

But some have to get put in the water. Set in, gently tossed. Some run back out, others begin to adjust to this new activity more quickly than others but those who stay in are glad they did.

Exercise is my water. I do my best when someone gently sets me in (which makes me think of Woodstock) but I can get in on my own as well. This past 2 weeks I've walked 4 times a week and I'm proud of that. But like the ducks, if I don't test the waters and enjoy what they offer me, I neglect myself.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Life is too short for later.

Today a classmate died, someone I met before kindergarten and went to school with through high school. We were friends and neighbors. As a kid we shared countless days of summer with the neighborhood kids running through the streets of View Cliff and biking to Adelaide Beach. I boarded my horse at his house- they had a pasture and a barn.

His family was a good family of kind people with a great sense of humor. He married a gal he clearly adored and they had a family of two rescued cats in their home in Japan. When the earthquake hit, he went back out into the wreckage in Japan to care for and save the many pets left behind. He was a good guy, heck he even wrote his own obituary on his blog. As it always does, the death of someone my age made me think about my own life. Toby spent a lot of time coaching and helping others, so I imagine in some way he'd appreciate this.

I am not a person who has to physically see the people I am friends with, I don't do lunch with old high school girlfriends or get together really with college pals.

But a few years ago we had a class reunion, and I missed it. Since then two classmates have died, it would have been nice to say hello. I wouldn't regret missing the reunion, except for the reason I missed it- I didn't want anyone to see me overweight.

I'm heavier than I was when I was a high school cheerleader, and I was afraid people would think of me as a failure, or talk behind my back. Or think I'd "gone to pot" and wasn't pretty or worthwhile anymore. So I made up an excuse and didn't go. A  few friend who were in town that know my hubby came out and we got together and I was terrified the whole time of what they were thinking. What was I thinking? I regret not either 1) doing something about my health or 2) getting over it and just going.

I read a comment on Toby's facebook page which said, " Life is too short for later."  How true.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Before and After Again

This is a WAY cool tool, so check it out. You can customize the look if you want, or just look at the overall body. I know I posted something similar long ago on here but 1) it didn't look like me (hair, face) and 2) I didn't have this cool tool to share.

Model My Diet

This allows you to show a before and after of yourself and really customize. I did one of me, and I think it actually really looks like me. Hate to see myself needing to re-lose so much, but it's nice to put my double chin onto the model so I am not alone. Ha!

Hubby and I made charts so we can color in our weight loss and started walking together wearing our heart rate monitors this week. My goal is a 5k in June, maybe May. I need to check in with Woodstock about what is possible. Hubby suggested a walk/run 5k in May, then running one in June. Not a bad idea.

My shoes are getting worn out (workout shoes) so it's time to get some new ones, my feet were hurting after yesterday's walk.

Here's me- before and after. I can't wait until after!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Facebook Fairgodmother

Do you see a theme? I love Fairy Godmothers. Or guardian angels, or whatever you want to call them. I think they're everywhere and these days with the social media craze they allow us to find support pretty much any time of day or night.

On Facebook there is a community called Fat Girl No More run by a lovely lady named Elisa (I shall now refer to as FF- for Facebook Faiyrgodmother) who posts her updates, successes, challenges and inspirational pics and such all day. Sometimes it's a pic of her pedometer, sometimes a pic or recipe of what she's eating. She's losing and we're with her- what a blast.

Check her out, if you're on FB - here's an example of one of her posts. What a great point- we don't need to succeed or fail because or anyone else, we can succeed in spite of it all. Thanks, FF!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Too introverted to... introvert!

My company is awesome in its celebration of all sorts of peoples- big, small, varying backgrounds, races, religions, as well as disabilities. We even have some focus right now on introverts. Managers have realized "hey, these techies aren't super social- maybe we should stop making them do embarrassing ice breakers and acting like they are friendly and help them work in a manner that fits their introverted real selves". I am social online, but I am actually an introvert. I hate forced social situations, and have to force myself to attend morale events for work.

Don't get me wrong, morale event planners- I appreciate your effort but I do not want to finish work, drive to Seattle and spend hours with my team (who I sometimes see more than my family) at a baseball game (which I do not enjoy) watching them drink (which I don't do) and if I am lucky, as the evening progresses they will drink more and more and begin to repeat themselves. I am happy to be around this behavior in people I am friends with- I'm a well known designated driver. But my coworkers? I'd rather have the afternoon off, thanks. If you want to morale boost me, let me spend BEFORE 3 pm not working with my coworkers. Or give me something I'd like. One team near me did no morale events and all got Kindle's for Christmas. WIN! I wish I was on that team. But alas, I am not.

Anyhow, the whole reason I am writing this post is because I was just clearing my calendar- I have lots to do and too many 'soft' meetings and trainings that I just don't have time for. One thing I cancelled was the Introvert Round Table, this was my big chance to connect with other people who don't want to connect. And I am just too introverted to do it.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Skinnybuns and the Trekking Ligers

Oh my goodness, I think I could write a children's book. The adventures of a girl with very skinny buns, and her sidekicks. They head out to walk a zillion (100- but still, that feels like a zillion) miles to raise funds for Oxfam.

Oxen mom and calf- a tiny oxen family.
Cute, but not doing a whole lot of charity work..
Oxfam is not a family of oxen, though that would be adorable.

Oxfam's name comes from its origins- the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. Oxford as in the place in the UK. Not as furry but still very important.

Their mission:

"Working with thousands of local partner organizations, we work with people living in poverty striving to exercise their human rights, assert their dignity as full citizens and take control of their lives."

Take control of their lives? YES! I love it! Human rights, a hand-up in getting out of poverty, all these things are important but taking control of their own lives- most important. That is the key to breaking the poverty cycle.

Anyhow, SkinnyBuns and Eagle Guru are joining a couple friends and they are going to walk 100 miles and they've been given 30 hours to do it. But that is not good enough for them because they're going to do it in 24 hours. (How do I know the Eagle Guru is somehow behind the reduction in time?). This hardly allows for stops to pet animals along the way or nap breaks, or anything of that sort. They shall have to entertain themselves with music and such. I shall provide them with a few of our favorite time killing family games from when we go walking. We trade off questions, among them are:
  • if you could be a what would you be?
  • what is your favorite
  • if you could eat anything right now what would it be?
  • if you could have anything right now what would it be?
  • if you could get a new car, what would you choose?
  • if you had one wish (or 3, depends on how much time... and no you cannot wish for more wishes) what would you wish for
  • if you could give one person something, what would it be
  • if you could solve one world problem what would you fix?
  • how do you think could be fixed?
and the list goes on. it sounds simple but it really makes a long walk or car ride or whatever fun.

Anyhow, Skinnybuns is blogging here: so you can read her goals and progress...

and their fundraiser page is here (you will notice it's under her teammates name, Julie) if you are so inclined to support their effort. Remember, the funds go to the Oxfam's amazing work, not to the Trekking Ligers team shirts or after-race festivities. And Oxfam deserves the support.

Go Ligers!

Sleeping Olympics

Seriously, I do. I love it. Naps- yep. Snoozes? Yep! Night time- I am like a hibernating bear. Or wait- maybe a ferret.

I saw this video  and almost died laughing. It's me, I thought. And not just because it's winter so I am pale and kinda hairy. No, I am a heavy sleeper.

When my kids were little, I'd sleep through their wake ups. Nightmare? Check with Daddy, I do not hear you. Crying? I'd ask my husband the next day what he was talking about when he described the crying and how he'd gotten up to soothe a screaming toddler. They could climb in my bed and I wouldn't wake up. In the morning I'd just wonder where they came from. Of course I am a kicker, so I am highly likely to give you the boot (literally boot/kick you HARD) if you encroach on my space in bed.

Anyhow, I've never used the sleep tracker on my fitbit. I tried, but didn't realize why it wasn't working- well the fitbit may be worn for step tracking on your belt, bra, pocket, or in your hair- but when you sleep it's wrist only. It comes with a nice little pouch and you just wear it to sleep. I was pretty certain I'd yank it off in my sleep, but I didn't.

The other challenge is you hold the button down for 3 seconds once you've crawled into bed and are ready to sleep. It looks like it's starting a timer, which really panicked me. "That can't be right!" I thought, but it is. Just hold it down- see a weird timer thing start and you are ready. I did this after reading, as I shut off the light.

Then I stared into the dark trying to see my wrist. What was my fitbit thinking? Was it judging me? Do I get extra steps for when I kick my hubby for snoring in the night? (answer- nope).

But it DID evaluate my sleep. And I got an A. 99% sleep efficiency. Of course, I *said* I love sleep. So I am going to do this more often, now that I know how to set it. And maybe someday fitbit will start ranking us against our friends for how awesome we sleep (because I am so far behind Skinnybuns in steps I could circle the earth and still not match her!). Ahhh yes, I've found my skill!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Welcome to Holland

In my doctor's office, on the wall, is a story about disability. It was originally written by the mother of an autistic child, but it applies to anyone whose life may not be the life they thought they'd have or planned to have. My life has been different than I planned, or expected, but I love it. I wouldn't trade my friends or life for the one I dreamed of, despite it all. By the way, I've been to Holland- it's magnificent!

Welcome to Holland
 When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.  After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

 But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.  So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
 But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."  And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Emily Perl Kingsley  1987