June 08, 2017

Lifestyle changes

Hey friends! My writing has been so sporadic lately, but I'm not even apologizing for it (not that I ever needed to, but I used to put pressure on myself to write frequently). I didn't even post my Wednesday Weigh-in yesterday (although I did weigh in, so I'll post it below).

I've been pretty busy, but not with the usual stuff. My lifestyle has changed quite a bit over the last few months, and it's actually for the better. For once, I am going into summer feeling very good about myself and just where I am in general right now.

It's been a huge change from just four months ago! I'll write more about that in a bit.

For now, my Wednesday Weigh-in...

I had to go back and look at what last week's weight was, because I couldn't remember for the life of me. Last week, I was 135-even, so I'm down 0.6 pounds this week. Still losing, although slowly; and it's so odd that I honestly don't really care that much! I don't think about my weight very often, and when I do, it's in a factual way. I don't think about being close to my goal weight again, or trying to lose that last little bit, or even whether I gain five or ten pounds. I feel so free from all of that!

I have never felt this way before. I think once I was diagnosed with bipolar, and accepted that diagnosis (finally), I was able to move on with my life. I look at things in a different light now. I finally realize why I am the way I am, and my new medication helps me to be stable instead of always being at one end of the spectrum or the other (depressed or manic--never really in-between). I used to self-medicate with food for depression, alcohol for anxiety, etc. Now that I am stable, I don't feel the need to do that anymore--and it's awesome!

I had to explain to my family what bipolar is, and why I am different from them in many ways--I was really nervous to do so, but they were very supportive of what I had to say. I've always been "different", but I was always trying to fit in with them; so, I made myself unhappy by trying to be someone I wasn't. After explaining the situation, I finally feel free to be myself, and it's very liberating.

Take vacations, for example. My family has always liked the beach, tropical or warm places, cruises, camping, and doing lots of planned activities. Those are things that I just don't enjoy; but, I always went along with them because I thought my idea of vacation wasn't "good enough" somehow. My ideal vacation is traveling to a new city (or familiar cities I've enjoyed, like Portland) and walking around the city just taking it all in. I love to visit friends who live in parts of the country I don't get to see very often. And my very favorite thing to do is to visit their favorite places, rather than do the touristy things. (Sometimes touristy things are fun, too, but typically I like the local favorites.)

Jerry and I in Brooklyn last fall
I like chatting with friends in dive bars (not the highest-rated-on-Yelp places, but places that my friends regularly enjoy), and trying their favorite restaurants--nothing fancy. I usually ask them to choose what food to order, because they tend to know what the local favorites are. When I went to Portland for the first time, I discovered that I love hiking, especially when I can see waterfalls.

Jerry, me, and our friend Mike on the Staten Island ferry
Walking around NYC, Boston, Portland, San Diego, St. Louis, etc., have been my sort of vacations. In fact, I've planned a vacation for Jerry and I in the fall--we (along with Caitlin) are going to Portland. I know I was just there, but Caitlin and Jerry have never been. Also, we're going to be in the city (I didn't see the city last month, because I was in central Oregon), and they can get the Portland experience that I enjoyed so much the first time I was there. I'm certainly no expert at showing people around Portland, but I have a few favorite places that I'd like them to see.

I've been working on getting the most of my Delta SkyMiles (charging things and then paying it off every month), so I was able to get tickets for under $200. Usually when I go to Portland, I actually get my ticket for free due to my SkyMiles! (Since I just used the SkyMiles last month, I didn't have enough to get free tickets for the fall--but $200 is a great deal). The tickets are usually about $400-500 for round trip to Portland, so I wouldn't be able to go as often if I didn't use SkyMiles. The more I travel, the less scared I am to fly, and the more I enjoy going places.

Oh, you know, just a typical Saturday night roasting marshmallows
with BART YASSO at Runner's World headquarters in Bethlehem, PA ;)

[Side note: I recently learned that there is a referral program for Delta Amex, so I'm just going to throw this out here--if I refer someone to the Delta Amex card, and they are approved, then I get 10,000 bonus miles. So, if you're interested in getting one anyway, I'd love it if you did it through this link! I've been using this card for probably about four years now, and it pays off in a great way for traveling. I'm not saying that just to get the referrals--honest. I figured since I mention my SkyMiles on my blog frequently when I plan trips, I might as well post the referral link and maybe get some bonus miles out of it. (And right now, they have a limited time offer of getting 60,000 bonus miles when you spend a certain amount in the first four months. Depending on the destination, 60,000 miles can get you about two round-trip tickets!) I also like that you get to check bags for free--that alone saves me $50 per trip.]

I can't believe I let my fear of flying keep me from traveling for the first 29 years of my life! I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.

I always send Jerry a plane selfie before I take off. Just in
case it's the last picture he ever sees of me. Hahaha!
Anyway, that was a huge tangent--the whole point of all this is to say that I am thankful that I finally feel comfortable enough to be ME, and do the things that I enjoy without feeling guilty or that being different from my family is a bad thing. In reality, I am a pretty cool person with my own interests ;) I still like spending time with my family, of course, but it's fun to branch out.

Along with my bipolar diagnosis and new meds, I have made some pretty significant lifestyle changes. Firstly, I have all-but quit drinking. I wasn't an alcoholic or anything before, but there was no need for me to drink at home alone, or even just home with Jerry. All summer long, I liked to have shandy or summery cocktails. When going out to eat, I would usually have a drink or two (which is not only expensive, but the cocktails that I like--margaritas!--are high in calories).

So, I've cut way back on that. Now, I probably only drink twice a month, and when I do, it's in social situations and I limit myself to two. I certainly don't judge others for drinking, though. Jerry still enjoys a craft beer just about every day--he loves craft beer, and I don't see anything wrong with that. Cutting back is just the right choice for myself.

Another big change is that I stopped running--which may sound like a bad thing. However, I wasn't happy with it anymore. I was always dreading it, and I just didn't feel like I was excited to set new running goals. I hope that I will be interested in it again one day, but if I'm not, I'm okay with that, too.

Instead, I've been enjoying just being active throughout the day in other ways. This summer, I'd like to ride my bike more often, as well as take Joey for long walks in the Metroparks. I'd like to do more yard work and projects in the house, which doesn't sound like exercise, but it's pretty grueling sometimes--and I always feel sore afterward! I can take the kids swimming at the rec center, and maybe even try out kayaking or things like that.

I feel like I've droned on a enough, so I'll leave it at that. But since lots of people have asked how I'm doing, I wanted to post an update. I'm doing very well! I'm much happier than I was several months ago, and I have a really good outlook on this summer. Usually, I worry about summer throwing me off track (with life in general), but I am looking forward to a new type of summer :)


  1. Thanks for the update, Katie. I'm glad you're doing well. I think it's fantastic that you're able to pay attention to your needs and let go of your worries. We should all hope to be a little more at peace with ourselves. Take care :)

  2. LOVE it! I'm so happy for you.

    I stopped running, too, at least for now. My reasons are different – I am still quite heavy and while I CAN run, I was sick of being last ALL the time, and not being able to run with my friends. It always made me feel bad, no matter how I tried to frame it. For me and my partner, summer means tennis, so we are playing quite often and I really enjoy it and I'm getting better at it! You have to do what makes you feel good and makes you feel like yourself. :)

  3. I am glad to see you so happy! I hope you can encorporate your vacations with your families ideas - it is nice to have balance.

    I miss hiking. I hiked for years and then was completely burnt out training to hike Mt Rainier and really haven't hiked at all in 15 years (and my weight has gone up and up once i started dating my husband). I have a "me day" in a couple of weeks and I am going hiking alone - I can't wait. The world is to beautiful to be cooped up inside.

    I miss traveling - this summer my kids are taking their first flight that isn't the Disney. I am beyond excited

  4. I'll try to text you this afternoon!! You three are always welcome to stay here too if you make it this far north! :D :D

  5. Like I have said before sooo many times you talk about yourself and your bipolar I sit here and say, "Me, too!" or "OMG, that is totally me!" or I just nod my head with agreement and I am sure my family thinks I am nuts....actually they do...ha!

    So, I can't remember if you said what type of medication they finally put you on that works...I want to make an appointment and see what the doctor thinks about me and mention your med if that would be my direction too...who knows but its nice to do some research ahead of time.


  6. I love everything about this post. And I agree that staying active by doing things around the house and finding other ways to move are very effective. And if you are like me, it's the amount of food that I eat that affects my weight more than exercise. Always has been. Enjoy being you my dear!

  7. Katie, you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your life through this blog. Thank you for sharing the good, the bad, and your changes. Thank you for being honest and brave.

  8. I am so incredibly happy for you!! I have been working with an obesity specialist, and his focus is on happiness and getting your life right. Once you do that, other things will fall into place. Work goals, weight goals, etc. You are living proof of that.

    I know you say you feel as if you don't have much more to say in your weight loss and maintenance journey, but this is huge! Something to be celebrated for sure. I really appreciate your honesty in sharing. I have friends with anxiety, depression, bi-polar, and a few others. It is so hard to live with, even with good meds. But I am just so thrilled for you! :D

  9. I'm so happy to hear your doing so well! You can rent kayaks in Ann Arbor...I can see your family of 4 on a day trip. We paddle board out there all the time.

  10. All sounds fantastic! :)

  11. So glad to hear this! I have quit running as well... but I'm still very active. It's all about doing what you enjoy! Have a great summer!

  12. Katie, pleez tell me
    where u got that cute
    LOVE LOVE t-shirt

  13. just read where
    u got t-shirt
    on previous post
    does it have
    name of company
    on tag?

  14. What a great report! Life IS good, and it's important to enjoy it and if we can, avoid the things that no loner make us happy (running, for you). I quit bowling regularly in leagues probably 20 years ago. I was starting to dread bowling night, and so I figured, if I didn't enjoy it anymore, I didn't have to do it. I haven't missed it either. I'm debating whether or not to get one of the sky miles credit cards. I LOVE to travel, especially now that I've lost weight and don't need seat belt extenders, etc. My hubs, as you know, has cancer, and although is still doing well (and from the new prostate cancer oncologist/specialist's report in April may continue to do well for years to come!), he still has two tubes draining his urine and they clog a lot, so he prefers to stay close to home so we can get to a doctor or a familiar ER to deal with them. So far, we have no trips planned for the summer, although today I mentioned to him, perhaps taking a road trip or two, just for the day, to give me something to look forward to. I think having things to look forward to is important, I know it brings me joy, and isn't that what living is all about? Seeking what brings you joy! It sounds like that's what you've figured out too.

  15. This is so great :)

  16. You are a changed woman!!! Seriously! I can totally tell in the way you are writing, the areas that you are focusing and what is not getting to you anymore. It's a wonderful thing to see as I have followed you FOR YEARS. Clearly, your medicine, acceptance and therapy has been working wonderfully. Enjoy Summer!


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