February 29, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 175

A reader sent me this shirt and the cat looks so much like Duck--I love it!

Happy Leap Day! For not being a holiday-person, there is something that I love about Leap Day. Probably because of numbers and I definitely *am* a numbers-person.

Holy cow, I just realized it's been three weeks since my last weigh in...? I knew I skipped Valentine's Day, but I don't remember why I skipped last week. I wasn't avoiding the scale, so I just probably didn't feel like writing. As I step further from blogging, it's actually getting harder to make myself write. I like the accountability of my weigh-ins, though, so I really want to try to get back to doing them every single week.

I've been hovering in the low- to mid-140's for a while now. Today, I was at 143.6, and I don't remember what my weigh-in was three weeks ago, but I think it was similar.

However, I've recently run into a problem I've never really had before during weight loss, and it's been a challenge...

I've never had a "regular" schedule--Jerry's work schedule was always all over the place and since I'm a "homemaker" (saying "stay-at-home parent" sounds kind of odd now that Eli is a senior in high school!), I based my schedule around Jerry's. Having a swing shift has advantages for sure, but it's terrible when you thrive on a consistent schedule.

I'd never been able to plan meals for the same time every day, have a standing date with friends, or have an available time slot that was open every week (I'm a homemaker by choice, but if I'd wanted to work outside the home, my availability was all over the place--nothing consistent).

All of this is to say that every day was pretty much the same--it wasn't like, "Yay, it's the weekend!", because sometimes a Wednesday and Thursday were like weekends to us. Or a Monday and Tuesday. Or whatever. So, I never had that "weekend mentality"--eating really well during the week and splurging on the weekends, etc. Having such a inconsistent schedule actually seemed to work well in that sense.

Now that Jerry has a consistent schedule, SO MUCH has changed. We're still getting used to it, and we definitely need to work on our diet. We've fallen into the "weekend mentality" cycle. And it's hard to get out of!

I make dinner at the same time every day, which has been so so so nice for planning purposes, and our weekdays are very consistent. However, we've started treating the weekends like a free-for-all when it comes to our day to day life. Mainly regarding food.

It started when we were eating super clean during January. There was a lot of vegan "junk food" that I wanted to make, but it didn't fit in with a whole foods diet. So, I suggested we make Friday a "junk food" dinner night: vegan burgers, pizza, fried tofu, etc. That way, we'd be eating (mostly) clean six days a week and could still enjoy our favorite junk foods. Sounds like a good idea, right?

[I want to note that this is NOT something I call a "cheat day"--we aren't on a diet. We've just been trying to eat much healthier and, in general, I think that having one junk meal a week fits just fine into a healthy diet. Honestly, the junk meals aren't even horrible--just far less nutrition, while still being vegan. I don't like the phrase "cheat day" because it implies bingeing or overeating just to squeeze it all into one day.]

Anyway, what started as a great idea turned around fast--from one meal to then eating whatever all day Friday, then Friday and Saturday, and then pretty much the whole weekend. And on Monday, it's back to the norm. This is a problem we've never faced before!

My weight has been fluctuating much more than usual, and certainly more than it should. I'm talking a difference of 10 pounds in a weekend! It's clearly not all fat, because after a couple of days of eating healthy, it comes right off. But the whole cycle is not something I'm happy with--especially considering I am trying to get my weight back down under 135.

This weekend will be a big test. Jerry and I have been talking all week about how we're going to handle it, haha. Going into it with a plan in place and acknowledging how the "weekend mentality" is messing with our weight loss goals, we're super determined to stop the cycle this weekend. I do still like the idea of making a "junk food"-type dinner on Friday nights, though. When the kids were younger, we used to plan "Pizza Friday" for when Jerry would have Fridays off--that's the only reason I chose Friday. If I leave it up in the air, we'll likely fall back into the cycle.

So, that's an update of what's been happening over the last three weeks as far as weight loss/diet. I've still been running first thing every morning with Joey. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that, for a week, I was going to add one block (only a tenth of a mile) to the run every day--and I did! I made myself do it for a week to see if I could get used to it (and gradually increase my distance).

However, I found it made me absolutely dread the run, which is so stupid! It's only a tenth of a mile longer (60 seconds on a good day), but there is something mental about the fact that when I know I'm only running one block, it feels so simple because I can see my house practically the entire way. So, after that week, I decided that one block is good if it gets me out and running. A couple of times a week, I'll do two or even three if the weather is nice--not planned, but once I'm out there I sometimes choose to do more.

Something that I am very happy with is that I've missed about four or five runs; it sounds odd to be happy about that, but I was so worried that if I broke the streak I started September 1, I'd just quit altogether. The first time I missed it, I was so mad--I'd gotten dressed for winter running, put Joey on the leash, and started making my way down the driveway. There was literally not ONE bare spot of concrete that wasn't covered with ice. It was the kind of ice that has no traction whatsoever--picture an ice skating arena--and was slightly melting so it had a thin layer of water on top.

I quickly realized it wasn't possible to run. And then I realized it might not even be possible to make it back up the driveway! Hahaha, our driveway has a slight slope and my feet just kept sliding back toward the street. Sure, I could have just run on the treadmill; but my purpose for making this morning run a habit was to get outside in the fresh air to start my day off feeling good.

There have been a few other occasions where I've missed the run, but I'm good with that because I get right back to it the next morning--as long as it's so habitual that it feels weird NOT running each morning, I'd say that's successful. I'm just really happy that I haven't treated it as I tend to treat streaks of any kind--quitting as soon as the streak is broken.

Okay, this post is really long for a weigh-in! My plan for the upcoming week is simply to eat consistently. I've been great about getting in vegetables and my diet throughout the week has been super healthy. It's just the weekend mentality that I need to stop before it becomes a habit.

February 23, 2024

My Huge Thrift Store Haul

It's been a long time since I went a little nuts at the thrift store and bought (too many) clothes. I only went there to look for sewing patterns, but I couldn't help browsing through the clothes--especially sweatshirts. I love cozy sweatshirts and I have a few that I should probably replace. (I won't, but I probably should, haha).

Anyway, I haven't done one of these posts in a long time--pictures of the clothes I bought. I actually didn't even *look* at jeans or other pants because I don't need any. I've already altered my jeans to fit the way I like them--even though they are on the tight side now, yikes--and I don't want to start all over.

But I am very excited about my finds yesterday! Here goes...

I LOVE this jacket, even though it's much too big. And the arm stripes are my favorite part, so I had to show those off ;)

With a word like "cozy" embroidered right on the sweatshirt, I just had to get it. It's super soft!

On the left is just a very old (probably 80's) Tahquamenon Falls t-shirt. And on the right is a t-shirt with cactuses (I wasn't sure if the plural was "cactuses" or "cacti", and apparently, both are correct).

The shirt on the left is SO ME--I love dark humor. It says, "When you're dead inside but it's still the holiday season". And the other shirt just looked kind of retro (I *love* retro anything) that says "Dream Big"

On the left is naturally a Detroit sweatshirt. There is a period in the shape of a heart, but you can't see it in this picture. On the right, I actually bought that tunic for the fabric--I thought it would make a cool lining for a bag. But once I tried it on, I actually kind of like it! What kind of pants would I wear with that, though? Ideas?

An old-school Adidas hoodie (love it!) and on the right, a too-small-to-be-comfy sweatshirt. Probably going to donate it.

On the left, just a cozy sweatshirt. On the right, a rather-unflattering soft long-sleeved shirt.

Again, with a jacket that is way too big but it was too retro looking (and in brand new condition) for me to NOT buy it. On the right is a Janis Joplin t-shirt. I really like Janis Joplin.

On the left, another Detroit shirt (I loved this color of green); and on the right, a short t-shirt that says "You are my sunshine". I really liked this, but I don't wear short shirts. I have a ton of ribbed hems though, taken from other clothes, so I might try to add one to the bottom.

THIS tunic on the left will actually be used for fabric. It's not flattering or comfortable. On the right is just a running top--super cozy, moisture-wicking.

On the left is a t-shirt with the Great Lakes in Michigan spelled out in the shape of the lakes. And on the right, just a very cozy sweatshirt in what seems to be my favorite color shirt to wear.

Since I'm always talking about being kind to people, I thought this sweatshirt was highly appropriate for me! And on the right, I actually bought the dress to refashion into a shirt--but I kind of like how it looks as-is. Even if I wear jeans under it!

On the left is pretty much the softest shirt imaginable. On the right is my favorite find of the day! It is the coolest shirt--I've never seen anything like it. You can see the texture below; it's ribbed, but the ribs are very wide. It's super stretchy and comfy!

And that's it for the clothes. Along with my clothes, however, I got some storage boxes, a couple of pairs of jeans for Jerry, a few shirts for Eli and Noah, and a couple of small crafting supplies.

There were some fun shirts I saw but didn't buy--I had to take pictures though!

This one I actually did get for Noah. He's obsessed with cats, probably just as much as I am. 

I SO wish I'd thought of making a shirt like this when I was pregnant. (This is a Friends tv show reference if you're not familiar.)

And this one was just too... interesting?... not to share! ;)

February 19, 2024

Sewing Lessons

I wasn't going to write a post today, but I just shared this to Instagram and thought it would be nice to share here, too...

Jerry went into JoAnn Fabrics with me so I could “grab one thing real quick” and as soon as he saw a display of fabric with Ghostbusters, Marvel, and Star Wars, well, let’s just say that we missed our matinee showtime 😂

He asked if I would make him some pajama pants and I said sure, but then had the idea to teach him to sew. He picked out fabric and made the pants all by himself, start to finish… and I don’t think he’ll be embarrassed just now when I share just how proud he was of himself 🥰

February 15, 2024

Plans are just a backup when you're having fun

I didn't do a Wednesday Weigh-In post yesterday because I wanted to spend the day with Jerry and just leave my computer alone. He absolutely loved the Valentine's Day gifts I gave him. Our day didn't end up going as planned, but we had a lot of fun. He surprised me by taking the day off work.

Jerry wanted to do one of our "old-school" dates from when we were dating--a walk in the Metropark, burgers (from a vegan restaurant called Unburger Grill) and the movies. Of all movies, Titanic was playing at the theater! It's unbelievable to me that the movie was released in 1997; Jerry and I didn't even start dating until 1999. The first time I saw it was with my friend Audrey at the theater, and I *loved* it. I saw it several times. So that's why Jerry chose Titanic.

Even Joey and Chick were feeling the romance in the air yesterday...

In the morning, however, it was *really* cold outside. Jerry said he didn't know what he was thinking when he planned to go to the Metropark. Since I said I was game to do anything at all that he planned, I was willing to go--but he said it would be miserable in the cold, and I had to agree. So we decided to head out early (the movie didn't start until 1:00) and kill some time.

We were near JoAnn Fabrics (I love that store!) and I said I wanted to run in and grab something quickly. Jerry said he'd tag along and the second he walked inside, his eyes lit up. HAHAHA! He was so excited to see all sorts of Star Wars, Marvel, and Ghostbusters fabric. He asked if I'd make him pajama pants and he took his time picking out fabric. He couldn't decide, so these are the four he ended up with.

I felt like we were there for a long time and I asked him when we had to head out for the movie. He checked the time at it was 1:00! So, needless to say, we missed the movie. Neither of us was super disappointed, though. We were about 10 minutes from a really big thrift store, so we decided to spend our Valentine's Day . We spent so long at both stores that we were tired and just decided to go make dinner at home.

I was still kind of surprised Jerry hadn't done anything over-the-top cheesy--that's his signature! After we got home, I opened the door to the bedroom so I could change clothes, and I stopped in my tracks. There were rose petals EVERYWHERE and a huge Vermont teddy bear on the bed. I used to have a teddy bear like that from him, but Estelle liked it a little too much and she used to knead her paws all over it, causing the hair to shred off of it. So Jerry got this one, and personalized the foot with "To my Boo! Love Always, B". (We just have to keep Estelle away from it--good luck to us.)

I love soft stuffed animals and the bear is so cozy and cuddly. He also got me a self-admittedly *very* cheesy gift that he knew I would groan over, but we'd both get a laugh out of it. It's the rose in the glass case from Beauty and the Beast (we recently rewatched that movie) and it has lights around it. He turned it on and it actually went pretty well with all of the random lights in our room.

I don't like that I keep using the words "corny" and "cheesy" when it comes to Jerry's style of romance (I'm saying it in a fun way, not trying to put him down in any way), but sometimes he really does go over-the-top. Several years ago, he bought this plaster mold kit where you can hold hands together and make a mold out of it and then pour plaster in the mold. And you should end up with a cast of your hands.

I couldn't believe he'd spent so much money on it (I think it was like $35) and I wanted to return it. Yes, I feel like an asshole even admitting that and I regret it now--I should have indulged him. But I did feel bad and a few years later, I saw the exact same kit (unopened) at Goodwill for $5. I decided to buy it and we would have fun doing it.

Well, it sat in the closet for probably the last five years. Yesterday, Jerry suggested we finally do it. And we actually had a blast! We followed the directions right to the letter--first you mix up the mold powder with cold water inside of the bucket. Then you quickly put your hands in and keep them still for 3-10 minutes. Then you gently pull your hands out, leaving a hand-shaped mold.

Do you think it went how it was supposed to? If you guess no, you're right!

First, I'm sure it probably expired a hundred years ago. But I didn't think that would totally ruin it--it was just powder. Second, keeping your hands still like that for so long is HARD--especially when it's cold water! My fingers were numb after about two minutes and it was still extremely liquidy. We watched the timer go from three minutes all the way to ten and it still wasn't solid (or even close). We were both SO cold and unable to go on any longer. So we pulled our hands out and it was still entirely liquid.

So, that project was a big fail. At least it was only $5 and not $35. And we laughed a LOT. That's the best part.

We made dinner together and had a pretty chill evening. Even though we didn't do anything we'd planned, we had a fun day. And I was super excited to hear about Noah and Rose's day! Like I mentioned before, Rose (his girlfriend) loves Valentine's Day--it's her favorite holiday--but she's never been in a relationship on Valentine's Day so has never been able to celebrate it with someone.

Noah wanted her to feel very special. She *loves* bears (the way I love cats) so Noah got her an enormous teddy bear (Jerry and Noah did not coordinate on purpose, haha), flowers, and chocolates and he brought those into Panera, where she works. He gave them to her in front of everyone, which was cute. (Her mom took a video, so here is a screenshot from that.)

At home, he also gave her an indoor garden kit (something she's always wanted to do) and one more thing that I cannot think of right now.

I'd helped her work on part of her gift for Noah. She wanted to make a rag doll-like plush cat and dress it like Noah--a Star Wars shirt and even the same piercings he has in his ears, nose, and lip. I taught her how to use the sewing machine and helped her work on making the body. 

Rose needs to teach me how to present gifts--whether she's presenting gifts like this or styling food to look pretty on a plate, it always looks amazing.

It turned out so cute! She also gave him a bonsai tree (something he mentioned he wanted to get).

Celebrating Valentine's Day was fun, and I definitely want to do it again next year. Although, I have no idea how I'm going to top this year's gifts for Jerry ;)

And finally, I just want to note that today is my three years sober anniversary :) Quitting drinking was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I also forgot to mention a few weeks ago that I became vegan two years ago--TWO YEARS. That kind of blows my mind! Another of the best decisions I've ever made. <3

February 13, 2024

Valentine's Day

Ever since Noah moved out--well, over the last few years, if I'm being honest!--I've started to feel regret. I'm not just talking about big decisions, but regret in the little things. I wish I'd said "yes" more; held off longer on buying the kids' cell phones; taught them much more about living on their own; and, among several more, celebrated holidays with enthusiasm.

I bring this up because of Valentine's Day tomorrow. I've always been in the "it's just a Hallmark holiday" group, and I don't know if Jerry and I ever celebrated it. We probably did in the early years we were dating--Jerry loves holidays, especially if it involves super corny romance. And I really wish that I'd indulged him all these years. On my birthday a few weeks ago, he said he wishes that I'd want to celebrate my birthday. It made me feel bad!

That got me thinking about how celebrating it doesn't have to be for me; if he really wants to do something because it makes him feel good, then I can certainly go along with it. And since I felt bad, I told him that we could celebrate Valentine's Day however he wants--regardless of how cheesy it is, I said he could make plans and I'd get in the spirit.

And honestly, I've actually been kind of excited about it! I even put a lot of thought into a couple of gifts for him. Jerry won't see this post until after I give the gifts to him, so I'll share them here. The only clue I gave him was, "I promise you that not one other person in the world has either of these things... and not one other person in the world would want them." Hahahaha, it's true!

Each gift has a story behind it...

One day (probably 15-20 years ago) we were stopped at an intersection waiting for the traffic light to turn green. Ahead of us was a utility pole (does anyone else still call them telephone poles? or just me?) and it had a sign on it that said "FIREWORKS" with an arrow underneath, to show the direction of where you could buy fireworks.

The sign was upside down, and I wasn't sure if that was intentional or not. But I pointed at it and said, "What way do you think the fireworks are?" And then Jerry looked at it, opened his mouth to state what should have been obvious, then realized what I had--that someone may have intentionally put the sign upside down so that the arrow was pointing the opposite direction (rather than remake the sign).

We both stared, looked at each other, then burst out laughing. We couldn't stop laughing! I don't remember where we were going, but we laughed so hard for the rest of the drive that we were wheezing. The sign is long gone, but occasionally at that intersection, we'll ask each other "Which way do you think the fireworks are?" And we laugh about it.

Sooo, that is what prompted this gift. I took a picture of the intersection, and then I grabbed a piece of cardboard and a sharpie and recreated the "FIREWORKS" sign. I took a picture of the sign and then photoshopped the sign into the picture to look how it did that day we first saw it. I got it printed in a 5x7 (I was actually embarrassed to go pick it up at Walgreens!) and put it in a frame. So, that's gift number one.

Backstory for gift number two. This one isn't as specific, but it's something ongoing between us. When we were dating, we were cuddled up on the couch one time and Jerry said, "We fit together like Legos." And I said, "But there are millions of Legos that fit together. We fit like some Legos that got a little bit melted so that they don't fit any other Legos anymore--they only fit each other." (Okay, I guess maybe I was a little corny back then!)

Now, occasionally when we're cuddling, one of us will mention that we fit together like melted Legos. Which is how I came up with gift number two. I actually put a lot of thought into which Lego pieces to use--color and shape--because I wanted to put them on a necklace or bracelet or even keychain. I ultimately chose to make a hemp necklace (like the ones that were popular when we were dating) and add the Legos as a charm. I chose round ones--a black and a white--and then I put them together and used a lighter to melt the side. I wanted them to still be able to pull apart and push back together--but only with each other. It actually worked really well!

I can still pull them apart, but they don't fit with any other Legos.

I absolutely *love* giving gifts, but I am admittedly very bad at making them look pretty in the packaging. For Christmas, I wrapped things in Amazon boxes or leftover boxes from other things. It's actually kind of a joke between us! I even watched some YouTube videos over Christmastime to try to learn how to wrap better (I learned that I just don't have the patience for it). After I watched the videos, Jerry and I competed a couple of times to see who could wrap better. I still lost. Haha!

Anyway, I decided to go over-the-top corny with the necklace box. I actually bought this little box to use instead of reusing a box from something else! However, the necklace looked way too plain in the box by itself, so I looked around the craft room for something to lay under the necklace. I thought maybe a piece of fabric. And when I saw this white satin (I'd cut up a dress to use the fabric a while ago, and there was a white satin slip underneath), I got the idea to go full-on cheesy romance.

At first, I was just going to make a little pillow to put the necklace on. Then I just kept adding to it. I used red and pink thread around the edges. Then I put a "b" in the middle. I started calling Jerry "b" (in lowercase) because he always manages to accidentally press "b" just before sending a text: "I have a meeting after work b". And I knew it was from quickly double tapping the spacebar (which makes a period) and accidentally hitting the letter b in the process. So instead of a period, it appears as a space and then b. How do I know this? Because I've done it a million times, too.

So I started replying with something like, "Okay, b, see you later." Jerry has always called me Boo, so calling him "b" actually sounded kind of fitting! That's why I added the lowercase b on the satin. Then I figured I might as well add some hearts. (I did this freehand with the sewing machine, and I have to say, I'm kind of impressed that you can even tell what it's supposed to be. It wasn't easy, but I was too lazy to do it by hand!)

I continued by decorating the box itself with some markers and stencils. (If you are a Friends fan, do you remember the episode where Joey used a thesaurus on every word when he wrote a letter to the adoption agency for Chandler and Monica? Instead of "big hearts" he wrote, "full-sized aortic pumps".)

Then I put a picture of us on the inside.

I tried *really* hard to wrap it neatly, and I used a couple of the techniques I learned in the videos--I think it'll actually make Jerry laugh when he realizes I did that--and then I STILL messed it up when I used a spray adhesive for the tag I made. (That's why it looks spotty.)

Anyway, I'm actually really excited about these gifts! I think they'll make Jerry laugh. And he'll very much appreciate the effort I put in to this "Hallmark holiday" ;)

February 12, 2024

Buddy Pass

I had no idea what to name this post, but I don't want to keep trying to think of something else, hahaha.

Last week, I was really wanting to get out of the house and just go somewhere--anywhere. My parents, as well as Jeanie and Shawn, are in Hilton Head, South Carolina right now. My parents go down every year to enjoy nicer weather in the cold months of Michigan.

They've always wanted Jerry and I to go down there (with the kids of course) for a week or even a few days, but we're not "beach" people and it just isn't a place that we've had interest in visiting. (Noah and Eli have gone, though.) Last week, the idea just popped into my head to go down there (alone) and surprise my parents. Since Jeanie and Shawn are there now as well, I asked Jeanie if they could pick me up from the airport if I was able to go. She liked the idea too, so the next step was to ask Brian for a buddy pass to fly.

The cost of a ticket was insane--about $1000--so that was out of the question. Being a pilot, Brian has "buddy passes" that he can let friends/family use to fly for cheap (to go to Hilton Head is $187 with a buddy pass). The biggest problem with using a buddy pass is that you don't have a confirmed seat. The best part is that you don't have to plan ahead; you can literally decide right before the flight if you want to be listed for standby. It's kind of fun to use for last-minute trips! 

Unfortunately, Delta doesn't fly directly into Hilton Head anymore, so I'd have to fly into Savannah. And there aren't direct flights from Detroit to Savannah, so Brian said I'd have to go from Detroit to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to Savannah (where Jeanie would pick me up).

My credit card would only get charged after making the flight, so if I didn't make it on, then I wouldn't have to pay for it. I'd planned to head down on Thursday and the flight was looking more and more full. By Wednesday night, Brian said that he was very confident that I would *not* make it on the flight (meaning there weren't many open seats and the list of standby passengers was long).

On Thursday, Brian said everything was looking okay for the first flight (5:20 am) on Friday. The problem was that flights from Atlanta to Savannah were full for all of the flights except the first one (which would be my connection). That meant that if I didn't get on the first flight in Detroit (to Atlanta), even if I took a later flight, I would likely get stuck in Atlanta.

I realize this is all confusing, haha. Anyway, I decided to go for it--Brian said it would probably be *very* close whether I got on the flight or not, but I was really hoping I'd be able to go. So I left the house at 3:45 am for the airport (Jerry dropped me off and then went out for coffee to wait and hear from me whether I made the flight.

When I got to the gate, I nervously watched the app, seeing my name way at the bottom of the list. As the flight filled up, some of the standby passengers were given seat assignments. Based on the number of seats open and the number of people on the list, it started to look like I might not make it. Still, things change right up until the last second.

Eventually, I was third on the standby list. And there was only ONE seat open. I noticed that the two people ahead of me were likely traveling together (same last name) and I hoped that since there was only one seat left, they'd pass it up--and then it would be ME that got the last seat!

Then it got confusing for a moment. After checking with the couple, the gate agent actually gave me a seat assignment and then the second my name came from her mouth, a flight attendant came out and said that there was one more open seat... so there were actually TWO available. And naturally, the couple on the list ahead of me got the seats.

I was so bummed. Flying on a buddy pass is never a guarantee, so I knew I many not make it--still, it was disappointing to be *that* close to getting on the flight! It did get me to start thinking about going somewhere else, though. I may take a spontaneous trip soon :)

February 07, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 172

It just hit me when I typed "172" in the title of this post that 172 weeks is well over three years! [ETA: three weeks later, I opened this post and saw that I didn't change the week number on my photo--groan. After I wrote about it and everything!] It doesn't seem like it's been that long since I got serious about losing my 2018 weight gain. A little over a week ago marked two years since becoming vegan. And a week from tomorrow will mark three years since I quit drinking alcohol. It kind of stuns me that it's been this long!

After Eli woke up during his oral surgery in December, I was kind of desperate for answers. I don't want him to be afraid of anesthesia for the rest of his life (right now, he says he'll never even go to a dentist again, let alone a surgeon). I've always suspected that I metabolize drugs faster than normal, but I didn't know there was a DNA test for it. And I figured if I am a rapid or ultra rapid metabolizer, there is a good chance my kids could be, too. (I didn't know if it would affect the anesthesia drugs, but it was a start.)

I'd been wanting to get tested for the breast cancer gene and especially the Alzheimer's gene for a long time, but was always too scared. Anyway, the point is, I ordered a 23 & Me genetic test--it looks at your genes for a ton of different conditions, diseases, carrier statuses, etc, among things like ancestry and physical characteristics.

I haven't decided how much I want to share yet, but one thing that I found interesting was my genetic weight:

It said that my genes predispose me to weigh about 3% more than average. According to 23 & Me, the average weight of a 5'4" woman of European descent is 151 pounds (3% higher would be about 155.5). 

My result makes sense to me, actually; when my weight was at my lowest of 121, I was wearing a size 2. And I could theoretically still lose 13 more pounds and stay within the CDC recommended weight range! That seems so ridiculous. Anyway, what does this result mean for me? Nothing, really. It's just something that I thought was kind of interesting.

[If you're thinking of doing 23 & Me, I was given a referral link--I'm not sure if it gives you a discount, but I may get something for the referral. That's not why I brought up the test, but I wanted to disclose. Here is the link: 23 & Me genetic test.]

As for this week, I ate really really well. There is nothing I would have done differently. I was a little disappointed in the scale, though, because I felt like I'd lost a lot more than this!

I was at 142.4, which is only down 0.6 pounds from last week. My clothes are looser and I don't feel puffy, so I thought I'd see a bigger loss. But I'm not going to quit doing what I'm doing. I know, as much as anybody, that you can do all the right things one week and lose five pounds, then do the exact same things another week and not lose anything.

I do feel a million times better since eating healthier, though. I've even been sleeping better and running feels easier! Maybe it's just in my head, but I think I see a difference in the mirror, too. A lot of my clothes are still on the tight side, but that's because they fit really well at 130-135 pounds--for a while there, I was really worried I might have to buy bigger clothes. Considering how I feel right now, I really don't want to screw it up for a few Oreos or something; I'm going to keep on doing what I'm doing and hope that everything takes care of itself.

Last week, I said I was going to increase my daily run from one block (0.4 miles) to two blocks (0.5 miles). Physically, it was no big deal; mentally, though, I was loving the "just one time around the block" rule. I wanted to give it a week and then decide that I could go back to one block if I wanted.

I ran two blocks every day this week and now, I don't think Joey will be very understanding if we cut back, haha. He's so used to our routine every morning. I can already picture the disappointment in his eyes if we cut out the extra block ;)  So, we'll continue with the half-mile daily runs.

I can't wait for it to warm up outside. Right now, with all the layers I wear, it takes me longer to get ready to run than it does to actually complete the it!

February 06, 2024

A Complete Daily Dozen

As I've said several times, my health focus for 2024 is to eat more vegetables. I've been really interested in Dr. David Greger's research and I *love* his books: "How Not To Die", "How Not To Diet", and now I'm listening to the audiobook of "How Not To Age". If I was a faster reader, I'd love to read them and take notes--but they are *very* long books. "How Not To Age" is over 24 hours on audiobook! They are fascinating, though, and loaded with research.

Dr. Greger has a list called the "Daily Dozen", which is a list of the ideal things to include in your diet each day. I love that he says it's an aspirational list and not to overthink it. (You know I'm a total overthinker.) I use it as a guide to push me in the right direction, but I don't expect to check off the entire list every day. Also, the list is meant to be the minimum intake. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't eat beyond what's on the list.

(The app is free and there aren't any ads or subscriptions or anything. Dr. Greger's work is non-profit because he doesn't have a hidden agenda--just a desire to learn and share facts from tons of research.)

On Saturday, I was so ready to get out of the house. Jerry and I went to Ann Arbor for Salvation Army, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. We don't have TJ's or WF near us, so it's kind of an event to go, hahaha. We bought the produce we'd need for the week as well as some odd and hard-to-find or unique ingredients.

Yesterday, I realized that I got in the whole Daily Dozen! I took pictures (sometimes I post pictures of memorable food in a private Instagram account) so I thought I'd share the day's eats on this post. First, here is the checklist (when you tap on each item in the app, it gives more specific info). I didn't log this into a calorie counting app, but a quick guesstimate for the day is about 1600 calories.

Breakfast was rolled oats (uncooked, because they just sounded better that way), blueberries, banana, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and soy milk. I usually eat Grape Nuts instead of oats, but since the oats are healthier, I'm going to try to have them more often. [As far as the list, this counted as whole grains, berries, another fruit, and flaxseed]

My latest obsession has been cucumbers with hummus--I cannot get enough! This counted as an "other" vegetable and two servings of beans.

Jerry bought me a few Asian pears that he'd found and this was the last one. Usually I eat fruit like apples and pears with the skin, but Asian pears have a tougher skin so I peel them. This counted as an "other" fruit.

Dinner was SO good! Ethiopian Collard Greens & Beans, from the "How Not To Diet" cookbook, served over red quinoa. Jerry and I both loved this. On the Daily Dozen, this checked off beans, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, one "other" vegetable, and a ton of spices. I also had a small salad with it, which counted for my leafy greens.

These are all the spices that were in the dish above.

In the evening, I still needed one more fruit and nuts. Usually I have pistachios and an apple, but I was kind of full from dinner, so I had a few dates with almond butter.

My B12 supplement

I got in lots of water (recommended is six 12-oz glasses and I definitely reached that). This is the tumbler that Ava, Eli's girlfriend, gave me for Christmas. It makes me feel good <3

As far as exercise, I didn't count minutes (because that would be overthinking for me)--I just did my run in the morning and went for a walk later.

I really like the Daily Dozen app; it definitely helps me to think about my choices before I eat. And I've loved adding more vegetables where I can. Jerry has been enjoying it, too. He started a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class yesterday. He loves HIIT and likes the structure of going to a class rather than doing it on his own. When he got home, he said that it was extremely humbling and it made him really want to be healthier, especially with his diet. Having him on board helps a lot!

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