Saturday, August 29, 2009

signing off

This morning I had a really fabulous run. As opposed to paying attention to mileage as I usually do since I've been training for this half marathon, today I just went on an hour run, taking a one minute walking break every ten minutes. It was awesome. I pushed myself harder than I have in awhile on a run, and I felt great. While running I thought alot about why I wanted to do this half marathon. It costs alot of money and takes alot of time and I feel really healthy with just
5-6 mile runs. Then, I started thinking about my weight loss goals and how I am so committed to training when there is a race involved but my commitment on my weight goals ebbs and flows. So, I am saving my money on the half marathon and instead training for my weight loss goal. I want to reach my long elusive number by my birthday--November 9th. I know I have pontificated on the shallowness of a number and a timeline, but those things have really helped me and as I've tried to eliminate them lately all it has done has enabled me to sneak and lie to myself that I can eat whatever I want and still be "healthy." The fact is, I want to be thinner. There, I said it. I want to look better and feel better and as I look at pictures of me 55 pounds ago, I am so grateful that I don't look that anymore. And I want to look better than I do now. I want to finally reach this goal and feel that accomplishment that I have savored in so many other facets of life. So, that is the event I am training for. And, sorry to say, this blog won't be a part of that. I've realized that writing about this journey here has made it too much about other people and what they think rather than what I am doing with my body and why I am doing it. It has made my hyperfocus on this struggle in an unhealthy way. A few of you out there I am in touch with about our mutual goals, and I really hope we can stay in touch and motivate each other, but my days of en masse journaling are done. It is time for me to focus and do this. This is an intensely personal journey for anyone who takes it. I think getting our bodies to a place we want them is really only between us and God. I wish you all great luck with your goals and aspirations. Our bodies are the greatest gift we have. That is why we came to this earth, to gain a body, to move it, to feel it, to grow in it, and through it all to become more like our Heavenly Father. And all that takes work, focus, and faith. Eat, Pray, Move everyone. . . and keep in touch.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ticker Evolution

I should put a huge "Thank you for your patience during our renovations" sign at the top of this blog. I am figuring things out as I go along here, and I don't know if it is totally frustrating, or perhaps oddly validating to hear about my ups and downs in this saga of health. Since my cookie splurge and subsequent floodgates of baked sweets enjoyment, I've thought more and more about my sugar free experiment. And today, as I was rereading the Word of Wisdom I had the thought that cutting out sugar completely while allowing myself lots of other junk doesn't really help me fulfill that law or tap into those promises (same link, just note verses at the bottom!) I thought, what I really need to do is focus on what I want to put in my body, rather than what I want to force myself to keep out. I think in life in general we focus far too much on what we can't do, can't eat, can't watch, can't read, and not enough on all the wonderful things we can do every day. As a mother, I look at all the things I fall short in, and don't take time to notice all the little things I do right every single day. And certainly, as parents, we often say "no" to our kids far more than we say "yes." There are so many things we can let our children do, and praise them for doing, but we often whittle our time away with them with "not yets," "don't touches," and "please stops." For my kids, I have an "Awesomeness Chart." I put a little mark on it every time they listen, do their chores, share, or just do anything awesome and good. Every tenth box, they have a star, and when they get a mark on their star, they get to pick out of their awesomeness bucket. There are no negative consequences here, just plain awesomeness. I don't take marks off when they don't listen, and if they don't do their chores, they just don't get the mark, but they don't lose anything. So, I've revolutionized my "ticker" to the right to be a form of awesomeness tracker for me. Instead of focusing my life on not eating sugar, I'm going to focus on what the Lord encourages me to focus on. I am aiming for seven servings of whole grains a day and six servings of fruits and veggies. That sounds like alot, but servings are much smaller than we think. One slice of whole wheat bread is a serving, so a sandwich knocks out two, and I think 1 cup of oatmeal is two as well. You get the idea. And sweets? Oh, they'll be there. If you decide to stop reading because you just can't handle my indecisive weak nature, I'm okay with that. Once again, I am accepting that Weight Watchers is truly a marvelous, moderate plan for me. And though I don't want to obsess over a number, that scale is a good indicator of how well I am taking care of myself. I might not lose another 15 pounds anytime soon, but I don't want to gain them either. So, this week, I will focus on filling my body with good, whole foods, and if I want a cookie, I'll have one. . . after I eat more salad. In time, I think that will get me where I want to be--which is healthy and ready for revelation.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

She started it!

Linzie Smith. She's the one who gave me this crazy good chocolate chip cookie recipe that makes these mind-blowing-crispy-outside-chewy-inside-enormous-chocolatey-circles-of-heaven-things-called-cookies. I mean, what was I supposed to do? Wait a year to try it out? Try it and then ascertain if they were really all that just by my family's reaction? I mean, Daman never reacts to food nearly enough and so that would simply not give me any realistic indication. It was my duty. In my defense, I did walk to the grocery store to get the necessary butter.

I know I know. . . I am lame. I am weak. And I am kind of a hypocrite. But, do I get points for full disclosure? The sugar thing, even without the cookie(s) episode wasn't going so well. I hadn't had any other splurges, but I was eating butter on things I haven't had butter on since I was 12, just because I felt like I could and so I should. How lame is that? That isn't really healthy either. I have got to get a hang of this moderation thing. Weight Watchers really helps me with that. So, I think even with a no-sweet lifestyle I am going to have to track if I don't want to gradually creep back to the size and weight I've worked so hard to say goodbye too. But, I'm not throwing the sugar goal out the window. I feel really good when I stick to it. I feel discipline creeping into so many other facets and when I let it go, I let go of many other things too. I still want to be a natural, holistic, healthy eater, but I'm not to the point where I can do that without tracking and stay at a good weight. I still have 3 (or more after this week!) pounds to get back to my Pre-pregnancy weight, and even if I'm relaxing a bit on this longtime goal I've been dreaming of for years, I do want to get back to Pre-Emma Morgen. So, I am finishing up the cookie dough today, finding as many people as I can to eat the little discs of joy, and I say goodbye to them (again) for a year. I am sorry I let you down e-world. I wish I could say this is the last time. I think as time goes by it will get easier. . . right? right? Sigh. Let's just keep at it, shall we?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bon Apetit!!

A few weeks ago I totally splurged and went to see "Julie and Julia" with a dear friend who is a fellow food and movie lover. It was a marvelous afternoon. My friend is a fabulous cook who also happens to be over six foot just like Madame Julia, so it was even more fated and wonderful. It was a fantastic film; Meryl Streep is just too incredible, and if Julia Child really was anything like Meryl depicted, then she is my new hero. She was so upbeat and brave and infectiously joyous about life and of course, food. Tonight as I ate with my kids I was doing my best Julia impression to try to entertain them and excite them over some awesome tortellini. It didn't work for them, but it made me think about how much joy I find in food, and if I took time to actually enjoy and relish the eating experience, I bet I wouldn't eat as much. I would savor more and stuff less. I wouldn't eat things I didn't really enjoy, like lame cookies and plain chocolate chips. I would reserve my palette for true deliciosity. Today I was reading an article where a woman outlined her seven steps to a healthy relationship with food. All her ideas sounded so lovely and doable. . . if you were single. One of her rules is to always eat sitting down to create a peaceful meal experience. Clearly, this woman has never had to put dinner on the table, outmanned three to one. The youngest of the opposition is bellowing out her lungs between every bite of oatmeal because it can't come fast enough. The two year old is announcing she does not like the tortellini, but is scarfing all the rosemary sweet potato fries (another recipe to the right) and if you wait to have a peaceful time, you will miss out on those completely. So, I had to snag a few tortellini--and oh yes I used my hands--as I could. I was so not relishing or savoring. I was eating in the trenches. Then the kids are in bed and I crave that decompressing mealtime that I missed out on. I want to sit and snack in peace. But, my 8pm curfew passed 20 minutes ago. I cave. I eat a banana and milk with a few grapenuts. Weak, sure, but I sat still and enjoyed it, and the m&m's remain untouched, so there. Lesson? I think even if it means eating later and at odd times, I'm not going to try to eat with the kids anymore. No snitches, no cramming lunch in my mouth while feeding Emma and pouring Lucy's water. I just won't eat until I can do it meaningfully. That's the theory anyway. I am so full of good theories.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Two words. . .

. . . Baby Shower. I hosted a casual one for a friend tonight. Nothing major, just a get together to celebrate her fourth baby. In lieu of gifts, I had sign up sheets for babysitting and meals for the next month. I think that is much more helpful than yet another blue sleeper. But, I think we all know what baby showers mean. Sugar, lots of sugar. So, I prepared with smoothies and chips and salsa (made from my garden tomatoes!) and mentally rehearsed my reaction to the plates of cookies coming my way. Luckily, there was nothing majorly chocolate except some kind of popcorn s'more concoction, but there were some tempting cookies. But, I told myself this was not going to the last baby shower ever and nothing I could taste tonight would change my life. And I was right. The smoothies were delicious, and though I fudged a bit on my 8pm eating curfew, I think overall I was very well-behaved. See recipe for salsa to the right. Fresh salsa is so easy and so good and so guilt free, I think we should eat some every day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fresh Start

I got a hair cut this morning. Pretty dramatic, right? I like it. And I feel like it is a perfect start to a new phase. Cute hair, trying to stop biting nails, and not even one snitch of the zuchini muffins today. And there was a bag of them sitting out all day, might I add. And I am not ashamed to admit that I heard my name being distinctly called from their general direction once or twice. Some chocolate chips in the freezer chimed in a couple of times too. But, I put in my earplugs of power and reminded myself that these are not the last muffins in the world, so there. But, I do not think I would have made it through this day without peanut butter. I love Natural peanut butter. Roasted peanuts and sea salt, blended to a sheer Omega-3 Fatty bliss. Maybe I went a little overboard with like 4 spoonfuls today, but I recall no promises of perfection in yesterday's crazy-long blog. But, I do promise that they won't all be that long. And to keep that promise, I shall end this one here. Day one went pretty darn good. Weary, but still running, and that is a good thing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Better or Thinner??

I only have three minutes to summarize three days of thoughts, ponderings, and insights, so I better make this snappy. I've just poured out my thoughts ever so eloquently in my journal, but I have to finish a birthday story for my niece and I've put it off long enough while redesigning my background and figuring out how to put a "ticker" on my site. Look right for more details. Ain't I handy? Now, to explain the ticker.
We are almost to September. The year is halfway gone and I am wondering what I have created so far. This was a year that I wanted to focus on creation--creating a stronger, more disciplined body, and creating some written work as well. If I were grading myself, I think I'd give myself a B-. I mean, I did bring a child into the world, which is pretty darn creative, so that should seriously bump up the average, but still I am not where I thought I wanted to be. I've had intense ebbs and flows in my varying weight loss plans and visions. The writing plan has picked up nicely however. I am writing birthday stories for my nieces and nephews as gifts and having a marvelous time doing it. Hopefully a publisher will soon have a marvelous time reading it and I will achieve my dream of publication. World famous author? Probably not, but who wants all that hubbub. I digress.

So, in the last week, as I consumed 5-6 Reynolds Original Zuchini Chocolate Chip Raisin Walnut cookies in a day (Isaac and I created our own recipe--he was very excited about that) I have thought long and hard about where my body is and where I want it to be and why I want it to be there. (Remember how I said I only had 3 minutes? I've now gone 4 minutes over, but I just want to get this out there. This is probably going to be a longish post. . . sorry) I've had this "goal" weight for years, all because a long time ago there was a woman I knew that was my same height and I thought she looked so great, strong, healthy, and not crazy skinny. I asked her how much she weighed and her answer became my mecca, my zen, my point where I thought I would surely be totally happy with myself. That is now only 15 pounds away. Of course, I also once thought that I would be totally content with myself if I could only get to a size 12. I've been there awhile, and the sublime self-satisfaction ain't quite happening.

On my run on Saturday (ahem, 7.5 miles) I did alot of thinking. I thought about why I want to lose weight. Will I be a better person with 15 pounds less of me to lug around? Will I be happier? If so, why? And will my current Weight Watchers trajectory get me there? What do I really want to be like, not just look like, but really be like? In my ideal vision of Morgen, I see someone strong, healthy, and vibrant, who eats wholesome nutritious foods, and rarely eats anything refined. Right now, I'm not really that. Even on days when I stay within "points," I nibble at processed dietish foods, sneak chocolate, and squeeze every drop I can out of my calorie allowance for the day. Doing that within the WW limits could eventually carve 15 pounds off of me, but will I be a better person? Will I finally stop thinking about food so much? Will I be able to be in a room with brownies and be able to think about anything but how many of them can I eat and still have a successful weigh in tomorrow? I don't think so. Am I a believer in the Weight Watchers system? Oh heavenstobetsy yes. It has changed my life drastically. It helped me take 55 pounds off and recreated me in several ways. But, I think I've decided to focus on a new plan of which I am an even bigger fan. . . God's Diet Plan, a.k.a: "The Word of Wisdom."

To sum up: Lots of grains, fruits, veggies, with little to no meat, and nix on the refined sweet stuff. In honor of good old Thoreau, I am going to simplify, simplify, simplify. I shan't be living in a cabin in the middle of the woods (though that is tempting), but I am eliminating points, tracking, and all other dieting constrictions. And oh yes, I think I am even eliminating weigh-ins. I've decided that it is time for this to be about being a better Morgen, not just a thinner Morgen. And now, the experiment begins.

What will happen if I go a year without sugar? Will I lose weight and/or inches? Will I have more energy? Will I stop craving it? Will I feel purer and closer to the Spirit? Will I survive Halloween, Thanksgiving, and insanely overwhelming chocolate monthly cravings? I have, right now, zero ability to regulate the sweet stuff. I think if I conquer it, I will grow closer to Christ in new ways, and feel a strength in myself that I've yet to taste. And I won't sneak snickers bars on solo grocery trips because noone can see. And I won't scarf chocolate chips and then chew trident as quickly as possible in hopes that my husband won't smell or taste (kissing. . . gross I know) the chocolate in my mouth. My hope? That in a year, I will have a relationship with sweets that will enable me to have dessert on birthdays and major holidays and stop there. I will tell myself that the world will still be producing chocolate in a year, and I am pretty sure that cookies will be in existence by then too. It is only for a year.

So, here is my plan:
-No refined sugar, except in yogurt (I am trying to eat from the Superfoods list of 14 foods, and yogurt is one of them and eating straight plain yogurt sounds about as tempting as raw oysters to be honest)
-Honey, juice, and pure maple syrup are a go
-No eating after 8pm

How will this go? How will I do it? What will I learn? What will I eat on my birthday? Will I feel better about myself? These are very good questions that perhaps only I am interested in, but I am going to pretend that you are really interested in them as well, and so I will write about them. Daily, as a matter of fact. My plan--have you noticed that I really like plans?--is to jot something in here every day. Accountability is the name of the game. I believe that the Word of Wisdom is the most inspired set of health guidelines out there and I fully expect to tap into every promise the Lord has made. I know I will have treasures of knowledge opened up to me, and maybe one of those trinkets will help someone out there trying to move more, eat less, and feel happier in their skin. These bodies of ours are gifts from God, and I am going to focus a little more from now on on taking better care of it, and not just trying to shrink it.

Well, I am now about 20 minutes over my allotted writing time, and I am totally okay with that. I'm just happy to get these ideas out there and get this goal going. My dear husband just made zuchini muffins that probably taste really really good since they have 2 cups of sugar in them. I mean, really, doesn't that make them cake? Who are we kidding tossing this "bread" word around? Anyway, tomorrow morning we'll sit down for breakfee and everyone will dig into said muffins and it will be my first morning standing out a bit. I haven't told my better half about this goal. Why? Because I am more than a little ashamed that I'm setting this goal. . . again. This isn't the first time I've sworn off the demon white powder of sweetness. So, I'm sheepish to say that I'm really honestly for real going to do it this time. I want to go for it a month before I announce it officially to him, and then maybe I'll believe it more myself and then he can believe it more himself. So, tomorrow, I think I'll go for the oatmeal non-muffin version of breakfast.

I've prattled enough. I hope that you'll join me for this journey, and I hope that some nugget of this might help you have a better day. Once in awhile, I hope I can even be funny and entertaining. I'll come up with some sugar free knock knock jokes or something. But, mostly, if this is a path that sounds a little familiar to you, then maybe we can help each other tap into the Lord's goodness and show our gratitude to Him for these glorious bodies He has given us a chance to experience.

Well, good night sugary world. This is Morgen, signing off.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can't Stop Eating.

That is pretty much it. It is called Downtown DC Stress Induced Diet Free For All. No rash, but very difficult to eradicate completely. My plan? Get through today, and have a nice long run tomorrow morning and do much much better. I really want to cut my hair and I've set it up as my reward for getting back to pre-pregnancy weight. Three pounds (now four grrr. . .) seems awfully far away today. By the way, is it tacky to ask for a roll call here? I mean, is anyone really interested in anything I'm saying? Is anyone even reading this, or am I prattling on to cyberspace about my diet plans in conceited disillusion? A simple "here" will suffice. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Up One

Blah. So, remember that goal to either stay the same or lose some fraction of a pound ever week until I reach goal? That was such a great goal, wasn't it. But apparently, my appetite was not on board with that goal and this past week I was so not eating as if I wanted to lose weight. And I didn't. I gained a pound. Earth-shattering? Not quite. But still quite a bummer. What do I expect when I eat five or six "healthy" black bean brownies and four vita-brownies (which are really great by the way)? Sure, this was over the course of a week, but I've got to be honest with myself and eat like I want to lose weight and not just exercise and expect fabulous results. So, I dust off the ambitions and zero in on a success next Tuesday. That pound is so not sticking around. Sorry little fella, you and fifteen more of your little buddies are getting the boot. No hard feelings I hope. And no more vita-brownies either.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Balancing Act

"For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably
connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive
a fulness of joy."

Doctrine and Covenants 93:33-34

Recently I've been asked to teach Relief Society and speak at Young Women's Camp about finding balance in health and fitness. First of all, I think it is remarkable, that I, of all people, would be looked to for any guidance in this arena. It reminds me of how far I've come. But, as I prepared thoughts for these gatherings, I've learned some very important lessons. This scripture, to me, is not just speaking of a far off resurrection. Here, I believe the Lord is teaching us that our soul is the combination of our body and our spirit and if we are only progressing in one of those areas, we cannot receive a fulness of joy. Not just that we might not, or even that He won't allow it, but that He knows we cannot achieve true happiness if we are not nurturing both our body and our spirit at the same time, in the same pace. We read, ponder and pray, but we must also move, think, and eat. We fuel our spirits carefully with scriptures, prayer, and personal study. But if we neglect our bodies by not moving or dishonor them by how we eat, then we just can't be as happy. My good friend Amanda directed me to a marvelous talk today and I pass on the info. It has taken me all day to get enough windows of time to finally listen to the entire thing, but I am so glad I did. She touches on this idea of balancing, and I especially love her thoughts on the lies that the world and satan tell us about our bodies and happiness. She points out that satan tells us we can not be as happy as we want unless we look a certain way. That is definitely one I've bought hook, line, and sinker--but I refuse to from now on. True, I'm not perfect, but yesterday I sprinted for at least 20 seconds with all three kids on the double jogger stroller and we were all laughing and screaming hysterically. So, who cares if I'll never be a supermodel. I've gotten strong enough to create that fun memory and that is pretty dang good. I was reminded of that today. Here is the link:
(If the link doesn't work you can find her by googling BYU Education Conference 2007, Connie Sokol)

Listen and enjoy. Tonight I am extra thankful for this body and am more motivated to honor it with good reading, good hobbies, good movement, and good food. Thanks for passing it on Amanda.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


That was for my artillery soldier Dad. That is the call of success when artillery has hit its mark. And boy did my mark get hit this week! I won't even begin to explain what I ate last Tuesday evening at an Anne of Green Gables Book Club Tea Party. Points didn't even cross my mind, except to assume that all 35 of my extra Weight Watchers points were gone by the end of the night. Chocolate torte, chocolate cake, lemon tart, deviled eggs, chicken salad sandwiches, lemonade, petit fors, hot chocolate. . . aaahhh. Still, I decided I would be fine if I stayed on track the rest of the week. My workouts are going well and today's weigh-in? Drumroll please. . . . 3 pounds gone! Oh, happy day. I only have one goal with every weigh in--to not gain. Even if it .1 pounds, I just want to go down or stay the same every week until I reach goal. I am 15 pounds away and I know it will slow way down. But, this morning as I was working out, doing squats like a champ, I took a good long look at my body, and with Miley Cyrus singing "The Climb" in the background I felt like I've made a really good climb with this body. I started over fifty pounds ago feeling crummy about myself and I've certainly felt worse than crummy many many times. Being pregnant 3 times and watching all the weight come back for a visit has been really challenging. But, I've kept going. I've kept running. I've kept getting up in the morning when Emma was up every hour last night. I've thrown it all out the window on trips with my mom, but then I've held my ground at church parties and just said no to brownies. Give and take, up and down. That is how this whole thing rolls. My husband was talking about how he thinks WW is kind of flawed in that it is designed to encourage you to eat as much as possible and still lose the weight. At first I agreed and it made me feel a little weak. But, then I've thought about it and said, "What is wrong with that??" I love to eat. I love snickerdoodles, homemade bread, brownies, and granola bars. I want to eat them. And I can. I have to learn to moderate and control and balance, but I can, and I think that is not just ok, but pretty darn impressive for anyone like me who is trying to do this. Today, after my weigh in I took a moment to fall to my knees in prayer by my bed. I thanked my Heavenly Father for helping me succeed, even when I might not have deserved such a huge success. I expressed to Him my gratitude for a body and a desire to take care of it. And I prayed for patience as I continue forward. Help me accept success, no matter how minute, with gratitude and grace. It was a nice experience.
And on a lighter note--any good, cheap, non-food rewards when I reach my pre-preg WW goal? I'm only 3 pounds away! I have another 12 pounds to go after that to reach my long dreamed of goal, but I want to celebrate getting back to Pre-Emma body!

Friday, July 24, 2009

This Saddle Feels Good

After my diet was tossed out the window and stayed on the highway for the duration of my NC trip, I picked it up on my way home and have been planted firmly back on the wagon ever since. Granted, last night during Enrichment at church I noshed two different kinds of brownies (in my defense they were ever so itty-bitty), but still I'm down about 3 pounds and most of all feeling grand. I love love my new workout plan, and so I must divulge. . .

Mondays: 40 minutes on the treadmill set on "Random" for hillwork
Tuesdays: Upper body weight work (mixed in with some combination weight exercises and ab work)
Wednesdays: 40 minutes of speed intervals on treadmill
Thursdays: Lower body weight work with combo and ab stuff
Fridays: My very own Jillian Michael's workout at the gym, meaning 2 minutes intense cardio, 2 minutes strength work, 2 minutes abs. This workout I love. It is fun to come up with different ways to work and move and I glean ideas from workout magazines online and stuff. And I steal from Jillian--ever tried Plank jumps? You get in the plank pose and then jump wide and together with your legs. This is not easy fun or enjoyable by any means.
Saturdays: Long Run! This is my favorite workout of the week. I am training for a half marathon and really enjoy this run. I take it easy, keeping my heart rate up, but not stressing about time or anything. I walk for one minute at every mile marker. This Saturday is a five mile run, and I start building from there for the race in October. So far my knees are on board with this goal. I think they are much happier since I'm doing more treadmill running.

And on the seventh day. . . I rest. I do not set my alarm for 5:30, I eat a big fun breakfast and I try to squeeze in an after church nap. Now, I know you might be shaking your head and thinking I am so awesome for doing this. And it is a really awesome plan. But, there has yet to be a 100% perfect week, but I love the idea and so I will keep planning on it. I do move every day, but sometimes things get cut short or I just don't have it in me to do the Jillian creative workout. But, I am writing down what I eat and embracing the WW lifestyle that lets me eat whatever I want while forcing me to be honest with myself. This is my life, this is my body and if I want it to change I have to change and accept the realities of calories in/calories out. I just take it all one day at a time. I eat, I move, I write, I try. When I am pushing through the last fifteen seconds of those wretched plank jumps, I pick a spot on the gym floor and I zero in on it. I tell myself, "You must do what you think you cannot do." Pretty sure that is Eleanor Roosevelt talking. I can do you this. If you are reading this and you want to do this--you can do this. We pick a spot, we focus on it, and we just keep going. My best will be good enough today. I had this goal of reaching my goal weight by Homecoming in October. It is still possible, but I've decided to remove any kind of time constraints. I will just keep writing and moving and eventually I'll get there. And along the way, my calf muscles keep catching my eye and bringing a smile to my face.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Me

I had a lovely visit home with my Mom this past weekend. I went to a dear friend's bridal shower and was only responsible for one other little person, a much lighter load than usual. Emma was a dream, the perfect travel companion. We only had to pull over once for a bathroom break and to feed her, she didn't steal any of my snacks and I got to listen to whatever I wanted. She is superb. I clearly had a too marvelous time, since I gained five pounds in the last week, and though there were slight other factors that might have exacerbated it, I am pretty sure at least four of the five pounds were added over the last three days. In case you wondered if that was physically possible--it totally is.
Am I trudging on? Of course. What choice do I have? Do I give in and weigh 220 pounds again? Do I backslide and live the life of free-eating? Tempting. Or do I take a day off of tracking to give myself a break in preparation for the buckling down that will dawn tomorrow. I'll vote for the final option. I stepped on some freak poison thorn yesterday at the park and so have been limping around on my aching foot ever since. I'm not sure what I'll do if I can't at least walk for exercise tomorrow. I am super excited about my exercise schedule. I think I've created a nice, well-rounded routine, that will give my body enough variety to create nice results. If I do it. And if I stop eating. And if I never see my mother again. One day I will be able to spend more than two consecutive hours in NC and not lose total dietary control. That day was not Friday. . . or Saturday. . .or Sunday. And today, I've eaten three pieces of toast and if Lucy doesn't finish the piece I gave her for lunch, I call dibs. "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. . ."---was MacBeth really all about dieting??

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Bend in the Road

If you have not read Anne of Green Gables, do so. Immediately. It doesn't count if you've watched the movie countless times while home sick from school. I've done that too, but I just finished the book for the first time yesterday. Let me share why this book has been a lovely source of enlightenment in life right now. Here's the scenario, after one blissful day where Anne had just received the Avery scholarship and all was right in the world, everything crashes down with the death of sweet Matthew andt he collapse of the bank with all their savings. She resolves to stay home with Marilla so Green Gables stays their own. In the face of the painful twist of life, she muses:
". . . my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes--what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows--what new landscapes--what new beauties--what curves and hills and valleys further on."

Isn't that stunning? My life has taken some unexpected bends of late. But, what an enriching way to take them on. I am certain that life will be good around each bend and I trust the Lord that the straightway I've imagined wouldn't be nearly as good for me as the curves He has planned. And how does this fit in a line of posts about my quest to lose 20 pounds? Easy. I have gotten off track a few times and tried a few different things in this path. Some bends were my own doing and I would have been better off had I not taken them, say for example had I not eaten 10 oatmeal cookies in two days. But, I took them, and I'm still standing. Yes, I tracked everything yesterday, ended up with points to spare, and wasn't even hungry. Hooray! Today, I am fairly on track and gearing up to enjoy some plum puffs and raspberry cordial at an Anne of Green Gables book club party. I'm just going to keep eating, keep writing down, keep moving, and keep embracing the bends that come my way.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What Day Am I On???

So, I've lost count on my year sans sugar adventure. Somewhere in the 360s is where I should be I'd wager, if I hadn't reset the clock several times this week. A batch of oatmeal cookies totally did me in. Again, round, butter, sugar--these are the devil's tools against me. This week someone told me that there is theoretical research reported by a third party from someone who heard it on the radio that the combination of butter and sugar is extremely addictive. Shocker. I totally subscribe to that theory.
Anyway, I still struggle. I waffle back and forth between going on the tracking plan with my dear friend Weight Watchers and eating whatever I want as long as it doesn't have any sugar in it. One plan affords me the opportunity to eat sugar in moderation. . . clearly not my forte. The other plan means no tracking or set rules, but also no cookies again, ever. Oh middle ground, where art thou?
So, I think if I want to be generally healthy, I can follow plan #2, eating what I want, but no sugar. But, I do not think I will really lose weight. And I would really really like to lose 20 pounds. I mean, how good would I look? Uber good that's how. So, I need to just suck it up and write down everything I eat and measure and portion and realize that it is a fact of life. And if I do that, then I will get there. If I eat 27 pts. a day and watch it on the splurges, I will lose weight. I really believe I can lose 20 pounds. As I look at where I was 20 pounds ago, I was somewhat content. I'd lost 30 pounds and thought I looked okay and I struggled with the motivation to take it to the next level. And yet, here I am, so darn glad I did. I am on that next level and it feels okay. It feels doable and I like how I look, but I just know there is more in me. Not trying to get to the greener grass on the other side, just trying to get where I know I can. I don't want to leave anything on the field, as they say. I want to give this weight loss thing my all-out awesome Morgen effort. And if I stay on track and exercise and my body rejects it and says "um, no thanks I think I like weighing this much actually" well then I won't feel guilty or bad or anything. Because I'll know I've given it all I am. Right now I just can't say that. Right now I'm pretty sure I can give a heck of a lot more in this self control thing. I'm holding back. Why? Fear maybe. Maybe for some reason if I become lean, I won't be myself. Will I lose Morgen if I lose 20 pounds? Maybe I identify with smart, but chubby. Pretty, but chubby. Lovely face, strong faith, nice eyes, but chubby. If I lose the weight, do I lose that nice cushy caveat that keeps me from being a little too good, a little too noticeable? Not being strikingly beautiful preserves some anonymity I think, and that makes me feel nice and safe in this average body I've maintained. I feel a real fear sometimes when I think about life as a size 10, looking the way I imagine I could look after I kiss 20 pounds goodbye. Why is that? Why would success scare us? I think we all back away from things we might be good at.
But, I am going to try hard not to overthink this. . . like I have been for the last three paragraphs. All I know is tomorrow I will write down everything I eat and keep it to 27 points. That is tomorrow. I can do that tomorrow. Tuesday, hang out in the bullpen for awhile, we'll tackle you next. Tomorrow, I track.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The ride

The other day I was feeding Emma a bottle, helping Isaac read a book, and paying bills online. That is serious multi-tasking, and I think I do that a little too much. I tend to quantify my worth by how much I can get done in a day. I think I could take a lesson or two (or more) from my two year old. She just sings her way through the day, creating songs as she goes, and her only task of the day is fiercely defending her autonomy. . . and I do mean fiercely. In any case, the other day we were swinging together and looking up at her joyfully beaming face filled my heart with a whole lot of happiness in that moment. I wasn't thinking about anything else, not what I was making for dinner, not how I was going to help Isaac learn to read, how I was going to make sure my girls had healthy relationships with food--I was only basking in the glow of the minute. It was a nice minute and I think I would have more nice minutes if I siezed upon that attitude a little more often.

The sugar-free life goes well. I tried a bite of a famed Georgetown cupcake. They won a big contest up here and someone brought me one. It was amazing, I'll admit it. I savored one bite and then passed it on to the rest of the family. I have never tasted chocolate frosting like that in my entire life. Wow.

I feel great. I've lost three pounds, which is nice, but it feels nice to not be dieting, just living in a healthier way. I am grateful for my body and going to try to embrace living in it one day at a time, one minute at the time.

Monday, June 8, 2009

#364. . . Or how I totally rock

This is the last time I mention the peanut butter cookies, but I would like to point out that there has been a half-eaten (by my husband by the way) cookie in a tupperware container on my dishwasher all bloomin day and I haven't touched it. What is even cooler is that I haven't really even wanted to. Chocolate milk, yes, and I did have a slim-fast shake this afternoon. Oh yes, I am fully aware they have sugar, but it has the word "slim" in the title--how bad could that be. Anyway, let's return to why I rock. I went to the gym tonight to run. I love running. Since my better half broke his arms I haven't gotten to do it as much, but tonight was marvelous. Ok, so I was slightly motivated by the fact that the gym has treadmills with individual televisions and so could proffer an opportunity to secretly watch "The Bachelorette." Maybe that doesn't rock as much, but my heartrate was sure rockin' and my legs felt strong and once I hit my stride I felt so hot and tough and alive. Sweet. And on the way home I passed the custard place and was actually excited that I wasn't going to have any of that for a very long time. It made me feel awesome at a time when I could really use some awesomeness. That is way better than brownies.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day #365

Things resisted:
-peanut butter cookies (leftovers from said amazing recipe)
-all cinnamon plane shaped cookies, but one
-blueberry waffles

-one cinnamon plane shaped cookie. . . but I did throw the rest away!

So, for the first day, not too shabby. Granted I was fasting for most of the day and so only had to grapple with dinner, etc. But still, small victories will add up. One day at a time. I thank the Lord for a body that can run, lift, and laugh. Let's hope tomorrow I show that gratitude with a little self control. Bring on the Monday.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Sometimes I wonder if keeping this blog is healthy. I eloquently set myself up for failure I fear. After my oh so self aware entry about my addictions, I promptly hop off the wagon and as soon as my husband and son hit the road for a boy's road trip, I find a heavenly peanut butter cookie recipe and cook them up just for me to enjoy while reveling in a romantic comedy. What a psycho. With the boy's away, I am enjoying the girl's weekend with me and my two little ladies. It has been awesome so far, and convinced that I will begin my new life come Sunday evening, I am eating whatever the fruit loops I want to. Waffles? check. More PB cookies? check. (seriously, these are amazing-- 1 c. pb, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 egg, pinch of salt and 1/2 t. baking soda. . . allow me to spread the joy and fat around a bit) Slice of pizza for midmorning snack? check. I am on a rampage. But, I am having a fabulous time. I am taking one full day off the high road. I temporarily withdrawing my bid to be elected supermom, superMorgen, supereater, supereverything. I will clean the kitchen, I will read my scriptures, and I will prepare myself to start a Fast this evening to begin my year of sugarlessness. So there. I've thought that I will analog that journey. I will report each night, starting with day #365 tomorrow, and see how the ride goes. Can I do that? Will knowing that I have to report to a blogosphere that may or may not be there and may or may not be concerned with my philosophical struggle with brownies actually give me strength? Excellent questions.

We might be moving in with my mom for a year. This is a time of uncertainty in so many areas with countless variables over which I have no control. But my hands, my mouth, my legs--those are all mine. That I can control. I can always choose what to put in my mouth. I can always choose how much to move my body. And really I can always choose how to feel about those things. I will "refuse to dwell in the realm of negative thought." (President Thomas S. Monson) And by doing so I think I can discover a nice freedom. I can be free to love more and think about my body less. I will be free to go to family reunions more and worry about my skinnier sisters in law less. I can serve more and wallow less. Won't that be nice. Sure, brownies are nice too. Cinnamon rolls? They rock. And let's not forget those cookies. And maybe in a year, I'll be ready to reintroduce myself to them once in awhile. I thought once that if I could run a marathon I could do anything. I've done that, but the invincibility hasn't quite come around. I think we keep setting these crazy benchmarks for ourselves. . if I can just do _______, I can do anything. Maybe we should just day, "I'm going to do ______" and I'll feel great about it and end it there. And maybe a day off once in awhile isn't such a bad thing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I have finally (for the third time at least) accepted that for whatever freakish biochemical reason, my body has serious issues with the sweet stuff. I nibble one little cookie and watch out all things edible. Stale graham crackers, marshmallows I don't really even like, and don't get me started on peanut butter. I scarf and sneak and somehow wonder why the scale stays still or creeps up. Not sure what I expect. I think I fool myself into thinking that as long as I am eating healthy food and exercising my body will travel to my ideal. I apparently turn a blind eye to the rest of the food I am eating. It doesn't matter nearly as much what I eat as how much I think, and when I eat sugar, I eat a whole lot more of everything else to boot.

So, I am an addict. I've decided to tap into those Word of Wisdom blessings on a whole new level. The run and not be weary thing could really come in handy. I accept that, for me, sugar is an addictive substance, just as habit forming as tea, coffee, alcohol, and countless other habits. As an example, after starting this post, I went over to a friend's house to sit with her kids after bedtime while she went and cleaned the house from which she'd just moved across town. I knew going into this situation that I was walking into a den of temptation. She always has loads of sweets and treats that I never buy. And of course she even had leftover pizza. Somehow I resolved in my mind to not resolve to anything. Talk about self-defeating behaviors. And sure enough, I broke down. Here's the tally: 2 slices of pizza, 2 chocolate chip cookies, 1 oreo (might I mention here that I don't even really like those, but again, round and sugary--note earlier post), and a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. In my defense, it was a really small bowl, more of a cup actually. . . does that make me a better person??

So anyone want to take a stab at how good I felt about myself when I came home last night? Mmm, somewhere between crummy and utterly worthless. I just couldn't seem to stop myself. Believe me know that I am a sugar addict? Good.

But, here's the thing. I really really don't want to diet. I have tried tracking my food in my Weight Watcher's journal for three days and it fills me with resent. Why? I have no idea. I've lost 50 pounds using WW, never feeling resent or even deprivation really. But for some reason, now that I've come so far, I just can't diet anymore. I just can't write down, plan, limit, or track. But yet I look at my body with disdain and long for a change, but the will isn't there to eat the cottage cheese and salad to make it happen. I think I need to take an honest look at what I am willing to do and then pray to accept what my body does with that. I want to be strong lean and healthy, but I look at the cover of Runner's World and wonder what that woman eats and if I'm willing to follow that plan for that body. I doubt it.

So, what am I willing to do? I am willing to train for another marathon. Yes, yes, I vowed I wouldn't do another one. But, I am planning to walk/run it, which will be easier on my knees and my schedule. I will run three days a week, do weights two days a week, and have a free cross-training day for whatever kind of movement sounds fun to my body at the time. Diet?? Not willing to use the word. Not willing to track. Willing to eat healthy food. Willing to not eat any sugar and willing to stop eating after eight pm. So, no sugar. . zero zip nada nil. And for at least the next month, that means any sugar at all on the ingredient list. Maple sugar, honey, and fruit will be the sweet tooth satisfiers of life. And, yes, I do think it will be for life. The other night I was talking this over with a friend who gave the oh so reassuring news that her father swore off sugar for similar reasons about 15 years ago and is just now getting to the point where he can eat a cookie now and then and stop. Nice.

A marathon in the Fall, no sugar, and no food after 8pm. These are the simple rules of my life. And steady constant prayers for strength and a loving acceptance of my body as it is and as it will be with this lifestyle. I think I will get stronger. I think I will be leaner. I don't think I will look like Runner's World girl, but at least I have hips and a life. I'll take that.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cookies. . . .

i love them i love them i love them i love them.

Is this a problem? If someone out there actually can eat just one cookie--even when they cooked them-could they please bottle that power and sell it? I mean, I have cooked batches of cookies without licking one finger or even tasting one cookie. So willpower I have. . . until I take the first taste that I somehow think shall be my last. Honestly, have you ever really eaten just one cookie? Do these people exist? If so, how? What goes through your head when you just eat one cookie? Do they just not want another one? Is it a battle of wills or some naturally engrained healthy instinct that rests on a chromosome that apparently did not come standard on me. Who knows. All I know is that I love cookies; good ones, mediocre ones, lame store bought ones. If it is round and consists of mostly butter and sugar--I love it. Oh well. Yet again I find myself rolling around in that term, "sugar addict." Do I accept it? Do I keep trying to pretend I can live in sweets moderation, enjoying a cookie now and then without spinning into a cyclone of sugar consumption, totally void of tastebuds and self-control? Stay tuned. . . I certainly will.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not Up

The scale has not gone up. This is good news and is following my plan. Peanut butter and jam sandwich? Not following my plan. Yesterday I had an awesome three miler, complete with chest-heaving "fartleks." Then, I walked the kids to the library, whole foods, and the park. Someone slap us on the cover of "Active Family." This trek unfortunately convinced me that I had probably earned some diet wiggle room and so I snitched some granola, yogurt covered almonds and had quiche for dinner. But, I repeat, the scale has not gone up. And that is my daily focus. We'll see how tomorrow flies.

How does one handle leftovers? Do we scarf the last few bites of the peanut butter sandwich our child leaves behind because we wish we were really having that for lunch anyway? Which is worse--wasted food in the trash or in my stomach? Either way it isn't doing anyone any good I guess and noone is going to give me a refund on my grocery bill if I can prove that every bit of my purchase was eaten. So, I should just let it go. I should stop licking my fingers, stop hoping Lucy won't finish her sandwich, and realize that I deserve to stick to my plan. My goals merit eating differently, and if I have a good attitude about it, I won't create children with eating disorders. I don't want my girls to be consumed by their body image. I want them healthy and strong. I also don't want to sit by them while they sob into their pillow because a boy at school called them beached whale. I've sobbed into that pillow. Once and awhile I still cry quietly into that pillow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hello Again

I was surprised to discover that this little blog I thought I had tucked safely away along with any kind of external accountability has actually been read of late. And so, for you Amanda, I will keep on keeping on. . with many things. The last few months have been a ride. I've done Body for Life for a month, losing four pounds in the first week and then eeking out just .4 lbs off a week after that. Frustration doesn't quite cover the "want to throw the blasted scale out the window" sensation I felt bubble up inside me. Then came Florida. Then came Daman's broken arms. Then came a week of complete total reckless food abandon. . . sneaking snacks, raiding cupboards and scarfing cookies all with the excuse that it was to be my last splurge, my final hurrah before embarking on a true sugar free life. That life has yet to begin and perhaps it never will. Perhaps it never will because I just can't want to live that life enough to do it without resent and resent cracks your will when brownies stare at you screaming that you have every right to eat them darnit.
There is a very unfortunate side effect to this healthy quest of mine. In an effort to focus on becoming the body that I have in my head I've cultivated a unhealthy disdain for the body I am in right now. I look at myself in disgust and dread and feel utterly hopeless that I could really look like much of anything pretty at all. Though I did like the Body for Life plan, it put me in hyperfocus on food and body and diet and that is actually the last thing I need right now. The more I think about losing weight, the more I hate the weight that is on me and that slowly seeps into just plain hating me. And that isn't healthy, no matter your jeans size.
So, this is my new approach. I bought a scale when I got back from Florida. I weighed myself and the eyebrows shot straight up when I realized the damage wasn't nearly what I'd imagined. And I looked at that number and said, "Ok, I don't know if I'm going to lose any weight, but today I'm going to eat in a way to make sure that I don't go above that number." And the next morning--it was down! So, I said the same thing to myself: "Self, just don't go above that number." I am following Weight Watchers--using their filling foods plan, which means I don't track, but I only eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, lowfat dairy, and lean meat/beans. I write down anything outside of that and keep it within my extra "points" for the week or use any exercise points I earn. But, I've eliminated all timelines, expectations, or physical visions--or at least tried to any way. I've lost three pounds, which is great. But, I don't know if it will continue and I am trying very hard not to care. Right now I am praying to love my body. I am praying to see myself as beautiful. I am praying to care for my body as the Temple it is and trying to appreciate the fact that these legs have run a marathon, these arms have held babies, and this face has kept looking up when all it feels like doing is looking down and crying. That is a body I can and will love--even if I don't lose another pound. That said, I am certainly hoping I will and if I follow the plan, I am confident my body will travel to a healthier size, weight, and shape. But, right now what I am is what I am and I've got to start smiling at the mirror instead of scowling.

Friday, February 20, 2009

This Is It

Today is my last day of lemonade!! Yesterday I flubbed, but today will be a perfect day of purely lemonade consumption. Then I get a day and a half of juice and come Sunday evening I am dreaming up on incredible salad. Then Monday kicks of my "Eat Clean" diet and 30 days of "shredding" with my Jillian Michael's workout cd. Maybe I should do some before and after pics on this blog to keep me motivated. In just the last few days I have started to see a physical difference since starting the detox process. My stomach is definitely flatter, but I also just had a baby and so everything is shrinking back to normal anyway. It doesn't really matter, as I wasn't doing it as a weight loss thing, really a mental cleansing as much as a physical one. I've decided to do it every six months, over General Conference weekend. I think that will be a wonderful time to "detox" physically and spiritually and help me get in a good place for summertime and holiday eating. And now I think I'll mix up my final batch of lemon-maple-cayenne magic.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Broke

Only two days to go and today I just about crumbled completely. This morning was a crazy one. Everyone seemed on edge and Isaac was feeding off of it by pushing me on every front. I overblended a protein shake and left it far too foamy for Daman's taste. And I was frantically trying to prepare, mentally and otherwise, for eight preschoolers to descend on our home. Do you think that cayenne lemonade was a soothing option in these circumstances? Right. The children arrived and chaos ensued. When I stay calm they are so much better, but I was nowhere near zen today and they seem to smell fear and fatigue and so shift into hyper gear. We were learning about colonial life. We made Jonny cakes and went outside to try to recreate some colonial chores--i.e. gathering sticks and pretending to feed chickens all while staring longingly at a trampoline. Then we returned inside to practice our sewing. All this time I am saying the same things far too many times and looking longingly at the valentine chocolates. Still, I was strong. But, in the end, after toting Emma around while herding five year olds was just too much. I ate a slice of Jonny cake. I hang my detoxified head in shame. But, I repented by chugging two huge cups of lemon maple joy and haven't touched anything else today--even the valentine chocolates and cookies up on the top shelf. Tomorrow is my last day of only lemonade. Then I have one day of only juice and the next day I get to have salad for dinner and then I begin my new life of eating clean. I am sad that I broke down, but it does not negate that I have cleared several hurdles in the last eight days. I still feel it is quite an accomplishment. I didn't throw my lemonade out the window after my moment of weakness, nor did I splurge because I figured it was all over anyway. Those are marks of growth I think. I will finish this thing and be ready to fuel my body better than ever because of this experience. Even the Jonny cake part of it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I survived the weekend!!! Four days to go. . .

I made it through the weekend sustained only by water, lemon juice, cayenne and will power--oh and some maple syrup. I made and decorated Lucy's birthday cake without so much as one lick of icing. I survived guests who LOVE Valentine's day and so came prepared with chocolate and treats for everyone in the house. I didn't eat any ice cream in the stress induced by Daman's rockfish steaming experiment resulting in my new pyrex pan literally exploding all over our kitchen splattering oil, juice, and ginger into most nooks and crannies of our little kitchen. And, last night when I honestly thought that I would gag if I drank one more sip of spicy lemonade, I drank one more sip and I didn't eat any cookies and this morning I made another batch (less lemon this time--much better) and actually enjoyed it. So, I have only three more full days to go. Then I get two days of orange juice, a day of fruits and veggies, and then bring on the waffles for breakfast! I am still pondering how I will eat when food re-enters my life. I am thinking I will allow a refined sugar sweet once a month, though eventually I hope to get to a point where I can live without it. I think I will do this cleanse every six months to help me stay focused on my body and in a good place with food. I can't believe I've gone six days without food. Ok, I confess I made this new eggplant dish for dinner on Sunday and I was dying to know how it turned out, so I took a bite. And it was really good and noone else liked it, and now it is just going to waste because I won't be able to eat it until Monday. Oh well. I am pretty sure farmers are still growing eggplant.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 3--Back and Forth

One hour I feel really great. I feel in control of my body, strong, clean, and full of pep. Fast forward an hour and I am hungry, craving an apple and making a peanut butter and honey bagel for Isaac and wondering how on earth I am going to do this another week. Currently I am somewhere in the middle. I have to focus on the actual brevity of the experiment. I can do this. I went to a baby shower last night, complete with chocolate cream puffs, cake, and a really tempting fruit tray with chocolate fondu. I sipped my water and reveled in my own self control. Only about a week to go. Tonight is pizza night, tomorrow we'll have a special valentine's breakfast and this weekend we are entertaining guests. It will be a tough couple of days to be drinking lemonade. Oh well, there will be food around in a week when I am done with this and I'll have a much better relationship with it when I get there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 2--Going Strong

Yesterday was my first full day of cleansing and it went surprisingly well. The salt water flush left me queasy and doubtful as to the brilliance of this plan. But, it did fill me up and squash any desire for breakfast. I was even more discouraged when I found out I had used less than half of the right amount of salt. Yikes. This morning I upped it to 1 teaspoon and it actually went down easier. Holding my nose might have helped. But, my stomach didn't feel queasy at all.
The most surprising thing is my lack of hunger. If I start to feel a little hungry, I take a shot of lemonade and instantly I feel a little bolt of energy and I am satisfied. I don't feel hungry, but I do miss tasting stuff. But, I just remind myself that I am only doing this for ten days and all the food in the world is not disappearing before then. That seems to help. I feel content that I feel myself gaining power over food, rather than the reverse that has been true for some time. I know that when this cleanse is over and I start eating again I will have greater strength in the face of temptation, because I have proven to myself that I don't need to chew to be happy. I am also enjoying the release of stress because I don't have to think about what I am going to eat. There is a certain degree of liberty found in the lack of choices. I am using this time to plan and think about how I will approach food when this experience is over. I have nine more days to go, but so far so good.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I am a mermaid. . I am a mermaid. . I am a mermaid

This is the mantra I repeated to myself this morning as I choked down my salt water flush. As part of my detox diet I have to drink a quart of water with 1/4 t. sea salt in it first thing in the morning. I tried to pretend that I was a lovely mermaid that loved nothing more than the taste of sea water in the morning. It didn't really work, but I got it down. I haven't felt too great since actually. I mixed up my lemonade for the day. Here is the recipe for 60 ounces, the prescribed daily amount:
60 oz. water
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (this took awhile!)
1/2 c. Organice Grade B Pure Maple Syrup
cayenne pepper (I'm still not sure how much I'm supposed to use, I only put 1/8 t. in, but I think I'm supposed to use more. Today I am getting the official book from my sister so I can get everything right!)

That is it. That is my nourishment for the day. I just took a little sip of my lemonade and it isn't too bad, but I think that is because I didn't put enough cayenne in it. That is supposed to have some good detoxing affect, but I really don't like the spicy stuff, so I think I'll add more in gradually.

I can do anything for ten days right??

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cleansing Eve

Not sure if anyone is even out there stumbling across this blog, but in any case I will utilize it as I embark on an adventure in detoxification. Tomorrow morning I begin my "Master Cleanse Lemonade Diet" for the next ten days. I will only consume a concoction of water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Why? Because I am drowning in an overdose of stress induced sugar binging and longing to change my body, my life, and my level of discipline around all things food. A brief detox jumpstart seems to be the best plan. I am so tired of thinking about food. I am tired of trying to plan meals, journal my food, schedule my snacks, and reading every article or book that I think will have a menu plan that will bring my apetite into submission and take me to a new level of physical health. Instead I just keep breaking down and breaking into stashes of sugar and buying candy bars when I am all by myself. I have every indication of serious addiction to sugar and a generally unhealthy relationship with food. So, I think taking a ten day (at least) break from food and all its emotional strings will help me realize that I don't have to eat sugar and that snitching cookies from the deep freezer in the basement is not the only way to take a step back and release from the stress of motherhood and housekeeping. I will cleanse. I will learn to crochet. I will take deep breaths and remember that I will not die without chewable food for ten days. Then I will reward myself with a haircut and an eyebrow shaping. Sounds like a plan. We'll see how I handle the hunger.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Personal Back-Patting

I've had a few mini-triumphs today. Let's establish clearly that I am now less than one week from my due date. Friday completes my forty week incubation, though I am fully aware that the incubee (word?) could decide to wait another day. Maybe she wants to be sworn in with Obama so she is staying tight until the 20th. In any case I think it is clear that I am very very pregnant. Now, picture this very pregnant woman punching, jabbing, and squatting with vim and vigor through an entire one hour advanced Tae Bo workout video. Perhaps my form was not at its highest--neither were my kicks. But, as I finished up the "butt-burning" section of the workout I had a clear memory of trying to endure this same video with my college roomates several years back. Our goal at the time was just to finish it--a goal I never really achieved at that time. I felt a glow of pride as I realized that I have physically progressed to a point where, 9 months pregnant, I can finish a workout I couldn't six years ago. That felt good. It also felt really good when I took Lucy to a little concert this morning at a local coffee spot and was up dancing and jumping with her. The dancing felt good, but what felt downright splendid was the reaction of the women when they asked about my due date and I could answer casually, "Friday." The shocked responses were just wonderful. "What!?!" "You look amazing!" "I can't believe you still have energy!" I must admit it did this fragile pregnant ego some good. I don't mean to boast or brag, but it is these moments that remind me that I have come so far and I can happily focus on that rather than think about how far I want to go. I think remembering the success of the journey thusfar is key in the journey that lies ahead. Self Back Pat complete.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Food Does Not Fix Fatigue

I have tried this. The other night Isaac kept me up until 3am and the next day, dragging does not even do justice to my speed level. And so, I wandered about the kitchen looking for the next snack that would give me energy and patience and the ability to not growl at Isaac every time he asked for something. I didn't find it. And, I justified not writing anything down because I had such a rotten night. Strike two. So, I scrapped the whole day, but have recovered and am firmly back in the saddle again. Today I wrote everything down, resisted marshmallows, and even though ate a bit too much Persian food tonight, had a good long walk today and in general did pretty well. I do still have one more week of pregnancy to justify whatever I darn well please I imagine, but I am trying to mentally prep myself to get to work come postpartum flabbiness. I pray every day for God to prepare my body and our little girl's body for a healthy delivery and a positive breastfeeding experience. I pray that my body will create the milk and she will be prepared to take full advantage of it. Miracles do happen. Like having a baby on my due date. . . that would be a really nice miracle.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I have decided to go with the plan that has brought me the most success to date--Weight Watchers. I've lost sixty pounds following it and I think it will get me to my goal this year if I am more careful and strict with myself. Usually, once I get closer I kind of fudge the measurements or sneak bites here and there and figure my level of exercise will make up for it. But, I believe that if I work the plan fastidiously it will bring results, as well as a lifestyle of moderation that is the goal. Mentally, it is also much easier for me to imagine adopting for the rest of my life. I can eat ice cream, or brownies, or enjoy treats at a book club meeting. I just need to make myself write it down and become an aware eater, instead of meandering through the day grazing at will and estimating how I'm doing. The idea of never eating Maggie Moo's again is just too too much.
This morning I had a wonderful scripture study. I am teaching a short class on Thursday night at church about fitting health and fitness in and I've had a hard time pegging down my approach. This morning I learned alot about Christ's character and how part of His perfection is that He has subdued all things unto himself. He is the model of temperance and moderation. I also learned about how true joy is only possible when the spirit and the body are united. We cannot reach real happiness if we are only focusing on one side of the equation. Our bodies need nourishment and deserve time and I don't do myself any favors if I ignore my body while hitting every other spiritual mark. Every day I must read, pray, and move. Then my spirit and body will progress together and my soul will feel true happiness.
So far today I've done pretty well tracking everything, even the brownie I indulged in after lunch. I figure since I'm having beans and rice for dinner it should even itself out.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

I'm not sure if anyone out there will be reading this, but I wanted a way to chronicle what I hope will be a year of important strides in personal growth. President Uchtdorf, when he spoke to all the women of Relief Society, focused on two key elements of Godlike happiness: creation and compassion. In a couple of weeks (or any day now!) I will be privileged to participate in the creation of life. Squirming in me is our third child. She is a real person, complete with everything that she will need for life. Her Spirit is in her. Her personality is waiting to join and change our family forever. I am thrilled and honored to be a co-creator with God as a mother. However, I also want to focus on a different type of creation this year. I want to re-recreate myself. I want to take this year as a time to focus on my health and my body, replacing bad habits and becoming the person I envision within myself. I've come so far already on this journey. As I look at pictures of myself I realize how much I've changed. I've lost almost sixty pounds in the last few years, I've run a marathon, and now I think Cookie Crisp is way too sweet. These are pretty fundamental changes, but I think there is another level which this year I hope to achieve. And I hope to achieve it for me. I want to glorify God through my body. I want to show Him how grateful I am for this strong healthy body. I want to follow Christ's example of discipline in all areas of life. I feel that my struggle with weight and food has been a stumbling block in my journey to Christ and I hope this year to focus on removing it and while creating a new body also creating a new relationship with my Savior. I'm not sure still of the best plan for these goals. I've had great success with Weight Watchers, but using it still hasn't gotten me to my real weight goal. But, that is probably because as I've gotten closer and closer I've gotten sloppier and sloppier with following it strictly. I was planning on having a sweet-free Christmas season, but was undone by fudge, caramels, and anything that Heather Palmer made. I had decided on a few set rules, such as no sweets, but I wonder if that is setting me up for failure and disappointment and not really helping me change in long term ways. I envision myself being disciplined and capable of moderation in all things, and sometimes when I set hard and fast rules, such as no sweets at all, the slightest slip sets me into a vortex of indulgement and I abandon ship for awhile. So, perhaps the Weight Watchers lifestyle is the best, it has certainly been the most successful to date. But, it is a new day, and every day brings creation. Every day I can create what I want to be and how I want to live, feel, and eat. That is something that makes me like God, and if every day I can remember that my body deserves time and dedication and I am worth what that entails, then in twelve months I think I will emerge closer to the Savior and closer to the Morgen I picture in my mind.