Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bullet Journaling

This year, I've been using the Passion Planner. I liked it well enough. But, something was just off about it for me. I LOVE the idea of the Passion Planner - enough to order the smaller version for next year before I decided to ditch it - it just wasn't quite right for me. I road mapped my goals, did my monthly reviews, and all sorts of other things, but I found it just wasn't making me get "there". 

I started looking for another planner/organizer. Something that would fit what I needed. Except I had no idea what I really needed. I posted on Facebook asking friends/family which planners they'd recommend and did some research on my own as well. Several people suggested the Erin Condren planner, Happy Planner, Plum Planner, and Slice Planner. 

I came across the Bullet Journal (bujo) and was incredibly intrigued. It could be anything I wanted it to be. It could be as simple or elaborate as I want. Pinterest is full of ideas. 

I've been using the bujo for about a month now, and I'm really enjoying it! I'm somewhere between simple & elaborate with my spreads. It's been amazing how much more productive I've been since starting the bujo. 

With the Passion Planner, the entire day was planned out in 30 min increments. With the bujo, it's whatever I want. In my spread, I put the top 3 things I want to accomplish each day. It allows me to not feel boxed in by time, but still get things done. 

I started a second bullet journal, specifically for names of recipes from cookbooks. I may use it for meal planning as well, we'll see. My goal for this one is just to make meal planning and healthy eating easier. 

Heading into December, I'm going to re-evaluate my spreads & figure out what works best and go from there. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

How to Live a Good Life

The Fellow Flowers Crew has a book club. I try to join them when I can because the books are generally ones I feel like will help me grow. We've read Brene Brown's "Rising Strong" and Shonda Rhimes' "The Year of Yes" in the past. Now, we're reading "How to Live a Good Life" by Jonathan Fields.

I'm so excited to read this book. The idea of three "buckets" where life fits in makes sense to me. And that one is usually draining at a higher rate than the other two. As I struggle to "get back into it", this may just be the push I need.

I'll definitely come back with more thoughts on all of it as I proceed through the book.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blah blah blah

No excuses - once again, we went off the wagon & in a righteous way. Needless to say, we didn't complete the September Whole 30. I did buy the book Food Freedom Forever, so maybe reading that will get me motivated to get back on a track.

I've also started listening to the Naturally Nourished podcast. I really like that Ali does episodes on certain diseases or issues. I'm planning on taking notes as I listen to it. It's just that informative. Looking forward to learning more from the podcast.

I have set a weight goal for next year. It's 100% attainable - if I get on it! Now, to set a plan in place and DO IT!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Day 2 of Whole 30-ish

We decided to start on September 6, because well, Labor Day was crazy.

This week, for us, is mostly about eating in & using up a few things that aren't compliant. Meals will be mostly compliant, but until the end of this week, not 100%.

Tonight's dinner was pretty tasty! The only non-compliant part of it was that we used taco shells instead of lettuce "shells".

Grilled Steak Lettuce Tacos
Mexican Cauliflower "Rice"

The Mexican Cauliflower "Rice" tasted so much like the boxed Spanish Rice, without the added stuff.

Skinnytaste recipes never disappoint!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


We're going to give Whole 30 a try - One. More. Time. This time, I'm doing it along with the W30 community for some internet support. J has agreed to give it a go with me this time as well. I'm going to take the time to do the W30 worksheets, meal plan, and generally get on with it all!

My goals are:

1) To get my eating back under control
2) Fit back into my smaller sized clothes
3) Get my workout mojo back
4) To feel confident again
5) To feel more comfortable in my own skin

I'm trying very hard not to write "lose weight". I NEED to do that, but I need to set other goals - and ones with feeling.

I'm reading a book right (This Year I Will...) now that talks about setting goals with feeling attached to appeal to your emotional side of making habits. We'll see what happens!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A month later

Somehow, it's been a month since I posted. I haven't been doing my runs. No beating around the bush about it.

On our trip to Alaska, I did the 5.5 mile hike on the trip & a snorkel excursion for about an hour of water time. The hike was a bit rough on my body & I was exhausted when we got back. The surgeon said I may get more easily fatigued for a while, so I was kind of expecting it.

At lunch. I'd eat here every day if I could.

The leaves were HUGE!

Tongass National Forest hiking!
I'm beyond glad that we canceled our 2nd hiking excursion in Juneau (the day after the one in Skagway). I don't know that I would've been up to it.

The snorkeling in Ketchikan, I'd do it again in a heart beat. It was so good to put on a wetsuit and be in the open water again. I had a bit of my "normal" panic set in about being in the open water to swim, but once I calmed down, it was all good.

Next up is to figure out a realistic workout plan since I've obviously been not doing the run workouts as I scheduled. Especially with the heat in the mid-atlantic right now!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Continuing On

I've got 2 more yoga classes to do from the 28 day beginner's yoga class. I've been really enjoying it. I need to decide what I'm going to do for yoga after this class.

I started a 20 week half marathon training plan today. I did 2.5 miles in 40 minutes, which is crazy slow, but it's all good. Today's workout was:

5 minute warm-up
10x (1 minute run, 2 minute walk)
5 minute cool-down

It's been probably since December since I last run. It's been crazy long. Oh and throw a "little" surgery in there. Thankfully I have until Thanksgiving to get up to the half marathon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Getting back in the saddle

I just completed day 9 of my DoYouYoga online class. I have to say, I'm impressed with myself for making it this far! Usually, by day 5 or so, I start to get bored/lose interest and stop doing online classes. The whole no real accountability thing. I have a friend who has been checking in on me, so that helps.

Yesterday, I added walking (beyond walking the dog... I'm making myself use the treadmill for this walking - for now) to the workout schedule. Just 30 minutes a day at first. It's amazing how much fitness I really have lost. My walk yesterday was an 18 minute mile. Yikes! But, I hadn't really been working out a lot before the surgery & then had surgery, so it is what it is - and it'll improve!

I've got a meal plan for this week & need to stick to it. Jon decided to go out last night - but we're cooking the rest of the week. This week's PlateJoy recipes were gold, so we're looking forward to them.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Do You Yoga?

I was cleared last Monday to get back to doing *almost* anything I wanted to do. I decided to give my body another week, because well, I felt like I needed it.

Last night, I started poking around on doyouyoga, to see what beginner level workout plans they have. I decided the 28 day beginner plan would be a good one to ease back into working out. Most of the workouts are under 25 minutes (only 3 are longer), so I figured that'd be good. I did the first workout today (5 minutes of very easy practice) & I'll be interested to see how I feel tomorrow!

In addition, I recently picked up the Skinnytaste Meal Planner to go along with our renewed dedication to losing weight. I'm going to start using it this week to keep track of meals.

Meals so far this week - Need to finish it

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Post Surgery Check Up

Yesterday, I went to my post-op check up with my surgeon. Here are the basics:

1) Adenomyosis was confirmed by the pathology report.
2) Endometriosis was also found at the bottom of my uterus.
3) They found 2 polyps in my uterus.

Overall, I'm healing well & just have to wait a total of 8 weeks to have sex again. Also, I need to have yearly ultrasounds of my ovaries done to make sure nothing's going on with them. I have dissolvable stitches, so no going back to have them taken out (YAY!).

I'm definitely feeling better and moving around more. I'm not quite doing everything I was, but getting closer ever day. I went back to work yesterday. Here's to hoping that the rest of recovery goes well!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Post Surgery and Moving Forward

One week ago, I had my hysterectomy. It went well and endometriosis was also found. I was able to keep both ovaries, which is great. I'll know more after my 2 week post op follow-up.

I'm not sure why more doctors don't do the DualPort procedure. When I woke up, they asked me about pain & really I just felt pressure. No real pain. Overall, my recovery has been pretty easy. I had an uncomfortable reaction to one of the antibiotics - mostly a bad taste in my mouth and nausea. I've been doing everything I was told to do on my discharge paperwork, so that's been helpful. I didn't really have any gas pains from the surgery, which was great.

I haven't had too much brain fog recently, which is nice. Apparently almost every single one of the symptoms of hypothyroid that I was having is also a symptom of adenomyosis. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the next few months.

The day before my surgery, my husband decided he wanted to do Weight Watchers again. I offered to do it with him (knowing I'd be spending the first bit recovering). We needed something to get us started on losing weight. I've lost 5 lbs this week, but a lot of that is from recovery. We'll see how that goes moving forward.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Verdict

And the verdict is:


The only known treatment:


The most asked question by loved ones and friends:

How are you doing with this?

The answer for now:

Ok. I've had a week to process that it was a possibility and I had my ugly and angry cry. I suspect I will again.

The follow-up that no one should ever say to me again:

It's a good thing you all didn't want to have kids; it makes it easier.

No. No, it does not. It's a loss of choice. It's final. It's decided for me. You don't get to say that to me when you still have your choice.

Surgery is scheduled for May 19. Until then, I'm working on eating right, getting those workouts for the daily challenge in, and just focusing on my overall health. Do what I can, because I get to.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Declare It Day 2016

After reading "Rising Strong" and starting (and since finishing) "Year of Yes", I knew I needed to think a bit more about what my goals really are for the year. Only one of them is even semi-fitness related, and there's no measurement attached to it. 

On purpose.

I didn't want this year to be about measuring fitness goals so much as getting back to myself. Being what I know I can be. Reminding myself that I am worth the effort, worth accepting, worth fighting for. 

New Challenges

In light of everything that's been going on, I've decided to take on a 31 day challenge to try to jump start getting back into working out.

I'm using an app called Active from PopSugar. They have a few different challenges, so I decided to start with the 31 day challenge. All of the workouts are 5-20 minutes. They're a mix of strength training, cardio, and yoga. The workouts start out "easy" and increase in intensity as the days go on. There are 2 built in rest days per week, which is nice.

Today's workout was a 10 minute ab/arm workout - all on the ground. Easy enough to get back into it, hard enough to remind me that I haven't been doing much.

Hopefully I can keep up with this! I'll have to do tomorrow & Sunday's workouts at the Brave, so I'm really hoping this motivates me to start getting active.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Another Cyst/Mass Update

I got the MRI radiology report yesterday. What my doctor told me ("Everything looks normal, there's no cyst. Go to your primary care to see if you have GI issues going on.") and what I read were two very different things.

The report had two "impressions" on it:

1) No concerning solid right ovarian mass identified. There is a partially collapsed corpus luteum and a small hemorrhagic cyst within the right ovary. The ovaries also have an appearance which may be seen with polycystic ovary syndrome.

2) Findings consistent with mild adenomyosis.

In the rest of the report, the hemorrhagic cyst is likely the same one as was on the sonogram. They can simulate a solid mass, so it wouldn't surprise me if it's the same one.

On the left side, there was free fluid in the cul-de-sac (which apparently is consistent with a cyst that has ruptured). Also of note, the left ovary was double the size it was during the ultrasound a month earlier. There were no cysts/masses found on the left side, but that's not too surprising.

Adenomyosis is a condition in which epotopic tissue is found in the muscle wall of the uterus. The only known full cure for this is hysterectomy. There are a couple of other treatments that could lessen the effects of the adenomyosis, but they may or may not work.

I'm wrapping my head around a lot of things right now. Looking forward to my second opinion next Monday.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ahhh, the Mass/Cyst

Since my GYN was on vacation last week, I tried not to think about everything too much. That being said, I gave the office some time on Monday and called mid-day. I heard back from the doctor around 4pm and she said the radiology report says there was NOTHING found.

I should be happy about this. Except...

Saturday, while we were in Luray, I had a really bad pain episode. Probably the worst I've had since June 2015. My husband "threatened" to take me to the ER. I probably should've let him. Anyhow, during the episode (which lasted the better part of an hour), I had to stop walking several times to breathe through the pain.

When I told my doctor about this, she asked if I took anything for the pain. I hadn't. Mostly because I didn't have anything with me, but also because I really hate taking medication for the sake of taking medication. Yes, I know it can help. I find that pain medication doesn't help all that much for this particular problem. By the time the medication gets into my system, the pain has naturally died down anyhow.

My doctor was quick to dismiss the pain episode and wants me to see my primary care to rule out GI issues.

I'd like a second opinion about the mass/cyst.

So, that's what I'm going to do - get a second opinion. If the second opinion also thinks I should rule out GI issues, then I will.

More waiting and testing to come.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Small Update about the Mass/Cyst

There's not a whole lot more information I have about the mass/cyst in my ovary. It's still bothering me (which never happened until the ultrasound), so I'm looking forward to more information about it and hopefully getting it removed.

I had an MRI last week and was hoping to hear the results before the weekend. My doctor wasn't able to get to them before she left for vacation. Her office says she'll be working on her inbox this week and they may call with results/to schedule an appointment this week.

So, for now, more waiting.

Since we're waiting and waiting and waiting, I decided it's time to get back to eating at home more often. We'd gotten into a bad habit of going out when I just don't want to cook. I have to get over that feeling! We subscribed to PlateJoy, kind of like eMeals, but better. PlateJoy allows you to put in likes/dislikes, allergens, things you want to avoid in recipes, how many of each type of meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) you want, etc. Also, in the first couple of weeks, both the owner & my personal chef contacted me via email. So far, we've liked everything we've made from PlateJoy. (Side note: if you want a free 10 day trial, let me know & I can send you information on it. Not sure how their trials work since I found them & subscribed on my own.)

We figure we'll plan out the week using the PlateJoy meals as Whole 30 meals (that's how I have my PJ account set up) and then everything else will be either Paleo or gluten free. It gives us some flexibility to have non-W30 meals, while keeping the majority of our diet in line with W30. I'm not claiming we're doing a W30, by any means, but we needed to clean it up, so that's what we're doing.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

And Then There Was a Mass (or Cyst?)

Note: In the interest of this blog becoming more about my everyday health, I'm posting this. It's very personal, but it's part of life these days.

Since the Fuck It List post, I've learned that I have a mass/cyst on my right ovary.

Long story short, my periods have been getting worse (than they were - which still wasn't a walk in the park) since June 2015. I've always had pain that feels like it's in the bone when I get cramps, but they were getting so bad that I couldn't function the first couple of days of my period.

Doctors tend to ignore you... until you find the right doctor.

I finally found a doctor who listened to me. She did a pap smear, pelvic exam, blood work, and ordered an ultrasound. During the pelvic exam, I had some pain on my right side - which is where my bad cramps always are.

I had the ultrasound done on Monday; which was my first ever - since I don't have kids, I've never had the pleasure of having an ultrasound done. The technician did the transabdominal ultrasound & then the transvaginal ones. During the transvaginal one, the radiologist was in the room. He told me that there was a solid mass on my right ovary, that it had blood flow to it, and I needed to talk with my GYN as soon as possible - but to give them 1-2 days to get the results to my doctor. He also said that if I didn't hear from her by Wednesday afternoon, I should call her. Thankfully, I was going to see her on Wednesday morning specifically to go over results, so I didn't have to worry about that.

Later that day, I got a call from the GYN's office saying my pap smear and blood work came back and was normal. At least that was good news!

On Wednesday, Jon & I went to my follow-up appointment. Basically, she gave me options for birth control to control the heavy period. Then we got into the radiology report. She got a little more serious & we went over "next steps". Basically, I need to get an MRI done - as soon as possible. They don't know what kind of cyst it is and they need to get a better look. With the pain I described to her, she thinks it may be sitting on a nerve, but can't be 100% sure.

Our guess, which has not been confirmed yet, is that I'll end up needing surgery to have the mass/cyst removed.

I threw a pity party all week last week - complete with junk food & doing nothing. It was just what I needed. This week, I've got workouts planned, to include boxing (I need to hit something in a healthy way!), and I have meals planned. It will be a better week.

Stay tuned!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The F*** It List (note, there's profanity in this one)

Several months ago, there was a post on one of the Facebook groups I'm in about The F*** It List. The list came from a TED Talk given by Scott Jones.

In it, he says that he's fortunate he 1) does something he loves and 2) works with people he loves. I appreciate this because 3.5 years ago, when I left my corporate job, I left people I loved, but a job I didn't love. I had loved it, but had fallen out of love with it. Starting my own business has been hard, trying to grow it has been harder, but I do really enjoy it.

Like Scott, life changed for me when diagnosed with an illness. For him, it was a stroke. For me, it's hypothyroidism, Hashimotos, and adrenal fatigue. It's been a rough road. Really rough. I'm incredibly thankful that it hasn't landed me in the hospital.

After getting out of the hospital, everyone kept telling him it was time to start a bucket list.  He said it felt too showy, too melodramatic. So, he started a list, but it turned out to be a list of things he doesn't want to do moving forward, things he doesn't need in his life.

"Where to begin? What are we going to let go of? What are the things I don't want to do any more?"

I've been thinking on these questions. I've started my list. Since it's kind of personal, I'm not going to share it here. I will share that I keep my list in my Evernote, so that I can keep it with me at all times. This way, I can add to it or remind myself of what's on it at any time.

One thing Scott says that really struck me was:

"Don't do anything that you don't REALLY want to do."

Think about that. REALLY think. Why are you doing things you don't want to?

I struggle with this. I feel a sense of obligation about certain things (especially family things). How do you stop doing those things? How do you set boundaries with people who will be affected by you not doing those things? Going forward, I'll be working on that.

On the same topic, but by a different person, there's a book that was recently published that's going on my to-read list on this subject: How to declutter your life by not giving a fuck. Looking forward to reading it and probably adding more to my Fuck It List.

What will you add to your Fuck It List?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Getting Back on Track

With all of the thyroid & adrenal fatigue problems literally getting me down, it's been a rough road. I'm not shy about it and quite frankly, it needs to be talked about. I know I'm not the only one suffering, so it's good to get it out there.

I'm *finally* starting to feel a bit better. In an attempt to get myself (and Jon) back on track, we're doing the Fitness Blender 4 weeks for busy people workout plan.

Now, you may be asking "Why is a personal trainer following someone else's plan?" The answer is simple. While I could design and do my own workouts, designing and essentially training your husband isn't always a smart idea. He is much better off if it's someone else's workout and I correct form if needed.

Jon hasn't been doing all of the workouts, so I finally said "I'm doing them with or without you. Join me or don't, up to you." I'm finding this solution is working for ME. I also figure if he sees me doing the workouts, he'll eventually either do them on his own or join me.

After the blizzard last week, the boxing gym was shut down for a few days. Hopefully I'll be able to get over there next Monday/Wednesday.

We're also discussing doing another Whole30 starting February 7. Why not start it next week? Because, quite frankly, there are a few things I want to make that aren't W30 approved. So, I'm giving myself a week to do it. If they get made, great. If not, oh well. After Whole30, I think it'll be a bit easier to switch to the nutrition plan my naturopath wants me on. Finally. After kind of doing "whatever" since October.

It will all fall into place.

One step at a time. One day at a time. One workout at a time. One meal at a time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ringing in Hope Race Report; December 31, 2014

Wow - so I never did this race report! Basically, I ran the 5k and it was relatively uneventful this year! Just ran it kind of "slow" at 36:58.

(Shortest race report ever!)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

What's in store for 2016?

2015 was a bittersweet year. We traveled to 5 countries (Singapore, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Netherlands), 9 states (MI, TX, NC, SC, FL, MA, NY, OH, and CO), sold our house (YAY!), moved into our apartment, sold the travel trailer, bought our motorhome, and attended 4 funerals - including both of my remaining grandmas. Like I said, bittersweet.

I finished Rising Strong just before the new year (I started it in September). I also watched the Scott C Jones Ted Talk about F*** It Lists recently. I think I'll write a post on Rising Strong soon.

We celebrated NYE with dear friends of ours at a campground in SC. It was a great way to celebrate new friendships and passing into a new year.

So, what's in store for 2016?

  • Practice the Rising Strong lessons learned. 
  • Work on my F*** It List.
  • Set 2-3 goals and work towards them - both personally and professionally.
  • Read Art of Possibility and put lessons learned into action.
  • Read Year of Yes and put lessons learned into action.
  • Work on my overall health, to include getting back to more of a Paleo eating style. 
  • Use the Passion Planner and get a bit more organized!

Notice something missing?

I'm not setting any specific race goals or workout goals. At all. It's a conscious decision. The past couple of years have been rough on my health; this thyroid thing has turned my world upside down.

(Note: I'm not affiliated with or YouTube, they're just where I've consumed these books/videos.)