Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Bag of Cookies is Often Required

Some days the only thing that feels good is eating an entire bag of cookies alone in your room. I feel like I binged responsibly by buying a small bag instead of a regular size bag. I knew exactly what I was going to do with that bag when I bought it, even though I told my daughter that they were going to be for dessert that night. When she asked about them later I replied that I tried them and they were gross. I lied. I ate the entire bag. Not because they were especially delicious, but because I wanted to! With every cookie I put into my mouth I knew what I was doing. I wasn't eating unconsciously, I ate each cookie with intention.

It's a good thing I didn't buy a variety that I knew I loved, like Oreos. They don't stand a chance in my presence. Even still, I ate the bag and threw the evidence away. I wanted to eat them as an act of rebellion. Against who? I guess myself!

I have been watching my weight, exercising, eating better, and in general just looking out for myself. But why bother? In the last eight months nothing has changed. Sure I lost a pound or two, but then gained a pound or two. I weigh exactly the same, my clothes fit the same as they did then, and nothing seems to be working. I was sure when I put my summer clothes away at the end of the season last year that they would be loose by now. How could they not with all the "good" I had been doing? But they fit exactly they way they did when they were packed away. How disappointing!

Either I am not extreme enough, or consistent enough, or disciplined enough - but those all feel like lies. I know that isn't true. I was consistent and disciplined, and changed my exercise and eating behaviors for the better - only my "better" must be manifested on the inside only because the outside hasn't changed. Sure I want my insides to be healthy, but I would really like the outside to look as good as the inside.

What is the point of working diligently only to have minimal results that are fleeting? One bag of chips and you have to start all over. A week off from exercise and you are right back where you were months ago. That is crazy! Eight months ago before I started this new program of eating/exercising I wasn't doing anything. I was eating what I wanted, when I wanted, and not exercising. I baked yummy treats for my kids and enjoyed them with them - things were fine. Only I wasn't as trim as I wanted to be. But after doing months of work I am no trimmer today than I was then, but I have missed out on plenty of cookies and ice cream.

I have no idea what is going on. Is that what late 30's is like? Is this what I have to look forward to for the next decade, and the rest of my life? I am not overly harsh on myself. I don't expect myself to look like I did before kids. If only I knew how awesome I looked then. I am not looking for magic, and I want to do things naturally.  I  want to tone up. I don't even really care if my weight or clothing size changes much I just want what I have to be tighter.... and it's not happening. I feel loose and old.

So for the last two weeks I have given up on exercise, I haven't done anything. I have still be eating healthy, natural foods with the exception of the bag of cookies I ate yesterday.

My husband thinks I am crazy and have some body image issues. He may be a tad right, but he is also wrong. If there is work to be done, I believe in doing the work. Everyone should try to be their best self inside and out. Why shouldn't I try to make things better? Yes, I look good with clothes on, but sometimes you have to take off your clothes, or wear short sleeves! It is summer after all, and the pool opened this last weekend. Nothing like that even to remind you that another season has come and the beach body you were working towards didn't show up.

I recently read about fat triggers. That for people who are unable to lose weight there is often an underlying "trigger" that prevents them from burning fat the way the body wants to. It literally blocks them from responding to the things that we know should work: exercise and diet. For some people these triggers are past emotional abuses, traumatic life events,  medications, over dieting, nutritional famine (eating calories, but not nutrients), stress, limiting beliefs, and there were at least half a dozen others.

I recognize that there have been things in my past that I haven't dealt with entirely and blame myself for. I replay things that cannot be changed over and over again looking for ways I could have altered the outcome - that's not a healthy exercise and it certainly doesn't burn any calories.

Or it could be stress, I seem to have plenty of that. But isn't that just a way of life? Aren't most people stressed? Stress seems like a cop out. I know I am a bit of a control freak and like to be in charge of the things that I am impacted by. I recognize that the feeling of being out of control is uncomfortable for me. I know I need to chill out, but chilling out doesn't seem to get things done. I don't know how to do both.

And then limiting beliefs. This might be the biggest block for me, not just in my weight story but my life story. A misconception that I am not good enough, that I don't deserve the good that has come to me. The wonderful things I have been dreaming of will never be a reality. Logically, I realize how ridiculous that is. Emotionally, it's harder to let go of.

I think in some ways I am afraid to be thin, or fit. Like somehow my success in that area will make others around me feel less successful.  I am holding on to an extra 5-10 lbs as some kind of sick security blanket. What am I afraid of? Maybe the answer to that question is the key to my break through. When I can figure that out and do something about it maybe the extra pounds and inches will give up their stubborn hold on me.

Is there a magic pill to help that process along? If I change the way I think, can I change the way my body responds?


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Lucky Streak

Have you ever been moving through your day knowing that there was something you were supposed to be doing but couldn't remember what it is?

Welcome to my Tuesday.

I woke up 15 minutes earlier than normal and got dressed. Not just the carpool dress code, but clothes that you would wear in public, out of the car, complete with hair and makeup. It wasn't red carpet, but enough to be presentable. Was there some place I was supposed to be? Don't know.

I dropped my daughter off at preschool, and thought maybe I"ll just swing by Target. I needed one thing and left with 4. Not bad.

Then I remember that I needed to pick up the third book in a series my son is reading, so I stopped by Half-Priced books (my favorite book store) and found exactly what I was looking for plus 6 others that I wasn't. Not so bad, but I shouldn't be buying more books right now. I have a thing for books.

Oh, and there was a prescription that was ready to pick up. Why not do that right now, too? I mean what else do I have going on? It must be my lucky day, because without me even asking they gave me a 60 day supply of my birth control pills. Yeah, that means I won't have to worry about forgetting to pick it up next month as we are packing up. It's like they just knew what would make life easier for me.

Where to next? Let's just go home. I am sure there is something I can do there. But what? So when my almost two year old exclaimed "SWING" as we drove by our neighborhood park, I thought why not.  I can be that mom, even though white shorts at the playground isn't a good idea.

So I turned the car around and we went back to the park.  The only other humans at the park were a mother and daughter. What are the chances that the daughter would be the same age as the one I was with? Pretty good,  how much better could it get? Wait and see.

We were casually talking about the next year and what school her eldest daughter would be going to when she mentioned that she registered her daughter at the neighborhood school but doesn't know if they will be here or not when school starts because they were getting ready to move again.

I asked where she was moving, and she is obviously just as lucky as I am because she is moving to San Diego. She has never been to San Diego so I had to tell her that she is going to love it and I was insanely jealous. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about San Diego, unless you count how expensive it is to live there. What isn't to love?

She and her husband are from Chechnya, and have only been in the states for a few years so I can see why San Diego seemed like just another place to her instead of the paradise that it is for the rest of us. She should be much more excited than she is - I know I would be!

And then she went on about how they had moved a lot, and had only been in their house here for a year, so of course I had to ask if they were moving for her husbands job. I am always curious about other professions that move people around a lot. But I wasn't prepared for her answer. She's married to a doctor! Her husband works at the same hospital mine does. Her husband was offered a job, my husband was offered a job (but not in the same state), we are both getting ready to move, we both have three girls about the same age.

Granted her husband is already practicing and no longer training, which is why her moving timeline is somewhat less certain than ours is. We only have 4 more weeks of play dates and park get togethers, but what are the chances that I would meet another mother, with children, at 10:00 am, in my neighborhood, with spouses in the same profession, working at the same hospital? See how lucky I am today! Or maybe I am not really lucky, because it would have been great to have met her a year ago.

And then my lucky streak ended, and I remembered what it was that I was forgetting this entire weekend. If yesterday was Memorial Day (Happy Memorial Day, by the way) then it also was the last Monday of May. If it was the last Monday in May than next Monday would be the first Monday in June and that would mean that it's time for Medical Mondays again!

Can it be possible! YES, the calendar has never lied! So now you are just as lucky as me, too. Next week is Medical Mondays!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Right Stuff

I am feeling sluggish. I need a jump start, a jolt, a pick me up. Wait.... I wrote that Thursday!

What is my problem? It has just been diagnosed. I have been taking the wrong allergy medicine. That's one problem solved.

I haven't had severe allergies in years. And then we moved to a new state and experienced spring for the first time. Oh my goodness, whatever is in the air here is killing me.

I started taking the allergy medication I had in my cabinet last week and then it ran out.  I rummaged through a different cabinet and found some other medicine.  It was generic and already open so I know that I had taken it before, and it must have worked or I wouldn't have kept it. Or would I?  I didn't bother to read the label other than the word Allergy Relief because that is what I was desperately in need of. Oh, and it expired 11/10 but I didn't even notice that at that time.

So the reason I have been sluggish all week (although Oklahoma certainly was part of it) is because I was taking diphenhydramine otherwise known as Benadryl with side effects that may include "marked drowsiness". No wonder I couldn't hardly move all day and went to bed early and slept so well. I was taking Benadryl every 4-6 hours and feeling like the walking dead. I was convinced that I was coming down with some nasty bug because my daughter had been sick, and the baby was starting to show symptoms, and I wasn't getting better. We were a combined mess.

It's nice having a doctor in the house who can read labels for you and then pick out just the right medicine at the pharmacy. I guess he would prefer me to do something other than sleep all day until allergy season is over.

I woke up this morning feeling so much better. I even took a shower, after three days of wearing my pajamas. I might survive this spring with the right stuff in my system.

But then we will move to another state and we'll see if I have developed new allergies there. Oh the joys.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jump Start

I am feeling sluggish. I need a jump start, a jolt, a pick me up. Maybe a quick fix or a distraction.  Something to get me going or at least lift my spirits. What a luxury that would be. Instead I find myself crying uncontrollably.

This last tragedy has been too much. We don't live in Oklahoma, but other people do. We don't know any of them, but some body does. I  haven't lost a close member of my family, but other people have very recently. My heart hurts. The same way it hurt after Newton, Boston, and West Texas this year. The same way it hurts when I think of a member of my family, my husband, or one of my children no longer being with me. It just aches. How does anyone every get over a loss like that?

I talked with a woman from church today who had lost her husband in a car accident when she was my age with six small children to care for. That was twenty years ago. I have heard enough stories like this, and many of them fairly recently, that I worry every time my husband steps on a plane without me, or when he gets called in the middle of the night and has to drive to work, and even when he just gets in the car and we aren't with him.

I used to think that bad things didn't happen very often, but now they seem frequent. I used to think that natural disasters were rare, but now there seems to be a new one every six months. Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Floods. I used to think that lightning wouldn't strike twice - but sometimes it does.

One of the side effects of getting older is that you see more and remember more. You become less self obsessed and more aware of what happens outside of your small circle. The world that used to seem too big becomes very small. With each passing year and tragedy the number of horrors available to my memory increases as well. I think I understand what my father-in-law means when he says he has lived long enough to see nearly all of his friends pass away. Not only has he lived that long, but he has lived to see a world war, participate in other wars, watch family members die, hundreds of natural disasters, car accidents, and countless other heart breaks along the way. How does a person hold that much pain and sorrow?

Logically I know that life marches on, but emotionally how does one ever get over the pain of losing someone like a spouse or a child without warning? Or even when you have warning for that matter? It is overwhelming to consider the magnitude of pain and grieving.

Two weeks ago we had a natural disaster scare while I was separated from my children. I volunteered to give blood on behalf of a member of our church congregation at the local blood bank. Her son was receiving transfusions while waiting for a bone marrow match and they needed more. I offered to donate partly so I could do a good deed and partly so I could take advantage of the free babysitting a friend had offered because she couldn't give blood.

Earlier that morning I had talked about having lunch with my husband when we were through. The stars were going to align. We would be dressed, already in the car, and in need of lunch at the exact moment he would be available. But as I was hooked up, squeezing that little ball to make the blood flow, I was watching the weather. A massive storm was coming our way. It looked like it was going to miss our particular suburb but was going to be headed downtown where the hospital was.

I called to tell him that we weren't going to be coming in today because of the storm, and that the skies, even from inside the building where I was, were growing darker. Minutes later when I got in my car rain had begun to fall and then suddenly it was dark. The rain was falling so hard that I couldn't see. The wind was blowing and traffic was all but stopped.

I didn't have very far to go when I received a call from the woman babysitting my kids, telling me that they were fine but they were going to seek shelter. I have never felt so helpless. Two of my children were with someone else, two were at school, my husband was at work, and I was all alone. Being separated from the people you love during moments of terror is one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. And this was just a minor incident, although it didn't feel minor at the time.

After the storm had passed and the kids were safely back at home, my son told me how they were all scared and he had cried at school. Maybe because this happened so close to the tornado in Oklahoma my emotions are still raw and exposed. All I can think about is those poor mothers with their children in the school and not being able to get to them to comfort them and reassure them.

Regardless of what is happening in the world I want to be with my children and my husband while it is happening. Everything seems to be manageable when we are together. I am so grateful for my family, and pray for those who have had members of their family taken from them.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Town or Country

Yes, this is more about the house hunting project. Just a little more and then I will be over it. In fact, to some extent I am. The excitement phase has been replaced by the terrified one.

Where should we live? Why couldn't we get a job in a smaller city? Why are there so many choices? Why do so many people have such awful taste? Where are all the good deals? Why don't people build houses I like?

So we are still in the location decision making phase. Location, location, location! Location isn't universal. What is a good location for one person, isn't for another. Some locations are just too popular (read expensive) to even be considered. The location may be right, but my pocket book says it's crazy to spend that much money on a house no matter how convenient.

The difference between town and country is astounding. The price per square foot in the premier city locations are $300-350 per square foot. The price per square foot in the suburbs are $100-175. That's a big difference!

And then even between the different suburbs there is quite a difference. In one suburb the prices are nearly the same as in the heart of town! Here is a small example from our house hunting research.

A particular builder I like has the exact same floor plans available in two different communities located 30 miles apart from one another. Both communities are about the same distance from the hospital in opposite directions. However in the northern community the 1A floor plan starts at $989,000. In the southern community the 1A floor plan starts at $499,000. Is it really worth an extra $500,000 to live in the north versus the south, particularly when the distance to work is the same?

The homes I like are older homes. Older homes are only found in older areas of town. There aren't that many of them. Urban sprawl in this city hit some major milestones starting in the 80's and hasn't slowed down at all. In some suburbs it isn't even possible to find a home built before 1998. And if you can find one it is a sorry excuse for a house sitting in the middle of a field surrounded by new houses. Holding out to sell their land to some developer for top dollar. That house is doomed.

Some homes in the older neighborhoods have been vacated by their middle class families who headed to the suburbs long ago for more expansive and larger properties and the homes, streets, and neighborhoods have fallen into neglect and aren't a desirable place to live any longer.

And then the truly magnificent older homes located in the heart of the city that have been preserved and taken care of, and even updated are so expensive as to make it even impossible for a doctor to own. Where do these people get their money! Even a fixer upper is enough to cause a mild stroke.

In some areas the line between an excellent neighborhood and one you wouldn't consider living in is as fine as a single major street. One side, yes. The other side no. Pockets like this exist everywhere. One side of the major street people are fixing up their homes, and taking care of their neighborhoods, the other side - not so much. How does this happen?

All I know is there are some people with some serious money, and they aren't the doctors!

But back to the question: would you pay more (almost twice as much) to live in a central location that was close to everything and had the historic unique feel you were looking for? Or would you go for something off the rack in the suburbs knowing you could take the money you saved and invest in your retirement? That is the question of the day, and I don't like it.

Round and round it goes. My practical side says take the money saved and invest it in our retirement and live in the suburbs surrounded by houses that look just alike. But, my impulsive side says who cares how much it costs to live in the city - your kids will take care of you when you grow old:-)

What is important to one person isn't important to another, and we are still trying to figure out what is most important to us. Is there a compromise.... I don't know yet. It is a big purchase and one I want to get it right the first time because I have no intention of moving. This will be the place!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fashion Statements From The Bedroom

Today was the dreaded day that I cleaned off the desk, and the shelves next to the desk, and the over flowing files, and all the junk mail, and filled a recycling bin. It was that kind of day.

I opened up one of several catalog advertisements that were going to be tossed to give myself a mental break. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I was wearing what one of the models was wearing!

The caption is "Introducing tomorrow's fashion icon: The Pajama Pant. Style it for the weekend with an effortless peasant top".

All I need to get is a fancy off the shoulder peasant top and some gold flip flops and this could be me. No joke, the pants I am wearing (that really are pajama pants) are exactly like this: black ikat and I love them. I can't tell you how many times I have worn them to drop the kids off at school, and some days to pick up too!

I have heard that all you need to pull of any look is confidence. I don't know that I could wear the same pants I slept in around town with the confidence necessary to rock it. But maybe, since I am moving anyway, I will give it a try. Lipstick and some big sunglasses should help!

Maybe pajama pants are the new yoga pants? This could be the first trend that I participated in while it was still trendy.  I am usually a good 5 years late. In fact, this past weekend I bought my first Maxi dress. Still haven't worn it, but I bought it. That's a start.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Medical Monday Giveaway Announcement

Thank you to everyone who participated in the May edition of Medical Monday's! As always, one of my favorite days:-)

This month we had a special surprise offering on Medical Monday! Kristen Math has just published the second edition of her book, "Surviving Residency" and she's offered to give one away to one of our lucky readers!

Are you bummed you didn't win? Never fear! Copies are now available on 

A HUGE congratulations to Cassandra J! Cassandra was the first drawn and has claimed her prize.

Wasn't that fun. Who knows what next month will bring. Until then enjoy the rest of May, I bet it is going to go by quickly and we'll be right back here again for another Medical Monday's blog hop!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Medical Mondays May Edition!

Oh my goodness and thank heavens for Medical Mondays! I am in serious need of a distraction. My husband is house hunting without me! If you were to ask him he would say that he flew out of state for a meeting with the hospital that he is going to work at, but I hijacked that trip and set up some houses for him to check out. For research purposes only. More about that later - it's Medical Mondays. Let's Go!

Medical Monday!

This month we have a special surprise for you! Kristen Math has just published the second edition of her book, "Surviving Residency" and she's offered to give one away to one of our lucky readers!

Want to know more about the author:

Want to know what other people are saying:

This giveaway is open to anyone in the USA or Canada. You do not have to participate in Medical Monday to participate in the giveaway, however, we hope you will... the more the merrier!

The winner will be announced Monday, May 13th, so be sure to check back on the "Surviving Residency" Facebook page, YDW or FDW blogs to see if you have won! Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize. After 48 hours, another winner will be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, are you ready for a week's worth of great reads? If you're new to our monthly link up, WELCOME and continue reading for the deets. If you are one of our regulars, HAPPY MAY and feel free to scroll down to the little blue link up button. New or a regular, we are thrilled to have you with us!

Medical Monday is a once a month opportunity for any and all medical/med life blogs to link up and meet others. So join us!

Are you confused if you qualify for the party?

If you have a pager interrupting your life... you DEFINITELY qualify!
Do you work in healthcare?
Doctor? Nurse? EMT? Chiropractor? Vet? Dentist? Therapist?
Are you the spouse or SO of a healthcare worker/student?
Are you a nursing student? Medical student?
Intern? Resident? Fellow?

You get the picture, right? Come on, now... don't be shy! Let's keep growing and meeting new bloggers, so we can build a community of support and friendship, learn from one another, and share our stories.


Here are the rules:
  1. Follow your co-hosts via Bloglovin (since GFC will soon be defunct), FB, email or Twitter.
  2. Link up you medical/med life blog. If your blog name does not clearly state how you fit in to the med/med life world, please write a little intro or link up a specific post which clearly demonstrates your connection.
  3. Visit at least 3 other link ups, comment, introduce yourself, and tell the your stopping by or following from MM!
  4. Help spread the word by using our button on your post or sidebar, tweet about Medical Monday, or spread the word on Facebook! The more the merrier for all of us.
Complete step one by following your co-hosts:

Want to be awesome?
Post our button on you post or sidebar and help spread the word:

Want to co-host next month? Shoot Emma an email at and be sure to write "Medical Monday Co-host Request" in the subject field.

Now, link up below and have fun! The link up is open through Friday, so be sure to come back during the week to check some great reads!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

International Hostess Awards

This past weekend we hosted our first ever dinner with a doctor. Not a resident, not another fellow, a real doctor. Ahhhhh.

I should thank my husband for giving me a chance to practice on an international doctor and his family who were visiting from China. The pressure was lessened considerably by the fact that we will probably never see them again. We don't have any shared acquaintances. They leave for home the same time we leave and the chances of our paths crossing in the future are nearly zero. Unless we plan a visit to China.... maybe. No pressure.

What to make for dinner? I was stressing over that decision. In the end my husband thought my homemade pizza would be good. Ok. Pizza. Fancy. What else? Certainly not Chinese food! You hate to make something that is offensive to someone, but pizza is global and benign right? To be safe we made a vegetarian and a meat pizza - you never know.

We only had two moments where I thought things were going south, and luckily they both happened before our guests arrived. While getting ready to make the pizza dough I accidently dropped the bottle of oil and it spilled all over the floor. I reacted quickly and only half the bottle spilled. But have you ever tried to clean up oil off ceramic tiles? That's fun.

And then after I had made the dough I needed help getting the stone pizza pan out of the cabinet and asked my husband for help. I lifted what was on top of it, and my husband pulled it out. But.... he didn't hold both sides and it slipped out and broke in half on the floor. Oops! Time to improvise!

In the end, dinner turned out fine. The pizza wasn't my best, I blame it on the cookie sheet. And you can't go wrong with cut vegetables - everyone eats some kind of vegetables and I made sure we had plenty.

How was the conversation? The doctor spoke some English, the wife spoke none, the young son spoke great English. So... it was interesting. Considering I don't speak Chinese and she didn't speak English, it really was good. How can that be? We know an American who does speak Chinese that came and provided translation. Well, it was translation and conversation. We provided the food, they provided the conversation. And that's fine by me. I laughed when they laughed, nodded, and in general acted like I knew what they were talking about. Maybe I know Chinese but just can't speak it?

What was amazing is how similar their 8 year old son was to my 8 year old son. They got along like the brothers they never had! They ran around, played with light sabers, played angry birds, talked about school - and had a great time.

Since I am in the mood for playing hostess don't forget to come back here Monday for our monthly edition of Medical Mondays. A link up party with all your favorite people checking in and saying hi. It's my favorite day of the month. This month we also have a special giveaway to one lucky participant - that should be fun!

See you Monday!