Thursday, April 30, 2009

on karen who is always tired

Well the purpose of this blog is that it keep me accountable. An unintended thing that has happened is that I've caused my mom and my daughter to worry about me.

Oops. Sorry, guys.

So Mom called me to express her concerns last night, and I was crabby and unreceptive (sorry, Mom). She is worried that my tiredness means maybe I'm following her and Grandma down the diabetic trail.

This is actually not a new thought to me; it's something I've been investigating, studying, and considering since around 2005. I have learned A LOT about diabetes over the years.

I've had a couple of the pricey, exhaustive blood studies in that time. So far, no red flags at all. So though I have expressed to my kids more than once the possibility that maybe I am pre-diabetic...thus far I haven't been enough to so register in a measurable way.

So what I'm going to do here is think through all the reasons that might be making me so tired...cuz Mom pointed out that one thing that does come through on the blog is my persistent tiredness. I generally learn a lot when I write; usually I know a lot more than I think I do. Let's see.

On Karen and Tiredness

Okay first of all, I think I have had a life long relationship with tiredness. My memories of our family vacations when I was a child include: loving to swim in the campground pool, being terrified of heights among a family who are all not, seeing completely cool and amazing things, and feeling like my legs were jelly and I Just Wanted To Sit Down almost everywhere we went. I have no idea whether I whined or not; can't remember.

And then there was when my aunt did a handwriting analysis on some of us when I was a teenager; she looked at mine and said that I was "a low energy person who conserved my energy to focus it on the things I most wanted to do." I remember everybody laughing and saying oh boy was THAT true.

I remember falling asleep while driving, all the time, when I worked at the Tastee Freez in high school. I developed some skills for recovering from nodding and pulling into/out of ditches. Somehow I never hurt myself, nor the truck.

I remember falling asleep in class in high school.

I remember falling asleep in class in college, so tired that I dreamed about sleeping.

When I was married, we watched a whole lot of TV and movies. I slept through almost all of it; this was a source of irritation for my husband, that I couldn't seem to get past the credits on most movies without nodding off.

During my depressive years, I responded to my tiredness by sleeping too more than half of the 24 hours given to me in a day...sometimes WAY more than half. It didn't make me less tired. It just made me more depressed.

I am anemic - enough so that when I was pregnant, I had to take a prenatal vitamin AND a huge iron pill, and I still measured low sometimes. When I used to donate blood regularly (before I had cancer), I failed more often than not because of my iron count.

I don't take vitamins. Oh, I MEAN to. I have them. I have a little daily container so I can remember. But I don't remember.

So I am almost certainly anemic, and almost certainly depleted in B vitamins.

My day: I wake up and write this and my grats. I drive 40 minutes. I work at a computer 8 hours. I drive 40 minutes. I have supper and then I do other seated things, whether it's working on the City computer, attending meetings/studies...the point is, I am not moving. This means I get zero exercise. Exercise = energy.

I wake up at 5 a.m....and I go to bed around 11 or midnight a whole lot of nights. I remember that when I was married, I got more like 8 or 9 hours of sleep; I think that's probably what my body wants. I haven't been able to manage more than 5 or 6 hours a night since the is just too full to sleep more than that.

~~~~end of those thoughts~~~~

I dunno if I am more tired now or just more vocal about it now. God has been taking me on a "getting real" journey for a number of years and I am learning to face emotions that I used to bury and truths that I used to dodge. I am learning to say who I am, even when I am sure people won't like it.

My hope has been that when I am done being City Clerk next week, I will start getting some down time and it will help with the tiredness. Looking back across my life like that, I'm not sure it will. Hmmm.

Okay this doesn't feel like it has been productive. But sometimes when I keep pondering, I find what I didn't see.

Off I go to ponder for my 40 minute drive.

yesterday: under the world instead of on top of it

Okay: yesterday was a bomb. I ate a great breakfast and lunch and was Very Good until I left work.


I got several bits of incredibly hard news yesterday, any one of which would have sent me to my knees and crying...and they stacked high by the time I got off work. So I walked out the door, drove straight to McDonalds, dug the change out of my car console to purchase a hot fudge sundae with nuts, and then had a good cry in the car.

Some of my hard news was also my daughter's hard news, and so we both were in a funk. So yeah....we got taco pizza and zoned out in front of Nancy Drew, despite having stuff we needed to do and better eating plans we should have stuck to. I ate a lot of taco pizza.

So. Yesterday is behind me, and I'm not counting its calories...just noting that I tanked.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

failure, though not on epic proportions

So my total after lunch was a little under 1200 (yes, I am so lazy I'm not going back to add it again). I stayed tired and icky all day, despite taking Aleve twice (I never take it more than once a day in general).

Tuesday nights are always a downfall for me cuz I love the food at youth church. When I got there this afternoon, I was in a mood about some stuff and then there were chocolate chip cookies on the counter. They were not great but they were cookies. I ate wayyyy to many of them, thinking to myself, "I am angry, I am tired, I feel crappy, I want a cookie," until I noticed that my friend the pastor had left out baby carrots for me.


So I ate carrots too. But I am pretty sure there is no amount of carrot-eating that can make up for cookie-eating.

Having blown it, I then feasted freely on supper, which I will not even try to count calories for.

The good news: I resisted brownies with ice cream for dessert.

Tomorrow is a new day. For tonight, I am in bed, safely away from further temptation.

send the waa-mbulance for me

When it was time to leave this morning, I was in such full yuck mode that I couldn't summon packing lunch. I stood and stared in the fridge, feeling my stomach ache, and was just overwhelmed. Walked out the door without my lunch, without my driver's license, without my debit card. 40 minutes in the car feeling like I just wanted to turn around and go back home to bed. Aleve banished the girlish part of my woes, at least enough to function.

coffee with sugar when I got to work (135)

Improvised lunch with what was here. PB&J sandwich (370) and ramen noodle soup (380). I'm pretty sure that the fact that those are on my "comfort food" list means I am white trash....

...I can live with that.

breakfast today

toast (100) w/smucker's peanut butter (175) and crab apple jelly (50) with 3/4 cup skim milk (75)

My stomach ache is back. I think it's the one I get when I am way too tired.

I think that means I'll have it until May 5.

At least there is an end in sight.

yesterday summary

I came home last night, rested for about half an hour while talking with my daughter, and then retreated to my bedroom for a little over six more hours working on the computer (almost done being City Clerk and I'll be FREE FREE FREE from these marathon interludes with the City laptop YAY!) Though it was work, being shut away alone in a quiet room with my radio playing great teachers was still relaxing, and I felt substantially less horrible by 11:15 pm when I finally quit.
supper: chili (287) dog (130) on bun (110) with cheese (40) and a glass of lemonade (200)

bedtime snack of cottage cheese (200)

Total for the day: 1927

That's about 50 calories over goal, which is not bad for first day back to this and me feeling like death warmed over twice.

Monday, April 27, 2009

that good old monday i am road kill feeling...

About 2 pm I started feeling like death. A stone was surely in my stomach; how else to explain that feeling? Tired to the point of almost nodding off at my desk, despite being reasonably busy. Hard to think clearly. Where is my bed?

I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (370) in hopes it might help (I packed a lunch this morning but no"extras" so I am stuck with making something that's was that or ramen, and I didn't feel like cooking).

Total calories so far today: 1160. This means I can still make goal if I watch it.

I still feel like death, though.

hanging in there

Had my usual coffee with sugar when I got to work - needed the caffeine desperately. (135)

I was SO HUNGRY this morning...not unusual for a Monday. Being "off routine" for any amount of time sends me into hungry land. I didn't realize how hungry I was until almost 10:30 so I just waited and had lunch at 11.

1/2 a huge baked potato w/salt & pepper (140)
1 cup broccoli steamed (25) w/parmesan sprinkled (10)
1 apple (100)
bottle of water

Calories so far today: 790

My stomach hurts. Not in a hungry way. It just hurts. I don't usually have trouble processing fresh foods. Hmm.

I also have a bad case of Monday tired and scatter brained. Long, busy week ahead. I need to focus on just doing "now" and letting "later" take care of itself.

back in the saddle...again

Okay so the 30 Hour Famine is behind. It was an incredible experience...God lets me do the coolest stuff!

Yesterday I thought like a fat person and said to myself, well today is Sunday and we'll just start with a new week tomorrow. I wasn't horrible but I also wasn't very careful. Time to make that new start.

Breakfast this morning: 1/2 cup grape nuts 200, 1/2 cup skim milk 45, and 3 tbsp sugar 135.

The weekend was one long race, so I did not find the time to make salads and have a plan for my lunches this week. Guess I'd better go figure out what I am taking.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

still derailed, fasting soon, and just in case/in time

Yup, I am currently still derailed...I do great throughout the day,and then I blow it pretty much every night.

This Friday night and Saturday, I am participating in a "30 hour famine" with my youth groups. At this point, I am approaching this in my usual way (which, I presume, is not good, just based on results to date): my fast will be a "restart" and I'll try again after that.

In the meanwhile, I read an article on the difference between "just in time" thinking and "just in case" thinking...the gist of it (when applied to weight loss) is lots of us overweight people get here at least in part because we eat extra "just in case" we might get hungry later if we don't. People with appropriate weight are more likely to know that there will be something else good to eat "just in time"...which works where I live (this article was not considering places where people are starving to death).

Pondering that and asking God to help me re-shift my thinking.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Hey, it's Friday night and I have been WAY zoned out on the naked blog. And on making good choices. I do GREAT until I get off work, then I race off into the ditch at full speed. Today I didn't even do great at work...there were eclairs in the fridge and OH GOLLY did I enjoy mine. Then after I got groceries at Sam's Club on the way home from work: KFC while I drove. 3 chicken strips, mashed potatoes & gravy, potato wedges, biscuit, and a full-sugar root beer. The part where my spork fell under my car seat on the interstate was especially delightful.

Oh golly.

Gotta turn around and move in the other direction. I can't just let this slide.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

focus, karen: do not quit

Hummmm I missed yesterday on this blog, didn't I?

It was a typical Tuesday...I was good all day till I got to youth church, and then I enjoyed my food too much. The added problem: someone put homemade chocolate chip cookies IN MY HANDS when I got there (yeah, PC, they were a little light on the chips but still.....) and I was definitely not in resistant mode.

The stuff from work continues to challenge my ability to stay on target. I am definitely grieving something I cannot even talk about here (at this point I am wondering when I will stop crying about it so much), and struggling with something else that is also confidential. Shelter work pretty consistently breaks my heart, but then there are these passages where it goes way beyond breaking. Gonna keep on walking and praying and this too shall pass...but in truth food is an even bigger struggle right now than usual. Undoing a lifetime of "food is my refuge" is, at least in my case, not a smooth or seamless process.

This morning: nice bowl of cereal 160 and skim milk 5o.

The only way to do this is one hour...sometimes on minute at a time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

much bigger issue than food

Okay so supper was an enormous pile of pasta and a generous hunk of garlic bread.

I definitely went to food and asked it to push the hurt of the world the point of painfully full.

It did dull the edges.

It was the wrong place to go for comfort. I had this whole conversation with myself while eating, hearing myself say not to do it, and hearing myself answer that I would do it anyway.

Idol worship...that's really what that is. God...Christ...Holy Spirit...therein lies my comfort. Not food. I know this. Tonight, I have not practiced this.

So now I need to repent, only in truth tonight I don't feel repentance. I feel a dulled edge on the excruciating pain of a day that was just beyond my limits, and for now that is where I am.

I, my mug of hot chocolate, and my laptop are now retreating to bed. The Lord and I will work it out tomorrow...or from the tears that are returning yet again, I think maybe tonight.

such a hard day

coffee with sugar when i got to work 135

hard boiled egg 77

mixed nuts 170

can of soup 140
10 saltines 120

apple 100

chocolate chip cookie 210

bottle of water

Some days at the shelter are hard...some days are excruciating. I cried most of the way home and really all I want to do is go to bed. Hence the cookie (my current truth, right or wrong: it was very good and comforting too in my extreme upset).

Total calories today: 1102.

I am still absolutely underwater with trying to process the day. It will be a challenge not to blow it tonight.

monday here i come

I didn't even try to count yesterday. I suspect I came out okay, but I just wasn't in the mode.

This morning: the bottom of the frosted mini wheats box has been found, alas.

Cereal 100, skim milk 50.

And off to work on a rainy day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

not counting just now

Daughter and I did supper last night while we were laundromatting. Subway turkey sandwich followed up by a strawberry/banana ice cream cone (waffle style) from our new local ice cream joint. I started to look at the Subway site this morning, but it's Easter and that chart is huge. I am deciding that since I was at less than 800 calories before that, it surely all came out fine in the end.

Today is Resurrection Day - the reason I rejoice even in those spaces when life is impossibly hard. Thank you Jesus for what You've done for me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

2 pm saturday summary

Okay so I think I did okay last night. Daughter and I went out for supper and split Sicilian bread and mozzarella sticks. Good stuff!

Wandered out of my bedroom at nearly 11 this morning, having slept in a bit (was up till 2 a.m.) and then spent time reading, praying, worshiping all in bed with my laptop.

Breakfast was an omelet/skillet thing. It was most excellent. Daughter and I agree that omelet is an art, not a science. Mine included:

3 eggs (homegrown, even) 231
1/2 potato 80
green olives 25
black olives 50
onion 10
tomato 10
mushrooms 5
bell pepper 5
banana pepper 5
1/4 oz assorted shredded cheese (mozzarella, asiago, and quesadilla) 45
margarine and olive oil 120

Also had some black grapes 15

and hot cocoa 150

Total so far today: 751. This day should be do-able.

Friday, April 10, 2009

pre-supper summary

coffee w/sugar 135

1 oz nuts 170 (for rare mid-morn hungries)

can of soup 160
8 saltines 96
enormous orange 70
bottle of water

ice cream cone from mcdonalds on the drive home 150

calories so far today 1056...real potential to meet goal today!

better rested this morning


Had my usual (for this week) breakfast of frosted mini wheats (200) and skim milk (75).

Went to bed at something like 9 pm last night, just too wiped out from a series of late nights and busy days. Feeling much better this morning. I suspect I'll be much less tempted today, since I'm not walking around tired out of my mind.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

made it through chocolate temptation

coffee w/sugar 135

can of soup 140
8 saltines 96
banana 100
bottle of water

My coworkers were sorting Easter baskets for a long time today; I got chocolate on my brain and it was NOT PRETTY. Ate half my little bucket of carrots (probably 200 calories' worth) and had a bottle of water w/sugar free lemonade mix in it. A coworker pointed out this "doesn't satisfy" her and I can't argue. But I wasn't going for "satisfied" - I was going for survival.

nuts on the way home 1 oz 170
and bottle of water

supper tacos
3 flour shells 330
1/4 can refried beans 140
leftover mexican rice 75
black olives 40
tomatoes 25
lettuce 5
tabasco sauce negligible

1 cup skim milk 90

Total for the day 1821

Guess I'll skip that apple crisp that's calling my name on the kitchen table!

running out the door late but here's breakfast

shredded frosted wheat (200) and skim milk (75)

I did not try to track the calories for the Seder meal last night, but I think I came in quite nicely.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

link for good article and totals for the day so far

Great article here on body image and faith.

Okay so the problem is it's great to WANT to track as I go, but my workdays are consistently too hectic to do so just now (I only take the 5 minutes to blog if it's actually not going to short change my employer).

Let's see if I can reconstruct, before I head out to the Seder Supper.

shredded wheat 200
skim milk 75

coffee w/sugar 135

can of soup 140
10 saltines 120
banana 100
bottle of water

apple 100

hard boiled egg w/salt n pepper 77

bowl of cereal 160
skim milk 45


I have consumed 1152 calories today. If I will be reasonable tonight, my total for the day should be quite acceptable.

Here's to being reasonable.

trudge, trudge, trudge

Gosh. I am really not doing this well.

Hurrying off to work but here's a rough estimate of my yesterday:

coffee/sugar 135

can of soup 160
10 saltines 120
banana 100
bottle of water

oz of nuts 170
apple 100
bottle of water

1.5 cups chili mac w/cheese in it (no earthly idea)
1/2 cup applesauce
piece of cherry pie (it just looked soooooooo good)
10 oz lemonade

bowl of cereal 160
1/2 cup skim milk 45

I don't know my supper totals but I can look at that day and know it wasn't a weight loss day.

I am noticing that I miss items when I wait till the next day to do the whole blog. Heaven only knows what I forgot on this entry but I keep noticing the next day or something that I forgot an item. I need to get back to real-time tracking.

Tonight is the Seder Supper at my daughter's church, so I wonder how well I'll be able to track.

Here's to reaching for getting it right.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

breakfast total before running off to work

frosted mini wheats (200) and skim milk (75)

mini wheats have SIX GRAMS of fiber in one serving - in case you don't know, that is GOOD!

yesterday: busy but successful

Well I had a meeting last night right after work that kept me out till past my bedtime. And then this morning I went and voted, which has taken away from my blogging time too! Darn it. I wonder if I can reconstruct yesterday...

coffee/sugar 135

can of soup 140
10 saltines 120
banana 100
bottle of water

oz of nuts 170

mcdonalds chicken caesar salad w/balsamic dressing 220
diet soda
bottle of water

3 tacos
shells 330
beans 140
cheese 80
leftover mexican rice 75
salsa 25
olives 40

grapes 30

Calories for the day: 1880! Hey, that's spot on....on a day with no break in it. How cool is that?

The only down side is the tacos and grapes were at 11 pm...not a good time to be eating.

Oh well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

doh! and beginning again..and again...and again...

Well shucks. Yesterday I didn't blog at all here, did I? The good news is I didn't have a calorie blowout. The bad news is I think I was probably right at maintenance...I sure am having a lot of maintenance days lately.

Not going to try and backtrack and count. Just going to begin again today.

Breakfast frosted shredded mini wheats (200) and skim milk (75).

Bag is loaded down with good choices and off I go to work.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

9:45 and up to my elbows in work on a saturday night...what's wrong with this picture?

Taking a break after about 5 hours of working (hey, isn't this supposed to be my Saturday?!)

Let's see if I can recap the day.

Diet Dr. Pepper on the way to birthday party.

small turkey sandwich with 1 tsp mayo (125)
small sweet pickle (35)
small dill pickle (3)
1 carrot stick (3)
1 broccoli piece (3)
a few doritos (100)
pink lemonade (100)
birthday cake (250)

1 piece sicilian pizza (300)

Total calories thus far: 1269. Little wonder that I'm so hungry; I thought I was just having work avoidance issues, so I've been ignoring my tummy! Think I'll have a nice snack.

breakfast in bed and other stuff that's not that interesting either

Saturdays are my decompress time. That surely sounds very lazy to some, but Monday through Friday I hustle most of the time that I am awake, with after-work commitments that mean I'm not a come home and veg in front of the TV person. I get almost zero time for reflection through the week, and I am definitely built for reflection. Saturday is reflection day.

I sleep in, though generally I wake up at 5 to listen to a great hour of radio programming and then go back to slumber land. I stay in bed with my laptop, reading and on really good weeks also writing.

So it's 11:10 a.m. and I am still in bed, though I have worked out tomorrow's Sunday school lesson and tinkered with some City Hall stuff I absolutely have to get done this weekend. I've also read a ton of things that interested me, just because I wanted to. Sadly, this is the first writing I have done for the day.

And in the midst of it I had a great big bowl of frosted mini wheats (260) and skim milk (90) while surrounded in pillows and covers. There is good food in the house because I hit Sam's Club on the way home from work last night...$229 later, the choices are nicer than they were this time yesterday!

Soon I need to get up and get to the meat market, and then I have a birthday party to attend for 2 of my nieces. Tonight I'll work on that City Hall stuff in front of old episodes of Smallville (we borrow seasons of it from a friend and I always watch that while doing paperwork stuff...and OY there is a lot of paperwork stuff in my life).

Stopping now to blog this in an attempt to do the day intentionally, and not make lousy food choices just from not paying attention.

Friday, April 3, 2009

another day in the tank

I seem to be determined not to keep up with this thing. Hmph.

oatmeal 150
banana 100
sugar 135
skim milk 25

coffee w/sugar 135

can of soup 200
8 saltines 96
bottle of water

apple 100

enormous diet coke

3 bread sticks 520
1 piece cheese crisp 160
1.5 pieces sicilian pizza 450

Total for the day 2071

Huge news blast: I am not feeling this diet thing.

Tomorrow's agenda: kick my own butt.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I can relate to pig...

Hmmm. Another day away from the blog. Let's see if I can reconstruct. I think I did okay....

oatmeal 150
banana 100
sugar 135
skim milk 25

coffee w/sugar 135

2 kiwi 92

can of soup 200
10 saltines 120
bottle of water

apple 100

banana bread 184

pork steak cooked w/tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet peppers, banana peppers, onions 300
rice cooked w/tomatoes, chilis, corn, chili beans 225
green beans 25
bread 160
1 cup skim milk 90

Total for the day: 2041

Grrrr. Not running nearly hard enough to catch up with that wagon, much less get back on it....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

okay this will do

Coffee with sugar 135

can of soup 220
10 crackers 120
bottle of water

apple 100

hard boiled egg with salt n pepper 77

1/3 lb hamburger (yeah, that's really what I said) 260
on bun 120
3/4 cup basmati rice 150
soy sauce 10
stir fried mushrooms and peppers 70

So the good news is my calories look like 1672 if I counted right.

The bad news is last night I ate more than I remembered...there were 2 small brownies and one big bowl of applesauce on that list I definitely went over.

Ah well. As my daughter pointed out tonight, shaving over 1000 calories per day off my average is nothing to sneeze at.

Forward ho.

breakfast - just the facts

oatmeal 150
sugar 135
banana 100
skim milk 25

almost made it and then gave into temptation

Okay yesterday post-breakfast recap:

coffee w/sugar 135

can of soup 220
10 saltines 120

apple 100

2 hard boiled eggs 154 (probably too high since they were home grown eggs and therefore Very Very Small, but we'll go with it)

1 fried chicken breast 218
1.5 pieces panera bread 225
1/3 cup gravy from a mix 50
1/2 cup green beans with bacon 60
10 oz lemonade 120

1/2 cup apple crisp 320 (ouch!)
1/2 cup cool whip 128

Total calories for the day: 2260.

Alas, if I had just resisted that apple crisp....

...but in truth, I didn't feel like resisting.

So it was a maintenance day and not a loss day. Note to self: if they are ALL maintenance days, one does not lose weight.