Three Days To Freedom

Over the last couple of weeks, sugar has become the focus of my day. I scavenge any time of day or night for something sweet. It’s either my metabolic disorder begging me to eat more carbs so I don’t die, or I’ve been sneaking one too many handfuls of Sour Patch kids. It’s probably the Sour Patch kids thing, so it’s time to take control of my body. I did a very little bit of reading about sugar detoxing, and I thought I should try it. Three days without sugar, and I’m free. I can do that.

Day One

Morning – I pour myself a bowl of Cheerios. Instead of sugar, I use raisins. Look at how healthy I am! I feel powerful conquering my sugar addiction. I drink my black coffee in triumph. It’s not bad, really.

Mid-day – Turns out I’m subbing for the afternoon, so I can keep busy. It’s easy to distract myself. I grab a snack of sugar snap peas, which are surprisingly low in sugar. I am so proud of myself!

Afternoon – It’s time to go home and pick up kids. What a great day! I feel amazing! I can do this!

Evening – I drink another cup of black coffee. It’s not bad. Not good, either, but not bad. I can do this. Three days is nothing.

Day Two

Morning – I’m 1/3 of the way there. Cheerios with raisins. Again. Anyone ever notice that raisins look like rabbit turds? Just me, then? Whatever. I drink my black coffee. It tastes bitter. Like tears.

Mid-day – I’m subbing for the morning. I’m busy, but I’m not all that nice. I’m supposed to have a lunch meeting, so I didn’t pack any food. Turns out it was just meeting, no lunch. I hate everyone.

Afternoon – It’s time to pick up the kids. Wow. I never noticed how much that haircut makes the Padawan look like a Hostess cupcake.

Mmmmm. Chocolatey!

Mmmmm. Chocolatey!

I apologize for biting him and try to hide my disappointment that he does not, in fact, taste chocolatey.

Evening – I drop by the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. Namely bags of sugar. I briefly wonder if snorting the sugar spilled on the shelf is punishable by law. I briefly wonder if I care. The manager asks me to leave. Looks like it’s not technically illegal, folks! Yet. Just strongly discouraged. Store that in your trivia bank.

Day Three

Morning –  Husband gives me a vitamin. It’s a Flintstone, and the sweetest thing I’ve had in days. Half a cup of those things in a bowl of milk isn’t half bad. Sadly, I discover that they contain artificial sweeteners. My hair begins to fall out, and I grow gills. I hate my life.

I drink my coffee black, hot, and so fast I scald my tongue. There. Now I can’t taste it at all. Makes me happy.

Mid-day – Blah, blah, blah.  I don’t care. Leave me alone.

Afternoon – I have to get the kids from school. Which kids? I don’t know. Which school? Like I’m supposed to know. Shut up.

Evening –  Nothing will ever make me happy again. I don’t care if I never eat another snickers bar blizzard.

Mission accomplished. I’m going to bed.

Going Organic Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health

Not a bunny cracker.

My kids have always loved goldfish crackers. From the moment the little cheesy bits first crossed their lips, they could sink a pond of fishies in nothing flat. I didn’t know how good I had it.

Squishy is, shall we say, an unenthusiastic participant in the whole eating process. At the age of one year, he should be taking in a considerable amount of calories through solid food. Yeah, not so much. Why bother to waste time eating during the day when he can simply make up for the caloric deficit by nursing all night long? We finally reached an uneasy truce in our food war. He agreed to sit in his chair 3 times a day and play with the food I offered him, and I agreed to quit shoving spinach at him. He would eat and I could sleep.

We decided recently to start adding some organic items to our shopping list, slowly replacing unhealthy stuff as our budget allowed. One of my first purchases was a box of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. BIG mistake. They are not like normal food. I learned this when I opened the box and could not quit eating the things. Then I offered them to Squishy. Second big mistake. Now it is all out the window.

At first, we thought it was cute the way he held out his little hand for a cracker, then stuffed it into his other hand and asked for another. Or how he yelled at us if we approached his chair and pretended to eat one. We’re not laughing anymore.

From the moment he first held one in his hands, Squishy has been a different kid. At a year old, his speech is basically unintelligible. That does not mean, however, that he does not communicate. On the contrary. He can make his wishes known in uncertain terms. When he is hungry, he pulls a certain purple box out of the recycle bin and parades around the living room. If I don’t take the hint, he tries to climb into the cabinet to get the goods himself. If I sit him in his chair and offer him anything but a bunny cracker, I can expect to have it dropped unceremoniously on the floor.

He is holding me hostage, this child of mine, threatening to slowly allow himself to starve to death if I don’t produce a crunchy little cheesy lagomorph (it’s a word. Look it up). And there’s not much I can do. Trying to communicate with him is like conversing with the Tasmanian Devil, but a lot less gets accomplished. I am at my wits end once again trying to get this little critter to EAT. All the things he once let pass his lips no longer meet with quality control.

I got a call from a lawyer this morning. Apparently Squishy is willing to reopen meal-time negotiations. It may be cheaper in the long run to just give him the stupid bunnies.

What’s Left?

This picture is directly related to my post. The world as we know it may come to an end.

I’ve been making a serious effort toward self-improvement. If it’s not good for me, I’ve been getting it out of my life, hopefully for good and ever.

It started with the cream in my coffee. I like creamer. The flavored kind. Lots of it. To the tune of one gigantic bottle of hazelnut a week. It wasn’t a problem for me. Something like 5 calories from fat per serving. But when I finally did the mental math about a year ago and discovered that I was consuming more than 1/2 my daily fat in creamer per day, I was floored. *Poof*  Creamer was gone overnight.

I added exercise, but I still wasn’t losing the weight I wanted to lose. Along came Lent. I gave up sweets and fast food, and dropped more than a few pounds. In order to keep myself from feeling deprived, I allowed myself a single favorite brownie per week. I didn’t even count the calories. I figured one brownie a week will keep me from craving other stuff. *Poof* Sweets and fast food gone.

I still have some weight to lose, and I’ve not been able to exercise as much, so I dropped my daily calories to about 1800 per day, give or take. That means that the sandwich or veggie burger, cheddar crackers, etc were too much. I’m down to two smaller meals and one big one (dinner) per day.*Poof* Big lunch gone.

The Earth Fare started messing with my life. They raised the price on my precious brownie. It went from $1.49 to $2.49 in 3 short months. The quality is too inconsistent to pay that much for it. It’s no longer worth it to me. *Poof* Delicious vegan brownie gone.

A few years after my son was born, I realized that I had inherited a metabolic disorder that can cause me a world of hurt if I don’t baby my liver. *Poof*  All alcoholic beverages gone. Forever.

We’ve been trying to stay out of debt and get ahead financially by following the basic but effective teachings of Dave Ramsey.  Recreational shopping is down to a very, very bare minimum, and we’ve been cutting back wherever we can. *Poof* Cable TV gone. I don’t miss this one at all, actually.

And this morning, I realized that if I keep drinking coffee (sugar, no cream, thank you) at my current rate of consumption, I will have a stroke before I am 45. Seriously. When you nearly blew a gasket because your toddler won’t stop talking, and an episode of “House” brings on heart palpitations, it really is time to cut back on the java. And I know it. But I am resentful. And bitter. Bitter as day-old coffee grounds.

I love coffee. I didn’t always. I pretended to like it when a coffee-loving suitor took me to a coffee shop on our first date. I learned to like dumping in gallons of flavored creamer when suitor became husband. And I learned to adore it myself when I gave up the creamer and actually bought good, fair-trade, shade-grown stuff. French roast became my favorite, all bold and sassy, and so strong it could talk back. And now what?

What pleasure is left in my life? I don’t eat sweets or fast food. My lunch is limited to a salad. Snacking between meals is out of the question except for boring, pre-approved items. I have no vegan brownie, or even a reasonable facsimile.I can’t go on wild shopping sprees. I can’t even drink to forget just how deprived I am. There is little fun left to me now. The next thing you know, someone will tell me that sex leads to pregnancy, and I’ll have to give that up, too.

But I am trying to focus on the positive. I know that my efforts to improve my life and my health will help me to live longer. Or at least it will feel like it.



Looking pretty good for 16!

Some days, my life reads like a country song. Today has been one of those days. I will tell you my pitiful story, and then you will offer your forgiveness for today’s blog being a repost off my old site. Last night, my 16 year old cat had an awful medical issue that carried into today. She’s fine now, but between getting her to the vet and worrying about whether she’d be okay, I’m left feeling a little drained. Combine that with 45 minutes of sheer terror this morning when I realized my good friend hadn’t called or emailed me after his kayaking trip, and then I couldn’t reach him by phone, and you’ve got the makings of a rerun day. It all ended well Piper the cat did well with the anesthesia and will be home soon, and my friend Steve isn’t at the bottom of a lake somewhere (a shout-out to Steve for not being dead!). But I now have exactly two brain-cells left, and they’re not talking to one another.

So here’s a repost, with a few additions. I have tried very hard to edit it, but apparently I was going through an ee cummings phase when I wrote this originally. Please forgive words that should be capitalized but aren’t. I know. It bugs me, too.


I don’t understand. why is it that:

1) My husband managed to install our surround-sound  approximately 30 seconds after we moved in, but he cannot snap up a sleeper to save his life??

2) My six year old can locate the great barrier reef on a globe but cannot find the hamper in his bedroom?

3) The old man can watch Gladiator without flinching but faints when he gives blood?

4) My dresser drawers are stuffed so full of clothes I can hardly close them, but most days I can’t find anything to wear?

5) I can spend a 12 hour day shopping thrift stores but can’t find the energy to fold my laundry?

6) We have many square feet of open floor space on the top floor of my house, but the cat will locate my son’s Tow-Mater slipper when she needs to vomit?

7) I’m so tired I can’t stand myself, but when I lay down I can’t sleep?

8 ) I have caught my kids’ poo in my hands, but when I ask my husband to use the booger sucker on the baby, he leaves a daddy-shaped hole in the door?

9) My daughter can name 14 species of gecko but cannot remember to bring home her lunchbox?

10) If we are checking books out of the library to save a  little money, why do we refuse to return them on time?

11) Why is it that when I need him to wake up, the baby is so sound asleep that I need an air horn to rouse him, but he’s up like a shot when I’m just trying to put laundry away?

12) Why is it that I can find 32 socks, but none of them actually has a mate? (this one needs a blog post of its very own)

13) I don’t mind when the tortoises at the zoo poop when I’m soaking them, but I am unamused when Squish does it?

14) Why is it that Squish would eat a bug but turns his nose up at broccoli?

A Girl’s Gotta Have Goals



Our zoo has a new snake, and is she impressive! At 23 feet long, she’s the largest reticulated python I have ever seen. And because of her,  I have a new goal. I want to lose enough weight that she could swallow me. And I want to do it before the first weekend in September when she is scheduled to return to the facility that owns her.

My dream came to life in early February. I hang out with the Herp guys every Wednesday when I go to help soak tortoises. When Buttercup (yep, that’s her name!) first arrived last winter, I heard the guys discussing which of the staff she could potentially eat. It is my deepest desire to be on that list.

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t want to actually be eaten by the snake, I just want to be a clear contender. Right now, I’m a maybe at best. A regurgitated or completely rejected meal at worst.

Now that I have a goal, I need a plan. No more Chic-fil-a. Snakes don’t eat chicken sandwiches. Buttercup eats bunnies at the zoo, therefore if I eat like a bunny, I will soon achieve my goal to be snake-bait. Lots of greens and raw vegetables.I can totally do that. On second thought, rabbits eat their own poop. Skip eating like a bunny.

Some people feed their reticulated pythons chickens. I could eat like a chicken. They eat fresh vegetables, too. And bugs. Um, never mind.

These dietary quirks force me to ask what retics eat in the wild. Insert quick Google search here, and the answer is… Pigs! There’s a diet plan I can stick to! I think I’m back in business.




Dirty Little Secret

They say the wife is always the last to know. I guess it’s true. I thought I knew him. We’ve been married for over 16 years, and have been part of each other’s lives for 19. Well, maybe I always knew but had somehow managed to ignore it. But I can’t ignore it anymore. I have to face it. My husband has a thing for Pop-tarts. And I had no idea at all. None.

How can this be? I try to provide a nutritious start for him everyday. Every single day.  I will always wonder at what point the Cheerios didn’t do it for him anymore.

I’ve been finding evidence for years. I’d go out to his car and find a shiny, metallic wrapper, a few crumbs, a receipt for a toaster pastry I never bought. It never occurred to me that he loved them. I thought it was a passing thing. Like maybe he forgot to eat breakfast and had to stop at Food City on the way to work to grab something to eat. But it was never random breakfast foods. I see that now. It was always Pop-tarts, or if times were tight, a store brand. And I’m not naïve enough to think that it was only occasionally. I think he was intentionally skipping breakfast so he’d have an excuse to get his grub on Pop-tart style.

So where do I go from here? How do I get past this secret life he has been leading for so many years? I’ve decided to try to meet his breakfast needs at home so he doesn’t go elsewhere. Yes, I’ve started purchasing Pop-tarts. I am not good at it yet. I know he likes blueberry. I went to the breakfast section at the store and found a box. But I got a box of 12 frosted blueberry in the store brand because it was actually cheaper than name brand. That was a mistake. Apparently, the frosting makes them too sweet and less appealing. I’m committed to trying again. We are going to make this thing work.

I no longer care about saving money. I will buy him the name brand if that is what keeps him happy. I don’t want him going elsewhere to get his high-fructose needs met. Together we are moving into a new phase of our marriage, an honest phase. Maybe soon I’ll be able to tell him that I don’t like mayonnaise.

Intentional Eating

I have some weight to lose. Some. We’ll call it 15 pounds just to keep things friendly. Since my youngest kid is old enough to wear big boy underwear and climb the monkey bars at the playground, it’s not really accurate to call it “baby fat.” It’s all mine, and it’s time to do something about it.

I exercise quite a bit. I take long walks with a friend a couple of times a week, I walk my kids to and from school, I can put 10 mile behind me with the hiking club with no problem at all. But I am still covered with a layer of fluff that I can really do without. The only thing left to look at is my diet. I try to eat healthy for the most part. But I like my food. A lot. So maybe that’s where I should start.

I decided to be more intentional about what I eat. If I limit myself to 1800 calories and plan out each day’s menu ahead of time, I should be able to get control of the situation.

Day 1:

Breakfast: bowl of corn chex cereal with skim milk
Snack: apple
Lunch: Salad
Snack: second bowl of cereal
Dinner: Black bean burger, salad, steamed vegetables

Going great. A bit hungry, but that’s okay. That’s my body breaking down the fat, right?

Day 2:

Breakfast: Bowl of cereal
Snack: Apple
Lunch: salad, pretzels
Dinner: lasagna, salad

I’m a little bored with the cereal, but I feel great! Another trip to the grocery store to buy salad.

Day 3

Breakfast: cereal
Snack: Frozen yoghurt
Lunch: Black Bean burger, pretzels, apple
Dinner: leftover lasagna

Why did I buy 3 boxes of corn chex cereal? And how long will it take to get to the bottom of them?

Day 4

Breakfast: another frickin’ bowl of cereal. Oh, my WORD! There is nothing to it but crunch! I want pancakes! And bacon.
Snack: half a box of Junior Mints
Lunch: Veggie burger. With sauteed onions and mushrooms. And chips. And some carrot sticks for good measure
Snack: other half of Junior Mints. God’s most perfect candy
Dinner: Chicken sandwich. From Chic-fil-a

I AM SO HUNGRY!!!! Have I lost 15 lbs yet? Out of salad. Again. Another trip to the grocery store. Please kill me now.

Day 5:

Breakfast: 2 bowls of that stinkin’ cereal.
Lunch: bean burrito at local restaurant
Snack: frozen yogurt. with oreos, peanut M&M’s, and crushed Heath bars
Dinner: sandwich

Please feed me! I don’t care if I’m fat, I just want to EAT! Please, in the name of all that is good and holy!

Day 6:

Ate a hippo.

I know that poaching is wrong, but poached is oh, so right. I will be fat forever. I am not sure I care.