2018-02-12 The Open Book

I’m an open book waiting for someone to pick a page and start reading. I’m waiting for the sweetest bookmark a girl could ever ask for. I’m waiting for something to write another page about. Oh man… what a way to start a Monday morning! For real.

This week I’m going to try and get my act together and finish my self study on AWS EC2 and get to the end of two books on my suggested reading list. That’s pretty lofty considering my pace so far. But if there is one thing I know about myself, it’s that if I set a goal I’m pretty determined about hitting it. The Whole 30 was a perfect example.

This is the LAST anyone will ever read from me On the subject. I said I wS going to do a whole post with my final analysis on the subject, but like 2016, I’m so over it and never want to think about it again.

I committed to 30 days eating nothing but Whole Foods with a ton of restrictions in order to do a dietary reset. After the first 7 days I didn’t want to be doing it anymore but stuck it out till the end anyhow. And for what? Apparently nothing. Ok. Not nothing.

The positives…

1. I discovered I can eat eggs every day and I still love them.
2. I proved I could do it.
3. I learned how to cook about a half a dozen new super tasty meals that are healthy.
4. I crossed doing anything remotely like this off my list fo-eva!

For funsies, here’s a list of things I have previously done and concluded I will never do again…

1. Participate in a hack-a-thon. Mmmmm… nope. Not unless the prize is like 7 days and nights at some bucket list destination. Then perhaps.

2. Climb a fourteener. Never again. I’ve never been so pushed past my physical limitations in all my life. Ok.. maybe if I was training to be on Survivor or something. But only that.

3. Any 24 hour long event. Like that 24 hour long game-a-thon I participated in for charity a few years ago. To deprive ones self of sleep that way is just pure ridiculousness. At hour 22 we started playing a D&D sort of game and that was madness. (Me and my sick Magi skills still kicked ass though).

4. Push another baby out of my vagina. Sorry for the graphic but that’s just to stress the gravity and reality of bearing children. Don’t get me wrong, being pregnant was amazing and I’ve often thought I would love to be pregnant again but… not delivery and, uh, not taking care of babies ever again. Not my jam.

5. Any water sport where drowning is even a remote possibiluty. Near death experiences will do that to a person.

I think that’s it. Anything else I’d be open to trying or trying again. So I guess I’m pretty much an open book in that respect too.
Time to commit another page to the story.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-08 When Plan A Doesn’t Work

Yesterday nothing seemed to go as panned. Serious bummer.

It started when I went to my appointment at the Masonic center to donate blood. I’ve got the whole thing down to a science. That blood drive is every 2 months so it is perfect for the 60 day rule. I book my appointment using the app. A week before the appointment I start amping up my iron. The day of I do my rapid pass before I go.. and BAM, I’m in and out in like 40 minutes. Easy.

My hemoglobin was 12.4 which is too low by a tenth of a point so I had to walk away without donating. Stupid iron deficiency. It was probably because it’s like cycle day 3 or 4. I’m in purge mode so my RBCs are going to be low anyhow.

The clinical intake person treated me like it was my fault, which was super irritating. I go through great lengths just to have enough iron in my system to be above that 12.4 cutoff. I eat all the right things and take iron supplements and also match with vitamin C to get maximum absorption. I’ve researched this and I know what the fuck I’m doing.

So when she says “aww.. if you just woulda eaten some raisins this morning you’d have made it”. I wanted to punch her in the face. She goes on to say “and we really needed your blood too.”

No shit? There’s a need for blood? When is there not a need for blood??! I get emails once a week the supply is low. It’s either low or critically low and when I’m donating the very most they allow based on their rules, I don’t need some person pointing a finger at me like it’s my fault. Rotten.

Now my 2 month schedule is messed up because I’m going to try again at the library in a week or so. I ended up going to target to get groceries instead. Whatev.

From that point on, nothing else really went as planned either. Work was meh and I felt excluded but like I said, they don’t really need me so I just have to roll with it. I should be thankful because then I have more time to do other things, but instead I just sat online waiting for something to come my way.

I was also supposed to have a first date last night. Someone I met on Bumble. I was waiting around to hear from that dude too and didn’t go to Jazzercise or eat dinner or anything I would have normally done. I guess he was working late. This I completely understand because I’ve been in that spot, but after that, I had dinner late-ish and then was super unmotivated to do anything else. Whatev.

That lack of motivation has followed me to today and I feel like I just don’t give a shit about anything.

I ate my first chocolate in 31 days last night. Then I ate an entire chocolate bar and then I felt sick. This morning I weighed myself. After suffering deprivation for 30 days on that stupid program I lost ZERO pounds. Whatev!

Losing weight was never one of my goals but seriously??! If there has ever been a case made for the theory that not everything works for everyone, this is it.

For me I’m sure it has something to do with portions and my indulgence in RX bars… and possibly snacking too late in the day close to bed. Easy enough to test. Just don’t want to.

It’s slim pickings at the gym this AM. None of the usual suspects are here except the good looking personal trainers and their shiny wedding bands on their ring fingers.

There’s no man in black yet, no bird girl, and no creeping retired dude checking me out from across the room. No hot guys to motivate me to kick the resistance up on this machine. Whatev.

I still have a handful of unopened “open when” cards from Z from Mother’s day last year. One was “open when Plan A doesn’t work”. I decided to open it. It was a sympathetic message saying she was sorry the plan didn’t work out and went on to say that the good news is that there are 25 more plans to try.

“… Plan B, C ,D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z”

That girl is a total gem! 💎 She’s the bomb really. I’m a lucky mom. 😊

So today Plan B it is. I’m gonna try and find some motivation and get some things accomplished. I suppose that starts now.

Turn that Whatev into Vetahw!

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-07 Mid Week Musings

When there’s so much.. where does one start?

How about with the fact that my car was inches away from being the 3rd vehicle in a parking lot collision at the HS this morning. It was Kia vs. some boat of a chevey. That boat came busting across the end of an isle like her ass was on fire and getting into a parking spot was the only way to put it out.

When I saw her coming, I started to brake, but I knew I was going to hit her because my tires are shit and the parking lot is two or three inches of packed snow. That Kia saved me from a LOT of grief by hitting her first. My front bumper was ‘that’ close! Stupid teenagers.

Z was still in the car and I said “learn from other mistakes. Both mine and hers”. I think she gets it. This month is drivers ed and we are exactly 1 month away from her getting her license. I’m not ready for that.

(My lesson is to not go through that back parking lot anymore – stupid.)

The last few days of work have been busy but good. Im trying to add as much value as I can. I’m learning lots too. My team is superb and they don’t really need me but this is an opportunity to prove I’m capable and dependable.

I’m pulling data and counts from AWS logs and managing the issues spreadsheet and answering anything directed specifically at me. I’m really trying hard to keep my mouth shut (or rather my fingers from typing my opinion on things). I’ve got lots. Haha.

This week’s true test is to see if ‘shiny object syndrome’ exists in the veins of the team and how strong it it.

My steps are taking a huge hit from this work thing these past two days. It’s really cramping my style. 😂 But it will slow down today and balance out. I’m confident in that. I’m 3rd tier support so after this test, I only have to jump on when things get routed to me. It’s gonna be great.

Even though time has been tight so far this week, I sliced out some yesterday to finally open the response to my first big assignment for my MFA. The email had the words “great first packet” so that was positive from the start.

Inside was lots of feedback ranging from instructional to praise. There really wasn’t one comment that said “you got that wrong”. Perhaps it’s because the instructional comments were written suggestively without saying “you missed the point”. That was mostly on my critical essays. The sparkly comments were on the creative samples I submitted.

Lots of sparkles! I’m loving it!! I submitted mostly new things which means 1st or 2nd drafts. There were lots of suggestions too but the fact that there were comments like “loved this” and “really liked what you did here” gave me warm fuzzies inside. It motivates me to dig right in again and get started on revisions.

This is what I’m talking about when I talk about management recognizing positive outcomes. It leaves people naturally wanting to work hard. Not that tough to figure out or do, but somehow seems like an elusive concept at some places… or they just forget. I dunno.

AND GUESS WHAT??!!.. As of right now, I’m Whole 30 free!! Woot woot. I still haven’t decided what to reintriduce to my system and what to keep out. I wanna take it slow because I’ve heard people have stomach reactions from having too much too soon.

I’m going to do a whole recap post dedicated to the topic, but in short I’m glad I did it, despite what folks might think from my complaining and ranting. I’m also very glad it’s over! Very!!

I’ll probably still have eggs with guacamole and salsa and breakfast potatoes for breakfast. ❤️🍳🥑🍅

Might be time for that soon actually.

Happy Hump Day,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS. Happy Birthday to my Ex Husband. Thanks for giving me two beautiful babies!!

2018-02-04 Super Sunday Status Update 🏈🏈🏈

Minus the footballs but.. Eagles and Patriots? How very American!! 🏈🇺🇸🍟(News flash.. Apple pie was replaced by McDonald’s as the iconic food of our people in 1992.. sad panda). I’ll probably stream it in my office and watch for the highlights (ie. commercials) with a nice selection of Whole 30 compliant fruits and nuts. I’ll probably be whining the whole time because I’m missing my Superb Owl bottle of wine.

This week my Status was not as stellar as it has been in recent weeks. Starting with sleep… 6 hours and 12 minutes on average. Yikes. What happened there? The short answer is, I don’t know.

Exercise.. I was low on Jazzercise classes but my step count was stil almost 20k steps per day. I tried to mix in more weights and did an extra class at the gym. It was tough because I wasn’t feeling it.

Healthy Earing.. Still rocking the Whole 30 thing. Three days to go!!! I’ve had eggs at least once a day for 27 days and am pleasantly surprised that I stil love-love eggs!! 🥚 🍳 🥚

Work Status.. I had a few more hours this week which was great. Still not enough to do mire than live paycheck to paycheck. If I can muster 5 more hours a week, that would be the sweet spot.

Student status.. Full time but gave myself a break this week after turning my first big packet in. It’s time to start getting after it again this week. Also.. I should be getting feedback froM that assignment soon and it is highly anticipated. Hopefully I didn’t totally miss the mark for what was expected.

Relationship status.. Still single. I went back to bumbling and it did not take me long to remember why I dislike it so much. I might just scrap it and figure something else out.

Planning ahead.. I might go to Denver in February. I’ve got tickets for my first trip this year to Austin in March. And this week my fans, Fall out Boy, requested the honor of my presence at their show in Lincoln in October. Despite them dissing my city, I agreed to go.

This week I’ve got lunches scheduled with my former co-worker, R, and my friend Leah. It’s also the start of drivers ed. this month for Z and so I’ve got to taxi for that.

The future looks bright! 😎

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-01 Welcome to February.. Seriously

It’s one day closer to spring and I just can’t wait. I guess that’s why they say patience is a virtue. I have virtues when it comes to some things, but patience isn’t one of them.

I don’t like to wait. For anything. I’m all about instant gratification. If I get a craving for chocolate.. I just want to go for it. That’s part of what is making this Whole 30 so challenging. It’s also part of why I’m doing it. I’ll be curious to see if I slip back to all my old behaviors when it’s over and done with.

Now that I’m nearing the end, ive started thinking about how I might alter my permanent eating behaviors. Ive thought about staying gluten free or dairy free or sugar free. (Haha.. just kidding on that last one 😂)

Seriously though. One of my goals was to tame my sugar dragon. 🐉 I didn’t make that term up.. it’s actually what they call it on the official site and chat boards. If dragons were rated like earthquakes mine would probably pop off the Richter scale at a solid 5. If Charles had enough sense in 1935 he’d probably design a 10 point scale to try and curb some of that decimal nonsense. No self respecting rating system operates on a 5 point scale anymore. Well except maybe girls that evaluate Cheeseburgers on their anonymous blog. 😉

Seriously though. I guess lots of rating systems still operate on a 0 to 5 star selection. I just don’t find it easy when you’re the person who has to choose and you don’t have half stars to choose from. With 5 points, there’s a huge difference between 5 and 4.

Think about it. 5 is like saying something is 100% and let’s be real, there’s not a lot of things that are just THAT good. I almost never rate anything a 5 because there’s always room for improvement and I reserve that for some instance where I’ve been so blown away by whatever it is. Like “BAM – That’s a 5!”

Then, just one tiny little star away from that is a 4. That’s 80% which is arguably a C grade. In some peoples eyes, this is like a B, but then what happens when you get to 3 and that’s 60% which is a very low D.. almost an F and so then your left with 2 and 1 which are 40 and 20 and both clearly F’s. I know it’s not really comparable, but I think that is part of the problem with a 5 point scale. Theres just to wide of an interpretation. You might see 2 or 2.5 or 3 as average, but someone else might not.

Anyhow, I met this guy on Bumble recently and he actually does reviews of places (and specific food) around town and he’s got this rating system that judges the food on five categories and each category the top score is 10. What you end up with is a score from 0 to 50 and that’s pretty legit. Perhaps I should rethink my whole strategy for rating Cheeseburgers. Because I know that is of monumental importance to the universe. Ha!

But Seriously. I need it to be spring already and I need to get to February 7th already and I need to figure out what is going to happen after that. I know the whole point of this thing is a reset of the system, but since I don’t feel better or look better or weigh less or anything, my inclination is to say screw it. That would probably be a bad idea, I am sure. After depriving ones self of one of their favorite things for so long, it is hard not to think about that being the very first thing you go for again.

Failing at Being Serious,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-27 A Whole 30 Rant

Spoiler alert.. if you didn’t catch it from the title, I’m about to poke a hole in the Whole 30 program. If you don’t want the truth.. quit reading now. Ignorance is bliss. 😜

Today is Day 20 of a 30 day attempt to “reset” my body by eating Whole Foods only. I’m trying to follow the guidelines set by the official Whole 30 program which, at the most basic level, includes eating only Whole Foods and cutting out a very specific list of things.

No added sugar, no soy or products made with soy, no dairy, no alcohol, no legumes, no beans, and no grains. This is so far beyond paleo it’s out of control. There are, however, details in the fine print that are not to be dismissed and therein lies the rub for me.

(The damn devil and his constant dance with details. Curse that jerk.)

Before I dive into the one detail that has been my undoing, I’m going to elaborate on my original goals.

1. The reset. I want to flush my body if all the bad stuff. I’m not sure that’s achievable in 30 days as it takes months to begin to undo damage done to the gut from gluten. However, any surface level toxins should definitely be gone in 30 days time.

2. Check my sugar addiction. I’ve got a healthy sweet tooth and it’s a problem. I have sugar cravings like you would not believe and it’s a constant battle of wills to resist temptations.

3. To support my sister who also wanted to do the program. We discussed it before Christmas last year and that’s when I originally committed to starting on the 8th of January. It’s easier to stick with it if you have a support system and a voice of reason when your brain tries to convince you to quit.

4. To prove that I could. Yeah.. that’s me. I’m always trying something new and I see it as a challenge. People say it’s tough, so I wanted to do it just so I could say I did. Ha!

5. Learn how to shop for, plan for, and cook healthy meals.

Noteworthy… Missing from this list is any goal of losing weight. I’m mostly satisfied with that and don’t count that as a valid measure of health for myself anyway. If I end up losing those last 5 lbs. that seem to always be out of reach, then so much the better but it’s not my goal.

I’m now 20 days in and am feeling somewhat discontent with the “whole” thing. I’ve had serious cravings and outlasted them all. I’ve spent afternoons thinking about tortilla chips and chocolate. I could not have made it this far without #3 and #4 above. Which just proves that the force is strong with the virtues of both. In that, I feel I’ve already proved something and when this 30 days is over, will consider the experiment a success despite the issues surrounding the rest of it.

So what are those issues? That takes me back to the devil and the fine print. And believe me, I’ve done a deep dive into the rules and read the official word on tortilla chips, RX bars, and coconut aminos.

I think it was day 7 or 8 that my sister cooked me a delicious turkey chili with roasted squash topped with guacamole. It was amazing. During our conversation, she mentioned RX bars which I had not known about previously. She explained how they were approved because they are made with only Whole ingredients and no unapproved items. She also used the words “emergency food” but I glossed over that convieniently.

The next time I was at the grocery, I bought some. They are awesome (really expensive, but also really good). The ingredients are dates, egg white, almond, cashew, and whatever else depending on the flavor. The number 1 ingredient is dates, which are loaded with sugar. It’s pretty much like eating a candy bar. How can that be OK?

As it turns out, it’s not. It’s only approved in emergency situations. The “stranded on the tarmac” kind and not intended to be used casually after a meal like a brownie or to scratch that late night craving itch. Epic fail on my part. That’s why understanding ALL the rules up front is so important.

Even as an emergency food, I have a problem with it. It’s still processed and that is counter to the spirit of the program. If I can’t bake something with almond flour, then how is it ok to eat this processed bar? If I can’t eat a tortilla chip made of corn, sunflower oil, and sea salt then why is the RX ok? It should be banned along with several other things that are deemed ok.. because they ARE processed and not whole foods.

And while I’m on a soapbox anyway, let’s be real.. “Emergency?!?”. What emergency?

How tough is it to pack a bag with nuts and maybe fruit like apples or cuties? Shouldn’t we just do ourselves a favor and really learn how to make healthy things and prepare in advance for life? Aren’t all those fast food comvieniences part of the systemic problem facing our society today?

It’s just easier to drive through a place and pick up a meal than to have fresh, healthy ingredients on hand in the kitchen and foresight to plan and cook something good. It’s just easier to feed that mid-day hunger pang with a “nutrition” bar than to have, on hand, some better alternative.

I fell into the trap and sadly, the RX Bar bit me in the ass. I started using it as a crutch daily and a few times twice. Shame on me. I’ve since decided to finish out my last 10 days with a tighter rein on some rules.

Nothing but Whole Foods and no processed bars or dried fruit. I’m also going to limit my fresh fruit intake to 3 servings a day. Hopefully I can still achieve #2 on my list above and hopefully I will feel a difference in SOMETHING, which so far I have not. If I can’t FEEL something different.. better as a result, then what’s the point?

I want more energy and better sleep and less issues with hormones and headaches and I’ve read stories by other people who achieve that in this program. I’m just not feeling it. My sister tells me that’s probably because I ate somewhat healthy before. Perhaps that’s true.

Anyhow, Normally I subscribe to the concept that ignorance of the rules is no excuse for breaking them, but in this case, if I can be successful these last 10 days, I’m going to consider this round a success.

If I counted my RX habit breaking a rule, then I would just quit now (and probably not try again anytime soon). So I have to think about it as I am in order to finish the 30 days.

Ok.. flame 🔥 off.

It’s the weekend. Time to go enjoy the day!

Peace and love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-01-21 Sunday Status Update

Sleep.. Average 8 hours and 14 minutes last week. That’s freaking amazing!!! The consistency is getting better and I think that’s a direct result of my diligence and really establishing a great routine. It’s only January and I’m already hitting my goal! 😴😊✅🎉

Eating.. Still on the Whole 30. Today is Day 14. I’m almost half way there and still love eggs. I’ve perfected my guacamole and have established a planning/cooking routine that works. Evenings (between 7 and bedtime) are the toughest to fight through cravings. I’m probably eating too many fruits and nuts but that’s going to have to be ok.

Exercise.. 18,615 average steps per day. Four Jazzercise classes and back up to 8 pound free weights in class.

Employment status.. I didn’t quite hit 20 hours this week. That’s got to change.

Relationship status.. Single.

Student status.. I’m a full time student trying to get it done on part time hours. This has to change too. I need to ramp things up and put in some serious reading in the next week.

This week I’m looking forward to lunch with Sam today, Amy on Tuesday, and a family Birthday lunch on Wednesday with my mom and sisters. It will really be the first test of eating at restaurants on this Whole 30 plan. I definitely see some salads in my future.

Time to Hit it and Git it!

~Miss SugarCookie