Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 4 updates

I’ve mostly been updating with just the long runs, which are important, but I haven’t really been keeping you up to date with my daily experiences. My training schedule is 4 days of jogging a week (Monday, long run, Tuesday a shorter approximate 3 mile run, Wednesday rest (I do upper body strength training) Thursday a shorter approximate 4 mile run, Friday rest from running, work with hand weights, Saturday 4 mile run, Sunday rest). Later in my training some of the 4 mile runs will turn into 5 or 6 mile runs. When I first started I would be wiped out and feeling like I never wanted to leave the couch, especially on days where I had to go to work after, but now I’m able to complete my run and go to work feeling fine. (2 of my running days usually land on days I work and I wake up a couple hours earlier than I usually do to get my run in).

I thought I’d be sore today after my 8 miles yesterday, but aside from my muscles getting tired faster and my feet still being tired I’m not that sore. It took me a tad longer to complete my 3.4 miles today than it did last week.

I’m doing well with the “rules” I gave myself. I haven’t skipped one running day since I started this thing. I can see improvement. It’s fun to see how much more quickly I recover at the end of a run (I don’t feel out of breath any more at my front door, unless I sprint the last stretch which sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t) and how much further I can go now before walking compared to a month ago. Yesterday was my first big milestone in this experience because I have never jogged much further than 6 miles before I started training and that was far for me to go, so the distance I’ve gone in my long runs before now I had already done at some point in my life. I was a little apprehensive before my run yesterday, and I almost wanted to cry at the end of it because I finished it with the same pace I did 6 miles the week before and it showed me that I could do something I’ve never done and I was capable of going a distance I never thought I’d go. I was so proud of myself. For the first time I felt like I could do this if I keep working at it. I’m starting to feel like a real jogger and not just a wannabe.

I’m letting myself eat whenever I’m hungry…which I still feel like is a lot. I’m making progress with my rule of not feeling guilty about it and I think I’m happier that way. I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t gained any weight either. I just remind myself that I’m not doing this to lose weight- I’m doing it to be able to run further and complete a marathon. I’m already a healthy weight, so even if I feel that I have some flab I’d prefer not to have I’m not going to worry about it. And in order to not hate my life during this time, I can’t be starving myself.

I took my pulse before going to sleep last night and it was 46-48 BPM. I always like trending my pulse at rest. So far that’s the lowest I’ve gotten it. It was 50 when I woke up this morning and 54 right now.

I kind of miss dairy. I discovered silk vanilla light, which I absolutely love though. It has more calcium, less sodium and less calories than a glass of skim milk and I think it tastes way better. Rarely would I drink a glass of plain milk, but I really enjoy the vanilla flavored silk. I use it on my cereal too. I can’t really use it in cooking or other things since it’s flavored, but I was very pleased with that as a substitute for my cereal…and just drinking. Really surprised how much I like it. I still don’t have a replacement for my cheese and yogurt, so I’m just doing without. When I’d normally have cottage cheese and fruit, I’m just having fruit and leaving cheese out of stuff I’d normally put it in.

Before my 8 mile run yesterday I ate a banana and 2 costco rolls with a bit of blackberry jam on them for breakfast. After my run I had a bowl of life cereal (with my vanilla silk light) and took a shower. Then I ate a piece of baked salmon, a bowl of brown rice and spinach. I went Christmas shopping and on my way home I was starving and decided I couldn’t even wait for water to boil to make 3 minute ramen once I was home, so I was going to stop at Safeway and get my favorite sandwich there, but then realized part of what made that sandwich so delicious was the marinated mozzarella cheese, so I went to subway instead and got the cold cut combo foot long with all the veggies on honey oat bread and no cheese…and a macadamia nut cookie. I inhaled the first half of that sandwich so dang fast. Haha. I thought I would die before I could eat it. I ate the other half a while later and continued to be hungry rather frequently and ate something every couple hours or so until I went to bed.

I will say this: I am glad that my brother convinced me to train for a marathon over the holidays. It’s not like I indulge every day, but probably for the first time in a long time if not ever I feel no remorse what so ever for any goodies that I do eat. It’s a good feeling. Haha.

Monday, December 17, 2012

8 miles

Today is the start of week 4. I just got back from jogging 8.14 miles. My feet are tired. In fact, that was the most difficult thing to run through was my feet hurting. Sure my legs were tired and sometimes it was hard to breathe, but for the most part if I’m not going up hill my lungs feel pretty good. I might have to get some shoes with better arch support, but at least I don’t get hot spots or blisters.

8.14 miles! That is the furthest I have ever jogged in my entire life…and I’m just now starting to feel the gnawings of a hunger that will soon turn ravenous if I don’t eat soon.

It took me an hour, 36 minutes and 50 seconds giving me an 11:54 per mile average pace. Not bad for me! I keep thinking I have my Christmas angels with me lately. Next week I’ll be home at my parent’s house and plan to go 10 miles. Depending on the route I choose, the terrain will be a little bit flatter, but they still have some pretty good hills too. I need to figure out my route still.

I still haven’t run with water or “fuel” or food of any kind. I haven’t really needed to, but I know I have to start soon. And it’s something I worry about since I’ve never done it before and I’m not quite sure what to try first. It’s strange for me to have my lungs still feel good and my body be tired. Usually it’s the other way around.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Starting week 3

Mondays=long run days! Today I went 6.2 miles. I really regretted my hot chocolate and ice cream I had last night somewhere between mile 2 and 3 this morning though. It wasn’t anything emergent, even if I had a bathroom I don’t think I could have gone but the pain was enough to keep me from running and if I wasn’t exercising I probably wouldn’t have even had a problem. I felt like my intestines were on fire and I had to walk for just over a half a mile. I was so mad. I was contemplating cutting my route short and trying again later or doing my long run tomorrow since I was walking so much more than I wanted to. My legs, feet and lungs were fine and it was one of the few flat parts of my route! I don’t mind walking up hill but it’s against my rules to walk downhill or on a flat part on my jogging routes around here. So so so mad and irritated at my burning bowels. I really wanted to know that I could do 6 miles decently before I move on to 8 miles next week. That’s when I decided I might have to make some dietary adjustments. It’s not the first time on a run that I’ve had uncomfortable cramps that have forced me to a walk when otherwise I could run. This makes me sad. I’ve always been a little sensitive to milk products, but nothing debilitating enough to keep me from eating it. I eat dairy every day. I’ll have to be more attentive at taking my calcium pills now, but if it helps me feel better when I run I guess it will be worth it so I’ll start there and see if it helps.

BUT despite the burning and the walking way more than I should have, my discomfort eased away and I finished my 6.2 miles with a 11:50 a mile average pace! I was stoked, and not expecting that with the .6 miles I walked where I normally wouldn’t have. Once I started jogging again I kind of zoned out I guess and before I knew it I was coming up to my turns and passing places I usually would stop to walk for a bit at. I almost missed my turn off one street because I didn’t expect it so soon. It felt amazing to just keep going! Even though I’m trying not to focus or worry about my time I always want to at least finish with a 12 minute mile average pace, and usually I’ve been slower than that around 12:30. This was the first time since starting my training 2 weeks ago I’ve done it. I’m getting better and I can feel it.

After I finished my run I didn’t exactly want to keep running but I wasn’t gasping for air (in fact I was breathing pretty comfortably) or completely exhausted. My feet seem to be adjusting to my shoes ok and I haven’t had any serious blisters like I did a few weeks ago. I’ve got a nice callous on my left big toe.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Recent about nothings

For the first time ever I put peanut butter on my vanilla ice cream with a bit of chocolate syrup. Why oh why have I never done this before? So good.  Also good: peanut butter on celery, apples, bread, graham crackers, a spoon, bananas. I guess I eat a lot of peanut butter. It surprises me that I’m just now thinking to put it on ice cream.

My multi vitamins expired in May. The nurse in me says just throw the bottle away and get new ones, I wouldn’t give meds (even if it’s just vitamins) that expired to my patients, why take them myself? The economical person in me says there’s a bajillion left! Surely they haven’t lost all their potency in 7 months? The reasonable person in me says I can afford a new bottle of MVI’s. The cheap person in me says, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY LEFT! I’m still taking them…for now.

There was a blood drive in my town today. I really wanted to go donate and was planning to after I went to my little meeting with a trainer at the gym I just joined. I sadly decided against donating because I didn’t want to feel horrible during my jog later today especially having to work after. I guess I’ll hold off donating until after the marathon in May with all the running I’m going to be doing between now and then. I haven’t donated since just before I moved here a year and a half ago. In fact, the last time I donated my cell phone rang in the middle of my bleeding, but my purse was on the floor next to me and I couldn’t reach it. I said, “That’s my phone…” hoping my phlebotomist would hand me my purse so I could answer it, but instead she did a little dance and said she liked my ring tone and left it where it was. It was the assistant to my now boss who left a message wanting to set up an interview. I called her back from the snack/recovery table once I was bandaged up and scheduled a day and time for my interview. What a happy happy day. I left that blood bank elated.

A few months ago I made a weird decision to not cut my hair until something significant happened to me. It hadn’t been cut since February this year and was already overdue for another cut. Now it is longer than I’ve had it probably since high school.  My favorite length is just around or below my chin. I’m not sure what caused me to make this decision, maybe I was getting bored and needed some motivation to make something happen but regardless of the reason the decision has been made. The significant event wasn’t anything specifically, but I would know if it was significant or not. If nothing else then I can at least look forward to a haircut any time after May 4 once I complete my first (and possibly last) marathon. In the meantime, you may call me Sampson.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 2: personal reminders

Rule # 1: Don’t skip a running day.

My training schedule has 4 running days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). It’s been raining here lately so I’ve been stuck on a treadmill. I’m tired of it already. It’s dumping buckets again today, but I can’t imagine myself getting back on a treadmill right now so I’m probably just going to put on my old running shoes and get soaked. I only have to go 3 miles today, but for some reason 3 miles on a treadmill seems like it takes so much longer than 3 miles outside.

Rule # 2: Eat when you’re hungry

Whenever I exercise a lot, I am ALWAYS hungry. Like I can eat a meal and feel full then not even an hour later be ready for another one.

Rule # 3: Don’t feel guilty about it

Also, whenever I exercise a lot I’m more aware of what and how much I eat. I’m afraid that because I AM hungry all the time if I eat all the time I’m going to take in too many calories and I wind up not eating enough making myself feel even worse. So to let myself not entirely hate this process of training for a marathon, if it’s a healthy food choice I’m going to eat whenever I want so I’m not completely ravenous like I was when I did INSANITY. Also, I’m not going to be as strict with myself in regards to dessert. Rule # 3 so far is the hardest for me, because even though I’m trying to follow rule #2 that keeps me feeling better physically, I still can’t quite shake the feeling that I shouldn’t be eating so much.

Rule # 4: Drink more water
I don't really have any commentary on this one

It sounds like the rain has eased up a bit, so I think I'd better head out before it gets worse.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ready ready ready, ready to run

It’s official now. I registered today and there are no refunds. It’s gonna happen.

May 4, 2013- Provo City Marathon!

I started my “official” training this week, and today I joined a gym so I’d have some where to go to use a treadmill if it was raining or dark outside when I wanted to run. As a part of my membership I get one free personal trainer session every 3 months and they set me up with a trainer who has run a marathon before, so maybe that will be helpful.

I went just over 6 miles on my long run this week (I'll be doing my long runs on mondays for now at least instead of the typical saturday since I'm scheduled to work weekends for the rest of the year). Next week it will be 7 miles.   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to bake a cake in 1/3 the time

It’s a complicated process, but don’t worry. I think you can manage it:

1.       Accidently preheat your oven to 450 instead of 350.

2.       Place the cake in pre (over) heated oven.

3.       Set the timer for one minute less than the box instructs for the shortest amount of time (33 minutes).

4.       Call your mom to ask a question about the frosting recipe.

5.       After approximately 10 minutes you should smell burning cake like smells.

6.       Go to the oven, open the door and check on the cake.

7.       Act surprised that it looks like it’s done.

8.       Look at the timer. Notice 21 more minutes to go.

9.       Wonder how in the world the cake baked that fast.

10.   Take the cake out of the oven.

11.   Notice the oven temperature setting.

12.   Wonder where in the world your brain was at when you set it. Wait, didn’t you set it for 350? You could have sworn you set it for 350.

13.   Worry about what you’re going to be like when you’re older.

14.   Freak out that you may have ruined your sister’s birthday cake and start anticipating a trip to the store to buy another box of german chocolate cake mix.

15.   Thoroughly inspect the cake.

16.   Pat the top of it to ensure it is baked all the way through.

17.   Pat it some more (good cake, gooood cake).

18.   Notice the burned spots where the batter dripped on the side of the pan giving off the burned smell and be relieved that the cake itself may be ok.

19.   Smell the cake.

20.   Smell the cake again.

21.   Poke a toothpick in it.

22.   Smell the cake again.

23.   Scrutinize the color in the corners.

24.   Declare it good.

25.   Serve with frosting and ice cream to help make up for any dryness that may have resulted from the flash bake.

26.   Be proud of yourself. You only took 12 minutes to accomplish something that takes everyone else 34-38 minutes. Eat cake!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mystery cable connection

While watching tv yesterday I hit the “on demand” menu (I have Comcast-xfinity for my cable service) to find a show I wasn’t able to watch earlier this week. A note popped up on my screen that said something along the lines of “remove power source from cable box for one minute and then try again when menu returns”. Occasionally, and rarely messages like this come up and after it re-boots everything is fine. I unplugged my cable box for a few minutes, plugged it back in, turned on my tv again but all I could see was snow and “no signal”. Weird. The cable box was plugged in, and despite the on demand feature not working my TV was working just fine moments before. There should have been a signal. I turned the cable box on and off 3 or 4 times, and still snow. Perplexed, I changed the input to make sure it was on the right channel, even though I hadn’t changed the input. All the cables appeared to be connected and plugged in on the box and the cable jack on the wall. I followed the other cable from the cable box that was supposed to connect to the tv and found it dangling, attached to nothing. I figured it must have somehow fallen off my tv when I unplugged the power source (although it was unlikely since they screw in pretty securely) so I took a look behind my TV to see where it should screw in. There wasn’t anywhere to secure it because there was already another cable attached to the only spot it would fit. I followed that cable attached to the tv and found it dangling attached to nothing. My cable box only has 2 spots the cord attached to my TV would have fit that already had one cable connected to the wall jack and the other cord that was dangling connected to nothing. So I had a cable going from my cable box and a cable from my tv both hanging there connecting them to nothing and nothing connecting my tv to the cable box. I unscrewed the dangling cable from the cable box, replaced it with the other end of the cord attached to the tv and voila, sure enough the picture returned on my screen and I now have an extra cord. I haven't touched the cable cords since I originally hooked it up except to change out the cord connecting the cable box to the wall jack for a longer one about 2 months ago. My TV had been working just fine. My questions are: how in the heck have I been able to watch tv for the past forever (not to mention just moments before this discovery) if it wasn’t connected correctly? AND how was it not connected correctly in the first place? I’m not retarded. I wouldn’t have left cables hanging off of appliances not connected to anything and expect it to work. I’m pretty sure I did not hook it up that way when I got my self-installation kit last year. I’m so confused. I feel like this is an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Phantom kitty part II: the Jolly Roger

So the tuna disappeared. Turns out I did have a beast of some sort in my garage and it wasn’t just in my head. I tried to put more tuna out and called out “here kitty kitty kitty” to see if I could get it to come out, but all was quiet and I couldn’t find the kitty anywhere. I opened my garage door and rattled all my boxes. Nothing. Before going to work, I listened for the kitty. Nothing. I had named it “phantom kitty Roger” because I could never find it, and used roger as a play-off of gaRAGE. I turned my car on and backed out, and then there it was again. Very loud yeowling, but where was it coming from?

I stopped, turned the car off, and proceeded to pull out and flip over every box in my garage. The meowing stopped. I could not find the phantom kitty. The meowing started again, and it was not coming from the boxes in my garage. It sounded like it was just outside of my garage. I walked to my car and it got louder. I popped my hood and at first couldn’t see anything, but then there it was. A little gray kitten, laying on top of my engine looking at me like, “you’re not my mother!”

I proceeded to scold Roger and told him to get out, I had to go to work. He didn’t listen. I shooed him with my hand and after a couple tries, he finally scurried down and took off like a sonic the hedgehog blur yeowling the whole way. Not sure where he went, but the meows got quieter and quieter. Perhaps he found another garage to crash in. I figure it must have been one of the stray wild kittens we have around the hospital that crawled in my car while I was at work Monday night, that went for a fun ride, since I never leave my garage door open.

It dawned on me as I was driving to work that I had named the kitty Roger, because it lived in my garage, and I found it in my car that I named Jolly. They made a perfect pair.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Phantom kitty

I feel like I’m losing my mind. Maybe I’m still asleep and it’s a dream. Yesterday morning when I got home from work as soon as I shut my car door in my garage I heard a blood curdling squeal. What WAS that? It happened again and it sounded like a cat that was trying to die, but not without first letting the world know it was angry about it. I stepped out of my garage and looked around. I couldn’t see anything. The meows (if you could call them meows) stopped and I went inside.

It happened again when I got home from work this morning. It sounded so close. Again I stepped outside, looked around. Couldn’t see anything. I wondered if my neighbor had moved out and left a cat in her garage, but that didn’t make sense because she moved more than a month ago and I would have heard something before now. The meows stopped and I went inside to go to sleep.

I woke up a couple hours early and remembered I had laundry I wanted to put in my dryer so my plan was to transfer my wet laundry and go back to sleep. I turned on the light in my garage where my washer and dryer are, opened the door and as soon as I did: Boom. MEOOW! MEOOW! What the heck little kitty? Where ARE you? I have several boxes, both empty and full along the wall of my garage. I thought I saw something dark move further between some of them. I walked to where I thought the sound was louder (it was so hard to tell where it was coming from!) and pulled a top box off, then scooted another. The meowing stopped and a blur of darkness darted past me. It moved too fast for me to even see a shape or distinct color, but it was a smaller blur and faster (could hardly see it!) than I thought a full grown cat should have been. I moved to the other side of my car to see if it was cowering in the opposite corner, but couldn’t see anything. I looked under my car and couldn’t see anything. Where did it GO? No more meows.

I transferred my laundry and thought it was all in my head, went inside and thought, but what if it isn’t? Then I felt bad for poor phantom kitty because it’s hot in my garage and if it’s been there since yesterday he’s probably hungry and dehydrated. I considered opening my garage door to see if something would run out, but then I wanted to know for sure if I really did have a cat in there or if I was actually going insane. I got a small bowl of water and another dish of canned tuna and put them on the floor of the garage.

I’ve checked twice now, and so far I’m a crazy cat lady, only a real crazy cat lady since I might be feeding an imaginary cat.  I guess I’ll try to go back to sleep for a while before work tonight and see if the tuna is gone later, but I’m afraid the excitement has robbed me of the full “days” rest I was hoping for.

Update: the tuna disappeared, but I couldn't find the phantom kitty and it wouldn't run out when I opened the garage door. I'll have to find a way to get it out tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teenage mutant ninja spider

There I was sitting on my living room floor watching TV, playing a lonely game of solitaire (old school, with real tangible cards spread out on the floor in front of me), when something caught my eye and I realized I wasn’t alone. Initially I was startled. I think something like “Oh crap” came out of my mouth.

I took a second to decide if I wanted to do the shoe smash or bug spray and came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to have to get any closer to it than I had to and opted for the spray. I calmly stood up, got the raid from under my kitchen sink, and returned to introduce the large 8 legged bugger to death. This is the second ugly brown spider that I’ve come across inside my living space in the last few days. I don’t like it! The last one I smashed with a shoe after trapping it under a cup and staring at it for 5 minutes gathering my courage to lift the cup off of him before hurling said shoe full force upon it (I put paper under the cup first for easy clean up post smash).

I sprayed at this new visitor, and he startled and took off even faster. I tried spraying him again, but I’m not sure how much of the poison actually made contact with him. In the blink of an eye he disappeared in my tv cabinet. Kelly Clarkson’s voice kept resonating in my head, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Ah geeze. I was really regretting not going for a shoe, or at least getting closer before I sprayed. I’m now quite certain that this bugger is going to mutate, acquire super spider powers, and then come find me in my sleep to seek his revenge.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Don't stop moving

It always cracks me up at the end of the max interval workout before the cool down the camera man does a sweep over the gym floor showing every one lying down practically passed out, and then a little note pops up that says “don’t stop moving”. I hope my ribs moving up and down are sufficient to qualify for movement.

I’m done! Yesterday I did the last fit test and today is the first day in 2 months I’m not working out before heading into work (except for the few times I had to work on a Sunday). I wish I felt guilty about it, but I’m so tired I don’t care. I've been looking forward to today for the last couple weeks. During the last 2 months I only missed 2 workouts in the 2nd week because I had a fever, and some days I also went for an extra jog or walk. Month 2 was hard and turned more into a chore than it was the first month.  I didn’t lose any more weight in the second month which also made it hard to keep going. In fact, when I weighed yesterday I was a pound more than I was the previous month. It kills me knowing that I’ve been eating as healthy as I have been and working out so hard that I can’t get the scale to move down, but at least my measurements still shrunk. After the first month my arms and legs stopped shrinking too. I wish I could say it’s because I have nothing left to lose there, but I do. My hips and waist still are getting smaller though. I don’t exactly have the body they advertise, but I’m by no means over weight, I’m smaller and more fit than I’ve ever been, I’m stronger and can do more in the workouts, and I now have to go shopping for new clothes because hardly anything I own fits any more.  I love looking at the fit test and comparing my numbers from day one to yesterday. I get more satisfaction with those numbers than I do from the scale or my measurements.

Total count over the last 2 months: 4 pounds lost. ½ an inch off each upper arm and thigh. 1 inch off my chest.  2.75 inches off my waist.  1.75 inches off my hips.

I know I said in a previous post that there’s no reason for me not to work out an hour every day and still go to work, but I take it back. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet now that I’m done. I’m not going to stop moving, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be doing insanity 6 days a week anymore. I’ll probably go back to jogging on the days that I don’t work throwing an insanity workout in the mix, and maybe doing a month one workout on the first day that I work and take a break the next 2 nights that I work to give me 4 days a week of exercise. I was losing weight before I started insanity with jogging on my days off and eating reasonably, so I should be fine with whatever I decide to do. Today however, I’m doing nothing before heading into work except blogging this post and eating the banana nut bread I baked myself and started eating Sunday night to celebrate being done. It will be gone by tomorrow.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

One more week!

Insanity day 56

The workouts were more enjoyable last week. I felt like I was able to push myself as hard as I should be able to and I was seeing improvement in how much I could do. Only 6 more check boxes to go!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Insanity Day 50

Today was fit test, weigh and measure day! The thing I fear the most with Insanity is not seeing any improvement after all the hard work I put in every day, and the biggest reward is seeing that improvement. This is why I both dread and get excited for these days all at the same time. Today was a mixture of wins and losses, but overall I have no reason to be upset.

From 2 weeks ago, all of my measurements remain the same except I lost another 1/4th of an inch off my hips. Even though the measurement is the same around my waist I’m starting to see more definition in my torso that wasn’t there a couple weeks ago. As for the scale…well, I imagine hurling it at a tree trunk, watching it bounce off into the street just before a ginormous garbage truck rolls over it. I’ll show YOU who gained half a pound since 2 weeks ago. There goes my beloved new middle number back up to the decade I just can’t get out of. Whatever. I can’t be sad about numbers. I may never get to my dream weight, but I’m certainly smaller than I’ve ever been and that’s leaving me feeling pretty good.

Which brings us to the fit test! I’m always so nervous going into it. Today I worried that since I worked the night before and only slept 3 hours before putting in the DVD I’d not have the pep to push myself to win (I HAVE to beat myself. I just have to). I am not content to just be grateful for the exercise the fit test gives you. I want improvement!

BAM! Improvement! A lot! By my standards anyway.

I guess I didn’t need to worry. BUT, I am slightly worried for 2 weeks from now when it’s all done and I have to beat those numbers. Because I HAVE TO beat them. Even more so than the previous fit tests since it will be the LAST one. I will be so disappointed in myself if I don’t. Each time I do the fit test I push myself so hard and can’t possibly do any more than what I put out, which is why I always worry for the next fit test, and is always what makes it fun to see the numbers go up each time. I am very happy with the fit test results today. I wasn’t expecting that much of an improvement.

I think hitting my goal amount of calories every day has really helped with my energy level, although after the fit test (which lasts about 25 minutes) I had nothing left for the workout after. Aside from the first and last day of insanity, you follow the fit test (which is a really good workout all on its own) with a regular work out, which in the second month gives you about an hour and a half of insanity. Whatever energy I had from the yogurt and pretzels I ate about 45 minutes before I began today was completely drained, I couldn’t even keep up with the first 2 minutes of the warm up. I remember thinking “There’s 57 more minutes?! Gah !”  I was shaking by the middle, and not doing nearly as much as I felt I should/could be doing and I was so happy to be done at the end. I should have eaten a better meal and waited before trying to work out, but I wanted to get it done before I had to go back to work for an inservice. I don’t work tonight or tomorrow and I’ve been consistently hitting my calorie goals for the last 4 or 5 days (keeping a food journal tracking calories of everything I eat has helped a lot) so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s workout. I should be feeling really good.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We can do this

Insanity Day 48

The workouts the last 3 days have felt much better than before and my body is thanking me for the food. I was surprised at how much food you can eat when the calories you’re consuming are healthy ones. I definitely wasn’t getting enough before even when I wasn’t working (I was eating the same kind of food, but not as often as I am now) and I’m almost embarrassed by how stupid I was being about eating. I knew the science behind nutrition I just wasn’t paying attention to what I was actually taking in. I still feel tired after a workout, but it’s a different kind of tired. I’m not exhausted to the point of tears and when I’m tired now I can tell it’s because I need sleep or because I just worked my muscles after pushing myself as hard as I thought I should be able to. It’s been educational getting to know my body this way and learning how nutrition affects the way I feel and what I can do. I’m also learning to listen to my body. When I feel hungry I need to eat something, and that happens at least every 3 hours and sometimes as often as twice in an hour. I don’t have anything in my place that is bad for me to eat and if my body is telling me it is hungry then I need to respond and put something into it. In the past when I’d be "dieting" when my body told me it was hungry I told it to shut up because it’s not dinner time yet. Counting my calories has given me the freedom to eat more often letting me know that even though it’s my 5th time eating that day I still have 800 more calories to go so go ahead and eat something else. The other day I ate something when I wasn't really hungry just because I knew I hadn’t gotten close to what I needed for the day, was about to go out for awhile and didn't want to be under my minimum number. It’s taking some getting used to feeling like I’m eating all day, but I feel better doing it and I can see/feel a difference in my workouts. I’m going to splurge tonight and eat ice cream and I had an oreo at a church activity this afternoon. It wasn't the kind of cookie I'd been craving, but it still made me happy. I don’t even feel guilty about it…but I guess I kind of do about the icecream because I went for an extra jog this evening to help justify my going and buying it tonight.

My trusty shoes I wear with every workout...and jogging too. I'm going to need new ones soon

My insanity calendar...only now there's a purple checkmark on Saturday along with a +3.3 mile jog written in

And here's me looking goofy pre work out this morning. We'll spare the blogosphere an image of post workout. Nobody should have to see that mess.

Fun facts about the shirt I'm wearing: It was a gift from my awesome cousin Courtney. It has a flamingo on it which is my favorite animal. It is yellow, which is my favorite color. Underneath the picture it says "Paradise Island" (you can't really see it in the picture). We had no idea how awesome that would be when I originally got it knowing where I live now.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Eat more

Insanity Day 47
Month 2 hasn’t been very satisfying for me yet. I’ve been feeling tired all the time, I feel like I’m not making the amount of progress I’d like with the workouts because I’m too tired to push as hard as I want and the scale that I expected to start moving down a bit more now that I’ve developed some muscle and my workouts have intensified hasn’t moved at all…except for maybe a pound in the wrong direction. I’ve been craving sugar more than I had been. My muscles have been extra shakey in the workouts this week and I felt like crying once. What the heck was wrong with me? It was just a work out!

I did a mental reflection of the food I’ve eaten the last 3 days tallying up the calories and realized I was starving myself eating only about 1000 calories a day on the days that I worked. A girl my height, weight and age who doesn’t exercise at all requires 1395 calories a day to meet her basal metabolic needs. I’ve been doing hour long insanity workouts  6 days a week and half the time following that workout with a 12 hour shift at the hospital. 1000 calories isn’t going to do it. No wonder I felt like crap. With weight loss as my goal at the activity level I’m at, I should have been eating at least 700-900 more calories a day than I was.

I never focused much on the nutrition side of insanity aside from cutting out sweets (although I still have an occasional dessert like last weekend for mother’s day and my nephew’s birthday) and my diet ginger ale/cranberry juice I used have all the time and incorporating more fruit and vegetables. I never bothered counting calories. In month two with the harder workouts they tell you to “eat more”. I didn’t change anything nutritionally in month 2. I guess I’ll have to do a little bit more food planning on my days off to make sure I eat enough on the days that I have to work so I can have the fuel that I need to get through my workouts and which should also decrease my sugar cravings. I was just hungry. I hate counting calories, but I’d rather know I’m getting what I need than feel like I’ve already done a workout before I even begin one. The calorie count started yesterday and I’m already feeling better with more food in me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm tired

Insanity day 45

And I miss cookies.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm smiling because I love it

Insanity day 39

Welcome to month 2! It’s just like starting from the beginning. My muscles are sore all over again and I’m tired. I’ve been working the last 3 nights, and I know I haven’ t been getting enough protein, and maybe not enough calories either so that might be part of the problem as well as not enough sleep. I’m off for a few days so I’ll be able to spend more time preparing and thinking about food (as I sit here eating my lemon pepper baked chicken and zucchini). On the bright side of nutrition I have been valiantly just saying no to all kinds of goodness that has been thrusting itself in my face at work this week. It’s nurses appreciation week and every night there has been candy, ice cream, cupcakes and goodies that normally I would have partaken of. I still crave dessert sometimes (not as often as I used to though) and it’s still hard to not eat it especially if it’s right there. Last night they also brought apple slices “for those of you who don’t want to get diabetes”, which I did eat. I thought it was nice they had an alternative the beautiful cupcakes they were passing out. Aside from a scone with a bit of honey butter I let myself have on Sunday night, the only dessert like thing I’ve had since Easter was that boston cream cake thing I had at my parents 2 or 3 weeks ago. This weekend with Mother’s day and my nephew’s birthday, I’m planning on letting myself have some dessert.

Monday was the weigh, measure and fit test day! It was good! The scale finally dropped into the next decade down and I saw a middle number I can’t ever remember seeing before. That was exciting.  Since insanity day one, total weight loss is 4.8 pounds and I’ve lost  ½ an inch off each upper arm and thigh, an inch off my chest, 1.75 inches off my waist and 3/4ths of an inch off my hips. 

I saw improvement or stayed the same in each exercise on the fit test except the power jacks. I did 5 less than last time which was the same amount I did the first time. That doesn’t bother me too much because the exercise before it I improved by 9 (which is a big number for me) and I think I was still worn out when it came time to do the next exercise which was the power jacks. I totally wear myself out with the fit test and it was hard on Monday going from the fit test to the workout for the day. I had an hour and a half of insanity and then went to work.

This week so far doing insanity and having to go to work for 12-13 hours has left me frustrated with myself in the workouts because I don’t feel like I’m able to push as much as I want to. I jump in a certain exercise thoroughly intending to jump right back up again when I hit the floor and then nothing happens. My legs wouldn’t move. I had to pause and then jump after a second or two when my legs finally connected with my brain. Go!! They just wouldn’t. I can’t say that I blame them, but it still made me mad. I’m feeling like a beginner all over again, but it should be just as fun to see how much more I can do in another couple weeks as it was last month. And I can’t help but smile at the results.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You shouldn't feel super exhausted at the end of this...

…if you do you’re doing it too hard.

Insanity day 31

Crap. What if you’re feeling super exhausted and the workout hasn’t even started yet?

Officially half way done! Done with the first 4 weeks, I’m now half way through the recovery week, and 4 more weeks left starting Monday.

For the recovery week in between months I’m supposed to do the same video (core cardio and balance) all week that is supposed to let me recover before jumping back in full steam ahead for the second month of insanity with a whole new set of longer more intense work out videos. I’m tired this week! I just finished my 3rd night of work and each night was especially tiring leaving me feeling not so peppy for the workout even after I slept. Yesterday I didn’t even want to wake up I was still so tired from the night before. I’m not loving the core cardio and balance recovery video, but I’m doing it. Yesterday and today were the first days I really didn’t want to do an insanity workout. I usually look forward to them. I don’t know if it’s because I really don’t like the actual workout, or if it’s just because I’m cranky and tired from work this week. We’ll see how the next 3 days go. I should be more rested having a few days off now. I went for a walk today on my 3.4 mile jogging route after the video. That was much more enjoyable. The weather was so pleasant and trees were blooming and the sun was just starting to go down. I was glad I decided to go outside. It left me feeling more like how I like to feel.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy predicament

Insanity Day 26

I had a staff meeting today. I selected the outfit I wanted to wear out of my closet, took a shower and then got dressed only to find my slacks were too big. Like frumpy looking hover around me too big. I put on another pair of slacks, and another. I have about 7 pairs from when I was working in the SNF and had to wear business casual/professional attire to work every day. They’re all too big along with most of my shirts. They were starting to get too big before with some weight loss I had before I even began insanity, but they’re un-wearable now. I was so happy! But what was I going to wear?? I finally selected something, but it didn’t fit very well either. It was frustrating trying to find something that looked nice, but I’d much rather deal with clothes being too big than too small. I’ll just have to go shopping for new professional clothes in a month or so when I hit my goal size. For now I at least have a few casual and church outfits that fit well.

I haven’t missed any workouts this week, and there’s one more tomorrow before I start the recovery week in between months. Almost half way done! It’s fun to see my strength and endurance improve. I’m curious to see my fit test results in another week. I won’t have an official “weigh and measure” day until then, but unofficially, my measurements continue to decrease and the scale finally went down to show a 2.5 pound loss since starting nearly 4 weeks ago which puts me 3 pounds away from my first goal weight, and 7 pounds away from my “in my dreams” goal weight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cuz I wanna look good

Insanity Day 23

At the end of a particularly strenuous workout Shaun T says something like, “sometimes I wonder why I do the things I do as a fitness professional” then he answers himself… “cuz I wanna look gooood!”
As a young, single, childless adult I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t push myself every day to be the healthiest version of me possible. Why shouldn’t I work out for an hour every day 6 days a week? Why would it be so hard to cut out things like diet soda, and dessert, drink more water and eat more fruit and vegetables? When else am I going to have the time or opportunity to focus so much on just me? I was really afraid of working out so hard on the days I worked and losing sleep to be able to fit in my workouts, but I find I look forward to waking up and doing my insanity workouts and that I’m not any more sleepy at work than before. It’s not impossible. There’s no good reason for why not. I’m young and able, and I should take advantage of that. And I wanna look goood!
I didn’t miss any workouts last week. My workout calendar has happy purple check marks on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I did them all. In fact, the only 2 workouts I missed since starting were when I had a fever, and I hated missing them!  Sunday is the day I don’t have to do an insanity workout, but I still got some activity in this last Sunday walking up and down San Francisco hills, stairs and some trails at Golden Gate Park for a few hours with 2 of my best buddies. I feel just as tired with the insanity workouts as I did in the beginning because I continue to push myself, but I’m able to do more and the warm up isn’t nearly as daunting as it was at first.
I weighed in yesterday for my weekly weigh in and the scale showed I was 0.4 pounds less than I was when I started about 3 weeks ago. At least it’s something even though I feel like it might as well be nothing. I’m not going to measure myself for another 2 weeks, but I can see myself getting smaller and my clothes are getting bigger. I achieved one of my goals already of being able to comfortably fit into the jeans I wore in nursing school. I now don’t have anything in my closet I can’t easily zip, button, put on or feel comfortable wearing because it’s too small.
Weighing myself has proved to be pointless since I can see results that don’t show up on the scale. Despite this, I can’t help weighing myself. And despite seeing results in other ways besides the number I can’t help but be disappointed in the number. I don’t like measuring myself either because it’s hard to tell if I pulled the measuring tape tighter the time before or not or if I lined it up in the same spot as before- so I decided weekly measuring is not a good idea. My favorite gauge is how my clothes fit. Most of my shirts are much baggier now and the pants I’m used to wearing are starting to fall off if I don’t have a belt. I went shopping the other day and bought the next size shirt down than I usually buy. That was fun.
Another fun area of improvement I can easily gauge is checking my heart rate. Before insanity, at rest I couldn’t get my heart rate much lower than 58 beats a minute. I’ve lowered it by 10 beats a minute. When I have quiet moments at work or when I’m just sitting chilling at home I’ve gotten my heart rate down to 45 beats a minute. Before insanity my usual “just sitting relaxing” heart rate was low 60’s. Now it’s upper 40’s to lower 50’s.

I hadn’t had any dessert for nearly two weeks (the Easter fudge being the last dessert item I indulged in) until this last weekend. I was home visiting my parents and my parents brought home a strawberry boston cream cake thing after a grocery shopping trip Saturday night. I just can’t say no! I can keep myself from buying it and not have it in my house, but if it’s there I have the hardest time convincing myself that I’d be happier without it. I had already done the Plyometric Cardio circuit workout in the morning, and when I saw the dessert I went out to the treadmill and put a couple miles on it and let myself eat cake. It was a tiny piece, but I had another on Sunday too. After two weeks of no dessert I thought it would be too sad to not enjoy it. And it was good. However, my piece on Sunday was a normal sized piece instead of the size of the ½ inch slice I took on Saturday. I should have stuck with the smaller size. Just before the last bite I became nauseated all at once and couldn’t finish it. I felt gross. I didn’t regret eating the cake. I did regret the amount- even though it wasn’t a disgustingly huge piece, it was too much for my body and I should have been content with half of it (which I originally planned on eating, and then changed my mind after eating the first half and went ahead for the rest of it). I felt fine after the first half. My body thanked me for the superfluous second half with a feeling of grossness.
I don’t see anything wrong with dessert. I think people should enjoy yummy things every once in a while, we just have to not eat it every day and be able to eat a smaller portion than we’re used to and be done. There’s a family my parents go to church with who don’t keep sweets in the house, but once a week they ride their bikes to go get an ice cream treat that they eat there. I really like this idea. I think it would help knowing and being able to count on that once a week you’re going to get a treat so it wouldn’t be so hard to say no to other temptations that come along since you know yours is coming, but it isn’t time now. I like the eating a single portion out of the house and not keeping anything in the house…because I honestly have no self-control if it’s accessible when my desire for dessert hits. I also like that there’s a physical activity involved in going to get the treat. Life would not be as enjoyable without dessert, but on the flip side how fun is it to be fat? Kudos to that family. They have found a healthy, fun tradition that allows them to enjoy life.

Monday, April 16, 2012

You give them an inch

Insanity day 15

Since my first Insanity day 2 weeks ago, my weight remains exactly the same down to the tenth of a pound. My leg, arm, and chest measurements also remain the same. I have lost 1/4th of an inch off my hips and 3/4ths of an inch off my waist for a total of 1 inch lost.

I was nervous going into the fit test today. I kind of had an idea of what my measurements and weight would be since I can weigh and measure whenever I want, but I had no idea where I would be with the fit test. I dreaded not seeing any improvement, or doing worse, but I was worrying needlessly. I saw enough improvement in each exercise that let me know that I’m not just wearing myself out every day for nothing. The exercise I had the least improvement in was the push up jack. I only improved by one, but I know my pushups were of a better quality than they were 2 weeks ago and I still improved by one. It helps knowing what my number was before to push me to do better. There were a couple times when I was ready to quit and then looked at my last fit test results and pushed myself that much harder just to get a few more in.

Overall I’m happy with my improvement with the fit test and I’m happy to have lost an inch overall of fat off my body. I would have liked to have seen more weight (any weight for that matter) off the scale since it’s my dream to get down to a certain number, but I guess if my body is getting smaller numbers aren’t everything.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

More cow bell

Insanity Day 13

Pure cardio kicks my BUTT. And I was a little miffed at Shaun T for making me do cardio abs after. Today was the first time the ab workout was introduced in the program. I was completely exhausted from the “pure cardio” workout, and then one of the first things you do in the ab workout is jump and bring your knees up. It was so freaking hard after 40 minutes of insane “pure cardio”. At one point you’re supposed to sit in a C position and lift both your legs with your core (bend in, stretch out, lift up lower down) with your hands resting on the floor at your side just in front of your butt. ARE YOU KIDDING? I felt like my legs were a bajillion pounds and I couldn’t even get them an inch off the floor. The ab workout was a little frustrating. I’m used to not being able to do every exercise in the videos and modifying things that are still hard for me to do (like any kind of pushup exercise) but for some reason I was especially irritated about it in the ab workout. I guess I lose patience after the first 42 minutes of butt kicking.

This week I was very upset because I had to miss 2 days of working out. I did wind up getting sicker, but I was feeling better almost right away so at least I only missed 2 days instead of being wiped out for an entire week. I had a fever on Tuesday and couldn’t even go to work. I was so mad at my body for not keeping me healthy. It seemed I just finally got over my last snotty episode and here I am with another. I hated missing work and I hated missing an insanity workout. I had imagined finishing the 2 months looking at the calendar with check marks on every single work out day. Wednesday I went to work, but still wasn’t feeling up to par and passed on that workout as well. Thursday I was “eased” back in with “cardio recovery”, yesterday I did “cardio power and resistance” in the morning and went for my old 3.5 mile hilly jog in the late afternoon snot and all. I felt like I had to do something extra for missing a couple days and I wanted to see how jogging went after not doing it for 2 weeks. I felt like I owned the hills a bit better than I used to and judging by the amount I was jogging vs walking and how I was feeling I was thoroughly expecting to turn out a better time, but my time stayed the same average time it was before- so that was disappointing. I guess I was jogging slower than I thought, but I have to remember it’s only been 2 weeks, it was my second workout of the day, I’ve got a cold, and my time didn’t get any worse.

My exercise is done for the week, and I’m happy for a rest tomorrow. Monday is the start of week 3 with the fit test and I’ll re-weigh and take measurements again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

If you don't look like this take a break

Insanity day 8

Needless to say today was rough. I was watching more than participating even though my body felt like I was doing everything. I woke up during my sleep today with a mild fever and discomfort whenever I took a deep breath that would make me cough. I finally got up at 4 after about 12 hours of sleep and still felt crummy but there’s no way I was going to miss a workout. It was really really hard today and I hated not being able to do as much as I know I could do if I felt better. Even the stupid warm up and cool down deep breaths were hard.

Before I began I started out by weighing myself to see my weekly progress and I gained a pound and a half since last Monday. Dang you Easter and the three days of chocolate cake and fudge I indulged on. I have a hard time believing that I gained a whole pound and a half of fat though just because I had some cake and fudge over 3 days while I was still working out as hard as I was. Maybe the pound and a half I gained was muscle, maybe it was the pound and a half of chocolate I ate, but either way, Easter is over and I have no more candy or dessert in my house and I expect the scale to go down eventually.

On the bright side, until today when I wasn’t feeling all that great I’ve been enjoying the workouts. I’ve been able to wake up and work out and still make it through a whole shift of work without wanting to die. My muscles are no longer sore in a painful way. Saturday I got to a point where I did the entire warm up without stopping (I was slower than the rest of the group, but I didn’t stop) and I haven’t missed a workout yet. Here’s hoping I’m not really sick or get any worse.

Monday, April 2, 2012

You have been weighed and measured

Insanity Day 1

Today is day number one of Insanity.


Technically it’s week 2 since I kind of started last week, but I’m marking today as my official start day since when I started last week I wasn’t expecting to really “do” insanity so I didn’t take my measurements or do the fit test you’re supposed to do on your first day and every 2 weeks after.

I bought the insanity DVD’s last December after watching an infomercial, liking that it didn’t require any special equipment, and asking my brother who had done it before (along with other workout programs like P90X) if he thought it was worth my money. He assured me it was and encouraged me to do it. I was looking for something I could do inside when it was too cold, wet or
icy to go outside. The only thing was it was never too cold, wet or icy for me to go jogging outside. I even went jogging in the rain. Shaun T sat trapped in his DVD’s on my shelf for the last 3 months. I usually go jogging for just under 3.5 miles around my hilly neighborhood on the days I don’t work minus Sundays. So some weeks I only go out 1 time, other weeks as many as 4 times but usually 2-3 times a week. On the days I work I usually don’t eat as much and figured being a nurse for 12 hours was good enough to wear me out, so I didn’t go jogging on those days. For now, I’m going to put my jogging aside and give Insanity a whirl.

Last week I went home to visit and my brother was home visiting too. He told me to bring my insanity DVD’s so he could “show me how it’s done”. I was shown. After the first day doing the plyometric workout I was so sore I could hardly move. I was especially feeling it in my back and calves. I felt like a little old lady hobbling around. My glutes and quads were tired, but not nearly as sore as my back and gastrocnemius and I attributed that to the hills I frequently walk/jog around where I live. It hurt, but I liked having new sore muscle areas. I found the insanity workouts left me more tired and gave me a more complete body workout than jogging has ever done for me and got my heart rate higher than jogging did too. The next day my brother and I went for a 2 mile jog instead of a workout because I was too sore for anything else. I finished the week doing an insanity workout every day and decided I would actually “do” insanity and since it was more effective and complete than jogging it was worth doing right rather than just an exercise supplement for when I didn’t want to go outside (because as it turns out I’ll always want to go outside anyway).

So today is my official day 1 with it being Monday, allowing me to line up with the workout calendar they provide for you. I have documented today’s weight, measurements and results of the day 1 fit test so I can track my progress over the next 60 days. I refuse to take pictures in my underwear.

The hardest part I’m anticipating is working out on the 3 days a week I work. I work a 12 hour night shift. When I get home from work in the morning I shower, eat and go to sleep. Then I wake up, eat, get ready for work, read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon and go back to work. In order to fit in my workouts (Insanity requires 6 days a week with a rest day on Sunday) I’ll have to wake up an hour (or more) earlier than I usually do. I’m afraid with the physical exertion and less sleep, and inability to always be able to eat every few hours while I’m there I’m going to be extra tired at work…but I’m going for it anyway.

Right now, I can’t even make it through the entire warm up without taking a break. Every time Shaun T says “know your limits” or “it’s ok to take a break” during the actual workout I’m already taking one. My goals with insanity are: improve my fit test by any amount every 2 weeks, be able to get through the entire warm up (warm up mind you, not the whole workout) without a break by the end of the first month, and to lose 10 pounds by the end of the 60 days. Right now I’m only 5 pounds away from the goal weight I’ve had for the last 10 years that I came close to once in nursing school, but have never actually made it to. I’m hoping insanity can bring me there minus another 5 pounds or so.

I don’t expect I’ll be able to do an entire workout without an unscheduled breathing break (or several breaks) at any point in the next 2 months, but I’m ok with that. I’m doing as much as I can and it’s definitely a workout. After the first month it gets kicked up a notch and you move on to the next set of videos with longer and more intense workouts so I’m pretty sure I’m never going to catch up…at least not in the 2 month time frame the program lasts, but I get my heart rate up and my muscles are sore so I’m pretty sure that’s all that matters even if I’ll never be able to do the entire workout without breaks.

I like that all the exercises don’t require any equipment and I can do it in my little living room without much space. All it takes is a tv, dvd player, and a willingness to move. That's one of the reasons I like jogging. All you need is running shoes and outside. Another thing I enjoy about jogging is seeing my improvement in how far up a certain hill I can jog before walking, or how much faster I finish my route than before. I like that insanity gives you ways to see and track your improvement also. I look forward to seeing good changes. It will be interesting to see when this 2 month program is done if I'll be able to better handle the hills on my jogging route that would contribute to a faster finish time. We’ll see how it goes.

I find it ironic that I finally commit to doing Insanity when the weather starts getting nice when I originally got it for when the weather was not nice. Oh well. I might have to go for some walks on my days off in addition to my insanity workouts so I can get my outside time too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tear tear, sniff SNF

I was looking for something I had written a couple years ago on my jump drive and in the process of looking for it, found a few conversations I had had with patients at the SNF I used to work at that I typed and saved. I probably never would have done it, but when I got enough of them I wanted to compile them into a book called “Tear Tear Sniff SNF: Conversations from a skilled nursing facility that will make you laugh so hard you cry…or maybe just cry.” There were a lot more funny conversations than I have written here or can remember, but these were the few I documented before I was terminated. I wish I had thought to write down more sooner. As hellish as it was at that place, it did have it’s entertaining moments. I’m glad I found this because the horrible experience in my last few months there almost made me forget how much I actually loved the people we took care of…even if they were crazy.

Conversation #1

(we referred to the patients we took care of as “residents” since most of them lived there, so don’t be confused when you see the term “resident” in the conversation set up)

Resident: (yelling- which was her norm, she had severe dementia and frequently called out) God! God! Help me! God!

Me: He hears you, and I hear you. You’re yelling.

Resident: (In a regular speaking voice) No I’m not. I don’t hear anything!

Me: I do. You’re calling out very loudly.

Resident: I don’t believe you. (continues to yell despite inquiries into what she needs. Apparently she only needs God and he wasn’t answering- I had CNA’s who used to pretend they were God and talk back to her from behind the bedside curtain. I asked them not to, only because I didn’t feel it was respectful of the patient, OR God, and it was just kind of sad).

Me: I’m afraid you’re going to worry the other residents with your yelling. It’s Sunday, let’s use our reverent voices.

Resident: (Continues to yell even louder) GOD! GOD! Where are you?! God!

Me: God hears us better when we use quiet voices.

Resident: (In a more hushed, quiet tone) God, God. Help me, God.

Conversation #2

I needed to hang an antibiotic for a patient who was sleeping. Not wanting to startle her and risk her pulling her arm away while I was flushing the line or attaching the med that could possibly pull the IV out I gently woke her up and explained what I was going to do. I stopped talking, and started wiping the IV port with alcohol before I flushed it and she opened her eyes, looked at me and said, “You have beautiful teeth”. I thanked her and thought it was remarkable that she could know that when I wasn’t smiling or speaking to show my teeth when she finally opened her eyes and looked at me.

Conversation #3

(This conversation is also about teeth, but it’s a different day with a different resident. I find teeth are a common conversation topic among the elderly and confused…maybe because they don’t have theirs anymore)

Resident: You have beautiful teeth.

Me: Thank you!

Resident: Yes, yes, and you know what? You need to go to the dentist!

Me: I do?

Resident: Yes you do. Your teeth are awful.

Me: Oh no, they are? They’re all messed up huh?

Resident: Yes, you need to go to the dentist.

Me: Ok, I will

Resident: You will? Where will you go to the dentist?

Me: Just around the corner here.

Resident: Where? I want to go around the corner to the dentist.

Me: I’m not really going to go to the dentist. I was just pretending.

Resident: You lied to me?

...A few minutes later with the same lady...

Resident: Well, you’re all smiles.

Me: Yes I am!

Resident: (Suddenly switching to a severely scolding tone) Well you’d better stop it.

Me: (Smile instantly replaced with a very sincere looking face) Ok, smiles gone. No smiling.

She nodded her approval and I had to walk away so she wouldn’t see me laughing.

Conversation #4

Resident: You’d better study. You need to study the book.

Me: Which book?

Resident: You know which book.

Me: I do?

Resident: Yes you do. And you’d better say your prayers.

Me: Ok, I’ll say my prayers.

Conversation #5

I heard a couple female residents calling out for help and found a confused male resident was trying to go into their room, and they didn’t want him in there. I figured he mistakenly thought it was his room so I tried to re-direct him.

Me: Hi there Mr. __ .You can’t go in there. That’s not your room. Your room is this way. Watch out.”

I had to tell him to watch out for the door as I closed it because even though I pulled him back he rolled right back to go in and was reaching for the door handle with his hand. I got the door closed and stood in front of it and again told him it wasn’t his room and I’d show him where his room was.

Resident: Open that door.

Me: I’m sorry I can’t. This is the ladies bedroom, they don’t want visitors today.

Resident: You open that door or I’m gonna shoot you.

Me: That’s not very nice.

Resident: Do you really think I’m gonna shoot you?

Me: (looking him right in the eye) No. I don’t.

The resident looked at me with a steady unsmiling glare like he really did want to shoot me, raised his hand in the shape of a gun and pulled an imaginary trigger 3 or 4 times at my head, said nothing else and wheeled away in his wheel chair.

Conversation #6

I came in to bring a paranoid delusional resident a glass of water and to see if I could calm her down because nursing had just gone in to take care of her and left her in a yelling fit…which was her norm. No matter how nice you were to her or what you did anything more than dropping off her food tray and she thought you were evil as soon as you walked in the room. If you gave her medicine or tried to give her a bath she would send you right to hell if she could. “Dirty rotten criminal” was a familiar refrain echoing out of her room.

Resident: (indignant) I thought I got rid of those kinds of people! I thought they were gone! I didn’t know she worked here still, those dirty rotten criminals! I thought I was done with them! Unless they came back when they sold this place to the Mormons. Are you a dirty rotten Mormon?

Note: our facility was recently bought and owned by a corporation run by Jewish men. And I AM a Mormon.

Me: ...uhhh, well, I’m not dirty or rotten...

Resident: Get out of here! Leave me alone, you dirty rotten criminal! Leave me alone! Get out!

Conversation #7

Usually most of our residents were 75+, but this resident was much younger, which makes this conversation that much more interesting, and my favorite of the few I wrote down.

Resident: (Excitedly, talking to me as if she was recognizing an old friend she hadn’t seen in a long time) HI!!

Me: (I didn’t say anything at first. I looked at her confused because I had just spoken with her not even 2 minutes before about how she had a good nap and that she was feeling giddy. I thought it was weird when she said she felt giddy a couple minutes before because to me it looked like she was still sleepy from the nap, but now she was up and the giddiness was apparent. I was still confused with the new and enthusiastic greeting of “Hi” though, considering I just left her room a moment before and she was talking like it was the first time she’d seen me all day). Hi

Resident: Are you getting ready? We’re going to rendezvous at Red Lobster.

Me: What?

Resident: Remember? We synchronized our watches 10 minutes ago. We’re rendezvousing at Red Lobster. It’s going to be a great time. Remember? We synchronized our watches.

Let it be known: Neither one of us was wearing a watch nor had there been any conversation about watches, Red Lobster or rendezvousing anywhere. I really thought she was playing a joke but it went on:

Me: Oh man, I’m going to have to miss out on that one tonight.

Resident: You can’t make it? That’s too bad; it’s going to be a great time.

She walked off, but returned a couple minutes later back at the nurses’ station.

Resident: Hi!

Me: (again?? What is going on?) Hi.

Resident: Will you come with me?

Me: Where do you want me to go?

Resident: To my room.

Me: What do you need?

Resident: I just want you in there with me.

Me: (okaaaayyy) Aww, that’s nice. I’ll tell you what. Maybe later I’ll come in for a little visit and see how you’re doing.

Resident: (with her eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas) And you’ll be my special friend?

Me: (what the heck???? Internally kind of freaking out not sure what she means, but outwardly responding politely) Yeah, I’ll be your buddy. (I was NOT going to use the term “special friend”)

Resident: Ok, and hey, even though you have to miss out on what we were talking about earlier, you should still come by tonight. We’re going to the Caribbean.

Me: Oh really? (So hard to keep a straight face talking to her)

Resident: Yeah, and we’re going to have virgin daiquiris every night. It’s going to be so much fun.

Me: Wow.

Resident: (starts walking off and calls back over her shoulder) And don’t forget to bring Charlie!

Me: Who’s Charlie?

Resident: (stops and thinks) Oh, you know. Every time I see someone pulling a bundle behind them I always call it Charlie.

Me: (What the…??)

Resident: (Laughs and walks off again calling over her shoulder) Don’t forget to bring your hubby!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shallow gene pool

I have recently decided that liking someone just because they are smart is just as shallow as liking someone just because they are pretty.

Our phenotype is genetic. Or at least it used to be. Aside from hair dye, makeup, cosmetic surgery, etc. the way we look is determined through a combination of our parent’s genes. We can enhance our looks through clothing, jewelry and makeup, and ensure our bodies are healthy and therefore attractive through appropriate diet and exercise, but beyond this we are born with what we have and I think most will agree that some are born more physically beautiful than others without doing anything to earn it. They were just lucky. Even though they have beauty making them physically desirable it doesn’t mean they might not be a little “slow” or complete jerks. Because of this, and with the knowledge that “beauty fades” it is considered shallow to be attracted to or love someone based on physical appearance alone. There has to be something more substantial to base your love on.

Like intelligence? You never hear of anyone badmouthing someone for being attracted to someone because they’re smart, but really smart people are right there in the same lucky dream gene pool as the pretty people. Those people who are naturally smart, who can take everything in on the first go around and pass the test without taking notes or studying, who can say their alphabet backwards whilst completing a level 4 (or whatever the hardest level is) Sudoku puzzle, were lucky to be born with a brain that easily calculates, solves and learns. They didn’t necessarily do anything to earn that ability. And just because they’re smart doesn’t mean they’re not really ugly, or complete jerks. Therefore, I have concluded that to be attracted to someone just because they are smart is just as shallow as liking someone just because they are pretty.(Enter here childhood memories of the Anne of Green Gables movie when Diana says, “And Gilbert Blythe did say that being smart was better than being pretty”. FALSE. I have just discovered they are equals.)

There is a however. If a person works hard to be smart, I find that attractive. I also think it’s attractive when a person cares about their appearance and puts effort in to staying healthy and presentable. I’m not saying that a person who doesn’t have to work hard to be smart isn’t attractive. Just like there’s no denying pretty people who don’t have to try hard to be pretty are attractive, but alone smartness isn’t enough just as beauty isn’t enough. Beauty fades, sure. So does smartness. Dementia eventually will catch up in some degree with most people, and then we’ll be dumb and ugly with our car keys taken away wondering where our breakfast is even though it’s 3 in the afternoon. What have we got left? That’s what’s important. Yet despite this, no matter how sweet, thoughtful, good, or caring he may be, I don’t think I could ever become seriously involved with a stupid person and definitely not an ugly stupid person. It’s hard, but I’m starting to accept that I am a shallow person.