Crippling fear…I know it’s stupid

Here I sit, outside the gym. I have my packed gym bag in the car. Hhhhhhhhh. Every person I have seen so far is tiny, with cute little Yoga pants and cute little work out companions. I seriously want to cry. I know it’s stupid. I know I’m too old for this shit. People will see me. They will watch me walk in awkwardly, doing my fat shuffle. They will see me struggle to breathe. They will be in the changing rooms. They will be by the pool. I just want to go home. I’m crying. I can’t breathe. Now my eyes are red and puffy. How did I let myself get like this?! Don’t these people have jobs? Why are so many here? Oh God, there go a bunch of soccer mom with their yoga mats… Even the old geezers are thin. This is ridiculous. I hate people. I hate being fat. I hate being afraid. This sucks. for-blog6


Gotta keep on keeping on!

So I should probably go attempt to put my ducks in a row…

I lost another two pounds! Whoohoo! Yesterday I ate crackers and cheese for both breakfast and dinner because I ate a horrible lunch, but it was sooooo good. I went to a restaurant with my daughter K and daughter-in-law M, where I indulged in appetizers and a burger with sweet potato fries. I really really really like sweet potato fries and pub pretzels with cheese. But I managed to only go over budget by 32 calories, which isn’t bad considering that I’ve been staying well under budget almost everyday.

Fortunately I hate cake,  don’t really like pie, and will only eat 1 or 2 types of cookies which helps over the holidays.

Meat is a real problem, I love meat. Especially beef. I slow roasted two huge chuck tenders ( 5 pounds of meat) over night in the crock-pot with half a jar of pepperoncini peppers and juice, I threw in a dry packet of onion soup mix and another packet of dry Italian dressing mix with one can of beef consomme and a few pats of butter. OMG it is so good. I ate it for breakfast. The plan is to serve it with melted provolone on good kaiser rolls. I’m practicing recipes for my daughters’s 18th birthday party. She wont eat any meat but chicken, so I’m also making buffalo shredded chicken for tacos for the party. It looks like I’m gonna need ten to fifteen pounds of beef for the party.

I can’t believe she’s gonna be eighteen! That means I’ve been clean and sober for almost nineteen years! My precious, precious lamb. She pulled me back from the edge a long time ago. Someday maybe I’ll tell you that story, it’s a good one. They grow up so fast. treasure the moments while you can! I am so grateful that she still will occasionally climb in my lap and hug me. All of my girls do. The boys, not so much.

kris1I’m on track- I’m not smoking, I’m losing weight, I’m seeing all the doctors I’m supposed to see, I’m counting every step and every calorie. I’m breathing better! Just think! In one year I could weigh a hundred pounds less!!! That’s almost a whole person! I’m actually beginning to let myself think about the possibility of riding horses with my daughter! That could actually happen!

1,885 pictures later and I realize I have none logged of me riding. Bummer. I guess I’ll have to take some next year! I also realized I have lots of pictures on this computer! I should probably back them up! Sometimes its nice to go through old photos, it brings back a lot of memories. So much of our life was built around our kids and pets! for-blog16


We’ve had a really good life in spite of the struggles. I’m so glad we left Philadelphia 17 years ago! We ended up with a 2 acre property with a four bedroom house, garage, and barn for the same rent as a roach and mice infested row-house in a not-so-nice neighborhood. Moving was the first step in a new life! Smartest thing we did! I would never go back. Getting the kids out of the city was brilliant. They’ve been able to experience so many things city kids never see. Gardening and livestock, eating what you grew, county fairs, seeing things born and seeing things die, growing as humans with compassion and responsibility. Now I get to do it with my granndkids. One day at a time!

The reality is -my Christmas craft presents sit unfinished all over the dining room table, glitter everywhere. I have no ambition for Christmas. The only crafts I enjoyed this year were the ones I did with the kids. I need to get with my oldest daughter because we haven’t even discussed the Christmas menu. My favorite TV series that I DVR’d sits unwatched. I wish I had my ducks in a row, that is NOT happening this year. I’m so bored at home, and so unmotivated. I still want a cigarette, but today marks three weeks since I’ve touched one. The stupid doctor just told me that the cravings can last months. Ugh.

So I should probably go attempt to put my ducks in a row…

but looking at old pictures was so much more fun!



Another day…another small triumph

By nine in the morning I felt like I was coming out of my skin so I opted to cook instead of staring at the wall.

Another day is passing slowly, they seem to pass so slow when I am alone. I do much better when I have to rush to school, or take care of the grandkids. I have no interest in the TV today, although I have several episodes of my favorite show on DVR. By nine in the morning I felt like I was coming out of my skin so I opted to cook instead of staring at the wall. I looked up a few recipes for cream of broccoli soup, but put my phone down and decided to wing it. I absolutely love it!  It came out really well and I can’t wait to share it. However it’s done and I’m back to staring at the wall. I do NOT like time off from school. Being alone with my head is unsettling. All the things I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done tend to come to mind. Plus, worrying about final exams is a bitch. I need to find something else to cook.

If you are cold and bored and like to cook- Cheesy Creamy Broccoli Soup

  • about 2 qt. chicken broth
  • 4 heads of broccoli chopped fine
  • 1 c. of chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp of crushed garlic
  • about 1 qt. heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • about a 1/4 cup of grated Asiago cheese
  • a few heavy shakes of cayenne pepper
  • a few heavy shakes of nutmeg
  • a good bit of black pepper and salt
  • a few shakes of garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp of flour

Cook the broccoli, onion and garlic in the chicken broth boiling it for seven to ten minutes. In a separate soup pot melt butter and add flour, making a roux. Add cream and spices to the roux bringing it to simmer. When the chicken broth broccoli mix is done boiling, add the whole mix it to the cream pot. Slowly add the shredded and grated cheeses to the simmering pot until they completely blend. I simmered mine for about ten additional minutes.  I did, at one point. scoop out a full four cup measure and run it through the blender, then dump it back in. I wanted the broccoli finer.

I am going to add shredded chicken to mine, only because my ‘almost-vegetarian’ daughter doesn’t get enough protein.and she will eat chicken. (I’m cheating and buying a rotisserie hen while I’m out today) You could also add small cubed potatoes to the original veggies in the chicken broth to make it more hearty. Personally I’m avoiding carbs.

Speaking of carbs, I have been counting carbs for years due to the diabetes, now however I am counting calories as well. Low carb DOES NOT mean low cal. I am shocked and disappointed. My so-called healthy food is NOT healthy. Dammit! For instance my spinach, feta and egg scramble is NOT good for me. Neither apparently is this soup that I just made. What a blow! I’ve given up McDonald’s breakfasts, I’ve given up my daily espresso frappes and have been cooking every day. Unfortunately my Fitbit has a food tracker/counter that hates me.. Anything with cheese has horribly high numbers, and I love cheese. I am keeping it under the allowed calories though, one day at a time.

My blood work came back better than it has been in years, I was really happy about that. A year ago my triglycerides were 1,329 now they came down to 400. I’m ecstatic. Yes, I know that it is high, but it’s way better than it has been for ten years! My cholesterol was actually good. The A1C was a 9 but I need it to be an eight, still its better than the 11 that it was.

I have an appointment with the heart Dr. to see if my heart will withstand the bariatric surgery this afternoon. One more hurdle cleared!

My breathing is sooooo much better without the cigarettes! I don’t run out of air after walking up the steps! Yes, I still want a cigarette but I WILL NOT smoke one. Not even one. My blood pressure is lower now. I am winning. I am making progress. I will finish this! One day at a time


Life just keeps happening- whether we’re ready or not…

Success can be measured in the little things. Small triumphs today can change tomorrow.

So, maybe mozzarella sticks were not a healthy choice for breakfast but right now I don’t care! It’s been over a week since I had a cigarette and the last two days have been REALLY tough. I don’t know why, but last night I was even dreaming about sneaking a cigarette. That’s pretty bad!

Last Thursday I went to meet with the bariatric surgeon, and it went well. I do qualify but will have to go through the program for a minimum of six months and jump through all the hoops. I have to schedule appointments with a cardiologist (done), a pulmonary doctor, an endocrinologist (done) a psychiatrist (done), and be able to pee in a cup without any nicotine present (January 2nd!) before they’ll even see me again. Apparently a lot of people back out of the program when they have to actually do something for it, it seems they lack the commitment required.  I completely quit smoking that very day. I’m not doing this to be pretty, that ship has sailed, my skin will never be tight and toned because I am 48 years old and have 33 years of skin damage from nicotine. I am doing this so I can have quality of life, so I can breathe and move and do things I’ve had to give up. I want to play with my grandkids, and walk NYC with my daughter. I want to see the Smithsonian, ALL of it. I want to walk and enjoy the world around me. The doctor was talking about a patient that lost 300 pounds and had all kinds of ‘work’ done and now she looks fabulous. That’s great for her. I don’t have money for plastic surgery and that is not my main focus. I just want my life back. He says people back out when they find out that the skin will be loose, he said they’d rather be fat and that he wouldn’t be upset if I changed my mind. I looked him straight in the face and told him I didn’t care, I just want to live.

I’ve been cooking a lot, and counting every damn calorie I put in my mouth. I made my chicken soup that everybody loves and always ask for the recipe. Recipes are so hard to give since I don’t measure anything and I keep everything in my head and never write it down. I will try to make it comprehensible:

Chicken soup! Into the pot goes-

  • 3 quarts organic low fat low sodium chicken stock NOT broth
  • about 1 1/2 cups of chopped celery
  • about 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • about 2, maybe 2 1/2 cup tiny chopped carrots.
  • 1 whole roasted chicken worth of meat picked clean
  • a few good shakes of celery salt
  • quite a few good shakes of black pepper
  • 2-3 good shakes of rosemary
  • 3-4 crushed cloves of garlic (I use more)
  • I usually throw in either finely chopped cabbage (1/2 head) OR one package of chopped frozen spinach. It’s extremely healthy and the kids don’t even notice
  • AFTER the veggies are tender I add half a box of Pastini pasta (little stars) right into the pot, OR you can add Kluski Noodles PRE-COOKED! the Kluski Noodles will suck up all your broth!
  • Sometimes I throw in a cup or so of barley with the veggies instead of pasta/noodles, it is a healthy grain and blends in well tastewise.

WATCH YOUR LIQUID LEVELS!!!! Sometimes I have to add water! In which case I also add chicken base or broth cubes. Expect some of the broth to get sucked up if you keep it in the fridge, you may need to add more when you reheat.

 If you want a faux Zuppa Toscana you can add 1 1/2 pound of ground, cooked and drained (NO GREASE!) sweet Italian sausage, skip the noodles altogether, and add about 1 1/2 to 2 cups heavy cream with a couple shakes of red pepper flakes. That particular soup always tastes better the second day.

Remember! the less pasta you use the less carbs you get! Adding extra veggies and experimenting can be fun and healthy! Substituting barley for Pastini pasta is a healthy choice! Success can be measured in the little things. Small triumphs today can change tomorrow.

I’m breathing so much better now, I’m actually shocked at how much improvement I’m already seeing. I’m ready to start using the treadmill for about five minutes at a time- the bone spurs, degenerative discs and osteoarthritis in my spine won’t let me do more. I ordered a fat bathing suit after spending a 1/2 hour online trying to find fat bathing suits (it’s not fair that it is so hard to find fat sized clothing!), so I can join the local Y and get some water exercises going. I guess I’ll have to swallow my pride and do the walk of shame from the locker rooms to the pool. God I hope they have private booths for dressing otherwise I’ll be driving home in a wet bathing suit all winter. I am NOT changing in front of people. I don’t even look at myself in a mirror and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna undress in  a locker room. I almost cried when the surgical people took my picture for the ‘before and after’ part of my medical chart. Thank God I have my own treadmill at home (in a room with no mirrors). At least when  I go to the beach I can tell myself ‘these people don’t know me and I’ll never see them again’, going to a gym means you see the same people all the time. I can’t explain the panic and shame of knowing people are going to see me in a bathing suit four days a week, every week and watch me struggle to walk from the locker room to the pool. I really, really don’t want to go alone. Being fat sucks! It’s so much easier to face the world in bulky clothes, bathing suits leave all your flaws exposed.  HHHHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHH! Such is life. Gotta bite the bullet to get to the finish line.

I am very grateful for all those who pray for me and cheer me on every day! I am also grateful to be able to say I am completely smoke free! I have definitely taken steps in my journey, and am already seeing benefits. Keep praying! Keep hoping! Keep dreaming!


Smoking…et al

So I just drove a half hour in the rain and cold for a cigarette. I am a junkie. I had a horrible night, I was awake countless times, (63 according to my Fitbit.) I felt less than human and I needed a cigarette. Just one.The very act of packing the pack against my palm and the synapses were firing, endorphin were being released. Ripping off the silver strip and opening the pack I could feel myself starting to relax. That very first drag hitting the back of my throat was such a relief. By the halfway mark I felt human, back in control. It’s a horrible thing. Tomorrow I see the specialist on smoking cessation. Even though i smoked one, I still feel like I’m winning. There were over seventy cigarettes I did NOT smoke. Sixty cravings I resisted. It is not over yet.

I’ve disappointed my kids so many times, I’ve attempted to quit so many times. This is the best attempt so far. I have to succeed this time. I can’t breathe right, I have COPD. If I can’t breathe, I can’t walk. If I can’t walk, I can’t build muscles. If I don’t build muscle, I won’t build strength. It’s a vicious cycle.

As for the weight, I have been cooking and cooking and cooking healthy. LOL. I’ve made chicken turkey soup with spinach, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and pastini using only low fat and low sodium stock. I’ve made Thai peanut chicken with a side of rice containing onions, mushrooms, lots of asparagus, bell peppers and craisins. I roasted a chicken last night and made green bean casserole to go with that because my daughter loves it. I think I’m going to scramble a few eggs with spinach and feta for breakfast. I’ve made or exceeded my goal of 80 ounces of water a day. I’ve also made or exceeded my step goal (only 2,000 steps due to my lack of mobility) and have burned more calories than I took in. I guess I’ll find out Thursday what I weigh.

Thanksgiving was not that great. It was an emotional disaster. I haven’t been writing because I haven’t had the emotional fortitude to write. Someone I love temporarily crushed my spirit, and stole my hope. I have it back now. Depression is a terrible thing, it robs you of your worth, your drive, and any motivation you may scrounge up is so fragile. Careless words can bring you to your knees. My dreams for me are not someone else’s dreams for me. I am not wrong because I dream differently. I am not wrong for wanting to hope, for daring to hope. After all these years of depression I will take whatever hope wherever I find it. No one can tell me what is in my soul, it is my soul.

If you know someone who is depressed do not ever tell them that their joy is not valid, even if it seems stupid to you. Let them have it. Be glad they found some joy. Do not berate them about their shortcomings, chances are they lay awake at night criticizing themselves and they don’t need to hear it from you. Don’t tell them what they should think or how they should feel. Talk to them, ask them why they feel the way they feel.If they are exited about something, show interest instead of making them feel dumb for being excited. Understand that not much excites them, so if they are excited it means its something important to them.  Don’t lecture them, instead ask them how you can help. Don’t just listen, actually hear what they are trying to say. Look up depression and ways to help. Depression is an actual illness, it is not just a figment of the imagination. It is real.


Thanksgiving in my dysfunctional world…

I know this isn’t the best I’ve written. I’m just tired. Be patient.

It is a big deal though. I haven’t cooked a holiday dinner since my husband died. It was my first try in 10 years. That has to count for something!

I am thankful, for every minute of every day and I’m especially thankful that I’m getting my life back one day at a time. Stay safe! Love each other! Make a memory!

My son, JD, and I cooked yesterday for more than four hours preparing food for today, he was a real trooper and we somehow managed to pull it off. (I now remember why I gave up preparing holiday meals.)  During the chaos my daughter-in-law came to drop off little R so she could head to work. My precious JD has really bad ADHD so things can get hectic when I’m trying to focus and get things done. I was trying to get the kitchen in order and the spices lined up. JD is playing the drums on my two 8 pound hens and M tells him to stop playing with his meat and he totally laughs, which I completely missed but it comes into play later. Yes, we are dysfunctional. Oh, and the entire lid came off one of the spices while I seasoned the damn bird, dousing it in garlic so I then had to bathe the frikking birds and clean the daggone pan and start over. Two hours later I’m elbow deep in making the stuffing and I can’t stop, so K goes to pick up B at the bus stop. Thankfully B offers to help, which then turns our circus into a three ring circus but I’m trying to build memories so I persevere. The air is punctuated with exclamations of frequent frustration, lots of laughter, and a few choice cuss words but we actually got it done in four hours with no casualties. The stuffing was too wet, I had to add bread and bake it more.I spent an hour picking the birds clean and alternately loading the meat plate and dropping morsels to the dogs who are conveniently crouched at my feet. B wants to know why I stuck garlic cloves in the hens butt and is giggling her head off. JD wants to know if I cooked the birds privates, now they are both giggling and I’m getting close to the breaking point. All R wants to know is when he can have some. Now I got five hours in and can’t take much more. It was getting late, so I decided to feed the kids fake Thanksgiving for dinner since there is so much food. As I’m getting the stuff on the table I see R slapping the hell out of his leg and thigh on his dinner plate. Fully confused I texted M to tell her that her kid is strange, to which she answers “he’s just spanking his meat like JD”.  I’m thoroughly lost, so she proceeds to explains about the hen drum set and now I’m dying, I am way too old for this shit. Seriously, I got this cheeky four year old spanking chicken at my antique dining room set while grinning at me saying “Look Mom-mom !” It’s not even Thanksgiving but I’m ready to be done.

The kids spent the night and we had Thanksgiving again for breakfast, I’ll be damned if I’m cooking eggs when I got all this stuff already cooked! M arrived shortly before my son, Big J, and informs me that I’m having extra company because someone had no place to go for the holiday and I never turn people away. A quick inventory lets me know we ate too much and need to get more. That, in turn, leads to a road trip to Walmart for more plates, forks and then some Chinese food down the road (because Chinese food places are always open on holidays, or at least I thought they were). Three attempted restaurants later we finally got three orders of Tso Chicken,  one Pepper Chicken, and a large Sweet and Sour Chicken to add to the table. It’s better to have too much than not enough.

Dinner- as always at my place, is never over until somebody throws food, somebody gets insulted, and much innuendo takes place. This time it was hot Asian peppers flying, possibly with some fried rice as well. It’s usually one of my older two who flings the first food, this year it was Big J. His mouth was on fire from an accidental ingestion of peppers and he was trying to put it out with milk. Which was actually hilarious. K kept dropping the burn on Big J for being thirty and still using Snapchat, he kept ragging her about which team she’s pitching for and is she sure she knows which team (she’s single). There was some talk about sticking fingers in the green bean casserole to see if it was hot, which quickly descended into talk about fingers in hot apple pie (*please see movie American Pie), that is what got us to pinch hitting for which team. I threatened to beat everyone’s ass multiple times. Our guest alternately choked, giggled into his sweatshirt, and stared at his plate. Poor JD couldn’t decide whether to be uncomfortable or laugh out loud. As he gets older he seems to be getting more of the innuendo, which is probably inappropriate but totally funny.  The middle-age kids are really quick with the “that’s what she said” line… Hey! it could be worse! I warned you that we were not pretty people! Nobody died!

Needless to say there is actually plenty of food left and I will be making soup. No, I did not diet. However, I drank only water and coffee with fake sugar. I did NOT have pie, cider, or biscuits.

Tomorrow is the actual formal Thanksgiving with the turkey and the decorative table at my daughter E’s house, with my parents et al. It should be interesting as well. She is the biggest food thrower and the hardest player of innuendo, plus we’ll have my mother’s Alzheimer’s to keep things fun. Once you get past the tears, Alzheimer’s can make for a lot of humor. Last week my mom butted into a conversation I was having with my dad on immigration and different viewpoints. Mom heard half of a comment and said “who says Christians are Islamophobic?! I’m not Islamophobic! I have plenty of nice Jew friends!!”. I was trying so hard to keep it together and she was soooooo angry. She just jumps into these conversations and she has no clue, but she damn sure picks a side! I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

I know this isn’t the best I’ve written. I’m just tired. Be patient.

It is a big deal though. I haven’t cooked a holiday dinner since my husband died. It was my first try in 10 years. That has to count for something!

I am thankful, for every minute of every day and I’m especially thankful that I’m getting my life back one day at a time. Stay safe! Love each other! Make a memory!