Got my Second Run In


Great run today! I’m feeling stronger every day. I did just 1.67 miles but that completed at least day 2 of week 2 of my Couch to 5k program. I hope to get in another day tomorrow so I can slip in all 3 days on the calender this week, but that may not happen.

Tomorrow I’m going to Tacoma Habitat For Humanity to work with the hubby. He’s gone every Saturday for months, this is my first time. I’m excited and I don’t want to be pooped, so I’m not sure I’ll run in the morning. Nevertheless, I’m happy with what I achieved run-wise on what was actually a sucky week.

I am running 1 minute, walking 30 seconds. That works great for me. I’m happy with it. I love to listen to the “The Extra Mile” podcasts when I’m out running. Lest anyone think run/walk/run is lame, the people who call in with recorded message to the podcast are marathon runners (and other races) from around the world. Some of them do back-to-back marathons doing the Galloway run thing. They inspire me. I don’t feel like a wuss. It cracks me up that “real runners” get their panties in a twist about us “poser runners” who walk. I’d rather use my energy enjoying life, not keeping score about who I’m better than and exactly why I’m better than them.

I’m eating more calories! I made it to 1600 calories yesterday. I’m happy with that. I was stuffed, but I’ll get used to it over time. I’m not as worried now. I guess I’ll figure it out.

I’m at 198.3 today. I’m just 4.3 pounds away from my old “5 pound safety range” and then another 5 from 189, the least I’ve weight since I started all this jazz. Kind of exciting. 

I’m not quite sure how to be interesting, charming and FUN on this blog. I’m pretty boring. I see that some people become so popular they start making videos, selling books and soon their blogs are covered with business ads, and every other picture they post is them holding a product that “they just ate”.

I wonder how they came to that place? For me, it ruins the experience. For them it’s a nice job and I have to give them cudos for that. I get so sick of hearing myself talk that I’m pretty sure that no one is going to hand me money and say, “Hey, post about these processed products in a cute package.”

Writing a blog is weirdly narcissistic. I probably say that every 6 months, don’t I? I suppose in the end, I feel that if I totally abandon my blog that I’ll never finish losing the weight or maybe I’ll gain it all back. Which is not true. I’m mean, the blog isn’t why I change my habits, why I exercise. 

My battery is dying and I need to plug in the olde computer. Have a great weekend everyone.

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Losing and Running


It’s been weird. I think that about covers it.

I WAS eating an extremely fatty high protein diet for just a few weeks in an effort to snap me out of my bad carb, high sugar eating habits and to get me losing again. It worked. It also stirred up my MS for the first time in about a year-big time.

I’ve been struggling for about a month as problems come and go and come back again. I started out on the right track, eliminating sugar and grains but as things got worse and worse I finally did some more research and found the MS Recovery Diet and have found it necessary to stay strictly on the program. I’m seeing big improvements already, especially in my vision, which is once again clear and sharp. It’s a diet I must stay on for the rest of my life and it may take up to a year to see big improvements as my brain and nervous system will take time to heal.

The diet requires I severely restrict saturated fat to less than 15 grams per day as saturated fat is the devil in the MS world. You know, I have the books on how to eat for MS, but I always thought those chapters were not really necessary. Uh, surprise, they are.

On Sunday I inadvertently ate 20 grams of saturated fat by throwing in 1 T of coconut oil with has a whopping 12 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. Yes, I know it’s a great fat. But it’s not good for me. I didn’t really understand the extent to how sensitive my body is becoming until I woke up the next day incredibly sick and unable to get out of bed.

It’s Thursday now and I finally feel about at about 80%. And I’m so glad. And I learned my lesson. In staying on this diet, which is MORE than proven to work, I’ll see major improvements but it may take time. But it may not be as hard as it initially sounds. Trust me, when something like a piece of chocolate can make you feel like you have the flu x 10 for 4 days in a row, you no longer desire it.

So the good news is I finally am doing the totally right thing. No eggs, no legumes including peanut butter, no oats, no soy, no chocolate or carob, no dairy, no alcohol, no grains, no rice, no potatoes, no red meat, lots of fish, shrimp, veggies and berries and healthy oils.

I’m down to 199 again. That’s super good news.

The “bad” news, and I know you’ll want to punch me in the face for this, is that it’s pretty easy to lose weight because I simply don’t want to eat. I have no desire. It’s just gone. So yay for cutting bad sugary carbs out of my diet, but hey, there is no longer any signal for me to want to eat. And you know, the food tastes great, I love it, but I just don’t have any desire. I probably said this in my last post, but now it’s really noticeable.

I’ve lived my life longing for foods, thinking about them, loving them, crafting them. Now food is just food. Eh. Food. Just the stuff you have to eat to stay alive. That’s not sexy. That’s….boring. No drama. I’m not quite sure what to do with that mindset because it’s so new.

But the real problem is that I’m having a seriously hard time getting in enough calories. When you’re eating lean protein and several cups of vegetables at each meal, it fills you up. You CAN’T eat more food. And while that sounds fantastic, the downside is that those vegetables and protein may add up to 300 calories per meal, if you’re lucky. 300 x 3 meals a day equals seriously under-eating. Not healthy. Bad.

I struggle every day to at least hit 1200 calories because it’s incrediblyimportant to at least eat that amount or your body starts eating it’s own muscle and all that jazz. I count every calorie. I try to eat as many allowable nuts per day as I can without having too much saturated fat because that bumps up the calories without pushing the saturated fat over the limit.

I worry.

I’m working on it. It’s very easy to get the calories you need when you can just add butter, cream, grains, but I can’t. Later, I can try quinoa and millet. It would be grand if they work for me. Thus far, those sorts of foods that “should” work, don’t. But maybe they will. And so I’m a little terrified of food right now, because I’m not a fan of becoming deathly ill just to attempt eating an item. And I need to get better before I can start trying things. Every item I can add to my list is a huge triumph.

I hate talking about this crap. I hate even acknowledging that I have Crohns and MS. But I do, and the body reactions to the food allergies created by Chrohns then attack my body in the form of MS as thingies pass through the blood/brain barrier which it’s not supposed to be able to do. But that stupid MS has found a way to make that possible. A vicious cycle.

And I press on anyway. And if that’s not courage, I don’t know what is. And it’s an honest part of my weight loss experience so I’m gong to talk about it.

Today I went for a run. I’m so so so so grateful. No one appreciates running like I do. No one.

I’m learning to be moderate and I’m so proud of me. I was not able to start my C25K week 2 on Monday, but I decided there was no shame in that, I’m on no timetable. I waited until I felt better and then today I did day 1 of week 2.

I was so slow. My normal slow walk is 3 minutes faster than I ran/walked my 30 minutes today. And that’s OK, because next week it’ll be better.

I’m learning that it’s a great boost to my body to go out and exercise as soon as I feel better, not to wait and worry that it’ll make me feel worse. That almost never happens. And it’s OK if I only get 2 days in of my C25K program this week, because holy cow, I can do day 3 on Monday. The running police aren’t going to come and take away my running shoes.

I’m thankful. I’m thankful that I’m so stubborn that I refuse to be a “sick person”. I’m thankful that I believe in being in charge of my own destiny and that I believe in the power of natural healing and in food being your best medicine. I believe it’s the reason why my MS has never much advanced over the past 7 years or so, because I took responsibility for my own heath.

I screwed up. I ate very badly and ignored my reality and hurt myself. I learned. I changed directions. You can too. It’s so great that every day we have a choice to start over.

So I’m losing weight, a LOT of weight. Too fast, I know, but I don’t know what I could do about that. I’m trying to eat super healthy and take vitamins. If you have any advice I’d love to hear it, for real.

Perhaps I’m silly to worry. Maybe yes, I will drop to 145 without effort. Maybe I won’t starve to death. Maybe my body will adapt to the lower calorie intake? Do you think that’s what will happen? I’d like to think that’s true. Maybe in a month or two I’ll be able to add in something that could provide some more caloric bulk to my diet. Maybe I worry too much. Again, any wisdom or advice would be helpful.



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Week 1 Day 2 of Couch to 5K


Robin wrote to tell me she just bought this top that I’m coveting: Image

But I can’t find it on the site! Robin, will you send me a link?

And Katie J (Awesome name!) wrote to assure me that YES, my idiotic post of yesterday went out to my OTHER blog subscribers, letting everyone and their brother know exactly how much I weigh and how much I covet this running shirt. Oh, the humiliation.

Oh well, I will bounced back, stuff it down and pretend it didn’t happen.

My running is going great. I’m bribing myself. After I finish the whole 8 weeks without doing the same lame thing of deciding to run more, faster, better!! then I get to buy any running skirt I want, no matter how pricey it is. They can be as much as $75. Gulp. So I have to practice moderation and I have to do the runs. I can do it. I want the skirt. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone reward themselves for not doing too much. I am exactly that weird.

My hip is hurting a little, but I think that’s because I came from almost 2 weeks of non-activity to running 30 minutes on Monday morning, then walking 3 miles with the hubby that night. It felt much better today so I did my run on the treadmill here at the gym hotel but it’s still a little sore. I’m glad I’m only running 3 days a week. It gives things time to settle down.

I loved my run today though. LOVED it. I used Nike+GPS app because it’s only $2 and you can use it to track your runs on Nike+ without paying through the nose for a Nike+band and shoe chip. Which I own, but have lost.  I lose each piece, one at a time. If I find the bracelet, I can’t find the chip. If I know where the chip is, the bracelet is gone. I’m quite sure I shouldn’t be trusted with equipment that I actually need to keep track of. I usually know where my iphone is, so this works for me.

My favorite part about Nike+ is ONLY that I get to run from color to color. I’m serious. It’s so fun to anticipate the color changing from yellow to green. I think green is next. Once I went all the way to blue. Before I lost my chip the first time. So I’m jazzed about the colors. Like a raccoon with a shiny thing.

Do you ever go back and read your old blog posts? Ugh. I would hate that. I have a pile of about 10 journals so far and I mentioned to my daughter the other day that I might just throw them all out because I never like looking back, so why would I keep them? She made me promise to save them for her until I die (Which made me start anticipating that unhappy event). I said, “Well, you might hate me when you read them, so fair warning.” That probably stopped her heart just for a second. But for some reason she wants them. She’ll read my whining for about 6 pages and then probably put them all in a box in her attic.

Don’t complain to me about food or hunger or anything. I have lost all of my mercy and compassion because I’m using it all up for myself. I can SEE really well today. It has been determined that saturated fat is horribly bad for MS and since my optic nerve is involved and I’m an artist, well, HELLO, I need those eyes. I am being super careful now in my eating, especially as I’m the holder of 2 award-winning autoimmune diseases if you throw in Crohn’s, which is likely to have caused the MS.

So this morning I got up and went for breakfast downstairs. The dining room is filled with items. I could eat NONE of them. I tried oats yesterday and I am one of the unlucky ones who can’t eat them. They ran right through me. So I came back to my room, scratching my head.

I ate the 3 strawberries I had leftover, had a cup of tea and sat down to starve to death.

After 2 hours I was bored with that and hiked to an AGS store which seems to sell to in mass quantities to restaurants and little stores. I bought the only things I could find that I could have. A big old tub of roasted, salted almonds, a big hunk of roasted chicken and a bag of frozen vegetables. So that’s what I’m going to eat for the next few days until I head to Albuquerque. And I’m darn thankful to have that.

I love vegetables and poultry and fish so I guess I’m OK with that. But really? Don’t you feel sorry for me?????????

I mean, seriously. No sugar, no processed foods, no dairy of any kind, no grain, a limited intake of fruit, no oats, no yeast, no legumes so no peanuts or soy, no chocolate. I mean, come on!!!

At this point though, those things get strong reactions within minutes, so I have to just do it now. I wonder if that’s what Nike meant when they said, “Just Do it!” I used to love that mantra. Stupid Nike.

 I lost my little hotel key card so I asked my husband for his today. I said, “I just can’t find mine and I want to go out today.” He looked at the sofa which is COVERED with art supplies and said, “Well, I don’t know why you can’t find it. It’s a veritable ‘where’s Waldo’ over there.”  Let’s just say that wasn’t funny. One darn bit. At all. It’s a good thing he left to go to work because I would have snubbed him all day.


*Ok, it wasn’t Katie J who sent me the message about my blog. It was maybe Judy or Robin? Whoever it was, thanks so much for letting me know!

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Move is All Set

I love this top and they Lululemon doesn’t sell it anymore. Does anyone know where I can get one? I really want one. REALLY bad.

Ok, so it’s all set. We got the apartment locked up and will move in April 20. We leave Michigan on Friday and Jeff goes to Seattle, I go to Albuquerque for 1 day then fly out to meet him in WA on Saturday. We’ll be there 2 weeks and then fly to New Mexico to pick up my truck and fill it with some furniture, clothes and whatever we can fit in there. Exciting stuff! It will get even more “exciting” if it turns out Jeff can’t get away from work and I have to do it all myself. I’m choosing not to think of that.

I’ve lost 15 pounds of my gained weight, so woo hoo! I’m back down to 203 today after all that water flushed out of my bod, so I’m ready to pick up and go again. I started the Couch to 5K program yesterday and really enjoyed my running time. It’s actually kind of nice not running until Wednesday. 3 days a week might be a good schedule after all.And yesterday evening Jeff and I took a pleasant 3 mile walk. I can’t even remember a time when I hated exercise, but I know that for most of my life I did. Wow, how things change.

I’m re-cutting all dairy and eggs out of my diet, SADLY, because that’s what’s been stirring up the MS. I’m definitely at the point where I need to focus on the strict MS/Crohns diets and eat chicken, fish and veggies

But I can’t say enough how freeing it is to not be eating any processed foods or gluten based foods or sugar, because I have no desire to eat. I don’t sit around thinking about food or longing for any item. It just doesn’t exist in my body anymore. To be freed from that means it’s going to be quite easy to lose weight. With no demons to struggle against, I just eat, am satisfied and then move on with my day and I lose weight.It sort of moves the whole dieting thing to the background, if you will.

Of course it’s a huge pain in the ass to have 9/10’s of all food yanked off my diet, but I like being able to keep my vision and I really love my legs working and also…my colon thanks me. So, I’m going to be a grown-up about it.

But I reserve the right to throw fits about it. Maybe one per day.

I’m looking for a great purse/backpack pattern. I have found a few on Pinterest. Does anyone have any they can recommend I look at?

Oh! If you want an invite to Pinterest, email me at and I’ll send you one. I love Pinterest but then I’m an artist and for me it’s all about the pretty pictures.

And just to really screw with my mind, I accidentally posted this in my Rancho Manana blog, which is not good. I keep both blogs totally separate because I don’t want certain people to know my weight and my thoughts. Crap. So I marked my Rancho Manana site private since I’m not posting in it anymore anyway. If you have subscribed to it, when you get the email notification of a new post, will you please let me know if you could read the post or if it was effectively deleted?  Oye.


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Found a Great Apartment


We found a great 2 bedroom apartment in our preferred area yesterday. It’s at the end of the whole complex so no neighbors all around-just on one side. There’s a a nice green field of grass on two sides of the place with a balcony that overlooks a lovely green huge yard.

Jeff is working major overtime so I’ve spent my Saturday alone today. Boo. After he gets done working today we hope to have time to get to the apartment and make it officially ours. And if some other yahoo gets that apartment before we can get back there I’m pretty sure I’m going to kill my husband.

I’m not really patient when it comes to picking places. It bores me. It bores Jeff too. We almost always buy the first or second house we look at and we buy based on if it feels good. I think that’s a nice way to buy. Yes, I said nice, not “stupid”. But this time we looked at 3 and we picked the best one.

What makes it really perfect is that it’s about a 1/2 mile bike ride to two of our favorite biking/running paths. One is 16 miles long, one is 10 miles and they intersect. We couldn’t be happier about that since we spend so much time outside. And it’s only a few blocks from shopping, so we have the best of both worlds, lots of nature and easy access to stores.

I’m feeling really good today after almost 2 weeks of an MS flare-up for the first time in many months, almost a year. It happens often during seasonal changes, so I guess I’m pretty lucky it’s been so long. I’ve spent the past 3 days in bed and today I was able to get up and actually sit on the couch all day! I know, we’re all excited about that. So I feel great even though my weight is up 4 pounds and my rings won’t go on because of all the swelling. That’ll go away in a few days.

I want to run.

I’ve decided I need to start all over again and give it another go BECAUSE I love it so much. I have never ever been moderate about running. One thing I’ve learned in the past 12 months is that I am able to be moderate. I’ve learned how. I’ve never really given running a good balanced chance, I always overdo. I’m going to take it easy the rest of the weekend and then start back on the Couch to 5K program on Monday, sticking to just 3 days a week. NO goals for races, no intention of going further and doing more than that. I’ll give it a try and see if I can make it work out by being more balanced. I really hate to give it up without a fight.

I’m thrilled beyond belief that we’ll be living in a place where we can bike on FLAT paths for miles and miles and miles. I love that I can get to the path on a bike and walk run or bike anytime I want. To me, that’s rich living. I’m so happy I can hardly contain myself. That AND I get to be with my husband? It can’t get better than that.

I haven’t read ‘The Hunger Games’ but friends have invited us to go on Sunday afternoon. I know there’s death a-plenty in it and I away hate movies like that but I do hear good things about it. It sounds pretty horrible on the surface-kids fighting to the death and all but one dying? It’s like my movie hell. Like a modern day Gallipoli.


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Michigan Days


I finished this piece several weeks ago and will post it because I can’t find any pictures of Michigan to post on this new computer. I realized this morning that I haven’t been to Michigan since last May. Wow. That’s a long time. Anyway, I really like this painting. It makes me smile. It’s entitled, “Fool’s Paradise”.

We’ve been searching for an apartment in the bare minutes we have left at the end of the occasional day when Jeff gets home at a reasonable time. The one we wanted was so hideous that I’m surprised we didn’t find hookers and crack whores lounging about in the “model” apartment. Shudder. Next!

We’ve found several places we like and most of them have good fitness centers so I’d get a gym too and I’d love that when it’s snowy out-or really, really, really humid. Unfortunately, all of the apartments we are considering are 2-4 miles from our parks, so I may have to throw my bike in the truck and head to the park that way because many of the apartments don’t have nicely laid out pretty paths heading in that direction. Rather, there are busy, scary roads. I’m not a fan of being run down by drivers.

In Seattle, drivers stop if a person is even NEAR a crosswalk. To not do so would be anathema. You’d be the biggest villain in the world if you didn’t. In Michigan they just won’t stop, period. It’s terrifying. Unless there’s a stop light there, controlling the drivers, they won’t stop. You can be in the middle of an intersection and if they’re going 35 mph they just plow straight for you. A cop told us once that you’re taking your life in your hands here if you try and use the crosswalks. Nice.

Anyway, we’ll find some sort of apartment in the week we have left here. Nothing like flying by the seat of your pants, right? Let’s call it “exciting” instead of “scary”, shall we?

I’m rocking the weight loss thing. No worries there. But here’s something new. I just realized I’m fat! I know, it’s a real shock to me. Last year when I was almost to 199 I kept thinking and saying, “I look fine, I feel great, I don’t see a need to go any lower.” Because I gained some weight and am now getting close to re-visiting the olde 199, I see the bare, naked truth. I’m pretty fat. And actually it just makes me laugh. My perceptions can apparently swing wildly depending on which way I’m coming from. Now I can really see how much fat I have around my middle. I’m not talking about little cute rolls that annoy me. I mean I really see I need to lose more to be healthy. 30 maybe.

I’d say that blows my mind, but frankly, it just makes me tired to think about even fighting against it anymore. Been there, done that. I figure that in 52 weeks, give or take a few weeks, I’ll be down to 160-170 if I just keep on being consistent. So I guess I’ll do that, huh?

I don’t have any major plans anymore. Again, I’m tired of that. It’s all so BIG and DRAMATIC! Eh. I’m just keeping track of my calories and carbs and getting in some daily exercise. We’ll see what happens, right? If nothing else, at least I’ve found the catalyst to get my butt down into the 180’s or 170’s. It no longer feels like I’ll be a skinny minny if I do that. That’s a laugh. I’ll probably still be a little chubby.

The weather is lovely here. I wish I had my pickup and possessions NOW so I’m not stuck in this one place, right around this hotel. In April that will change. I’ll have to figure out how to make “Michigan Lefts” and how to drive the round and rounds without killing a few Michiganites along the way. Michiganders? Whoever they are, I hope I won’t damage any while I’m trying to figure it all out.

I’m considering giving up running. That hurts me to write that, to even think that. But I am considering it. Running really messes with Crohns and it’s just really hard for me to keep up without shaking my guts up. As I mentioned before, I very much want to start biking as well.

I’ve been walking for miles every day for months and lately am doing Leslie Sansone’s “Walk Away the Pounds-2 Mile” DVD.

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Exercise Changes

I forgot to link all of that long post to exercise. So I’ll do another.

The apartment that we’ve picked and hope will work, in Michigan, is just 2 1/2 miles from our favorite giant park. It’s like 16 miles wide, or some crazy amount like that. There’s a giant lake in the middle with a 6 mile loop around it and the apartment building is linked to the park by a 2 1/2 mile trail.

We are loading up our bikes and bringing them to Michigan and I’ll be able to bike to the park, then either bike around the lake and back home again (11 miles) or bike there, lock up my bike and walk the 6 miles or run it. The running part will take a bit to get back to in that if I tried to run 6 miles now I would drop dead.

In Deming, NM it’s very hard to run. It put a serious damper on my favorite exercise. When we wake up in the morning if you decided to go out and run you would be frozen to the bone. It’s been around 35 with high winds every morning for the past 8 weeks. High winds in a running skirt or running pants even? No. Not happening.

So if I wait until it warms up, then it’s almost too warm to run. Such is life in the high desert. Michigan and the Seattle area are ideal running places so I can’t wait to have a lot more options weather-wise.

Plus, biking in Deming? Hah! I tried one time and the sand and constant blowing dust has permanently clogged half of my gears, rendering them unusable. (There’s a bike shop I know of in MI so I’m going to get it fixed.) But Michigan is great for bike riding. I’m excited!

Additionally, I thought, in Deming, OK, too cold to run, too hot to run, no problem, I’ll do yoga dvd’s. Well, no. The cabin is big enough to do workouts in, but I have no heat out there, just a little space heater. It takes about 3 hours to warm up the cabin in the winter and then it’s only to around 60 degrees. Not really comfortable. I found that walking seemed to be the ticket for New Mexico, but I really missed doing other forms of exercise. Again, another bonus for me that we get to be in multiple places.

I bought more of the ‘Walk Away the Pounds’ DVDs and a beginner Cardio by Petra that even my directionally challenged brain can work out. I’m looking forward to playing with those in the hotel room the next 10 days.

We will be on the road to Ohio for a job on Tuesday, all day Tuesday, so I’ll see you back here on Wednesday.

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