A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Home again (temporarily!)

It is so nice to be back home!
HomeI got some much appreciated park time with these guys when I got home Sunday. 🙂

Last week, I had to travel out to Louisiana at the last minute to help my mother coordinate a lot of healthcare issues for my grandmother. It was exhausting, but I’m glad I was able to help move things along a bit. I confess it was also very motivating, in a weird way. My mother’s mother and her brother are both hospitalized with complications of diabetes and high blood pressure that have been drastically worsened by their poor self-care. Right now I am weirdly angry that they are dying and disabled due to treatable, manageable conditions – or what are frequently treatable conditions (I know there are always exceptions). Neither of them ate well, exercised or took their medications. Neither of them got proper medical care. Lots of reasons fed into that lack of care but a big part of it was not believing the seriousness of the conditions or the need for medical treatment. With diabetes and hypertension, you often feel just fine until your disease has progressed to a point where you’re suddenly having end-organ damage and failing. This gene pool is abysmal but it’s mine and it’s a big part of the reason I lost weight and cleaned up my diet in the first place. It’s the reason I looked at the DASH diet guidelines for hypertension again when I finally got home this weekend (here) and the reason I told myself that it didn’t matter how hard it was, I had to pull myself out of this hole of poor food choices. It’s the reason I set my alarm for 5:45 today to head out to run a bit for the first time in ages.

I am happy to report that I DID get in my long walk over the weekend. I walked 7.5 miles in the Dallas airport during my long layover Sunday morning.

Airport walk

I am less happy to report that as I did that in Crocs, I have a blister. 😦 With a 7 mile walk and a 7.5 mile walk behind me, I feel confident that I can get through a 10K and 5K in Cincinatti for Flying Pig weekend.

I’m particularly proud of myself for getting that walk in, even with the very real possibility I’m going to be missing that race weekend for a funeral. It was so tempting to skip the long workout between the fatigue and the lack of proper footwear if there’s a chance it’s all for “nothing” but I suspect that if I’d been just sitting in the airport for hours, I’d have made a lot of bad food and drink choices. Moving helped avoid that.

Goals for this week:

  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies. (Specifically, 5 servings of each a day)
  • Do two run/walk workouts. (More on that specific plan later!)
  • Meditate daily. (I’m overwhelmed, to say the least with all of this family business)
  • Get a 4 mile walk in over the weekend. (Sort of a taper walk, before next week’s races)

Travel fitness tip: Google your airport name and “healthy” or “fitness” to find ideas for healthy food or exercise options in the airport. In the DFW airport, there’s a 0.7 mile walking path in terminal D marked by mosaic tiles like the one I took a picture of above. There’s also a yoga space, with mats and yoga videos on the TV!

What’s your favorite travel fitness tip?

Thanks as always to Tricia and Holly for hosting the wrap up!

 

 

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Crazy couple of weeks!

Sorry for dropping off of the face of the earth for so long! After going to California for work, I immediately turned around to be on call for a week. I am so grateful this is my last week on call for a few months! It was a doozy. I was at work 12+ hours every day and every day, I’ve more than hit my step goal thanks to all of this literal running around I’m doing!
Bright spots

One day when I came home late, Oliver and Darrell were walking around the block. O raced me around the block to go home. 🙂

Not only is work crazy, we’ve also had a lot of family health stressors. The three of us are fine, but a dear friend’s father had a massive stroke, so I’ve been spending lots of time checking in with them and visiting the hospital. He’s improving, happily. My assistant’s mother died unexpectedly. I have no idea if I sent flowers to the right funeral. My grandmother and uncle got admitted to the hospital and while both are medically fine, it brought to a head a lot of elder care issues we’ve now got to tackle as a family. They’re both down in Louisiana and refuse to leave their town, but resources are really limited there. And we’re all hours away. Sigh. Now I’m heading down to help my mom sort things out.

In the midst of all of this, I’ve had a mix of good and bad days in terms of food. Honestly, exercise has also fallen off the radar other than my PT and all of the walking I’m doing at work. This week, I’m going to get back on track even with the emergency trip to Louisiana. However, it’s time to admit to myself that this is going to be HARD. I know it seems silly, but I don’t remember it being this hard the first time around when I cleaned up my eating and started exercising. I think it was because I was starting from such an unhealthy place, it was easy to see progress with small changes. I also had a calmer life back then – less work, less busy family. I have to admit that it is going to be hard and I’m not just going to “flip a switch” to get back to normal.

Baby steps are needed. I downloaded a habit tracking app and am tracking “eat sanely” – which I know is a super unspecific goal. However, at this point I just need to feel like I’m doing better and once I start to string more and more good days together, hopefully I’ll be able to make more specific changes.

The Flying Pig race weekend is also upon us. I’m going to try to do my last 8-9 mile walk this weekend, so hopefully I’ll be ready for that day. 🙂 It’ll be hard in Louisiana, but I’ll get as much as I can. After that, I’m going to get back to the Couch to 5K program and start some easy running again. My PT would prefer I avoid long/intense running for the first year after my injury to avoid the impact too much on my healing disc so I will definitely keep it at a slow walk-run.  As soon as registration opens, I’ll register for the Road to Omaha 5K they have here each June in conjunction with the College World Series. We all knowing having that race registration is a huge motivator for me!

Send me good vibes for travel to Louisiana today and sorting out the care issues for my family! My mom is so relieved I’m coming, so I know it’s the right thing to do, but selfishly, I’m dreading the travel and chaos when I’m already burnt out.
Best hubby everMy lovely hubby got me a Wonder Woman Pez for Easter. I wish I’d thought to bring it with me this week! I think I’m going to need her.

Anybody else feel like losing weight and getting healthy was harder the second time around?

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Progress not Perfection

I keep my list of reasons “why” in the front of my list journal that I have with me every day. On the facing page, I have this:
Progress not perfection
The fact that’s its under something I scribbled out is somehow more appropriate, right? Progress not Perfection is definitely something I need to remind myself of now.

This week had some nice wins:

    • Cleared from weekly PT visits – now stretching out to every two weeks. Even better, I did a great job with my daily workouts for my arm and shoulder so I was proud of myself for not letting things slide even though I’m not getting checked as often!
    • 7 mile walk done – Sunday afternoon, I headed out for my walk and maintained around 18 minute pace even though I wasn’t remotely in the mood to push the pace. It’s nice to know that even my “easy” walking pace is a lot faster than it used to be.

Spring walk

There’s been some not-so-great in the last couple of days to balance this, I must confess. Saturday evening, we were out late and hungry. Rather than coming home to cook the dinner I’d planned, we found somewhere to eat out. It was prom night, so we tried three places before we found somewhere that wasn’t too busy and the place we ended up with didn’t offer the healthiest choices. I was tired enough that I didn’t care.

Sunday morning at 5 am, I was woken up by Oliver who was sick. Again. More vomiting. Sigh. We’d just done the GI thing on Monday. He was well for the rest of the week, until Sunday. I’m not sure it was just the dinner we had Saturday  night (a little outside his usual food comfort zone) or if he was sick with another bug. Regardless, it was another day of vomiting and sick boy. His poor tummy hurt quite a bit. Thankfully, he’s better today. Between lack of sleep and worry about him, I just ordered pizza for lunch.

However, despite less-than-ideal food choices, there are some wins.

  • I chose a glass of wine with dinner Saturday, not a sugary cocktail, and I savored every drop.
  • I skipped dessert with dinner and at home. I was full and didn’t need more. Recognizing that is a HUGE change.
  • I actually looked at my unopened box of Thin Mints on Sunday and thought “I’ve already screwed up today – might as well eat these.” However, after I got home from my walk, the urge was gone and I had a reasonable dinner.

I’m finding it easier to rein things in after “straying” which is good and I’m happy with my progress towards walking a 10K and 5K on the same day next month. Have I had things in tighter control before? Sure – but this is still better than I was doing a month ago. Progress, not perfection.

In the name of progress, I think setting concrete goals for this week is key. I’m starting the week tired after being up with Oliver and a couple of nights of poor sleep. I know myself enough to know that leads me to specifically overeating carbs (exhibit a: 3 bran muffins yesterday – small, but still . . .). Add on top of that, travel to Anaheim early Wednesday morning for a four day meeting.

Goals:

  • Track EVERYTHING – even if I go in the hole, I need to track it and own it.
  • At least ten minutes of dedicated exercise every day.
  • At least one of my physical therapy exercises a day.
  • No mixed drinks in Anaheim and no more than two drinks in any single setting (I tend to drink to network, which leads to less than ideal food choices).
  • No desserts in Anaheim.
  • No french fries in Anaheim (always the harbringer of travel-food-choice doom!).
  • Start each day with a healthy breakfast (looks reasonable from the room service menu!).

Oliver, of course, also has a goal for me in Anaheim: Get him a new Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. 🙂 He’s outgrown the last one I got him from Disneyland. I also promised him I wouldn’t be going into the park. With my injured neck and the high cost of park tickets, that’s not super hard to promise.

Question about walking as a workout as opposed to running: Should I approach fueling the same way I do with running (ie something every three miles or so?)? Certainly I don’t feel like I need something every 30-45 minutes like I do when running, but I probably need something over the 9 miles I’m going to cover next month. Any ideas or advice?

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up!

What’s your mantra to keep your head up during tough weeks?

 

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Weight Loss Wednesday: Dealing with Sabotaging Thoughts

“The scale isn’t moving anyway so what does it matter what I eat for dinner.”

“Darrell misses cheesy food. Why am I trying to force him to eat like I do?”

“I can start over tomorrow.”

Know what these are? These are sabotaging thoughts. Specifically, these are sabotaging thoughts I’ve had over the last 48 hours. I’m not the only one with this kind of internal monologue, I know. Hands raised?

One of my favorite features of the Beck diet book is the way it makes you pro-actively consider those thoughts and how you’ll handle them. Each chapter, each habit change, includes discussion of the kinds of thoughts you might have to throw you off track and ways to counter them.Those countering strategies have some common themes:

– Re-read your why list. Those things are important.

Why
You’re worth it. Don’t let yourself worry too much about how your changes will negatively impact those around you. After all, if those changes are leading to a happier, healthier you, it’s more than worth the temporary inconvenience.

Good choices have value, even when the scale is slow to catch up. Remember that you can control the inputs, not the output and every one of those good inputs is a better choice you’ve made for your body. Each one counts.

– We’re not unique in our sabotaging thoughts, which means we aren’t alone. The number of times I would be reading and realize that the sample “sabotaging thought” was EXACTLY what I’d been thinking is amazing. That doesn’t mean that I’m not a special flower (because of course I’m special, darn it!) but what it does mean that we are never alone in these struggles.

Pro-actively considering how you’re going to handle those thoughts when they arise, whether it’s dealing with a bad weigh in or a slip in your food plan or the donuts that show up at 3 pm, makes it easier to stay on the path you’ve chosen. Thinking through those strategies before you actually encounter them “in the wild” counts as practice, mental practice at least, and we all know that practice makes perfect.

What are your most common sabotaging thoughts? Have you ever actually written them out and thought pro-actively about how you’d counter them?

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Back on Track!

I finally feel like I’m starting to get back on track, after my post-marathon “rest” (that got a little too lazy!) and my poor neck injury. Let’s hope I can keep this momentum! The key, I know, is not to get carried away with myself and push too hard. A slow and steady approach is essential here.

So why am I so excited about how this week went?

    • I ran!! I got clearance from PT to try running again, no more than once or twice and only short bursts. She also said to keep it slow and keep it less than a mile. After three months without running, that was no problem. I was so excited to head out Friday morning for a short little run. I confess part of me wondered if I really wanted to run again – it is HARD after all – but I had so much fun Friday morning I know I won’t be giving up on running any time soon. 🙂

Run!

  • I made the best of a day stuck inside: The PT warned me that I needed to take time off after trying to run, because the inflammation may not show up for a day or two. No running allowed Saturday since I ran Friday. I was also stuck inside due to rain and the fact that Darrell was out of the house to see Beauty & the Beast. Oliver was in his room grounded for the stealing and wall-coloring, so I decided to spend an hour dancing. Double win: Low impact movement AND drowned out the whining a bit. (Don’t worry – Oliver could also hear the music and was dancing in his room.)
  • I walked 6 miles for my Flying Pig training. I’ve gotta say – maintaining a “non-strolling” walking pace (17:30 min/mile) in my hilly neighborhood felt like more of a workout than I’ve had in ages!

Speaking of Flying Pig, I did some checking and they keep the finish line open even after they start closing the course, which is very back of the pack friendly. You also still get the finisher medallion. 🙂 Definitely a bonus for someone who will likely be walking all of the 10K and 5K – and a motivation to have me stick with my training plan so that I can finish those 10 miles. Also a huge shout out to the Flying Pig staff for answering my email question about this so quickly!

I also did great with my strength training and PT this week, including learning to play cribbage with Darrell. My poor finger and thumb were so tired after that! I’m making a more concerted effort to use those fingers rather than work around them, which will hopefully get me back to normal soon.

Self-care was also a win this week. I treated myself to a morning at Beauty and the Beast (with a pot of tea – Alamo Drafthouse for the win at 9:15 am!) and a nice long nap with Oliver.
Naps!

All in all, a good week and I have a feeling this one will be good as well (despite the fact that it started with a 4 am wake up and a vomiting kid!).

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our wrap up! I’m glad to finally have something that looks more like a wrap up of workouts to report!

What’s in your emergency kit for stomach bugs? Darrell went out this AM to restock our Gatorade, Saltine crackers and Purell. 🙂 Growing up, we always had ginger ale (or flat 7-up) and saltine crackers.

PS Made a small change to my Twitter handle (@littlemoreeach) to separate my personal and blog. I am so not adept at social media! Took way too long to make this change! Anyway, if you follow blog stuff on Twitter, be sure to follow @littlemoreeach.

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Re-evaluating my “Why”

Working through the Beck Diet book again, I decided to make a new list of “Reasons to Lose” rather than keep working with my original list. My perspective may be a little different now than it was years ago, before I’d ever successfully lost weight.

2017 List:

1) To protect my health (My heart, my blood pressure, my joints)

2) To take better care of my family (When I eat better, they eat better)

3) To remind myself I’m worth it (It’s okay to invest this effort in myself among all of the other things I do)

4) To fit in my favorite clothes again (I’d finally settled into my lower weight enough to build a wardrobe I was loving!)

5) To stop feeling that nagging sense of failure (about this at least)

While I call this my “Reasons to Lose” here, this list is more about my health and my health habits more than my size (well, except for #4). Getting back to a smaller size would be nice, but the most important thing is to rein in all of those times I’m letting the fact that I’m stressed lead to food choices I’ll regret. Exhibit A) The pancakes I ordered last night because I was stressed about work. It’s wasn’t a rationally chosen indulgence – it was a stress-induced carb fest.
Essential book of life

I’ve written my list in my “book” – I’m in this book every day to keep track of notes and to do lists. This morning, I read my list before I started my day. I’ll read it again in a little while to remind me why I don’t need the pastries I’m going to pass at the coffee shop on the way to my 1 o’clock meeting.

The first time around, I kept my list on my phone so I could always see it and it really helped. I haven’t looked at my original “reasons why” list in a while. First on that list? Diabetes. Yikes. Can’t believe I forgot that when I was listing things for my health! I’m always going to be at high risk for diabetes thanks to my family history and personal history of gestational diabetes. Add my risk of high blood pressure and the lupus (and lupus meds!) on top of that and my poor kidneys would probably appreciate it if I could avoid diabetes.

More energy was on that list – and something I definitely need more of now! There were a couple of clothes related things (it’s self care, right?) and my favorite:

“Be light enough for my husband to carry me like Rhett Butler.”

With Darrell’s back, that’s never going to happen no matter how small I get. Ah well. 🙂

Looking at the two lists, I can’t help but notice that my old list was a lot more optimistic in tone. I’m a little sad that #3 and #5 are on my current list, but I’m being honest with myself. Hopefully when I re-evaluate this list with a few months of healthy habits behind me, that nagging sense of failure will be gone and I’ll have NO DOUBT I’m worth. Because I am.

Do you have a “why” list when you try to change your lifestyle?

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Good news!

This is really about this week rather than last week, but too good not to share: the PT has cleared me to run again! Yay! It has to be small amounts of running – brief running intervals in the midst of walking and not super long distances, but it is a start. She said I have to be concerned not just for pain while I’m running, but also if it happens afterwards as the impact may cause inflammation. I’m totally on board with starting slow – I’m just relieved that I get to try starting again.

Parenting - ugh

This is why I asked the PT about running: after coming home from work Sunday, I found that Oliver had colored on his door. Sigh. In his defense, this is only the second time he’s ever colored on a non-approved surface. In defense of how frustrated this made me, he’s already in trouble for stealing in kindergarten for the second time in two weeks. I know all of this is age appropriate behavior and he’s learning how to be a rational human being. As a (not always rational) human being myself, I am worried I’m a failure as a mom and raising a kid who will grow up to a sociopath. Okay, not really – he’s generally great and I have expectations that are high. I REALLY wanted to go for a run yesterday when I noticed this. A walk helped, but it wasn’t quite the same.
Spring!

On the plus side, walking instead of running off my frustration left me the space to notice spring popping up everywhere around me. I need to do some cleaning out of my flowerbeds and garden this weekend so those tulips and hyacinths have space to grow!

Last week was chaotic at work and with parenting, but wins abound:

  • Healthy eating all week!
  • Did my PT exercises!
  • Got in lots of walking!
  • Cooked dinner!

I am SO excited to be cooking again. I still can’t chop as my fine motor control is hands still stinks, but I can do everything else. It just means I buy pre-chopped veggies for a while. My PT homework for my fine motor control was actually to start playing cribbage. Darrell loves new games, so it looks like we’ll be reintroducing game night to help me get back onto my feet (or hands as it were!).

That’s all I’ve got for today – short and sweet wrap ups when I’m not running much. 😦 This week, I’m planning on very easy reintroduction of jog intervals to two walks. I’m not going to get carried away. Plus, I’ve got to keep up my strength training and of course, learn cribbage. All interesting goals for the week! Recovery can be a strange process, can’t it?

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link up! I hope you all have gorgeous weather on this first day of spring!

 

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Weight Loss Wednesday (Okay – Thursday): Back Again . . .

Don’t  you love when life gets busy and you forgot to post your blog until the title doesn’t make sense?

When I had my eye on the ball of marathon training, I took my eye OFF of the ball in terms of weight maintenance and have regained – to the tune of weighing 222 pounds at a recent doctor’s appointment. I won’t lie, I did a lot of wallowing in self-disgust when I crossed 200 pounds again after promising myself I would never go back there. You know what that wallowing got me? Another 20 pounds. Sigh. Enough of that. Time to put on my big-girl panties and deal with this. In addition to the weight gain, my blood pressure was 140/93 at my neurosurgery appointment last week. NOT good. I had high blood pressure for several years before I lost weight. I don’t want to go back there.

I never want to worry about this again.

Self-disgust is over. Time to own it (and tell you guys) and move forward. I’ve been tracking in Weight Watchers again and re-reading the Beck Diet, which I found really helpful the first time I did this. I thought it might be good for those of you who’ve never read this book (which I highly recommend!) to go through the exercises in the book week by week for a little while, as I’m working through them myself.
Beck diet

The book embraces cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to dealing with eating habits, rather than any specific diet. It focuses a lot on the mental aspect of weight loss, which was crucial to my success in first losing weight and in keeping it off for so long. I think once I re-lose this time (and I will!), I may need to make a deal with myself to re-read this book once a year to reinforce these habits!

So, week one gets you ready. First, you write down your why. Actually write it down (the Beck approach is big on the act of writing things down so you can re-read them). I did this early on when I first lost weight and looked at the list over and over. I even updated the list when I was in maintenance. I haven’t thought of that list in ages, which might be why I’ve regained. I wrote a new list last week, in the book where I keep all of my other essential lists. We’ll talk more about my new list later, but it’s definitely a powerful exercise if you’ve never actually thought about WHY you want to lose weight.

You also pick a diet. Beck doesn’t recommend any specific diet – just that you choose your diet AND your back up diet, for if the first one “fails” (ie you can’t follow it or don’t like it or whatever). I really like that you have to think of your plan B from the beginning. You learn a lot about what you can and can’t really follow when you actually try to change your eating habits. For now, to get back into the groove of tracking and eating better, I’m starting with Simply Filling from Weight Watchers (more here). If I don’t start to lose on this plan, I’ll go back to traditional WW. I’m just tracking in the app now, but know I should go back to meetings as well. The accountability of the weekly “public” weigh in was very helpful for me in the past and I should probably go again.

A couple of other steps in week one include sitting down to eat and slowing down to notice your food. I really need to work on this because right now, I only manage that at dinner. Breakfast and lunch are always rushed affairs on work days, without necessarily sitting and definitely without any slowing to notice my food.

My favorite step from week one is give yourself credit. It is so easy to get into this loop of focusing on all the things we’ve done wrong without noticing what we do right. Know where that gets you? Nowhere good. Yes, I’m no longer looking like that joyous first half marathon picture I see every time Facebook shows me a “your ad here” preview for the blog’s Facebook page. I did not appreciate that body nearly enough while I had it! I’m still healthier than I used to be and I’m making more and more good choices every day. I need to keep looking for those little “gold star” moments to keep my motivation up.

Hopefully, between working on my mental game, tracking with Weight Watchers again and being honest with you all here (seriously powerful to share with the world at large!), I’ll get back to the point where I’m more comfortable with my clothes and with my body. In the meantime, I’m going to appreciate every good choice I make.

How do you give yourself credit for doing well?

 

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Walkin’ in Memphis

Happy Tuesday! Anyone else really dragging in this first week post-time change? Ugh. I confess – it makes me glad that I’m not actively running and training right now, so I don’t have to drag myself out of bed early in the morning this week. On the drive to school Monday morning, Oliver complained to Darrell that “Mommy woke me up too early. It was still dark outside.” No kidding buddy.

I was in Memphis for work last week, starting early morning Thursday and getting back late Sunday. It was a fairly successful trip all in all. I resisted the conference snacks and my indulgences were well chosen. I confess, those indulgences included alcohol to make the networking easier, but weirdly I feel like the fact there were no French Fries and no pastries at the meeting mean I won.
Indulging

I treated myself to a green Bloody Mary before I headed back home. Counts as a vegetable right? I also got in lots of walking in the last week and feel like I’m making progress toward my goal of walking the 5K and 10K at Flying Pig weekend in May. My plan is to work my weekend long walk up by a mile at a time until I reach 8-9 miles. On the plus side, weeks on call (like this week!) are less of a training disruption while I’m walking instead of running because I can answer the phone while I’m on long walks easier than when I’m on long runs.

In my physical therapy, I’ve worked up to strength training. Woo hoo! My pain is mostly gone and my function is a lot better. I’m still weak, especially for anything that requires more than a few seconds of effort. My thumb and index finger are also still numb, but the neurosurgeon said that would be the last thing to return to normal. I’m just relieved that I’m relatively out of the woods in terms of surgery or more steroids! It is sort of funny to realize how weak I am now. The stretchy arm bands are tough and wall push-ups, which used to be laughably easy for me, are now a serious feat of strength!

Up for this week: 2-3 weekday walks, my PT strength exercises every day and a 4-5 mile walk this weekend. I also want to keep up that healthy-ish momentum I’ve got from making reasonably good choices in Memphis despite the work stress from being on call and the parenting stress of a 5 year old who is pushing his limits.
BoysExhibit A: The need to include (and label) his penis is a drawing in kindergarten for a story he wrote about swimming. Definitely a keeper for the photo box, right?

Good luck adjusting to the time change this week, especially for those of you waking up for early morning workouts!

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia for hosting our link-up! Hope you lovely ladies had a great time hanging out together this weekend.

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Friday Favorites: Things I’m Loving Today!

It’s been a while since I’ve done Friday Favorites, but today I have some things because a) I love them and b) I’ve really missed blogging and “talking” to you guys over the last few weeks. I’m trying to avoid typing in bed, which has really cut into blogging time.

Loving:

    • My cozy new blue sweater: So comfy and so appreciated to replace my previous faded and too-short version. I kept putting my old one back in the closet because I didn’t like wearing it anymore due to the fading and finally bit the bullet to replace it. Loving this new longer version from Old Navy! Moving to Nebraska has definitely allowed me to indulge my love of sweaters. That was always wasted on life in Louisiana.

Cozy sweaters

    • Using Alexa to stay on task in the morning: We have two of the Amazon Alexa home manager devices. I love that I both use Alexa to listen to music in the morning and set a timer to keep me from taking too long in the bathroom getting ready! It’s a relief not to constantly look at the clock. Even Oliver likes giving Alexa orders (usually involving playing his favorite songs, although he also asks her questions). Creepy to have someone listening to my house all the time? A bit, but also a little Jetson-y.
    • Listening to Happy by Gretchen Rubin: I know this book is several years old, but I’m listening to it for the first time in the car and loving it as an antidote to my previous habit of listening to politics podcasts on my drive to and from work (oy). I definitely recommend it if you haven’t checked it out.
    • Traction to help my ornery neck: I am LOVING laying in traction when I go to PT. I confess, it’s tempting to swap out the inversion table at home for one of these. It pulls gently for 30-45 seconds at a time, release and then pulls again, over and over for 20 minutes or so. It’s amazingly relaxing! It feels very indulgent for “medicine” and results in some wacky selfies. 🙂

Stretch

  • Speaking of indulgences, I am really looking forward to tea at the Peabody tomorrow here in Memphis. I’ve got to do a lot of public speaking tomorrow and interacting, which is going to wear this little introvert OUT. Thankfully, I have the pleasure of tea, with little cakes on a pretty tiered stand, to look forward to once I’m done.

What are you loving today? Anything you’re looking forward to this weekend?

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