Monday, September 29, 2014


Hi Blog!

I'm going to do a thing where I write whatever the fuck I want here and if you read it, cool.  Because otherwise I'm going to keep forgetting I can do that.  Sometimes we just have to remind ourselves!

I remember back when I was nineteen I still had my shitty computer from 1996 that was all big and bulky.  I did all my LiveJournal updating from a desk in a quiet room.  I updated mornings, evenings, and when I wasn't at home I updated in between classes and sometimes I would sneak on at work to update.

I was really lonely! And I was really worried that I was fat whether I was 135 lbs or 185 lbs.

Speaking of which ...


On September 7th when I came home from Ocean City, I weighed 236.8 lbs. That was my highest weight ever.

And I wouldn't have minded. My boobs were looking pretty good, that's for damn sure. 

Alas, I had to make a change. I was suffering from various health problems and energy issues. I had severe acid reflux attacks, I could not walk without having to stop to rest, and my walk was more waddle than walk. To be fair, I had just returned from living on a diet of funnel cake, pizza, and ice cream in a frenzied last hurrah. Still, I could no longer get away with having a diet with little to no vegetables in it while laying around and sleeping all my evenings away. Cheetos are not a vegetable, not when you're managing bipolar disorder with Depakote.

So I went on the Atkins diet, lost a quick 9 lbs, and felt a little bit better in my clothes. Bye bye, daily Cheeto fix!  Bye bye cookies for breakfast!  Bye bye pizza delivery guy assuming all the orders in our building were for my address! (Try next door, buddy!)

How have I been since then?

For the last 20 days I've been eating an excess of vegetables (at least a bag of salad a day along with a few cups of broccoli and some tomatoes) with adding some lean protein, full-fat cheeses, saturated and healthy fats to my diet.  Most people when they think of Atkins think bacon. I've had some bacon, but not vast amounts.  I've eaten way more broccoli than bacon.


I think the only thing about what I've been eating that is probably terrible is that I use artificial sweeteners. It's something I need to ween myself off of slowly. I use them in moderation, but I should probably not being using them at all since they seem to lead me to want to eat things like cake. 

It started innocently enough. I like a packet of Stevia in my cream cheese pancake batter.  I also drink the occasional Diet Rite, which has sucralose--which for some people with certain sensitive gut bacteria can stall weight loss.  I also have been enjoying sugar-free candy, two pieces a day, but they give me the bubble guts.

Then I made a huge mistake!

One thing I swore I would not resort to on this diet was relying on Atkins bars. Last week I had jury duty. 

Can I say right now that jury duty is the worst and my personal nightmare?  They trap you for six hours in a room with 250 other people and you're not allowed to go outside except for your lunch break.  NO THANKS.

Anyway I totally cheated. During my week of jury duty I broke down and ate some Atkins bars because I was afraid everyone would complain if I whipped out my packet of tuna. I was okay eating my vegetables, but I needed something more substantial and I ended eating three Atkins bars while waiting for them to dismiss us for lunch. Earlier that week I had already cheated on my diet by eating a big bowl of cereal as well as having the wrong kind of sauce on my hot wings. Oh, and I had a handful of Cheetos. By the end of the week I was almost back up to 230, but I quickly got back on track by adding more salads as snacks. Today I'm 227.1 and losing. 


I can't believe how easy to make some of the shit I get to eat is. Basically every recipe I like involves eggs. Beat some eggs and add rando ingredients to it like cream or cheese and eventually you can have pizza crust, crepes, quiche, whatever the fuck you want, apparently, I don't care. And it doesn't even taste like an omelet is the baffling part. You'd think that cream cheese mixed with eggs to make a crepe would taste like an omelet, but it tastes like a crepe.  Makes no sense to me either. It's a damned miracle.

Parmesan Broccoli Egg Muffins/Mini Quiches

Thin Egg/Cheese Crust Pizza/Quiche

Cream Cheese Crepes
Thank you Pinterest! I basically would just be gnawing off of a rotisserie chicken in the fridge if it wasn't for that website.


Amazingly, for the first time in a long time I feel like my old self. I still walk a little slow, but I go to Zumba class twice a week and I try to get in some activity the other days of the week. Some days I've gone outside for a short recreational walk, and the other night I went out with friends and danced a bunch. I also like to play with my cat, which often involves chasing her around the house with a feather stick that she likes to destroy.

I have a lot more energy now for the first time since my manic episode ended back in May. And thankfully it's not the talkative, nervous, noisy brain energy that mania brings.  It's just enough energy to do the things I need to do, plus a little extra to do fun things like exercise and do basic chores.

This is only the beginning.  We shall see what the next month brings. I'll be spending mine eating a lot of cheese and not a lot of Cheetos.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nothing to see here.

I took a break from blogging in the last week.  I was not sure how to put into words all of the things going on. By 8pm tonight it will have been more than a week since Scott, my childhood friend's little brother, passed away unexpectedly.

In case you were wondering which friend, it's this friend's brother:

Diana has been a part of my life for twenty years. I have to say that I am not a good friend. I don't really know how to be.  I stopped knowing what is expected of a friend a long time ago. Right now, I'm still getting used to the fact that I decided to stay alive.

However one time we were really amazing friends. There used to be a time where we called each other every night and stayed on the phone for hours. We went to each other's birthday parties.

We even fought over some of the same guys, but somehow we got over that. After high school this changed a little as our taste in men began to differ--just like our personalities. She considered herself to be country and at the time I had my eyes on escaping our home town somehow. By age 21 we had slowly drifted apart. Sure, we kept in touch with social media but somehow I went from giggling with her in the middle of the night pigging out and reading junk magazines to never seeing her again.

She will always have a huge place in my heart. Throughout all my drama, she stuck with me the longest. Her family stuck with me the longest too. Having her little brother die last week felt like having a neighbor die. It almost felt like having a brother of my own die. Not quite. I hope never to know the difference.

I have a habit of skipping funerals. There have been more than a dozen deaths in my high school class, including one death from the other school I went to. My paternal grandparents have passed, my Aunt Charlene has passed, even my coworkers passed away in the last several years. I have managed to skip funerals like crazy.

Here is what I do at a funeral.

1.  Spend all my waking moments planning what to wear to the funeral only to have the outfit not be appropriate somehow. At my stepmother's funeral I wore a maxi skirt and black blouse. My roots were showing so I put red mascara in them. My father never said anything to me but apparently everyone asked him why my forehead was bleeding and why I did not have something more appropriate to wear.

2. Avoid the body as much as possible. I have no desire to really see the embalmed version of someone I used to know.  The face is always shocking. Oh, no, they're dead, they're really dead. Then when you get close up to get a good look there's always too much makeup on the hands or their head is tucked into their neck at an odd position. And I think you're supposed to pray or have a moment of silence, which for me feels super uncomfortable. So I just say goodbye.

3. Hug as many people as possible. This is why I go to a funeral. I don't really go to say goodbye or to show off my stupid outfit. I don't even go for closure or to mourn. I go to hug other people who are really sad.  I go there to get my sad on. To be honest, it is kind of embarrassing. It's hugging the most important people of my life that brings me some kind of peace.  We're in this loss together. The more people I know at a funeral, the better. It makes me feel like we're protecting each other.

I don't like to mourn at funerals.

Here is how I mourn.

Step 1. Take off all my clothes. 

Step 2. Get package of cheese from refrigerator. 

Step 3. Lay on couch and eat cheese while not wearing clothes. 

Step 4. Continue process until all the good cheese is gone/scheduled to go back to work. I mean, when I'm scheduled to go back to work. Who knows when the cheese is scheduled to go to work.  If I eat enough cheese, there might be no work at all.

I still mourn after that, but the really bad mourning is dulled. Today I may have screwed up my diet with some lemon pepper wings (that sauce had sugar) and then a bowl of cereal (because fuck it) but cheese is usually my true go-to.

Before I mourn I do the whole, "I'm so shocked" thing which involved a lot of crying in the mirror, sometimes while singing. I would include that in the steps but I mean I've already admitted I eat cheese off of my chest while my butt is perched on the sofa. I've also made a constipation reference in what was supposed to be an explanation of why I haven't been around--Scott died. Why can't I be respectful?

I think in the last week I sat crying at my desk a lot too. There were a lot of wonderful memories throughout the week on Scott's memorial page such as his boy scout photos and stories about how sweet he was and how he liked to aggravate people. 

Just when I felt like I've said my goodbye I remember the living. 

I remember my friend, Diana. 

And I know I can't do this anymore. I cannot just comment on Facebook and blog posts or Twitter mentions and tell myself that is enough. 

There will come a time one of us isn't there to hug the other one.

Thinking about that makes me never want to write another word.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week Two: I Lost Eight Pounds

Welp, it's been a week since I went on the Atkins diet and so far I have lost eight pounds. That's an insane amount of weight to lose in merely a week.  Most of that weight was lost in the last few days too, so I'm having trouble believing it's all water weight.

I have a couple anxieties I'm going to address here.

I'm probably doing it wrong!
My biggest fear about doing Atkins is that I'm doing it wrong and that the magical weight loss will stop happening. But of course this is a dumb fear. First, Atkins is highly customizable. When choosing to increase your carbohydrates from 20g to 25g and up the Ongoing Weight Loss ladder to eventually 50g net carbohydrates, it's all about adjusting it to a pace that works for you.  That means I can go at my own pace, reintroducing certain foods with a higher glycemic index as slowly or as quickly as I need to depending on how my body reacts.  All in all, I'm searching for that sweet spot where I know what foods my body needs and what foods my body is sensitive to.

There is so much misinformation about Atkins and it's confusing!
However, because it is highly customizable there are many forums where people bicker over someone who chooses to stay at 20g of carbohydrates for months on end. Whenever guidelines to eating are fast and loose people get very controlling. I was on MyFitnessPal this weekend trying to find some tips and tricks and I mostly found people spreading the old rumor that Dr. Atkins died obese of a heart attack (truth: he slipped and fell on ice and complications from that fall lead to his death. He was never obese until after the fall when days before his death there was fluid build up that almost doubled his weight.), and people sharing stories of how their uncle ate nothing but bacon and eggs and drank no water and ended up with a heart attack and a giant kidney stone. What a waste of time.  Here I am, trying to get 12-15g of net carbohydrates worth of lettuce, green beans, tomato, and pumpkin, and people are going around slobbering on 3 lbs bacon every morning and thinking it's OK.

I'm not ready to move on from Induction until I get better at tracking my carbs.
I think it makes sense for me to stay in induction for a while but not for the reasons other people stay in this phase. It's mostly that I am getting used to trying to figure out just how many vegetables I'm allowed to have. At first I thought the vegetables had more net carbs than I realized.  I was eating five grape tomatoes thinking I was getting five net carbs when really I could have had twenty grape tomatoes. And I'm not exactly missing eating the other food yet. Ask me again in six weeks, but so far on this diet I can have salads, ground beef, pancakes, whipped cream, pizza, you name it. I just have to be creative.  There are so many ways to use egg and cheese to fool me into thinking I'm having bread instead.

This is really disgusting but ...
The only thing that is really bothering me is my stinky "keto-breath."  Since I'm burning fat for energy this process generates acetone which is released into the air whenever I decide to exhale. I basically smell like eggs and nail polish remover whenever I breathe or pee. This just means I need to drink more water.  Drinking water is crucial to prevent odor as well as kidney stones. Pretty much anyone on any diet is at risk for kidney stones if they're dehydrated all the time.

Would it be great if I lost a pound a day for six months? I could be at my goal weight in no time! 
Alas, that is just wishful thinking. I know I'm not going to continue losing eight pounds a week because human bodies were not meant for that kind of drastic weight loss. Google every weight loss statistic ever and you'll read that safe weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. This includes weight loss on the Atkins diet. I'm absolutely fine with losing 1-2 lbs a week after this. I'm just glad to be out of the 230's and I hope I stay out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

TL;DR I stabbed my thumb and danced like a stripper and felt like Beyoncé.

In my last post I mentioned that I started doing the Atkins diet.  That was two days ago and already I've lost 2.4 lbs of water weight. I'm not seeing any results yet, but I do feel stronger as I'm also doing Zumba twice a week and trying to get in a walk four times a week. Also, those horrible feelings that come with first starting the diet are all gone now. No more headaches or exhaustion.

I'm still trying to get used to the diet plan.  I haven't yet had a leafy green salad which you're supposed to do twice a day I think, but instead I've been counting my carbs with other types of vegetables such as grape tomatoes and green beans. Four grape tomatoes and four green beans is four net carbs and then I drench them in 1 oz bleu cheese which is 1 carb.  I try to have five carbs a meal, four meals a day. After three meals I dedicate the rest of my carbs to cheese because it is my lover.

I've had other foods be my lover. True story, I once had an orgasm in a seafood restaurant over plain cheesecake. This happened in front of my grandmother and mother and everyone. It must have been so annoying for everyone to witness the stupid eighteen year old moaning like Meg Ryan at the dinner table.  I felt so dirty, but no regrets whatsoever. That was a damn fine cheesecake.

I also had ... feelings eating a Twix straight from the freezer after eating nothing but clean food for weeks. Maybe I have a problem?  Or maybe I'm just amazing.

You know what else is amazing? Cheese. Last night I whipped up an egg and cheese "pizza crust" I saw on the internet.  Unfortunately I did not use any cooking spray and it stuck right to the pizza pan. That was dumb.  I ended up scraping off the top layer anyway and eating it because cheese. I can always buy another pizza pan and not be a dumbass about cooking. Plus, I stabbed my thumb with a fork trying to get that crap off the pizza pan so it's a lost cause.

When I announced that I was going low-carb, some of my fitness enthusiast friends had many questions.  I was interrogated about my choices.  All I can say is that the best thing I can do for myself is stick to it. In two weeks I can have peanut butter and in three weeks I can have low-glycemic fruit, as long as I keep losing weight. Right now I can have tomatoes, 4 oz. cheese a day, and I can eat cream cheese.

I just had a shiver at the thought of cream cheese.

I suppose food becomes so much more exciting when you're a little more focused on it.

I cannot stop pinning recipes.  This is ridiculous.


So I went to Zumba on Monday night.  This was my very first floor Zumba class. Previously I took Aqua Zumba at my local swim center back in 2011, but school got in the way of my fitness and I quit going to the swim center.

School got in the way of my Atkins diet as well! I went from eating mostly kale to mostly Atkins bars. I've decided to not eat Atkins bars at all this time unless I can learn to bake them myself.

Anyway my first Zumba class was hilarious. Our teacher looks like a cross between Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep with Madonna's body. She wore one of those belly dancing sarongs with the tiny bells over her workout clothes. I was front row center since this was my first time and I wanted a lot of room to knock around clumsily.

My favorite part of the class was that she was trying to teach a group of mostly geriatrics to do body wave and she described it as a "stripper pole" move. Much of our class was spent trying to perfect that dip of the chest into our rib cage, that squat, that flip of the hair.

I felt like Beyoncé.

The next class is tonight and supposedly she might bring sarongs for the rest of us. I have no ass to hang it on, so we'll see how that works out.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vacation, Mental Illness, and Weight Gain

I had a good time on my vacation.

Here is a MySpace style angle shot of me in my vacation wear.
I got to spend my vacation with this beautiful person who loves me.

We had a heart-shaped hot tub. 

And late night pizza delivery

The difference between my husband and I is that I get so excited about being on vacation that I can't sleep and have to watch the sun rise each morning.

My husband is a slumber bunny and has no such excitement for the morning.

But no worries! We had an amazing view to keep me occupied until my warm sweet husband woke up.

My parents even decided to stop by for breakfast and swimming.  My mom brought our tacky mother/daughter matching lime green cowboy hats. (They truly are atrocious.)

There are a few more photographs on my Instagram. However, my weekend get-away was full of many wonderful things that were not photographed.
  • Strawberries and Chantilly with my parents
  • Swimming for hours in the pool with my mom while we talked about everything
  • Firing up the hot tub and my mom and I putting our feet in it.
  • Trying to teach my parents how to take selfies
  • Fried macaroni and cheese
  • Butter pecan waffle cones
  • Hours of heat lightening before a severe thunderstorm over the ocean and we had the perfect view.
  • Lucky charms with milk
  • Snuggling in a king sized bed with memory foam and fleece blankets
  • Romantic overcast walks hand in hand along the shore.
  • Windy boardwalk activities
  • Red Velvet Funnel Cake
  • Italian Ice
  • XXX shopping (always hilarious and educational)
  • Mini golf
When we came home our cat was a clingy clingertons. We left her for days with no interaction and I was proud to see she was perfectly fine the whole time, but she missed us.  So much purring. So much.

There were also some bad things that happened, namely I had a bad acid reflux attack because I eat like a teenage high school quarterback who thinks he'll never die of a heart attack. I may or may not have barfed on one of the hotel towels. We made sure to tip the maid extra.

I came back from the trip weighing 234.3 lbs. Ugh. Not good! 

I was thinking since I have been starting and stopping dieting stuff all year and all I have done is gain weight that I'd try something different.

Back in 2011 I started the Atkins diet with great success. I started at 222.2 lbs in March 2011 and by August 2011 I was 173 lbs.

Unfortunately during that time I was going through some bad mental health stuff. Between that and school and other factors, I fell into a depression and stopped doing it. I gained all of my weight back by Fall 2013. 

When September 2013 rolled around last year I started the Game On Diet. I liked how easy it was and not restrictive. I was able to get back down to 200 lbs by mid-November.  I was walking every day. Then the stress of my life got to me. My husband had been laid off for a few months at that point.  I was pulling all-nighters to get homework done and then going to work the next day and dealing with an increasing workload. I had a mental breakdown and stopped actively doing any dieting.

The weight did not come back on right away. I was able to keep off the weight until I started the bipolar medication, Depakote. Depakote has many side-effects that are bothersome including digestive issues (acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting), hair loss, mental confusion, weight gain, and itchy skin to name numerous examples.  But most of these usually go away after a while.  What sticks around is the weight gain and hair loss. It's a fair trade off to not want to make the shitty decision of killing myself, which is how I felt on a daily, minute-to-minute basis before I started the medication.

Since then I have gained 35 lbs, but I'm mentally stable. Unfortunately, I have been unable to stick to any sort of healthy lifestyle for more than a couple days before I just don't feel like exercising or eating clean.  Part of the problem is that I'm starving all the time. I get home and I want to eat eat eat for hours and before you know it I have blown my diet.

On Atkins I can eat 4 cups of veggies, as much meat as I want, and keep the weight down. I remember having a ton of energy on it.  I can have bacon and cheese if I want to, but I can also have tomatoes, palm hearts, and pumpkin and a bunch of other veggies.  And eventually I can fold back in other things if I miss them and get bored, but for now I just want to stop being so hungry and gaining so much weight.

I'm going to be doing Zumba (plus toning) (ew I hate the word toning) (why can't they call it strength training?) 2x a week so I will be getting exercise in, and I'm going to try to be more active on the days I don't have Zumba. 

At this point I don't even care if I lose weight.  I just want to stop gaining it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Very Special What I Wore Wednesday: Catcall Edition

This old thing? Cardigan: Torrid purchase from 2011, Camisole: Forever 21 purchase from 2012, Skirt: Walmart purchase made 14 years ago. Shoes: Clarks purchased in 2011

I am not a fashion blogger and I might not ever be. Although I do love fashion bloggers. I love women and men who feel good enough about what they are wearing to share it with the world. Keep it up, fashion bloggers!

Anyway let me tell you about this outfit.  I wore this outfit to work today. It is 80 degrees and humid here in Annapolis, Maryland, and I've been assured it is snappy and work appropriate.  

Isn't it so pretty?

I have an office job that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love that my job is in an office, that I am good at what I do, and that I work for amazing people. I know I complain a lot about cubicle realities such as being able to hear absolutely everything that goes on, but beyond the craziness it is probably no different than any other job. Besides the slums of cubicle life, my least favorite part of my job involves telling almost everyone that they've made minor mistakes and am often afraid I'll be the messenger they kill. However, I do enjoy knowing my job is important, that I get to work in a pretty office building just minutes from the city, and it all is also just minutes from my home. 

I was having a particularly good day today for the first time after a week of influenza, a pulled back muscle, and low energy in general. Yesterday I was able to go to lunch with a colleague and I thought going out to lunch on a beautiful day like today would also make for a great afternoon. I grabbed my keys and excitedly descended the stairs.  It was pleasant for once so I decided to forgo the car and walk to get my sandwich.

In the sandwich shop the line was short and I let people go ahead of me as I decided what I wanted. Everyone there was dressed in their business wear and I felt all professional like a business woman.

Do you know why I felt like a business woman?  Because I'm a goddamned business woman. I bought my cheap sandwich, tipped 20% like some sort of high roller, and sauntered back to my office on top of the world. 

And then it happened. A truck on its way to my office drove by me slowly and honked.

Yeah, okay. People are idiots.  So I keep walking, air taken out of my sails, but still looking forward to my awesome sandwich.

One minute later I'm a little closer when it happens again, only this time the truck was leaving the complex and it was a different truck. 

This time super loud and super obvious.

So my first thought was like, "Jeez, seriously?" My second thought was, "Did a boob pop out? Is my skirt all up in my granny panties?"  Neither of these things were true. 
Everyone tells me to take it as a compliment. Why?  When we're on campus, the people in the trucks, our delivery people, our construction workers, I treat them professionally. I ask if they need anything.  I tell them to have nice days. If they're frequent visitors I practically consider them coworkers. I hate to think that one minute I am a person they respect, an equal and the next minute I'm a walking pair of tits to them, a woman trespassing in a man's world, something to taunt and tease, an object to hoot and holler at.

Here are compliments I actually received today and in the past at work in regards to my appearance.
"You look pretty."
"I like your hair."
"Wow, you're all dressed up today."
"Is that new!  It's so cute!"

Can you see that this is way better than being honked at by some strange man with a giant leer on his face?  What is this, high school? 

My friends like to tell me that this is proof I still got it.  I don't mind hearing that from a friend, but from some stranger in a gigantic vehicle? Fuck you, who asked you?