Jeffrey's Ledge

Absent Minded

A new challenge!

Shrinking Jeans has a new challenge going that I knew I just had to do. I didn’t take the last challenge very seriously this summer. Ok, I didn’t take it seriously at ALL. I didn’t have a very interactive team, or at least, they didn’t interact a lot with me….and with a low motivation level, I needed extra motivation. Which I didn’t get. Not from them, and not from my husband. Not to mention that I was still physically getting used to work. Just in the last few weeks, I got used to that!

Starting Weight: 138.2 lbs

I’m really not happy with this number. I was down as low as 133 and was happy there. But I also go lazy tracking my food intake. And got lazy with exercise. Then I used a lot excuses — my exercise induced asthma…and the fact that I didn’t like using my inhaler. Then my arm DID flare up again, annoyingly.

So I used that as an excuse but I’ve been slowly learning ways to exercise around that (for patients I see at work)…so I knew that if I made my patients do something…that I should stop making excuses for myself. So this was the week my beating up on myself started. 🙂 Ok, not really being mean to myself. But working out when I didn’t feel like it. Or giving up pop. SO TOUGH. :p

Wish me luck.

Stay Tuned!

Life has been a bit stressful. With work. With life. My marriage. My job.

Nothing is in bad shape. Just a lot going on.

And I keep forgetting I have a blog. I want to blog…because I have a million different ideas floating around. So I know I’m not done with this (I have gone back and forth about giving this up for a long time).

I just needed a break. Like the other millions of breaks I have taken over the last year.

But gosh. I was looking over some of my own little self pics from the last few months. And I feel confident. And I feel like I finally LOOK like the confident adult that I have always desired to be. I’m not stuck in a job…in a career…that I absolutely hate. I’m healthier, for the most part, than I have been in a long time (thanks to watching what I eat, and avoiding the pesky food allergen — except for this past week, on accident, but I’m not going there just yet). I just need to get back into exercise.

At any rate, I need to get back to a lot of things and I think I’m going to be focusing on incorporating my blog into that. My health and fitness goals. I’m not really trying to lose weight (a few pounds won’t hurt, as I’m on the high end of my goal range right now, lol), but just focusing on getting sick less often and just making the sacrifice with food. Maybe always avoiding eating out unless I know 100% that my kryptonite isn’t in it.

I can’t wait to get you all involved in my life changes….Stay tuned!

If I could redo it all….

I recently was asked by a dear friend of mine, to be in her wedding. I can not WAIT. And now all I’ve been thinking about is wedding stuff. Mostly the fashion, as the rest of it, such as decorations and cake? Boring and exhausting. At least, it was for me when I did all of that stuff nearly 2 years ago (October 2 will be our second anniversary!!). And I rekindled my love for things like Pinterest and Polyvore…..

I reinvented what I should have worn for my wedding…. We had a very romantic wedding. Pale pink roses, the girls wore chocolate with rose colored sashes, lots of rose petals. Looking back now, I wish I had gone for a more poofy, romantic wedding dress. I already had the pinkish makeup and shoes (but I like these shoes better than what I went with)…. But the dress? While I loved my dress then, I actually don’t like it looking back. Is that terrible to wish I had gone a different direction with that??

Operation: Clean Up/Organize

Over the last year or so, my life has imploded — or exploded, depending on how you look at it. I finished grad school, finished my internships, took and passed my boards, earned my state license and then FINALLY started my first real job.

Then there was the purchase of my first real car and the start of a very long debt repayment system (yay for student loans and crap). In the midst of all of this…Our house has blown up completely. Any sense or organization?? ALL GONE. Clutter??? Everywhere. Losing stuff? You betcha. DAILY.

Being out all day at work makes it easy to ignore this. But after stressful days at work, the last thing I wanted to do was feel stressful once I got home. That’s all that was happening. Dan and I would be getting ridiculously, irrationally pissed off at each other because neither of us had tackled a thing once we got home from work.

After spending time at the 20SB Summit last weekend…and seeing (and listening!) to the amazing Jenny Blake (PS: You must look her up. She is a life coach and an amazing one with fantastic tips on running your life!)– I have been inspired this week to think about my goals in life.

I have many. For my health, for work, and for my marriage. I talked to Ben on the way to the 20sb session that very morning we saw Jenny, about how the biggest issue in my marriage…is chores. WHY? Because we hadn’t ever faced it and tried to come up with a way to make it important to tackle.

Dan had taken a lot of the responsibility of keeping house while I was in school and busy as heck. Now, he wants me to help and I’m saying…er… “WHY? You had it all together!! You don’t need my help!” But I have gotten so frustrated at his form of organization and the loss of my things. So dang it — time to step up, stop complain and arguing and face this head on.

I’ll admit it. I have too many clothes. I have a large dresser, a decent sized closet, and a separate drawer system for my intimates and socks. And a few laundry baskets of clean clothes that didn’t fit anywhere. I have no extra hangers.

It really boils down to the fact that I love buying clothes too much. I don’t buy expensive clothing (I love bargains — TJ Maxx, Old Navy/GAP, Ann Taylor Loft, The Limited — all have fabulous clearance racks — you just have to sort carefully), but I buy a lot of cheaper stuff. Especially camis and plain T’s. They are everywhere.

I feel a lot lighter. I really do. I really liked my method, too. I started placing things in piles, of TO GO, NOT SURE. And then I was placing things in the drawers they belonged in. Once the drawers were semi full with things I knew I wanted to keep (because I do have things in the wash right now), I had to make some decisions.

I sorted through my clothes and if there were things I still wanted, I had to go through the drawer and make a switch. It was quite the process. Now my workout clothes (pants and shirts) are all in ONE drawer. My camis/tanks? ONE drawer. My PJ’s. ONE DRAWER.

The room my closet and stuff is in? Still not perfect. Originally, it had been our bedroom (it is an entire upstairs room). But we had moved our bed to one of the smaller bedrooms so I can turn the upstairs into my lair, with my office and a guest room.

The room is pretty large, obviously! The other small room downstairs that is now my office will become a dining room. There is a lot of work left to do to make any of this possible, but just emptying my clothing piles out FEELS AMAZING.

I can’t wait until the next step. This week? Pack up my office for the soon move to the upstairs!

My last year as a 20sb

20sb. Twenty something blogger. Huh…

I can’t believe I’m in my last year as a twenty something. Next year, I admittedly will be 30. THIRTY. Not something I’m sure about. I have been able to accomplish quite a bit in my 20′s so there’s not a feeling of failure.

I finished my bachelor’s degree in Management. I finished my master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. I got married. I have a real job. I have a real adult car (which came with a real adult car payment). My husband and I have a mortgage. We don’t have kids, but since we aren’t sure we want them, that’s a none issue at the moment.

So…30….

Ok, I will admit that aging in general is a bit nerve wrecking. It wasn’t so much until I was working in the health care field. I mostly work with adults who are anywhere between 65 and up. 90-something is the oldest I’ve seen so far, personally. I get them dressed, help them use the rest room, take showers etc. I think aging has me nervous. I see things that shock and appall me. Mostly shock. But I can’t act shocked or appalled, you see. Actually, I have developed

This past weekend, I got to spend a little time with other 20 somethings at the very first 20 Something Blogger Summit in Chicago. I mostly went just to see a few different people, but meeting others that I recognized from online was pretty awesome. I have to admit that.

What I also have to admit? I enjoyed myself. I really did! It was a lot of fun, I had a lot of laughs, a few tears, some feelings of admiration for my peers, and I truly felt closer to a few people.

But at the same time. There was also a lot I didn’t REALLY care about. I don’t care if saying that makes me a jerk. But I am a blogger who mostly just likes to get things off my chest. I’m not out to create my own projects or community. I don’t want the pressure of trying to plan out a calendar of blog posts. That feels stressful. I want to write what I want to write about when I feel like writing about it.

Also? I’m nearing 30. And I felt awkward among some of the other 20somethings. Mostly the younger ones. There is a theme common around 20somethings that states in short that they are having problems finding themselves. That’s not the term I’m looking for. GAH. Lost maybe? Whatever. At any rate…You know what’s weird??? I feel like I finally, kind of, have. Found myself, that is. I think most days i do….Some days, maybe I don’t…But most of my life is pretty well figured out for now.

But I’m still apparently awkward around others, socially. Well, others I don’t know well. For those I know well, I’m loud and fun!. I’m thinking that in my 30s, I may have to try to fix my awkwardness a bit…

Back Breaker

I would like to know why lately my back has been killing me. I know that I’m still getting used to being on my feet all day. And I KNOW that I’m still getting used to lifting people and supporting people a lot heavier than I am. I try to be as ergonomic as possible. I have been this physical before, as well, in one of my internships — and my body was tired at time but never sore and painful.

After bending over at some point yesterday, I got increasingly sore. To the point I just wanted to CRY last night. Laid on a heating pad for a while, slapped on an Icy Hot patch, then went to bed. Thank GOODNESS, I have already been seeing someone for clinical massage to help ease some pressure that has been building on my shoulders and neck. My lumbar/lower back area is a mess.

I can stand up straight. I can sit up straight. But getting to one or the other? I have to do some weird old lady knee bend maneuver. Well, I did. Saw my massage therapist today(by the way, before you think I go crazy indulging in some exorbitant service — because they are a clinical massage therapist, they charge very decently. VERY.

Otherwise I wouldn’t do it. For people who have chronic issues who have to go regularly? The price is even lower. It feels like stealing. And they are the only massage business in this county that has this awesome rate schedule). And I’m still sore, but much less tight.

At any rate, I’m wondering if my lack of exercise (I’m a slacker) these days has my back at risk for feeling terrible? Is this possible? It has to be, as I tell patients daily that exercise is important for back pain or preventing it from getting worse. I wonder why I don’t seem to take my own advice?

I lost it. All of it.

Granted, I’m not at the specific weight I said I would be at when I finished my Shrinking Goal. But I am in a happy place. I realized during this last weight loss challenge (which actually, I could have chosen either fitness or weight goals)…. that weight loss isn’t my major goal anymore. Yes, I’d love to weigh even less. But I’m weighing in right now (depending on the day, time, etc)….Anywhere between 133-135lb.

And I am pretty darn happy with this. I freak out when it goes above 135 some days…I think I will always freak out. Having started off my journey at 160lbs the day I got married in October 2009, I have come a very long way. I lost nearly 30lbs!!! I want to be able to say, still, that I DID lose 30 pounds.  But saying 27lbs feels good…

Instead of weighing myself weekly, I am challenging myself to doing so bi-weekly instead. Focusing not on weight loss now, but focusing on my inches. Reducing those. Because I want to tone up and as I start toning up, my weight may fluctuate.  I expect it. And it scares me to get on the scale while this is happening. I have weight problems…in my mind, ok? 

I get down on myself very easily. While I have never had a full fledged eating disorder (and I never could because I love love love to eat), I know that there are days when people may think I may be borderline. But I’m trying to do what I can right now to stay healthy and focus on the things that will make that very possible.

I’m excited. Excited to keep focusing on eating healthy, getting the rest I need, keeping up with relaxation with my yoga practice, and getting in a little more weight lifting. Its about feeling good and staying healthy — not about losing weight anymore.

Granted, I will do everything in my power to keep from regaining what I lost. So weight will unfortunately…not be a done issue.

Sleep isn’t worth this…

I’m on a journey to reduce my intake of any and all prescription drugs. I’ve talked about my desire to pretty much eliminate anti-depressants…and coming off of Wellbutrin xl was the best decision EVER. Such a tough journey for a few days but I really felt like myself for the first time in a few weeks. Now I’m about to start weaning off my Lexapro, which I think will be a lot easier of a journey because I’m already taking the lowest dose that is really possible. I could cut the pill smaller, but eh…

Something else I’m weaning off of…..is a sleeping aid. Ok, no. You can’t really wean off it. Ambien CR. You arent supposed to cut it in half, so yeah. Anyway….I’ve taken it for about as long as the Lexapro….since November. I’m ready to be done with it because one can do crazy things on it. For instance….while half asleep, I have emailed a and texted people, shopped online, as well as, ahem, “colored” or tried to, with my husband. Kind of ridiculous and I don’t even remember them half the time. That is sad.

But coming off of it is so difficult. Prescription drugs, in my opinion, are practically made so our bodies become addicted and reliant on them. I have a few times not taken Ambien because I wasn’t likely to get 8 hours of sleep. The first night is bad. I don’t know what the second night is like because I’ve never tried. But the first night? Don’t plan on any sleep. And expect nightmares.

I’m not talking about weird dreams. I’m talking about true nightmares. Evil. Horrific. You don’t even want to try falling back to sleep after you have woken up, trying to shake off the feeling of terror and sweat. I have dreamt of my dogs becoming ill in terrifying ways, and my patients trying to kill me, the end of the world….just to name a few.

I’m now very willing to try anything and everything natural that I can. Even trying a Benadryl or two when I get desperate. But I will never take this pill ever again. I will go to bed every night at 8 if I need more sleep. Its just not worth the stress and frustration.

Childless by Choice

I hope that I’m not judged in any way, shape, or form with this entry. I’ve been thinking about putting it down on here for quite a long time. There are a lot of people in my life having babies, both online and offline. I’m excited for them! They look cute getting all round, chubby, and glow-y. There are moments in time where I get a little tug from deep within (my ovaries?) that makes me a little jealous of what they are getting to experience. But to be honest, that is only momentary. I have gone through months at a time where I think maybe we should try to start a family…

But not as often as I think about NOT having a family.

I’ve never been the type who has dreamed of having a baby. I mean, I’ve literally had dreams about having one, but it’s nothing something I felt like I have lived for doing. I love kids, I do. I love working with them, baby-sitting them, looking at pictures of them. But I also love leaving them in the hands of their parents when I get tired of them.

I feel horrible saying that at times they really annoy the crap out of me. The whining, the crying, the frustration. Then there are times that they simply amaze me, these little tiny humans. Then there is pregnancy. I can’t deal with the possibility of nausea/morning sickness, heartburn, no sleep, stretch marks, weight gain, etc. I know! I KNOW! All these things are completely worth it once you have your kids! Parenthood is all about sacrifice! These things are little in the grand scheme of things!

I don’t have a ton to say about this. Just that we don’t think we want children. We have questioned this over and over again. Is life not worth living if you don’t pass something on by procreating?? We’ll life be lonely later?? Most important, how is this going to affect our friendships as everyone else goes about starting families??

This may change as time goes by. But I can say at the moment, confidently, that unless it is God’s plan that we have a family and he makes it happen? It is not in our future plans.

Children are expensive. We want to travel, not have to deal with diapers and tuition. We are happy with having our dogs! Being able to take them to the kennel when we want to head out of town is certainly priceless.

I hope that this doesn’t make me sound heartless, like if I could, I’d take my kids to the kennel while I went on vacation. Absolutely not! I’d love, care, and cherish my children.

I can’t tell you how many times I was woken up by a family member’s baby, and I have inwardly groan and felt pissed off. How many times plans have to be worked around a kid and their napping or feeding schedule. Gah.

I just really really really cherish my sleep right now…. With my depression and anxiety issues, I can’t put a child through my issues. I can’t have a child causing my issues either, and I don’t want to resent them or make them feel in any way resented. Lack of good sleep over time has proven to make my anxiety worse. Terrible. Hard to deal with. I don’t want to rely solely on Dan to raise our kids while I’m going through rough times and need to be left alone.

I’m sorry if I sound evil. But not everyone is meant to want or have children.

One day, if we do? I think we plan to adopt. Not because I’m not liking the sound of pregnancy…but because there are so many unwanted children in the world.

I am just done pretending when people joke with me about how it will be our turn soon!! I have actually said to people “We’re not having kids” when they say this, and they think I’m just joking. Yeah….I’m not.

That’s all for now on this subject. Just don’t be mean with your comments. I love kids. I just don’t want any of my own!

Beat. Up.

Warning: Long post ahead. I honestly should have broken it up into multiple posts, because I probably won’t have anything to talk about for another week! Ha!)

Wow. What a freaking week. I have said sorry so many times for disappearing for a week or two at a time, but eh…won’t apologize this time. When people say sorry too often that gets on my nerves. Ha. Anyway…. I’m winding up my last full week at my LAST internship!!

Next Thursday is my last day — with a bunch of short schedules/census that had us leaving quite early, half days because of weather, and a couple of sick days (we got hit by that horrible flu HARD in February), we had to add a couple of days on for makeup. YUCK, YUCK, YUCK. Tomorrow should have been my last day. Oh, well. I’ll survive. I’ve made it this far!!

This has been a very big struggle of an internship for me. SNF’s (Skilled Nursing Facility’s) are definitely not my cup of tea. I never did get used to the environment. The sounds, smells, and sights were a lot on the sensory system. I could  never get super comfortable. I got more comfortable with a lot of things, of course, but probably not to the point where I need to really be.

I know I’ll pass my final, so I’m not worried about that…. But I definitely have learned that I suck in this setting. No, honestly…I kind of do. I think I work well with kids. I have a lot more to learn about them, but I think they are awesome! I am also interested in hands still, even though my hands internship was insanely hard — it was supposed to be.  

But I love it and I actually have an interview for a part time hands position coming up. Kind of exciting, yes!? I also am slightly interested in psych, as well. I don’t have experience in psych as an OT, but I did work as a supervisor in a group home and worked with activities a lot there. So I have more experience than some people. And I have an interview for that sort of position coming up as well.

As far as this week really being hard….I did something really really stupid.  I whined to my doc about the side effects I had been dealing with on my anti-anxiety med (Lexapro). I don’t know why I whined about it, as I’m going to be weaning off of that after my internship is complete. Yes, I have a HUGE test to be studying for, but I still think my stress levels will be a lot lower. I’ll have more time to exercise, study, get in some walks with the dogs while I’m on study breaks, etc. It will be focused, but relaxed at the same time. I’m not going to kill myself over it.

ANYWAY….My doc gave me a new med to supplement it with (Wellbutrin XL). I waited to start it on a weekend as usually the first couple of days on a new med are HELL. It can be rough for a few weeks, but the first few days are the worst typically.  I was on it for a couple of weeks and NOTHING was getting better in the way of symptoms. My doc warned that it could make me more anxious, but I had no idea it would make me feel INSANE.

Exhausted, shaky, teary, panic attacks, lightheaded, migraine like headaches, nausea….all were experienced. So I decided to stop it all together. It had only been a couple of weeks and since it takes 2-4 weeks for it to really kick into your system.

The first day?? PIECE OF FREAKING CAKE. A CAKEWALK. Awesome. So I thought, wow, what a great decision! It was the first day I had felt great in a couple of weeks! The second day? Not as much. I was a little tired, drowsy…and as the day went on, my stomach was in more and more knots. Holy cow.  

I could not sleep last night at all. Anxiety was through the roof. Forgot to take my sleeping aid. So, did not sleep…It helps me sleep through the anxiety usually. I sat up late watching Gilmore Girls, maybe fell asleep around…midnight. Woke up at 2 with anxiety. Woke up at 5:30am for the day. So. yeah. Work today was even more rough. Stomach cramps, my stress related IBS, and at least 3 bad anxiety attacks.

I seem to only post about the negative in life don’t I?! How about how amazing my marriage has been the last couple of weeks? That’s not at all negative! He is fantastic, that husband of mine. We have been a lot closer than we have been in a long time. For awhile it seemed like we had hit a rough patch, but now things feel great again. I love it. Going to bed early to chat and catch up on life. And cuddle. Lovely.

We have been working together to eat a lot more healthy and finally I broke through my weight plateau. I didn’t do a post this week for my weigh in, but I lost 1.3 pounds this week! Very exciting. It could be partly because I haven’t had that much Coca-Cola these days!  Darn Lent! And we are on a mission to not eat very much out these days.