31 July 2013

Medifast: Day 2

Okay, so today was actually a little worse as far as the food goes. Okay, a lot worse. But I don't have headaches yet and I don't feel starving. I even did not give in to my multiple temptations for various things, including Wheat Thins, popcorn drizzled with white chocolate, Skinny Cow ice cream bars, the multitude of fun-size candy my husband produced from his secret stash at game night, or the dumplings from his dinner. So, here's what I did have:

1) Pancakes
2) Cinnamon Pretzels
3) Chicken Noodle Soup
4) Chocolate Chip Brownie
5) None
Lean) Cafe Rio Chicken Salad - no tortilla, no beans, no rice, no cheese. Just lettuce, chicken, pico de gallo, and some tomatillo dressing.

And here is the review:

1) Pancakes: Good glory. HORRIBLE. I followed my coach's advice and added a little baking powder to the mix and made it as one large pancake in a skillet. I didn't realize how quickly it would cook so it got burned. A lot. I hadn't gone to the store yet so I didn't have any sugar-free syrup. Instead, I spread a thin layer of strawberry jam over the top. I couldn't even eat the whole thing. I got through about half. The last bite I did have, I couldn't make myself swallow. It was awful. My sister said she liked the pancake. I'll have to try again and make sure to NOT burn it and now I have sugar-free syrup to use.

2) Cinnamon Pretzels: These are the same ones I ate yesterday and didn't like. Today, they weren't that bad. The after-taste was less noticeable and they felt less dry. I think I actually like something! Woo-hoo! Maybe I'll just eat pretzels until I get some other stuff I like.

3) Chicken Noodle Soup: I liked this. Not as much as the chicken and wild rice from yesterday but this was good. I let the powder soak for about 20 minutes before I put it in the microwave. I've read that it's supposed to help. I'm not willing to try it without.

4) Chocolate Chip Cookie: This is actually pretty good. I mean, not anywhere close to my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but ya know. Diet good. There are real chocolate chips. And like most stuff I've tried, it's better piping hot, rather than lukewarm.

5) My other options for today were the Parmesan Cheese Puffs (YUCK) or Vanilla Pudding. I don't even like regular pudding. I think I'll probably gag on Medifast pudding. The texture of regular pudding grosses me out. Blech. So, I just didn't eat a 5th meal. And I know that's really bad. But I did eat two celery sticks so I think that sort of evens out. Maybe.

Lean) Cafe Rio Chicken Salad sans extras: I love Cafe Rio. I used to get the Chicken Tostada with black beans, rice, cheese, strips, and a tostada shell. I was thinking this "sans" experience would be awful. It wasn't! Sure it was lettuce, chicken, pico, and dressing but it was alright. For some reason it was spicy to me. Maybe they up'd their pico but I was having a hard time with it. The salad is massive (which is why I used to get the tostada) so I was super full when I was done. I will totally do this again, although I might ask for the pico on the side. There was lots of juice in the salad from the chicken and pico. I had to drain my salad. Which was weird.

I've been drinking lots of water today. I'm still not great about the 2-3 hour meal schedule but I did better today than yesterday. When I was supposed to have the meal I didn't eat, at about 3pm, I took a nap for 90 minutes. I was exhausted and the nap was great. I woke up not feeling too hungry and I drank some water and headed to the store to get some new things. I got almond milk, light buttermilk dressing, spaghetti squash, red bell pepper, zucchini, celery, sugar-free maple syrup, spinach, salad bags, egg beaters,and Powerade Zero. I got other stuff but not for me, for my boys. 

I'm looking forward to making lean and green meals for my whole family, not just me eating out. It's hard because I am still learning what I can and cannot eat.

I think the weird taste in a bunch of this stuff is soy powder. It's in everything and everything has this weird after-taste. Some is worse than others. I don't know if I dare try the cereal ever again. I did get almond milk today so I guess I should try it tomorrow. I think that's what I have to get used to: soy powder. Huh. Enlightening.

I had Tyson take pictures of me this morning before work. I'm not posting them until MUCH later but at least I have them. I'm trying to stay positive but I feel the grouchiness setting in. Today was rough in that department. I just keep thinking "Make it to the weekend."

I also decided to weigh myself once a week. Weight fluctuates too much for day-to-day weight checks. I'm going to get a food scale and a new people scale :) tomorrow. Ours is digital and fancy but it's also wonky. Bed, Bath, and Beyond - here I come!

29 July 2013

Medifast: Day 1

I probably won't write up my every day experiences with Medifast but I think I will for the first week since that is supposed to be the hardest hurdle. So the plan is 5 Medifast meals and 1 lean-and-green meal per day, eating 2.5 to 3 hours apart and drinking water all the time. Really. Here's what I had today:
1) Mixed Berry Cereal
2) Cinnamon Pretzels
3) Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
4) Parmesan cheese puffs
5) Chocolate Brownie

Lean) Wendy's Spicy Chicken Ceasar Salad - no cheese, no croutons, minimal dressing.

Now, here's what I thought about them:

1) Mixed Berry Cereal: I thought I would try to eat this plain, like a snack, without milk. Horrible decision. The cereal left a taste in my mouth like a nasty multivitamin. So gross. William seemed to like it though.

2) Cinnamon Pretzels: Similar. Okay first taste. Kinda puffy, airy. Weird aftertaste but not as bad as the cereal.

3) Chicken and Wild Rice Soup: Pretty good, actually. I read that it's good to let the mix soak in the water before putting it in the microwave. So I did that. I was worried it would be gross too but it was good. It got worse the cooler it got but I added a little pepper and made it through. That was my sister's favorite so I trust her :)

4) Parmesan Cheese Puffs: EWWW!!! I know I have to eat this whole bag so I'm trying to chew them as far back on my molars as possible. I need to grab some more water. I'm not a Powerade drinker but Powerade Zero is on the plan and if it will help wash away this NASTY taste then I'm all for it.

5) Chocolate Brownie: Meh. It wasn't terrible. It wasn't great either. It took me a while to eat the whole thing.

Lean) Wendy's Spicy Chicken Ceasar Salad: Nice and spicy. Great lettuce. I put on barely any dressing. I could barely tell it was there at all. The tomatoes were good but William wanted them so he got most of them. I was nice having "real" food. I told Tyson I will probably be eating out for my lean meal until I get the hang of this new way of cooking. Then I will make lean-and-green meals for dinner for the whole family, not just me.

I've been looking on Pinterest for ideas for these lean-and-green meals. Looks like I'm going to be BFF with cauliflower if I ever want a rice or mashed potato substitute. We already eat mostly chicken so that's easy. Incorporating more greens is going to be a bigger challenge. I used to buy bagged salad but then I'd never eat it. Maybe I should bake up a ton of chicken breast, cut it into strips, and then add it to salad every day with other veggies and some dressing. I thought I could have no cheese but I can have some Laughing Cow. 

My coach, Alice, gave me this outline for the first week:
Day 1: pretty easy - no big deal
Days 2-3: slight headache, tiredness, some hunger (drink some Powerade Zero... that seems to help!)
Days 3 or 4: (body is starting to physiologically change - to transition to fat burn!!) so... cravings are really revving up, feeling extra hungry and you want your carbs. This is the point where you need to really push through it -You are just about there.
Day 4-5: Welcome to fat burn! reduced hunger, no cravings, and more energy!
I think this little outline is going to be extremely helpful when Wednesday rolls around. Today has been alright. I have to finish these icky Parmesan bites and the chocolate brownie. I feel like I'm eating all the time. I need to be better about spacing my meals. The food I have to start with is all the stuff my sister didn't take with her. So she either didn't like it or just had extra. They also have meal bars that are tasty but I don't have any of those yet. This is good to try out new stuff but scary since I don't have other options if I don't like it.
Anyways, I'm going to take a "Before" picture in the morning since I forgot to do one today. I also need to get a kitchen scale and a regular person scale. 
I'm tired. I'm thirsty even though I've been drinking a ton of water. The next few days are going to be interesting. Is it Friday yet?

28 July 2013

Doing Something New

I have struggled with my weight since fifth grade. I remember wearing a belt around the fullest part of my stomach and UNDER my clothes to make myself look skinnier. Since having William, things have gotten out of control and I am tired of feeling this way. With the support of my mom, and with the experiences of my three aunts and sister to depend on, I am starting a weight loss program called Medifast.
I'm not going to go into the program details but I wanted to jot down my goals. My coach, Alice, asked me a bunch of questions about why I want to lose weight and how I think I'll feel when I've reached my goal weight and I want to remember what I said.
Goal Weight(s): I believe in making smaller goals to help reach a larger goal. My first goal weight will be what I weighed the day after I gave birth to William (-20). Next is to weigh the same as when I got pregnant with William (-25). My next goal is to be what I was in high school and when I got married (-15). The goal after that is within the healthy BMI range, but, because of my body type I don't want to push myself to an unhealthy limit (-15). So, my end goal weight is -75 from what I am now. Alice asked how I will feel at that weight and I told her I didn't know since I've never been that small. In between seventh and eighth grade I gained almost 50 pounds. I am not sure exactly why that is, but from eighth grade until I got married I was the same weight, no matter what I did: marching band, swim team, swing dancing, and exercise classes.
Medifast is a reduced calorie plan. The estimated weight loss is 2-5 pounds for the first and second weeks each and then 1-2 pounds each week after that. If I follow those guidelines (and not more, which I might do more) I should be at my goal weight in 8 months, April 2014. What will life be like in April? Tyson should be graduating from BYU. I'll be finishing my second semester of grad school. William will be 2.5 years old! We might be preparing to move to a new place after Tyson's graduation. Lots could be happening in April. And 8 months makes it sounds far away, but thinking about all the things that will happen between now and then makes the goal seem closer.
And really, what is eight months in the scheme of my life? That's less than the time I was pregnant with William. Eight months is nothing compared to the years I have struggled with body issues and self-abuse. Eight months is nothing compared to the DECADES of healthy, happy living I look forward to. It's one day at a time and I'm scared. I'm scared I'll fail. I'm scared it won't work. I'm scared I'll be the exception and it won't work. I'm scared my willpower won't be enough to help me overcome my food comfort zone.
Just tonight I asked Tyson how old he feels. "Do you feel 25?" He laughed and said No. Most days I don't feel 24. Most days I feel over 30. I feel run down and cranky. I don't want to be that way anymore. A good friend of mine is doing a different weight loss program and we're excited to have a friend who can help us be strong and brave.
Some people just won't get this. The most they've ever needed to lose is 20 pounds. My doctor tested my blood for lots of stuff and all my hormonal, insulin, and organ levels are great. There is no medical reason for some of the problems I've been having. So, I can only attribute my issues to being overweight. I will be taking pictures for a before and after but I probably wont' be uploading them until the very end. Body issues, remember?
Anyways, it's going to be hard but I have a great support system. Please don't tell me that it won't make a difference or you don't believe the program will work. If you have encouraging words, I'll take those :) Wish me luck!

24 July 2013


This is not a post about whether or not people should vaccinate their kids.

Did you know that Washington D.C. has an Immunization Law? Basically, because of this law, I had to go get some shots or else my registration at George Washington University would be put on hold. My doctor needed to provide the dates of past immunizations and make sure I was up to date on any boosters. I looked over my shot record and thought I would only need a Tetanus booster.

My nurse looked over my shot record and discovered that my Hep B shots had not been given at the right times (they were too close together) so they didn't count. I did need a Tetanus booster. According to my shot record I also needed a Menigococcal vaccine. Okay. Fine. I thought I needed one, now I need three.

The Tetanus shot was fine. No big deal. The nurse warned me that the Hep B shot would hurt. Ouch! She was right! It's a good thing they give that one to babies in a series because all at once is painful. Both of those were given in my left arm. The nurse gave the Menigococcal vaccine in my right arm. She said, "Now, this one won't hurt now but it'll swell up and get sore later." I said, "Hm, that sounds just like what happened when I got my Whopping Cough vaccine." Turns out, Menigococcal and Whopping Cough are the same vaccines. I got the Whopping Cough vaccine in the hospital after I gave birth to William. My arm got a HUGE welt and it was extremely sore for days. It made breastfeeding so difficult. I hope I don't get the same reaction. My arm is getting more sore every minute. I am trying to move it around but I worry it'll swell up again.

Oh, well. I think it's silly that I needed all these shots to do my grad program ONLINE. Seriously? I can't infect someone with Whopping Cough via the internet. That's ridiculous. I guess it's good to be up to date on my Tetanus shot and Hep B. And a little extra protection against Whopping Cough won't kill me, right?

21 July 2013

Weird Dreams

Disclaimer: This is a HIGHLY philosophical discussion that Tyson and I discussed before I posted this. And by "highly" I mean not at all since we know nothing about philosophy or dream interpretation or Freud or Jung or whomever else says intellectual stuff about the subconscious. Also, this particular discussion might seem weird to people so if you're not into dream interpretation and open, trusting discussion between a married couple then you should probably skip this one because I don't really want to be judged for my zany subconscious. Especially if the person I dreamed about is reading this. Although, that is extremely unlikely.

Sometimes I have weird dreams. Usually my dreams are of normalish stuff with normalish people. Or not normalish stuff but directly related to some TV show I watched or book I was reading when I fell asleep. Those two things have caused many dreams about demon chasing with the Winchesters, lawyering with Deb, and running around Europe with Doctor Who or any number of Agatha Christie characters. But last night my dream was weird. 
I dreamed about seeing an ex-boyfriend at someplace random, sort of like a conference or convention. I didn't expect him to be there and I think it might have been a religious meeting so maybe that's why I didn't expect him to be there: he doesn't share the same faith as me. Anyways, it was awkward to see him in my dream and then suddenly his significant other showed up...and it was a dude. 
I'm not homophobic, in fact, I have quite a few gay friends. But I know 100% that this particular ex of mine is 100% into ladies. It totally threw me in my dream, and real life. What the heck does that mean? I need my old roomie Britt to tell me: she loves dream interpretation.
I think it might have something to do with the way our relationship was and the way it ended. I have known this guy for a long time. For the sake of anonymity I'll just say I met him prior to college which would include since I was born so try sorting that out. 
We totally lost contact once I got engaged; I even deleted his number. After I deleted his number and after I was engaged for a while, I received a text from someone saying that they were happy for me and I looked beautiful and happy. They also said that they still would marry me. I didn't recognize the area code - I think it was someone like Wisconsin or Wyoming or some place random like that. If I had to guess who sent me that text, it would be this particular ex. The biggest deterrent for us staying together was that he had no interest in learning anything about my religion. But he kept saying he wanted to be with me and marry me. I told him I would only marry someone who shared my faith so if he was serious about me, he should look into it. And he didn't. So we ended things. 
Tyson thinks that this dream is all about my subconscious trying to resolve what happened between this guy and me. And also trying to resolve the what-ifs surrounding that relationship: What if he had investigated the church? What if I decided to be with him without him being a member of the church? What if, what if, what if...
Our conclusion: my ex manifesting as gay in my dream negates those what-ifs because then they don't matter. Things would have ended no matter which what-if was played out if my dream became true because I could not have remained in a relationship with a gay man. That's just not how it works. 
Like I said earlier though, I'm positive this guy is not gay. But somehow there is a better sense of closure knowing that no matter what there were things about him (probably that he was not a member of my church) that would always keep up apart, no matter what else happened. It's tough but that's the choice I made a long time ago and I stick to it. I am grateful that Tyson and I are of the same faith because it makes our marriage stronger, our home happier, and our lives richer. I wouldn't trade that away for anything.

18 July 2013


This is not a body post. This is a food post. A dessert post, in fact. Yum.

I have a serious issue with sugar. Without going in to deep, it's something I crave and then chastise myself for "giving in" when I should have more willpower.

Well, I consider tonight's outing to the grocery store a willpower mini-victory. Three cheers!

See, I originally went to the store for two reasons: 1) we needed milk and bread and 2) I was craving sugar and we had cake mix but we only had that coconut frosting people like on German Chocolate cake (blech) and that wouldn't do so I needed a different kind. Big life problems, right?

I got bread, milk, bananas, cream cheese frosting, and then I passed a display of Hostess cupcakes, complete with a warning sign that said something like "Due to high demand, we have limited quantities of Hostess products. Sorry." So I grabbed a two pack of those cupcakes. I went to the ice cream aisle to look at the Skinny Cow ice cream treat selections. This time I picked the Fudge Bar. I meandered through the candy aisle and picked up a box of Skinny Cow Divine Filled Chocolates: Caramel. 

As I went to check out I glanced at the calorie count for those Hostess Cupcakes: 330 for both cupcakes! Yikes. I didn't even like them that much. I stashed them with the gum at the checkout. The Fudge Bar is 110 calories and is pretty large. I haven't tried the candy yet but each pouch (three pieces to a pouch) is 130 calories. 

I feel proud that I put those cupcakes back and picked something a little bit better for me.

Baby steps, right?

09 July 2013

Microsoft Word vs Adobe InDesign

Microsoft Word has been around a long time. I use it all the time. And why not? It's a great, user-friendly interface for typing college papers, recipes, and pretty much any other text processing. 

Adobe InDesign is still somewhat new to me. I first used it in Computers and the Humanities (CHum) 230 at BYU. We learned program and design basics. For class projects we designed flyers, a printed book (a diary of some kind - text heavy), and a photo book. In my senior editing course we used InDesign to format and layout an academic journal of our own design. Since graduating, I have used it to create countless flyers and web announcements for my job. I've also used it to layout the Graduate Student Handbook.

When it comes to typing up papers and editing text, Word is the way to go.
For all your formatting and design needs, choose InDesign.

Last night I completed an editing test for a prospective employer. THIRTY pages of an editing test. The text itself wasn't that bad. The formatting was atrocious. The test was a job proposal and there were sections, tables, columns, and all sorts of goodies for me to fix. It wasn't hard but it was tedious.

I kept telling Tyson that I wanted to copy all the text and reformat it into InDesign - which I have on my computer!! I didn't though because I wasn't getting paid for that. Just the editing. Ugh. At 2am I finally finished. 

I am SO glad I completed the editing minor at BYU because without it I would be stuck feeling frustrated at Word's shortcomings and feeling trapped by not knowing I had other options for easier, more consistent formatting.

Long live Adobe InDesign!

08 July 2013

My Calling

I may have mentioned that I am the choir director in my ward. I've had this calling before in my single adult days and in our first married ward. In the single's ward I loved this calling 100% of the time. In our first married ward I loved it 90% of the time. In this ward, I'm struggling to love it 50% of the time.


Somehow, stake leadership and ward members have decided that ward choir is not as important as the other callings. In my ward, I don't even have a budget to purchase snacks to bribe people to come and sing (since that's what it takes). I find most of my music in the BYU music library or online from LDS composers who share their music for free.

Our ward recently got kicked from our building to allow the MTC to use half our building. No big deal, right? Well, guess not. We share a bigger building with some YSA wards who originally told my bishop that we wouldn't be allowed to have choir since the building has eight wards. My ward meets at 10:15am. After our three hour block the chapel isn't being used but I guess we can't meet then. The only time we can meet is from 9:00am to 9:45am says the stake. That time is when the ward leadership has ward council. So unless the ward decides to do the choir a solid and change that, I'll continue to be stuck with minimal ward participation. We had a GREAT choir until Winter semester ended in April. People moved out. Other people got called to leadership positions. Other people just quit coming. In fact, FOUR of my regular singers can no longer attend because they have leadership meetings now.

I'm tired of this calling. It is 90% dependent on ward members to make it happen. Sure, magnify my calling. Well, that's hard to do when three people show up for choir and we're not able to practice when we'd be able to have more people attend. It's frustrating to feel like no amount of persuasion or testimony sharing can portray to my ward how important ward choir is. No one cares. They are all too busy with callings or visiting family or they have new babies so that somehow constrains them from attending choir. Tyson and I worked it out. Right now, Tyson is a ward clerk so he was stuff to do after church. William is a runner but I have to try and watch him and direct choir at the same time. I'm lucky that I have some friends who still come and who are willing to help wrangle him. I had a baby and did choir. They are much easier to deal with than a nap-needing toddler. Trust me.

And yes, I did attend Sunday School yesterday. And yes, I did listen and understand the lesson about not being offended, about how our leaders are not perfect, about how to not lose our testimonies. And I get it. I just feel like I'm stuck in an impossible situation that is being exacerbated by the stake and ward. I'm ready to have a new calling. Give me something else and I will come sing in the choir faithfully. Maybe we need to check out the family ward instead. I love my ward though. We have great people in it but people get in this mentality of "Well, I'm leaving that the end of the summer/semester/year/whatever so I am not going to participate fully 'cause we're leaving anyway." I feel burdened. My bishop expects the choir to perform at least once a month but that can't happen if no one is in choir.

Guess I need to do some pondering and praying about this calling and my attitude about it.

Maybe someday I'll learn to love it 100% again. I sure hope so.

I love choir. Choir is seriously cathartic. When I sing in ward choir I can feel my testimony growing. We sing mostly hymns but the hymns teach sweet principals of the gospel. I feel the spirit when I sing in choir. 

"A song is a wonderful kind of thing, so lift up your voice and sing. Just start a glad song, let it float, let it ring, And lift up your voice and sing. We shall make music to brighten the day; Music will help us to lighten the way. Lift up your voice! Lift up your voice! Lift up your voice and sing!" - Children's Primary Songbook, "Lift Up Your Voice And Sing", pg. 252

This is how I feel when I sing. 

I heard this song on the radio yesterday and it touched my heart: "When I Sing" by Tyler Castleton. I looked for the lyrics online but couldn't find them; so here's a video:

I have a testimony of the power of uplifting music and the hymns. We have been taught that music is a channel for the spirit to teach us truths of the gospel. 

I wish my ward members felt this way too.