It’s Therapeutic

My typical routine on a stressful day would be keeping myself busy with work, the kids and the housework.  Then at the end of the day when everything is quiet and no one can see me, I would snack until my stomach hurts.  Of course this contributed to my weight gain, but I would convince myself that if no one saw me, it never happened.  I would somehow block it out of my memory and continue a lie about how much I eat. 

One day, after having a conversation with a friend about why I couldn’t drop the pounds, she suggested I keep a food journal.  During the day, everything was fine.  I really wasn’t overeating.  Then came night time, and my usual routine was carried out.  I began making notes of everything I was snacking on and reading the calories on the label.  I was in shock!  Who knew that I could each this much? 

Now, I keep a daily food journal and watch my calories.  I also have changed the times of day that I eat.  I rarely eat anything after 8 p.m.  I used to never eat breakfast, but now I am beginning to get used to eating a yogurt and banana every morning.  These are just little changes, but they seem to be helping me in more ways than just weight loss. 

1)  I am sleeping better

2) After nearly a lifetime of stomach troubles that have resulted in many admissions to the hospital, my stomach seems to be calmer than normal

3) I have more energy, which helps me eliminate most of my caffeine intake

4) I just feel better

The past couple of nights, however, I have had trouble sleeping.  It’s probably from stress because I have the wonderful skill of worrying about every little thing that happens (especially those things out of my control).  But when the exhaustion is coupled with the stress of my separation and the stress of my job and the stress of being a mother to 4 children, one with special needs, I find myself wanting to comfort myself with food.

Hi, I’m Abbey, and I’m a food addict!

But instead of cramming Doritos and candy down my throat, I did some extra running.  If anything, the soreness of my body kept me from walking to the fridge for a late night snack! 

Another switch I have made…I am IN LOVE with hazelnut coffee creamer!!!  I have tried the sugar free version, but let’s just face it, I love sugar, too.  So, every morning I would drink a pot of coffee by myself with a lot of hazelnut creamer.  Then my good British friend informed me that I have to start drinking tea.  I’m a pretty picky eater/drinker, but I thought, what the hell?  I’ll give it a try.  Now, I rarely have coffee.  I’m a tea drinker, sweetening it with a bit of honey.  My favorite teas are:  Bigelow Green Tea, Earl Grey, and Bigelow Constant Comment black tea.  I drink these teas all day, mostly in place of snacking. 

So, as usual, I am still just taking it one day at a time, making little changes at a time, and loving every minute of my journey to becoming healthy both physically and mentally!  Good luck on your journey! 🙂

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Still Going At It

This past week, my focus has mainly been on getting my kids back into the swing of school and working out.  Usually, the busier life gets, the more excuses I come up with to blow off exercise.  Not this week!  This girl has rocked my 5k training AND my yoga AND my muscle toning.

It feels almost like the day isn’t done until I have put in some exercising.  And as a result, I have dropped 9 pounds in two weeks!  I normally dread the scary scale, but not this time.  I am pretty proud of myself and more motivated than ever!

So, just a little advice from this chunky monkey…keep going!  Don’t give up, and you will start seeing results!

A funny story about running.  When I run, I blast Snoop Dog.  I’m not a big Snoop Dog fan, but I’ve noticed that it’s easier to run with his music playing in my ears.  As the music plays, everything and everyone disappears.  At the track where I run sometimes, there is a little house on the other side of the fence.  There are probably 10 people who reside in this very VERY small house.  One person in particular is this man about 70.  I was running my little heart out, and getting bored, I started to dance a little while I ran.  He happened to be sitting on his porch smoking.  When I finally noticed him, he was pressing his face against the fence, watching me and waving for me to come over to him.  I ran over, and with a giant grin on his face, he asked, “Are you married?”

I forced out a laugh and replied, “It’s complicated.”

His reply nearly floored me.  He asked, “When it’s not so complicated, will you marry me?”  I nearly choked from laughing.  I shook my head and continued my run.  Now, every time I run there, this little old man winds up sitting on his porch watching.

Anyways, here is a picture from this morning.  I don’t know if you can see any results, but I can definitely feel the results!  Good luck on your journey and take it one day at a time! 🙂

9 pounds down 80814

It’s All Relative

I used to despise running, well, anything active actually.  Then I got involved in track in high school.  I felt so great about myself!  I loved the soreness my legs felt during and after running; I loved the feeling of sweat forming droplets on my skin.  I was in my element.  Then life hit me, and I let all of that go.  I was overeating and stressed.  I was avoiding any exercise at all costs.  I always had the best excuses.  Young mother, working, college, who has time to workout?  For years I have witnessed myself gaining weight and becoming so out of shape that even a short flight of stairs would make me breathless.

I have my power back!  I decided that being unhealthy was far more painful than waking up an hour early and working out.  I decided that indulging on an entire pint of ice cream was more painful than going for a jog.  I can look at myself in the mirror again, not because I am anywhere near my goal, but because I am not giving up.  I can be proud of that!

Today, I finished my first week of the “Couch to 5K” training, and I am over the moon at how I rocked it.  I even threw in some extra days!  I have also added some squats, some crunches and leg lifts to my workout.  On top of that, I am doing thirty minutes to an hour of yoga every morning before my day officially starts.

My eating has changed in the fact that I am not over-indulging.  Yes, I still indulge in the occasional treat, but more than that, I am watching my portions.  I think a lot of being healthy is self-control.  I try not to complicate it too much.  I watch my calories and drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.  That is easy for me because I love water more than any other drinks!  I will never drop my caloric intake to an unhealthy number because, frankly, I love food.  But then again, I think we all should! 🙂

I may be new at this, but in my opinion people complicate it too much, and that is not something I’m interested in.  So, I am taking it one day at a time and loving every moment!

Extra Extra Read All About It

As I have mentioned briefly before, I am a writer and now a published author.  Unlike many, I was never confused about what I was going to be when I grew up.  It was simple, I was going to be a writer.

THE STORY OF HOW MY BOOK CAME TO BE:

My son has always been a bit different.  He was very verbal, but he had trouble with being socially awkward.  He never had any interest in others, and he was always particular about his routine, even to the point of having panic attacks if any change whatsoever occurred.  I just thought he was quirky.  I had never heard of Asperger’s Syndrome until a lady at a playground asked me if he had it.  I was offended.  “Of course he doesn’t have that! (Whatever that is)”

Not long after, I took him to his four-year check up.  His doctor, who I came to find was a 30 year autism specialist, asked me if I knew what Asperger’s Syndrome was.  I almost growled at him.  Why does this term keep creeping up?  He explained that it was a neurological disorder that was basically high-functioning autism, and he wanted to test my son for it.  We made the appointment for two weeks later.  I, as a very curious mother, decided to google everything I could that had anything to do with Asperger’s.  And guess what?  I cried every day for two weeks.

After he was officially diagnosed, and I had come to terms with the fact that I needed to get educated as well as my son, we went on a search to find children’s literature about Asperger’s.  I wanted my son to understand why he is the way he is, and I wanted him to be able to explain it to others and not be ashamed of it.  So, we searched and searched…and searched.  We came across one book and so not to say anything negative about this book, I won’t mention the title.  I will only say that it wasn’t for us.

My mom, knowing how much I love to write, told me I should write my own children’s book about it!  And I did!  The rest is all a bunch of miracles and perfect timings, but to make the story short, it is now published!

So, just to show you guys my very proud work of art, here it is:  the first book of the Aspie Hero series, Counting Jacob.

aspieherocover

It is available on Amazon, and I hope you enjoy it!  🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Counting-Jacob-Abbey-Perry/dp/193655478X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407036594&sr=8-1&keywords=Counting+Jacob

http://aspiehero.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aspiehero

Run For Your Life!!

Part of finding my healthy is finding an exercise routine that fits my busy schedule.  I don’t have a lot of time during the day to spare, so I decided to start a program called “couch to 5k”.  My friends and I have decided to run a 5k this October, and I have some work to do to prepare for it.  I am on Week one, day 3 of the program, and I must say, I am loving it.  It’s actually pretty simple.  You warm up by walking 5 minutes, then you jog for one minute and walk for a minute and a half.  You go back and forth with this for 20 minutes then finish with a five minute cool down.  The only down side is that instead of doing the program three times a week as suggested, I want to do it every day.  And since I am carrying around some extra poundage, my knees are starting to hate me.

But I grind my teeth and push through the pain.  I’m pretty sure as I lose weight and become stronger, my knees won’t hold such a grudge against me. 🙂

I think it’s always nice to have a visible goal to work toward instead of just starting something and going at it with no idea where you will end up.  At least in my experience, I find that while doing this, I become unmotivated and go on a search for something else which almost always ends up with me not doing anything.  So, now that I know I need to be able to run a 5k by October, I have a reason to get up and exercise!

Still I am doing my yoga pretty much every day.  I find it easier to do in the mornings before my kids are awake.  And the other positive is that I am in a good relaxed mood before being thrown into my hectic schedule! 🙂

And as usual, I am just taking things one day at a time!  Good luck to all of your in your journey!

One Is The Loneliest Number

During the day when four extremely noisy, energetic children nearly deafen me, I am constantly wishing for the peace and quiet that comes when they are all tucked safely in their beds.  But then every night that wish comes true.  I sit for a while in the silence working or reading or folding laundry, whatever holds my attention, but soon I feel myself going a bit mad!  I begin wishing for at least one child to wake up and creep down to my room to snuggle or chat.  This rarely happens, so I turn on the TV or find some really weird songs on YouTube.  Then, those songs lead me to weird videos on YouTube, and we all know that that is not necessarily the best idea. 😉

For so many years, I have not had time to myself. I grew out of being happy in solitude.  I suppose this is part of my “finding happiness” journey, figuring out how to be happy alone.  I mean, I think in general, I am a happy person.  I have an annoyingly great way of finding the positive in almost every situation, but when I am my only company for the night, where does that happiness go? 

Sometimes I look back and think about all the arguments with my husband and all the crap we dragged each other through.  I start to wonder if I should just stay…because staying in a relationship that you already know how things are going to work (even though it sucks) seems less scary than jumping into a world that you have no clue about. 

My decision for the divorce hasn’t changed, but the brave mask I wear doesn’t fit as well when I’m by myself.  I know it will get easier, and I know I will be strong.  But just for tonight, I’m going to learn to find happiness by myself! 🙂 

 

It’s a Roller Coaster Over Here!

Today has been a pretty up and down kind of day.  Usually, my mood is not bothered by days like this, but today has been different.  Maybe it’s the stress of everything happening all at once, who knows? 

The morning started with cancelling my run with my friend because my knee has been killing me since my run on Saturday.  My friend (we’ll call her Red) was completely understanding which is her M.O.  Then, there was a close call with a giant spider.  I know it was not really a giant spider, but my mind is incapable of seeing spiders realistically, so yes, giant spider.  I am not afraid of spiders; I only scream to alert everyone else of the possible danger.  Realizing I was on my own on this one, I did what any good mother would do to save her children from danger, and I battled the spider with a flip flop and won!  After the adrenaline wore off, I began to hate this divorce.  Now, I have no one to save me from spiders!  Anyways, the pity party ended abruptly after I went through the other list of reasons why this divorce needs to happen.  Then came the guilt of blowing off Red.  I loaded up the kids and picked her up from her house, wearing jeans to hint that I was not running today.  We spent a few hours together, and after nearly peeing my pants from laughter, I dropped her off at her house. 

Instantly as we pulled into her driveway, all children needed to pee, so she wrangled them into her house for a bathroom break.  My aspie son, accidentally knocked Red’s husband’s brand new comic book into the toilet!  Back down on the roller coaster.  Now, I am the kind of person that believes it is my responsibility to replace the things my kids have ruined, so that situation was handled.  And the guilt was awful, even though Red was so nice about it.

Upon our arrival at home, I realized that something is not quite right with our plumbing.  I am no plumbing expert, but water is supposed to drain, right?  I guess it’s paper plates and cups until this mommy can find someone to fix it, preferably a plumber without his crack showing. 

My diet today has not been much eating, which is horrible and pretty normal for a busy person.  It would be so easy for me to eat a bunch of crap at this point, but I am refusing to do so.  Instead I am going to make the biggest kale salad I can fit on this paper plate and fill my face!  Also, since running is not an option for me today, I am going to do my usual routine on my elliptical!  And as promised, I have a picture for you.  Consider this the before picture! 🙂 0728141535

Hope you all are having a splendid day!

It’s A Cold Pizza Kind Of Night

My point of this blog is to be honest through this entire journey…honest with you and honest with myself.  Sundays in my house are our pizza day.  Since money is tight, we do the $5 hot-n-ready pizza from Little Caesars.  My children have bottomless pits for stomachs, so today, I went ahead and bought two pizzas instead of one.  If anything, we’d have leftovers.  Well, right before dinner, there was a tornado warning.  The weather channel was on in the living room (first mistake), and our routine was broken.  Routine is pretty important to us because my 5 year old son is on the autism spectrum.  He needs the strict routine to feel safe.  Dinner was not happening on time, which was causing a pretty severe panic attack for my son.  Also, I live in Tennessee.  The mountains usually block all tornadoes, so I’m not used to this kind of weather.  I was on edge and so were my kids.  Finally, when all tornadoes were gone and the weather cleared, it was time for this mommy to focus on dinner.  I was exhausted. 

So, what did I do?  I slapped cold pizza on some plates and sat the kids at the table for dinner.  They loved dinner, but I had the twinges of guilt for not even having the energy to heat it up for them, much less the energy to actually cook them something healthy.  But this is not only my journey to healthy, it’s theirs, too!  So, my plan for tomorrow is to make a meal plan of healthy and fun foods for the next couple of weeks. 

Also, I am going to do something that I swore I would never do.  In order to be kept accountable for my healthy transition, I am going to post regular pictures of myself so you guys can see me start to finish!  First picture will be posted tomorrow! 

Our Metaphorical Second Date

Now that we have gotten the general details of my life out of the way, you can focus on getting to know me.  This can be a difficult thing as I am still learning who that is.  I suppose we will learn together. 

I said before that I am a writer.  Words are everything to me and probably the only thing (other than my kids) that can get me truly excited!  Yes, I’m a bit nerdy.  Who gets excited when they learn a new word?  This girl!  I love reading, and writing is how I spend the majority of my free time.  I wish I could have wall to wall shelves in my house completely full of books.  This would also eliminate the need to paint where my children have ripped the paint off the walls! 😉

Since just about every aspect of my life is changing, I decided I should change physically, too.  It’s not news that many mothers forget to take care of themselves, and I am definitely one of those.  I will never call myself fat. Instead, I am a chunky monkey.  I am not the largest I have ever been, but I’m still not happy with how I look.  So, when you’re not happy with something, you change it.  Part of my journey will be finding happiness in who I am, inside and out.  I have started running, which I thought would be a terrible thing.  Actually, I have come to love the feeling of all stress disappearing as my feet pound the pavement.  Along with running, I have picked up yoga.  Yoga, I must say, is not for everyone, but I cannot get enough of it.  It is a healthy activity I can do with my kids every day, and watching them have fun with yoga makes me happy! 

How did I get to be a chunky monkey?  It’s simple, actually.  I eat too much crap, and I don’t spend enough time being active.  I guess I should have a deeper reason, but that’s pretty much it.  I grew up in a house, like many, where food was the center of everything.  Every celebration, every get-together, every time you’re sad…food was everywhere!  Plus, the majority of my family is overweight.  So, it’s easy to fit in as a chunky monkey, and none of my family ever judged me for being chubby. 

Let me be clear.  The reason for me wanting to be healthier will never EVER have anything to do with how others see me.  My reasons are 1) my kids need their mom around as long as possible, 2) I want to feel better, 3) I want to set a good example and 4) I am learning balance in all things.  People can be cruel, and I have been judged many times.  But I have rarely made decisions because I thought someone would like me more.  Love me or hate me, either way, you’ll get me! 

Just like most people, I am all for fun and laughing!  I can’t imagine going through an entire day with out a fit of laughter, and my kids and friends are great for that!  I am blessed to have some of the funniest people in my life.  Now, it’s just about keeping exercise fun, so I don’t get bored with it.  I’ll try just about anything, even Zumba.  Zumba is pretty awesome because it marries two amazing things, exercise and dancing!  The only issue I had with Zumba, is that I am such a terrible dancer, that the whole class mostly burned calories from laughing at my crazy moves.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I am a fantastic dancer.  I think I have rhythm and moves that are way ahead of my time, but others seem to disagree.  At least, I can make them smile, right? 

Tonight’s workout consists of yoga at home.  My absolute favorite yoga workout is Yoga with Adrienne on youtube!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSG7PsdZG04

If you have a free hour tonight, try doing it with me!  Good luck on your journey, and I hope you stick around and enjoy mine!

The Beginning

This is my first post on this blog, but it is not my first post ever.  I actually have another blog called aspiehero.com, and it is mostly used to chronicle my life as the mother of an Aspie.  If you are not familiar with the term Aspie, it is a cute way of saying someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.  My son was diagnosed with this almost 2 years ago. 

But this blog is intended to be about the rest of my life.  I’m sure I will hit on some autism spectrum topics since that is a huge part of my life, but there is so much more. 

So, here is a recap of the last eight or so years of my life, and this will catch you up to where I am now.  In 2006, I had my daughter.  To save you the math, I was 19 years old.  In 2008, I was married and had my son, and my new husband adopted my daughter.  In 2010, my next son was born.  In 2013, I got custody of my niece.  I know your minds are swarming with numbers…this means I have an 8 year old daughter, a 5 year old son, a 4 year old son and a 4 year old niece.  Yes, my hands are full, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂

After six hard years of marriage, my husband and I decided to call it quits.  Everything is separated, time with the kids included.  One thing I never thought I would ever be is divorced, but it seems that I’ll be eating crow on that one.  I’m not bitter or angry, I think I just feel (today at least) like it’s both of us moving on to places where we are meant to be.  No one is completely at fault, we both made mistakes.  Life goes on, blah blah blah.

Another change going on is the transition from being home with the kids to having all four kids in school and starting a career.  I am a writer, and my first book was just published.  Exciting!!!  And now I have to let go of my four little security blankets and actually be myself!  That part is terrifying!  I don’t know how everything is going to turn out.  Will I be successful?  Will my kids be okay?  Will I fall apart into a million tiny pieces and accidentally get swept into someone’s trash can?  Who knows?  But all I can do is take it one day at a time.  Don’t roll your eyes!  That’s all you can do, too! 

So, welcome to my journey, and I hope you enjoy this crazy, messy, loud, happy ride!