Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day Weekend... Already?!?!

I can't believe it's Labor Day Weekend already. This summer went by so fast, as always. I do love the fall though, so I'm looking forward to that, and the holidays. I get less and less annoyed when a Christmas song starts playing on my iPod. I still skip over them, but I also get a little teeny twinge of excitement somewhere in the depths of my soul. I love the holidays.

This week I've actually been doing the work I said I was going to do, I finished cleaning out the hard copy files and today I started reorganizing and cleaning up the digital files. We have a LOT of files! We keep just about every order that comes in because many of them will be reprinted at some point. I know that our customers appreciate the fact that they can call me and say "I printed up a notecard back in 2005, do you still have it on file?" and I say "I sure do", and pull it up in just a minute.

I've also started diving into Dreamweaver and weeding my way through it so that I can build us a new website. I originally designed our current site in IBM Websphere about 3 or 4 years ago and literally just used it like a desktop publishing software. I knew nothing about coding and the site is fair at best, but it has worked for us and my Dad has tweaked it to get it to do what he wants it to do. But really, we need a new site that is current and user friendly and beautiful, so that's what I'm working on now. This blog has been a huge help for me to learn coding and I find that in Dreamweaver now I often just go right to the code and edit it there rather than using the tools that are supposed to be easier. It's a lot of fun to make a website work and look the way you want it to. Who knew that one day I'd become a graphic/web designer? I should've, I grew up drawing, why wouldn't I become a designer? There were a few years there where I forgot what I love to do, I'm so glad I found it!

Unfortunately, I'm spending my Labor Day weekend helping family members move. Tomorrow my sister and brother-in-law move back in with my parents until they close on the house that they're trying to buy. Their landlord couldn't wait anymore and rented their apartment. Sunday I'm helping my cousin Meg move into her new place which is closer to my apt so that's cool. Sunday night we're celebrating my Mom and Sister's birthday (both on the 31st) with dinner out and then cake and ice cream. I'm suggesting Uno's so I can order from the GF menu and I know that restaurant is a family favorite. My brother goes "what about Olive Garden" and I looked at him like are you nuts??!! and he immediately was like "oh sorry! I forgot!" Silly.

Monday I have the whole day to myself. Ahhh. I wonder what I shall do with my day off?

Happy Labor Day Weekend Everyone!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Doc

The good news is, I will be coming off of the steroids very soon and switching to my long term medication. The bad news is, the long term medication has some very serious potential side effects. At first I was really upset about this. But now that I've calmed down, I realize that this guy knows what he's doing, he's monitoring me very closely and will take good care of me. I just have to have faith. The most annoying part of going on this medication is that they have to carefully monitor my blood counts to make sure I am not having an adverse reaction, so for the next I don't know how many weeks I'll be going in once a week to have blood drawn. Then after that I'll go once a month, then after a while once every few months, and so forth. So the plan for me is to keep focused on my diet and exercise and taking the best care of myself that I possibly can. I've allowed myself to be irresponsible lately and the excuses I come up with are just ridiculous. I've got to stay focused! I'm glad that I'm switching over to the long term meds though because while I've been on the short term meds my mindset has been different. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but I guess I'm constantly thinking in terms of months or weeks instead of just doing it day-to-day. Anyway, the transition period is going to be a hassle but it won't be long before things settle down. I go back to see The Doc in one month.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 28

Three month follow up day. I am anxious about my visit with The Doc. I know what I want to say to him, but what I want to say and what I actually say are usually two different things. I'm intimidated by the whole "I have a degree so I know better than you" thing and so I just want to be a good little patient and do whatever he says I should do. But really I want to say "please let me try it my way for a little while and if it doesn't work, we'll go back to doing it your way, ok?" I'll be curious to see what he has to say about the weight gain and other side effects that I've experienced. I have a feeling the outcome of today is going to be somewhat of a compromise, he'll lower my doseages and I'll be more conscious of my eating habits and the results of those habits. I wouldn't be upset with that, I think it's a fair compromise. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Monday

Another one of my favorites from Saturday night. These cougars were absolutely gorgeous. Scary, but gorgeous, and secured behind thick glass walls. I can't say that I love the fact that animals are caged for our viewing pleasure, but I have faith that the zoo treats them well.

Today is day 27. I am down 1 pound from the initial weigh in. At this point, I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that I'm not going to lose any real weight before the wedding. All I can do is eat healthy and exercise and be happy with the way I am. Because really, I'm not fat and I need to get over this obsession with my weight. I realized yesterday that my entire life revolves around the food I eat and that is so incredibly unhealthy. Especially since diagnosis, I'm more aware than ever of the food that I put in my body. I'm looking forward to going for my appointment tomorrow and talking with the doc about what we're going to do next.

I signed up yesterday to volunteer at this years Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. I have walked in it before but I prefer to volunteer so that's what I'm doing. My aunt continues to fight her battle against breast cancer and so far she's doing great.

My Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, Great Aunt Bernie and Great Aunt Vicki this summer. Vicki is the one with breast cancer. <3

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dream Night at the Stone Zoo

Tonight I volunteered at Dream Night at the Stone Zoo. It was a night for families of children with illnesses or disabilities to come and spend time visiting with the animals, doing activities, and enjoying themselves. I really enjoyed this event. My job was to take photos and I got some really great shots. Here are a few of my favorite shots of the animals, but to see the entire album go here.

Dream Night Cougar 1
The cougars wanted to eat me for dinner, but that didn't stop me from snapping away. These were taken from behind the glass.
Dream Night Cougar 2

And this was one of, if not my favorite shot of the night. They had this really great bird show and this bald eagle was the grand finale. Beautiful.
Dream Night Eagle

Friday, August 22, 2008

Enjoy the View

Missouri 030
Another Missouri pic, this was my view from the window seat on the flight out. My first flight ever. It was pretty cool watching the sun set from above the clouds.

Tomorrow night I'm volunteering at Dream Night at the Stone Zoo. It is a free, after-hours event for chronically ill and disabled children and their families and caregivers. I will be doing the photography. I can't wait for this event. I've often wanted to volunteer with the Make-a-Wish foundation and this event is a similar event. I am a member of Boston Cares which is an organization that offers tons of volunteer events on a calendar system that I can pick and choose and sign up for whenever I am available. I haven't been doing it very long and this will be only my 3rd event so far with them but I love it. It's so flexible and they offer so many wonderful events. If you're looking for a great way to get in some volunteer time that works with your schedule, definitely check out Boston Cares.

So far I have volunteered at the Hoop-a-thon for Huntington's Disease and the Special Olympics. Both events were really fun, I got to meet new people and do some great volunteer work. I'm a big fan of volunteering, if you couldn't tell!! I also donated the design for this year's MSPCA Angel Walk for Animals which I will be walking in on September 7th (let me know if you want to walk too!). I like to go and work at events but I'm also always available to do design or photography work for any organization. I'm also volunteering at this year's Gluten-Free Cooking Spree on September 13th and I am really looking forward to that event.

If you're interested in volunteering at any of these events, or would like more information about Boston Cares or other volunteer opportunities, please feel free to contact me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scenes from a former life.

Missouri 125
Just wanted to post a pic today. This is one of the dining rooms at Buca di Beppo in Kansas City Missouri. I loved the picture of the women in a spaghetti eating contest. I'm a huge fan of old photos and stuff so this restaurant was really fun to explore. This also was my last gluten feast and oh was it delicious.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Heart Whole Foods


Do you like my new kicks? I'm not supposed to be wearing them at work, as they are supposed to be strictly for working out, but today I just needed the comfort of sneakers. I've been wearing flip flops for months and my feet are tired and need some love and support. Not to mention it was cold this morning! In August! I didn't mind, I can't wait for the fall.

I feel like all I ever do on this blog is complain these days. It started out so positive and all "Yay gluten-free! Crohn's can't get to me!" and now it's all "wah wah wah, I'm so fat, I hate my medication, wah wah wah, I eat junk all the time, sob sniffle sob sob." Well tough crap, this is my blog and I can say whatever I want! No... seriously, I don't like myself being Nelly Negative either. It's day 22. I weigh exactly the same today as I did on day 1. AWESOME. Twenty-two days, wasted. It's not that I didn't try, ok well I didn't make a valiant effort, but I did make a few small changes... baby steps, right? Not when you've only got 60 days to do it! You've got to take giant leaps to reach your goals when you're working on a strict deadline. This week I've been especially good, I've been sticking to the low carb, more veggies than grains plan and I felt like it was working, until I stepped on the scale this morning. This particular week however, is not a very good time to be focusing on weight issues if you know what I'm saying... yeah, you know what I'm saying. But boy did it put me under a dark cloud today. Last night I was all "hey I'm starting to feel better!" and then this morning I stepped on the scale and promptly stepped off of it, resisting the urge to hurl it through the window, and walked out of the bathroom in a hurry.

I couldn't stand to eat another slice of ham, or hard boiled egg, or chicken breast for lunch so I walked out of the office with wallet in hand and no particular destination in mind. Thankfully my new sneakers guided me directly to Whole Foods where I purchased a loaf of glutino bread, some milk (lactaid) and some envirokids animal cookies (gf). Ok, maybe I could've done without the cookies, but at least they are all natural and gluten-free. I can't tell you how valuable it is to have a Whole Foods right down the street from my office. I stood in the frozen foods section for a really long time just kind of looking around because I couldn't help but notice that there are a TON of gluten-free options. An endless supply of frozen meals by all different companies, with big, fat, brightly colored labels. Macaroni & Cheese GLUTEN-FREE! Chicken Alfredo GLUTEN-FREE! Pad Thai GLUTEN-FREE! Now, don't get me wrong, I typically do not enjoy frozen entrees, but it's good to know that there are options out there. When I first went on Weight Watchers back in 2002, I ate Lean Cuisines practically on a daily basis. Easy to count, it said the points value right on the box! But they are gross and full of sodium and chemicals and ever since then I have a huge aversion to frozen entrees. But I ate one of Amy's vegan dishes a few weeks ago and it actually tasted like real food!

Ok, enough about that, I am far beyond the end of my lunch break and totally violating the Zero Tolerance Policy.

Happy Hump Day my friends :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

RSS solved.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I am now using Bloglines to read blogs and I love it! It's got the split screen so that I can always see my list of blogs and read the one selected at the same time, and it notifies me when there are new posts to read. I have one of those fun buttons in my bookmarks toolbar so that I can add new blogs when I find them. I recommend it if you're looking for an easy to use rss reader.

Lunch Break = Blog Time

Day 20 and the start of my version of the South Beach Diet. I say my version because 1. It has to be gluten-free and 2. I've decided to do a modified version of Phase 1 and include a limited amount of (gf) grain based carbs. Let's be honest, ever since I did weight watchers in 2002 I have not been able to stick to a structured diet for more than a few days at a time. Therefore, attempting to go balls-to-the-wall South Beach Diet is just setting myself up for failure. I don't have all that much weight to lose and the more stress I'm under, the harder it will be to shed the pounds. Plus, I'm trying to create good habits that will last a long time, not just a temporary fix.

The past few months I've had a hard time keeping up with the grocery shopping and I end up going out to get my lunch instead. Many days I find myself at Souper Salad spending $7 on a salad that I could've made myself every day for the whole week for $7. This week I decided to finally take charge and get to the supermarket yesterday. I already had a few things on hand so I just picked up what I needed. Last night I grilled up 2 pork chops and 3 chicken breasts and boiled a dozen eggs. Because I go straight from 7am to 10pm Monday through Wednesday, it's important for me to have plenty of food to get me through the long days without being able to go home and cook. I bought lettuce, tomatoes, onions, celery, ham and turkey. Today I made myself a salad just like the one I would typically have at Souper Salad and for a fraction of the cost. It was delicious. I'm pretty happy about that! I also made a big pot of rice and divided it up into 8oz tupperware containers so I could quickly grab a serving to heat up. Tonight before I go to class I'll heat up a pork chop, rice and broccoli for dinner, instead of eating dinner at the Whole Foods food bar. The cost for what I made at home surely doesn't come close to comparing to the $7.99 per pound food at WF's. Go me! Not only am I saving money, I'm eating healthy and gluten-free.

My 3 month follow up is only a week away. I can't believe it's already been 3 months since diagnosis. I was feeling much better at first, but after a while of feeling good, I let old habits creep back in and the past few weeks have been tough. I'm glad though because it will be good for me to discuss all of this with my doctor so that I can convince him that GF is the way to go. I know he was skeptical about it in the beginning.

And here's a new picture of my cousin/nephew Owen, he's getting so big!


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Zero Tolerance, and I don't mean for alcohol...

My parents and I finally had a meeting yesterday. After 5 years, we finally sat down and talked about what the heck we want to do with our company and how we're going to do it. I actually walked away with a list of things to get started on. One thing we did discuss is the amount of time certain people spend doing personal things. Like writing blog entries, and checking myspace pages, and facebook pages, and emails, and the latest news on My Dad uttered those words that every little worker bee dreads...

"Zero Tolerance Policy"

And so I guess I'll be writing my blogs on my own time from now on. So here I am writing my weekend recap on a Sunday afternoon instead of a Monday morning. It's for the best. I'm actually looking forward to tackling the tasks on my To Do list this week.

What else did I do this weekend? Decompressed. I did nothing. Friday night I got home from work went shopping for new sneakers. Found a great pair at Kohl's on sale. Got some dinner and headed home. Watched Stop Loss on On Demand. Wasn't as good as I thought was going to be but I still cried at the end so all in all, not so bad. Woke up late on Saturday and drove down to the 'rents house to have our meeting and do my laundry. Came home Saturday night and sat around the house with the roommate. Watched some tv. Watched Enchanted, cute movie, cried at the end, of course. Woke up early this morning and dragged my butt over to the gym. Wearing my new sneaks of course! I have not worked out on a Sunday in years. It felt really good and I'm glad I went. After the gym I hung out at home for a bit, made a few notes about how I wanted to attack my meal planning for the week. Went grocery shopping and picked up a bunch of healthy and delicious groceries and now I'm back at home, watching School for Scoundrels and trying to decide if I'm going to tackle my Illustrator homework. I also have to cook up some chicken, pork and eggs to have for the week. I'll do that later tonight. I'll probably just watch this movie and contemplate the cd cover design that I have to do for tomorrow night's class.

I tried on the dress again this morning since I was pretty bloated the other day and it pretty much fits perfectly, despite the fact that I need help filling out the bust. I still need/want to lose weight but even a little bit is going to make the dress too big, which wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't strapless. The straps that come with it just look ridiculous. Ok, enough about the dress, as long as it's not too small, I don't care!

Hope you all had a great weekend and I'll be back as soon as I have another minute of my own time to blog.. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008


I'm a little bit slow on the uptake when it comes to web technology, I am embarrassed to admit. Despite this fantastical blog, I know, I know, how could I not be super web tech savvy? Ok well here's my question. I want to use an RSS reader to view all my favorite blogs. To be honest these days I just click on my blog page and then go through all of the links. This is such a pain because a lot of the times the blogs haven't been updated. Look, I'm not even supposed to be blog reading at work so we've got to make it as streamlined as possible. So my question to you dear blog readers is this, how do you read your favorite blogs? Do you RSS feed? I try to RSS feed and it automatically tries to add to my yahoo and guess what, I don't want to use yahoo! I have google reader but I find that it sucks too. A little advice would be much appreciated.

Help me Stacy & Clinton!!

Someone do me a favor and nominate me... I'm desperate. ;-)


I got the dress. The good news is, it zipped. Where do I begin with the bad news? The dress is a simple, floor length, strapless gown. On the hanger it's a pretty dress. On me it's all wrong. I do not look good in strapless gowns at all. There's just way too much white space going on in the upper regions. I have somewhat broad shoulders and I'm totally pasty and so the dress stops and then you're blinded by the light that is my pale self. It does come with spaghetti straps, which I do have permission to attach, and also a wrap which I just might have to use. I'll make it work. I'm concerned about how it's going to fit even if I lose a few pounds. I think that the waist will look better but then I don't even come close to filling out the bust. I might have to make a trip to VS to find a decent, enhancing, strapless bra. A good amount of cleavage would undoubtedly help out with the strapless dilemma. I'll work it out. I have faith!

One thing I need to do is get my hair cut. I have let it grow to extreme lengths and it's just long and flat and ratty. There's no question I need help in the hair department, not just the cut, but styling as well. I don't know how to use product, or dry it properly, and I have such nice hair but it never looks as good as it could because I'm just clueless. I need Stacy London's help in the worst way. I wish she would just show up at my work one day and whisk me away to New York for a total makeover. Including one of those $5,000 credit cards that they give away on What Not to Wear. I've seriously considered making my own little video for submission but I think that's against the rules. My cousin said she thinks I dress too well to be picked for that show... I totally beg to differ. Have you seen my closet lately? Today's outfit itself is enough to get me thrown directly into fashion prison. Ancient GAP cropped jeans with an ill-fitting, diagonal striped t-shirt, and blue Old Navy flops. Seriously, it's horrible. I am a young professional in Boston, I should look the part! Because I pay so much money each month towards my credit cards, I don't have much cash flow available for spending on myself and therefore I get neglected. I am about to start fixing that right away, now that the wedding obligations of the past two years are paid off! I've spent over $2,000 in the past two years on other peoples weddings. Imagine all the clothes and shoes I could've bought with that money! It's my turn now folks. This weekend is all about me, it's the first full weekend I've had off in I can't even tell you how long.

Which reminds me... IT'S FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back on the market...

Well ladies, it's official, Jason Varitek has filed for divorce from his wife Karen. Let the games begin...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

South Beach Diet Karma?

So I've been slacking off reading blogs this afternoon and everywhere I look, someone is either going back to or starting fresh on the South Beach Diet. Coincidence? A sign? Is someone trying to tell me something? I'm not even searching for SBD blogs or websites, I was just randomly reading blogs that I usually read and then clicking through their random blogroll links and I'm not even exaggerating when I say that at least 4 other people have blogged in the past few days about the SBD. The diet Gods are trying to tell me something. Try South Beach! You already have the book! It's structured and focused and GLUTEN-FREE FRIENDLY! I've done Weight Watchers, I've counted calories, I bought the SBD book years ago when I still ate wheat and thought carb cutting was advice straight out of the devil's mouth. Here I am, rapidly expanding and clearly not counting calories because it's just a huge pain in the ass and then I'm reminded of the good old SBD. I've become an advocate of the low-carb lifestyle so why wouldn't I give that book another glance? Whenever I dropped by Karina's site and saw that her most recent post was about south beach I nearly fell out of my desk chair. It's kind of like when I realized I had gotten up to almost 220 pounds and then all of a sudden they started up a Weight Watchers at work program. Right now I'm at the weight I was at when I finished that program and so this is as good a time as any to change it up and start something new. I have to do something. I can't even look at myself in the mirror, and for someone that typically loves being in photos, I have been hiding from the camera. No longer an option! Must make a change! 46 days left until the wedding!!! I wish I was going home tonight so I can start reading the book again, but I have that boat cruise to go to. I'll have to throw it in my work bag for tomorrow. Nothing like reading diet books on the red line.

A change of plans perhaps.

Karina is doing the South Beach Diet.

I am so copying her.

Counting calories sucks!

Day 15

Vaca 08 038
I'm feeling patriotic today. Ok well I haven't had a chance to upload any of the pictures I've taken recently so you get an old one from vacation back in July.
Tonight I'm going on a Boston harbor cruise on the Odyssey which is a pretty nice boat. The last time I was on it was about 6 or 7 years ago when I worked at the bank and we had a work party on it. This time I'm going with my friend Pat's company for their annual family fun boat cruise. A few of my other friends will be attending as well so I'm really looking forward to it. One of them will be my friend Steve who also is my kickboxing instructor and I expect him to give me hell because I've missed the last 3 classes, plus the class we're all missing tonight and I'm also going to miss class on Saturday which just so happens to be the last class of the session. And we don't start back up until September. I guess I better figure out another workout plan for the next few weeks if I have any hopes of taking off these pounds!! I'm debating whether I'm going to leave from work tomorrow night and drive over to pick up my dress or wait until Saturday. I'd rather do it tomorrow night but I'm concerned about sitting in traffic. But I'd rather just get it done so that's probably what I'll do.
Now that the shower and bachelorette party are over my life is settling back to normal. This weekend we're having a meeting to discuss the business and what our plan is going to be for at least the next year. We need to do a little re-organizing and re-focusing. I'm looking forward to that.
I was going over my finances yesterday and I determined that my credit cards will be paid off by February of 2010. One year and six months! I was thinking it would be August of that year so I am really excited about having only a year and a half rather than 2 more years of payments. It has been a struggle to pay such a huge chunk of my income each month on those cards but it's so worth it. The day I'm paid off is going to be such a huge accomplishment! I have the date taped to my computer monitor to remind me how close I am to being debt free. Aside from student loans of course, but those will be hanging over my head for years to come and the interest rate is so low, I'm not that concerned about it.
My mom has already made a comment to me about buying a condo when my debt is paid off. I'm not so sure about that. My roommate has mentioned going back to school which would mean she'd be moving out and I'd either have to find a new roommate, get my own apartment, or buy something. I love my apartment and would prefer to stay there and wouldn't mind having another roommate. It's nice to have someone around, when my roommate is away I get lonely! Plus it would allow me to save a lot of money. I'd rather just wait a few more years, save up a down payment and buy something later. I'm not totally sold on buying anyway. I know it's an investment and people are always saying that renting is just throwing money away but I'd rather rent and put all the money I'd save on taxes and utilities and all the other costs of being a homeowner into other forms of investments. Maybe I just don't know enough about the benefits of owning a home. But as a single girl with no man to take care of me and the yard work (yes I'm totally old school!), I just don't see any reason to buy until I'm in a seriously committed (aka married) relationship. And that day is FAR off. Well, we'll see how I feel about all that in a year and a half. Who knows, maybe I'll have met Prince Charming by then... ha!

Ok, off to working, Happy Hump Day!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Actually glad it's Monday for once...

This past weekend was the bridal shower and bachelorette extravaganza for my cousin Lauren. The whole weekend was a big success and I'm totally exhausted and actually glad that it's over. Now I can get my life back to relative normalcy until the wedding in September. This weekend I have to go pick up my maid-of-honor dress and I'm not particularly looking forward to that. I am terrified that it's not going to fit. I think I'll be able to get it on, but it'll probably be tight. Thankfully the only part of the dress that's fitted is the top, the bottom is a full skirt. I'm at day 13 out of 60 and I'm down 2 pounds from my first official weigh in. That's not too bad but I wish it was more. But now that the bridal shower is done with I can be more focused on my diet and try to get more exercise in.

I think I'm going to change the blog header back to the original one, this weight loss one is depressing and I don't have the energy to create another new one. Plus the original was a popular one.

Ok well I should at least try to focus on work today...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Feelings pass with time.

We have this saying in kickboxing, well we didn't make it up, but we say it a lot... Pain is but a feeling, feelings pass with time, and time passes. Usually Steve is barking that at us when we're complaining about doing too many leg lifts. But today it applies to me for other reasons. I skipped kickboxing tonight so that I could go grocery shopping. You know when you just have to take a night off and regroup? Yeah, I did that tonight. I went to the health food store and got some GF stuff, then to Stop & Shop for regular groceries. While I was in S&S my cousin called because she got the invitation to her bridal shower today. She loved it. We talked for a good hour and it was so nice because I haven't really talked to or seen her in a long time. I hate that as we get older somehow life gets in the way. I need to fix that issue. Then I cooked myself a delicious steak dinner with rice and brussel sprouts. It is one of those nights where everything cooked perfectly and tasted just delicious. Then I had some lactose free ice cream for desert. Now I'm watching John & Kate Plus 8 which I love. I also got to talk to one of the girls that's coming to the bachelorette party that I don't talk to very often and I was glad to hear that she'll be here on Saturday.

I've taken a deep breath, eaten some healthy food, relaxed and now I'm ready to face the hectic (but fun!) weekend ahead. Gluten-free.

Shitty week... ha.

Do you ever wish you could just be normal? You could just eat whatever you wanted without pain or weight gain or bloating or fatigue or back aches or cramps or all the other fun stuff that comes with a digestive disease? I do. It's been a rough week so far but hopefully it will get better soon. Sunday. That's the day I finally get to rest and hopefully recover. I still have a lot of work to do to make this gluten-free lifestyle a permanent thing. I struggle with it a lot, mainly because I can barely afford groceries right now. And I just remembered I forgot to take my meds this morning. I was so good at first and lately I've been forgetting all the time. I am going to have to put a reminder in my outlook calendar. But then what about the weekends? It's been 2 and a half months since diagnosis. My next appointment is in 3 weeks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weekend Recap

Oh boy am I a bucket of sunshine this morning... I have negative dollars in my checking account and what did I do? Forget my T-Pass and had to buy a temporary one this morning. And in Quincy you have to pay double to get on to the T. Delightful! But I did actually have a really nice weekend. This week is Nightmare on Elm Street. I am throwing a bridal shower AND bachelorette party on Saturday. Months of planning and the day is finally about to arrive and I can't tell you how excited I am for... Sunday! When I can sleep all day and it will all be over.

So ok, back to my weekend recap. As I mentioned on Friday, my friend Mark scored some tickets to go see the Solid Gold Dance Party at the Bank of American Pavilion. The lineup included: Evelyn “Champagne” King, Hues Corporation, Musik, Maxine Nightingale, Jimmy “JJ” Walker will MC/Host, Solid Gold dancers and the headliners were the Village People!

I left work at about 5:30 and hopped on the Ashmont train to Savin Hill. For those of you who are not familiar with Boston, Savin Hill is a little section of Dorchester where Mark happens to live. First of all, my Mother would not be very please to know I was taking the train to a place that has earned the nickname "Stabbin' Hill" but she'd probably kick my ass once she found out that I exited the train and walked down Savin Hill Ave directly into this...

Stabbin' Hill

That's right folks, a regular old Dorchester crime scene. You'd be interested to know that this did not make the local news. Just another day in DOT. So this little suburban girl with her 6 Pack of Magner's in hand trekked all the way around Savin Hill trying to get to Mark's house in the blazing sun. I was a sweaty mess by the time I got there but I got there safely. Phew!! When I got there Mark was just about to get the steaks ready for the BBQ. As he's preparing our food we're chatting about my gluten issues and he's so good, checking labels and making sure everything's ok when he all of a sudden dumps half of the beer he's drinking over one of the steaks! I say, "did you just pour beer on that?" and he's like "oh I wasn't even thinking I just did it automatically!" Thankfully he had put the steaks in two different dishes so the other steak remained beer free. We sat out on the roof deck and enjoyed steaks, veggies and beverages. This is the view from Mark's roof deck. It's better in person...

DOT Roofdeck View

Then it was off to the show! Now, I thought it would be fun to see the Village People but I most definitely under-estimated just how much fun it actually would be. We ended up in seats right down in front. Here they are singing "In the Navy"


Macho Man


and of course, YMCA!!

Village People 5

As a YMCA staff member of 3 years, this song has a special place in my heart. Not to mention my sister and I do a killer Village People impression at all major DJ'd functions.

We really had a great time. After the show we headed over to Faneuil Hall for some drinks, more music and dancing, and then called it a night. I was a little too hungover/still-drunk tired to go to kickboxing on Saturday so I slept in and then just laid around the house until I went to dinner with friends at Uno's (gluten-free menu, yay!) Saturday night. We were supposed to go to Shakespeare on the Common but it got rained out.

Yesterday was our annual family get together with Gigi & Berni and my aunt Vicki was also in town. She's been battling breast cancer this year and is doing very well, it was so great to see her. We had an awesome day. I'll upload pics of that later.
Here's Mark and me at the concert after maybe one too many drinks...

Mark & Me

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The 70's and 80's rocked!

When I was little I LOVED Solid Gold. I used to watch it every time it was on. I went to dancing school for 6 or 7 years and a large portion of my family are dancers. I think it's part of my genetic makeup. I hear a song, I start dancing. Well guess what... tonight at 7:30 pm there's a concert and guess who's going to be there? SOLID GOLD DANCERS! Not only that... THE VILLAGE PEOPLE!! Oh hell yes I'm going to the show for FREE courtesy of my friend Mark. I can't wait. It's gonna be so fun!!

~Day 3~
Day 2 was a success. I stayed right at 1600 cals for the day. I try not to weigh myself very often but I did step on the scale and saw it moving downwards so that's good!

I picked up a new book at Borders last night that's about getting through the first year after diagnosis of Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis. I read through most of it and found it didn't really tell me anything I didn't alredy know. The nutrition section said nothing about a gluten-free diet. There was one small paragraph about the specific carb diet but it just said basically there's no evidence too support it and it's too difficult to stick to. I strongly believe that the reason there isn't a lot of support for gluten or grain free diets is because people don't stick to them long enough to see the positive results. They say they don't work and I believe that is because they don't do it strictly and for a long enough period of time. Just look at all the people out there that it does work for. I wish there was more support for the gluten-free lifestyle for people other than just Celiacs. I just think that Inflammatory Bowel Disease is so similar to Celiac, why not do more testing with the gluten-free diet? It just frustrates me. I sometimes feel like people think I'm crazy for going gluten-free despite the fact that I don't have Celiac. So many people that have Crohn's just take their meds and go on their merry little ways and have times of remission and times of relapse but I say, maybe just maybe you wouldn't relapse or flair if you were following a gluten-free lifestyle. Sorry if I'm sounding whiney, I just get frustrated sometimes. I know that what works for one may not work for another but wouldn't people want to try to fix their systems naturally rather than being pumped full of dangerous medications for their entire lives?

Have any of you come across the research about the Inflammation Factor of foods? The theory is that all foods have an inflammation factor. Some foods cause inflammation in the body, some prevent or reduce inflammation. It's linked to IBD's, arthritis, cancer, heart disease and more. I find it very interesting in relation to Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Foods cause inflammation, IBD is a disease of inflammation. It boggles my brain that the medical field doesn't recognize food as an issue with IBD's. What is missing here? I wish there was a medical journal that compared and contrasted all of the gastro studies out there that relate to food, good and bad, so that we could get a better understanding of what's really going on. I think that a huge part of the problem is that there are no studies, and the ones that are out there are not significant. I guess maybe I should just keep doing what works for me and not worry so much about the rest of the world. I just find that difficult to do when there are so many people out there suffering.
:end rant:

Did I mention I'm going to see The Village People tonight? YAY!