When You are Feeling Sweet and Sassy!

Recently the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program sent me two new flavors of almonds to try. Honey Roasted Vanilla and Honey Roasted Chipotle.
Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Vanilla Honey Roasted Chipotle Almonds

I had some grand plans of what I was going to do with these almonds. I wanted to crush up the Honey Chipotle almonds and use them as a coating for some chicken breasts, using a tiny amount of bbq sauce as a coating to adhere the crushed nuts to the chicken…
I wanted to incorporate the Honey Roasted Vanilla Almonds into my morning yogurt with fruit… and well… as you have seen on the blog… I had lost my job recently… and well… The almonds were consumed… as snacks not made into the fun ideas that swirled around in my mind.
Blue Diamond Honey Roasted Vanilla Honey Roasted Chipotle Almonds in portion controlled package with coffee to go as a snack
The day I went out on my bike ride, subsequently the day I got the “Can you come in tomorrow?” call, I was fueling my day with these Blue Diamond Almonds. Maybe these are good luck?

I enjoyed both flavors, but the chipotle was more to my liking, they vanilla was almost cloyingly sweet to me, but mixed well with the chipotle when I bagged them together. One of the things that I want to point out about these almonds though, that was actually the first thing I noticed when I received them was that Blue Diamond Almonds is supporting Honeybee Research! While I have a mega-fear of bees, wasps, hornets and all stinging insects due to my anaphylaxis, I do know how important bees are to our future. I love my produce, and flowers, and planet. I am SO THANKFUL when a company is taking steps to help causes that are important to me. So THANK YOU Blue Diamond for helping save he bees, BeeCause you care!

Disclaimer: Blue Diamond has provided me with this product, any thoughts and feeling on it are my own. They have not provided a monetary compensation for this.

Things Have Been Quiet…

Things have been quiet here on the blog… because life is BUSY!!! I started a new job the day after my last post. A temp to hire position with a company headquartered here in MN. Temp to hire… after my last job debacle I am a little gun-shy to take jobs that are “temp” however, you have to make mistakes to learn from them. Not that the job was a mistake, it has lead me down a new path. I learned things there that I would have likely never learned elsewhere… and I am now more secure in my idea’s about other things.

All things with space and time. My mom came to visit this week… well kind of. She had a seminar here in Bloomington, which marks the first time she has been to MN since I moved here nine years ago. I indulged in too much eating out… I am bloated and have gained weight. I missed weigh-in yesterday to take her to the airport. I have also picked up her cold. Thank mom. I am thankful however that I got to give her the satisfaction that I am indeed in an okay place and doing well here. She kept remarking on how different I am… I am just me.

Wedding planning has now gone into crunch mode… my dress is here and it doesn’t fit. It’s too big. I NEED to make the time to go get that fixed. Like ASAP! The caterer emailed me to get updated info on guest counts… and I am just guessing at numbers at this point. People haven’t RSVPed, and at this point… I don’t care. I am trying to put together the family dinner the night before the wedding, and I still need to order a few things for the wedding… So many things I feel like a pull-apart stress doll.

Changing jobs this close to the wedding was NOT a help. However in the real world this shit happens and we just have to roll with it. Luckily for us we were going low key with the wedding and in the end all we want is for people to show up and have fun… nothing fancy so… as long as we end up married it will all be okay. but forgive me if the blog ends up sitting quiet while I try and not lose my shit for the next month!

Mopey and Dopey?

So what do you do when you lose your job and you have a wedding a little more than a month away? Well, Since my dress already doesn’t fit, (it’s too big! which is a better problem to have right? because you can’t add material to it!) I have two options.
I can stuff myself full of chips, cupcakes, and Chipotle, and “fit” into my dress… undoing all the hard work that I have fought tooth and nail for being Mopey and Dopey about things.

or

I can keep going out trying to score interviews, putting my “game face” on putting the best me out there, and in my down time work on me. I think this option is the better one.

What does working on Kris mean? Well, this is things like, meal planning, sending time doing a personal inventory of what I want from life, getting any loose ends tied up that I can for the wedding (though the final head count is not in yet). It is also things like continuing to make sure I am as active as possible.

This morning I was all set to go for a walk around Lake Como. I wanted to get out before the heat emerged, and before the sun got too high. I pulled up to the Lake and saw the rack of Nice Ride bikes sitting there calling my name and I started to think…
MN Nice Ride Green Bikes at Lake Como

The other day I sent out a tweet that said…

“Excuses are the ties that bind us to our comfort zone.”

What was my excuse for not hopping on a bike, any bike? For years post hip fracture I was unable to ride a bike. I lost the internal rotation of my hip after they had cut through the muscle three times. It wasn’t so much the cutting as the lack of physical therapy post-surgery that caused the issues. Now struggling with what we know is tibial torsion on top of things I often feel like I am a mess!

So… Can you guess what happened next? I bet you can, because I am the kind of girl that goes after what she wants when she sets her mind to it.

Nice Ride, behind the handlebars

At first I wasn’t sure this was actually such a good idea. I was unsteady and couldn’t keep my balance for more than a few feet. A woman came and asked me a few questions about the Nice Ride system, and I joked with her that I was learning to ride all over again. It’s true though. I ride the stationary bike at the gym but out in the real world it is very different. There are hills, and bumps, and gravel, and well, terrain! She encouraged me just a bit to go around the lake, after I made her laugh of course, and… well…. I didn’t die!
Lake Como Selfie, Mn Nice Ride bikes at Lake Como

I survived my trip around the lake! I didn’t run anyone over, I stayed on the bike path, despite there being quite a number of pedestrians on it I did audibly call to them when I was going to pass them… which just seemed odd to me… like I felt rude for doing it, but I know it is part of what needs to be done so someone doesn’t body-check me to the ground.

So yeah, I am keeping my head held high while I search for the next great thing for myself. Keeping my positive mental attitude, and taking the best care of me is all I think I can do at this point.

Depression and Addiction Lie

The world lost a great one yesterday. While I never had the opportunity to meet Robin Williams, he did touch my life. He was an amazing man. Today’s radio programming of the morning show has been filled with stories of how amazing Robin was. A kind man who took time for everyone.

He was recently here in Minnesota seeking help for his addiction problem. He was getting help. It made my heart happy to see someone that needed help getting help, but sad that he didn’t get privacy to deal with his addiction. I am always thankful for people that can share what truly are invisible illnesses so that people can be more aware of what goes on.

Depression is REAL. Addiction is REAL. Both of these things are often suffered with behind closed doors. When you are in the throws of depression, or addiction you feel alone. Or at least I did. It LIES to you. It is a scary place to be. You close off, retreat and fall into the lies.

It is hard to ask for help, but help is there. It is scary when people offer help, it is scary to let people in. Depression and addiction can be invisible. I hid mine for YEARS.

As the world mourns the loss of a great man, who I can only imagine had no idea just the impact his death would have on the world, I urge you to check on your friends and family. Not check on them about Robin’s death, but check on them about whatever is going on. Take a personal inventory of yourself. Be mindful of your moods.

I have written a few times about my struggles with mental health, and right now i know I am being very closely monitored by my friends, as well as Robb, and myself. Loss of a job, combined with wedding stress is enough to trigger me into a roller coaster of instability. I am thankful that my friends are checking in with me. I have a great toolbox full of resources to deal with the stresses internally/personally thanks to my time in the hospital. I have workbooks, and outside resources, like excercise that I have found in recent years to help me. I also have the national suicide prevention hotline number on a magnet on my fridge. I know that seems silly, but it is there for a reason, a last resort there is always someone there. 1-800-237-8255

I don’t know what I want to accomplish by speaking about this today. I am still processing what happened, however I just really want people to be aware that both depression and addiction are very lonely and scary places to be. They are places full of lies that you can’t tell are lies. It’s a very difficult place to escape, and even if you are surronded with love, it can still be the most lonely place you have ever been.

suicidepreventionlifeline.org

How Did Your Weekend Go?

How did your weekend go? Did you unintentionally undo the entire weeks worth of hard work over the weekend? Did you head out to a BBQ and have yourself a burger and a few bottles of beer along with a good time and forget about all the tracking and working out it takes to undo those choice? Did you sit in the dark of a movie theater shoving handful after handful of salty buttery warm popcorn into your mouth while viewing a summer blockbuster?
I am here to tell you it will be okay, it isn’t the end of the world, however I am also here to tell you that you need to nip that shit right now! I had a VERY successful weekend. I met, and actually exceeded my goals for activity (on both my Polar Loop, and Weight Watchers Active Link both days). I am super focused right now on what “could” happen if I just gave up.
I can’t give up. Right now I have been given a HUGE opportunity. The question is, what will I do with the opportunity. I have two options the way I see it. I can mope around and mourn the loss of my job, eat garbage and feel like I was a failure. Enter a shame spiral and then truly have failed myself, which will accomplish ZERO things to bring me closer to my goals. Or I can take this time to laser focus on what I want for my life. I am hunting for a job, and while I hunt I can take every opportunity to make sure my nutrition is on point and that I am getting as much activity in as possible. Yes this is ultimately causing a problem for my wedding… in that I now need to have my dress altered, but in the grand scheme of things… if that is the worst thing that is going on… that is truly a first world problem.
In general I don’t really find that weekends have been a problem for me, but I know in talking to a lot of people that it is a truly difficult time for most people to eat right. One of the things that has helped me stay the course, and is often focused on at Weight Watchers is having a snack on hand at all times. I ALWAYS have something on hand. I have had this in place since I was young. It was more ingrained in me because of my brother needing to have something incase his blood sugar dropped, but it carried over into my adult life. There was/is always something with me, be it in my purse or car. Usually Almonds, or an apple, I’ve been known to carry popcorn or string cheese (yes it gets warm, no i don’t care, or mind).
Another things that helps keep me on track for weekends is keeping my routine. I still have a bedtime and an “alarm” or wake up time on weekends. Everyone has a bedtime, not just kids. Whether you know it or not you have a bedtime, it is the time at which you go to bed. Mine tends to be the same time every night. This works for me, it helps ensure that I am “operating” at my best everyday. I prefer to get 8 hours of sleep, I can do with less, I don’t usually get much more because my body just won’t let me sleep more unless I need it.
The last few nights I have been up later than usual, like 10 or 11 PM, it’s okay it’s the weekend, but I am slipping out of my routine and that is stopping tonight.
Summer is starting to slip away, despite the fact that it seems Minnesota is now getting the hottest weather of the year. This means soon my favorite new activity (outdoor swimming) will end. Fall will bring the opportunity to find some new activities. I plan on at least a few 5k’s this fall/winter to help keep pushing me through. I also want to start a training plan and squirrling money away to eventually make my goal of a Disney Run a reality.
So now that Monday is here… are you going to be starting it right? I’ll be drinking my water, eating my veggies & lean protein and getting my exercise in. I want to see progress, I want to feel good, I want to know my hard work is paying off. What is one think you are going to work on this week?

Unstable Footing

So yesterday my contract ended at work. It ended early, but it wasn’t due to anything other than there being no more work. The writing was on the wall in the last week or two, as tasks wrapped up and nothing new was available to work on. It still stings to pack up your desk and have to start the job search again, however I am doing my best to stay positive.
I sent a HELP ME text out to my friend Liz when I got the news, as well as a few other friends to help me numb the blow. I was reaching for support, I reached out to my network, and I was so thankful that despite my newfound unstable footing I had people to turn to that could reassure me I will again land on my feet.
I know I will land on my feet, I always do. I have started and restarted my life before. I jumped into this last job knowing that it was a contract and it would end, but I wasn’t sure when. Robb is very concerned with our upcoming wedding that our lives are about to fall apart. Bills are about to come in for things like the caterer, and a few other things, but I know we will be okay.
I have been a on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for the last, well 24-hours now. I think it’s okay to feel the feelings. I did go off the rails a little bit last night, and didn’t track my food. Dinner included a cupcake and a big bowl of rice. No protein, no veggies, all carbs and crap. I didn’t care I just wanted the sugar rush. I acknowledged what I was doing, while I was doing it.
I am allowing myself to feel the feelings, grieve the loss of the job, but I am also already pounding the pavement for a new position. I am not completely sure what I want to do with my life. I have the information for a career counselor and I have a book on hold that was suggested to me about figuring out what I want to do. I KNOW I am going to be okay, that Robb and I will be okay. Jobs come and go and that I have the talent and the drive to succeed.
I know however that life is unstable right now. I feel fear, and hope for the future. I very much know that with one door closing others are opening I just need to look for the light. I keep looking for the light and I plan to do so.