Tag Archives: healing

taking care of me



August has already been quite the eventful month. I decided to look into a part time job. If you are counting, this makes 3 outside of the house jobs.

  • teaching
  • cleaning, tourist changeovers
  • server, Applebee’s

And don’t forget:

  • mom to human child
  • mom to furbabies
  • wife
  • band booster secretary
  • band mom
  • and I am sure I am missing some…

I have set out to start taking better care of Jen, (no, I will not be speaking any further in the 3rd person….it s just plain weird)

I have walked every day since July 7th. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I did not set out to walk every day for 30+ days. But once I hit day 16 or so, I felt like I could do anything!! And, I figured I could set a goal of continuing the streak until I started back in school September 2nd. At first I kept this goal a secret. I didn’t want to jinx myself. I kept going. Adding one day at a time.

To make this goal a reality, I am having to change the way I speak to myself and out loud. I talk about wanting to get my walk in and not how I “need” to walk. I want to continue my walking streak and as long as I think about it as something I want to do then I will keep on keepin’ on. Some days are hard, not gonna lie. I tell myself to just start moving. I can walk one mile no matter what!!

Two weeks ago, my Q and I started the PiYo program. We set out with the intentions to follow the program exactly the way it is written out on the calendar which was provided. Week one we rocked. Week two took a few twists. Taking on a new job where I am on my feet the whole time changed my thoughts on working out just a bit. I want to do every piyo workout. More importantly, I want to do every piyo workout without injury. That means I must listen to my body and not that tiny voice of guilt from not doing it. Last week, I took one rest day and then doubled up the next day and that was great!! The day I doubled up, I felt strong and ready to tackle it all. The day before when I chose a rest, I was tired and my legs felt tired and heavy.

And then there was Sunday. On Sundays I clean in the mornings but this Sunday, I also was scheduled for a training shift at AppleBee’s (AB) from 5-10pm. Did I mention this was all the night before Q started band camp?!? In between cleaning and showering for AB, I walked one mile in my bedroom. I took that walk low and slow…I use my Leslie Sansone videos but to keep it low, I don’t use the normal intensity. I keep the kicks and knees lower. I wanted to walk to keep my streak alive but I knew I would be on my feet for 5 hours. Keeping it low allowed me to walk and to stretch my legs a bit.

I am learning I can walk every day. I can do the PiYo workouts. I can work a physical job. I can do it all. I think walking every day has been good for me. I am successful in  this goal and I am starting to feel my legs responding. PiYo is hard for me but I modify and I do my best and I cannot wait to see what 8 weeks of this looks and feels like. I am looking forward to the physical changes, I am already noticing the mental benefits of both of my fitness endeavors.

I have walked late at night to get it in. I walked last night at 9:30. It is a wonderful benefit of walk at home workouts….I don’t have to worry about heat, humidity, rain, bugs, dark, etc. Even on the days I have walked late, I have felt like such a rockstar for getting in my walk. I feel like I am doing this great thing for my body. I am now realizing, it is not just my body that is happy for my daily walks!!

My new fitness endeavors are new ways to take care of me!




The lessons in a cold


I’m scared to even think I might be on the road to recovery. I have been sick forever. Alright, not literally forever but its been mostly since Thanksgiving.
The night before Thanksgiving I was a tad sneezy but I completely blew that off and rocked the night away at an Elton John concert. The holiday weekend was a blur of activity, including the hugely important event of the Q-ster’s first day of work. At some point during this weekend I remember feeling rundown. I knew a cold was coming on but I was being stubborn. I was not getting sick.
Sniffles to a full blown cold to upper respiratory infection to a hivey breakout to head cold to upper respiratory infection.
That was the basic rundown of my sickness since Thanksgiving. I had to stop and write it out to believe myself how long I’ve been sick. This post is not to complain and whine about being sick. Well, not really. I was in a bit of denial about how long I’d been sick or just how sick. It seems to be easier to see it now that I am starting to come out of it.
Being sick sucks!!
But I learned a few things….

I ❤ naps!
I was stubborn and I didn’t rest enough when I first noticed I was rundown. But I’ve learned my lesson on rest. I’ve been wearing my Loop, which monitors my sleep along with tracking my steps, calories and activity. I plug my Loop bracelet into my computer and it uploads my info into an online program. Today I went peeking at my sleep numbers.
I’ve been in the 1-4 hour range almost every day in the last 4 weeks. NOT even close to enough sleep to heal a sick body. Since I’ve been sick, I really like knowing how much or little sleep I am actually getting each night. I never thought about the amount of sleep I actually get. I only focused on getting to bed by 11 on school nights so when the alarm rings at 6:15 I can bounce out of bed. Or so the theory goes. HA!
I missed a few day of school but went back on Wednesday. On Wednesday I walked into my house after school and made a beeline to my bed. I napped for over and hour and a half. I love naps!! I will continue to nap and catch up on all the missed sleep.
There is only one goal!!!
On new year’s eve eve I broke out in hives. This was the second time in two months I was all broken out and itchy on my neck. The last time I got so fed up, I chopped off 16 inches of hair. It was drastic but itching was only part of the reason my hair went and that’s another story and probably not very blog worthy. Anyway, I broke out in hives and went to see my doctor. Talking with him made me realize I had been itchy for longer than I could remember and at times and in places it had been really bad. Doc is convinced its a food allergy. I am now 9 days into a doctor ordered 30-day elimination of tomatoes, berries, peanuts, and shellfish. Doc also prescribed an antihistamine, an acid reducer, and a steroid. Fun.
The day after I started all the meds, I woke up with a head full of snot. Sorry for the image but that’s what it felt like. I suffered for a few days before I got more meds from doc. And I stayed home from school for two days. When I went back, I napped after school.
After six-ish weeks of sickness my lungs are trashed. My already out of shape body feels even weaker and more out of shape.
My one and only goal….to heal my body.
Healing my body will be a slow process. Six weeks of chest and head colds have left my lungs pretty trashed. I still have a cough and a wheeze and walking up the stairs at school is enough to take my breath away. I have some allergy that makes me itchy all over with occasional breakouts in hives. I still have my stomach gremlin causing me pains and issues. I still have a knee and ankle that need attention, even two years after surgery.Those are three rather big “problems” that need to be addressed. I need to pay attention to my body, listen to it and do right by it. I will add in slow movement when and how I can. Yesterday was a very active day. According to my Loop, I hit 10k steps and my activity goal. I didn’t even “exercise” yesterday. I woke up and felt good so I started the day with a round of sun salutation and meditation. At school, I feel good enough to walk around during all my classes. Those little things added up and just before bed I was super close to hitting goal on my Loop. I marched around my house and did a few squats to get to goal.

The lessons I’ve learned being sick….
1. Rest is a wonderful splendor. Naps are not for children and I over much need them! Sleep will help the healing process.
2. Listening to my body. My body know exactly what it needs (slow movements, nutritious foods, kindness and love) and my only job, my only goal, is to give my body what it wants and needs.
3. I’m embracing #wycwyc and #rethinkyourday because those little movements and small changes add up to healthy habits.

I hope all my friends have fared better this winter than I have.

let’s talk about food.


Big Man is making dinner tonight.

This is indeed a rare treat!!

I have pretty much taken over the reigns in the kitchen…would you believe when we first met, Big Man did all the cooking and I burnt water. Now, I love putting together meals and menu plans. I love food more than possible. I learned how to cook by watching Paula Deen and Emeril on foodnetwork. And, I got good at it!

I have tried all sorts of food styles and types (usually to go along with whatever “diet” I was trying at the time. Over the last 5 years, I have tried Weight Watchers, blindly cutting calories, nothing but hoping the weight would come off, Visalus, and a gaggle of other diets. With each one, I had initial success but nothing lasted.  I tried to fit in my favorite food, or modify them to be lower calorie, or only have them once in a while. None of that worked.

I recently read an amazing book, It Starts With Food (ISWF) and my mind has been opened! I have a formal book review coming tomorrow night but tonight I want to talk about food and a little bit about my Whole30 experience.

Today is Day 22 of my first Whole30 Challenge. I chose to do the Whole30 after reading ISWF, and as cliche as it is, I started my Whole 30 on January 1st!

Initial worries:

  • coffee with NO cream or creamer or splenda
  • was I going to be hungry?
  • was food going to be boring?
  • was I going to be hungry?
  • where’s my coffee?!?!
  • what am I going to eat?!?
  • how is this going to work with family meals (we make it a point to eat dinner at the table together every  night while we can. I know as Q gets older we will not always have this time)
  • really, only 3 meals?!
  • can I do this!?

I have logged everything I have eaten since January 1st. I am using myfitnesspal…my username is mendingjen if you use MFP too! When I am finished the whole30 and I have a bit of time, I may write up a day-by-day food diary for the blog but for now, check out MFP. If we are friends you can see my food logs.

Feast your eyes on this instead!


What I have learned so far:

  • I have not felt deprived.
  • I have enjoyed the food I have been eating. Its pretty and delicious!!
  • I have increased my veggie intake by at least double.
  • I am not snacking, but I have had the occasional snack (when I determined I was truly hungry)
  • I have made huge progress in eating what my body needs not what it thinks I want.
  • I do 1000% better with sweets when I just don’t have any to begin with (insert pasta or bread in place of sweets and it works the same)
  • I can drink black coffee but not every coffee. I like black tea.
  • I like peppers and mushrooms.
  • I can see myself eating like this (not as strict) for the long haul.
  • I miss cream in my coffee. I think I can do without the splenda but I miss cream coffee.
  • I like cashews, especially when paired with a banana.
  • I can sit at the same table while my husband and daughter eat pizza, and eat meat and veggies.


I have one full week after tonight. And I am ready for it!!


Does whole30 scare you? Have you conquered the whole30? What is your favorite veggie dish?

5 months ago…


5 months ago I had surgery to fix my knee and ankle issues!

ok, it was 5 months yesterday.

I have come a long way in five months!

5 months ago, I was completely non-active! I had cut all my running and walking out prior to surgery. After the last ankle sprain, my leg just didn’t want to be bothered. Walking in my classroom during the school day and physical therapy was enough for me! I know now I should have done something, even simple upper body exercises would have been better than the nothing I did.

Live and learn!

In January I re-joined Weight Watchers.

I completed physical therapy at the end of February.

I joined a gym in the middle of February.

I spent all March getting acquainted and comfortable with the gym.

I coerced many friends into NROLFW and Karina created a blog for us and we call ourselves the #ironsisters .

I fell in love with lifting heavy weights…still can’t believe I was scared of weight training!

I have tried new things – last night I tried zumba (OMG, what was I thinking?!?) and before that I tried yoga (I LOVE) and joining the gym and lifting weights.


I am learning so much about me and my body and what I CAN do!!

I am pushing myself.

I am growing.

I am still healing.

But I am strong!

I am stronger than I ever thought possible.

And I can only get stronger (physically and mentally) as I continue with my adventures.


I cannot believe it has been 5 months!!

I ca”t wait to see what is still to come!!!



fear, healing, love


Why was I afraid of this?

Why did I never try this before?

Afraid may not be the right word, but I certainly have been apprehensive. I just had no interest in lifting weights. I did not think there was any need for strength training.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around it all. Partly because I have never had a gym membership and partly because I was running regularly.  I thought I was doing enough.

And then I got hurt while out running my 10 miler the week before my second half marathon.  I must admit, I wasn’t following my training plan 10o% as the plan was winding down. The summer heat took its toll on my long runs and then I hurt myself.

The recovery process from knee injury was long and grueling.  During that process I sprained my ankle (for the 9billionth time) and then had to add more time to my recovery.  Then, with the advice of my physical therapist and ortho, I decided it was time for surgical intervention.

I was out of work for 7 weeks.

I was in therapy for 2 months prior to surgery with about a 2 week break after surgery. Then I started therapy up again 10 days after surgery when I got my hard cast on.  PT started with my knee; while I was in the hard cast I was to put no weight on my ankle. After 4 weeks with the hard cast, I had the cast removed and immediately started more intense therapy for the knee and ankle. My leg was so weak and just standing on it was work. After the cast was off, I had almost 2 months of therapy.

I had a lot of physical therapy!

I did not go through ALL of that to not continue my good work!

In the last few weeks I have truly embraced lifting weights. Lifting gives me such an amazing feeling. I am using what I learned in physical therapy and taking it to the next level. In PT, I did a lot of squats and lunges and stretches…and now while doing the #NROLFW I am doing all those exercises and then some.  And yesterday, I realized my lunges are getting more fluid and easier. I am also able to drop my knee lower to the ground.

I am making progress!!

I am making GREAT progress!!




I am in a good place! Lifting weights has helped me feel comfortable and confident in my body. It is also helping me reflect on some things…like running, healing my body, and what I really want to do for me. My whole focus has changed since my surgery. I have noticed changes in the way I think and feel about my body and my workouts. I want to move my body even though I still worry I may get hurt. I feel best when I am moving my body regularly.

It’s weird, when I am lazy and not working out I feel lazy and sluggish and fat. I have been working out consistently, I have been pushing myself and really stepping out of my comfort zone and I feel great about it. I feel great about me. I have the same body but I feel like the non-lazy body is way sexier. I also tend to eat better!

How about that one?!?

The one thing I feared the most is helping me heal and love my body.

I once feared weights.

Now, they will heal me!

I have found a new love!



2 month update


Tuesday was January 17, 2012


My 2-month post-surgery follow up.


3 weeks since cast removal.

I went in to see my ortho surgeon and he was thrilled. My ankle stability is so good its like a brand-new ankle. My knee is tracking and gliding the way it is supposed to move.  I ditched my crutches over the weekend and Doc agreed that was ok. I am still wearing an ASO brace every day.

Now, Doc wants me to wean myself out of the brace in the next 4 weeks. I wear brace for school but take it off at home. I will probably wear brace if I go anywhere this weekend. I have also been given permission to go back to exercising. I can only do no/low-impact activities: yoga, swimming, stationary bike, and walking. No zumba…no worries there, I was never coordinated enough for zumba and it always hurt my knee when I tried. No running…yet! I know I will be back…at what level, I do not know.

I have a whole new challenge ahead of me.

I am relearning to walk.

My quads are in a constant state of soreness. My physical therapist told me that is because my legs have not been used in 2 months so now it is like I am always working out – every step, every time I stand. Since I can’t take a rest day from walking, I am going to be sore.

I am learning baby steps.

This one is extremely hard for me! I am usually thinking 6 steps ahead. Last August I was training for 2 half marathons but thinking about more. I wasn’t living in the moment; it wasn’t possible because I was thinking about the next greatest thing. To be honest, if I really think about it – I started running before I even was really ready to start running. I started running because the running excitement among my twitter fiends was too contagious not to hard to resist.

I am learning to be gentle.

I do not have to be hardcore or a badass to kick ass!! I can do right for my body and heal it properly without beating it down or beating me up!

I am learning to try new things or retry things I had long discarded.

Yoga. I have tried yoga but never been able to stick with it. Yoga sorta pisses me off…I was never able to turn my brain off enough to enjoy yoga. I am still going to try it again. I have a bunch of new video to try. I really think I need yoga in my life.

Water Fitness: I just found out that the local high school offers a water fitness class twice a week. And as a resident, I can take classes for $3. I may have even roped my little sister to try class with me. I am not exactly thrilled with the idea of a bathing suit but I am hoping to be brave enough to do it. Having my sister with me will help.

Walking. Not a new activity but a long lost activity. When I started the losing weight game, I started walking. I loved walking and somehow forgot the joy of walking and walking dvds – oh, how I loved those – why did I stop?!? I am going to enjoy the joy of simply walking in my neighborhood (and when I am ready for more impact I will add in my walking dvds – I love leslie sansone)..

I ALSO need to stay the course at Physical Therapy.

I went to Physical Therapy yesterday. I was able to up my weights on all the exercises and they even added 3 new exercises. I have been making progress and I want to keep progressing.

Today I will attempt 12 minutes on the stationary bike. Maybe I could do more than 12 minutes, but I did 10 minutes the other day comfortably. And it felt good. I need work up S.L.O.W.L.Y.


I was g-chatting with my good friend, deb, and she helped me figure this out: I can only compare me today with me yesterday. I MUST stop comparing myself to others. I must stop trying to jump ahead so I can compare/compete with my active friends.


It has been 2 months (and a few days) and I am JUST STARTING the work!

I have a long way to go but I am looking forward to the process.

MY process.


a quickie


I got sick New Year’s Eve Eve. I had a chest/head cold thing brewing and I was miserable. But by NYE I was so sick I couldn’t get off the couch. I also had a belly thing happening.  I was out cold on the couch by 10:30pm.

Ball drop?!?

Not a chance!

I did NOTHING January 1st and 2nd. I rested and rested. Eating was out of the question and I could barely tolerate any liquids. But I forced gatorade and cup-of-soup down my throat. Or, I should say, AJ forced it on me.

I went back to school yesterday. Today and yesterday mornings were ROUGH!!! I cried getting ready for work. But I managed to make it through the day. Today, I broke down and because AJ made me the appointment, I went to doctor.

Upper Respiratory Infection

Fleeting Flu (I may have had flu but it is fleeting)

My body is just tired!

Worn down and weakened.

I had no idea I could feel so lousy!

But antibiotics are on the way!


I wrote that I would choose one focus and focus on that every day this month. I wrote that I was going to give myself 30 minutes of undistracted time on work “stuff” and 30 minutes of physical therapy every day. Well, guess what?!? That has not happened. Instead, being sick on top of still recovering has changed my perspective!!

JUST focusing on ME and my needs is all I can handle this month!

and I am ok with that!

SO January is all about JEN taking care of JEN!!


How is the for listening to what my body needs?

I am learning!!

And for that I know I will mend!!





oh yeah, and I started a new blog – just to use as a journal of sorts; I add one pic ever day with a few words.