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6 January, 2013 20:07

6 Jan


big news people, big news.

24 Oct


Actually, you don’t have to wait!!


You just have to click HERE!!! 

Knees and Toes

1 Oct

Head, shoulder, knees and toes!
Head, shoulder, knees and toes!

Sit back while I tell you all a story. The story of my knees and toes (well one knee and an ankle in particular.) Grab a cup of coffee, you’re gonna be here a while!

It all began during a gym class in 7th grade. It all began when running around a stupid grass all-purpose field was gym class. The first time I sprained my ankle was in 7th grade gym class running those awful laps around that awful field. I tripped on a tree root, got my foot stuck and fell on my knee.
I spent most of my remaining school years avoiding running. I occasionally played a sport but for the most part a steady stream of ankle sprains and knee issues kept me sidelined! I was a band geek so the sidelines were ok by me!
Fast forward about abajillion years and it is August of 2011 and I was training to run/walk my second half marathon.
I went from ankle and knee issues to run/walking a half marathon. I thought I was in the clear. I was one week away from my 2nd half marathon when I tweaked my knee. Oh, it hurt something fierce but I braved it and finished my 10 miles. Two days later, I made an appointment with my orthopedic doctor. He sent me for an MRI. The MRI showed chronic patella arthritis with bone-on-bone action. My knee cap sits very off-kilter and it was causing a lack of muscle development.
I went to PT (physical therapy) with low expectations! I had been there before with little to no results. I met the best PT doc ever and learned a few things. Basically, I am unbalanced. Its basically a “hipbone’s connected to the knee bone’s connected to the ankle bone” sort of thing. I am built “funny” and I’m biomechanically unbalanced. If you look at my legs, you can see the right calf is visibly smaller than the left. It the right knee and ankle I have always had problems with!
I have been going to PT three times a week and let me tell you, its not the easiest to swing financially. I am so lucky I have good health insurance – I could not afford to spend more than I am right now (honestly, even that’s a stretch) so I am glad I have the benefits I have! I am finally getting somewhere. I am making progress. Definitely time and money well spent! I was making progress!
Until, I was taken down my a pretty red rubber ball with a bell inside it! Lucy’s favorite toy took me out! I rolled and sprained the hell out of my ankle. I was told a few years ago the ligaments in my ankle are basically trashed. The ortho doc wanted to surgically repair the ankle ligaments a few years ago. But I started losing weight and walking and by the time it came to schedule surgery, I didn’t want it.
I was feeling better and stronger! I was walking all the time. It was soon after I started running. Then I finished a half marathon without much issue from my ankle. I have had a few knee issues and I have seen the ortho doc but not in last two years. I was so sure I had beaten the odds. I was so sure all my clumsy, ankle sprains and knee pain were behind me!
Ok, so the knee was tweaked and I was rehabbing nicely! And now the ankle is all screwed up! Back to the ortho I went!
Yesterday, I took my pretty purpley ankle in to see the doc and the news more than I expected. Its time for me to consider the ankle surgery to repair the ligaments. But, doc wants to work on the knee at the same time. There are actually two procedures for the knee – one on either side of my knee cap. Since problem knee and ankle are same leg, I can have both surgeries at the same time. Recovery will require about 6 weeks at home and me mostly lounging on the couch. They serious rehabbing.
I have 3 weeks of PT and then back to ortho doc to schedule surgery. I am looking at the 2nd week in November to have ankle and knee surgery.

So there you have it! The story of my bum knee and sad ankle!

meet my girl, Kerry (a guest post)

8 Sep

Greetings! I am Kerry, the changingchick… I am lucky enough to have known Jen for almost two years now. We met when I started at my current job at a Chiropractic office. It was friendship at first adjustment! LOL!  Since we met, we have developed a friendship like no other I have.  We run, hike, walk together. We buy each other produce. We are friends but friends on a path to health!  Along this journey is when I discovered something about myself and became the ChangingChick.  Here’s how it all started… (picture the dream sequence noise here…)

One day my mom called me at work – which is saved for important issues only.  She was actually home for once and had seen Dr. Oz.  “Now you know I am not this type of person (she’s not) but I was watching Dr. Oz with Elizabeth Hasselbeck and I now know what’s been wrong with you.  When you get a chance, I want you to look up gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  They said the symptoms and I said That’s Kerry”!  So I did.  I looked it up.  And I said, “wow, that’s me”.  My symptoms were not only rushing to the bathroom between meals, but I think worse than that is the “rash” all over my body.  It has pretty much been on my hands my entire life.  Sometimes in other places. But it was getting WORSE on my hands and even more random places on my body.  My shoulder blade, my armpits, my shins, my calves, my hamstrings… ALL OVER.  I go through about a tube a cortizone a week, which is just disgusting.  I went to doctor after doctor and was told I had “contact dermatitis” (even though I was resorting to using only baby products on myself).  I had MRSA winter of 2010.  I almost died.  Honestly.  Towards the end of my sickness, before my doc said I was completely clean, he tried diagnosing me with fibromayalgia to ease my mind over my stomach pains.  I refused to accept it, knowing there was more to it than that.  So when my Mom called me I felt hope – for the first time in a long time.

That weekend, I went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to get gluten free grub.  And I cried in the aisles because I was so overwhelmed.  I bought a few items I now deem as disgusting.  I understood why everyone said gluten free food was wretched.  So I ate my food.  Every day.  For about 2 weeks.  And then went to Hooter’s and had wings and beer.  I kid you not.  I love me some beer and hot wings.

Once again, I was getting sick.  My hands were raw and cracked with the “rash”.  My eternal sinus problems had returned.  So once again, I did my research, made meal plans and went gluten free.  In the meantime, I went to an awful GI doctor for blood work and got ZERO answers.  Yes, I am self diagnosed.  Yes, I see a difference in my health when I eat gluten free.

So now… here’s some of my issues.. I lead a VERY busy life.  I eat out often.  I do my research on menus, talk to managers, talk to waitstaff and take all the necessary precautions.  And still get cross contaminated.  I feel like I keep making the same meals over and over.  I find all these amazing GF recipes with ingredients I’ve never heard of or are WAY expensive for my budget right now.

I love to cook. Love to bake. Love to experiment, but it’s just not in my budget to buy all the different flours and gums and pastes and yadda yadda.  I know to eats my veggies and proteins… but sometimes I want something fun. Something indulgent… So, please, don’t lecture me on my eating habits. I am truly looking for help… here’s my main problems:
1 – GF ingredients that don’t cost me an arm and leg.  I know that they will be more expensive than regular flour, but a recipe that maybe calls for one or two out of the ordinary ingredients as opposed to 5 different flours and more…
2 – Are there any GF conventions in NJ or Philly area where I can network with others in my situation?
3 – Bread – I love Udi’s toasted. Not straight up.  So my bread is fine.  But hamburger/hot dog rolls are disgusting.  I would love a sub roll.  I’m from NJ. We love subs. I love Italian subs soaking in red wine vinegar… Any suggestions for a sub roll/substitute?
4 – Am I the only one (other than my big brother who I diagnosed) that gets the rash I now know is called Dermatitis Herpetiformis?  It’s worse than the cramping and bodily functions gluten causes.  It’s uncomfortable, painful, itchy, just so awful I could cry.  Sometimes I just want to crawl out of my skin.  I am at my wits end.  (In regards to the Dermatitis Herpetiformis, I know it’s not a thyroid issue.  I already had that checked.)
So, this is my call for help.  Any advice, suggestions… anything would be appreciated.  I thank you all in advance!  Please send it or visit my blog.
A HUGE thanks to Jen for not only posting this, but being an awesome friend who is always there to support me, kick my ass when I need it and be the true definition of a friend, love ya girl!

Wordless Wednesday

7 Sep

This is my knee!!
Acupuncture rocks!
I refuse to let arthritis take me out at the tender age of 33!

Back to School

6 Sep

A shiny, clean classroom ready for sleepy, cranky teenagers to fill its seats!!
I feel like I have been prepping for this day for weeks! I could use one more week!

I am struggling to get in a groove post injury. I have been an emotional mess and I have been eating emotionally. I make no excuses for it but I am working on fixing it. I started tracking everything and I am proud to say I earned my #7daychip and have successfully tracked everything for 8 days. The good. The bad. The ugly. That was hard but I did it!

My shiny, ready classroom is ready. I prepared it for the first day. I have all materials for the day at the ready. I am thinking taking control over this emotional eating is going to require same preparation. The same care and planning as my classroom needs.

Some people wait for January to set new goals…me I set goals when I feel them necessary! Today I feel it necessary to set some goals. So here are my September Goals:
Fitness goals:
1. Walk every day. My knee* will thank me for even the shortest of walks. 2. Strengthen knee (I am not sure how to track progress here-any ideas?) 3. Yoga – try it, find a morning yoga/stretch workout.

Food goals:
1. Work on emotional eating. Continue making notes in food tracker. 2. Make a list of trigger foods
3. Continue tracking all eating.
4. Pack & prepare lunch/snacks every school day.
5. Try one new chicken recipe each week.

School goals:
1. Stay on top of lessons.
2. Stay on top of grant work.

Misc. goals:
1. Read a book (just one this month – go slow – don’t devour the book) 2. Get a new crochet hook and a new project.
3. Make each day better than the day before!!!!

For those of you either going back or with kids going back…happy first day of school!!

*knee- I will blog about my knee – diagnosis and outlook later this week!!

Be Prepared: Eggy Muffins

2 Sep

Today I go back to school! And then I have a 3 day weekend before I start with students. I have decided I need to find ways to “Be Prepared” and as I discover these brilliant ideas I will share them!

I am getting in a groove of writing down all my food. I haven’t had much fitness but I will change that next. This week’s focus was tracking! Back to school is back to routine. I realize I do better with the structure of routine. Left on my own at home and I lose all track of time and I tweet too much and eat on a terrible schedule. Going back to school does not magically mean better food choices or better time management but the structure helps me focus.

I have a strategy to focus on healthy food (which always makes me feel better) and having healthy options at the ready! My strategy: Be Prepared!! It is going to take planning and preparation. After a month of easy access to my fridge and pantry, its going to require thought. Today, I decided to make up some of my Fritatta Muffins.

Eggy Muffins
12 eggs
4 oz of your favorite shredded cheese
3 oz ham (or bacon, sausage or none)
Leftover veggies
A dash of tabasco
Some milk or half & half

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Spray muffin cups with Pam
3. Load muffin cups with veggies, meat, and cheese.
3. crack eggs in a bowl, add milk, tabasco, salt & pepper – scramble 4. Spoon equal amounts of egg into each cup.
5. Bake for 35 mins or until eggs are all set

Depending on muffin cup size you could have 6 or 12 eggy muffins. These make for a great quick breakfast or mid morning snack!

* “Be Prepared” will be a new series – I will add posts with my tips as I think of them!

*hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to school I go!

Checking In

31 Aug

Today is Day #3!!

A few days ago I blogged my heart out! I have felt so much clearer since I dumped all that gunk outta my head! It is so freeing to do a mind-dump…I really need to remember and do this more often!

I know that I can be a slacker! And with my bum- knee it is even easier to slip into the slacker mode. I did enough of that last week and look where that got me….grumpy and up 8 pounds! For the record, I was not grumpy I was up 8 pounds. I was very grumpy before I stepped on the scale. I was already grumpy and I really didn’t need to scale to tell me I had gained. The scale is simply a tool; I beat myself up enough on my own – I won’t let the scale do it to me!

So anyway, 3 days ago I made a commitment to myself. I set new goals – big goals with small, manageable chunks that will lead to big goal! I decided I would earn myself #7daychip for tracking! I am the worst tracker and I usually start slacking by day 3 but I am happy to say I have written down everything I have eaten or drank in these past 3 days! I am sort of guestimating calories of everything – I am finding the act of writing it down to feel more important that the numbers attached to the food. I am not obsessively looking up all the other nutritional info so I am using that space for little notes about the day.
This week’s goal is simply to track all of it. Food, fitness, and feelings. I have done that for 3 days. I feel like I am getting back to my normal. My knee still hurts and I am still struggling with this injury but I am coming around. 3 days of not eating away the anger, fear, and disappointment and I feel like I can see past the anger, fear, and disappointment. There still there but I am not ignoring them, but working with them.
My knee injury is forcing me to stop and listen. Writing everything (on paper in my 3F journal and here on this blog) is helping keep my mind clear of the clutter so I am open to the quiet voices. I sort of think my knee was a huge red alarm – I always jump in big, no babysteps for me. I am an all-or-nothing chick until I get almost to the finish line. Then I self-sabotage. This time I physically hurt myself but maybe it took this injury to really force me to listen, slow down and do the babysteps. I think I am finally in a place of healing – inside and out. I am not sure where this goes but I am ready. Let’s get it on!

yesterday, today, tomorrow

29 Aug

I have not been myself.
No, scratch that.
I have not been nice to myself.

I was going to be nice to myself! I even told myself off in a letter! After I posted my letter to me, I was enjoying my week and starting to feel a bit more like myself again. I was feeling good about my half marathon coming up. I had accepted that I was going to finish because I trained and I was ready. I was getting rid of the self-doubt in my head. I was having fun.


On the morning of Sunday, August 21st I set out on my last long training run before the WildHalf on the 28th. I was a little cocky. I hadn’t run my long runs for a few weeks but I still thought I could handle 10 miles. Long story short – it was a miserable run – humider and hotter than hades – my legs were uncooperative to say the least. I may have been cocky but I was smart. I slowed down. I switched my run intervals from 4 minutes to 3 minutes to 2 minutes. I walked extra when needed. By 5 miles my feet were not happy with hitting the pavement. I kept going, at this point I had to turn around to head back home. I walked. I was so happy when I made it back home! It was so fucking hard but I was so proud for not giving up.
Well, my body rebelled! I tweaked something in my knee. After a day or two I knew it was something that needed to be seen by a doctor. I lucked out and my ortho could squeeze me in on Friday. Friday’s appointment with the ortho went rather quickly but when Dr. B felt/heard the popping thing in my knee he made a face that I really did not like. Dr. B wouldn’t give me a diagnosis but insisted I needed a MRI. I lucked out and was able to get the MRI done the next day, first thing. I am now waiting for my follow up appointment with Dr. B on Friday.


Hurricane Irene and her big bitchy self decided she wanted to come and play at the Jersey Shore! With Katrina still fresh in everyone’s minds and our islands loaded with tourists, the governor declared state of emergency and called for evacuations. I am glad I squeezed into doctor and MRI when I did because shortly after the only place open anywhere around were the liquor stores and 711.
We lucked out and never got the full brunt of Irene as was predicted. Other areas of NJ and the east coast were not so lucky. I spent 90% of saturday and sunday watching twitter and the news updates for weather watch. I am such a dork!

I also spent most of the last week feeling sorry for myself. My knee hurt so I couldn’t run or do much of anything. Stuck in the house. My knee needed the rest. It was clear by Thursday I would not be able to run my Half. By Friday, mother nature caused the race to be cancelled. It all just sucked!

I did not handle any of this!

I binged.

Ice cream

Today I stepped on the scale. It was time to stop the binge and get back to taking care of me!

Its hard to start so I am going back to basics! Back to baby steps! No big, crazy goal – simple and attainable! First things first, I need to track! I need to write EVERYTHING down. I ordered a new food and fitness tracker and it was in the mail today. Thanks to Jen, PriorFatGirl, for the awesome recommendation!
I started reading the introduction pages in my shiny, new tracker and I came across this little gem:
“if you use your journal faithfully, your commitment will be strong and your goals will soon be reached.”

I have a big goal! I would like to lose 67 pounds. I want to do this 5 pounds a time and I want to do this while working on my head and heart. Tara, alifechangingjourney, calls it emotional weight – there is a reason I do what I do!
In order to make this happen I must track everything! I have set my sights on earning a tracking #7daychip!

My second goal comes from my girl Colleen, FitBee or @tryn2bfit! A few days ago Colleen tweeted this little gem that is going to be my new motto: “Every day is a chance to be better than the day before!”
I am not going to continue to beat myself up about what has already happened! I am going to simply, make today better than yesterday!

*picture in today’s post is the tracking daily page from my shiny, new journal!
** if the format of this post is funny, I apologize…I am loving thumbtyping my blog posts! When I sit at the computer I let myself get distracted by twitter or facebook or every other bell and whistle – on my phone I blog! Go figure!

Letter to Self

18 Aug

Dear Self,

In the last 3 weeks you have reverted back to so many bad habits! I had honestly thought we were done with that bullshit! We were going so strong and you let doubt creep in. You let insecurities crawl in thru the cracks and you let them fester and grow. You let our procrasting and lazy ways back in the door. You let excuses blow our plan apart!

But worse than all that…you let the negative nellies turn into the beat-yourself-up brigade!!

This is NEVER acceptable!!

You have come along way!! No one ever said this journey was going to be easy. No one ever said this journey was going to be a straight path without bumps and twists and obstacles and backtracks and on and on.

But we keep moving!!
We keep going!!
We keep fighting!!

We deserve to care of ourselves!
We deserve to always feel good about ourselves!!

We never give up!!

Giving up is only any option if we are dead!!

So, its time to fight! Its time to …
Suck it up, buttercup!!

You have so much more life to live!!

Love always,

*disclaimer-pardon any typos – this post was thumb-typed while soaking in the bath! My back needed an epsom soak but my mind needed to write me a letter 😉