At my house, we never celebrate Valentine’s Day. Ever. I don’t have anything against Hallmark and the makers of chocolate and candy (actually I really, really like the makers of chocolate and candy – a little too much). It’s the holiday itself and the stress it puts on people (mostly guys) that bothers me. No one should feel obligated to buy stuff or make plans because someone somewhere decided that on a particular day (in February, no less) things must be done to make your significant other feel special. That is just ridiculous. I much prefer to receive flowers on a nothing special day, then receive those same flowers on a day he is supposed to get them for me.

On that same note, I would love to get chocolate and candy and cake and other goodies…but I have this weight loss thing going.

About that…I am not doing so well. I have reduced (greatly) my intake of sweets. I have been watching what I am eating. The scale is not reflecting any of that. I think I know why.

Growing up, we were poor. Really poor. What was put on the plate was eaten because there was no guarantee there would be more later. As a result I have a portion control problem. If it is on my plate, I eat it. It is nearly impossible for me to not eat it. I can’t stand the waste. Also I am having a hard time judging how much to put on my plate so I won’t be hungry. And like all my other google adventures, there is really no definitive answer on what constitutes a meal.

Why is weight loss such a hard thing to pin down? Considering how long people have been trying to do this and how many people are doing it, there should be a better system.

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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Holidays and Sometimes Chaos, Losing Weight Sucks And That Is The Plain Truth



Met a woman awhile ago who informed me that her blood type indicated she was from another planet. I asked what type was she. She replied, “A negative.” That was the sanest thing she said to me on that insane stressed out day.

Why bring it up, you ask?

It’s been an A negative kind of day.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Random Stuff That Means Nothing, Things That Happen To Me


2nd Obstacle: Exercise

Update on my last post, I finally settled for eating around 1,350 calories a day. I’ll see how that goes and adjust accordingly.

Now on to my next obstacle: exercise.

I did a google search for the amount and type of exercise I should engage in for weight loss. I got 274,000,000 items that matched my search criteria. Good googly moogly!

I picked three sites because 274 MILLION, ya’ll !?!!! The Mayo Clinic stated I would need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity and I should do strength training at least twice a week. However, that is the basic guideline, losing weight means I need to exercise more than that. An article on smart fitness on the NBC News website said that the amount of exercise to lose weight was dependent upon risk factors, age, and current weight. The CDC also stated that strength training needed to work all major muscle groups. Nice that.

Moderate activity, according to the various websites, is brisk walking, swimming or mowing the lawn (I am going to assume they mean with a push mower). Vigorous activity is running and aerobic dancing. So how do I determine if what I am doing is moderate or vigorous? If I am to use sweating and being out of breath as an indicator, walking up the stairs is vigorous activity, though it was not listed as such on any of the websites.

Well, here goes…

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Losing Weight Sucks And That Is The Plain Truth, Things That Happen To Me


My Crucible

I originally wanted this journal to be a recording of all the anecdotes of my life. The situations that were too funny, too outlandish, too whatever that needed to be put down so I wouldn’t forget them. And it still will be. But I have also decided this journal will be about my crucible. Everyone has a journey. Every woman has, at one time or another, had a weight loss story to tell. This one is mine.

I started struggling with my weight after my son was born. In 2000 it became a noticeable problem for me. It was around that time my grandmother asked for help. She no longer felt safe to live on her own, but did not want to move out of her home. I moved in with her and started doing things to make her life easier, safer. I lost 25 pounds within a few months. Stress will do that to you.

After she died three years later, I gained back the weight plus a few extra. By the time of my wedding in 2005, I weighed 140 pounds, only two more pounds than when I was nine-months pregnant. A few years ago I began using Weight Watchers online and started using an elliptical machine 10-30 minutes a few times a week. It worked great. I lost 15 pounds in 5 months. Then the holidays hit and I “took a break.” The problem with Weight Watchers is I do not feel that I have any more sense of how much I should eat, what I should eat, or what my caloric intake should be then I did before I started. In order to know your points, you have to continue to pay each month. For a variety of reasons, that is no longer something I want to contend with.

So the first obstacle in my weight loss journey is to find out what my caloric intake should be to lose weight in a safe and healthy manner. I googled it (of course I did, isn’t that what Google is for?). I got 8,930,000 responses. EIGHT MILLION responses. I then chose a few from the first page. said I should consume 1,200 calories a day to reach my goal weight of 130 pounds (I am trying to be reasonable in my goal setting) by December 2014. said I should consume 1,448 calories/day, but increase to 1,738 on two days to “trick my body.” had a range, 994/day to lose 2 lbs/week or 1,494/day to lose 1 lb/week. gave me a week by week schedule starting at 1,514 calories/day and decreasing by week until I was eating about 1,194/week as I neared by goal weight. Webmd took a different approach stating I should consume 996 net calories/day which equates to 1,246 calories/day while burning 250 calories/day via exercise while also drinking 64 ounces of water/day.

In summary I should be eating between 994 and 1,514 calories per day in order to lose approximately 1-2 pounds per week.

Well, that is not confusing at all.


Getting Schooled

I’ve been away from this blog for quite awhile spending my days either orienting to my new job as a nurse or recovering from it. We (as in all new grads at my job) were warned there were three phases to orientation: Doing, Being, and Knowing. This is called the Transition Theory. I won’t tell you what I call it at the moment seeing as I am currently in phase II.

Phase I aka Doing is the time period where a new nurse graduate has just started a new job and is learning the ropes. For me it was all about taking the information from nursing school and readjusting it to reality. Nursing school is about the perfect world, but we practice nursing in the real one. It would be wonderful to take the time to listen to a patient’s entire life story, but his next door neighbor keeps decorating the bed, floor and walls with projectile vomit. It is also about building skills. Learning how to do something on a mannequin is dramatically different than doing it on a screaming, fighting, cursing patient. This phase lasts about 3-4 months. I really enjoyed this phase. I had a preceptor who backed me up. I could ask all the dumb questions I wanted and no one looked at me as if I needed to go back to school. I was sad, but ready (ha!) when my preceptorship ended.

Phase II aka Being is where a new graduate nurse begins to have a growing awareness of what nursing actually is. The preceptor signs off and the full weight of responsibility descends. Feelings of incompetence, exhaustion, inadequacy, frustration, and a whole host of doubts creep in and take residence. According to research this phase is during the 5th to 7th months of the new job. I am coming up on month #4, so I am early to the show. I have to say I do not like this phase, not at all. I have had two real confidence-killers. In one I transferred my patient to a medical-surgical floor only to have the patient come back to the step-down unit the next morning.  In the other an RRT (rapid response team) was initiated for my patient while I was at lunch and the patient had to be intubated then sent to critical care. Both times I was told I had done everything right. I cannot let it go. My mind circles those two incidents repeatedly trying to see what I missed, what I could have done better, how did I fail. It does not help that there is a culture of “eating their young” in nursing. My unit is mostly good about this. I have had a lot of support from my co-workers. However I have found that even the slightest perception of doubt in a co-worker is enough to have me scrutinizing everything I said or did that might have caused it. This is a mentally exhausting phase to be in and I will be so glad when it is over.

Phase III aka Knowing happens around 10-12 months and is when a new graduate feels more comfortably in their role, stops being a “new grad” and has gained confidence in their ability to care for patients effectively.

Here’s to Knowing. May she step to the plate faster than predicted!

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Plain and Simple (aka Boring), Things That Happen To Me


It’s Too Early For This

I have only been a bona fide working registered nurse for four weeks and I already have three things on my list that annoy me. Perhaps I am checking out of the honeymoon phase of a new job/career a tad early, but here goes it:

The first thing that annoys me is a patient who wants me to make them feel better, but refuses all the care I am capable of providing. Refuse a test or procedure because you cannot afford it or plain do not believe it is necessary – I got your back. I know healthcare is costly and a lot of people have to pay for it themselves. And I know that some doctors just really like ordering tests. Some are just downright redundant. Refuse a medication because it makes you feel worse – I totally understand.  I would be happy to have a chat with the physician and try to find another med that works for you. Refuse the nausea medicine because you don’t feel like taking it, than refuse the antibiotic because you feel nauseous just so you can stay in the hospital longer – hmmmmm, no. Don’t play the system and think I won’t know what you are doing. And don’t think I am going to play along – that includes all you I-have-pain-and-only-Dilaudid-works-on-me types.

The second thing that annoys me is the family that uses the hospital as if it were their home. Do not help the patient order their meal choices, then eat most of the food that comes up on the tray. Do not ask me for crackers and cookies for your children that should not be around their immune-suppressed grandmother anyway. We have a cafeteria for you. Use it. Yes, there is an option to order a guest tray – that is for the spouse/girl(boy)friend/significant other who does not wish to be away from their loved one even long enough to eat a sandwich. It is not for the whole freakin’ family that chose meal time as the time to visit.

The third thing that annoys me is the nurse/care provider who looks at a patient who has just refused a med/test/procedure/whatever and huffs out a “fine” right before walking away. Find out why the patient does not want the med/test/procedure. Find out if the patient truly realizes where that puts them on the path back to healing. Find out if the patient understands the consequences of that refusal or are they so sick they cannot think beyond not feeling good. Do not look upon them as an inconvenience. Learn from them, so they can learn from you. If the reason is valid, do not hold it against them. It is their right to refuse. If their reason is invalid/crazy/weird/whatever, start a dialogue. The patient’s end goal may be vastly different from ours. Maybe they are tired of fighting and just want to go home to live out what they have left, but you cannot know any of this unless you talk with them rather than to them. There is more to our patients then their diagnosis.

Stepping off my soapbox now.

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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Things That Happen To Me


Off To A Roaring Start

Got my first week on my unit taking care of live patients.

The things I have learned thus far:

  • Watch where you are aiming the saline flush when the plunger gets stuck. 
  • Always remember to attach the IV tubing to the patient instead of laying it on the bed…and then forgetting it. 
  • Security frowns on strange people doing strange things outside their hospital.
  • Plan on changing more bed linen than a hotel housekeeper.
  • Documentation will make you its bitch.

My feet and my brain hurt in equal measure.


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Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Absolutely Fantastically Wonderful, Things That Happen To Me