The US Anti-Doping Agency Is Outdated and Wrong

Photo by Greta Schölderle Møller on Unsplash

I saw this Onion headline, and was bummed they didn’t right a true-to-life hit piece on this ridiculous ordeal: Dream Crushed Over Trivial Bullshit Represents Nation Better Than Gold Medal Ever Could

We have a ridiculous situation where an accomplished Black woman is being handed down consequences based on an outdated federal law and guidelines, which themselves are based on false premises surrounding marijuana. I give Sha’Carri Richardson so much respect and admiration for taking responsibility for her actions.

Technically speaking, she knew that smoking marijuana was federally illegal and against US doping rules. Realistically speaking, everything else suggests that sidelining her from competing in the Olympics is perposterous:

This entire decision lacks necessity, reeks of being outdated, and punishes an accomplished American for doing something 9 out of 10 Americans believe should be legal (6 facts about Americans and marijuana).

I have a lot of respect for Richardson’s decision to accept accountability, but I wish the US Doping Agency would take this opportunity to not punish one of our best athletes for choosing marijuana instead of a beer. She would not have seen consequences for drinking that day, in response to the news she learned, and no one would have batted an eye. I think our federal government needs to take a look at how damaging and unnecessary US marijuana laws are, and how they have so little basis in any facts.

The truth is, that marijuana has damaged the lives of Black Americans at a much higher price than white Americans (Marijuana’s racist history shows the need for comprehensive drug reform). Case in point, Michael Phelps was caught with visual imagery of him smoking a bong, as well as DUIs. He suffered suspension and lost some endorsements too, but because of the timing, he got endorsements back over time, and eventually returned to the Olympics (Michael Phelps The Greatest Olympian Ever Smokes Pot And Drinks Booze). If this had happened in October, the 1 month suspension might be the same, but Richardson would also stand the chance of still winning gold.

The US Anti-Doping Agency can change their decision. They can enforce a consequence after the Olympics. They can acknowledge that their rules are outdated and unnecessary too. Richardson taking responsibility should not deter them from changing their decision, more it should benefit her as someone of character who is willing to be accountable for her actions, even when the punishment so outweighs the behavior.

To me, whether this is the underpinnings of our nation’s long-held white supremacy sidelining a strong Black woman who rose to the top, or just a coincidental confluence of events, the impact is the same. We are allowing all of Richardson’s hard work be negated for, as the Onion so eloquently put it, trivial bullshit.

I wish we wouldn’t.

Tips for Preventing and Fighting COVID19

I have seen and shared various tips on social media, about ways to minimize your risk of getting COVID19, when it comes to groceries and ordering take out or products online.

It is important to understand how long it lives on surfaces.  This chart helps with that:

How Long Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces

I recommend following the videos by Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen on YouTube.  He has a channel you can subscribe to: Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, MD COVID-19 Public Tips Videos

Particularly this video:

If you do have COVID-19, I hope you get better soon.  The following are tips I’ve seen, that I want to get to as many people as possible. My mom is a nurse and a lot of these types of methods of attacking the mucous are really the best way to help push back against the virus.  Breaking up the mucous helps increase your body’s oxygenation level, and that is a huge factor in beating this.

This video by 2 amazing nurses, shows an effective method for breaking up the mucous in a patient’s lungs. This can be done at home, but does require a 2nd person to do the work. That video is in this public post:

If you do not have a person with you, there is also this infographic with methods for getting the mucous out of your lungs:

Tips for Draining Mucous

The reason I hold stock in these methods, is that my mom used techniques like these, when I got sick as a kid. I have found that techniques like these help where medicine sometimes can’t.

I hope these help some people, and if you are looking for help, I hope they can help you.  If you have more tips, let me know and I will add them to this post and update it.

If you don’t have to go out, please don’t. We cannot flatten the curve unless everyone does their part. We need doctors and scientists to be able to get their hands around this and develop effective treatments and a vaccine.  Testing takes time, and not doing that testing will only risk more lives.

Thank you.

Jillian Needs to Sit Down, Lizzo Can Stand Proud

I’m sure Lizzo is still standing and isn’t going anywhere, and I know she doesn’t need anyone to tell her to stand tall, but I needed to say it. This isn’t a topic that I weigh in on easily (yes, pun intended). I am overweight and have been most of my life. I adore Lizzo, because she has confidence that I have never had. I wish I could love my body the way that it is, but I tend to fall on the side of what Jillian Michaels has said. My body is unhealthy, therefore I should not glorify it. The problem is, Jillian is wrong.

If you are not overweight, you cannot know what our day to day experience is like. There are enough people, particularly in the US, telling overweight people that we are not beautiful and that we are not worthy. Yes heart disease and diabetes and the risks of other illnesses are a problem, but not feeling beautiful is never going to help that get any better. It also should be said that people can be thin and still get heart disease and diabetes, I’m pretty sure Bob Harper can speak to that. 

 The other thing is, Jillian wasn’t just speaking against Lizzo‘s body, but she was speaking out of turn, and disrespecting Lizzo‘s black culture. In black Culture full-figured women are respected and appreciated much more than in white culture. When I was studying in Ghana, the men there would always tell me how beautiful I was, and it was disconcerting because I wasn’t used to it. I was used to the unattainable standard, practically anorexic, airbrushed, impossible measurement of a woman’s beauty. I was used to men yelling at me out of cars that I was a “FAT BITCH”.  I was used to people telling me that if I would just lose weight I would be able to get a man. Doesn’t really help, when you’re gay, but that’s another topic, for another day.

The bottom line is that there is an intersectionality that needs to be part of the discussion, because it is a very white American judgment to say that being thin dictates your worth. I have so much praise for Lizzo, because she is showing young girls all over the world, that beauty comes in all sizes. We absolutely need that to be taught to our kids. They must know that size doesn’t dictate your worth.

 My other problem with what Jillian was saying, is that being overweight isn’t always the problem. Sometimes it’s the side effect. I have lupus and fibromyalgia. I used to be over 100 pounds lighter, going to the gym 5 to 6 days a week. Then one day I couldn’t get out of bed. It got worse and worse, and now it’s an inverted climb, instead of just an uphill battle, trying to lose this weight. As I struggled to get any doctor to pay attention, I had to learn the hard way that doctors can be fat phobic too. They will just say you need to lose weight. Well, losing weight isn’t going to make me absorb iron better.  I am so iron deficient, that I have to get iron infusions. I’ve got a list of doctors a mile long, and it took me a long time to get ones who would take my diseases seriously and stop tagging everything as just a weight problem. There is more going on, and because of it, losing the weight isn’t just a simple proposition.

In the meantime, hating my body is not going to get me anywhere. I am a happy person, who will often sing show tunes around my house, while taking to my cats. I have no use for putting myself down constantly, and I would much prefer to see myself in Lizzo’s reflection than Jillian’s. I may have weight to lose, I may decide at some point that I’m happy where I am, even if that’s not as thin as Jillian would like me to be. Regardless I don’t have use for anyone telling me that I shouldn’t see myself as beautiful and that I shouldn’t metaphorically lift myself up and be happy with who I am.

Thank you Lizzo, for all that you do for girls around the world. Thank you for what you do for me. You make me smile and you make me feel empowered. I wish you had been around when I was growing up. Keep being you and keep doing you. Thanks for your expertise in fitness Jillian, but I think I’m all set with your fat shaming.

Someone Get Me a Damn Map to Mordor

Considering the last post, and now with this one, I might have to rename this blog image ranted.  Yep. This is another rant.

This time it’s about some health care issues I’ve had to tangle with in the last week.  What I am about to lay out isn’t even centered around my physical or mental health issues. It’s entirely because the health care industry, in the United States, is structured against people.  I don’t want to call us patients, because if things worked differently, so many of us wouldn’t be considered active patients.

I have to preface, that I was diagnosed with lupus about 10 years ago, and with fibromyalgia about 7 years ago. I have spent years hitting the high deductible on my insurance, just to keep a status quo. I have been on gabapentin (neurotin), which is a nerve blocker. I was up to 1,500mg a day at the height of my prescription. I have also been on cyclobenzaprine (flexeril), which is a muscle relaxer. Since I was diagnosed, I have been searching and looking for anything that can help me address the pain, so I can get off these pills.  

This year, I made a decision that instead of hitting my deductible, on maintaining this shitty status quo, I would invest in different therapies and methods to attempt to address my chronic pain and fatigue in more natural ways.  I started by going to an upper cervical chiropractor. A friend contacted me on facebook, telling me that one had drastically helped her with pain issues.  I researched the science behind it, and decided to give it a try.  Most ucc’s don’t take insurance because they are such a niche practice and fighting with insurance companies is too costly for them.  I tried to submit a bill, on their recommendation that my insurance might still accept it. I found out that I have an out-of-network deductible, which is independent of my in-network deductible, and it is slightly more. This means I would need to submit expense receipts for that amount, and have them denied, before they might kick something in. I’ve spent $1,300 on this so far.

I started stepping down to gabapentin.  I had previously pulled back from the 1,500mg to 900mg, because it was making me dizzy all the time.  I am now down to 300mg.  I have a massive stash waiting to go to a drug drop off, because they gave me so many. Yes I have more pain, more of the day, but I was in pain no matter what.  I want off these meds.

I also wanted to find a nutritionist. I went to my insurance website, to look up my plan and see if a nutritionist was covered under my plan. It seemed they were, but only for certain things.  I called my insurance and asked them if I could get a pre-estimate. They said no. They said I would need to go to a nutritionist, incur a bill, and then they would see based on the code the nutritionist put in.  I asked which code was covered. Shockingly, they wouldn’t tell me. (yes, that’s sarcasm)

I finally decided to throw the dice and go.  In our first session, she told me I was going to be covered. Apparently, she came prepared and knew the answer.  I liked her already! I would be covered for one, 1 hour visit, once a month for a year. Opioids, they hand out like candy. Nutritionists are what they are stingy on.  Don’t want us too healthy!  This would still be an out of pocket cost, but at the price negotiated by my insurance.

My new nutritionist had gone over my forwarded medical records and found my doctors neglected to order 9 different blood tests that she thought might either rule out or explain some of my issues. She said she would request that my primary doctor submit the order for those tests, and that I should get a pre-estimate, so I know how much they will cost.  We discussed some other things, and planned to reconvene in a month, hopefully after I’ve taken these tests.  

Tuesday morning, I saw in my online medical chart, that the tests had been ordered. I copied out all the names of the tests, and signed into my health insurance website.  I started a chat and asked if they could help me identify an estimate of the cost.  The customer service rep informed me that they could look up a range of the costs, but that it would depend on where I went. I responded that I would appreciate any info they could give.  In the end, they were able to give me a range for 5 of the 9.  They also gave me a link to Fair Health Consumer, a website where I could look up this stuff, and hopefully get some information. 

They also recommended that I contact the lab, so I did that next.  I called the specific lab, within the network of labs that I could go to. The person I spoke with said they couldn’t help me with costs, but gave me 3 different numbers that were the lab network’s billing or billing type departments. I called the first one, and they gave me another number, but also offered to transfer me to them. They informed me that I needed to give them the 5 digit billing codes.

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Do I look like someone who works for your labs? What 5 digit codes? They said I needed to contact my doctor or… my health insurance.  Awesome.  I then message my doctor. “Thanks for ordering the tests. Can you please give me the 5 digit codes? I need them so I can get a pre-estimate for the cost, so that I can budget the expense.”  I always get a response from the Doctor, himself.  Understandably, a nurse or support staff responded.  She told me that I should ask my nutritionist.

I’m getting a little done now. I’ve spent way too long on something that should have been provided without me even asking. I told my boss about all of this, and he likened it to grocery shopping. It’s not like you go through the store, fill up your cart, and then find out the cost when you ring out. You know going in, what the cost will be. It’s actually law, that they have to have the cost listed. This prevents them from charging one person a different price, than another person. Fair pricing. What a novel idea.

Nevertheless, I message my nutritionist, even though I’m guessing she won’t know them.  As I predict, she responds that she doesn’t have any access, and the doctor’s office certainly should.  The nutritionist couldn’t even order the tests. My doctor had to. So I respond back to the nurse or support staff and convey that I confirmed my nutritionist can not help. I mention that since the doctor can order the tests, I would hope they would know what codes they are, and to please help me identify them.

I have not heard back.

I then check out that aforementioned website.  It looks like this site has codes!!!! I start looking up each test.  Problem is some of the don’t match the exact name. They are these super sciency names. If you can’t tell by now, my heart is liberal arts. I love and respect science, but it’s like speaking another language.  I had no way to know which code was the right one, for multiple of the tests. I guess I’m waiting.

This morning, I decided to call my doctor’s office and see if I might get somewhere talking to someone, instead of waiting to see if I would get a response to my 2nd request for the codes. They informed me that this isn’t something they are familiar with either.  They were researching, but said there was another number I could call.  It was one of the extra numbers I was given yesterday, but had been told it was just another lab network billing number.  The person I spoke with, at my doctor’s office, explained that this number was a mailbox. No one would answer the phone. You leave a message with what you want a cost estimate for, and they apparently call you back.

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Yeah, I’m back there again.  You’re telling me, I call this number, leave a long ass message with my name, my phone number, and a list of all 9 tests (at least 1 of which I don’t know how to pronounce) and someone will magically call me with all my info, in some indeterminate amount of time? Seriously?  You sure I don’t need to write a wish on a piece of paper, leave it under a rock, sacrifice a chicken under a full moon, and wait for my cat to tell me the codes, so I can get the keys to the kingdom?

I proceed to google the phone number, because this seemed ridiculous. I end up finding a website explaining that you can call that number or send an email.  I opt to send the email, so I don’t have to wonder if my voice mail was audible or garbled or whatever.  I could copy the exact names of the tests into the email.  I sent that off this morning.

And now I wait.

Let’s be clear. My new nutritionist requested those tests last Friday. It’s now the end of the day on Wednesday, and I still can’t get the codes or a price estimate for these 9 tests. My real frustration is that this system is fighting me. It’s not just against me, or for those profiting off it. They are fighting to keep in the dark, even on being able to budget these expenses.

I have been fighting for my quality of life, and for my health, for a long time.  I am overweight and I have a lot to work on, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve quality care. I also should be able to budget for this cost. I shouldn’t have to fight to be able to budget the massively expensive health care, that I’m paying for, out of pocket.

Some might wonder why I’m going through all of this, instead of just going. I need the tests, so “it is what it is”, right?  Yes and no.  Lupus and fibromyalgia comes with an onslaught of symptoms that can come and go. That means seeing different doctors for different reasons.  Years ago, I was having issues where my legs felt like something was biting them or shocking them, particularly late at night when I was trying to sleep. I called my Rheumatologist, and saw the Nurse practitioner.  She wanted me to see a Neurologist.  I already had one.

Once there, they wanted to order some blood tests and do a series of shock tests.  I got the blood tests done, and then went for the shock tests.  When I finished the tests, they told me at check out that the bill for the shock tests (not including the blood tests) would be $1,600. I was floored. No one thought to warn me??!?!?! I had to open a care credit card (I loathe them) as I forgot to bring my bags and bags of money with me. As long as I paid it off in the year, I would have 0% interest. If I went 1 day over the term, all the interest (something like 20%) would be tacked on.

I just want to prevent being caught in a situation like that again. Even if I can’t prevent the cost, I’d rather know up front, so I can prepare as much as possible. I don’t know why the health care industry wouldn’t want me to be able to do that. Oh wait. I do. They don’t work for me. They work for their CEOs and investors.

It’s often said that our health care industry is built to serve the providers. It benefits insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, private hospitals, and certain areas of medical practice (some more than others).  What we don’t explicitly say, is that they are actively working against the people. They make the process a boondoggle, so there is no transparency, and so that we can’t see the whole picture.  They are working against our health and our quality of life. They are also working against our financial health.

Not for nothing, but this isn’t exactly a stress reliever.

I’ll post back when I get some answers.


I got a response from the email I found on that site, saying the tests would only cost $140, so I am good to go!  Now, was that so hard?

What a Pain

Governor Cuomo,
I need to ask you and the NY State Legislature to address the prohibitive laws on medical marijuana in our state. This is my experience, as a New York state resident, who has a current prescription for medical marijuana.
First off, I have fibromyalgia and lupus. These are the diseases that include widespread neuropathy and make me a candidate for a medical marijuana prescription. I had to see a doctor, separate from all the doctors I already see, because doctors have to jump through hoops just to be able to prescribe the medication.  It’s not being treated like any other medical prescription in so many ways, and the result is that the burden is being put on patients.
It took me about a month to get the card, having had to send all my records to this new doctor, just to get approved. The 1 visit to see that doctor cost me $200.  I have a $2,600 high deductible for my insurance, and that’s important to note. Every expense I undertake will either go toward that, or it will end up going against my $2,850 out of network deductible, or not count toward anything. My prescription card is only valid for 1 year, so I have to do this again every year. I don’t have to do this for any other medication I take. Not for gabapentin, which has many bad side effects. Not for flexil, prilosec; none of them.
Once I could finally get this prescription, I had to make an appointment online, with the only dispensary in my entire city, across the county. They are only open at times I am at work, and I can only go to them. They will deliver the prescription, but they charge $20 more for that service. I believe they have a monopoly in our state, and is the only option for New York residents, to get medical marijuana.
When I went to the dispensary, I had to put my prescription card, certificate and license, up to a camera, to even get let in the door. That let me into a double doorway. From here, I had to slide all the aforementioned identification and cards into a bank tellers slot, before I would be let into the waiting room.  Once in the waiting room, I am given a laminated list of things I cannot do at the dispensary, including recording anything on your phone. An armed guard takes your identification and cards, and escorts you into another room with the pharmacists, where you can get your prescription filled.
This isn’t oxycontin, it’s not an opioid. It doesn’t even get you high. It’s mostly an anti-inflammatory remedy and is completely mild. If there were commercials for medical marijuana the side effects would be so few, most wouldn’t think it was a commercial for prescription medicine.
There are 3 blends, and that is it. The pharmacists will recommend you try all 3, to find the one that helps you the most, and that’s it. I opted for the tincture version and a 50/50 blend to start.  The tincture is the dropper that you put under your tongue. There is a pill form, but that is more expensive and takes longer to take effect.  There is also a vape pen, but the pain relief doesn’t last as long, so you may end up using it more often.  The suggested (max) dose is .5 ml 2 x a day.  The tincture bottle is 7 ml and that means 1 bottle will last 1 week.  A bottle is around $50. That means costs around $200 a month.
Of course, I have insurance and I’m responsible, so I contribute $2,000 a year to my HSA. But none of that makes a difference.  At this only dispensary, this only choice I have to get my prescription filled, I can only pay cash or debit card. I can’t use my HSA.  They just started allowing users to use their care credit card, which is great. Now I can get a credit card, and rack up debt.  Thanks for that. But I can’t use my HSA card, and the cost doesn’t get processed through my insurance and it won’t count against my $2,600 deductible.
The reason I’m bringing this to your attention, is that the medical marijuana does help a lot.  I have taken to only using it sparingly, because the cost and the process to refill is so prohibitive. I use it on the weekends, or when I want to get some house work done.  I used it yesterday, to re-arrange my bedroom. After about 4 or so hours, my pain started to creep back in, and I knew the meds had worn off. If the medicine was more affordable, and easier to refill, I would have taken another dose, so that the residual pain from living a quality life, didn’t have to be so bad.
This is not an addictive drug. It doesn’t even alter your mind. It eases pain and allows people with chronic pain to live a fuller life. Yet for some reason, it is treated like a dangerous narcotic. I had surgery last year, and was given a script of 40 opioid pills. I still have more than 35 of them.  No doctor took any steps to make sure I didn’t over use them. They were handed out like candy.
Medicine is being prescribed and controlled in a backwards fashion in this country, and this state.  I’m bringing this to you, because you can improve this at the state level. You can make it so that the burden and expense isn’t being placed on the patient. You can make it so that this is more affordable, gets processed through my insurance, can be processed through HSA, that more dispensaries and more competition are allowed and encouraged in our state, and that people like me don’t have to ration what is primarily a completely non-addictive, anti-pain and anti-inflammatory med.
Please make this a priority. Cut the red tape, and help New Yorkers with chronic pain.

Let it Be Resolved: Resolutions Have Merit

Since it’s New Year’s Eve, some people will be making New Year’s resolutions. There will also be a number of “think pieces” telling people resolutions are bad. I think those pieces are bad, but that’s just me.  I have no interest in telling people what they “should do”. I also don’t like when these types of articles try to encourage people not to try.  In that vein, I thought I would break down the idea of making New Year’s resolutions, and why I revel in making them.

First off, yes resolutions can be broken. It happens, and it doesn’t make you a failure. New Year’s isn’t the only time resolutions can be made, but it is an opportunity. Resolutions are basically a commitment to change a habit, or to achieve a goal. Putting that into perspective means we can make them, whenever we want. We can do that tonight, or when it makes sense to start them. I love making New Year’s resolutions.  I also set various goals throughout the year. I like taking the opportunity to set resolutions for the New Year, because it’s a way to start the year off on a positive note of working towards positive changes in my life. We can always hope to change, evolve and do better. Why not use every chance we can get, to make that happen?

When I make resolutions or goals, be it for New Years or throughout the year, I do so with a couple of general rules, which I thought I would share:

    1. Don’t be hard on yourself. No resolution will be helpful to you, if all the resolution does is stress you out. It should be defined in a way that motivates you.It should be a positive goal, and one that lifts you up.


  • Make the resolution something reasonable. If it’s too steep of a challenge, it will just set you up to fail, and that kind of self-sabotage is not healthy or helpful. If you have a really big goal, break it down into sub-goals, and let each sub-goal be individual resolution/goals. Do one at a time.



  • Map out a plan. If your plan is to bring lunches into work, but you don’t shop for the groceries, or schedule time to prep those meals, it will be hard to achieve that goal. If your plan is exercise 3 times a week, consider putting 3 times in your calendar. Setting that time aside can help ensure you don’t subconsciously put it off, and end up at the end of the week, with 3 days of exercise still outstanding.



  • Give a reasonable timeline. If your goal is to lose 50 lbs, 1 month is not a reasonable timeline, and that wouldn’t be healthy. If it’s a health related goal, before your resolution start date (i.e. New Year’s Day), consult with your doctor to determine a healthy timeline. The other end of this, is to say that a timeline should exist. Having one, will encourage making milestones or phases of the goal/resolution, that should take place before the goal will be reached. Maybe that includes making an appointment to see your doctor, going to the appointment, and implementing the plan.


Having a deadline, can encourage you to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling. Not having some sort of goal completion date, can encourage procrastination, which I myself, am often having to battle. Just keep in mind, that as long as you are making progress, it’s ok to re-evaluate that goal date, and it’s absolutely ok to adjust it.  If your resolution timeline is 6 months, and at 4 months in, you see it’s going to take another 3 months, set a new completion date and accept that you are still working hard to achieve it.  It’s just a goal date, to encourage completion. That’s all.


  • Don’t start too many resolutions/goals at once. Having goals is great, but too many will be like adding ornaments to a Christmas tree. Eventually you weigh down the tree, and it will topple over. You’ll likely find more success with a few small goals, instead of a ton of big ones. A lot of small steps can take you far. Life is a journey, so a lifetime of small steps, can take you around the world. On the other hand, trying to take giant leaps, can result in injuries and set backs, and end up with you going no where.



  • If you want to be able to reward yourself for hard work, when a resolution or goal is met, make sure the reward is healthy. i.e. if your goal was to lose weight and the reward is cake, that might be a little counterproductive. Lost weight? How about a new piece of clothing? Quit smoking? How about a new piece of workout equipment, or making plans to go on a hike with friends and your cleaned out lungs?



  • Determine the best level of accountability. Some people think you have to share every time you go to the gym, or every resolution you are planning, with the entire world. Others don’t want to share any of it with anyone, until they succeed at the goal.  Both can be traps. I know, right?


Making everything public, can end up making you feel like there are so many people watching, it’s too much pressure. Not telling any one can make it easier to abandon the goal, because there is no accountability. Instead of having to do what those “think piece” articles say “everyone” should do, do what works for you. It’s ok if one way doesn’t work, but be aware of that, as you learn it. There are different levels of helping yourself be accountable.

  1. Journal your journey, from start to finish of your resolution or goal.
    1. This can be a hand written journal, typed, or video journal.
    2. There is no rule that you have to post this online or ever share it with anyone.
    3. Do what feels good, but not what will make you anxious or nervous.
  2. Share the goal/resolution with a therapist
  3. Share it with 1 or more close friends
  4. Share it with your facebook family
  5. Share it with the world, in a public forum of your choosing

The bottom line is this. Any chance to set goals, for bettering your life, is good. Just be sure you make it a positive experience. Set reasonable goals, reasonable timelines, and ensure the resolution, and who you share it with, are being planned in a positive framework, so they will be ones you want to embrace and not something you loath.

Good luck, and may the coming year be one of setting and achieving all you desire.

I Love Getting High

(This is from Monday, I just never published it)

Never gets old. Can’t describe how fantastic it felt to get myself to the gym. Cycling, lifting weights. I felt like a beast. So powerful. Back in control. At least that’s what it feels like, to get back to the gym and have a great workout, after a week hiatus.  1 hr 35 min 824  I made it to spin on time, and then figured it was time to start the intermediate routine from the site where I found the workouts.

Here is the next routine, for the next 4-6 weeks.

Monday: Cardio + Toning
• 5 minute Warm up on treadmill
• 20 minute Jog on treadmill
• 5 minute Cool down
• 3 sets Lat pull downs (did 60lbs)
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• 3 sets Incline Dumbbell press (used 10lbs dumbbells)

• 3 sets Triceps kickbacks on bench (used 10 lbs dumbbells)

• 3 sets Bicep curls on cable machine (Did 40 lbs)

• 3 sets Dumbbell lateral raises (Used 5 lbs dumbbells)
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Cardio + Core
• 5 minute warm up
• 20 minute Interval training on treadmill
• 5 minute Cool down
• 3 sets Back extension 

• 3 sets Bicycle crunches

• 3 sets Straight leg raises on bench
Thursday: 20 minutes Stationary Bike
Friday: Cardio + Lower Body
• 5 minute Warm up on treadmill
• 10 minute Jog on treadmill
• 5 minute Cool down
• 3 sets Stability Ball Squats

• 3 sets Barbell Side Lunge 

• 3 sets Bridges 

• 3 sets Seated Calf raises
Saturday: 20 minutes Stationary Bike
Sunday: Off


Week 5 Day 1 – Looks like I’m sticking to this routine and I made it to 5:45 spin. Ok I snoozed once and was 5 min late, but hey I got a great workout in. The machines at the Pittsford rac are mostly new, so I had an interesting time picking extra arms to do. Still did the chair dips. Those kill, but I will get rid of that goodbye flab! The other ones I did, the machine moves with you. I did a tricep one and a chest press. 1 hr 30 744 cal

Tuesday night I found out, 10 minutes before I was to leave work, that I had to go on a trip the next day.  What?  There goes my week.  Fly out Wednesday morning and back Thursday night.  Yikes!  Way to screw up my routine.  I did my best to make it work, ordered salads and kept it light.  The first day there, lunch was provided.  Chicken wings and fried chicken.  Great.  Yep, I ate them, just did my best to keep the portion small.

Day 2 – Yes, even on an overnight trip, I took advantage of the fitness facility and got my workout in.  I did 10 minutes on a precor doing intervals at a high rate.  Then I did my abs, followed by 15 intervals on the treadmill.  Since no one was in the room, I didn’t even need my headphones.  Got to watch CNN and do my thing.  It was pretty sweet.  I can see the appeal of having a home gym, with a flat screen and all sorts of equipment, weights, etc.  hahaha. 50 min 326 cal

After I was done,  I got ready for the day and went downstairs to the continental breakfast.  I had the best breakfast I think one could have for free at a hotel.  Scrambled eggs with some mildish hot sauce, a piece of toast with some peanut butter, a small yogurt and a banana.  It was fantastic.

Friday morning I weighed in with absolutely no idea how my week of doing my best, nutrition wise, and keeping up my workout routine.  With a 1.8 loss, I am pretty stoked.   I am climbing back to the 70s and really working towards those 80s.

Day 3 – I snoozed a lot because this week kind of took a lot of energy out of me, mostly mentally.  I still got up, knowing my favorite spin and yoga classes wouldn’t wait for me.  Got there just in time, as the instructor was coming in.  45 minutes of cycling, and then right over to yoga.  Yoga was so great.  We did some of the best stretches, and I really got to work my legs.  This fit in well, since it is legs day.  We did pigeon, which is where you have one leg crossed in front of you, and the other leg straight behind you, then you fold forward on the mat.  I feel like I could do that for an hour on each side.  After class, I did my leg routine and then did pigeon for like 2-3 minutes on each side.  Yowser! 2 hr 4 min 867 cal

Now my weigh in is in the middle of my workout week, which is kind of weird, but I’m going with the flow and letting it happen as organically as it can.  I figure if I don’t try to make everything fit, I will have room to grow and get better in different areas, so since it feels good I won’t fight it.  I have 1 more week of this routine, so I will be going back to that sight to grab the intermediate routine and will post it on here, like I did the last one.  Pretty excited to start a different routine, with different exercises!

Here’s to going in the right direction and not giving up!


Week 4, and I’m really glad I made it this far. I may not have the losses to prove it, but I have the sore muscles. Day 1, and I’m late again for spin. 45 minutes in, and it was good. My insomnia has been really bad, and its not getting better. My sleep study doctor is asking my neurologist if he will approve me for an in center sleep study. She thinks I am having occult sleep issues, like periodic leg movements or bursts of waking up, just when I’m about to fall asleep all the way. Either way, my sleep is crap and I’m exhausted.  Typically it is not very easy to get an in center sleep study approved, unless they suspect apnea.  Not the issue.

Despite wanting to sleep for 3 days straight, I still got my workout in. Increased some of the weights For my arms. Added bench pull ups, where you prop yourself on your hands, sitting in the air off a bench. Sit down further, using triceps to lift you back to sitting. Then I did a chest press and tricep weight over the head. 1 hr 34 min 732 cal. Since I have volleyball tomorrow at 9:30, I am going to try for abs day tomorrow.

Day 2 I snoozed and accepted that I wasn’t going to make 5:45 spin. There can be no snoozing if your going to make 5:45 spin. I ended up changing the alarm to 6. Today is an “I showed up” day. I am so tired I could fall asleep anywhere. I don’t really care where it is. A closet, a desk… I warmed up with 10 min on the stair master, and then did the abs routine. Held the planks for 1 min each, moving up from 45 sec. I added some medicine ball twists, and ball leg lifts, but those were hurting my lower back, even with my hands supporting, and my hip started clicking. It’s not the bone, I have been told. It is a tendon that is really tight and it is going over the bone. Gross. I stretch like crazy, but it seems is always tight. Not a stellar day, but I’m taking my gold star and I’m going to hug it all day til I get to go back to bed lol. 41 min 249 cal.

Day 3 was to be Friday. Thursday I was working until about 12:30, so I was not in shape for waking up in the morning. I brought my gym bag with me, prepared to hit the gym after wok. At about 9:45, I left work to pick up dinner and get back online at home, finishing up at about 1:30. Saturday I had another 4 hours of work, and was going to go at some point during the day, but ended up taking somewhat of a work interrupted mental day. So Sunday became my Friday. I hit the gm today and got my legs taken care of. 10 minutes on the stepper, 10 on the stair master, 20 on the precor, day 3 leg routine and then added some other leg stuff and lots of stretching. 1 hr 14 min 630 cal.

The weigh-in is actually for Friday.  I decided to change my weigh in day, as Sunday was becoming stressful for me.  We will see how it goes.  Yet another experiment in getting to my goal.  I worked about 60 hours this week, and I have more to do today.  If there is one thing I hate about my job, it’s that when I’m busy, it takes over my life.  The short of it is that when everything gets pushed off, it ends up meaning that we are up against a deadline.  That results in me working all hours of the night and weekends.  It is the biggest negative in what I do, and is definitely something that makes me want to change my career.  Not that it would be that simple.  I just hate that my career is one where if things are “going good” that means my health suffers and my personal life goes to the dogs.

For now, it is what it is, so I ride the wave, and hope for a more calm week next week.


Week 3 and I’m not just kicking up the cardio, I’m tracking my nutrition and I’m getting my toosh out of bed in the morning.

Day 1 of week 3, I was a couple minutes late for spin, but made most of it. Did the arm reps, and then added 3 more machines. One was a tricep machine that you sit on, and push your arms down, lifting yourself up in the process. The second was a machine with two pulleys on either side. You grab one at a time and can do different pulls with it. I pulled it down at an angle, getting a push put of it, by pushing down. The third was a stationary row, with pulleys up high, meant for alternating rowing of each arm. I did 3 sets of 12 reps, and then stretched a bit more. 1 hr 36 min 711 cal.

Looking forward to abs day. Only problem is that I have a chiropractor appointment at 8:30 on Wednesday, but I will make it work.
Day 2 I was a bit late for spin. Again. Did a good 45 min and then got my abs done. Still doing that thing where you prop yourself up on your elbows, let your feet hang and then pull your legs up into a chair position. It’s an exercise that I know is great for the abs, and I have been eyeing it as an exercise
I wanted to work up to. Now I am increasing the reps, going from 6 to 8 to 10. Hmmm 25? Maybe someday! 1 hr 18 min 561 cal
Day 3 I was supposed to go to the gym at 6:00 am for spin class. the instructor this whole week was a sub, and today she was doing classic rock. I had voted for it. But then I got stuck working until 4:30 in the morning. I looked at my coffee pot, as I was about to go up to bed, and it was 4:52. I turned off the program, so it wouldn’t start brewing at 5:00. Slept until 11, with a firm plan to go to the gym and then to work.

But then I started reading emails and seeing work I needed to get done. So I figured I would get that stuff done quickly, at home, and then hit the gym and go to work. Nope. I didn’t stop working until almost 5pm, but fortunately there was a spin class at one of my gyms, so I went there. The instructor was one I have never had before and she was fantastic! Even though I should have been dead tired, I was all about the workout. I did my leg routine and then added 3 sets of 3 new machines. The abduction one for the inner thighs (chub chafe!), a glute hamstring back kick and another inner thigh swing thing. Good stuff. I like doing the routine and then picking 3 machines and doing more. 1 hr 33 min 813 cal
I eeked out a loss this week, but I’m frustrated because I’m still not eating right all the time.  I do most of the time, but then when I work til 4:30 in the morning, I snack on 100 calorie packs and stop tracking.  I go out Saturday night, have drinks and order dessert.  I don’t track.  Some have said I should move my weigh in day to Friday, because Friday and Saturday are nights I go out with friends.  We have drinks, eat out, etc.  Out of an entire week, those are my “bad” days.  My thought has been that it is all relative.  If I’m losing it will show regardless of the day I weigh in.  It is tempting to have it be on a day I’m working out, or right after, but I also feel like keeping it on Sunday is a way to make me just learn to control myself better on the weekends.  Problem with that is that eventually I just want to let go and not have to control myself.

I know many going through the challenge to lose weight, might be battling this type of issue.  I do know that vs two weeks ago, I was better with nutrition last week.  So that gives me the perspective that I am getting back on the nutrition train.  It is the easiest train to jump off, because you jump into a vat of yummy food and drink.  Getting back on the train is like climbing out of a sand pit of that same type of stuff the vat has.

I’m going to be back on the train, at full speed this week.  Next week I want to scream out a loss.  No more of this eeking crap.