SSR BYE: Hello energyย 

Energy, it’s been awhile. I’d toootally forgotten what you look like.

I’ve finally adjusted to Wellbutrin after an initial 14 days of extreme ups and downs.

The vain me is relieved that a non-weight gaining stimulant appears to jive with my brain chemistry.

I’m way less hungry, which is different, because one of my nicknames is Snacks.

I usually gain five pounds after even looking at a damn piece of chocolate cake. Thus, I’ve been a serial MyFitnessPal user for years. I quit during my mini-meltdown /med transition phase these last few weeks. Now I’m back at it and get this – making sure I eat enough. WHO AM I?

I weaned totally off of the 25 mg of Zoloft I’d been taking to kill the Wellbutrin edge. The obnoxious SSRI withdrawl brain zaps are much less extreme and infrequent, almost gone. I’m not taking BuSpar, the anti -nxiety drug my doctor gave me, either, because the tight feeling I had in my chest disappeared. Since I have a new friend called energy, I began my exercise regimen this week after almost a month of not doing jack squat. I even, like, baked. I baked muffins for my kids. Then I baked a frittata. WHO AM I?

It’s alarming how good I feel. Not manic or invincible. Not robotic or snappish. I am calm and yet still able to feel a range of feels without any one getting out of hand. Yes, I felt annoyed at my children for moving like slugs when we were already late for school this morning. I deposited them, hussled a scoop, pulled an assist and scribbled a ‘splainer online on account of a disaster that is pulling resources from this region of the land and thus increasing the workload of those who write about what’s going on. And I felt glad to do it, because it’s nice to be even a little useful in the middle of a national disaster. ย I felt gratitude that a friend gave Laila school dresses and that we got to chat for a few moments after school. I felt sad a few moments ago when I did a little meditative breathing exercise with Eli, who told me it feels bad for him to breathe. We kept breathing. He held my hand here in the dark. And he drifted off to sleep. ย I felt so happy that I am his mommy, and with Mark and a very capable team of doctors who care for him, we will together get to the bottom of what hurts his lungs, and help him feel better. It is an honor, little one, to care for you.

And after I plunk these words out on my mobile whilst lying in the dark next to Eli, I’ll have to go pack some lunches, and de-gross the kitchen. A few weeks I’d have given up and gone to sleep, because a few weeks ago I was so tired I could hardly function. By evening? Fughettaboutit. Done. My body sent me some alarming signals and I finally listened. I decided to start tending to my mind in the way I tend to the needs of others. I don’t feel crushed by life today. Tired? Check. But I am also invigorated by the prospect of tomorrow.

Good night.


17 ideas to minimize holiday stress and weight gain, and maximize health & happiness for the #healthy65 Holiday Challenge home stretch

We’re entering the #healthy65 Holiday Challenge home stretch.

Parties, visits, dinners, travels — oi. It’s time to double down on our wellness goals through Jan. 13.

The #healthy65 challenge began Nov. 10 with the simple idea to do one healthy thing of your choosing per day for 65 days. The healthy thing can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, whatever. My only suggestion is that goals are simple, not extreme.

It’s Day 34/65, Week 5/10.

My co-workers and pals and even a few interested community members have joined me on my trek to have a holiday season that minimizes (for me) stress and weight gain!

Below is a sampling of their many smart ideas, which I will re-read for inspiration and motivation. What are you doing to stay healthy and well this holiday season?

1. This Oklahoma City personal trainer has hopped on board the #healthy65 Holiday Challenge. 12 Days of Christmas? How about 12 Days of Fitness instead. Check out his ideas on his blog. Day 1: Walk 1 mile.

2. A great friend has been a most loyal #healthy65 subject, Tweeting his efforts almost daily. Ryan emphasizes the utility of good ‘ol fashioned games in fitness. Like this:

3. 80/20 – I think I stole this idea from the aforementioned trainer’s blog. Who wants to be good all the time? Aim for most of the time with food and fitness.

Pie. mmmm. Pie.

4. Speaking of @briokc, here’s another idea from her: Get straight and meditate like a Buddhist.

5. Pat’s trying to lighten up. We could all probably lighten up.

6. How about cutting back on sugar? Jenni’s doing one sugar-free day per week. She’s stuck with it, too!

7. Travel can seriously bust your diet goals. Kathryn’s 3 strategies have helped keep me on track during holiday-time travel.

8. Jenn is cooking with whole foods only for the duration of the challenge. I gotta get some of her recipes…

9. My co-worker Berry is all about sit-ups on account of his fascination with athlete Herschel Walker’s alleged 1,000 sit-ups/per day routine. Berry’s up to 100 these days. Not bad, Berry. Not bad at all.

10. Positive thought: A little progress in the right direction is still progress! I’ve been tracking with My Fitness Pal in recent weeks. This is because I’d like to lose about 20 pounds of lingering baby weight. My weight loss progress is slow, but according to MFP, I weight 6 fewer pounds than I did at this time last year. I’m calling that a win.

11. Set Christmas spending limits. We are operating on a budget to keep Christmas reasonable. My children don’t need 1,000 new pieces of plastic crap. They’re getting three gifts a piece from us, and Mark and I aren’t buying for each other. Having a financial plan on our razor thin budget gives major peace of mind.

12. Steal a good wellness idea from another culture. My stolen idea is Danish. It’s called ‘hygge’ and it’s cited as one of the reasons the Danes are the happiest people on the planet, despite utter crap weather. Read about it!

13. Appreciate something. This woman appreciated her Monday morning iced coffee. Taking the moment to appreciate small things may seem of little use, but if you do this, you will be happier, according to wellness experts. Save the bitters for the beer. Mmm beer.

14. Veggies. Get into it. Tiffany proves that even in the land of cattle, it’s possible to be a vegan.

15. It’s a great time of year to start thinking about spring athletic events and formulating a fitness plan — a 5K, 10K, half marathon, mini-triathlon, Tough Mudder, etc. Jaclyn explains her love of Tough Mudder. It’s all about teamwork, ppl.

If not into fitness, you could always brainstorm about ways to give back. Giving is good for the soul. Here’s a worthy cause – Christmas gifts for the 11,500 Oklahoma children who will spend Christmas in foster care. If local, you can volunteer your time.

16. Try a new exercise! I’ve picked up my YMCA attendance with this challenge. I’ve fallen for Piloxing. Zumba? Not a fan. I was afraid of lifting weights until I went to my first Body Pump class. I discovered an amazing series of weekly classes that incorporate cardio and weights. Key to a great class is good instruction and good music. I leave class feeling great, as my friend Khina put it – like She-Ra.

17. Resistance is not futile! My friend Jen resisted the sweets tray at a conference. It may seem like a small choice, saving, I don’t know, 100-300 calories. But even having one 150 calorie treat (a glass of wine or a cookie, for example) every day for 30 days in a row can add a pound a month!


Today is day 34 of the #Healthy65 Holiday Challenge, created by and supported by NewsOK and The Oklahoman! Nov. 10- Jan. 13, do one healthy thing per day of your choosing. The “healthy thing” can be anything related to wellness – mental or physical. To share your healthy thing, use the hashtag #healthy65 on Twitter or Instagram, or post your efforts and success stories on You are also free to do the #Healthy65 in secrecy, semi-secrecy or dressed as a ninja. The challenge has infiltrated the newsroom. Follow NewOK reporters as they ditch sugar, exercise, eat whole foods only, and take on personal wellness challenges of all sorts. Our participants have been encouraged to keep it simple and keep it up! How will you challenge yourself? Jump in at any time, just adjust your end date. Let us know what you’re up to, and Godspeed.

Do you have a great idea or goal you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or send me a note!

The last 20 pounds with My Fitness Pal: I like cookies (Week 4)

After weeks of little downward movement on the scale yet better-fitting pants, I finally lost some weight – 2 pounds since the first week. Now let’s see what Week 4 will bring:

Day 22, Monday, July 28

Today I managed to run for a half hour at lunch. I ran in ‘interval training’ mode on Runtastic.

Tuesday, July 29 Day 23
I’m a stress eater. Stress is unavoidable. We can only try to minimize it and control our own reaction to stress, or choose healthy coping mechanisms. HAHAHA. That’s cute, but I chose carbs. I ate a cookie dessert for lunch, 2.5 donuts for dinner, and two bowls of cereal…because….#carbs. #Noms. My success of the day was lunch. I was out in the state for lunch. It is so tempting to stuff one’s face while traveling for work. There are BBQ joints at every turn in Oklahoma. Myself and the photographer ate at a quaint cafe that had a fresh n tasty salad bar. Skipped the cheese and croutons and loaded up on veg and protein, dressing on side. For that reason, my carb overload only put me about 150 cals over my 1,200/ day limit.

Wednesday, July 30, Day 24

We of the Oklahoma news business had another soccer match today after work. It rained. We loved it! Until the cell tower in the field over crackled. Lightning strike. Right, this was probably a stupid idea. GAME OVER. I burned 241 calories in a 30-minute match, according to MFP. Unfortunately, I have to work late tonight because I feel the need to “get ahead” on a few things. That means, large project, looming deadline. Food-wise working late means I faced the cafeteria dinner challenge. There is almost nothing healthy, but I managed to purchase a turkey chef salad. Bland bland bland. MFP, you don’t feel like a friend to me during meals like this. MFP, you are more like Mussolini Fitness Pal, little tyrant!

Thursday, July 31

This is my gym:

My gym.
My gym.

Friday, Aug. 1

My usual Friday routine after the kids are in bed and we’ve picked up the house — roughly by 9:30 p.m. night — is to sit on the couch, talk to Mark and bing watch Netflix with my dull drug of choice, Malbec. We are extremely excited that season 3 of Hell on Wheels is up. Instead of doing this, I did Banish Fat Boost Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. Mark was shocked. He played PS3 base ball. We watched Hell on Wheels starting at 10:45 p.m. Way too tired for wine, and why would I pour calories back on my frame? *Looks in mirror* Who are you?

I’m glad I worked out. I’m feeling the stress this week. Part of the problem is that I keep diving into world events coverage. I’ve been following the Israel-Palestine conflict on Twitter. I follow writers, photojournos, aid organizations and news outlets from all over the world that are on the ground. It sucks me in. It’s horrifying. I saw the most terrible images of children today. These are too awful to even describe, and to be honest, they are at present haunting me. It is ridiculous to bring this up in a work-out post, yes. All I’m saying is, I think I was trying to burn the news of the day out of my head. Why can’t I just be the typical American who cares about nothing outside of their own home/friend circle/ town/state/country and moves through the world with a self-awareness level of zero? Whyyyyyy?

Saturday, Aug. 2

Confession: I ate too much ice cream this week. My knee is feeling good, so I’m going to go for a nice jog at the lake tomorrow.

That concludes week 4.

Weight loss: .9

Not surprising, given my cookies n ice cream of a week. Overall I’ve lost 3 pounds. I’m calling it a win.

This is a place for my inner monologue on food and fitness to air as I try to drop my last 20 pounds of baby weight. Warning: could at any point be bitter, delicious, something about mint Oreo ice cream, talk about My Fitness Pal/Mussolini Fitness Pal, bashing ab Selfies, spurning hunger, giving myself a break, refusing dumb diets and avoiding the notion that this is easy. No, it’s hard. I’m kinda slow. I like cookies. However, fitness in particular helps me handle this topsy turvy world we occupy and good nutrition gives me strength and energy to survive busy days, so I hope to keep it up and meet my goal! xo. Check out the category The Last 20 Pounds to follow along. I hope I can make posts each week, updated throughout the week. Get caught up with Week 1. Week 2. Week 3.

The last 20 pounds: fit not thin, Malbec not Merlot (Week 2)

Hello. A quick-ish note to start week 2, which is for me July 14-20. I had a fabulous weekend and misbehaved when it comes to food, wine and fun. For good measure I ate a late-night nacho snack last night.

Continue reading The last 20 pounds: fit not thin, Malbec not Merlot (Week 2)