Month: January 2012

Twenty Questions

I’ve seen this survey all over the blog world so thought I would take a stab and let in you learn a little bit about me! I’m in San Antonio currently and will be heading back tonight… back to the grind tomorrow!

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?

I love to get a workout first thing like a run outside when the weather is nice or a killer session on the stairmaster at the gym, and then spend the day hanging out with friends and/or getting my nails done. After laying low for most of the day, I love a nice meal out and possibly a night on the town if I’m feeling up for it.

2) List your top three favorite TV shows.

    • Breaking Bad
    • Mad Men
    • Parenthood

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them?

Half and half. I love taking pictures, but I also loving getting good pictures that I am in so I can remember fun times with family and friends!

engagement partay

4) Why do you blog?

I blog because it’s a creative outlet for me and I really like to have something in my life where I can regularly talk about weight loss, healthy living, and my struggles with weight maintenance. I’ve met some incredible people, both readers and other bloggers alike, and it’s helped me be more committed than ever to leading a healthy life and setting a good example.

5) Share five websites you visit regularly…

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Gmail
    • DontEvenReply.com
    • DamnYouAutocorrect.com

6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be?

Louis CK. I feel like that would be the best lunch ever.

louisck

7) List a few of your favorite snacks.

Cottage cheese or greek yogurt with fruit, banana with peanut butter, black bean dip or hummus with veggies, and popcorn. If I’m not being particularly healthy, I can eat my weight in cheese and french bread.

8 ) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?

Nope! Funny story – my friends in college and I decided it would be a good idea to get a cat my senior year and we named her Chloe. When we got her, my parents were asking who was going to take her when the year was over, and I assured there would be a fight over who got to keep her. Take one guess where she lives now… with my parents.

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?

      • iPhone (I somehow made it 27 years, but now…)
      • A good chef’s knife
      • My laptop

10) What’s your favorite drink?

Non-alcoholic is coffee, alcoholic is a tie between vodka soda with a splash of cran or a nice glass of wine!

wine

11) Do you enjoy cooking?

I do! I generally like to cook bigger meals 1-2 nights a week and then have quick meals the rest of the week that I can whip together in just a few minutes so I can embrace some downtime.

12) Do you have children?

Nope! Definitely want a few in my future, though.

13) What are your favorite hobbies?

Running, blogging, experimenting in the kitchen, finding awesome happy hours,

14) Would you consider yourself shy or outgoing?

Outgoing, hands down. I do get a little shy if I know no one in social situations.

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?

I would love to be a little less impulsive. I tend to get REALLY into things quickly and want to drop everything to make things happen without fully thinking it through. I’d love to be a bit more moderate in my approaches to decision making/life in general.

igloo

16) Who is your favorite actor/ actress?

I love Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Natalie Portman, and Mila Kunis.

17) What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week?

Visited San Antonio for the first time ever!

18) Do you live near your family or far from them?

I’m lucky that all my family is within driving distance. My one sister Heather lives in NYC (4 hours by car from DC) with her two kiddos, Ben and Claire (and her husband). My other sister Wendy lives with her husband Justin and their son Harper in Philly (2.5 hours by car from DC), and my parents live near Atlantic City, NJ (3 hours by car). I feel fortunate to have them within driving distance, but sometimes wish they were a little closer so I could just meet up for dinner sometime!

19) List three of your talents.

    • I am really good at making people laugh.
    • I am really good at finding bargains with food, clothes, restaurants, and household items.
    • I type extremely fast – over 100 words per minute.

20) What is your greatest attribute?

I am really good at achieving goals that I set myself to and doing what I need to do to make them happen.

What three material things do you think you’d struggle to live without? If you can’t think of three, share one or two!

New Recipe: Mexican Wonton Bites

The inspiration for this recipe came from the fact that I was able to purchase wonton skins at Whole Foods for 75 cents! They were on sale for $2, and then with a coupon from Whole Foods for $1.25 off any Nasoya Product, I easily found room for them in my cart. I was planning on holding onto them for a while, but then when I realized they expired today, I knew I had to come up with something fast!

Up-Close2

The best part of this recipe besides that it’s so simple and delicious is that it requires just three ingredients, and is totally customizable based on what you have in your kitchen! I wanted to go super simple and just used refried beans and cheese for the filling, but you could easily add corn, ground beef, pepper, onions, or anything else you can think of. The technique remains the same, just make sure whatever you put in them is cooked and/or thawed so everything heats up evenly. Here goes!

Mexican Wonton Bites

 

    • Prep Time: 5 minutes
    • Cook Time: 15 minutes
    • Entire recipe yields 12 pts+, or 1pt+ per wonton bite

Ingredients:

Ingredients

    • 12 wonton skins
    • 1 cup fat-free refried beans
    • 1 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella
    • Optional: Salsa + Avocado for garnish

Directions:

First, preheat your oven to 350º. While that is heating, spray a mini-muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Greased Mini Muffin

Next, press one wonton skin into each muffin cup so that it’s flat on the bottom with the edges poking out.

Wonton Shells Ready to Bake

Place them in the preheated oven for 5 minutes so they get slightly baked and hold their shape. They’ll look something like this after 5 minutes:

Pre-Baked Wonton Shells

Next, spread the 1 cup of refried beans evenly between the shells, which works out to about 1.5 tbsp per wonton.

Wontons w Beans Only

Then, sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly between the wonton bites.

Wontons w Beans and Cheese

Last step, pop them back in the oven for 10 more minutes. They are done when the cheese is melted and the edges are browned.

Baked Wontons

Garnish as desired. I put a dollop of salsa on each one plus spread 30 grams (1 pt+ worth) of avocado among 6 of them.

6 Wontons

That plus a nice bowl of veggie soup was a very satisfying 8 pt+ dinner! These heat up nicely the next day too in the toaster, so I had the leftovers at work yesterday with more veggie soup and an orange – so good!

These wonton bites are crispy, creamy, and cheesy, and literally melt in your mouth. So simple and yet so delicious. I’ll definitely be making them again!

Real Food Leads to Real Change

As part of being an ambassador for Attune Foods, I’ll be writing one blog post a month in the “Weight Loss Wednesdays” column on the Attune Foods Blog.

Attfds-seal-2a

The theme for January is Real Change, so click over to the blog to read about how I transitioned from mostly processed foods to whole foods and how this led to real change for me. I’ll be checking frequently and responding to comments as they come in over on the Attune Foods Blog, so please chime in over there!

Happy Thursday!!

Check In: Half Marathon Training

Somehow, I am already in week five of training for my third half marathon!! It seems like just yesterday I was starting the plan, but now I’m gearing up for an 8 miler this coming weekend! I have to say, I really enjoy being on a training plan because it takes the guess work out of exercising for me. When I have a plan in place, I feel obligated to make the time for working out, and definitely push myself harder than I do otherwise.

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Overall, training is going quite well. I’ve been sticking with almost all of my planned runs and have moved from 5 to 7.3 miles for my long runs so far. My weeks have been looking something like this workout-wise with 3-5 workouts per week (mostly 3-4):

    • 1 easy run, starting with 3 miles and now up to 4
    • 1 day of speed work, alternating between tempo runs and intervals
    • 1 long run, starting with 5 miles and working up to 8 this coming weekend
    • 1-2 days of strength training
    • 2-3 days of rest

You can see the actual by clicking here for my workout spreadsheet.

That said, there are definitely some areas for improvement so that I’m ready to rock on 3-17-2012.

rnr dc

When I wrote my initial post with my training plan for my third half marathon, I said I wanted to make sure to incorporate hill training, and that has not been something I’ve been focusing on enough. One good thing is I’ve been doing all of my runs outside except for the speed work, whereas with previous training I was doing almost all of them on the treadmill except for the long runs. The areas around me are pretty hilly, though I have been choosing flatter courses than I can and I want to make sure to step up the hill training for the rest of training.

Going forward: My goal is to do at least 1 hilly run a week.

Besides that, I’ve definitely been trending towards 1 day of strength training a week and while 1 is more than I’ve done any other time, I’d like to move that towards two per week for the rest of training. Based on recommendations from yesterday’s post, I went ahead and ordered Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism, and also found a Yoga for Runners: Intermediate Program that I ordered as well. I want to try to do the Yoga DVD on some Sundays after my Saturday long runs and will count it as strength training as well even though it’s not strictly strength. Having a bunch of options at home for strength training will give me less excuses to not get my two-a-week in!

Going forward: My goal is to trend towards two days of strength training per week.

Finally, I need to stretch more! Last night I did 4 miles after work and stretched because I was SO sore from No More Trouble Zones the day before. I realized while I was stretching that it was the first time in weeks that I actually stretched after a run. I have to change that!

Going forward: Stretch for at least a few minutes after every run!

Overall, I’m pleased with my progress so far and can definitely feel myself getting faster. I ran a 5k on the treadmill the weekend before last because my plan called for a 5k, but I wasn’t signed up for one. I ran it in 27:49, which is an 8:55 pace and by far the fastest I’ve ever run a 5k on the treadmill, and while it was challenging, I felt great! My runs have been trending in the mid 9:00s overall, and my pace at my last half marathon was 9:59, so I really want to keep my eyes on the prize and make a PR happen come March 17th! I think if I continue to focus, I can definitely make that happen.

Do you have any races coming up that you’re training for? Do you tend to readjust your training plan/goals as you go?

Starting The Week Off Right

Happy Monday! I had a really awesome weekend because two of my best friends from Connecticut came to visit me that I hadn’t seen in a loooong time! Even though I grew up in CT, my parents moved away when I graduated from college, so I never go back there during holidays or anything and it was SO great to see them. My other best friend from Connecticut, Erika, lives here in the area, but lives out in Arlington, so we ended up doing Friday night in Arlington and Saturday night in DC.

Here’s me and Allison on Friday night:

beth and allison

And Jaci and Erika on Saturday night:

Jaci and Erika We had two awesome dinners – one at Boulevard Woodgrill on Friday night, and one at Zatinya on Saturday evening. Both dinners evolved into nights out on the town, but you have to go big when friends are visiting, right?

After they get on the road yesterday morning, I had the most productive day Sunday ever. I did laundry, cleaned my entire apartment top to bottom, went through my closet and got rid of a bunch of clothes, did a new-to-me workout DVD, and cooked up a storm. I went grocery shopping on Friday night before they got here to pick up a few things, and decided to try to make it through the week without another trip. I need to work through everything in my fridge before I leave Friday morning for San Antonio and I think I can make it through the week with what I have, so I’m going to try!

Yesterday’s cooking involved whipping up a batch of veggie soup, brown rice, and un-pictured steel cut oats:

Sunday Prep

I made the simple soup by cooking onion, garlic, celery, and carrots over low heat for 10-15 minutes, then adding spices and water and letting it simmer for 45 minutes. When it was done, I stirred in a few handfuls of fresh spinach and that was it. I had a bowl last night and ended up adding some brown rice to bulk it up a bit and it was delicious! I plan to use the brown rice throughout the week for the taco salads, to add to the soup, and to make veggie fried brown rice later in the week.

Here’s what I came up with for a menu plan:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Savory Oats, banana Sardines w/Wasa Crackers, 1 cup veggie soup, plus Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Greek Yogurt w/leftover fruit salad Tempeh Taco Salad
Tuesday English Muffin w/canadian bacon + cheese, banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Veggie Fried Brown Rice
Wednesday Savory Oats Leftover veggie fried rice Greek Yogurt w/mashed banana + brown sugar Out to Dinner – TBD
Thursday WW Waffles w/PB+Banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Greek Yogurt w/frozen pineapple Omelet w/veggies + cheese plus toast

 

And here’s the plan for workouts, aiming for 5 days of working out and 2 days of rest:

    • Sunday: No More Trouble Zones (check!)
    • Monday: 4 miles
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: Speed Work – 7x400s
    • Thursday: Cross-Training
    • Friday: 8 miles in San Antonio
    • Saturday: Rest

This week, I want to really focus on sticking with the plan so I can work my way through everything in my fridge and make some progress on the scale. I have a lot to do before I leave for San Antonio on Friday, so I’m aiming to get most of my workouts done in the morning before work, which is my main goal for the week – get to the gym first thing!

Do you ever do workout DVDs at home? What is your favorite one?

I “love” Jillian Michael’s workout DVDs – they are built on a circuit system and really make me sweat! I have The Shred which is 3 20-minute workouts, and just got No More Trouble Zones on Friday, which is a 40 minute circuit plus warm-up and cool down, and it is INTENSE. It’s a total body workout and the equivalent of doing two levels of the Shred at once in my opinion, but I’m looking for more suggestions!

Can’t Ignore It Anymore

I’ve alluded to it many times on here, but I am officially back up several pounds over my goal weight and am not happy about it. I am extremely gifted at coming up with excuses and blaming the stresses in my life as reasons for why I’m struggling, but I can feel myself slipping back into my old habits and to be honest, I feel like I’m finally waking up. I knew that maintenance was going to be hard, but I didn’t realize just how easy it was going to be to slip into the old mentality of using food for comfort and finding ways to justifying overeating.

Besides wanting to get back to my goal weight for personal reasons, I have to be there in order to work for Weight Watchers, and for good reason. I am supposed to be a role model to the members who come to my meeting and be a “real life success story” to show that the plan works, so it makes sense to me that it’s a requirement. While I still weigh drastically less than I did when I first started Weight Watchers, my weight has been slowly creeping up over the last few months and I’ve been back burner-ing and ignoring the issue, as if that is going to help.

One of the things you have to do as a WW employee is weigh in monthly to show that you’re within 2 lbs of your goal weight, and I’ve been barely been squeezing along with a few extra pounds for the last several weigh ins. This month, I couldn’t squeeze by anymore. I’m honestly not sure exactly where I am and will be weighing in later today and then weekly going forward, but I need to get back to my goal weight to stay in good standing for Weight Watchers in addition to the fact that I just want to be back there. I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the 10 pound range, but I am not certain.

I can blame it on the fact that my grandmother just passed away, that I’m single and have been struggling with being social and keeping my drinking/eating under control when I’m out, or that the holidays just passed and everyone overdoes it during the holidays. But those are just excuses undermining the real problem: my eating has been out of control.

The one good thing I’ve been doing is consistently exercising. I’ve continued to workout 3-5 times a week and have been doing a great job sticking with my half marathon training plan, so for that I am proud and know that I’m still in good shape athletically.

Outside of that, though, I’ve been eating like crap, and I know that weight loss and weight maintenance is much more about what I’m eating than how much I’m moving, so working out 3-5 times a week isn’t going to cut it.

In order to get my weight back in control, I am going to be doing weekly employee weigh ins starting today. I know exactly what I need to do – track EVERYTHING I eat even if it’s not pretty, take advantage of the accountability that weighing in once a week gives me, up my water intake, and drink less alcohol. For my own sake, I’m going to be doing weekly menu plans every week until I am back at goal, and will report on my progress each week on here as well.

While I am pretty disappointed that I let myself gain back some weight, I also feel pretty relieved that it’s finally out there and that I feel ready to do something about it. I do have a lot of things coming up in the next several weeks that are going to make it a struggle, including friends visiting from out of town and a work trip to San Antonio, but I am 100% committed to making it happen.

Who’s with me?

Ode to Savory Oats

Savory Oats have been a staple in my diet ever since the weather got cold. Traditionally I think of oats as a sweeter breakfast, but there’s something so satisfying about a fluffy bowl of oats with cheese in the morning that has been doing it for me lately. I first got the idea in a Women’s Health Magazine, and it sounded so delicious I knew I had to try it. I get lots of questions about exactly how I make it and what I put in there, so I figured a tutorial was in order.

The method I use to cook the steel cut oats is amazing because it just takes a little foresight and two minutes of your time. You can certainly flavor your oats any way you wish using the same method, and I often flavor them up one serving at a time in case I want something different.

Prepping the Steel Cut Oats

To start, the night before I measure out my steel cut oats.

Measured Out

I use 1/4 cup per serving, which is 40 grams and turns into 1 cup of cooked oats.

After you measure out the oats, you add 1 cup of water for every 1/4 cup of oats… so this pot had 3 cups added to it.

Add Water

Next, you bring it to a rolling boil for 2 minutes. Watch it to make sure it doesn’t overflow, and after it’s been boiling for 2 minutes (which is not scientific, so don’t freak out if you leave it on too long or take it off too soon), remove it from the heat and cover it.

Cover

You can even center it on the turned off burner if you like.

The last step involves leaving it out overnight (off the heat) while still covered. In the morning, the liquid will be fully absorbed and the oats will look like this:

in the AM

Give it a little stir.

All Stirred Up

And the oats are done and ready to heat up and eat. So simple and SUCH a time saver, since steel cut oats take 30-40 minutes to cook if you boil them.

Savor-ifying The Oats

Yes, that’s a technical term.

Since I eat my breakfast at work, I use a tupperware container to transport the oats and then heat them in the microwave at my office. I add in one serving of the oats, one egg white, and then some garlic powder, salt, and red pepper flakes.

With Eggs Whites   Flavors

I stir it up, and then add in 1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese.

With Egg Whites   Cottage Cheese

Then, a handful of spinach.

Ready for Transport

And it’s ready to transport.

When I get to my office, I dump the contents into a bowl.

Ready for Micro

And then heat it up for 1 minute at a time, usually for 2:30 all together.

Savory Oats

How fluffy and creamy does that bowl of oats look?! The egg whites fluff up so much during the heating process and the cottage cheese gets really melty. If you’re not a fan of cottage cheese, though you can’t really taste it at all, you can certainly use a different kind of cheese. I’d actually been using regular sliced cheese last week but am out, and I waited to stir that in until the oats were heated through right before eating.

Besides the type of cheese, there are tons of different combos you can use with this method. You could use kale or another type of green, or omit it all together if greens for breakfast sketch you out. You can also use different spices, add a fried egg on top (which I do if I ever eat savory oats at home), or really use any combo you can think of.

So there you have it! A 5 pts+ fluffy bowl of savory oats.

Have you ever had savory oats? What is your staple breakfast when the weather gets cold?

Back on Track Tuesday

I really, really, really need to get back on track. Having my best friends in town this past weekend for an engagement party was VERY fun…

Lindsay, Me, Lianne (Bride-to-Be), Rachel, and Leah

It also made for several days full of heavy drinking and eating crap. I did manage to get to the gym before anyone else woke up on Saturday and bust out a 5k on the treadmill in 27:43 (8:55 pace!!!!) plus some push ups and ab work, but other than that the weekend was not so good in the healthy living department. I feel bloated, lethargic, and gross… and am ready to get back to it.

I had to work yesterday unfortunately (boo!), and though I really tried to get myself out of bed to run in the morning, that just didn’t happen. Rather than skipping my run all together, I brought everything with me to run home from work and did a 3.5 mile loop that ended with me at Whole Foods. I  finished the 3.5 miles in 32:19 or a 9:14 pace, which is FAST for me! Woohoo. Ending at Whole Foods meant that not only was I able to get my run in, but I also got myself some groceries so that I could actually start cooking again and get some fruit and veggies back into my life.

I also have quite a busy week outside of my day job, involving the following:

    • Tuesday: Lead Weight Watchers meeting AM (!!!)/Weight Watchers Training PM
    • Wednesday: Blogger Get Together after work
    • Thursday: Work Weight Watchers meeting after work
    • Friday: Friends coming in from Connecticut

Because of all that, I wanted to cook just a little and have it go a long way, so I’m basically only cooking twice and it should last me through the week. Here’s what I came up with for a menu plan:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Cottage Cheese w/frozen mango Turkey Sandwich on Wheat, Pretzels, Banana, HUGE Brownie (…) Apple Tempeh Chili Verde (made 4 servings)
Tuesday Savory oats w/spinach + cheese Leftover Tempeh Chili Verde Greek Yogurt w/raspberries Egg Scramble in a Pita with Goat Cheese
Wednesday English Muffin w/PB + Banana Tempeh Chili Verde Babybel w/apple + carrots w/salsa Homemade Veggie Burgers
Thursday Savory oats w/spinach + cheese Leftover Veggie Burger over greens Cottage Cheese w/orange Tempeh Chili Verde
Friday Waffle Sandwich w/PB + Banana Leftover Veggie Burger over greens Babybel w/apple + carrots w/salsa TBD – Dinner with friends from CT!

And here is what I want to do workout wise so I can stay on track with half marathon training:

    • Monday: 3.5 mile run (check!)
    • Tuesday: rest (no time!)
    • Wednesday: Speedwork – 35 minute tempo run + strength training
    • Thursday: Rest or Cross Training
    • Friday: 7 mile run

Since I have friends coming into town again this coming weekend, my goal is to get my long run out of the way before work on Friday so that I don’t have to do it while they are visiting. We’ll see how that goes!

Because I really need to focus this week, here are my mini goals to get back on track:

    1. No drinking during the week. I had enough this weekend to last me at least through the week so this should not be a problem. At all.
    2. Drink 64 oz. of water each day at work (2 large bottles).
    3. Workout 2-3 times this week before work.
    4. Get in bed by 11pm every night this week.
    5. Stick to 26-29 PointsPlus per day through Friday.

What’s one mini goal you have for this week?

Italian Tofuballs

There’s something about having balls in the name of a recipe if you’re mature like me that makes it that much more fun, no? =)

IMG_0220

In all seriousness, I am excited to share this recipe with you guys! It’s an awesome one and I haven’t posted a recipe in a LONG time.

The idea for these came to me because I wanted to do something on the creative side with tofu rather than just baking it, and I remembered how good that tofu ricotta that I made into lasagna was. I wanted to go with that same concept of crumbling it up, and then I realized crumbling it up could work perfectly in an italian meatball type dish, but with tofu instead! These balls are packed with flavor and texture, and are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are absolutely delicious and could work well over pasta, on a sub with sauce and cheese, or just straight up dipped into sauce like I had them for dinner last night!

Italian Tofuballs

 

    • Entire recipe yields 20 pts+, or 1 pt+ per tofuball if you make 20
    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 45 minutes
    • Printable recipe here

Ingredients:

IMG_0206

    • 1/2 large onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 block tofu, pressed (I use this)
    • 2 slices bread of choice (I used Ezekiel 4:9 Sesame)
    • 1/4 cup parmesan
    • generous handful of parsley, chopped
    • 1/3 cup eggwhites

Directions:

To start, cook the onion and garlic in a pan over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes.

Onions and Garlic

While that is cooking, toast the bread and then place it in a food processor and process until it becomes breadcrumb consistency.

IMG_0210

Next, add the pressed tofu to a large bowl and crumble with your hands or a fork.

IMG_0211

Then, add in the breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic and onion mixture.

IMG_0212

Mix to combine before adding your egg whites, and then mix again until uniform consistency.

IMG_0213

Now, turn your oven to 350º and it’s time to get your hands dirty and make the balls! I just formed about a handful into small tofuballs that were about an inch in diameter.

IMG_0216

Place them on a greased baking sheet, or else if you’re like me and your oven isn’t big enough for a baking sheet, two pans will work just fine.

IMG_0217

Now, place them in your preheated oven for 45 minutes, turning half way. They are done when they are crispy and browned on the outside and cooked through!

IMG_0220

I was impressed with how well they held together and how much they look like actual (turkey)meatballs.

IMG_0219

I had 7 of them for dinner for 7 pts+ with a 1/2 cup of sauce for dipping.

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They held up really well to the sauce and it was the perfect compliment to the balls!

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Since everything is mixed through, the middle of them are filled with different flavors and textures and are absolutely delicious!

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Enjoy!

The Cycle of Life

My heart is heavy today.

I obviously understand the basic concept of the cycle of life and family, but I have to say, it’s really hard to watch as the end gets near. Your parents raise you so that one day, among other reasons, you can take care of them. I am witnessing this happening with my mom’s mom right now, and I am far from the best in dealing with these situations.

About five years ago, my grandfather died pretty suddenly. He was 84 and in great health besides having lost his vision, and he took an unexpected fall at a casino one night. He lived for just three more weeks and was never the same after that fall.

My grandma and grandpa were married for 64 years before he died… sixty-four! It’s crazy to even think about how long that is. When he died, my grandma lost her companion, her soul mate, the person she talked to constantly every day for 64 years. I think deep down she was hoping she could just go with him so that she didn’t have to face life alone after he passed.

Her health has remained pretty good over the last couple years despite having emphysema and needing oxygen. She’s been “with it” until the last few weeks even though she’s 89. Back over the summer, she was having really bad pain in her leg and when she got it checked out, the doctors discovered that she had cancer. It would have almost been better if they hadn’t found it, because she didn’t want any treatment and the diagnosis just put a grave shadow over everything.

Despite the diagnosis, her health remained what seemed fine until the last few weeks. Since Christmas, she has been declining rapidly, and she was placed on hospice over this past weekend. I went up for the day to see her yesterday, and I could not believe the drastic change since the last time I saw her, which was just about 6 weeks ago for Thanksgiving.

She could barely speak, had little to no color in her face, swollen hands and arms, and was just miserable and crying out in pain. It is so devastating to see her like this, and I mean obviously I’m sad that my grandma is dying, but she is 89, has lived a good life, and honestly wants to die at this point so while it is sad, it happens.

What gets me the most is thinking about the fact that it’s my mom’s MOM. Her MOTHER. I can’t even let my mind venture to the idea that one day my mom could be in a similar situation. I also know that my mom is lucky to be 61 and still have her mother, but having to watch her body fall apart just tears my heart out.

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