Ups and Downs

So, it’s been a while and there’s been lots of changes here!

You know that bed? The elusive bed? We finally have it! We received a letter that it had been approved, and about a week later it showed up on our doorstep.

Of course I started putting it together as soon as I got off from work. It’s fairy easy, but my biggest challenge came when trying to get the mattress inside. It’s far easier said than done when there’s only one person and a small bedroom. But I did it, and Colleen loves it. 

After seeing the neurologist in Boston and in resin her keppra to the highest dose she could go, Colleen continued to have seizure episodes and small movements that I’m pretty sure are seizure activity. We are on week 3 of now decreasing her keppra dose and adding depakote sprinkles back in. She hasn’t had a seizure in over 3 weeks, but there have been a number of those little movements. She will get her levels drawn this week and see how she’s doing on it overall. 

Colleen started kindergarten this week and I’m a mix of being incredibly proud of her and a nervous, anxious mess. There was a small mishap in that am the wrong bus was initially sent. They sent one without a wheelchair lift. Slight miscommunication somewhere! But she’s doing well overwise. I was mostly nervous about how long of a day it was, but she’s eating well and we have the nap time figured out. I definitely think we’ll get the routine down. It was the cutest thing to see how excited she was when the bus came.

We’be been working on her walker more recently when we go to the store but Colleen made it very clear she wants to be independent. Well, just hold my hand instead of using her walked. It’s been a challenge to pick her up for the cart. She’s not heavy, but I have short arms. I’be been putting her in the cart sideways to help this. So, instead I tried her in the Caroline’s Cart. Both Target and Wegmans have them, so it’s very convenient to have adaptive equipment. Colleen, of course, love it. 

One thing I noticed was that now, a lot of people are curious when I walk by, cranking their head to get a look at who’s inside. Not completely sure how I feel about this yet. 

I’ll give a personal update next post. There’s been some changes that have been creating some anxiety, but hoping will be mostly resolved and I’ll have more answers.

Til next time!


Essential Oil–DigestZen

Before I start, I will say that this is my first experience with essential oils. I am not selling anything. This is my very own unbiased opinion.

I posted a while ago about my desperation to find relief for Colleen. Soon after, a friend posted about the essential oils she had used to help her children fall asleep. I was intrigued. Colleen is notorious for being exhausted, falling asleep but then then waking up a few hours later ready to go. 1 sample, an infuser and FaceBook group add later, I saw a post about this DigestZen; Far more intrigued with this! I went ahead and bought the bottle.


After receiving, I mixed some with coconut oil in a small container so that I could apply it to her belly before bedtime. To put the change in perspective, Colleen’s teachers asked if her meds had changed because she seemed so much happier. The oil was the only thing that had changed. So now, before bed, I give her a homeopathic gas drop I found at Walgreens and rub some of the DigestZen on her belly. It’s been an amazing help! And yes, I do think it was 100% the oil. There have been a few nights in which should couldn’t burp after eating/drinking. Normally, this would result in her either being super fussy before she fell asleep, or she would wake up very unhappy. Now, if I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get her to burp, I give her gas drops and rub this in and she sleeps. (Which means I get to sleep, so it’s a definite win-win.) 🙂

DigestZen is a mix of ginger rhizome/root, peppermint plant, caraway seed, coriander seed, anise seed, tarragon plant and fennel. It is good for aromatic, topical or dietary use. I’ve been using this topically mixed with coconut oil.

Waiting game.

Hey! Did you notice something? After some internal debate, I finally bought ! Right now, it’s the domain name that forwards to here. I’m going to try to clean up my page and make it user friendly for my few followers. 😉

I used to say that I was an incredibly patient person. But that is very much in the past, and I’m often told that I just need to relax. And you know how when you say you need to work on something, it seems like you’re provided ample opportunity to do so? I’m (slowly) learning patience.

I have been trying to think back to how long it’s been since we started discussing it, and I absolutely hate the fact that it’s been well over 6 months. Before Christmas, Colleen’s therapist had requested a new script for the specific bed. I found out last week that they had yet to write it. Several phone calls later, I have the new one, but she is off of school this week, so we won’t see her therapist till Monday. I am frustrated.

Her wheelchair finally came in, but I have to update all of Colleen’s insurance information before we can get it. There’s always hurdles to battle over it seems. Hoping to get that sorted this week. We are also still waiting to hear about her Embrace watch. It was December when we found out she was approved to receive one. And I was supposed to be contacted with a code to check out the app and such. Still waiting.

As for health-related updates, I’m coming near the end of the Metro 42 challenge, you’d think I’d have my act together and be making consistent, healthy choices. Right? I had hit 127.6, and was incredibly happy with the results. Then the weekend happened. I tracked everything in MyFitnessPal to the best of by abilities, and to my horror, I’m up to 132 this morning. Calorie wise, I wasn’t too terrible, so I’m not sure if I’m retaining water or whats going on. After I hit under 130, I told myself that I didn’t want to see that number ever again. To say I’m disappointed in myself is an understatement. To top it off, I didn’t get a workout in yesterday when I easily could have. Weekends are the absolute worst in terms of choices, so I need to get better at that.

But, today is a new day, so back at it, and back to making healthy choices. Hopefully it is indeed just water weight (We did have hibachi from Ichiban for Valentine’s, and while it is amazing and delicious, I’m not sure it’s quite worth 4 Ibs. Maybe 2.) I’ve been wanting to ask my doctor, or anyone with hypothyroidism, if when they have higher amounts of sodium, they gain a lot. It seems like that happens with me.


Colleen is officially weaned off of her Depakote Sprinkles, which means we are down to 2 medications and a vitamin. At one point, she was taking 5, plus the vitamin, so this is so much nicer for her. Overall, I’d say she’s more lively, and we haven’t seen any bad side effects of seizures. Overall, I’m very happy, but I’m wondering if they’ll ever do another EEG to see how she is doing.

I am so incredibly grateful for Colleen’s school. They have helped us so much in making sure she is getting the equipment she needs. The bed, at this point, is hopefully ordered. We were waiting on an updated script from the doctor with the right wording. And we are also waiting on her wheelchair. And I’m also happy to report that we have a new jogging stroller to use. It’s a Schwinn turismo, and it is still waiting on it’s maiden voyage. I was so excited to have gotten it, plus it was 60 degrees, which is unheard of in NY. I got home, but by the time I had it together, it was dark and raining. Boo! With real NY weather in the forecast this weekend, running might have to wait until next week.

How is everyone’s week?

Getting Started

Putting yourself out there, weight and measurements included, is a very personal and hard thing to do. Not to mention the photos of yourself that you look in the mirror and think, “this has to change.”

But, here I am.

I am 5’0″ and I weighed in at 136 this morning.

In the past (pre-pregnancy), I really only did cardio. I would sometimes do bodyweight exercise, but no weights. And I was never completely happy with my body then. I carry my weight in my legs, so naturally, I hated my thighs.

2010. Weight around 125
When I started the gym at the end of 2012, I started doing just cardio again. Through Instagram and Pinterest, I was able to get ideas of different weight exercises I could do. Then, I had a trainer create a program for me. I had the goals of running a sprint triathlon (something I would still love to do) and losing 10 Ibs to start.

That is still the goal. I don’t have a specific goal weight in mind. Maybe 116 and make it an even 20 Ibs weight loss. But as long as I lose fat and gain muscle, I’ll be happy. But short term goals, I want to lose my first 10.

There’s a gym at my new employer (which is free!) and I have been making use of that. My struggle is that I’m used to getting up early and working out before I start work. Which I love. But, they have an afternoon class, which is some cardio, HIIT, and weights. I love this class. But I don’t want to overdo the exercise. These classes are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. And there’s spin classes on Wednesday and Friday. So, I will likely stick to these.

As for nutrition, I need to look at my goals. One thing I will tell everyone who asks how I did it: please, please, please eat enough. I’ve been there. With a goal of 1,200 calories, I thought that if I ate less, it would be even better.

Your body needs fuel. I wish the podcast was still creating new shows, but it’s still available to listen. I highly recommend you listen to Fat2Fit radio. your health shouldn’t be a quick fix. How many times have you started a diet, only to give in to temptation after restricting and undo everything you worked for? I’ve lost count. Your weight loss should be a lifestyle change. Meaning, yes, you need to watch what you eat, but if you really want to have dessert, you can. I had my BMR tested (I have no idea how the test figures it out, but I had to breathe into a contraption for about 10 minutes.) My basil metabolic rate was 1350. Meaning, this is how many calories my body would burn on it own if I didn’t do anything. Never ever eat under your BMR. There are so many calculators out there for you to use! I recommend this. Another method I considered trying is IIFYM, but I’ll maybe move to that later. For now, my goal calories are 1750.

To health!

Tis the season. I put Colleen to bed and thought about going to bed myself. I slept in a little later than normal, foregoing my usual morning workout since she was up during the night. Then I thought of all the food at our work potluck today and tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast.

For a little background, I was generally a very active child. I remember riding bikes with friends. Always running. I joined track in 7th grade. I could generally eat what I wanted. In high school, I started gaining weight. I had a job at McDonalds, and I eventually stopped track. My highest weight was 147.

But when I was 16, I was experiencing some health issues that weren’t immediately diagnosed. I was constantly exhausted. No matter how much sleep I got, it felt like a struggle to stay awake. Headaches, dizziness; visits to the doctor lead to EKGs, EEG’s and constant checks for strep (I was pretty aggravated with this one. They would do one every month I came in looking for answers.) Finally, they did some blood work and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

I was quite relieved, and after incorporating exercise, I was able to get my weight back down.

Fast forward a bit to 2011. Starting weight at beginning of my pregnancy was 139. By month 9, I weighed 174 and refused to look at the scale after that. After having Colleen, and a brief hospital stay for me (and her), I was 160-ish.

In December 2012, I was ready to start exercising again. I had put it off for far too long, and thought there was no need to wait for the New Year. I was ready right then.

And now we’re here! I generally wake early, about 4:30 and get my workout it. I was down to 126, but while exercising has been a great routine, my nutrition hasn’t been that good.

So, I’m going to share my healthy eating journey. I said in a previous post that I needed to cut my sugar intake down, and that is certainly still the case. I also need to cut out the bad eating (cupcakes and bakes goods are my absolute weakness). So, today, I start my recommitment at 136.6. I will post pictures and measurements tomorrow. I would love to connect with others, and I will use this blog to hold myself accountable. I will also share on Instagram (JennyLouns), and of course, you can find me on MyFitnessPal (lillouns).

To health!

I have a confession..

I joined my work gym I December of 2013. That was 2 years after I had Colleen and it was time that I took control of my health. My starting weight at that time was around 156.

It is not October of 2015.. And this morning, I weighed in at 136. 20Ib loss overall, but I should have very easily been at my goal weight. 

So, what’s the issue? Maybe I need to change up my workout routine, but I’m almost 100% sure it’s my nutrition. Specifically, my addiction to sugar. Yes. Hi, I’m Jennifer and I love sugar. Cupcakes, candy, coffee with lots of sugar, etc. I consume too much sugar every. single. day. 

So, with these new life changes, (hello new job!!) I decided I need to take control of my nutrition. I’ve done a little searching, and trying to come up with a plan to start. (Hello, Pinterest). 

Were you addicted to sugar? What helped? As I start this new step towards better health, it isn’t going to be just sugar. I’m aiming for processes junk and more fruits and vegetable. I’m not eliminating fruit. 

I will be keeping updates as to how the process is going.