What Do You Do When Your Coworker Is Sick? 

not messing aroundI am not screwing around. I will not fall victim to the office plague that is about to start. I won’t!

The girl that shares my cube wall, the one that’s closest to my face, has an awful sounding cold. I totally get why she’s at work. We have no paid sick time- if you want to stay home, you have to either take it unpaid or use a vacation day. Even if you have the vacation time, you’re still going to have to do all the work the next day when you return. You will also get calls at home. It’s really not worth it. She even has a big project this week she has to pull off. It makes the most sense to power through it.

HOWEVER. I do not want any part of sounding and feeling like she does, and I have the weakest immune system around. I talk to someone on the phone who is sick and I get it (practically!). Another coworker brought me this ridiculous Disney mask, and I totally wore it.

I know it looks like I have a diaper on my face.

Everyone time someone walked by my desk, they laughed.

I also was mean enough to not let the sick girl play with my puppy, I chugged Emergen-C, and had her scan me papers instead of touching them and handing them to me.

I didn’t touch anything in the office.

Now my ears and throat hurt. I feel like this is the beginning of the end.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I acted like an insane person for no reason and I still somehow caught it!! What would you have done? What else could I have done to be safe?

Jillian 

Lunette Cup and Luna Pads~ How I Changed My Way of Thinking

lunetteIf you’re male, I would stop reading here, unless you *really* want to learn what a menstrual cup is (hint, you probably don’t, unless you’re a single dad to a girl). You probably just want to live the charmed life that you have as a man. You were warned. Even for women, this entire post has a TMI warning 🙂

Who knows what a menstrual cup is? I didn’t, until my sister told me I should get a Diva Cup. I’m pretty sure my response was something like “wt* is that?”. She explained to me that it was a cup that you insert in your vagina, an alternative to a pad or tampon. I had heard of these, but only the disposable version. I was always scared about spilling those when taking them out. Well, this is even more intimidating. You pull it out, dump it, wash it, and put it back again.

That’s all I needed to hear. I wanted no part of this disgusting process, and told her she was insane. She said okay and dropped it.

I didn’t mean it though. I thought it was crazy that this secret thing existed and I knew nothing about it. I must know everything! Immediately! I started reading reviews, and saw that basically everyone that’s ever tried it thinks it’s the best thing in the world. You know that awful feeling when you pull out a tampon that apparently was heavier flow than you needed, and it’s dry and feels like it’s tearing out your insides? The reviews said that doesn’t happen with a cup. They also said that tampons cause cramps. WHAT?!?!?!?!? Is this a joke?? Tampons have been causing my cramps?! WT* is going on in this world run by men? They’re creating tampons now to give us cramps, under the guise that they’re helping us?? OMG. I didn’t really believe it, but that sold me. I wanted to try it.

The reviews taught me that the Diva Cup doesn’t fit everyone. There are different sizes and different brands. I found this cool chart that helped me figure out which one would be best. I’m not going to get too detailed here, but I decided on the Model 1 Lunette cup. According to the recommendations I should have gotten a bigger one since I’m older, but reviews I read (I seriously probably read 1,000) told me that I needed something smaller. That’s a problem I see here- finding the right cup could definitely take trial and error, and they are around $40 each. I got lucky finding the right one on the first try.

When I first got it, it took an entire cycle to figure out how to use it. I was scared to death (I’m kind of melodramatic), and the first time I put it in it hurt so bad. I had some leaking at first, and had to experiment with different folds (Google them on YouTube! Different folds make all the difference!). I recommend wearing a pad or pantyliner while you’re finding your groove.

Here is why I love it, and will never ever go back:

  1. I never have to go to the store to buy tampons or pads again. I have what I need, all the time (I do use cloth pantyliners as well, from Luna Pads). This is convenient, plus after the one time investment I don’t have to spend any more money.
  2. It doesn’t leak. There is a learning curve, and I do wear the pantyliners just in case, but I have so many less leaks than with tampons. Even when working out!
  3. I have a heavy flow and was emptying it all the time at first, but figured out quickly that I really only needed to do it every 8-12 hours. With tampons I was doing about every four hours- this is obviously way better!
  4. Umm… you’re not going to believe this, but it really did help my cramps! I still get them and it sucks, but they’re so much less. I haven’t even gotten out the heating pad since I started using it. It has not helped with the urge to stuff my face with chocolate and curl in a ball and cry.
  5. It doesn’t hurt to take it out, and it doesn’t hurt to wear it. Tampons did hurt. Pads are so uncomfortable that they’re not even worth mentioning.
  6. I won’t lie, taking it out is messy and can be a nightmare in a public restroom. I figured out that if i fill up one of these bottles with water before going into the stall, I can use it to rinse the cup and my fingers.
  7. I’m not throwing all that stuff away every month. I hate creating garbage. It’s also a bonus that there isn’t all sorts of gross stuff in the bathroom trash for the dogs to get into.
  8. No chemicals. Organic cotton tampons and pads are expensive, and don’t even work as well as traditional ones. I have to pick effective or safe. Really? Those are terrible options. The cup does both.

Overall, I’m so glad I switched. I think it’s some sort of conspiracy that cups aren’t more widely known, because it seems like such a better option. I’ve been using it for a little over a year now, and it’s been so much better. I got an IUD a few months after switching, and they told me I couldn’t use a cup with it. I didn’t believe them, did research, and have been using the cup anyway with no problems. However, I like it enough that I considered not getting the IUD to keep using it. That’s real love, right there!

I know this is a weird thing to write about, but I want every woman to know about this! I can’t really explain how much better it has made my period, I know that I just sound like a crazy person. I think you just need to try it for yourself. Since I’ve already gotten crazy personal, feel free to ask me anything below! Anyone else doing their period the hippie way? 🙂

Jillian

How Getting a Stand Up Desk Made My Work Day Better

standing deskAfter reading many horrifying articles such as this one (LiveScience Staff, NBCnews.com) that references a study done by the American Cancer Society, I decided that I had to find a way to get a standing desk. Several sources have made dramatic suggestions about the effects of sitting for 6+ hours a day, including that it can be as dangerous for your heart as smoking, and that it can undo the good done by working out. WHAT?! How is that okay?! Since I rarely even have a daily workout to speak of, and I am often working for 9+ hours a day at my desk, I was terrified.

The desk (it’s called a desk, but I think it’s more like a desk adapter) that I got was the Varidesk Pro Plus (affiliate link, if you buy this I will get a small percentage. I paid for my own desk). I was nervous about standing all day, especially since when I purchased this I was still healing from a calf injury. I wanted to be able to sit if I needed to. I also knew there was no going back once I got this, because my coworkers were all going to have soooo much to say about it. So, the Varidesk. They’re not kidding when they say sitting to standing in three seconds. It’s super easy. However, it’s expensive. If you work at home, you can just find a surface that is a comfortable height and put your laptop there, or you can build your own. Colin Nederkoorn has a great way to make one for $22.

Once my desk arrived, I started by standing for an hour then sitting for 20 minutes. It felt so natural that I actually kept forgetting to sit down. After a week I was standing all of the time (which makes me think you could probably get away with building a cheap, permanent standing desk). My feet and legs get tired more than they did when I sat, but I now don’t have any pain in my back. I used to wait tables and bartend, and never had problems. When I got a desk job four years ago, my back started to hurt. Standing fixed it! Plus, I find myself walking around more. It’s easier because I’m already standing. I track my steps, and I average about 1,000 more a day than when I was sitting. That’s about half a mile.

There are also calories burnt to consider. A 130 pound woman burns 21 calories more per hour standing than sitting (Andrea Cespedes, livestrong.com). In theory this means that if that woman was previously walking and standing for an hour of her eight hour day, and she switches to standing all day, she should be burning 147 more calories per day. That really adds up.

I get so many comments on my desk. A lot of people want to try it, and probably an equal amount make fun of me. What do you think? Would you try it? I know that some companies will buy them for their employees if you ask!

Jillian

Weigh In Wednesday- Getting Back on Track

lemon meringue pieI have good news and bad news. The good news is, I made the lemon meringue pie version of the drink recipe that I posted last week. It was so delicious. You should make one immediately.

The bad news is, I have totally flopped on my diet. I have been eating good food, but I have been adding in too much junk food. I had a fried food binge on Friday, and just too many little snacks over the weekend. Yesterday I pretty much ate just candy until 1:00pm. I have a bunch of soup, and I’ve started eating that to get in more veggies.

Maybe it’s time to do one of the cleanses that I put on my goals? Anyone want to do a cleanse?

I weighed in at a gain of .4, which makes the running total a loss of 2.8. I feel gross, and I don’t want to fail. My personal training session got cancelled yesterday, and I actually rowed at home for 50 minutes instead of using it as an excuse to do nothing. I am counting that as a big victory, because it’s the closest thing to victory I’ve had this week.

Riley pieI’m super tired because ever since Riley the cutie pie got spayed, she has been nothing but trouble. She has been getting into everything (stealing my laptop and trying to blog!), whining all night, and in general trying to rip her stitches open. I think that once I can let her play hard again she will be fine, but she is just frustrated that I won’t let her get her energy out.

I don’t understand how all of the parents out there function without sleep. I have lost all desire to do anything that I don’t absolutely have to do. What is your secret?? Am I doomed to not have a baby because I can barely function with a puppy? Help!

Jillian

Weigh In Wednesday #2

Happy Herbivore Stuffed Bell PeppersThis week was my first time using the Happy Herbivore meal plan (all vegan, oil free, whole foods based) exactly as intended. The idea is that she provides a meal plan (for every meal for a week, including snacks) that gives you around 1,200 calories a day. You also get a shopping list, recipes, and prep plan. The prep is meant to take about two hours and sets you up for the WHOLE WEEK. It took me four hours and thirteen minutes, including cleaning the kitchen. I think I will get faster with practice. It’s a little crazy cooking several meals at once time, and I wasn’t really ready for this level of multitasking. Three to four dishes at once was the most I could pull off. The prep plan was so cool- she tells you what grains to start (like rice and pasta) and what to do with each veggie. Once you start cooking you have everything ready for every dish! The meal pictured is the Stuffed Bell Pepper.

The one I did this week had me making all meals except for a few quick breakfasts that I put together on the go. I was very skeptical of this idea, worrying that the food would go bad. I’ve previously just made the meals every day. However, a huge stumbling block for me is eating whatever I can find that is ready to go when I’m hungry. This results in eating french fries at work, chip type snacks or cookies at home, anything I can find and it is always unhealthy. Having healthy food ready to go is incredible!

My weigh in has me at a gain of one pound. So, that brings me to 3.2 pounds lost in two weeks. I wish I had actually lost this week, but I actually feel really good about using the meal plans. I can’t blame them, since I have been eating extra snacks and it’s also every woman’s favorite time of the month.

I’m worried that I will lose stamina on spending a huge block of time on the weekends cooking everything, but it was so beneficial this week and I’m hoping I’ll be able to remember that when I’m feeling lazy. It saves so much time during my crazy work week, and definitely helped me avoid junk food. Now I just need to stay stronger!

Next week I have my first personal training session at the Diva Den (I got a great deal on a three session package on Black Friday), and I am excited to see how it goes. I already had the consultation and I loved my trainer. We had a great talk about how I do have a big weight loss goal, but my end game is to be thin, toned, and strong. My focus needs to be to stop eating anything that isn’t on the plan, but it is almost my birthday and I think that the rest of this week will bring challenges on that front.

I have been asked if I will post before and after pictures. I’m considering the yellow dress picture in this post my before picture, and I will post some photos along the way as the loss becomes noticeable.

Here is my journal link if anyone wants to check it!

Jillian

Weigh In Wednesday #1

calories for the weekI decided it would be best to just do a weekly update on my diet, aka lifestyle change, so that no one gets overwhelmed (including me!). I am trying to weigh myself just once a week, but I have not been able to resist a few check ins. These are done while wearing tons of clothes, so they’re not very accurate; but they let me know that at least I’m not gaining. This is good for calming down my weight freak outs and motivating me to not binge eat. Today was my “official” weigh in. I lost 4.2 pounds this week! I am so excited, because it really motivates me to keep going when I see that first week big loss.

This first week has not been the start with a bang that I usually go for (discipline wise), but I actually think that is probably a good thing. I typically start a new diet with some sort of fast, based on the premise that after that I would be grateful for any food (even healthy food). I greatly suspect that it is extremes like this that get me in trouble in the first place. I’m not saying that I won’t throw in a juice fast, master cleanse, et cetera- just that it doesn’t feel right at the moment. Maybe in February?

skinnier JillianThis week has been about controlling my portions and not snacking. I haven’t been perfect. I have only done two work outs, when my goal for a week is four. I have gone over my calories three times, but still have been under what I would normally eat each day. I also haven’t started my Happy Herbivore plan yet. That will be my big goal for next week. Her plans give you 1,200 calories a day without having to count, which is so fantastic I don’t even have words. I don’t know why I sabotaged myself by not doing it this week. I’m using another old picture for motivation, the one that I posted on the left. Or maybe I’m just wishing I had a drink in my hand?

Knowing that I have you all watching my back is a big help! Thank you so much 🙂 I have bl3ss3dfitn3ss helping me out- does anyone else want to join us? What are your goals? I am very serious about losing weight and getting back in shape to run. I want this Spring to be a great one full of gorgeous runs, and I would love to be able to go off my high cholesterol medication. You can still follow my eating and exercise on my Sparkpage, if you’re curious to see what’s really going on over here. You don’t have to sign up for anything, you just follow the link and click on “shared food & fitness trackers”. It’s about halfway down the right hand side. I’m hoping this week will be less embarrassing than last week.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Jillian