Christmas: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I really meant to have a post about Christmas earlier (like, on Christmas day), but let’s just start by saying that my Christmas this year was um… interesting. I basically felt like doing nothing for about 2 days afterwards and just really started being productive yesterday. I think at some point in there I cleaned my kitchen? I did try to take down the decorations, but they just sort of laid under my coffee table for awhile (most are properly put away now!).

Let’s start with the really bad new first, so that the post gets happier as it moves on: on Christmas day, right before we were going to eat lunch, my husband had a completely random seizure. He has had some medical issues in the past that can cause seizures, but he has never had one before so we really weren’t expecting it and so it was terrifying and confusing at the time. Luckily he is already a patient at a great neuro practice nearby so I am hopeful that they will be able to figure out what is going on.

In general, he is fine – he left the hospital after only 2 hours with a diagnosis of a sinus infection – but the whole incident has really thrown a wrench in all of our plans. In Pennsylvania, if you have a seizure, you cannot drive for 6 months, meaning that I have to shift my plans to finish up my PhD out in Indiana a bit so that I can stay here with him. I’m still trying to figure some details out but things are starting to fall into place and get back to normal. I must say I am surprised at how weird it is to have to drive him around – the first 3 years of our relationship he did not have a license so I thought it would be like riding a bicycle! Then again, this is me, and my return to bicycling was clumsy, so I am fairly certain I am going to forget to pick him up from work at least once. Sorry honey.

I was also surprised at how hard this incident hit me in terms of my weight loss maintenance. Typically, structure helps me to deal with stressful situations and I loosen up on my diet when trying to relax. For example, I somehow managed to stick with calorie counting pretty closely during Kris’s previous medical adventures, while taking exams that would determine whether I earned my master’s degree or not, and even at funerals!

I don’t think I’ve actually gained any significant weight, but this Christmas was the most off-track I have ever been. It started when it was snowy in the days leading up to Christmas – I was really down on myself about not being able to run and having trouble eating the low amount of calories that resting/doing super boring home workouts permits. I then decided that I would let up on calorie counting at my parents’ for Christmas because I was already slipping and it would be difficult to do there and I could get right back on track when I got home. I think I wasn’t TOO bad about what I ate there in general but to me not having the exact amount of calories quantified always makes me feel like I’m probably eating enough to gain 10 lbs a day.

Then, I went home on Christmas day completely stressed out and accompanied by 2 gallon bags full of homemade chex mix and no less than 4 dozen Christmas cookies.  Once again, reflecting on what I’ve eaten today in comparison to the days I wasn’t counting here shows me it wasn’t THAT bad, and I have been sticking with running the whole time, but I still felt miserable and off. I think part of it is that there are additional personal worries for me compared to past problems – I was really looking forward to the class I was going to teach, and this would have been my last semester with not only many of my friends I have made at school, but also with my roommate/best friend and her dog. I’m starting to calm down about all of that, though, which is helping.

The silver lining to all of this is that I have been reminded of what wonderful family, friends, and mentors I have. Everyone around me has been 100% supportive and helpful. It was especially nice to be reminded that my family is always there for me. Last time Kris had medical problems and I had to take time off from school they eventually came around but initially were far less understanding and supportive. I am also glad that I get to spend some extra time with Kris and Belle, who I would otherwise be missing terribly pretty soon (though I will probably have to spend a different period of time away from them instead). I have really had a lot of time to think about my priorities, and while spending time with them has always been high on the theoretical list, it certainly has renewed importance.


Apologies that the first half of this post was so depressing and self-reflective. I just felt weird not talking about it at all on the blog, especially as it is directly impacting my attempts to maintain my weight loss. If I’d had a perfectly normal Christmas, I’d probably be making jokes about how I have to burn off the few extra calories I consumed eating cookies, not reflecting on the reasons I didn’t count calories for about 10 days and how that made me feel  (it really felt much longer – to say only 10 days makes it sound like it wasn’t even that big of a deal!). Now on to the good things!

  • My mom and I made a bunch of wonderful Christmas cookies and homemade chex mix! Some were really messed up (not the chex mix, it was perfect, as always) but we still had fun. Our turtles, for example, failed because we cooked the condensed milk on high instead of low (we decided to call them sea monsters). My mom nearly had a panic attack over making sugar cookies. And my grandpa bought the wrong kind of Reese cups for the peanut butter cookies so they looked like aliens.

I actually have photographic evidence of this.

  • Belle actually opened her own Christmas presents! She never does this, which is weird considering that she is pretty destructive. She got some treats, a stuffed alien, and a stuffed horse head with red eyes that we have dubbed “demon horse.” We forgot demon horse there so there are no pictures. Here, we bought her a stuffed duck that she ignores. Go figure.

Opening presents!

 

She also got to BE a present!

  • Presents! Most of the presents I got for people went over well. Even my biggest “flops” weren’t that bad – I made Kris some custom etched beer glasses and they didn’t work so well, but he liked the gesture and I will be able to make more in the future when I am more practiced. I also bought “texting” gloves for my dad that don’t work for texting, but are still nice gloves. Now I just have to find gloves that are able to text, be warm and durable enough for someone who works outdoors in the winter a lot, and fit his aesthetic (read: camo). I’m sure I’ll have fun with that!
  • More presents! Kris and I also got a number of exciting presents! He did really well buying me a new flipbelt to carry my stuff while I run (it works PERFECTLY, I highly recommend. He also got me a couple of sweaters and blouses (he really prides himself on being able to find clothes for me, and because he does a good job, I find it adorable). We got a number of things for the kitchen that I will be able to make exciting stuff with: a wine rack, a crockpot, a food processor, and a KITCHENAID!!! EEE!!! (It is that exciting that it can make me go EEE in a mostly depressing post like this). We also got some new bedding (my parents got us a down comforter and we bought ourselves new stuff to go with it).

The new mixer versus our old one that was broken and only went one speed.

 

The wine rack. My mom was super worried I wouldn’t like it because it was from a secondhand store, but I think it is perfect!

 

Belle enjoying the new bedding (less than 2 minutes after it was put on).

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