Monday, June 10, 2013

A Gift, an Igloo, and Day 16

Well, it's Day 16, and I am over half way through with my Juice fast! 

I am continuing to feel great, have loads of energy, lose weight (I'm down 18 pounds), and today I put on a dress that I wore for my graduation ceremony for undergrad school. I looked better in the dress today than I did 2 years ago. 

It blows my mind. In 16 days, I have undone the past 2 years. 

I can hear you asking, "But isn't it awful? Don't you miss chewing!?" And the answer is, "Eh, not really." Do I miss chewing? Not at all. I did eat a cracker while I took communion at church yesterday, and I'm not going to lie - it felt really weird to chew it. And the grape juice tasted like sugar on crack cocaine. But I'm still not hungry, and I still feel great. 

This weekend, I was exhausted and had zero motivation to do anything but see how many movies I could cram into 48 hours. I wanted sleep and rest. At first, I thought to myself, "Well, that's disappointing. I thought this detox would fix this." And then I realized... even though I was exhausted and unmotivated, I felt GREAT being exhausted and unmotivated. Prior to the fast, I would be exhausted, unmotivated, miserable and unhappy. But this weekend I was exhausted, unmotivated, content and felt good. Had I not had a blister the size of a steak you'd see on Diner's Drive-In's and Dive's (If you don't get the reference, my blister was huge, and a steak sounds great), then I would have been fine to go on a 4 mile walk. Prior to the detox, I would have known there was no way I could step a foot off my front porch and you couldn't have paid me in enough steak to take a 5 minute walk, let alone a 4 mile walk. 

Am I still craving food? Yes, but not in the sense you think. 
I'm craving variety. I want food, but I would be happy with healthy and non-processed food. I'm totally diggin' a cauliflower crusted, veggie pizza. Or a salmon patty and a nice kale salad with feta and almond slivers. 
Do I still want that "sunshine burger" from Buckhead Cafe, a deliciously tasty and juicy burger with a sunny-side up egg and a hefty dollop of guacamole, with greasy fries and ranch good enough to bathe in? 
Well, duh. Wouldn't you?
 Am I going to eat it? Every once in a while, yes. This is a juice detox, not the way I am living the rest of my life. I'm detoxing/fasting in order to lose addiction, not my taste buds. I expect to eat "clean" during the work week (because of my very long days at work and my level of business, it is easier for me to not focus on food treats) and then I plan on cooking more on the weekends, using meats, dairy and grains in moderation.

And yes, I still plan on eating out every once in a while. I still plan on eating chicken nacho's from Moe's, or a Reuben sandwich from Home and Market Cafe. Just not all the time, and it will be followed with clean eating and exercise. 

So there's my update. I still work at a psychiatric hospital and am surrounded by psychotic, homicidal, and suicidal patients 12 hours a day. I'm still exhausted on the weekends because of it. I still want food. But I'm still losing weight, still feeling great, and still planning on finishing this out for the full 30 days (you are going to eat your words, Jeremy Wagoner). 

On a side note and to end this post I wanted to share a story from work today. 

I mainly work on the units with psychotic, homicidal, and suicidal adolescents and then occasionally with the chemical dependency unit for adolescents. Every once in a while, when a therapist is off for a couple days, I help on another unit which is for adolescent sex offenders. 

The other day I was doing just that, and was helping a therapist out by seeing one of his patients. This patient, let's call him "Jimmy", saw the wall in my office that I keep decorated with the artwork of my patients (they bring me drawings, coloring pages, and "Savannah is the best therapist in all the world" type signs - obviously, I adore them). He said casually, "Ms. Savannah, what's all that?" I explained to him, "Well, Jimmy, I really love it when people draw or color things for me. I'm proud of the effort they put into doing something nice for me, so I hang them up so I can remember them." 

Lo and behold, that evening he comes running up to me with a drawing of a Christmas tree and a fish tank. As would be expected, I immediately taped it up on my wall. That was last week. Today, I see him again and he presents me with a new drawing. 

I looked at it for a minute, smiled as big as I could and said, "Jimmy, that's the best hamster cage I've ever seen!" He immediately lit up, jumped up and down and said, "YES! It IS a hamster cage! Everyone else thought it was a TV!" 
The joy on his face at me guessing correctly what his drawing was, was the best gift I received today. I honestly felt like God blessed me with the answer so that I could see his excitement.
 I know that tomorrow, when people see that picture they are going to be skeptical or tease, and say "that's the way those kids pursue you as a victim, that's a persuasive gift." But you know what? I completely disagree. 
Yes, he's a sex offender... but that doesn't mean that every action is perverted. This kid gave me a drawing, was praised and validated, and wanted more praise and validation. I pride myself that I can be the person to make him feel appreciated for spending time drawing this awesome hamster cage in an igloo, having to have someone teach him how to draw roses for the pictures hanging on the wall.

Am I going to "Ooooo!" and "Aaaaah!" every time he brings me a picture, even if it's 5 pictures a day? 
Heck yes I am. Because this is a kid gifting me and trying to bless me. And Jesus (and myself) wants him to know that's awesome.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 6!

I am proud to say that I have reached Day 6 of my 30 day juice fast!

Sunday, the first day, was probably the most difficult. I felt very weak, nauseous, and light headed. Day 2, I was at work and got a headache around 12:00... which turned into a migraine that night and I was in bed at 7:00 that night. Day 3 was a lot better. I felt really good, even though I had a small headache. And since Day 4 I have been doing GREAT!

I have noticed several exciting things:

1) I'm pretty excited about this one..... I've been waking up wonderfully. Normally, the most difficult time of the day for me is in the mornings. I am my most angry (yes, angry) the first 60 seconds after I wake up. It's been like that for years. I wake up angry, and it fades away after a couple minutes. I'm sluggish, miserable and exhausted. But even just after the first day, I have been waking up easily! I am not alert, and ready for the day after I wake up!

2) I am sleeping wonderfully. I sleep deep, and it feels good.

3) I have so much energy! I am not at all tired during the day. Usually I would tell you my "good" part of the day was between 11:00 - 2:00. However, I now last until around 8:00 before getting tired! Talking about improvement!

4) I'm not hungry. Am I craving? I'm craving bread and cheese, nachos, pizza, biscuits and gravy, and all that non-goodness (whatever, we know it's goodness) like a crazy mad woman. But no, I'm not actually hungry. I drink 64 ounces a day, sometimes more depending on if I get hungry or need to slap a craving in the face with a shot of pineapple juice. I'm also trying to drink 80+ ounces of water along with it. To answer the question that everyone at work has asked me daily, and I know you are wondering yourself, is no. I am not pooping my brains out. So there. That's all I have to say on that note.

5) I walked a mile this evening. And I did it quick, and I was never out of breath, and most importantly my feet and legs never started cramping. I really do believe that my health and physical wellness will change from this point on, so why not be honest. Walking anywhere previously killed me. But not now. Praise the Lord.

6) I'm losing weight. I think I might save this for later, and say how much when the fast is over. Or I might not share at all. I'm not sure yet. The point is, all these other things are more exciting to me. I'm doing this to feel good.

Did I mention how proud I am? I fully expected to quit after day 2. But I haven't. It's been so much easier than I though, I am reaping the rewards so much sooner than I could have ever dreamed of.
When I go into work with my beet, turnip green, apple, lime, and orange juice... I'm proud.
When I still get on Pinterest at night and can look at pictures of bacon without stars bursting in front of my eyes (trust me, that happened the first 3 days)... I'm proud.
When I realize that I'm almost done with my first week... I'm proud. And excited.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Be Filled With Joy... and Juice

Today I bought a new Bible, new journal, and $100 worth of fruits and veggies to begin what I hope will be a 30 day juice fast. Tomorrow I embark on a journey to rejuvinate my spiritual life, refresh my emotional health, and bring me to a new place spiritually. I need more Jesus, less stress, and more health.

Around a month ago, my aunt sent me a DVD called "Hungry for Change." I sighed a little when I recieved it in the mail, knowing it would add to my knowledge of how unhealthy I am living and eating, and that then the guilt would come. Usually, guilt turns into "Well, I might as well eat half this pizza and a whole thing of oreos. I'm fat anyways." But when I watched this DVD, which focuses on "eating clean" and having a plant-based diet, something in my mind changed. Instead of being guilt-ridden and looking for the nearest block of butter, I found myself intrigued by the idea of a diet creating more energy, shedding some pounds, and making me feel good. I know this is basic, and any healthy diet/lifestyle should do this... but the movie focuses on how unhealthy all processed foods are. I pretty much knew this due to the fact that a McDonald's cheeseburger and fries lasted four weeks outside in my backyard (neighbor tossed it in the yard) without changing shape or color. After watching Hungry for Change, I found a Joe Cross's documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. I was immediately hooked. I wanted to do a juice fast.

I started adding a juice a day to my diet, without changing my diet. (Hungry for Change talks about adding things in, and as you get used to them then taking certain things out of your regular diet.) I loved it. And I craved a juice fast even more. So after much planning, I have arrived.

Tomorrow I am starting my juice fast. Again, I hope to last 30 days. I plan to post occasionally, with an update on how I'm doing. The following are my reasons for doing the fast.

- I need to end my cravings for bad food. I need to break habits of emotional eating and cycles of craving sweets, grease, and salt.
- I need to lose weight. Simply said, it's holding me back.
- I'm scared I have sleep apnea. I wake up at night with a gasp, and I am never (I repeat, NEVER) rested. The most difficult time of my day, when I am most tired and sluggish, is the first 2 hours after waking up.
- I want more energy. I'm tired all the time.
- I want to be healthy. I want to know that what I am putting in my body is healthy, not harmful. I want to not be filled with chemicals, and processed foods.

I am following the 15 day plan found on and using the recipes and grocery list provided. I went and purchased 100 dollars of groceries, and spent almost 3 hours prepping for the first 5 days. I washed the fruits and veggies, and portioned them out into gallon ziplock bags, labeling each bag for what day and meal they will be. The plan suggests waking up and immediately drinking a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon in it (it is an energizer and kick starts your metabolism). You then are to drink five different juices, each 16 ounce servings. Along with 16 ounces of coconut water, and LOTS of water.

So here I go. Prayers would be appreciated. This ain't goin' to be easy, folks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time for Some Goals!

Graduation is just around the corner and with it comes summer! Graduation is 23 days away, but in reality I will be done with my Graduate Assistantship and (hopefully) all of my final papers and projects by April 28th. That day will be my last day of classes, and the date of submission for my last projects and papers. Following that wonderful Saturday, I have no plans, no job as of yet, and will still be waiting to take my licensure exam in order to become a CSW (required in order for me to have a job at any agency/organization).
I predict that I will have one month off, possibly more depending on how long it will take to find a job.
That leaves some time for good summer goals, and whether or not I start my career immediately (oh my goodness... I just said the words "my career") summer goals will continue on!
A good friend of mine, Sarah Shaffer, writes a fantastic blog: Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman. You should definitely check it out! It's filled with new recipes, a fantastic series on keeping your life organized, home decor ideas, and even some awesome give-aways!
Anyways, the point is that she recently wrote a post about her summer goals... and we all know how much I love a good list. So I thought I would create my own! Another reason that I'm doing this is that being in graduate school has made me feel as if I have had to put a hold on my goal setting. I don't have time for goals. Isn't that sad? For the past year, the only thing I can do is think about the assignment that is due in the next two days and how I have to continue working 50 hours a week while taking 15 hours of graduate classes.
So it's time to set some goals, now that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!
Savannah's Summer Goals (In No Particular Order)
  • Take and pass my licensure exam with a score above a 75% (so that I can switch states if needed)
  • Find a job, start my career (there are those words again!)
  • Practice my guitar, be able to play one of my favorite songs
  • Get involved at NewLife Church again, and become an active Chi Alphian!
  • Fulfill my promise of sending handmade goodies to the 5 people who commented on a give-away type status I posted on FB
  • Visit my dear friend, Leah Blackketter in Cinci
  • Do some painting and crafting (make use of all those Pinterest craft ideas I saved)
  • Hang pictures and painting up on my bare and empty living room wall
  • Pick one topic related to my field and study up (I think I will start with Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy... I'm pretty interested in reactions to grief and trauma, especially in adolescents)
  • Try new recipes and start organizing my "Sooter Family Cookbook" which has become slightly overwhelming
  • Spend more time with Kate and all the wonderful friends I have here in Bowling Green
  • Read 15 books, starting with the book "Flashbang" which I have started several times and never finished
  • Start journaling again
  • Take more pictures, documenting my life and the wonderful friendships I have
  • Spend more time in prayer
  • Begin reading the Bible in chronological order (which I have never done)
  • Study (Kay Arthur style!) 2 books of the Bible
  • Go through the entire summer with all laundry being placed on hangers and hung in the closet relatively soon after being washed and dried
  • Go on brisk walks very frequently
  • Finally, as the purpose of this blog is to keep family living out of state updated on how my life is going and what I have been doing lately (sorry I haven't been doing too well, Grandma), I am going to attempt to post more pictures of things that I love and things that I have been doing.

    And there you have it.
    I've set my summer goals.

Friday, January 27, 2012

One of those days....

Approximately 342 days of the year, I have "one of those days".
This type of day means I am sitting at work with a long list (crafts I would like to be doing, books I would like to be reading, and recipes I would like to be cooking) running through my head.
Today is one of those days.
To honor it, here is my list of "If I had my druthers I would be.... "
  • At home taking down my Christmas tree, but stringing up more beautiful lights in my apartment.
  • Cleaning out my craft closet (organizing is the better word to use, since I know I wouldn't actually throw any craft items away)
  • Participating in the National Soup Month by putting potato soup in the crockpot
  • Cashing in my free coffee coupon at Starbucks
  • Playing James Morrison quietly in the background
  • Hanging up the heart garland my friend Kate made for me
  • Making a "Take What You Need Sign" for all the people I love (I will post on this later, as it really is a sweet idea)
  • Making Gavin's prayer chain, and Kyle's bracelets that they have so very patiently been waiting for (sorry guys)
  • Reading Flashbang!
  • Writing scriptures on pieces of cardboard to hang on my walls
  • Planning spring time decorations
  • Browsing through my latest Martha Stewart magazine with a pack of post-its close at hand
  • Placing my PRE study guide underneath a magazine so that I can ignore it's calls to study
  • Attempting to find a Peter Pan shadow decal for sale on the internet
  • Cuddling with Rilla, my sweet kitty
  • Planning next weeks recipes/menu
  • Watching the Civil Wars cover of "Billie Jean", maybe... eh, twenty-seven times
  • Planning a cruise with my friend Lynde
  • Sewing handkerchiefs onto my living room couch pillows
  • Copying poems, quotes and scriptures into my "Collections" journal
  • Journaling
If you check back again with me next week, I'm sure I'll have the same list stuck in my head.
The whole idea of "I want to be at home - taking care of my nest, cooking, and crafting" is not a new idea for me.
Note: While I talk about all the things I want to be doing at home... I am so blessed to have the job(s) that I do. I am getting paid to sit here, blogging and doing homework. I have an internship with people that I absolutely love, get along with really well, and I get to work with teenage boys that are funny, clever and brave.
I have a blessed life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"two birthdays, a grill, and some non-exclusiveness"

Oh the days of being in Murray, when a birthday meant lots of food, lots of people and the chance to write a goofy email.
For some reason, as I was searching my gmail account for a friend's address, this email came up.
I wrote it to invite people to a birthday party, and re-reading it made me giggle. 

Reason number 7,945 that I miss Murray.... I don't get a chance to write emails like this.

"Dear friends.
For some odd reason I was put in charge of sending out the invite email for the big shindig Danni and Susan are having tomorrow night for Danni and Kaylee's birthday. I guess you could call it a birthday bash. I believe, however, that a "bash" is violent and a "shindig" sounds like it originated from the 70's. So let's go with shindig.
Anyways, let me tell you several things.
1) Grill is provided, and so is the meat.
2) We need sides. Lots of them. And not the kind found under your arm, the kind that comes in a bowl or casserole dish that is edible.
3) Drinks, chips, and some desserts are also acceptable.
4) I am not an elephant, therefore I don't remember everyone's email address. So.. if someone's email is not in here, PLEASE invite them. Mk. Thanks.
5) I need to know if you are coming, and if you are bringing something (please do) and what it is.

Danni's NEW apartment is 1411 Hillwood. You drive past WalMart (it's on your left), take the second road to your right after you pass the hotel on your right -- NorthWood. Turn left on Hillwood. It's the only 2 story duplex on the road, it's on your left and it's 1411.

It starts at 6:30, tomorrow night.
Email me back (although I prefer carrier pigeon. they're cuter.)

All my appreciation,
Lady of the Lake of Shining Waters.

P.S. This is not formal ladies and gents, we prefer that you do not show in formal attire. A.K.A. Tuxedos and evening gowns.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Turned on the Radio

I never listen to the Radio. Why? Because christain radio stations tend to play the same 15 songs for 10 years in a row. Like this one below. But today I turned on the radio. And it was a good thing. Because I needed to hear this song. Especially the parts underlined.

"I Need You To Love Me"

Barlow Girl

Why, why are You still here with me
Didn't You see what I've done?
In my shame I want to run and hide myself
But it's here I see the truth
I don't deserve You

But I need You to love me, and I
I won't keep my heart from You this time
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need You to love me

I, I have wasted so much time
Pushing You away from me
I just never saw how You could cherish me
'Cause You're a God who has all things
And still You want me

Your love makes me forget what I have been
Your love makes me see who I really am
Your love makes me forget what I have been

God's grace is a gift that I'll never stop gawking at.