Monday, December 14, 2009
I feel exhausted just thinking about it!
Maybe it’s time to revisit that second wife idea. Any takers?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
30 Things I’m Thankful for in 2009
I’ve been feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed in my life lately. Work is not a problem in itself, but having a busy full time workload to try to focus on mixed with raising a four-year old who is going through the typical (but exhausting) changes of amazing explosive learning and striving for independence that turns into exasperating (and sometimes heart-breaking) episodes of defiance leaves my life nothing short of a train wreck. I literally feel like I’m walking on eggshells emotionally at times, and I’m usually tired on some level regardless of how much sleep I get. Losing daylight to the time change doesn’t help, either. Getting the home organization front back under control is helping a little, but I think I need a little extra boost.
To counter the cycle of negativity, as we head into the holiday season which is kicked off by my very FAVORITE day of the year next week (!!!), I am going to follow the trend I’m seeing from other friends online in listing out some of the things I’m thankful for. A number of people have been posting one thing a day for the month of November. I don’t have that kind of focus to post one each day, but how about if I list a month’s worth all at once? That seems like a lot, but despite the problems I have both externally driven and generated from within, I do have a number of people and relationships I value very deeply, and a comfortable life to be grateful for. I’m going to call them out here!
1. My husband. I am exceptionally grateful to have met, be sharing a life with, and be raising a child with such a wonderful man. He shares many of my views on life, enjoys some of my same interests, indulges my sense of humor, and even shares a lot of my aesthetic preferences. He is a kind person with a warm smile who I love to be with. He works hard, values his family, and makes me very happy. I am lucky enough to have had him wait for me to enter his life and be willing to give up his adorable kitties and some food freedoms to keep me in his life. As he told a cab driver in Vegas, we are soulmates.
2. My son. The birth of my son, OUR son, is the single greatest joy that I have ever experienced. He is the light of my life, and was worth every single second of hardship during pregnancy and the early days. He is a beautiful, precious person that my husband and I still marvel about having created, and he charms us daily and everybody he meets.
3-4. My parents. I am extremely lucky to have two unbelievably amazing parents who provide unlimited help and support, love, and have always been there for me. It is a credit to them for raising me to believe in the inherent goodness of people and the importance of doing the right thing. They have worked hard to achieve the things they have and have always set an outstanding example by being amazing people outside of their role as parents and now grandparents. It is a bonus that I never take for granted to have them living nearby and be actively involved in our lives.
5. My aunt and uncle. I have a number of relatives who I value, but in particular I do have one aunt and uncle who are a bigger part of our lives, and I am grateful for them. We get together several times throughout the year, and they are a pleasure to hang out with, very thoughtful, fun, and love our boy as though he were their own. I wish we saw them even more, but I am glad we work to keep it frequent.
6. My grandparents. I was blessed with some amazing grandparents. My mom’s dad died when I was very young, but he served his country proudly and set an excellent example for my mother to become the amazing person she is. My Grammy (mom’s mom) was a true pioneer and an amazing lady. She played sports young and continued to love them later, served as a nurse in the military during wartime, raised a large family partially alone after my grandfather died (my mom was the oldest), and was just an all around impressive person with a passion for life and her family. I am grateful she was able to be with us long enough to see me marry my honey. Likewise, my Grandpop (dad’s dad) also served his country in several wars, and then went on to pursue other fascinating interests like flying and sailing. My Grandmom (dad’s mom) is the only grandparent I still have around, and although her mind is starting to fail her a little, she is a sweet lady with a warm heart.
7. My extended family. I have loads of other family members who, although I don’t see very often, have a place in my heart and left a positive impression on me growing up. My mom is the oldest of six, and mixed with several spouses and kids I fondly remember huge chaotic Thanksgiving gatherings, summers with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and occasional visits to my mom’s aunts/uncles/cousins up further north. I have reconnected with some through Facebook, and miss them all.
8. My mother-in-law. I think the cliché about nobody getting along with their mother-in-law is sad, and I’m glad it doesn’t apply to me. My mother-in-law is sweet, wonderful, and awesome. I wish we got to spend more time with her, and look forward to her upcoming visit.
9. My “second” mom. Not everybody is lucky enough to have a second mother growing up, but I did. As my mom was a trailblazer in the world of working moms, I had a second one to watch me before and after school, and a whole family to fill in until mine got home. She is missed by all of her family will always hold a special place in my heart.
10. God. I am not outwardly religious, but I was raised catholic, and I do believe firmly in God. That being said, I am grateful to God for being so tolerant of me, and filling my life with happiness despite my lack of dedication to visiting him anywhere other than in my own head more than once or twice a year.
11. The United States of America. I am grateful to happen to be born in this great country. It is not perfect, but I feel very lucky and I am a proud patriot. ‘Nuff said.
12-15. Four dear girlfriends. I consider myself very lucky to have four close friends, each met at different times in my life, with whom I frequently talk, regularly get together, and can bear my heart to and let it all hang out with. One is a college sorority sister who no longer lives in the area but who is never far from my heart and life. One I met shortly after getting married through her now husband; with them we share a lot of common interests and our kids are now sandwiched in age. Another I met through my son, she is more like me than anyone I’ve ever met and became a dear friend in a short period of time. Last but not least is my “newest” close friend, who I met through my husband’s work, and we found ourselves instantly compatible. I would be happy to spend any of my time with each of these awesome ladies, and I am grateful to have them in my life.
16. Other good friends. I do have a lot of other worthy friends to be grateful for. Some are the boys associated with the ladies listed above. Some are friends from my husband’s office. Other college, high school, and childhood friends are in the mix, too. All are worth knowing and hanging out with.
17. My husband’s company. He is lucky enough to work for a great company, which is small enough to be a close-knit group of people, but big enough to keep going through the tough times, and it has always been there for us. He has grown into his career there and it keeps him on his toes but also gives him fulfillment.
18. Fairfax County, Virginia. It was a great place to grow up, and it is a great place to work. I’ve grown and flourished in my career there, and they provide well.
19. The nursing staff and one NICU doctor at Fairfax Hospital. While listed above as the greatest joy ever, the birth of our son and the couple weeks after were also some of the most stressful and difficult times I’ve ever felt. There were some amazing staff who attended to me as well as to our son during his time there who surely had wings tucked under their scrubs. And to one doctor who spent an entire afternoon studying our boy’s confusing chart to make some sense of his health to give us some much-needed answers I will always be thankful.
20. Our son’s school. I am grateful to have our son enrolled in a preschool/care program with warm, talented, and trustworthy teachers and staff, and which has a healthy, pleasant environment and a beneficial curriculum.
21. Our home. Our home is modest, but I am grateful for its shelter, security, and its housing of us, our things, and our good times and memories created here.
22. Our neighborhood. I am grateful that our home is located in a neighborhood filled with nature trails, wildlife, and beautiful scenery. I am also thankful for the wonderful amenities we have such as 3 pools, numerous playgrounds, easy access to shopping, and a duck pond filled with fish and turtles.
23. My education. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to get a higher education, so that I may pursue my chosen career, but also so that I am able to think and learn independently.
24. My health. Although I have a myriad of “issues” as anyone does, I am grateful to have my general health. No terminal diseases, no physical disabilities, and I have use of all my senses.
25. My mental health. This one is arguable at times, but I am grateful for a clear and productive mind.
26. My eyes. Already mentioned the senses above, but I am particularly grateful to have clear unassisted vision, and with some decent looking eyes to peer out of.
27. My business. I am happy that I have accomplished starting a business for myself, and whatever level it remains at in my life I will always feel that pride.
28. Hobbies and interests to be passionate about. I am grateful to have a lot of things that I like to do and that make me tick, and others waiting in the wings for when there are more than 24 hours in a day. Some are physical, like ice hockey, pole dancing, and running/triathlon, others are more creative, like scrapbooking and photography, still others more passive like reading.
29. My parent’s beach house. I am grateful that my parents have the means to own a home at the beach where I spent summer vacations growing up that is easy to get to and often available for a getaway. My son shares my passion for the beach and I am grateful he has access to this beloved resource.
30. The internet. Gore really came through on that one, ha! J Seriously, though, the internet has only been a reality in my life since post college, and it has changed and improved my life and the world in so many ways it is easy to forget. After this many years I am still constantly impressed by new things I learn it can be useful for.
What are you thankful for?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
When the “Twilight” books came out a while back, I saw how goofy everybody got over them, I even knew people who were posting that they had to drop everything for a couple of days to finish reading them because they couldn’t put them down, and I was inclined not to like the idea of the book(s) myself as a result of such silliness. I really thought it was weird that people I thought of as so normal got so obsessed over them. (I still do.) However, more out of curiosity than anything else, I recently decided to read the first one in the series. In light of the impending protest by several and proclamation by one good friend that people should read Bram Stoker’s Dracula instead, because it is “classic for a reason”, I purchased a copy of that, too, and plan to read it next as an exercise in contrast and comparison. Perhaps I’ll even write a book report of sorts, analyzing the two jointly.
Because I was in the mood for a distinctly lighter read, I chose to read Twilight first. Apparently I have shocked and disappointed the above-mentioned folks in the process! Can ye naysayers not appreciate a light read? Granted, the characters are teenagers, but I’m sorry, the sexual electricity created with this story is fantastic. WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH ENJOYING A LITTLE CHEAP THRILL now and then, come on?! Further, the back story with the vampires and the differences in their characteristics from those we are previously most familiar with is not half bad. I can see, however, that several of the “special” effects described in the book, which are intended to create a picture in your mind, which are fairly cool in the context of MY mind, probably look really lame on a screen, so I don’t intend to see the movies. Likewise, with the way they describe the looks of some of the characters, I fail to see how they can be done justice by any lame angsty teenage actor, such as they who are plastered all over the magazines..
My opinion is that people who are obsessed with the book must be missing a little something in their lives (apologies if this hits home!) But, after almost finishing it I stand firmly by the book as being GOOD. It is not the end-all-be-all of teenage, vampire, or any other books, but it is reasonably good, and fairly entertaining. In conclusion, anyone that thinks I’m a cheesy dumbass for reading and kinda liking Twilight can BITE me. (Pun intended!)
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Here's an idea: if a snapshot in your daily life could look any way you wanted it to, short of sprouting magical powers or winning 15 million dollars in the lottery, how would it look? For some reason today this popped into my head, probably because I'm feeling a tiny bit out of control of my life, as is sometimes the case. If one were to write up an analysis of one's "ideal" day, not having to worry about the confines of time, money, or logistics, what would it look like? And if one were to do that, would it help give some insight as to how to make small "real" changes in one's life to get it closer to that picture?
I figure there might be a couple of different scenarios worth exploring for me. The current daily snapshot, with current employment schedule factored in. Then the "I have enough money not to need that job and doing a different job" scenario. And then there's the "it's the weekend, or vacation, and today is whatever it wants to be" scenario. Interested? I am.
Current Employment Scenario:
Overview: I work for a county government, in Planning and Zoning. I like this subject matter well enough, and I like the people I work with. I've been here almost 10 years (with some minor gaps), and it is my intent to continue through retirement, to take full advantage of the generous pension benefits, which I am eligible for in approximately 2026 (I'll be 55, I'm now 38.) I aspire to and am confident that I will progress from my current position through one or more levels of management along the way.
Ideal Daily Snapshot: I think what I struggle most with is time (mixed with energy). If I had an endless supply of both, here's how my day would look: I'd wake up about 2.5 hours before I needed to leave the house. I'd drink a glass of water, and maybe have a bite or two of a piece of fruit. Then, I'd work out. A half hour workout of moderate intensity, enough to feel fitter, rev the metabolism, and get the energy juices flowing. It would feel good, not exhausting, because I'd be maintaining a healthy figure and fitness level, not straining to create one. Following my workout, I'd shower and dress for the day, taking the full time I actually need to get ready at a leisurely pace, although I would have chosen clothing ahead of time and laid it out, and would have packed a healthy lunch and planned a healthy breakfast in advance. Additionally, I'd really like to spend about 30 minutes on the home computer each morning, checking email, reading blogs, and writing posts, both for my personal and wedding business accounts. During this time I'd like to be eating a healthy breakfast, as well. After this I'd like to wake my son for school, allow him the 30-45 minutes he enjoys to watch a tv show, hang out with us, get dressed, and be ready to go. With a few more minutes added to that he could enjoy breakfast at home rather than having it be portable and eaten in the car.
After dropping him off at school and arriving at work, I'd like to be more focused and efficient than I sometimes am currently, without all the personal life distractions that result from never having enough time for it all. Of the 5 days a week I work and have a lunch hour, I would like 2 of my lunch hours to include walks or workouts of some sort, and 1 or 2 to include accomplishing minor errands.
After picking the boy up and returning home, I'd like to have the time to develop my rudimentary cooking skills to prepare healthy dinners, which I have planned out and shopped for ahead of time, without time pressure and a lack of energy. A family dinner together, followed by play time together. (We do already do this.) Time for a workout before it got to late would be great, too, without missing out on the play time. Following the family bedtime hour, I'd love not to be out of energy! I'd like to spend about 1 hour on the computer for wedding business stuff, and half an hour for more personal computer time. Then, I'd like to watch at least 1 hour of tv with my husband, take a warm bath, read a book for about 30 minutes, then go to bed. The piece de resistance? I'd like to get 8 or more hours of sleep. A lot of people have 6 hour bodies and are good to go, I am not one of those. I can and do short myself regularly, but by the end of the week I am a zombie.
Analysis: Money not a factor in improving this scenario. Sure, having a bigger nicer house to do it all in would be great, but it's not what I wish to improve day in and day out. Energy could be improved dramatically if I was at a healthier weight and fitness level, and got more sleep. The kicker on this one is time. Estimated number of hours in this dream day: 19 hours of awake time + 8-9 hours sleep = 27-28 hours needed in a day... Hey, I'm only like 3-4 hours short, it could be worse, right? ;)
Ideal Employment Scenario: Although I don't mind my current employment, if I had a lifelong reasonable supply of money so as not to need to count on a full size salary or retirement benefits, I'd probably ditch this career except as an interested citizen/advocate for local cases I cared about, and instead take a lot more time and energy working on my wedding planning business. There are several hours worth of things I could do on a daily basis to dramatically improve and expand this now hobby-level company, to pull in at least a part time income and make a name for myself in the business locally.
Same morning, without having to fit in the workout. Substitute having a leisurely breakfast together with the boy before school. Same amount of time to drop off at school and go to the workplace, which would now be home. The difference would be, either part time days and/or some days off. Likewise for the boy and his school. I like the idea of a 3 day a week, 4 hour a day schedule plus additional meetings and appointments as needed. Healthy lunches at home, furthering the cooking skills. Fitting in a workout and shower outdoors, before picking up the boy. More boy/activity time in the afternoon. Same evening schedule, without having to fit in the workout, or the hour of business time. This one I could totally make fit within the day, money is the missing link. On the non working days, we could return to our stay-at-home mommy lifestyle, having playdates, going to the library and other activities, etc. I miss those wonderful times!
Weekend/Vacation Scenario: Energy might be the only missing link here. If I were able to live my daily working life in one of the two above scenarios, the weekend would consist of minimal errands, some working out, a lot of family time, and some social time. And plenty of sleep. Totally doable, if the rest of the life was on track as preferred above. I'd have at least one major family outing planned, and plenty of time to play outside and relax at home built in.
Did this exercise generate any ideas for how to make my life closer to those scenarios in a realistic fashion? Yes and no. I plan to noodle that one for a bit and come back to it... Tell me if you try it and it does something for you!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Oh, but you read this because you want to hear and talk about WEIGHT LOSS and stuff, right? Well, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you. Or it. I just haven’t been keeping up with it lately. Again. But I did have a fantastic initial experience with the Total Sugar Addict’s Recovery Program (developed by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.), until I chose to take a break from it and voluntarily jump off the wagon. The problem is, when you do that, the wagon seems to drive away, for me at least, making it a lot tougher to get back on. Traveling this weekend makes it too tough a time to start over, but I vow to myself to reenter the steps again next week (there are 7 in all.) Do you want to know why? Because I DID learn a lot in the process, including the fact that I am a full-blown, hard core sugar addict, as I’ve always suspected. There is no way in hell I would confess to exactly how much of certain bad things I can and do eat in a given “off” day, but suffice it to say it’s pretty creepy. (And expensive, too!) So, a quick run-down of the steps (which are to be conquered one at a time she says, no all or nothing mentality here):
Step 1: eat a good breakfast centered on protein every day, within an hour of waking up. That seems sorta basic and obvious, but when I really think about what and how I eat breakfast, it was actually a lot harder to establish, and easier to fall out of, than I expected. Since I can’t eat eggs (allergy), don’t love sausage, and bacon is way more fat than protein, the only way I could figure out to get enough is by including either Greek yogurt (which has 3x more protein than regular) or adding protein powder to my breakfast. How much protein is enough? Well, according to Kathleen, an amount recommended on this program is only slightly more than the average recommended daily, and can be estimated by cutting your weight in half, and then dividing it by 3, giving you the suggested protein grams for breakfast (and eventually per meal.) So, a 200 pound person should be getting like 33 grams of protein at breakfast. Not very easy, people, but makes a HUGE difference in not getting hungry soon after! (People over 250 pounds are just supposed to use 250 to make this calculation.)
Step 2: learn how to journal your food and the associated feelings about it. Very tough. Not so hard for the Weight Watchers types, but even with my history of that, I’m still lazy about writing it down. And I enjoy the concept of documenting how I feel, as evidenced by this blog, but I’m poor at making a frequent enough practice of it.
Step 3: here’s where we get into the meat of it, and this one was tough at first but enormously beneficial- consolidate all eating into three meals without snacks in between, and those meals must be centered around protein (in the amounts described above) and also include a complex carb. Huh? Most diets tell us to eat more frequent, smaller meals, which is better for keeping a more even blood sugar. However, Kathleen points out, we sugar addicts tend to graze to a point of forgetting to stop, pretty much eating all the time. (Raising hand.) This is to teach us to consciously start and stop eating, and wait a reasonable length of time before eating again. The protein and complex carb combo actually managed to hold me between meals, much to my surprise, and at this stage you don’t even have to give up the sugars yet if you’re not ready, nor do you have to focus too much on portion control. No lie she says you can still eat your cookies or (insert your nemesis here) as long as you have it WITH your meal. I didn’t, when I was doing it, but I sure liked the idea of being able to.
Step 4: this is the one I raised so many questions with when I mentioned it before- the nightly potato. You are supposed to eat a potato near to bedtime at least 3 hours after your dinner meal. You must eat the skin, you can cook it any way you like and have it with fats (like butter, oil, etc.) but with no protein. What the F, right? I thought it was a little quacky at first, even though I’ve got a friend who swears by this program from past experience, but the scientific explanation makes it pretty logical. Apparently Kathleen has discovered that typically sugar addicted people have three components contributing to it, one of which is chronically low serotonin levels. Long story short: eating the proteinless carb allows the body to release a rush of insulin which chemically aids in the body in raising its serotonin levels, but by doing it while you’re asleep it avoids some of the other pitfalls of going on a carb rush, like craving sugar shortly after. If you still think I’m crazy, go read the book, I swear it makes sense. And, although initially the idea of a potato at bedtime seemed kinda unappealing, when I wasn’t snacking like I was accustomed to it was a MUCH welcomed yummy tv snack. I cut ‘em up and roasted them in olive oil, so they were like a plate of French fries. Fantastic.
That’s as far as I got in the program before opting out, but after that you begin shifting away from any “white foods” (like non-whole grain bread, white rice, etc.) to “brown” foods (complex and whole grain carbs), and ultimately away from any form of sugar or unrefined carb.
I know I am filled with empty promises to myself, but as stated above I’d like to plan to restart this program again next week, with the understanding of how badly I need it, and knowing that I’ve been spinning my wheels about weight loss for over a year now. I still weigh the same, I still eat handfuls of cookies anytime I want, and I haven’t lost a thing other than a tiny bit of my confidence that I can really lose the weight. So this program is going to change that.
Oh, yea, and Biggest Loser starts up again tonight. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go check it out at www.loseforgood.com
I'll be back soon!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
20th out of 22 women in my age group (35-39), 68th out of 72 women overall (but last 2 dnf). Not fabulous but not last.
Swim in 10 min. 33 sec. (I had estimated 10 minutes, and we didn't get to wear wetsuits which are an advantage),
5 min. 27 sec. in the first transition, which seems bad except the time started leaving the gate of the pool, you did have to run to the way back of the bike rack first, and then had to walk or run your bike pretty far out before being allowed to get on it...,
53 min. 18 sec. on the bike, not too bad considering it had an extra piece of hill I didn't realize in training,
2 min. 33 sec. in the second transition, not bad, could have been shorter but I was basically resting and psyching myself up, and
43 min. 34 sec. on the run/walk. That was my weakness. Although I ran a lot, I did have to walk some here and there, which slowed me down.
Overall time therefore was 1 hr., 55 min., 25 seconds, so I DID meet my sub 2 hours goal. (If I had also met my no walking goal I would have obliterated it, though, so better goals for next year!)
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
My sprint triathlon is 2 weeks from today. Friday evening, I FINALLY broke my spell and gave the swim a try. Back a few years ago, I had trained for an Olympic distance tri, which consists of a mile swim. In practice I used to swim a mile in about an hour, under event adrenaline I did it in about 50 min. SO, I was guessing that a quarter of a mile wouldn't be so tough, even after such time away, and I was expecting that I could swim it in about 15 minutes. Good and bad news there. The bad news is, even though I seem to remember a lot of the proper technique, it is still more tiring than I had hoped. Obviously I should have been swimming regularly much sooner. In addition, I'm wearing a shortie wetsuit, and it makes it ever so slightly tougher to breathe when tired and gasping for air. The good news? It went by fast, I did my quarter mile in only 10 minutes, and I seemed to recover from the gasping fairly quickly. I began to feel a sense of cautious confidence that I really would be able to do this thing without too much agony, despite my training shortcomings!
Saturday was the bike route again. I had my friend Chuck with me again, the weather was warm but with a comfortable breeze (which at times became a frustrating headwind.) I figured hammering out this hilly route repeatedly would make it get progressively easier. However, I've had an on again, off again nagging sore hip for the last several weeks, and combined with the leadlike legs I seem to be left with every Saturday following my earlier in the week pole dance class, the first second on the bike felt like a drag. And although he looked like it was getting easier each time for him, Chuck was not able to drag my ass up that last hill. As they say in the world of marathon training, I "bonked". With no plans to even consider quitting my legs just pulled themselves out of the pedals and I jumped off. After some Gatorade and arguing with myself I got back on, ground out a couple of more strokes (this being the steepest part of the steepest hill), and involuntarily jumped off again. I walked it to the top, and bailed on the last long gradual hill. What a disappointment.
Sunday I went out in the morning before it got hot for a run, to preview the course. One block of just walking and my hip was aching me badly enough not to be able to run at all, and although I walked for about 45 minutes I probably shouldn't have. Feeling dejected, I made a plan for the next two weeks to get to and through the tri: wear no heels (they seem to flare it up), keep workouts spaced out and minimal, do my dance class barefoot this week and not at all next week (make it up later), don't climb the pole, as I think that's what is putting so much pressure/torque on the hip in the first place, and hope like hell that the hip feels better enough at the beginning of the tri to make a go of it. Even though I feel I have failed myself in my plans for training and weight loss to make this race a more pleasant experience, doing it and finishing it will still be rewarding. I just have a better excuse now than I did. Sigh...
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I will beat myself up if I don't get to the pool tomorrow!!!
Despite still eating like a maniac, I've taken back off 2 of the 5 pounds I had lost then regained. Sigh...
My DivaFit class (pole dance) "Level 4" starts tonight. My very favorite workout of the week! :) Sometime in the next couple of weeks we start to learn "inversions", which means hanging upside down from the pole. Surely that is a joke! I look forward immensely to the Level 6 graduation performance opportunity, but I fear I may get stuck at Level 4 for a while. With some extra pounds and weak shoulders and abs, I may not make it through these moves quite yet. We'll see!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Now, that aside, I have still been running here and there, and this weekend was my best run yet- 40 minutes nonstop, with a big heavy stroller on the flat, went 2.9 miles. That comes out to a snailey 13.8 minutes per mile, but I'd like to see how I do on the same route sans stroller boy. Additionally, I need to try the race route soon! :)
Plodding along on the bike, which is all I can do there. It's a horribly hilly leg grinding course, and all I can do is keep repeating it until I'm more used to it. I did it a second time this weekend with a friend, and let me tell you two things about that. One, it is a lot easier to suffer when you've got a distraction, such as checking up on and/or not wanting to look bad in front of someone else. Two, however, I do not recommend riding 12 miles up hills the morning after having a bunch of wine and 4 hours sleep! Enough said about that. :) I am planning to go pound it out again tonight, hopefully accompanied by the same friend.
Don't quite know what to say about the head muddle. Obviously, someone who chronically overeats and struggles with achievable weight loss goals is not in an ideal place mentally, anyway, but I feel weirder than usual the last week or two. I'm not even sure what I can say about it. I have not had anything significant change in my life, but I feel slightly less happy than I was bursting with a few months ago. I'll mull it over and write about it soon if it clarifies itself.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Oops, I've been absent from my blog again.
Oops, I've been eating like the famine is coming. And no, not vegetables.
Oops, I think I put those 5 pounds I lost back on. After my monthly friend leaves I'll let you know if it was permanent or not. I'm thinking yes, as the calories ingested usually don't lie.
Alas, I've had so much to say recently, but as I'd compose so many posts in my head I realized they were the same old story, and I was mildly embarrassed. If you've been with me for any length of time, you've already heard me whine about hormones, about food addictions and restrictions, about my desire to achieve healthy greatness not translating into action. So, I blogged in my head for a bit until I had something new to say. I would have liked to make some workout entries, but time got away from me too, out of habit, out of mind.
But now, I am one month from my sprint triathlon. Not my first, but my first in a very long time, and my first that I won't be focused only on finishing, but rather have some modest goals for myself, too. I have been exercising, including running some, but I don't know that I would use the word "training" with a straight face, and with one month left, I took a "moment of truth" step today- I got on the bike.
Before I tell more, a not-so-quick synopsis for those not in the know on my fitness history:
Childhood- ballet, ballet, ballet. Earliest childhood through sophomore year of high school, I was into progressively more serious ballet. I had a teacher who had been pro in an eastern bloc country, and she bred a couple of pros here. So, as one aged and blossomed, one was chastised for not having a ballerina's body. I practiced 3 times a week and was in the performing group, but was always solidly average. Eventually she told me (and a few of my friends) that if we weren't headed down the path of becoming professional then we were wasting her time and ours. So, not having the physique or the desire, rather than $hitting, I got off the pot.
Middle school through early college- horseback riding. I only figured out how cool riding would be when I met another friend who was doing it. Went to a very proper (kinda snotty) riding school, learned a lot, worked the stables to "train" to work there for about two years before figuring out they weren't going to pay me. Never had a shot of having a horse myself because of money and lack of experience by me or anyone in my family. It's not just a pet and a hobby, it's a whole lifestyle. Freshman year in college I was on the riding team, competing at the lowest level, and then the following year budget cuts resulted in sale of the school's team horses. After that only those who could bring their own mounts to school with them could ride.
My only other school activities through college were singing, theatre, and other non-physical pursuits. That's it. No soccer, no nothing.
Post college, I got into playing volleyball, competitively. I played for several years and wasn't half bad. For a time, I went through a phase of running. Got up to regularly doing 3 miles, didn't keep track of my speed. Then, following the debut of women's hockey in the Olympics, a light bulb went off and I took that up. While I was helping my best friend prepare for entering the FBI Academy and coinciding with turning 30 and feeling weird about it, I entered a 10K. (Should have started with 5!) I swindled another friend into doing it with me, and we walked a lot of it. Felt like dying afterward because when I saw the finish line it looked a lot closer than it was and I sorta sprinted a hideously long way. At 32 I really fell off my rock and entered an Olympic distance tri, and really actually trained, but I trained to be able to start and finish, starting from zero. My goal was to survive, and to finish. I accomplished that, finishing very last, walking the entire 10K, with the course closing around me. But it felt absolutely amazing to accomplish that, one of my best moments. A year or two later prior to having a kid I wanted to do another one, so I did a sprint distance, and barely trained at all. I finished, but it wasn't very fun.
That's it. I'm 38 years old, I have a kid now who is almost 4, I've never taken off the baby weight and accompanying post-baby stress weight, which is why I am writing this blog to work through, and my main forms of exercise now are playing hockey and pole dancing. So, naturally when I found out there was a tri IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD I couldn't help myself.
So, back to the bike. Last weekend at the beach, my butt touched a bike for the first time in 5+ years, and I rode it approx. 12 miles to verify I could deal with that distance. I could, but it was a poor test, because it was a big 'ole beach cruiser bike, and I rode it up and down the boardwalk where I was braking and weaving among other bikes and pedestrians the whole time. Took me an eternity, and my butt and legs were horribly sore upon dismounting. But, I did the "brick" thing and jogged a couple of blocks after to get accustomed to how badly that feels. So today, I climbed on my mountain bike which is outfitted with road tires, and rode it the exact 12 mile course of the tri. The run leg, happily, is advertised as "flat and fast." The bike leg, however, is not. For those familiar with this neighborhood, a good portion of it is hilly. They managed to put it downhill for the very longest and steepest hill, but other than that it is a lot of freakin' uphill. I did the whole thing in 51 minutes. Snail city! But, the cool thing was twofold. First, I had run earlier this morning, so my legs were not fresh, as they won't be after the swim, and second, as awful as I felt DURING the ride, after when I got off I didn't feel half bad, like a run wouldn't have killed me.
So, looks like I will be riding those hills a lot over the next month in an attempt to diminish them. Wish me luck!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I've learned a couple of things about myself this week while he's been away. One- separation anxiety from one's child can be managed. Which is a good and healthy thing. Leaving him was tough but I enjoyed the freedom immensely. Two- indulgence and rebellion from responsibility can feel as good as getting one's life in order would have. And three- I'm pretty imperfect, and I'm going to work harder at being ok with that. I know this, obviously, and everyone is imperfect in their own ways, but it's pretty hard for me to accept about myself most of the time. I always feel like everything will be just as it should be and I will be able to relax when... Always something. When the house is all cleaned up and organized to the Nth degree, when I get "caught up" in everything, be it the boy's scrapbook, or my business stuff, or personal paperwork/filing. But the reality is, no one ever catches up, because life is always moving on, recreating chores, using up time, and causing more messes and more items to be entered on the to do list. Time to get over the sensation of trying to catch up all the time and just do what needs doing the most while living in the moment. And feeling the burden of things needing to be ALL done and never achieving it is a negative stress that drains energy.
This translates to care for one's self, too. I'm always starting over on diet and fitness plans, and if I'm not quite there yet it's because I'm waiting for the right time. After this busy week, or after this social event, etc. Perfectionism is what kills the diet once I start, too, because I messed up a little so I'll just eat whatever I want or relax and "start" again at a better time. I think people who don't struggle with their weight and/or are successful at managing it just do the best they can most of the time. That's all I should be asking of myself.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Anyway, after the part asking questions about whether you are really ready to put yourself first or not, he starts with three points to focus on: relax, respect, and reinforce. Relax in your daily life and as often as you can think of it, respect yourself and your body enough not to put awful things into it, taking care of it as it needs, and reinforcing the better thoughts and habits that come from the first two. I'm going to ponder that for a while, but I think it is fairly insightful...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Shortly after that last wedding, I fell into a "work hard at work, come home and be with the family, and crash like a rock right after small boy goes to bed" routine for a couple of days. I felt a deep tiredness, mentally and physically. (I missed most of the Stanley Cup finals, too, but the last game was at least an exciting and well matched finish.) I think I went to bed between 8:30 and 9:30 for three days in a row, followed by coming down with being sick. I'm slowly on the mend now. I could feel it coming, because over the years I've grown to be able to tell when I am at maximum capacity, and that was definitely it.
In the meantime, I realized that I had been wandering pretty far off topic at times on this blog, and my posts had become rather cyclical. Want to do well, fresh start, fall off, talk about other things. Get up, want to do well, fresh start, etc. Except that they probably sounded pretty disingenuous because the fresh starts rarely lasted more than a couple of days, followed by a couple of weeks of wallowing in the "I'm stressed and I feel out of control of my eating" mode. Worse yet, I was frequently identifying ways to improve and help myself forward, but I'd write about them and not do them at all. Not very motivational if you're reading this for weight loss motivation! If you're reading about it just to learn more about me and how I think, then cool, I hope I haven't disappointed.
The funny thing is, despite not having posted any blog entries, Facebook updates, or much else for a couple of weeks, I still found myself thinking that way a lot of the time. On walks/runs I usually do a lot of thinking, and lately it seems to take the form of a blog-like narrative in my head. Likewise, numerous times during or after doing something enjoyable or noticing something interesting, I find myself composing a status update appropriate to the situation in my head. Technology really does shape the way we live I guess!
Over the next three weeks, I believe will have some opportunity for reflection and hopefully some personal improvement. The next two weekends will be spent coming and going from the beach, and will afford me half a week with the responsibility of caring for a small boy being in someone else's hands. Culminating in a long family-centric weekend over the 4th of July, the height of the summer and the longest days are here. Car rides, ferry boat rides, time spent walking or jogging on the boardwalk and/or lounging on the beach are all great for straightening one's head. Especially in the company of good family and friends. And time at home sans boy is a prime time to enjoy one's self as well as get a little more done than usual. The time available to achieve my weight loss and fitness goals before my preferred deadlines in mid-October is getting used up quickly, so if I don't start now I can't even get close enough to see and feel the dramatic effects as fully as I'd like. My goal is still 50-60 pounds, but now I have to be more realistic about the time frame. In the 4 months between now and mid-October, I'd like to have been able to lose as much as 35-40 pounds of it. Can I do it? Geez, I hope so!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Tonight I took the kid to the pool, which was cold but wonderful. I wait all year for the 3 months and change it is open, and I was willing to be cold to enjoy it with him! I also practiced my pole dancing to get in a workout, making use of the new "mood" lighting my husband added to the garage. Very cool.
Because I was so beat tired today that I took a nap instead of a walk at lunchtime, and I still feel tired, I'm off to sleep. Rare that the clock doesn't say 11 yet!!
Friday, May 29, 2009
PLUS I need to pick up my Dad's van Friday night, and fill out the registration forms that are already due for the kid's coming school year. And mail a check we owe for playoff tickets.
Later footnote upon posting: had moderate productivity (could have been better), soaked the flower crystals which took up the water nicely and look great, didn't make the calls yet, didn't bake the cookies yet (not clear if they were home until too late), and didn't work out. Did buy the birthday present, put up a few luau decorations, and participated in a joint effort to diagnose and fix the dryer. Results are pending with partially started laundry. I'm exhausted, but as has been my way this week I am still staying up late to "escape" on the computer...
So, be honest, with posts like this, is this just too much totally boring personal information, or what? I know this blog started as a weight loss journey, and after about 10 months I haven't travelled very far in that regard, but babbling to a real source is somehow therapeutic for me. I try to include the aspects of weight loss progress or not with such postings. Apologies if it is not particularly intriguing for you! As much as I'd like to, I can't talk about spinning around a pole and writhing on the floor every day. ;)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We left at the crack of dawn on Friday morning to get to the beach by early lunchtime, and I had the most wonderful, refreshing, relaxing, warm, sunny weekend. It was way better than the usual Memorial Day visits, truly beach weather, but with a pleasant breeze. Enjoyed the company of my family, enjoyed activities with the boy, played golf after a year long hiatus and didn't suck as horribly as I expected (still pretty bad though!) Got some working out in, got some drinking wine in, got some shopping in. To top it off, it was raining when we left Tuesday morning to ease the departure blues. All in all pretty sweet!
On the workout front, my most notable one was a 2.3 mile powerwalk in 34 minutes (good pace), followed by the 2.3 mile return trip jogged without stopping in 28 minutes. That is a pretty damn slow jog, but I was still very happy with it and it gave me energy for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, I decided to ignore the whole diet situation for the weekend and pretty much eat whatever I wanted, which resulted in a backslide in progress. I'll leave it at that.
Then returned to a bit of a hectic house and a very hectic schedule- the next two weekends contain my remaining two client weddings, work is back to relatively busy, and next weekend we have a couple of social things to weave into the rehearsal and wedding schedule.
My haven? DivaFit class again tonight. I still can't get over sometimes how much I look forward to those classes, and what a good workout they are. Level 3 promises to be a lot harder on the abs and shoulder strength work because she says she is "preparing us for Level 4", which is where climbing the pole and inverts come into play. This session's routine is done to two different songs, both of which I love. "Buttons" by Pussycat Dolls is the learning pace, as she put it, very fun and sassy song I've always liked. But to speed it up a bit you can do the same routine to "Dr. Feelgood" by Motley Crue. She made us change places in the room from where we normally are, cranked up the disco ball, and we rocked it out. And I bought a pair of black patent leather platform heeled boots. I can't stop smiling about that class, I swear!
A footnote in closing- a dear friend is having a hard time lately with some pretty unpleasant health issues, and I hope she is able to feel better and get some answers soon.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Hm, guess that was only one random thought...
On the weight/food/exercise front, my eating today has ramped back down to average, not eating amazingly, but not eating so terribly, either. Tonight's workout is the Level 2 class "graduation" at DivaFit, our song to perform to is "Bright Lights" by Matchbox 20. Tough routine, so thank goodness we do it in a bunch, half the class at a time. Definitely a couple of moves I can't really do very well, but I'm hoping to pull it off to at least look good! :)
Footnote- it went great, I had a blast, and we were issued pink thongs. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I firmly believe from past experience that weight loss is a daily challenge and decision to be made, and I think the way to best ensure that each day starts out in a weight loss frame of mind ready to make the right decisions is by doing a strenuous workout FIRST. (I know, broken record alert!) Working out first means that the time is carved out before other things can get in the way, it gives you energy for the rest of the day, it revs up your metabolism for a good portion of the day, and it lets you work out while your body and mind are still fresh, before the rest of your day beats you down. HAHAHA, I say, my mind and body are beat-ass tired that early in the morning to begin with! But wait- they wouldn't be if I was getting more sleep, now would they?! I think another important thing it would help with is my propensity to stay up unreasonably late, because I will be too damn tired to do so if I had been up since 5:00 am. If you read anything about weight loss it always says you can't do it if you don't get enough sleep. I can personally attest that I use food, particularly sugary food, as a crutch when I'm tired. Maybe if I used caffeine instead and drank myself energetic on diet coke or something (not coffee 'cause I'm one of those teeny percent of the population that thinks coffee tastes vile) I'd have less of a problem. But unfortunately (or fortunately, from a health perspective) I hate caffeine. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I'm pretty sure I took it a little too far in college (I lived and died by Mountain Dew), burned out on it completely, and now I feel like even a teeny tiny bit of it makes me jittery and anxious, so I've been off it for like 15 years now.
Anyway, I think it's the only way. The question remains, when to suck it up and start?
My son was home sick yesterday and is still crabby as heck today.
My husband is not feeling well and is also crabby as heck.
I didn't get as much done as I wanted to on my work at home day yesterday (either for work OR around the house!)
My pre and during cycle munchies haven't let up post-cycle like they usually do. I'm alternating between eating things I shouldn't and being crabby I did, and trying not to and being crabby I'm not.
A pair of cute new pants I'm wearing are cut a little too low. They seemingly fit, but I'm looking a little muffin topish, which sucks.
Another cute new shirt I got looked stylish in the store, but looks decidedly maternity shaped on me when I put it on at home.
I would be excited that I'm getting my long overdue hair cut and highlighted today, in time for upcoming events, but it's making my husband crabby that my schedule is so jam packed lately. I guess I don't blame him.
I hate that my feelings can be so roller coasterey from day-to-day. I had a really nice weekend, but I'm crabby already by Tuesday. :(
Footnote: I apologized for being so busy, and dear husband apologized for being so crabby. He's very sweet, and that part is all good. I feel a little bit better, anyway. Hopefully a smiling little boy face at the end of the day will make it go up even a little bit more! I could really stand to jam some dance music into my headphones while I plow through my work, but alas I forgot both the music and the 'phones at home...
Footnote 2: Sweet boy face after work was nice.
Footnote 3: I love my haircut and am going to stick with the new stylist. Closer still to home than where I was, and much cheaper.
Footnote 4: Husband not sure about haircut. Small boy was a miserable beast at bedtime...
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
I'm looking forward to a nice weekend. Hoping the weather holds, I plan to be outside for a few of our planned activities. Probably the one I'm most excited about is picking strawberries. I've picked blueberries and blackberries before, and peaches, and apples, but not these. I must also do some research on healthy recipes to make with them that do not include pie. (Dude, my masterpiece is a triple berry pie, but we won't even go there...) I also need to find something to do with goat cheese that I bought at the farmers market (and find out how long it is good for, because it's been a couple weeks and there's not a written expiration date.)
I don't really feel like I've got a whole lot to say today, actually. My run last night made me feel extremely good, and it makes me want to work out all the more. I've picked up a couple of new clothes this week, so I've been feeling vaguely decent about how I'm looking, and finding something to wear each morning isn't quite as difficult. I'm comfortably in size 14 pants now, which is nice. (At my highest weight some of my 16s were getting tight, so it's some moderate progress, anyway.) I have a number of 10s in my closet from back in the day, and I think my body type and frame would support me ultimately fitting into an 8, so I don't think that's an unreasonable thing to be shooting for, but I also have a lot of 12s awaiting the next notch in progress.
A few people here and there that I know have been letting me know that they read this blog, and each time someone tells me, it seems they almost have a sheepish look or sound when they say it, like they are concerned they are spying on me or something. Hello, it's a public blog, that's the whole point! For the record, I really do appreciate knowing that there are people out there reading, whether you know me or not, and comments are warmly welcomed. It helps to write knowing it is to an actual audience, and although it may seem strange to air publicly such personal thoughts about my life and the inner workings of my mind as it relates to weight loss goals and other things, it seemed like a great way to hold myself accountable, a forum to talk and organize my thoughts openly, and I very much appreciate the support (or constructive advice, as the case may be.) To Kate, you are exceptionally kind, and your comment made my day. :)