Wednesday, December 28, 2011

If at first you don't succeed...

... try, try again!  And that I shall.  My sweet hubby is kicking some healthy eating ass lately, and he is looking and feeling great.  Time I did the same.  I've even signed up for recurring personal training sessions at the gym.  Here's to success in 2012!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Trainer Kicked My A$$ in 7 Minutes Flat!

When I joined my gym earlier this year, the membership came with two free personal training sessions, to get a physical assessment and get a workout routine established.  Today, I finally got around to the assessment portion.  I actually kind of felt like I was on the Biggest Loser, in both a good and a bad way, I had to answer a bunch of health/lifestyle questions, got weight and bodyfat measurements taken, and was issued a "health age" to compare to my regular age, among other stats.  Well, I knew it wouldn't be good, but it still smarts to see it in print:  I am 40 years old, with a health age of 55.  And my body fat percentage was 38.5.  Holy crap, I am over a third fat!!!  And then, he managed to do a fitness assessment that consisted of squats, lunges, step ups onto a weight bench, push ups, tricep dips, and crunches that left me feeling like a complete puddle of goo after 7 minutes.  Awful.  And revealing.  I learned a lot, too.  Next week I get my workout.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top People and Things I am Most Thankful for, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things:

My son.  Motherhood is unquestionably my single greatest joy.  Our sweet boy is the light of my life, at times a great challenge, periodically a mystery, and always a source of wonder and inspiration.  He is a beautiful, precious, charming person that we still marvel about having created, and I am grateful for his very existence.

My husband. I am very lucky to be sharing a life with my wonderful honey.  He is a kind person with a warm smile and a good heart with whom I have a lot in common, and who makes me very happy.

My parents. My parents are and have always been, quite simply, the very best.  They are fun to hang out with, supportive, generous, caring, and of course, awesome grandparents to the sweet boy.  I am thrilled that we live in the same area and are so close.

My aunt and uncle. I have many wonderful relatives, but in particular I do have one aunt and uncle who are very special part to me.  We spend a number of holidays together, and I am thrilled that we make the effort remain involved in each others’ lives.

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, and I wish we got to see her more.

A Few Great Friends.  Several special people make up an extremely important part of my life.  I consider myself very lucky to have friends that, regardless of where they live or how often I see them, that I can confide in, feel support and derive sanity from, and enjoy their conversations and company immensely.  My dear Florida Lady, who is an inspiration and a rock, my special Hawaii Girl, who I miss terribly and look forward to seeing again soon, my Work Soulmate, who is so much like me it is almost frightening and who I am grateful to get to see every day at work, my Sweet D, who I don’t get to see and talk to enough but who is an amazing and wonderful person, and lastly, a relatively newer addition to my inner circle, VT Guy.  I am truly grateful to have these people in my life.

Our new home.  Our new (and hopefully final) home is a dream.  It’s large, open, beautiful, quality, warm, and situated amazingly within our great neighborhood.  It was a whirlwind of stress to get here, but now that we have settled in it is truly a happy home, where we have the room and the means to live comfortably.  I look forward to making a lifetime of memories and raising our son here.

Our Supper/Book Club.  Two of our favorite couples come over every month for food, bonding, and book dissection.  It is one of the most treasured days each month for me.  It’s great to spend time with them, it’s touching that they’re willing to explore and cook delicious and creative dishes while navigating my tough food limitations, and it’s enriching to read books that I probably wouldn’t otherwise.  I can’t thank them enough for becoming a part of this tradition, which is going on two years now and hopefully will continue for many more.

Our son’s teacher/school/aftercare program.  This year was a big transition for us, from a small private school for Kindergarten to a huge public school for 1st Grade.  He has made the transition with flying colors, and I give significant credit to the school itself, who does a great job of making it feel like a community despite its size, to his fabulous teacher who is amazing, and to the sweet and fun people who work at his aftercare program.  I am beyond grateful.

My Boss. I am pleased to have a boss who is brilliant but also respectful of and trusting in me, a good guide but also someone who lets me work without interference.  She’s a great person too, and I hope she doesn’t retire for a long time. 

Other Top Contenders:

My iPhone.

My Parents’ Beach House.

Flame Red Maple Trees.

What are you most thankful for in your life?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You Can't Be Serious?!

It's November already?  Shut UP!!  Omg, Fall is in full swing, the leaves are gorgeous, it's getting more cold more often, Halloween has come and gone, Thanksgiving is in a little over 2 weeks, and it gets dark at 5:15 and earlier each day.

Shortly before Halloween, I was in my doctor's office, and I got THE CHAT.  The "you have to lose weight" chat, the "you have been steadily gaining weight over the last few years and you hold it around your middle where it is the least healthy and combined with your family history of diabetes and admitted inability to control your sugar intake is fairly indicative of a predisposition for diabetes" chat.  She said I really need to give up sugar and white starches entirely to get it under control.  Clearly, this was the catalyst I've been needing!

So, I gave it my best effort.  Cold turkey, right before Halloween (aka Candy Hell), and the week before starting my cycle, which is a tough one where eating is concerned.  I did it for a solid 6 days before I caved.  I felt truly the effects of it being a detox the first few days, increased fatigue and irritability, the whole bit.  Thing is, rather than getting easier day by day, it got harder.  And when I stepped off the wagon, I assured myself it was only temporary, to quell the madness and to soldier on the next day.  But sugar addiction doesn't work that way, and one day turned into 6 before I knew it.

But moderation has never worked for me, either, so what to do?  I'm by no means giving up, I can't.  This is completely different than wanting lose weight as I always have, this is a doctor I trust telling me something that scares me.  But all my usual excuses keep whispering in my ear, like can't start right before my cycle, can't start right before/during the holidays, too busy, too much going on, etc.  And I need to tell those excuses to shove it, or they will end up killing me eventually.  I am going to figure out how to go as many days as I can with being solid on the right kind of eating before I need a day to relax a little, and then I need to figure out how to do THAT without falling flat on my face and staying there.  There has to be an answer to it.  I will find it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Workouts

Well, I got in a couple of workouts this weekend, that's the good news.  The bad news is that they were all in the same day, so I'm pretty sore, hahaha.  We went for a little family overnighter in the mountains of PA to see some family, and came back before lunch Sunday.  The weather was VERY PERFECT, and I was really jazzed to get in a nice long brisk hilly walk around the neighborhood and soak up some sun and fresh fall air in the process.  I did 4 miles in an hour and 5, and even though I felt ready to sprinkle in some jog intervals, I didn't, 'cause I knew I had a hockey game later.

But wait!  We played a little side yard baseball, too, and I did a lot of arm swinging and ball throwing and fetching.  And THEN later that eve I played hockey.

Am I sore today?  Of course!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If You Can’t Fix it (Yet), Twist It!

Here’s a question for you weight losers in progress: can/should you change your broken mentality first, to enable you to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals, or does moving forward with some health improvement first in the form of fitness and healthier eating (with the resultant weight loss that will come) make changing your broken mentality more possible, even inevitable? 

Notice how on The Biggest Loser, for example, people are “pushed” by the trainers to work out and eat right and get results, and THEN as they start to realize the beginnings of success and dramatically improved health they are then able to work through the mental crap that’s been causing them to be heavy in the first place.  Which in turn ensures their continued success.  However, for the rest of the dieting world, it is often “taught” that you have to fix your mind before you can truly and permanently fix your body.

 I think all this time (3 or so years now) that I’ve been thinking and writing about the subject of wanting to lose weight and improve my health, I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix MY mind.  It seems like that must be the answer to being able to stick with the fitness and healthy eating, right?  And it’s what that chick wrote about in “Women, Food, and God” that Oprah and everyone else on earth swore was so genius on the subject.  I tried to read it, and then although it seemed to speak to me at first, I kind of fell away from it and lost interest.  So, after blogging about myself for 3 years, observing other successful people, asking a lot of questions, and reading about weight loss, fitness, self-improvement, etc., and learning a ton about myself along the way, I still have yet to crack “fixing” my mental code as the first step. Further, on the other side of the coin, I do have fits and spurts of working out, but I haven’t pulled it off long enough or consistently enough to make it a continued and reliable habit to build on.  I love going to my gym (as long as it’s not too late and I run out of steam), and I am scheduled to do so 4 days a week, hoping to work my way up to 6, but so many things come up that easily interfere with that plan.  Instead of working to implement alternatives, I tend to let things derail me easily.  I prefer to walk/run, so if the weather’s bad or it is already dark or I am not able to get to the gym because the husband is working late, I let it go.  I could do a home workout video, or at least some moves around the house, but I don’t.  You know, on account of the inertia that I haven’t quite gotten past and all.  Inertia is evil.  My comfy couch in front of the TV, wrapped in a blanket and laying on a pile of pillows is, sadly, one of my favorite places on earth.

So, if I don’t have a Bob or a Jillian yelling at me to just do it with nothing but freedom from responsibilities and time to work out; and if I can’t just make myself feel and behave and treat myself the right way just BECAUSE, what’s a girl to do?  And then this morning it dawned on me: maybe until I can truly CHANGE the thought process, maybe I can just manipulate it to my benefit instead?!  I’ve kind of thought about this before, but never fully thought it through enough to make sense of it.  For example:  I apparently don’t give a rip about hurting my body and health by filling it with terrible unhealthy foods and too much of it and being utterly lazy, but I would never in a million years dream of doing that to my son or letting him do that to himself.  By no means am I a perfect nutritionist for him, but I make an effort to ensure he gets a decent amount of fruits and vegetables in his diet, enough protein, keeps the salt and sugar in check, etc.  And I make sure he is active enough, and doesn’t watch too much TV or play too many phone games.  One of the issues heavy people commonly have is “not loving themselves enough to take good care of themselves”.  I still don’t entirely get this in my case, because I like a LOT about myself, I truly do.  But somewhere down in there is clearly a glitch, because I apparently do not love myself enough YET to take better care of my body.  So what if I take this incorrect thought process and twist it around so it helps me, until I am better equipped to fix/work thorough correcting it?  I would never dream of letting any harm come to my sweet boy that means the absolute entire world to me, maybe I should look at it as not letting anything harm that sweet boy’s mother that he needs and would be crushed by the loss of?  You’re not SUPPOSED to think that way, but maybe I can try to use it as a crutch to manipulate myself into going down the right path and then embracing the right reasons to take care of myself for the sake of MYSELF along the way.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend Workouts

My workouts yesterday and today have consisted of about 5 hours of nonstop garage work on Saturday, as in pulling stuff out, sorting it, unpacking boxes, gathering trash and giveaway items, repacking etc.  I sat down only twice for a combined total of about 20 minutes.  Never was it cardio intensive, but it burned a ton of energy and calories, and made every limb and my back sore.  We made fantastic progress toward finishing getting it unpacked and set up, too!

Today I took advantage of the spectacular sunny and warm but not hot weather system we are in and took a long walk in the neighborhood.  I went 3 miles at about a 17.5 minute per mile average.  This seems slow to me, but it is where I am fitness wise at the moment, a starting point.  I wasn't feeling ready for run intervals yet.

Food-wise, I have been eating less sugar this weekend (although not none), but this evening I have a gigantic, throbbing  headache to show for it.  Detox stinks.  Happily, tomorrow is an extra day off to relax and hang out with my son.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Step 1: Escape from Candy Hell

This is but a small glimpse into my current state of hell.  Halloween season (which I wholeheartedly adore) is the absolute WORST time of year for me, diet-wise.  All of the most damaging forms of my very favorite chocolate products come in these cute, deceptive little "fun sizes", but in sacs of like a thousand of them, filling the most prominent aisle of the store from floor to ceiling.  "I'll just have a few, it's just a little bit, only such a small serving"  I keep thinking to myself...  Until by the end of the day there are like 50 wrappers in my purse and I might throw up if I try to fit in dinner.  And forget about candy corn, that might as well be straight crack.  Not to mention that eating this much sugar makes me feel terrrrrrrrrrible, sapping my energy like a parasite draining its host, making my biggest pants tighter, making me want to sleep under my desk at various points during the day, etc.  And I know it going in, too- reaching for the first sampling of the day, I think to myself for just a second "I'm going to feel crappy if I eat this", and then I promptly eat it anyway- and then I definitely do.       Sigh...

With all these new and revived fitness aspirations brewing, I have to find my way out, immediately.  It's too early in October to continue to kill myself for a few more weeks until the shelves clear.  There are varying schools of thought out there on how to do it, too, some people believe in the all-or-nothing approach, others think moderation is the only way to be realistic and not feel deprived.  Personally, I've always been the all-or-nothing type myself, but most people do preach moderation as the healthier state of mind, which I am really bad at.  But I was vindicated yesterday when I asked my doctor about it, bemoaning how poorly my weight was making me feel and that lately it has been exacerbated by the candy problem.  She looks like she's never had a weight problem a day in her life, and yet she admitted to me that she "has to pretend she's allergic to chocolate" because like me she can scarcely control the urges to go crazy when exposed to it.  Wow!

I've actually been writing this post in bits and pieces for 3 days now, and as of today, I've eaten and given away the last of the candy in the house, especially the ginormous sack of M+Ms that I stuck my coworkers with whilst still imbibing in them myself here and there today.  Frankly, I have eaten enough of them now that I actually don't WANT any more, lest I explode, and I feel ready to relax at home for a 3-day weekend of a good start to a healthier path.  Piss off, candy, I'm all done with you, for the indefinite future! Let the "rehab" begin, cold turkey...

Anyone else out there suffering from the same plight?  Makes me feel less freakish to share.  ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Inspired to Aspire

I might have mentioned before that my bestie and her family uprooted and moved to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii earlier this year.  (If you want to read about their adventures, check them out here.)  So this week in Kona, swarms of world class athletes have descended on the town and everybody is abuzz for the Ironman World Championship which is taking place this weekend.  Those amazing specimens of humanity will be swimming 2.4 miles in the Pacific Ocean, biking 112 miles, and running a marathon, over terrain which is NOT flat by any stretch of the imagination.  The race starts at 6:30 am for the elite athletes and 7:00 am for the “regular” people, as if anyone even considering such a feat could possibly be considered regular.  On the other end, the course closes at midnight.  MIDNIGHT, people!!!  If you’re at the back of the pack and struggling you might be racing for 17 hours and still not officially finish.  Holy crap!
I have definitely done a few fitness events here and there, including triathlons, and I love them.  LOVE.  Unfortunately, I’ve never fully trained as well as I’ve wanted to do for any of them, and have always put in a back of the pack finish.  Happily, I’ve never entered an event and had to DNF (not finish), but I have definitely registered for my share of events that I didn’t start, which is a bummer.  And I did finish last once!
Anyway, as a continuation of my thoughts on getting ready to regroup and hopefully restart this mission, I did some thinking over the last couple of days about my next fitness goals.  They are as follows:  1) workout on my recently established schedule of 4 times a week, through the winter, improving my fitness in the process and getting back to running.  2) Enter some races over the coming year.  Short ones like 5Ks, but with some frequency, and actually work on improving my finish times.  Throw in the sprint triathlons I've done before in my neighborhood toward the end of the summer.  
Considering this starting point, my much, much longer term goals will probably sound a little nutty, but they go along the lines of: a half marathon (13.1 miles) and/or Olympic Distance triathlon sometime in 2013, a marathon sometime in 2014, and (drumroll, please), maybe, MAYBE if I've done all these things and really achieved my weight loss and fitness goals in the process, MAYBE I'll consider making the leap to a Half Ironman in the year or two after that.  There's one every summer just a few hours from here on the Eastern Shore in MD.  The amount of training needed to do an event like that would be pretty huge, and I'm not entirely imagining how it wouldn't fit into my life, but my kid will be 10 or 11 by then, and maybe I can do it if I really want it.  I've even got the support of my honey, he actually did not laugh when I told him all this!  Maybe I'm just pipe dreaming.  But you have to shoot for the stars if you want to be sure you'll at least make it to the moon, right?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back From the Dead- My Weekend

(This is my early Halloween table, with the addition of roses from my Mom.  I am a HUGE Halloween person!)


Apparently if I get tired enough I don't  want to type anything, or even open a computer.  This past week I was fighting an infection, and the first antibiotic I got didn't work.   I was only barely keeping up with the absolutely required and most important to me parts of my life toward the end of the week and over the weekend, but thankfully I'm getting better now, thanks to a change in meds.  I'm feeling better enough to start thinking about a refocus on my fitness plans, about working on healthier eating, and about improving my overall health and well being.  (She says, eyeing the Halloween candy bought rather prematurely...)

I found a really good list of upcoming running events, carrying even through most of the winter.  I've got the husband's buy-in for a return to my gym schedule, hopefully tomorrow.  I bought groceries with which I can make some good meals.  I'm excited to watch and hear about Ironman Kona this weekend, which is where my dear friend moved to, so they'll have a front row seat.  (Did you know Tara Costa from Biggest Loser is competing in it?!  So inspiring!)  And this coming weekend is a 3-day weekend for me and my son, with NO PLANS.  (Except for one soccer practice, but at the rate we've been going I hardly even count that.)  That means I'll be able to catch up a bit on chores, enjoy some family time, RELAX, and refocus on ME.

I smell a good restarting time...

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Not the Clouds' Fault

I’m in a weird, vaguely low place today.  There are a zillion things I could blame it on, like the fact that we are entering week 2 of a cloud fest that has been getting depressing, or that it is no longer light out before I have to get out of bed, which is even more depressing, but those things, while they enhance a dreary mood, are by no means the culprit.  I am.  If nothing else, by blogging over these last couple of years about wanting to lose weight and get healthy, and by starting, stopping, falling off, and returning, repeatedly, I at least have learned this.  There is absolutely nothing and no one who stands in my way but myself.  There is no such thing as being too old, it being too hard, having no time, or it being a  bad time.  I have proven to myself both previously and recently that regular exercising, which inevitably results in feeling good and losing a couple of pounds (enough to at least start loosening up the clothes, anyway), and which in turn then makes me feel more in control of my eating and less inclined to stuff my face with sugar, is enough to really lift me.  Just that little bit makes me feel more energetic, makes the daily grind feel like less of a grind, and makes accepting the faults of loved ones and the pitfalls of life’s responsibilities feel perfectly doable.  Inertia is an intense and powerful enemy, and it is soooooo difficult to start and infinitely easier to stop, but in this moment of feeling cruddy I can certainly recognize how short the hurdles really are.  It would not be so tough to just put one foot in front of the other, build to a slow jog, and eek over first one, then another, then another, until I am cruising like Gail Devers.  Screw you, clouds and darkness.  This is my mission.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Biggest Loser is Back!

I adore the Biggest Loser.  It kills me when it is not on over the summer, and I am grateful that it has returned this week.  It is simply the most inspiring thing out there when it comes to weight loss motivation.  Now, unfortunately, thus far I am and have remained one of those people that sits on my butt watching it, feeling inspired on the inside, but not doing anything about my own achievement needs on the outside.  Season after season I've told myself "I'm going to lose weight while they do", and yet each season as the finale approaches I watch the girls get skinny and awesome and I stay the same.

I do believe that anyone can do it, I really do.  I also believe that it is technically possible to do it at home, at a more human pace, while juggling a real life.  **However. ** I also believe that most or all of those contestants were primarily able to find this success because of the catalyst of starting on the show, and being forced to get it going, thereby feeling good about the early success and having something to build on.  THAT is where I struggle.  Fortunately, I am not nearly big enough to be on the show, although I do have a significant amount of weight to lose.  But if there was ever any way to actually take a piece of time out of my regular life to start the focus and introspection process, and to have a beloved Bob or Jillian give me a ferocious workout that would make me feel strong and proud of myself and help give me the drive to get that giant ball rolling and keep it rolling, it would be a dream come true.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Attack of the Sundays!

Sometimes, no matter HOW GREAT of a weekend you've had, Sunday night sucks.  Even when there's a football game on.  Fun things are what we live for, but they also make the weekends go faster.  Then when you finally sit down to relax on Sunday night, all you can think about is that you don't want it to be Monday yet.  Blech.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Musings on September 11

(photo courtesy of

I can't believe it was 10 years ago.

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was driving in my car, on the way to a meeting, and I was listening to talk radio to pass the time.  (Mindless, tasteless, and hilariously funny radio, specifically: the Howard Stern Show.  Now wait!  Before you pass judgement, if you are inclined to do so, please don't.  Whether you find him horrible, insulting, or just crass, don't let that cloud the story.)  So I'm driving from my office in Fairfax to my meeting in Alexandria when they stop joking around and start talking very seriously about what is developing on the news at the World Trade Center.   I heard and saw the whole thing through their eyes and descriptions, and it was gut wrenching, especially as it continued to worsen.

Then when it was announced that the Pentagon had been attacked also, I felt the wind whoosh right out of me and I had to pull over.  My Dad worked at the Pentagon.  It only took me about a split second to think through and process the fact that he was out of town on a trip and not in the building that day, but the emotional torrent brought on by even having to go through that split second thought process is something I'll never forget, ever.  I called my husband and asked if he had heard what happened and said how grateful I was that Dad wasn't there and we were both crying into the phone.  From the direction my car was facing on the side of the road I could see a huge plume of billowing smoke from the direction of the Pentagon.  What a sickening sight.

Next the fear kicked up.  No way I was going to keep driving toward all that going on, nor was I going to sit through some mundane meeting when I was such an emotional and frightened wreck, so I called to cancel the meeting and turned around to head home.  Most people were told to stay put wherever they were, so traffic wasn't too much of an issue.  But as I was headed back toward home, which was in the direction of one of the airports,  there were reports that while they were working on grounding all aircraft, there were still one or two unaccounted for planes they were concerned about in the area of that airport.  I still couldn't fight the overpowering homing instinct, and I made it home safely.  Where I then proceeded to watch the news and see replay of what was described to me on the radio over and over for the whole mind numbing rest of the day and night.

I don't remember how long it was before we stopped fearing further attack, it was at least through the next day.  But what I do remember very clearly is the haze of depression that followed.  That next morning, my husband went out and bought every different newspaper he could find because even though we already had most of the information, the headlines and photos were so shocking to see in print.  We still have them in a box today.  (Maybe when our son is a little older we'll take them out and pore through them with him and explain things a little deeper than we will this weekend, but he's just 6 now, it's too soon.)  Through that first weekend afterward I kept thinking how awful it would be if you had anything happy planned for that weekend, particularly a wedding.  I also kept thinking how grateful I was not to have a child yet and not to be ready for one yet, because I felt it was such a terrible world right then to bring a new innocent life into.  It took a while to shake off those feelings.  The only silver lining of that aftermath was how filled with pride, unity, determination, and patriotism the country shared in the months that followed.

I never did drive by the Pentagon during the time the flag was hung on it and it was under repair.  Something about actually seeing it in person just didn't work for me, I never really wanted to.  I have since been on a tour of it for my Mom's retirement ceremonies which did include the 9/11 Memorial, so I'm very glad I had that opportunity.  My Dad is also now retired and working in the private sector.  I've only been to New York once as an adult, just a couple of years ago, but we didn't have enough time to visit Ground Zero.  I want very much to see that memorial someday now that it is completed, I think it's an important thing to go absorb.  Lastly, I was and still am filled with the most intense awe, respect, and deep gratitude for the folks who acted on Flight 93.  I can't get over how amazing it is that they took matters into their own hands, and I'd like very much to pay respects to them in person one day, too.

It is still humbling to me to this day when I think about how brave and selfless people can be, be they innocent civilians who stood their ground to protect their fellow countrymen, noble first responders who ran into burning and perilous buildings, strangers trying to help one another in a time of crisis, and people put on the front line of the wars which have followed.  Every tribute I see this weekend is probably going to make me cry, and I have a lump in my throat just thinking about telling my kid in the mildest possible way about the awful things that happened and why people are still thinking about it a lot 10 years later.  That period in time will always leave an emotional scar, and I was lucky enough not to lose anyone.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm Going the WRONG Way!

(photo courtesy of

I have taken a wrong turn.

Don't get me wrong, I FEEL good lately, I am happy.  I am looking forward to the coming of fall, football, and all that.  I have been working out on a quasi-regular schedule, and it feels good.  But for some reason that I can't quite pinpoint (or that I'm not trying to is more like it), I'm eating more/worse.  The chocoholism has amped up quite a bit.  As such, the weight situation is going ever so slightly the wrong direction.  Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!! Abort, Abort!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Survived a Hurriquake and the First Day of School-

It's true, this has been a busy week.  This past Tuesday I experienced my first earthquake.  EVER.  And let me tell you, this east coast girl was most definitely NOT amused when my 8th floor office (in a 10 story building) started rocking.  First it sounded like a freight train of wind was coming toward the building, but it was lovely and still and sunny outside.  Then when me and a handful of my coworkers had the sense to move away from the windows, we just stood there, staring at each other, first reassuring each other that yes, we believed this was definitely an earthquake (as opposed to a construction accident or a terrorist attack), and then realizing we didn't have a damn clue what the safest move was.  No sooner had we caught our breaths (is the building still shaking, or is that just ME shaking?) than we were told to get the hell outside by the building maintenance crew because who knows if the building will still stand up after all that anyway?  We sure don't design buildings for those events here...

Next came Irene.  Now we have been known to dabble in a hurricane in these parts on occasion, but it's not usually too big a threat other than high winds and heavy rain.  This time the predictions were a lot more apocalyptic, however, and we had plenty of time to think about it and be over-prepared.  Stocked up on water, wine, canned food, and junky snacks.  Knew where the flashlights were.  Charged the phones, gassed the cars, got some cash.  Even moved our social plans around to be lunchtime instead of evening.  AND I GOT MY WORKOUT IN.  :)  There were some trees behind our house that gave me a good scare around 4 in the morning in the most fierce of the wind, but they held on.  Good prep = no need, you can all thank me for that later.  I know there were places north and south of this area that got beat up pretty badly, but we were largely spared.  The fate of my parents' beach house is TBD, however, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

This morning was a really big one for me, a milestone that I've thought about for a long time coming, and that is my sweet boy's first foray into public school for first grade.  My angel boarded a yellow bus this morning, with a smile on his face, and I hate to wait and fret all day to see how it turned out.  The result?  He was all smiles and it seemed to be a good experience.  He even kept track of both his lunchbox AND his backpack.  Win.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Life is a Treadmill

Sometimes, life is a treadmill, whether you're on one or not.  Ironically, when I'm actually ON the treadmill is one of the times I get a mental break from that sensation.  Today, a fairly average weekend day, went as follows:  wake up early, volunteer at a triathlon (insert any personal activity here, though), come back, breakfast with family, take kid school shopping (insert any domestic errands here), come back, make/eat lunch, help assemble and play with the boy's new toy, dishes, laundry, watch part of a movie until the kid gets bored and restless, more playing, more laundry, realize there are other errands that still need doing but have to wait 'til hubby returns from his day, we will have family dinner together, I have a hockey game tonight.  And tomorrow, it's back to the usual weekdays treadmill of getting up, getting ready for school/work, driving to school, driving to work, working all day, driving back to school, driving home, scrambling to fix dinner, driving to/watching tae kwon do class, then we'll come back, do the bedtime routine, collapse in a heap.  Rinse, and repeat.  This is why suburban working moms are so tired all the time...

Not that I don't love the various components of my life, and not that I'm not starting to figure out how to fit a little bit of exercise into all this, which is already starting to give me more energy.  Actually, I'm just trying to give myself a little credit here.  Living my daily life is no small feat.  But I wouldn't have it any other way, unless of course I won the lottery and could cut out the working part...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Heart Endorphins.

Endorphins are part of the chemicals that are supposedly released in your body during/after exercise.  Some people seem to be more reactive than others to this phenomenon, also known as a runner's high.

I am one of those people that totally reacts to them, in a good way.  The last couple of times I've gone to the gym, on the days I've planned to, it went something like this:  I want to fall into my usual bad habits of resting and relaxing instead of working out, but I talk myself into going, since I had planned to and I am paying for it anyway and I need to stick to it this time, and because I know in the short time I've been going it is already making me feel better/have more energy.  On the way to the gym I am grumbly, growly, and crabby.

Once there, however, I've been hopping on the treadmill, prepared to trudge through an obligatory workout, and lo and behold, halfway through I start to feel better.  And then after I start to feel better, I start to crack a smile, and then it gets bigger.  And then, soon enough, I'm feeling fabulous, and I am able to do a little bit better of a workout than I had expected to.  Walking has turned into walking faster and now sprinkled with progressively longer jogging intervals.  I've been leaving the gym with tired legs, a grin on my face, a renewed sense of "I can do this," along with more energy than I arrived with, and a much better attitude.  I love it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

150 Posts

I didn't realize until after my last post that it had been my 150th since starting this blog.  Wow!!  I've written 150 times about myself, my life, my goals and my interest in losing weight and getting healthy.  It hasn't happened for me yet, but I know I've learned loads about myself along the way.  I've learned a lot about my habits, my strengths, my weaknesses, my triggers, and my patterns.  I'm now two weeks into a gym membership and have worked out 4 times a week these past two, and I already notice a shift in my energy level, without even starting on the healthier eating portion.  And a bonus opportunity has emerged- rarely do my hubby and I align on when we want to start (or stop) a healthy lifestyle regimen, but he just told me tonight that he is gearing up to kick off a healthier plan for himself this Sunday.  What a great time for me to do the same!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I am Now Inspired by Yoda

I know, don't laugh at me.

Yoda made a brilliant statement which is my new favorite quote, and an insightful friend I have been chatting with recently was witty enough to point it out to me.  He's trying to inspire Luke Skywalker to believe in himself and his ability, and Luke says he will try.  "No!"  Yoda says.  "Do, or do not!  There is no try."

Sure, this is the same concept I have been telling myself in a lot of different ways recently, about needing to buckle down, make the choice to lose weight and get healthier, etc., but this captures the bottom line in a much more succinct, memorable, and inspiring way.  Like Nike's trademarked "Just Do It", only better.  Especially since I got this Happy Meal Toy about a week ago and my kid already has two of them, so he's mine.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Got Up-

I got up early to work out today.  Yes, on a Saturday.  I know, that sounds crazy, considering I wait all week to get to relax on the weekend mornings.  But, I'm trying to get a new habit going here, so I figure the more times I try the better.  So, put my clothes and iPod and shoes out, set a quieter than usual alarm, and although I hit snooze a few times, I made it up and out!  It was even early enough that I had to use the 24 hour side instead of the regular side of the gym.

The burning question is, which will prevail for the remainder of the day- the fatigue of waking up early and exercising, or the energy boost you get from exercising?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"It All Starts Here."

That's what it says on the wall of the gym I just joined this week.  It's a fantastic gym- I'm really excited about it.  Way nicer than any gym I've belonged to in a long time, enough so that I think I will want to go there often enough to make it a habit.  I went tonight to break it in.  It was a little disheartening to realize how out of shape I am, though.  Earlier this year, I was able to run 5 miles, and it took me about an hour.  Mind you, I wasn't really in shape for that then, either, but I did it, and I didn't die.  Now?  I am walking, slowly, and not very far, and feeling super tired from it.  Tonight I did a mere 3 miles, in an hour.

Still, it's an accomplishment that I went, and that I joined in the first place.  Especially since I was horribly exhausted today at work, and for seemingly no good reason.  Slept ok last night, didn't stay up too late.  Not the wrong time in my cycle.  Too early for fall allergies.  Couldn't figure it out, but it was miserable.  All things considered, therefore, I'm pleased that I made it to the gym.  It all starts here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Spectacular Day

Today is more than just a good day, it is much closer to spectacular.  The nasty heat and humidity took off in a torrent after yesterday's violent afternoon storm, and today I feel like I could be in Southern California.  Or even Hawaii.  It's in the upper 70's headed up to the low 80's, with a cool dry breeze, but it's still plenty sunny enough to feel like full on summer, just confusingly comfortable.  I'm sitting outside on my deck, gazing into the woods behind my house, listening to the loud sounds of the summer wildlife.  (Are they cicadas that make that most comforting racket?)

Only a week after making some medical adjustments, I already feel 1000% better than I had been of late.  Relaxed, healthier, just better in general.  I got the results of my lab work and had the remainder of my physical today, and got a clean bill of health.  Blood sugar was good (she was a bit worried last time), cholesterol is being controlled by the meds, blood pressure is coming under control with increased meds, normal ekg, etc.  Apparently all I need is a Vitamin D supplement.

Tonight I am cooking pork chops with sauteed apples and roasted asparagus.  Tomorrow is Friday and the forecast is more of this same weather continuing through the weekend.  We have a blessedly unscheduled calendar ahead of us these next few days.  Next weekend I am taking the boy for another mini beach visit with my mom and aunt.

Life is good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It Starts at the Top, and It's Not the Kid's Fault!

It all starts at the top of your body, that is:  your brain.  Being out of sorts is not CAUSED by outside factors in life, per se, unless you have some sort of severe illness, but it is greatly affected by how you manage and process those factors.  For me, this has been my challenge of late.  Recently I’ve been letting myself feel like I am victim to circumstances that are beyond my control, and letting it erode my well-being.  As such, I have gotten into more of a mental rut than usual lately, but happily I am finally now taking the steps to move out from it.  In the bigger picture, this rut has actually been much longer term on some level.  At a physical exam recently, I was discussing with my doctor the fact that I wasn’t at a healthy weight, and that I thought that it was (continuing to) affect my health.  She looked back through her chart, and to my horror, I was still at almost this high of a weight even before I had my son, as far back as 2003.  2003!!  All this time I’ve been blaming getting up to this echelon of weight on motherhood, but the boy wasn’t even born until 2005!  Clearly it is time to stop with the blame game.  My son will turn 6 in August, and apparently I was perfectly heavy already before that.  And isn’t 6 years plenty long enough to adjust to the daily challenges that motherhood has added to my wonderful and happy life?  Time has fully run out on that excuse, for sure.

And now that my biggest and best “excuse” has been shot, I am realizing that I have so many others that aren’t even as valid which are cluttering up my path.  A healthy state of mind is all about how you see and process the world, your life, and your individual challenges.  I’m chock full of other excuses about why things bug me, why my eating gets out of hand, why I’ve gotten back to being further out of shape, and why I can’t seem to manage all of my priorities.  And when I sit and list them all out, things like the darkness and cold of winter, the stress and aftermath of moving, the heat and humidity of summer, the challenge of balancing work and home life, not having “time” in my schedule to exercise even though I have plenty of time to lay around and watch TV, being too tired, not having exactly the right gym or equipment available at home, etc.; they do all just start to sound like exactly what they are.  Excuses.  Lame ones at that.  I am the only person, thing, or event that is consistently getting in my own way, and I hope I am now taking the first of many steps to correct this, in part by realizing that these things are absolutely fully IN my control.  Life is all about what you choose to make of it, and I am very pleased and happy with exactly what I have made of it, where it is located, and who is in it.  As such, the rest is entirely within my control.  There can ALWAYS be a plan to take the steps needed to succeed, and because there are at times minor factors that can pop up to interfere, there can certainly always also be a reliable Plan B waiting in the wings.  I am capable of making these choices, as I have discussed before, and intend to continue to shine a light into the spectre of all the excuses that have been making it harder and seem unattainable. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today I Was Bitter.

Today I was bitter because I woke up a little tired, just like I do most days.  I was bitter because getting myself out of bed, showered, fixed up and dressed, plus getting the boy to get dressed and to do his stuff, plus getting portable breakfast ready for him, plus getting our crap gathered up and out of the house, without being hideously late, is never easy or simple.  Some mornings are tolerable, others are borderline nightmarish.  Most days I arrive to work a little bit late and fairly flustered and/or already fatigued.  Today it made me bitter.

Today I was bitter because I can't keep up with it all.  Short of having a stay-at-home husband or being able to do so myself, it is also a feat of near impossibility to keep up with running a household with a kid in it.  I use most of my weekday lunches to cram in errands, and I'm certainly have been known to make personal calls and pay bills during work hours.  I could desperately use the help of a personal assistant some days.  But considering we never quite have enough for everything we want, we don't get our cleaning lady as often as we need, and we almost need a new car, extra services are not in the picture.  Realizing that made me bitter.

Today I was bitter because I have worked at the same job with only some minor gaps since 1999.  I have been full time in my current post for a little under 3 years, and I still only  am accruing leave at the rate of a rookie, because I had to start over.  With all the activities and needs that come with a young kid, that is absurd.  I rarely take more than long weekends for a vacation, and I can't even take them as often or make them as long as I'd care to, as would seem perfectly reasonable.  This makes me bitter on a regular basis.

Today I was bitter because a larger than normal percentage of people I had to talk to were stupid and annoying.

Today I was bitter because I cope with such bitterness by eating bad stuff, which makes me look and feel terrible. I was bitter because I know that although I can not make some of those issues go away, I could handle them a lot better of I had more energy and wasn't uncomfortable in the body I have taken such poor care of.  This results in a very bitter cycle.

Today I was bitter mostly about a bunch of stupid, irrelevant stuff that is just par for the working mother course, but some times I deal better with it than others.  And sometimes, when you're bitter, it just feels good to bitch about it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm Wearing a Coat of Armor. But Why?!

60-70 pounds is what I would ideally like to lose.  To friends or family that know me and see me regularly that may sound like a lot, but trust me: although perhaps I hide it well at times (since it’s all in the middle where clothes can do their best camouflage work), it’s legit.  That amount would simply put me at a very healthy weight for my 5 foot 8 inch frame, which is not even the lowest healthy weight option for that height.  I give myself full credit for being muscular and having a solid frame; I’m not trying to go all Kate Moss here, just healthy and athletic, and lean. 


After doing the math, imagining that I’m toting around an extra 60-70 pounds 24-7 is nothing short of horrifying.  Picking up my 5 and a half year old son and carrying him any distance is absurdly challenging, such that if he asked me to carry him somewhere I’d say hell no unless he was bleeding or vomiting (or maybe sleeping.)  AND HE ONLY WEIGHS 42 POUNDS.  Yet I’m toting around a kid and a half already, AT ALL TIMES!  Dear God, how can I continue to live like this?  Every Season on the Biggest Loser, once the contestants have lost a significant amount of weight, there is inevitably a challenge to either wear or carry the amount of weight they have lost during a fitness competition.  And every single time, every single contestant is rightfully shocked by how heavy and difficult it feels to do this, despite the fact that what’s left of their bodies is incredibly more fit than they’ve ever been in their lives.  I’m wondering if conducting a similar experiment in advance would help me further visualize what this is doing to me?  Perhaps I will pick the boy up in one arm and a 25 pound weight plate in the other arm, and try walking around a little bit, making a point to absorb more fully the impact of how much extra weight that is.


There are a lot of factors still holding me back from making the simple choice to get fit and finally lose it, but some feel more surmountable than others.  Getting an exercise program started, tough.  Stopping the habit of eating crappy junk food any time I want it, tougher still.  But figuring out what inside my brain has decided that from behind this 60-70 pound coat of armor is a safer, easier place emotionally to function from?  That is the crazy hard part to wrap my head around.  It can’t possibly be better to hide from difficulties and unwanted feelings, not at this cost.  Life is full of challenges, both day-to-day and in the big picture.  But being afraid of feeling it, and instead numbing myself and hiding from it is complete madness.  Why am I afraid?  What am I afraid of?  What feelings am I even hiding from?  I can’t seem to pinpoint anything on a conscious level that would be worth avoiding at this price.  I have a fantastic life, replete with a wonderful husband, a precious son that life revolves around, a loving and supportive family, priceless friends, a fabulous home, a decent career, and adequate financial means.  So I just need to keep chipping away at my subconscious, to bring it on board with the fact that life is good, and there’s no avoiding the occasional parts that aren’t.  Being heavy just drags down some of the good stuff and may shorten the whole thing.  Fear sucks, and I am tired of letting it run the show.  It’s time to retire the armor.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

So, our Vegas trip was everything I'd hoped it'd be.  Relaxing, indulgent, entertaining, relationship strengthening, exciting.  I decompressed from all the madness of the last few months (so much so that I missed the whole first afternoon and evening.)  I got a break from being a responsible mom, even though I missed my pumpkin terribly every single day.  I got my Zen on, floating around in the lazy river soaking up the summer-like sun.  We spent many hours and many dollars dining on amazing, often famous chef created food.  We drank all we could of champagne when given the opportunity.  We bonded as a couple and created great memories with two of our dearest friends.  I wore higher than usual heels (other than for pole classes) and shorter than usual skirts.  We learned how to play Craps (which I am sure I will promptly forget.)  We watched a LOT of people.  Rich people, obnoxious people, bitchy people, tacky people.  We saw amazing things at the pawn shop featured on "Pawn Stars" and got kicked out so they could film an episode.  We met some crazy cabbies.  We renewed our vows at the Little White Wedding Chapel, wedding place of a number of celebrities, which is cheezy as hell and the epitome of Vegas weddings, but it was also serious enough to be meaningful for us.  We also enjoyed some later evening entertainment.  I feel fully refreshed, rejuvenated, and revived, and I loved every second of it, with the possible exception of the 5 hour flight with no tv screens (damn you, US Airways!)

We extended the vacation by only being home for 36 hours and then heading to the beach with the family to celebrate Easter weekend.  As such, Monday and the early part of this week were pretty brutal on the re-entry.  But it is worth it to shake up your life once in a while, even (and especially) for someone as into having a regular routine as me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Miles, Choices

A little over two years ago, I posted that I had run a whole mile after having worked my way up to it.  Recently I posted that I had run 5 miles without having run all winter.  On some level this is progress, but I actually weigh a few pounds more today than when I started this blog.  Over the last couple of years, I've debated with myself on how best to tackle a diet program, how best to tackle an exercise plan, how many calories to eat, how many calories to burn.  I've also talked about repeated starts and stops, the "light switch" being on or off, progress, and setbacks.  I've had deadlines, planned milestones, rewards, and goals.  I've started and stopped a business, worked part and full time, and I've aged.  I've reached my breaking point, I've found peace, I've been every place in between.  I've wanted the weight loss and all the perks that come with it so desperately, and yet I've also wondered why I haven't wanted it enough, or why I haven't been "able" to give myself what I want.

Somehow in the last few days I've come to a very simple and glaring conclusion.  I may have reached it before in passing, but I must not have ever understood it fully until now.  I get frustrated when I read about weight loss success stories either completed or in progress, because although inspiring, it doesn't tell me about the catalyst.  People in magazine article success stories always "reached their breaking point for x reason or when x happened", and then decided to fix it without looking back (much), and even if they struggled along the way, they always get there (because those are the only ones you get to read about.)  On The Biggest Loser, the contestants always get so inspired to spread the message to the rest of the world that you can do it yourself without the show, but it's hard to imagine being able to be your own Jillian, it seems like they are usually cowed into the first rounds of success which gradually then start to feed on themselves and allow for the inner healing to occur and the success to snowball.

My conclusion is this:  making good food decisions, eating modest portions of healthful foods, being active and working out consistently and aggressively, taking better care of one's body, and ultimately losing weight, gaining energy, and recovering health are all options for any of us.  It is simply something you, me, or anyone else can CHOOSE to do.  I can choose to make myself a priority without overly shorting the important people in my life.  I can decide to plan ahead better with having and sticking with food, resisting the inertia and fitting in the workout, make feeling good about myself a constant occurrence.  I can do those things AT ANY TIME, and the results will follow.  I can do it if I believe I can do it, if I decide it is worth the sacrifice and effort to do it, and if I find the reasons to drive me to make the right choice to simply do it.  Life on the healthier side of the fence is waiting.  It can wait a lifetime, or it can wait a day. The choice is always there, always available.

Has the years of blogging helped me come to this conclusion?  I don't know, maybe.  Does coming to this conclusion free up some of the fears of not being in control of the situation?  A little bit.  I'm not overweight because I "can't" stop eating, but rather because I don't want to stop eating.  I'm not out of shape because I "can't" find the time-motivation-energy-resources-weather to get in a good workout on a regular basis, but because I've chosen not to, repeatedly.  There's no longer a need to wait for the switch to come on, no need for a pressure filled deadline for a particular event to be slender for, the big ones have all come and gone, and there will always be others, and frankly that's a bit of a relief.  It's not about a timeline for self-denial, it's about a choice to change a lifestyle.  Permanently.  Wisely.  Maybe not comfortably, but manage-ably.  A choice.  A simple choice.  Black and white.  Do I want to be healthy enough to do this, for myself, and for my family?  Can I overcome a lifetime of preferring the short term payoff to the long term reward for sacrifice?  Can I continuously remain in the present and in the moment long enough to break a pattern of indulgence?  Can I do these things without pulling too much of my self away from others who matter to me?  I can if I choose to, and if I choose to continue choosing to from minute to minute, until those minutes translate into days, weeks, months, and ultimately a healthy new lifestyle with the corresponding healthy body weight.  I can.  I absolutely know it is possible, I simply must choose to make it  happen.

Do you agree with the simplicity of the solution?  Have you made this (or a similar) choice in your life?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Running is Relative

Today I went for what I'd hoped would be a run.  I'm using the app "RunKeeper" on my iPhone, and it keeps track via GPS of where/how far you've gone, time, pace, topography, etc., it's awesome.  I've run or walked (or a combo) 5 times since March 26.  A slow start, but already far more than I worked out all winter.

The problem is, my body is not up to speed, and it's so hard to be patient with it.  My plan was to run today, but it was a slow, hobbling walk with super tight ankles.  I trudged uphill, and threw in a slow shuffling jog on the downhill here and there.  I've had this kind of chronic ankle tightness before, and the only fix was to work through it gradually and improve my fitness, but unfortunately I tend to be as impatient as I am inconsistent.  I only went 2.7 miles is 42 and a half minutes.  Ouch.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Run from the Chocolate Madness

It gives me subtle comfort, with great ease and no exertion.  It soothes my grated nerves and anxious psyche, if only for a few minutes at a time.  The taste is exquisite, the texture creamy, leaving my tongue feeling velvety just for a moment.  The sum of these sweet sensations is nagging, leaving me wanting more like a seedling leaning in search of the sun.  Yet this seduction by my cocoa mistress is a dark and destructive one.  It shields me from the challenges of fully experiencing emotion, protects me from living fully, hides me from having a real presence in the room unless I choose to.  Slowly it settles its excesses onto my body, weighing it down, lessening its efficiency, robbing it of vigor.  Clearly the brief reward does not justify this level of self-sabotage.  Surely there are other ways to seek sensory satisfaction, to direct excess energies, to heal longing, to indulge, without such collateral damage.  
I need to run from this demon, run from the negativity and the angst that fuels it, run until my blood pumps harder and my lungs gasp for air.  I want to run ‘til until my muscles cry out in a mixture of pain and delight, run until the endorphins surge, run until all traces of destruction are corrected.  Run until the smile can’t be wiped off my face.  Run until I’m proud, run until I’m healthy; run until I collapse into a peaceful slumber.  Run to inner peace.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vows Renewal

A week from Monday my husband and I are renewing our vows in Las Vegas. We're making it cheesy and fun, but on some level there is a seriousness to it. We have been happily married for 11 years, but this is essentially an agreement to get married all over again.

And it got me to thinking. Our marriage is solid, this is just a fun way to celebrate that. It's my relationship with myself that could use a little work. Maybe it's getting to be time to reexamine my goals, refresh my outlook on what is important to me, and renew my vows to start taking better care of myself and my body.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yes, You Can.

But in this case, you probably shouldn't.  (Unless you are a little bit more ready than I was.)  You can do nearly anything you set your mind to, and this past weekend, despite not having run probably even one time all winter, and also despite never having run longer than about 3.5 miles ever, I ran in a 5 mile race.  And hardly walked at all.  And finished.  And didn't die.  And liked it.  A lot.

But I paid like hell for it later.  Running 5 miles is no joke.  It's longer than I've ever run before, a distance that's longer enough than 5K (which is 3.2 miles) to sound more daunting.  But I had to do it, for a number of reasons.  One, I intended to run in a marathon this spring, which I decided on and registered for before well before we decided to sell our house and move, which caused me to basically abandon doing anything healthy for myself all winter.  Even when I knew I didn't have enough time left to train for the marathon, I cut it down to the 10 mile option, but then we were in the midst of the move and I still didn't run.  This would at least give me a chance to kick my own ass into gear and recapture the fitness bug.  The second reason I couldn't help myself?  It was right in our neighborhood!  The start/finish was a short, easy walk from my house, and the #3 mile marker was practically in front of my house.  Luckily I didn't choose to bail at that point and stop, but it certainly was an option.

Repercussions of my quasi-success?  One, I could barely walk for the next two days.  Two, I finally got sick of being in the "back of the pack".  This is by no means the first time I've entered a fitness event from a position of being undertrained, and I have a history of BOP finishes.  It finally got to me this time, I'm finally over it.  I'm desperate now to find a way to return to some kind of a regular workout regime, and to be much better prepared for my next events.  Because since I sure do love 'em, I might as well do better!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thought Soup

As I tend to use that title with some frequency, I should probably make it a more regular feature.  Basically it’s when I have a whole bunch of crap to talk about, and I mash it all into one, long post. 

On Our New House

We’ve finally moved!  We sold our older, serviceable and fairly cute but way, WAY too small for us townhouse and moved into a dreamy, nicer, newer, way, WAY bigger, doesn’t-feel-like-a-townhouse townhouse in the very same neighborhood we so dearly love.  Still having so much to unpack sucks royally, but we are on our own schedule for it now and are free from the vast majority of the stress that had enveloped us throughout the moving process.  My 5 year old son keeps telling me how much he loves it, and occasionally my husband and I pinch ourselves in disbelief and wonder how we got so lucky.  

Oh, and have you heard?  I live in a spa resort.  At least, it feels like I do.  Our new place is super quiet, it is nice and large, it is all tricked out with nifty upgraded features that make us feel spoiled, we have a huge, comfy new king-sized bed, and did I mention how quiet it is?  Ahhhhh…

On being a “Pole Master”

This is one of the most fun things I have ever accomplished, hands down.  After a couple of years and an injury stop-restart, I completed 6 levels of pole dance instruction and spent 8 more weeks prepping to put on a graduation show.  What a freaking blast!  The music is great, the ladies are even better, and it’s still the very best workout I have ever had.  So much more I want to continue to do and learn with it, and I can’t wait to get another chance to perform.  I loved it, and I loved getting to show off to my friends, family, and even total strangers!

On Having Hawaii-Bound Friends

Exiting my life are two of my best friends and their two kids, who are some of my kid’s best friends.  I am so, so happy and excited for them, yet so so SO terribly sad to lose our proximity to them.  It is hard to find people in life that you have so much in common with, are so compatible with, have kids your kids’ age, have been in your life for a bunch of years, and that also happen to live just a few seconds down the road, but we were lucky enough to have had that with them, for a good while now.  Now they are embarking on their own fantasy life’s adventure by up and moving to Hawaii.  Who could blame them?  I can’t wait to hear about their adventures.

On the Fitness Horizon

The marathon I signed up for before we decided to sell our house and move over the winter didn’t happen.  The 10 miler I cut it down to when I knew the marathon was out of the question isn’t going to happen, it being in 11 days.  I am going to enter a 5 miler in my neighborhood this Saturday, which is going to kick off my return to fitness, but which is also going to HURT.

After that, Sprint Tri in my backyard, the same one I’ve done the last two years, except this time I will do it in both June and August.  And then in September, my boss, who is in the process of kicking breast cancer’s ass, has asked me to do a 3-Day (60 mile) fundraising walk with her, and I was honored so I accepted.  (Marathon Plan 2.0 will be for next year…)

On What’s Next?

VEGAS, BABY!!  Mid-April.  Suite with a view of the strip, pool weather, The Little White Wedding Chapel, dear friends, swanky food, and a crapload of fun.  ‘Nuf said.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm 40!!

I've done it, I've turned 40 and I didn't implode.  I did it in style, too, within the course of a week we closed on our house sale and purchase, moved, had the birthday, then had my graduation "poleformance" attended by friends and family.  I'd say that's a pretty successful and fun way to start a new decade.

The funny thing is, I freaked out for about a year and a half about turning 40, and the morning of my birthday (which is the very same as the FABULOUS Dr. Seuss, I might add) as I was driving to work, I realized that it was just another day.  A simple but significant epiphany.  So, just like that, for now, the mid life crisis has been thwarted.

HOWEVER, this blog still lives on because I still have a lot going on, a lot to talk about, and a lot more to accomplish...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Underwear is Fun to Wear!

So, today I participated in the "Cupid's Undies Run" in DC.  It's a charity benefit, and as evident in the title, people run a little over a mile in mostly only their underwear.  In public.  In February.

So, picture hanging out in a bar with 500 people you mostly don't know, about equally men and women, all decked out in the scantiest, wackiest and/or most attention-getting garb they could come up with.  There were tons of women in pink, red, and heart laden undies, some even with wings.  There were boys with body hugging superhero underwear, hearts carved into their chest hair, etc.  It was awesome.  And to be honest, with that many people standing around in their underwear, it didn't feel nearly as awkward as I expected to take off my pants, put them in a bag, and give them to the coat check guy.  Even though the bar was stuffed with underwear clad people wall-to-wall, at times having to push past each other, it was all cool.

I was there with a team of ladies from the DivaFit studio, and we all wore pink feather boas to supplement our Divalicious wardrobes.  It was sunny but still fairly winter-breezy out, and I had on knee high socks, and another pair that I cut the feet out of as arm warmers.

The short run took us by the Supreme Court and the Capitol, with loads of spectators along the way, and it was an exercise in fun, taking pictures, laughing at ourselves and other people, and major camaraderie.  When it was time to reclaim our stuff and put pants back on after having them off for a couple of hours, THAT almost felt weird.  I think my husband thought I was completely out of my mind for doing this, but I couldn't be more pleased with the experience!  We're already plotting next year's team attire...

Saturday, January 15, 2011


One of the most inspirational people in my life (other than my mother) is my dear friend, "W", who I have known since we were sorority sisters in college.  As college kids we shared a lot of the same plights: wanting to meet boys, wanting to fit in, wanting to figure out a path in life, wanting to attain a better figure, etc.  While I gradually found my way post-school into my career in Planning/Zoning and eventually met my husband and settled down, it took her a little longer to find herself and be happy.

Fast forward to the last few years, and she has turned into the most incredibly amazing woman.  She is an FBI agent, and is part of a very exclusive "team" therein which I will not specify out of her need for anonymity, she had the sense to request assignment to sunny Florida, met and married her wonderful sweet husband, has a beautiful house with an amazing backyard pool "oasis" in a fabulous neighborhood, and they now have two absolutely priceless twin baby boys in their lives.  

She has always been the pinnacle of organization.  When we shared an apartment for a year after college, her area was always spotless and just so, and I used to drive her literally UP THE WALL with my much sloppier habits in comparison, especially when it came to leaving dirty dishes around.  Later, after the birth of my son she came to visit and she and my mom spent an entire afternoon trying to organize my house with all the new baby stuff and getting the nursery set up while I napped off my stressed out and sleep deprived haze.  The things she/they did definitely helped get a better handle on things, too.  About a year later when she again came to visit we had just gotten through some really rough family-wise illness in the middle of the winter, and it was so tough on us we were in a bit of a funk.  She pulled me together and suggested that no matter what kind of chaos I was undergoing and trying or not able to keep up with, that if I would just make the bed every morning and keep the bedroom tidy, at least that would be one restful spot on the house and it would gradually spread.  Organization is key to mental restfulness.  Do you know that to this day 4 or so years later I have made my bed every day since?  And gradually, as we've gotten a better handle on things, and especially as our house is in currently in "showing" condition, it truly is a reality that tidiness=peacefulness.

So, now that she is a new mother of twins, I had told her I would visit her as soon as she wanted/needed me to pay back the love and support she had given me as a new mother.  She's sounded pretty together this whole time on the phone, even with the boys being born early and spending a month in the hospital.  So, here I am to visit, and I am stunned:  even with having two new babies in the house, in addition to 4 cats and a husband, she has it completely together.  And I mean, COMPLETELY.  There is not one speck of dirt and not one thing out of place.  The kids rooms are organized, the play areas are organized, the kitchen is tidy and immaculate, and even though she and her husband are juggling the pair of them and frequent feedings, etc., she absolutely puts every single thing in its exact rightful place the second she is done with it.  Their house looks like it could go on the market with 15 minutes' notice, no exaggeration!!  In addition, she has lost enough of her baby weight that if I hadn't seen pictures I'd never believe she had given birth recently, never mind that they were twins.  She is completely put together, too, with cute hair and makeup.  The house in in perfect shape, as well, no projects "waiting to be done", she does all that kind of stuff immediately, and she knows how to fix everything from plumbing to electrical work to carpentry to cars.  I am totally in awe.  She is relaxed, happy, and efficient.  It truly makes me want to better myself as a person and live my life like that, with a perpetually organized and efficient life.  At a healthy weight.  Something to strive for, with an example of how seemingly easy it can be!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Nine Hour Weekend

Well, ok, nine hours on Sunday plus an evening with friends on Saturday, but truly it only felt like the weekend started at 4:30 on Sunday afternoon. Hence why I am awake in the wee hours of the morning Monday, because I just couldn't bear to have it be any shorter than necessary.  We had our house shown a bunch of times on Saturday and an then an open house on Sunday.  Well attended for a change, thankfully.  And I'm just now getting through all the laundry and stuff for the week as a result.  Missed most of the football games, just caught the highlights.  Have a four day workweek coming up, which normally would sound like a good thing, but I'm a little busy/behind in my work right now, am fighting off a sinus infection for which I need to visit my doc, and it's supposed to snow on Tuesday, all of which could disrupt the week into being even a little bit shorter.  And the added stress of still having the house stuff up in the air and stealing our relaxing at home time that we badly needed is driving me/us to the crack point.  I guess the good thing is that I will not be home this weekend, so although I won't be home I will get some time to relax, to myself, in a warmer place...

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Different Kind of New Year

Every single year since I can remember, I have made New Years' Resolutions.  Sometimes they are broad, like "Take Better Care of Myself" and sometimes they are more specific, like "Lose X Pounds by X Date".  But I have always been motivated by a chance for a fresh start, a new Monday, a new month, and the first Monday following New Year's has always been the mother load.

This year is different.  I have three resolutions, of sorts.  The first two are rather concrete, and a little bit of a departure for me.  The first is "Get an in person sight/smell of the ocean at least once a month." Why?  Because it is my happy place, my zen core, and I feel healed and renewed every time I encounter it.  I have a concrete and realistic plan for this, with a little help from my parents' beach house and a friend in FL.  The second Resolution is also quite concrete- "Run or compete in at least one physical event per month."  I also have a plan for achieving this for most of the months, although January is going to be a little dicey.  There's only one event I'm interested in and I'm not sure yet if I'll be free.  But I'm registered for events in February and March, and have plenty of planned options for April and beyond.

The third is kind of my usual deal, but is already shaping up differently.  I want to take better care of myself, like I often aspire to, and part of that is achieving my weight loss and fitness/health goals.  This is especially important to me in this year of turning the big 4-0.  But even before the new year turned over I was already resigned to a couple of things on this front.  One, I am mentally not in a place to be trying hard-core diet programs right now.  Our house is on the market, and adding that to my already full plate of mommyhood, work being fairly busy, etc. has me maxed out mentally.  Two, every year this "all or nothing with a deadline" approach has consistently and reliably failed.

So, I am actively pursuing the first two concrete resolutions.  And the third?  Well, I am thinking about ways to take better care of myself, and I am working up to the kind of healthy eating I want to be doing. I am trying to reduce any unnecessary obligations, and focus my time on the stuff and people that are important to me.  I do hope that I will be able to make some progress before all of the milestones I have coming up, and it would help a whole freaking lot if we could sell our house and get to buy and move into the one we want and be done with it.  But mentally I am in a whole different place than usual, and maybe being forced to sneak up on this goal gradually instead of boxing myself into a "diet" plan and schedule will actually help, for a change.