Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Been eating fairly well lately, but maybe a little too lax on the "cheat" days when I eat whatever I want
  • Hovering around the 185 marker
  • Went for a run Friday with a friend and did a few miles around the lake behind my house
  • Last week I injured my neck and I've gone to a chiropractor three times so far getting that fixed
  • The running was a bad idea I think, with a neck injury. Doc said I need to stick to low impact exercise for now
  • Went to a tai chi class yesterday that Chris and I want to start going to together, along with a kung fu class that happens directly afterward with the same group
  • Karate has been amazing. If I was doing better with my eating, I'd probably have lost more weight and felt better than I do now
  • And that's my life update

Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Been juicing veggies and some fruities at home, introduced Chris and the girls to it, and they're on board!
  • Did a cool Bollywood Dance workout yesterday, kicked my butt and put me in the best mood
  • I was craving sweets the other day so I had a bowl of blackberries with some homemade whipped cream (literally just whipped up heavy whipping cream). solid.
  • Went to the gym before 8am today. Yeah.
What are you doing these days that your future self will thank you for?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Running with Wolves.

Or in this case, wolves' descendant.

My new house is tucked just behind Rhode's Jordan Park, a gem of a little recreational facility. There's a small lake, an aquatic center, tennis, basketball courts, you know, the usual. They also have a community center with classes ranging from martial arts to cooking to ballet. Pretty snazzy stuff.

So today I donned my new running pants (they have these yellow stripeys on them that make me happy and feel like a pro runner) and braved the cold. I brought Abby, my 60lb wimpy mutt with me, to keep me safe--ha--and also to just get her out of the house, because she's a lazy bum. I tried out my GPS watch for the first time too (a birthday present from my dad back in August. Yikes. Shows how much running I did this fall). I didn't have the manual on me, so I kinda clicked and mashed buttons til it beeped and started tracking my GPS location.

My ankle was feeling locked up (probably from sitting on it while on my laptop this morning... I've gotta kick that habit. It's awful for my legs! Grr. So I mostly walked speedily along with occasional slow sprints. The thing is, though, that my slow sprints are somehow a speed my dog cannot walk/run. She can either go slower, or must go much faster. So I was either dragging her behind me, or, more frequently, yanking on the leash to try and keep her next to me. And when she wasn't next to me, she was criss-crossing in front of me and I'd accidentally trip on her.

I got so frustrated running with Abby--and I'm pretty sure my hand will have a blister from where the leash was rubbing it--that I'm not sure I'll take her again for a while. It was so distracting! Does anybody run with their dog and have any advice? I've taken her with me a few times before at different locations and it's always like this!

I did have a cool moment when I stopped at this swingset and swung, eyes closed, sun on my face, cold air blowing around me. I felt like I was hovering in a place that was free from the problems that clung my feet to the ground. When I was done, I leapt off the swing like a kid, and the flying feeling before hitting the ground was exhilarating. And I gotta tell ya, yoga has made me a lot more agile, because I landed like a cat. I realized after I did it that it could have gone really awry, seeing as how only 20 minutes prior my ankle was bugging me...

By the end of the jog (it was almost 3 miles from my doorstep, around the lake, and back to my house) my whole body felt warmed up and I freely sprinted the last couple hundred yards.

I realized while I was running that the path is large enough to bike and run on, and with the pool facility right there by the trail, that this is an AMAZING opportunity to train for more triathlons. So I think that will be in my future again. :)

In other news, I got Ben Davis's book 'Do Life' in the mail yesterday, so I'm pretty damn stocked to get rockin' n' rollin' on that read (along with the other like, 6 books I got at the library yesterday).

In other-other news, I got fat over the holidays. Did you? Because I know I did. YUCK. Like, ya'll, I got faaat. Well, fat for me. The lowest I weighed in at in August, I think, was somewhere around the low 180s. I may be imagining this, but I'm almost positive one day I was 179. But maybe not. Probably not (I think I just wanted to be). Either way, this morning I weighed in at 194. WHAAAT. Ew. I know that some of this is water weight and bloating, and not fat, from all the indulging that was done over the last few weeks and months, but iiiick. I feel so gross! Actually, to be fair, I felt gross. I feel okay now. Chris and I got back on track with our eating habits after officially unpacking and setting up the kitchen yesterday, so we're back onto the Paleo thing. So before yesterday I felt nasty. Now I'm feeling a bit cleaner, but the leaner/lighter/more slender feeling is on the other side of a few weeks.

So I'm going to go drink some more water and maybe cook up some stew and do some of this Bollywood Aerobic Dance DVD I got at the library. Because why the hell not. Ha. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Real Beauty

I'm not the kind of person who argues that everyone is beautiful. As a friend of mine puts it, "Every person has value, no matter what. But no, not everyone is beautiful. That would defeat the very definition of beauty." I do, for example, think that it is possible for a 300 pound woman to have appeal. Of course. As can an overweight man. But I just don't see any physical beauty or sex appeal in extremely large people. (And yeah, there are fat fetishes of which I am aware, but that's an outlier to my argument. I'm speaking generally, excluding the rare circumstances. Obviously, some people are attracted to anorexic bodies too.)

I think that yes, there is such a thing as physical beauty. I typically find this beauty to be a blend of totally natural and a few highlights to make the thing astonishing. Great hygiene, a fitness regime, a good diet, and a joyful confidence and personality is the most attractive thing. Crooked teeth, curves, flat hair, stretch marks, love handles aside. This is why I'm posting the picture of these two beauty campaigns I found.

Some people will definitely disagree with me here. I've heard people say you shouldn't "body shame" people of different sizes. This is where everything blends together... because I'm speaking strictly of beauty and health, nothing of worth. I think if someone is healthy, they're much more likely to have physical beauty. You feel better about yourself when you exercise, your body feels cleaner internally when you're not filling it with junk, and when you care for your skin, hair, teeth, etc, you're more happy to show it off. I find that the more someone dyes their hair, tans their skin, layers on makeup, and wears ridiculous clothing that changes their body shape, the less attractive they become. Yes, I wear spanx sometimes. Yup, I have makeup (and I love putting it on and how it looks.) So what am I, a hypocrite? I don't think so. I think, like anyone, I'm kind of confused by the way our culture blends physical appeal and self worth. And I think there's a difference in wearing a tummy smoother with a certain kind of dress or to get rid of really unsightly bumps in your jeans if you have a purpose, like a nice dinner out or something. You want to feel your best. But I know girls who sport these things daily. It's like a mask for their own body. And the makeup thing... come on, it looks good in small doses, and I love color, but when I see eye liner and mascara caked on.. I'm just not impressed.

I definitely think the girls on the bottom picture with Dove are lovelier. Why? Mostly because they don't have hair that looks like wigs, oily looking skin, and a face that seems to be a mix of "I want to eat you for lunch," and "I want to kill you." Since when is THAT sexy? I would be terrified to touch these women! There is nothing soft, inviting, serene, or welcoming about them. They look breakable. And frankly, if I was with them, I'd be worried about all the flaws they see on me and how imperfect I am to them.

The joy on the Dove women's faces makes them look like someone I'd want to spend my time with and make breakfast for. Someone who could carry a conversation about things other than spray tans. Victoria's Secret has some great products, I'll admit that. Yeah, I have owned one of their bras before, and until it was too big for me (after losing weight) I liked wearing it. But I still don't understand why they deploy these alien-like fake looking models to sell their clothes... I'm serious when I say if I walked by Victoria's Secret and they had a size 8 girl in her bra and panties laughing in a pillow fight (like the 'angels' do) and you could totally see stretch marks on her tummy, I'd probably go in and by something. I honestly think it would revolutionize our culture. I hope that companies like Dove get the credit they deserve and keep making a positive impact on the way we all view ourselves and the people around us.

I know this is not an original post, necessarily. Countless people argue this same point... I'm probably beating a dead horse, but man I wanted to get it off my chest. That's about it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Leave Everything Behind.

About a month ago I injured my right foot when I tripped during an obstacle course 5K that I ran. For the week following I hobbled on crutches and was bed-ridden with ice, elevated foot, and pain killers. (And Dexter.) A familiar scenario for me. Last year I injured this foot pushing myself too hard during a 5 mile run through the mountains by my grandparents house, and the year before I injured this foot falling up slippery-from-rain stairs on a UGA bus. I know this feeling of running myself into the ground very well.

So I took a month off my foot. I did some weight lifting, and one yoga class. But each passing day without a mile of pavement and wind underneath me the darker my soul became. I just am not the same person when I am not running. Not a single other thing feeds my heart quite like running does. It doesn't matter that I'm not fast, or that I don't run every day, or that I can't run more than 4 or 5 miles on a good day. Because when it's just me and my running shoes; my legs suited in tight black shorts lunge-ready; my chest wrapped tightly in anticipation of the pounding against the pavement, concrete, rocks, whatever comes my way; and my hair haphazardly pulled back however I can; it's the most alive-and-well I've ever felt.

I know that as a runner, injuries are to be expected. It's normal; running comes with risks. As an athlete, any type, you must know that rest and recovery are often even bigger players in your game than the work itself. I think that's a huge part of discipline that is underrated in athleticism. I hope that one day I can become less threatened by the days, weeks, and months that must pass as I heal from the regular aches and pains of the runners life.

But despite that hope, I admit that it has been a difficult month. I cried on multiple occasions, like the morning after that yoga class when I almost fell on the floor when I tried to put weight on my right foot. Healing is an unhurried process. (And I am not as patient as I wish I would be.)

Today when I went to the gym, I didn't plan on running. I'd anticipated some weight-lifting, maybe an arm-and-ab workout. But as I surveyed the gym and asked my body what it wanted, what it needed, an alarm sounded in my core. I had to run. I searched my body to see if it was ready. I stretched my foot, turned and turned my ankle cautiously, plugged in my ear buds, and stepped on a treadmill. And I went. From the initial stride I felt something go tense and release inside of me. I got chills on every inch of skin on my body. My lungs sucked ravenously inward, my muscles stood at attention and began their functions peacefully, beautifully, gloriously. A well-oiled machine. I didn't even begin to break a sweat until 3/4 of a mile in. Somehow the very low-impact weight-lifting and daily dog-walking had kept my body in peak enough condition to run that 1 lovely mile with hardly any effort at all.

This is a painting I made last year from a running shoe advertisement I found. I think it appropriately visually depicts what it is I'm trying to really convey in this post.

But I felt every step. Not in my foot, but my heart. There was a beautiful suspension in my life as I listened to old songs that were my anthems exactly one year ago when running was just a baby, graduating to toddlerdom, for me. When The Intro by XX came on my MP3 player, I grabbed the treadmill with one hand to steady and guide myself, and then I closed my eyes. There in the middle of a florescently lit BodyPlex, I went somewhere else in my soul. I was suspended from the reality of my heart that was weighing so heavily inside of me in that moment. I was suspended from the truth that tomorrow marks two years since I've been in a room with my mother and brother at the same time. It marks the beginning of the holiday season, the hardest time of the year for anyone familiar with family heartache, loneliness on any level, and any history of depression. Those were the largest truths I escaped tonight. It elevated me not to a new place, but back home, to a world where it has always just been me and my thoughts. Me and my words. The words and worlds that exist only when I let them breathe and stretch and ask questions while my muscles go on auto-pilot.

(And on a side note, I think it's appropriate that it was this day I ran again, because last year it was the night before thanksgiving that I injured myself on that run.)

So at home I now take an intermission, before I dive headfirst into this holiday season fearlessly. Because this year isn't sadness and regret and fear and worry and guilt. This year is pie-baking with my boyfriend's beautiful daughters (a gift in my own life), and hand-holding with that man as we celebrate what an entire year can do to change someone's life, and loving the family I do have around me--my father and his first holiday coming to my house; my sisters-in-heart who breathe life into me when I feel empty and when I feel whole, always finding room for love in me when I didn't even know I needed it; and even still, the distanced individuals who share my DNA who are freckled across the continent and will doubtlessly think of me in some regard, all of them, no matter how many days separate us from communication and embrace.

I hope only that you, dear reader, can feel this amount of peace in your heart as we find meaning in the following 40 days or so. Winter can be harsh. Our culture only makes things more emotionally stimulating to the point of exhaustion. But I wish you still the happiest of seasons yet. And we're in this together. So eat, drink, and be filled with happyheart, friend.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Oh, uh, hey there...

The last 6 weeks or so of my life have just been weird. Busy, fun, life-changing, hectic, intense, and awesome! I knew in the back of my head that it'd been a while since I visited this lil bloggy blog, but I didn't realize it'd been over a month.

Or that my last post was a single sentence about brussels.


The thing is, this blog isn't for anybody else. I don't assume that I have this grand, curious audience with wagging tongues hanging from their mouths, agape with eagerness for my next epic post. Nah. It's basically a way I can keep accountable to myself, something to look back on, and hopefully occasionally a venue for encouragement for my buddies (and strangers).

So I'll give ya'll a quick update of random life-happenings and such as of late. :-)

  1. I ran the Peachtree Road Race! Yeah! I totally ran 6.2 miles! I don't know what my time was... I didn't have a watch and I haven't bothered checking. I don't overly care. I'm just happy that I did it! I'm basically dragging all my loved ones with me to do it beside me next year.
  2. I was working 80 hours a week for a lil bit there. Uh, yeah. Bad idea. Fitness and nutrition totally took a major halt when that happened. Sleep was a joke, food consisted of overloads of caffeine and carbs, and I ran maybe twice in 3 weeks.
  3. I moved out of my apartment and in with a family for whom I am a part-time nanny for room and board. Moving sucks.
  4. I didn't end up doing the triathlon I signed up for. It just wasn't going to be a good idea. I had been swimming a lot early and mid July, then just stopped when I moved. I got a bike, but I haven't actually really ridden it more than a few miles yet. And running, like I said, has been sparse. I ran 4.5 miles a couple days before the race, and swam 20 minutes in a lake a few days before too. But it just didn't seem like a wise idea to push the race when I hadn't been doing the training. So that was disappointing. 
  5. I'm still signed up to run the Athens Half Marathon in about 7.5 weeks. Uh. Yeah....
  6. I turned 21! And I'll just go ahead and say that beer isn't low-carb. Or rather, good beer isn't. So. Phooey. 
  7. I went to the gym today and weighed in at 184 with clothes and sneakers. So somehow, despite the gallons of dark stout and pear cider I've been consuming at a rather alarming rate (along with many, many carbs... oy vey), I haven't actually put on any weight (since the last recorded weight I can find was 185 sans clothing articles). But I can tell I'm pudgier! I know I've lost some muscle (although I can still do a good couple pushups and run a few miles, etc). Strength is weird. I basically just want to get to where I am comfortable running in a sports bra and tight booty shorts. :P
I suppose that's all for now. 
But I haven't given up, I'm still pushing, and when I was running today listening to the Dark Knight soundtrack and consulted my heart as to whether or not I still felt passionate about running a marathon one day and achieving all of those dreams I once had, well, it was all still there.

Carry on, kids. Thanks for the attention, my ego loves it. Cheers!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Don't eat sugar. Seriously, just--don't do it. Do me a favor, right now, take my word for it. STOP EATING SUGAR.

Things I've been eating that I just have not been enjoying:

  • Trail mix w/ dried fruit and chocolate
    • Trail mix is satan's way of attacking healthy food. It is such TRICKERY! It's not the least bit good for you. Yeah, you're getting nuts. But they're roasted to oblivion, covered in sugary/salty crap, and you eat about 1.5 almonds and 2 cashews to every nine dried cranberries and 6 chocolate chips. It's all lies. I never, ever feel good after I eat it.
  • Which regresses further into: yogurt covered raisins
    • WHAT AM I DOING? That is ridiculous. Absolute lunacy. It's one of those things where I justify it because "I'm already eating all this other crap, why not." But I just felt sad as I ate it. Sad is never how food should make you. Ever.
  • Bread (croissants, chunks of bread from coffee shops, etc)
    • Again, welcome to the, "screw it" mentality of dieting, when you're like, I've already had a ton of sugar today. I am having a 2 second craving for it, and I'm sure it'll be delicious. Which, most of the time, it's not too bad. But again, so much sad as I eat it. When it's over, I feel chaulky and thick. And then I regressed further to buying a $2.99 box of croissants from Kroger. ALERT: These are not food. They lied. It's plastic. I promise.
  • Pasta/Rice/Pizza
    • Minimal intake, but when I've had it over the past couple weeks, I've been struck at how little it seemed like food in my mouth. Anything that thick and pasty as I chew it just concerns me. 
  • Popcorn
    • Yeah--I didn't enjoy popcorn when I ate it last night!!! What?! It was just that same "non-food" feeling as I ate it. Didn't taste how I expected it would. And certainly didn't satisfy any hunger cravings. Just kept me awake while I was at work
  • Coffee/Energy Drinks 
    • As of July 26th, I may swear off coffee and energy drinks for the rest of my life. At least for a very, very long time. I have to drink about 32 ounces of caffeine per 8 hr graveyard shift. I can't do it otherwise. And even with it, I'm a demonic sight by 8am and my coworkers are, justifiably, terrified of me.
  • Juice
    • Pomegranate juice is lies. Just don't do it.
  • Ice Cream
    • It's cold, it's sweet. Yawn. I feel so terrible about eating sugar that even as delicious as it may be, I can't enjoy it.

Things I've been eating that I actually have been enjoying:

  • Pretty much anything out of my boyfriend's kitchen
    • Chris has battled weight for even longer than I have, and has done the lose/give up/gain/lose/give up/gain cycle many more times than I have. Therefore, there's a bit of inner-strength and stamina inside him that I believe has helped him stay steadier in his eating habits. He buys almost all local and organic. Can I please be more like him? I'm so grateful for the meals of flavorful meat, eggs, fresh veggies, and delicious cooked veggies we share.
  • Sweet Tea
    • May have sugar, but I'm not gonna lie, I did thoroughly enjoy a can of peach sweet tea I got from QuikTrip the other day.
  • Blueberries 
    • I picked blueberries with my friend Michael and his family the other day, and it has been such a refreshing, guilt-free treat. I've been eating a lot of fruit lately actually, and it is fantastic. I feel great eating it in moderation.
This isn't the hearty post I have welled up inside me. I have so many words about the Peachtree Road Race, about swimming, about eating and unhealthy relationships with food. Maybe these words will come out more profoundly after a few days.

Two weeks of the graveyard shift left. After that, when my schedule gets back to normalcy, I'm going to seriously spend a lot of my energy focusing on balance. Food, exercise, and sleep. I can't stress the sleep part enough.