Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life is good

Recipe for a Perfect Weekend:

Friday with neices and nephews.

Saturday in the mountains.

Sunday on the beach.

Ah, life is good.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday's Bad Dates...Computer Dating Part 4

I thought it would be worth mentioning the ride home from the bad date outlined last week.

So, I was driving home from the date with Mr. Lie, Cheat, and Steal (it's fun!) wondering if I should just become a nun or maybe sit down in front of Utube and watch every remaining piece of 1970s footage with Marlo Thomas and Mary Tyler Moore to become a better, more polished version of "the successful single girl" when my phone rang. For once, I was actually able to locate my phone and answer it whilst driving. (Usually, I engage in a sort of rummaging, wrestling, struggling, dance to the tune of my ring tone before missing the call completely) I was greeted by the voice of my old friend, Nerd.

I haven't seen Nerd in about a year. He's working in a medical research lab in some fancy ivy league university finding the cure for cancer or MS or viral pneumonia. I get texts and emails and such, and the occasional scientific paper with his name on it as an attachment. I usually can't understand what they say.

Anyway, on this particular night, he called. It seems he was driving home from a date of his own.

"Hmm, I take it the date went really well, seeing that it's 9:30 and you are calling me."

And then we proceeded to talk for the rest of the ride home and longer, bemoaning the woes of dating (me: too many stupid guys who just turn me off. Him: too many smart girls who just turn him off) I told him that I was surprised; I thought that an ivy league school was like, nerd paradise! He bemoaned that lots of ivy league level smart people have absolutely no social skills and many girl nerds have absolutely no interest in personal hygiene.

Oh, man! It's so hard to find the perfect package! (unlike the two people on either end of the phone)

And maybe that's one of the best endings you can have for a bad date: to talk and laugh with a friend on the phone who totally understands you and makes you laugh.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A couple days ago, I was commenting on the food journal thing and about how I ate like Takeru Kubayashi when I was younger. (I can't anymore)

But this morning, I went out to breakfast with my parents and my nieces. The 13 year old has taken over my title. She ordered The Hungry Pilgrim, which consisted of two pancakes, two eggs, hash browns, 2 sausage links, and 2 pieces of bacon. She also ordered some toast with butter and jelly. Her sister got the stuffed banana french toast (3 pieces) but could only finish two pieces. So the 13 year old ate the 3rd piece. Plus, she finished my mother's plate.

I should mention that she stands 4'10" and weighs in at 81 pounds.

On the way out to the car, she asked her dad if they could go to Friendly's later on today so she could use her coupon for a free milk shake.

Yup, somebody is definitely 13!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

All or Nothing

Something that's been on my mind lately is all or nothing thinking. You know, when you have this idea that either you are 100% there or not there at all. I often have the all or nothing thinking conversation with patients who are frustrated by a setback or by slow progress. Some days, I have that conversation multiple times with multiple people. By the end of the day, I feel like all or nothing thinking is the bane of my existance!

But today, I realized with startling clarity that I am guilty of all or nothing thinking, too.

It came to me, strangely enough, when I was driving. Today, we got our first real snowstorm of winter. Those little tiny flakes that blow around and accummulate so quickly. The roads were a mess and the wind was intense. I popped the jeep in 4WD and out I went. I love driving in the snow. Sometimes it's a bit treacherous and always it's an exercise in being aware of what everyone else is doing out there. But I love, love, love driving that jeep in the snow!

So I thought about how just a few days ago, I was thinking of how I hate winter. I hate being cold, I hate how my face feels like its going to fall off when I run, I hate how dry my skin gets, I hate how staticy my hair gets. I miss the sun. I miss the beach. I miss being warm.

And yet today, I love, love, loved driving in the snow.

So maybe I can have winter and love winter at the same time. Maybe I dont have to totally love it or totally hate it.

Maybe I'm like that with a lot of other things, as well.

Like earlier today, when I was in that cozy, lazy, it's snowing outside kind of mood. And I knew I should exercise. But I just did not feel like doing P90x or Insanity. I was feeling too lazy. And that's how it always seems to be with me. Either I run 7 miles or none. Either I exercise for 75 minutes (or longer) or I don't work out. Either I do P90x or I sit on the sofa and watch tv. Kind of dumb, isn't it?

Dumb like how I get stressed out at work and have some chocolate and then just forget it with eating healthy for the rest of the day. Or week.

Maybe there's room for a happy medium?

So today, after drving in the snow with a big ol' grin on my face and shoveling off my steps and walkway for the first time this winter, I finished setting up the second bedroom as a place to exercise. And I did a 30 minute total body workout with yoga and weights. Not all out, but not nothing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Bad Dates: computer dating 3

So a couple weeks ago, I started talking about computer dating and then left everyone hanging giving only the story of my co-worker's bad computer dating experience. My bad! (In my defense, I had no reliable wi-fi last week)

So, in all fairness, I must rely my story.

Like my friend, I posted what I thought was a funny, enticing, and totally truthful profile. Finally agreed upon a meet up with a seemingly nice guy. And we met for dinner at a pub. (I wore my pink chuck taylors because, really, is there any more appropriate first date attire than that? Plus, I can say "I'll be the one in pink sneakers!")

Let me digress here for a moment....up until now, I have always dated a certain KIND of person. You know, people like me. I have long string of folks from helping professions (health care workers, teachers, the social worker guy) as well as a disturbingly large number of nerds, geeks, and dorks (scientists, computer programmers, the endocrinology guy). Which sort of makes me sound like a dorky push over. Whatever. That's neither here nor there. The point is, given my success rate, it seems to reason that perhaps I should try dating people who are NOT like me. A different KIND of person.

Enter computer date guy. (Let's call him Rob)

Rob is a different kind of guy than I usually go for. He's not nerdy or a counselor or anything like that. He is a sort of...enterprenneur, if you will. He owns, like, 4 businesses. Not huge corporations or anything. Just little businesses. A landscaping company. A driveway sealing company. A drywalling company. A pool cleaning company. Plus he owns, like, 6 apartments that her rents out. So he kind of spends his time flipping from one thing to another, keeping tabs on the people that he has hired to do the day to day things for said businesses. (My head would explode if I did that) But maybe it would be good for me to hang with somebody who can do things that make my head explode.

Maybe that's the secret to a good relationship. Maybe you need to find somebody whose strengths are different that yours. Maybe then the two of you make an invincible team! Maybe, in addition to being absolutely kick ass in trivial pursuit, you are better equipt to face all of life's ups and downs, ins and outs, unexpected events and goals. Maybe Rob and I are going to end up being one of those super couples! You know, the ones that seem to have it all (because we are not alike together we DO have it all!), the couples that make you want to BE them. Oh, wow. This is going to be fantastic.

And then...

Then, while talking about pricing out a job for one of his businesses, he says "I quoted him a price double my usual rate because I could tell he had money." Um, what? Maybe I heard him incorrectly.

No such luck.

Because later on, he said: "I just make up prices sometimes." and "It's fun to screw people over." What, what? Did he seriously just say that? Yeah, he did.

While I totally do not agree with pretending to be somebody you're not or putting on some kind of song and dance to impress someone (Plus, if I was trying to impress someone, I would definitely not be singing. Or dancing.) on the flip side, don't you at least want to show your best side on a blind date? Rob essentiall just told me "Hi, I'm Rob. I lie, I cheat, and I steal. It's fun. Spinach dip?"

Looks like I won't be winning any trivial pursuit tournaments in the near future.

Rob called again to go out. I had to decline. He's just not my kind of guy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Food Journal Recap

One of my monthly goals was to keep a food journal this month, not necessarily to change what I am eating, but more so to figure out why I have such a hard time changing. Or something like that.

I will admit, its a little difficult to record everything you have eaten. My food journaling has most of the time consisted of pulling balled up post it notes out of my pockets before I throw my clothes in the hamper and then transferring the chicken scratch into a notebook. But the results are pretty enlightening, nonetheless.

First off, I don't eat nearly as much as I think I do.

Years ago, when I had to record what I ate for some nutrition class or something, I would astound people with the sheer quantity of food that I consumed every day. I remember in 7th grade for a nutrition module in school (with the then-state-of-the-art computer program to analyze your dietary intake) my teacher thought I had made some kind of mistake and had me record my food intake twice, over a week long period. Results were the same. Topping the scales at 59 pounds, I averaged between 5000 and 6000 calories a day. Yes, that was 5 THOUSAND calories a day!! At age 12, I could have eaten Michael Phelps under the table.

Same in college, though I had reeled in the eating a bit, since I was no longer a competitive gymnast with two and a half hours in the gym. Only 3000 or so calories.

Even up around age 28, when I was teaching aerobics in a gym and they had a class for nutrition. I was ashamed of my horrible eating habits...I ate three candy bars a day. Every day! When I decided to get with the program and cut out the candy for more nutritious snacks like nuts and veggies and fruit, I dropped 7 pounds in a week. (and felt like crap) So I added some candy back into the mix. Seriously. I had to pick the most high calorie food I could get my hands on to keep all 106 pounds on.

I no longer weigh 59 or 106 pounds. Those days are long gone. But this belief that I am an eating machine lingers. I feel like I am still eating like I did when I had the metabolism of an adolescent boy on cocaine.

But I'm not.

What this food journaling goal has shown me is that I really am not eating as much as I should be. And in turn, when I make bad food choices, its usually because I am famished. So I've been trying to pack lots of snacks and grab little bites or handfuls when I breeze by my desk to pick up and drop off charts. (not candy bars)

The other thing that is jumping out at me (like a leopard getting ready to pounce) is what a stress eater I am. When I feel like I have no control over a situation, I either grab some chocolate and scarf it down, or chug diet coke. Both of which have a heroin-like effect on me. I'm a food junkie, when you come right down to it. This is going to take a bit more work than packing extra snacks, but it's not exactly a surprise to me, either. I'm working on it.

Who knows? Maybe if I eat more, I'll get back down to 106?

Journal THAT baby!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Disney Marathon Race Report

Sometimes I wish I were the kind of person who kept close tabs on every mile run, my pace, my fatigue level, my heart rate, my refueling strategy. Then I could be the kind of person who wrote a detailed race report complete with where I was strong and where I need improvement and how my goals for the next race will differ.

I am not one of those people.

So my race reports look something like this: Sunday Jan 8th -- ran 26.2 miles, showered, swam in the pool, stuffed my face, and slept 10 hours. It was a good day!

It was a slow marathon, for sure, partly because there were so many participants, partly because I was in a late wave, partly because so many people were following the Jeff Galloway walk/run approach and there was an awful lot of maneuvering around walkers, but mostly because I had to stop and get my picture taken with Mickey and Minnie and Jimminy Cricket, and Mary Poppins, and Captain Jack Sparrow. It was a fun race!

And I think that maybe that should really be my overall goal for every race this year: finish and have fun. To hell with PR's and strategies and making forward progress and all that. Finish and have fun. Period.

Lately I've been feeling so overwhelmed by work that the last thing I need is more work from my play. When I run marathons or halves or do tri's, the one thing I DO remember is how much FUN I have. How much I feel like I'm part of something that's bigger than I am. How much I love what I'm doing and who I'm doing it with (all these strangers who are my best friends for an hour or six). Why would I want to mess with that?

Finish and have fun.

I'm one of those people.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Bad date 1

I'm back, it's Tuesday and hence.....the return of:


So a couple weeks ago, I left the cliffhanger-- computer dating with a co-worker and myself.

Here is her story--

She did the whole computer dating set up thing: created a profile that was funny and clever and smart, added a bunch of super flattering pictures, posted it, and sorted through a bunch of responses. She finally decided upon a nice guy who was around the same age, a computer programmer, and liked to fish and go sailing...something she had in common. They emailed and talked and set up a time to meet.

Oh, I should mention that this nice guy took care of his mother until she died 5 years prior, of lung cancer.

Because apparently he mentioned that at their dinner. Repeatedly. Again and again and again. Did I say repeatedly? I'll say it again. Repeatedly.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think it was a wonderful thing that he did, taking care of his mother. And it would be a very traumatic thing to try to get over. So, he certainly has a right to sort of stuck on this episode in his life.

But, on a first date? Really? He couldn't have come up with any other conversation topics? Maybe written them down on flash cards he kept in his pocket? Maybe those nice hobbies of fishing and sailing? No?

My friend listened politely and asked questions and sympathized with Mr. Nice-Guy-on-Paper all the way until dessert. When he took out a stack of pictures of his mother to share with her.

I'm thinking that maybe he needs to talk to a counselor or something before going on any more dates.

(Let's all take a moment of silence and wish him luck)

Monday, January 2, 2012

January Goals

Yeah, I had that great epiphany and wrote that eloquent (maybe) post on why I've been held prisoner to my goals. But that doesn't mean I'm letting myself off the hook! I'm still a goal girl at heart and it's 2 past New Year's....OF COURSE I'm setting goals! I'm just trying to be a little more mindful in the process!

But first....

December Goal Recap:

1) Continue with marathon training and weight training 3x/week:
half credit. I got the long runs in, I got some other runs in, but my milage certainly wasn't where it should have been coming up to a marathon.'s a fun run, not a qualifying run. I'm gonna see Mickey and the gang! And I can definitely run 26.2 miles. So, its all good. (That was a bit of an eye opener for me, too... that I have gotten to the point where I can say with confindence that I can finish a marathon, no problem. I think I should start thinking of myself as a "runner" now)

2) Eat Clean-er
Half credit again. I've been trying to get better food choices in the house, but also occassionally giving in to the treats. Starting in on the food journal next month!

3) Get rid of 5 books, two reference.
Got rid of 4. And actually gave myself permission to not finish one of them. (referencey type book that I've gotten halfway through several times but kept because I felt like the info was "important". I still think the info could be good, but the writing in this particular book was a real snooze fest. I can get a different book on the same subject if I want. That one is OUTTA HERE!)

4) DO the kinesiotape certification.
Nope. DIdn't do it. That's two months in a row. I need to either finish this in January or accept that it's not all that important to me.

5) Get rid of 5 DVDs.
Didn't do that, either.

6) INcrease water intake to 8 glasses per day.
I increased water intake, but 8 glasses keeps me in the bathroom all day. I think I need to focus on cutting down the caffeine!

7) Finish and turn in advanced clinician paperwork

8) Decorate the apartment all happy-like!
Yay! Success.

9) Treat holiday activities as treats, not obligations
this actually worked out well. I need to start treating everything as a treat, not an obligation

10) Wrap everything green
totally done. Not one new tag, bag, piece of wrapping paper. ANd everyone got their gifts all pretty-like, anyway!

January Goals:

I've been inundated with a bunch of invitations to participate in New Year's Challenges that sound pretty fun. AND make the goal writing portion of my life seem more like a game!

1) Keep a food journal for 30 days!
Thanks to this chippy right here, I'm going to focus on eating a little more mindfully and exploring WHY I always seem to be falling off the clean eating wagon. (after one day, I'm a bit more knowledgable, already)

2) Run outside at least one mile every day in January
This challenge is courtesy of a local running store that does group runs and such. I often feel a bit left out because my crazy work schedule doesn't allow me to participate in al0t of the runs. But this I can do. And I feel like I'm part of the running group, nontheless.

3) Exercise for 100 days straight:
This one from a facebook friend who just finished his 100 days and sent the challenge out to everyone else.

4) Have a fun time in Disney and make it the funest marathon ever!

5) Ok...really. Take the kinesiotape cert exam in January

6) Get all my finances organized in one place on the computer.
Most of my financial stuff is online now, but it's scattered in folders all over my email inbox and my desktop. Trying to figure out if I want to go Quicken or Mint. com. Anyone have thoughts?

7) Spend just 5 minutes a day of "quiet time".
See where it goes from there

8) Get my apartment all set up in order
Had somebody else living here for a while and now it's just me.

9) Figure out what I want to do about my crazy work schedule and talk to my superviser to make it happen.

10) Be present. I'm off to go run!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year

So 2012 is here! I, for one, am not sorry to see 2011 go. It was a very challenging year that shook me up and forced me to change the way I see a lot of things. And not in a good way. Sometimes, I feel like life is a struggle to remain un-cynical. 2011 took me in the wrong direction.

In December, I started out all gung-ho to get back into blogging and post every day. Then, I felt the need to stop posting and just spend some time turning inward and doing some private reflection and evaluation. (All the while trying to plug away on goals) In the midst of trying to pare down my book collection, I came across a sentence that gave me pause. Then shook me up. Then forced me to change the way I see myself. In a good way. Sometimes life throws you a bone to let you know its not all that bad.

So the sentence was: "Are you using your goals to move closer to your ideal self, or as a way to keep yourself busy, so that you can avoid whatever it is you should REALLY be working on?" I saw myself in that sentence. Me, the perpetual list maker, goal setter, eye-on-the-prize go-getter; me one who does all the things other people say they'd like to do but never do; I've been avoiding life! It was a bit shocking.

Fortunately, I came across one more mind blowing sentence: "What is the one thing you are going to do differnt tomorrow?" Ok, so maybe it's not all that mind blowing. But when I realized that my goal reviews focused mainly on what I hadn't accomplished and the reasons why I didn't accomplish them (I was sick for 2 weeks, I had a big project to complete that was more important, I was tired) I decided to make a subtle shift. I've spent the past 2-3 weeks focusing on making tiny changes, not giant pie in the sky goals, but tiny little changes and seeing how they pan out.

I spent New Year's Eve with my two best friends in J's new place. J, whose home I had been renting the Garaje Mahal, which is now in the distant past. J, who spent a couple months in my new place with me before finding her own place. J, whose 2011 was way way way worse than mine. I was in her new place with Shell and the energy in that new place was good, It was a calming, safe, nurturing energy. It was good.

I mentally compared that to the energy in my new place which feels rather empty. On purpose. I felt like I needed to spend some time getting rid of negativity and baggage. (I made a lot of trips to the thrift store with donations over the past couple months as I got rid of physical stuff, too)

So now, I'm thinking that as 2012 starts, and I'm sitting here in my new place that screams EMPTINESS I need to make some tiny little changes each day and start focusing not on what I DON'T want, but on what I want. What I want to fill the space where the negativity used to live.

Oh, 2012 is a blank canvas and I'm opening some paint.