Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Ten: The Award Edition

Because I'm coming off my computer fast of the last 5 days and because Katie J gave me an award just before the long weekend, I figured this would be the perfect way for you to get your Tuesday Ten fix.

The rules for the blog award are as follows: Thank the blogger that gave it to you, post 10 things you don't know about me, and pass it on...

Before I do my 10 I'm going to pass this on to Fran, at Dutch Girl Gets Healthy.  Can't wait to learn more about Fran.

Thanks for the award Katie!

1.  Even though my astrological sign is Pisces and I do so love the water, I pretty much can't swim.  I can float, doggy paddle and keep my head above, but even after lessons, I'm a terrible swimmer.

2.  I like chocolate - a lot.  But when it comes to cake, I prefer vanilla, or carrot, or cheesecake.

3.  Using only my typing skills (and yes I mean typing as in typewriter), I faked my expertise and my way into the first full time job I had,  which set me on the career path I'm still in today:  Executive Assistant.

4.  The older I get, the less judgemental I get. At the same time I find myself becoming very intolerant of silliness, pettiness, or BS of pretty much any kind.

5.  I don't like liver or lima beans.

6.  People say I'm quite outspoken but as I've aged, I hold my tongue more often than not.  I've also been internalizing a lot of stress, (which my doctor keeps telling me is a hindrance to being my healthiest self). 

7.  Shoes have always been my accessory of choice - I have probably 75 pairs.  Through all my ups and downs with weight loss, my shoe size hasn't varied much until the last couple of years.  10 years of running and midlife have added a half size to my foot. 

8.  If someone annoys me on Facebook, before I unfriend them, I hide them (see #4 above).

9.  My favorite color is pink - any shade of pink from light to bright.

10.  I would always choose to live in a more urban setting over suburbs or country.  But if I win the lottery, I'm moving to the beach.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ripping and Racing

The review I did on the Pearl Izumi technical shirt, where I also shared my thoughts on their advertising campaign, caused Fran to comment:

But I also read a small article in the Dutch Runners World about a guy who "ran" the LA marathon in over 10 hours. That is he ran the first 10K and walked the rest. I'm sorry but that's not running a marathon in my opinion. I have no problems at all by walking during a half or a full but if I do a half I want to run it most of the time. Otherwise I could better enter a walking event. What's your opinion on this?”

(If you want to read about that man and his exploits, Google it.)

This is an issue that is very much a hot button in the running community.  To me the problem lies in where to draw the line.  Because you see, people like the Pearl Izumi PR folks and other assorted runners who run 5-6 minute miles might consider me to be a person who shouldn’t be in their events with my 10-11 minute mile.

So, there are events like the Boston Marathon where in order to run, you have to qualify by running another marathon at a certain pace, which is based on age.  The idea is to have the best of the best so that everyone is actually racing.  However, even the venerable Boston has given in to charity runners.  The race organizers donate a certain amount of bibs to various charities and let them pass the bibs out.  Don’t get me wrong; there are “runners” in the charity groups. I have a very good friend who raised $40,000 one year for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute so he could run Boston, which he’d always wanted to do.  He tried to qualify but never could: his best time was 3:55 but he needed 3:20 to qualify.  In marathon running – in any running 35 minutes is a big difference! To be honest though, this is where you’ll find most of your walkers – people who also raise thousands and thousands of dollars for very good causes. 

Race directors have tried to solve this issue at larger races by creating corrals.  You line up at the start by your predicted finish time.  In theory this puts the faster people in the front (right behind the elite runners who are racing for money) and the slowest to the back.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t work as well as it should and I’m not sure why.  I speak from experience here as both times I’ve run the Marine Corps Marathon I’ve found myself weaving and bobbing around folks who were already walking at mile 2.  I have nothing against walking and in fact at the marathon distance, I walk through every water stop and drink as I walk.  But like I said in Monday’s post, if you’re going to walk – or even run/walk (and there are some FAST run/walkers out there) – when it’s time to walk, pull over all the way to the right or left before you start walking so that you don’t make a runner have to suddenly stop short.

It seems to me the half marathon races deal with this issue even more than the full marathon.  Perhaps because 13.1 miles seems infinitely more “doable” than 26.2, so even more walkers sign up for them.  However, there also seems to be more tolerance for walking at half marathons.

And so, my thoughts on this can be boiled down to a few solutions:

  1. Don’t sign up for a running racing event if you haven’t properly trained for it.  You know if you’ve trained or not.  Just be honest about that and you won’t find yourself in awkward situations.  As it is, some of us who do train end up having terrible races simply because racing is subjective to lots of things: weather conditions, physical condition on that day, what you ate the day before, if your big toe is hurting, etc., etc.

  1. If you are a walker, look for walking only events.  My local area really only has one but in the past few years they’ve gone from being a full marathon walk only to a 5K, 13.1 and 26.2 mile walk.  And it’s for a good cause.   Laurie just completed the Avon Walk.  Shelley just did the Big Sur, which has divisions for runners and walkers.  Events are out there, you just need to look.

  1. If you really want to complete a certain distance, you don’t need a pre-organized running race to do that.  Yes, there is camaraderie and swag and all sorts of reasons to enter races.  But ultimately if you’re not ready, and the race isn’t ready to accommodate you, it’s not a good idea (see #1).  I have, on many occasions decided I wanted to do a half marathon distance and there were no races.  So I mapped it out and did it anyway.  There is a great feeling of accomplishment in completing the distance, that’s for sure!

  1. If you insist on doing a race, look for a big one.  There will inevitably be slower folks (like me) and the overall finishing times will be slower so even if you’re at the back of the pack, chances are there will be other people back there with you.

  1. Most marathon distances have time limits, i.e., you must finish in 7 hours or less.  If you can’t do that, don’t enter the race.  That’s simply being respectful to the race organizers and volunteers.
There you have it Fran (and anyone else who has hung in there through this long post!) - my full 2 cents on the matter.


Quick note to say I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend and that it’s a long one for you!  I am taking an extra day off to get some painting done.  Blech.  I’m also going to be reuniting with my 9th grade biology lab partner!!  We haven’t seen each other since 1983 or so.  Just lost touch and through the magic of Facebook reconnected a few years back.  His parents, who are in their 90’s! still live in New England and he is coming home for a visit, flying from California to NYC and then taking the train.  He’s going to get off the train in my city for 4 hours.  I’m very excited. In any case, I don't expect to have any more posts up until next week.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Ten: Very Random

10.  My azalea finally bloomed this week, even with all the rain.  It makes me happy!

9.  I read this tip in a recent Runner's World magazine and thought it is a great idea if you're the type who needs to track your food.  If you have a hard time remembering what you eat during the day, take a picture of your meals and snacks with your phone so you can record everything later.  It may also shame you into not eating the cupcake if you're on the fence. Submitted by Kerry Adam, Springfield, Virginia.

8.  Fran asked me what my opinion was on someone taking 10 hours to finish a marathon.  Fran, I'm going to give you a whole post about it OK?  Hang in there.

7.  I've been working very, very hard over the last couple of days to not complain about the weather.  Because even though we've had rain almost non-stop for going on 2 weeks, our whole town hasn't been wiped out by flooding or an F4 tornado.  Still, I have two words for you: Groundhog Day. (That's not complaining. It's just stating a fact.)

6. This past weekend Little Helen got the chance of a lifetime to go to the Preakness Stakes as a VIP.  She and some friends got the full treatment - the race, cocktails, entertainment and food tent (the entertainment was Bruno Mars!). She said they placed a few bets based on the horses names.  Perfect. Look how gorgeous these women are:

5.  Did you know the Arkansas School of the Deaf's mascot is a leopard? Which makes them the Deaf Leopards. Guffaw! (Thank you for that tidbit, Ben Davis.)

4.  I'm not kidding.  These are in my local Macy's and I used to have some just like them.  Hello 1976.

3. Shelley, who is my BIF, is having her Three Year Bloggiversary.  You should go look, even if just to see the photos which will make you want to straighten up and fly right.  Plus she's so daggone funny and real and is giving us maintenance like it really is: hard.  Go look if you haven't already - because there's a giveaway up in there!

2. Good lord. Who knew a $20 dress from Tar-jay would get ya'll so excited? I think that was the most comments ever on a Friday post. (I have to admit that I was tickled that I "killed" Kristen though. Because she is the Queen of Low Fat Dressing.)

1.  Also having a three year bloggiversary (it was a very good year), Debby shared shared that her BIF Jill referred to them as the "Navy Seals of Weight Loss"  I love that! So much so that I decided I'm going to start thinking of myself as a Navy Seal and my extra weight as a terrorist (Osama Fat Blobbin'?) and I'm gonna hunt it down and KILL it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where the Rubber Meets the Road, A Review

Since last Friday I have logged 17 miles on the road: 3.45 walking and 13.55 running miles - and hurray! - I got my 7 miler on Saturday!

When the rubber of my running shoes met the road on each of the last two Saturdays, I was wearing the technical shirt that was part of the box of products sent to me by Scott of Outside PR.

The very first thing I noticed was that it was a Pearl Izumi top.  I have never owned anything made by Pearl Izumi and in fact have sort of avoided buying their products because of their advertising campaign.  Have you seen the ads?

To be fair and honest, as I've read more and more of this campaign, it seemed to me that what these ads were trying to do, was to point out that often people who are not properly trained and ready, enter races.  I've experienced a bit of that myself, having to bob and weave around run/walkers who suddenly decide to walk and stop right in the middle of the road out of sheer exhaustion.  It's frustrating when you're truly racing and I've often wished aloud that something could be done to teach etiquette to those folks - most of whom have raised thousands of dollars for charity. (BTW, proper etiquette is to move completely to the left or right side of the road - as far away from runners as you can - then walk.)  But PI went about it in the wrong way and alienated slower runners.  While PI sits and judges me as a "jogger" during a race, what they fail to acknowledge is that what their elitist PR people may consider a jog, IS my run. Even at my slower pace, when I go out to race, I DO run like an animal.  But it's insulting to think that there is some sort of standard that I need to meet to be worthy of using Pearl Izumi products.  Not to mention that they fail to take into account that "joggers" - probably just like me - are spending the same money that "runners" are!  We buy new shoes every 300-500 miles, we relish our sweat wicking clothing in the heat of the summer and the ice of the winter.  We are, in fact, athletes in every sense of the word. When I race, maybe I'm a gazelle and not a cheetah, but I am a runner. And so I decided I just won't allow Pearl Izumi to categorize me.  They don't know me.

In the end, though I started out feeling conflicted about Pearl Izumi, I decided that I would not treat them the way they treated so many runners - that I would not pass judgement without actually trying their product.  I would get to know them before I passed judgement on them.

I tend to buy a lot of my running clothes from places like TJ Maxx and Marshall's. I do this for a couple of reasons - because the prices are a lot better than at any sporting goods store and also because I like to have options.  I want to have lots of options so I'm always looking for a bargain.  Running as a sport can get quite expensive when you start buying lots of technical clothing and good shoes.

When I was getting ready for my run that first Saturday, I picked up this shirt and immediately saw the retail tag: $45.00.  Whoo!  That's about 4 times what I would normally pay for a running shirt.  But even before I put the shirt on, I noticed how soft and fluffy it felt, sort of the softness of a chamois. Just the feel of this shirt told me that it was a different class than the shirts I normally wear. I also noticed on the other attached tags that PI has 3 levels of clothing - which I'm certain means 3 levels of pricing.  This shirt was part of the Elite series so mid-range price wise. 

I took off for my run and 5+ miles later when I got home was shocked to realized that I could not feel one ounce of sweat next to my skin even though I was sweating hard.  Comparing this to other brands of shirts I've run in, I have to say it out performed anything else I've ever worn.  Often when I get back from a run I will stay in my running clothes while I do a couple of chores around the house.  Usually I have to put on a dry shirt otherwise I feel a chill.  I did not experience anything like that at all with this shirt!  It really did have superior wicking technology.  During the week, I went online to see what else I could find out about the shirt and was delighted to discover that is also has a UPF of 50!  This means besides great wicking it's providing protection from harmful sun rays.  Here's how they describe the shirt and I have to agree:

"The W's Infinity In-R-Cool® Short Sleeve features our innovative In-R-Cool® fabric technology to cool the body while you exercise. This is the ultimate lightweight warm weather running top."

I went out again this past Saturday for that 7 miler I'd been itching to get and the shirt performed just as well the second time around.  Also, can I just admit, I think the design on the back is great and I love how it gives me a waist?! (Sorry for the cut off design - Mr. Helen strikes again!)

Bottom line is this: I love this shirt.  I love this shirt so much, when I went to look up the information on it, I noticed there is a matching compression short and I've already put those on my Christmas wish list.  While I can't afford to have every single one of the many running shirts I have cost this much, this shirt is one I would definitely buy as a treat for myself if I was running a half for full marathon - where an average runner would have to be in those clothes for a couple hours or more. (Fran, I'm looking at you and your dislike of running in heat.)

My one and only criticism is of Pearl Izumi's marketing campaign.  Don't they realize that there is a whole big world of runners (and weight loss bloggers who have taken up running) that they could be marketing their great product to?  How about it Pearl Izumi?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

We're setting records here in Connecticut again, this time with rain.  It literally has rained all ding dang week! Even my 7 year old nephew told his mom that he could "use a little sun."  Now you know it's remarkable when a kid is commenting on it.  Just before I was leaving work on Thursday night this was the view from my office window - it looked like the sun was going to break out...!

...but no such luck.  I guess the weather is sticking to what the forecasters have said:  probably Sunday before we see any real sun.  I hope all my patio pots of flowers and veggies survive.


Alright, I'm going to put this photo up here but I'm also going to give you a link so you can really see this dress I ordered from Target.com.  I guess if I'm going to be putting fashion shots out there I need to get me a tripod.  I would say Mr. Helen could take the photos but believe it or not by the time I am dressed he's been at work for a good hour.  Besides, he's a terrible picture taker. It's like a big crap shoot as to whether the photo will be OK to use, bless his pea pickin' heart.  Anyway, I ordered the dress because my local Tar-jay never seems to have the cute stuff in stock. 

When I ordered it, I couldn't decide between the blue and this brown that they call Rumcake, so I bought both and I'm sure glad I did! Boy oh boy do I love this dress!  I'm putting the link right here so you can properly see the crossover bodice and empire waist.  It's a knit material so it is very comfortable, plus I think it looks super for the price! You know how sometimes with an empire waist, there's so much material below it, it can make you look pregnant?  Not the case at all with this dress.  There's enough material to hide my lack of waist but I'm not swimming in it.  Now that I went and got you the link I noticed that I paired it with almost identical shoes as the model.  Hmmmm, wonder if that was subliminally put into my head?


Eating after my Muay Thai workouts is always a bit of a challenge for me.  I need to eat a good combination of carbs and proteins and fats to replenish my muscle glycogen but often I have a hard time eating and I don't want to eat too much because it's generally 7:30 or even a bit later before I sit down to eat.  The easiest thing would be to make a salad but since that's generally what I eat for lunch prior to MT classes, I usually don't want another one.  After my class on Thursday night, this is what I came up with and holy YUM, it was delicious and just enough food.

This was a cup of brown rice, with 4 oz. of cooked shrimp that I cut into pieces, a cup of chopped broccoli, 2T of sliced scallions and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil with a shake of red pepper flakes.  I'll be making this again, for sure.  I actually think this would be just as good with chicken or beef.


Speaking of Muay Thai, I worked out last night for the very first time since I tore my calf muscle with no bandaging.  By the time I got home, I could feel where the injury was but I was not incapacitated.  It felt good to work out without the KT Tape but I guess I need to keep it under wraps for a bit longer.


It's swollen Finger Friday time.  I guess I'm stuck on my hot pinks for the summer - which I am very, very ready for!

I'm India Mood for Love
by OPI

Not much planned for the weekend.  I've been itching to get in a 7 or 8 mile run but that will depend on the weather.  When I'm not training, I'm not hardcore about getting out there in the elements.  I really am hoping the weather will clear long enough for me to string my patio lights though.  And maybe when Mr. Helen is working on Sunday I'll go looking for more flowers.  What he doesn't know won't shock him, right?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finish What You Started

I love the Biggest Loser TV show.  I also know that by writing that sentence, a lot of people will come to this blog, read that, and immediately click to something else. Whatever floats your boat.

In the first seasons of this show it seemed that all the emphasis was simply on pounding the weight off the contestants.  However, as time went by and some of the first season's contestants began to almost immediately regain the weight they'd lost, a shift took place within the producers and the trainers and they realized it was about way more than exercising and feeding these people smaller portions of food.  That is when I really began to like this show.

This is not to say that I enjoy seeing people's raw pain poured out as they work their way through their journey, but it does somehow remind me they are not special.  They've let their eating get out of control for one reason or another;  many of them have medical issues that contributed to their weight gain or make it challenging for them to exercise. Other than the fact that they got chosen to go on that show, they are just like me.

This season in particular has seemed to be a kinder, gentler season than usual.  Not as much in-fighting and game playing has gone on and the contestants genuinely seem to like and support one another.  They have been so nice, I never really rooted for any one of them in particular because I liked them all for various reaons.  However, as these past few weeks have gone by I have not been able to help but root for the Purple/Sister team of Hannah and Olivia.  Their transformation - inside and out - has been remarkable. And maybe I do feel a bit of empathy in particular for them because they both faced physical and medical challenges that should have made it impossible for them to be in the final two - and yet they are! Olivia in particular has said some things over the last two weeks that have absolutely struck me and made me realize there are some things I still need to work on.

When people meet me then find out I run there is usually a look of surprise on their face.  I don't look like what a "typical" runner should look like.  There have been times when I have let that perception leak into my soul and I have refused to participate in running events that I would have liked to participate in.  Nothing to be said but shame on me.

As I ran on the treadmill this morning (day 4 of pouring rain) and watched Biggest Loser, Olivia's joy was just leaping off the screen.  She was working out like a maniac and no matter the hardest thing she was given to do, she went at it like she was an elite athlete.  During one of her side interviews she said, "So what if you don't 'look' like a champion.  You can be a champion!  If you want it, you can dream it and go on and get it."   At the weigh in, she then went on to express how she never, ever has finished what she started and that her moment of victory was not making the Final Two or the amount of weight she'd lost (112 lbs.!) but that she was finishing what she started. 

As I've mentioned a time or twelve, I have not always been overweight, so I have photos of what my possibilites are. I said in last week's Good Enough to Eat post that every time I've been at a lower weight, it was never enough, for me. Yet looking through those photos I realized that I would love to be back there now. Again, inspired by Olivia I swore to you that when I get there, whereever it is, I will be good enough.

What I didn't share then was I also had a realization that probably in the last year or so I've begun to give up hope that my thyroid will cooperate and I would ever look and feel "normal" again. The problem with that is that this sort of attitude shifts me into justifications of overindulgence, ahem, like the glass of wine I sipped on while looking at those photos. "No matter what I do my thyroid is not cooperating so screw it, I'll just have (fill in the blank)  ______"

This sort of crazy thought pattern and behavior will come to a screeching halt right now. Even if I don't see spectacular results, when I have stayed positive and focused in the past, I at least got results, albeit slowly. This morning  I realized, there is a Champion inside of me that is dying to get out!  I have reached that point... that breaking point where you just know in your heart of hearts that things cannot continue the way they have been. I am ready to finish the journey I started (<-------click there you won't regret it). Period. You can call me on it if you see otherwise.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Ten: Photo Op

1.  The album my wedding photos are in. Made from my wedding dress.

2. Every spring I buy Fuschia for the front porch hangers. They bloom until fall!

3. The Topsy Turvey - Patio Style.  Holds 3 tomato plants. That's basil in the background - to go with the tomatoes & fresh mozzarella!

4. I'm trying a green pepper for the first time this year.

5. Started buying flowers for the other part of the patio. Mr. Helen is having sticker shock as he usually leaves the flower shopping up to me. Keeps saying he wants me to grow things from seeds.  I told him he'd need to build me a greenhouse...

6. Gerbera Daisies make me smile.  The colors remind me of sherbet.

7. Another attempt at a belted shirt outfit.  The belt cannot be moved. This time I took Kristen's suggestion and wore heels with the wider leg pants to try and add my height to my stumpy chubby legs.  I still don't love it though. I just want my waist back - for real.  Sigh.

8. With 10 straight days of gloom and rain in the forecast, I was craving summer so I made my Chop Salad.  Takes a bit of time to do the chopping but it's worth it - a summertime explosion for the mouth!
2 cups English cucumber, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup plum tomato, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T extra virgin olive oil
    Makes six servings, approximately 3/4 cup
    44 calories, 2.5g fat, 5.6g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 1g protein

    9.  Got outside to run for the first time since I injured my calf.  I took it slow because around here hills are hard to avoid and I didn't want to absent mindedly push off and reinjure myself.  So glad to not be on the treadmill... because I will be all this week since it's raining until Saturday - again.

    10.  Surprise package of swag arrived in the mail.  Reviews forthcoming.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Good Enough to Eat

    This post was orginally published on May 12, 2011.  Sorry if you read this and already commented on it... when Blogger went down, it ate the post.  Fortunately I had it in my posts to be edited so I'm publishing it again.


    Tuesday morning I woke up quite determined to do better.  Kristen wrote a post about changing just one thing and when I read it, it struck a chord with me as I've been desperately trying to up my water intake.  Sometimes we view this whole process of life as something that we have to take in big chunks and do many changes at once so we can hurry up and finish.  But truth is that one little change can set you on the path towards the larger overall changes you need.  Honestly I didn't want perfection, I just wanted better than what has been going on for months.  By the end of the day, I had eaten a reasonable amount of food, gone to a Muay Thai class and drank 12 glasses of water!  All good.  After Muay Thai and dinner I was reading the newspaper and half watching TV and decided I wanted a little something, so I got up and went to my hidden stash of candy and took out two pieces of Dove Dark Chocolate.  Sometimes this might be a trigger for me to go get three or four more but I really felt strong and determined and I knew instead of just chomping that chocolate in one big bite I would put it in my mouth and let it melt and really savour it.  And that's what I did. 

    You know how karma will sometimes just show it's face, to make sure you're paying attention?  Let me just say when the two pieces of chocolate were done and I picked up the wrapper and thought to read the 'Promise' inside, I cracked up laughing!
    Um, yeah.  Sort of a no kidding moment, you know?  Because I don't know about you but when I choose to ignore my signals that I've had enough food and I bust right through, I'm not thinking about anything but satisfying some sort of feeding frenzy.  Surely, I'm not counting calories or anything else, including the price of clothing not fitting.   I put that little wrapper on my refrigerator.


    How excited was I that I was able to jog on my treadmill on Wednesday morning?  So excited.  That was the first run I'd had in 11 days!  Afterward when I was using my Pro-Stretch, as I got into a really deep calf stretch, I could definitely feel the injury.  So I will need to continue to be very careful and stay taped up with KT Tape for my Muay Thai classes.


    As I was jogging on the treadmill Wednesday morning, I was watching The Biggest Loser and I heard one of the contestants talking about how 'she' was never quite enough, always falling a little bit short. As I ran I kept thinking, she's crazy, she can't even see how far she's come. Then she said, "I was never good enough for me."  Holy carp.  I think she looked right at me and pointed when she said that.  Oh well, I am just going to ignore that because 'I' don't do that.

    Then, I started in on my morning blog reading.  You know Shelley is my BIF so I always go to her blog first (eh, sue me!).  Wednesday is the day that she gives us her weekly workout update.  She has been struggling with a running injury but I knew from our private communications that she has been able to swim and do yoga so I was excited to read what she would say about it.  However, I got there and she had not written about her workouts on the appointed day (the nerve). Instead she gave me my second or maybe even third Ah-Ha moment in 24 hours.

    Until I was diagnosed with my thyroid problem, I'd never really had to lose large amounts of weight. But, I did my fair share of gaining 5-15 lbs. then losing it and gaining it back over and over again. The sad thing is that even when I was well into a healthy weight range, I was never, ever satisfied with myself. Always something wasn't quite right which would lead to despair (and weight gain) or crazy dieting - and I'm talking crazy crap like eating nothing but cabbage soup for a week - (and weight loss).

    As I read what Shelley had to say, I realized that probably the reason I've never been able to settle comfortably at any weight is that I have never thought I was good enough.  Even when I weighed 135 pounds I picked myself to death:  fat thighs, pot belly, double chin, fat arms, etc., etc., etc.  And so, for 20 years I've stayed in alternating bouts of despair and crazy dieting searching for the Holy Grail of whatever that body is supposed to be in my mind.  Here's the really ironic thing:  I don't even know what I'm looking for... because if I can't be satisfied with 135 pounds at 5' 6" tall, there is something going on that has nothing to do with the reality of where my body is.

    Now that I've realized this, I am claiming it as my first step to just exactly where I'm supposed to be and I'm saying that when I get there, no matter what, it will 'I' will be enough, because I already am.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Tuesday Ten

    10.  Question: when you have a plate of food in front of you that has several items on it, do you eat the item you like best first, the item you like least first, or eat each item equally?

    9.  I am always a little surprised when people tell me not to be so hard on myself.  I think it's because I don't see it as being hard on myself.  As I tend to be quite direct, blunt, honest, whatever you want to call it, I feel I'm being truthful on myself.

    8.  Lately I've been wishing that something would happen to shake me out of the ho-hum-ness that is my life.  But I don't want it to be anything bad. Please. I just want something to light my fire and make me feel zesty about life again.

    7.  Do you know what inactivity breeds besides fat cells?  Inactivity.  That's why it's bad to be idle for too long.  Because then you get to where you don't want to do anything.  Ever.  I think all the inactivity is one of the reasons I'm so not a fan of winter.

    6.  I'm still not back to running what with the calf muscle tear and all.   But I've been walking like a mad woman (see #7), trying to make the minimum time I walk at 45 minutes.  Over the weekend I managed an hour on both days.  It doesn't feel like exercise but I still have sweaty bits when I get done so it must be.

    5.  I need to walk because I am employed in a job where I sit so much I have to remind myself to get up and walk around every once in a while.  'Secretary Spread' doesn't even begin to describe it.

    4.  I had a little uptick in my weight last November after I got injured. Ever since, I have been in maintenance mode and I'm tired of it. Evidently not tired enough as I can't seem to find the magic pill to make me snap to. A bit ironic as well, considering what I'm about to tell you.

    3. The weather has officially reached the point where my closet constantly looks like a bomb went off in it.  I have a huge closet under an eave of our house.  The whole left side is a rail and rack for hanging clothes and my many pairs of shoes.  The right side is storage bins.  This time of year it's not quite warm enough to completely put away some things but warm enough that I need a few summery pieces out.  Between digging and flinging to get dressed in the morning, it's a good thing there's a door on that closet is all I can say.

    2.  Trying on clothes from a previous season can either be depressing or joyful. Joyful when things are too big, right? I know that feeling because I've experienced it.  Unfortunately,  I'm on the depressed side this year.  Only some things fit - other things that I was wearing at the beginning of last summer are too tight.  Evidently my plan to stay off the scale and go by how my clothes fit is either a major fail, or a smashing success depending on how I look at it.

    1.  The two year old in me is having a major tantrum every morning as I get dressed.  I know what I need to do and don't want to do it.  Yet, I do not have the money to spend on a wardrobe overhaul. You may picture me in a hissy fit because that's what I'm having each and every day right now. I'm in a complete tug of war that 'I' created.  I hate dieting.  HAAAAAATE it! Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Think On These Things

    There are going to be failures. It’s too hard for there not to be. Get a grip and start over if you have to.

    Ben Davis

    You really should click and go read the whole thing.  And I'd like to add, most of all, forgive yourself no matter what.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    It's Not Rocket Science

    Yesterday I opened up my web browser to do a search and got sidetracked by a link that made me click:

    You don't say?  Why on earth researchers think this sort of thing has to be studied and why they even waste money doing the study is beyond me.  While I know there are probably many obese people who have fabulous sex lives,  I would venture to say that all you'd have to do is just talk to an overweight person - and they wouldn't even have to be obese - to find out that there are many, many things that are less satiisfying when one is carrying around extra poundage.

    Just to name a few besides sex: shopping for clothing - or worse - bathing suits!, travel, exercising, social events, and yes, dare I say it?  Even eating.  I'm sure every overweight person has their own personal list of less satisfying things.

    When you walk around heavy all these things become a matter of surviving it, getting through it and honestly, there's no satisfaction in that.

    Now I know some bloggers who have been hundreds of pounds overweight would say that someone like me, who has a lot less to lose, couldn't possibly understand this.  But I counter that if I took the time to calculate my BMI right now I'm probably a point or two into the "obese" category.

    In any case, I understand what it's like to not be able to get my body to move the way I want it to.  Though sports related, I think many of the injuries I've been dealing with since last November can ultimately be traced back to the extra poundage I'm toting around.  It's just a simple truth that movement is harder when you're overweight.  The hope is that if you get moving, you'll move your body to a smaller size therefore being less susceptible to all the issues obesity brings along with it.  (However, to do that, one has to eat less, and that is where I've struggled.  Yes I can out eat my exercise, no problem at all!)

    Then, of course there are all the psychological and mental aspects of the weight.  One truly does carry a load. I know that when I am at a better weight, I feel better emotionally which makes me a happier and 'lighter' person to be around both in casual acquaintance and intimate relationships.  As I've said to one individual who in the past felt they needed to remark on my weight, "You don't have to say a word, I beat myself up enough for both of us."  So, it would only make sense that if you have a better body image mentally, you would have better sex, right?  Because then you'd not be intimidated to make yourself vulnerable to another person, which is what sex is at it's core.

    So once again, I've had revealed to me what I already know:  living with extra weight is a burden in every area of my life.  It's said that knowledge is power, yet somehow I've yet to really tap in.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Tuesday Ten

    10.   I felt like a complete and total slug this past weekend.  Laurie was walking 39 miles in two days for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk.  Shelley did the Big Sur 10.6 miler.  Probably around 30 people from my dojo ran various races from 5Ks to a full marathon.  Me?  Well, hmmmm.  I did manage to run 5 miles on Saturday...

    9.  That 5 miler on Saturday was spectacular though!  I ran as fast as I've run in a long, long time.  Just made me happy to be running.  On the other hand - and this is true - once again, I had a car with a big, brave man drive by me and yell out the window, "Move it Fat Ass!"  I'm a magnet for this crap and I honestly don't know why.

    8.  When I told Mr. Helen about it, I also told him I was considering running with a rock in my hand.  The next one to disrespect me that way?  Gets that rock thrown at their car!

    7.   Why was I so generally inactive?  Because I took off work Friday-Monday.  Mr. Helen and I couldn't afford to do anything really extravagant for our anniversary so we decided to have an anniversary weekend.  What we did was treat it like it was a vacation... lots of Rib Eye Steaks, cupcakes, martinis, a couple of meals out, including a fancy dinner,  and ummmmm, actually, he got some lingerie.  Which I cannot show you.

    6.  We did decide to go to the Elite/Staff training at our dojo on our anniversary.  They made a big deal out of the fact that here it was our anniversary and we were choosing to train together.  Honestly peeps, we needed to train together after all the partying.  I'm just saying.

    5.  Unfortunately, during the very first set of sprints, that muscle in my calf that has been causing me agita?  It pulled and pulled hard.  Didn't drop me to my knees but did almost drop me out of the class.  Seriously, I wanted to sit down on the bench and just weep.  Instead I rubbed it and walked around for a minute and tried to figure out what to do.

    4. Here's 19 years of marriage for you:  Mr. Helen pulled a hamstring in February.  Since he knew that the Shihan would be running the drills and it would be hard, as a precautionary measure, he taped and wrapped his leg.  As I stood there wanting to weep and trying to figure out how I could be part of the training that I never get to be part of due to the fact that I would normally be working, I saw that wrap on his leg and said, "Will you give me your wrap?"  And he did.  True love, no?

    3.  The wrap let me at least stay in the class and once again, I had to modify many things.  When you can't push off using the power in your calves you can't sprint, nor can you do anything that requires jumping or elevating that leg.  I'm not sure I can adequately express how disappointed I was, not to mention this puts me out of running commission for at least this week.  Very discouraging.

    2.  It's odd and ironic to me that I've reached the age where my brain is telling me that I can do something but my body won't let me. Honestly it's so confusing sometimes I don't even know how to react when my body betrays me.

    1. “The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”  James Whitcomb Riley

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Est. 1992

    May 2, 1992 was a really busy day for me.  May 2, 2011 not so much, but an important day nonetheless.  I'll be spending it with Mr. Helen, just like I did 19 years ago.