Friday, October 29, 2010

Healthy Fast Food? *Guest Post*

I'm not going to lie to you.  Even I'm a bit shocked that THE Charlie Hills is going to post on my blog today.  I started reading Charlie's blog "Back to the Fridge" THREE years ago when I started blogging.  Roni recommended him, and since at the time I thought she was the gatekeeper to all things weight loss, I checked him out.

Turns out, she was on to something.  

Charlie Hills is a wonderfully witty guy.  If you like Jack Sh*t, you'll love Charlie.  He's the only *actual* person I know (ish?) who's written a book. 

He's delightfully funny, wonderfully entertaining, while still sharing his weight loss struggles.  And oh my word, he knows how to make a grilled PB&J that I still salivate thinking about.  It *may* not be weight loss friendly, but you can look at the pictures and drool for 0 calories.  Trust me, it's worth the click.
Healthy Fast Food?

I realize that putting these particular words in this particular order immediately forms an oxymoron. You remember oxymorons, right? Words or short phrases containing contradictory terms: like jumbo shrimp, authentic replica, or delicious rice cakes. When one thinks of fast food, "healthy" typically isn't one of the top adjectives that springs to mind. (In fact, many probably think "fast food" all by itself is an oxymoron.)

So imagine my surprise when publishes, "America's Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants." This sounds intriguing. I'll bite. (Heck, I'll bite just about anything, which is probably the root of this weight problem of mine.)

They kick off the list with Panera Bread. First, let me say I love Panera Bread. When I want to spend fourteen bucks for a bagel and a smoothie, I know it's the first place I go. So to find out that it's also healthy it like icing on the cake. (Mmmm . . . cake.) The judges loved the fact that you can buy soup and sandwiches there. Oh, if only more restaurants served soup and sandwiches! Think how healthy the whole world would be!

They zeroed in on a "Turkey Artichoke on Focaccia" with "Black Bean Soup" as one example of their healthful offerings, qualifying that they did mean the half sized sandwich. I've never been one to assume that cutting something in half automatically makes it good for you. I can't count the number of times I've eaten half a deep dish pepperoni pizza and didn't feel the least bit healthy for it. Anyway, I checked out the nutrition information for this combo: about 500 calories. A cheeseburger and small fries at McDonald's is 530 calories and probably carries one-third the price tag. While most of you cry "gross!" at the mere mention of McFood, the point is when it comes to weight loss, your body, at its lowest functional level, really doesn't care where the stuff comes from.

But that's fine. The article has officially sucked me in. I'll move on to the second item on the list.

Oh no. It's Jason's Deli.

Everybody knows how I feel about Jason's Deli: the home of the 42-ounce, 2,300-calorie "Plain Jane" baked potato. They immediately declare that Jason's bags the number two spot due to its heavy "organic" bent but then proudly states that one-fifth of its ingredients are organic. I'm no mathematician, but to me that looks like eighty percent of its menu is not organic. They then say that the judges applauded Jason's for offering reduced portion sizes for $1 less (specifically calling out the aforementioned potato, no less).

I'm sorry, but I simply can't applaud the fact that for $6.19 I can buy 2,300 calories but oh, if I'm really concerned about my caloric intake, then they'll be gracious enough to put only 1,150 calories on my plate for $5.19. Call me old school, but when someone gives me half the food, I think it should be half the price. Just do yourself a favor folks: spend the extra dollar and then spread the potato out across four or five meals. That way your body and your wallet will both be happier.

And the judges' highest compliment? "Being able to build any sandwich on an organic whole-wheat wrap." Ah yes! I forgot all about that! All you have to do is put something in a freaking tortilla and it magically becomes health food. How silly of me. So I checked out a few of their wraps: about the same number of calories as a McDonald's double quarter pounder with cheese. Yes, I'm serious.

At that point I had to put the web site down and take a walk around the block. It suddenly hit me that this wasn't "America's Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants" but more likely "Ten Fast Food Restaurants Who Paid Us For This Advertisement Disguised as Journalism." It made me depressed that people who try so hard to "eat healthy" and make the right choices can be so easily led astray by the very industry they turn to for help and advice.

In fact, I think I'm just going to head back to the fridge, pull out the second half of that deep dish pepperoni pizza and throw it in the microwave. But don't worry, I'll put it it a whole-wheat wrap first.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life is what happens... *Guest Post*

Today is my surgery day, one where I'm getting my uterine fibroid (nicknamed "The Deficit") out for good. When I think of all the changes that this is may bring about, it's a bit daunting. Kind of like when I started blogging.

I've said it before, but when I started this blog, I didn't market it at all. I didn't tell anyone about it and I didn't really want anyone to see it. I had another blog that I pushed on people. Somehow, someway, Janell from Thufferin Thuccotash saw it and she was one of the first to cheer me on in the blog-o-sphere.  Surrounded by myriads (eleventy hundred if you will!) of posts with no comments, Janell's would be one of the few that I got.

I'll never forget her motivating words and her confidence that I had what it took to turn my life around. She was my best cheerleader and I owe her more than she'll ever know. Somehow it clicked that if a person who lived miles away thought that I had worth, why didn't I think the same? And what if I actually *did* have worth? It was an ah-ha moment and one that I'm forever thankful for.

Without further ado, I give you Janell's post. She's snarky, has dry humor, sarcastic, and wise. I hope you enjoy her just as much as I do.


I haven't met Anne though I feel I know her so well from her writing. We've shared similar struggles. She's younger than my twin sons though through reading her blog for the past many years I've discovered our age doesn't change much about our struggle with weight-loss. You can be a chubby 19 year old, a portly 28 year old, a pleasingly plump-ish 35 year old, a fat-ish forty year old, or in my case, a (finally) ex-moderately obese 54 year old since making the decision to have gastric bypass surgery this past June 15th. One thing we all seem to have in common is a struggle with our brain with regard to food.

I can read your mind. I know what you're saying:

  • Surgery is the easy way out.
  • I would never have *that* surgery.
  • I've lost weight before. I can do it again (by myself).
  • Surgery is cheating! (judgmental -- aren't we?)
  • You can surgically remove the weight but you can't fix the emotional problem of eating. (I agree -- though it's far easier to fight one battle at a time)
I struggled with the scale for years - though really my struggle wasn't with an inanimate object. I lost at least 100 lbs on my own with sensible eating and exercise, self-restraint, belittling, abuse. I have photos to prove weight loss. After my sister had gastric bypass surgery two years ago and I saw what was possible with her loss, I started to consider what might be possible for me with regard to gastric bypass.

I knew as I aged, I'd become less mobile. I was born with primary bi-lateral lymphedema and excess weight was going to make running, jogging, breathing, bicycling, living, ballet and tap, getting to the fridge, fencing, croquet, buying See's candy, curling and baking cookies, horseback riding more difficult as I aged. Though knowing I could become less mobile still wasn't incentive enough to lose the last 70 lbs I needed to lose. I'm the one who said "70 lbs" while my surgeon said 100 lbs which would take me down to my pre-birth weight of 154 lbs.

The problem is that as we get older and still have the same diet struggle, time's a wastin. All the while - time is flying, the years are melting out from underneath you. You're gonna get older like me, less mobile, less healthy, cancerous, cranky, crabby, pessimistic and pokey. It will take you a month to remember your ATM pin number. Yet you'll still be honking about starting your diet on Monday after you ate that whole pizza and drank 37 beers last Saturday night. When you reach my age, birthdays and holidays are right around the corner. As soon as one holiday ends, you can see the next one looming larger (than the number on your scale). You think you have all the time in the world. hah! Well if so, plan your funeral while you're figuring out which diet you'll try next because one day your diet plan and your funeral will intersect.

I've read weight loss blogs of people who (seem to really) want to lose weight and become healthier. Sometimes they post daily, sometimes a few times a week; chronic strugglers post caloric intakes, exercise schedules, foods consumed, things they learned about their  psyche, struggles and triumphs. Readers rally -- commenting support, cheering one - another on to the winner's circle. I've seen that circle written as 'onederland.' Then the following week these same folks are blogging again, only this time it's about how they drank Manhattans all weekend, ate half a smoked pig, stuffed themselves on chips and dip, ate only 6 happy meals, and finished last night with a whole pie a la mode. Come Monday, they are 10 lbs back up the scale, riding the self-abuse train again. And guess what? Time is beating you to the finish line.

My sister told me "some people aren't willing to give up the food." For some reason that statement stuck in my craw. I wanted to be able to give up the food. Once she said that, I thought about my addiction, my behavior and how (finally) for the sake of mobility and hopefully a longer life, I was willing to give up the food to see what was possible.

As of today, I'm hovering around 70lbs lost so far - since June 15th. I still wear the same clothes I wore when I was heavier (which either says a lot or a little about the clothing I *was* wearing). This sizable weight-loss has come at at time when my clothes may be loose but money is really tight. On one hand I'm waiting for the final (weight-loss) results while holding up my pants with the other. I can't complain because post-surgery I have loads of energy. I look better. I feel better. My hip doesn't hurt. My arthritic knee hurts occasionally (mostly after too much walking). I can move and breathe. I can easily walk up the stairs at work. I was able to give up food long enough to address the issue with weight so now I focus more on eating a nutritionally balanced diet. If I notice myself desiring less-than-optimum nutrition, I ask myself if I am able to only eat a small amount, why would I eat crap? Though I am not perfect. I'm just healthier, thinner, wiser and more wrinkled.

I decided to have gastric bypass surgery so I could spend the time I have left to live more mobile and healthier -- as long as possible. Being healthier helps me deal with emotional baggage because I'm not focused on beating myself up for eating because I didn't start my diet on Monday for the (as Anne would say) Eleventy-ith time . I'm not blogging about fluctuating weight. I don't want to write about exercise if it's not something I enjoy all that much -- not gonna be doing a triathlon anytime soon and if I decide to do one, I'll announce it on the front page of the NYT because it will *that* newsworthy. Bored and boring.

I wasted a heck of a lot of my life time thinking about being fat, being fat, overeating, eating, drinking, what to drink and making myself feel less-than because I consumed more than. Post surgery I'm focused on aspects of my life that -- pre-surgery, I didn't take the time to notice because I was too busy thinking about what I would eat for my next snack. (Oh, that, and this damn puppy.) But as you write your daily or weekly missive about the next weight-loss steps, the diet you'll start on Monday, remember that the only time life slows down for any of us is when you're waiting in line at the DMV. Other than that, time is jetting by and you're still contemplating your diet. Better to start mulling over potluck options for your funeral. At least you'll be thinking about food.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jerry Springer would call this post "Final Thoughts"

When my Great Dane, Chassis, was alive, I got in the habit of saying the same thing when I left the house.

Each time, just before closing the door, I'd say: "Bye, Chassis!  I love you.  I'll be back later.  Be a good girl and guard the house while I'm gone."

It didn't matter that she was crated for the first few months when she was a puppy.  It didn't matter that she was the biggest scaredy cat when it came to any unknown people entering our house.  A guard dog, she was not.  And it didn't matter that she didn't understand a word I was saying.  I said it for comfort, for continuity, and for reassurance for her...and myself.

Tomorrow, around 12:15 MST, I'll be under the knife.  In case you're new here, I'm getting a uterine fibroid basically carved out of my uterus.  I guess the surgeon didn't have a pumpkin handy.

My best friend asked me last night, "What's the worst that can happen?" 

"Uh, I dunno.  I guess DYING would be pretty high on the suck-o-meter," I replied.

"Well, what's so bad about that?" she countered.

Truthfully, I'm okay if that happens.  But my biggest fear is that Joe, whose parents and step-parent died in the last few years, would have to deal with ANOTHER death.  The first three have wounded him and I would rather not have him another major loss again.  I just think that would be hard to overcome.

Chances of that are low.  Very low.  But I still have to sign a piece of paper that says that it's okay if I die on the table.  Or due to complications from the surgery.

More than the nerves, I'm just ready.  I'm ready to get this damn thing out already.  I'm ready to be done with the pain and the bleeding.  I'm ready to get on with my life afterwards.  I'm ready to be done with the surgery.  I'm ready for tomorrow to be over because it's been something that I've been anticipating for weeks now. 

I feel peace with the process.

While I'm gone, I've arranged for some fantastic guest posts.  You guys, these people are great. I've read their posts and they're better than great.  I've got some that follow Intuitive Eating, some that have had Weight Loss Surgery, and some that are just trying to cut their calories and move more.  All age ranges and YES! Even a MAN is guest posting (GASP!).  It's my sincere hope that you all will be wonderfully entertained while I'm gone.

 I'm asking three things of you, if you'll be kind enough to indulge me:
  1. Please don't abandon me!  I'll be back posting regularly November 8th...I know that reading guest posts aren't some people's thing, and I respect your wishes if this is you.  But please don't go away for forever!
  2. If you feel moved by a post, I know the author would appreciate your comment saying so; they worked hard on them!  But please be respectful.  I can't moderate the comments while I'm gone.  If the guest blogger is following a weight loss method you don't endorse, feel free to comment, but please don't attack.  I've seen this kind of stuff on other people's blog and I would hate it if my guests felt attacked. 
  3. Give the guest bloggers a chance.  They've got great blogs - and who knows?  You might find one or two that you really enjoy and decide to follow regularly. 
I should be released from the hospital on Friday and when I'm lucid enough, I'm sure I'll post a thing or two on here indicating that I'm a-okay.

Lastly, in case I haven't said it recently, THANK YOU.  Thank you for being supportive, thoughtful, and loyal.  Your support has made a huge difference to me and my journey and I know without a doubt that I couldn't have made it this far without your kudos and words of encouragement.  Even if you don't ever comment, your name in my follower field, or your number in my RSS feed makes me feel understood, heard, and validated.

YOU are fantastic.

So with that:

Bye!  I love you.  I'll be back later.  Be good and guard the blog while I'm gone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Everybody's doing it...

I see lists around the blog-o-sphere chalk full of things that they'll do when they lose all the weight. They'll buy new clothes, they'll be comfortable in their own skin, they'll try out for the choir, they'll date, they'll skinny dip, or they'll try Tai Chi.

On one hand, I love the idea of goals, of things that motivate us to be a better version of ourselves.  But I just can't jump on the bandwagon.

Because no matter what their aspirations, 99% of them could be done now.

Maybe it's a reflection of how far I've come in my journey, but I realize that before, when I was fat, I would plan things that I would do when I was skinny. I guess I thought that the planets would align, I would start dating a fantastic man, I would never have static cling, and I'd finally get rid of that pesky ring around the tub. Things would just be easier. And with all that ease, I'd find myself morphed into this person who could do anything, who was confident and competent.

If there's one thing that my quest to get healthier (mind, body, and spirit) has taught me, it's that I'm good enough now.

And if there's anything that the uterine fibroid has taught me, it's that I only have now.

It sounds a bit dramatic, doesn't it? But that's the truth. I don't know what's going to happen in two days when I go under the knife.

Knowing that my body is going to have to work harder to heal because I'm obese, sucks. Knowing that they're going to have to have extra people to move me from one gurney to the next, sucks. Knowing that I'm going to have my butt hanging out in the medical gowns, because one won't cover my wide load, is a bit embarrassing.

But that's where I'm at, now.

The thing that I hope that you, dear reader, get is that your life is happening right now.

Enroll in the belly dancing or striptease class. Who cares if you're the biggest one there? There's a lot of fun to be had. Your partner will undoubtedly enjoy the moves too.

Try out for the choir or the role in a community play.  Write the book you that only you can write. Find the time to be a better mother or father now. Apply for the job that you want versus settling for the job you have.

BE the person you were meant to be. Take chances. Take risks. Dream big.

LIVE your life, now. Because today is the only day that is certain. It's all we get.

What are you taking off your "Things to do when I'm thin and perfect" list and having the courage to try now?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Re-distribution and a wake-up call

In a lot of ways, I'm not lucky.

But in some ways, I am.  Take my body for instance...I may have more weight on my body, but it's proportionate.  I've got curves and a hourglass figure.  Ample bosom (what am I? 90 years old?  Who uses the word 'bosom' anymore?), plush derriere, and a waist that indicates more "Jessica Rabbit" and less "the apple guy from the Fruit of the Loom commercials."

At least that WAS the case.

See, I've been feeling BIGGER.  I've got this muffin top thing going on while in some of my jeans.  And to be honest?  I look like I'm expecting...not full term, but I know people wouldn't be shocked if I said that a new baby was on it's way.  And how embarrassing is that?  Very.

Side note: that t-shirt to the right?  WHO WOULD WEAR THAT?  Even if someone would, I doubt it would be the size 2 model pictured.  I find this bizarre.

So I bit the bullet and stepped on the scale again - the last time was a week ago.  No change.  And last week's numbers?  No change from the beginning of September.  I'm still the same weight I've been all summer.

So what gives?

I'm not sure exactly what has been happening lately, but it sounds like my weight has to be re-distributing, right?  Sure, some of it is probably due to the uterine fibroid pushing some of my tummy out, but I can't help but think that it's also because I haven't been exercising.  I'm not going to indicate that I had SO. MUCH. MUSCLE. that has gone by the way-side and fat is taking it's place.  While I was a cardio lover, I wasn't exactly Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2.

Yet another side note: I just saw "Terminator 2" a few weeks ago for the first time.  And OH MAN, is she built or WHAT?  Good grief!  It was pretty sexy is all I'm saying.  Kind of like Annette Benning's arms in "The American President" in that scene where she's dancing with him.  I want arms and shoulders like that.

So anyway, I'm not quite sure what's going on with my body, but this has kind of been a wake-up call.  I've heard women older than myself say that weight re-distributes...especially around the mid-section.  And after experiencing this, I've decided that I'm not a fan of it - not of how it feels and not of how it looks. 

I've decided that I can use this surgery as a jumping off point.  I can use it as a way to tell myself that taking care of myself has to be a priority.  I can document and remember how it feels to look down (while buckled in the car) and see my tummy pooching out.  I can vow to change my situation, once I am healthy enough to do so.  I don't like the feeling of my boobs resting on my stomach...I've gotten used to NOT feeling that...and I haven't missed it.

What are some sensations that either you aren't going to miss or that you don't miss?

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm no longer a virgin...

Re: The virgin comment:
A Guest Post Virgin, that is.

Because I've guest posted!  Officially! :)

If you're interested, feel free to head over to Val's blog (yesterday's post) to see my premiere!  AND the post doesn't completely suck - win win!

Hot 100 Challenge Update:
I'm SO proud of my accomplishments this week in regards to the Hot 100 Challenge.  Last week I was feeling really discouraged and was debating throwing in the towel.

I've washed my face, brushed my teeth, taken mutli-vitamins, read healthy books, and been to therapy.  I'm doing what I can...and taking care of myself (especially before the surgery) feels good.

Oh, Mama...
I have the Styx's song "Renegade" in my head.  I like it, but I can't get the "Oh Mama" part out of my head...

Snooty and Snotty, part 2
Joe and I are meeting with his infamous friends, Snooty and Snotty, tonight at the same restaurant as the last two times.  I suspect that it'll be fine.  But after spending my day in jeans, Converse shoes, and a hooded sweatshirt that's 3 sizes too big (aahhh...some days I love the comfort of over sized clothing!), I'm not exactly looking forward to getting dressed up (aka squeezed into sausage-casing type underwear so that my curves look more voluptuous and less lumpy)...especially for a pretentious dinner.

But I'm totally going to ask if they have Boone's Farm as a drink option just to see if their heads explode.  What?  I think I should have a little fun before I go under the knife... 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks...

Tuesday when I went to go see my doctor, I had a myriad of questions to ask him.

One of which was, "Just how much does my uterine fibroid weigh?"

He laughed and then said that it would only weigh about a pound max. 

I was disappointed and asked if he could maybe re-look at it...perhaps it was actually 50 pounds?  Turns out, not so much.

Well, I was lucky enough to have my friend Missy try to send me a link a few weeks ago from The Inquisitive Geek With Fibroid Tumors blog where I could actually figure out the exact weight using math and stuff.  I'm lazy, so I never did it.  What?  At least I'm honest. 

Anyway, although the fibroid will only weigh 1 pound, he said that I could expect to lose 5-10 pounds just due to all of the fluid and blood flow that is currently going to the fibroid.  Of course, I'll also lose some inches (when it's all said and done) because the thing is almost 5 inches in diameter.  Apparently even though the fibroid is big, it isn't very dense.

Also, since I'm going under the knife a week from today (and will be high on meds), I've had some people approach me about guest posting.  And I've contacted a few others about blogging for a few days.  One of the people backed out, so if you'd like to guest post, let me know.

Note: despite what it seems like the last few posts, I will not turn into a fibroid blogger - I just figured you all might be curious.  I'll return to regularly scheduled non-fibroid blogging soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't Ask

First, thank you SO much for your suggestions from my last post regarding what to do to decrease stress going into the surgery.

This morning, I picked out a luxurious soap to use in the shower and pampered myself afterwards with some good lotion.  I've also signed up for a restorative yoga class on Friday and have picked out a few stress-busting ideas for the rest of the week.  THANK YOU!

Yesterday I went to my pre-op surgical appointment...and the surgeon who is operating on me also delivers babies.  He actually had to deliver one during our we had to wait for 20-30 minutes in the middle of it.

The funny thing?  His ringtone when the hospital calls him is "Push it" - you know, the song from the 80s?  Sure, it could be considered crass, but I laughed.

He assured me that all the cramps and leaking that I've been experiencing are completely normal.  Even what happened on my run a few weeks ago...all completely normal.  He said that I'll feel so much better after the fibroid is removed and I am choosing to believe him.

I also met with the nurse at the hospital...who gave me a lot of information that might or might not be useful.  I think she was trying to help, but gave me WAY more information (and things to worry about). the end of the appointment, she said, "I just love your hair."

I said thank you. 

"It's just beautiful."

I nodded, smiled genuinely, and said thanks again.  But I knew what was coming next. I ALWAYS know what's coming next.

And then..."Is that your natural color?"
For the record, I HATE that question.  I know other redheads who also hate that question.
Here's the thing, on behalf of all of us (whether natural or "enhanced") can I just say STOP ASKING.  Assume one way or the other because what difference does it make?  But for the love of donettes (or for the love of all that's hole-y.... hahah!!!), stop asking. 
In fact, let's extend that to situations where you're curious about a boob job, tan, eyelash length, eye color, hair color, or possible fake leg.  JUST DON'T ASK.  Assume one thing and then move on. 
And OH MY GOSH if you're a guy?  STOP ASKING.  Because if you have to ask, you're not ever going to know...not really.  I can't tell you how many times I was asked that on first dates or email chats. 
Also?  Asking if the "drapes match the carpet" is vile.  Unless you're an interior designer.  And even then?  It's still creepy.
Okay then.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I don't drink a lot of caffeine.  But you know how when you drink too much of it and you feel all jittery inside?

That's how I feel pretty much all of the time.

I think that I just feel unsettled about the upcoming surgery.  And although you are probably tired of hearing about it, I'm going to keep on writing about it.

I get that the chances of me coming out of it alive are very high.  I get that the chance of me coming out of it with all of my lady bits are high.  I get that it does no good to worry about it.

But I can't help it.

I think it's that I just feel that I've had a lot of really crappy stuff happen to me in my life. I was molested as a kid, hit by an ex-boyfriend in high school, cheated on, and have had other health concerns that have been significant.  I've kept going in the midst of a lot of adversity.  I think I kept plugging along - at first feeling like I didn't deserve good things, and then feeling like maybe some day my luck would turn around.

I've lived most of my life waiting for the other shoe to drop.  While things were sucky, I was aware that they could always be worse.

But now my life is finally starting to resemble something that's fantastic.  I'm trusting people in ways I never really did before.  I'm loving freely and fully (which was SO hard at first).  I'm happy with me and my body.  I'm happy-ish with my relationship with food.

And I'm sharing my life with someone.  It's something I always thought was for other people...but not for someone like me.  It's the kind of love that is such a comfort.

So now that I have this life that I have always wanted, I'm aware at how much this situation could suck.  I guess I'm aware at how blessed my life actually IS.  My life isn't perfect by any means, but I no longer live in fear of the other shoe dropping.

I'm actually content.

I KNOW that I shouldn't worry about the surgery.  It's out of my hands...and I can't do anything to change anything.  But I am and I do.  Well, I'm not sure that WORRY is the right word...I'm anxious and jittery though.  And doesn't that stem from worry?

I'd like to say that my eating has been perfect.  It hasn't.

But I haven't gained any weight in the last few weeks either...and with cutting back drastically on my exercise regime, that's at least something that I don't need to worry about.

I'm aware that I want to keep eating to veg out, zone out, or decompress somehow.  The only possible thing that I can think of to bring me comfort is to take a yoga class in the next week - something that will help me focus on my breath and my position and nothing else.  It'll be a new way to get a break from my head and won't be so strenuous as to anger the uterine fibroid.

Any other suggestions?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Life lessons from a dog

Polar's Mom started following my blog a bit ago...and when I finally got off my happy butt to visit her page, I saw that Polar was the name of her dog...a Great Dane.

Seeing his picture - especially one where he's curiously looking at the leaves on trees - made miss Chassis more acutely than I have in the recent past.

Polar's Mom wrote a post today - about everything that she learned from Polar...and it's beautiful. If you're a dog person, I encourage you to read it. 

It got me thinking about my own dog and what I can learn from her.

I've said it before, but Chassis was 2 when she started being really unstable on her feet.  At first, we thought it was Wobbler's (which is what Polar suffered from), but after thousands of dollars of tests, we found that she had a neurological problem.  It started with her trembling as she would lay down.  Then she wouldn't sit...she'd go from standing up to laying down pretty quickly.  In fact, once I realized her reluctance to sit, I never encouraged her to do so again...and that was three years before she died.

She wasn't very healthy ever.  Oh, she had the heart of a champion, but she was just accident prone like no other dog I've been around.  You'd think this would've slowed her down - somehow dampened her zeal to live life to the fullest, but no.

One spring day, she was running at the dog park and I saw her limping after other dogs.  We had been at the park for about 5 minutes at this point.  I went over to her and found that the padding of three of her paws had come off.  There was new paw padding underneath, but it was so raw and tender...and that's what was making her limp.  I took her to the vet immediately and after antibiotics and ointment, they gave strict instructions to wrap each foot and try to get her to not bite at them.  Because she was so tall, she could have the "cone of shame" on and still get to her feet...  The only solution was to wrap her feet and then put a little paw bootie over them so she wouldn't get to them as easily.

So I did that.  And then we visited my mom for Easter...where my sister's dog also was.

My sister's dog is a pit bull mix - weighing in around 40 pounds.  the picture above shows them together.  Yes, that's how big she was.

Anyway, my sister's dog didn't like Chassis playing with her as much as Chassis liked she'd run out a little dog door and stay outside.  Chassis wanted so badly to play with her that she started sticking her head through the same dog door - hoping that miraculously she could shrink down to the size that the little dog was.

Obviously, it didn't work.

It was just Chassis and me for almost 5 years of her life...but then, when we moved in with Joe in April, it became the three of us.  We lived downtown for about the last two months of her life - and during that time, I saw her spirit rise up again and again.

She couldn't run and her endurance wasn't what it used to be.  She'd long since stopped sitting and she shook 100% of the time.  People walking by thought she was cold or scared, because she trembled so much.  She couldn't help it.  But she loved the walks downtown.  She got to smell all the good spots and got to meet literally hundreds of people.  Everywhere we'd walk, jaws would drop and people would approach us to pet her.  She was 42" from her shoulders to the ground - a tall dane for sure - and the comments of  "That's not a dog, that's a horse!" followed us more often than not.  People asked to take pictures with her and asked if they could pet her.  I'm sure that at first it was due to her size, but after the initial shock wore off, they'd inevitably comment on how soft her ears were or how kind and sweet her eyes were.

The thing is, I've never seen homeless people react to anything the way they reacted to her.  Maybe I could've been scared about it, but they'd come up and she gave them the respect that they didn't seem to get from anyone else.  Homeless people are people too - and she seemed to understand that eye contact is something that they didn't get often.  She'd lean on them just as she would a Wall Street banker...everyone deserves a little affection.

One day an old man came up to me and asked me a lot of questions about her.  He eventually disclosed that he was a photographer...or at least that he used to be...before his Parkinson's made it more difficult to hold the camera steady.  I explained that that was kind of what Chassis had - a neurological problem that made her shake all the time.

The man got tears in his eyes, leaned down and hugged her - saying "See Chassis?  You understand what it's like, don't you?"  She looked at him and wagged her tail.  I like to think that she did know exactly what he was going through.

He wrote down his name on one of his old postcards and offered to take a picture of her - a dog that touched his heart.

I never called him.  It's one of my biggest regrets.  I thought I had time.  I thought WE had time.

I can't imagine another dog touching me how Chassis did.  She was amazing, patient, and loving.  How often do I exude those characteristics?

She was limited by her medical problems, but she did what she could.  

I'm sure she was uncomfortable...but she sucked it up.  And even at the end, when her eyes were so bloodshot from having not been able to relax, and her muscles so fatigued, she still crawled into my MINI and took the last ride to the vet.  She didn't want to, but I asked her to trust me one last time.  And so she did. 

I think that this feels so powerful to me because the last week or two, I've been so uncomfortable.  I'm cramping pretty much all day long.  And I'm bleeding.  I'm fatigued.  I'm worried.  I'm so ready to get this stupid uterine fibroid out of my system.  I've started to pull away from a lot of social situations...I just don't feel up to it.  Sometimes I feel that this fibroid is draining me more each day.

When I look at Chassis' pictures, I realize that she did what she could.  She embraced each new adventure as a chance to see or do something she hadn't before.  She loved people and pets alike. She never snapped at anyone.  Not once.

I can do that.  I may not be able to do much socially the rest of the year - I certainly won't be able to run.  But I'll do what I can.  And I don't have to take it out on others.

When I need to rest, I will.  When I need comfort, I'll lean on others.  And in the meantime, I'll be optimistic about the future - I'll trust that things will get better and that I'll be taken care of.

And when I get my strength back, I'll make a conscious effort to run the routes that she couldn't.  I'll bake cookies or put together winter care packages for the homeless people in our neighborhood.

And I'll stop to smell/enjoy all the good stuff.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I can't count to 100...

I signed up for the Hot 100 Challenge a few weeks ago.

Right about now, I'm regretting it.

Here were my goals:

1) Wash my face each night before I go to bed.
2) Take a daily vitamin every day. No excuses.
3) Run a 10K.
4) Read one food or relationship with food book each month.
5) Get into a new "decade" of weight that I haven't seen in almost a decade by December 31st. I haven't weighed myself in the last few days, but I'm pretty sure that means dropping 15 pounds.
6) Continue to go to therapy.
7) Continue to practice being gentle with myself.

I'm failing at 1 and 2.  I'm so exhausted at night that it's about all I can do to make it to bed in something different than the clothes I wore to work.  Not kidding.  And my face is having plenty of zits to prove it. 

The vitamins?  They're some of the last things on my mind.

Running a 10K? I can't even run around the block...after my last bout with running, I've had to give it up until well after Thanksgiving.

I can read and I will continue to go to therapy...but the losing weight is going to have to be adapted and I need to work on the being gentle with myself.

Having said all that, I'm tweaking my goals.  What?  I'm a woman.  It's what we do.

1) Wash my face every night.  As much as I want to cringe about this, this shouldn't be too hard to do.  I need to nut up here.
2) Vitamin daily.  Again, this shouldn't be too hard - in fact, it can't get much easier.  I just need to get in the habit.
3) new goal will be to start running again once the doctor clears me.  I'd like to be back up to running 3 miles by the end of the year.  I think it's doable.
4) Reading...I'll keep this one.  I like to read about this kind of stuff and I know I'll have time on my hands after the surgery.  Reading about different ideas
5) Weight loss...look, I'm sure the surgery will have me lose a few pounds - just by the weight of the fibroid.  But losing 15 is probably not likely - especially when I can't exercise at any high intensity.  My new goal will be to not GAIN weight while recovering.  I think that's going to be a big challenge.
6) Therapy.  I will continue this - but this past week's session was a doozy.  We're getting to the heart of some seriously hurtful stuff...and it's not fun.
7) Being gentle with myself.  I'm going to try.  But right now, I'm frustrated with so many things in my life - things that I don't have a lot of control over.  Maybe that's why I'm taking it out on my face (by not washing it) and the vitamins (by not taking them).  At least those are two things I have control over.  But yes, this is a good I guess I'll keep it.

I don't know why I'm in such a cantankerous mood today, but I am.  Sleep is probably in order soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Picture Pages

First, does anyone remember "Picture Pages" with Bill Cosby?

I used to love that show - and I totally wanted a squiggly bee pen.  And a Jello Pudding Pop.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I STILL want those.

Alright, I don't have it in me to do a serious mind-bending post today.

Instead I'm going to show you some pictures of some things.  It's like "Show N' Tell" from Kindergarten only without the nap time afterwards.

Here is a picture that I took on my last run.  It was during lunch and was right before The Deficit made it known that it doesn't not like me running.

I work in a pretty urban part of town - and my route is full of semi-truck exhaust fumes and hookers for the first and last mile...but there is one path that is off a main street - and that's where I run for the middle part of my run.  Pretty, no?

Since my office is moving on the 29th of this month, and I'm going in for surgery on the 28th (and I can't run between now and then) it's a little weird to think I won't see it again while running.  I'll take a trip down to walk that route (even if only for a little bit of it) during my lunch next week...just to say goodbye.  I changed my life on that path, it seems wrong somehow to not thank it.

The next picture is of something that I'm really starting to love...veggie sandwiches.  Specifically, veggie sandwiches on a toasted bagel.
This little puppy is from Einstein Brothers Bagels - and it's SO good.

I always thought that stuff loaded with veggies seemed  So tasteless and unsatisfying.  One bite of this sandwich, and I realized the err in my ways. 

And lastly, Joe and I a few months back.

No, he's not giving me a wet willy (although that's totally what it looks like!), but we were snuggling at a music festival that came into town.  I caught him mid-kiss.

It's totally sappy, I know.  But in the last week or two when I've been worried about the surgery and it's possible ramifications, he's been a rock.  I love this man. 

As if there was any doubt...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not so happy pants

Last Wednesday, I decided to go for a run - just to see if I was well enough (from my cold) to run and do the 10K that was this past Sunday.

I'll spare you the gory details, but let's just say that about a mile and a half in, my uterine fibroid decided it didn't much care for running and made it known.  Of course, I turned around and headed back to the office - but was left walking the rest of the way because running hurt so badly.  It was a fast pace I had though - because I knew I didn't have much time before everyone else knew that something was wrong.

Bleeding while you're stranded in the middle of nowhere is not great.

But more than that, I was so sad that it meant that not only could I not run the 10K as I had hoped, but I couldn't run the 5K.  Running is therefore out until surgery too.  And if you've been reading me for awhile, you know that running is a great stress relief.

I made it back safe and sound and changed into a whole new set of clothes after taking a shower at work.

But it didn't make it better.

I've got to figure out what I can do to move my body in a way that won't cause the same bleeding and discomfort. 

So those that *can* run, run for me, will you?

And those that can't, what do you do to exercise as a stress relief?  I'm looking for some low impact things to enjoy that won't make the fibroid angry. 

You wouldn't like it when it's angry... 

Monday, October 11, 2010


When I was oblivious a few years ago, I thought that things happened TO me.  I thought my eating style was the way it was and doing something different seemed like SO. MUCH. EFFORT.

It's easier to get in the habit of eating badly.  When I load up on carbs or sugar, that's pretty much all I crave.  Then I'd conk out on the sofa while watching some trashy reality TV show.  I didn't have a life (so to speak) so I might as well watch other people live theirs.

Eating until my stomach was full (a level 10 on my scale of satiety), was normal. 

It's no wonder that I gained weight like a champ.  And that I felt more drained than ever.  But getting out of my habit of eating horribly was something I didn't want to do.  It was easier to stay with what my norm was.

The thing is, when I decided to make some changes, via WW in 2008, it did take a lot of effort.  But it was worth it.

And in May, when I decided to stop WW and focus on how I FELT and how hungry I actually was before eating, that took a LOT of effort too.

But what I noticed this weekend was that now that I've been living my life between a 3 and 6 on the hunger scale, I feel so much better. 

I don't want to go down to a 2.  And being at a 7 doesn't feel good OR comforting anymore.

That's my new habit.

Take this weekend.  I went to a little mountain town in Colorado called Idaho Springs with my dad.  We walked around and shopped.  I went into a cute little shop that sold soaps where I indulged.  I bought three bars of wonderfully smelling soaps just for me.  We went into a boutique where I purchased a vase for flowers that I'm hoping to have year-round.  Afterwards, my father and I walked to a nearby pizza shop and had lunch.

I ordered a individual whole wheat pizza with veggies and ate half.  I paused (as my habit is) at halfway through and realized that I wasn't hungry any longer.  I was at a 5 on the hunger scale.

So I stopped. 

My dad is pretty self absorbed still - and the lunch took about an hour and a half because he took a long time eating his whole small pizza.  The whole meal was spent as a monologue for him.

In the past, this would've been a huge trigger for me.  I would've felt diminished.  I would've been hurt that he didn't pay attention to me and that he didn't seem interested in me.  I would've been bored (okay, I WAS bored) and would've eaten out of boredom.

Oh, I thought about it.  But eating the rest of the pizza when I had already realized I wasn't hungry all of the sudden seemed like SO. MUCH. EFFORT.  So I didn't.

Instead, I asked for a box and we went outside to watch the local Homecoming Parade.

Incidentally, I did make my voice heard several times over the weekend...whether he actually listened is another matter. 

And this morning, as I used my uber indulgent soap in the shower, I thought of how good it felt to have a small splurge on myself - something that would bring me comfort and remind me of when I conquered some bad eating habits, even in the face of some emotional triggers.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that habits work both ways. 

Realizing that I had a choice - to treat myself the way I deserved to be treated no matter who was around - was huge.

I matter.  I am worthy of the good feeling that happens when you eat well and when you eat enough.  I don't deserve to be famished.  But I also don't deserve the punishment of being stuffed.

I ate what I wanted, when I wanted.  I felt satisfied, content, and proud.   It's a new feeling - but it's one that I definitely want to make a habit.

Another chance at $150

It's that time of the month again...where I've (with the help of BlogHer and Laughing Cow) put together a chance to win a $150 Visa gift card, just by entering a comment on my new post on the review blog.

This month's topic?  How to get motivated to exercise when you've lost your mojo.

Click there to enter...and a "real" post is coming soon!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


To say that our house has been an infestation of all kinds of disease is pretty accurate.

I've been sick all week - and as of this morning I still had a fever and burning feeling in my chest.  Joe?  He's sick with a stomach bug that as of this morning hadn't completely run it's course.  Yesterday he ran a temp just under 105. 

It's so much fun!  Not.

AND my father will actually be coming in tonight to spend the weekend with us.  He'll be staying in a hotel.  That he's paying for.  Actually, I'm not sure if I wrote you about the fall-out of that conversation that he and I had after I wrote the post last month.

Basically, he was very understanding when I explained, "I offered to pay for everything because I didn't want you to be mad at me.  I didn't want you to be disappointed in me.  I want you to be happy with me.  I want us to have a good time."  It felt good to explain my fears to him and to help him see how when he reacts in an impatient irritated manner, it makes me feel inferior and unworthy.

He said that he wanted to come down, spend time with me, meet Joe, and that he didn't want it to be a stressful thing.  That he quickly agreed and was thoughtful in his response makes me realize that maybe he really *has* gotten better over the years.

It was a rare moment in my 33 years where there was genuine authenticity on both sides.  I hope our relationship is better for it. 
The great thing about having him as a guest this weekend is that my dad really values his personal time and space.  This means we will break for a few hours each afternoon to rest...which means that I can heal with some much needed sleep this weekend.

I'm exhausted.  I'm so behind on reading blogs, that it's not funny.  So forgive me for my non-commenting - I don't know how I get *this* behind on all the blogs on a weekly basis.  It's tough because there are so many that I want to read and comment thoughtfully on.  In fact, sometimes I read them and mark them as "unread" because I want to comment on them later.  Only then they build up even faster...and that's why I have 300 unread blog posts.  And 75 unanswered emails.  Wasn't technology supposed to make things easier??

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Good advice from Bob Harper

Alright, I admit it.  I watch "The Biggest Loser" on Tuesday nights.  Each season, I swear I'm not going to, but then I get sucked in.

Last night, after a particularly hard work out, Bob Harper (if you don't watch the show, he's one of the trainers) said to the contestants:

"It's not a bad thing to ask for what you want."

I'm not going to lie to you, I hit the rewind button on the DVR to hear it again and then I paused the show to let it sink in.

I struggle with this so often.

I can lobby for someone else.  I can look at a tough situation and find a solution that benefits most.  I can analyze a given problem and come up with an idea that fixes the problem.  Even on a personal level, I can ask for things I need.

But actually ASK for something that I just WANT?


I have a hard time asking someone to help me.  Whether it be with the groceries, cleaning up the house, for a drink of water, quality time, sex or intimacy from a partner, or something else in my relationship with someone.  Putting myself first feels uncomfortable.

When I think about WHY that's an issue for me, I think it's because I was told so often as a kid that I was this bossy thing.  Incorrigible.  Stubborn.  Willful.  As a kid, I didn't mind asking for what I needed or wanted.

And somewhere along the way, I was told/instructed that good girls don't ask for stuff they don't need.  Good girls look out for the needs of others.  I learned that there was pride and honor in silently suffering.  And the message that I received was that I wasn't good enough to ask for what I wanted; in fact, it was rude to do so.  If it happened that I got what I wanted, be thankful.  If it didn't, too bad, so sad, that's just life.  The phrase, "you get what you get and don't throw a fit" comes into mind.  And while I think that's a good thing, somehow I internalized that to apply to EVERYTHING in my life.  Simon and Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock" was my theme song.  Not so healthy.

These days, I'm starting to realize that when I ask for help (or even if I'm just willing to accept help when it's offered) that it's not a sign of weakness.  It's not a sign of neediness or desperation to ask for a hug, for time, for a listening ear, or for another chance. 

And what I'm finding is that when I ask out of an actual want, I feel soothed much more than I would've with food anyway.

I've heard before that when hunger isn't the problem, food isn't the answer.  And I agree.  But what I'm realizing is that when I'm healthy emotionally (with boundaries, in healthy relationships, etc), and I feel heard and understood, I don't think about food as much anyway.

Asking for what I want started with little things.  If someone offered me a blue cup or a red cup, I used to just say "Oh - whichever you don't want."  I started to state my preference.  If someone offered me a chance to go in front of them, I let them - if that's what I wanted.

It's a way to be gentle with myself - a way to tend to myself and be heard by my own true wise self.  

I feel balanced when I pause in a situation and really think about what *I* want and then ask for it in a respectful way.

I still struggle with this; with the idea that my asking for a want is valid...but I recognize that it gets easier every time.

Because each time, I feel love from the person that gives me what I asked for and I feel love from myself because I honored ME.  And feeling loved feels good, soothing, and luxurious.  Way better than a warm brownie or a salty chip has ever made me feel.

Because I'm still a newbie at this, how are ways that you honor your wants?

100 Status Check

Time to check in regarding the 100 Day Challenge from South Beach Steve's blog.

How am I doing? 

The simple answer?  Eesh.

Detailed answer?
1) Wash my face each night before I go to bed. I know...some of you are recoiling in disgust. But I'm that girl. The girl that sometimes doesn't wash her face. THE HORROR! I'll brush my teeth and take my meds, but washing my face seems like SO. MUCH. WORK sometimes. So I'm vowing to do that for the next 100 days.

Ughh...Okay, I've done it more often than not, but definitely not at 100% yet.

2) Take a daily vitamin every day. No excuses.
Okay, so I've done this on workdays, but the weekend was a bit tough since I was sick and not thinking of vitamins.  I'll do better this week :)

3) Run a 10K.
We'll see if that's still in the cards for this weekend.  Because I've been sick, I may have to choose a different 10K to run.  I'll be running at lunch today to see how I feel.

4) Read one food or relationship with food book each month.
Check!  Currently reading two: "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Else Resch and "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan

5) Get into a new "decade" of weight that I haven't seen in almost a decade by December 31st. I haven't weighed myself in the last few days, but I'm pretty sure that means dropping 15 pounds.
So far, so good - meaning that I haven't GAINED weight.  I weighed myself at the beginning of the challenge, but haven't done so yet this week.

6) Continue to go to therapy.
7) Continue to practice being gentle with myself.
Check!  Sleeping this weekend and the decision to MAYBE back out of my run, was a great representation of that!
How are YOU doin'?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just this once

As I mentioned yesterday, I've been sick.

And now, Joe is sick.  I feel SO bad about it...perhaps it's because we've been living with each other for only 6 months, but this is the first time that a bug has passed from one of to the other - and I feel kind of bad.  Certainly it wasn't intentional, but still...

Because of that, we're out of the best drug on earth - Sudafed PE.  These orange capsules are amazing at getting rid of my colds faster than anything else - and no, they're not paying me to say that.

So I stopped by Walgreens on my way to work to pick up some more pills, some Zicam, and Echinacea.  That's when I saw it...

The Halloween display.

Aisles of candy.  Mouth watering candy.  Binge worthy candy.

And I start thinking, "My workplace has been so difficult lately.  I should bring in candy to help celebrate the season; to make my co-workers feel that they are cared for and to make people want to stop by my desk to distract me from work that I really don't want to do."

Usually when I have these thoughts, I buy candy that I don't like.  It used to be because I felt that I couldn't trust myself around candy - what would happen if I ate one??  I'd buy the "good stuff" for the trick-or-treaters that came by my house, but only on October 31st.  The next day, I'd drop off the bag at my local Weight Watchers meeting so that they would give it to homeless or needy people (needy skinny people?).  Actually, I'm not quite sure WHAT they did with it...or if that's a nationwide thing or not.  Maybe Jams can pipe in here.

Then, after I started this whole "intuitive eating" process, I decided to trust myself around candy again - starting with bags of dark chocolate.  Whereas once I'd find myself shoving handfuls of baking chocolate chips in my mouth at home, one bag of dark chocolate has lasted me months here at work and it's still not all gone.  When it was around and I could have as much as I wanted, I didn't crave it as much.  WIN!

Surely that meant that I could have "fun size" candies at work now, right?  Uh, not so much apparently.  Remember the time right around Labor Day?  I bought a "fun size" compilation for work and felt like I ate eleventy billion pounds of it.

I think that having *that* much candy around makes me feel vulnerable and panicky.  Should I sit with those feelings?  Yes.  But I also know that I'm sick, I'm tired, and I'm worried about The Deficit.  Those things make me more susceptible to eating anyway - the last thing I need to do is fuel my eating with things that will make me feel even worse (physically).

And still, at Walgreens at 7 AM this morning, the thought came into my head, "Just this once.  You're in tune with what you're worried about and what you're feeling, now - it's not like last time.  Just buy one bag of candy you like to *see* if you can conquer it.  Won't you feel so good if you have victory over stupid candy?"

I admit.  I hesitated.

I was torn because I want to show that I'm trustworthy around all types of food - not just when things are perfect in my life.  I want to be sick, with a chapped nose, a screaming baby, and to see candy bars (or something just as yummy) and not be tempted.

The thing is, I also want to run a half marathon.  I also want to get a puppy.  I want to buy a new car.  I want to quit my job.

But I don't do those things because I'm not prepared to do those things, yet.  My life situation is not equipped to handle those things...just as it's not equipped to handle a completely stressful situation without turning to food primarily.  I'm not perfect; I may overeat when I'm sick, tired, or worried, but it's not responsible to have the stuff around that makes me feel even more ill. 

It's not that I'm saying that I can't have chocolate.  In fact, it was pretty empowering to stand there, arms full of medications, and know that I could have anything I wanted in that store.  I can have that today or right now if that's what I want.  I just want to be mindful about it. 

Jumping from where I am now to being completely intuitive and not feeding my emotions is a pretty big leap - one that I know that in my present state I'm not too likely to be able to make.

So instead, I bought two bags of candy that were on sale.  Mary Janes if you must know - not a treat I crave at all, but one that I know my co-workers have enjoyed in years past.
I actually feel pretty great right now - way better than when I was fearful about what I might stock in my wire pumpkin.  And way better than when I forbid myself to have "bad" candy.  Right now my mindset is "It's just candy...a compilation of various forms of sugar."

It feels so great to have clarity around these types of things...even if it's just this once.

Monday, October 4, 2010


So, the fresh resolve and perspective I had on Friday was real and genuine.

Only apparently, the world had other plans.

Friday afternoon, I started getting stuffy and my throat started hurting.  By Friday night I was running a fever and ended up spending pretty much all weekend in bed...and not in a good way.  I still had a fever last night, but I felt much better this morning.

I'm back at work this morning, though not nearly as fatigued as I was this weekend.  Sure, I sound completely stuffed up and my nose is leaking like a sieve, but I feel much better.

All weekend long, I worried about running - after all, I had just announced that I was going to run my first 10K...what would the world come to if I didn't do that?!?!

So I didn't run this weekend.  And that makes the possibility of me running the whole 10K on 10/10/10 a lot less likely.

BUT I did take care of myself - which was another goal from the Hot 100 Challenge.  And the surgery to remove The Deficit has to be of greater importance than the 10K.  By taking care of myself this past weekend, I am making sure that that surgery will go as planned and won't get pushed back to me being unwell.

If I feel well enough later today, I'll go for a run outside... and if everything goes perfectly this week, I'll still run the 10K this weekend.  I can choose to opt out and run the 5K up until Friday.  OR if I feel worse as the week progresses, I can just not run at all.

Having said that, it's 2 PM and I feel good.  Joe is grocery shopping on the way home so I'll hit the dreadmill or run outside - something to test the waters and see what I'm made of.

What do you think - push through it or should I take it easy? OR is there some middle ground?

P.S.  It's Monday.  That means that this blurb is here to remind you to enter in the Laughing Cow post to win $150 on my review blog.  It's so easy, even a caveman can do it.  Wait.  I probably shouldn't write that.

Friday, October 1, 2010


per·se·ver·ance   /ˌpɜrsəˈvɪərəns/ [pur-suh-veer-uhns]: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

I have wanted to do a 10K since late last year.  In fact, I had signed up to do a 10K when I was home for Thanksgiving last year, but the race coordinators cancelled it due to lack of interest.

I've been sort of dipping my toes in the idea pool of 10Ks.  Thinking that I should try one and then missing the sign up date and feeling a bit relieved.

I think the reason I do this is that I know that I can run a 5K and I have run 5 miles before, but a 10K?  That just seems SO official.  Like I should be a runner.  Like I should be in shape.

And I'm not in shape.  In fact, when I ran the 4 miles yesterday at lunch, I had to walk for about a mile just to finish it.  I was tired, I was in pain, and I just didn't want to.

The thing is, without telling you all, I already signed up for the 10K.  It's called Fans on the Field (race day is next weekend!) and it's probably one of the coolest 10Ks ever.  See, Denver is lucky enough to have all the major sports, baseball, basketball, football, and (of course) dodgeball.  The 10K will involve us starting out at the football stadium (Invesco Field), running through floor of the Pepsi Center (where the basketball and hockey teams play), running on Coors Field (where our baseball team plays) and then finishing by running on the track of Invesco Field.  There is a lot of change in scenery and they're something about running where thousands of athletes have run before.  I ran the 5K last year and I told myself that I would run the 10K this year.

But that was before I found out about The Deficit

Part of me wants to say "Well, crap.  Now that I have this THING inside me, I should just sleep in, eat bonbons, and stop exercising.  Oh poor me! I have a big THING that makes me feel freakish.  Besides, the race is 9 days away - you're not even RUNNING a full 4 miles yet, how are you going to run 6.2?"  But I know that's silly.

I can FEEL the temptation to throw in the towel on the intuitive eating, on running, and on being healthier.  Because right now, I've got a lot of emotions going on.

And I can.  I can quit.  I can take a break in this whole healthy living thing.

But I won't.  Because I can't, not really. 

I read an interesting excerpt the other day on a blog somewhere (if you can recall where, tell me so that I can give credit!) that made the connection between ripening fruit and making the decision to be more in tune with your body; to be healthier.  Basically, it said that just as you can't stop the ripening of a peach, you can't go back to your life as if you don't care about your health any more.  Once you know (in your core) that there is a better way, you can't UN-know.

So that's where I'm at.

I feel this pressure to keep on my path of trying to lose weight.  Of trying to build up my distance or improve my pace in running.  And realistically, I know that I can't do the latter - at least not after October 28th - for a while.  I know that while re-couping, I'm going to be alone in the house.  Where there is food.   That no one will see me eat.

It's like the perfect set up to revert back to my old ways.

I know that that is one choice, one path that I have taken again and again in my life.  The other is to take all the learning and a-ha moments that I've had and say that this healing period will be a chance to do better.

I've had a lot of lessons in the past year.  I've had some quizzes.  But this surgery - the build-up, the healing, and the fall-out?  That's going to be the final exam.

I don't want to look at it as a pass/fail mentality.  But I do want to look at this and realize that this is a great way to look inside myself, with curiosity (rather than judgement) and LEARN to cope in ways other than unhealthy ones.

Which brings me back to the 10K. 

The truth is, I CAN run now.  The truth is, I can finish the race - even if I have to walk part of it.  Who cares?  The truth is, I will feel amazing when I accomplish that goal, just as I did when I accomplished Big Clyde's weekend challenge last weekend.

So, there's kind of only one thing to do.  To continue to ripen.

I'll go to the race.  I'll run when I can and walk when I need to.  But I will finish.

I'll have the pre-op testing and surgery.  And I'll come out of it better (and lighter?).

I'll heal at home and I'll rest my body.  When I feel lonely, I'll take a walk along the 16th Street Mall and enjoy seeing the "diversity" that is downtown.  When I want a change of location, I'll go to the nearby library.   And I'll take up the offers from Audra and Kris to keep me company during some of the time.

I can look at this as a way to go back, hide myself, and bury myself in the old ways of doing things.  OR I can persevere, I can find out what I'm *really* made of and show myself that *I* am worth changing for.

I choose the latter.