Friday, January 30, 2009

Just one more reason to consider going veg...

'Veggie Love': PETA's Banned Super Bowl Ad


Your comments have been wonderful! Thank you to everyone who wrote about their own experiences, those who are going through something similar, and those who wrote to say "hang in there!"

I only have a moment to write, but thought I'd answer a question. My daily grades are assigned by me, just for me. Thinking of myself as being in boot camp and assigning a grade has helped me to move in a more positive direction. Yesterday gets a good solid B+. I worked for 6 hours at my parents house, again clearing out boxes and drawers and cabinets of unneeded stuff, in an attempt to make their house more peaceful and more functional. My mom said she was not up to taking a bath, which gave me more time to clear things out. (I felt bad that I was relieved, but we'll take care of this on Sunday.)

I really am starting to feel a little more like me, and part of that yesterday was running. I ran twice, 4 miles each time. Is this ideal? Heck, no! But it's what my schedule would allow. So I ran a fast 4 miles in the late afternoon. Then went to a trail running meeting at Fleet Feet in Roseville. (I'd signed up for this several weeks ago.) And then ran another 4 miles. Right after my second run, I drove carpool for my son's water polo practice, which meant 45 minutes in the car. Let me tell you, getting out of a car after sitting for 45 minutes immediately following a run makes for some comical first steps!

Today's plan? Plan client workouts (doing that immediately after I post this). Run 4 miles. Get my dad and take him home! Train clients. Then back into mom mode.

Hope this is a fabulous Friday for everyone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 3

Day 2's grade was a C-. On the positive side, I helped my mom, visited my dad, and ran 7 miles. On the negative side, I canceled a client's training session because I just couldn't shift from one mode to the other. (She's getting a free session on Friday to make up for my flakiness.)

Today probably gets an A- or a B+. I will have trained 5 clients today. I did P90X arms and shoulders which felt great. Wanted to run, but I've gone 17 miles in the past 2 days, and I had paperwork for my parents and for our family building up, so opted for some desk time to get caught up.

So why the A- or B+? Because I CAN'T SEEM TO STOP EATING! Yeah, just one of those "I am always hungry" days. I know they don't last, but when you're prowling the pantry, it's easy to feel scared that you'll never be able to stop eating, and none of your clothes will fit, and on and on and on.

(Yeah, I'm eating my second Cadbury Creme Egg as I type this. Life's too short to eat yucky treats, right?)

Tomorrow I'll be at my parents house most of the day. I'll be bathing my mom (we've got this bath thing down to a science now), grocery shopping, and prepping her breakfast and lunch. And I'll be getting my dad's room ready because HE'S COMING HOME ON FRIDAY!!! My hope is that both of their lives will be better as a result of this tough time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Starting Day 2

Slept better. Woke up scared. What am I afraid of? Integrating my two lives -- caring for parents with caring for family. I can do one or the other, but this is my first week of doing both. (The all or nothing girl inside LOVES extremes, and struggles with balance.) What's the solution? Put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing, I guess.

Today I'll be at my parents house again. Breakfast for mom. Organize. Will be seeing if my mom can get her own lunch out of the fridge -- sounds small, but it's a big thing, or it will be a big thing if she can do it.

To create some physical balance, I'm back to doing weights at night. Last night I used some 15 lb dumbbells to do chest press and alternating chest press, overhead presses, "heavy pants" (a la Tony Horton of P90X), bicep curls, and overhead tricep extensions. Bodybuilders would not respect my little workout, but I'm happy with my 2 to 3 sets of 13 reps (why 13? Cuz it's my favorite number!) in front of the TV.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Boot Camp, Day 1

Grade for the day: B. (That's a grade on my behavior, not on my circumstances.)

Day started tough. Was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night -- nightmares again. :( So I started the day groggy and irritable. But I dug in to all the tasks that have been neglected here (laundry, organization, budget stuff, errands) and worked on those for 5 hours. Tried to keep a positive frame of mind in the process.

In the afternoon I got hungry and ate a bunch of Dots and Twizzlers (big growed-up girl that I am!). But I also had an Amy's frozen Indian meal for lunch.

Decided to run 10. Started running. Running is HARD -- considered just turning around and going back home. But I ran a slow, steady 10. Sometimes you just do what you've gotta do, right?

Right now Tim's visiting my dad at the care facility. I thought he was going to call me about 30 minutes ago, so I've called him twice, and he's not answering his phone. This has me worried -- all sorts of scenarios about my dad falling or having a heart attack or something are playing through my head. But I'm working on dinner (frozen thin-crust pizzas from Costco, killer salad) and keeping my fingers crossed.

(Note -- Tim just walked in the door, so I guess all is well!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mental Health Boot Camp

I haven't written because I write from the heart, and what my heart has been feeling I've been unwilling to share. Let's just say that the rip tide pull of my old ways has had a fierce grip on me. Yesterday I talked to Tim about how I'd been feeling and that helped. And today is a new day!

As of today I'm enrolling myself into Mental Health Boot Camp. It's time to get some optimism and hope and sunshine back into my life. What's involved in boot camp? Well, that I'm really not sure of. But I'll be taking time to write down the actions I'm going to take every day (including wearing something other than an oversized black jacket and jeans, exercising, eating healthy foods, and calling a friend) and will have a written plan before I go to bed tonight.

And to focus on the positive, here are a few very good things happening in my life:

My dad is getting better and should be released from the care facility within the next week, and hopefully within the next few days. His mind is clear, his balance and strength are improving, and his arm is healing well.

After hours and hours of work, my parents house is starting to feel like a home. My brother and I have put our lives on hold and cleared out more than 40 years of accumulated stuff. It's been really really tough, and although we're not done yet, their house now has some life in it. As my mom doesn't really react to anything, she seems quite unaffected by the changes. But I feel like I can go there and breathe now, and I can't wait to see how my dad will react. (We've kept him apprised of what we've been doing, but hearing about it and seeing it are two very different things.)

I'm running my first ultra in 13 days. Have I been training for this? Ummmmm, I dunno. I've been running when I can (34 miles this week). But I'm signed up, and I'm just planning on going out there and seeing what I've got. I considered bailing out (which I can make a very legitimate case for, given my parents circumstances) but I think I'd feel sad and resentful if I did that. So I'll be running a 50K (that's 31 miles) on February 7th!

My NASM CEU's are completed! As is often the case, the anticipation was way worse than actually doing the work. So now I just need to renew my CPR certification, and I'll be NASM certified for another two years -- whew!

Tim and I are heading to Maui on February 11th!!! This trip has been planned for a long time, and it's just the two of us going away for 6 days. I can't wait to swim in the ocean, run in the heat, and see the whales! The timing of this seems about perfect and I really really really can't wait!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stress can make you thin!

(Katie posted the link where you can submit your picture and have it "Obama-ized." I wrote that I'd love to do it, but I just don't have time. So Katie sent me this picture. Way to make my day, Katie!)

It's the middle of the night, and although I need sleep, it's just not working for me right now. My dad's still in the hospital. He is getting better, but they're just not ready to send him home. So every day I've been at my parents house for 6 - 8 hours, caring for my mom, and trying to clean up 40 years of accumulated stuff. The good news is that my appetite is practically gone, and even though I've barely exercised this week (no time and no energy) I'm losing weight. The bad news is that, try as I might, it's hard to feel like I'm making progress when the job I've undertaken is so big.

There have been some funny discoveries in my attempt to make their house more livable. I came across some Weight Watchers magazines from the mid-1970's with the subtitle, "The Magazine for Attractive People." My how our language has changed! This same issue had an article answering the question "Is exercise necessary for weight loss?" with an emphatic NO. I'm sure I'll find more pearls of wisdom when I have the time to read it thoroughly.

Tomorrow Tim and the kids are going snowboarding. I wish I could go, but my brother and I have been splitting the task of caring for our mother, and I'm on lunch and dinner detail. In the morning though I'm running with the Folsom Trail Runners group for the first time. Twenty people are signed up for the run, and you run however far you want to run. I'm looking forward to doing something that's not related to organizing!

I don't know how this bodes for my 50K in February. Ideally I'd be running long this weekend. But that's just not in the cards for me. I know that taking a rest week is probably good. But I'm feeling nervous about the distance...

Finally, I need to complete my NASM CEUs to recertify. Before my dad's surgery, my plan was to be studying this week. Now I've got just two weeks to complete three CEU courses. I was a good student and a great test taker in high school and college. Let's hope that's still true today, as I've definitely got my work cut out for me in taking "Understanding Kinetic Chain Dysfunction", "Fitness and Aging", and "Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training."

Looking forward to getting back to normal life soon...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy update!

My dad made it through surgery and is doing fine! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for his safety and recovery.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quick update

Thank you EVERYONE for the wonderful bday wishes. I felt virtually hugged with each and every message!

On the fitness front, I've found a podcast that I just love. It's called The Nutrition Diva and it's part of the Quick and Dirty podcast family. The episodes are short (6 to 8 minutes) and cover everything from nutrition fads to anti-aging strategies to dispelling nutrition myths, and more. (For anyone who's a word and grammar geek like me, the other Quick and Dirty podcast I love is Grammar Girl.)

For now, if you could say a prayer for my dad, that would be great. His arm is not healing well (bones not lining up on their own) so he's going in for surgery tomorrow where the doctor will insert a rod into the bone to stabilize it. Having surgery is a calculated risk for anyone. My dad's at a higher risk, as he is 78, diabetic, and has significant weight to lose.

I will be dividing time between home, the hospital, and my parents home (my mom needs quite a bit of help) so I may be MIA for a while. I'll read what you write as often as I can, and feel very happy that such a wonderful community of friends exists in this world -- in my world!

Friday, January 09, 2009


Hi friends!

Well, I think I've got my head on straight and I'm ready to write again. Two health issues in my family have contributed to my absence: my darling niece Macy was diagnosed with diabetes (she's 7), and my father fell and broke his arm (he's 78). Between reading all I can about diabetes and wishing this wasn't Macy's road, and spending every other day with my mom and dad helping them with whatever needs doing, my time has been scarce and my mind scattered.

But I thought I'd take a minute to write today. It's my birthday! I'm 48 years young today, and I can't decide if I feel more like 4 12-year-olds or 12 4-year-olds! My family has treated me like a princess. I'm heading to my mom and dad's house now, then training clients, and then I'm off to Dillon Beach for the weekend with some wonderful girlfriends.

On the fitness front, I'm still running (I track all workouts on the right-hand side of the weblog) and incorporating more cross-training into my life (at least that's what I'm shooting for). The 50K race is in 4 weeks, so I'll have a few long runs coming up, and then we'll see how 31 miles goes.

Eating-wise, I'm dropping a little bit of weight through not eating holiday crap foods. Right after the 50K (which is on February 7th) Tim and I leave for Maui for six lovely just-the-two-of-us days. The thought of putting on a bikini in just over a month is enough to keep me (mostly) on the straight and narrow in terms of diet, let me tell you!

And finally, here's a link to a post on Serious Eats about reducing meat consumption. As my veg mentor Colleen Patrick-Goudreau says, "Don't do nothing just because you can't do everything. Do something. Anything!"

Make it a great day, friends!

Friday, January 02, 2009

A wonderful gift

The last few days my head has NOT been right. The dismal cloud that is depression is getting bigger and that makes normal life feel tough. So yesterday I went out running, intending to go 13 miles, because I wanted to get a good run in on the first day of the year, because 13 is my favorite number, and just because I can. Mood-wise I did not want to run at all, but as someone who keeps her commitments most of the time, I headed out.

During the two hours that I was gone, my husband and kids took down and put away all of the Christmas decorations. Every single bit of it! What an amazing gift, don't you think?

I'm going to take a few days off from writing to get my head straight. Catch up with y'all really soon!