Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baby steps

Staying active is easier on Facebook, as I can just write a sentence or two there. Not that there's anything preventing me from doing the same thing here. (Might need to give this some thought, as that could be my answer to staying updated here. Hmmmmm.)

On the fitness front, I've been doing The Dailey Method several times a week and am getting a lot stronger. But boy oh boy do plies and thigh work HURT!!! I mean like hurt, burn, pain, yikes! Even though I'm getting stronger, I did a DVD on Wednesday (only 30 minutes of it!) and I have been crazy sore ever since. If you want to check out a really good instructor, Google Paul Katami. Or click here to see which specific DVD I did. OUCH!!!

Leaving for Southern CA in the morning to visit my mother (boy do I love her!) and attend The Women's Conference. Michelle Obama is the featured speaker on Tuesday morning, and there are many well-respected women presenting at this three-day event.

(I feel like this is really disjointed...)

Today Tim and I did 10 minutes of the Paul Katami Ab Lab DVD. Tim's had trouble finding ab exercises that don't get his hip flexors overinvolved and in pain, and the first 10 minutes are all standing ab stuff. He liked it (woo hoo)! And then we ran a hilly 4 miles in the rain. We both wear iPods when we run and I'm sure there are people who see us and think "they are out and not even talking? what's wrong with them?" But it works for us. It's just nice to be together, and of course, if we want to talk, we can.

Hoping for a GIANTS win tonight! Happy Saturday!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Looking up

Things are looking up. Well, nothing's changed except for my outlook and perspective. All I can way is WHEW!

Planning for afternoon clients right now but will write again later if time permits.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Today's plan

  • Take recommended amount of anti-d (and consider switching meds as this one may not be working any more).
  • Run.
  • Dailey Method.
  • Help a friend (doing a specific thing, not just a random "help a friend" task).
  • Clean house (both literally and figuratively).
  • Trust God!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming...

...for a brief kick in the teeth. Back shortly!

Shoot, shoot, shoot! Saturday night there was an incident that took me back down and sucked the hope all gone. Well, the truth is that I let this happen, darn it, but circumstances can certainly make life feel difficult, can't they?

So that's what was up with the silence. Thanks for the marvelous comments. They made my heart happy!

Friday, October 01, 2010

I think I'm ready...

...for a change.

From depression to hope.
From hiding to (what's the opposite of hiding?).
From unfocused to focused.
From living small to living large.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Went to bed sad.
Woke up sad.
Wanted to just go back to bed, but...

Met girlfriends to run.
Went to Dailey Method class.
Feel about 1000% better.

Feelings are not forever.
Endorphins are earned.
There is much to be grateful for.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Having teens makes me sad

It's midnight and I can't sleep. The sadness I feel from distant teenage sons is to blame. Someday I'm sure I'll look back and laugh. Right now it just hurts. :(

Friday, September 17, 2010

Elusive sleep

Sleep can be elusive. You'd think with how tired I feel and how active I am, it would be easy. Maybe it's changing hormones, a mind that doesn't want to stop thinking, or just it is how it is, right?

Running has felt fun again! Yesterday I ran 5 in the morning, then 5 more in the afternoon. The afternoon run was hot (90 degrees, I think) and draining, but in a very good way.

Still stretching. My gymnast son provides input from time to time, as he knows a lot about flexibility. Two nights ago I was stretching, and he decided he would stretch too. So while I'm working on getting my leg straight as I bend over it, he's in oversplits! I told him I felt dispired, which is when you're discouraged AND inspired at the same time. :)

So anyway, the next night (last night) I was stretching again and I showed him where I am in right leg splits. He of teenage sarcasm and irritation, said with genuine surprise "That's really good, Mom!" I'm nowhere near all the way down, but I'm getting closer, and it's progress, not perfection, right?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Big scary goal

I have a goal. It doesn't matter to anyone but me. But it's my goal and I'm setting my sights on it. Are you ready for it? Here it is:

I will have all 3 splits (right, left, center) down by my 50th birthday in January.

Did I really just say that? Yikes! It seems impossible when I think about it, but I'm gonna try. I do stretch every night in front of the TV for about 15 - 20 minutes. Sometimes we're watching a SF Giants game (go Giants!). Sometimes it's Sports Center. Sometimes it's one of our shows (Mad Men, The Closer (season finale tonight!)).

I'm not even close on any of the directions. But I'm gonna give it a shot.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dance-based workouts

I've been doing Dailey Method since March. Well that's not entirely accurate. I first tried DM in March right before running Big Sur. And I liked it, but not enough to do it more than once or twice a month.

I didn't like that it was taught at someone's house. Houses are fine. But I can't stand feeling like I'm in the way. And the room that comfortably held 6 people was regularly populated by 7 or 8 people, so guess who felt like she shouldn't be there? You're right -- ME!

The other thing I didn't like was that I'm not very flexible. And the workouts incorporate flexibility, not just as part of the cooldown, but throughout the class. And being with all the bendy young girls made me feel like the only man in class and that did not feel great.

In July DM opened at its real place of business. But I didn't start going regularly until last week. For the next month I'm taking 3 to 4 classes a week. Combined with consistent running and consistent healthy eating, this is my plan to shed the extra pounds I'm carrying.

So as a student of fitness I'm noticing that there are lots of DM-ish workout places opening up. All seem to be based on the Lotte Berke Method, which I first heard about maybe 25 years ago and could not WAIT to try it. (If dancers love it, count me in!) So this week I've checked out the websites for Fludity, Barre3 and Physique 57 and they all seem very similar to DM. All are based on Lotte Berke with some variations.

So that's all I've got to say about that. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Great weekend!

We had so much fun in Southern CA. If we're friends on Facebook you've already seen some of the pictures and video. I'll try to post them here too, but am writing without them hoping to keep some of the writing momentum going. So do I think it's best to post photos and video and other fun stuff? Absolutely! But I'm not gonna let it stop me.

So highlights of the weekend:

Giants vs. Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium -- fantastic park, and although we got a LOT of flak for wearing our Giants garb, we ended the evening with some new friends, even though we have to agree to disagree as to which team is the better team.

Touring a house in Beverly Hills -- a 1930s mansion was open for viewing. They wanted a mere $5.9 million for it (!). It was fascinating and strange and lovely.

Lunch in Hollywood -- wonderful French restaurant on Sunset Blvd. I've never seen so many expensive rare cars in my life!

Playing on Venice Beach -- rings, ropes, bars -- all over the sand. Who could ask for anything more?!?!

UCLA -- what a beautiful campus.

Marina del Rey -- this is where we stayed. Beautiful city. So great to experience the coastal mornings after too many 100+ degree days here at home.

That's it for now. Starting a month of Dailey Method as of today. Starting good eating as of today, as I've moved from fluffy to fleshy and right into downright flabby, which feels very very icky. So it's time to take action, right? Right!

Friday, September 03, 2010

So much better

It's amazing how therapeutic movement can be! Ran 4 with my friends, then did another 3 listening to Cardio Coach. Btw, I LOVE Cardio Coach but I don't use it as often as I should. If you haven't tried it, change that!

Anyway, I'm ready for my clients. Spent a little time stretching and doing some TRX moves (their muscle-up prep exercise works EVERYTHING!). And now I feel happy about trip to So Cal. Moral of this story? Feelings change, and movement works!

My get up and go...

...must've got up and went.

Feeling sad and wanting to go back to bed, despite not getting up until 6:30. (Past two days I've gotten up at 4:30 and 4:00 cuz my head started thinking and I could not go back to sleep.) We fly to So Cal today and (sad but true) I'm not looking forward to a weekend away. It just feels exhausting. (Well, anything that's NOT sleeping feels exhausting right now.)

So what will I do? Yes, we're right back to "put one foot in front of the other." Meeting friends at 8:00 to run. Do I want to run? No. Will I? Yes. Training clients this afternoon. Then heading to the airport. And I'm trusting that feelings change, cuz they always do.

So with that, have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Different kind of run

Went out to do 4 miles. Listened to a Motion Traxx (free on iTunes) podcast from 6/24/10, Run/Walk intervals with Jeff Galloway. Music was a little strange, but I'm sure I got a much better workout with the 1 min run intervals than I would have with a steady state run on my own.

Fun fact: I have a 4 mile loop where I run to Lake Tahoe (the Court, not the actual lake) and back. This makes me smile every time I do it.

Another smiley thing: I've been stretching nearly every day for the past couple of months. Nothing regimented, but usually about 10 to 15 minutes in front of the TV at night. Well today at Dailey Method, I was able to do the barre stretch with my hands on the bar! (Until today I've needed to use a strap.)

Not quite as fun: I've been eating a lot to counteract stress and I'm feeling really fleshy right now. So did everything jiggle as I ran my intervals? Yes it did. But do I care? Heck no, cuz I know why I'm out there. :)

smile, breathe & go slowly

READ THIS! Leo Babauta is a genius!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Checking in

Well, it's a mixed bag today.
  • I've decided I really need to focus on what's positive. So "no bad news" is what I'm keeping in mind.
  • Having said that, can I just scream a string of curse words? Once again my mom isn't bathed, and once again, I'm trying to shore up the badly sinking ship that is their finances, and once again I come across 10s of thousands of dollars of "assistance" to a family member. It's really hard to keep caring sometimes!!!
  • Had dinner/snack with my older son at 3:45 today. He's talking to me again. So relieved!
  • The sun is shining.
  • Did yoga with my boyfriend this morning.
  • Feeling really ready to ditch the "no carb left behind" diet. But tonight is bday night at my 12-step group. Can someone say "corner piece with frosting?" Yeah baby!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another happy day

This makes two days in a row. Ran 4. Groceries. Making turkey chili. Weather is cool and breezy. Life feels (and IS) good.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy day

  • Temps are in the 80s!
  • Walk/ran for 45 minutes, doing Thunder Hill 3 times (running the whole time, both up and down).
  • Danced for 15 minutes.
  • Training clients.
  • Only taking on what is mine to take. (May not make sense on paper, but trust me, it's a good thing.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


On Monday I could barely get out of bed. The too-muchness of life was just too much. Here are the circumstances that contributed to my demise:

1. Parents. Without going into detail, things are tough and getting tougher, both for my parents and for those who love them. Getting stuff done feels a bit like steering the Titanic -- it takes tons of effort to make even the slightest change.
2. Teenagers. In emotional bank account terms, teens make tons of withdrawals and very few deposits.
3. Husband. Tim got LASIK (mono vision) on Friday and results were below his expectations by a lot. Plus he had a reaction to the preservatives in the drops. So my normally on-an-even-keel-as-long-as-he-gets-enough-golf-and-a-few-other-things man was scared, irritable, and exhausted.
4. Family. A marriage is ending in our beloved extended family and I feel heartbroken for everyone involved.
5. Me. In the name of "being gentle" I ate all the chocolate raisins. And Twizzlers. And giant spoonfuls of frosting.

If I could do a Venn diagram of these elements, the intersection would be insanity and depression.

So what's changed? A few things:

1. Serotonin. I've been off and on zoloft for nearly 10 years, more on than off, and on Monday I increased my dosage (my doctor has given me permission to do this). Do I want to be the poster child for the anti-d companies? Heck no. But for me at this time, it's the right thing to do.

2. Thoughts. More positive thoughts. These started coming after the serotonin boost, so maybe this is 1b, and zoloft is 1a. Don't care though. I could tell that my "I can do some things" muscle was getting stronger. And my awareness of God (real God, not church God) increased.

3. Connection. Rather than holding people at arms-length, I started seeking them out. Even though I still felt bad. Even though "how are you?" felt like a threatening question. And guess what? Talking with friends helped.

4. Action. My parents situation feels truly overwhelming, but if I just take it one step at a time, and remember that I'm not alone (thank goodness for my brother, who visits them every other day and takes my dad to the store), it's not quite as bad. This week's action has included getting some bills onto auto-pay, deciding on an accountant to do the taxes, and closing some bank accounts. Is this everything? Not even close. But it's SOMETHING!

5. Movement. Literally moving my ass has helped. Did a Dailey Method class with a friend on Tuesday even though I didn't want to. Ran with friends yesterday because I'd said I would be there. And this morning I did pullups, pushups, kettlebell swings, and DANCED to Earth Wind & Fire, who I saw in concert last night.

6. Nourishment. I'm still indulging (and yeah my weight is up some) but I'm adding in healthy options. So this afternoon I had a green smoothie AND some vanilla wafers instead of, oh say vanilla wafers and frosting. :) If history repeats itself, more movement and more nourishment will work, given some time.

The 107 degree heat has broken today, and life in general feels so much better!

Friday, August 20, 2010

As we head into the weekend

Question: Anyone have ideas for what to do for my son's 17th birthday? He says he's good with us taking him and 2 friends out for sushi, but I want to do something more. And for my "I fly under the radar" kid, decorating his car it definitely OUT!

Ran 5 miles
Put some of my parent's bills on auto bank draft
Got a pedicure
Hair appt

Run 5 miles
Train clients :)
Take Tucker to airport (flying to LA to spend the weekend with my baby sis!)
Take care of Tim after LASIK surgery

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Diet (?) and exercise

Yesterday I ate whatever the heck I wanted to. But I did exercise for 30 minutes. Here's what I did:

5 rounds of
5 pullups (TRX, using toes as support)
10 incline pushups
15 fast air squats
20 ball crunches

In between rounds I stretched. Then I set my iPod to repeat "Take Me To The Next Phase" by the Isley Brothers, and I danced. Practiced spotting. Played with movement. And ended with an all-out effort dance that looked ridiculous (trust me) but felt amazing in an "I'm so happy, but now that I can't breathe I need to take a little break" sort of way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Money transferred.
Bills paid.
Showers for both.
Laundry done.

It was a good day at my parent's house.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just a little CSI trick

If you get some Vick's Vapor Rub and apply it repeatedly to your nostrils, you can barely smell anything. Learned this from CSI and other investigative crime dramas, and I'm sure glad to know it.


Sunday: 9 mile hike
Monday: Dailey Method
Today: help parents, no workout

Feels a little like groundhog day. Almost 2 years ago I was shredding mail, trying to get bills up to date, and figuring out how to get my mom bathed. Today? Same exact stuff! The good news is that I am here to help. The bad news is that I find it super frustrating at times. Good thing we're not judged on our thoughts, right?

Oh, and I should mention that right now, healthy eating is kind of a thing of the past. As I saw in an Eat, Pray, Love promo, I'm on a no-carb-left-behind sort of diet. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Today's workout

Dailey Method class
4 mile run

Dance class do's

Here are some things you can do to retain my business.

Start on time.
Introduce yourself.
Even if you're tired, keep it to yourself.
Have a movement/dance oriented warmup (not 5 minutes of running).
Notice when students are lost.
Prepare so it doesn't seem like you're surprised that you have to teach some stuff.

I'm trying again on Monday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Today's workout

P90X Upper +

Took a jazz class on Monday. Didn't like it, but I'll be going back. Details will follow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fully back!

Written 7/19
Today is the first full day I'm feeling back to normal and I'm so grateful! It's tough trying to do life on minimal energy and feel good, and makes me appreciate anyone who struggles with a chronic condition, yet manages somehow to smile.

Last night we had a house full of American and French teens, and it was a LOT of fun!

Written today
Life is flying by with two of my own kids, one French kid, and less than a month of summertime left. I've been limiting my computer time, which means there's more reading and cooking and connecting going on. But that makes it tough to blog consistently, you know? :)

If you've stopped by to visit, thank you! I plan to write consistently once our French student leaves on August 2nd. Until then, (insert French words for "be good!"). :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Re-entering the land of the living?

Since Wednesday I've had no energy and felt nauseated almost 100% of the time. Last night we saw Ziggy Marley in concert, and thankfully I felt good for the whole concert. But then I slept almost 12 hours last night (WHAT? I NEVER sleep that long!) and I think after a nap today (I'm not kidding -- there's a nap in my future!) I may be back to normal.

Obviously when all you do is lay around, sit around, and sleep, there's not much to write about. :/

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today's stuff

Take dad grocery shopping.
Sprint workout.
Train client.
Ready house for Ben.
Fix dinner (one that can "hold" until he gets here).
Go get Ben.

Happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


  • Loving eating higher fat/lower carb. Waist down by 2 inches (!). Whole body is tighter.
  • Our French foreign exchange student arrives tomorrow night. Looking forward to meeting Ben and having him here for 3 weeks. We've planned going to see Ziggy Marley in concert, rooting the Giants on when they take on the Dodgers, and heading up to Tahoe. The organization he's coming over with has organized field trips (to SF for example, which is a must for this area) and we can go on those too!
  • Did Dailey Method today and Saturday. All's I got to say is OUCH!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Still here. Quick observations:
  • Both kids were gone for 4 days and it was so great being kid-free. A little too great. When they got back yesterday it was quite stressful and Tim and I had some tense icky discussions (not quite fights, but certainly not easy breezy harmony!).
  • Still playing with this new way of eating and I'm officially in the low 130s as of today. This is a weight zone I haven't visited in a VERY long time! Eating between 1800 and 2000 calories per day most days, so not hungry much. Running less than ever, but still losing weight? I'll take it! I'd highly encourage checking this style of eating out. Let me know if you want recommendations of podcasts or books that can help.
  • Tim and I have discovered Entourage on HBO and are enjoying it immensely!
Heading out for a 4 or 5 mile run before triple digit heat hits. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Primal eating... working. Easy? Not exactly. But working? Yep. Weight is down by 2-1/2 pounds. Waist is smaller. And I'm feeling good.

Much of my computer time is spent learning more about low carb/high fat eating. As per Livestrong, yesterday 50% of my calories came from fat. That's crazy! I've never been a low-fat eating girl -- NEVER -- and for that I'm thankful. But it seems there's lots of evidence about high-fat diets helping with depression (!) and hormone balancing (!) and body composition (!).

So back to what I'm eating. I eat kinda strange stuff -- I'm the first to admit it. For example, I'm using Udo's Oil 3-6-9 blend as part of my diet. When I have it, though, I just have a tablespoon of it. By itself. Yeah, I'm weird like that. So anyway, here's what I ate yesterday:

Udo's oil
Beverly Int'l protein powder (low carb, tastes like cake batter!)

green smoothie (fruit, spinach, chard, lemon)
string cheese
tortilla chips

grilled chicken
1/2 avocado

Starbuck's light bottled frappuccino
string cheese
Udo's oil

mahi mahi with butter and lemon and garlic
green beans with bacon and onion
Caesar salad
dark chocolate

protein powder

Livestrong says I ate 1910 calories and the proportions were

49% fat
28% carbs

I also ran almost 5 miles.

Ok, time to go do P90X (workout of Tim's choice -- hope he doesn't choose Chest & Back -- he never chooses a lower-body workout, so I'm safe there!).

Needing to slow down

How is it that my kids are out of town, I don't work, and yet I never feel like I have enough time? I think I need to slow down. Way down.

Limiting time on the computer helps, especially now that I'm not trolling Facebook or playing games there. Where I get in trouble, though, is my incessant need for knowledge. It's one of those good/bad things. The good is that I'm curious. The bad is that I can be on the computer just trolling for information for ... well, this morning for an hour. Just looking at stuff that's interesting. I may need to see about a computer time limit -- just a thought.

So yeah, I'm kid-free still Saturday. Austin's at gymnastics camp. Tucker's with my sister and her fam in Santa Cruz. We're not doing anything exciting, but sure enjoying being the two of us. Last night we cooked dinner together, then went to a meeting, then did computer stuff at home, and while we were watching an episode of "United States of Tara" the power went out. And stayed out. So we went for a walk around 11:00. Really cool!

Today's schedule is as follows:

P90X with boyfriend :)
Hair appt in Auburn
Free afternoon
Dinner at The Chef's Table

Possibilities for free afternoon include:
shopping/browsing (Sur la Table, Lucy, Barnes & Noble)
gardening (need to pull out the veggies that aren't working)
watching SYTYCD (!)
reading (Hunger Games, Eat Fat Lose Fat)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Hunger Games

Started The Hunger Games last night. I think I'm gonna like it! What are YOU reading?

Great post from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

Buddhism Has 8 Auspicious Symbols. I Chose My Own Set of Symbols. What Are Yours?

Every Wednesday is Tip Day – or List Day.
This Wednesday: The 8 auspicious symbols of Buddhism -- and my own list, too.

I get a tremendous kick out of the numbered lists that pop up throughout Buddhism: the Triple Refuge, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths. In fact, it was Buddhism that inspired me to write my Four Splendid Truths (after I formulated the First Splendid Truth, I just had to assume that I’d end up with more than one).

However, it’s surprising to me that Buddhism, with its emphasis on gateless gates and transcending the bounds of rational thinking, has so many of these numbered lists. I love them, but still, it seems incongruous. There’s a koan to be written about it, that’s for sure. Let's about, “Use numbers to throw away enumeration.”

One of my favorite lists from Buddhism is the list of the eight auspicious symbols:
1. Parasol
2. Golden fish
3. Treasure vase
4. Lotus
5. Conch shell
6. Endless knot
7. Victory banner
8. Wheel of Dharma

I was inspired to come up with my eight - wait, make that nine -- auspicious symbols for my happiness project:
1. Bluebird, to symbolize happiness
2. Ruby slippers, to remind me that what I need for happiness is with me, right here and right now
3. Dictionary, to stand for reading, writing, and invention
4. Blood…between my husband’s Hepatitis C, my sister’s diabetes, and St. Therese, blood has assumed great power in my life
5. Gold star, to symbolize virtue and right action
6. Dice, to reminder me of the influence of chance and fortune
7. Holstein cow, a symbol representing my family. Long story.
8. Peacock feather, a reminder of symbols beyond words
9. Cherries. Cherries are cheery.

What would your auspicious symbols be? Please post them! I'm so curious to hear what other people would choose.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I guess today is not my day for lots of writing. Oh well...

One thing. I finished the book Little Bee. It was not a light-hearted book, but worth reading, in case anyone is looking for something to consider.


This afternoon I'm home with a houseful of teenagers which is a very good thing (they're great kids) and it means I'll have time to write, I think. So here are some thoughts (somewhat scattered cuz that's just kind of where I'm at today):
  • Loving Livestrong's Daily Plate, but really understand what Colette said about getting obsessive with tracking. One of the reasons I was on dailymile for so long was that it's perfect for tracking running progress. But right now I'm interested in more than running. I'm reading a lot of stuff about eating primally (more meat, more fat, fewer carbs and sugars) and so tracking food (esp carbs and sugars -- nothing crazy, but just seeing how I do around 150g of carbs per day) making a lot of sense.
  • Speaking of primal, Tim and I are going to PrimalCon next year. It's a weekend conference in Southern CA and it looks like so much fun!
  • We are also going to see AEROSMITH on July 23. It's been a life-long dream to see them in concert, and I can't believe it's finally going to happen!!!
  • I'm spending a lot less time on the computer and I think that's a very good thing. One of these days I'll write about why I got so caught up in Facebook and especially the games. But for today I'm just very happy to be free from the addictive nature of the computer. (But I get the irony of expressing this ON A COMPUTER!)
More later...

Monday, July 05, 2010


Thanks for all the helpful input about tracking stuff. I've decided to go back to Livestrong for food and fitness tracking. Colette made a good point about whether stuff needs to be tracked at all, and I think I do best when I keep track of what I do. So if you want to visit me on Livestrong, I'm lpglives.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

So you think you can dance

If you're not watching this show, you MUST start watching immediately! Here's this week's best routine. Keep in mind that the Asian guy is a ballet dancer and you'll be even more amazed by how he moves. Enjoy!!!

Friday, July 02, 2010


(This idea is blatantly copied from Katie who is brilliant in every way!)

Katie made a list of things she wants more or less of, and assigned point values to each item. Here are some examples from her list:
  • For every morning workout I complete, I earn 5 points.
  • For every dinner at the dinner table, I earn 5 points.
  • For every egg breakfast, I earn 3 points.
So she's assigned points to various activities, and then thought of rewards for certain point levels. I am a geeky girl who is highly motivated by rewards such as stickers and stars, and this might be a great way to improve my overall health habits.

So here's what comes to mind as activities that earn points:

DVD workout (I'm just trying Brazil Butt Lift from Beachbody)
Green smoothie
No sugar after dinner (this would be so huge for me)

I don't know how many points or what they'd earn, but I'm loving playing around with the idea. Katie, I will be closely following your progress in the month of July. Best of luck!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tracking exercise

For almost 3 years I've tracked mileage on dailymile, and awesome fitness website, primarily focused on running and cycling. But for the last month or so, I no longer want to log my miles. Part of it is that I'm so enjoying doing other stuff. For example, this week so far I've run 10 miles, done 2 Tracy Long DVDs and done 1 yoga workout. And the DVDs and yoga don't really translate well to dailymile.

But the other reason is that I tried to help some members on the site with a project, and it kind of went sideways. What they needed was taking place while I was on vacation, and I couldn't say yes to what I was asked to contribute to the project. Well, I could have said yes, but it would have felt like selling myself out. I (in a chicken sort of way) sent an email apologizing but saying I couldn't say yes to the request, and I've heard nothing back. So now the site feels kinda scary to me, which is silly, but true.

So does anyone use another fitness tracking site they'd like to recommend? I'd love to know.

CLARIFICATION: No strange interactions occurred on the website. These are people who own a local training business and we met and talked on the phone.

APPRECIATION: Thank you for the suggestions, everyone!

DECISION: I'm going to give DailyBurn a try. If you happen to track fitness there, I'm "ellelives".

Still here

Yes, we're home, but I'm having trouble getting caught up. It's so easy to get on Hawaii time, and so tough to go from West to East. Then add in some dental issues (that I'm hoping are fixed), some sleep issues, and some hormone issues, and life can feel a little unbalanced.

Having said all that, life is good and there is much to be grateful for. For today I'm grateful for dentists who can give you lots and lots of shots before they try to fix problem areas and for summertime weather that's not but not too hot. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vacation workouts

Some people don't like to exercise on vacation, but I feel best when I can move. Since we're been here I've exercised every day (except for our travel day). Yesterday I walk/ran 7 miles. The other days I've done a primal workout on the beach and had a blast doing it. Today we went to Wailua Beach (we call it big wave beach) and I swam and swam, then as a family we did sand rolling, where you just lay down in the shallows and let the ocean take you where it will. It's harder than it sounds, that's for sure!

Just taking a moment to vent

We are having a great vacation. Lots of swimming in the ocean. Lots of great family time. Delicious food in abundance. And I've been wearing a bikini every day, just six months away from my 50th birthday. So what's there to vent about?

Honolua Surf Company. That's what. They make clothes for men and for little girls. They SAY they're for women, but they are lying. Seriously -- a normal-size man can find things to wear in their stores. But a normal-sized woman? Good eff-ing luck. I pulled a rash guard shirt off the rack. It was cute. It looked like my size. The real size? 2XL!!! The women's small looked like a doll shirt.

I really try not to be defined by my weight or my size. And empirically at 5'5" tall and 137 pounds, I'm not that big. But holy heifer, I felt like a giant cow walking around in this store. And why was I there? Because my husband and kids LOVE store. They also LOVE Quicksilver, by the way, and Quicksilver's sister company, Roxy, has the same sizing as Honolua.

On a much more positive note, Tim had a wonderful Father's Day. We made sure he knew he was loved at every turn.

Ok, enough of the griping. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vacation bound

We're heading out for a family vacation tomorrow, and I can't wait! Kauai is our destination and I'm so ready to do some ocean swimming, one of my all-time favorite things to do!

Life's been a little overwhelming ... well, maybe just super busy is a better description ... in the past few days. But now that Tucker has been to the doctor (diagnosis = strep throat, antibiotics are working!), my dental work is complete (90 minutes of work, but I should be able to eat without pain again!), the shopping has been completed (we own all the sunscreen there is!), and with only the meeting with the foreign exchange program (we're hosting a student from France in July) lady tonight, life is feeling slightly easier. Now that I write it down, that doesn't sound like all that much, does it?

So let's talk about diet for a minute. I'm kinda doing Belly-Fat Cure AND Primal Blueprint. Yes, I'm eating meat again. And yes, it's strange after 5 years of being veg/vegan. To the best of my ability I'm reducing refined carbs (although last night when I couldn't sleep because of mouth pain, and powered through an entire "sleeve" of Golden Oreos), emphasizing protein and fruits and veggies, and just trying to be sane about it all. Do I plan to enjoy myself on vacation? Heck yeah!

Regarding exercise, I'm finding that eating fewer carbs means less energy when doing crazy stuff. Like I can totally do my park play workouts. But the half marathon? SLOOOOOW compared to my usual pace. So I may be changing up my exercise routine, doing fewer long distance runs, and more intense shorter races. While in Hawaii, you can be sure that there will be running on the beach, lunge walks, pushups, kinda whatever feels good in the moment.

Well, if I'm gonna exercise today, it's got to happen now. I'm checking out another Tracy Long DVD (can't remember the title at the moment) and I'll let you know how it is.

Sending hugs & love...

Friday, June 11, 2010


It's Friday! We're heading to San Francisco for some fun stuff, namely going to the Giants game tonight, and then running in The Giant Race in the morning. Tim and Tucker are running the 5K and I'm doing the half marathon. I hope the medal is a good one!

So I'm still kinda doing The Belly Fat Cure, but not exactly. I spent a little too much money on Belly Fat approved products (all things I'll use up, but none were necessary). But doing BFC has gotten me to start eating meat again. And with the willingness to eat meat, I can now consider the plan that makes the most sense to me: The Primal Blueprint. There is so much to love about this plan, both the eating and the exercise thoughts.

(do you ever feel like you can't quite get the words to flow? that's what I'm feeling right now. I should probably stop writing, but I press on...)

So the current eating plan is based on moderation in all things, with an emphasis on keeping grain carbohydrates to a minimum. I've lost a few pounds this week (hooray!) but even better is that my body looks and feels tighter and lighter. So I'm spending some time over at Mark's Daily Apple learning about what he has to say about being healthy, the Primal way.

On the fitness side of things, I've been exploring some old DVDs -- ones that I own but have never tried. I did a Tracie Long Training lower body DVD the other day and LOVED some of the moves. Watched and played along to a Synergy Fitness Core Salvation DVD. It's always great to watch exercise videos, as I learn more that I can use myself and share with my clients, a win/win to be sure.

Yesterday's workouts were my favorites though! In the morning I hiked the Auburn trails with a friend. In the afternoon I put on my Vibram Five Fingers and took my rope and a couple of kettlebells to the park. Then I spent 30 minutes doing this:
  • push ups
  • one arm rows
  • burpees
  • skipping
  • kettlebell swings
  • kettlebell clean and press
  • kettlebell snatches
  • lunge walking
  • crawling
  • side shuffles
  • sprints
  • rope drags
  • rope waves
Having the VFFs on meant I could feel the grass under my feet and that made me feel very playful. And the whole time felt like play. Was it easy? No. But was it fun? Absolutely! Note that skipping and crawling are WAY tougher than one might think. :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Belly Fat Cure

I have a client who is losing weight -- stubborn weight that wouldn't budge -- using The Belly Fat Cure. So I bought the book. And Tim, who is wanting to drop a few pounds before vacation, asked me if I'd like to try doing it with him.

First I said I'd think about it, with the intention of saying no. When I really did some thinking, I realized my hesitation was mostly about not wanting to fail, as doing most anything with Mr. Willpower can be discouraging. But then I thought about how I've wanted to get my eating on track for some time now, and this could be the time to do it. And I also realized that I'm the one who makes it a zero sum game and that is simply not necessary.

The diet is fairly low carb, but not in a crazy Atkins-like way. And as carbs, especially in the form of candy and cookies, are my downfall, it seems ideal to kind of reset my appetite. The diet relies heavily on protein and fat as fueling options and that's fine. And hey, if it doesn't work, I can go back to my Twizzlers and Toll-House cookies, right? :)

We started on Sunday, and so far, so good. There are some foods that I normally eat that are considered "good" foods -- raw almonds, organic tortilla chips (in moderation), my Beverly International protein powder that tastes like cake batter (!). I've made two recipes from the book (Garden Fresh Greek Salad and Chipotle Chicken Tacos) that were huge hits with my whole family.

Am I hungry? Sometimes, but not all the time. And I'm learning to rethink hunger. Feeling hungry is not an emergency. It's how you're supposed to feel before you eat. (I read "Think of food as fuel, not stuffing." a while back and this seems to apply.) Am I losing water weight? Of course, as carbs help your body to hang on to water. Am I feeling slimmer? Yes! Is this sustainable? Only with modifications. But can I try it until we leave on vacation? Absolutely!

(I just finished my very satisfying breakfast of cottage cheese, Barleans Omega Swirl, and sliced almonds.)

Friday, June 04, 2010

What's for dinner?

Once again, I'm creating accountability for family dinners on my other blog, Saving Dinnertime. If you're so inclined, check it out.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

From Robin Hood, the movie

Rise and rise again. This is today's mantra.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The world was a better place...

...because Shadow was in it.

I called the vet and made an appointment for Shadow at 11:00. Told the kids. Tucker said his goodbyes and went to meet his friends. Austin didn't have to leave for work yet.

As it got closer to 11, Austin was still laying with Shadow, stroking her fur. I asked if I could take a few pictures, and he nodded.

He helped me get her into the car and I drove off. I cried on the way. Did the paperwork. Carried my dog into the room. Held her on my lap. Then Austin came in. His eyes were red. Together we stroked and scratched and loved on our dog. And we cried. Right before he left I told him he chose the harder, better road, and he will always feel a sense of peace that he could be there with her at the end. I feel that feeling of having done the right thing. But I miss my dog.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Look like Shadow (13 yo dog) is going to die in the next few days. Her back legs have virtually stopped working and she's not eating.
Reagan (6 yo dog) was diagnosed with liver cancer this week.
My kids still have their "stuff" being teenagers.
My hamstring won't let me run.
No wonder "Calgon, take me away!" is what I hear over and over in my head.

The good news is that the sun is shining and life DOES go on.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Dinner at Fins in Roseville last night. I'm eating whatever I want these days, which usually means mostly vegetarian with a bite or two of fish occasionally. Tim had halibut (yummy!) and I ordered all the sides, so my dinner was two bites of halibut, coleslaw, garlic mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables -- delicious and CHEAP to order just the sides!

Something strange is going on behind my left knee. Tendons or ligaments are all tight and sore. Tried to run today -- intended to do 9 or 10 -- but ended up walk/running (mostly walking) 6 miles. Don't like body weirdness. :(

Kids have plans today (Austin's working, Tucker's going to see Wicked in SF with Tim's parents) and after Tim gets back from golfing we're taking a nap (not much sleep last night) and then heading to Auburn to hike the canyon -- FUN!!! I'm happy that springtime is finally here, at least for today!

I'm back at it on Lumosity, a brain training website. At almost 50, I can tell that my thinking just isn't as sharp as it used to be, and studies have proven that "use it or lose it" applies not only to the body but to the mind as well. So I'm playing "word bubbles" and "raindrops" and having a lot of fun with it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Leg art

Courtney asked about my leg art. Back in the old days (2 years ago before my parents and teens started getting the best of me -- but that's another topic) I started drawing on myself before long-ish runs. My drawings were always the same -- a very simple swirling line/vine from my hip to my ankle with flowers scattered along the way.

What inspired me? The tattoo I'd love to get. What I'd love is colorful vines and flowers starting at my hip and ending at my ankle, running all down the side of my leg. Wouldn't that be GREAT as a runner?!?! So why don't I get it? Mainly because I'm not really a tattoo person. Well, in my heart I am, but on the outside I'm a somewhat conservative pushing-50 wife and mom. So I admire the heck out of other people's tattoos, but I just don't think it's for me.

So I draw on myself. I use a permanent Sharpie marker, which is probably filled with toxic chemicals, but oh well. I find that this works best if I don't use lotion before drawing. And it doesn't last much beyond the post-run shower, because the sweat from the long run seems to push the ink off.

Thanks for the writing inspiration, Courtney!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Irene -- the run was Folsom's Run with Nature. It was a lot of fun, and I found out I finished 13th in my age group (out of 75). Feeling pretty good about that! Official time was 54:55.

Diana -- I bought "Vehicle" and I love it! I've heard that song before, but had no idea that they were saying the word "vehicle"! Can't wait to get out and run to it.

Matt -- Great insights, and I do hope I can post a faster time next time (but just because I want to be faster!).

Katie -- THANKS! Today both of my sons are making me feel incredibly sad and like, "can't we just get through 10 minute at the dinner table without intense anger???" Nothing stays the same forever, though, right?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Today's race was run to "I Can't Quit Her" and "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat, and Tears. I was reminded of this band the other day when Tucker and I were lying on the floor of his room, looking at his Woodstock poster. I haven't listened to them since I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, but I sure remembered the words, and boy oh boy do I love the horns in their songs!

So yeah, I ran a 10K today. I didn't go all out, as I have a sore hamstring. But I finished and think the clock time was 54 minutes and I'm really happy with that.

Funny thing: (already posted on dailymile, but in case you're not logging miles there...) there ws a girl with wild Hawaiian print shorts who was ahead of me the entire race. Any time I got into her peripheral vision, she'd speed up. After the 6 mile mark I started going faster. As I came even with her, she shouted "Oh no you don't!" and sped up. I called "You're welcome!" after her. Then she must have slowed slightly because we crossed the finish line with her maybe half a step ahead of me. I was not racing her, but she was definitely racing me!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Thank you to everyone who took any time at all to read what I wrote and especially to those who wrote comments. You warmed my heart, so again, merci!

I'm running a 10K in the morning. When I signed up I was thinking it would be a race with a goal time (maybe 51 - 52 minutes?) in mind, but alas, that is not to be. On Thursday I strained my left hamstring. Happened at mile 4 of 6, and I could feel it as I reached my leg out while semi-sprinting to "I Can't Quit Her" by Blood, Sweat, and Tears. When I got home I iced. Today I didn't run at all. And tomorrow I'm just going to cover the distance, enjoying the sunshine and the race environment.

So now it's almost 11:00 and I really want to go to bed, but my garage is filled with teenagers playing ping pong. They are really good kids and I think I could go to bed and all would be fine. But maybe I'll fold laundry for a half hour or so more, then see where things are. I definitely see a nap in my future. (Wow, I haven't even gone to bed and I'm already planning for a nap? That definitely makes me old!)

Enjoy the weekend!

Thought for a beautiful Friday

"Enjoying the Small Things" is an amazing blog written by a 30-something mom, writer and photographer. Today I found this on her "about this blog" page. If we could really TRULY internalize this, think how limitless our lives would be!

Life is hard. But it's also amazing, and I will rock the hell out of it.

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.
-Dawna Markova

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Toe in the water

Yes, when life gets overwhelming I stop blogging. But I love to write, and it's it MOST important to do stuff you love when life is tough?

So will I blog regularly? I honestly don't know. But am I writing now? Yep. So what's going on now?

Well, I'm still running and doing yoga and staying active. Ran the Big Sur Marathon in April with a 4:29 time. It was a wonderful experience. Six days later I ran a half marathon here in town. Whew! And now I'm enjoying the freedom and playfulness that comes with no big race on my schedule. Although I am running a 10K this weekend, but that's about doing something fun, not about a target finishing time or anything.

Tim's in Florida on a golf trip and having a blast. :) I get to drive his fun car.

My kids are teenagers with their own lives. It's tough to see people you love trying to navigate life when life gets tough for them. The only thing that makes sense to me is to love them. Actually the only thing that makes sense in life is love, when you come right down to it.

Well, I'm about to wake up my not-very-happy son (I know this from his demeanor last night and from his Facebook post where he said he wanted to curl up in a little ball) then yoga DVD, then on to my parents house to take dad to the grocery store. One foot in front of the other, right?

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Zen Commandments

I'm reading a wonderful book, "The Zen Commandments." It's subtitled "ten suggestions for a life of inner freedom" and it's well worth reading (and it's an easy read). Here's something I read today regarding relationships:
Our personal relationships can also be simpler than we usually make them. Whether in a romance or a marriage or a family, the principles are the same: you take care of one another, you be as kind as you can, you do your share of finding new sources of fun, you quietly pass up opportunities to score points or be a wise guy, you give the benefit of the doubt, and you try to make things less insane rather than more.
Have a wonderful Monday!

Monday, March 01, 2010


I find it difficult to log yoga consistently. But I'm going to start.

Kristin Coach assignment for this week is to establish daily habits or rituals. I haven't had these since my kids were born. Seriously. No wonder it's tough to consider.

Yesterday I had no meals. None. This has got to stop.

Time for yoga (Power Yoga for Happiness), then running. Happy Monday and happy first day of a brand new month!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Running and Yoga

I wish I'd found yoga YEARS ago! Well, that's not exactly right. I knew of yoga years ago, tried it, and rejected it. While in my 20s and 30s (and early 40s) if it didn't burn lots of calories, I wasn't doing it!

Now at the end of my 40s, yoga makes SO much sense! The quietness of the mind. The opening of the oh-so-tight body. The perfect balance it creates when combined with running. If I could turn back time, I'd have started yoga in my 20s for sure. However, I'm just happy to have started it now.

The main DVD I'm using is Power Yoga for Happiness, by Eoin Finn. His routines are nice, his voice is encouraging, and his "all levels, all good" philosophy makes me feel great. I own several (actually quite a few) other yoga DVDs and I'm sure I'll be adding those into my rotation, but for now, classes at Sattva and Eoin Finn are working just great.

So am I any good at yoga? Well, yes, in the sense that I'm aware of my body and willing to play my edge. But am I naturally flexible? No. Never have been. When Tim does yoga with me, in quite a few poses he's way more flexible than I am. When I notice this, I think "all levels, all good" and try to keep my competitive spirit quiet, because yoga is so NOT about competition! Having said this, I notice that poses that used to be difficult are getting easier, both because of increased strength and flexibility, relative to what I used to be able to do. And someday I'm gonna be able to do WHEEL!

So anyone want to chime in? Does anyone else do yoga? What kind? What do you like?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Saying goodbye

Hi. My name is Leslie and I'm a book addict.

I would post a picture of my car's backseat and trunk, but I'm too embarrassed. The last 3 hours have been spent going through the piles and piles of books I've accumulated over the years. Each and every book was bought with the intention of reading it/cooking from it/becoming a better person from it. And while many of them have provided value, at some point enough is enough.

So I'm sad because it's hard to let go of these reminders of who I used to be. Oodles of parenting books. An entire bookstore section on becoming organized. And cookbooks galore. I'm still parenting, attempting to stay organized, and cooking, so I haven't ditched every last book. I can assure you, however, if you came and saw my books, you would not have any idea that I'd just gotten rid of any at all.

So goodbye old books. I hope you find a nice home where you can run free and chase butterflies (or whatever books do when they go to a new home!). :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Logging food

My diet is reasonably healthy, but there is room for improvement. (That's probably true for nearly everyone.) Every diet plan out there says you should write down what you eat, and I know they are right. Studies show that people who log what they eat lose weight and eat healthier. But I really resist strictly logging my food, even on sites that make it easy to do. The whole calorie thing makes me a little nuts, and then I get all stressed and want to lie to make my numbers better (even though I'm the only one who sees them!).

I saw a method the other day that I think might work for me. (For the life of my I can't remember where I saw this, or I'd give credit where credit is due.) The method was to write down everything you eat in a day on a piece of paper. At the end of the day, highlight what you ate that supports what you want in one color, and highlight things that don't support your goals in another color. The hope is that over time you'll have more positive to highlight and less negative.

Today I actually wrote down what I ate, although I don't intend to do the highlighting, as after running 18 miles, it's kind of all good!

Breakfast: raw almonds, protein shake with water

18 mile run: 3 Clif Shot gels

Post run: handful of seed crackers
scrambled eggs with peppers, onions and cheese
fresh strawberries
1 brownie bite
1 Samoa Girl Scout cookie

Afternoon: 1 T Better N Peanut Butter
handful chocolate raisins
green smoothie (spinach, kale, frozen fruit)

Dinner: 1/2 lemon-garlic fish fillet
steamed broccoli
butter lettuce & strawberry salad
5 Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies
2 handfuls M&Ms

I'm not feeling like there's much I want to change here! Ok, so maybe fewer M&Ms. I'm planning on having a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats with soy milk before bed. (I know you should never eat right before bed, but I've been doing so all my life!)

I'll let you know how the food logging goes, friends!

Lessons from the long run

In many ways today was a perfect day to skip running. (Boys, please step away for this part, ok?) My period just started, my energy was low, and I had cramps. But today was the perfect day to run long because the weather was beautiful and I had an easy schedule for the rest of the day. So after some procrastination (it's amazing what you can find to do when you're avoiding starting a long run!), I set out.

Some notes from the run:
  • Because I was feeling sub-par, I started slow and stayed slow. This worked well. Actually, I told myself I could walk any time I wanted to, and then ended up not walking at all!
  • At mile 12 I changed my outer shirt. This I will do again, as it felt amazingly refreshing.
  • At mile 12 I also reset my Garmin to 0. From previous long runs I know that seeing the big mile numbers on the screen make me feel discouraged. (You'd think it would be encouraging, but for me it's not.) So after 2 miles, I could see the 2 on the screen and think, "Oh I only have 4 miles to go. I can do that!!!"
  • Stopping by home is dangerous, but it was how I needed to do today's run. But it's great to have a home base with the stuff you need. My friend Donna is running 20 tomorrow, and she's parking her car (with all her supplies) at a park. I'm gonna copy this when I do my next long run.
  • I've done a fairly good job today of eating in moderation. Normally long runs trigger an "I can eat EVERYTHING I want to" reaction which causes my mood to tank.
That's it for now. Think I'm gonna sleep GREAT tonight!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Long run nerves

I think I'm doing a long run tomorrow. At this point in my training, long means 18 miles. And that distance makes me nervous. I am pretty sure I can do it, so why the nerves? Because it's tough and somewhat painful to do a long run. My experience is that all is pretty fine until the last 2 miles (which coincidentally are the "pushing new distance" part of the run). Although those 2 miles don't get significantly slower, they do get significantly harder.

Maybe nervousness just comes with the territory. I thought that having already run one marathon, it would be a lot easier to train for this one. In some respects it is easier, because there's reassurance in having done the distance before. The bottom line is this: training for a marathon is hard work. And the satisfaction that comes with finishing is directly related to the sacrifice it takes to train. So 18 miles tomorrow? YES!

(I'm still a little nervous)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Relentless forward movement

(big deep breath) I signed up for the "12 Weeks to an Amazing Life" e-course through Kristin Coach. Thanks Jennifer for the inspiration.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random yoga thoughts

I have been doing yoga consistently (meaning 3 to 5 times per week) since January 1st. That, my friends, is a miracle. For decades I've wanted to be the KIND of person who did yoga (translation = calm, flexible, beautiful) without having to actually DO yoga. I tried a few classes over the years, and I could not get my head to shut up. (The talk went something like this: "This pose is stupid. Why do we have to hold it so long. I'm bored. I can't do this as good as everyone else.")

Well, something's shifted, and I now can say that I do yoga. (insert smiley face here!) Here are a few thoughts about my practice:
  • Going to yoga classes at an actual yoga studio was a very good thing for me (and continues to be a good thing). The environment is much calmer than the gym.
  • Doing DVDs at home works too, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Eoin Finn.
  • My hips don't hurt like they used to now that I'm doing hip opening poses!
  • (Since Katie asked) I've tried Bikram Yoga before and I really liked it. But I don't choose to do it for several reasons. First (and foremost) the Bikram place is 20 minutes away from my house. So to do a class (which is 90 minutes) takes at least 2-1/2 hours including driving there and back, and cleaning up afterwards. Also I really like music in yoga classes and Bikram classes are no music classes. Finally, every Bikram class is the exact same series of poses, and I like more variety.
  • I'm finding that I move with more ease as my flexibility increases. The yoga and running combo is a good one. :)
  • Meditation is the other practice I've started this year, and I've gone from 3 minutes (which was all I could do when I started) to 10 minutes each time. I think the meditation has helped quiet the thoughts that got in the way of yoga classes in the past, and the two habits seem to support one another. And I view each as a PRACTICE which means there are no expectations of performance, even of improvement from one day to the next, as each day is different.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When in doubt

In the last week, I've unintentionally hurt not one, but TWO good friends. How? By not knowing what to say (they'd each asked if I wanted to join them in doing something, and I was uncertain of my answer), and rather than telling them this, just being silent. For years I've known that my "when you don't know what to do, do nothing" approach is not best. But to have two friends thinking "What did I do?" because of silence on my part -- well, that got my attention.

I've heard that a decision delayed is still a decision, and I think it's true. The lesson here for me? When you don't know what to do, SAY SO!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Too much exercise?


Ran 7 miles.
Ran 8 miles.
75 minute vinyasa flow class.

Last night I was exhausted, like irritable bitchy exhausted. Next time I will make a different (and hopefully better) choice!
Busy day. Crazy busy. I got home at 9:30 from a meeting, and immediately Austin wanted me to watch a UFC fight, which I did. Then started cleaning the kitchen (told you it was a busy day). Tucker was talking to me and we were joking around. Then:

Austin, "You know what's fun? Trying to hear the fight over you guys talking."
Me, "You know what's fun? That you get to watch hours of UFC in the main part of the house and our family lets you."
Austin (turns up the volume)

Sometimes with teens I think it's best to not sweat the small stuff. So I fought the temptation to get tons of ice from the ice maker, then grind it up in the disposal. Do I get some mom brownie points for this? :)

Let's Get Physical

This is the title of Elizabeth Gilbert's article in the March 2010 issue of Yoga Journal (the one with Trudie Styler, Sting's wife on the cover). In the article, which is well worth reading, Gilbert chronicles her discovery of yoga fifteen years ago. What struck me from her writing was this description of her awareness (or lack thereof) of her body:

Do I need to say here that I was just a tad disconnected from my body during those years? Perhaps a better way to say it is that, up to this point in life, I had been treating my body like a rental car -- a mere loaner, a beater, a lemon that existed for no reason whatsoever except to transport my head from place to place so that I could see things, worry about things, think about things, and solve things. And my body got that job done, even though I never took care of the thing.

Hmmmm. I know that I've kind of got the exercise thing down, and that certainly falls under the "quality self-care" category, but boy did this strike a chord when it comes to food. I've been pondering the difference between using food as fuel or stuffing, very aware that stuffing would be an accurate label for how I'm eating these days. You'd think that with the miles I've run (16 on Saturday, 15 on Monday) that I could literally eat anything I wanted to. But there are a few problems with that assumption. First of all, I'm almost 50 and I can absolutely out-eat my metabolism and the miles I run. But even beyond that, is it good or desirable or right to just eat food because it's there? For me, the answer is no. NO.

Today I was at my parents house for 3 or 4 hours. I left feeling frustrated, sad, and STARVING! Not a great place to be when you're stopping by the grocery store. I got a small bag of chocolate raisins, which was a very good choice when compared with some (to my way of thinking) very viable options: frosting and a spoon, all the donuts, many cookies. And none of these options involve treating my body like what it is: a precious gift that I have the pleasure of having for THE REST OF MY LIFE.

I've heard this analogy before. What would happen if when you were born, your parents put a brand-new car in a garage, unveiling it when you turned 16. WOW! And then they told you it was the only car you'd ever have for your whole life. Chances are you'd treat this car with a great deal of respect and do your very best to preserve every single part of it.

That's it for now. I'm hungry, so I'm going to drink some of the green smoothie I made this morning, which definitely qualifies as "quality self-care!"

Finding my way back

Today's plan includes updating my blog. So later, I'll be writing. About what? About eating and why long runs mess me up. About being consistent with yoga for the past 6 weeks. About having a great life despite difficult circumstances. About treating your body like a rental car. And anything else that happens to come to mind. I'll see y'all later today.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

(this post has no title)

  • Balancing parent needs, family needs and marathon training is tough. One day at a time, right?
  • Clothes are looser and scale number is lower these days. Once again, consistent exercise + moderate food intake = moving in the right direction. :)
  • I have an iPhone app called Meditate that times your meditation practice. Used it yesterday. Liked it. Then looked at stats (it tracks them for you). According to the app, in the last 48 days, I have meditated for an average of 28 seconds per day. Laughed out loud when I saw this. Do you think that's enough meditation to see a significant difference in my life?!?!?!
  • Still wanting to buy EVERYTHING Lululemon makes! Saw a woman at an ATM the other day and her butt looked fabulous. What was she wearing? Lulu, of course!
  • Did a Pilates reformer intro class last night (included as part of my 30 days/$30 package at the yoga place). Liked it. Maybe after marathon I could do Pilates consistently. Maybe even as consistently as I meditate?!?! Do you think 28 seconds a day is enough to see visible results?!?!
Make today wonderful!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Be the change

Many of my conversations with people are punctuated with awkward silences. And what I've noticed is that most of the time, the silence is because they are distracted by a text message or document or, or, something else. It seems like divided attention is the name of the game these days and I'm getting really frustrated by it.

Last night our family had dinner at Fresh Choice. Towards the end of dinner I noticed that everyone at the table was on their cell phone except for me. (Tim has a pass on this -- he was checking weather conditions for getting to Tahoe today.) I wasn't frustrated as much as I was dismayed and feeling lonely.

So what to do? I think I'm just going to try to be mindful of my own actions, which means when I'm talking to you, that's what I'm doing. Period. I admit, this will be a discipline for me. I like talking in person, but not so much on the phone, so if I'm having a lengthy phone conversation, chances are I'm also checking email at the same time. And to live in congruency with what I want, that needs to stop.

Gotta run!


  • Getting old is difficult even when managed well. If you've not taken care of your health, it's nightmarish. My parents are in the nightmarish part. :(
  • Running 7 today for a total of 40. I'm a runner again!
  • Totally and completely addicted to Lululemon, and want to own every single thing they make. Alas, my timing is incredibly poor, as discretionary spending is needed to be limited (I know I'm not alone in this). But oh to dream... :)
  • Weather forecast shows an entire week of rain here. Planning on lots of soups and lots of "I will not melt" thoughts as I head out running.
  • LOVING LOVING LOVING yoga! Wish I could remember what yesterday's teacher said that was so meaningful to me. Something about how our practice on the mat is to equip us for life off the mat.
  • Quote on the spine of the February 2010 Real Simple magazine (I just happened to see this): "A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness." Elsa Shiaparelli Isn't that great???

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Just finished doing Yogalosophy by Mandy Ingber for the second time. I like it a lot, but read a review that blasted it for all sorts of reasons. So I guess it comes down to what you're looking for in a) yoga, and b) a DVD.

While I like the easy conversational style of the instructor, the review thought she babbled.
While I like that she doesn't take herself too seriously (her mantra? I have a great ass!), the review felt she dishonored the spirit of yoga.
While I liked the combination of toning (her word, not mine) and yoga poses, the review thought the DVD was wrong to call itself yoga.

So if you're a yoga purist, this is not the DVD for you. It's $30 plus shipping, so if you're not sure, maybe find some clips on YouTube so you can get a feel for it. But for me? A 30 minute DVD that makes me smile, helps me to stretch and strengthen my muscles seems like a perfect complement to marathon training.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sometimes you have exactly what you need

Super quickly (which means some typos, I'm sure!) I had what I needed all along! I've had the February 2010 issue of Yoga Journal in my car for weeks now. Finally pulled it out today to read one of the articles I'd dog eared. Article is titled "Aim High" and it identifies four aims of life:
  • Dharma (duty, work, responsibility, honesty)
  • Artha (prosperity)
  • Kama (pleasure)
  • Moksha (freedom)
I think these may encapsulate what I'm looking to define for 2010. The article talks about how the goal is to be in balance between these areas, as too much of any is not a good thing (think pleasure and freedom as the only things you're going for -- your marriage and your bank account might suffer). While the words aren't perfect, the idea of balancing areas that might seem like contradictions is one I can really get behind!

Getting ready for my client. More as it becomes clearer... :)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Words for 2010

Still working on 3 words to encapsulate my vision of 2010. (Ooooh -- that sounded almost smart, didn't it?!) :) I've got a piece of paper with 3 word clouds on it. Here's what I've got so far:

First group:
goals, target, commitment, driven, idealistic, future, strength

Second group:
honest, real, grounded, present, truth

Third group:
flexible, good-natured, go-with-the-flow, fluid

So the idea of group 1 is that I want to decide what I want to do, and then do it. Last year was spent in reactive mode, to the point where by the end of the year I was just waiting for someone ANYONE to need me. That doesn't work well.

Group 2 has to do with honest food (once again looking to step away from Clif Bars and protein powder as major food groups, and well as doing more cooking) as well as being honest in life. "Tell the truth early" is something that resonates with me, and I want to do more of that.

Group 3 has to do with balancing my commitments and desires (group 1) with the reality that my parents are having big challenges with big needs, and my "job" of wife and mom means I want/need to be available (just not to the degree I've been available in the past).

More as it becomes clearer...

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I have all sorts of ideas to write about, but haven't taken the time to sit down and write. And right now? Well, it's time to get changed into VERY WARM clothes, take my kid to school, then run 12 miles. But here are some of the thoughts swirling in my head that I want to write about:

starting marathon training
physical universe doesn't lie: strong AND flexible?
yoga so far
limitations and how they free me

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A much-appreciated reminder of who I am

Do you know Tracy Reifkind? If not, you really should. Her story is wonderful. The way she lives is inspiring. And she's the real deal -- she walks her talk, that's for sure.

So I've been away from reading blogs for quite a long time, but when I pulled up Tracy's blog on January 1st, I was delighted to see a picture of us, as well as a post she'd written about something I said the last time we were together. Her words are well worth reading (so go read them!) but what really struck me was seeing me as I ...

(sorry -- a little dog poop in the house interruption, which I've now taken care of) where was I? Seeing me as I ... what? Was? Am? Both? Yeah, both. Last year I lost sight of who I am. By the end of 2009, it was impossible to believe that just one year earlier, I was a runner. A real runner who ran a marathon. But now? I'm an athlete. A runner. And the REAL me is back!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Great day!

  • Kids back to school.
  • Put away Christmas stuff.
  • Ran 4.
  • Ran errands (more than 4).
  • Registered for marathon!
  • Got tooth fixed!
  • Did yoga class at new yoga place and discovered a new song (Rock on Hanuman, in case you wanted to know).
  • Watched new fave TV show (Men of a Certain Age).
Goodnight. Sleep tight.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A New Way to Be

So a big part of why I stopped blogging was that my circumstances felt like they were in control of my life. And I couldn't write about ANYTHING if I didn't write about my troubles. And I didn't want my blog to be about my troubles. So I couldn't write. Right?

Maybe not.

I read this on MomLight. It's written by Christine Kane and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear:

A disease of the creative temperament is a belief that we must be authentic at all costs. So we can’t answer a simple “How are you?” without delving into an in-depth scan of our emotional temperature.

Try this instead: When people ask you how you’re doing, just say, “I’m great!”

Really? Really?!?! This could be the key to freedom. Circumstances aren't changing, at least not right now. My kids are still teens and they are both dealing with some things that frighten and confuse me. My parents still have big scary health challenges. But my circumstances don't have to be the filter through which I see the world.

So how am I? I'm GREAT!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The opposite of love...

...isn't hate, it's indifference.

When my kids are grounded, it's a punishment for me too. This morning Austin, who is grounded, made himself French toast for breakfast and was eating it in the kitchen. I tried to talk to him, but the only responses I got were "oh". So I stopped trying. And there was painful (to me) silence as I worked and he ate.

This is exactly the kind of thing that can color my whole day, because somehow it goes from healthy thinking (my kid is unhappy that he's grounded, he's not a morning person, he's not very happy with me right now) to more global thinking (nobody wants to talk to me, nobody likes me, I have no value). The reason I'm writing it here is that getting it out of my head helps.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Thoughts from day 1

Since I'm a runner again (as of today) I downloaded some episodes of Phedepidations. In one episode, Steve says "We need to think of food as fuel rather than stuffing." I'll be thinking about that for a while. :)

Ran into Darla Benfield, my trainer from the Women's Tri-Fitness competition. I haven't seen her in 3 years. She still looks wonderful -- vibrant, happy, lovely. I told her she was the woman who convinced me that I didn't have to act and feel middle aged, even though I was in my mid 40s. I owe that woman a lot, and it was great to be able to tell her so!

Today's 7 mile run went well. I'm still recovering from a slight case of whiplash (no, it wasn't a car accident -- I may write a little about this later) so my upper back isn't all that happy. But keeping my pace moderate I was able to brave the wind and rain and get it done. Tomorrow I'm trying a Pilates class, and Sunday will be running long-ish (don't know what that means yet) with my girlfriends.

A brand new start!

(copied from my post on Facebook)

I started 2009 with high hopes and optimism, but let the circumstances of the year take me out at the knees over and over again. This year though the circumstances haven't changed, I RESOLVE TO DO LIFE DIFFERENTLY. Today's plan? Run 7. Write out goals. Write in weblog. Bring it on 2010 -- I'M READY!

Heading out on my first run of 2010. Am I feeling like running? Nope. But commitment requires action REGARDLESS of how you feel. And I'm committed to making this a wonderful year. So I'm off.