Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I know it's Christmas and most people are snoozing or boozing or persuing their gifts but my family is partaking of the first activity and I am too caffeinated to join. I got a Bodybugg, yay! I am so curious to see how this thing does, please check out the link here if you are not familiar. One of the ladies at school did her mini presentation on this in the beginning of the semester and I immediately added that to my wish list, cool gadget (if it works, we shall see) but too pricey for me to just go and buy one outright. They had a pretty good sale on them for a bit so I am hoping my loved ones took advantage of that when they got it for me. If not? I got a bodybugg either way, yay!
Just got it set up, I am balking at the idea of anyone trying to coach me, I seriously want to cancel that since I could school most "fit pros" on nutrition but I'm trying to just be open to what they have to say. You can think you know everything and still learn if you just leave yourself open, a few people very close to me drive me up the wall in that they never listen to anyone, always know everything, and in reality that is not true. I don't want to be like that. I admit I did close the tutorial though since the info was very elementary compared to what I have studied albeit accurate at least.
So woot! I will now be using my graphics from Marla to show days I use the bugg and will update ya'll on how it goes.

OH! and my husband got me the Kettlebelle body program I wanted (sweet man) so I will be working on that as well. Awesome. Must get more kettlebells, the three we have are good for a lot but we need a heavier one for swings and I wouldn't mind having some additional lighter ones to do two armed exercises. I am in fitness nerd heaven. Picture this: iPod nano strapped to my right arm, Bodybugg on the left, and polar HRM watch on with chest band. I will be ready for war, the war on sloth? yes?

Hope everyone is happy no matter what holiday means something for you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Every muscle in my body hurts, yeowch! I knew my workout yesterday felt pretty badass and I was right. I focused on the presses especially, keeping my forearm parallel to my ears and not bringing the weights to close in to my head and boy howdy did that work my back over. I keep that up and my elusive pull-up dream will become a reality, for sure.
I've gone off the rails nutrition wise and YET AGAIN I have proved to myself that strict dieting is made of FAIL for me. I simply can't do it anymore and keep my sanity. I start putting a huge importance on food and fall back into the binge/restrict cycle that I completely banished when I first read Inuitive Eating. So why did I gain weight after leaving the diet mindset? Well I turned it into a free for all, mindless junk eating lifestyle. Hmmm yeah that would do it. So my homework at this point is to re-read Intuitive Eating, slow down and enjoy my food and drink. Be kind to myself. Stop the madness.
Currently hungover and waiting on greasy food to arrive. Sigh. If I can rehab enough to not feel like crap on dry toast then I'll definitely workout-my cool graphic that Marla made me is going to be for workout days instead of being "on plan" food wise.
This is really a skim the surface of a big issue post but it'll have to do for now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Missed me? I'm Baaaaack

When gymming it with full intention to lift weights in a manner that showcases your behind whether you like it or not, do not wear thin cotton pants and underwear apparently called "cheekies" by VS. If so, you shall resemble the picture (if you click the link, I originally had it on here but was irked to have a half naked chick on my blog, not exactly the kind of thing I support) to your horrifed eyes but with clothing over it and not the nakedness. Also that is not me. A clear outline of my undies was visible everytime I moved around at all and I can honestly say I won't make that mistake again, you think eschewing the floss wear would be more comfortable but after yanking and pulling on these suckers for thirty minutes I would have to disagree.
My muscles are so fatigued that I've sort of sat here avoiding the shower because I don't want to hold my arms up to wash my hair. Ok maybe it won't be that bad but it feels like it.

  • Today's Workout (using dumbbells with kettlebell movements, wish the gym had KBs):

    Double military press
  • swings
  • cleans
  • suitcase deadlift
  • one legged deadlift
  • front squat
  • renegade lunge
  • halos
  • good mornings
  • one armed rows
  • windmills

I may be forgetting something but I basically mixed these up and repeated moves alternating between upper and lower body exercises (which is sort of not completely true with KB movements since they tend to use your whole body, especially the core) until completely tuckered out. It only took 30 minutes but I can guarantee it was a good workout. After I get warmed up my heart rate shoots up to the 170's with every exercise, I let it come back down while pacing around and then move on to the next-strength and intervals in one.

Alright that's all I can do at the computer for now, I just have not been able to force myself on this thing since I started feeling better and can actually leave the house. Off to beautify myself and do some holiday shopping.

At least my rearview looked good, awkward or not. ha!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

End of Day Four-This Road is Lined with Peril

Ahh day four (day one on the graphic but don't pay attention to that. Historically day four is where things go downhill for me and this time appeared to be going no differently. Deceptive.

Well that is not how the cookie will crumble this time, I did not fail because I ate more than I planned today. I did not fail because I have been sick since starting this ding dang challenge and I've only worked out once. What do these things make me? Human.

Not only human but rather predictable. I say predictable does not mean set in stone however and that is key to remember. I know what is going on here and I am staying the course to do better from here on out starting off with this challenge. Optimistic.

I read the saying somewhere (forgive me for not remembering where) that if you had a flat tire would you deflate the other three? or would you fix it and keep on traveling? I am choosing to fix the flat and keep on-the gig is not up because I ate too much Kashi oatmeal or too few vegetables today. So today I couldn't stomach the carrots when yesterday they sounded delicious. It happens, dare I say it might even be? Predictable.

Bottom line, there will be bumps in the road, that is called life and if not tomorrow then the next day I shall be better and I'll be at the gym and I'll continue to make good nutritional choices. Promise.


I strapped on a pedometer today, let's see what I can do-sick or no.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

End of Day Three-Countdown to Slumberland

A quick update as I just took some Nyquil and I don't know how much later I'll be up. Not much activity to speak of for today but I ate very well, fruits and veggies, fiber, calcium, good fats, the whole shebang. Temptation tried to creep in towards dinner time but I stamped it down and cooked the delicious tilapia we had in the freezer and made a salad for myself and our son, Husband had rice. Some day we'll all three eat salad I hope but we've made progress on that front and so I remain hopeful but non pushy.
The temptation that reared was certainly not for any junk food, I actually wasn't craving anything in particular-sort of how it goes lately is I think about if I want hot or cold food and then proceed accordingly. Feeling poorly I just wanted something to grab out of the fridge and eat, no cooking involved. Reality kicked me in the ass though and let me know real quick that plopping some already breaded and seasoned fish on a baking sheet and preheating an oven was no biggie. Mission accomplished.
The perfusion of perfume in the gym yesterday seemed to aggravate my breathing passages, it was bad people, I don't think I've ever experienced such and the offenders were using the treadmill fans (for their casual strolls) so the fetid air was handily blown back on me while I huffed and puffed doing my darndest to raise and lower my heartrate repeatedly. P U. I am not usually a complainer about scent or personal choices but
Alright, to end on a positive note, I am thankful I am out of school so that I am not missing class and stressing out about it and I have time to rest and get better. Despite being sick, life is good.

Friday, December 12, 2008

End of Day Two or, Original Titles, Who Needs Them?

Marla made me some awesome calendar graphics but that will have to wait until Sunday. Starting on a Thursday mucked up the artistic expression. *grin So I started yesterday and we'll just have to add on a few days mentally, good brain exercise.
Did my color coded food thing today, still have dinner to go but I am so on track it's not a worry. Despite being a veritable snot factory with sinuses so swollen it's deplorable, I did manage to hit the gym today for 30 minutes of interval cardio. I then walked down a ways to the store for a few items, used the handbasket and then walked back. Focusing on incidental activity is part of my new focus you see, so I may be chronicling that sort of thing.
The persimmon: I've eyed it everyday, thought about the bezoar hazard from unripened persimmon consumption, and kept on truckin'. I finally noticed it seemed to be in danger of spoiling so I figured the threat would be low. I read that you just peel it and eat so I tried a piece, was astonished by the taste, and ended up eating the entire thing. I can't say I would have another, I am not much of a sugar hound and that fruit was without a doubt the sweetest type I have ever had. It tasted as though it were constructed of pure white sugar, I am not kidding. I can see how if that were your type of thing you could eat too many of them and it end up with the dreaded bezoar. BEZOAR! Immediately after eating it I was convinced of stomach and intestinal pains but it's rather questionable how much of that was ye olde noggin.
Me-tired of being sick but fully fired up to knock off this bit of weight I've stacked on this year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

End of Day One

I'm challenging myself to following a plan of my own design until New Year's Eve and day one is behind me. By no means will I suddenly sink into debauchery at the end goal but I may adjust my plan or do something different entirely. It's all well and good to live a healthy lifestyle, which I already do, but in order to feel that sense of achievement I like to have a plan to follow. Today I wrote down what I ate in different colored markers so I could glance at it and see if I was getting plenty of veggies, protein sources, and a good amount of carbohydrate. I liked this system and so shall keep it.
As for activity, no formal workout, just a lot of work around the house and at least 15-20 minutes or more of running back and forth in our yard kicking a ball with our son. So functional and fun-tional work was done today and tomorrow I take our Boy to school and will hit the gym.

I'm watching "What the Bleep Do We Know? and am not sure what to think at this point but it's pretty interesting. I love stuff like this, quantum physics, power of the mind, what's not to love? So I can't really focus on this at the moment, I'm missing fascinating points.
I will be updating daily with my progress and any other nonsense that comes to mind.

PS I ate the persimmon today, remind me to talk about that if I forget. BEZOARS!

Saturday, December 06, 2008


In an effort to disallow any more time to pass me by without posting you shall now get a hodge podge of mental detrius for your enjoyment. *cough. The things I intended to do today sort of either fell by the wayside, like so many solitary hitchhiking shoes, or were reimagined, a cosmic "Do This, Not That" editorial if you will.

Here it is bullet style:
  • back to the gym-did not happen. Aha! Slacker! No, I ended up doing a thirty minute kettlebell workout in the warmth of my very own living room. Part of gymming today was our son getting to play in their playroom which he considers a treat. Due to toddler noncompliance with our fascist regime (you know, going to bed and not getting up a million times) I had to revoke this privledge as well as the movie viewing outing that had been proposed the night before. A workout happened to be high on my list of priorities so when he sacked out for naptime I fired up the kettlebell dvd and grabbed Big Blue (the 20 lb 'bell). I did the first two circuits instead of pushing for all three, knowing that yes I could get through it, but it would zap me the rest of the day and I had big plans. A note on kettlebell workouts: I've been doing a modified version of various kettlebell moves with the dumbbells at the gym and yes, speaking from experience now, it is drastically different. I actually prefer the dumbbells now, something I never thought I would say when I started out learning the kettlebell workouts. I won't abandon the real deal entirely by any means and hope to get heavier cannonballs o' fun for Christmas, but I feel much more engaged when I use the dumbbells for the same motions at the gym. Several things play into that: I can use much heavier weights using dumbbells and seem to be able to gauge progress more. I really get a badass workout in a shorter time period, using the kettlebells ends up being a bit more about cardiac performance and less of a strength building experience. Don't mistake me, I did make gains and rather quickly with kettlebells, but it seems to be maybe the movements rather than the hunks of iron themselves. Before my recent hiatus that I am now having to recover from strength-wise, I was up to weights previously unknown to me. I'm digressing and becoming less coherent here, I'll just write an entire post about that bit of business. I also jam out to my own tunes when hitting the gym and when following the dvd kettlebell workout I like to hear the verbal cues and my attempt at playing music over that did not work out well. My vim and vigor vanish. I just prefer to lift heavy for a shorter amount of time and then subsequently have a nice all over drained feeling, shaking limbs etc. rather than repeating many, many reps in order to feel exhausted but not max out my potential.
  • The Persimmon Thing-I bought a persimmon just for the hell of it, I almost didn't when I copped a look at the price for just one but it seemed strange that I spotted it so suddenly and it occured to me, I hadn't a clue what one does with a persimmon. It is squatting next to our clementines and honeycrisps being very mysterious. After finally taking the time to hit up Dr. Google for the answer I see you can eat it raw but that if it is not ripe enough, it might form a bezoar! I thought bezoars were somewhat of a scary dietetics myth, used to frighten young interns. sort of, I mean I know they exist but you just don't run into them I may just wait until the damned thing is almost rotten to try it now. Bezoars! ack.
  • Posting pictures-this one will have to wait for now.
  • Additional frivolous things blog-this is also just waiting for pictures and such, it will be the address , titled Brocante which means "junk" loosely in French as far as I know. I l ike the idea of just being able to empty the ol' cranium of fluff and nonsense. What will be posted? Pictures of moi, my family probably, fashion related things I like (meaning what I want or wear not actually following fashion which could not bore me more most of the time), crafty things, projects, just whatever takes my fancy.
  • professional paper-about halfway written, I had to take a break to get this important update tip tapped out, right?

I really wish I had a cool mark the days off graphic thing going like Marla, we are very similarly minded when it comes to having plans and marking things off, etc. I plan to commit to x number of workouts until Christmas, just need to figure that out, but that's what blogs are for and I've got a date with Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod. Bonus points if anyone realizes that comes from something and I'm not just a few marbles short of a set.


I WILL post today. Just not now, ha.

On the agenda:
back to the gym
figuring out this persimmon thing
posting pictures
hopefully starting an additional blog for frivolous things
writing my professional paper due Monday over the presentation I just did and THOUGHT I was free
later taters

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Just So You Know

I'll be out of town from Tuesday morning through Saturday and probably won't be around the blog world, but you never know.
Gotta go get my bag packed for real and get myself tucked in for the night.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grey Skies

There's one good thing about being depressed, oddly enough this is the time I don't even really look at myself good or bad and it's sort of a break.
Spending the week at the cancer center for a rotation was not exactly conducive to a cheerful mood and then I really hit bottom last night knowing that my son and husband would leave this morning and I won't see our son until Tuesday and my husband until Thursday. Even when something is known beforehand and an established yearly thing it doesn't make it any easier. I've been with my husband 7 years this December and yet his yearly hunting trip that he will NEVER budge on still bums me out considerably. The last two years I have not cared or missed him and I would say that is worse. At least I am back to caring. Now missing my son? Always hard for me, always. I can now handle 2-3 nights okay but beyond that is very hard though I know the world will not spinning; still hard for me to be away from him just simply because he is so wonderful and cheery and sweet. He brightens each day and I hate for that element to be gone. I am fully aware I can't put my happiness on him though, my father did that to me and it was a heavy burden. So I don't pin all my emotions on him or being with him but he just makes you happy to be around him.
I have not been to the gym all week and it is weighing on my mind. I have simply been too worn out and feeling very fragile physically. I know if I pushed it I would be sick right now and I am narrowly avoiding that now. I slept until 3:30 today, just absorb that for a moment!
I also am getting my ass to a mammogram pronto as there is soreness and possibly a lump or swollen lymph node in my right breast. I don't think I need to elaborate on that and how that makes me feel. My paternal grandparents died of cancer. My maternal grandmother is dying right now of metastatic breast cancer. My father has lung cancer (that he is ignoring). My mother is a survivor of colon cancer. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't really concerned and freaked out. I hope it is nothing, I really, really do but regardless I am going to go on a round of doc visits (for all kinds of things) because all I can do is be hyper vigilant and live well.
I talked to my mom about all over the above and am feeling better and feeling positive and can only go forward from here trying to be positive, productive, and patient.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lightbulb Moment

Reading this post over at Marelisa's wonderfully uplifting and useful blog gave me an idea.
Those of us that have made changes focused towards living a healthier life or tried to become a more automated healthy lifestyler may just need to keep in mind that we have to practice just like any other skill. Why is it that we tend to think we're malfunctioning if we "fail" at embodying our fitness/nutrition ideal when perhaps it's not been our mode of living since birth? Think of it, if you were raised from birth practicing daily exercise and enjoying healthy properly portioned meals would it be hard to do now? Of course not. Note I said enjoying, not having it forced on you. I know people that had alternative upbringings with parents that went to the other end of the spectrum, never allowing a cookie or birthday cake, etc. and they resented it and rebelled themselves into some serious health problems they're now trying to resolve.
My parents never even mentioned exercise and good nutrition was not really a focus, I lucked out for the most part because we couldn't AFFORD junk food so therefore did not get any. Most meals were pretty well balanced if you ignore the fried stuff but overall that wasn't so bad. This had a bad effect on me in the end because as soon as I could buy junk I did after seeing it as forbidden until I moved out. That set me up for a food insecurity situation and binge and restrict behavior but that's a talk for another day.
Bottom line, I'm going to be kinder to myself, you should too, and I'm just going to keep practicing. If I keep at it (and I will) someday I'll be a master.

PS I just now realized this template had a title option and turned it on. D'oh! I have no idea why it was not enabled and just thought this template didn't have that and sort of hated never getting to title anything. Wonders never cease...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mirror, Mirror

I had no idea how hard it would be to stop mirror glancing or running my hand over my belly reflexively. To an outsider I wonder if I would seem overly vain, admiring and feeling myself up; in reality I'm almost always looking at my stomach and checking much too often to see if I'm puffy or flabby feeling. Geez! I'm making an effort to stop and it is working but I know it will take time. I would like to note the ban is not extending to the gym (at least when lifting weights) because the only feeling I get from that tends to be positive and I need to check my form!
I've also eaten food that would not be on the acceptable list normally when trying to lose weight and managed to avoid guilt-big deal for me.
Studying for an exam over cancer and aids/hiv tomorrow so unfortunately that is all for now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Body Checking-Not Just for the NHL Anymore

Imagine if everyday you were asked to step in front of a judge’s panel, scrutinized for any minute increase in girth, change in firmness, made to pose this way and that. Everyday mashed and and felt, pinched and pulled with the end result usually a sigh of impatience or disapproval sprinkled sparingly with days you meet these incredibly high standards. On those days as soon as you’re judge adequate you’re ignored until you then must meet sabotage attempts to test your mettle. The initial insult is not enough, step in front of the mirror all day any chance you get to be rejudged, poked and prodded. Pretty miserable and stressfull just reading about it, right?
This is what I do to myself on a daily basis without even conciously realizing it and it stops today.
It’s called body checking and most of us do it in some form or another, whether it’s a sly pinch of skin to see how much can be grabbed, furtive looks in reflective surfaces, examinations of our thighs when we cross our legs or heaven forbid sit in a chair. I’ve often wistfully thought of the time when I was innocently happy with myself, where I didn’t know what I weighed and didn’t care to meet anyone else’s ideal and when I rarely went shopping I didn’t even have a clue what size I was and would just try things on until something fit and the number had absolutely no meaning at all.
Wow that just hit me, I did no body checking in any form and that is why I was happy with myself. It’s eluded me for years now what changed and how I could get back there.
I don’t pretend to think I can fix the damage I’ve done in the name of self improvement with the snap of my fingers. I also am very happy with the lifestyle changes I have made and the person I am now minus the body issues and the anxiety.
And there’s another thing about body checking: I only need it when I try and get away with as little healthy actions as possible. For example weighing myself: I do it religiously when I am focused on losing pounds but a common theme in my mind is, okay I only gained a pound from eating that pizza so that ‘s water weight and I “got away with that”. Or I ate very little and worked out like a fiend and I’m dropping about a lb a day (not healthy) so I’ll keep going with that.
If I simply live like the person I want to be the weighing is not necessary, I don’t need it to keep me on track (on plan, in line, etc) because if I am living well in the first place that is the goal. If I workout 4-6 days a week and eat fruits and vegetables at every meal there is no way I’ll head in the wrong direction.
The scrutiny is unnecessary when my actions are in line with my goal and only need to come in to play when I am trying to cheat the system or to punish myself. That’s not how a normal person lives, that’s not how I lived before I decided to try we1ght w@tchers.
Assignment for today: no mirror gazing unless it’s needed to fix my hair or dress myself (normal things) and absolutely no weighing or flab fondling (eww, haha!).
Fruits and veggies on the menu and a trip the gym are in order because I am a person that enjoys food that is good for me and likes to move my body and become stronger. I am.
Wish me luck.

The link I included is to a journal article in Behavior Research and Therapy on what body checking is and what effect low versus high body checking has on a group of women in one study. They found that the positive outcome in the low body checking group did not last very long-I personally think they went back to body checking again perhaps as I know this is not the first time I have tried to stop it. Try, try again.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And more pictures! These are from our last girlie night with a vintage theme.

In this first one I'm wearing a vintage "Cloud 9" brand faux fur coat I bought in a little shop when I was a junior in high school and my new purple wool hat from Banana Republic. I love that the old school styling is so prevalent in a lot of their clothing, I wish I had the money to buy a lot of the dresses especially.

In this one I'm wearing my friend's headpiece which felt really cool with the netting pulled over my eyes.

And I included this because it shows more of the dress I wore. I also had on seamed stockings and heels. The dress was made by my amazing great grandmother. my mama has always called it the "marilyn monroe" dress and until I went to put it on I hadn't realized that she made it. Checking for a tag to maybe give me an idea of the date there was just her name pinned inside. Simply amazing. The only zipper is on the side and it fits like it was made for me. My earrings are also vintage clip-ons and were my grandmother's too.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

And in leiu of a real entry at the moment: pictures of my new haircut!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm currently dealing with trying to keep our toddler in bed while my Husband is at work. This is not going that well and so my plan of having time to update is somewhat shot but I said I would be back and so here I am.
Went to the gym after taking the exam this morning and got on the elliptical and the treadmill. Did intervals on both, the elliptical had a cross ramp option that basically increased the incline-not sure that I've done that kind before. I remember when 5 minutes on an elliptical on resistance 1 about killed me-I was coming from being completely sedentary and a smoker to boot. Creepy falsetto singing dude was back and just like I thought I'm pretty sure he's out of jail or something-I noticed the tear tattoo on his face today. Also, what was he doing at the gym on a Monday during the day? There's an interesting mix at this gym, scary looking guys in the free weights area, me being the only female that ventures in there amongst them. Then you have all the Latinas young and old rockin' the cardio machines and then really, really old white folks paddling around in the pool. I love seeing the obvious harmony in such a variety of people.
I've since come home and worked for what feels like a long time (at least an hr or two) on the house, cooked dinner and battled our son who seems to be going through an independence asserting phase. I'm exhausted and believe I'll go curl up in bed with a book.
I'm seriously considering re-joining a gym. I've thought, "I can do this at home, look at these shiny handled cannonballs here and this bench and this elliptical, etc" and while it is true I CAN do this at home, the problem has been WILL I do this at home. The fact is, when I have a designated building to dress for, go to and cavort within, I am much more likely to be consistent. There's no coming in and sinking into the couch while my ass becomes one with the foam.
So Bally's is running a thing where you can print out a two week free pass and of course you have to go through a "tour" which is basically a thinly (and I mean thin, as transparent as a Saran wrap dress)ploy to sign you up that day. That day, as in before you even get to workout there. I almost fell for it myself, not due to the less than stellar sales pitch but just because my little fitness addicted heart was dazzled by having all the crap I could want within 5 minutes of our house.
I'm studying for an exam that is coming at 9:30 this morning over Liver and Heme but promise and cross my pea pickin' heart and all that jazz I will come back to post again TODAY. I have to tell you about my first workout there and the grunty Latin macho man that persisted in singing in a falsetto voice at random times. For instance singing the she's got legs ZZ top song when it wasn't even PLAYING.
I'm wearing my workout gear now so I can drive straight from school to the gym for HIIT cardio, I shall return.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today is my last day of my big rotation for this semester. I'm a bit sad that it is over now that I have a great instructor that is making it really interesting and non scary for me. Exercise has been constantly on my mind but I have yet to achieve any since Sunday. My son is going to his grandma's today thru Sunday and my Husband leaves tomorrow to go hunting so I'll be all on my own.
I'm having a vintage party Saturday with my girlfriends-we're going to dress up, fix our hair old style, watch old movies, maybe have some martinis or champagne, etc. etc. I think it will be very fun but I need to figure out what to do with my hair. It's gotten so long it's down to my bra strap and I am girly stuff challenged sometimes. I just now figured out how to curl my hair properly and I'm 27.
What can you do, right? ha!
I want to talk about something really cool that happened yesterday at the hospital but think it's better to not mention things on this public place. Not trying to be a teaser but if anyone wants to know just email me.
Le sigh, I better get ready for my last day. Be back later with pictures, etc. Also going to finally figure out how to do videos with the help of my Husband.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I still felt queasy all day today and I promise I didn't drink THAT much, my goodness. As a result I've eaten on an almost constant basis all day trying to stifle that niggling discomfort. That combined with other GI disturbances has added up to my feeling pretty crappy right about now but this too shall pass. I know that, and I know that THIS TIME (the eternal cry, right?) I will not let my workouts fall by the wayside. I am stronger and in a better mental place-at least when I get enough sleep, something I did not do last night either. Ack, this is reading like a trainwreck.
How 'bout I share a food tip instead of listing my deviations from the path? If you have a hard time eating salad or you eat it but don't really enjoy doing so, try chopping the lettuce into fairly small pieces. I first tried it after having a completely unhealthy chopped salad out and about with friends and then I remembered buying this handy little tool I bought at IKEA in the days of yore which promptly went to live in my cabinet to languish. It works like a champ to chop my salad and I can go through a huge package of spinach or romaine now when it is chopped. It might sound like a silly thing but for some reason it makes my salads deliciouso mucho! It is funny how the texture of things can drastically change our perceptions. I also think it tastes better because there is more surface area for the dressing and other goodies to coat instead of huge dull leaf that barely gets doused. Try it, you may love it. There's also scissors specifically made for the job but I love my little roley poley cutting board thingie.
I had a sneaking suspicion that my back would be killing me today after pulling myself up those swingset bars (picture sort of a really tall u-shape and gripping the bars while swinging your body back and forth and climbing to the top of the upside down u shape with just your arms and back doing the work). Not only has my back hurt but my poor neck seemed to take the brunt of it. It's been miserable.
I'm doing it again as soon as possible. HA!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yikes, what happened to updating in the morning? Completely slipped my mind the next day as I was running behind and feeling harried trying to get everything done before leaving the house. I attended this with some friends to celebrate one of their birthdays early and we had rootbeer on tap, unbelievable bread, salad and pizza at Eno's before I hopped back on the train to head home. As soon as I got home I changed clothes, ordered a pizza for my mom and son to have for dinner and we left again to eat dinner at Uncle Julio's in Ft. Worth before going to see a comedian. I had the roasted vegetable tamales and they were fantastic! Unfortunately I did not have a cheesy greasy coating in my stomach for all the drinking that ensued. I had not intended on drinking quite so much but it got out of hand and we ended up closing the bar down after the show and then going back to a friend's house and carrying on even more. We may have stayed up until about 5 for all I know.
Now, normally if I did something like that these days I'd beat myself up and feel worthless mentally and physically the rest of the day but today I tried to be smart about it. As smart as one can be about what amounts to an episode of binge drinking. I am well aware that the two concepts don't go together. I deduced from various lectures that if you are hungover but can manage to get some activity in your body will process the alochol and toxic by products much more efficienty. Your liver is unique compared to say, your kidneys, in that the blood flow varies on physical activity. You receive more blood flow when moving about than when still and much more when exercising. The liver is an amazing organ, I had no idea all of the many things it does and I can honestly say I am ashamed to have abused it so much and then to go out and do it again just this weekend after having my eyes opened in Friday's lecture. I hereby swear to not engage in that kind of behavior again. I will drink I am sure, but not in ridiculous amounts that make me feel sick and hurt my body. It is just not worth it.
I've done some housework and then we took our son to the park for the first time all together and I played with him and swung on the monkeybars. I even climbed the poles at the end of the swingset just using my upperbody and inching upward. Hard to explain but it was easy to do when I was a kid and super hard as an adult. I plan on doing this kind of stuff more often. Then after dinner we took a family walk and our son and I raced for most of the little over a mile path. I actually got a decent workout in doing all of this and am feeling pretty good now, at least able to focus.
Pictures of what I bought at the fair are to come. I'm sure this is terribly disjointed but that's what I get for punishing my liver. Poor sweet liver. I still have plenty of school work to do but wanted to finish typing this out as I started it hrs ago. I lifted weights (whole body workout) twice last week and did two sessions of HIIT. Not shabby for having a hard week in the hospital.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I had several ideas of what to write about in this space but my brain and heart are occupied with toddler issues. I just can't seem to muster an entry on things that have occurred to me lately to increase your fruits and veggies. I promise to stop writing these little blurby nothings and to actually update in the morning.
Sigh. Blogging is hard.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Before I start reading your blogs and get distracted I want to update really quickly here. I was tracking my food again on just to get refocused and so now I feel I have that down again and I'm tracking my workouts. Yesterday I went by the uni gym and lifted weights (felt amazing after taking too long a break) and then this morning I got up at 5:30 and jumped on our elliptical in the garage for 20 minutes of HIIT. I've gone back to my old tried and true method of 3 x full body weight lifting workouts alternated with 3 x 20 min HIIT sessions. In reality it's not a lot of TIME working out but the intensity is defnitely there and I can already see my body shifting around after 2 days. This time I am trying to back off when I can see I'm pushing too hard and I anticipate this helping my consistency problem. I'm considering driving to the uni gym as soon as I get up at 5:30 tomorrow so I can get my workout in, shower and get ready there and then walk next door to the hospital for my rotation. Driving that early will actually cut out drive time and make for a less hurried morning, the trick is having all of my things ready to just grab and go when I roll out of bed.
I had another bad day re: my intern work but I hate to rehash things. Just thought I'd mention why this post is lackluster and hurried.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Just checking in to say I'm back from my weekend trip. I'm exhausted but excited about life, I had a lovely time. Plans are swirling around my noggin regarding my own personal development, things I'll do with my site and some things I'll do here in the meantime.
Looking forward to catching up with all my blog friends and to writing more often, this week is the final week of my major rotation and though other things are coming up the major pressure should be lifted somewhat.
I'm barely upright so I'll say goodnight.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I have to say feeling under the weather or being full blown ill is the number one deterrant I have to working out regularly and having the bod I want. Besides the pesky frequent illness my health markers are great so I have to cop to the vanity side and the desire to be lighter and stronger so that I can DO more. I still really, really want to do pullups, be able to run at least a mile, etc. and yet after years of trying to be physically active I'm not that far from where I started.
I eat much better than I did before, I have the abilities to take care of my family well nutritionally and to encourage a healthy lifestyle. There are many things to be thankful for but as far as fitness goes: I have nothing I can say as far as, "I completed x" or "I can do x that I could not do before" etc. For short periods of time I do and then I slide back to square one because I have a short attention span for things and lose interest and my life makes consistency hard, not impossible, but hard.
I'm really unsure as to how to tackle this problem, previous exploits have all failed, I think I need a group or something to belong to-that approach would be completely foreign to anything I've done before.
I'm sick now but this is the time to formulate a plan. Never fear, I don't ever give up, I'm just being honest with myself and you. No tangible progress to be had and I'm ready to change that. I need to implement some type of progression system for workouts like I've done for food...will have to ponder that and then come back here for more navel gazing.
Mizfit had a recent post about workout buddies. Heck, if aren't reading her site, why aren't you? And you should start, that's all I'm saying, including the comments. Lots of good information there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's easy to talk about things and even to DO the things you like to yammer about when all is going well, yes? When I'm dishing up great meals every night and working out a minimum of three hrs a week and making great choices I can come here and blather to my heart's content but I tend to let the dust build when things aren't going so great.
Nothing Earth shattering over here, I'm just a bit under the weather and contending with impending woman stuff (hence considering installing a salt block to just go ahead and lick off of opposed to the salt heavy food I've been ingesting and some mild depressive feelings)and so things are not perfect in Perfect Food Land. How long are they usually anyway? Maybe a week if I'm lucky-that is called life. Today I wanted badly to get a fast food burger meal-I left work at the hospital early because I felt so bad physically and kept thinking of that but was good enough to myself to realize I just wanted to feel better and greasy salt laden food would not accomplish that end, just a different kind of END (as in the kind preceded by REAR).
We're still eating fruits and veggies and whole grains and lean meats and lite dairy as always-I just don't feel all Prancy Princess about it because I feel crappy.
That's my point. Hah, took me long enough.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Vegetable Vendetta is going well, or maybe I should call it the Valient Veggies to be more positive. We've been branching out as a family, me in the fact that I am making SURE that it happens everynight instead of plugging away for a bit and then falling back on baked french fries or something when the weekend hits. I admit tonight the Menfolk had cajun takeout (crawfish etouffe and popcorn shrimp) but instead of fries the little one had a fruit cup. I opted out of takeout and ate food we already had here instead of continuing to participate in the lunacy that is spending over a hundred dollars at the store and then purchasing crapfood that VERY NIGHT. My dinner for the record was super tasty: Simply Potatoes southwest hashbrowns, one egglands best brown egg fried with a touch of Pam nonstick spray, Dancing Iguana guacamole and Daisy lite sour cream. Delicious. After awhile I wanted something else and in lieu of a traditional dessert kinda deal I had 1/6 of a pumpkin flax kashi crunch bar and a glass of nonfat Horizon organic milk.
No this is not turning into a tedious detail of food equivalent to a fourth grade "My Summer Vacation" report. I love food and will probably talk about it more...and now ends me explaining myself on my own blog.
Last night I had John Reid (our son) help me beat the eggs for scrambled style eggies and he didn't hesitate one bit when it was time to eat and asked for seconds! Eggs have been one of the only foods he's mistrusted so that was a major score for ol' Mamacita. Next time I go to the store I think I'll try and take him along and have him pick out things-perhaps I'll make a special produce only trip for that purpose so his attention span doesn't fizzle out.

I turned down cajun food I generally love b/c I knew it would make me feel bad (high sodium mainly being the culprit) and I am being smarter with our food budget. I'm including fruits and vegetables in every dinner and snack. I'm trying to focus more on involving my little love in the food--->table process and my Husband is even trying all the new things I dish out.
Oh yeah, I purchased small containers of apricot barley salad and greek vegetable salad from the deli and had a few bites of each at lunch-what a treat! I must find out how to make that barley salad especially. This kept me from feeling deprived after Husband was hankering for fast food at lunch time and I rejected the idea (for myself). For what it's worth he also abstained but I don't think he wanted to, he just had surgery on his shoulder and he's laid up right now and completely inactive. For some reason he is also wanting to have the worst eating habits after months of improvement in that area. Maybe self comfort? Whatever, I am not the food police, I just hate to see him backtrack. Considering that's what I've done for going on a year (until now)I sure won't be pointing fingers.
My eyes hurt, I got up super early to be part of a big research study. That sounds cooler than it was but I WILL get to say I was part of it when the results come in someday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Following along the same lines as yesterday's post, let me share our menu today and some random ideas that came to me while cooking dinner.
When I picked up my son today from preschool/daycare he announced with a huge grin, "I want donuts! I want to see Daddy!" Apparetly the two d's go together and so we've already had a talk (Husband and I) about no more donuts on the way to school. Does that seem harsh? I don't think so, considering he wailed about the donuts almost the entire trip home and apparently they had crossed the line from treat to almost expected item. Not cool. I've been talking to him about "sometimes foods" which I think is a great concept. I know a lot of people got up in arms over cookie monster quitting the cookie binges and saying cookies are sometimes foods but I think it's a good lesson to learn and it's not as if they've been proclaimed BAD FOODS or something ridiculous. The fact of the matter is today's children are largely inactive and treats of every shape and size are available. I'm pretty sure the norm of yester year was not 24 hr access with no holds barred. When I was growing up (not that long ago) we just did not have the financial resources to eat junk (chips, soda, desserts, etc). My mom had rules if we did get to have these things, 1 soda a day if that, only eat chips with a sandwich, etc. Back to my original point...
So donuts are not ruled out for eternity, they are just not an on the way to school option. This morning Husband came in to our bathroom where I was getting ready to head to the hospital and said he needed to get to work early and our Son was just not cooperating this morning to have time for a sit down breakfast and he'd just have to go through the drive-thru donuts place he guessed. I quickly flipped through my mental catalog of what food we have and suggested a dark choc and cherry Kashi cereal bar instead. Not my ultimate choice but a damned sight better than donuts.
Our snack today was hummus with carrot strips, grapes, and red. fat string cheese. He yummed it all up, in fact it only took us two days between the two of us to finish off the hummus and half of the bag of carrot strips. Yesterday he dipped them in 2% cottage cheese. This leads me to something that occurred while cooking dinner. Kids like interesting shapes or colors a lot of the time, at least mine does. Carrot sticks were okaaaay but the strips with ridges like a potato chip are a hit. The dark purple almost black grapes were requested specifically.
Something else: he likes to dip things. I can almost always get him to eat something if it has a dip, something he inherited from his mama more than likely.
Dinner tonight: roasted squash, spaghetti and meat sauce made with whole wheat linguini, 99% lean ground turkey and 93% lean turkey sausage links.
To make the squash: I just chopped two yellow squash into round sections, heated the oven to 425 degrees and drizzled olive oil ad worchestire sauce over the squash while the oven heated. A few shakes of coarse ground sea salt and that's all it took-20 minutes and you have gorgeous carmelized on the bottom squash that I've had to fight myself to not devour before we sit down to dinner.
I'm focusing on at least one veggie at dinner for each night and fruit if we want a dessert. Progression, baby steps, and all of that.
Dinner time!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yowza! I didn't mean to disappear for so long, starting my clinical rotation this semester at our county hospital knocked my socks off and not in a good way. Today was the start of my second official week on rotation and it's going alright. I feel like I'm not as smooth and effortless as I would like to be but I think that has a lot to do with the dietitan following with me and making me feel nervous. Not her fault, I just trip over myself with her for some reason. Onward.
Thinking about how to encourage and grow good eating habits in our children-I am renewing my efforts to feed my family better, stress and fatigue got the better of me lately and I realized what was happening and am taking steps to correct it before it becomes ingrained. Our son loves healthy nutritious foods as long as he is not offered foods of minimal nutritional worth too often. He always goes back to eating good things so I believe he genuinely likes fruits and veggies, milk, yogurt, hummus, cottage cheese, pita chips, plain cheerios etc. Today when we arrived home he asked for strawberries and cereal but settle for an apple, carrot strips and cottage cheese to dip instead.
What I have found that works for us:
1)I do not offer him a different meal than what I've prepared for us.
2)I model good eating habits myself without pressuring him and he usually can hardly wait to do what I am doing and to eat what I am eating.
3)I do not enforce the "clean your plate" mantra of yesteryear, I believe that wrecks inborn healthy eating patterns, making an intuitive process based on external cues instead.
4)I try to never rush him and am working with him on slowing down a bit to really taste what he's eating.
5)I let him help pick out what we are having a good bit of the time and I let him help me bring groceries in, stir things, etc.
6)I plan to have him help me pick out produce at the store, etc. soon. I believe having children (or other adults for that matter) involved in the process of preparing the food, procuring it, etc. encourages better choices. My ultimate ideal would be to have our own garden that we could all work on together and then enjoy beautiful tastiness born from our own labor.

What works for us may not work for others, just some thoughts on the matter. Working in an acute care setting forces your eyes wide open whether you like it or not. Invest in your families-time, love, wisdom.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

People, I am trying to rally but I feel so drained. The first day back on practica rotation at the county hospital (read:free)was horrible and I have two more days and my heart is in my shoes.
I don't feel up to reading or writing or 'rithmitic.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm feeling torn on the new blog issue, on one hand I bought a domain and everything and I want to do it but on the other-I seem to be experiencing a scheduling issue already and I've only been back in school a week and a half. eek.
I've had a great weekend, gone out to eat A LOT and yesterday at my brother's house and I've had no anxiety over food and am maintaining my recent loss. I expect to see it start creeping downward again once I'm back on my cooking again. I tend to eat more towards the model of the DASH diet (dietary approach to stop hypertension)and so when I go out to eat or eat other people's cooking I retain a bit of water.
Wow, after learning in depth about the kidneys and renal disease I am hyper focused on taking care of my kidneys through my diet and water consumption. It is amazing and wonderful that we HAVE dialysis now, don't get me wrong, and all of the advances made in that area but TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDNEYS. End stage renal disease is going up and up and up, as of 2005 we were at almost half a million cases and it is just increasing. The top two causes? Diabetes and hypertension. I believe people feel they are immune to problems if they don't have a "weight problem" and so they eat a diet of crap (the SAD diet, standard American diet) and strain the shit out of the kidneys for years and have decreased functionality, high blood pressure, etc etc when they get older. People in Nigeria don't experience this, hrrrm. Food for thought.
I'm often stymied from writing entries by the feeling that I shouldn't write things unless I can fully go over every detail of what I'm talking about or thinking and that is just not possible most of the time. So if something I say doesn't make sense or you simply want to talk about it, PLEASE COMMENT.
Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2008

So Intermittent Fasting. I did my mini presentation on it Tuesday and wasn't quite happy with what I did. I felt exhausted and certainly was not as engaging as I should have been. It was also way too huge of a topic to present in 7 minutes and quite controversial. I got people up in arms, asking questions and I had no time or mental clarity to answer properly.
On the other hand? I've been practicing a 16-18 hr fast version the last three days and have dropped 4 lbs. I am now to a lower weight than I have been since maybe...May? maybe April? This is the extra 15 lbs that has forced me out of most of my professional wardrobe and been somewhat immovable until now. I am quite pleased.
I am also surprised, REALLY surprised. I thought I would feel terrible and be ready to gnaw my arm off by the time the fast ended and well, not true at all. I have been a 5-6 mini meals/day type eater for several years now and aren't we all taught that breakfast is so important? I am finding for myself it is not a definite rule. Essentially I stop eating at 6-8 (whenever my dinner is) and then don't eat until 14-18 hrs, but usually 16 the next day. I did one day where I went 24 hrs but that was a few weeks ago and even though it WAS doable I could not see myself doing so on a consistent basis. I can easily do this form though and plan to continue.

Some observations: I am not ravenously hungry. Food tastes much better. It is easier to get my water in, MUCH. I do not go nuts when I do break the fast, I eat a normal portion and am maybe eating two meals and a snack. I've eaten restaurant food twice and still dropped 4 lbs. (Don't worry about the rapid loss, I know a bit of it was bloat from eating wolfgang puck pizza twice in a row.) I feel more focused and have more energy, I even get so charged up I'm a bit jittery, I suspect this will pass. This has seriously helped me detach from food, perhaps the best benefit so far, I don't spend my time thinking about what I'm going to eat, what I can fit in or what I can bring in order to avoid suboptimal food. In short, extremely freeing after becoming food obsessed through dieting and then trying to eat for performance.
And on that note, workouts have not suffered though I have had little opportunity to test that. I'll investigate that further this three day weekend, perhaps starting with tonight.
I think I should take pictures but haven't done so yet, that tends to fire off defeatist behavior but I'd hate to not document this.
All for now, must get ready for school.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hey everybody. Going back to school has been, how should I say it? a rollercoaster emotionally and I am sitting here crying right now, thinking about my little boy and how I wish I could be with him more and I have to go jump in the shower to get ready for school.
Everything's fine and I'm going to make sure it gets even better because what really matters is my husband and my son and I am doing thing for them too. Exhaustion does this to me-I actually got enough sleep last night so today is better, I make it so.

PS A real update will be forthcoming, I wrote about half of a post for the new site and then promptly changed how I felt so it seems silly to finish it. I am changeable in the extreme and need to remember that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I've restarted school (effective today) and so I may be drained or over run at first, so far I'm seriously proud of how together I've gotten things and how little I am stressing out. That is my umbrella goal for this school year with many smaller goals residing beneath.
It looks like I may need to write several updates at once, either on the train or on the weekends so that I can have content to post during the week-I don't belive I'm going to hack that on a daily basis, not that I did anyway. I'll probably be posting MORE often now. Funny.
Went to see NIN last night and it was amazing as always-really picked up my spirits to be in the same room as such rampant creative genius. Drank a few too many however and woke up with the concert in my head at a little before 5. Never was able to go back to sleep so I just got up and started my day-oddly enough I still am not feeling too tired. Weird coincidence that it was 5am, the time I've set to get up and been struggling to achieve? Or is it an intention manifestiation? Either way I'm building on it from here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We've been out of town this weekend so I haven't had a chance to do anything online related. I did complete the review for my re-entry test that we're taking Tuesday which is a complete departure from my old way of last minute stress inducing schoolwork. I am much more prepared and ready for this upcoming year.
Unfortunately I don't believe I have much to contribute to the blogosphere tonight so I'll sign off. Expect to hear much more from me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

This week has had many awakenings for me, huge shifts in my mental state and a feeling of clarity dawning that leave my mind racing and make it difficult to sleep at times. I mentioned not too long ago that for years now I've strived to constantly grow-to learn, to try new things and since sitting down and really thinking about what I wanted to do (hint:it was not running a call center or being the top tier tech support whipping girl)and deciding upon teaching in some capacity, I believe it's finally coming to me what to do with my life. Extremely poorly constructed sentence there but I'm just going to press forward.
For the past few years I have experienced the most joy I've ever known and been violently depressed and fearfull at the same time. It seems that would not be possible but now that the husk is being shed I see that how I've felt is not my norm and that I can be so much more alive. I say extreme joy because there is no other word for how our son makes me feel and what I have with my wonderful husband. On a completely selfish personal level I have not been right, aside from them, aside from the many good things I have and experience on a daily basis. I've felt broken at times, wondering why I have all these things, material and emotional and yet I would feel like a caged animal, frantic and worried and full of fear. Hiding my head in the sand regarding school, using the telephone, talking to people, being in new situations-so much fear. I used to be fearless, brave, a viking conquering new things and places and people with aplomb and I've wondered what happened to me. I'm not entirely sure but I can confidently say I'm throwing off that mantle and returning to a more authentic me, but new and improved.
It's amazing how casting off self doubt and worry allows my mind to sharpen, my strength to return and my will to no longer falter. I don't claim to be perfect but I am capable of great things when I'm not severing my own Achille's tendons.
I'm setting goals, I'm defining my purpose and I'm putting in the work to achieve a higher level of living. I'm doing this and I want to help others in their own lives-to experience wellness on a complete level and not just with nutrition. My mind scrabbled about like a crab in a bucket every time I've limited my future to purely being an RD, working a typical job sitting behind a desk admonishing people to follow the Food Guide Pyramid. The scope has been widened and I'm feeling good.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm working on a guest post for someone else so there may not be a post today but I will try! When I get my new site running I'll be posting 3-5 entries weekly and of a much greater length. It may be a while before I get it going-I want to stockpile some content first and get it all worked out how I want it to look.

Just finished KB workout-yesterday I just was not feeling it after Monday's debacle but I still went for a fast paced 45 minute walk-prob walked about 3 miles up and down hills. Today I woke up with sore glutes and arms/back. Tuesday I did somersaults and cartwheels in the yard with our son and a handstand against the back of the house and I'm still feeling it.
Today is my first day of IF-I'll definitely write about that.
CPR class at 2, I'm looking forward to school starting next week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'll write a proper post in the morning but right now I am pondering what domain name I need to register to start a more serious article based blog. Any thoughts? I'll write about nutrition and fitness related topics, mainly nutrition as that's my area of expertise. I'd love to hear everyone's ideas.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yesterday I woke up feeling out of sorts-I'd slept too late despite intentions to get up earlier and I just felt blah for most of the day. I didn't want to do my kettlebell workout for the first time since I started and it took some serious prodding to get myself going. I didn't finish, barely did two circuits and didn't really enjoy it-something that has not happened before. I finally stopped when my heart started skipping a beat-seriously. It was a terrifying, scary feeling and I sent up the white flag and said OK heart I got'cha!

I made sure to walk around and not sit for a bit in order to let my HR return to normal, which it did fairly quickly. I'm not sure what happened but I don't forsee it being a problem again. I think I was too dehydrated (something I've had problems with all summer no matter what I try) and next time I feel that disinclined to do my workout maybe I can listen to my body instead of indulging in
Musturbation. Mizfit tried to tell me!
I put the intention out there in the universe that I want to be an early riser, I want to get organized, I want to feel confident and worry free when it comes to school, I want to manage my time more etc. and Monday I came across this websitewhich is filled with invaluable information on basically everything I need to know and practice to accomplish these skills. His writing really clicks with the way I think and I am loving reading about someone else that is on a constant quest to self improve. I feel very lonely sometimes because others see me as weird for striving to do more and be better. I think maybe that is why I'm attracted to weight loss and fitness blogs-that element is present.
I've started a detailed log related to my habits for this week-I may not keep it up but it's provided insight already for me and it's only Tuesday.
Today's exercise: an hr of Wii fit, mainly the strength portion(bodyweight exercises) and some cardio.
PS Also considering being vegetarian again, this time for life. Must ponder.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm crying a bit watching the Olympics-they've been covering a woman and her son's story from Uzbekistan. She now represents Germany because he was diagnosed with leukemia and she had to find healthcare for him. He's in remission and she is absolutely incredible in gymnastics despite being much older than the average gymnast. Beautiful story-just felt like talking about it and I'm alone about to go to bed. Big things are afoot for me.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I graduated to big blue today and feel fantastic. The only movement I couldn't do all the reps with the 20 was the presses and I did half of the eight reps on all three sets. The one armed rows were not easy either and as soon as I noticed myself start to twist a bit to move the weight instead of letting my arm and back do the work I switched down but I only had to do that at the end. Ah yes, I'm forgetting the one arm swings, I switched down for that too but that was just a guess-I didn't try the 20 on those and so I can't say I was unable.
It was hard. I mean, REALLY hard and my core was aching almost immediately-I love how not only do you have the forward motion but you catch and slow the momentum when the 'bell comes back down.
Time to go to the circus! Enjoy your weekends.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Well there was no way in hell I was getting up at 5 today-we didn't get home from the baseball game until 11 last night and I just felt exhausted. Groceries are sparse around here but our son stayed home with me today because he is beyond tired too and I am not relishing the idea of taking a tired 3 yr old to the store, yikes.
So far it's a lazy day around here-today I plan to formulate a-well, a plan, haha to combat my inertia regarding household matters, school, you name it. I do so nicely with a plan.
Must buy books for this semester and must call the CPR people and get signed up for that, eek!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent running the road with my young'un and no workouts were to be had other than light swimming Tuesday. This has bummed me out considerably but I have not had it in me to get up when the alarm goes off at 5, I will try again in the morning. Perhaps I should state, "I will do it in the morning" to be more positive than "try"?
Son is home again today-we are headed to my brother's when John Reid wakes up from his nap (is my brother's birthday) and then to the Rangers/NYY game tonight. I managed to get my kettlebell workout in while he is asleep and am so happy that I did. I was missing it so much that I could hardly sleep because I kept thinking about it last night-seeing such drastic changes in my body so quickly and actually LIKING how I am accomplishing this fact is extremely addictive. If I would have done my workout on Tuesday like I had planned that would have meant 4 KB sessions this week instead of the 3 I've been doing so I am still getting three in for the week and hopefully next time it rotates through to have 4 I'll get that done. Must work on getting up super early-I know from experience of the past year that once school kicks in that is the ONLY way I can get it done.
I just threw some red ripe tomatoes in with some 2% cottage cheese and a basil seasoning paste and it was delicious-a lot like a caprese salad. Just throwing that out there...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Blah is the word for the day over here. Not sad really but listless, tired-oh-so-tired and I'm taking a rest day. It seems to be in order.
Pretty sore from my workout yesterday, headachey from having one cup of coffee yesterday and abstaining today-maybe I have to leave it alone forever, whaaah! Tomorrow I'm taking our son over to a friends to swim and play and the day after that we're going to visit my grandmother (the one that is terminally ill) and that is way overdue. Thursday is my brother's birthday so I'll prob hang with him during the day and then we have box seats to the Yankees/Rangers' game that night. Friday I am thinking I need to pencil in being an exhausted heap again. Saturday is our Leo Madness birthday bash as there are so many leo birthdays in our circle so that will be free day eating wise.
Boring post? Yes, but I'm trying to be more consistent in talking to the ethos.
Started reading Atlas Shrugged but am not being pulled in as of yet-better give it a chance I am thinking. I've read plenty of class books and enjoyed them so it's not that it's "too much" for me. Ick-I hate the idea of anyone thinking that.
Read The Time Traveler's Wife last week and absolutely devoured it-wonderful book. Was excited that it's being made into a movie until I saw the actress playing the lead, not my choice at all. Not that I have a choice in mind or it would matter if I did.
Okay, blah, did I mention blah?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Yet again I peeled off the couch and threw a ball of metal around by its handle for the last 45 minutes. Sweat poured down my neck and ran down my back. Considering we keep the A/C cranking, I had the fan on, and I just don't sweat that easily that's insane. I love it.
I've got the Cleans figured out, pretty sure I've got the Snatch down too but we'll see Tuesday morning. I watched even more vids earlier on youtube and finally watched some really excellent detailed ones that even showed what NOT to do in addition to explaining the correct way. I love how strong I feel and I cannot believe how sore my back is from just doing those three negatives last night, I'm glad I didn't go to failure. I'm thinking I want to incorporate something else into my weekly exercise routine at some point-considering taking a Bikram class-be good to work out the kinks and to challenge myself in a new way.
Now for a vanity report:
I actually have a butt now. For those of you that are scratching their heads and wondering what has happened to my brain let me explain. Hey, that rhymed. The women in my family either have too much adipose tissue stored and have unwieldy lumpy butts or non existent wide pancake assitis-neither of which are exactly my ideal. After only a few weeks I'm developing a nice shapely rear end and I cannot be happier about this development. My quads are rock solid again, calves are high and solid too giving me more definition there-we're also afflicted with cankles and I am not exaggerating-it's okay I'm not running myself down-just being honest. I'm pulling on most of my old stuff again that hasn't fit for a few months but it fits completely differently. Probably from my new found bootyliciousness-my former English major self is cringing while typing that-but I'm not minding the tighter fit since my legs and rear look better, are stronger, and nothing is hanging over the top anymore. All of this is happening (plus let's not forget the negative pull-ups, I'll be crowing over that for awhile until I make even more progress, which I will, is this parenthetical long enough?) and yet I have dropped like I mentioned-maybe 2 lbs at MOST on scale weight. I've lost at least a BF% according to my Tanita at the same hydration level, clothes are fitting again, and more muscle is showing so my scientific deduction (yeaaaaaah) is I must be putting on a decent amount of muscle and losing some fat no matter what Master Tanita-san says.

PS Had some fun doing some two armed swings with my son as the kettlebell yesterday, he loved it too.

PPS Eight KB workouts so far-going to definitely do a recap and more than likely post pictutres when I hit workout 36 as that will equal 12 weeks of KB workouts in my mind.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

And yet another first tonight. I actually did some real negative pull ups. Three.

So what? You ask, well I’ll tell you this was huge for me. My brother had started harrassing me again to try and do pull ups on his pull up bar and I was saying no again, that I can’t do it, that I just drop like a stone even doing negatives.
You see, this is the way it’s always been for me. I dreaded the President’s fitness test in elementary school, it was never fun, always a torture and I not only failed to do a pull up but could never do the “hang test” either. Pronounce that eye-ther.
Flash forward, twenty seven years old and I decide to try to perform negative pull ups and…
I did it, no them, three in fact. I could have done more but I got all excited and I also plan to do another KB workout tomorrow and didn’t want to be hurting too much. I felt strong and amazing and can’t wait to be able to pull up instead of slowly lowering down.
I’m on my way up.
Kettlebells people, kettlebells.

So that is me 2/3 of the way through my workout. Onward.

Last week was hard physically but I must say staying the course and getting all my KB workouts in was completely worth it and very empowering. I meant to come here yesterday and update, even took some pictures to post and then I couldn't find the cord to transfer and life got away from me. I spent some time being a growth coming out of the couch cushion yesterday before I finally peeled myself up and got my hr in, sweating and cursing the whole time. By the end of the video (the 2nd dvd again that is harder for me)I was saying *&*&*^&*! my abs! at the end when she says, "Now let's work on some abs." I talk to the dvd sometimes but anything I say is not truly meant, I like the dvd and admire Ms. Lurie for what she has accomplished not only with her physique but also with her business. I'm also greatful that the kettlebells have been made easily available at Target for not AS expensive a price as something you would have to order online.
I've done KB workouts 7 times, dvd 1 x 5 and dvd 2 x 2 and am excited by what is to come. I know after I really get proficient I can mix things up myself but I'm really enjoying instruction and being led for a change. I've done self made, self paced workouts for several years now and this is really keeping me hooked. Another thing that is keeping me "hooked" is what is happening with my strength levels. I started with the 10 lb as you know just because I wasn't totally sure where to start and that worked well for about 3-4 workouts and then I needed to upgrade to the 15 and not only did I need to but I can DO cleans, presses, snatches, etc with the 15 now whereas I'm not so sure I was strong enough to do so before-that means a pretty serious gain very quickly. After a few times with the 15 I know it won't be long before I need the 20 and that rocks so hard. My son is about 37 lbs and I pick him up quite a bit-something that was sort of hard was slinging him into the carseat because you have to get the butt in, not hit his head and put him in sideways while bending over-a great deal more difficult than simply lifting 37 lbs on a barbell or something. I don't have to put him in the seat very often anymore but if he's having what my grandma calls a "critical day" I'll put him in there against his will and it is easy now. I can handle him all kinds of ways with NO effort really now and that is amazing to me. I'm not someone that's never strength trained before, I've done it for years and yet after 2 and a half weeks of doing this I am noticeably stronger than ever before. I am smiling right now.
My weight is also doing weird things-I'm not refering to the scale because that's not moving much, maybe a pound to a pound and a half but I look...alternately more ripped and more squishy. I know that doesn't sound appealing but I've seen my body do this before-it's like it has to adjust to fat loss before the skin sucks back in-very scientific explanation eh? I'm also showing 1% bodyfat down. in three weeks. yes.
Things are good-I'm off to eat my cheat meal-chili cheese dogs and tator tots (Hebrew National 98% fat free franks, white wheat buns, 2% cheese, 99% fat free chili, and regular ol' Ore Ida tots.) YUM! I seriously don't miss all the extra disgustingness and just think of all the toilet paper we'll save by not eating all that grease.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I've been working all week and have just been wiped out-I want to post and other things that have slid but maybe not just yet. Getting up at 5 (not my norm at all) in order to workout still has been killer but I've done it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Let's talk about food a bit shall we? I just had a delicious salad and it took me maybe 3 minutes to throw together, making it much more likely that I will continue to make and eat the salad instead of driving down to S0nic for an extra long cheese coney. Ugh, that even sounds gross to me right now-must be a side effect of changing my mentality towards eating what is good for me.
What are the main factors that prevent people from eating nutritious whole foods? I can think of a few, the same factors that affect food choices in general whether you are aware of it or not: availability, convenience, time, finances, season of the year and taste-let's not forget taste though it is surprisingly not one of the top criteria running on most people's mental tapes. I'll share what I just made and ate and see how it fared with these points.

Roasted Chicken and Avocado Salad with Vine Ripened Tomatoes
Serves: ME (shrugs, or you-you know depending on who made it)

2-3 oz roasted chicken breast chopped, skin removed
1 large vine ripened tomato
1 and 1/2-2 c. organic baby spring mix greens (I hate to call it lettuce since it has so much more character)
1/4 sliced avocado
1 and 1/2 T. olive oil vinegarette dressing (I used Ken's Steakhouse Lite)
smattering of sunflower seeds (yes, a smattering)

Mix all together and eat. Ta da! I bought the rotisserie chicken yesterday and put it in the fridge still in its handy little carrying case. Very easy, not expensive, TASTY. We can pull meat off for sandwiches, salad, soup if I wanted to make it, etc. I also bought a container of Simply Potatoes mashed potatoes which I could eat with the chicken warm for a cheat meal, maybe with a side of green beans or big slices of tomatoe. I have not opened the potatoes but will probably serve that to Husband and Son at dinner while I enjoy half a plate of veggies. Anyway, super easy, no additives-chicken is freshly cooked, I bought it an hour after it came out of the oven and the potatoes are simply that, hence the name. They do have cream added to them hence the reason I won't be freestylin' those tonight. They are delicious and not overly salted or anything like that. Country Crock potatoes I'm looking at you. *scowl
I buy organic lettuce prewashed in a tub and just grab some anytime to put on sandwiches, tacos,or make salads. If I've bought spinach I also make fritattas with that but the last one turned out dreadful-we're on fritatta notta time right now. Tomatoes, carrots, apples, bananas, and berries I also buy organic-if you have the funds to go all organic and even better, local, please do it. However if you need to be a bit choosy and save a little cash get organic when you are eating the peel or if the product itself might have been sprayed such as lettuce. Banannas are actually probably fine to buy regular however I enjoy the organic ones for their taste. Regular ones hardly have any flavor to me now and even the skeptics that run the checkout lines always comment on the same thing. Bananas are harvested while still unripe and then shipped to where ever and THEN force ripened in chambers with ethylene gas. This does not hurt you as far as is known, but something seems to be lost in translation. Nature is best when it comes to many things and especially food. Berries are obviously eaten whole and I have found they taste better as well when I buy organic. I noticed Dole strawberries were lacking in flavor despite being a gorgeous red color and then when I sliced into one or bit into it, I saw the red seeped down into obviously white unripe fruit inside. Hrm, me thinks we are being fooled on that one. Unnaturally gorgeous ripe color on an unripe fruit. Bleh.
Organic strawberries taste way better and yet go moldy really quickly so I've just purchased frozen organic blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. I plan on having them with whole wheat pancakes and in my protein shakes. I can get out what we want and then put the rest back without them going bad so quickly-not as good to eat plain but great with other foods or in shakes.
So, super easy, not anymore expensive than a fast food meal and very tasty.
Upping the 'bell to fifteen lbs definitely made a difference. I can still press that weight but it is much harder and I was struggling on the last few reps each circuit. The ten pound did the job for cardio but then it became manageable after about 3 workouts. The fifteen worked my core a lot harder and made it really difficult again. I'll keep on with the fifteen until it is no longer as difficult and then upgrade to the twenty. I can do swings and cleans with the twenty but pressing that much over and over would not be a great idea I think-would lead to bad form and possible injury (my shoulders are touchy, not unlike most people's).
Couldn't get the volume 2 disc at D!ck's Sp0rting G00ds-they just simply did not have either disc even though they're on the website. I did watch the disc that came with the new bells (old one did not work when we got it)and it showed the Turkish Getup and watching the Cleans on it made it more clear for me and I did it with good form and no wrist slapping today. I was doing it completely wrong like I thought, but now I have it.
"Cheat Meal" mentality last night led me to eat about 3-4 times as much as I normally would because it tasted so good but I won't keep doing that over and normal mode is clean eating and I honestly like the foods I eat. Not a hardship just depends on your perspective.

Friday, July 25, 2008

36 minutes of Wii Fit today-I did yoga and cardio mainly trying to stretch out my legs from the kettle workout yesterday-not very sore which confirms somewhat my feeling of needing to upgrade the weight. I'm going to get a fifteen and a twenty lb bell tonight along with the 2nd dvd that shows the Turkish getup etc. I really like following along with a video-I have NEVER done that with weights and it makes me feel like I'm in a class which is apparently something that really works for me. I didn't know that because I've never been able to consistently attend any fitness classes other than the handful of power yoga ones I did at night with my mom. We LOVED doing that.
On to what I've been using: Iron Core Kettlebell dvd volume 1. Here is a link to their website along with their bells and videos, etc. I'm resisting buying the wristbands because if I control the movement enough I don't get smacked that badly on the arm but then again I am still a little lost on exactly what I am doing wrong on the Clean. Still working on it-I think I was doing too much of a one arm swing motion and need to keep my arm closer to my body-watching some videos of various people doing it cleared it up a bit for me.
Speaking of videos, there are tons on you tube and something I learned during last night's insomnia episode-people are just as silly and immature about kettlebells as they are about traditional free weights. A great deal of the comments on the videos were highly irritating but such is life. Why would you watch someone do a Turkish Getup with a 45 kg kettlebell and then say, "Now let's see you do it with a barbell." RAWR makes me want to smack people.
Purchased my old standbyes of cottage cheese, Fiber One, carrots, etc and am puzzling out the eating side of things. I want the heavier KB to do my workout tomorrow-Husband brought up starting himself today and I could have danced a jig. Yay for non pressuring my spouse and him figuring things out on his own. It is a bit irksome that one of our male friends started a long time back and I think that is partially why he is receptive to it-nothing I have ever done and showed him has been any interest to him. Let's not overthink things here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a quickie, I do NOT have time as I am supposed to be walking out the door in 15 minutes with my son awake, shoes on and stuff packed to go for his three yr checkup. Yesterday was his birthday!
I did all three circuits off my KB dvd and do not feel like I will die this time. Definitely still a workout but not nearly as bad as it was that first time. I'll need to upgrade to a heavier bell soon-maybe get one tomorrow and get an even bigger one for Husband. Yay that makes me excited!
I will post links about KB stuff later, like my dvd and their webpage and other blogs that have been talking about it.
PS I need to name my bell, I saw that over at MizFit and loved the idea. Suggestions?
I gotta say it is a little bizarre how I manage to do something new when the rest of the world is doing it too without my knowledge. Honestly I've been lusting after the kettlebell concept for a good long while now and I finally go by one and start and I've read at least ten or more blog posts about others doing it too. Crazy! *I certainly do not have the ego to think it is because of me, just noticing how strange life can be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm sitting up, hoping that this damned ibuprofren kicks in sometime soon so that I can go to sleep without my knees exploding. Not sure which activity I engaged in did this to my legs but they are aching, aching, ACHING. I did 35 minutes of Wii stuff today including hoola hooping, skiing, soccer, running in place, boxing against a heavy bag and some yoga and stuff like lunges and plank. I know the hoola hoop one can do a number on my knees but who knows. My appetite has gone crazy, I am sitting here hungry right now and I've had plenty to eat over the day-in fact I had a hambuger steak at my mom's and managed to lodge part of it up in my nose-back of throat-area. In case you were wondering if that feels
I'm super excited that my husband is using the Wii and also interested in doing kettlebell workouts, the more stuff I read about them the more amazing I realize they are-so time efficient yet fun and interesting. Tomorrow I'll do all three circuits-my legs are sore but not that bad from doing the two circuits so I'm fairly confident I can bump it back up.
Hrm, legs are still hurting. Boo.

PS Regarding tattoos oh wonderous Marla-I've wanted at least onoe for years but we shall see if that happens. Part of me isn't so sure anymore-I've changed so much but I definitely want to be a badass instructor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just completed two of the three cicuits on my kettlebell workout dvd. Last time I did all three and was jelly the rest of the day and could barely walk for almost three days. This is with a ten pound bell even though I've read to start with a 15. Apparently I am more out of shape than I thought! Part of me says, "Why didn't you do all three even though your body was telling you to stop?" but I am ignoring that voice and taking care of myself. Wore my HRM today and burned 371 calories in 37 minutes with an avg HR of 156 and a high of 182!
I've eaten yogurt with almond slivers and had plenty of water-I got up late so don't think I am trying to starve myself.
On the sick front: almost better, well enough to workout and just take breaks to hack up stuff and blow my nose. I know that is part of why the workout was so hard-the first time I tried it I was coming down with this junk so it will be interesting to see how I progress. I have a new motivation and it came to me with the KB workouts and my desire to go further with them: I've said it before regarding being an RD, you need to look the part or no one will want to pay you lots of moola, haha, but with teaching KB workouts I will REALLY need to look the part as it is not as mainstream yet and it's a different way of doing things. People are visual creatures. That may seem depressing but for me it is actually uplifting, I can't seem to really focus when the goal is purely my vanity but when it comes to being successful in business, that I can focus on and vanity is just a side project. I don't say my "health" because despite my pudgy appearance now I am quite healthy and won't lose site of that. My arms are tired and I'm stopping now that I just sort of opened a can of worms. Love me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The time has come to be inspired again. To fee motivated and to be active and to take ownership over how I feel and what I do and what I don't.
I've been drifting for months now and feeling at loose ends. Lost, half-hearted, confused about what to do with myself and how to get back to feeling good.
I've been sick more time out of the past two weeks than I have been well but I'm hoping to wake up tomorrow feeling ready to face the day instead of hacking up nastiness and laying there until after noon.
Food has been more of an issue than ever and I am deciding here and now to take charge again and to honor the principles that got me into nutrition in the first pace. How terrible I would feel if I finally became an RD (which I will in less than a year!!)and I no longer took proper care of myself or my family regarding what we put in our mouths each day. I've become overwhelmed and squirmy about making dinner, planning things, even grocery shopping. Hallmarks of depression for me and the only way to get out of it is to make a plan or heck, plans.
I tried basically eating the paleo diet for about a week and saw my weight dropping (about 4 lbs in less than a week) and my stomach flattened out. I also had zero energy and felt like total shit, unable to workout much or do really anything. That resolved itself when I started eating more carbs again out of desperation (I had inlaws descending on the house and it was a mess and I needed energy to correct that in a hurry!). I liked having rules again though and some sort of plan but it fed into disordered thinking too much. I found this out when I went veg and I found it out again when doing paleo-restricting an entire food group that is not exactly harmful does my head in. I can restrict alcohol or dessert-whatever, but food that I feel deep down should be okay makes me sort of crazy. I must make a plan and I am not sure what but it is happening tomorrow. I will lay it out as I think it out.
Exercise: I finally did the hour long kettlebell workout and it was absolutely amazing and exciting and it was like a key turning in a lock for me. I actually had the thought in the back of my mind, "This will be what does it for me, I have finally found my niche." I even looked around to see if I could find a place to become certified. After one workout. I still want to teach yoga too, my ideal would be to teach yoga and kettlebells and lead intuitive eating workshops with a focus towards nutrition. I don't believe you have to separate the two, nutrition and eating "normally" can meld together but I have to figure that out for myself first, right?
We bought a Wii Fit and I absolutely love it, I cannot say how much I love it and I've been using it as well. So I haven't totally gone anywhere of a warm clime riding in a handbasket but I've had that lost feeling and I am ready to be found.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ahhh Marla you make me laugh. I can say Marla now not M@rla! Somehow that looks strange but I am sure we will all adjust.

Where the hell have I been, eh? I like to say I am a work in progress instead of possessing a broken down junky ass psyche. Been depressive this week, sleeping a lot, extremely fatigued, etc. Let me back up...
July 1sst started our vacation and then we left for Mexico the next morning (waking up at 3am to catch our flight) and got back on the 6th. Yet again I packed my travel yoga mat and did not do even one Downward Facing Dog yet I was pretty active and had a great time. Went to the Mayan Riviera again and came back with increased calf strength from deep sand walking (to get to the bar some of the time I admit) and sore back muscles from snorkeling in high waves over a reef. Fantastic. I never used flippers before so learning to manuever those things was interesting, once I stopped trying to manhandle the durn things and just swam with them higher in the water I shot off like a rocket. Once again trying to force things to go my way instead of going with the flow wore me out but I am learning to go with the flow.

Since we returned our son has been in Oklahoma all week and I miss him like crazy and that has not helped my blues. I didn't want to return to the real world and then to be missing his sunny little face made it even worse. So I stuck my head in the sand and even avoided my online class, resulting in a big module test I have to make up and a quiz and my instructor wondering what the hell was going on-I thought I would vomit last night when I finally logged in and saw what I had done by avoiding. It is not a surprise that I was procrastinating, that's a hallmark of depression and I've been at least moderately depressed for several years.

I think my grandma going in to the hospital with her organs basically shutting down from the methadone buildup, fighting with my dad and subsequently not speaking to him for the first time in my life and then just the exhaustion of traveling from the wee hrs of the morning all day with an almost 3 yr old got to me. Let's add in of course the experiments I've been conducting that are dying a short lived death.

I have been TRYING to follow the Paleo diet the last few days which has not been that hard but I have had so litle energy no workouts have occurred which in my book is a big FAIL. I have to workout, see: depression. We purchased a Wii and have been playing the sports and also got a Wii Fit. I am firmly in the overweight category again and my Hubby is way above where he wants to be too (not my place to publish his stats, that's his biz though I share my nitty gritty with you). This game thing is FUN and I have yet to do even a fourth of what it offers. My tricep and shoulder on my right arm is SORE though and I had to switch to left handed swing to play the tennis game last night.

I have also purchased tennis raquets (real ones) and a kettlebell with workout dvd to show me stuff from Iron Core. I want to try that today even though I am a bit concerned that the only 'bell they had for me to buy might be the wrong weight for a beginner. It's a ten pound one which is nothing for me as far as normal free weights go but I read to start out with maybe a 5 lb one to learn the moves. I'm not your average unconditioned female though, I would say just a bit better than average so maybe this will be alright.

I have Fit Tv vids running out my ears, a new toy (kidding, I know a kettle bell is a serious mamma jamma) and a Wii Fit with a trainer all waiting for me. I should be in stunning Amazonian shape in about 5 minutes, brb. *wink

Talk to me people! Am trying to break out of being reclusive again. A chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea, discuss.