Wednesday, February 27, 2008
When I began this last month I'd never done a workout on an elliptical machine because my calves immediately protested the pain. Sunday night I did an hour and 5 min on it (the 5 min being cool down time). Granted that was the longest I had done and the hour nearly killed me it felt like, but it is such an increase from a month and a half ago that it must mean something. Meeting with my trainer at the beginning of this month has helped too. I have a month long plan and it includes variation of cardio and time so it is never the same thing.
I'm starting to feel like the gym is becoming an established part of my days right now. I have had a few slip ups but they have been one day blips on the screen and I haven't let myself fall apart because of them. I even find the time with my ipod or my thoughts to be sometimes relaxing in those moments when I can let my eyes stray from watching the clock tick away (which moves so slowly sometimes).
Now it is the food part that needs addressing and I have to admit this is the scarier part for me. I still don't get up well in the mornings and it is trouble when my food choices and budget would be helped by bringing my lunches. I'm still feeling paranoid about eating chicken, which limits some low-calorie protein options. I need to start eating it anyway, but it isn't the easiest thing to overcome irrational anxiety about something. And I'm trying to make better choices which what I am eating, and trying to eat before the gym rather than afterwards at 9 or 10pm. This is not easy however.
And I still need to deal with my impatience with the whole process. I am the proclaimed Queen of Impatience according to my hubby, and he should know since I pester him about whether or not he sees any progress daily. It is frustrating because to be as big as I am, small changes don't always seem apparent. And my more frequent examinations in front of the mirror bring to the forefront the reality of being FAT which in my idle state I did my best to ignore. Still, I'm trying to have some self-discernment with regards to my size, weight loss, exercise and what not. And most importantly I'm still going.
But I don't want to this post to go back too much to what still needs to be done. There is always stuff that needs to be done. I am working out and have been at it for a month and a half. And that is something to be celebrated. And amazingly enough, though it is my day off, I am sort of regretting that my gym back is at home because at this particular moment I'd rather be at the gym than at work!
Edited to Add: What do you think blogland? Here's a random picture from teaching a volunteer to use the digital camera today at work for a Sunday School lesson. Please ignore the very messy office as I haven't had a chance to clean in a while (but have found time to blog - there are my priorities for you). Anyway, I was surprised to find that I didn't hate the sight of a picture of me. Progress perhaps? Who knows.
I think I reacted so strongly because not only was a friend hurt but I was as well by the poor planning that went into this decision. Because it affects not only my programs but the whole church it should have come my way before decisions had been made and judgments carried out. There is going to be lots of troubleshooting to do as a staff now and a whole new slew of questions to figure out....and that sucks. We've been put into a complicated and emotional situation with this friend and possibly with the greater congregation.
And for the record, it still does suck. It is still arbitrary and seems to single out one member and not others. It hurts my friend and I hate to see friends hurt, particularly by the organization that I work for and call my church. I don't get angry often, but this one got me all riled up. I'm at least looking at it with a clearer head and some increased composure as a church worker. But, blech. What a mess.
And it has gotten me thinking all sorts of things about public and private lives when it comes to the church and how to work stated and implied church morality. And how does the church grow. So many people disagree about whether the current issue is right or wrong, and there isn't an obvious way to call it or to draw a line in the sand. I don't know if this issue will blow over or end in a congregational meeting at this point. I can see it going either way. I can see people leaving to go elsewhere. I can see them staying and throwing a fit. I can see a lot of possiblities, and all of them make me sad. And the worst thing is in the middle of it is my friend who simply tried to work, teach, and live in the best way she could.
Monday, February 25, 2008
As an overweight person I know these well.
"All you have to do is exercise and eat less, what's so hard about that?"
"You just need self control. Come on, split a dessert with me..."
"Why not just get that surgery, you'll never succeed on your own"
Mothers? I know that they get all sorts of judgements about how they raise their kids.
"Oh, no thanks she doesn't need a goldfish cracker, I only serve my baby homemade all-organic veggies."
"You are going back/aren't going back to work? Oh I could NEVER do that to my child..."
"You haven't started teaching your toddler french yet? How will you get them into a good preschool?"
Homosexuals? "Bound for hell" Republicans? "Crazy religious nuts." Democrats? "Tree hugging hippie idealists." Single? "Just stop trying so hard and you'll find someone" Poor? "Mooching off the system."
These things are widespread, and most of the time we are able to get mad at the judgment, express our indignation to like-minded friends and move on. After all, typically the people making those judgment's know nothing about the circumstances of your own situation and decisions. They are making snap judgment's based on their own experience and expect that you'll be thrilled to hear their opinion on what you are doing wrong.
But what happens when it becomes much more serious and closer to home. What happens when a friend is told that the decisions she's made in a private matter in her life are now 1. a matter for public judgment and 2. She is stripped of soemthing she loves becomes of it.
And what happens when, as her friend and a person who believes that this judgment is not only off-base, but down right wrong, happens to be on staff at the place where all the trouble is going down. And not only that, her own definitions and programming may be in jeopardy due to this judgment which was done without seeking her input. And she is left wondering just how much noise it is safe to make for her job and whether or not she even wants the job in the first place if this is where we are headed.
We'll I don't exactly know, but I'm trying to figure it out. Sometimes it seems as we just ignore injustices and judgments as they happen, but then you get in the position of *maybe* able to do something about it and you realize there are all sorts of ramifications about it that you've never thought of, and it can't simply be a decision of right/wrong any more. And a single judgment could create a whole mess of problems and you wonder at what point the congregation may pick up their pitchforks and revolt, and you wonder whether you should join them too.
And it is all because we are human and make judgments based on our own experiences and ideals and convictions. But those can directly affect the lives of others.
Plus I had a congregation member notice and comment that I've lost weight at work. While my numbers show no sign of budging, clearly it must be starting to work on the appearance level at least, so that's good.
I do hope that this week is a little easier than last week though. I didn't get home til 9 or 10pm every night last week, including the weekend. This weekend I literally spent about 2 waking hours a day at home. Oof. It took a lot out of me so I'm going to try to make sure to take some time and try to get home earlier this week so I have some time to relax and not catch the various cruds, colds and flus that are going around.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I cannot let one missed day become two. I WILL go to the gym today. One miss is not cause for alarm.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
* My "day off" from the gym doesn't help me regain energy when I have stay at work until almost 9 pm.
* Ok seriously, is this just the worst winter ever? I have been SO sick of the cold and the snow (even though there hasn't been TOO much of the snow). I'm a Midwest girl. I'm used to snow and cold, but this winter just seems to suck all the life out of you. I don't want to go outside, I don't want to do work, I would prefer to hover in warm clothes with a book preferably by a fireplace. I hope the spring is early and mild because this has been doing nothing to help my gym routine and general outlook on life.
* I hope you like the new layout. At first I worried it was too much like my friend Emilie's since it shares the basic template, but it is growing on me and works much better for my mood than the blue one which only reminded me of how cold it was outside. So if she doesn't mind the likeness I may keep it around.
* Why to places give conflicting information about what shots to get before you travel? And when to get them? The CDC says get Typhoid and Yellow Fever. Mayo clinic told my pastor that they weren't necessary. My clinic doesn't know its left from its right I don't think and didn't really have an opinion at all. What to do?
* Starting today, Spanish 101 is on overdrive. I realized I have about a month before I go on this mission trip and I'm determined to have at least basic conversations with people. Hola, Como estas? That's what I have so far....
* Do you ever get the feeling that you are better friends with someone than they are with you? I get that vibe sometimes and am never sure what to do with it. The fact of the matter is my introverted side and my loyal side combine to be a good friend to a few people. Still I want to avoid being the annoying hang on friend. Who knew that such problems would exist beyond Jr. High.
* I hope you all got an opportunity to view the lunar eclipse last night. I did manage to catch it for a while after I got out of work but I confess the cold kept me from watching the whole time. I even tried to photograph it but failed miserably. However my sister, Kristin, whose camera and talent far surpass my own, did take some lovely shots, which I am horribly pilfering for good blog material. Because that's what sisters do. Hehehe.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This week Chris had to interview someone he respected about balance and their lives. How to you balance work (particularly as a lawyer) and family and yourself too? Chris choose to talk to my dad about it since he is/was/is again a lawyer. I hope that he had a good perspective for Chris. Afterwards Chris asked me too, as the daughter of a lawyer whether or not I ever felt my dad's abscense from things due to work or whatnot. And honestly, I never really did. My dad did soccer coaching for me, and came to my band concerts, and I can't remember him not being there for anything important. Go Dad!
Naturally though, it got me thinking about my own life. Right now I'm putting so much time into the gym and trying hard to add some better food habits. All it seems that I do is work and the gym lately. I'm trying to go 5-6 days a week and each time ends up being 1-2 hrs after all the travel, changing, hydrating and whatnot. It takes a LOT of time. And right now, I pretty much have it. I work a lot but Chris has school and homework so I don't feel like I'm taking away time we could be together. And we can go to the gym.
But what happens in a few months, or years? In order to change my lifestyle to become more healthy and thinner I really need to keep up with the gym regularly. But I also hope to have kids, to support Chris in his new job, buy and maintain a house, etc. Right now I'm so tired between work and the gym that I'm having trouble finding the time or energy to vaccuum. What happens when it all gets more complicated.
So I thought I'd ask you oh blogland, just like Chris asked my dad. What do you do to balance work, family, health, self, etc? What are you willing to give up to do some things? How to you accept others to take on something you want? I realize that it will be a balancing act when my life becomes more complicated. But even now adding this one (albeit major addition) to my schedule has my normal life in a whirlwind. I hope to make this a habit long before I have to add anything else but I'd love any insight you guys have on this topic. Balancing kids and your own interests? Balancing healthy eating and exercise with realities of work and life?
I leave the question to you blogland. You are always insightful.
Monday, February 18, 2008
* I worked out 5 times last week and also spent 3 hours at a water park to bring my activity day total to 6 days!
* I may need to find a way to exercise earlier since I think exercising at night is keeping me up later and I'm having a horrible time getting up in the AM lately. Not that I've ever been good at it.
* I still don't seem to be going down in pounds but I do think things are shrinking and tightening a bit. Hopefully this translates into some weight loss soon.
* My dear sweet hubby, the Vikings fan, made the ultimate Valentine's day sacrifice and got me an autographed Packers mini helmet signed by the one and only Brett Favre! It must be love!
* I have a giant beaker in my office that arrived today. It will be part of our science-themed VBS this summer and it is awesome!
* Why can't President's day mean a day off. I would really love one to keep going with the progress cleaning at home...the progress that was much delayed this weekend by my procrastination.
* Only 38 more days til I leave for Argentina, and only 81 days until my hubby graduates from Law School. Not that we are counting or anything.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I did multiple DLE's throughout my time at Coolidge Elementary and they became synomous in our family with Liz meltdowns. The combination of procrastination, the desire to achieve perfection (oldest child syndrome much?) and the fear of failure all combined in a perfect storm of anxiety and stress the evening before the DLE was due. I would reach a point of hysterically sobbing and would become utterly convinced that the DLE would not get done and I would get kicked out of the program and it could spiral up into not getting into college or who knows what else. This was in elementary school mind you. Even at that young age my ability to be overly dramatic and fatalistic was strong in me.
I remember one DLE in particular - I believe it was 6th grade but I can't recall for sure. I was creating a Hawaii board game to showcase the information I learned about Hawaii. I had a whole map of the islands with the game path going around them. I had whole cards of questions and all in all it was a pretty good thing. But my biggest memory of this whole project was breaking down entirely at about 8pm the night before it was due. I remember kneeling by the piano bench sobbing convinced that everything was horrible and it was all lost.
After about an hour of this I pulled it all together and finished the project calmly and it turned out just fine. I knew I was overreacting even at the time but I could not keep the anxiety from bubbling over into mass chaos.
These tendency for DLE moments never fully went away. They would rear their heads in high school, college, seminary and normal days still. Typically it bubbles up when I am particularly stressed and have a strong desire to do something properly and effectively, especially when the outcome is going to be judged by others. I remember some final papers in college, my Master's thesis triggered a few of these DLE times too. I would reach a point where I couldn't deal any more. I would cry and lament and just know that everything was doomed. And then an hour or so later, I would have one last giant sniffle and move forward with the work.
My DLE moments have lessened in intensity but increased in length over time. I can work hard and keep positive until all the stress brings upon a DLE type day. During this day I cannot convince myself that it will all work out, and this will include things that I am not the immediate form of stress - health, finances, work, decor, gym. The nice thing is that it does pass, and I'm able to take a deep breath and move on. I may take a night to sleep it off. It may even take a day or two to regain a sense of discernment to see clearly and to regain perspective and optimism about a project.
Starting my gym routine, I am very aware of my tendency for DLE days and cautious about letting them effect my efforts. I have certainly seen some of thses moments already and so far have worked through them. Luckily they do pass but I worry about their ability to derail the chances.
Today was one of those days. I slept in but was having a hard time getting moving on the multiple things that needed my attention. The more I procrastinated the more I was convinced that I would not be able to get any of it done and that my own worth was dependent on finishing my list. And yet I could not get it going. I being worried about our finances about what would happen when Chris finished school. On and on and on and still nothing got done.
Chris and I did manage to get centered enough to go to the gym. And I did that elliptical machine and the treadmill and thought all my negative thoughts. Then I came home had a shower, ate some dinner and now it is almost bedtime. Nothing from my list got done and all of those worries are still real and present. But the DLE moment had passed.
Perhaps the gym and this routine may be an answer to my DLE days. I still think it may be in danger of derailing at least momentarily from these moments, but perhaps I can harness my DLE panic at the gym and come out more positive and able to get going with the stuff that needs dealing with. Even if I don't finish my lists the simple act of going to the gym in the midst of a DLE day has brought some perspective back. So maybe there is hope for me yet!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I'm very excited for our "date" tonight. It is really pretty low key but we get to go down to St. Olaf and see the Ole Orchestra concert. A piece has been commissioned in memory of my dear friend Liz's brother Eric and she'll be up from the Southwest. So I'll get beautiful music, some friends, and my hubby by my side. It works for me.
This may be sad, but after tonight, I'm even MORE excited for Friday. Why? Because I have NOTHING scheduled. I have to go to the gym at some point, but other than that I have no plans for the day. I may do some cleaning, I'll certainly catch up on some tv, and recoup from the crazy couple of months that have been '08 so far.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
9. My hair was long enough to not having annoying wisps fall out of my pony tail and into my face.
8. My heart rate responded and was in the "zone" it should be and my body could keep up with the effort necessary to keep it there.
7. All the racquetball courts were full so I couldn't do my Medicine ball work out (I'll do this one tomorrow or today instead but it felt nice to skip it with good cause).
6. I found a great workout song long buried in my ipod. Meco's Galactic Funk - think the themes from Star Wars (literally) with a crazy 70s funk beat and lots of extra laser noises. It keep me moving and bouncing along.
5. I had a yummy cheese and spinach pizza waiting for me at home for dinner.
4. I have been to the gym or done some form of activity for 5 straight days in a row.
3. The backs of my knees look smaller. (Why is it that we notice it in the oddest places to begin with?)
2. I got a parking spot right by the door. Call me crazy, I'll work out for an hour but get very annoyed having to walk an additional 300 feet in the cold to get there!
1. So many wonderful people in my life are so encouraging about what I'm doing. I'm not fishing for compliments with my frustration on my blog, but it is so nice to know that there are so many people rooting for me and this whole process. Thanks!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules.
3) Share six non-important things / habits / quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people.
5) Make sure the people you tagged KNOW you tagged them by commenting what you did.
So ... here I go:
1) With my SIL and her friends as a barometer, I'm turning out to be cooler to 17 yr olds at age 28 than I was when I was 17. If my cool-ness quotient continues to rise, I'll be the hip-est granny around someday. However, I'm sure this must be a bell curve and I'll start going down again soon.
2) I have played the trumpet since I was 10 years old (18 years - wow) and still play today though not as often as I'd like.
3) I can read French, Hebrew, Ancient Greek and a tiny (but growing) bit of Spanish and I own first Harry Potter book translated into ancient greek!
4) I have a tremendous song memory when it comes to lyrics and can sing almost any song after only hearing it a few times, however if you asked me who wrote the song, performed it or what the title was I'll probably be clueless.
5) When I was young I had a terrible phobia of storms and tornados especially. Whenever there was a storm my dad would mimic the "tornado/wicked witch music" from the Wizard of Oz. I had the phobia until I met my husband and his family, who experienced a tornado in their town first hand. Since then, I still feel uneasy but I'm no longer paralyzed by them.
6) When I was young I really wanted to be an astronaut and be the first person on Mars. My sixth grade crush and I had a race going to see who would be the first person to do it. So far, it isn't looking good for either of us.
Oh, and I tag Scott, Tiffany, and Barb
Friday, February 08, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Their response, "Ooookaaaay, but when you do come over we have to play Rock Band (?) and I'll be the singer and S will be the drummer and you can play the bass."
So if you don't know where to find me, I may be in my new career as professional Wii bass player.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
* Why oh why won't my headache go away? I woke up with it and it is keeping my focus away from work and on the pounding of my head. Boo.
* Sad, funny and true...
* I had a follow up meeting today with those volunteers who had some concerns about Children's Ministry. Three months later they are very pleased with my responses and we are continuing to move forward. All in all, the process worked quite well, even if I wished I didn't have to do it in the first place.
* I am one of the ashes people at tonight's service. I hope it goes well. It is always interesting particularly with the tall people and the ones with bangs! Still it is a nice tradition and one of my favorite parts of this Lenten season.
* I've decided not to give anything up for lent. Instead, I'm going to do whatever I can to keep up with my gym attendence. That will be my lenten discipline which coincidentally coincides with my current needs anyway. Beyond that I'm going to try to find some of my own spiritual renual, which is becoming increasingly difficult for me working in a church.
* Thanks for all the great workout suggestions. I'm hoping to get some of that set this weekend and I've been picking the most upbeat stuff I've got right now to keep me going. I also tried an exercise bike for a bit this week to break up the treadmill monotony and it really did work pretty well. I split my time there and on the treadmill and it worked pretty well. And while I'm only at 2 workouts so far this week I'm pleased that I got myself to the gym yesterday before the caucus.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Let me know what works for you and I'll use my itunes cards from Christmas to create the ultimate workout mix tape. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!