Friday, May 29, 2009

I ran a Mile. And Strained a Hamstring. But not at the same time.

Last night at bootcamp was a night of firsts. I ran a mile for the first time in my life. I guess I'm a late bloomer. I mean, we were required to run a mile for gym class in middle school and high school, but I never ran it. Not the whole way. I would start with a light jog and when it got too much, I'd start walking. Running just enough in the end to pass the test and avoid repeats. But the test times were so ridiculously high, that some of the stronger athletes in school could probably have crab-walked the mile and still passed.

So, last night I decided to pace myself, but to not stop. That's a big thing with me. Not stopping. Sometimes it gets me in trouble when it comes to questions or arguments, but it turns out in training, it's not so bad. With the rest of the group, I ran up a giant hill and down it. And it made me happy. Not the dredge that I running usually is for me. Keep in mind that I jog every day, but it's a walk-jog alternate and therefore doesn't really count as a mile of consecutive jogging, even though I think I jog a mile total. Maybe I'll start jogging my entire route soon.

But not yet, because the other part of not stopping is that sometimes it hurts. Near the end of the training period, we were doing sprints in pairs. I wasn't buddied up, so I ran with our trainer. A former football player. Who is much faster than me in lead shoes. However, I wanted to prove that I could sprint, so I pushed it all out. Not bad for the first run, but the second sprint got me. I felt the tweak in the thigh that people dread. I hopped to the finish, but the pain sucked. I strained my hamstring. Not the painful, stop in your tracks pop of a pull, but not fun nonetheless. Despite icing, stretching, and blasts of heat, it still is tweaked today.

The one thing I can say about boot camp is that it makes going to the bathroom more of a challenge than ever before. Each week it's a different muscle that makes it hard to get off.

Yesterday was also the first official weigh in for Chef and I's Biggest Loser contest. Wish me. Only 90 days to go.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It seems quiet around here

Every year about this time, the city seems a little more quiet. Maybe it's just me, but once school is out and the college kids leave, it's like a breath of fresh air. I know if I were a mom, I'd be thinking differently, but I'm not.

You never realize how many college kids invade your favorite hangouts until their gone. Living about 3 blocks away from a campus doesn't ease the situation, but I digress. Driving through campus every morning to get to work and not having to dodge pedestrians is nice. Not being forced to confront my own age by watching frat boys roll out the Slip 'N Slide while crawfish are boiling on the porch is also a plus. I don't need a taut 20 year old in a short skirt to feel out of my element. That just happens naturally.

But after a few months of quiet, it is kind of nice when school is back in session. Even the local schools. It's like a collective exhale in May as the schools let out and then another one in August as they roll back in.

Add to that it's vacation time. Even those taking staycations (which I think has to be the word of 2009 as I never saw it in print as many times as I have in the last three months), are still out of the usual routine. The traffic is lighter and at least 10 percent of the city goes on vacation each week, so it starts to make a big impact.

For now, I'll just enjoy the quiet before the bitching about traffic begins again in the fall. Welcome summer!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Whole Lot of Nothin'

That's what I did this weekend. And it was everything that I dreamed it could be. I watched the food network (looking for some ideas to jazz up this meal plan), caught up on all nearly all of the Law & Order episodes on the DVR (which is a miracle in its own right), played with the kitties, cleaned some of the house, and generally enjoyed having no particular place to be or go at any specific time.

One of the things I enjoyed with Chef was the downloading of Battleship for the Xbox. Board games are a good time, but board games on the Xbox are even better. Especially when I've got an equal shot at winning. I also spent some infuriating time trying to beat Schultz's score on Bejeweled on facebook. How they hell did she score 199,000 in one minute? I'm positive she had to cheat.

But mostly I tried to stay diligent as Chef played out his strategy this weekend. The first weigh in is today for our Biggest Loser Contest and he spent the weekend stuffing his face trying to gain as much weight as possible. Oddly enough, when I mentioned the contest to my brother Matt, he said that he'd be doing the same thing. Is this a guy thing? Or am I just missing the boat? I would've had a Klondike bar or two myself except that today is weigh in day at boot camp and I don't really want to go up in weight for the sake of going up.

Nonetheless, it was a wonderful Memorial day weekend. And while I did think of the veterans in my life, I also thought of the people that I've lost along the way. While they may not have died in battle, it's still a nice day to remember. And play Battleship.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown

Last night Chef and I made a big decision. Well, the Biggest decision. We challenged each other to the Biggest Loser between the two of us. For 90 days starting on Tuesday (and taking a one-day hiatus on June 3rd for Chef's birthday), we will try to out do each other in the weight loss department. Like the show, we'll be basing our competiton on weight loss percentages and the stakes are big. Not $250,000, kind of big, but selfishly decadent kind of big.

I think I can take him. He's a dude and therefore will probably lose weight by blinking rapidly. Plus he's done fairly well on keeping to the meal plan and I am proud of him for that. Still, I work out more than he does, so I think that's where my edge lies.

I'm going to update the blog with our weekly weigh-in information. Not the actual pounds because I'm not that bold in letting the world how much I weigh. But the percentages will be tracked each week. I wish this week counted because I lost 2.45% in the first 10 days of boot camp. I might bitch about the meal plan (and I will bitch about any meal plan that doesn't feature cheese, bread and chocolate), but it works and I'm actually feeling better.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

When Will You Learn, Reality Couples??

Jon & Kate Plus 8. I admit it. I watched the show a few years back when Patrick was hoarding the front TV for his Xbox extravaganza nights. I was deeply interested in the logistics it takes to run a household of 8 kids. Especially when 6 are too young to pee on their own. It was interesting and not a little bit deterring from any accidental child-bearing of my own.

Kate didn't bother me too much because I could understand being snippy with Chef if I were trapped at home with 8 kids, even if I chose it. But as the show has gone on, it seems to have gone away from what everyone wanted to see: the logistics and love it takes to make a family of 10 happen. Plus the Gosselins started getting one-upped by larger families and their reality shows. I think the turning point for me was when both the Gosselins started cashing in on the show's popularity to get free cosmetic surgery. I'm not saying that I wouldn't do it, but I would probably be prepared for some changes. Like my husband cheating or me thinking I'm too hot.

How many times have we seen this? How many couples have to go on reality TV with a steady, normal relationship to sacrifice and watch it implode before our eyes? I know the tempation is to go ahead and try because "Surely, we're stronger and smarter than Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson." It's an easy thing to think, but let me assure, you're not. It's not how smart you are, or how long you've been together. It's television. It's fame. It's every bad thing you ever did, every stupid thing you ever said, all bundled together in neat 22 minute segments for America to judge.

You may be special enough to have cameras follow you around all the time, but you are not special enough to handle the toll that takes. No matter how smart you are.



Why is Jon wearing an IU t-shirt? I'm befuddled.
Why is Kate wearing that hair? Also befuddling.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Frankly, Scarlett, We don't give a damn. Just hand us the food.

There are some nights when you can't believe the people you meet. And that's without even leaving your home. Friday night was one of those nights. After having spent the night at Wal-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, Petsmart and Kroger buying Soap Scum remover, water bottles, cat food and human food, among other things, I went home exhausted and excited about starting the meal plan...on Saturday. I mean, it's just silly to start a meal plan two thirds of the way into the day, right?

So to celebrate our new begining, Chef and I went out with a Bang. Or a breadbowl to be more precise. A suprisingly delicious card-loaded (saying my last goodbyes before I'm relegated to two servings of whole grains--one of which is oatmeal) pasta-filled breadbowl from Domino's. Not normally a place that would call to us, but it totally hit the spot. What really weirded us out was the delivery woman, Scarlett. The normal food delivery transaction is fairly simple and short, hand over food, exchange for money or signature on credit card receipt, close door. This night was different.

This woman chatted Chef up while he was getting the food and then demanded to see my driver's license before she would hand over the food. (I'd put the online order on my card). I did and she stood there with the door propped open for so long that Genghis ran out of the apartment. . .while she just stood there. No effort to get out of Chef's way or concern for our animal. She then proceeded to tell me that she and her mom ran a Barber business, but her mom died a year ago. "But I still come to people's houses to cut their hair," she said. "I can come back here and cut both of yours." She then handed me her business card.

After we FINALLY got her all the information she needed to process my card (urine sample, blood draw and 10 forms of id), she opened the warmer to find that she'd only brought half our order. I was immediately irritated mostly because I knew she'd have to come back. And she did a mere 10 minutes later. Of course it took 20 minutes because Chef had to spend the time talking to her about how pissed her manager was at her.

We thought the Scarlett saga was over until we heard a third knock at the door just as we were finishing. Scarlett had lost my credit card receipt and asked if she could have the one she'd given me back so that her manager wouldn't get pissed. When I finally found it and rewrote all the info on it, she asked me if I was from Nashville. When I said no, she then proceeded to talk about how much my mom must miss me because she misses her daughter who lives in a double-wide in North Carolina. I am not adding any detail to this. She told me this at the door as I was trying to politely close it. But after a while, being polite is not an option. When she went back into telling me how much my mom must miss me, I finally just snapped.

"My mom's been dead for 9 years. Have a nice night!" and shut the door.

If you're ordering Domino's from the Belcourt location, just make sure Scarlett doesn't deliver it. It almost made me glad that I'm not going to be ordering out for a while.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Going to the Grocery and I'm Going to Get Healthy

I sent the meal plan for boot camp to Chef yesterday and he did his Chef thing. He came up with some alternatives to egg whites and tuna, some seasonings for the bland stuff and then got me excited about eating healthy. Actually, even he got excited about eating fresh foods, so we're going to try this together. Since I go to the grocery once a week (friday night because it's less busy and I usually have no life), it is the perfect time to get started.

So it's not lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and water. The meal plan that Harold sent (trainer dude from Marathon fitness) doesn't say anything about Diet Mountain Dew or Diet Dr. Pepper, so I feel like if I get my 64 oz. of water in, then I can drink my caffeine until my heart (or pounding head) is content.

Of course, now I'm running to the bathroom every few hours because I'm peeing all the time, but it has to be better for me than The Whale. The Whale was the 54 oz. fountain drink from Exxon On The Run I was starting my mornings with. It was only $1 for any size drink, so if you're gonna go, might as well go big, right? I mean, it just makes fiscal sense to pay less than 2 cents per ounce when you can. It's revelations like these that make me know that I'm my father's daughter despite any moments when I might doubt it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where are the carbs at?

On Tuesday I started a boot camp with the other people in my office and I'm excited about it. I'm ready to have a little stead influence to kick my butt into shape. Even if it does leave me sore for two days and wondering if my butt can take the kicking.

And I've lost weight before. I never was able to say that until about 18 months ago when I started moving more and eating less. It was successful, but I'd still like to take some more off and make some permanent changes.

With boot camp, we were given a meal plan. I've never really had a meal plan before and I'm not so sure about this one. The two things that I'm really having trouble with are the tuna (not such a big fan of fish) and the egg whites (I gag nearly all the time that I'm around eggs of any sort). I get that I'm supposed to be eating lean protein, but the thought of choking down tuna and egg whites every day makes me a little sick to my stomach.

However, seeing this does give me some ideas for other lean proteins that I could be eating, but don't. I wonder if I can negotiate my way into some whole grain tortillas and turkey. There has to be some alternatives for this eating plan. I'm thinking I can do this, but Chef will definitely have to help out on seasoning front!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Too many bad decisions catching up with me

There are days when months and weeks worth of bad decisions seem to come to the forefront of your mind and sleeping then seems impossible. I've been having the last few weeks like this. None of my bad decisions were cataclysmic, or at least causing death or physical injury. Some cause hurt feelings and an increased waistline, but hopefully time and exercise and better decisions can help fix those.

There are times when I feel like I put work ahead of all else and start to feel exceedingly selfish. I'm not home enough. I'm not with my friends enough. I'm not writing enough. It makes me wonder if I'm hiding behind the job so as not to have to really live or if I'm just an overachieving control freak that has to do the best I can at things that are measured. If I put a goal to friendship that was measured bi-annually, would I be more likely to try and achieve than just to let it go?

And then there's the inner struggle of knowing that even if I make bad decisions, that doesn't make me a bad person. I'm still a good person that makes mistakes. And my mother always told when I was stressing out too much and losing my hair in high school (yes, I had a bald spot that time and cortisone injections helped cure), "There are few decisions in life that we can't unmake." I might eat chicken planks from Long John Silvers, but I can have a salad and try to make better choices today. I can be home in the 5 o'clock hour instead of the 7 o'clock hour. I can listen more and talk less. I can let things go. I can be a better friend. I can start today.

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