Saturday, November 26, 2011

Function follows form

Hmmm, so it's been nine days since I last posted? Yeah. It's no wonder. School and my social calendar have been full full full! Which is great and all, but to have my focus fall off right around Thanksgiving!?!? Dangerous! Downright dangerous.

What have been the consequences?? Well, indulging too much on sugary and fatty snacks. My excuse? They were in the house for guests at Thanksgiving dinner...a brunch I hosted this morning...for company, right? OK, so indulging isn't really the consequence that we're concerned about here. What I'm concerned with is how I feel now, how many pounds I've put on. Honestly, I'm a bit afraid to stand on the scale. I'm not going to do it for awhile. I don't need to. I can feel it in my clothes.

It's this horrid circle. I know what I should and should not do, yet I give in to stress and I give in to emotional eating and I give into convenience foods and I give into cravings and I give into the wonderful and terrible ice cream. So WHY??? Why Why Why???

I'm pretty damned disciplined in other areas of my life. Why not this one??? I feel like no amount of knowledge, no self-awareness will protect me. I can quit doing countless other things without looking back, yet this, this escapes me.


Frozen 'pizza'--delicious, but definitely NOT on the list
 Eh...not good, but not bad.
A decent start to the day.


I only had 2 mini desserts
 Study group dinner...steak, salad and roasted root veggies
 cheese, crackers, pepperoni and hummus
 nachos, my not-so-secret weakness
I already ate the fourth square

I wish I remembered what/if I ate before this...


I ate 1/2 tonight, and 1/4 tomorrow and 1/4 the day after
 BBQ With Olyver...most came home and then the leftover ribs were devoured as a midnight snack a few days later
Breakfast date: fruit, omelette, toast and potatoes


I'm not sure if I didn't eat dinner or didn't photograph it...but a great salad for lunch!

I probably ate a ginormous bag of chocolate for dinner...
Pretty normal breakfast


Spicy salmon and avocado in brown rice

I'm pretty certain that I didn't photgraph lunch...
Breakfast sandwich and pineapple


Thanksgiving came a day early at my house...chocolate mousse cake and pumpkin pie with TJs House Whip

I'm pretty sure there was also a second dessert, like a Hobbit.
 Turkey and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts with candied pecans and cornbread stuffing...there was also bread and butter

Yup. Burger King. I have not eaten fast food in over 4 years...closer to 5 if you're talking McDonalds...amazingly, I did not get sick. However, I do not recommend trying this at home.


Chocolate mousse cake for dinner...there was a piece of pumpkin pie for dessert.
Giant salad. I managed to let a vegetable pass my lips as I did homework.


nachos, what else?
 carne asada burrito


Finally today...fruit and fat free vanilla yogurt, breakfast casserole--egg, peppers, onion, sausage, cheese and a little salsa

This, of course, does not show the brie and crackers, the chocolate chip dunkers, pumpkin ice cream with pralines, chocolates, Reese's Pieces, sweet potato pie, and popcorn...

Ok, so what I've photographed isn't as bad as I make it out?? Sure. What you don't know is that I failed to photograph or even keep track of how many pieces of chocolate I've eaten, the pumpkin pie, the chocolate mousse cake, the cheese, the pretzel-filled mm's, and the countless other sugary and fatty foods that have been put into my belly.

The whole point of this blog is accountability and I'm failing that. I feel like crap about that. I don't know if that is spilling into other areas of my life or if other areas are causing me to eat like crap. I don't think it matters in terms of the outcome. Function follows form or form follows function?? Does it matter?? Actually, yeah, it does. I think it's a matter of Function follows Form, or reason follows outcome, meaning that the outcome is more important than the reason. The outcome is extra pounds, extra fat, my clothes not fitting, me not being happy with myself, my self-esteem suffering, and extra work at the gym that I may or may not have time for. An evil evil cycle...

What have I done about it? A whole lot of nothing so far. Until tonight, I have not owned up to it. I haven't admitted powerlessness over eating. I haven't been to the gym in over a week. I've been caught up, as usual, in school, in social activities, in work, in errands, in buying a new bed, in cleaning for guests to come over, in anything that doesn't involve getting and staying in healthy eating habits. There. That's it. That's my confession.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


TGIT?? Yeah. Thank Goodness It's Thursday! Thursday marks the end of the difficult part of the week. Classes are over for the week. My long days are over for the week and Fridays are usually just a little bit easier because they're Fridays. I know you know what I'm talking about.

Well, I do know that the next three weeks are going to suck great big donkey balls. There's the everyday stuff that needs to get done, normal schoolwork and papers and projects and presentations...Oh my! Let's just say, it's going to be difficult to have a social life. I am looking forward to not having classes next week and Thanksgiving! I'm looking forward to having five whole days off work. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and making a giant dinner. I'm looking forward to sleeping in and working out. I'm looking forward to the end of the semester.

It's funny, I'm looking forward to so much that's in the near future (and some other stuff further in the future), that I'm having trouble just focusing on today. I find I'm having to remind myself of what needs attention right now. Maybe if I fess up to it all publically, I can start to bring my focus back to today? So, here's my list of what I'm looking forward to...
  • Thanksgiving weekend and all that's going on during it!
  • The end of the semester in mid-December
  • My trip to Seattle for Christmas
  • Wearing my new dress for New Year's!!!!! (so, shoe-shopping too!!)
  • Start of spring classes in January (Finance, YAY!!)
  • My trip to Dubai and Abu Dabi in March
  • Baby animals and new flowers next spring (fall leaves have got spring on my brain)
  • Not taking classes next summer (or maybe just one?)
  • The following year being my final year of school
  • Graduation!!!!
  • And trips with my mom somewhere in all of that...
You can see how a girl would find it hard to focus!!


eggs with sausage, peppers & onions, blueberries  and blueberry muesli, milk and coffe

Minestrone soup and salad

leftovers...shhhhh, don't tell! Chicken, pinto beans, corn, red pepper, onion and cheese

after class nacho snack


Nope, you're not seeing double...

In-class snack...with a skinny vanilla latte

Love me some foamy cappuccino!

Good news!!! You can now get a full sized salad at Panera and a 1/2 sandwich!!!! Garden salad with a mediterranean veggie sandwich, fruit cup and tea

Melon, potatoes with ketchup, eggs w/ sausage and peppers and salsa and cheese

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One of those days

Did you ever have one of those days? One of the days where you wonder what the hell you're doing with your life? Well, that's the night I'm having. I got the e-mail about my third class that starts on December 1st today. We have to submit a copy of our resume by November 22nd. Needless to say, I needed to update mine. Granted, I'm not done, but really? A resume?? The course is called Career Strategies. So, yeah, I guess it makes sense that they want to see a copy of our resumes. OK, well, I've started to update mine. I've had my current job for 8 1/2 years's not an easy task.

Regardless, there's nothing like updating your resume to make you feel inadequate. I'm looking at my resume and I think, what a wonderful lateral career I've had. I like what I do and I'm really good at it. Don't get me wrong. But, WOW! How incredibly mediocre. Ugh. Then, I'm picking up some dinner dishes and remember an evening when one of classmates told me how she considers me to have a successful career and she looks up to me for that. It's amazing how others see things in us that we fail to notice. Here, I've been sitting this evening getting down on myself because I'm not Queen of the World and there are people out there who think I'm pretty amazing in one way or another.

What's that phrase about how the smile you give may be nothing to you, but it's everything to the one who receives it? It's all in the perception. This feeling of mediocrity is weird for me, because it's not how I normally feel about myself. We all have our days, right? But, normally, I'm a pretty confident person. I believe in myself, heck, I even think I'm pretty. There! Take that! I said it. I think I have a generally healthy self-image. Not all of us are so lucky though. Some of us think way too much or too little of ourselves. Neither is a comfortable place to be mentally or emotionally. I know, I used to be there.

So, how did I do it? How did I break out of that mindset so that when it happens today it's not the norm? I don't know. It wasn't like turning on a light switch. Change happens gradually and in small increments. Sometimes it means, literally, standing in front of the mirror and telling yourself you look pretty, or that you love yourself. Sometimes it's as simple as setting a small goal and attaining it. Generally, you need to think about what you like about yourself and start there. Focus on that, smile about that, be happy about that. You've got to act like you like yourself, like you think you're pretty, or however it is that you want to be. If you act it consistently, you'll begin to believe it. No, really! Our brains can't really deal with thinking one way and acting another. I've said it before, right action leads to right thought.

That being said, how do you want to be? Start acting like and you will start thinking like it!

Chicken Asada from Trader Joe's with onions and peppers, orzo with tomatoes and romano cheese, and steamed broccoli

Big salad with mushroom barley soup--I did eat one pack of crackers...

For breakfast: eggs with hotsauce, blueberry muesli and fruit

Monday, November 14, 2011

The parade

And this is what my eating SHOULD look like!! Well, you'll know what I mean when you see the photos. It's so much easier to eat healthy when I'm at work and that structure is just built into the day.

I don't have a lot to talk about tonight...I've got a whole bunch swirling 'round in my head, most of it is about school though. Not ceilings, cultural change within an organization, stuff like that. I did, however, make it to the gym today and I plan on going again tomorrow as well. Since I start my weeks on Mondays for the purpose of tracking goals, today marks 1/3 of the way there for the week's exercise goal! What a great start! Tomorrow, I'll be 2/3 of the way there! It may not sound exciting to you, but to me, it's like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one.

Seriously, though, I really do have all this mish-mash of stuff rolling around in my my own little entertainment factory. Luckily, most of it is other people's drama. I don't envy them though. The choices they face. J asked me tonight why I was on the verge of tears at her story...I can't help it! I get so emotionally caught up in her stories of can't-live-without-you-love...who wouldn't!? I don't know about you, but the gym really helps me to focus when my head gets all this clutter in it. Trust me, my own mental drama is never so interesting as J's or A's...but it's definitely more distracting, just because it's mine.

Regardless of how interesting or dull my mental drama is, I need my head to quiet down sometimes. I like to call it 'the parade', because it's like this parade of characters that rolls on through without rhyme or reason. They say you can't control your thoughts....right? Well, for me, I need a break from the parade once in a while. Sometimes I get this through meditation (read: sitting still with eyes closed and just breathe for 5 minutes or more), but mostly it's through exercise or playing with my cat. It's anything that keeps me and my head in the moment. It's being focused on whatever I'm doing, being engaged with whoever I'm with, it's being present. My newest thing I'm trying is listening to music in other languages. It's hard to get caught up in anything but the sound of the voices and the emotions that they evoke when you have no clue what they're saying. Sometimes I can actually tune it out enough for it to just be background.

It doesn't really matter how I quiet my mind as long as I do. That mental peace is part of an all-around healthy lifestyle. Being healthy doesn't just mean taking care of ourselves physically, it's also taking care of ourselves mentally and emotionally. So, how do you take care of yourself mentally and emotionally?

Back on the corn...Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop 100 calorie pack...not as good as the really bad for you popcorn that I love, but it's good.

An interesting and yummy dinner concoction...chicken, corn, pinto beans, onions, red peppers, a little chili powder, garlic powder, medium salsa and a little low fat cheese

Normally, I do not photograph my beverages, but this just felt like dessert...OJ with seltzer water, my own little virgin mimosa!

Afternoon snack...I was soooo hungry today! One of my student employees was in my office when I devoured this. She said that after yesterday's hike, my body is repairing itself and it needs energy to do that. She's right. My body was sore sore sore today!

Pizza...'nuff said.  And a big salad

Pretty normal breakfast. I'm hoping for milk tomorrow. Cereal is just not the same in yogurt.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cliffs of INSANITY

I had a pretty amazing day today. Hiking. Getting dirty and climbing just over 2500 feet to stand atop the Cliffs of INSANITY...and then to take a little walk on over to the most amazing waterfall that I've seen in a frozen state. Well, to be fair, it wasn't frozen today. Guess what...this was my work-out today. It wasn't a long hike, but when I was barely able to stand at the base of that waterfall for the quivering in my thighs, I think it's OK to call it a work-out!

There was this moment, sitting atop the Cliffs of INSANITY (by the way, that's not their real name, I just like the Princess Bride reference.), when I thought about how none of this matters. All of the craziness in our little lives, all of the drama, all of the work stuff, all of the school stuff, all of the everything. You look out over the White Mountains and think briefly about how large they are. OK, they're not as big as the mountains in the western U.S., or the Himalayas...Is anything as big as the Himalayas? But they're pretty darned big. I grew up in NY, the biggest mountain we have is Mt. Marcy at 5344 feet. Mount Washington in the White Mountains is 6288 feet. Neither a match for Everest...BUT, you look out over these peaks and think about how long they've stood...something like 480 million years, give or take. You think about how long they've been there...they've stood up to glaciers for crying out loud! Think about that, sit there on the edge of that cliff on a gorgeous fall day and tell me that all of the stuff in your life means anything.

This is the view....

From up there...The Cliffs of INSANITY

It's a great feeling. No, really, it is. It's a great feeling to realize that what I do in my daily life doesn't mean all the much in the grand scheme of nature. Those mountains will still be there. They'll bear witness to my moment, but that's about it. They'll provide a climbing challenge to us humans, they'll provide a home to countless plants and animals and they'll still be standing when we human are long gone. Knowing that, that feeling that I am small and don't have that much influence in the world is probably the most powerful feeling that I've had (other than jumping out of an airplane...but that wasn't the same). This was one of those moments where I knew it was OK to stop holding on quite so tightly. OK to let go and trust in those around me. It was a moment where I was able to experience a power greater than myself, to look in it the face and say, 'Yes. Yes you are.' It's a liberating experience to find out that I'm not responsible for everything. That even I have my limits.

Maybe this sounds like babbling to you, but tell me you haven't felt it before...that feeling of smallness in the world. That feeling that you are small and the world is oh so big. To look at those rocks, see the grooves that run along them and know that that was water and sand that did that. Yes, water and sand. Granted, it was a lot of water, frozen, and rocks, not really sand, and it took a really really long time. But there it is, water and sand. Pressure and time. Still don't know what I'm talking about? Go visit the Grand Canyon and tell me you've never felt this feeling.

Anyway, pressure and time. What's that mean to us in our little lives that are only a blink to those mountains? I think it means persistence and patience. If you know me, then you know I'm plenty persistent. But patient is something to work on. All of the stuff in our lives, it only means anything to us. It's part of what gives us satisfaction. If we want to be good at what we do, it takes persistence and patience. It's a growth process. It's the same thing with those mountains. It was a slow process to build them up, it was a slow process to shape them and start to cut them down, but there they are. There they stand. If we build ourselves through persistence and patience, we'll be able withstand all that tries to cut us down too.


OK, clearly I forgot to photograph a meal, but for the life of me, I don't know what I ate...
 yeah, gone VERY quickly
garden salad and smoked turkey sandwich at Panera


Date night at Kelly's Roast Beef!

Yeah, they're a complete addiction...

OK, so this was baked french toast made with cinnamon apple bread and fresh fruit. The baked french toast was to die for!!!

Dinner after hiking...Trader Joe's Asada Chicken, orzo with tomatoes and a big salad
trail mix...I was a little busy having a moment atop a cliff to remember to photograph the rest of my food. I had:
dried fruit
smoked turkey w/ low fat swiss and mustard on oatmeal bread
Kashi granola bar
small hot cocoa
chocolate chip dunker cookies from Trader Joe's