Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Warm!!!!

Here's what I had cooking yesterday. My nourishment, my winter warmth, my way to fake the sun in the oh-so-sunless Pacific Northwest, and most of all my latest step on my healthy me quest. Bikram Yoga of Renton. A set of 26 postures held in a 105-degree room with 40% humidity for 90 minutes. It's 90 minutes of warm heaven --minus the light-headed nauseous moments where all you want to do is run outside and lay on the cold wet concrete... Or at least out to the lobby. But an exercise in self control and mind-over-matter is good for you. And it really is great!!! What is everyone finding for nourishment this week?

Monday, October 29, 2012

This Thing Called Sandy

I wrote on Facebook earlier that if I had a therapist I imagine we'd spend some time discussing the fact that Sandy is making my missing of NYC much worse.  Immediately after posting it I considered deleting it. But it was authentic at the time, so I left it. I think a therapist could seriously do me some good. I've even done the research and have one picked out to try first. I'm just too chicken to actually make the call. That's beside the point. It's not unreasonable to wish that I was in NYC for this particular epic moment. I miss New York nearly all the time. But it's the spirit of myf riends and neighbors that is making the yearning worse today. There is nothing I'd love more that holing up in my 15th floor pre-war apartment watching the storm outside my window overlooking the Hudson. I'd revel in the spirit of strength and defience and community that is I'm sure abounding. I'd even love the adventure that I'm sure would be getting from my humble abode on West 34th St to St. Lukes on 113th and Amsterdam.  It's something that can't be quantified for those who have never experienced this particular NYC magic.

Also, DC... this photo is from my favorite place in Washington. May God bless and watch over these honorable men now and always.

With all this missing of and longing to be in the East Coast --even and especially in these terrible conditions-- I think it's excellent that this week's wellness focus is on nourishment. I'm in need of nourishing, and I can't wait!! I have a little something in the works for tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Tonight I got a ride in the back of one of these babies!!!  From the ambulance bay to the employee parking lot. Across the street. And I was still giddy as a little school girl. I still can't stop grinning. Believe it or not, I've never been inside one.  These guys are SO cool!!! :) (And yes, I called dibs on the airway if we got called to a call on the way across the street)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On Being Healthy

First, a few discoveries I've made in my quest to eat clean natural healthy foods. You have to do dishes a lot more often. Your garbage stinks a lot more. Fresh foods go bad, I suppose this is a good thing. And most importantly, you just FEEL good! In every possible way. My skin is soft, my complexion is clear, my hair is radiant, my lips are luscious and don't need chapstick, my belly is happy, etc.  Today I came across this little board on Pinterest, and thought it fit well with the Weekly Wellness challenge.

I Vow To...

  • Remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight
  • Never blame my body for the bad day I'm having
  • Stop joining in when my friends compare and trash their own bodies
  • Never allow a dirty look from someone else to influence how I feel about my appearance
  • Notice all the amazing things my body is doing for me every moment I walk, talk, think, breathe...
  • Quiet that negative little voice in my head when it starts to say mean things about my body that I'd never tolerate anyone else saying about me
  • Remember that even the girl who I'd swap bodies with in a minute has something about her looks that she hates
  • Respect my body by feeding it well, working up a sweat, and knowing when to give it a break
  • Know that I'm already beautiful just the way I am
  • Not let my size define me. It's far better for focus on how awesome I look in my jeans than the number on the tag
  • Surround myself with positive people
  • Accept the changes that my body is going through. I will rock what I've got
  • Remember that sometimes I will have down moments. And in those times I will remind myself of how awesome I am by looking in the mirror and saying, "I'm good! I can do this!"
  • Accept that beauty isn't just about my looks. It's my awesome personality and my energy that creates a whole unique package
Go forth and be healthy my friends! Love yourselves, and be kind!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quick Notes

*Does anyone else think that perhaps the basis of choosing a leader for our country should be based on something a little more substantial than who he thinks should be able to marry whom?

*Mothers, motherhood is amazing.

*I'm taking a do-over on last week's wellness challenge. I didn't disconnect from any technology and I really look forward to the challenge. Quite frankly I just forgot. So I'll add it on to the end.

*Veggies this week... Yay!!!

*Be authentic... hmm, yeah. Yes.

*FedEx is almost like unto the post office. No bueno.

*Today I dumped all 120 of my crayons from their compartmentalized boxes where they were color coordinated in order into a giant pencil box. This is a big deal.

*I think my teeth are beginning to yellow, and I have arthritis in my hips. That or hip dysplasia like an old arthritic dog... Old age is rough.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ah, the Inspiration of 80's Rock

Lying awake and flipping through old photo albums on facebook reminiscing... And having my semi-annual geographical identity crisis. Wow, I've had some good times. And wow, there were some photos that are still hard to look at. And I really really need to start going to the gym again, because damn I look good in some of those photos!! Which reminds me... Wellness Week Three. How we doin' folks?  Was your nighttime routine as helpful as mine was? I sure do hope so. This week, stretch.  I'm not so much trying a new form of exercise as much as I am starting to exercise again. Slowly and healthily, not obsessively, but daily walks again will be nice. And in thinking of new forms of exercise, I'm kind of becoming fascinated by tai chi ...don't laugh. Anyone have experience? I like the balance and meditative factors.

Now, the geographical identity crisis.  And in the words of a great 80s rock song...and one of my life's themes, "I don't know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been, hanging on the promises and songs of yesterday. I've made up my mind, I aint wasting no more time, here I go again. Though I keep searching for an answer, I never seem to find what I'm looking for. Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on, 'cause I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams. Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I've ever known..."  Because each individual road is the only one each of us know. And it is our own.  So is going home the answer for me? Is that quitting, or running away? Can I do it without feeling claustrophobic and trapped?  Can I do it and not loose the me that I've worked so hard to find? Do I want to travel again?  Maybe I really was born a drifter... I certainly would be in good company with many of my travelling friends who feel the same way.  But then you hear your nephew's sweet voice on the other end of the video chat, so excited to hear you, and that just feels so right. Is staying here or going somewhere new running away? Why am I so scared?  And it's not must my nephew. It's my brother. And my sister, and my two amazing in-laws. And my mommy and my daddy. It's a friend in New Orleans, a friend in North Carolina, one in Florida-now-Pittsburgh, one in Iowa, and another friend who hasn't spoken to me for years. It's the memories, and the photos and the people. Ultimately though, it's me. But I'm scared. It's terrifying. Moving my geographical location won't change the fact that my heart is in Seattle and my Soul is still in New York. But it also won't hamper my ability to travel, learn, explore, and discover. It won't change my friendships, I'll always have those, the true ones. So there's that.

 It's fascinating to me to look through old photographs and see all the people you used to be. To remember being in a particular place and at a particular stage of growing up in adulthood. "Ah, this is before I moved here and learned this." "You can tell that's a girl who is completely lost as to who she is." "Look how happy I am here."  I took quite a little journey tonight over the past ...few years of my life. It's too late to think about how many exactly. I can just say how truly grateful I am for the journey. For the moments of love and laughter. For the moments of abandonment and utter loneliness. For the mistakes and for the imperfections because, as I told a friend earlier this evening, that's what makes a person.  (Someone please remind me of this the next time I'm sobbing on my couch at three in the morning because I'm so alone.)  Those imperfect moments are still hard, and I have no advice on how to get through them, just to get through them. Even if it means taking a day and literally not getting out of bed. But just one day, then the next day you have to make yourself get up and do it. Go to your "have to" from The Rookie of the Year.  I still have no answers for many of the prayers that I've sent skyward in those moments. Hope is so important, and in the words of one of my 'go-to' Grey's quotes, sometimes "I need a sign that things are going to change. I need a reason to go on. I need some hope! And in the absence of hope, I need to stay in bed and feel like I might die today." Some days are just like that. But you won't die. And somehow, those days end.

I'm not sure that this is even making sense. It's a lot of jumble in my head that somehow makes sense to me. kind of. Some of it does. Some of it I just don't know.  I just feel like I've had a lot of friends lately who have been struggling with feeling heard and alone. I don't know the answers, but I know the feeling, and sometimes that is just as important as anything. We're all in this crazy thing called life together.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

To-Do Lists

These are what keeps me sane. My 'save your money reminder board,' aka checklist, aka to-do list. The first one is a list of things I successfully planned and saved for. The second, my new list that replaced the old one this morning :) ...things I have in the works.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Early to bed....

How's everyone's week two challenge going? Everyone settling into a nighttime routine and getting plenty of rest?  I have just a couple tidbits I wanted to share after the first few days. First, one thing I've also discovered is that I don't need to force myself to sleep for 8-10 hours. And when I do force myself to stay in bed that long with the thought that I have to be responsible for saving lives all night long, I wake up more groggy with much less energy than if I would have allowed myself to get out of bed two hours ago when I first naturally woke up.  Also... and this one relates to my food and mental health issues as well. I'm trying to stay upright more. My college roommates and others who know me well are giggling now because we always laughed at how much we loved to just be horizontal.  But I'm realizing that I'm in a much better state of mind and again have more energy (and less heartburn) when I sit on the couch except for the hour before I go to bed. And sitting up while/after eating?  Genius!! Lol, it probably sounds silly, but I'm still in an true confession state of mind.

P.S. Things I'm grateful for today: neti-pots, and blenders.  Also, I'm reading the most fabulous book right now. I was belly-laughing so hard last night that I was crying. I'd have to stop after every sentence because I couldn't see through the laughter-tears. Look forward to a summary when I finish :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

True Confessions

How is everyone's wellness by the week going? I stuck to the drinking more water each day last week, and I must say it feels good just to know that you're doing something good for yourself!  This week, turning in early and establishing a bedtime routine. This one is different for me since I work until 0330 four nights a week. But I'm still applying the suggestion. Immediately upon getting home, I wash my face, and do my whole bedtime routine, then I wind down as I watch tv or read a book. I used to do it the other way around. I'd wind down and waste time for hours, then get ready for bed, frequently not getting to bed until around 7am. I found the previous two nights that by getting in a bedtime mood sooner, then unwinding I'm almost always asleep by 5, and I wake earlier and more refreshed. Good times :)

Now on to the full disclosure. This week I'm also starting something else in the way of being healthy and a whole person. I'm doing an herbal cleanse in conjunction with a healthy eating training plan. It's not a diet, and it's not one of those crazy 'drink only juice for a week' things. It's eating 5-6 small meals a day packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, turkey, chicken, fish, and healthy fats. And the cleanse portion entails a fiber drink with vitamins and probiotics. The first time I remember struggling with my weight and body image was in 5th grade. The truly sad part is that looking back I can't think of a single one of my girlfriends that didn't battle with their body image in some way or another. There were periods of time in middle and high school where I would not eat a single solitary thing during the week days. I was busy enough with school and after school activities that I thought I could get away with it as long as I ate on the weekends when I was spending time with my family. There were periods of time when I would eat nothing but carrots, and bring lettuce sandwiches to school. I had friends that ate nothing but the occasional bowl of rice. And ya know what, we were all beautiful girls! Clearly, we weren't quite healthy, but an outsider would not be able to justify our 'need' for extreme dieting. Thankfully, we've all become healthy beautiful young women. Yes, we're thirty and I'm still calling us young.

My attitudes toward my body image and the need to diet to get my weight under control have continued. I've tried almost every diet out there, unable to dissociate the way I look from my self-worth.  It's been a long road, but over the last few years I've been slowly able to accept myself for what I am. Self-perceived shortcomings and all.  I am what I am. I vowed to stop dieting and have worked instead on adopting a healthy lifestyle.  Even now for the last few months, while I've worked on everything else there are days when all I eat is a couple bananas, or an apple. Or a box of mac 'n cheese. Or a few cheetohs. And it's not because of the body issues so much, it's because I hate grocery shopping, and putting together homemade meals and planning and shopping for one is a LOT of effort, and I just don't do it. Until now. I deserve to eat real meals, and I am worth grocery shopping for so that I can have healthy foods! I've come to the blissful realization that I am beautiful and worth investing in. It's taken a lot of work to be able to go to friends' weddings and have photographs taken without feeling like I need to starve myself the few months before to look better in the pictures. I've accepted what I am fully. The key difference though is in accepting myself and accepting that I'm worthy and deserving of a healthy lifestyle, and not accepting what is and just giving up and laying on the couch all day. I am worth eating breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. I am worth drinking lots of water. I am worth living in a clean apartment, I am worth eating healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables. I am worth putting makeup on and getting ready for the day, even if I don't have any plans. I am worth clean sheets on my bed, and a scrubbed clean bathtub. And I am worth getting daily exercise and putting only good things in my body. And it's not about loosing or gaining weight. It's about being healthy. Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy soul. And being happy. I deserve it. And so do all of you. So let's keep on with the wellness by the week challenge, and adapt whatever you need to in your life to obtain a healthy body, mind, and soul. We're worth it!