Monday, November 30, 2009

Home for a first "post BTWG" holiday

Driving to New Jersey for a week at my mom's house is always a mixed bag. I enjoy some of the time on the road, as it forces me to be still and allows me to catch up on book club reading. (Read Pat Conroy's newest, "South of Broad," and it was wonderful) This road trip threw us a little curve this time when our water pump busted in mid-pennsylvania. We spent nearly 6 hours at a Sears Auto outside Williamsport getting it fixed. Two kids, one dog, and one crowded mall - not my choice of Sunday outings but better than being stranded elsewhere on Route 80.
Once there, I get into "Jersey" mode: Big family, lots of energy (teasing), lots of fun for the kids with their cousins, lots of food and booze. I went prepared - running shoes, weights, Project workouts and food journal. I used everything but the food journal (started again today) and overall I did OK. I ate everything on Thanksgiving (in surprisingly decent portions) and everything all over again on leftover Friday. Happily, my biggest fears proved false: I didn't swell to the size of Kelly pre-BTWG in two days, and I didn't eat to the point of moaning and flopping on the couch in a semi-comatose state!
And I worked out. There's a 4-mile run near my childhood home that I always thought of as "the run those runners can do, but not me." It's 2 miles up, up, and up again (to my brother's high school) and two sloping miles down. I did the run, in the dim of 4 p.m. and a light, chilly rain. My glasses were so fogged and splattered on the way back that I could barely see the sidewalk, much less the bumps and cracks. I followed Matt's feet and we made it back over the railroad tracks before the next commuter train rolled in. I was glowing with accomplishment when we got back to mom's, only to have her retort in her thick Joisey accent "it really isn't 4 miles, it's less than that, you know ... " (okay Matt GPSed it, and it was 4, but you really don't argue with my mom these days...)
And I enjoyed a lot of folks telling me that I look great and asking about my diet and exercise habits. It felt fantastic to socialize with my glass of red wine in my 2-size smaller jeans - until I broke the wine glass. It slipped, I caught it, and it slipped again, crashing to the white tile and scattering shards of glass and merlot-stained splatters. (No, it was my first glass - honest - a half glass even) As I wiped up the mess, I heard my mom saying that it wouldn't be a party if Kelly didn't break a glass. Amid the laughter, she followed that up with a family fave about how Kelly would always bound down the stairs as a child and then hit her head on the overhang above the stairway. (I did.) Now, this isn't a 'my mom is horrible' blog: Teasing comes natural to the Rotas, mom is no exception.
But in that moment, I was taken back to the clutzy, chubby girl who could never that 4-mile run. I'm almost embarassed to admit how much it upset me. There was just something in the moment that wiped out my confidence, along with every crunch and counted calorie. I felt like a fake - okay, Kelly, just go upstairs and put some baggy sweats on and fill your plate again and maybe spill some on yourself for grins. You are not fit: that is all fantasy.
It took some time to work this through (the long car ride back to Indy) and a lot of willpower not to give in to the old voice in my head that wanted to eat my way out. This is the demon I wrestle - will I ever believe that I am this woman who can lift heavy shit and run PRs? I want to, and most days I do ... It's just a week home again in NJ really put it all to the test.
When we got back to our home, Matt and I unpacked, unwound, and registered for the mini-marathon. Tonight, I started Crossfit training again with Chris and loving every stinking minute! This is me, and I am grateful. Perhaps I can learn to be a fit clutz?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

PR in the pouring rain ...

What fun! I ran like hell in the Run Like Hell 5K last night on the canal.
Start time: a very wet 7 p.m.
End time: Ran it in 30.09, a PR for me - 9.40 minute miles! (and about 32 ounces of water in my shoes and clothes!)
I really think Chris' Cross Fit training is the reason. Why?
1. I never would have said "what fun!" about running in the rain (or doing burpees) a year ago!
2. It's all about being a badass.
3. Chris never stops challenging me to lift something bigger, do something longer, believe I can be stronger...
... Next running challenge: Thinking about a 5K trail run at Ft. Ben on Nov. 14 - part of the DINO runs and, again, all new to me ... Anybody? Anybody? :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

wanna get high?

Now that I have your attention ... :)

Who wants to get "high" on Friday, Oct. 30 at the ropes course in Holcomb Gardens at Butler University? Friday is an "open climb" from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., which means that anyone can put on a helmet and harness and climb up to the playground suspended 40 feet in the trees!

Before you climb, you complete a brief "ground school," so you learn how to move safely once you are up! It is amazingly fun and challenging -- and even better when a group can make it together!

Let me know if you are interested - you can get there as late as 4 p.m. and still get on the course. I would suggest two hours - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., if you can - so you have time to try the different challenges! Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes you can climb in!

I hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My first tattoo, and other news

Hi all!

I've been trying to upload a slideshow from the Go Girls Triathlon for all BTWGers to see, but no luck yet! But check out this photo -- and my profile -- fishes Alison, Sherri and me, at the start of the race! I think our smiles tell it all - what a great day! So much energy, so much fun -- get ready for next years, gals - because we are recruiting already! :) I kept my "ink" (Sharpie marker tattoo) as long as I could to remind of the complete joy of sharing health, support, community and Eagle Creek with an amazing group of people! As Sherri says, "WE ROCK!"
Sherri and I also shared the Race for the Races, a 5K to benefit IPS last Saturday, the 12th. It was a beautiful morning for a run and again, such a positive spirit to the event! My kiddos Emma and Sam walked the 1-mile family fun walk in 19 minutes and were quite proud of themselves!
It just strikes me: I am not meant to do this isolation! Whether it's ganging up to test the triathlon waters, meeting a friend to run with a cause, racing down the highway to make one of Chris' yoga classes - it's all good. And it all feels better, funner, and more alive, because I can share this with you! Yes, there are days I like to sweat alone, singing badly or counting loudly to the tunes on the shuffle. But misery is the only reason to love company: Company/companions/compadres are also for celebrating, challenging (ourselves, each other) and creating new stuff in each of us -- and who doesn't love new stuff??
Here's to sharing new stuff, in all its wildest and wackiest forms!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Open water swim

Allison and I had a chance to practice our strokes for the triathlon on Saturday in some beautiful lake water. (Big thanks to her friend for the invite!) We missed you, Sherri! It's pretty clear that the distance is not an issue, but swimming straight without lap-lane lines is tricky! I'm feeling a little anxious about that "unknown" aspect of the swim, that I really can't prepare for: Will it be really warm? How many times will I get kicked in the face? :)
Still have not heard who is meeting at my house before the race, and who is coming afterward to celebrate! Please, come after yoga class, too, all are welcome! I just need a rough idea of how many, so I can have some food ready!
Hope to see you Saturday!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quick update for Go Girls

Don Carr of Tuxedo Brothers called back and confirmed that you have to pick up your race materials in person with ID.
You can pick them up at the Julian Center on Friday, Aug. 28, between 12 p .m. and 6 p.m. Julian Center is at 2011 N. Meridian. OR, you can pick up your stuff on race day, that morning.
Please let me know if you want to meet at my house before the race. Matt will get all of us to Eagle Creek via van, so you won't have to worry about parking. We can go in shifts to fit the bikes in the van - the park is just minutes away from our house.
TO ALL BTWGers: You are invited to a post-Go Girl party at my house! Please come, feel free to bring kids, spouses, etc. We'll have some brunch food and drink and the cornhole boards will be ready for play!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

true comic relief ...

This morning, I had the guilty pleasure of reading the newspaper (and sipping a non-fat latte) while my children play capture the flag and learn to identify animal poop at camp. Okay, it was the Indy Star, so it didn't take long -- so I glanced at the comics to prolong the bliss ... And, out of the mouth of Peanuts came some words I needed to hear and share:
Charlie Brown is snuggled in bed with Snoopy draped over him. "Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask 'What can I do to keep my life from going by so fast?'"
His answer to himself, as Snoopy slumbers on" "Then a voice comes to me that says, 'try slowing down at the corners.'"
I am so grateful for the time I have had this month away from work - so spend with my children, Matt, friends ... to slow down, even if only a few miles per hour, (for me, progress) ... to wonder/question "what is next?" And I think that whatever is ahead, part of the answer is slowing down at the corners -- the pointed places where changes and challenges abound.
So, next week -- when school starts (can you believe it?) and work resumes, I'm going to try keeping it in first gear, at least for a while...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

...the best laid plans ...

After yoga class last week, Matt and I headed to Franch Lick, for a night away and the Lyle Lovett concert. (Got the babysitter, the directions, the non-fat latte for the road ...) We got to West Baden Springs and Resort and were treated like royalty from the second we stopped the car. The valet parking, the bellhop with our bags, guiding us through this AMAZING domed atrium and telling us the history of the restored resort. Matt and I were entranced - remember, we don't get away much! :)
We get to the reservation desk and the smiling clerk says, "Oh, I am sorry, you are not booked here, you are booked at French Lick resort, down the road ... " We are quickly whisked around and back to our car and headed to the "other" resort, which reminded Matt of Wishard or Methodist Hospital. (For me, a night away is a night away, but I will admit some disappointment) ... When we get there, our reservations are screwed up and we are in a smoking room! No can do! It took awhile and we finally got a room with two beds and no smoke (very romantic, eh?)
We decide to bring some relaxation to us by checking out the spa and trying out a "mineral" bath from the famous Pluto spring at French Lick. (supposed to cure what ails you, and then some) ... It was actually a 20-minute soak in water that smelled like rotten eggs and looked worse than my well water - but we hadn't showered after Chris' class, so really it was all good ... :)
Next up, fancy schmancy dinner before the show ... we got to the fancy part, but never got to the dinner! We were seated at 6:30 and by 7:45 had to ask for the check (for drinks, bread and butter) and run to the show!
Okay, if you are a Lyle Lovett fan, the show made up for everything! He played for hours and he played blues, folk, gospel, bluegrass, all his fun stuff - I tried to attach a video, but no luck...
The rest of the weekend went off without a hitch! We worked out in the cool fitness center on Sunday a.m., and enjoyed the long ride home together. The kids were happy, and it was good to be home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

seasonal sentiments ...

As I read Rob's blog about his mother turning 80 and heading East to celebrate, I was struck by the realization of how seasonal my memories are -- how the changing seasons can stir up so many emotions. Two years ago, I drove Route 80 to NJ for a family beach vacation. All six of us children and families, plus mom and dad, stayed for a week at an amazing home in Long Island, in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. It was the last time I had with my dad, as he died very unexpectedly in August 2007. I miss him everyday, but more so in the heat of July, when the world smells of BBQ and chlorine, and the sun beats down until 9 p.m., and then the fireflies take over. It's like the bittersweet memories of my dad are captured in July - playing badminton, flying paper airplanes, drinking red wine and singing off-key - and I can feel them again, like a warm breeze. Dad would have been 75 this October and I am blessed that my last memories of him are so peaceful and fun.
I took a lot of time off this July, to reconnect with my kiddos and rejuvenate and ready myself for another year with IPS! Thusfar, I have fought the urge to fill every moment with action-packed adventures for the kids and long overdue home projects. And still the days whirl by, don't they? ... making way for more seasons, more memories ...
... so I've been swimming a bit to get ready for the Go Girl - how is everyone else doing? And I can't seem to get enough watermelon or tomatoes! They are both so delicious right now!
... time for bed, thanks for reading ...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Where have all the (cowboys) bloggers gone?

Where are you, fellow blogmates? I am loving Chris's salad ideas, but it also would be great to hear from anyone out there and how things are going ... ok,ok. I'll start ....
Today is my daughter Emma's 8th birthday! Just typing that fills my heart and eyes. Can she really be 8 already? She is so excited, a few girls are coming over to sleep over, and that is a big deal for Em! (along with making sure her little brother is kept busy during her girl party!) ... This weekend, we hosted a reunion for many of the families we adopted with from China. It was crazy fun: Picture 11 girls running around the house all weekend, creating "shows" and playing basketball , painting the fence with chalk, and eating s'mores while the moms and dads cook, catch up and relax. I got a lot of questions about my weight and wellness -- and a lot of teasing, too! For the most part it was all in fun, but sometimes it felts like folks who are not happy with themselves were throwing some pretty pointed barbs! Mostly, I feel grateful for the folks I have in my life with whom I can share my passion for exercise, nutrition and overall well being. Thanks to all of you! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What the ... ?

It happens everytime ... I think I am in pretty decent shape, and then -- WHAM -- Chris sends a workout that kicks not just my ass but my entire quivering, can't-move-another-muscle body! :) What a challenge, what a different kinda hard - and, it's all good!
Okay, BTWGers! Here are your teams for the GoGirl Triathlon!
** Balance Through Wellness Gals 1 (BTWG 1): Kelly Rota-Autry, swim; Ginger Schonberg, bike; and Joyce Hertko, run ...
**Balance Through Wellness Gals 2 (BTWG 2) Alison Cole, swim; Margaret Fallin, bike; and Cindy Boll, run ...
** Balance Through Wellness Gals 3 (BTWG 3) Sherri DeCoursey, swim; Lisa Searles, bike; and Jen Johansen, run
When: Saturday, August 29, 2009
Where: Eagle Creek Park
Time: 8 a.m.
All proceeds to benefit the Julian Center, for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Come and join us in the fun!
Go Girls: Team registrations is $90, or $30 each. Some of you already paid, thanks! I am getting everything sent to my address, and will forward information and stuff as it comes in! Thanks for doing this, I think it will be a blast!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

team names for Go Girl triathlon

Go Girls:
I was in the process of registering our teams and drew a blank for team names! We need 2 team names and I am not feeling real creative right now, so anyone, please, chime in with ideas.
I think we should use BTWG....we can be "Bridging the Wellness Gals??" "BTWG: It's a lifestyle!"
See, I know someone can do better than this!
We do have 2 teams for the event, and and all ideas are welcome!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Way to Go Girls ...

We have a team!
We need another team!!!
Did I mention the $$ all goes to the Julian Center, the domestic violence shelter for women and children in Indy?
Did I mention that the distances are not bad at all?
--500 meter swim - about 20 lengths in a 25 meter pool....
-- 10 mile bike
-- 3 mile run
Yes, support crew, and yes, I KNOW there are at least 3 more women out there that can do this!! (don't make me call you out by name! :) Come on, really, it's for the fun of it, for the charity, for the chance to try something completely new!! What have we got to lose?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hey BTWG women - why not?

During our "summer school" meeting today, I was incredibly inspired by all of you who have committed to do future races/events. (Especially our fearless leader Chris!) I love exercising with folks and thought it would be really cool if we could get some BTWG teams out there having some fun.... So what do you think about a triathlon? As a team! Or maybe a couple teams? Take a look at this link, I think this one would be a fun one to shoot for: the Go Girl Triathlon at Eagle Creek Park!
I am game to swim, and have heard from at least one runner (right, Joyce?) and perhaps a few cyclists. I would be happy to register, etc., so if you are interested in joining in the fun, please let me know!
Happy holiday weekend to all!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Summer school challenges/goals

Hey there!
Still sore, especially in my quads ... took my off day today! We celebrated an early Mother's Day with a hike through Eagle Creek with the kids and some prime family time. Tomorrow, my greatest challenge during summer school begins: I am a single mom for three weeks while Matt teaches in Wisconsin. I know so many women who do this so gracefully, that I am almost embarassed to complain. I know it will take lots of scheduling and no excuses to manage work, workouts, homework, meditation, and kid time solo. My daily intention will be patience and a sense of humor! :)
Other goals for summer school:
1. To read "The Chi of Running"
2. To run at least one fun race or event
3. To try some new healthy summer recipes
4. To find freedom in meditation and stillness
5. To keep focused AND enjoy the journey!
6. To be joyful and grateful for this time in my life
Mother's Day to all you wonderful moms !

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gotta say...

I am not usually a hater.
But I am a bit of a hater right now - with the new strength and toning workouts this week!
I can barely type the words "push up," much less do another one!
My legs alternate between numbness and soreness after Thursday's squats and lunges!
I miss my fun little circuit ....
ok, ok, I don't hate it. It's just all new, and all challenging - anyone else feeling this?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Summer school!

Hey classmates!
Can anyone please email me the aerobic workout for Level II, month II? I got the others from Chris, but somehow did not get this one!
email is - much thanks!
Happy interval Monday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

the jeckyll and hyde of it all ....

Chris is always saying "find your edge." I think I am on mine right now. Yes, it is true, what I last posted: I do have more energy and lightness. Yet, at the same time, I have never been more depressed, anxious and angry. All those extra pounds were a pretty good protective barrier from the deep crap inside. Now the barrier is down, and I am not sure what to make of how I feel. I feel better when I look in the mirror, dress for work, run faster, lift more, eat less ... and I feel so much worse when I test my husband's patience and support for the millionth time. Or I distance myself from my kids or my friends --to regroup, to make sense of it all.
I am familiar with this edge, and have worked hard to dull its cut. Guess there is more work to be done. With gratitude, I'll work this edge with this community. I think there is a light at the end of that rabbit hole, Patti, I really do.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

great day for the race, and more ...

Patti and Kelly at Race for the Cure.

I can't believe a week has gone by! The Race was an awesome event, very inspiring, very emotional! It was great to see Patti at the start - I am definitely motivated and inspired by all of you BTWGers! I hope we can find more events to try together as summer arrives!
One week from our fitness test -- and I am holding on fairly well! I feel so good about how far all of us have come with our fitness and nutrition goals - can I ever say "Thanks Chris!" enough? :)
This is the first photo of me that I have liked in a LONG time! I look lighter and more energized and I feel that way MOST of the time! Namaste all!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hey Racers!

If anyone wants to meet for a pre-race photo, how does 8:50 a.m. at the fountain sound? The fountain is on campus right about at the start of the race! I will be there and would love to see you!
If I miss you, have a beautiful run or walk and enjoy the day! What a great way to start it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

More fun with food: the lessons just keep on coming!

I really missed everyone at yoga this Saturday - the comraderie and the sweaty detoxification! This weekend brought me two days of eating and learning that I intend to use the rest of my life.
On Friday night, Matt and I went out with another couple to Rock Bottom. I did a nice run that day, and I decided not to sweat the food (but still eat consciously) so I had a pint of beer and shared nachos with my girlfriend. By dinnertime, we were not too hungry, so we split another appetizer -- titan toothpicks, anyone? They are fried tortillas stuff with cheesy goo and spices. I ordered another beer, and by the time I had finished eating, and sipped my ale, my stomach was in pain. Bad pain, like the I-can't-breathe-deeper-than-my-ribs kinda pain. I had to go home, take Tums, Pepcid, eventually tea. It took a few hours to feel any relief. As much as it hurt, I was kinda psyched afterward: I truly have changed how and what I eat, and my body cannot handle the rich and gooey and fried stuff.
I didn't eat much at all Saturday, and then Easter Sunday, we made a delicious feast of basa (fish), salad greens and blueberries, potatoes, lean meat, shrimp, asparagus and pie for our friends and families. I ate a little of everything -- much more than I ate Friday night, and - no pain, no problems. The difference was the food -- all homemade, full of good stuff, made with love. Amazingly, I also did not gain a pound. Wow, the beauty of real food! I love to eat out, but I am feeling a strong desire to "cook in," "eat in," and be more connected to our food. Or maybe I should just give up Rock Bottom ??!! :)
Thanks for listening and I can't wait to see folks on Sunday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Excited about the Race for the Cure, et al...

I'm so glad so many of us will be at this event together! I am going to register through the Healthplex, and if anyone else needs help with registering, etc., please let me know. Maybe next week, we can pick a spot to meet at the start! (Ginger, you will be with all of us in spirit!)

OK, so I guess I didn't realize that this is a recovery week. I did my intervals, my strength and toning and then went to Chris' Yoga for Crosstraining class tonight. Youch! My inner thighs are still aching from squeezing a block between them while doing many, many core exercises. It was tough and terrific -- and best of all, I got to sweat through it with Paul! :)

I may not see all of you Saturday so let me take this time to chime in about this great, living community - I thank you all for this time, for sharing your victories and vices, for being an amazing and inspiring group of folks! As my kids would say, "YOU ROCK!"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Race for the Cure

Is anyone interested in being part of a BTWG group to run or walk this on Saturday, April 18?
This was my first run event, and I used to do it every year before I had kiddos. It is crowded, is not fast, but it is really satisfying -- running for a worthy cause and experiencing the joy and sorrow of cancer survivors and their families.
Please let me know if you are interested. I am working to find runs/events to keep me challenged, and I would love some folks to share the fun!
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

something new...

I've been reading a book about meditation and trying to take baby steps to grow in this arena. The author recommended a meditation journal, so I am now including that with my BTWG logs. I jot down the time and the subject (right now, still counting breaths) and any thoughts I can remember, any insights and any distractions. So far, I am low on insights, but I feel and believe that will change. I think about how valuable it has been to write down all my calories, my workouts and my weekly questionnaires, and I just know that this is a good practice for me!
Hoping your Wednesday is wonderful!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Letting go

To let go does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
To let go is not to enable, but allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.
Remember: The time to love is short
------ author unknown

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

4 minutes

That's all it took to eat about 400 calories yesterday. In 4 minutes, I ate:
* a square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate
* a Girl Scout thin mint cookie
* two Hershey kisses
* a handful of potato chips
... and I didn't even realize it until it was over.
That is the part that just terrifies me! Emotional. zombie eating ... I was stressed and sad - stabbed in the back at work and did not see it coming ... and I came home to prepare my white chicken chili and prepare to workout, and the autopilot kicked in ... It's been a long time since I've gone there ... My focus during the Project is to eat consciously, not matter what I eat. Zombie eating and stuffing my body is an all-too-familiar habit. I was bulimic through high school and college. In grad school, I gave up the purging and alternated between being fat and being a workout machine. Now I am 44 and and a mother and a woman who just wants to live life consciously, including what goes into my mouth. The Project has been a blessing -- you can't get more conscious than counting every calorie, preparing nutritious food, savoring the sweet treats ...
And here I was back in the binge saddle again. I cut up a green pepper and munched, hoping the bitterness would break my stupor. I drank some water, I tried to keep the head chatter down ... I made it through, but damn, now I am scared again. Damn, I thought I had that one figured out, squared away, down pat ...
I feel a bit ridiculous writing this - I have lots of support, lots of options and I've had lots of success. I know I won't fall all the way down into the rabbit hole. I guess the old holes just seem a lot darker.
I doubled up my workout last night and that felt great, and I will do it again tomorrow, because I needed some time tonight to veg, and to blog. Now, I think I need to sleep. With all of you in this journey, Kelly

please pray...

... for my friend Karen, whose mother is coming home from the hospital with hospice. She has valiantly battled cancer for years. Thank you!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

sunday, sunday

Back to the blog! Lack of time and insight has stymied my blogging. My head has been too full of the days "to dos" that I haven't sat down to form a full sentence in weeks! :)

Where is everyone? I am missing your humor, your daily aches and achievements ... Saturday a.m.s with Chris and everyone fill me up - but your blogs are the best refills ever!

I am digging out of boxes, planning a Star Wars/Clone Wars birthday for my seven-year-old Sam and wondering if I will EVER slow down enough to hear the birds outside my great new home, or see the hawks swooping through my yard. Can you send your mind on spring break??

Still having lots of ankle tightness - feels like I've lost flexibility with the injury. Drawing on all my patience reserves right now. Paul was talking about his inner bad-guy (okay, prick) and I am thinking that mine is uber exposed right now! :) I'd like her to chill out and climb back inside for awhile ...
... Here's to a week of warm weather and cool challenges. Wishing you all the best!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

good thing it's recovery week...

... I went into this week pretty gung-ho after my moving madness. And I was bummed to miss the trail run Sunday, so I decided to head out of Eagle Creek yesterday to try one with Matt, my husband. The weather was great, the woodpeckers were pecking, and I was loving it! (Yes, one of those "I hate running" people who has been convinced/converted) Then, big bummer: I twisted my ankle on some rocks! I came home and did ice, elevation and ibuprofen, and I stayed off of it as much as I could today. It looks nothing like poor Sam's ankle - mine is just a little swollen and achy. Wondering how long I have to wait to run again, trying to just make it part of recovery ... any advice is welcome!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Finish strong

These days, I feel anything but strong at the finish. May this little video inspire you as it did me!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

moving mayhem ...

Fellow Project Peeps!
I miss you much and feel very disconnected at the moment. I spent last weekend moving my family from our home of 13 years to a new home about 4 miles away. I think I underestimated how tough this would be - physically and emotionally - so I did not take much time off from work, and worked 'round the clock to make it happen.
In the midst of the boxes and bags and "now where do I put this?" decisions, our hard drive crashed and I lost all my BTWG logs. We are trying to recover them, but the loss of computer also kept from me logging on to read blogs, daily check ins, etc....And then my son got sick, work got worse and my crap (stuff in boxes) seems to multiply every time I clear one of those cardboard suckers out! In short, I feel like I lost control of everything in my life, and I don't do well with chaos.
I am focused on the positive: a new space for my family, with lots of birds and trees ... a new place to make memories and share with family and friends (yes, promise to host a BTWG party when I dig out)...I am grateful for the love and support of my family (my two amazing brothers who flew out here just to help us move) and my friends who have helped in so many ways to make this transition. (One friend who really supports my effort with The Project even made my healthy food at her home on Sunday, so I could keep eating right - how great is that!)
More than anything, I am SO GLAD that throughout this crazy time, I have been "in" BTWG as best as I can! I remember thinking that this - this STUFF of life - was the reason I could NOT do BTWG (until Chris helped me identify my lame excuse)... And now, somehow, this "gotta do this and that for BTWG" has become "I can't wait to do this and that for BTWG," because I can see how much better this all is when I take care of myself ... I missed some workouts and then doubled up on some days, too. I ate pizza on moving day, but only a slice, not a pie! :) And when I feel like I just can't breathe because of time, committments, etc., I let myself breathe HARD as I run or lift weights through my workouts!
So things are a mess and probably will be for awhile (grrr.....) And today I think I will try a run in my new neighborhood with some sunshine and a smile. I can't wait to see you on Saturday and hear how things are going! Thank you again for reading and being part of this process!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Of perfection and punishment...

Chris' insight on perfectionism really hit home this weekend. For me, the push for perfection has always included some self-deprecating punishment when it could not be achieved. And, as Chris questioned, just what is the definition? I can play a mighty game of "change the rules" anytime I wanted to either feel perfect or perfectly fail.
... So Saturday, I relaxed in the company of some dear friends - and I indulged in some pretty rich food, dry red wine and delicious bakery cake. It was such a nice night - celebrating, reminscing ... By the time I left, I was feeling "bad," and "guilty" in my head and kinda uncomfortable in my stomach. By Sunday, I was in full regret mode - and ready to be "punished" at the scale, or as I got into my jeans. Lo and behold, instead of growing two sizes that day (like I thought I would/deserved) I was still the same - still 10 pounds lighter since I first committed to the Project, still making good choices (skipped all the starches to have that yummy cake) still working on it all -- and that was it. No lightening strikes, no bad karma. Wow, could I really be letting go of the crime and punishment style of change? Can it really be so simple that perfect is just ... perfectly me?
I think this is big - wondering if you all feel the same. There are so many arenas to dance the perfect-or-punished tango -- work, home, with my kids, with my spouse... Maybe all we need is to be perfectly present - in whatever we are in. No judging. No expectation of the other shoe dropping.
Just right.
Thanks for listening,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Thank you all for the encouragement! Today WAS a better day! But, holy cow, can you say forearm planks!!! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

ever have one of those days ..............?

You know, when you try to be productive, and you should have just stayed on the couch all day?

A day off, a day to get some things done and reconnect with the kids ... so I start with trying to make some calls to change my address for our upcoming move (trying to be that organized, checklisted person who gets this done without sweat). Every place I call is either:
1. closed for the holiday
2. directs me to five different extensions and then disconnects
3. informs me that I have to make the request in writing .... argh!
so I try to get some done online ... that is not happening, either! Every website orders you to create an account, password, etc. and so forth -- I will need a week off to do it this way!
So I forward my mail on USPS website and call it a morning....
....Then I take to kids to see a movie at Cinema Grill .. Somehow, I leave my keys at the desk when I pay, and by the time I realize this (after the show) I find out that they were given to another, equally unorganized woman who thought she lost hers! (and left the theater, before I did, with my keys) ... long story made short: she brought them back, all is well...
So we head to the vet for a checkup for Maya, our 15-year-old pooch, and now she is set for surgery on Thursday! (Note: My intention for this week was to smile more, yea, that's working.)
I get home and commit a series of clumsy moves trying to clean the car and get ready to go do my intervals - and finally just have to laugh when I pour an entire water bottle's worth of cold H2O on my car seat!
...So I didn't maim myself or anyone else during the intervals, which is good! But, does anyone else's thighs feel like concrete?
I think I am ready to call it a night - good luck to all with the new strength and toning exercises tomorrow!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Where did this week go?

Is it really Friday? I don't know how, I don't know where this week went. I ate, I slept, I ran, and somehow, it is all a blur. I DO remember telling some restaurant folks that I am diabetic just to get the calorie count for a lousy salad (mea culpa) and "trying" to meditate -- that doesn't even sound right, does it?
I feel in a bit of a fog, hope to clear this away before the start of the new week and workouts!
I am also looking for anyone who might want to run together near the northwest side ... I am not fast and not a great chatty running partner, but I will show up if we plan to meet and I will give it my best! :)
I think I am going to partner yoga on Saturday, so I hope everyone enjoys Patrick's class and meeting after -- I'm going to use that time to see my Sam play basketball!
Waking up ...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

ready for recovery ...

When Chris talked about recovery week after his Saturday class, I thought it all sounded good, but not really necessary. Okay, THEN I got out of bed this morning AFTER Chris' class and a really hectic week -- and I am welcoming recovery with open arms. Seriously, I was flat out EXHAUSTED today. It took all my energy to get to the store and to cook up some food for the week. I've been putting so much energy into everything lately - and I am just a wrung-out sponge right now.
I am looking forward to a lighter week, thinking I might swim for some of my aerobic training and give my joints a break! I hope everyone enjoys the rest and is raring to go for week 5!
For now, time for some Sleepytime tea .... sleep well! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Meditation had a pretty good piece on mediation today, so I thought I would share the link. The additional articles at the end are interesting.

I've got to make time to meditate before I want to fall asleep at night. Lately, I've been getting to bed pretty late, and I wait until then to meditate. I think I need to set aside a special time, maybe light a candle ... I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts or suggestions.
Tomorrow is Friday and warm weather is on the way - what could be better!
Rock on, everyone! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

perceptions et al ....

Just read Chris' blog, and it really hit home. Yesterday, when I weighed myself, I was seven pounds lighter than when I started The Project. Sounds good, right?
... Enter perception: "Is that all? After all this hard work? Shouldn't those pounds be just sliding off my bones?"
... Then, reality comes in to confuse the perception: When is the last time I have EVER lost seven pounds? What is so HARD about eating great food that gives me more energy and exercising my stress and blues away?
Result? A growing feeling of love, strength and satisfaction. A ball of old habits unraveling, revealing the frays and weaving together something new. Newness that demands attention, documentation, planning ... and rewards with refreshing awareness and rejuvenated spirit. Gently, I nudge myself away from the perception that sabotages and inch toward the one that heals. And then, the nutrition log, and the stacks of tupperwares, the new recipes, the creative workout schedules all become part of this much bigger journey than the one I take each week to the scale.
I remember when I quit smoking -- the horrid second time -- and I struggled so much that I knew I would not smoke again. And I haven't -- because I fought for it, and in doing so, fought for me. The Project, to me, is less struggle, but similar in that I do not want to go back. I don't want to undo the good things I have done for my body and soul thusfar. My perceptions may be persistent and stubborn, but they can and will embrace change.
Thanks, Chris, for opening my eyes and heart to this lesson.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Live Everything

I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all
that is unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like
locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will
then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Random thoughts for the weekend

Is everyone ready for Week 3? It's time to let go of this past week of success and failure, and that feels great.
I finally went out Friday night, and saw "Slumdog Millionaire" with my dear friend. You know you have incredible support when your friend is willing to sneak bags of 100-calorie popcorn into the theater, along with some vitamin water! An amazing movie, and no guilt! :)
Saturday, I was little more careless. We celebrated Chinese New Year in our home with four other families and 11 energetic children. I stuck to the chicken and broccoli and vegetable mai fun, but I didn't pay much attention to how much I ate. AND, I broke down and had that glass of wine. Oddly, it just didn't taste that great. I'm sure it would have been better with the brownies or fried banana dessert, but I knew I couldn't handle that much guilt!
... Just made a big pot of white bean and chicken chili - I'd be happy to share the recipe if anyone is interested.
... Okay, time for bed. Rock on, everyone!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snowy days

So there I was, trying to convince my husband that I just couldn't shovel snow with him because of my lower back, when - SHAZAM! - Chris posts a youtube on the proper shoveling technique! It was great, actually, we had a blast in the snow with the kids, the neighbors, and our dog. I shoveled and pulled the kids on their plastic sleds around the block, and thought "surely that was sustained aerobic activity!" But by dinnertime, the guilt got me - so I went for a run inside the warm gym...
... My snow day wasn't so peaceful, though. I also had to deal with our inspection, realtors, contractors, mortgage companies, etc... and I am so thankful for Rob's earlier comment about how great it is to committed to this project in a really tense time. I could easily find any reason not to eat right, work out and meditate right now, and justify it all by the craziness. But instead I will be grateful that I am here slogging through Week 2 with all of you!
... All the good food I made Sunday is gone, so I was back in the kitchen tonight! I'm glad the kids liked it, too - just means I need to make more of everything! I find myself "snacking" a lot more this week - eating between meals. So far, veggies and low-cal popcorn, so that works. It's hard not to hide behind comfort food. It makes me feel restless -- like somehow, a huge chunk of chocolate chip cookie dough would make everything settle down. The rational person in me knows it won't, but the emotional eater just wants to fade into sugar oblivion ...
Sounds like a perfect time to meditate...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A quote for all courageous Project compadres ...

Victory is often a thing deferred, and rarely at the summit of courage .... What is at the summit of courage, I think, is freedom. The freedom that comes with the knowledge that no earthly power can break you; that an unbroken spirit is the only thing you cannot live without; that in the end it is the courage of conviction that moves things, that makes all change possible.~
~Paula Gidding Educator, Journalist, and Social Historian

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a start ...

Happy Week 2 to all!
Is it possible that already I am feeling more energy? Or, is it just that -- compared to last Monday -- today went well. I ate OK. I had lots of energy for my workout, even though I was sucking for air after the 30-second sprints! Work was stressful and life was stressful (did I mention we are moving into a new home during The Project?) and yet I feel less pummeled by it all. Sunday food prep helped a lot - it was great to come home to a nice dinner and know how much I could have. Perhaps my goal of being less "freaked out" this week is within reach.
Thank you to Chris and everyone at Saturday's meeting. You are all so honest and real (and freaking hilarious!) Doing this hard work with you feels really safe and right. I'm buoyed by the shared experiences -- and learning so much each day. Today, I learned that:
1. Snacking is ok, when you bring carrots and snap peas to work. And they crunch, almost like chips!
2. Thirty seconds goes by fast -- UNLESS you are running your fastest!
3. Home inspections suck. Okay, they don't suck. But having to fix a bunch of stuff in your old house before you move into your new house sucks.
4. Blogging is slightly addictive!
Stay warm and safe in the snow!

Friday, January 23, 2009

tgif ....

It's hard to believe we made it through the work week already! I am looking forward to yoga tomorrow - and a chance to really do better prep for week 2! I did OK at keeping my calories logged in a journal, but I was still scrambling to add up calories, figure how many I had left for the next meal, etc ... A lot of brainpower went into it, I figure I have to make this simpler.
I know I posted this earlier, but it really bears repeating to me. It is tough to get in touch with hunger - it gnaws at your stomach and your mind. And we are doing this voluntarily -- how about those folks who live like this everyday out of necessity? I met with a student who was so angry, so disrespectful -- or maybe was he just hungry? With awareness comes compassion.
I had another heavy-legged run tonight -- and I was getting pretty down about it .... then this little guy on the track (he must have been about 6 or 7) ... he was all smiles as he skipped backward in front of me and my husband, Matt. So Matt decided to give chase and it was on! The two of them ran like crazy and I smiled and trotted on (pushing my 8 effort and thinking "only 3 more minutes.") ... And then that little guy got next to me, and before I knew it, I reached out of my funk and touched his shoulder and yelled "TAG!" Somehow I took off sprinting and he quickly caught up with me and tagged me back! Those were the best 3 minutes I ever ran, thanks to my track angel!
Lots of stress this weekend: We have an inspection on our house, stuff with the kids, and some plans with friends. Is anyone else having a hard time with the social part? I mean, I find myself saying no to a lot of social invites right now -- mostly because I don't want to be "tempted" to break from my committment to The Project. I remember when I quit smoking, I did the same thing - it was a long time before I could go to out to eat, to hear music, etc ... I hope that time will give me the balance I need to figure this out - as for now, I am in a bit of hibernation mode!
Looking forward to yoga and meeting with Chris and all/any of you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

can you say CRANKY?

Hey, fellow Projecteers!
I am embarassed to admit this, but I don't think I 've ever allowed myself to feel this hungry for this long. Today, I was really feeling the hunger - cranky, jittery - and nothing to eat/to stuff it all back down. I see now how many times I have staved this off by snagging Hershey Kisses from my colleague's desk or eating lots of lunch while reading the paper, surfing the net, paying no attention. I told coworkers about The Project - so I can't hide in any unaccountable spaces. They supportingly hide the chocolate and make lunch runs in whispers now!
My run tonight felt super heavy and slow on stiff, sore legs, but it is done!! Drama defeated, at least for today!
Keep those posts rolling - you are all hilarious and the the saving grace at the end of a long day! Better than chocolate? Not better, just different, right? :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

big day: Barack Obama and my own inauguration ...

What a day to celebrate! Listening to Barack with tearful colleagues at lunch, and hearing my children's excitement: "Mommy, we saw Barack Obama become president!"
And, what a day of learning, of challenges. Yesterday, I was off from work and the kids were off from school. Plus, I didn't feel well, so it wasn't too hard to kick off the Project. But today, the real work began ....
... My first thoughts, as I made lunch for my kids: I can't even like the peanut butter off this knife, or I will have to account for it! Yeesh, gives PB&J a kinda sadistic quality...
... Then I mindfully measured out my lunch, prepared a small breakfast and mindlessly ate the blueberries I so carefully measured while I was driving into work. I see more the process of mindfulness - how it needs to be carried through, how easy it is to lapse ...
... Next, the reality of portions! My 130-calorie snack of fruit and nuts barely covered the bottom of a small sandwhich baggie -- I think I usually eat three times this amount and call it a snack. Now I know ...
... Back home, I panicked and realized that for all my planning, I did not plan very well. I have mostly the right food in the house, some of it cut up and measured. But I had not planned out exactly what I was going to eat, and that made dinner even more challenging: I cooked food for me and the kids between homework assignments -- again careful not to take a scoop of the buttery corn on their plates. I did not realize how much I ate when I cook: it literally took all my mental might to stop myself from tasting this and that and eating kiddo leftovers.
... The strength workout left my muscles twitching, and it felt good, and tough. The jump rope provided the most challenge and amusement: How do I do this again? It's only been HOW long?
When I came home, I turned off some lights and settled down to meditate. The sitting still was OK, because my body was tired. But my mind was distracted by every bit of chatter and clatter in the house. And my head started firing off some negative messages that were hard to silence. Again, I am grateful for the comraderie. I hit the blogs and felt that positive pulse again!
I think it is time for bed. Best wishes and thoughts for Day 3 to all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chicken soup for the BTWG soul

Good morning!
The sun is coming out for Day 1 and I feel almost relieved to be starting!
Sunday started out great -- with Chris' class -- and ended up with me in bed with the stomach flu! It seems to be a quick one, I feel better today, except for a few aches -- and no desire to eat!
I think it will be a chicken soup day.
My thoughts are with all of you -- here's to a week of completed checklists and awakenings!

Friday, January 16, 2009

countdown to no excuses ...

... I am not sure about this. And, I hate the word try because that always leaves an "out." So, I guess I am in on the blogging thing -- Welcome!
I've spent the last week reading, re-reading, fretting, googling, exercising (minimally) and and eating enormous amounts of soon-to-be forbidden food (did someone mention Dove chocolates?) I am grateful for this preparation time, and yet -- like the life-long procrastinator I am -- I know I will be up at 3 a.m. Monday still planning the week's eating!
I envision myself feeling better, and stronger and lighter -- and that keeps the fire stoked. And so does this: Everytime I log on my computer, I see another post, another connection, another person who is right here with me! We WILL do this!
Are you still scared? I know I am. Getting to the root of all this -- food, exercise, stillness -- it is truly frightening. And awesome! Ready to go there, ready to rock ... so glad you are here, too!