blog post stew vol. 7.5

18 Aug

My life is pretty boring right now – at least to other people.  Talking about work non-stop is not a theme for this blog so instead, it’s another volume of blog post stew!

1.  I made mug macaroni and cheese.  Or “easy mac” if you will.  I didn’t have any milk so I searched pinterest over to find one that didn’t need any.  I found this one and it was really good!  Heed my warning – the water bubbles EVERYWHERE in the microwave.  Put a towel under the mug or put the mug in a bowl.  It was a mess.  I also put a bit of butter in with the noodles right before I added the cheese; either way is good.  It was even creamy without milk.  Oh and rinse out the mug immediately; it’s a bitch to clean.

I think I’ve used this before but it’s too perfect… I’m still thinking about its lovely mac/cheesy goodness

2.  Simon decided to vomit all over the apartment yesterday while I was at work.  On my bed, on my couch (thankfully he got it on the blanket), right at my front door – and a few other places.  Poor little dude didn’t feel well.

3.  I’m currently fiddling with my coffee recipe.  It makes me feel unsettled – I need my coffee routine!  Haha, I’m such a maroon when it comes to my coffee.

During Aug, my coffee consumption goes up by 33%

4.  I’m working on using small pockets of time.  I get stuck in the mindset of, “I don’t have enough time to start/do/work on” whatever project.  It’s the same way I feel about running – that if I don’t have time to do 5 miles or so then it’s a waste.  Yes, silly.  With regards to using these small time intervals, I’m concentrating on seeing what I CAN accomplish.  For example, I paused a tv show the other night and washed my face so I would be ready for bed later.  I was heating up dinner in the microwave last night and I washed my coffee cup and made my morning coffee.  I washed a couple of other dishes, too.  Yes, there is still silverware to be washed (man, I hate washing forks!), however, I just bought myself an extra 4ish minutes in the morning.  For this sleeper-inner, that’s A LOT!

5.  I’ve been going to bed fairly early lately!  In fact, last Thursday night I fell asleep at 9:15 pm.  All last week I turned the tv off at 10 pm and then readied for bed.  I’m going to try to shorten the getting ready part so I can be in bed even earlier.

6.  Grocery shopping on a Sunday… avoid it if you can.

7.  I went through a car wash yesterday!  I’ve never done it in my own car before!  Seriously, I’ve always been nervous I wouldn’t know what to do or I would crash into the side or something.  I’ve washed my car but just never been through the machine.  I LOVED IT!  Haha, best $6.00 I’ve spent in a while.

8.  Here’s a picture of my sister, niece and soon to be sister-in-law flashing some WA pride at my dad’s wedding.  There will be more random pics of my recent travels in future posts!

btw, my soon to be sis-in-law is French... let's blame that instead of the wedding champagne for the 4 finger "W"

btw, my soon to be sis-in-law is French… let’s blame that instead of the wedding champagne for the 4 finger “W”

britney spears is helping me through

15 Aug

Work.  It’s been exhausting.  It’s the busiest time of the year for me and student affairs professionals across the country.  Suddenly there are status write ups from my colleagues that say things like, “I promise, I do like you but I probably won’t be able to talk to you for the next month”.  This is the norm.

This week has been particularly challenging.  I won’t go into details but even my bones are tired.  Not that sleep deprivation tired rather that mental fatigue that no amount of sleep can cure.

I repeated this to myself this morning. I’m not even kidding a little bit.

ANYWAY… First of all, due to the above, I haven’t run in a week.  Not my best choice considering the Detroit 26.2 is inching closer by the hour.  I could have run, of course.  Wait – my brain was on strike.  And then a miracle happened.

I got up this morning and RAN!!  I know!  I’ve been setting my alarm for an early morning run for months now and so far my bed’s siren call is just too strong.  At 4:45 am I woke up with a panic attack that kinda sorta stuck with me until I finally got out of bed at 6:20 am.  So, I can’t totally thank some inner motivation.  However, I didn’t stay in bed.

It was chilly this morning – I LOVED it.  I was pretty certain I would need to walk within the first mile and up the wretched hill.  I was pleasantly surprised when I made it up the hill, still running.  I kept going.  Then I kept going some more.  I finished out with 3.5 miles and ran the whole way.  Even my dizzy spell at the end of my run couldn’t beat down my feeling of accomplishment.The panic attack, dizzy spell and a stomach ache that I’ve had for over two weeks now are symptoms of my anxiety which is in high gear.  It’s also my second dizzy spell of the week and yes, I do find this troublesome.  Nevertheless, I’m pleased with my run.  I felt strong(ish).  Originally, I planned on making it a double run day but considering the dizzy spell, I opted for some ice cream and rest instead.

Oh and for dinner?  My first ever STIR FRY!  Wahooo!  I made fried rice and my cup runneth over with pride.  Silly?  Maybe… I’ve wanted to make fried rice for about a billion years yet found it intimidating.  I was convinced I would mess it up.  I realize now, this could be difficult but only because of my success this evening.  I added more veggies and chicken than called for so not only was it pretty but filling.  And delicious!

okay, it doesn't look that pretty but it was/is delish!

okay, it doesn’t look that pretty but it was/is delish!

Even though my brain is mush and my inner organs are being drowned in cortisol, my happy pills are at least keeping me functional.  I actually have all of Saturday off so I need to get through a hectic day tomorrow and then can let my body turn into a pool of mushy goo for a whole 24 hours.  Sunday there will be more work to be had – good thing I’ve got this little dude to keep me company.

this is simon's new favorite spot

this is simon’s new favorite spot

get out of the bed

2 Aug

I’m an avoider.  And apparently at times, I am a quitter.  I am not proud of either of these and I’m working on my quittin’ ways.  Since my mom passed I’ve become a “worst case scenario” thinker which is part of the foundation for the above issues.  BUT this isn’t a whiny post friends – read on…

After work last night, I was beat.  The whole week was rough – exhausting and emotionally draining.  I was planning on running but then a thunderstorm hit.  Then there was a marathon of my favorite show on ID, “Deadly Women”.  I love the narrator’s voice and the FBI profiler!  Anyway, my buns stayed on the couch and I really started drifting in and out of sleep.  I was working on NOT napping considering I’ve been messing with my sleep schedule the whole week by taking ‘just a snooze” in the evenings.  Finally, at 9:15 pm I succumbed to the lovely world of sleep.  This was a good plan.

love her!

Brief interruption of my running story:  Last night I was having a bad nightmare – I couldn’t get out of it, even though many times I can tell myself, “this is just a dream, WAKE UP!”.  Then I started having a panic attack.  Has anyone ever had a panic attack in the middle of sleep before?  It was weird and kind of scary because I couldn’t make it stop nor could I wake up enough to figure out why I couldn’t breathe.  I don’t know friends…

Nevertheless!  My alarm went off at 6:04 am and then again at 6:10 am.  Considering I had slept enough hours to offset the crappy zzzz’s, I was awake.  But I wasn’t sure I wanted to get out of bed and go to run camp.  I know, it’s dumb.  Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I WANTED to run, much less 8-10 miles.  I wanted to sleep in, I wanted to lay on my couch; I certainly didn’t want to get super sweaty.  I got out of bed at 6:15 am and started getting ready – why?  Because this is my new wallpaper on my phone (profanity ahead!):

bedSo I did.  I got ready and left at 6:45 am.  I forgot the meeting place was a bit further away so I knew I would be kind of late – should I really go?  This was at the second stoplight.

Third stoplight – if I turn around now, I can go back home and run.

Fourth stoplight – I guess I can see how late I am and then turn around if I am 15 mins late…

Fifth stoplight and moment of truth – I had to be back early for work so part of me was like, “whats the point?”.  Then I was filled with dread because it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been there (vacation) – what if everything thinks I am giant slacker?  Maybe I could avoid one more weekend…  I kept driving though.  This was a minor miracle as I was balking hard core.  I arrived at 7:03 am, went inside and they were still on morning briefings.  I found my group and the leaders were more than welcoming.  I explained how I almost didn’t come because I felt badly about my absence and they pushed that aside with a “life happens”.

Since running is a good life teacher, I had a great run!  Considering I had to be back for work and I worry, I did 8 miles with another camper.  I didn’t have to take any walk breaks (although I wanted to because you know, “I’m no longer a good runner”) and kept a 11:35 pace on a hilly course.  I’m still in shock.  My legs were absolutely feeling it and I admit to kinda liking the actual burn of using my muscles.  I’m still floating around with my head in the clouds.  It was a huge confidence booster.

So there is my tale of NOT quitting and NOT avoiding.  Happy Saturday!

ron swanson tells my running story

29 Jul

I’m not going to lie… I’m damn proud of myself.

While on vacation, I ran every day but two.  I even ran the day I left for WA before my flight!  One of the days I didn’t run was because we had wedding set up but I was able to incorporate a 2.5 mile walk throughout the day.  Success.  The other day was my travel back to MI day (which took 17 hours by the way – I also used ALL forms of transportation.  A car, a ferry, a train and a plane.  I really love my family.)  Were the runs exceptional?  Nope.  In fact some of them were pretty rough but I did them and it was what I needed to start kicking my buns in gear.

ron recognizes my awesomeness

I wanted to do a longer run so I decided to run from my sister’s house to her work.  The trip was going to be about 6 miles and my original plan was to run back to her house after we had lunch.  I know, I am not sure how I worked running after eating in my brain and spoiler, running back didn’t happen.  Anyway, I set out.  I left about 11:30, which was later than I intended but still was enough time to meet my sister at 12:45 pm.  It was cooler temps, *75 so I didn’t think I needed to bring water.  Why do I do this?!  Have I not learned my lesson by now?  It’s freakin’ sunny and makes it even warmer.  Ugh.


Naturally, I got lost.  There was a trail that would have made this run very scenic, cooler and 6 miles.  It is also less complicated.  However, I somehow turned the trail into the old highway and followed that instead.  I kept taking wrong turns and stopping to ask drivers for directions.  Funny thing is, people drive kind of fast on old highways so getting people to stop was tougher than I considered.

The first car I got to stop was lost as well.  They offered me a ride but I declined.  A) they were lost too, so would this really help?  B) if they were kidnappers, I don’t think I could fend off 3 people.  The next car that stopped was an older gentleman.  He also offered me a ride, along with accurrate directions and I declined that offer as well.

I continued to run.  I flagged down another truck after a while because it didn’t seem like I was going in the right direction.  Oh and get this, I had written the directions down to my sister’s office on a post it AND WAS CARRYING IT!  You know what?  This doesn’t help when you aren’t on the correct street to begin with.  Anyway, guy in truck barely slowed down so apprantely I look like a serial killer and he just yelled directions to me.

my serial killer smile?

By this time, I was frustrated, tired, hot and crazy thirsty.  I was also running out of time.  I ran another mile and half and finally came to a plant nursery that I thought I could call my sister from to come pick me up.  A woman in an expensive car (this will come into play) stopped and I asked her for directions.  She said, “do you want a ride?”.  I accepted.  I realize this isn’t proper runner protocol.  Heck, I realize accepting rides from strangers isn’t any type of proper protocol but I was done.  She was very nice and drove me my sister’s dental office… except it was the wrong one.  I felt bad so I went into the wrong one and asked to call their competion (my sister’s) and they kindly took pity on me.  They also gave me some water.  The expensive car part?  Well, I left that leather seat SWEATY!  I felt so bad so I tried to slide my butt across the seat to kind of mop it up.  Nope.  Didn’t really help.  Sorry nice lady!

did this work to distract your attention? I did the same thing to nice lady but I don’t remember what I said… maybe I just held some intense eye contact… great… now I’m the creeper…

My sister really enjoyed this story, as did my neice.  As has everyone else I’ve told it to.  Hope you did too.  All in all, I got 7 miles in that day.  I called it a win.  I also ate a super tasty sandwhich on the beach with my niece and sister and this compeltely overruled the option of running back.  Seriously, when are they going to invent a device to implant into my brain that will make sure I go in the right direction?  I get lost.all.the.time.

To conclude this post, I ran while on vacation.  I am fabulous.

juicing – all done!

27 Jul

My last post was a bit depressing – considering it was about depression, I’d say I nailed it?  There is more on this topic I want to discuss but a lot has happened between then and now so I will jump back into it soon.

I finished the 28 day juice cleanse the Saturday before I left for vacation/WA.  My original plan was to finish a week before I left but it took a few days to get it up and running so I was nervous about being done on Saturday and taking off on Monday.

so yes, this thought did cross my mind… it’s VACATION after all…

Let’s get right to it… the 28 day juice cleanse was a very interesting experience.  It’s a roller coaster of a time which I simply didn’t expect.  I will say, I will never do a 28 day cleanse again.  Definitely a shorter one – as I know it did my body good, but 28 days was simply too long for my body.  Office mate really thrived on this and in fact has started another 28 day rotation.  It’s important to recognize what works for your body.

I lost 11lbs.  I think I would have lost more but I didn’t have a whole lot of energy to work out.  I should’ve just gone for walks but in my brain it seemed that either I would run or I would sit on my couch.  I don’t always see the middle ground.  Speaking of running, I do not recommend doing a juice cleanse during marathon training.  This was a poor timing decision on my part.  I really did not have the energy to do any distance and I didn’t see that it was related to lack of foods rather lack of fitness on my part so I felt discouraged.

I know all of the fruits and veggies were a mega boost to my system.  I noticed benefits to fueling my body with said nutrients.  In fact, now that I’m two weeks out and haven’t been juicing at all, I can feel my NEED to merge aspects of the juice lifestyle with a food lifestyle.  Does this make sense?  It’s hard to explain but I just don’t eat enough fruits and veggies as part of my regular diet.  It’s a major hole and I’m never quite sure how to fix this.

So, I’m bringing some juicing back!  I’ve picked my favorite and will have one of these a day for the next few days to see if I can feel a difference.  I know part of my lethargic feeling is the whole vacation eating – I mean seriously, how am I supposed to deny yummy burgers at a family BBQ?  Or your dad’s wedding cake? Your grandma’s lemon cake?!  Nope, not going to happen.  I had a mini freak out the Saturday of the wedding as I could feel the bloat and my niece talked me down with encouraging words.  She is a gem.

I’ll have the juice for lunch.  I recently read an article on Active.com with regards to dieting and running.  It recommended NOT dieting when training for a race and I couldn’t agree more.  However, it also talked about eating less processed foods and keeping it balanced.  This is my focus.

Ron captures my feelings on the juice cleanse!

Overall, I’m glad I finished the cleanse.  I didn’t believe I could stick with it and I proved to myself I could accomplish hard things that were out of my element.  The last two days of the cleanse were a bit dicey since I had to eat one or two meals for work-related events but such is life.  I didn’t expect feeling so emotional during this process!  It was also kind of isolating.  So much of our lives revolves around food!  And the silly part I hated was going to the grocery store so much.  For me personally, I had a lot of headaches – I mean, one practically everyday.  This is the primary reason I won’t do this length of a cleanse again.  BUT I readjusted my portion sizes!  I readjusted my sugar cravings and sugar intake!  Can you see how back and forth I feel about this experience?!

I’ll refer to this again in future posts I’m sure and I would be happy to answer any questions.  I’m really proud of myself!

resiliency

13 Jul

I’ve read articles that a quality of mentally strong individuals is resiliency.  To be able to look hardships in the face and move beyond them.  Bounce back if you will…

Resiliency is a tough quality to employ when you suffer from depression.  Remember in the early days of cartoons, the coyote would try to light a fuse on fire to release the anvil that would fall on the head of the road runner at just the right moment?  Then the fuse would die out and the coyote would run back and relight it.  This may have happened one or two more times until finally the fuse would catch rather suddenly and BOOM right in the coyote’s face!

This is as good of a description as any when it comes to trying to embody resiliency with depression.  I’m not saying I’m always living on the edge of a deep depression but it’s there.  It’s a slippery slope and I’m very aware of this.  Recently, there have been several bumps in the road and it is definitely testing me.  Like the stupid coyote, when each thing happens, it lights the fuse.  At this point, I’m working hard to NOT allow the big BOOM to happen and get sucked down into the dark side.

 Oh, hello. I'm depression. You were probably expecting me. (Sandra Ranja illustration.)


Oh, hello. I’m depression. You were probably expecting me. (Sandra Ranja illustration.)

I will absolutely admit, last year’s major bout of depression was one of the worst I’ve every experienced.  I don’t feel it’s on that level again.  Instead I feel on the brink of, “wow, my life sucks right now and I don’t see how it can get better”.  Part of the issue is that the hits are coming from all aspects of my life.  There isn’t any one area where I can feel confident and hang my hat on, “well at least this is going well”.

Most of the mini-crises  are happening on the personal realm, however, running is also being affected.  Is it the end of the world?  Of course not.  Do I know I can get better?  I’m almost positive I can.  But it’s annoying and frustrating so it adds to the chipping away of my resiliency.

Recently, I read two things I liked.  The first one is a buzzfeed list of what it’s like to have depression:

The next one is a meme I saw:

01ce92aad8f0dcc4415e5bbd09e475e2What I’ve decided is to go ahead and wallow in the craptastic life happenings right now.  I’m just going to accept it.  Oh and I’m going to lower my expectations.  I am going to give doing one thing different every day (or as close to this as possible) a shot.  And like George Costanza, I’m going to go against my instincts when it comes time to make decisions.  I don’t believe this is going to make things any better but maybe it will make things less difficult?  Or more interesting?

Let it be known, this post isn’t intended to garner any, “you’re great!” comments.  As I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s important for me to get more comfortable with talking about my depression.  I worked so hard for so long to ignore it and this certainly made things worse.

What do you do when you are faced with several hard knocks at once?

How do you boost your resiliency?

amazing boob slings

9 Jul

Last week a co-worker told me Lane Bryant was having a rockin’ sale on bras.  Buy two and you get two free.  I’ve never shopped at Lane Bryant but my co-worker said the band size starts at 36 so a win for me.

the current state of my favorite bras

Here’s the thing, in my previous experience, when purchasing bras for larger breasties, they were not so cute.  Black, white and beige are typically the colors of choice and even those aren’t too fancy.  I’ve also been trying to buy some at Target but so far my luck has been sub par.  I headed out to Victoria Secret a few months  back and while I found some cute ones the support piece was a little iffy.  Oh and there was quite a bit of spill-over, which at times made me feel harlet-esque.

that was money down the drain

On Saturday night I checked out the website and was pleasantly surprised by the selection – they were pretty!  I ran out there on Sunday with my ATM card in hand.  I was ready.  Once there I started loading up on a variety of over the shoulder boulder holders.  I wasn’t exactly sure what size I would be so I grabbed a large number.  I asked for a dressing room and the lady there noticed.  “When was the last time you were sized?”  Me: “umm…”  She jumped right on it and fitted I was.

Have you ever noticed how you are different sizes in different stores?  I find this very annoying.  I mean they are mathematical measurements!  Or maybe it’s just that each store’s product fits differently?  Man, this is so frustrating.  Anyway, she helped me pick some out and then explained that different styles maybe need different sizes.  Okay…  I went in not feeling very optimistic.  I tried the first on and the first words out of my mouth were:

MY BOOBS LOOK FANTASTIC!

Yes, I did yell this rather loudly.  I’m not exaggerating – who knew the whole “lift and separate” was the real deal?  The salesperson came in and agreed with me.  She helped with some minor tweaks but other than I stumbled upon brassiere GOLD.

I tried on a few other styles and found three that worked really well for me.  Funny side note, two of the three were the same size and the third fit well but had to be a cup size smaller – shenanigans friends.  Just goes to show how important it is to try on each one you are thinking about buying.

So the moral of the story?  When purchasing your under lovelies, set aside some quality time to spend at the store and even change up the stores.  I was there for a little while and tried on quite a few items.  Try on different styles – don’t just try on one and think that same size will fit in all styles.  Stand in the dressing room and admire your perky bosom in all of its glory.  Take notice how the when you put your old fun bag contraption on that the new ones definitely give your knockers some SPUNK!  Lastly, the next day when I wore said new torture device boob sling, I couldn’t believe how different I felt.  My posture was better.  I felt more confident.  I looked thinner.  I felt more supported.  There wasn’t massive amounts of embarrassing jiggling.  So freakin’ worth it.

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