Thursday, October 25, 2012

Swim-time musings on friendship

I don’t have a really close group of friends I spend all my time with.  But that doesn’t mean I value my friends any less.  I value my friends for their contribution to my life in each in their unique way.  And even though we don’t see each other all the time I think about you often, send you good thoughts, and look forward to seeing you when it works out. 

So when we make plans I put it in my calendar, look forward to it, and fit it into my schedule.  Now I know you are very busy (as am I) and I know that most people are not as organized/anal as I am, but I do expect people to show up when planned and stick to the plans they make with me.  I get frustrated when things go awry.  What you should know - I get over it so quickly (who wants to live in anger?).

So, please, don’t make me wrong and go away because of this, as then I would not only miss out on our fun outing, but would also miss (out on) my friend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where is the Health?

The first time I tried to eat vegan (for a one week experiment) it was an utter failure.  I didn’t have any energy, I didn’t like the food, and having spent the last six months being paleo I certainly couldn’t wrap my health around eating that many grains and losing weight.  At that time paleo was a hugely popular diet.  It still is, but seemingly being vegan has usurped it as the next “it” diet.  I find this INSANE.  And irritating.  And well, because I am a bit juvenile in my food emotions, it makes me want to go eat a bunch of steak.

But really, this abuts a concern I have had for a while.  When considering why you eat a certain way  and for that way to be permanent it really can’t be a way to lose weight.  If you want to eat paleo because you like the energy it gives you and you feel great then you should definitely eat that way.  If you are solely eating that way to lose weight then it is just a diet and one you will eventually rebound off of. 

And that, my friends, is my concern with the vegan excitement out there.  Because I love eating vegan, I think it makes my skin glow, it is good for the environment, the animals and the humans alike.  It is great.  (for many, not all)  But it should NOT be a diet.  As in, a way to lose weight.  It should not. 

Where is the health in eating this way if it is going to make you rebound into another way of eating that will reverse the great health strides you have made.  If you need to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, lose weight, avoid diabetes and start to eat a vegan diet (begrudgingly) because it is the current craze then that change will not be permanent.  And just another diet.

Today I am thinking in small steps.  No vegan, no paleo, no labels or rules.  I am sitting inside my body and asking it to tell me what it needs.  Maybe in the silence I will let the juvenile out for a dance and eat like the evolving woman I am.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Not My Fight

 I recently started a long term sub position as a High School Librarian.  Filling in during someone’s maternity leave would allow me to get back in the library to decide whether it is something I still want to do and more importantly, TO MAKE MONEY.  You see, my husband works for the State of Oregon and has been furloughed at least every other month for the past three years.  So, we need the money.

When I found out, within weeks of me starting at this position, that the teacher’s union might strike, I groaned.  I am not a union member.  I am here to work.  We have increased daycare costs associated with this decision.  We need me to make money so I can pay for it.  This is not my fight.

As my husband said last night, “This is so something that would happen to you”.  Of course it is.  This is my life.  I finally get a regular job.  I go to work every morning at the crack ass of dawn to a job I don’t like so I can help support our family and they want to take the money away.  This is so my life.

I respect what these teacher’s want.  I am very interested in the process.  I am intrigued to see how it all turns out.  But this is not my fight. 

The press is out front.  The students are inside like any other day.  What will happen on April 22?  We shall see. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brooke Needs More Food

Every family has ritualized stories told about the members.  My story, usually told by my father, involves me crying on the soccer field at eight when my awesome rainbow colored shoes laces got muddy.  My brother’s story involves him (at three? four?) stating, “Brett NEEDS more food”.  Well, I guess I am channeling my brother, because Brooke needs more food.

You may or may not know that I am working at a school library this spring.  Knowing that I am sitting more I started making food decision based on that.  I made green juices, smoothies and salads for my meals.  All great meals, but just not substantive enough.  Even though I am sitting around I still need enough food to feel satisfied.  Enough food so that I don’t want to snack or eat a huge dinner.  More importantly, enough food to have the energy to workout in the afternoon (a time I really don’t want to be working out). 

Eating enough food is a common topic amongst those trying to lose weight, maintain weight or even those who want to gain weight.  I guess that means everyone, doesn’t it?  Enough is really more complex than the calories consumed because it addresses the mental aspect.  I suspect that is the more challenging and for me, sitting in a library all day, it is making this more challenging than normal.  You see, I am not busy at the library.  I am trying to fill my time and naturally I start thinking about lunch.  When the kids come in with their (rather foul smelling) lunches then I know it will be time for me to eat soon.  When the kids come in with their sandwiches and sodas and cheetos I start thinking about my smoothie.  Which suddenly doesn’t seem satisfying enough.

So today I began again.  I made myself a big ole salad with lots of fun, crunchy foods, a variety of textures, proteins, fats and I believe a whole head of lettuce.  J.  That sounds like enough food.  Maybe too much.  That is a problem I can handle.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stevia Blues

I made some protein breakfast bars and I got the numb numbly feeling on my tongue.  I hadn’t felt that for some time, probably since the very first time I used stevia in a recipe about 7 years ago.  I didn’t notice the conversion rate, used wayyyyyy too much and created a grossly sweet recipe that was inedible.  For years I never thought I would eat stevia again. 

Many years later I rediscovered it. Now I regularly use the liquid form mostly to slightly sweeten my smoothies, my coffee, or various recipes that call for sweetening.  I still think about the function of my sweet needs: does my food need the stickiness of honey to bind it, the earthy flavor of maple syrup or do I just need something to be a little bit sweeter?  If the answer is the latter then I use stevia.

So so sad I am that the numb tongue is back.  The recipe said to use the powdered form (I had the liquid out).  Not sure why it would say powdered, but against my better judgment (not wanting it to be too sweet) I used packets.  I used the minimum.  I thought it would be ok.  It was not.

Stevia is such a strong sweetener, so different from the artificial sweeteners or even sugar.  I don’t think this type of thing would happen with honey.  You just wouldn’t use that much.  The stevia leaf is so sweet and so intense.  I still will use it.  But I think I can’t make that recipe again.  It is so bust for me.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What are you… selling?

I have long resisted any kind of sales position.  I was a teller in college.  That didn’t sell any stocks.  I was a event manager… that didn’t sell banking relationships.  I was a development associate… that didn’t sell theater tickets.  I have long resisted any job that relied on me selling anything.  Anything that relied on myself.

Today my hubbend reminded me that I don’t sell weight loss.  I sell health counseling.  Clients (and I) get caught up in our goals, but really, when some hires me who wants to lose weight they are buying something I can’t deliver.  I cannot lose weight for someone else.  They have to do it themselves.  Weight loss isn’t easy.  It isn’t simple.  It takes hard work, a dedication to a goal, and a prioritization that many don’t have.  (which is why so many fail)

So I wonder why I am doing this rather sales related job (something I have long denied doing) when it is something that has such a high failure rate?  It is something I finally believe in.  Something that is so important.  Something that our lives depend on.

I don’t want to live my life in ill health.  I want to thrive.  I want to live a life of being, feeling, thinking and doing.  All within the harmony of living.

Don’t you?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Food Rules

I have gone back and forth about having food rules.  While one hand thinks it is something my teenage self would want to rebel against, the other hand thinks it is a good idea to have some structure in my life to guide my eating habits.  I don’t want to put it on my refrigerator (that seems so 2008) so I thought I’d write them out here.

1-Meals should be based on plant sources

2-When eating carbs they should be whole grains or starches (note to self to make crackers)

3-Remember to put beans/mushrooms into meals so I get enough protein in my diet (avoiding dizziness while in handstands is a good thing)

4 -Caffeine and alcohol no more than three times a week

5- Eat only whole soy products with the very occasional soy milk (and not very often at that)

6-Only eat animal products meaningfully, not lazily

7-Sweets are for the weekend

Upon editing this a bit I tried to keep the language about what is in my diet, not concentrating on what I want to keep out.  A little mentality out there for you Smile. (yes, I know that is not a real word, but it seemed apt.)

I think what this list shows me is what I struggling with right now or what I think is really important.  I wanted to add a rule about no more than three meals a day, but that isn’t a challenge for me so I didn’t.  So, these rules are my guidelines, my way of eating that makes me feel good.  My way of eating that I eat when my head doesn’t eat me first.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Inner beast

And my inner beasty rears its ugly head.

Like so many things we tend to attribute the bad parts of us to outside causes.  I was reading a book recently where the main protagonist was fighting against herself in a good vs bad battle to make the right decisions.  She called the bad side “the beast” until she realized it was all her.

Such it is with me.  Sometimes the beast is calm.  I make good food decisions, I eat really well, and enjoy doing so.  Other times the beast takes over and I feel out of control, unhappy about it, but seemingly can’t stop it.  This cycle builds and builds until I am so irritated, so out of control that I have to bitch slap the beast and start again.

And so it begins again.  I do a cleanse.  I restart my good habits, clean eating, listening to my foods rules that the beast so easily eschews.  This lasts longer and longer as I have built in this cycle starting from strength. 

Sometimes I think the beast is dead.  I think I am so strong now I can handle anything.  But then something so simple trips me up and I eat something I wouldn’t usually eat and it then another and then another. 

It is really frustrating to wish that food could just be the energy to provides my body the strength to do the things that makes me appreciate living in me.  Once again I have to sit back, think about how to build from strength and appreciate the weakness so that cycle can be stronger this time and perhaps I can learn, make adjustments and do it again better.

I love the clean part so.  I love the calm in my brain.  I must remember not to feel such a fraud.  I am not perfect.  Who is?  I am on this path.  Every moment of my life has brought me here.  What can I learn from this to take me into the future with love?