Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Female Problems

Don't worry, you'll get your race recap soon...hopefully. But I'm currently in the midst of a quarter life crisis seeing as I've just hit a quarter century old and I'm really starting to see how hard it is to be a woman sometimes. Sure there are all kinds of benefits and I definitely wouldn't change it for the world. But on the other hand, a woman's accomplishments always seem to have a slight negative undertone.

Over the weekend I did my second half marathon (duh) and got a lot of positive feedback and comments regarding this accomplishment. When I was accepted into grad school I got some positive feedback and when I told people about my trip to Peru this summer (did I tell you all I'm going to Peru this summer?) I also received the standard "congrats!" and "good luck!" comments. I appreciate that more than you'll ever know. However, I am constantly being questioned and pressured about babies and marriage. I get accepted into graduate school/run a half marathon/travel the globe and get "Oh that's nice. But when are you getting married?" or "That's good but what about The Colonel (and no, they don't call him The Colonel)?" Or my personal favorite, "Good thing you're getting all of that out of your system now before you get married and have kids." Let me just clarify, my bucket list and personal list of accomplishments does not include marriage or children. It never will. To me and in my life (let's remember before getting all huffy that we're talking about ME, not ALL WOMEN) getting married and having kids aren't accomplishments. I know there are people who have to work at getting pregnant and you certainly have to work at keeping a marriage together and if that's what you want for your life then you should be proud! But that is your life and not mine.

The point is that people can't continue to push their own ideas of success onto others and expect everyone to agree. We all have our own definitions for a successful life and that's how it should be. If success for everyone meant Ph.Ds and tenure track positions we'd run out of jobs quick. If everyone's success came in the form of 4 kids and a dog we'd run out of food (and possibly dogs). Life is a two way street and you never know exactly where the other cars are coming from or where they've been. You don't know if they've had a few flats along the way or been pulled over and held up or if it's been raining and they have the one bad wiper blade. Sometimes you'll pass people and who knows, you may even make a u-turn to follow their lead but remember that you're all in separate cars and that they're in control of their own journey regardless of what you think.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Miss Me Yet?

Hello my friends! Greetings from a screened in back patio with jacuzzi and pool in Florida! If you don't remember, this weekend (aka tomorrow) is the Disney Princess Halfie me and the sister are doing as part of my birthday celebration! Don't worry, I brought my computer and ALL of my homework with me so no time would be wasted but just wanted to pop in and say hello. We got into town last night after a very long and irritating day of travel but none of that mattered today. It was gorgeous out, we're staying in an amazing condo, I'm test driving a Mazda 3 which I was considering buying soon anyway and it was time for the Fit for a Princess Expo! Don't worry, you'll get a Florida in Photos post eventually immediately following the race but I just can't say enough about how much fun we had at the expo. Stay tuned for all of that fun and a photo or two of us with (does anyone here watch The Biggest Loser?) Ali Vincent, The Biggest Loser's first female winner! I don't watch the show at all anymore but used to watch from time to time so I know who she is. Autumn however is a HUGE fan and was first in line (thanks to me) for a meet and greet! More to come but I won't give any spoilers, not to mention my birthday is on Monday!

What are you up to this weekend?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Excuses

We take a break from our regularly scheduled Free for all Friday to say a few words about excuses.
Everybody has excuses, some are valid, some are not but honestly excuses get a bad wrap sometimes and I don't know that it's entirely deserved. My Facebook news feed is full of inspirational quotes, photos and stories encouraging people to workout (primarily, although some are just life quotes) and sometimes it's easy to get caught up in constantly seeing these "Don't be a quitter" warnings and not giving yourself the time off that you need and killing yourself trying. When I look at my new school/work schedule I do find time to workout, but I don't find hours that can be spared not doing homework or in commute. For example, I'm not a fast runner. To run 5 miles takes me close to an hour. So seeing constant images telling me to do more and more and more miles easily makes me feel like crap, that is, if I choose to let it. Here are some examples of where I'm coming from:

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This is true. We do spend a lot of time focusing on all the bad in our lives. My job sucks, I don't sleep enough, I don't have any money, I'm too fat, My hair is too curly, etc. etc. But sometimes you need to and deserve to talk about your problems. If I'm in a really stressful place and having trouble and needing someone to talk to and I see this on my newsfeed, I might just push those feelings back down, paint on a smile and charge on until I crack. And that isn't ok either.


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This is a classic case of "I'm better than you." and that attitude permeates gyms and running groups across the country and is precisely why those "resolutioners" quit showing up to classes and stair stepper machines. People who are truly concerned with their fitness and the health of others get to a place where comparisons are no longer necessary. My current easy run is what my previous long run used to be. Who cares? You can't get to a more intense workout level without starting somewhere so images like this just make you look like an ass.


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I'm a very literal person. Seeing something like this easily gives the impression that no matter what, you must keep going. Hurt, sick, tired, doesn't matter, keep going. To some degree this is true. Not working out because you're a little tired is sometimes just an excuse but sometimes you're hurt or sick and "running through it" is one of the worst things you can do. This is when you need to "listen to your body." But how many of these "inspirational" images remind you to take care of yourself and sleep if you need it, stop when you're hurt or rest and hydrate when you're sick?


To get to my point, sometimes excuses are valid and we can't be afraid to make them from time to time. Looking back at this post, I realize how ridiculous it was at some point. I was (and still am) obviously disappointed that I won't be able to do an oly as planned. But it was from seeing images like these and constantly telling myself "no excuses" that made me feel so terrible for doing something as simple and necessary as taking care of myself. I routinely workout for at least 30 minutes 5 days per week and there's nothing wrong with that. Just because I'm not actively "training" doesn't mean that I'm a failure, quitter or loser. It doesn't make my workout any less valid than the aspiring Ironman. We're just in different places and I'm doing pretty damn well for where I am. I don't do long runs during the week because I have to do homework and go to class. I do the elliptical, walk or cycle more often than I run or swim because I usually read for school while working out. I realize 30 or 40 minutes on the elliptical or an hour on the bike isn't as impressive as a 10 mile run or 2 mile swim but it's what I can do for right now and it'll have to be good enough. Do the best you can for you and make sure you're realistic about what is a valid excuse and what is just laziness. And you know what, if you just don't feel like it sometimes, that's ok too. 



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

I miss blogging. I miss you guys and your comments. But it's for the greater good. This week (and last) has been brutal. But I have kind of been taking pictures so...enjoy!

ImageThe Super Bowl is pretty much a holiday in my house so here's a lovely themed cake decorated by Autumn

ImageImageMy lovely and pristine home office *please note the bottle of Coke for caffeine purposes*ImageAlways here to help

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Standard breakfast

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Managed to get outside for a run today!

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Free for all Friday No. 4

Happy February! This is of course the best month of the year, which is why it's also the shortest. Never want to give too much of a good thing. Thanks to Run Eat Repeat I'm journeying through the plank a day challenge thing and it sucks since I hate planks. But that is a perk of February being the shortest month. February is also great because I get to go on vacation! Where, you ask? Disney World! It's finally time for the Disney Princess Half Marathon! About time huh? That's how I feel. Even though my training is sucky and completely off track I'm still just not that concerned for some reason. Self confidence? Delusion? Whichever. Which brings me to the final reason February is just so special, my birthday! And yes, it's the super special Golden Birthday! The possibilities are endless for my great birthday vacation even though I'll still be doing homework and I'm so looking forward to it.

More on that later, now, let's get back to the Free for All. Yesterday I had my normal breakfast and a normal lunch. Then I thought about my free for all and you know what? I didn't really want anything crazy! What's that all about? I ate a few chips between lunch and dinner and then realized what I really wanted, carrots and dip!

ImageDon't let the packaging fool you, it's not just sour cream and chives, it's a special dip. And it's awesome. So The Colonel walked in, looked at my snack and said "That's not a free for all." I mean, it's a cream based dip! That's all calorie laden right? I had ice cream in the freezer too and was all amped up to eat dessert after dinner. So as a free for all I did do this:

ImageSpinach ravioli, Alfredo AND bread! I never made it to the ice cream but this seemed free enough. Maybe that's the secret of the free for all, the more you have the less you want? I didn't crave pizza, french fries or nachos. I think since I'm less restrictive I'm actually doing a lot better overall. I lost 6 pounds when I was sick and despite my free for alls I gained back 2 (count it!) pounds which I think came from being re-hydrated. So overall I've actually managed to lose more weight without "trying". I'm just eating better overall. My base diet isn't bad and my cheats really aren't that bad either, especially since they're isolated. All in all, pretty happy with how this year is going. But now I need to get back to Sit down, Shut up and Study Saturday. Enjoy some photos of my dog's birthday yesterday! My baby girl is 4 years old! I can't believe it. We don't know when her birthday really is since she was a stray so we just kind of went with it. She was happy and that's all that mattered. Happy Weekend!

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