Friday, September 20, 2013

Facebook Addiction

It's probably a sign that you have a really terrible addiction to Facebook when you can't log on because of some kind of server glitch (it appears to not be just me) and you obsessively check to see if anyone else is having that problem.  And then go to Twitter.

:P

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Diet is my new four letter word

When I was in grad school, I gained a bunch of weight.  It was way too much-- long days, lots of Jack in the Box, driving 5 hours back and forth from College Station-- all of those things added up to me being rather pudgy.  And unhappy with that. So I went on a diet, lost 40ish pounds.  Got certified as an aerobics instructor.  Was muscled, bellydancing, and pretty fit.  It was kind of easy... calories in less than calories out-- lose 2 pounds a week.

Then I got pregnant.

It wasn't the pregnancy's fault-- I simply stopped exercising. Yes, I was asked to consume 3000 calories a day to help the twins grow well, since twins are often expected to be preemies. I did that partly by eating a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's every day (oh Heavenly Host that was fun!)

But, after the babies were born, I lost a bit, but have been up and down with that "extra 20 pounds" ever since. Last year, I decided to take it really seriously and diet and finally lose that last little bit.

I started working out every day.  I counted calories like a maniac. I lost 20 pounds. Yay!  Only ten more to go!  (It's always "just ten more pounds," though, isn't it?) Then summer hit, and I felt it was just too challenging to hit the gym while the kiddos were home.  So I gained some of that 20 back.  Lost some of it again in the Fall when they went back to school.  Had been trying, again, off and on, to focus on the calorie counting and really take that last few pounds off.  But, this time, in spite of really working hard and doing all the things I did the last time I easily lost those 40 pounds, it was NOT easy.  Those pounds kept coming back again!!

But recently I realized:  dieting makes me into a person who is not my best self.  I can be rather petty, sometimes even mean, about other people's weight (and weight loss) when I am overly focused on calories. I've said things that I really shouldn't have simply because I'm jealous that someone else finally did it, finally got themselves through hard work down to that goal weight. I'm a bit ashamed, but you can't take that level of "mean dieting girl" back, so I own it. I have a competitive streak that comes out occasionally in places like this, sometimes unexpectedly. I may try to hide it with it being a joke, but honestly, it really is just being jealous. I wish I could apologize to one person who I actually did say something too snarky to but an apology still doesn't fix it.

And seriously, it's not like I'm sticking to it enough for me to really have any grounds for being jealous.  It's my own "fault" if I keep a few extra pounds around my middle.  I like food, and I like wine, and I don't stick to going to the gym or running the way someone who likes caloric intake as much as I do ought to in order to be lean and fit.

But what I've realized is this:  I have a bad relationship with my body, with dieting, with food & calories.  I used to not-- but then, it's easy to have a good relationship when you're skinny and can eat at Burger King every day because you're 21 and work at a high calorie burning job and walk everywhere.  It's a lot harder when you have to make deliberate decisions.  I LIKED eating Whoppers and I like potato chips.  I like food!

I DON'T like counting calories, and (here's one of the biggest things) teaching my 8 year old daughter that "women count calories and worry about what they eat."  


My new resolution to stop punishing myself every time I eat a bag of chips has a lot to do with that daughter. She was asking me how many calories were in something, and I visualized the way, even at 18 when I was seriously skinny I thought I was fat and wore baggy clothes.  My mother never, as far as I remember, dieted, so I don't know exactly where my own obsessions with weight came from back then.

Anyway.  So now, I'm trying to re-educate myself. I'm eating food, without constantly trying to count calories. I'm trying to exercise deliberately, and with a goal towards long-term health, not weight loss.  I figure if I lose some weight, I'll be able to tell. But weight loss is not my goal.  And, while I plan to be aware that something has high or low calories, and make conscious choices because of that, I am NOT going to not eat something that I really want, when I'm hungry, because "it has too many calories".  Eat the damn bag of chips. Don't beat yourself up about it. Go running later or not, but stop thinking about food all the damn time!

And I'm trying to forgive myself for sometimes being petty or jealous of other people who have done a better job at their balancing act than me. I'm trying to genuinely love myself, for myself.  Not my skinniest self but me, the way I am, right this second-- messy hair, PJs, a little heavier than ideal, but able to run and catch up with my kids and strong as heck from all that weight lifting.

Why is that so hard to do?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Red Headed Running Girl

There she was.  Running so fast she was lapping the kids who were walking and chatting.  Ostensibly the "running club."  Very few people actually running.  But she was zooming, long red hair flying out behind her.

Months ago, when it was still hot, she would come up to me, cheeks blazing red, sweaty, having run close to 3 miles in less than an hour.  She was so proud, and made running look easy.

So, little by little, I decided that if my 7 year old daughter could do it, so could I. Run.  Jog.  That "four letter word" of sorts for me.

"I have always hated running" I said.  "Ugh.  Shin Splits and foot pain, no thanks!"   Many years ago, a dear friend of mine tried to hook me on jogging.  We went running through the cool night air of the Seattle area.  She didn't have a plan, a place she was going, and she ran easily ahead of me.  I hated it.  The bug did not bite.

My  husband tried to teach me, about 10 years ago on our last serious fitness campaign.  I liked it-- slightly-- better.  We had this discussion about, of all things, 9/11.  On that day, I saw news footage of a woman who had been shopping in downtown Manhattan when the planes hit.  She was trudging, I assume as fast as she could, out of the danger zone when one of the towers came down and that huge overwhelming cloud of gray smoke and ash and burning jet fuel billowed down, enveloping her in its darkness.  From far behind her, a young camera man zoomed, racing.  He was carrying what is probably a very heavy camera, and I assume he had been filming the destruction as he realized the cloud was growing.  He RAN.  He ran past the woman.  He did not get covered in dust and soot-- at least not as deeply into the cloud as the woman who could barely walk, carrying her shopping bags, her precious goods clutched in two hands.  My husband and I talked about wanting to be the person who could run from the dangers.  Outrace the poisonous cloud.

But it still did not stick.

Then, a seven year old red headed girl began running club.  And I begrudgingly found a motivational app for my phone-- the Zombies, Run! game.  It intrigued me enough that I said I would try.  I only promised to do it until the game was over.  I could not, I said, be sure I would keep running after the game was finished.  Yes, the game is super fun and I like the added humor of a game that is about the zombie apocalypse that is training one to potentially outrun the zombie apocalypse.  It's twisted enough that the dark humor kept me going outside, even in the cold, for weeks.  And the story is sweet, at times, and funny, and like reading a good book mixed in with cool songs that keep me moving.

But what has happened, really, that has kept me running at least three times a week, has made me run more than a marathon in mileage since January, has me planning to run a 5K in two weekends with my red headed lovely daughter, is a memory, one that slowly arose while I was running.

Of a red headed girl. Who was very fast, who loved to run like the wind, red hair streaming out behind her.  Who was ferocious.  Who chased the boy who teased her, and was so fast that he needed a burst of unnatural fear speed to get away.  A girl who was lost to puberty, and a lazy young adulthood where a high-ish metabolism kept her thin for a long time and a lazy lower metabolism made her pudgy through grad school.

A red headed girl, who I am remembering every time I go running, and find that I actually have started to love running.  I love the way I feel after, the slow burn in all my  muscles for the rest of the day.  The accomplishment of having racked up specific mileage.  Of getting to know the houses in my neighborhood.  Of running just a little bit farther, to that stop sign, to the next trash can, to the park, before slowing to a fast walk.

All because my little red headed girl found the one I had lost, too long ago.  So when we go on our 5K Color Run in a couple of weekends, there will be two red headed girls, running as fast as we can, at least part of the time.  Training each other to survive the dark clouds that are inevitable in life, but we, if we can, will outrace them, carrying that heavy load and dropping the things that are not vital.

Let's go.  Because we can.







Thursday, January 3, 2013

Love Song


Oh Prufrock,
you never really listened.  Did you ever think,
to wonder
all those days in parlors with your coffee spoons and peaches
if maybe one of those lovely sirens just
out of reach,
may have had a few silver strands in her flowing hair?
(We don’t get much Clairol down here.)
Maybe a few deep laugh lines beside her eyes?
One or two (a gentlemen doesn’t ask) extra pounds from loving
to enjoy skittering crab claws a few too many?

No, you always look to the young mermaids,
those still so new girls
who want to sing to men with fire
still in their souls.  They want the ones who leap first,
the strongest,
the ones who fight hardest to swim back.
All those young men ever talk about is themselves, (or their cars,)
once we catch them.
No wonder we drown them after one single breath of sea.


For me, I could sing, sweetly,
for a man with a few regrets.
A lost love, a missed chance.
Perhaps a failed dream.
Someone who remembers older songs.
A little Classic Rock, perhaps.

I might even find a reason to teach you how to swim
how to breathe a different breath.   To remember
lungs that filled with fluid and did not die,
to live another life beneath the sea.

Human voices are not always the ones to seek.

KAW Jan 13

Saturday, November 17, 2012

on killing darlings

Hemingway
who I officially hate
said
"write drunk; edit sober."

And I hate him again.

Stupid man.fights
Stupid boy.
Stupid. Stupid.

And then Faulkner
supposedly said something
about "kill
your
darlings."

No.  I will not.
I cherish every moment.  The sweaty
sick flu virus
the diapers
the

stupid bits.

Cooking macaroni & cheese
and hot dogs
and pudding.

Those things.
Do not make room for deep
poetry.
But are,
in them their they
very selves:  Poems.