Friday, July 30, 2010

Daily Burn

For the last few months, I've been using a website called Daily Burn in tandem with My Fitness Pal to help me achieve my weight loss goals. I like Daily Burn because it is more visual than MFP. It tells me exactly how many calories I burned each day, and how much weight I should be able to lose each week. It also helps me target basic nutritional areas better, such as protein, carbs, fat, etc. However, MFP had a few more features for free than DB did.
Anyway, long story short, I decided to upgrade on DB for more of their specialized features. I intend to continue using MFP as well. With my new upgraded account on DB, I have access to more workout/training plans (which is good, because outside of running, biking, swimming, and elliptical, I'm pretty clueless), and it also lets me know how many servings of each food group I need to eat each day. This is something I struggle with. I'm protein deficient on a daily basis, so I eat a lot of protein bars and shakes to make up for it. Having something tell me "Hey, you need to eat some fruit & veggies today!" is going to be really good for my overall health. It also makes up a grocery list for me when I plan out my meals in advance, which is kind of nifty. If I see a daily reminder to eat x amount of fruit, veggies, grains, etc, it's going to benefit everyone, since I do the food prep on most days. It will be a visual reminder to feed DD & hubby some good stuff, too.
Definitely need to add some Over The Moon chocolate milk to the list though, since I don't get enough dairy (and it's really high in protein anyway).

In other news, Grace picked up the word "Delicious" recently. Mostly if she likes a food, she'll make a big deal about it. "Mmm, yum, 'licious!"
And she's had a cough since last Thursday, so I haven't been able to go to the gym during the day. She thinks it's pretty funny to growl at me with this nasty little bug in her chest. She sounds terrible when she does it, like she's going to die or something, but she laughs hysterically. I laugh cuz it's just this awful little noise. Part Gremlin, part Darth Vader.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Where Do I Belong?

My parents divorced when I was 8. My Dad remarried 2 years later, and my mom remarried when I was 11. Ever since the divorce, I've always felt torn between worlds. In all honesty I resent my father. I've had hard feelings toward him since I was a teenager. At my wedding he said he wanted to be part of my life more, and I wanted him to, too, but there hasn't been much effort since then. I know it goes both ways, but still. More recently he told me he doesn't have anything to say to me. I know he meant he doesn't know what to say, but I still feel like I'm done. I really don't want to have any part with him or his family. I don't feel wanted. I know they say they love me and want me to come visit, but I'm more disinclined to acquiesce.

The guy my mom married is a good guy. As rough around the edges as a crusty lump of coal, but a good guy. Their marriage has always been rocky. My mom wants things done her way, NOW. Now being, like, 10 days ago. She's also not the most physically affectionate person. This can grate pretty hard on a guy. Unfortunately, I feel that my step dad's anger & frustration with his marriage often got taken out on me. He was always convinced I was trying to make trouble when, really, I was terrified of him and just wanted to hide in my room and be left alone. I felt like I was in an abusive home and just wanted O-U-T.
Fortunately I was smart enough to realize that my step dad was more of a dad to me than my father. After I got married and moved out, my mom and step dad separated. They have the weirdest relationship. They go out together, do their taxes together, you get the idea. Sometimes my step dad will call me to say "Trish, your mother's being nice to me. What does she want?"
Heck if I know!
In more recent years, my step dad and I have made amends and he's now Grace's "Papa". My dad hasn't shown much interest in Grace, except for the obligatory birthday & important-holiday card, but my step dad has.

This weekend we went up to Idaho for a family reunion on my step-dad's side. I admit to being nervous and feeling out of place on the way. I hadn't seen much of my step family since their father (Awesomest old guy EVER) passed away several years ago. What business did I have going to their reunion? Inside, I felt awkward. My nerves were put to rest when a ginormous family quilt was unveiled at the luncheon on Saturday. At the top were my step-grandparents names, then their kids. Around each of their kids were listed their sons and daughter's names. Each of us were color coded, so everyone knew who belonged to who. In the area of my step dad's kids were his children... and me... and Andy and Grace. I felt so humbled. I belonged to a family.

(From left to right: Andy, Grace, Me, Grandma, and my Step Dad)

Some other pics from the reunion:

Grace on the Centennial Carousel at Porter Park

Grace munching:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mental Health Check

First of all, there was some skinny chic skulking around my daughter's birthday party in my favorite shirt!

and the Kai Lan cupcake cake we got her was awesome, both visually and deliciously!

They were held together, both top and bottom, with frosting. I ate most of the stuff on the bottom, and had an epic tummy ache. It was awesome!

Now it is a known fact that my brain doesn't think in a straight line. Most people will start a conversation about toast, and what they like on it, and I will pipe in with some random thing that, in my head, totally relates to toast. Everyone will look at me with blank stares as if I just spoke in Klingon. The problem is my brain goes at light speed, and the rest of me can never keep up. Even when I write, my mind is already several paragraphs ahead, despite my impressive 90 wpm typing speed. Even when I speak, my words come out like sludge and sometimes stuttering jargon that frustrates me. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who totally gets me and a kid who loves me just as much a new puppy.
The thing is everything I just told you has nothing to do with the first 2 paragraphs, but does have to do with my daily mental health.
The fact that my brain goes so fast is both a blessing and a curse. It enables me to reel off novels and pedigrees of superhuman racehorses, memorize 5 minute-long monologues for auditions in less than an 45 mins, and give great talks at church on the fly, but I can't seem to communicate when I talk face to face with someone. It's painful when I try, unless I'm totally calm and comfortable with the person I'm speaking to, which is rare. Normally, when I know you kinda sorta "get" me, I'm more relaxed and make more sense. Otherwise, I speak in Klingon.

Now what I'm going to tell you totally relates to the previous paragraph in my head, but you probably won't see the connection.

My favorite Disney princess is Belle. Ever since I was a fat, little 10 year old, I secretly dreamed of being her. She was smart, beautiful, and independent-- everything I was not. Everything I still think I'm not, especially the last two. Although a week on the single mom scene while hubby, Andy, was away for work helped with the independence thing a little.
Anyway, last night I dreamed I was at my goal weight. Hubby & I were at a very fancy winter ball, and I totally looked like Belle. I woke up happy, but with that feeling you sometimes get that you shouldn't dare to hope it. Years ago I dreamed I was super skinny and looked a little bit like Peter Pan (another childhood hero). That one was fun, too, but the Belle dream sort of reignites in me the desire to keep working toward my goals. I remember thinking in my dream "Wow. Wait till Andy sees me."

Although, in all consideration, I should be proud of me now. I just wish I could accept compliments better. Tomorrow night we see our bishop, and I'll ask him for a referral for a LDS Family mental health person. Maybe I can become that girl I saw in my dream. I thought losing all this weight would help me feel better about myself. Honestly it does, a little, but not much.

Lastly, just when I thought no one was reading, my blog won an award for health & fitness. I'm honored that there are people out there whose lives I can touch and help them realize they are priceless in the eyes of God. That they are worth the effort of getting healthy and realizing their infinite potential. And if this blog is helping to do that, why stop at just one award? I've nominated it for the blogger's choice awards in four categories, too. So if any of the posts in this blog have ever touched you in some way, please vote for it by clicking either of the buttons on the upper right.

If you need a little more inspiration, the chubby white Kenyan here ran a 1 min interval on 8 today. It was kind of like being on a roller coaster. You know that part where you're screaming, kinda sorta wanna puke, and not quite sure if you're gonna live? Yeah, total adrenaline rush! You should try it some time. It's a real thriller.

I discovered recently I can also move more than 11 tons in an hour in the weight room. I think that's pretty cool, too.

Keep fighting your own dragons, cuz every magnificent hero must slay them in order to get from Once Upon a Time... to Happily Ever After. Even Belle did ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An Empire State of Mine or The Big, Fat, Irish-Korean Wedding

I know it's been a while, and I have no excuses. June 16, I went to New York for my cousin's wedding. Grace went with me. She thoroughly enjoyed the plane trip there. I was worried about how she'd handle it. My mom paid for my ticket, and Grace was young enough that she could ride as a lap child. I was really nervous about not having our car seat on the plane. Grace stared out the window of the plane for at least an hour, fascinated by all the clouds. I was very proud of her. She was such a good girl! Mom held her for most of the two flights to NY. Once there, we got our bags and waited for mom to secure a rental car. She wasn't happy with it when she pulled around, so back to the rental lot we went, and waited in the car while mom went off to have a talking-to with the rental people. Meanwhile, Grace is in the back seat going "Uh-oh. Trouble. Uh-oh, Nana. Nana, trouble." I sat laughing & explained to my almost 2-year-old that this was something she would grow used to. If Nana wasn't in trouble, she was making some. Finally we got everything straightened out, go settled into our hotel, and went to dinner. All the while my ears are popping, and it's incredibly painful. Did I mention the last 20 mins of a plane ride are a nightmare for me? I just hide my head and try not to cry. The pressure has always bothered me, even when I gnash away at chewing gum.

The next morning, I woke up at 5. I laid in bed a minute. I hadn't slept too well, being too worried about seeing my family for the first time in almost a decade. I thought I should probably check out the fitness room, get it out of the way for the day, but it was 5. Who the heck gets up at 5 in the morning to workout... ON VACATION? I do.
So I tiptoed quietly about our darkened room, pulling my things together. I spent almost 2 hours in the fitness room of our hotel. 1 hour on the TM, then more time doing weights. It was a small room, not much bigger than the common American living room, but it had what I needed. I got back to our room drenched. Ma & Grace were still sleeping. I waited till Grace got up to shower, so we could both be squeaky clean and pleasant smelling for the family.
I can't remember how it came up, but at lunch that afternoon my mom told me to tell my favorite aunt what I had been doing that morning. I told her I was at the gym... on vacation... at 5 in the morning, which is really 3 in the morning here at home. She said I was nuts. I figured as much. It runs in the family.

The next few days were filled with loud, very stressed out Irish relatives all yelling at eachother as we prepared for the wedding, and super naughty food. My aunt seemed very supportive of my new lifestyle, and tried to buy me food I could eat. "What do you want? I don't know what you eat. What do I feed you?", but whenever I'd open my mouth, my mom would give me the evil eye. I was sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. My mom didn't want us to be a financial burden on anyone, especially with my "special diet". I told her it's not a special diet, it's how I live my life. She was also very concerned that I'm starving myself to lose weight, which she added a few days later that I eat too much. Huh?! Yeah, I told you this family is crazy. To reinforce the craziness, I continued to wake up at 6 every morning and hit the gym. Yes there were days I didn't want to get out of bed, but I went, and stuck with the program. Because healthy food wasn't really available to me, I ended up getting sick on vacation one day. My stomach hurt so much, and I had the runs like nobody's business. Luckily, a yogurt ended up chasing most of the discomfort away (hooray for natural cultures!). Around the same time, my family decided to hit White Castle for belly bombers. If you've never had one, it really is something to try. It's sort of a rite of passage in my family. They're these little sliders of cheeseburger death. I let Grace have one (again, rite of passage), but passed on it myself, and laughed all the way back to my aunt's house while everyone belly ached about their belly ache.
I offered multiple times to cook for my family, but nobody took me up on my offer. It was a week of fast food and feeling really gross. At the wedding, everyone kept telling me how amazing and beautiful I looked.
I kept looking around to see who they were talking to.
I guess I'm still getting used to compliments.

The day before we went home, my aunt took Grace to the local aquarium. They had a pool of little rays who were SUPER friendly. They would come right out of the water and let you pet them. I tried to get Grace to pet one. The noise that came out of that kid's mouth was somewhere between terrified and "THIS IS AWESOME!". It was the funniest little screech. I was rolling.


The trip home was not so fun. Grace was kind of a bear the whole way. To start off, we got out on the tarmac in NY and sat for a while, before being informed that there was a nation-wide shut down of all aircraft in and out of Chicago (where we were stopping first). So they took us back to the terminal. We were delayed 2 hours in total, but we thought it might be okay since we had a 2 hour lay over in Phoenix. Maybe this delay would mean we wouldn't have much of a layover. We get to Chicago, and get out on the tarmac, and we're informed that there will be a further delay while we're re-routed. Joy. We stay optimistic, hoping our plane in Phoenix will wait 20 mins for half of its passengers on the plane we're riding. We get to Phoenix only to find our plane left. We had a 2 hour layover. Nobody was amused. I just wanted to get home to my own bed, healthy food, and normal life again. I think Grace felt the same way as she got upset whenever I'd restrain her from running down the tunnel to any incoming planes. She knows the plane takes her to daddy, does it really matter which one? Let's just get on one already!
We finally got home around midnight, a good 4 hours after we were supposed to be home.
Grace got to see her new room, which I had spent most of June cleaning out in preparation for her move. Andy did a bang up job with it. I will have to post pictures soon as we still haven't gotten it decorated.
My studio got moved into the tiny, time-share kitchen-sized space of our bedroom. It's pretty scary. I fell into bed with a "yeah-right" mentality about attacking it. It's insane.

Mom stayed on with us a few days. I fell out of the routine I had spent so hard maintaining. I'm just getting back into it now. Luckily I've still been losing.

Will post again soon with the story of Grace's birthday. The length of this one is getting out of hand and my brother-in-law needs help running a few errands.

Keep fighting your dragons!