Archive for September, 2010

Prep Day

With all the prep work that I’m doing today for the family coming in tomorrow night (yikes!), I needed some good lunchtime fuel:

A nice big salad of romaine, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, seeds/nuts, and feta, plus half a pesto/ham/muenster sandwich on whole grain bread with a handful of Terra chips.

I actually have extra motivation for eating well, because sticking to a healthy diet seems to help prevent my pain from getting out of control. It’s amazing how a sucky health diagnosis can change one’s life and help one make better choices, especially when it comes to food.

In addition to prep work, it was time to get my big bro’s 28th birthday package in the mail. Here’s the spread he’s going to get.

Two of my favorite books that I think he’ll enjoy: Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller, The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning, Chips Ahoy cookies, Chicken in a Biskit crackers, gum, and some Fair Trade coffee (learn more about fair trade here). May seem like an odd combination but it’s some of his favorite things and I guarantee he’ll love it. 🙂

Wishing all y’all a great Tuesday.

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On Pain

Well, the Avett Brothers concert was AMAAAZING. J and I had so much fun and I’m thrilled we got to go. Unfortunately I left my camera at home and had to buy a disposable in KC. So – I have to be old school and wait to get them developed before I can share them. Until then, here’s a pic I found online to give you a glimpse of where we were:

This is where we ate dinner. Grinders boast great New York style pizza and sandwiches. They were even featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives! They have a pretty impressive draft beer selection too. I had an Old Rasputin which I couldn’t believe they had on tap!

Delicious! Crossroads KC, the venue that hosted the concert is located immediately behind Grinders in a courtyard-type outdoor area. Thankfully, the rain stopped just before the concert, but wow was it cold! We had brought ponchos just in case it rained and ended up putting them on just to stay warm!

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Now on to the meat of this post:
Remember how I mentioned that it’s important and valuable to listen to our bodies, even if it makes us feel weak? I said that often my body tells me things that make me feel weak but it is still beneficial to listen to it because that means I’m taking care of myself. While that is all true and still applies, I need to mention that sometimes it’s just as beneficial to NOT listen to your body. Sometimes when my body says I’m weak it is lying. Sometimes the weakness is just more of that negative self-talk.

Today, I am in pain. I have endometriosis. From the Endometriosis Association website: Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S., 1 million in Canada, and millions more worldwide. It occurs when tissue like that which lines the uterus (tissue called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus. This misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions which respond to the menstrual cycle in the same way that the tissue of the uterine lining does: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds … the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation — and can cause pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems.


Today, my body is telling me it hurts. It makes me want to dwell on the pain and think about how much it sucks. But that doesn’t help anything. It just makes me sad. So on days like today, I will choose to NOT listen to my body. Because sometimes that’s better. Today, I’m going to do what I need to do, take breaks if necessary, and continue to live my life gratefully and thankfully. Today is still a gift, whether or not my body is in pain. Today is still beautiful. And so am I, even when my body tells me otherwise. I am beautiful and strong and I will make it through this.

Some people feel that pain is the worst thing in the world. While I certainly don’t like it, it doesn’t really bother me. I try to put a positive spin on pain. Pain reminds me that I am human, not in control, and not strong on my own accord. My strength comes from the Lord, not from myself. When I think of it this way, I am able to keep going. Pain also creates in me a whole new appreciation for the good days and I think I need a reminder like that every now and again.

So just because I hurt doesn’t mean I have to suffer. I will choose to stay positive.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” –Anonymous

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A Lighter Fare

Since my last post was kinda deep, here’s a light update for the weekend:

I’ve had a great last couple of days and have been able to see and catch up with a lot of friends. Thursday night was a bittersweet get-together and farewell for two friends who will be starting a new chapter of their lives in Florida next week. They will be greatly missed! Friday, I had the chance to chat with a couple of my favorite lady friends over coffee, then celebrated another pal’s 30th birthday at Bristol Seafood Grill in Kansas City.

A great time was had by all! Misty, the lovely birthday lady, is in the center with the red scarf.

I’ve really enjoyed the social time with so many wonderful people. When I get busy it’s pretty easy for me to hunker down and not hang out much, so I was glad for the fun reasons to see some folks I haven’t had the time to see lately. Well, haven’t had the time / haven’t made the time. I mentioned a couple of days ago that I’ve been setting goals — I’ve decided to add a new goal about making time to hang with my buds. I have a unbeatable group of people I can call my friends and I want to make spending time with them a priority. They all have such wonderful spirits and I learn something from each of them. To all of you who will read this – I love you and value your friendship more than I can say. Thank you for sharing your lives with me.

In other news, J & I have the opportunity to have an unbelievable date night tonight to see … The Avett Brothers! I am SO excited. If you haven’t heard them, I’d encourage you to check ’em out. They make fantastic music with really super lyrics.

There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it

When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

There’s a darkness upon you that’s flooded in light
And in the fine print they tell you what’s wrong and what’s right
And it flies by day and it flies by night
And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out

There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right
There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it

Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise
The Avett Brothers

Here’s wishing y’all a terrific weekend!

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Ain’t no skeletons in THIS closet!

My husband is getting promoted soon and I feel like this is such a huge accomplishment for him. He acts like it isn’t any big deal, but I am SO proud of him and how far he’s come in his career. To celebrate this, we’re hosting a lot of family – his parents, my parents, and my grandparents. So to recap: Promotion coming up. Upcoming promotion = family.  And…

Family = cleaning.

The whole house.

Even… the dreaded closets. Including… the guest room closet. My nemesis. The secret place I stash/shove/throw stuff into before guests come over. The place no one will ever see. Unless they’re staying in my guest room. Like my parents-in-law will be when they arrive. (Note: if you have ever stayed in my guest room before today, I pray you didn’t look in the closet.) I don’t know if I can accurately describe the random and disorganized array of CRAP in there! I’ll just make a long story short and say I have three (THREE!) garbage bags of things to take to Goodwill after hacking my way through the guest closet, the guest bathroom linen closet, and my closet. And mind you all those closets are still full. Whew!

I always say I am so happy I live in a relatively small house so I simply can’t accumulate a ton of stuff, yet clearly I still manage to stash a-plenty. This is a stupid problem to have. Whenever I go on a cleaning/organizing rampage like this I’m always astounded at my ability to obtain so many material goods. Useless things for the most part. Or useful things that I already have 5 of (coats/sets of sheets/decorative pillows/etc). What’s my deal? My small house is huge in comparison to most in the world, and I just fill it up with stuff. Stuff that I don’t use, and that other people in the world would die to have. What would it look like if instead of filling my house with stuff, I filled it with love and hospitality and people and spent my money on more useful things, like helping others.

So maybe there are skeletons in my closet after all. Skeletons of materialism, selfishness, and lack of sharing. Imagine the meals I could’ve bought a family in Guatemala with the hundreds of dollars I spent on three garbage bags full of stuff that was just sitting in my closet.

Wow, my closet cleaning post has turned in to closet confessions! 🙂 Anyway, it’s just food for thought, you know? A reminder to me of what I spend my money on. And often the stuff I spend my money on shows what I care about. I would rather my money say I care about people, not stuff.

What’s in your closet?

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I’m so zen.

Zensah that is, in my new Compression Leg Sleeves!

I mentioned a couple days ago that I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new leg sleeves in hopes they would help the muscle cramping and pain I tend to get in my calves/shins. Well, I’m happy to say, after a trial sprint workout, they did not disappoint. I wore them while running and also during recovery. I even kept them on while I iced.

They are so comfortable that I barely even notice they are there. They didn’t interfere with my running at all and stay in place very well. I couldn’t believe how quickly and how well my legs recovered post-run, thanks to the pin-point compression. They come in many colors, but I chose blue to match my shoes.

From the Zensah website:

The Calf/Shin Recovery Sleeves are made with gradient compression which provides wide ribbing in the front for shin support and tight ribbing in the back for calf support. The sleeves are made with Zensah Fabric which has silver helping to regulate skin temperature and fight bacteria. The sleeves can be worn during training or for recovery to increase oxygen blood flow to the muscles of the lower leg. The more oxygen the muscles receive the faster they recover, allowing athletes to push the envelope in their training.

I’m looking forward to many more great training runs, pain-free!

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Woman Up!

“You can do it!”

“You’re stronger than this!”

“Of course it hurts! Stop being a baby!”

“Nothing great comes easy!”

“WOMAN UP!”

And so went my inner dialogue while running yesterday. As I headed out for my hot, insanely windy run, I vowed to be my own personal trainer because I knew it was going to be hard (3.9 miles!) Believe it or not, internally screaming these phrases actually gave me a lot of motivation. As I turned around at the halfway point I was really feeling it. I was still a bit sore from the cross-training cycle the day before and the hot sun and blasting wind was tearing me up. My heart rate was getting really high and as much as I kept yelling at myself, my internal caretaker started kicking in. “Listen to your body! You need to walk & get your heart rate down!” So I did. Which I hated.

Listening to my body sucks. Because usually what it tells me makes me feel weak. I hate feeling weak. So as I listened to my body I also started beating myself up with some negative self-talk.

What kind of crap is that? Negative self-talk is one of the most destructive things a person can engage in. Nothing good ever comes of it, and usually it just makes you feel like a failure.

So. I decided that while my body felt weak, my mind was strong and I could choose to woman up and kick this negativity’s butt. I started telling myself positive things. “You CAN do it. So what if you need to take a break? This is training, not a race! You’ve only been seriously running for two months. TWO months! You can’t expect your body to perform like someone who’s been running for years. You’re doing great! You’re moving WAY more than you were a year ago. You should be proud that you listened to your body rather than hurting yourself.”

And you know what? Before I knew it, I was done, and I felt fantastic. I didn’t finish as fast as I would like but who cares? I’m going at my own pace and hey – at least I’m going! I completed 3.9 miles in 45 minutes. Not too shabby!

Negativity is one of my biggest struggles but I’m starting to realize the the harder I am on myself, the worse I feel, and the weaker I am. It’s harder but far more beneficial to stay positive. And the more positive self-talk I engage in, the easier it gets and the more I benefit from it.

What kind of positive things do you say that keep you going?

“Instead of giving myself reasons why I can’t, I give myself reasons why I can.” – Author Unknown

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Setting Goals = Accomplishing Them

Seems like a pretty basic concept, right? Well, for some reason, it’s only been in the last few months that the idea of setting goals has made sense to me.

A while back I stumbled across NeverNiche.com and was inspired by her lists of monthly goals. Each month she sets new goals for herself, then recaps them at the end of the month to see how she did. I LOVE this idea. What a simple way to challenge myself and hold myself accountable. Plus, it’s WAY more fun to try to accomplish a goal, versus feeling like I have to do something. So I set a few small goals for myself for September (didn’t want to get too ambitious and burn out), and so far it’s going great! It gives me a whole new motivation for doing even mundane things – for example, doing the dishes after dinner every night, or putting my clothes away. Seems kind of ridiculous to set a goal to wash dishes, huh? But seriously, these are the kinds of things I need motivation for! And the goals are helping! I also have some fitness goals – 5 runs/week followed by push-ups and crunches (the latter of which I’m sucking at right now) – and some spiritual goals – Bible reading daily and more meditation/prayer. I think it would also be fun to set some goals to do social things, like get together with friends, have some folks over for dinner, etc. I’m learning that when I set a goal, I accomplish it. I end up getting way more done and trying/doing more things than I would otherwise (due to fears of failure/perfectionism/etc). Having a goal is the whole reason I got into running – because I wanted to finish a 5K.

What kind of goals have you set? Have you accomplished them? What holds you back from setting/following through on goals?

In other news, J and I had fun Saturday night trying to recreate some AMAAAZING guacamole we had at Boudro’s in San Antonio. They made it tableside so we got to see all the ingredients they put in. The secret? Orange juice!

Here’s what we put in: 1 avacado, the juice of 3 key limes, the juice of 1/4 an orange, about a Tbsp of fresh cilantro, about 1/8 a small white onion, and a couple Tbsp’s of premade salsa.

Mix and enjoy!

At this point it doesn’t look as appetizing so you’ll just have to take my word for it: it was incredible.

Happy Monday everyone!

Here’s what we put in: 1 avacado, the juice of 3 key limes, the juice of 1/4 an orange, about a Tbsp of fresh cilantro, about 1/8 a small white onion, and a couple Tbsp’s of premade salsa. Mix and enjoy!

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