Posted by: rachelanne229 | February 25, 2011

i didn’t pee the bed!

last nite i found myself patronizing a drinking establishment near harvard square with my roommate and his friend.  i remember looking down on the table, and thinking, wow, that’s a lot of glasses full of alcohol!  and then i found myself back in our apartment kitchen, slathering ritz crackers with funfetti frosting and washing them down with allagash.  you get the picture.

so i find my way to bed around 3 am.  i did laundry yesterday and my sheets were off my bed, but i was way too “tired” to actually make up my bed, and i threw down a sheet and some blankets and called it good.  now, i have never admitted a thing like this online before, but i decided it’s time to bite the bullet and share.  i tend to get very chilly at nite, and so to keep me toasty in bed, i fill up a couple of hot water bottles and tuck ’em in next to me.  it’s really not weird, OK?!

so i did this last nite, and konked out.  around 6:30 or something, i really don’t remember, i woke up and had to pee.  i got out of bed and my pj pants were completely soaked and warm.  “ewww, i’m so sweaty!!!” i thought.  then i realized that no one could sweat enough liquid to be able to ring it out of your underwear.  “oh no…i friggin peed on myself!” came next, but then i realized i had a really full bladder, and thankfully ruled that one out.

befuddled, i went to the bathroom, then peeled off my soaking clothes.  one side of my bed was wet, and the other one was just a little damp, so i laid a towel down on the other side and went back to sleeping.  as i lay there, my brain fog started to undo itself, and i reached over and felt a warm hunk of glugging rubber beside me.  that little biatch leaked in my bed!  i lept out of bed and turned on the light, and lo and behold, that hot water bottle had a tiny little hole and had sloshed all over the place.

this is the second time my HWB has effectively wet my bed for me.  luckily i still have one more;)

Posted by: rachelanne229 | January 27, 2011

funk-y

like many other runners i know who are REALLY INTO RUNNING, i oftentimes define myself as a runner.  running is something i do almost every day of the week, every week of the year, and last year i hit my goal of 1000 miles since i joined dailymile in april.  i am really proud to be a runner; i have somehow been fortunate enough to fall into a hilarious and supportive group of other runners.  i only personally know 3 of my “friends” on DM, but i have over one hundred friends who post crazy-intense and strong workouts.  they improve in strength and pace, and are upbeat and motivated.  every. single. day.  or so it seems.  and i have so much respect for them because of this.  getting up early to run in the cold is hard.  so is running after a long day of work.  or when you have kids, or when you work 60 hours a week, or when you’re dealing with illness or injury or family problems.  yet everyone keeps getting out there and posting these awe-inspiring workouts.

and here i am, in a huge funk.  what’s wrong with me?  i’ve run fewer miles this month than any month since last spring.  i was sick for a couple weeks, and now, here i am all healthy and good to go, and i don’t want to lace up and go outside.  granted, the weather in boston has been less than stellar– it seems like we get a new blizzard every 3 days, and this week the temps were below zero, and i am so effin sick of shoveling out my car.  but i’m a northern mainer, and none of this is new.  maybe the days are so short that i’m getting a touch of SAD.  maybe i’m stressed out over my thesis and the ASLO conference and finding a job before my paychecks dry up in may.  my best friend is getting married and i want to be home with her to help her plan and prepare, and i can’t be there right now.  maybe it’s PMS!  nah, it’s not PMS.  i disdain whiny-ness, but this week i have been really trying to get to the bottom of this running-related funk. what could possibly be throwing me for such a loop?

what makes my passion for running ebb and flow?  i’d sure like to find out so i can prevent it.

after all, when i define myself as a runner, what happens to my feeling of self-worth when i don’t even want to run?  there’s got to be something wrong with me.  i know it sounds melodramatic, but i always get worried when i lose my running mojo.  when will it come back?  will i still want to attain the goals i’ve set?  how can i encourage other runners when i have to fight myself to get outside every morning?

it’s times like these i have to remind myself that i’m a lot of things besides a runner.  student, hiker, teacher, scuba diver, writer, scientist, granddaughter, wannabe cook, sons of anarchy fan, lover of country music, girlfriend, best friend, skier, believer.  running is something that i do, but it doesn’t define me.  but if i’m not a lesser version of myself on the days i don’t run, how can i be a better version of myself on the days i do run?  i feel like i’m better after i run, but maybe i’m just more content.  and when i don’t choose to run, i can be content with that choice, too. or at least, i will try to give myself permission to be content.

even so, i want my running spark back!  i’m gonna keep getting out there and putting my miles in, with the faith that the spark will be blazing before too long.  as long as i am persistent and keep a snappy attitude, it’s just a matter of time before i’m ready.

Posted by: rachelanne229 | January 11, 2011

the words of 2010

i am a book-lover if you ever saw one.  my mom used to take my sis and me to the library on saturday mornings and we were allowed to check out 10 books for the week.  i’d blaze through at least a chapter book a day, and wake up early on saturday mornings (yeah, we’re talking 5 am) to flip more pages before breakfast.  my ultimate goal was to read every book ever written.  what a naive little child!

since then, i haven’t had nearly as much time to devour all the books i would like, but i have had several 30-min increments on the T to read.  here are the books i’ve been through since spring-summer 2010.  some of them are cheesy, some of them are classics, some are life-changing and full of inspiration, and others are gritty and fulfilling.  i’ve rated them out of 5 stars– anything in the 4-5 range is definitely worth a look “in my book!”

White Heat– Wayne Johnson ***

Annapurna– Arlene Blum ****

Silent Spring– Rachel Carson ****

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running– Haruki Murakami *****

Icarus– Russell Andrews ***

Potato Barron– John Thorndike ****

Jane Eyre– Charlotte Bronte ****

Born to Run– Christopher McDougall ****

Lisey’s Story– Stephen King ****

Bagombo Snuff Box– Kurt Vonnegut ****

Something Wicked This Way Comes– Ray Bradbury ****

The Fall– Albert Camus **

The Myth of Sisyphus and other Essays– Albert Camus **

A Walk in the Woods– Bill Bryson ****

The Stranger– Albert Camus **

Exile and the Kingdom– Albert Camus **

Boston Noir– ed. Dennis Lehane ****

True Evil– Greg Iles ***

Dakota– Kathleen Norris **

It’s Not About the Bike– Lance Armstrong ****

Sail– James Patterson ***

A Civil Action– Jonathan Harr ***

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo– Stieg Larsson ****

A Short History of Boston– Robert Allison ***

The Omnivore’s Dilemma– Michael Pollan: in progress, but I think it’ll end up as a ****

 

 

Posted by: rachelanne229 | January 2, 2011

onward and upward

what i think of when i think of 2010:

january:

phoenix landing, getting bowled over by a dog at fresh pond and sitting out running for a couple months

february:  valentine’s day?  does anything of note happy in this month?

march:

new bedford half marathon, my first!

april:

the joining of DAILYMILE!, TAing, family visiting boston

may:

collecting jellyfish with my advisor near the aquarium and her making a left turn into oncoming traffic.  my jellyfish all died and i spent a nite in the hospital with bruised ribs and a liver laceration.  these massachusetts drivers!

june:

getting more jellyfish and working on my jelly staining experiments, lots of reading and running outside, Deidre graduates from PIHS!

july:

erica and paige came down for lady gaga, Roger Williams Park and Zoo

august:

EPIC SISTERLY NEW ENGLAND ROADTRIP!  7 states, 10 days: hiking in vermont, beaching in connecticut, supper in rhode island (it’s a small state!), camping in the berkshires, chilling in new york with cousins at niagara falls, climbing Mt. Washington in new hampshire, eating pastries in maine.

september:

back to school for the last time, alan jackson with Mom, and cake concert with Matt

october:

Maine Marathon!!! my first. 18D2 halloween party, thesis writing, EEOS Association co-president.

november:

Thanksgiving at home, NOAA research cruise, the Tidewater Inn in Hyannis

december:

cirque le masque, 23rd birthday with friends, grading frenzy, home for Christmas, Erica and Caston get engaged!

these are the highlights, the really big things that molded me in 2010.  lots of firsts this year and movement in the right direction as far as running, schooling, and relationships go.

i haven’t really detailed any resolutions for 2011, except maybe hitting 1500 mi on the running front.  it’s going to be a year of transition.  i will graduate, hopefully in june, but maybe in august or december.  i’ll probably move, to who knows where, and i will necessarily get a job, also at who knows where.  i’m feeling like a senior in college all over again, and this chaotic jumble of obligations and worries is rubbing me the wrong way.  i feel antsy and restless, and just want answers about the direction my life will take.  instead of becoming inspired by the possibilities, i sometimes get overwhelmed by all the loose ends.  as the semester starts up again and gathers momentum, i’m trying to focus on my faith, my friends and family, and my running to keep me sane and stay the course.

things always work themselves out, especially if you buck up and keep your head on straight.

“whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”  –Henry Ford

on the wildest of days, there's still a little peace to be found

Posted by: rachelanne229 | December 19, 2010

sexiest songs ever, an even dozen.

1.) closing time– semisonic

few songs have so many lyrics that are so delicious.  a sampling: “finish your whiskey or beer,” “i know who i want to take me home,” “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” great to sing along to, great to pine to.

2.) red on a rose– alan jackson

this song fills up my heart.  if a man sang it to me, i would die.  in that good way.

3.) big green tractor– jason aldean

appeals to the soft spot in my heart for country boys and farm equipment.  jason aldean is exciting, in a comfy kind of way.

4.) rude boy– rihanna

put him in his place, girl!  like this one on repeat a few times.

5.) country boy– alan jackson

speaking of country boys…alan jackson is the biggest of them all.  he gets two spots on this list, this time for his clever use of innuendo.  “ohh, i see what you did there– ‘climb in my bed, i’ll take you for a ride.'” his voice is smooth, his lyrics remind me of my home turf, and i would have 10 of his babies if his wife didn’t mind.

6.) can’t help falling in love– elvis presley

what can i say that has not already been said by hot and bothered women swooning over this song throughout the decades?  like the non-country version of AJ, elvis melts my heart. 

7.) ayo technology– 50 cent

this one came out while i was in australia and drinking a lot of free beer.  oh, the memories.

8.) animals– nickelback

they’re animals.  it’s all about tempo in this one.

9.) feeling good– performed by michael buble

i don’t think this is about a woman.  regardless, a definite mood-setter here.  swingy and confident.

10.) big poppa– the notorious b.i.g.

don’t judge me, just let it happen.

11.) sweetest goodbye– maroon 5

love her up one more time before she leaves you.  hot.

12.) love hurts– incubus

love this song so much.  i have it in a playlist repeated 7 times.  just the intro can get me riled up.  “tonight we drink to youth,” “but sometimes it’s a good hurt,” “la la las” at the end.  sing it to me, sweetheart.

Posted by: rachelanne229 | December 13, 2010

don’t do drugs, kids

an hour before i boarded the Delaware II, i slapped on a scopolamine patch behind my ear to ward off motion sickness.  i get motion sick just walking to my car, so i figured it was an important precaution if i didn’t want to make fast enemies with anyone who may come into my general vicinity.  the first two nites were good.  “wow, this is a piece of cake; i have conquered the motion sickness sissy within!” i exclaimed, as i lay in my bunk and drifted to sleep.  the patch was making my mouth so dry, i had to chug water like i was hydrating for a marathon, but i was just thrilled to be keeping it down.  especially since we were eating so well on this cruise.  the cook, a guy of only 25-30, was from maine, and man, could he make a good meal!  meatloaf, ravioli, pork, you name it– i ate it.  we did our science, and i consumed a lot of food, and all was well.

then wednesday nite hit.  my sense of nausea security was shaken as the captain issued orders to stand-by, which apparently means: grab hold of the closest pole or bar or sturdy crew member and cling on for dear life.  chairs flipped over backwards, tea cups slid off tables, people were slammed into each other in awkward positions.  the damn scopolamine was no match for the sea on this nite.  i raced from the galley, up the stairs, across the hall, down the stairs, across another hall, and finally into my stateroom!  the boat careened on its side and my belongings flew off my bunk and onto the floor.  the lockers were clanging and i clunked sideways into a metal bunk, and then front ways into the sink, and then stumbled back-first into the bathroom.  there was no way that sesame pasta was staying in place for longer than 7 more seconds.

i limped out of the bathroom with my head lolling to the side after an hour or so.  i went back to the galley to visit my fellow mainer, who was also a medic on the boat.  i pleaded with him to give me drugs to take me out of my misery.  dramamine preferably, but i guess i could accept vicodin or meth if that was all he had.  as i expected, this responsible soul would give me no drugs, so i stumbled back to my stateroom, peeled off my ear patch, and stuck on a new one on the other side.  after another trip to the bathroom that left me laying limply on the floor with my cheek perilously close to the toilet scrubber, i gathered myself up, brushed my teeth as best i could without driving my toothbrush through my throat in the midst of the bucking of the boat, and fell into bed.

i lay on my back, only to realize that i was bouncing up and down so much that my body was coming up off the bed.  i pushed my hands against the upper bunk to hold myself down and swore like a pirate in the hopes that the waves would sense my rage and calm the eff down.  the waves did not care, and so i rolled into fetal position and swore i would never let them put me in a place called the “anti-gravity room” again.  torture!  cruelty!  i would rather have a finger nail ripped out!

i caught my ipod in a mid-air bounce and put in my headphones.  a little josh groban would make me feel better!  i lamely whispered along to “february song” and then switched into incubus mode with “love hurts.”  i very much adore this song, and have a playlist with “love hurts” repeated 7 times because it is just so good.  after singing along for a few minutes, i slid into that limbo phase between wakefulness and sleep.

i began seeing wispy shapes made of smoke in my bed.  people, there were people in my bed, floating above my body!  there were people i’ve never met, but know by sight from daily mile, there were family members, there were people i went to elementary school with and played with on the swings, there was the first boy i kissed on the bus, a small group of kids that i just KNEW would be my own someday.  i was absolutely convinced that these wispy little smoke children were the future fruits of my womb.

then the smoke people faded away and a little blondie of a girl was standing next to my bunk.  i knew i was still awake, but she was just as real as could be.  this kid had tight curls and a pink ribbon, with a pink dress to match.  the little sweetie could only be 4 or 5, and she held out her arm to me.  she asked me to take her hand, and who was i to resist?  i remember smiling at her and thinking how soft her miniature fingers felt.  then BAM, her curls receded into a thick-skinned forehead and her baby grin turned into an evil scowl, and before i could do anything, the devil himself was pulling me out of bed.

if ever i have had a “what the mother-bleeping, holy shit” moment, this was it.  i bolted up in the bunk and  let out one of those breathy screams that happens when you are freakin’ terrified, but think you may have to scream again very shortly, so you don’t give it all you’ve got.  the devil vanished as quickly as he had come and i realized i had to get to sleep or i would be plagued with these insanity-laced hallucinations all nite.  later i would find out from the lead scientist that many people get “devil hallucinations” while on the patch, but the devil usually tries to lead them off the boat…  what?!  *gulp*

the next morning i awoke, feeling queasy, but happy that i had survived the nite without another visit from you-know-who.  i looked at my watch, only to realize that i couldn’t see the hands.  i thought i was just tired and bleary-eyed from the nite before, so i grabbed my phone to check the time.  nope, couldn’t see.  i revved up my computer and could hardly read the screen.  now i was starting to panic.  “dear heavenly Father, did the devil come back in the nite and possess me long enough to steal my vision?!  am i going blind?!  i am a graduate student– i need to be able to READ!  i will never eat a dozen cupcakes at a time again if you please make it stop looking like i have four hands!”

yet again, i fumblingly raced to the galley to visit the maine medic, who was preparing a delicious-smelling lunch, i might add.  the kind soul assured me not to worry because blurred vision and loss of focus were common side effects of the scopolamine patch.  “what is this malevolent super-drug?!” i cried.  i ripped the patch off with fury and dramatically threw it in the trash.  well, i tried, but it stuck on my finger and the boat bounced sideways so my entire arm got swallowed in the industrial-sized trash can filled with food waste from the trip.  i didn’t care though, because i was finally free of the ear patch’s death grip.  the only physical remnant of the scopolamine was a red circle on my neck behind my ear.  Maine Medic thought  it looked like a hickey, and i was glad my mom wasn’t there so i didn’t have to quickly shout, “it’s a burn from my straightener, i swear!”

my vision fully returned later that nite, and i was sick until the end of the trip, but i was content.  i happily chatted with the crew members about country music and deer meat and sons of anarchy.  i happily washed shrimp and jellyfish and worms out of nets and into sieves.  i happily recorded data from the water column meters and talked with the other grad student about running marathons.  life was good outside the grasp of that sticky little ear patch.

lessons: 1) stick to dramamine for your motion-sickness prevention needs. 2) do not hold the hands of strangers, even if they belong to little blond girls, and especially if you are laying in bed.

Posted by: rachelanne229 | December 2, 2010

on a boat!

right now i’m in a boat about 10 miles from the coast of NH.  i’m in the middle of a weeklong NOAA research cruise in the gulf of maine, visiting about 40 sampling stations along the way.  there are four of us scientists on board (yes, i’m considered a scientist now!!), and we split into groups of two doing continuous 12 hour shifts.  my shift is 3 pm to 3 am, and during this time we travel to sampling stations, wait for the crew to bring up the nets, and then hose down the nets into a sieve to get our samples.  we’re looking primarily for fish eggs and larvae, but we’re also getting tons of little shrimp and some jellyfish too.  the samples are preserved and the temperature, salinity, depth data is constantly logged as the nets move through the water column.  it’s pretty awesome to learn this stuff, and way more fun than what i’d be doing in school this week.

the people on the boat are great, and so is the FOOD!  i had steak, potatoes, and fruit and green salad for supper tonite, with delicious ice cream and oreos for dessert.  now that i have become a sissy who voms all nite long, the crew has ordered me to eat more oreos, since they “taste just as good coming up as they do going down.”  disgusting, i know, but i don’t have a problem with eating more oreos!  my motion sickness patch didn’t hold up to the test of rough weather last nite.  they call this boat the “Dancing Delaware,” and for good reason.  my room is in the bow, so it’s pretty bumpy up here, and my stomach just couldn’t take it, which made for a rough nite.  the rocking of the boat was so crazy that all my belongings were flying across my room and i kept crashing into the bed frame and the sink and the toilet.  i put on a new patch before bed, and all day i’ve had blurred vision, which has been a little scary.  i couldn’t see the numbers on my phone this morning, or see what time my watch said.  thankfully, my vision’s coming back.  no more patches for me!

i’ve got my own bedroom and bathroom, complete with an unexpected internet connection, so this trip has really presented no hardships to me.  i am looking forward to setting my feet on solid ground again this weekend, but i have really loved getting involved with the science on this cruise and meeting the people who live on this boat 9 months of the year.  they were actually just down in the gulf of mexico not long ago.  respect!  usually i just read papers about data that’s already been collected and written up, but now i’m lucky enough to be helping to actually collect the data!  cool cool cool.  i’m actually feeling motivated again to grab the bull by the horns and get some work done on my thesis when i get back to school next week.  my feelings of complacency toward my thesis have been turned into ambition since talking to the people on the boat who are passionate about what they do, and do it well.

the sea has calmed down tonite, and i enjoyed a beautiful sunset out on the deck, which has been unseasonably warm.  i’ve been bad and haven’t taken advantage of the ship’s “gym,” an exercise bike near the wet lab.  trying to get on my survival suit was the most exercise i’ve had all week!  when i get back to reality, i’m gonna hit the ground running, literally.

the boat’s slowing down, so i guess we’re near our next station.  time to go collect some plankton, baby!

Posted by: rachelanne229 | November 9, 2010

what it takes

this post was triggered by Unarunner’s note on dailymile today.  to quote part of it: “Fast for “you” is slow for me. Fast for me is backing up for someone else.”

i had been mulling the same thought around in my head for a week or so, trying to figure out what i really thought about it.  DM is without a doubt my favorite, and most-visited website.  it’s uplifting, and funny, and a good place to read about true grit.  on days when i work my ass off and the fruit of my  labor only results in an average 9:30 minute mile, i still get an onslaught of support from my DM peeps.

then i realized, i could be running 10:30 miles, and i would still get the same support.  the variable here is me– my heart, my willingness to push, to go fast.  it won’t matter to anyone else if i average 8 minute miles, but it will have made a huge difference to me.  at that speed, i’m doing work.  i can’t sustain it for much more than a couple miles (not in high school anymore!), and honestly, i don’t really like to.

there are levels of pain that come with running.  after i finished up the cross country season my senior year of high school, i told myself i would never need to race again, would never train to the point of that panicky-exhaustion feeling.  you know that terrifying feeling i’m talking about?  it feels like burning out on adrenaline, and for me, it’s exacerbated by competitive racing.  you’re two miles into a 5-mile race, and thinking, shit, how long can i hold this?

4 years ago i ran a 5-mi in south berwick, ME during the AWESOME strawberry festival.  it was hot, and fun, and early, and i won my age division (not that there were a lot of us 18 yr-olds willing to get up that early on a weekend!)  my avg. mile pace was 8:32, and that blows me away.  i did that?!

and if we get into full disclosure, i didn’t train as hard as i could have for my marathon.  sure, i had some good days where i really pushed, and as a result, felt like i was flying.  i put in the 17-, 18-, and 20-mile runs like Hal Higdon said.  i got up at 5 am sometimes, lowered my alcohol intake, and completed each and every workout on the schedule.  but for the majority of those workouts, i could’ve pushed harder.  don’t get me wrong– i worked– but i remember killing myself way more during high school and xc ski practices.  but unlike xc and ski practices, i looked forward to my training runs.  it wasn’t like high school where i would wake up in the morning with a ball of dread in my stomach because i knew i had 1200s after school, and they just hurt so bad!

i finished the marathon in 4:09:58.  i have very little doubt that if i had pushed harder during my training this summer, i could’ve broken 4 hours.  a part of me is frustrated that i didn’t, and another part of me is satisfied with what i accomplished.  it was my first marathon and i had no idea what the heck i was doing.  how to train, how to eat, how much to drink, what to wear.  i was training by feel, and was more interested in reaching that “comfortable hard” pace than the “burn some rubber and improve your splits” pace.

except for my 3- and 4-mile runs (those horrible, horrible distances), i enjoyed training.  my hour or two, or three+ of running gave my day more purpose, and as i settled into a rhythm, provided sanctum from whatever stresses were weighing on me.  i felt strong and capable.  five years ago, i would’ve looked at those runs and laughed at my weakness, told myself i wasn’t running hard enough.  but today i look back and forgive myself for not giving that training everything i had.  i gave it 90%.   i’m no world-class athlete, not even an age-class contender in any race these days.  it’s ok.  i give myself permission to enjoy.  running is about spirit– and if the joy is gone from running, or any other realm of life, what’s the point in killing yourself for something that’s reaping no spiritual rewards?

slow and steady, and sometimes fast, if i want.

this post was a little embarrassing for me to write, because i’ve always been about beating myself over the head until i’ve done my very best, in terms of school, sports, the flute, wrapping Christmas presents, whatever haha!  and to admit to myself that i haven’t been doing my best goes against what i’ve demanded of myself my whole life.  it feels a little weak, like a little bit of a cop-out.  but the sense of accomplishment i glean from those long, slow distances, from those runs of 15+ miles, is delicious.  it can’t compare to a quick 5K or 5-mile race for me.

so i made a trade-off, trying to optimize improvement with enjoyment.  as i read others’ workouts and times and distances, sometimes i get overwhelmed by their stats.  you race 26.2 7-min miles, are you for real?!  are you super-human?!  what sort of pain must you have been enduring?!  so much respect.  and then i read about the people who work hard to run 12-min miles, and i am no less inspired.  we are all out there, running our own races, but doing it together.  maybe i killed myself running an 8-min mile and you breezed through the same distance in 6 minutes. or you train with a high intensity to run a sub-3 hour marathon, and i putter along, doing my training runs diligently, but foregoing that constant high intensity to make more room for enjoyment.

does this make me less of a runner?  well, DOES IT?!  this question matters to me.  i know several people who would say yes.  so for you hardcore warriors, i’m sorry to sissy-fy your sport.  but i’ve been running for TWELVE years baby, and it’s my sport too, even if i go home happy with a 9:30 min mile.

Posted by: rachelanne229 | November 1, 2010

food, obviously

i have a thing coming on.  one of those times where you’re just ready for a change.  you’ve done something the same way for awhile and now you’re just ready to bust out of the mold and attack something new!  well, that’s how i feel.  the catalyst for this new feeling has been halloween.  and my need for running, of course.  because running is pretty much the coolest part of my life.  and that’s not sad, that’s something i’m really proud of.

so here it is.  i ate a diabetes-inducing HUGE ASS amount of sugar these past few days.  cupcakes, pumpkin chip cookies, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, donuts dangling from a string, reese’s, pumpkin cake with orange frosting, apple cider, SPIKED apple cider mmm hmmm hmmm ;), a million harpoon IPAs, chocolate pudding and gummy worms, and the list goes on.  yes, i have a sweet tooth.  i have many of them, in fact.  now i feel like i never want to eat sugar again (until wednesday, anyway), and i have this bouncy idea that i want to start going crazy in the kitchen with new dishes.  new healthy dishes that don’t involve sugar.  ones that involve veggies and meat and pasta, but in that good-for-you, delicious kind of way.

a couple days ago, i read this guy’s blog that said, “i could look at a meaty slice of pizza and a bean burrito, and choose the burrito.”  well, i like bean burritos!  i could friggin do that too!  maybe i just will!  maybe i will go out and get a bunch of cool and new and innovative ingredients and make some bean burritos.  some avacado wraps.  some chickpea and corn and chicken thing that hasn’t been invented yet.  i’ll probably throw some cranberries in there too. who knows– how about that, some cranberries!  it’s about busting out the creative side again.

when i was a kid, i wanted to be 3 things: an olympic swimmer, an artist, and a chef.  well, we all can see that the swimmer thing just ain’t gonna pan out for me, but i can reach on into that creative chunk of me with some cool little cooking tricks.  not that my staple meals aren’t good.  i love good food, and i couldn’t really have it any other way.  tomato, basil, sausage pizza.  baked mac and cheese.  MEATLOAF!  ricotta and broccoli rigatoni.  balsamic chicken and salad.  barley soup.  southwestern pork tenderloin.  but cooking for one is a little lame, and i tend to have these things over and over.   i come home at the end of the day, all tired out from science and students and school, and just want food, and i friggin want it now, ya know?

so if i ever get a spare moment in my life, i am gonna start brainstorming some new meals.  some flavorful and healthy (and cheap?!) ingredients.  and my foot is feeling all healed up, so it’s about time for stepping up the running too.  i’ve noticed that the more i run, the healthier i eat, the more work i feel motivated to do, and the happier and more awesome i am as a person.  i don’t need to do the stats to know that the p-value on that is totally <0.05.  not to sound like a *gasp* health freak or anything, but running and eating right, and drinking tons of water, just makes me feel…good:)  i’ve heard getting plenty of sleep helps too;  hopefully i can try that soon.

MEAL IDEAS WELCOME.  make them awesome and delicious!  i don’t do seafood and don’t really like cheese.  definitely no eggplant, or eggs, for that matter, but anything else is fair game!

Posted by: rachelanne229 | October 23, 2010

the “f” word

last week was “no fat talk” week.  now if that isn’t a great weekly cause, i don’t know what is.  empowering young and old women alike.  that’s good quality, wholesome stuff.

if you’re like me, a 22-yr old woman living in the States, i can state, with pretty high confidence, that you’ve had some thoughts about this particularly pervasive “f” word.  i sure have.  i can remember conversations with my bff back when i was 12 years old that consisted almost entirely of:

-“and today i ate a sandwich and fries and then i had 5 cookies for dessert!  i’m soooo bad.  what did you have?”

-“but it’s ok, i’m gonna do pilates and taebo and like 1000 sit-ups.”

the summer between senior year of high school and freshman year of college, i was pretty slim.  i went to the gym almost every day and did a mix of cardio (8-min miles, baby!) and strength training.  i ate like a half-starved tiger cub, but always kept a healthy weight, and i was proud of it.  however, i distinctly remember telling my boyfriend at that time that i would never start to get fat, because i would just “stop eating” before that happened, said only half-jokingly.

my whole life my peers and adults would remark at my thin figure.  my 1st grade friend jealously asked me how i stayed so skinny.  “oh, i just sucked in my stomach all the time last year, and i guess it kind of stayed that way!”  where the hell did this mentality come from?!  i was six years old and taking precautions against looking chubby.

just yesterday i read an article on abc.com about “drunkorexia.”  although not technically an eating disorder, thousands of college age women admit to skimping hardcore on food calories so they can binge on alcohol.  i had the feeling that i should be shocked while reading the article, but i thought to myself, “yeah, that makes sense.”  i knew plenty of girls who would eat only a few bites for supper in anticipation of a big nite.  i have never been one to skimp on meals, but i remember working out like crazy in prep for a nite on the town, or telling myself i had to do at least 70 minutes on the elliptical to work off all those busch heavies (i know, i know) from the nite before.

we girls fall into a trap.  we transform from this:

into this:

where does this feeling come from, and where does it cross the line from healthy to unhealthy?

ok, it’s a product of our culture.  that’s easy.  skinny is beautiful.  but i’ve been doing some thinking about this national ideal of ours, and i don’t like it.  “healthy” should be in.  actually, “personality” should be in, when it comes to determining beauty, anyway.

now, for a 22-yr old woman, i have pretty good self esteem.  i have cellulite like nobody’s business, and a few stretch marks on the insides of my thighs from my pubescent days.  i even have a big lump on the side of my left thigh– some scar tissue from the time i skied off a cliff during spring break.  whatever.  if all of these “flaws” went away tomorro, i would be cool with that.  but honestly, i don’t perceive them as flaws.  my legs look pretty damn good, cellulite or not, and they’re strong, baby!

but i have to admit, all is not gumdrops and butterflies in the self esteem department 24-7.  some recent pictures of me show, shhhh….*laugh lines….,* also known as CROW’S FEET!  and my eyelids are kinda more droopy than i would like them to be… what the H is this S?!  i’m only 22, i don’t want friggin wrinkles and old lady eyes at this tender and still formative age!  i have way more life to live before that shit sets in.  sure, grad school is a doozy, but i don’t want these late nites spent reading to get the best of me.  sure, running in the sun isn’t the best for the delicate skin around the eyes, but mannn.  i’m just not ready for it, it’s no fair, i’m telling you.

what the....?!

and then i said, “listen Rach, don’t be such an effing diva.  you know you think you’re cute, so quit wasting time googling ‘blepharoplasty’ and get your damn thesis written.”  and i was right;  i like the way i look.  as i get ready to leave for school in the morning, i pop in a piece of gum, look in the mirror, and can see my personality shining thru.  now the “p” word, that’s what beauty is really about.  i’m only going to get more cellulite and more crow’s feet.  but i can live with it, i promise i can.  and i can be happy with the way i look.  because i’m able to look at others and delight in their sense of self projected onto their faces.  outer beauty means so little when inner beauty is allowed to radiate across one’s countenance.

and i speak truthfully too.  historically, i’ve been attracted to tall, rugged, dark-haired guys with massive arms.  (who hasn’t?!) now, even if i could have an endless supply of these guys, i wouldn’t necessarily choose them.  the guys i choose to be with are the ones who are comical, who are curious, who are confident, and who use their face as a palette for these incredibly charming qualities.

so, if i could send a message to all the self-esteem challenged peeps out there, it’s stop using the “f” word, whether it be “fat,” or “fugly,” “freakish,” or whatever.  i can guarantee you look like crap if you don’t smile.  or if you don’t look like crap, you could look at least 10x better if you did choose to smile.  and similarly, i can guarantee you’ll look like happy and confident once you lighten up and let your personality envelop you, no matter how many laugh lines decide to crinkle up your face.

count those lines, does it look like i care?

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