Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's O.K. To Cry

I've been called sensitive, dramatic, tender and soft, and it's all because when things really move me, I have the tendency to cry. I often try to hide it, especially when no one else in the room is crying, but I have also found it has some nice benefits: 1) stress release 2) sinus relief 3) dry eye relief.

So, here are 3 random things that brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat this week:

1. The singing of The Star Spangled Banner at the Portland Winterhawks game. Francis Scott Key & John Stafford Smith created a masterpiece that gets me every time. When I saw the actual flag at the Smithsonian a few years ago, I pretty much lost it.

2. The movie, Temple Grandin. Actress Claire Daines does an amazing portrayal of Temple, one of the preeminent livestock handling equipment designers in the world, who also happens to have autism.

3. An article about Amy Pankratz, in Woman's Day magazine, about how she sews superhero capes for ill children.

So, what moves you tears?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Don't Use Food As A Drug

I realized lately that over the years, I have had a number of male friends who were/are obese. While most people considered them to be scary or mean, I have found them to be the sweetest guys I know.

When my friend J. enters the pool, I can see strangers visibly stiffen when they see him. I think it's because he takes up so much space. It truly looks like he could hurt you, if he wanted to.

I gently asked J. about this and he mentioned that most people are mean to him. If he goes to a bar and there is a guy who's had a bad day, he always goes up to J. to try and pick a fight. J. is often quick tempered, and I think this is a reaction to this common situation.

Meanwhile, having had conversations with various obese friends, I keep finding that something or something along the way has hurt the guy and he has turned to food for comfort (although he usually doesn't acknowledge this). I've heard stories of being bullied in school, being bullied in the military, and of betrayal by loved ones.

So, while others see this big mean man, I see this little boy in pain, who has surrounded himself with a "protective" layer of fat.

And my friends always seem to be on a new path to weight loss. "I'm gonna be a vegan! I will do Weight Watchers! I will do P90X! I will work harder, I will fix it! Yes, I will". And then a month or two later they stop, gain back the weight and the cycle starts again.

I try not to be preachy, I try to be a friend, to support them and model good behavior. But I want to be helpful, I want them to heal. So, since I know that right now they are probably not in the right mental space to  hear me, I will send this message out to the internet hoping that it finds them.

Keys To Sustained Good Health

1. Know that when people are mean to you, it is because they are scared. This doesn't excuse them, it just explains it a little better.

2. You need to find a non-food way to deal with stress or to celebrate. I know that food is cheap, easy and often pushed at you by various sources (commercials, parents) but it is not the solution. Do not use it as a drug.

3. You need to heal whatever it is inside that is hurting so badly. This may mean therapy, this may mean medication, suck it up and do it. 


5. Ditch the fad diets and learn traditional nutritional basics: serving sizes, fiber, whole grains, etc.

6. Know that fitness is a life long journey. You will only be done when you are dead.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Grow Some Neurons

I've been feeling a little uninspired lately. While fitness stuff is going well, the job search continues to drag on. But I have some new ideas so stay tuned. After talking about this with a new friend, I had the idea to start looking at online courses and seminars instead of watching stupid television shows. (Good-bye, The Mindy Project and New Girl.)

So, as of a week or so ago I am watching about 5 TED talks a week (focused on business, psychology and human nature) and 3 lectures a week from Stanford University's eCorner series. The TED talks are only about 15 minutes long and the eCorner talks range from 45-60 minutes.

All the talks are free, and I have learned at least one interesting thing from each. (And a lot about how to give a good presentation.) So far, my favorite eCorner talk is by Adam Lowry of Method and my favorite TED talk is Temple Grandin's The World Needs All Kinds Of Minds.

You can stream them for free from their respective websites, TED and eCorner but I have found that their channels on YouTube work better. Try Stanford eCorner and TEDTalks. I add the videos I want to watch to my "Watch Later" list on my YouTube account and then head downstairs where I can watch them on the TV (thank you, husband, for hooking up a computer to the TV) while sitting on the couch, notepad and pen in hand.

After watching these talks, I add them to the education section of my LinkedIn profile, and will add them to my resume upon it's next overhaul.

I am really happy about the switch and look forward to amassing a huge list of videos I have watched.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Change Is Good

It's time to switch my swimming workout. The total length is the same, but the drills focus on new things and each set is longer. I'm glad to be making a change, it's nice to have new challenges.

I print four sets of each routine on a page, print it out and then cut it in four. I take one to the pool with me and "glue" it against the pool wall with water. When I am done, I squish it into a ball and triumphantly throw it away.

Here is my routine:

800 yds (1/2 mile)

2x75 freestyle
2x25 DK w/fins

6x25 freestyle
#1 Hip Shoulder Forehead Drill
#2 Freestyle
#3 Freestyle Fist Drill
#4 Freestyle
#5 Freestyle 3-3-3 Drill
#6 Freestyle

(Faster each time)

3x50 S&M w/fins


Like last time, this routine is based on one from Janet Evans' book, with the items in bold added by me. I will do this routine 16 times, then move on to the next one.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: I take a 3 minute break between the Warm Up, Drill Set, Main Set and Cool down. Sorry I didn't note that in the list.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Keep On Keeping On

In some circles, I am know mostly for my Type 1 diabetes. But I realized I haven't blogged about it in ages.

So, if I don't blog about diabetes do I still have it? Yep.


Still checking my blood sugar 10+ times a day
Still wearing my One Touch Animas insulin pump
Still changing out my pump site (what connects the pump to my body) every 2-4 days
Still measuring 80%  of my food
Still bolusing with insulin for every carbohydrate I eat
Still having low blood sugars occasionally
Still have high blood sugars occasionally
Still making sure I don't exercise within 2 hours of a bolus

And on, and on ...

So, nothing new to report. But it's all still going well.

UPDATE: I just had to tempt fate with this post, didn't I? Well, now I do have news to report. While doing my monthly battery change on my insulin pump I noticed a 1 inch crack along the battery compartment. While it did not interrupt the function on the pump, it certainly voided it's claim of being waterproof. After calls to Animas, and a little UPS tango, I have a  new one and it is working nicely.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Listen To The Music

I have a number of friends and family who have been in or are currently in a band. It is usually for fun, but sometimes it really takes off. My friend since childhood, Alastair Moock, is a good example. I can still remember going canoeing with him at Sandy Island YMCA camp (I paddled, he sang), and yet here he is with a Wikipedia article and numerous awards and albums to his name.

Well, I am hoping that another friend, Patrick Curtain, will soon enjoy some stardom too. He is the bass player in a local band, Worth. And they are starting to get some recognition. I love the music his band makes and even downloaded some of the songs.

Here is the video to one of my favorite Worth songs, "Caught Up." Portland, Oregon is prominently featured in the video, and if you catch a glimpse of the bald bass player, that is Patrick.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Have A Smashing Good Time

Last year, I almost had a heart attack when I learned that Mark Zupan, star of the movie Murderball, would be speaking at our little Vancouver campus of Washington State University. Have no idea who I am talking about? Perhaps this image will help ...

I had loved the movie and was dying to hear more. Mark was a very charismatic speaker, but as he told the story of how he became quadriplegic (which they had covered in the movie) I found myself thinking, "Talk about the game! Talk about the game!" But he never really did. But he did mention that there was a local wheelchair rugby team, the Portland Pounders.

Once I got home, I looked up the team and found out that they practice every Sunday about 10 minutes from my house. Well, last weekend, I finally got my butt over there to watch. It was a little awkward (there was no where to sit) and I felt a little invasive (but we were quickly welcomed). They did end up having a short scrimmage, which was awesome to watch. I loved all the smashing of the metal chairs (Martin did not). I loved that these guys (and one girl) that are probably seen as helpless and fragile were speeding and smashing into each other with abandon. One player even fell over and was stuck on his back until someone flipped his chair back up.

We would have stayed longer, but we had a lunch date, and all of the dogs in the gym were starting to make my eyes itch.

There are wheelchair rugby teams all over the United States. They are inspirational, could use your support and are fun to watch, so check them out.  I'll certainly be back, but with my eye drops and a chair!