Thursday, July 31, 2008


  • Total Body
  • Lower Body
  • Abs

Tough combo. Had neither time nor energy for a run after that.

Weirdest dream. Ever.

Let me preface this by saying if I'm going to nap on the couch, it may be best to turn off MSNBC, or at least mute the sound.

In my dream, I'm driving up the road. I see a police car behind me, lights flashing. I check myself, realize I'm (for once) driving the speed limit and making no egregious traffic violations, and pull over. The cop speeds past me and pulls another car over. I get the familiar *whew* feeling and proceed up the road. Next thing I know, the police car is coming right AT me, in my lane. I pull into a parking lot. The cop walks over with a nun on his arm. (This must have been from the dvr'ed episode of The Cleaner I had been watching before I put the news on). He approaches my window and tells me this nun needs to be taken up the street and dropped off at xyz location, and that I am going to take her there. He also tells me that the nun is a "big fan of John McCain" and that I should respect her views. My mouth opens to tell him that maybe I'm not the best person to taxi this nun up the street, but he silences me gruffly and gently seatbelts the nun into the passenger seat of my car. He then gives me a stern no monkey business look and stops traffic so I can pull out of the lot and we proceed up the street. Immediately the nun starts a very combative political discussion. Wouldn't you think a nun would rather start a religious discussion? But no. Politics. And she was very opinionated. I don't remember the content of her diatribe, but I remember at one point she said something outright offensive and I couldn't keep my trap shut any longer. I told her exactly how I felt about the toll the last 8 years has taken on our nation and our people and then gave her my opinion on her buddy McCain. At that point she became so incensed that she cried, "I'm getting OUT!" and opened the car door. I was able to pull off into another parking lot before she could pull a tuck n' roll, and she slammed the car door extra hard and gave me a dirty look as she stalked off into the sunset. I was just starting to shake off the weirdness of the whole thing, when the same cop pulls up and in front of my car, so I can't leave. He proceeds back to his familiar spot at my driver's side window and reads me the riot act for not getting the nun to her destination, that it was MY job to protect her. The last thing I remember before waking up is yelling back at him, "I tried to tell you!"

Weird, no?

On today's schedule is some sort of running, then:
  • Lower Body (mandatory)
  • Abs (optional)
  • Total Body (optional)

Looks like a tough day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Workin' it on a Wednesday

  • Cardio
  • Lower Body
  • Yoga Flex

TMT obligations fulfilled for the day. No run today, had to clean and every other day is fine with me for running.

Eye-Opening Article


Obesity experts agree that daily exercise is essential for good health, but whether it can successfully lead to long-term weight loss is a question of much debate. What has become increasingly clear, however, is that the conventionally accepted advice — 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week — is probably insufficient to spur any real change in a person's body weight. A study published July 28 in the Archives of Internal Medicine adds to the burgeoning scientific consensus: when it comes to exercise for weight loss, more is better. It suggests that obese people would have to exercise at least an hour at a time to see any significant difference in their weight.
The study, led by John Jakicic at the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, followed nearly 200 overweight or obese women ages 21 to 45 through a two-year weight-loss program. The women were given free treadmills to use at home, regular group meetings and telephone pep talks to help keep them on track. Participants were also asked to restrict their food intake to between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day, and were randomized to one of four physical activity intervention groups based on energy expenditure (either 1,000 calories or 2,000 calories burned per week) and exercise intensity (high vs. moderate). By the end of the 24-month intervention, the women who managed to lose at least 10% of their starting body weight (which was, on average, about 193 lbs.) — and keep it off — were exercising twice as long as health authorities typically recommend and expending more than twice as many calories through exercise as women who had no change in body weight. The biggest weight losers were active a full 68 minutes a day, five days a week (about 55 minutes a day more than they had been before the trial began), burning an extra 1,848 calories a week.
Jakicic and his colleagues originally designed their study to measure whether weight loss could really be achieved and maintained through moderate-intensity exercise, akin to "walking when you're late for a meeting," he says, or whether it was preferable to engage in shorter bursts of more vigorous-intensity activity, "like, when you're late for the bus, chasing it down." The problem was that not enough of the women stuck with their assigned exercise categories for the researchers to gather enough meaningful data. Within a few months, most of the participants had resorted to exercising as much as they chose to. That left researchers with a slightly different data set than they had planned for, but they were still able to associate women's reported physical activity with their weight loss. Indeed, exercise was more strongly associated with weight loss than any other factor, including diet. Overall, the more the women exercised, the more weight they lost.
More than half of the study participants managed to lose at least 10% of their body weight within the first six months. At the half-year mark, however, most of those women relapsed and started gaining the weight back — a discouragingly common phenomenon. "The major outcome of this paper is the maintenance issue," Jakicic says. Once a patient hits her target weight, he says, it's imperative that she stick with her exercise and diet regimen to maintain her new weight.
Still, the underlying question remains: are diet and exercise a reliable cure for obesity? Modern-day obesity researchers are skeptical — achieving thinness, they say, is not simply a matter of willpower. Research suggests that weight may largely be regulated by biology, which helps determine the body's "set point," a weight range of about 10 lbs. to 20 lbs. that the body tries hard to defend. The further you push you weight beyond your set point — either up or down the scale — some researchers say, the more your body struggles to return to it. That might help to explain why none of the women in Jakicic's study managed to lose much more than 10% of their body weight. After two years on a calorie-restricted diet, keeping up more than an hour of physical activity five days a week on average, most were still clinically overweight (though much less so than before). But what Jakicic and other obesity researchers stress is that a 10% reduction in body weight represents a tremendous boon for overall well-being, lowering blood pressure, improving heart health and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. For the obese, the end goal should not be thinness, but health and self-acceptance, which are more realistic and beneficial objectives. "The women's health was absolutely improved," Jakicic says.
Jakicic, in fact, seems heartened by his findings. "I think the beauty of this study is that we now have a target" — a better idea of how much exercise is needed for weight maintenance. There is, of course, some variation in how people respond. Some of the study participants fared well with less exercise than the additional 275 minutes per week (about 55 minutes per day, five days a week) that the study's author now recommends for weight maintenance. Others needed more. But the keys to success, according to Jakicic, were embracing the weight-loss program fully, and finding a way around the daily obstacles to exercising — that's something he says many of his participants were able to achieve, regardless of their socioeconomic group. So, if you're aiming to lose weight and keep it off, his message is clear: don't slack off.

First off, DAMN! This study was done right in my back yard. Too bad I didn't know about it; I could have learned quite a bit about what sort of eating and exercise plan works best for me.. but the best part, I could have saved myself $534 with that free treadmill!

Secondly, hmmmm. Interesting. Well, at least while on nights, I can get some time in. However, my major go-to for exercise is going to continue to be the 10 minute trainer dvds with a run thrown in when I can. I can't get myself all wrapped up in that "Well, if I can't do an hour, screw it." attitude.

Don't let Perfect be the enemy of Good, remember?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today's accountability

  • Yoga Flex
  • 30 minute treadmill run
  • Abs

I had a tough time getting motivated to work out today, and ended up doing so right before going in for my night shift, though I was home all day. The important thing is that it actually got done, but tomorrow I'm aiming for getting the run out of the way as soon as I get home from work, and the rest of the workout before I leave for the day. I'm hoping this pattern will stick for the month of night shifts and carry over into next month's daylights - during which I am hoping to run before work and do dvds when I get home.

Such is my mania

It's just a blurry camera phone picture, but you can see that clearly someone has gone nuts and is percolating coffee on the grill. That would be me. It all started the day before yesterday, the day my life was forever changed by a miniscule hole toward the bottom of my coffee carafe. Per my usual routine, I set it in the sink and filled it up with cold water, in preparation to make the vital nectar which would motivate me and keep me awake and non-homicidal for the next several hours.

Carafe full. Water off. I feed the Old Girl then turn back to the sink to retrieve my carafe and make my coffee. It's empty. *blink* *blink* Knowing I sometimes forget stuff when I'm not caffeinated, I fill it again. Then I hear it. The sound of water trickling. A hole, no bigger than 3mm across along the bottom third of the carafe, is the culprit. This is the second carafe I've had with this machine, and I had to special-order it online because I couldn't find it anywhere. I'm in no shape to drive anyway - I haven't had my coffee, for Godssakes!

I made do the first day with some tea-bag-like contraptions that actually contain instant coffee. Ick. It kept the dope-sick headache away, at least. (I had them in my camping stuff; I don't routinely set out to buy stuff that sucks - I feel the need to inform everyone). Another thing I remembered I had in my camping stuff was this wonderful percolator. Precisely because I had had the instant stuff on one camping trip and swore never again.

You can't even imagine my excitement when I saw the beautiful amber liquid bubbling up into the top of the percolator, after about 25 minutes on the grill. I had forgotten how great of a pot of coffee that percolator makes. So, until I get back from my trip next week, that's gonna be the source of my fix. Then I'm going to be on the prowl for a Hamilton Beach BrewStation. No more carafes to break!

Of course, they too may disappear from the face of the earth, just because I posted about them. Look at what happened to Scrabulous.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The enemy of boredom eating..

Scrabulous on Facebook. Dan and I have been playing each other obsessively when we're not together.

Heard over the airwaves

"Medic xyz to 123 Smith St, Anytown for a 19 year old female who.. (pause) states she weighed herself and the scale says she weighs 47lbs. She states she is supposed to weigh 103lbs."

The new medic sitting beside me laughed. "That is exactly the kilogram to pounds conversion."

The ditz had her scale set on kg instead of lbs. And called an ambulance because she apparently doesn't know what 103lbs vs. 47 lbs. looks like in the mirror.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day in the life.

We step quickly up the sidewalk, toward the side entry of the house, secondary equipment in hand - on the way to back up the first crew in. The first thing I notice is a kid, probably under 12, inconsolable in (I assume) the neighbor's arms. The second thing I notice is the house-arrest bling on the ankle of "the neighbor".

When you hear the words "CPR in progress" and the patient is in their 40s, we expect the worst. This was no exception. We pull out all the stops for these patients, but the result is rarely good. Especially difficult was the fact that this patient - after a night of drinking - snored irregularly passed out in his chair, and the time of actual arrest was in question.

In the end, all we did was not enough, and my partner and I actually had to leave the scene after helping to extricate the cardiac arrest patient from the house to cover another call - a rectal foreign body insertion.

From the mortal to the ridiculous. Just a typical day in the life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Plugging Along.

I only had 10 good minutes left in me yesterday after a long day at work and a shopping trip before I got home. Today was the start of *bliss* night shifts *bliss* so I had a little more time.

  • Cardio


  • Total Body
  • Lower Body

Friday, July 25, 2008

Goodbye to a true hero of our time.

Dr. Randy Pausch died today, his lifespan - but not his life - cut short by pancreatic cancer. You may remember him as the 'Last Lecture' professor.

Peace be with his wife, children, family, and all who loved him.

... Remember, the brick walls are there for a reason.

The brick walls are not there to keep us out.

The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. ...

  • Loyalty is a two-way street.
  • Never give up.
  • You get people to help you by telling the truth. Being earnest. I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every day, because hip is short term. Earnest is long term.
  • Apologize when you screw up and focus on other people, not on yourself.
  • Get a feedback loop and listen to it. ... Anybody can get chewed out. It's the rare person who says, oh my god, you were right. ... When people give you feedback, cherish it and use it.
  • Show gratitude.
  • Don't complain. Just work harder.
  • Be good at something, it makes you valuable.
  • Work hard.
  • Find the best in everybody. ... No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side; just keep waiting, it will come out.
  • And be prepared. Luck is truly where preparation meets opportunity.

Randy Pausch 1960-2008

Both Good and Perfect took a break yesterday.

Chillax tied them up and locked them in the basement.

Hung out with my best friend yesterday, had some homemade iced tea with lime and freshly muddled mint (delicious, in case you were wondering), and raided her garden for fresh cukes and zucchini. It was after 10 when I got home and proceeded to get my butt handed to me by my sweetie, playing Scrabulous. He's lucky I love him, because he won by over 100 points and we all know I don't take losing very well.

So, back to the TMT dvds tonight after work, because I didn't work out this morning. (Last daylight shift, w00t!!!)

Day before yesterday I did 3 of them:
  • Cardio
  • Abs
  • Yoga Flex

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don't Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good.

This handy piece of wisdom brought to us by Voltaire.

It really sums up the purpose of my journey. For so many years I let the Perfect control my every move, and tell me that Good just wasn't quite good enough. If I couldn't eat Perfectly, then why try at all? If I don't have a full hour to exercise, what's the point?

The point is, you can make an imperfect food choice, or have a bad meal, or even a bad week - and recover from it. Each new choice is an opportunity to get back on track. Obviously, the sooner the good choices take over, the less damage is done.

It goes against my nature to believe that I can accomplish a thorough workout in under half an hour. My rational side knows that it can be done in smaller increments, however the perfectionist, buying-in-to-all-the-hype side of me screams, "Thirty minutes or nothin'!!" However, these 10 minute trainer workouts are reinforcing my belief in the Good. The cool thing about these, I am finding, is that I don't defeat myself before I even start, like I do with other types of workouts. Here's how the thought process goes (grab a crayon and follow along):
  • "I've worked 12 hours. I'm tired. Let's go see what's on the DVR."
  • "But, look! If you only do the mandatory workout it's only 10 minutes out of our day. The couch and DVR will still be there in 10 minutes."
  • "Ok. I'll just do the one."

~ 10 minutes later ~

  • "Huh. That wasn't so bad."
  • "I'm all warmed up now. I'm already dressed for it and kinda sweaty - I should just bang out another one."

~ 10 minutes later ~

  • "Whew! I'm pumped up and a little tired. But only 10 minutes more and I can say I did all the workouts for today."

~ 10 minutes later ~

  • "Is there anything better than a hot bubble bath/DVR'ed shows/cuddling with the dog/sprawling out on the couch/insert favorite downtime activity/?"

So, how about that? I fooled myself into doing a 30 minute workout when I didn't even want to do 10. I find I have to do that quite a bit. Dupe myself into getting started, then the rest takes care of itself.

The other nice thing about these workouts is that if I ever get my butt out of bed early before work, and I only have 10 extra minutes, guess what? I have time to knock out a workout. And if I have a hella day at work, I've already gotten my mandatory workout in for the day. More often than not, though, I can bluff myself into getting at least one more workout in after work, using the ol' "it's only 10 minutes" ploy.

It might seem funny, the mind game I have to run on myself to get myself to do a simple thing like exercise. I don't mind, though. It's a little victory for me, each time Good can flip Perfect the bird.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

3 More Days of Daylights

And then I get four wonderous! beautious! fabulous! weeks of night shift. Three, actually, and a week of vacation. Even better.

I love working nights. Everyone goes where they're supposed to go, does what they're supposed to do. No Monkey Wrench screwing up the works. And, outside of work, I get stuff done. I feel almost like I have a full day off, then go to work. House gets cleaned. Dogs get walked. Shopping gets done. Tasks get crossed off to-do lists that have sat and gathered dust for four weeks while I shuffled zombie-like through daylights.. eating, sleeping, working, but barely much else. I am planning to get a few good hikes in with the Little Girlie, as I haven't gotten to do that yet this summer. Hiking and camping are summer must-dos.

Working out: I did the Cardio and Abds dvds the other day but did not get to the Yoga Flex. I'm ok with that. The first two together were a hell of a workout; there were moves in the Abds workout I couldn't do as fast or as well as the buff dvd chick, but I get a second crack at Abds tonight, and I'm sure today I will show improvement. Yesterday I did Total Body and Lower Body. I'm already noticing that some of the moves I couldn't complete the first time, I could do with no trouble this time around. And I'm feeling a pleasant soreness in my core muscles today, so I know it's doing its thing. Today's schedule calls for Yoga Flex, then Cardio and Abds as optional. I am thinking I will try and get all three in after work tonight. I need to figure out a schedule for before/after work exercising that I can fit in a short run in addition to these dvds, and I think the run and the dvds need to be at separate times, since the 10 minute trainer is so intense. So far I've stuck to the schedule and haven't missed a 10 minute trainer day. I've done the bare minimum some days, but I've done something every day, and that's been a goal of mine.

Had a session yesterday and figured out some things that I probably already knew. (That's why talking to someone impartial is good - they have no problem pointing stuff out to you that you may be denying to yourself). Among the revelations we came up with yesterday:
  • I'm not doing to great on portion control, but at least I am eating healthy for the most part, so I need to get back my mindfulness when eating.
  • I am a competetive little shit. Hence the sudden landing of my butt back on the treadmill because of an upcoming stress test I have to take with other people. So it would probably benefit me to find some sort of club/group for a regularly scheduled athletic pursuit.
  • I need to be going back over and reinforcing the info in all the written exercises I did in the earlier sessions, and be mindful that this journey should be more about my health than my weight.
  • I need to be doing more reading that is relevant to my food issues to keep my head in the game.

These are all infinitely do-able, and I left yesterday's session feeling pretty good about the plan and how I'd improved over the past month.

And my personal to-do list for the upcoming weeks:

  • figure out how to balance a run at least every other day with these dvds
  • hike
  • camp
  • bike
  • clean carpets
  • put away laundry, forGodssakes. Folded in a laundry basket does not = put away.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


... is what DONE looks like.

Tonight, after finishing a 12 hour shift, my 10 minute trainer schedule informed me that my only obligation for today was Yoga Flex. And that was fine and dandy with me. I had blown off working out again this morning, having tried to reset my alarm in my sleep - don't try that, it never works out for the good - and barely made it to work on time.

Yesterday, my 10 minute workout schedule was Total Body (mandatory), Cardio and Lower Body (optional). The plan had been to do the mandatory one in the morning before work and do another dvd, or run on the treadmill, when I got home. All I ended up doing was the Total Body, before work in the morning. Which had some moves that I felt like I was trying to do through a coating of molasses, and the dvd chick seemed to be doing while hopped up on amphetamines and anabolic steroids and on fast forward. But I am definitely feeling it all over, so I must have indeed gotten the total body workout.

Yoga Flex was a really nice break. It's not a total walk in the park, and it reminded me that I have a really long way to go regarding flexibility. However, I would really benefit from doing this particular workout every day. There are lots of really deep hip and glute opening stretches that you hold for 30 seconds at a time - these and my pyriformis were always problem areas with muscle tightness and knots.

Also got a 20 minute run in on treadmill. I wanted to quit really badly after 10, but I kept thinking about that stress test coming up in about 9 weeks, and about how badly I want to show everyone else up.. and I kept going. Go me.

Tomorrow's menu:
  • Cardio dvd - mandatory
  • Abds dvd - optional
  • Yoga Flex dvd - optional

I'm going to try to get all 3 in, since it's a day off.

Friday, July 18, 2008

You know what's depressing?

Taking 'before' photos and measurements. If you're anything like me - and I prefer to think anyone with a ridiculously unfair mix of genius intellect, humor, natural good looks, common sense and of course humility is just like me - you hate having measurements taken. And photos. Especially photos like the ones I took. Sports bra and snug workout shorts. Nowhere to hide. No nice v-neck babydoll top to accentuate the hooters but float over the gut. (Who did I think I was kidding anyway? It just looked like I was trying to hide a pregnancy.)

And... wow. You think you know yourself, but you really don't know yourself until pictures like that are in front of your face. But honestly, that's probably good for my reverse body image issue. If I can bear the thought of the people at the photo processing plant seeing these images, I really should get some prints made and post them on the fridge and bathroom mirror. Maybe on my alarm clock too, for those mornings I'm feeling too lazy to lose an hour of sleep to work out. I could go nuts! Pictures of my thunder thighs and big ol' love handles everywhere!

Just so long as the Michelin Man doesn't see them. I am spoken for, after all.

This morning was one of those that I was too lazy to get out of bed early and workout before work. I have historically had a tough time finding the motivation to work out after putting in 12+ hours at work, then coming home and taking care of Old Girl, putting uniforms in the laundry, etc. Days when I have found the motivation, the workouts have required, it seems, twice as much effort, and were downright painful at times. Tonight's run was no exception. I am back up to 20 minute runs again, but I felt very cloddish and out of sorts for about 16 minutes of that.

Then I took my first crack at my new 10 Minute Trainer dvds. The premise of these are the 10 minute 'stacked' workouts. One is all you [air quotes] have to [/air quotes] do per day, however they give you two other options to 'maximize results'. Duh! Nobody ever got a beach body on just ten minutes a day! Today I was supposed to do primarily the Cardio dvd, then the two optionals were Lower Body and Abs. Had I known just how intense the Lower Body workout would be, I may not have opted to run 20 minutes beforehand. But I had already done it, and I counted it as cardio.

All I can say about these workouts, having only done one, is DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN. It was intense. I blasted my legs for ten minutes straight with isometric moves that required no more equipment than an elastic resistance band. Even that could have been optional and my legs would still have been shaking just as much when I finished.

Tomorrow morning before work I have Total Body to do, with Cardio and Lower Body being the optional two. I'm thinking I will do Total Body and then do another 20 minute run if I have time and am feeling it. If I don't run, I will do at least the Cardio dvd, either before or after work.
Notice those 'before' pictures aren't posted. I can hardly bear to look at them myself. so the thought of putting them out in public domain is truthfully rather nauseating to me. I'm hoping within 90 days or so that there will be changes significant enough that I will actually be proud to show you the amazing transformation.

For now, though, you'll just have to use your imagination.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Did you know..

.. cookie dough and Doritos and bologna on white bread give me heartburn, lower GI distress, a headache, and a general achey, crappy feeling?

Well, I knew. And I had some anyway last night.

As I sit here with my head pounding, the same four words keep running through my mind:


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


.. was technically supposed to be a day off running, but I really felt like it. And when you feel like doing something that's good for you, dammit, you get to steppin' and you DO it.

I was planning on modifying the W5D2 workout to walk 5, run 10, repeat x1. However I got interrupted toward the end of my warmup by some hot guy walking right into my house! Luckily, he loves me so he didn't seem to be disgusted by my workout attire: sports bra, shorts and running shoes. I, personally, was mortified. By the way his eyes were fixated on my boobs, I determined that he didn't notice anything other than those 38Ds bouncing with each step.

Anyway, my workout got cut short because I had to leave soon. So I ran an easy 15. I guess I didn't get as out-of-shape as I thought on my self imposed lazyass break from hard exercise.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The New Year's resolution that stuck

You know how New Year's resolutions are. Especially the ones regarding exercise. We come out of the gate with our asses on fire, only to have petered out within a couple of weeks. If we're really seasoned at this NYR stuff, sometimes we stick it out til March. You hear the regular gym-goers complaining about the NYR peeps all the time because the treadmills and circuit machines have n00bs swarming all over them. Probably not even wiping them down when they're done. *shudder*

My NYR that stuck this year was a three-pronged approach. I resolved to start eating cleaner whole foods all the time, not just sometimes. And to quit hitting the drive-thrus on my way home from work. The latter was actually the biggest struggle of all. Who doesn't crave a Chik Fil A cookies n' cream milkshake, or a Big Mac, or Wendy's chicken sandwiches, at one time or another? But I've done it. The only reason I've been able to do it was with a whole lot of help.

You see.. I "see" someone. Yep. Part II of the NYR. To finally sort out why I put so much importance on food. To figure out why I can't resist the lure of the drive-thru. To help myself find the motivation for a permanent change. I have learned so much about myself, and what twisted and warped reasoning I had been using to justify bingeing on crap food. One of the latest little gems I have learned to keep myself on track is the idea that it is my job to protect myself from harm. I protect those I love from harm. I protect my beloved dogs from harm. Why not myself? Will one Big Mac harm me? No. Will eating it every day to excess cause harm? You betcha. *waits for Mcdonalds lawyers to find this paragraph* One thing I have learned is that we have become so detached from the beautiful and amazing piece of machinery that is our body. You would never think of putting sugar in the gas tank of your car intentionally. It won't run right! But we put all kinds of crap into our bodies every day that it doesn't recognize. Our bodies weren't meant to break down and use Twinkies, or margarine, or Ramen noodles - or high fructose corn syrup - probably the most evil processed "food" product of all. It's difficult, every time I prepare food or eat, to think to myself: "Am I protecting myself from harm by eating this?" And I'm sure it sounds boring. For the majority of the time, it is. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast every day. The routine is comforting for me. However, the flip side of this is that when I do allow myself to indulge in a treat, I enjoy it and savor it 100% more.

Part III of the NYR was for me to finally complete the Couch to 5k program. It's an awesome set of workouts geared toward training someone who's literally never run before, to someone who can respectably complete a 5k. I had started it numerous times and had always quit around week 4. However, this time it stuck. I can't tell you why, except that in my mind I made it absolutely mandatory that I complete the designated C25K workout every other day, without deviation, without fail, without excuses. I did finish (graduate - YEAH!) the 9 week program and continued to run every other day until late May. Then the lazies took over.

However I do have some new motivation to start running again and I did restart today. I jumped in to W5D1 of C25K this morning. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about how it would go. Envisioning pulled muscles, too-slow playlists, not having a clean sports bra or socks, I got it together and hopped on the treadmill. Much to my surprise it's like riding a bike. Or something. It's almost as if my body missed running. Another case of being sort of blind and deaf to the body's wants and needs.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nothing like...

... being so busy with a patient that you don't notice the demented lady pull silently up to the doorway in her wheelchair, only to let out a blood-curdling scream directed at you.

"Excuse me, spare some Depends? Oh, and a couple wipes please. No. Not for her. For ME."

It was like that idiotic video floating around on the internet. You know, the one where you're supposed to watch the video and suddenly a scary face pops up and screams its head off at you.

Not all dementia patients are like a Starbucks redeye with a meth chaser. Some are better than a Hallmark card and flowers delivered to you at work, though. I went into the wrong room trying to locate a patient once and was greeted by the nicest little old Alzheimers patient I'd ever met. Her face lit up when she saw me walk in. She held both of my hands and told me she loved me "so much". Then she hugged me and rubbed my back. Being in the throes of PMS it was the nicest thing that had happened to me that week, and I truly didn't want to leave. I wanted to sit and hang out with this little old lady I'd never met before. Have her hug me and rub my back some more. Maybe have some tea and cookies.

I sure could use some tea and cookies today. Played softball for the first time this season, yesterday. That first inning at 3rd base was ugly, and captured on film no less. Notice none of them are posted. That is deliberate. However, I had a few good hits and made up for the first inning's fumbles. Today I'm so sore from head to toe that I am fully convinced that I could get myself beach-body ripped by merely throwing a ball and swinging a bat several times, followed by a couple short sprints. Either that or I'm getting old.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sometimes motivation just falls right into your lap.

Remember a few posts ago, when I lamented my fluffiness and said I needed to start running again?

Motivation has rung my doorbell and left a flaming bag of poop at the doorstep.

We've found a IPMBA instructor to teach the certification course for our bike team. However, we'll have to pass a physical beforehand which includes body fat analysis and a treadmill stress test. My plan is to kick ass on both. I'm not bragging, but hey. I have to be truthful. I can kick anyone's ass at body fat right now. In fact, I've got some to spare in case one of the guys is underfat.

But seriously. I'm sure I could do passably on the treadmill test in my current condition. But since I'm going to win the body fat contest so handily, I figure I should kick everyone's ass at the treadmill test as well. Everyone. Even the 21 year old. Especially the 21 year old. I want that instructor to shake her head and say to herself, "Daaaaaaamn. The fat chick outran all of them!"
More importantly, I want the guys to all go home crying because a chunky 37 year old woman pwnd them on the stress test.

Hello motivation.

Change in physical status, huh?

We very commonly get calls for "change in mental status". Usually means someone is just not acting like themselves, for any number of reasons. Today, one of the nursing homes called with a "change in physical status". WTF? One of the responding crew asks the dispatcher if that was supposed to be a change in mental status. Nope. Change in physical status. Oh, and she's a liver patient. They arrive and find that the patient has indeed had a change in status. Celestial status to be exact. She's a hospice patient who died, and the nursing home wants the medic to pronounce her.

If they had used the euphemism "assuming room temperature" maybe we'd have understood each other.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

On the one hand...

.. this isn't a blog about my mom.

On the other hand, she keeps popping back up in my life, through the memories of others who knew and loved her.

First, at a funeral for a very elderly woman, to whom I am not even distantly related. Or a friend of the family. I went as a professional courtesy for a member of our board of directors. So you'd expect me to be only vaguely acquainted with one person in that whole place - the board member. Lo and behold, who do I see across the room as soon as I step into the viewing area? (By the way, is that still called a "parlor"? As in funeral parlor?) Anyway. It's my aunt and uncle that I haven't seen for at least 20 years. Florida must be good to them, because they both look just the same. And apparently I look exactly like my mother when she was my age.
"You're just the very picture of your mother!", they all exclaimed. And I am. I've definitely got her eyes. And (thanks mom and grampap!) the familial thinning hair in the back. I still remember my mom, trying to see the back of her head with 2 mirrors, asking us "is my spot showing?". Mom could have definitely made good use of my 3-mirror vanity. Gives great back and side views. But I digress. This isn't about our shared thinning hair. Though I do still hold that against our gene pool.

Today I had to take an ambulance down to my personal mechanic to have them take a quick look at the a/c. My family has known the family that runs this garage for, well.. forever it seems. As I was getting ready to back the ambulance out one of the owners was telling me what I needed to do to test the a/c when I got back. He stopped smack in the middle of a sentence and just smiled at me. Then he apologized, and told me that when he looks at me he sees my mom, and I look so much like her with my brown eyes and shiny round apple cheeks. And that talking with me is so much like talking with her. He apologized again and continued with business.

Many people do that. Apologize when they remind me of her. As if I don't think of her all the time, anyway. So much of my personality is literally derived from her DNA. You couldn't separate us if you tried. And no apology is necessary. I am truly honored to hear from others how much I remind them of her. It sounds cliche, but she was the kind of person who was loved and admired by everyone who met her. The kind of person whose funeral viewing was so packed that there were people wall-to-wall, indoors and out. One woman with whom she had played and coached softball approached me at her funeral, eyes filled with tears. She could hardly speak, but the words she spoke said everything: "She was my hero."

Mine too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I need to start running again. I haven't gained any weight since May, which is when I pretty much stopped running every other day. In fact, I've probably lost some. But I look much... fluffier. For lack of a better term. I don't know how the hell I was doing it, getting up at 5:30am and running every other day for 30-40 minutes, then going to work for 12 hours. But damn, I felt great and was looking much more toned. I need to find a way to get my ass out of bed in the mornings and get back into that routine.

My trip to the amusement park yesterday...

... just reinforces my beliefs posted previously.