Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week In Review

It's been a tough week. Actually, the whole month of August has, for the most part, blown hairy goats. This just underscores the fact that what I'm doing has to be built into my lifestyle. Not something I can stick up on a shelf when times get tough, and take it back down and use it 6 months down the road and 30lbs heavier. The Work of ME (TWoMTM)has to get done, more often than not, regardless of what else is going on. There will be stress. Monkey wrenches will be thrown into best-laid plans, always. Butts will figuratively get wiped with the most carefully scribed schedules.

Some examples this past week:
  • The Ol' Biddy got sick. Honestly, the first day, I thought to myself, "This is it. She's got a rectal mass or something and we don't have much time." Turns out it was Much Ado About a ButtThing, and she had an anal gland infection. Still, no small infection. She was febrile and lethargic from it, and with her Addison's Disease, any sort of stress can set off a metabolic/hormonal cascade that can kill her in half a days' time. She's still not 100% right. We had a bad day yesterday, in which she puked and staggered and at times was too weak to get up; and in which I cleaned up puke and pee six times and mentally racked up vet bills and the cost of recarpeting the house. Her vet thinks the Cipro is making her sick, so she's off it now. She's still not eating right, but she's not weak and staggering or puking either. So hard to tell with her Addison's, if she's not eating because she's on the verge of an Addisonian Crisis or if she just would rather have the chicken and rice she's had all last week - rather than scrambled eggs - on her dog food. Workout schedule got a little messed up with vet visits and playing doggie medic.
  • We took a day and went to an amusement park. Multiple food and workout-related monkey wrenches involved in that endeavor.
  • Work. Double shifts. It's hard to convince yourself to work out before a 22 hour shift, but it's even harder to convince yourself to do it after. Add to that piss-poor sleep habits and you've got excuses just waiting to happen.
  • I am starting to rebel against the C25K workouts; instead of just getting up and doing it, I am again starting to find ways to procrastinate it away. This all started with the thought of running outdoors because my treadmill display wasn't working properly. Today, I actually feel like doing a C25K workout again. Below, I'll tell you why I think that is.

The quick and dirty lowdown: Planned = 6 workouts. Done = 6 workouts. Did I do the exact workouts I had planned to do, on the days for which I had them planned? No. Does that matter to me? No. Having said that, though, my goal is to do something every day, so cramming a few workouts into one day because I had to skip 3 other times isn't going to be a regular habit.

Monday - I doubled out Monday, starting at 10am after getting home at 3am (trying to make the most of my days off, ya know!) Didn't work out. Had planned to do C25K W4D1 again. Dog was looking ill that morning. Was almost late to work because I had to make her scrambled eggs, hand feed her, and practically carry her up the steps. That was the closest thing to a workout that happened that day.

Tuesday - Body Fat Solution Workout A. I was hanging out with the Biddy all day, but I still didn't feel the running mojo. So, I plugged in one of the 30 minute hill climb workouts into the treadmill and did that instead. This, I am proud of. In the past, if I didn't feel like running for 45 minutes until I was a sweaty ball of jello legs, I'd just not do anything at all. And you know what? The grossly inaccurate calorie burn readout on the treadmill said I burned basically the same amount of calories as I did on a typical C25K workout. So there.

Wednesday - Dog's been on antibiotics for a day. Looks better. Hungry. Acting like herself, for the most part. C25K W4D1 done. Then jetskiing. Later, we injected antibiotics and steriods into my dog's infected anal sac. Who says I don't still know how to party?

Thursday - Amusement park day. I was up late the night before, and up early on this day. I didn't do a formal workout, however, I got the Little Girlie Pup out for a nice 30 minute walk before we left, and we walked the amusement park for a good 8 hours. We won't talk about what I ate, though as compared to amusement park visits of the past, it was practically nothing, quantity-wise.

Friday - Still found myself feeling very much like a rebellious child when faced with "the schedule says today is C25K." So, I had a conversation with that rebellious child. I told her it was ok not to do that scheduled workout, but there had to be a substitute of greater or equal calorie burn. So, 40 minute hill climb treadmill workout, it was. I'm ok with that and proud of myself for again choosing the good over the perfect.

Saturday - Dog is sick as, well, a dog. Pukes constantly. Pees herself. I clean up and worry. Clean up and worry. Lather, rinse, repeat x6. Had planned to take Little Girlie Pup to the lake, but... Monkey Wrench. The Ol' Biddy and I hung out together on a blanket on the floor watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. (If you have insomnia, this is the cure! Still, not a bad movie...) When the pukies were over and the Biddy napped, I made up Body Fat Solution workouts A&B from earlier in the week and did a 40 minute hill climb workout on the treadmill. (Yes, it's that long of a movie. Exactly six dog pukes, six carpet cleanings, forty minutes plus two superset workouts long.) What I don't do: I don't stress eat. I don't use what's going on as an excuse to not work out. That's a win.

Sunday - I don't know what's up for today yet. I have an inkling of wanting to do another C25K workout and put W4 behind me for good. I should get up and do that before my inkling turns into a nahfuckit. If nothing else, though, I'm getting the Little Girlie Pup out to the lake. She's taken being on the back burner this week very graciously, but she really needs to burn off some energy. And I could use some sun exposure.

So, for this week: Perfect took a backseat to Good and nobody died as a result. Stay tuned next week, when Perfect beats Good up in an alley and steals her shoes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dear Ol' Biddy...

... I'm so glad you're feeling better. I wasn't ready for this to be it.


The Food Bringer and Butt Scratcher

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My old friend,

we've known each other for 8 years now. Quite a tough adjustment when you first came into my life; two strong personalities clashed, and many were the times I agonized and wondered if we were right for each other. As time went on, and we learned each other's ways, I grew to wish that I'd known you all of your life. You're fiercely loyal, you love without pretense or judgement or shame, and you would lay down your life for me. I think you know that I would do the same for you.

We've suffered the lean times together and we've grieved together, but we've had many more good times than bad. We've had walks in the park, and walks in the woods. When those weren't enough, you'd open the door while I was at work, and you'd let yourself and Gunner out to take a walk on your own. The phone call would come, from the police or the neighbors. I'd drop everything and search frantically for you, and find you trotting casually down the double yellow line of a busy road, not a care in the world: "Oh, hi. Just out for a walk. What the heck are all these cars doing behind me?"

You earned your reputation as a canine garbage can, performing (what I can only imagine were) acrobatic feats to move food from shelves and counters, and yes - even the closed refrigerator -into your bottomless pit of a gut. There were times that I couldn't even muster up the gumption to get pissed off, because it was just so... funny. Food wrappers strewn everywhere, refrigerator door still hanging open, emptied of all but lettuce, and one guilty looking pair of brown eyes staring up at me as if to say: "I know. You're mad. But it was sooooo worth it! p.s. Can you let me out now? My tummy feels a little weird."

We've held on through Addison's Disease, which almost killed you, and two cruciate repair surgeries. Now we're fighting a much bigger battle: time. I am picking up on signs that something isn't quite right; your hindquarters are damp because you're licking and worrying on that area all the time. You seem to be enjoying your naps a lot more frequently than before, and when have I ever had to coax you to eat? All subtle signs that maybe someone else wouldn't notice; but, my friend, we've been together too long for me not to notice.

Know this: I'm with you. I'm with you to the end. As long as you show me an inkling of happiness, every day is going to be yours to grab by the cojones and hang on as only you know how. You're going to eat eggs and chicken and ground beef and rice. We're going to play Tennis Ball and we're going to snuggle on the floor together. We're going to sit in the sun together. When all of that doesn't seem to make you happy any more, or the bad days greatly outnumber the good, we'll talk some more, and you'll tell me what you want me to do. Until then, the day is ours.
Love you, Ol' Biddy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dear Employer,

Apparently, we've got to go back to the ol' drawing board with the uniforms. In the past 2 weeks, I've been mistaken as:

1: A Shop N' Save employee

2: A Sunoco convenience store employee

3: A Wal-Mart employee

4: A cop

The only company I haven't been mistaken for representing is FedEx, which I find ironic, given how much our uniforms resemble theirs. I draw the line when someone asks me whether they need to pay at the pump or pay inside.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week In Review

Not my finest hour. Or series of hours.

Monday - C25K W4D1. Completed it just fine, but treadmill display is acting up.

Tuesday - Body Fat Solution Workout B

Wednesday - Slept in, then worked. Didn't do anything when I came home from work.

Thursday - Body Fat Solution Workout A

Friday - Slept in, worked 14 hours. Not motivated to work out at 10pm. Imagine that.

Saturday - I have no excuse for not working out today. Leisurely walk in the park with dog and fam.

Sunday - Again. No excuse.

So, as you can see, this wasn't the best of weeks. I had it firm in my mind if I decided to slack the entire weekend, that Monday it would be back to my regular schedule, no excuses allowed - I used them all up this week!

Tomorrow (always tomorrow, isn't it?) it's back to regularly scheduled workouts. Guess I will re-do C25K W4 since I only got one workout in. Definitely noticing that when I *don't* work out on schedule, aches and pains and fatigue creep back in quickly.

Monday. Bring it on! HOO-rah!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


A (crappy cell-phone) photo essay of all of the temptation facing us every day. This was just part of my shift yesterday. For me, this is akin to someone yelling, "NORM!!!!" at an alcoholic and buying them a round of shots on every street corner.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Holding it together. Trying, anyway.

This hasn't been the best week, exercise-wise. The display on my treadmill is taking a crap halfway through my workouts, which has made regulating my pace an annoying guessing game.

I have been ambivalent about using it until I know what's wrong with it, so as a result, I've conveniently used that as an excuse to skip two C25K workouts this week.

"Run outdoors!", you say, "Just lace up your Brooks and run outdoors!"

To that, I reply, "Feh."

If you know me at all you know I'm a treadmill sissy. I'm one of those people who can run miles on a treadmill but can't get 100 yards outdoors for some reason. That "some" reason is located squarely between my ears and covered with fake highlights. Twice this week I prepared myself for an outdoor run and twice I backed out, under the guise of needing more sleep. There's a glimmer of legitimacy to that, but I've gone without that 45 minutes of sleep before and nobody has died (that I know of, or, they were going to die anyway, and that guy I ran off the road doesn't count - he deserved it).

So, yeah. I am going to try to start running outdoors like a normal person. If I do C25K workouts Saturday and Sunday I can still finish W5 on time. That will be 3 days of running in a row. (I am buying stock in Icy-Hot on my BlackBerry even as I type that.) Still doing the Body Fat Solution workouts every other day, and I really look forward to them. I am noticing that my mid-section is re-shaping and my upper body and core are already stronger, and I am seeing definition in my quads again. I am holding planks and bird-dogs easily for 30 seconds, where I could barely hold for 20 when I started a month ago. Next up, minute-long planks and bird-dogs. Eek.

So, I guess what I'm saying is... prepare for some whining. There's going to be quite a learning curve as I attempt to leave the ranks of treadmill sissies and switch teams - as it were - and learn to be an outdoor runner.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You know your double is starting to go to hell...

...when this is the only way to keep the blood from your patient's uncontrolled bleeding head lac from overtaking the back of the truck. This is just a fraction of the bleeding - pretty much what weasled its way around the multiple pressure dressings and dripped off the back of the stretcher. There were long clots of coagulated choogie, as I like to call it, hanging from the back of the stretcher as we wheeled the guy in to the E.D. Enough to even make me gag.
You may not be able to tell from the above picture, but that actually tells one quite a bit about the benevolence and empathy of the attending medic (moi!) Wasn't that nice of me to try and contain the mess a bit to minimize my partner's clean-up nightmare? Yeah, I thought so too.
So.. the bleeding head wound above: I had a guy, wearing no protective gear, wreck his motorcycle on the highway at 60mph today, and he wasn't bleeding anywhere near like this guy. Life just ain't fair sometimes.
Other highlights of the day:
  • Intubating someone I went to school with (Pretty sure pizza and heroin was his last meal, if you're interested)
  • EJ on same guy
  • Other medic hurt his knee on a call to the point he can barely bear weight. No sleepy sleepy for me
  • Did I mention I smell like puke now?

This is what I get for having the hubris to put the kayak on my car in anticipation of getting off shift at 8am.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Not an ounce of guilt

(sing it with me!) It's the most WONderful tiiiiime, of the monnnnnnth...

Ok, so any males who cross my path may not understand, but ANY woman knows what it means when another woman orders a combination of chocolately chocolate, salty/sweet peanut butter, topped off with brownies and - what else? - more chocolate! And they give that woman whatever she wants. Because they feel her pain, and they know that when they finish that last pill in their little blister pack, they'll be on the prowl for some similarly gross combo.

Used to be, something like this would be the beginning of a setback that could last a week, but more likely could screw with me for close to a month. I'd think to myself, "Well, the day is blown to hell now, why not get a Big Mac and fries on the way home while you're indulging?" I'd skip the next day's workout, give myself a pass the following day, and wake up 6 months later and 20lbs heavier.

What happened on this day was, however, eerily different. In a good way, though. I enjoyed every salty, chocolatey bite of this overly rich and sweet treat. It was just what I had been craving and I had my fill of it. When I was done, sure, some of those old thoughts crept into the back of my mind, but they were fleeting. I went home and worked out for an hour. Not at all out of a sense of guilt, but because that's what was on my schedule. More importantly, I wanted to have time for Sunday morning indulgence I had been looking forward to: A leisurely hour before work, drinking steaming hot fresh coffee and savoring the Sunday paper.

My, how my tastes have stayed the same.. and my, how my tastes have changed.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Handling disappointment

It used to be so easy; hit the CoGo's. Spend $10 on sun chips, fudge rounds, strawberry milk and pepperoni rolls. Eat on the way home to the point of uncomfortable fullness, but stopping just short of the nasty pukies. Grab some Tums on the way in for the inevitable reflux and pass out. Disappointment = handled. Dealt with. Put in its place.

That was the past.

These days, I don't quite know what to do with myself. It's a very uncomfortable sensation, to have all of these feelings swirling around that I now have to (here's a novel concept:) deal with, instead of numb and push away with junk food.

So, there I found myself yesterday, mulling over this stuff all day, since that is now what I do instead of consuming half a package of Oreos in a sitting. Friday, the third of three days off in a row, during our kid-free week. The weather, which had been way too cool to be called summer if you're not in the Pacific Northwest, was finally cooperating. Hot and sunny. We spoke of grand plans: Camping, jetskiing around downtown, going out to a movie that wasn't rated G or PG. What did we end up doing? Painting the kid's room and furniture and building a corner cabinet to match the new bed. It was one of those projects that you look at and delude yourself:
Painting: 2 hours
Furniture painting: 1 hour
Cabinet building: 2 hours
Cabinet painting: 1 hour
Putting the room back together: 1 hour

What really happened:
Cleaning out the room: Oooops! Forgot to take this into account. Couple hours.
Painting: 2 days, the second day finishing up at 3am... so, almost 3 days. Fucking hot pink paint took 3 coats.
Furniture painting: Priming it alone took 3 hours. Complicated by the fact that the first tray of paint got crumby crap in it and I had to dump it out and start over... and had to re-sand and re-prime the drawer that got all crumbed up.
Cabinet building: 2 days
Cabinet painting: 2 hours to prime, with 2 people working on it. (It's beautiful, though. If Dan ever wants to quit his day job, he could build furniture for a living.)
Final coat of paint for all furniture and newly-built cabinet: Has yet to happen, but it took us an hour last night to set up the gazebo tent and clothespin plastic "walls" to it, so that Dan can use his commercial paint sprayer to finish off the furniture.
Putting the room back together: Scheduled for 10pm tonight, after a 12 hour shift at work.

So, yeah. A disappointing way to spend hot, sunny days when you had other things in mind. Dan encouraged me to get out and do what I wanted outdoors. However, I'm a team player. I can't enjoy leisure time if my teammate is busting his ass on a project I could be helping with. I was ok Wednesday. It rained half the day and we had set the day aside to get stuff done. When Thursday night rolled around and it became apparent we'd be still working into the wee hours, I wrote that day off too. Friday, I showed up dutifully, hanging on to a shred of hope. The dog paced the house and yard, stopping to sit and stare hopefully at me, "Going somewhere? We going somewhere? Huh? Huh?" Pent-up. I know just how she felt.

The day wore on, frustrating setbacks happened. It again became apparent that this was going to be an all-work-and-no-play day. I yelled at the dog. I snapped at Dan. I threw a paint brush. All the while, I could have been using one of two of my other coping mechanisms: Eating, or expressing what was wrong. I opted for the latter. He admitted the kid-free week ended up kind of a big disappointment. Magically, with that out in the open, the stressors of the entire three days melted away. I felt like we were on the same team again.

Moral of the story: It's really hard and it sucks to deal with your feelings. But, it doesn't give you the guilt, nausea and heartburn of Oreos.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have a dream.

It's not a dream for world peace, or universal healthcare (though, yeah, that would be great), or the end as we know it of assholery, fatrocities and rubbernecking (the trifecta of EMS annoyances).


My dream is simple.

My dream is this:
My alarm goes off, or I wake up. I actually get right up, without procrastinating, complaining, making excuses or otherwise delaying the inevitable. I put my workout clothes on and I work out. I don't check Facebook Mobile before I get up. I don't text anyone. I don't look at I don't try and figure out when, later in the day, I could maybe fit this workout in. I don't waste 20 minutes chasing around a stubborn chin hair with my ineffective tweezers. I don't lie there and think, "Hmmm. Maybe I should vacuum first."
I just get up and do it.

If I said it was getting easier every day, I'd be a liar. However, it's still getting done, so that's something.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Grace is all I'm asking
When will Grace return?
Grace is all I'm asking

That was the theme of the final vigil held for the women brutally murdered last Tuesday at LA Fitness in Collier Township. The resilience of those who were injured, of the responders, of the community.
Myself, I prefer grace.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week in Review

Wow. What a week. Work-wise, I don't think it could get more stressful than the last 7 days. I'm really glad to have had a solid week of eating and exercise under my belt to keep me on an even keel, and able to deal with it all without - for the most part - resorting to food or sloth for comfort.


Monday - C25K W2D1 - love the Podrunner intervals. LOVE.
Tue - BFS workout B - had half a donut at Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Given what we'd all been though, and 2 tables-worth full of cake, pie and donuts spread out at the Fire Department, I think that's getting off pretty cheap.
Wed - I didn't do anything. I was up until 2am processing the events of the night before and could barely drag my ass out of bed.
Thurs - BFS workout A (wanted to make up the missed run, but I didn't leave myself enough time - that's what Sunday is for)
Fri - C25K W2D2
Sat - BFS workout B and C25K W2D3, making up the workout I skipped Wednesday. Couple miles on the bike, but they were verrrrry slow miles, doing my best to stay in formation in a parade.
Sun - Grab bag day! I don't have anything planned. I'd like to get the dog out for a walk. Maybe I'll ride my bike to Dan's again, just to prove the first time wasn't a fluke. Of course it's supposed to finally hit 90* here today, so maybe not.

The week's victories:

  • Eating half a donut may not seem to be a victory when one is going for optimum health and fitness. Putting it in perspective, eating just half a donut - while processing the carnage I saw Tuesday night and having easily the most ass-pucker-inducing call of my career - half a donut of the 2 tables full of donuts, cakes and pies available to us for the comfort-eating.. I'm calling it a win.
  • It was so difficult to get up Thursday and Friday mornings and get the workout in before work. But I did it. You should see the advanced mathematics that take place in my brain when the alarm goes off, and I have to calculate just how many more minutes I can doze (subtracting the 11 minutes that my clock is set ahead to "fool" me) and still get a workout in and make it to work on time. I almost talked myself out of getting out of bed Wednesday, telling myself I'd work out when I got home from work. Right. 12 hours of work and I'm going to work out when I get home? That got me out of bed. Same for Friday. Win.
  • Q. - What's even harder than getting out of bed to work out before work? A. - Getting out of bed to work out when you don't have to go to work. Lack of structure really does a number on my motivation, but I didn't let it stop me this weekend. Win.
  • Week 2 of C25K down. Win.
  • I planned my eating well this week. Big win.
  • Many long visits by my Unmotivated Self have been preceded by just one day like Wednesday, in which I had a semi-legit reason to sleep in and skip my workout. One day turns into two, then 3, then before you know it, six months have gone by because I needed an extra hour of sleep the one day. However, as hard as it was, I got up Thursday, literally bargained and forced myself out of bed, and kept the momentum going. Huge win.
  • GruntDoc, one of my favorite bloggers, featured one of my posts on his blog. Icing on the cake.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My personal fuck-you to George

You know, Crazy George, as he playfully referred to himself. George, who hated women because he couldn't communicate with them. George, who apparently flew cross-country to take a dating seminar from models, but showed no evidence of asking for help for his personality disorder, other than some Google searches.

Dan and I had been talking about joining that particular LA Fitness for a couple of months. We were just waiting until the end of August and the start of school, so that he would have more time. My best friend and her husband belong there. The big draw for me is a pool, and operating hours that would allow me to swim laps before and after work, and the possibility of being able to take Yoga classes again. As fate would have it, the first time I would walk through the doors to that facility would be the night that George decided to exact revenge upon total strangers. I was hoping my first tour of the place would be under different circumstances.

Obviously after last Tuesday night, our plan to join will take some reflection and thought. I don't even know if the gym will re-open, and if LA Fitness decided to bulldoze the location and build a memorial out of respect for the 3 beautiful women who were cut down there, in their prime, I would understand and support that 100%.

However, I have firmly decided that if LA Fitness decides to keep that location open, I'm going to be one of the first to walk back into those doors. Once the vigils have been held, and the candles, flowers and heartfelt sentiments of a shell-shocked quiet community have been cleared away, if those doors open for business again, I'll be there. I don't know if Dan will do the same. Of course, he would not have been targeted by this coward had he been there, anyway.

For all of those beautiful girls and women who thought they were just going to work out and then go home that night, for the two women I had to pronounce deceased, for the woman who survived the horrific massacre but can't have the lights off in her own home now, for my patient, who asked me if she was going to die, for all of the survivors, and for all of those suffering without their loved one, and for myself: The first place I'm going to go is back to that aerobics room. I'm going to stay there for as long as I can stand to, and I'm going to say a little prayer for those who died. Not being a praying person, I don't know what I will say, but it will be heartfelt. Then, I'm going to walk over to the spot where George committed his last cowardly act, ending his own life, and I'm going to spit on it and tell him, "Fuck You." That will also be heartfelt.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dear Future Unmotivated Self

This is your Motivated Self talking. I know that you're taking a vacation, and for that I am thankful. Feel free to extend that vacation longer, I know that you have had quite a busy year, undoing any progress that I have busted ass to accomplish. Kick back. Grab a beer. Put your feet up - hey, that's what you do best, right? That's what you'd like me to do.

In case you do decide to suddenly cut your trip short and walk back in like you never left - because, like a shiftless lover coming back to beg for a second chance, that's what you do - there are things I want you to remember:
  • You are worth it. Let me repeat that. YOU ARE WORTH IT. There is nothing that can't wait until you've treated your Self right with the movement and activity that you know our body craves. (Unless the house is on fire; then get out quickly, grab the dog, bike, and hard drive, and run around like an idiot outside the burning structure, and count that as exercise.)
  • It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you actually exercise when you're least motivated - first thing in the morning for both of us, right? - you become motivated, and feel great the entire day afterward. Put the workout clothes on and get started before you do anything (ok, maybe not before you pee). Don't give yourself time to make excuses. Excuses hang over your head and color your actions negatively for the rest of the day. You know as well as I do you have a tendency to work harder wasting time on excuses than at just working it out. If it makes you feel better, talk over your excuses with your Self, as you're getting your sweat on. See how trivial they sound then.
  • Don't you love that feeling? That feeling of checking that all-important task off the list, even before coffee and breakfast? Of burning off breakfast before you even eat it?
  • How great would it be, to walk into any clothing store and know, without a doubt, that they'll have the pretty clothes in your size. Whatever that size ends up being, if you continue to exercise and eat reasonably, it certainly won't be the the sparse selection of "hey, let's dress the fat girl funny!" stuff in the Plus Size section. Nope, you'll be able to walk up to every rack, plucking off size 10 pants and medium tops until the wheels on your poor Kohl's cart collapse from the strain. Better than your hips and knees collapsing from the strain of carrying around 60 extra lbs, any day!
  • Isn't it great to have a spring in our step going into the day? Money in our pocket because we're not spending it on tons of fake (but, admittedly, tasty) food that will only make us tired, achy, and bloated. Clothes that are fitting more loosely every day? Energy? Remember energy? And falling asleep at night moments after our head hits the pillow...
  • This is not just for today. This is for every day. This is for life. This is because you're going to be that 80 year-old riding her bike and playing tag with the grandkids; wrestling with German Shepherds and my 85 year old husband (who will still be a hottie!), nary a hip fracture in sight.

So, Unmotivated Self, sorry to say: If you decide to return, you will arrive at your former home and realize that the locks have been changed and the guard dogs are onto your scent. Try to return at your own peril.

Motivated Self is rockin' it! Motivated Self has realized there are some truths to making this a permanent lifestyle change:

  • Gotta have a plan. Your plan for summer may not be the same as your plan for winter. I found this out the hard way. Plan your workout, but also plan what you're going to be eating and when.
  • Get it done first. Before anything else. (This may not apply to you, but it does to me.)
  • Have workout clothes, down to socks and undies, set out the night before. Or have gym bag packed. Leave nothing to chance.
  • Something is better than nothing. Not every workout has to be perfect or better than the last. (Thank you, Susan Blech, for that. You have no idea how much this has changed my perspective.)
  • Go to bed early so there is no room for excuses in the morning.
  • Stop hitting snooze. It's not real sleep if you're anticipating that alarm every 5 minutes for an hour. You always feel better if you just get up and do it.

So, Unmotivated Self, as you can see, you're not welcome back here. Whatever couch you're occupying in whatever part of the world, go ahead and stay there. Hit the drive-thru, grab a pint of ice cream on your way there, and eat yourself into a coma. And stay in that coma. Just stay far away from me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I've gone 16 years without having to respond to a mass shooting.

I could have finished out my career without ever having done so, and I would have retired a happy person. Once again, an apparent coward with a chip on his shoulder has decided to play judge, jury and executioner to many people who never even knew he existed. Lives were taken, and lives were forever changed.

As this occurred in the township adjacent to the one in which I work, our EMS service responded, triaging, treating and transporting patients. Triage is particularly difficult when you are staring into the pale, lifeless face of somebody your age or younger - knowing in your heart of hearts that you could do everything your scope of practice, knowledge base and years of experience allow you to do, yet it wouldn't help. That in doing so, it would prevent you from helping others... so you leave them where they lay. These were mothers. Sisters. In-laws. Somebody's child. Lean and fit, dressed for a workout, and now lying in large pools of coagulating blood on a shiny wooden floor; eyes devoid of any inkling of life or soul or that which made them the unique women they must have been.

I am heartened by the teamwork I saw between EMS, Fire, and Police entities who set aside all politics and got the job done, as one Facebook friend noted, with valor.

Monday, August 3, 2009

This, my friends...

... this is what I have to contend with several times a day at work. This is provided by the hospital to which I bring patients slowly dying of heart disease, diabetes, cancer - you name it. Maybe they're trying to drum up future business?
I know what you're thinking: Just avoid it! That would be great, except I have to go into this room and walk past this stuff to replace what I've used on the last call. Most of the medic rooms are set up this way. Most times, I can walk past it. But, like everyone, I have my weak moments. My partner annoys me - and when this happens it's for 2 grueling weeks at a time. I'm tired. I am actually hungry, but don't have a Kashi bar or bag of almonds or an apple with me (my fault).
They try. Every once in a while, there's yogurt in the little fridge. HFCS-laden yogurt that I won't touch. Isn't that funny? I won't eat the yogurt because it has HFCS, but I'll eat the 700 calorie cookies.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Week in Review

The planets aligned, the clouds parted, I had a mind/body-meld, and I started working out Tuesday. Not just working out, but working out with a plan. Some people could be trusted to just wake up every day and say, "Hmmm. I think I'll bike today." Or, "Good day to run!" Or, "I'm going to wail on my pecs and then do my back." True, I say all these things to myself, but I can't be trusted to actually follow through. Not without a plan.

So, the plan is this:

M/W/F - Couch to 5k workouts, starting from the beginning. I am probably in good enough shape to start at least halfway through, but I've made that mistake before; I'm going to take it from the beginning and not overwhelm myself like I've done in the past.

T/Th/Sa - The Body Fat Solution workout. Supersets of dumbbell and body-weight exercises.

Sunday - Grab-bag day! (fake enthusiasm) At least 30 minutes of something. It could be yoga, or Wii Fit, or biking, or a walk with the dog. Sunday is my day of non-structure and rebellion. Everyone needs a little rebellion in their lives. (I need a lot, but I'll take Sunday for starters.)

Recap of the week:

Tue - BFS workout A
Wed - C25K W1D1
Thurs - BFS workout B - rode bike 10.8ish hilly miles as a bonus, a personal victory because I've been saying for years now that I should ride my bike to Dan's instead of drive.
Fri - C25K W1D2
Sat - was supposed to be BFS workout A - too lazy in the morning and too tired after work
Sun - C25k W1D3 and BFS workout A (handy to have a catch-up day!)
Not bad.

Eating has been good except for the donut I inhaled yesterday morning, standing in the corner of the medic room, willing the door to stay shut and nobody to walk in and see me stuffing it in my face. This was followed by 2-pack of cookies in another medic room later that day; didn't even bother hiding it this time. Then the second-most-obese guy I work with left Hershey Kisses lying around. There was a feeding frenzy involving the entire on-duty staff. By dinnertime I had somehow justified that a BFL-type "free day" was now in the works (as opposed to the 90% compliance guideline I'd been trying to follow) and had some general tso's, which only served to push me to all-the-way comatose. I had been halfway there most of the day, having gotten up at 4:45am. Tired + annoyed = don't give a shit what I eat. So, in general, Saturday was not a great day, but it was just one day.

Here's to a good start!