Friday, December 9, 2011

Super fabulous self care morning

This morning has just been perfect. I woke up fairly on timeso I could pack my morning off with self care to dos.

First up, a long  walk with Bryce and her soccer ball. We both enjoyed the sunshine, leaves and brisk weather while Bruce also enjoyed running about like a mad thing!

Next, three miles on the treadmill for me followed by a good stretch and a long hot shower.  Felt sooooo good after this routine!

Then a date with myself at Sugar for brunch. In addition to enjoying my egg biscuit and homefries, I paid my bills (blessed be smart phones!) and  smiled a lot while writing a few christmas cards.

After, a stop by the post office to send some holiday cheer  before heading to the car wash. Armed wth quarters, armour all and a car wash coupon, I spent 30 blissful minutes car cleaning. Cost of car vac: $3.50.  Clean car satisfaction: priceless.

And now I'm home with 50mins to finish packing before I head to pick up the wife, dog in tow, for a friend-filled winter wonderland weekend (read tree trimming, cookie decorating,  black and white christmas movies, shared meals,  and holiday shopping). Fun fun fun!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Final four

Nov 27: I am thankful for traditions- like tree shopping and decorating, cookie making, family dinners and post-munch walks, holiday games, cheers and toasts. I love them all!

Nov 28: I am thankful for the mentors and guides who have been a part of my life: Mrs. Malkin, the teacher who reassured me that loving books and reading was nerdy AND fabulous. My nana whose loving patience still encourages me to calm my tongue and temper. Toni, whose affirmations, gentle challenges, wisdom and bawdy humor lights me to go further- in spiritual searching, social/political deconstruction, community building, and self care. My parents who root me in the ground and remind me thatbeing myself is a great thing and that family is priceless.

Nov 29: I am thankful for groupon and my kickboxing classes. For my wife who encouraged me to go to class even with a headache. For the instructor who corrected my form and praised my efforts. For the  awesome power of sweat and effort and release.

Nov 30: I am thankful for taking this last month to reflect on my blessings. I am reminded of the kindness that the universe has shared with me and that it is necessary that I take the time to appreciate all the outcomes of that kindness in my life. This is an exercise I'll carry with me and hope to mindfully continue.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post- thanksgiving thanks

Nov 25: I'm thankful that my wife encourages me to go running. I'm also thankful that I can set out for a 2 mile run yet end up on a 3.5 mile outing and enjoy it. Thank you legs and wife and consistent training.

Nov 26: I'm thankful for all of the varied personalities that are my nieces and nephews. From the loud and lovely L6 clan to my favorite two Worrels, my little lovebug Mackenzie and those I've yet to meet. Their jokes, laughter, pouty insistence, cuddles, serious talks and crazy face running spurts fill my heart. And their varied art, dance, theater, music and athletic interests keep us all busy. Love and thanks for getting to be an aunty.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Morning thanks

I an thankful for morning cuddles and giggles. Fabulous thanksgiving wake-up :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Catching up on thanks

Nov 21: I am thankful for quick and painless shopping excursions. And for salespeople who can adeptly tell you where things are in huge box stores like bed, bath and beyond. Makes late monday night sheet shopping so much more pleasurable.

Nov 22: I am thankful for our new bed and a good night's sleep :)

Nov 23: I am thankful for the peace of mind that comes with a 4 mile run. I'm thankful that I pushed myself down the stairs to go on that run and that I was able to clear my mind and enjoy it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nov 19+ 20th

Nov 19: I am thankful for Saturdays in Boston that feel like Saturdays in Maine- slow. With lots of naps.

Nov 20: I'm thankful that my wife and I think similarly and can happily negotiate our way through large decisions- like buying a new mattress and bed. I'm also thankful that while we're watching pennies, that we have the capacity to buy said mattress and bed. And, I'm preemptively thankful for the good nights of sleep that will arrive with the new mattress... no more 3am wake-up and morning back pain!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nov 17th + 18th

Nov 17: I am thankful for my sense of humor. Whether it be sarcastic, witty or just plain goofy, laughter is an essential part of my life.

Nov 18: I am thankful for my mom-in-law. She has become, over the past 4 years, a good friend as well as a supportive second mom figure. I love our chats and walks, having her in my home and visiting hers. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heartfelt thanks...

Today I have to pay homage to my heart. I've been thinking about the power and vulnerabilities of hearts a lot this year- with my mother-in-law, father and mother all having varying levels of heart problems/scares.

Today, after a terrible night's sleep and waking feeling exhausted, I took a day off to get myself on the right schedule before work's long days come looming. Aside from the 90minutes of "extra" sleep I had this morning, the most recuperative thing I've done today is to hop on the treadmill for a run. I decided to go for 3 miles at a steady 12.0mph. Nothing fancy. By the time I hit mile 2 my heart was pounding and I was focused on finding a steady rhythm for my breathing. In 3 counts, out 2 counts. Nope- not working. In two counts, out two counts. My heart rate quickened. In two counts, out one hard puff. Not quite right. Between miles 2 and 3 I struggled to figure out my breathing and my heart kept pounding along. And then something happened- I hit mile 3 and I kept going. And, in that moment, I smiled, my breathing slowed, and my heart (still pounding) became less frantic in its effort.

After 49 minutes and 4 miles finished, I took a slow 3 minute cool down. At my peak rate, my heart was about 168 beats per minute. Within no time I'd cooled down to 85 beats per minute and it just kept falling...

While stretching, I thought about my heart. There was something magical in paying attention to all the hard work my heart had done in that total 52 minutes of aerobic activity. I was proud of my heart. I was thankful for my heart. I felt protective of my heart- determined to take care of it so I could keep enjoying all of the activities that my heart helps me do. And, so I can continue to try new activities that push me and my heart further.

So thank you to every piece of that muscle tissue and fiber that makes up my heart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanks for Nov 14th & 15th

Nov 14: I am thankful for days spent playing like a kid whether that's coloring and painting with my niecelet, running madly down the parkway with my pup, exploring the world as a member of an 8-year old's rock band or a rolling in snow and jumping in leaves.

Nov 15: I am thankful for music. I'm thankful for the rocking and tapping that takes over my body whether listening to bluegrass, rock, country, classical, blues, jazz, electronica, folk or reggae. Thank you to all of the musicians out there :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Today I'm thankful for



Nov 11: I am thankful that I have the capacity to visit my family consistently throughout the year. It makes living apart so much easier.

Nov 12: I am so thankful for family traditions. Not just the formal get togethers but the smaller created traditions- the daddy-daughter pre-christmas shopping trips, family walks and feeding the ducks, afternoon tea with mum, coffee  cake with Elaine on the porch in Maine, Friday night red wine and chinese food dates with my wife, Winter Wonderland movie nights with Kim & Sheila. I love the people, the memories, the fun and I'm thankful for all of it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful for a little person...

I am so lucky that I get to be the recipient of unadulterated smiles. My niece Mackenzie (almost 3yrs old) and I only see eachother every 3-4 months and yet upon every first moment of our greeting she lights up like a christmas tree. And, in response my heart both swells and breaks simultaneously. I am blessed to witness that happiness and experience the sweet joy that comes with her every hello. My thanks to the Universe (and Mackenzie) for letting me know such love.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9 thanks...

I am thankful for the all the little moments of beauty. Today while walking to the T (headed on a trip to see my family-hurrah!) I was struck by the blazing beauty of autumnal trees lining the walkway. Their bright oranges, deep reds and golden yellows delighted my eyes (especially set against the blue sky of today). I paused to snap a pic before intentionally crunching and swooshing through fallen piles of brittle color. Took a pic of the subject of that unadulterated pleasure  before continuing happily along my way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dog love

Today I want to say thank you to Bryce. For those of you haven't met her, Bryce is my 5 year old german shepherd mix. This love of my life was introduced to me in February 2004. She was a cute bundle of fur that fit in my hand. During our first year together my primary care doctor found a mass in my throat. As I anxiously awaited surgery and cancer diagnosis, many days Bryce was the only thing that got me out of bed.

Her puppy energy led me to begin running, which in turn reduced my anxiety. Her playful antics and love of soccer kept me smiling.  And, at night, when I was most vulnerable, she curled up with me on the bed.

It wasn't all easy. She was demanding- a true alpha who didn't respond to treats, cuddles or toys while training. Some days, I was too tired to manage alone.

Thankfully, many wonderful folks pitched in. My special thanks goes to friends Ashley and Kat for their support and walking skills :)  And to my then girlfriend, now wife, Heather who invited Bryce into her home, walked her in the mornings to the Starbucks to get me coffee, took her away a few weekends so I could rest and unwind, and learned to love her (despite not naturally loving dogs).

I also met Mindy and Erin, the best dog walkers that exist on this planet (in my very humble opinion). Their thoughtful care of Bryce and their support of me when I couldn't pay the normal rate due to medical bills was beyond comparison. I am so grateful to them.

Today Bryce and I take a morning walk along the parkway. She is the best friend a woman could have- serious, playful, demanding, caring. She is in tune with my needs and isn't afraid to remind me of hers.

As I walk her in the morning sun, soccer ball flying between us, it's impossible not to feel deep happiness, love and grace. I am so thankful for her place in my life and the gifts she has given me along the way.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful in the 'hood

I am thankful for my neighborhood. Walking my dog late last night I passed a front lawn strewn with little kid bikes and thought, "yeah, theft is low here". And then a woman power walked past me and I realized that I too feel safe being out in the dark evening alone. As I walked past my neighbors and fellow dog owners' homes I realized how lucky I am to live near a greenway for walking Bryce. That I get to chat with so many folks each day while I'm out on my walks. That this neighborhood fits me perfectly. I am thankful for my neighborhood.

Thanks for Nov 5th + 6th

Nov 5th: I am truly thankful for my wife Heather.   While we've been together only 4 1/2 years, she's loved me through sickness and health already. I am thankful for her patience and playfulness, for the little things (like the tea or coffee she brings me every morning), and the experiences we  share. I am thankful that she had finds me attractive despite my pants size (has loved me 20lbs heavier and 10lbs lighter than I am today). I am glad to have found a best friend a well as a partner, cheerleader, coach and companion. I love you H.

Nov 6th: I am thankful for the community of family, family friends, friends and colleagues who support my wife and I in our relationship. Your recognition and celebration of our marriage, which we are able to enjoy as residents of a state that recognizes gay marriage, means so much to me. Thank you for your  active presence in our lives.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday is a friend-filled day

I am thankful for my friends. Those I see twice a year, those who live in our neighborhoods, and those my wife and I get to visit when passing through or on destination (e.g. winter wonderland) weekends.

My dear friends know my fears and histories, joys and challenges. I hold each of their gifts and stories and the memories we have together dear. They carry me through.

To all my friends, and especially to my besties (Em, Deb, Sheila and Kim) thank you. I love you all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanks: Day 3

Nov 3: I am thankful for my brother- who has always been my best friend (even through rough years). Thank you for being my active ear and silent shoulder, for teaching me new skills and old lessons. Thank you for driving my car to Boston and for driving me to and from the airport. Thank you for sharing stories over cold beers and for avoiding the topics we know turn into arguments. Thank you for being a brother every  sister would be lucky to have and for fostering a relationship any sibling would benefit from. I love you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


On a blog that I've recently started following, the author is taking on 30 days of expressing her thankfulness in this month of November and Thanksgiving.

This year has been a ride, and I admit that I've not been as thankful as I should have been to the Universe for all of the people, experiences, places, things and beings that surround me and fill my life.

And, just as I need to focus more care on my Self, I also need to focus more energy to acknowledging and appreciating all of those blessings around me.

So, here are my first two posts for Nov 1st and 2nd.

1. I am thankful for my mother. For having me and raising me. For becoming my friend. For sharing cups of tea with me across kitchen tables. For fixing my kitchen table and building me side tables. For taking her time (and often time off work) to build our relationship. For trusting me to support her and challenge her. I love you mum.

2. I am thankful for my father. For raising me and teaching me. For letting me (still) curl up next to him when I need to. For showing me patience. For pushing me to push myself. For becoming my friend. For taking me on daddy-dates and teaching me (over and over again) how to golf. I love you dad.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Waiting rooms

I've gotten comfortable being in waiting rooms over the past few years. Granted, it was a rocky start in 2007 as I anxiously awaited testing and diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Since that time I visit the clinical center at least twice a year for ultrasounds (soon to decrease in frequency) and twice a year to visit my endocrinologist. I see my PCP for preventive care once yearly. And, because of the stomach and sinus problems I've been in urgent care and/or specialist offices at least 2-3 times annually.

It's been a ride over past few years, but I've been lucky to have access to insurance, a good care team, and family/friends who are supportive. I've changed a lot of my habits to live healthier and I'm mindful of changes in my body.

Waiting rooms remind me that I'm lucky. While I'm waiting, I watch folks who are arriving-unsure-and my heart goes out to them. I hope they leave radiology today with less to worry about.

As for me, today l'll thank Mike (the radiologist) for taking care of me and sending me home just as calmly as I arrived.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ease and errands

Today I'm taking a flex day off work for ease and errands. For errands, I've already had a medical appointment, picked up meds for my puppy and visited the chiropractor. For ease, I've enjoyed a leisurely breakfast treat at City Feed and am headed downtown to H&M and DSM for a little shopping fun. Then I'll head to the dentist before enjoying a leisurely walk and soccer ball time with my pup. 

Tonight the wife and I are planning to clean up the house (it currently looks like a tornado hit it) and share a favorite meal of vietnamese tofu lettuce wraps

It's a balanced day- not completely self indulgent but a good start to a weekend of "want tos" and "to dos". On the list: hiking with Bryce, running, vegan fare before jazz and drinks, prospect research,  professional development, baking and gardening. A lot to pack into 2 days but a good blend of activities. Ease and errands...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Historical perspective

It's not an infrequent happening that I find myself feeling stuck in the immobility of the moment. I've been on my current WW journey for over 6.5 years now and while most days I'm glad to be journeying slowly, I find myself wrestling with the same old feelings and thoughts. "You're fat." "You'll never be pretty." "Why bother?" "You run?! What a laugh." "Nothing fits right." "This is hopeless." There are thousands of critical snippets I could list.

In the midst of these thoughts, I try to remember who I once was and celebrate who I now am. And, recently, I found a few photographic reminders to buoy me up. When I was reaching my heaviest I avoided the camera as much as I avoided the mirror. If I couldn't see the problem, I didn't need to admit that it existed.

Well, the four photos included below are a testament to my once-upon-a-time-big-lass. Two were taken around August 2004, I had shorter hair at that point. The other two are taken less than a month before I joined WW in January 2005. I've mentioned this before but for those new to my journey, when I joined WW at that time I was 248.6lbs- a truly big lass.

The photos are grainy as I could only find printed versions that I've scanned and cropped, but the perspective they give is crystal clear. That was then. Bigger. Slower. Unhealthier. This is now. Healthier. Lighter. Fitter. And, most importantly, happier.

Today, I'm over 75lbs lighter than I was then. I'm hoping to reach my goal and to be 95lbs lighter by my thirtieth birthday in April 2013. And, now that this post is here complete with pictures, I've got a few solid reminders that while I may feel immobile in the moment, over time I'm making a significant change.

Monday, August 29, 2011

BBQ & running shoes

Since college I've wanted to run the Country's BBQ 5k in Columbus, GA. The event round off a week of charity sports events benefiting local charities that support the blind.

The first time I attended the event I was cheering for my brother's in-laws while drinking beer with him, his wife and one if her sisters. I was significantly heavier at the time and couldn't dream  of running in a race-but I wanted to.

The Country's run is a huge block party. Along the route folks are tailgating and laughing (one house had a love band!). It makes the run go quickly and the midnight hour feel like you're celebrating late. It's definitely a must for anyone visiting Columbus in late August.

This year I finally did it. My wife, brother, sister-in-law,  her dad and my dad all signed up this year. The boys walked, my sis-in-law and I ran-walked and my wife ran it. While u entered the race for me originally, it became much more then that. I got to connect with my sis-in-law and feel accomplished setting the pace. I was able to bond with my family, and (most importantly) I was able to encourage my dad to do something new and exciting.

I am so proud of my dad for signing up and doing the race. He just had heart surgery 3 months ago and you wouldn't have known out except for his t-short proclaiming his C.A.B.G status. It was his first race and I think he's caught the bug now! I'm going so as I'd love to do races with him :) So I've offered to fly down to do the Celebrity Classic in April 2012 (another 5k). I hope he takes me up on it!.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Been a long time

It's been a while since my last blog entry and much has been going on.

Work has officially kicked my rear for the past three weeks. I returned from a few days down Maine to inter-agency politicking and a high  stress community forum. Not fun. Then we  decided to redo our  current website in a 6-8 week period. I became project manager and all our content had to be written and approved within 2 weeks. 2 weeks. While editing a new curriculum and feeling with all the other day to day crazy.

I worked this weekend on the car to New York- 4 goes there and sadl with printouts,a red pen, and a laptop. I've pulled two almost 12 hour days in the last 48 hours and am pooped. But the text is basically written and approved. Phew!

I've been leeping same with a 3-4 day a week running regimen and have gotten up to 5 miles on my long runs.  Only bummer is that my hip went put of line agsin (same issue that sent me to physical therapy last year after I developed runner's knee-subtext: inflamed and painful). So I figured out that I was hurting and got to the chiropractor. Have to go ove a well for a month, wear a brace while running, ice after runs,and take ibuprofen when necessary. Am also going to start some hip strengthening exercises because I apparently need them.

So I've stayed within 2lbs of my pre-summer weight, which is good as I've not been tracking and have been eating and drinking lots of treats. We've got one more holiday and then beginning September 6th I'm bsck on weight watchers with a vengeance. I could still hit goal by January 2012 and that's a fun goal.

So, now to relaxing , a little running (doing a midnight 5k run this saturday), swimming, cavorting and rejuvenating. Will try to blog some this weekand get on a regular schedule again this fall.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

10k ready: Day 1 success!

Just a quickie to note today's running. I woke up with my mind set on a rest day with a long run tomorrow, then realized that we've plans upon plans for most of Sunday.

So I readjusted my mindset and schedule today and hopped on the  treadmill around noon. The  SmartCoach plan sets Saturdays as long run days. Today was logged for 4 miles.

I took a 6min run, 2min walk tactic to ensure success for my first 4 miler of the year. After 52 mins I finished the 4, ending  after cooldown at 4.3 miles in 55mins total.

Lesson: A goal & thoughtful tactics & a smile along the way = success!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Savoring Summer: Plum Island and BHH Movies by Moonlight

New England offers countless delights for locals and visitors in the summertime. This summer, Heather and I have planned alternating weekends home (Boston) and away (Maine) so as to maximize the summertime fun. As we're seeing and doing new things, we've committed to writing a travel diary (old school notebook style) with photos, directions, highlights and hints so that we can add and reflect back in later years.

As part of that endeavor, I'm personally committing to sharing these experiences through A big lass weighs in... While this blog is mostly about my commitments to and challenges with weight, health and fitness, I've slowly realized that maintaining a balance of work and play is essential for my mental, emotional, social and physical well-being. So, each week for the rest of the summer you can expect to see a "Savoring Summer" post highlighting one or two of our recent fair weather enjoyments.

Week 1: Plum Island and Movies by Moonlight

Plum Island
Heather and I laced up last week for a trip to Plum Island near Newburyport, MA. The purpose of the trip was three-fold: 1- Enjoy a shoreline cycle, 2- Enjoy the beach, and 3- Get out of town! We were successful on all of the above; although learned some tips for a next visit!

Our good friend Ruth, an avid Plum Island visitor, advised us to park in the neighborhoods just north of Newburyport town center. This both ensures free parking (always a plus) but also lengthens the short ride between Newburyport and Plus Island (another plus).

The cycling through Newburyport and out to Plum Island is delightful. The views are lovely and the roads are gentle- I only wished there was more distance! Round-trip to the island + toodling around the island we biked a total of 13miles or so.

Once on Plum Island we explored a little and snapped a couple of photos of the island fixer-uppers (most of the homes are in very good shape) before heading to the beach. The water and beach were lovely. Pointers we learned: 1- Bring bug spray as the sand flies are vicious, 2- Pack snacks. There are few places to pick anything up. 3- Wear bathing suit under shorts and bike out ready to go. Otherwise you risk having to change in a porta-potty. From my experience I can attest that it's not fun. 4- Did I mention to bring snacks? We went around lunchtime sans lunch so our capacity to enjoy the beach for an extended period was limited by grumbling tummies. 5- Oh, and don't drop the bike lock in the sand. Sand will clog up the lock and you'll have to walk your bikes onto the beach without getting sand in the chains. Tricky.

On the way back to the car we stopped by Bob Lobster (yup, Bob Lobster not Bob's Lobster) for some clam chowda (for Heather) and french fries (shared). We sad next to a family visiting from Portugal who were originally disappointed to find out that Bob Lobster doesn't serve alcohol. However, after being reassured that they could bring their own, the father of the family popped away to the local liquor store and returned with red wine and a corkscrew. After a toast and a photo they settled into mussels, chowda, and lobsters. Success!

We headed straight back to the car thereafter so we could get into Boston pre-traffic. Next time, I'd wander the shops in Newburyport and/or sit and people watch in the square. It's a quaint little town.

Here are a few photos from our trip. Overall, our Plum Island experience = two thumbs up!

So, due to being married to a New Englander and working in a non-profit, I've learned to look out for the freebie Boston experiences. In summer there's a glut of free outdoor summer activities thanks our the 3 months of consistent good weather we get all year. Movies by Moonlight at the Boston Harbor Hotel is one of the gems of free Boston enjoyments. Part of their Summer Series, Movies by Moonlight showcases classic films, a harbor view and popcorn. :) Last year we enjoyed viewing The Maltese Falcon and Field of Dreams. Last Friday, we headed out for The Pink Panther and plan to see An Affair to Remember at summer's end.

There are two options for movie goers:

For those flush Bostonians among us you can sit at harborside tables set up by the Boston Harbor Hotel's restaurant. Heather and I did this one year (you have to show up early- like by 6pm for an 8pm movie). Diners can sit at their tables through the length of the film. Heather and I did this our first year- it was delightful and expensive. Between drinks, dinner and dessert we were looking at far over $100 for two people. But, it's a fun splurge.

Thrifty movie goers can cop a seat on the BHH's steps. The hotel provides foam cushions on a first-come first-served basis (though after sitting on concrete for a few hours, it's helpful to have additional tush-cushioning!). Stair-watchers usually start to arrive around 7:00pm - it does fill quickly. Heather and I have reverted to this option for all of our other movie outings. We arrive around 6:30pm, bring Chinese food, a covert bottle of red wine, lots of water and popcorn.

It's a great experience- from watching the harbor happenings pre-movie, to enjoying the water sunset, and sharing a group film experience. I'd highly recommend trying this summer experience. We snapped a few photos last week to share. Enjoy!

A double-run day and 2 miles in the heat

Running is my success this summer. Even when I'm tired, cranky, overwhelmed, under-resourced, or in pain I've committed to my runs for the past 3 months.

I started off with the Couch to 5k App, which I followed through week 7 (at that point the directions become warm up for 5 mins- run for 25 mins- cool down for 3 mins; warm up for 5 mins- run for 27 mins- cool down for 3 mins; warm up for 5 mins-run for 30 mins- cool down for 3 mins... you get the idea). Since then I've been trying to log between 2-3.5 miles per run at least 4 times per week.

Thanks to my CardioTrainer App, I'm able to really see an appreciate my progress. My weeks begin on Sundays. This week I've run 5 times for a total of 13.6miles. Now normally, I would've only done 3 or 4 runs by now, but I logged an extra run on Sunday while down Maine and tackled a double-run day on Wednesday.

For those that are unfamiliar with double-run days, it's simple. A day where a runner chooses to run twice in one day- usually spaced at least 4 hours apart. I first learned the concept through a Runner's World article (thanks to my mum-in-law I'm a subscriber now!). On the way home from work this Wednesday all I could this was, "This is a double-run day". So, after playing with the dog I laced up and hit the treadmill for just over 2 miles.

It was harder than I expected.

I'm not sure if it was the heat, the end of day, or the lightweight running shoes (a new pair of Nike's given to me by my friend Kimmie), bit I had to work for those 2 miles. And I did. I calmed my stride (the shoes kept me on the balls of my feet so I kept the pace slowed down to take care of my calves), I calmed my breathing, and then I reveled in my first double-run day of the year. That run was the best thing for me on Wednesday. I realized as I was running that I needed a double-run to give me something to accomplish. My day had been "blah" until I decided to run that evening. I'd had no projects or challenges at work that day. Despite my a.m. run, my general motivation and happiness had lowered as my work day progressed. I needed a double-run to make me feel successful. And while it wasn't fast and it wasn't long, it was successful. And so was I.

As I determine where to go from here, I'm considering a running plan that was created for me through the Runner's World Smart Coach program (a free program for Runner's World online members). It's for working up to a 10k race in a 12-week period and, while I'm not planning for a 10k, it would give me some structure to plan my runs around. I want to be careful as I'm still building up my knee post-injury last year, so I'll need to be more mindful as I take this new challenge on. While the plan below is a static plan, my experience this week underscores that I'll need to keep it dynamic. I may need some days where I need to skip a run and I may have others where I need to add one in.

Either way, it's about feeling successful- in running, and health, and healing.

WEEK 1: 4 Mi
Sat Jul 23 Long Run Dist: 4 Mi @13:41

WEEK 2: 11 Mi
Mon Jul 25 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @13:42
Wed Jul 27 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:42
Sat Jul 30 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @13:42

WEEK 3: 12 Mi
Mon Aug 1 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:41
Wed Aug 3 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 11:55; Cool
Sat Aug 6 Long Run Dist: 5 Mi @13:41

WEEK 4: 10 Mi
Mon Aug 8 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:38
Wed Aug 10 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:38
Sat Aug 13 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @13:38

WEEK 5: 13 Mi
Mon Aug 15 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @13:38
Wed Aug 17 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 11:52; Cool
Sat Aug 20 Long Run Dist: 5 Mi @13:38

WEEK 6: 14 Mi
Mon Aug 22 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @13:35
Wed Aug 24 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 3x800 in 5:21 w/400 jogs; Cool
Sat Aug 27 Long Run Dist: 6 Mi @13:35

WEEK 7: 15 Mi
Mon Aug 29 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @13:32
Wed Aug 31 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 11:46; Cool
Sat Sep 3 Long Run Dist: 6 Mi @13:32

WEEK 8: 12 Mi
Mon Sep 5 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:29
Wed Sep 7 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:29
Thu Sep 8 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:29
Sat Sep 10 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @13:29

WEEK 9: 16 Mi
Mon Sep 12 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @13:29
Wed Sep 14 Tempo Run Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2 Mi @ 11:43; Cool
Thu Sep 15 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @13:29
Sat Sep 17 Long Run Dist: 8 Mi @13:29

WEEK 10: 16 Mi
Mon Sep 19 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @13:26
Wed Sep 21 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 3x800 in 5:17 w/400 jogs; Cool
Thu Sep 22 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @13:26
Sat Sep 24 Long Run Dist: 8 Mi @13:26

WEEK 11: 17 Mi
Mon Sep 26 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @13:23
Wed Sep 28 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 11:44; Cool
Thu Sep 29 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @13:23
Sat Oct 1 Long Run Dist: 8 Mi @13:23

WEEK 12: 11 Mi
Mon Oct 3 Easy Run Dist: 2 Mi @13:20
Wed Oct 5 Speedwork Dist: 3 Mi, inc Warm; 2x800 in 5:14 w/400 jogs; Cool
Sat Oct 8 10K Race Day 10K @11:25 Time: 1:10:55

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Days are passing...

My little cuz just posted recently on her Facebook that she'd successfully gone shopping for her "21st outfit". I remember when she was brought home form the hospital and my brother and cousins (her elder brother and sister) bathed her in the tub. She was so small - now she's studying to become a solicitor in Scotland.

How time passes.

I've just over 9 months until I reach my 30th year. At this juncture I realize how much I've changed. I've identified pieces of my life I'd like to take back, wounds I'd like to lay to rest, heels I wished I'd dug in more, paths I wished I explored further, challenges I could've pushed for and moments I wish I'd revelled in.

I think it's often easier to identify the negatives. The "I wishes" and "I shoulds" rather than then "I dids" and the "I am proud ofs". In general, I'm still learning to appreciate those "I did it and I'm proud of it" moments in my history - especially the moments that were difficult decisions, those that led to changes in career paths and friendships and old patterns.

What I'm learning in these months as I approach my new decade is that I've got to appreciate each passing day. I must sit in the daily decisions I make- the decisions to go to sleep early or to rise late, to get up and run or to sip tea slowly, to reach out to family far away or to hug the ones close to me, to position myself toward new goals or to focus in on those at hand. In all of it, I'm learning to be authentic, even when it hurts, and to trust that the Universe will give as much as she takes, even when that hurts. I'm learning to be a role model, to nurture my nieces and nephews, to love my family even more deeply, to develop a marital relationship that is healthy, to prioritize balance in work and play, and to seek those things that make me feel full- spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically.

And, I can only do these things day by day. I hope that I'm making the most of time, as it passes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Biking to work: Highlights and lessons learned through a 20-mile round-trip journey

Yesterday I tackled and completed my first bike ride of the year- 10 miles to and from home to work. I can't say that I loved every moment (the two hills within the last mile of coming home were killer in 89 degree heat), but I found the overall experience exhilarating. While my wife is not totally surprised that I loved biking to work (she does so twice a week- 16 mile round-trip), I'm a little taken aback at my immediate love for road-biking. Since purchasing my road bike from a friend last year (note: she used to ride the bike to work regularly to so it's seen a few miles!) I've only cycled on paved bike trails and local neighborhood roads, so yesterday's endeavor was do-or-die in the realm of my experience.

When I came home last night, I quickly jotted down highlights and lessons learned in my diary to commemorate the experience. Here they are- enjoy!

1. Making it up all the hills without stopping- including the long slow one up Commonwealth Ave from Newton Center to Hammond Pond Parkway, the medium slow one by Chestnut Hill Mall, and the steep b@st@rd beside the Arboretum in Roslindale!

2. Not being afraid to take on the three rotary challenges in pre- 9am traffic... (I didn't run into any problems until rotary #3 when I was nearly run over... see Lessons Learned # 1)

3. Feeling the breeze as I raced/coasted downhill with legs straightened to stretch out my knees and my head hunkered down- glorious!!! (Though to the cars traveling behind me to whom I was subjecting my derriere for viewing I imagined the word as"Glory-@ss"... it helped get me laughing up the uphills!)

4. Making it to work and home in 50 minutes each way. The Google Maps said it should've taken me 59 minutes...woot!

5. The beauty of the road and woods by Allandale Farms in Roslindale. Lovely. (And the shade was well received in the hot afternoon)

6. Meeting a goal I made to start biking to work once a week during the summer. Now I have to keep it up!

Lessons Learned
1. Drivers only know the rules of the road as it applies to them. They do not realize that pedestrians and cyclists have right of way. Specifically, Brookline drivers don't realize that if a cyclist is going through a rotary they are acting like a car. Aka- if you don't see a cyclist signaling to get off the rotary at an exit, then expect that they're going around it just like everyone else. If you don't learn this rule, you're going to run over a cyclist. Like me. And that's going to make lots of people sad- including me.

2. Most drivers are jealous of cyclists. 1- Cyclists aren't paying $4.85/gallon to get to work and back. 2- Cyclists are burning off fabulous amounts of calories and building amazing muscle. Jealousy must be one reason why drivers try to run cyclists off the road.

3. Cars with JP (Jamaica Plain) bumper stickers are awesome- after making a left turn on a divided highway they'll slow down to let you cross over the road to the right shoulder (they do this in Roslindale too). In contrast, cars in Newton just run you over - whether you're crossing to the shoulder or just toodling merrily on your way.

4. Never bike on the road behind Newton North High School. The city may have paid millions to construct a new building, parking lot, green space and renovate the road in front of the school, but they didn't extend that cash to the back end. It's a maze of potholes, cracks and narrow, trashed lanes.

5. After 20 miles to and from work things hurt. I've tight shoulders from my backpack, achey quads from the hills, calloused hands from tightly gripping those handlebars while avoiding aggressive SUVs. And if anyone has recommendations for padded bike shorts, I'll take those asap. This is a habit I'd like to continue- with minimal discomfort if possible!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Redemption by way of a summer meal

Tonight I arrived home with an upset tummy and a frustrated brain. Despite the heat, I followed through on my commitment to run (after playing with my panting puppy, Bryce). And, after a grueling 3.4 miles of trying to rally my brain and my legs to work together, I finished satisfied with my efforts yet not unwound.

I was, however, ravenous.

Now the single revelation that came to me today through my sweaty slogging was "chickpeas". That's it- chickpeas. Miraculously, in stretching out my legs my brain also stretched out and I imagined chickpeas with artichokes, in some light summer dressing with a little arugula tossed in for good measure and color.

A quick search on the trusty Android later and I had a Vegetarian Times recipe in hand. Not having all of the ingredients I made my own modifications and beefed it up a little to my tastes (and appetite). Behold, I present to you, Citrus Chickpea Salad.

1 1/2 cups chickpeas
32 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes
3 cups artichoke hearts (can use frozen or canned in water)

Citrus dressing:
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped

1. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place in large serving bowl (preferable something pretty)
2. Drain tomatoes and discard juice. Roughly chop tomatoes. Add to chickpeas.
3. Defrost (if necessary) OR drain and rinse (if necessary) artichoke hearts. Add to bowl.
4. In a small dish mix ingredients for dressing. Once mixed, pour over chickpea blend.
5. Toss dressing with chickpea blend.
6. Serve 1 cup of Citrus Chickpea Salad atop 1 cup arugula and top with 2oz cooked rigatoni.
7. Enjoy :)

For Weight Watchers folks, 1 cup of chickpea mixture is 7 PointsPlus. With the arugula and rigatoni, the meal is 9 PointsPlus and very filling. Lots of protein.

Now, it was 8:30pm before I when I started prepping this meal. And, as I had to defrost the artichokes and didn't think to start heating the water for rigatoni (a Jo-inspired addition) until after the salad was created, I didn't sit down to eat until 9:15pm. But, amazingly, throughout that time my mind quieted and my body relaxed. And while I'm sure my run, post-run shower, and chat with my mum all aided to that effect, I'm convinced that this salad is redemptive. The velvety, freshly picked basil mixed with the sharp, tangy garlic smells undid all the knots in my brain and settled my heart. And, you can believe that I enjoyed every last bite.

I enjoyed my dinner and the process creating it so much, that I was also satisfied with a mere sensation of dessert- 1/4 cup strawberry ice-cream with a little spray cream. A 2 PointsPlus delight made richer by the ability to simply enjoy it with my being instead of eating it to calm my mind. For those of you who know me intimately, you understand that dessert is rarely something I enjoy in small portions and is often something I use to cope with stress.

I wonder if the undoing of eating disorders is to be found in the cooking of inspired meals because, tonight, I feel redeemed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Self-care Saturdays. Or. The Simple Pleasure of Breakfast, Walking, and Drugstore Hair Dye.

Yesterday was the advent of a calendar of solitary summer Saturdays. Heather is taking a class at New England School of Photography for the next 8 weeks of so and we're going to be adapting our weekends to compensate.

I still have to figure out all the details of my schedule adaptation, but I'll resolve that soon enough. My job and I have differing opinions. Go figure.

Due to life and circumstance, I've been feeling powerless over the past few weeks. Powerless and tired. Last weekend the confluence of those two energies led to a weekend at home with lots of sleeping and yoga, which was a great strategy. But, I can't sleep my weekends away every week- even if I'm having more sleepless nights during the week.

So, this weekend I strategized a Saturday of self-care and a Sunday of wife-time. I'd also planned to flex my work time (working a few 13 hour days...) and take Monday off for gardening, but work decided on the contrary and I'll be in the office tomorrow. I'm taking Friday instead.

I asked Heather to wake me up yesterday morning for yoga (7:30am flow) before taking the dog out and dropping H. off at school. I then headed into Jamaica Plain where I treated myself to a vegetarian egg sandwich at City Feed (they are so yummy) while reading this week's Bay Windows and the great news about New York! I then headed to Boomerangs to donate the bagged household items and clothes that had officially taken residence in our wannabe-coatroom since April (until I evicted them to the basement two weeks ago). After returning to Chez Eugenia, Bryce and I packed up ourselves and a trunkload of hazardous materials (paint, car oil, pesticides) that's been in the basement since Heather acquired the house and headed to the City of Boston hazardous material drop-off near Millenium Park. After patiently waiting to rid ourselves safely of out trunkful of toxins, we headed to the top of Millenium for a walk- which also turned into a puppy-swim and soccer-playing. Fabulous :) We met new friends (Bruin + T-Bone) who turned out to be fellow swimmers and wrestlers. And exhausted ourselves thoroughly.

Returning home, we enjoyed a late lunch followed by a 75-min disco nap before heading to pick up a very happy wifey at school. After puttering around the house, we both enjoyed a light dinner (Toni, H. loves the peanut noodles) before going our separate ways (Heather to a disco nap and I on a date with Revlon). 60 minutes and many posed color-processing photos later, I was "ultralight 05 blonde" and Heather was refreshed.

We weeded and played with the pup once more before heading out to dancing with J. GirlSpot was an epic fail. Its advertised "cheap drinks and dancing" amount to $6.25 beers and $9.65 tequila shots sans dancing (unless you count moving strategically to avoid the chick who alternated leaping onto various queer young things to make out with spilling her frothy bottled beers over the non-dance floor as "dancing"). The upside was that we got to hang out with J and laugh hysterically while traipsing too many city blocks under 1 tiny umbrella in the Boston pour. Next time we'll stick to Kristen Porter's Dyke Night Productions and head to Felt or Machine. There's just something about a DJ that beats a pandora music station every time. I've no malice for GirlSpot - it was cute to see all the lil' barely 21 dykes out last night - but, as the name implies, it's a production in it's infancy. And, I'm just a little to old to wait for it to grow up.

All in all, yesterday was a massive self-care thumbs up. And I'll drink or give thanks to that any day. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I'm being forced to make changes due to external forces.  And while I'm balking at the prospect of being less financially stable and losing the extras I've become accustomed to, I'm realizing there are also positive changes I'll also be compelled to make.

Exercise: I'm adding regular and varied exercise to my life. I'm purposefully building on my running schedule by adding in  gentle yoga (to stretch and even me out), cycling (because it's summer and I enjoy it), and weight lifting (to lean me down). And, thanks to the Cardio Trainer app I'm feeling successful as I set weekly goals and log my progress. Hurrah!

Weight Watchers: I've membership for meetings until late July and then I'm switching to ETools only. So while I have connection and  support from meetings I'm working on faithfully tracking my eats, which is my key to success. I skopje with my leader about the pending change and she said that when I'm within 5lbs of my goal weight to come back to meeting and she'll start me on the process to become a meeting support staff person. 2011 will be the year I become Lifetime and I will be working with the WW team by 2012.

Social connections/Interests: I have to foster more independent time and interests. I'm going to start with writing group twice a month and joining Andrea's crafting group twice a month (when it starts). I'm also looking into theater opportunities for other volunteering/extracurriculars. I want to be a call center do-gooder but have decided that my extras have to be fun or I won't do them. I also want to get out more- dancing, beach-ing, being more involved in queer community. By myself and with Heather and friends.

And last but not least...

Work schedule: I'm setting  boundaries around work, including my time and my energy. Work is not enriching  when there are more demands and less rewards. I'm building in my own rewards.

On a different note, I finally found  fat photos from December 2004, the month before I joined WW at 248.6lbs...and I've been on this journey since. There are two and I didn't know the photos were being taken- I wasn't the primary subject (I avoided cameras). So once I  figure  out how to scan them (or ask the wife to do it for me) I'll post on here so you can truly see my 6 year mum didn't recognize  me in the photos at first...

PS- lost 0.6lbs at WW thought (without tracking). Am only 5 lbs away from my wedding weight again!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


At home this past week I made a commitment to myself: 12 weeks of regular exercise, quiet time & meditation, study & research. Basically, a focus on my needs.

As work isn't getting any less stressful and I've two large projects (involving lots of writing) to complete between June 6-Aug 24,
I'm going to try to negotiate some time away from the office. I think better when I'm not being distracted by everyone else's needs and the underlying strain of the recession's impact on non-profit.

So, to negotiation, dedication and commitment. Here's to summer.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I was supposed to go to NH today.
Well, technically I was supposed to go to RI today.

Our nephew is playing lacrosse this weekend. My wife thought he was playing at home in RI (45 mins away from Boston) at 4pm today. In reality, he was playing away in NH (2 hours away form Boston) at 2pm today. A calendar snafu that led to changed plans today.

I spent half the night awake with a pooping dog (Bryce has diarrhea again). Deprived of sleep and feeling cranky, I realized that I had no desire to make a 4-hour round trip for a 90minute lacrosse game. [Especially as last week we did a 24-hour turnaround to Long Island and back and next weekend we are considering a trip to Maine, and then I leave for Georgia to take care of Dad]

So I made a decision to stay at home. But then, I balked and started to panic. "but Heather told Luc we were coming." "It's more important to see his game." "I just need to keep moving and get over myself." I almost talked myself out of it- putting guilt and family above my self.

And then I realized- I truly don't have to do this. I can stay at home and honor myself. That my first instinct toward self care is not wrong and not going doesn't make me "less of" an aunt.

So I've stayed at home this afternoon and it's been fantastic. By this point, Heather and Hannah are over halfway through watching the game. In the time they've driven up there and been watching, I've played with Bryce, done two loads of laundry, taken a 35 minute jog, played more with the dog, listened to "Wait. Wait. Don't tell me," and eaten lunch. And now I'm blogging. Next, I'm going to bake cheese scones and then watch a little television.

On a side note, this week I've been exercising more regularly and loving it. I've been holding off for the past few weeks because I've read that hard exercise irritates your gastric system. As I'm struggling with stomach pain and reflux (now going on for nearly a month) and am waiting for more testing and diagnosis, I realized that it can't get much worse. I feel like crap. I'm achey. I can't eat or drink the things I like. And I'm tired. Why the hell not exercise.

And every time I have exercised [Two runs, a good walk, and aerobics so far this week; indoor biking tomorrow and kickboxing on Monday] I've felt amazing afterwards. It's been a little hairy at the beginning of each session, my stomach gurgling and protesting until I hit my happy zone (my version of the runner's high) when everything becomes focused on how my legs are moving and my heart is pumping and my muscles are contracting. At that point, everything breaks and my tummy pain recedes. And, even better, so far this week exercise has had lasting effects for a few hours. And that, dear readers, is the best medicine I could ask for. Pain relief AND satisfaction with my efforts. Awesome.

So, now I've 2 hours (at least) before they get home and I'm going to bake and sing before resting. All told, I'm relaxing and rejuvenating.

Here's to you doing the same.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The sugar effect

Felt better tummy wise today and so fell into a couple of vices... including a small cup of decaf and a couple pieces of chocolate this afternoon and a cupcake this evening. This was my first sugared with chocolate day In a couple of weeks and it was underwhelming. Sure the sweets were fine when eating them but my morning run felt better. And while my belly survived I feel headachey and bloated. Not worth it.

Take home message: sugar isn't always sweet.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Waiting for the pain

So the last three weeks have been a hell ride of gastric bloating, lost  appetite, nausea and acid. It came out of nowhere and we're still not sure what's going on. Eating causes pain and bloating. Not eating causes bloating and nausea.  Exercise irritates all of it. I've cut out all coffee and alcohol and most chocolate and tomatoes.

Medicine is keeping it at bay but I feel that's NOT the solution...just a fixer. I've lost 8lbs in the past 2 weeks which I'm not excited about (long time since weight loss has not ben an auto great thing). I'd like to figure out the underpinning cause. Headed for a GI series we'll
see what comes of it.

Until then I'm going to continue the positive changes in diet but change my attitude and some other far I've been living in fear of setting off the pain within my gastric system and so avoiding exercise. But tonight I  worked out for an hour. It was hard work through some ugliness for the first 20 mins but then something broke and all that was important was me- moving.

So tomorrow I'm going for a run in the morning and while I know that the pain might hit me, I'm sure as hell not going to wait for it. Maybe I'll even leave it in the dust...

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Last Friday I met Mary at the doctor's office. At 74 years old she's spent the last seven years battling an illness that at its most vicious point  last year reduced her 120lb frame to a mere 69lbs.

A favorite in the clinic, she'd rescheduled an appointment and her doctor "a handsome Italian" (her words) had snuck her in.  As her thank you, she'd brought him a  cannoli from her local bakery. "He loves them" she said.

As we chatted on family and illness and rescued animals and heritage we laughed and commented that we were perfectly matched for conversation- two chatterboxes  who because of our heritage (she Greek and I Scottish) and upbringing have an innate interest in storytelling and a little inherent nosiness.

As our conversation continued Mary kept returning to a familiar refrain focused on her health struggle and weight loss last year.

"I lost so much weight you know. Now I'm all bone [touching her clavicle]. Doctor told me to eat. I told him ' How can I eat when I can't swallow?' Doctor told me to drink cool water. I said ' How can I drink. I can't swallow.' He said I might die. Now if I can just put on some meat ..."

This refrain was repeated in pauses, inserted in shifts in the conversation. After an hour and the 6th repeat or so she giggled and remarked,"if I could take 10lbs from some of these folks here..they'd be happy and I'd be happy. And my doctor. Not from you though- you're good. From someone who doesn't need it. I always said I'd rather have more beef than bone [with a grin]."

More beef than bone. I liked that. I giggled with her in that waiting room thinking on how I've always liked women with a little curve. A little beef.

Reflecting now, I realize that this concept of beef and bone has been a paradox in my life. I desire in others a little beef. But for years for myself I've desired only bone. And that's led me in stages from boney to beefy and between.

Now, as I try strive for acceptance of myself and hope to nurture my self, I realize that I'm going to take on this beefy-bony paradigm.  And while I don't know exactly how it will all unfold, my gut tells me that Mary's got something right.  So now when I find myself admiring my boney clavicle, I'm going to pause and grin... but at the beef as well as the bone.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taking time

The last couple of weeks have been a large silent stressor for me-complete with little sleep and high anxiety. It's coming to a close now which is wonderful.

I've been coping with healthy and unhealthy combos; hour long bouts of exercise followed by red wine and sweets. I'm thankful for family and friends who have been patient and more optimistic than I have been.

Today, after a long night, I took the morning off work and slept for hours. I then headed to a scheduled pedi and facial. Now I sit on the quad at BU enjoying the  good weather until an alumnae meeting.

I managed the best I  could over the past few weeks though I'm sure that if I had consistent self care mechanisms built in to my life it could've gone better.

Today was my reminder that I need to build more naps, self love and peace into my schedule-both for the stressful moments and for the pure joy of living in balance.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pantyhose and paradigms

Last night I attended Paint the Town La Red, an annual fundraiser to benefit The Network La Red (TNLR). There my thoughts for this entry percolated. TNLR is a social justice driven, anti domestic violence organization for the GLBTQ community. Their fundraiser was one that recognized the harsh realities of funding for anti-violence work and funding for GLBTQ-specific programs in this current economy. But mostly, it was a celebration of the power of individuals and community in creating positive change to end domestic violence.

I am consistently awed at TNLR's intentionality. From the acts who performed to the emcee's for the evening, to the sneak peak of the video they're producing, folks of different backgrounds were all part of the event and the conversation. It is true testament to their work that they consciously strive to create partnerships and conversations with all members of the queer and allied community.

It was relevant to me that during the course of the evening, as I was internally celebrating TNLR and appreciating my queer and allied folks in the room, that I was also noticing the appreciation for queer bodies of all types - particularly sizes.

In the queer community I find this appreciation for curvy queers and fat femmes more than I have within any other community. In act, the only other community I've entered that is supportive of fat folks is Weight Watchers, and that group is geared toward changing fat to fit (or thin). But within the queer community I've found in my peers, in my lovers, and in the culture an openness to curviness, to broadness, to thickness, to fatness that is less than in other communities. Not that the community is perfect, but it's better.

As I pulled together my outfit for last night I stopped off for pantyhose. Faced with rows and rows of nude and black and silky black and suntan and misty black and A and B and Q and super Q, I thought... "Wow. There's so much going on here." Our definitions of nude and suntan - color of skin defined by white skin and changes to white skin. There were no colors available in that rack (half a store aisle) to represent the varied tones of my sisters and brothers of color. Availability was defined in that store by white folks. Access defined by a white paradigm.

And then the sizes. A for the skinny folks (up to 130lbs or so) B for the mid-size folks (up to 160 lbs or so), Q for the curvier among us (up to 180lbs or so) and super Q for everyone else... (though only if you're under 220lbs...). And I wondered. What the hell happened to C? Why Queen? Why Q and super Q?

I'd like to imagine some fat-positive queer at a company board meeting arguing for Q. Stressing that round women, voluptuous women, curvy, fleshy, fat women are regarded with disdain in society. That dominant skinny culture has neglected fat women. Made them pariahs and for that, the pantyhose companies should take up a rallied cry of support, of appreciation. "Fat women are queens! Their broad hips and full thighs should be worshipped!" and thus, the Q and super-Q size was created to deify fat folks as a subversive counter-culture method of combat. Designed to slowly strip away at dominant culture paradigms of fatness.

But, I'm sure that's not the reality. Right now, the A B Q system reeks (to me the childhood report-card-aholic ). Reeks of success and failure. A = skinny = stellar grade. B = above average weight = good grade. Q = round = not on the system= too fat to even give a C = beyond failure, purposeful segregation. Scarlet letter Q.

And this grading system of curviness and thinness (I'm sure) was not constructed on a scale that accounts for curvy women's bodies. For cultures in which curvy is graded up. In which fleshy thighs and round bootys are norm. No, I'm sure it was created on a dominant white paradigm of "what is" and "what should be". White white twiggy white girl body.

I almost went commando.

Instead I opened my wallet. For the pantyhose...and for TNLR (you can too). Through their work and the efforts of my community I know we're going to slowly continue to deconstruct these paradigms that oppress us as groups and engender discrimination against individuals. It's important that we do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Difficult morning

I am struggling this morning. Partially because I binge-ate 3 chocolate eggs on tues night out of self soothing, partially because I ate out twice yesterday, and partially because I've more worked out yet this week due to a combo of overwork and crappy sleep. I know I have 5 more days til weigh in and that I can pull through, but I'm struggling with believing in it. Mainly because my crappy choices have put me here again. This us such a day-to-day rollercoaster and I am way too susceptible to external pressures. Okay enough self pity...needed to get it out somewhere.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Tired after a long DESE meeting I headed to starbucks for a decaf pick me up and was greeted by growling  beast of a stomach... and then presented with too many starbucks  treat options. But I chose wisely and opted for a half pack of honey roasted cranberry almonds.

Post-snack I feel almost human again; now to the coffee for the rest of my drive into the office.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weighing in

Headed back to WW for first time since January...

Waiting in line to weigh-in and am nervous. It takes a lot to admit that I'm not perfect and that I needed to hide for awhile. But, with my first race of the season complete (ran the Ras 5k yesterday in Somerville with only 2 training runs under of my belt since my injury-not by choice but by chance) I'm feeling more calm about re-starting this marathon called weight loss.

This weekends was a good reminder that I can push my mind and my body. And, that can be successful and feel good on doing so. Will weigh-in here later about how I'm doing over this week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Taking my life back. Watch for blog updates coming soon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tight clothes- feel round. New year @ WW + I've set self up w/ January birthday weekend in NYC, MLK weekend in Maine, + a week in GA. I don't make it easy...