Who Do You Want To Be Today?

So I've been thinking about the challenge I posted for October #GoTheDist:

Who do you want to be today?

Every day we have a chance to make new choices and decide who we want to be.   We can stay on the path we're on, turn around and run away screaming, or try a new approach.

And yet somehow we always feel locked into our identity, completely forgetting how forgiving our sense of self/identity can be or that we lived through the formation of our identities in the first place (are you the same person you were in your HS yearbook?).  Just think about the person who can't see past their weight.  Think about how stuck they are in that identity.

We forget that our identities are as flexible ("characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements") as they are malleable ("able to be hammered or pressed permanently out of shape without breaking or cracking") as they are resilient ("able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions").

The catch is that it requires some extraordinary vision and a leap of faith:  in order to take on a new identity, we have to know how we want to look and have the courage to slough off our old identity (our armor) long enough to try on a new one.

I tweeted the other day:

I want to be that person. I really do.  I envision that person doesn't feel the same kind of struggle that I feel. 

So I'm going to try and take my own advice and (1) envision what it would be like to live that life and (2) have the confidence that if I act like that person that I'll still be okay, still be me.

My wanting to be a pretty pretty princess will just have to wait until I slay this dragon.

October #GoTheDist: One Year Update and Check-In

Read this if you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about:  October #GTD Announcement.
This month we might be small in numbers (only 25 participants, as compared to the 69 that did it last October), but we are mighty in results

I wanted to remind you about two mid-month posts last year in regards to the original challenge:

1.  Balance (quoting): 
First and foremost: you should NEVER feel guilty for listening to your body--even if it says "we need to sit this out for a week." If you are sick/injured, figure out how to get yourself better and then we'll worry about the miles, okay? #OctGTD, no matter how awesome it is, is not worth risking your health and well-being.

But has it ever crossed your mind that it's okay to come up short in the challenge? It's okay to not reach your mileage goal. It's okay to get to the end of the month and come up shy. This is the lesson we all have to learn: it is okay to set goals and make plans and not be able to complete them 100%.
2. Know Yourself (paraphrasing):
Know Your Body -- work with your body, not against it
Know Your Math -- know what the exercise "costs" your body
Know Your Fuel -- know how to payback that "cost"
Know Your Life -- make a plan before you take on a challenge and be flexible with it.
I also wanted to share with you the updates regarding the original October #GoTheDist crew.  The question was: "How are you and looking back, what did #OctGTD (now #GotheDist) do for you? Are you the same person you were a year ago?"

Dee Matt (@abtw85):

"I totally got off track for a few months along the way since then, but I do notice that I have been alot more self motivated to push myself further then I did prior to octgtd. I can't believe its been a year. I'm also at least 30+ lbs lighter :). I've learned to also limit myself on making excuses."

Vinny (@VinnySlavin):

"I am a lighter person than I was a year ago, that's for sure! Hopefully smarter and more informed as well."

Brigitte (@brigittemittler):

"Last October, I used the GTD to run a 10k.  I am doing that same 10k tomorrow as preparation for running my very first Half-Marathon later this month.  I have learned that pushing past your comfort zone can lead you to accomplish incredible things."

Robby (@fatgirlvsworld):

"I'm definitely not the same person.  Many challenges and hundreds of miles later, I'm no longer the same person.  I'm much stronger, and much more confident in my ability to achieve my goals.  Even if I don't reach the targets, I know that each month is a journey.  I have discovered my grit, found my fight, and am convinced that i made the change of a lifetime."

If you participated in the original challenge and want to add your thougts click on this link, find your name, and ruminate!

I Hung My Head

Okay, so I didn't kill a stranger, but just like the song, I knew I done something wrong.  On Sunday afternoon, I started to get a migraine that stayed with me for the next two days.  I didn't eat much (this didn't help) and tried to stay hydrated (with herbal iced tea).  Last night (Monday), I was finally hungry at 9:30 pm. What was I hungry for?
1506 calories total.  Each and every calorie a bad decision.

Was it emotional eating?  No.  It was apathetic eating.  It was there. It was easy. It was something I didn't have to cook.  And it was the first time in 24-hours that I had felt hungry for something specific (the fries).  I rationalized it as "well I haven't eaten anything (other than a few 20-calorie Wasa crackers) all day."

But, I realized that the same reasons for my eating this pile of crap was the same reason why people intentionally eat this stuff more than I do (this is the first time I've had fast food in 2011):  it's cheap, it's there, it's easy, it's fast.

It's also really wrong.  I know better.
I could have just as easily gone across the street (to Safeway) and got myself a premade sandwich.

And so while the title is "I hung my head" -- I'm really not.  I'm going to move forward, acknowledge my misstep, and get back on track.

....but man, those fries were tasty.

The 2011 Lady Balls Award

In my mom's last letter to me, she wrote:
Keep in mind: Women are NOT the "weaker sex"....as in unable to cope with life. If you take apart the word FEMALE into two parts, you get "FE-" (the abbreviation for IRON) and "MALE". Hmmm...Interesting concept: It seems to me, that composition would make us pretty darn strong...not necessarily physically stronger than a male...but, able to deal with most of the things that come our way in life. Perhaps, it is a very special inner strength we possess.
That, combined with my love of saying "oh my balls" or "oh my lady balls," and the fact that the female reproductive organs almost looks like someone flexing, brings us to the Lady Balls Awards!  More specifically, three levels of Lady Balls Awards:

The Brass Ovaries Award is in recognition of a woman who has a certain amount of chutzpah, swagger, or bravery.  When she walks, you hear her ovaries ring out with a certain "I am woman, hear me roar."

The winner of the Brass Ovaries Award says what is on her mind, stands behind what she says, and is unafraid of defending her positions.

The Iron Ovaries Award is in recognition of a woman who makes a man's testes want to hide because she is the epitome of strength, endurance, grit, and fearlessness.

The winner of the Iron Ovaries Award inspires others by taking on challenges with a courageous heart.  Her strength of character carries her through the day.  She might not always finish strong, but she always finishes.

The Steel Ovaries Award is in recognition of the most exceptional woman among women.  She enriches all womanhood just by showing up.  She exhibits aspects of both Brass and Iron Ovaries. 

The winner of the Steel Ovaries Award is a leader among women.  She is proud to be a woman, and proud to be stronger than most men she knows.  She has seen adversity and risen above.  She endures.

Please submit all nominations by October 31st.  
Voting on semi-finalists will begin on November 1, 2011. 
The THREE winners will be announced November 14, 2011!

A Favor: Search for Vegan Recipes

One of my dear coworkers has a son about my age with Stage 4 Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (currently a non-cureable non- Hodgkins lymphoma). 

Big scary name, right?

He's been advised to take up a non-meat/non-dairy vegan diet. I've been scouring the internet for vegan recipes for cancer patients, but the long of the short of it is that I'm not a vegan and I have no idea if these recipes are any good.  But some of YOU might have a great recipe that might make my friend's son feel just a little better.

Send me an email with a recipe, or leave it in the comments and I'll forward them along to my coworker/his mom.  

Thank you all in advance.

While I'm at it, I'll ask anyone for photos of landscapes.  Why?  My grandfather is a painter with decreased lung function and COPD.  He's tied to his oxygen machines.  This means he can't really travel.
Send me an email with on of YOUR photos (i.e. not copyrighted material) and where it's from, and I'll forward them to my grandpa.   Let's send my grandpa around the world in photos!

A bit of a scare / PSA

So last night I crashed the Anytime Fitness Conference -- not to cause any trouble, but to hang out with Stephen/@WhoAteMyBlog and Tony/@TheAntiJared (very nice meeting you both!) in what Stephen called "a FatGirl sandwich":

I hung around to watch Stepehen get an Anytime Fitness "running man" tattoo. While we were standing in line (on a bit of a stage with lights and 3 tattoo artists) waiting, I took a moment to chat with Tony about various blog topics, when all of a sudden.... Stephen fainted. 

I had my back to Stephen at the time (I had taken a knee on the floor in front of him to be able to talk to Tony standing on the conference room floor 3-4 feet below).  According to some people who witness this happen, Stephen slid along a railing, slid off my back (I fell forward and into a table, but that slowed the fall), and then on to the floor face first.  I'm thankful to have been there for two reasons -- one, he could have fallen 4 feet below if I hadn't been there, and two because of these:

Not pictured is First Aid/First Responder, as it has lapsed. 

Time and time again I will tell people to get these certifications.

Luckily Stephen didn't require these skills, but the training helps you stay clear minded and in control in a sometimes-chaotic situation.  Unfortunately, people don't always listen to the young person there and did a few things that I wouldn't have recommended except that Stephen regained consciousness fairly quickly.  But luckily all turned out okay, and Stephen is fine. 

The bottom line is to go to your Red Cross -- get AED/CPR and First Aid certified.  It's such a small fraction of your time to be able to help someone else if they need it.

(It has come in handy time and time again -- I have first responded a car accident where a friend's father hit a tree and was going into shock, been able to make a sling out of a t-shirt for someone that dislocated their arm (twice), helped a coworker through labor pains, helped a coworker having a cardiac situation, helped a boxing classmate splint a finger that had ruptured a tendon, etc.  In other words, having the training gave me the confidence to step in and say "I can help" when other people just stood by not knowing what to do.)

PS:  Please read this as well, as a reminder that (1) you can drink too much water and (2) giving water/a drink to someone that doesn't feel well isn't advisable

Put your best foot forward...

Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that I don't do many product reviews or giveaways.  If you see me talking about a product, it's because it's something I'm already familiar with and love anyways (see my About Me page for a list of some of the things I use/love).  To be fair, there are companies that have given me discounts/samples AFTER I have mentioned their product in my blog (but it was of their own volition).

I rarely devote a whole post to one product, but I will mention it in passing.  Why? I don't like being beholden to a company--I like the freedom to write what I want.

Which brings me to this:


Last Friday I vented/tweeted:

I had the Minimus shoes since a little before #Fitbloggin, and they had only been used in inside while boxing or running on the elliptical.  My version were the trail running shoes.  I was just real sad b/c I had grown to love them at boxing, but the treads would fold under themselves and sometimes trip me up (I don't think they were a part in me breaking/spraining a toe).

Very soon after, I saw this (from Katie, the New Balance Twitter Rep): 
I called right away and spoke with Amin, who was AWESOME.  We chatted about the usage and history of the shoes.  I thought they were asking about the usage and then were going to pass the info along to their labs then say "well, they're out of warranty..." BUT Amin surprised the heck out of me and told me they'd replace the shoes.   That bowled me over!  On top of that Amin was even willing to send me a different version of the Minimus shoe that might be better in a gym environment (I declined, since I really love the ones i have).  And the icing on the cake was that Amin understood how much I loved the shoes and how I hated to be without them, so he was going to send them to me without waiting to get my return first.  

Lo! and Behold! I received this box yesterday in the mail.  I only missed two workouts in my Minimus shoes (one sparring class and one 7-mile elliptical run).   Believe me, they were sorely missed.  While I like my other sneakers, my whole body loves the Minimus shoe. 

So I'm really starting to love New Balance as not only a great supporter of their customers in general, not only as an involved participant in the social media community, not only as being extremely generous at #Fitbloggin (sneakers, capris, and headphones! oh my!!) but a brand that treated me not just as a number, but as a valued customer that they want to keep.  

So, shout outs to Katie and Amin -- I dedicate today's run to you both.  I'm hoping for 10 miles on the elliptical in my new shoes.  

In semi-related news, I haven't gushed about my other new favorite product.

A little back story:  I'm pale (Irish) with dark hair (Irish/German).  I have really sensitive skin (Irish).  I sometimes shower twice a day.  It dries me out no matter how much lotion I use (Aveeno or Nivea).   And the worst part is that my leg hair grows quite fast.  In the past. not shaving my legs has actually prevented me from going to the gym.  Eventually, I realized that if people were judging me b/c of some leg hair, it means they weren't focusing on their workout. 

Now I'm trying to grow the leg hair out so I can start waxing it.  But there's that awkward in-between Yeti stage.  

I have three pairs (two red, one blue) and think they are PERFECT.  I initially bought them (through Zappos) as a base later for my xmas eve football game in NYC, but they're opaque enough to wear with a tunic-length shirt to the gym (ladies, I still don't think leggings are pants... but if you cover your butt/lady bits, we can talk).  I wear them under shorts and even once wear them under a dress with boots. They're comfortable, soft, don't require ridiculous special care, and they keep their shape very well.  I highly recommend them to everyone.