Tuesday, April 29, 2014

All Kiwi, All the time

Kiwi is coming up on 6 months old. In dog years, that makes her like 4, right? Too bad she's already taken up smoking.

And teenager-y moping.

And sleeping the day away.

And staring at me accusingly (this is the worst picture ever, I know, but the other option  on my phone was using the flash and that just looked terrible). This was while I was laying on the couch, sick, and she proceeded to bring me every one of her toys and then stare at me, sadly. I threw a couple of her toys but just didn't satisfy her need for play.

We've had her for over 3 months now and I just can't imagine life without her. She's a constant source of laughter for us, and although she doesn't appreciate them, she provides excellent hugs. I never understood people who cuddled with their dogs (I always thought dogs smelled too dog-y to want to put my face on them) but she is so sweet and soft and just begs to be snuggled.

She's also losing her baby teeth right now which has been a lifesaver for us. She's been slightly fussy and clearly has gum pain, but doesn't seem to torn up about the whole thing. And every tooth that she loses is another tooth that won't rip our skin off. That, combined with her learning some damn manners already, has made everyone much happier. She still bites but she has learned how to do so gently and takes her aggressive biting out on other objects.

This weekend we took her to my dad's bike race. She behaved fairly well, aside from wanting to say "Hi!" to EVERYONE. She just couldn't handle people walking by her and not petting her. Luckily, she's super sweet and approachable, so a lot of people gave her attention. It was probably the most excitement she's ever had in a day. She also very patiently tolerated a little boy who wanted to have her do tricks. She is not super reliable with tricks, so they were both having a hard time figuring the whole thing out. It was cute but clearly frustrating for both of them. There was also a tense run in with another little dog who was poorly behaved and poorly controlled. She emerged scared but unscathed.

I know everyone says this, but we seriously have the best dog. She's playful and fun and makes silly noises and loves us. I'm so glad we have her.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rein it in

I had a realization the other day at the grocery store: I've been buying a pound of butter every week. This means we (ME) have been eating a pound of butter every week.
I don't know if Nick knows 99% of my infatuation with Sherlock is due to infatuation with glorious Mr. C. I guess he does now. LOOK AT HIS EYE CRINKLES. 

I mean, I'm trying to gain weight, yes, but must I do that by ingesting that much butter? Probably not. So I'm going to back down on the butter. I'll replace it with healthier things, I promise. Did you know you can eat a muffin without butter? It is physically possible. Today, I used peanut butter instead, so.... yeah maybe not going the right direction there. Oh well. 

I'm also just trying to rein in my eating in general. Don't worry, I'm not going to swing back to my old ways, but I do want to get some of the out of control eating under a little control. Some of the ladies on the HA boards say that most of us, even when we let ourselves eat everything, don't end up going overboard, but I counted calories the other day and I was at nearly 4000. That's not going to work, and that IS going overboard. Also, I'm pretty much just eating everything, regardless of how terrible it makes my stomach feel. I mean, I have to have dessert at lunch, right? And if my only choice is a gluten- and dairy-laden cookie, then I should have 2, right?

So yeah. Just need to get back to a style of eating that doesn't leave me with stomach upset every day of my life. 

And let's end on a happy note. Sleepy puppy. Aww.  

Monday, April 21, 2014


Things that made me cry today...

The Boston Marathon
First I cried because I was jealous. Then I cried because I was mad that I was jealous. Then I cried because I was so proud of everyone. Then I watched the finishers and cried again. I am so happy for and proud of everyone who finished. It was incredibly inspirational and from what I've heard, the energy in Boston was electric.

Being thirsty
I was in a meeting in a building I'm not normally in, and wandered around trying to find a water fountain for about 3 minutes before deciding I looked dumb and I gave up. By the end of the meeting it was ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT. So I started tearing up. Because I'm an adult.

Needing to pee
See also: thirsty. My basic needs are very upsetting to me today.

My coworker telling me she's going to the gym
See also: jealous about Boston.

My pants
And my shirts. And my underwear. Thank goodness I don't gain weight in my ankles (yet!) or else I'd be crying about my shoes.

My skin
As someone who went years without a zit (in hindsight, this was because I didn't have any hormones), I am mortified to constantly have zits now. And in addition to being embarrassed by my bad skin, these zits HURT. My mother got me fancy, expensive moisturizer and wipes with salicylic acid that help until my skin swings the other way and I end up with painful dry spots. That then bleed. Great, now I'm crying about it again.

My lunch
I got a salad from the cafeteria (which happens maybe four times a year) and got the classic comment "salad,  eh? You're always eating so healthy!" and then I muttered about how I wasn't trying to eat healthy, I was just trying to eat and... I suck so bad at interacting with people. So I cried.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Married life

I've been married a year now. That's long enough for me to conclude that not much changes when you're married. At least not yet.

He still makes me laugh this hard...

And smile this goofily....
Tyra, I'll show you smiling with my eyes. I'll fricking disappear my eyes into my head, I'm smiling so hard.

 He still keep me from falling on rocks. Mostly.
I'm not a mountain goat, people. I'm gonna fall sometimes.

He still puts his hand on my butt in public places.
Good thing us handsy teenagers found each other.

I am still so proud to be married to him that I hold up bottles of champagne whenever possible...
I hope getting married feels like winning the lottery for everyone, because it feels that way for me.

Happy Anniversary, Nick!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Life Plan

When I was young and dumb, I had a grand life plan.

Age 22: graduate college, obtain excellent job immediately

Age 23: Marry my college boyfriend.

Age 24: get some status in my chosen profession, save up some money, buy house.
Age 25: baby #1

Age 27: baby #2
Age 30: 2 kids in school. Back to work for me! The rest of my life will then just fall into place with a stream of happy kid-related things and living the dream.

Instead I got 2 part time jobs when I graduated, one of them in retail, broke up with my fiance, eventually lost my job, and ended up living alone in a stranger's basement.

Once I finally got the job and happy relationship thing straightened out again, my ovaries said nope.

So here I am, facing down 30 (okay, not quite, but it feels REALLY close) without any babies. Zero babies. Life is different. I'm ok with that. But I am having some trouble adjusting...

I am thankful for where I am right now. I am not where my stupid "life plan" said I would be, I am somewhere better. I've got a great job, and Nick! And the rest will all just work itself out eventually.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gratuitous puppy pictures

I apologize for the crappy quality. Phone pictures will never be art, but they're what I take.

The other night, Nick and I stayed up way past our normal bedtime and kept Kiwi up late and she just could not handle being awake. As a result, she was super sleepy and cuddly.
My legs are indeed 18 inches long. Thanks for asking.

This photo is a good reminder that angles are everything. And yes, I'm wearing pajama pants with a normal shirt. I don't fit in normal pants after 6pm.

Super cuddles. She is getting much longer but not much taller.

Kiwi is super smart but incredibly stubborn. We don't let her on the couch, so instead we get faces like this:
If I stare at you, you'll let me up there.

We took her for 2 long-ish hike/walks this weekend and she adored it. One day we went to a park close to the house and hiked about 1.5 miles. So many new things to sniff! The second day we went to a park about 45 minutes away and did closer to 4 miles walking. She did so well, except there were a lot of people and a few dogs on the trail and she got way too excited when people came by. She's adorable, so most folks don't mind that she wants their attention, but it would be nice if she'd take it down a notch. I know it's at least 50% that she's a puppy and easily excitable, but the other 50% can hopefully be helped with more training. Either way, we had a great time, everyone got good exercise, and we all slept incredibly well. Mission accomplished.

And here's a log with at least 17 turtles on it. So many turtles.

Friday, April 4, 2014


This post by a fellow out of service runner (for injury reasons, and btw she's run SO MANY RACES in such cool places) made me think again about what I miss about running, and why. *I promise someday I'll have something new to talk about*


I talked about this the other day, about how I am having trouble defining and redefining myself as a non-athlete. As the unhealthy coworker. I don't feel special or different anymore. I don't feel like I have accomplishments to be proud of right now. The ironic thing about the timing of this whole HA thing is that I had just really started seeing progress in my running and when I ran a 3:37:07 in November I wanted to get it tatooed on my freaking forehead. I placed in my age group in a (tiny) marathon! I was winning 5k's! I felt like a real runner. I felt I looked like a real runner, which was also important to me. If you had asked me a year before (when I ran a 4:06 at the Richmond Marathon) what I was proudest of, in my whole life, it would have been 1) happy life with Nick and 2) I was "skinny." I KNOW.

A year later and skinniness was still definitely on my list, but it was below pride about my marriage, my job, and my running. And now, 4 months later, I'm still proud of other parts of my life, but running is now off the list. And so is being skinny.

I was joking about needing a hobby recently, but I honestly think I do. I mean, hanging out with my dog and husband is cool, and makes me happy, but my time that used to be filled with fitness is now filled with... thinking about fitness. Which is not fun.

Here are some ideas I've come up with:
- Cooking
- Reading more
-... that's it. 

I actually googled "hobbies" (because that's not the saddest thing ever). The list is on Wikipedia is not good, although it does include things like "watching movies" and "eating," which means, hooray, I already have at least 2 hobbies! I have friends who are homebrewers, or knitters or quilters. All of those are interesting and fun and things that those people can be proud of. "Look what I knitted/brewed/quilted!" But none of those things appeal to me. Is complaining on the internet a hobby? Can it be?

Do you have a hobby? Do you mistakenly type "hooby" every time like I do? 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eating "clean" from the other side.

Disclaimer: I truly don't care how you eat. This is about me, and how I feel about clean eating and fad diets and other things as someone who struggles/struggled with this for a long time.

Subtitle: if your food needs a hashtag, you're doing it wrong.

I've gone over the many stages of my relationship with food before. The main take home of all those is I thought about food way too much. Many hours of my life were consumed by when I would eat next, how many calories it would be, and how many grams of protein/fat/carbs I'd be consuming. And because each day had a target goal for calories, and I was undereating, each of my meals came with the big question

"How long will these keep me full before I have to eat again?" 

The healthy people out there are hopefully scratching their heads, because seriously, I was not doing what my body was meant to do. I went through years of strictly timing my food because hunger cues were evil and not to be trusted. If I ate when I was hungry, I'd go back to being overweight immediately, right?

Y'all, weight gain sucks. It suckity suck suck sucks. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant and I'm not happy about it. I'm not saying that part isn't terrible. But constantly being hungry sucks too. Analyzing every meal to figure out just how filling to make it was a constant obsession (but never confuse filling with caloric. Because a huge pile of spinach is filling.). Thinking about how you SHOULDN'T be hungry because you just had 15g of protein and it's NOT TIME for another meal yet is NOT FUN. If I could tell 5 years ago me one thing, it would be to let it go.

Everything does not need to be counted and quantified. I got to the ripe old age of 17 without every counting a calorie. 17 years! Of bliss! People around the world lead happy, fulfilled lives and never scrutinize a nutrition label. They don't think about whether something fits into their special snowflake eating plan. Because THEY DON'T HAVE AN EATING PLAN.

Yes, I feel terrible about my weight. Every day. I hate how my clothes fit. The only thing I use the mirror for lately is to see how much of my belly pooch will hang out when my shirt rides up (I'm super duper hot. Be jealous of Nick). However, eating like a normal person is incredibly freeing (when I can manage to do it...). My husband eats when he's hungry. Yes, sometimes he has pretzels for dinner, but so what? He's not overanalyzing his food choices and he's quite pretty well. So when I see your "omg super #cleaneating" pictures on Facebook or blogs or whatever, it gives me pause. It makes me a little sad. It reminds me of how proud I used to be when I went to a restaurant and could only eat the bare-bones salad with dressing on the side (duh) because I just couldn't be "unhealthy" enough to stomach anything else. You know what I had for dinner last night? Fries as an appetizer, a big salad, two glasses of wine, and then more fries. In my defense, the appetizer fries were white potatoes with truffle salt and the entree fries were sweet potato (yes, I did indeed die of happiness). And although I was self-conscious about eating multiple potatoes for dinner, I got over it. I left dinner feeling pretty full but also quite happy. Did I worry about not getting protein? For a minute, but I didn't worry about it enough to stop me from tearing into the potato-y goodness. Old me would have chosen what I saw as the moral high road (I hate myself just for typing that) and eaten air instead of 6 servings of potatoes. New me says "screw it." I prefer to look like a weirdo with a carb obsession instead of the frigid, picky bitch who subsists on spinach.

I know that clean eating is a thing and it makes people feel good. It makes me feel good too, really! Veggies are good for you and I love eating them. I know that certain foods ARE better for you. Given the choice, I would have preferred that one serving of my potato dinner would have been replaced by a veggie burger or something a little more substantial. But I ate to sate my hunger, and it was delicious, and I left happy. And I'm trying to let that be the only thing that matters.