Veinte Tres

Today’s Happy Note: Completing the third longest run of my life!

(photo credit goes to Ada)

So. Today. (Hint: “Veinte Tres” means 23 in Spanish):

I have eaten multiple pumpkin smoothies.

I have spent most of the day in bed (but wait!  Some of it was productive because I was cuddling with USB!)

My hips and ilio sacrum are not happy with me.

I have a headache.  And I have to pee.

BUT most importantly I FINISHED.  More accurately, WE finished.   Yup, I had a special friend to do this run with!

Ada!!!!!!

Seriously, this run would not have happened (or I would have wimped out by mile ten) without the lovely Miss Ada. She was a lifesaver.  I always forget how nice it is to run with someone.  We chatted, motivated each other, and just generally collaborated.  It was spectacular!  She even knew a really fun route that I have never done before: we went down the West Side of Manhattan, along the Hudson, around South Street Seaport, back up the East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge.  We then crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn then came right back into Manhattan on the Manhattan Bridge (such creative names, really genius).  Then we continued up the East River to the Williamsburg, crossed that into Brooklyn and continued North in Brooklyn towards the Pulaski Bridge.  We crossed the Pulaski into Queens, ran to the Queensboro Bridge, and made it back into Manhattan.  We then followed E 61 street to Central Park and headed Northwest to West 72nd.  We ended at 72 and Broadway.

Total: 23 miles.

Time: About 4.5 hours (we did a few breaks)

That description probably makes no sense if you don’t live in NYC.  You can get a rough idea of the layout of the bridges and the boroughs from this map:

One of the best things about this run was that a lot of it followed the route for the NYC marathon (which is officially less than three weeks away!!!!).  So now I feel like I have more of an idea of what to expect in the outer Boroughs.  Yay!

Overall, I was really happy with this run.  I had already run 46 miles this week so my legs were pretty tired (I ended up with 69 miles — easily the highest weekly mileage of my life).  And you know what?  They still performed.  They still worked.  They were sore in some parts and creaky in others, but they carried me through.  Thank you, legs.

The last five or so miles were tough, but not undoable.  They could have been much, much worse.  I am right on track to make my goal of covering the whole 26.2 in just under 4:30.  🙂

I think I did a good job listening to my body in terms of food today.  I ate what I wanted, when I wanted.  And most of it was pretty clean, delicious, simple food.  Some of today’s epic eats (FYI: this is most definitely not everything I ate!):

I ate toast with PB and banana (I have discovered I can eat a small amount of PB before running) before starting.  I ate one package of shot blocks during the run and two diluted gatorades (bought one during the run).

I find myself insanely thirsty during long runs — like, I drink five or six bottles of water thirsty. Is this weird?

This cheddar and spinach panini was FREE.  And it was tasty.  A winning snack, in my book.

Many of these (leftover cookies!) were consumed.

I made a delicious dinner for USB and I.  The above was for both of us.  I am very poor and only own one plate.  I know, sad.

I cooked salmon with peanut/maple/ginger sauce, roasted cauliflower, and steamed delicata squash topped with cinnamon and avocado.  It was all really good but I only wanted a few bites — most of the avocado, some cauliflower, some salmon.  I have leftovers.

USB is 29 years old and has NO idea how to cook.  It’s kind of cute, actually.  I’m teaching him.  He is a very good learner and is quite useful in the kitchen!

I saved room for dessert a few hours later though.  This was a pumpkin/peanut butter/banana smoothie topped with more PB, chocolate chips, and a crumbled cookie.  It was epic.  That is all.

Lots of exciting things on the horizon this week:

-How I Eat Post

-Therapy Thursday

-Something involving bacon, I suspect (I have been craving it obsessively lately)

School is pretty light this week, which will be a nice break.

See you all tomorrow night!  Thanks for being in my life, bloggies. 🙂

Advertisements

Thoughts On Running Long And Strong

Today’s Happy Note: I’m officially in love with my creative writing class — the people, the teacher, and the materials are all great.  It’s about Lyric Essays.  Today we reviewed one of my pieces.  It is a piece I am tremendously proud of — it sort of encapsulates the last three or four months of my life.  I feel like a lot of times with writing, my best work comes out of nowhere.  I start putting words on the page without knowing where I’m going and then all of the sudden there are pages full of words and ideas and I have no idea where they came from.

I will always be writing. Always always always.

Marathon Training: I was supposed to get in my second 20 miler (read the recap of the first 20 miler here) on Sunday, then do a rest day yesterday, then a speed work day today.  Unfortunately, the LSAT sucked the life force out of me on Saturday.  I didn’t wake up until 3:00 on Sunday.  Yeah, long run wasn’t gonna happen.  Especially since I needed to see USB. 🙂

I took Sunday as a complete and total rest day. Yesterday I had yoga class (it’s not really vinyasa-style so we always just hold a bunch of random poses for a long time; this is actually kind of nice because it increases the stretching factor) and did 6 miles.

I was determined to get in my 20 miles today and I did! It meant getting up at 6:00 which is insanely early for me.  But I did it.  I wanted to run it at about an 11:00 minutes/mile pace.  I was almost exactly on target!  I finished just over 3:40,  which would put me just over 11:00 minute miles.   BUT I stopped for water bottle refills several times, along with some stretch/walk breaks.  I used some leftover pear cider mixed with water for some sugars instead of plain water.  I liked the idea in theory, but cider does not taste good while running.  You would think that would be obvious, but my groggy self thought it was a great idea.  I think for future long runs and the marathon I will do watered-down gatorade.  I also took about ten small dates along with me to eat (they’re really mini).  They tasted really dry and I had to force them on.  I find it so hard to establish an effective fueling plan for long runs.

Anyone have any ideas?

I am also torn about walk breaks.  I can’t decide if they make me faster or slow me down.  I don’t have any kind of ethical problem with them — I think they can be a great tool for runners — but I just can’t seem to figure out if they work for me.  I took maybe four or five today, one every four-ish miles.  They felt good, but I also felt like it would have been less disruptive to just run continuously?

I had a lot of joint pain on the run.  Grrrrr.  Especially afterwards — I actually found it pretty difficult to walk today.  My muscles feel great — worn out but still strong — but the damn joints hurt.  I notice it in my hips and sacrum a lot during longer runs and I honestly don’t know what it means.  Sometimes it is worse than others.  It isn’t bad enough to necessitate stopping training, but I know that I will take a break from running after the big day.  I feel like a good anti-inflammatory would help, but you can never take anti-inflammatories with blood-thinners.  Also grrrr.

That was a lot of running talk!  Phew.

Today’s eats:

After many long-runs worth of experimentation, I am quite confident that the only thing I can safely eat before one is a banana.  Many other runners eat full on breakfasts beforehand, but that would never work for me.  So bananas it is.

I got back and had 20 minutes to shower, edit a paper, and get to class.  Crap.  Not to mention eating.  I felt a little queasy so just decided to sip on gatorade during class.  Afterwards it was noon and I was ready to eat!

I had the weirdest craving for Chinese noodle soup.  So that’s what I had.  Long runs have taught me to always listen to my body!

The salty broth was perfect.  I had all the soup (minus some of the chicken, which I am saving for later) and about half the noodles.

About an hour later I had a cinnamon raisin bagel with walnut raisin cream cheese.

Late afternoon snack of pb pretzels and trail mix.

Dinner was light and refreshing — I don’t have a huge appetite on long run days much of the time.  Don’t worry, my hunger will be back tomorrow! 🙂  This was a smoothie with vanilla soy milk, lots of ice, vanilla hemp/whey protein, a banana, and half an avocado.  Topped with a crumbled granola bar and sesame almonds.  I had another serving or so of the almonds while “cooking.”

The marathon is officially less than a month away!  I am getting a bit nervous, but also very excited.  New York is supposed to be a very fun course with tons of spectators/cheerleaders.   Any readers/bloggers running and want to meetup?  I’ll probably plan something closer to race day!

Alright, time to go call my mom and USB.  Separately, though.  That would be weird if I was calling them at the same time…

Goodnight dearies!

Update: I just had the most delicious, satisfying snack I have ever had in my entire life.  Two eggs scrambled in earth balance with babybel light cheese (x2) and maple turkey and salt.  I was craving salt, fat, and protein like nothing else — I literally felt like I would collapse if I didn’t have some!  I am now munching a big apple. 🙂

Revelation: Balance

Today’s Happy Note: Discovering wood sculptures along the river during my morning run!  There were quite a lot of them, made from tree stumps and driftwood; they were really artistic.  I wonder who did them?

I was proud of myself for getting  up to run this morning.  The humidity was practically deadly and my legs were tired from yesterday’s workout (hello squats and lunges!) but I made it through 4.5 miles.  I also walked about 4.5 miles throughout the day.  So I ended up getting in 9 miles without even trying to! Weird.

Work was productive at both jobs.  Busy busy busy day (although I did get a break from 3-5).  I’m now watching Bethenny Getting Married (aka the best reality TV show ever).

I had a revelation on the way home from work this evening.  I have been feeling a lot of anxiety about the weight loss; I have gained and lost the same 10 or 15 pounds several times in the last three or four years, each time ending up weighing a little more than when I started.    Every time I would weigh myself and see a number close to the overweight range, I would freak out and go into “extreme thinking” mode for a few days — I would not eat anything at all, then eat a big meal, then starve myself the next day.

On my walk home, there was a beautiful cool breeze blowing into my face.  I relaxed and loosened up for a moment. And I said to myself: this time it is not about starving myself or having rules.  It’s about finding the balance.  For the first time in my life, I am approaching weight loss (however minimal) in a balanced way. It’s about finding real, healthful, satisfying foods that nurture my body and my soul.   I have never thought of weight loss like this before.  Certainly I have had a good grasp of healthy eating, but I have always reverted back to restrictive habits and destructive rules.  And you know what?  It has never worked.

So here I am.  Twenty years old.  Having a little breakthrough.

Enough of that.  Onto my balanced eats from today!

Banana-berry smoothie made with vanilla hemp/whey protein, soy milk/kefir, and topped with flax AB.

Salad the size of my head with greens, sprouts, cucumbers, eggplant, and leftover meatballs.  Diet peach iced tea snapple.

Farmer’s market bounty!

Kinda random afternoon snack, but it was exactly what I wanted.  Half of a cream cheese chocolate chip bread with PB and chocolate AB.  Hey, at least there were some serious healthy fats going on.  I also had a few tiny handfuls of trail mix.

Evening snack (I don’t get home from second job until almost nine so I always pack two or three snacks):

Best.  Flavor.  Ever.  I’m not a huge Larabar lover but these new flavors are awesome.  Peanut butter+chocolate is obviously the best flavor combo ever, as we all know.

I was hangry for dinner!  Good thing I knew exactly what I wanted. 🙂

Greens, cukes, eggs, salt, iced tea.

Can’t forget dessert!

Chocolate-peanut-caramel protein powder blender with a cup of vanilla soy milk, xantham gum, and an entire tray of ice cubes.  Topped with Lindt dark chocolate.  This was really good.  I love the volume factor!

Another day of delicious, clean eating.  I know that I don’t need to deprive myself or get so anxious over the weight.  I am doing just fine.  Not to mention the fact that who I am on the inside hasn’t changed at all.  I’m still my same self: writer, believer, dreamer, dancer, runner, yogini, lover, friend, woman.  Thanks so much to all of you who have pointed this out over the last few weeks while I have struggled over my body image.  You are all such wonderful friends!

Goodnight and happy Friday to you all!

Edited to add: just had some more chocolate and a glass of soy milk.  I think it was actual hunger and my 9 miles just caught up to me.  I feel more satisfied now and I know I don’t want anything else!  Time to close the kitchen. 🙂

Recommitting

Today’s Happy Note: It’s the weekend.  Somehow, four day work weeks always feel especially long.  My body never quite gets into the right rhythm.  I haven’t been this excited about a weekend in a long time.  With that said, I am feeling 95% better and am planning on enjoying this weekend and cramming it full of goodness and such.

The combination of recovering from a serious illness and the unbearable heat/humidity has left me exhausted. If I had to draw a picture of the way I feel right now, it would be a maple tree being tapped for syrup.  Endless syrup would be flowing out of an open gash in the tree until it was sucked dry.   I am the empty tree.

Bad tree metaphors aside (I have a minor obsession), I. Hate. Summer.  I am ready for it to be over.  My favorite season is fall, followed by spring, winter, and summer, at a distant last.  I overslept this morning, was late for work, and was still too drained after work to do anything besides collapse on my bed and sleep for three hours.  I had made plans for a quick run, yoga, and a meet up with a friend. Tired Caronae=Weakling Caronae=Anti-Social Caronae=Frustrated Caronae. Therefore when I am tired like this I end up frustrated.

I can’t even describe to you the amount of guilt I feel after a few days sans exercise.  I walk about two miles every day getting to/from work and doing errands.  But in my mind, it doesn’t “count.”  Regardless of whether it counts, I want to be moving.  It’s a healthy outlet that relieves my frustration.

So I am making a recommitment to my health. Less mindless eating, more fun exercise.  More fresh fruits and veggies (although my digestion is still not back to 100%, so this will happen slowly), less lying on the couch in a half-dead position watching TV.  Pretty simple.  This is NOT an obsessive goal or a calorie-counting goal or even a weight loss goal (although that might be nice since I did gain weight while sick).  This is just me consciously recommitting to the healthy lifestyle that I know I truly enjoy.  I am giving myself guidelines, not rules.  My goal is to have more energy and to feel better about myself.

Guidelines:

  • Water.  Drink it.  A lot.  I have a 32 ounce bottle and would like to get through it at least twice a day.
  • Strength training: 2-3 times a week.  Lifting makes me feel strong and toned and is, quite simply, fun.
  • One exercise class a week: this is a nice way to switch things up.
  • Cardio: 4-6 times a week.
  • Yoga: 1-2 times a week.
  • Positive self-talk (“gee  Caronae, you look great in this dress today!”): infinite times per week.
  • Real meals: no picking.  Sit down and eat the damn meal.  More veggies and real food in the evenings (this is where I really struggle).
  • Take advantage of the weekends: come up with some new, awesome, longer workouts.

So that’s the plan, roughly.  I might add more guidelines as I go along.  We shall see.  If any readers want to join me, that would be fun! It’s always nice to feel like you are doing a challenge with a friend.

Anyone have any recommendations?  I am certainly open to your suggestions!  What are your favorite ways to “get back on track”?

Okay.  Enough boring stuff.  Onto more important things:

Like blueberry banana smoothies:

And Mr. Softee ice cream cones (this was my Cookie Friday, although really, the whole rest of the day ended up being a Cookie Friday of sorts.  See recommitment plan above.)

Cherry-dipped ice cream cones is one processed thing I will never give up.  Another thing: the occassional goldfish (not the swimming kind, the cute little snacking kind).  Someone had these in our office today and my hand kept sneaking into the bag.  I’m sure they can’t be that bad for me.

The up-closeness of this photo is cleverly designed to disguise the size of my portion.  Which was big.  But I was feling genuinely snacky.  I balanced it out with a power lunch!

Delicious salad beast with spinach, peppers, carrots, plain raw tofu (surprisingly yummy) and sweet poppy seed dressing.

What was your Cookie Friday treat today?

Off to write!  Goodnight and happy weekend!

Career Girls

Today’s Happy Note: I am now the owner of a skirt suit!  It’s cute though, I swear.

Sorry for not posting yesterday!  When I’m on vacation I tend to get into an all-or-nothing mode and yesterday was, well, kind of the nothing mode.  I did shop though!  Which counts as exercise and productivity, since I needed new clothes!

I ran ten miles this morning and it was terrible.  Yucky weather, yucky legs, yucky run.  I know that not every run can be great though and sometimes you’ve just gotta slog through it.  I wasn’t really hurting either, just…sluggish.  Very, very sluggish.

Random side note: my mom and sister both thinks it’s insanely weird that I take pictures of my food.  They make fun of me for it, but in a loving way I suppose.  It only takes about a minute to photograph each meal or snack and I enjoy it, so I think it’s perfectly healthy.  It’s creative, artistic, reminds me what/how much I’ve eaten, and helps me share my eats and recipes with you guys — my friends!  Do you have family members or friends who think food photography is loony?

Eats hodgepodge:

The obligatory dairy queen visit.  I only go once or twice a year when I’m in MI.  DQ is one of the relatively few processed fast foods that I make an exception for.  I honestly have no interest in grease-soaked fries, burgers, or suspicious-meat tacos.  But I do have an interest in ice cream.  A strong interest.  Especially when dipped in fake cherry coating.  Majorly yum.

Are there any foods you know are terrible for you but you couldn’t imagine going without?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Shake:

6-8 big ice cubes

1 medium banana

2/3 C low-fat chocolate milk

1 scoop favorite protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp favorite peanut butter

Put all ingredients in blender, with ice on bottom, and whir!

This combination has always been one of my favorites.  It reminds me of afternoons spent with my oldest friend, Danica!  We met in fourth grade, when she moved to MI.  We were both geeky bookworm weirdos who liked studying outer space, bugs, and reading during recess.  The very first day of school, our teacher introduced us, and I actually said “maybe I’ll play with her when I finish my book.”  We quickly bonded over our shared oddball natures.

Sometimes I would ride the bus to her house after school when my parents were really busy at work.  Her mom made us chocolate banana smoothies.  Twas delicious.  We still have loads in common — we like to argue, are interested in politics, and are ambitious!  She moved to Idaho when we were about fourteen and now goes to college on the West Coast, but we’re still friends!  We rendezvoused in Mexico in January of 2009 and talk on the phone every month or so. She’s my oldest friend and I hope I can still say that when I’m a hundred!

Do you have an old, childhood friend who you still keep in contact with?

Speaking of ambition!

I have been thinking about my future a lot lately.  As a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist for a long time.  Then an orthodontist.  And a chef.  And so on and so forth.  Right now?  Well I am not totally sure — the good thing is that I have a lot of options.  In the next year or so I will be searching for a job; I plan on staying in NY because, well, I love it, as we all know!  In 3-5 years I would like to go to law school so that I can graduate when I’m 26-28.  In the meantime, I might like to work in a legal field — either government/public policy, human rights, or international stuff.  Potentially as a paralegal or legal researcher.  I also might be interested in non-profit work, although let’s be honest, we all know how well that pays.  Another option is to make good use of my history degree and continue work or research in that field.  I love working in a historical archive and could see myself working in a library or government archive as well.  Finally, I could see myself doing something with writing: journalism, magazines, editing, creative work.  I do, at some point in my 20s, hope to publish a book of my poems.

In my mind, I see so many possibilities as a good thing!  Some people have more narrow preferences, but I think that keeping my options and interests open to all the things I like will, in the long run, be more productive.

What are your ambitions? I say follow your dreams!  I have no interest in being chained to a career that I don’t love.  Sometimes it takes a little searching and experimenting, but I know that.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week.  What have you been up to?

Mothers, Banana Maple Chia French Toast, Women’s Bodies

Today’s Happy Note: Going to the Cathedral and listening to the organ in honor of my mother!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I love you more than I could ever say.  You are strong, beautiful, caring, and dedicated.  I hope that one day I might be a fraction of the mother you have been to me.

Speaking of mother’s day, go say congrats to Heather and her new little HEABlet!

There aren’t a lot of things that I claim to know in this ever-changing world. But I do know this: I will be a mother some day.  I know it more than I know almost anything else about myself.  I don’t know where my career will go, where I will live, who I’ll be with, or even some of the more nuanced details of myself: but I know that I have to be a mother.  It’s sort of strange how strongly I feel this.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Exercise: I had a short and sweet five mile run this evening.  Although I felt good, the weather did not seem to agree with my mood.  It was seriously blustery!  I was running north along the Hudson River and was a little bit afraid that the wind would blow me into the water!  I also did 20 minutes of yoga, making up my own poses and doing some core stuff along the way.  I love doing balancing flows.  Today I did  a lot with airplane, standing splits, half-moon, dancer’s, hand to foot, extended hand to foot (leg out to the side), and headstand.  Balancing poses seem to reorient me and calm me down.

Eats: Eats were actually pretty fun today! Don’t expect anything too thrilling for the rest of the week though.  I’ll be working my way through my “pantry” (a very disorganized plastic bin) which has a lot of random stuff in it.  Although random food supplies seem to bring out my creative culinary side (exhibit A: tonight’s dinner).  Anyways, breakfast today was extra special!  I love weekend brunches — they are my favorite meal of the week to make and eat.

Banana maple chia french toast!

1 tsp coconut oil

2 slices whole wheat cinnamon bread (or other variety)

1 egg white

1 tsp cinnamon (divided in two parts)

splash vanilla soy milk (or other milk of choice)

3/4 C vanilla greek yogurt

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 banana, thinly sliced

Heat coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat.  Prepare toast “bath” (egg white, half of cinnamon, and milk).  Coat both sides of each slice in the mixture and cook in pan (about 5-6 minutes).  Meanwhile, mix yogurt, maple syrup, more cinnamon, chia, and banana.  When french toast is cooked through, plate and top with yogurt mixture!

Purely, simply delicious.  The maple syrup really takes the plain old vanilla yogurt up a notch in terms of flavor and the chia seeds give it a nice texture.

Other eats included a vanilla peach smoothie (vanilla soy milk, frozen peaches, vanilla whey protein powder):

Topped with almond butter and pomegranat chobani.  For some reason, now that I am obsessed with SIABs, I cannot stand to eat my smoothies without toppings anymore!

Dinner was also fun.  It was basically a casserole with layers of sauteed asparagus and mushroom, macaroni and cheese, more asparagus and mushroom, fresh spinach, and fried eggs.

Below is a little diatribe I wrote after reading a certain article in Oprah magazine this month.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Women and Their Bodies: Why Real Health is Beautiful

In my monthly reading of Oprah magazine this weekend, I came across an article that disturbed me.  I felt unsettled as soon as I began reading, and quickly realized why: the entire premise of the article is that women’s bodies necessitate correction in order to be beautiful, particularly as we age.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some super ultra-feminist who rages against makeup or push-up bras or anti-wrinkle cream.  Women deserve to feel beautiful, but that begs the question: to what extent?  Where is the boundary between natural beauty and technological beauty?  Furthermore, what about the idea that beauty is on the inside?  Most women’s magazines seem to push this fact, but they also relentlessly remind us that we need our abs to look this way or that we need this new haircut.  I think that this particular article, which talks about the “fantastic possibilities” that will emerge in the field of women’s beauty and style in the next decade, reimagines the female body and places it in an unattainable context.  This strikes me as dangerous because, through a pervasive focus on correcting the outside’s of our bodies, I worry that we ignore the insides.  And I am not just referring to the fluffy “I’m a smart, beautiful, kind woman with a good personality” stuff.  Our insides are serious markers of our true health.  By masking this more and more, I worry that we are distancing ourselves from the natural frameworks our bodies have established to maintain our own health.

The article I refer to is entitled “Stop Grays With a Pill, Melt Fat With a Laser: And 12 Other Fantastic Possibilities that might be fully realized by 2020”.  It can be read online here.

Basically, the article profiles some slightly disturbing “health” innovations.  And by profiles I mean “obsesses over”.  From a magazine as empowering and insightful as Oprah, I would have expected a much more two-sided portrayal of things.  For example, one of the items I found most upsetting was entitled “A Slimmer Waistline, Trimmer Hips — No Surgery Necessary!”  It described a device that works like an ultrasound to break up fat in any desired area.   Once the fat has been broken up the body flushes it out naturally.  It can remove 2-3 inches from the waistline.  As mentioned earlier, I find this problematic for two primary reasons.  First of all, why can’t we leave the female body alone?  I find it quite distressful that, as technology becomes more and more developed, we insist on applying it to our bodies.  Isn’t this somewhat invasive?  I would like to think that there is still one personal, sanctified space in this world — my own body.  Do I really need to take a pill ensuring that I never get grey hair?  Or use at-home laser treatments to remove the “unwanted” hairs from every part of my body?  One of the innovations mentioned refers to a sort of improved botox whereby or own blood and proteins are used to fill in wrinkles.  Really?  I think women in their natural state are gorgeous.  Granted, I may think otherwise when I’m sixty, but nonetheless, I hope that I would have the courage to realize the beauty in my health, intelligence, and ability to move and dance and play.  I think these things are beautiful; not artificial mechanisms whereby we bizarrely rearrange the body in the hopes of making it more appealing to who?

The second reason I find these innovations problematic is as follows: let’s imagine a hypothetical woman who has employed these innovations.  She has no love handles, a wrinkle-free face, thick hair, perfectly white teeth, and firm skin.  Regardless of whether or not we might think of her as “beautiful”, there are dangerous health implications.  What about exercise and healthy eating and meditation?  All of these healthful practices can be thrown away when we correct the external body with such a fine-toothed comb.  I am not saying that every woman who chooses to use these technologies will let her health go to the wayside, but I do worry that such inventions could mask real dangers.  For example, many sedentary woman could become relatively thin by removing several inches of fat from their stomach, hips and thighs.  But this does not mean that their hearts are any healthier or that their lungs or any stronger or that their bones are not withering away inside.  Ultimately, I think these new conceptions of beauty create a risky divide between internal and external dimensions of health and beauty.  I think that the internal and external dimensions are intertwined — and are meant to be so.  When I lift weights, I tone my arms and stomach. But I also help keep my bones dense and build confidence and self-esteem.  I think it is morally incorrect to create a separation here.

My own mother, who is in her fifties, is vibrant, radiant, powerful, and compassionate.   She hikes, gardens, bird-watches, plays word games, kayaks, skis, works, and loves.  To me, this is beautiful.  The (few) wrinkles around her eyes are signs of a lovely journey, not signs of an ugly body.  When will we learn to appreciate this?  I only hope that we can see the beauty in the natural female body before we have gone too far down this dangerous path of reconstruction.

So, Oprah, I am highly disappointed in you here.  While I applaud you and the health innovators who are coming up with ways to make us truly healthier — like finding ways of increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables among people in impoverished communities — I do not think that these devices, mechanisms, and ideas constitute true health.  I hope you will forgive me when I say that I found this article unpleasant, upsetting, and an offense to healthy, beautiful women everywhere.

Finals Challenge Day 2 And Yummy Study Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Talking to my sister!  I always forget to call her but hearing her voice and listening to what’s going on in her life always makes me happy.  Hi Darya!  I love you!

Guess what!  I just finished my second 15-page paper of the semester!  That means two 15-pagers and one 8-pager down, one 10 page take home final and one in class final to go.  And then I’m a senior!  Gah!  I am definitely over the hump in terms of workload and I feel so very relieved.  I can’t believe I’m 3/4 of the way through college. Weird.

Finals Week Health Challenge (Day 2):

1. Check!  I got my weight lifting and my HIIT on (for 30 minutes each) this morning.  I was way sweatier than usual; I hate that about summer.  I’m already susceptible to sweat overload and humidity makes it that much worse.  Yick. Anyone have any summer workout tips?

2. Check!  I was a produce (and Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread) monster today.  I had a banana, lunch salad with greens, eggplant, carrots, mushroom, and artichoke, and carrots, broccoli, and more mixed greens with dinner.  I would have liked to have a bit more fruit (I was craving a crunchy apple or grapes this afternoon) but the fresh produce budget is low low low right now.  I actually had a really funny conversation with my mom the other day; we were filling out financial aid forms together )over the phone) and she needed to know things like how much money I made last summer and what my expenditures were.  As I was trying to figure out where all my savings went, I said, “But mom, they don’t seem to be accounting for my expensive produce habit!”  We both laughed.  I guess better an expensive produce habit than an expensive obesity-related illness habit.

3. Check! Just had a very chocolatey dessert and haven’t been too snacky at all today or this evening.

4. Check!  My “date” (which, by the way, was very fun — we had lunch and talked for a long time, and he said we should hang out this summer!) instilled a little bit of confidence in me!  It was nice.  I actually told myself that I looked good in the dress that I wore.  Which I think I do!

Hodgepodge of study eats from the past few days (I think Monica’s blog tagline is apt here “running around and eating a lot, mostly healthy sometimes not!”):

This dinner was my attempt at being macrobiotic.  I loved my dinner at Souen a few weeks ago so much that I decided to recreate it!  I think I was actually pretty successful, minus the rice.  I has brown rice, pinto beans, greens salad, steamed broccoli, and roasted carrots, all topped with some Annie’s Goddess dressing, which tasted surprisingly similar to the creamy miso tahini dressing I had at Souen.  I really enjoyed this dinner and I think it was pretty complete and healthy.  Minus the roasting off the carrots, everything came together in ten minutes.  The rice was a failure though; dry, hard, icky.  I think maybe I really just don’t like rice.

So I’ve been eating lots of easy but yummy meals.  I am out of frozen berries but am hoping a quick trip to WF tomorrow will remedy that, so that I can eat even more smoothies.

I’m off to read and enjoy a well-deserved night off from schoolwork (although seeing as I worked until eleven I’m not sure how much of a night off it really is)!  Back to the grind tomorrow.

I hope you are all enjoying the lovely weather friends!  What’s new and exciting in your lives?

Previous Older Entries