Workout/Eating Habits

Today’s Happy Note: I’m in tune with my body!  I noticed a lot of other women in yoga class really struggling to connect with their bodies and realized how close I am to my own body.  I wasn’t judging them or anything, just noticing.  I know where my joints are, the way things move.  I have years of gymnastics, running, swimming, and now yoga to thank for this.

Workout: Thought about kick-boxing, but my heart wasn’t in it, so I skipped it and did 30 minutes of seriously heavy arm weights and an hour yoga class at the gym.  I really enjoyed the yoga class at the gym, actually.  Sometimes the studio feels a  little pretentious and tiresome and elitist.  Also walked a mile or two.  I have a hard speed workout for tomorrow so I’m conserving some energy. 🙂

Workouts are not always going to be joyfully fun, but you shouldn’t ever force yourself to do something that you just don’t want to do.  I have so many friends who ask me things like, “how are you so healthy when you’re so busy?” or “how do you make yourself workout all the time?”

Well, first of all, I think we need to change the way we look at “working out” or “exercising.”  For me, it is not an hour of my day where I drag myself to the gym, force myself to get through a boring routine, and then come home and watch TV.  Working out is a part of my life.  It’s as integrated into the way I live as eating or writing or going to class or work.  Further, I would get pretty tired of working out too if I spent an hour on the elliptical at the gym everyday. I think it’s actually pretty easy to work some movement into your day: it might be an hour and a half walk in the evening or an early yoga class or half an hour of dancing in your room.

It takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to form a habit.  I am lucky in that I was very active in high school and carried that pattern relatively easily into college,so I didn’t have to start from scratch (like I have had to with my emotional eating patterns).  Many people struggle to workout in college — but I think of it as a little escape from the schoolwork.  When you look at it as an important part of your day that will help you focus better and think more clearly, you’re less likely to skip out.

Eats:

Look!  My lentils are crawling on my tofu like ants.  I couldn’t help but share my adorable lunch find with my coworkers.

Probably didn’t need the small bowl of granola pictured above right but whatever.  I have found that eating 4-6 (depending on my activity level) meals of about 400 calories each.  A 100-200 calorie snack is always too small for me, while a 600-700 calorie lunch or dinner feels too big.  I am really enjoying this way of eating — I don’t follow any rules or plans and don’t deny myself if I’m hungry.  This just seems to work, for now.  And when it doesn’t work, I’ll change things up.

Goodnight goodnight goodnight!  Time for me to sleep.  Even though I took a nap like five hours ago.  Don’t judge.

Happy Tuesday!

Dear Men At The Gym

Today’s Happy Note: Saw a beautiful pink and blue sunset during my evening run.

Workout: Three easy miles with 4×100 strides and about 40 minutes of full-body strength training.

So.

This is an open letter.  To certain members of my lovely NYSC gym.  Members of the XY chromosome variety. Members who are more likely to have a rather higher concentration of testosterone.

Dear Fellow Gymgoers (of the mostly male type):

Hi there!  My name is Caronae.  I am a twenty year old woman living in the wonderful city of NY.  I am about to start my senior year of college.  I also work in an archive and for a non-profit.

I am kinda geeky.  I love books, poems, writing essays, and history.  I like learning new things about the world and the ways people relate to one another.  I like going to class, most of the time.  I am a pretty good thinker.

Other likes: running, yoga, peanut butter, movies, laughing with friends, massages, smoothies, blogging, swimming, cooking, baking, muffins, human rights, and social justice.  My favorite TV shows all involve hot doctors.  I like flowers and trees and am generally pretty girly.

Of course, you do not know any of these things about me, which is fine.  Most of the people I encounter in a typical day don’t know these things.  But, because you have presumed a certain level of intimacy with my body,  I thought maybe you might want to learn a little bit about the rest of me.  Let me explain.

Boys: I am not a piece of meat.  I am a woman who has a body. I have thoughts and feelings and dreams.  I have virtues and flaws.  I may have a somewhat ample chest and slightly curvy hips.  I may have long, feminine hair. And maybe you find all of these things attractive, when scoping out a potential mate.  Maybe.

But.  I am not at the gym for your viewing pleasure.  I know that the cardio area tends to be mostly female and the weights area, well, mostly male.   I know that when a woman crosses this line it might be a little scary for you.  I have entered your domain.  I have entered the land of grunting, lifting, and sweaty barbells.  But I have some important news for you: I have as much of a right to be there as you do. And I also have a right to get my lift on free of your wandering eyes, I’m pretty sure.

I have never quite understood why men stare hungrily at my body.  I am young, I suppose.  I have a certain type of figure.  I think that it is socially acceptable for men to be with — to date, to love, to marry — thin women.  I am not saying this is the only acceptable sort of union.  But the idea of the thin, beautiful woman as the ideal partner has certainly pervaded our system of social conditioning.  And I am not that woman.  I am kind of the opposite.

I am not disparaging my body or my looks at all.  What I am saying, rather, is that my body has a very distinct appeal to men — one that is only free to surface in the completely public, mostly male sphere: places like the weight room at the gym. Men are socially confined and encouraged to be with women who have a certain look.  But biologically, let’s face it: curves mean something.  I think males are hardwired to see something, hungrily, in females who look like me.  But that doesn’t give them free license to constantly visually exploit me.

It’s so simple.  Just.  Stop.  Staring.  If you want to say “hey, great job!” or “you’re looking really strong today” or “how about we get coffee sometime” that would be lovely.  I would love to engage with you on an intellectual (or at least verbal) level. I would love to hear about your hobbies and your work and your feelings.  But until you stop staring and we start having meaningful interactions that don’t leave me feeling ashamed and exploited, none of this can happen.

So this is a plea of sorts.  I know that I am not the only woman who feels this way.  And perhaps there are some men who feel exploited as well.  I don’t know what the answer is, really.  All I can say is this: when you stare long and hard directly at my chest (and yes, I know you are not looking deeply into my eyes — I know perfectly well where my head is and it is not that far down), it isn’t good for either of us.  You perpetuate the stereotype of the crude, promiscuous male.  And you make me feel like crap.  So please: stop.

Sincerely,

Caronae

I hope that didn’t come across as all feminist-ranty.  I just feel like it is my basic right to have a calm workout at the gym in which I don’t have to be on the lookout for wandering eyes every five and a half seconds.  If you have thoughts on this issue, I would love to hear them!  I know I cannot possibly be the only woman who experiences this unfortunate phenomenon.

Tomorrow is going to be a crazy day.  I might now be in.  But I shall be back in blogland in full force next week!  Promise. 🙂

A Thing About Cravings.

Today’s Happy Note: Well, you might say that I am msot definitely caught up on my sleep….

I went to bed at eleven last night, planning to get up at 7:45 for a run and be at work by 10.  When my alarm went off, I decided to sleep in until 8:30…okay, no problem, I would still get to work on time.  8:45 rolled around and I dragged myself into the kitchen for a pretty awesome smoothie (Silk vanilla soy milk, 1/2 scoop chocolate/peanut/caramel protein powder,loads of ice, and half a banana.  All topped with Kashi heart to heart and some crunchy PB).

And then I went to my room to check email and promptly feel back asleep…until 2:00.

I have not done that since high school!  I would wake up every hour or two and think, okay, it’s time to get up now, but it was like I was in a stupor.  It was the deepest exhaustion I have felt in a long while.  So I basically slept for 15 hours.  I know I am still “sick” on the inside, so I guess it kind of makes sense, given that I have been doing a lot in the last week or so.

I made lunch when I woke up and did work on the computer (for the other job) for a few hours.

I had a mild freakout at lunchtime, when I realized that all I wanted was oats.  Carbs?  At lunchtime?  Never!!!!!!  But.  I wanted the damn oatmeal, with a fresh peach, cinnamon raisin PB, and melty dark chocolate.  This lunch proved to me how important it is to eat what I want: my body knows what it needs.  Oatmeal at lunchtime is not going to make me fat. I know this.

I might lose the weight a little bit faster if I ate salads for every meal, but I can guarantee that I would be a pretty miserable human being. 🙂

Lunch dessert (what, you don’t have lunch dessert?!?!):

Coconut popsicle and baby dark chocolate truffle.  This was eaten so late, I never had an afternoon snack.

I finally left the house around four.  At first, my brain went in to extreme mode and thought “geez Caronae, you have already been so lazy and immobile and gluttonous (that one’s not even true!) today that you should just stay in.  Just make yourself more miserable, you don’t deserve to go out for a walk or get to the gym.”  This is utterly ridiculous.  Does anyone else do this?  I hate my all or nothing mindset.

But I got out anyways!  I walked to the gym and lifted for about 45 minutes, then took a class called Sports Conditioning.  It was really fun and a great workout!  Not quite as good as my beloved kixkboxing, but still awesome.  We did lots  of cardio/strength mixtures, with jumping, abs, and running thrown in.

I was happy that I got out of the house (apartment) and did something.  No effort to move is ever too small.

I did some house tasks before dinner.  We started here…

And ended here:

Yes, that is the biggest pile of sauteed rainbow chard (and spinach!) man has ever seen.  I ate about half of what I cooked.  It was pretty spectacular.  Topped with two sunny-side up eggs (I love love love runny yolks) and bell pepper strips.  With a peach on the side!

This dinner was pure love.  I was craving some fresh veg and protein.  The chard and the eggs were from the farmer’s market.  Can’t wait to go restock my veggies (and chocolate milk of course) tomorrow!

Funny thing about dark leafy greens: as we all know, our greens are good for us.  They are rich in Vitamin K and I actually really enjoy them; cooked, raw, in omelets, stir-fries, smoothies, salads, wraps.  But.  Vitamin K interferes with the coagulation coefficient of the blood thinners I have to take (namely, the Coumadin).  In the past, Coumadin patients were advised to totally avoid greens and other veggies rich in Vitamin K.  But then, people like me, for whom that would not be possible, came around.  Okay, so maybe it’s not that simple, but you get the point.

The solution?  I can either eat no dark leafy greens at all or eat lots.  I chose the latter. 🙂  That way, it will still interfere with the drug, but they can simply give me a higher dose consistently.  My dosage is still creeping up; we’ll see how high I have to go.  I am not giving up my chard, bok choy, spinach, collards, arugula, etc.  Never!

I made a giant batch of iced tea and have already had two huge classes.  I use chamomile tea bags, a packet of stevia, and a few teaspoons of honey.  Summer perfection.

Dessert was of course consumed:

Raspberry chobani with Godiva raspberry dark chocolate and a tablespoon of Justin’s chocolate almond butter.  There are no words.  This was like a decadent ice cream sundae.  I’m in love.

Another thing I have learned about cravings: if I don’t eat what I want for dessert, I will end up overeating/emotional eating afterwards.  So I ate this “big dessert”, but now I know I won’t be raiding the cupboard in an hour or two!  So simple.

I hope everyone is having a most wonderful week.

Here’s to hoping that my 15 hours of sleep last night means I am wide awake tomorrow!

Goodnight!

The Sneaky Hate Spiral: Antidote

Today’s Happy Note: Got a lot of work done!  I was in my office from 9-4 (very productive!) and then did stuff for my other job (phone calls and computer work) from 4-5 and 7-9 (hit the gym in between!).  About ten hours total, which is a lot, but I don’t feel so overhwelmed, and not feeling overwhelmed is the best feeling in the world.

Happy Note #2: This post from Joanne.  I thought I was the only young twenty-something woman who wanted to go on real dates!  Apparently there are other people who are not into the frat party make-out scene and who don’t consider sloppy drunken dancing romantic.  Yay, I’m not alone!

Okay.  So.

Have you ever read Hyperbole and a Half? It’s definitely one of the funniest blogs on the Internets.  If you’re ever feeling down, the first thing you should do is go there.  My point in all this is to reference the ubiquitous Sneaky Hate Spiral post.

Allie describes it better than I ever could, but in sum: the SHS occurs when a bunch of little, annoying things start building up and you get more and more angry until an explosion results.  My SHS began first thing this morning when I woke up fifteen minutes before I was supposed to be at work.  I have been doing this thing lately where I wake up to my alarm, press snooze a few times, then press “dismiss” (i.e., “off”) and close my eyes and think “oh I’ll just lie here for another minute.”  Then, of course, a minute turns into a half an hour.  So I woke up at 8:45.  I was only fifteen minutes late though!

Anyways, the SHS continued with the worst headache of my life accompanied by a terrible feeling of misalignment in my spine and neck.  It felt like someone had twisted up my back like a rope.  And the head pain:I  felt like I was 50 feet underwater (I used to be a diver and regularly dove down to the bottom of a 20 foot pool; this was approximately 2.5 times worse).

There honestly weren’t that many other serious things, but the headache just magnified every tiny nuissance.  I ran over my big toe with a cart at work.  Then I dropped an interview and all the pages fell out and came out of order and I had to put them all back in by hand.  Then I started getting really angry at L (who I didn’t even see today) and could not stop thinking about how much I suck at therapy.  Things just sort of continued in this pattern.

But then.  I only had twenty five minutes to book it home from work and make it to the gym before five (I have a student membership, so I can’t go between 5-7:30 BUT I can go at 4:58.  Ha.).  I was determined to get there, if only so that I didn’t feel guilty later on.  I was just going to make myself get on the elliptical and sweat it out for 30 or 40 minutes.

When I arrived, I noticed that there was a 5:30 kickboxing class.  I thought, “why not?”  I lifted for about 25 minutes and then headed in.

I think this kickboxing class changed my life.  Let me restate this:

I am in love, my friends.  Sadly, there are no boys involved in this relationship (unless the super hot instructor counts).  But there is me: a very strong, sweaty me.  I have no idea what happened in that 50 minutes but the SHS snapped.  And not only did I rid myself of the SHS monster, I left happy. It was a deep, pervasive happiness that I haven’t felt in a long time.  I am not sure if the relief came from the hundreds and hundreds of punches into the punching bag or the me time, or what.  But a little thing inside me clicked.  I realized that I can manufacture my own happiness. And maybe this means going to a kickboxing class, rather than coming into some sort of serene internal peace.  I don’t care.  Happiness is happiness, and I’ll take what I can get.

I left the class headache-free and practically glowing.  At the beginning, as I was looking in the mirrors, I was fiercely angry at my body — “why can’t my thighs be smooth, and why do I have this massive bump of fat on my stomach, and why are my breasts so painfully large?”  At the end, I actually felt a confidence in my body that has not been around in a long time. I felt so strong; like I could take on the world.  I felt better than I ever have lifting weights or pounding away on the elliptical (both of which are considerably fun).  I felt like I could actually see my muscles firming up.

I was no longer angry at L.  I was no longer angry at myself.  The anger just poured out of my body.  And I am so unbelievably thrilled.  And content.  Right now.

Have you ever had a workout that left you feeling strong, confident, and healthy?  Has a workout ever turned your day around completely?

The eats:

Swirly raspberry overnight oats.

I refuse to give up my once-weekly diet Snapple with aspartame.  I have a little pile of empty bottles that I’m stashing behind my computer at work — I don’t think that we have a glass recycling container and I am feeling too lazy to take them outside.

Monster leftovers lunch topped with a two-egg puff and a side of granola bar.  Snacked on a TJ’s single-serving bag of trail mix before my workout and many handfuls of WF chocolate cherry trail mix afterwards (SO good!).

Blueberry-banana smoothies are so good.  I was craving a muffin, so I walked to WF to get one (theirs are always good and fresh).  I meant to just get a muffin, bananas, and a non-dairy milk.  I left with said muffin, coconut milk, dark chocolate, dried mango, mushrooms, trail mix, and coconut milk.  The muffin is chocolate chip.  Nom!

Dessert was a few pieces (this is a really small container) of banana chip bread with melted dark chocolate.

Mmmmm, meltable.

Overall, today was a bad day that turned into a good one!

Have you ever had a Sneaky Hate spiral day?  How do you get rid of it? Sometimes I feel like you just have to let it run its course…

Also: Mama Pea (one of my most favorite bloggers; she is so sweet) is giving away a cookbook! Check it out.

Adventure Saturday: Yoga/Farmer’s Market and Fava Bean Pasta Salad

Today’s Happy Note: Everything!  It was just a very pleasant Saturday.  I need a list.

1. Turtles.  I found this little pond in CP with a small dock.  I ran down the dock and discovered that the pond was swarming with turtles — hundreds of them!  My favorites are the big old ones.  They’re such serene and graceful creatures.

2. Buying myself sunflowers!  See farmer’s market pictures below.  They are brightening up my dining room table.

3. Getting things done: lots of errands and tasks (calling grandparents, buying paper towels, letter writing, etc.).

4. One of my best random dinner creations ever.

5. Spectacular batch of protein ice cream (that I am currently eating).

6. Chatting with friends, even if only briefly.  Always makes my day so much better.

7. Catching up on Bethenny Getting Married, which is the best reality show ever.  I think Bethenny is really sassy and clever.  She is totally someone who I would want as my friend!

I had a spectacular Adventure this morning to a yoga class with live music.  I have never had a class with live musicians and it was fun, especially since the players were kinda cute.  I don’t think it really changed my experience but I did notice I felt a little more relaxed.  Like there was less stuff floating around in my head interfering with my practice.

I have been thinking a lot about compassion lately.  Yoga always reminds me to be kind: towards myself and others.  This is one of my favorite things about it, besides the obvious physical benefits.  After yoga, the Adventure continued to the Farmer’s Market.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera since I only had my running waist pack.  There was such a wide variety of vendors there today.  I wanted to try so many things — fresh goat cheese, blueberry jam, sprouts, lamb, herb teas, squashes.  I didn’t think I should spend my life savings at the FM though, so I had to drag myself away eventually.  My little trip reminded me of Averie!  I wish she could shop at the farmer’s market in NYC with me.  I know she would love it and we would be buddies!

When I was done shopping, I munched on a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie from Stone Arch Farms (my favorite baked goods vendor by far) dipped in my newly acquired cashew butter!  I had gotten a few things at WF beforehand. Sadly, the cashew butter was a bit disappointing.  It was sort of thick and goopy and slimy.  Cashews are my favorite nut too.  I don’t know where things went wrong.

Loot:

Peaches, cookies, banana chip bread, eggs, fava beans, sunflowers, cucumbers, sweet corn!  WF loot:

Basil, spring greens, almond milk, frozen mahi mahi burgers (!!!), raspberries, cashew butter.  Can you tell what I was thinking of making for dinner? Probably not.  Because only a few of the ingredients are here.  And only my crazy brain would think up the bizarre concoction that it turned into.

So what did dinner turn into?

Summer Pasta Salad (this is for one)

1 serving whole wheat noodles

1/2 pound fava beans (once shelled, you’ll have about 1/2 – 3/4 cups)

2 C spinach, washed

1 C fresh basil, washed

2 Tbsp EVOO

2 Tbsp hummus

Lemon pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Boil a pot of water and add a teaspoon or two of salt.  While it boils, remove fava beans from pods.  Add them into the boiling water for three or four minutes; meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water.  Remove fava beans from pot and submerge in ice water.  Add pasta to water and cook for ten to twelve minutes.  The fava beans actually have another shell that must now be removed.  I took them out of the ice water and, using a dull-ish knife (I didn’t want to slice my hand open), make a slice along one edge, then squeeze the bean out.  Once all of the beans have been shelled, toss into a frying pan with a little EVOO, lemon pepper, and salt.  Into a blender goes the hummus, the other tablespoon of EVOO, more salt and lemon pepper, and the basil.  Blend until creamy.  Beans should be sauteed for about five minutes, while pasta is finishing up.  When everything is complete, add pasta, beans, and sauce to a bowl.  Toss together thoroughly, then add the spinach and toss again.  Serve with cheese, sunny side up egg, more basil, or other fresh herbs.

The Bean.

This was such a fun dinner!  I was  *this close* to not cooking but decided I wanted to do a little kitchen experimentation.  So glad I did!  It’s creamy yet tangy yet not overpowering.  I will probably make a version of this again.  I need to buy more favas next time!

Do you have a favorite easy summer recipe?

Outside of my yoga/farmer’s market adventure, I also ran and lifted today.  I did about seven and a half miles then twenty-ish minutes of arm strength.  I was proud of myself for that distance.  It felt surprisingly easy, considering that I have run all of five miles in the last two weeks.  I think I should be back up to my regular weekend long runs in no time at all.

Tomorrow will, hopefully, include more Adventures.  I think that’s what weekend are all about

What Adventures are you having on this lovely (albeit sticky) July weekend?

Gym! Picnic! Memories!

Today’s Happy Note: Doing what I wanna do.  Sundays/holidays are the best for that.

Doing what I want started with a visit to the gym!  First time in over a week.  I ran a mile around the neighborhood then lifted weights (lighter than usual) for thirty minutes and spent thirty steady minutes on the elliptical.  The run was hard. Not hard like “oh, I should slow down a bit,” but hard like “I need to lie down for thirty minutes after every block” hard.  I eventually made it to the gym and had to sit down in the weight room.  Felt like a total loser.

The rest of the day was spent napping, watching various TV marathons, studying for the LSAT, talking with my mommy, cleaning, and then having a little picnic/fireworks adventure.

I had a nice outing with friends last night and would have liked to see them today but it was hard to coordinate schedules/locations.  So I ended up with a picnic for one!  Fine by me.  I would rather be by myself and make the most of it — get out of the house, do activities, meet new people — than sulk around and cry and feel sad about being alone.

I won’t lie, my picnic Fourth of July dinner was pretty sweet.  The menu:

  1. Sautéed garlic green beans with a maple glaze
  2. Potato salad with….interesting sauce
  3. Lemon grilled chicken
  4. Maple blueberry pie.

All together now:

I didn’t finish all of what’s pictured and made extra, so it looks like I’ll be eating nicely for a few days!  I am integrating real foods back into my diet slowly.  I didn’t have any other veggies today.  I feel much stronger and healthier but the last of the infection is still lingering around.  I am still being careful about fluids and am pounding the antibiotics (prescribed, of course).

After dinner I studied.  And studied some more.  Who knew logic games could be so damn complicated?  Alex is going to a party with his 25 best friends, known as each letter of the alphabet, B-Z.  Each person will arrive at a different time bearing a different food wearing a different color shirt.  Once they’re at the party they will be grouped into seven groups of different sizes.  We know that F arrived last and Z is wearing a purple shirt and will be in a group of three.  When did each person arrive?  What are they wearing?  What dish did they bring?  And what group are they in?

Seriously.  I’m not exaggerating.  Good thing the fireworks started after a few hours.  It was nice to see something exploding that wasn’t my brain.

I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to take a good picture of fireworks.  Meh.

I like the Fourth of July as a celebration of summer and friends and good food.  I guess the founding of our country is cool too.  I have the best memories of Fourth of July…

Storytime: Camp

From when I was 9 until 16 I attended a camp called AGQ every summer, for varying lengths of time (a week, two weeks, a month).  It was my favorite place in the world.  I grew up there.  It’s located in the most beautiful part of Michigan on a huge inland lake, with plenty of woods, pastures, cabins, camp sites, and everything else a kid could want in a summer camp.  I learned how to water ski.  How to play.  How to talk about myself and then write about myself.  How to be me.  Camp changed my life, not in a silly way, but in a very serious way.

There are a few specific memories about Camp that bring me instantaneous joy (and deep sadness as well). There was one tree; a very special tree.  An oak with the biggest green, sunny branches, draping out in all directions.  It seemed to me like that tree touched the sky.  And it had loving roots; the kind that your back just wants to soften into.  I made some of my dearest friends under that tree.  The ground in the circle around it was just sacred.  It accepted every child who entered i’s domain, unconditionally.

I think I learned how to consciously love at camp.  I hardly know how to explain this, but there is a point when a young person becomes fully and totally human through love: you fall so deeply in love with another being (not necessarily romantically) that you lose yourself.  there is something magical about love, about loving, and about camp.  You learn life stories, traumas, dreams, joys.  There is not a day that I don’t miss the extraordinary community of Camp.

One of the best things was always Fourth of July.  We would have “cookout” dinners with classic summer food (burgers, coleslaw, pasta salad, watermelon,etc.) and then the whole camp would lie out on blankets beside the lake and watch fireworks go off from the dock.  Perhaps I am romanticizing things, but there is not much a child should have to do in summer besides lie in the grass giggling with new friends and dream about s’mores.

My last few years at camp I participated in various leadership and counselor-in-training programs.  From the day I first set foot on Camp — drove through the woods and scrambled down the dirt road and the long hill and found my way to my cabin — I wanted to be a part of camp forever.  Unfortunately, we are not children forever.  But once I aged out, I wanted to be a counselor.  I wanted it more than I wanted anything else: more than I wanted to go to any particular college, more than I wanted to be good at swimming or running or writing, more than I wanted to work for the UN one day.  It was (and in a sense is) my biggest dream.  And it did not materialize.  I was not selected as a counselor.  In this rejection, I experienced my first heartbreak.  I had been deeply in love with this place for eight years — practically half my childhood, up to that point.

To this day I know that I would have been a phenomenal counselor.  I would have loved those children and showed them that they were valuable and unique and perfect the way they were.  I would have shown them how to love Camp, how to experience its magic, where to dive into the woods for a shortcut.   I do not say any of this out of arrogance or regret.  It’s just something I absolutely know — like I know that I will be a mother one day.  When you love a place that much and it changes your life that much, it is the most natural, perfect thing to, at a certain age, want to help transfer that love to others.

I go back and visit sometimes.  I haven’t been in two summers and I hope that I will have a chance this year.  I am forever thankful for Camp: for showing me how to accept and give love, how to write, how to fall in love with a place, how to express my needs and desires.  If it weren’t for camp, I would not have started writing my poems or switched to a new high school that changed my life.  I am not sure I would have ended up in New York.

If I had to choose a memory to die with tomorrow, it would be Camp.  Sitting in a circle under The Tree with new girlfriends, listening to poems and feeling the lake breeze waft through the hear.

What’s your “place”?  Where did you grow up — actually or metaphorically?  Have you ever loved something so much and then had to part with it?

Blogdentity

Today’s Happy Note: Evening walks!  I forgot how lovely it can be outside in the early evening in summer.  Dusky sun rays, lavender skies, warm-cool temperatures.  What’s not to like?

Hello, hello, hello!

Other than the fact that I think I just had some spoiled milk this has been a very happy day!  I just felt…happy.  Sometimes that happens.  It’s nice to know, during the down times, that I am capable of just feeling good for no reason at all.  I’ve been doing some breathing meditations for a few minutes at a time over the last few days.   Instantly calming — especially after getting some minorly bad news today (not the end of the world, but a genuine short-term problem).

When things like this happen, I know very clearly that I want to be a lawyer.  Anything that strikes me as even a little bit unjust deeply upsets me.  I think law could help me direct this frustration into a positive, clear anger towards making things right.

Had an awesome early-AM workout!  I took the boot camp class at my gym and holy mackerel.  Wow.  It was only 50 minutes but it was insane!!!  We did a quick warm-up that involved cardio (running, butt kicks, jumping jacks) and strength (lots of push-ups and squats).  I’ve never done strength in a warm-up but I enjoyed it; I felt like it prepared me better.  Then we did some ridiculous circuits.  It was things that seemed easy, but weren’t, because they involved lots of different muscle groups.  Some of the moves were simultaneous plyo-strength.  At one point the instructor asked me “if this was the hardest thing I’d ever done.”  I hope this was because it was my first time at the class and not because I was a weakling!  I am more used to endurance training than super speedy stuff like that.  Followed up the class with 15 minutes on the stepmill because I had some time to kill.

Weekly treat breakfast: toasted bagel with melty pb.

Lunch dessert.  Always a necessity.  I can’t get over these dried hibiscuses.  So cute.  Like little…vegan pink octopuses…

I had a really good sammy for lunch but forgot to take a picture because  I was walking.  A multi-grain wrap with hummus, white cheddar, and an egg, toasted on the stove.

Other delish sammy combos: AB and apple and spinach, salami and gouda and mayonnaise (I know, not the healthiest — but it’s a childhood fave!), salami and egg and cheese, turkey and loads of veggies.  Your favorite sammy combos?

Farmer’s market loot!  Asparagus, apples, yogurt drink, milk (spoiled culprit!).

Unfortunately, my dinner smoothie-salad (it’s a new term I’ve coined for dinner-sized smoothies that involve veggies.  Which is pretty much all my smoothies, but whatever) involved the bad milk.  Hopefully I survive.  If I don’t blog tomorrow tonight, call my mom, okay?

New chocolate find!  WF dark chocolate with coconut flakes!  Shhh, don’t tell Evan.  I need it all for myself.  This was splendid.  I wouldn’t really call it dark, it’s pretty sweet, especially with the coconut.  But that’s not to say that it isn’t working.  Quite the contrary!  This was crunchy, flaky, smooth, melty.  Basically, choclate bar perfection.

Coconut, why have we been separated for so long?  I hated coconut as a kid.  Among other things: almonds, walnuts, plain oatmeal,  dark chocolate (the horror!), tofu, grapefruit, mushrooms, and peppers.  I think I’ve stopped liking new foods in the last few years.  Guess my taste bud development is winding down.  Just goes to show you how long we grow and develop for!  I’m 20 years old!  What foods did you hate as a kid but savor now?

Okay.  Serious question.  Is it weird that I blog intensely about both mental and physical health? I sort of had a mini moment of panic this afternoon when I started thinking about my blog friends.  It feels like people are either mind-focused or body-focused.  Neither of which is a bad thing!  I find those blogs fun, informative, and focused.  And then I feel too unfocused.  Does it confuse you that I bounce between green monsters and therapy Monday, or long runs and moments of anxiety? Sometimes it confuses me, and I’m the one blogging about it!  I think that both types of health are so important, but sometimes I wonder if I’m trying to cover too much ground.  I need to figure out my blogdentity…Honestly, what do you guys  think?

Happy Friday my friends!

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