Worst 20 Miles Ever. And USB!

Today’s Happy Note: Udon noodles! ¬†Much more fun than spaghetti. ūüôā

Marathon Training: Today was, to put it nicely, a run from hell. It was absolutely horrendous. ¬†Not horrendous in the sense that I couldn’t finish or didn’t want to do it. ¬†Horrendous because I literally felt dead for about 3/4 of the time. ¬†Literally dead. ¬†Ghostly. ¬†I couldn’t feel some parts of my body and other parts hurt so much that all I could do was tell myself to put one foot in front of the other.

Did I mention that it was 20 miles? Miles 8-15 felt pretty good, but before and after that…ugh. ¬†I almost don’t want to write about it because it is bringing back terrible memories. ¬†Oh, and you want to know something really fun?

When you’re on blood thinners you can’t take ibuprofen. ¬†Awesome.

And I’m allergic to narcotics. ¬†Yes, I think this situation requires the strong stuff. ¬†If I could take it.

The worst parts were my hamstrings, stomach, and bladder.  Yes, my bladder hurt.  The whole thing took about four hours, but I stopped to pee and/or refill my water bottle and/or stretch at least five times.  My pace really went downhill only for the last five miles.

And you know what was even worse than the run?

How I felt afterwards. ¬†I literally started feeling sick as soon as I finished — like I have the flu or something. ¬†I couldn’t eat for hours afterwards and felt like I was going to pass out. ¬†Now my lower eyelids are all sunken in, which is a major sign of dehydration. ¬†I’m trying really hard to drink, but even water seems nauseating right now. ¬†I just had some brothy soup, so hopefully that helps.

I would rank this in my top three worst runs of all times. And the only reason I say top three instead of number one worst is because…well, there is no reason. ¬†This actually might be the worst.

Reading this over, it sounds really negative. ¬†But that’s the truth: sometimes marathon training is not pretty. Sometimes you feel like you’re half-dead. ¬†Sometimes it takes you an hour to run four miles. ¬†There is chafing and blood and pain. ¬†And the sweat, oh the sweat — I was more soaked today when I finished than after last weekend’s 16 miles in the pouring rain.

And I almost peed my pants.  Multiple times.

My life is so glamorous.

The only good thing about this run is that it’s over. And even that isn’t so good considering how drained it left me. Thank God next week is a cutback week — my long run will only be 10 miles! ¬†Hallelujah!

Okay.  Rant over.  Onto happier things.  Things like USB.

I figured that I should introduce you guys! ¬†I told him about the blog but he doesn’t read it, at this point. ¬†Anyways, here’s the need-to-know on USB!

  • USB stands for Union Square Boy! ¬†We met there at the Saturday farmer’s market about a month ago. ¬†I was eating a chocolate chip coconut scone next to a monument. ¬†He was drinking some sort of smoothie thing from Whole Foods. ¬†He came around the corner and ¬†I thought he was cute. ¬†We started talking about the monument and history and life. ¬†We talked for over an hour. ¬†I was so unbelievably nervous but I also felt like it was clear that we both liked each other.
  • Our first date was super epic: we started at one coffee shop then moved onto another and met some of his friends, then we saw a movie, then we had dinner and danced at a Cuban restaurant and then we walked.
  • He is Kenyan. ¬†He likes running, but not very long distances, and not all the time.
  • He has nine siblings.
  • He is 29 years old, a little over eight years older than me.
  • He loves good film, especially independent movies. ¬†He does not like romantic movies at all but he knows that I do and brought us some to watch the other night.
  • He likes non-fiction and reads a lot more of it than fiction.
  • He is very romantic and gentlemanly — he always offers me his coat or his umbrella or his arm.
  • He is super cuddly.
  • One of his fingers is bent out to the side at the tip, and I think this is perfectly beautiful.
  • He loves doing volunteer and charity work. ¬†He is a generous soul.
  • He likes outdoor adventures almost as much as I do.
  • He is not in New York from Monday through Friday, sadly. ūüė¶
  • He doesn’t notice the ten billion imperfections in my body that I obsess over. ¬†He makes me feel good about myself the way I am.

That’s all for now. ¬†Goodnight, friends. ¬†Have a most excellent week!

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Letting Love In

Today’s Happy Note: There are so many happy things in my life right now, it’s hard to choose! ¬†I’m going to go with the fact that I feel very, very connected to many people in my life at this moment. ¬†Strong human connections=pure happiness.

Marathon Training: Speed Work Tuesday yesterday! ¬†I won’t lie, a good speed work session makes me feel amazing, but sometimes it is really hard to get out the door for one. ¬†I finally figured out why there are so many “Goal Pace” miles in my training plan: my marathon goal pace is approximately ten minutes per mile, which is basically what my general pace is. ¬†Duh. ¬†Silly Caronae. ¬†A marathon — at least for me — is not a fast race. ¬†If I were training for a 10k, so many “goal pace” miles would be impossible. ¬†But for a marathon, it’s just fine. ¬†All this is to say that my speed workout yesterday involved:

2 miles GP (goal pace) miles warm-up

2 x 2 miles tempo pace (approximately 9 minute miles) — I worked HARD here and it felt great; did an easy half-mile between the two sets.

2.5 miles GP

Total: 9 miles

Today I did a total of 4 miles with 6×100 meter strides sprinkled in through the last mile. ¬†I also did a 45 minute strength class at the gym. ¬†I have been getting a little bit bored with my regular weight-lifting routine lately and this was fun. ¬†It was nice to switch things up. ¬†I loved the tricep exercises we did.

Therapy Thoughts

Sorry for flaking out again yesterday.  I was out all too late for a weeknight.  This whole having fun thing is nerve-wracking and thrilling at the same time.  I kind of like it.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about people and the way we interact and relate and love one another. ¬†I think that opening up to other people — learning and listening and loving and losing — has become the most important thing in my life right now. ¬†Friends, family, loves. Ultimately, running will not save me. ¬†Having a perfect body or a perfect relationship with food or an ideal body weight won’t save me. ¬†People save me — I save me, other people save me. ¬†Not that I even need saving, really. When I say ‘saving’, I mean becoming a better me. ¬†Learning how I work. ¬†Learning how I love. ¬†I have so many special people in my life. ¬†Two caring, wonderful parents. ¬†A beautiful sister. ¬†A handful of close, fun friends. ¬†A very special therapist. ¬†Lovely, insightful coworkers. Cousins, acquaintances, smart classmates.

It scares me a little bit that I retreat inward when things become difficult for me. ¬†I want to reach out with my arms and my heart to those who care about me — I want to reach out with all the edges of my face and say “I love you” to everyone important to me. ¬†I may not quite be there yet, but I am figuring out how I work with others. ¬†The most important thing has been to figure out me. ¬†It’s something that I have known all along — something that has always been inside me. ¬†I know that when I am anxious I bite my nails; that February is the hardest month of the year for me; that I have really flexible knees and hips; that when I love someone I will love them with every angle of my body. ¬†I will let them into spaces that I didn’t know existed — ¬†I will feel them inching along my crooked chest and I’ll smile a little. ¬†I’m coming to accept the way my mouth doesn’t like to sit quite parallel with my chin. ¬†And even more, I am coming to accept the fact that others accept this fact. ¬†Indeed, maybe this makes my face a little more unique. ¬†Maybe it makes me mysterious and readable all at the same time.

It’s been a year that I have seen L, almost. I am trying very hard not to exalt her, but she has pretty much been nothing short of heroic: she has taught me that not only can I save myself, but that I can let other humans slide into my life and curl up there. ¬†I can let others settle into my life and stay a while. ¬†Or maybe even forever. ¬†I have a gratitude for L that I have had for few others in my twenty years. ¬†I don’t know how she does it, to be honest. But the last 12 months have shown me how beautifully capable I am of connecting with another person. ¬†It’s such a simple act, really, but also difficult, at times. ¬†Coming to love myself has helped the most. ¬†As I am about to start my senior year of college, I’m looking back at where I was one year ago, two years; three years. ¬†I have been lost, wild, isolated, crazy, sad, confused. ¬†But most of all, I have been growing. I have begun to let people burrow deeper into my life.

Yesterday I asked L why I deserve to be loved and cared for and thought of. ¬†She responded by saying that, by virtue of being human, I deserve love. We all do. ¬†Every single being on this earth is equally deserving of love, affection, warmth, and connection. ¬†It is a simple but powerful answer. ¬†Sometimes I catch myself out of the corner of my eye — I see my cheek in a furniture store window; I feel suddenly exposed and unmasked. ¬†Usually, I am not sure what to think. ¬†Most often I say something about how hideous that cheek is, how un-centered and pockmarked and off-color it is. ¬†I am not sure that I will ever entirely leave this way of seeing myself behind. ¬†But I am clear about one thing: I want to be loved more than anything else in the world, and, hideous cheek or not, other people want to love me. ¬†Not in a greedy, silly, childish way. ¬†But deeply and clearly and smoothly. ¬†This kind of love can come from all sorts of places. ¬†I can name maybe 8 or 10 people right now for whom I feel this.

But there is also another kind of love as well. ¬†It’s all this but also more intimate. ¬†When I started seeing L, about this time last year (beginning of September), I felt very alone. ¬†Alone is not a happy place to be. ¬†I believe that much of my unhappiness has come from this loneliness. ¬†I can’t even describe how thrilling it is to hear a friend’s voice on the phone or to hug someone after not seeing him or her for three months. ¬† That’s happiness. ¬†A year ago I did not believe it was possible to carve a small crack in my being and let another person in. ¬†I could not fathom the crack, even from a distance.

Well, there’s a crack now. ¬†A small one. ¬†But it’s there. ¬†It may not get any bigger with this particular connection, this person. ¬†But I have reached a turning-point because I now understand the possibility of the crack.

I met a beautiful, sweet man two weeks ago in the park.  He sort of fell into my lap.  I feel vulnerable and nervous. Alternately pretty/unique and bizarre/disproportionate.  I have been doing a lot of rethinking of my body.

I like him a lot. I feel like I don’t deserve this. ¬†Then I feel mad at myself for feeling like I don’t deserve it. ¬†Silly, really. ¬†The thing is, so far, he is making me very, very happy. ¬†When he touches my arm or my shoulder or my chin, I am so very proud of myself for letting this happen. ¬†I am being brave and open and exposed in new ways.

What do people mean? ¬†What is it to let someone into your life? ¬†How do you know who to let in? ¬†How do you know they won’t break your heart?

The answer is that you don’t know precisely who to let in and how and whether or not they will hurt you. ¬†But it will be right and beautiful and soft.

I want to go back to my 17 year old self and hold her and rock her in my arms and let her know that she will love and be loved.  It will not be easy but it will be happy.

I don’t know how long this particular connection will last; dating and relationships are scary things. ¬†I think I have gone on dates with two other boys this year; both fizzled out. ¬†I hardly consider making out in a club romantic. ¬†So I am not writing this to say that I have met a man and my life is different and perfect and everything has been fixed. ¬†Not at all. ¬†What I’m saying is that I understand the crevice — the opening in me where others might step in and offer me their love.

Okay. ¬†That was a little bit intense. ¬†But my feelings are intense right now. ¬†I’m processing and sorting and figuring it all out. ¬†I’m pretty sure I’ll always be figuring it all out, even when I’m 101. ¬†The point here is that this last year has been monumental for me. ¬†I understand myself better. ¬†I understand how important my friends and family are. ¬†And I can see the possibility of romantic love.

Thoughts?  How have you let love into your life lately?  What does it feel like, for you?

I promise I will be less intense and serious tomorrow. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Love and people and connections=happy Caronae. ¬†Happy mental self, happy physical self, happy Caronae.

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. ūüôā

Healthy Stress Relieving and Therapy Tuesday!

Today’s Happy Note: Watching Cupcake Wars. ¬†I absolutely love Cupcakes — making and eating them! ¬†My favorite is peanut butter and chocolate. ¬†What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?

Good news: I got myself a kettleball (sp?) at TJ Maxx tonight! ¬†It was only $6. ¬†Bad news: My blender is broken. ¬†What could possibly have happened? ¬†I use it a lot so maybe it overheated. ¬†It’s a basic proctor-silex. ¬†Thoughts?

Had a nice relaxing 6-mile run last night!  Took today as a rest day and just did a 3-mile walk.  I like having a rest day during the middle of the week, it breaks up the routine nicely.

Last night I had a mini freak-out (felt overwhelmed by work stuff) and, after taking a few deep breaths, made a plan: first I took a 45-minute nap, then read for a few minutes, then headed out for my run. ¬†I was very proud of myself for this! ¬†Normally, I would not soothe myself so well — I might choose unhealthier mechanisms which only end up making me feel worse. ¬†I decided to make a list of my favorite stress-soothing techniques:

  • Going for a quick jog (doesn’t necessarily have to be an intense workout!)
  • Reading books — especially my favorite Neruda collection
  • Giving myself a foot massage/pedicure (nail color suggestions???)
  • Playing with my hair (I love trying new styles)
  • Playing mah-jongg
  • Taking care of my plants, Fanny and Balthazar
  • Writing-ranting in my journal
  • Taking fun classes at the gym
  • Yoga (especially forward folds)
  • Making plans with friends for the weekend
  • Daydreaming
  • Thinking about (but not stressing over) my future

Unhealthy stress relieving techniques that I am making an effort not to turn to:

  • Wallowing in my own pain (crying/sobbing, feeling badly)
  • Self-loathing
  • Bingeing/restricting
  • Isolating myself
  • Punishing myself in any other ways

What’s on your instant destressing list? I would love to add plate smashing like a certain friend but I have no old plates. ¬†When I do, you can bet they’re going to be smashed. ūüôā

I know this has been a talky post but I am just not in the mood for pictures.  Bear with me.

Therapy Tuesday

Another good week with lots of insights and comfort — two of the most important things to me in my therapy experience. ¬†I love how I am learning about the actual experience of therapy. ¬†I think this is relevant to my journey; it isn’t exclusively about what’s inside my head. ¬†It’s also about how I think and speak and interact with others. ¬†All ¬†of this comes out in the way I interact with L. ¬†Sometimes, quite frankly, I just enjoy having someone to talk with seriously every week. ¬†A lot of my friends and acquaintances don’t value emotional intimacy in the exact way I do — I do not begrudge them this. ¬†We are all made differently. ¬†But I need to talk about my feelings and share them with others. I always have been this way and probably always will be! ¬†This leads me into my next point…

I have had a sort of epiphany in the last week regarding just how important my writing is to me. ¬†I have always known that writing is integral to my life, but, in reading Seducing The Demon: Writing For My Life (by Erica Jong) this past week, I realized that it is also integral to my identity. My whole way of being is tied to my writing. ¬†The good, the bad, the wonderful — it all comes back to writing. ¬†I write about everything. ¬†I share everything. ¬†I notice things. ¬†Words mean everything to me. ¬†They have saved my life. I understand that other people do not necessarily live their lives this way; Erica’s book helped me see this. ¬†And I don’t mind being “different.” ¬†I just need to be observant of that.

Another thing I have noticed about my writing lately is a new found confidence. ¬†A big thing I talked about with L today was my self-loathing. ¬†It has seeped through into most areas of my life, beginning with my body. ¬†But there is one area that it has not invaded and I will not let it invade: my writing. ¬†I believe in myself as a writer. Even if it’s just this one thing, that’s a start. ¬†I want to work with L on not hating myself so much. ¬†I really want to be a confident person — it’s not especially fun to hate my body, my abilities, my relationships with others. ¬†I agree with L that this is a sort of road block in my interactions with men. ¬†I feel like I have made so much dating/flirting/male relationship “progress” this past year and I am proud of myself for that. ¬†I know I’m ready to move forward even more, and I think this is going to be a learning experience. ¬†I certainly do not want my ability to be happy or to believe in myself to be tied to a partner, but I do think that having more experiences with men will at least help build my confidence and lessen my self-loathing. ¬†I guess this is just another “project” for the summer. ¬†I have a few boys I’m thinking of. ūüôā

Finals Week Health Challenge

Today’s Happy Note: I got one paper done (8 pages). ¬†I still need to edit it, but getting the first draft out is always the hardest part. ¬†Here’s what’s left between now and Friday: one 15-page paper, one 10 page take home exam, and one in class final. ¬†That’s not so terrible! ¬†I can do it!

Speaking of school, finals, and papers, I want to give myself a little challenge. ¬†I found myself eating way too much this weekend because I was stressed and/or bored. ¬†Finals week(s) is always a difficult time to follow the diet (in the lifestyle sense, not the weight loss sense) that works best for me, so…

Introducing the Finals Week Health Challenge!

There are several components:

1. 60 minutes of physical activity every day (I suspect this one will be the easiest).

2. 6+ servings of fruits and veggies (dried, fresh, frozen, sauces — it all counts).

3. No late night stress snacking: if I am genuinely awake and using energy studying and I need fuel, that is fine, but I am going to try to maintain a semi-decent schedule, and I would like to institute my no after dinner snacking rule (besides dessert, of course).

4. Mental health: tell myself 3 positive/nice things everyday. ¬†Don’t panic; remain calm and know that everything will get done!

That’s it! ¬†Pretty simple. ¬†This is how I try to live most of the time, but things tend to get crazy during finals — think 12 hour marathon paper writing sessions accompanied by a bag of chocolate chips, etc. ¬†Any college students out there who want to join me are welcome! It starts immediately, unless you don’t have exams yet.

Here’s today’s progress:

1. Check.  I did a 6 mile run (which took me almost 70 minutes; it was 85 degrees and I am NOT adjusted to the heat yet) followed by a 90 minute yoga class at The Shala. The actual class and teacher and flows were great, bu I was so disgustingly sweaty that I could hardly concentrate.

2. Check. I have consumed the following today: blackberries, half a banana, frozen berries and pineapple, arugula/lettuce mix, roasted broccoli, and roasted bell peppers.  I think it was probably somewhere around six or seven servings.

3. Not check. ¬†I had my standard dessert after dinner, but felt the need to eat some unnecessary cereal and peanut butter afterwards. ¬†Not sure if it was genuine hunger (I was pretty active today) or stress, but I’m leaning towards the latter.

4. I think I was pretty un-stressed today, and I have had plenty of positive thoughts. ¬†Why, you want to know? ¬†Because I asked a boy on a date(ish) yesterday!!!! ¬†This is a first for me, and I am VERY PROUD of myself. ¬†It’s such a simple thing, but men are a huge source of anxiety for me. ¬†We’re having lunch on Tuesday. ¬†I’ll let you know how it goes! ūüôā

I did a 12-miler yesterday; I wasn’t planning on a long run but I woke up early and just decided to do it. ¬†It was a bit slow but I felt really good during parts of it.

Eats:

LOTS of cereal/smoothie/trail mix bowls. ¬†They’re just so easy. ¬†With the weather this hot,I’m really craving cold smoothies and cereal. ¬†I think I only had oatmeal once this weekend! ¬†My favorite smoothie is really simple: about a cup of frozen berries, a scoop of protein powder, either soy milk or greek yogurt plus a little water, a few bug handfuls spinach, and, sometimes, pb or ab. ¬†Anyone have a favorite smoothie recipe I should try?

Dinner tonight was really good and really easy!  I roasted broccoli and bell peppers with EVOO, salt, and crushed red pepper for 30 minutes.  When it had ten minutes left I heated some EVOO in a non stick pan and added several thin sole fillets (it was on sale at WF this week) and lemon pepper.  I heated up a tiny bit of leftover rice in the microwave and washed a bunch of arugula/lettuce to use as a base.  When everything was done I just threw it in the bowl!  Easy and delish.  The sole tasted a little too fishy for me, but whatever.

Yum!  Sometimes it scares me how fast I go through spinach.  Does anyone else have this problem?

Back to the grind for me.  Stay tuned for Therapy Monday tomorrow!

Questions to entertain me:

1. What food do you go through the fastest?  What do you spend the most on?

2. What’s the craziest thing you did in college?

Therapy Monday!

Today’s Mini Goal: Make a concrete plan/schedule for the weekend so that I don’t feel lonely on Valentine’s Day! ¬†Melissa blogged about a meetup for runners at Jack Rabbit Sports this Sunday, which sounds fun. ¬†Anyone know more about this?

Update on mini goals: The no snacking after dinner has been going really well. ¬†I have been trying to make sure I get plenty of fat and protein in my day, and I really haven’t been hungry after dinner (except last night; I had two mugs of cereal, but I was super active so I think it was just catch-up hunger). ¬†I didn’t call an old friend today, but I did talk to the guy I went out with last weekend, and that was by no means easy for me, so I think that counts. ūüôā I tried the new veggie (chayote squash) ¬†and made some fun meals this weekend too.

No running for me today! ¬†I did Level One of the shred to get me going in the morning and walked quite a bit, but no other exercise. ¬†I think that in the last few years, I’ve been a wee bit exercise obsessed. ¬†Note to self: a day off once a week is good for your body. ¬†You work hard; you have good endurance and strength and you get more than enough activity in your days. ¬†Calm down.

I’ll be quick with today’s eats (by the way, I only show you guys highlights, by no means everything. ¬†Would you be interested in seeing a full day of eating?) so we can get to Therapy Mondays…

New loaf of bread: hazelnut sourdough. ¬†Isn’t that lone little nut adorable?

Pumpkin butter peek-a-boo:

I’ve really been enjoying making my dinners aesthetically pleasing lately. ¬†I don’t really have time to do this with breakfast or lunch, but it’s fun with dinner. ¬†Tonight’s work of art (ish):

Random sauteed veggie pile (I think onion, mushroom, spinach, broccoli, carrot) topped with sunflower shoots and avocado.  I had Applegate chicken tenders on the side and a cute little clementine.

These veggies had a wonderfully deep and rich flavor. ¬†Maybe it’s the coconut oil? ¬†I didn’t even use very much, probably less than a teaspoon…

Hello sunflower shoot!

With my lovely little tulips:

Therapy Monday:

Last night I had a really sudden and almost upsetting realization that inconsistency freaks me out. ¬†A lot. ¬†For example, the guy I keep telling you about is really sweet and it seems like he might want to hang out again, but he is inconsistent; sometimes he responds to my texts, sometimes not; sometimes he sounds really enthusiastic, other times he sounds uninterested. ¬†My issue is not that I desperately want him to be interested in me (it’s perfectly fine if he isn’t), I just want him to be clear about how he feels and what he wants. ¬†I myself may not be the best at this. ¬†Maybe I just like feeling like I’m in control. ¬†I had a somewhat disrupted childhood — a very loving but highly unpredictable family. ¬†Our plans were always delayed or cancelled or changed around and I hated this. ¬†If we were supposed to leave for vacation at ten AM on Saturday, that really meant two PM. ¬†Which meant that we would be late and I would be upset. ¬†This is itself isn’t a big deal, but there were larger issues surrounding the inconsistencies. ¬†I used to try to remedy my confusion by doing things that were repetitive; things I could easily grasp. ¬†On long car rides I would count out loud endlessly; I would get up into the thousands and then throw a fit if someone spoke and made me lose my place. ¬†I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but my parents are divorced. ¬†Going back and forth between my mom’s house and my dad’s apartment was scary for me, and I usually resisted the transfer very vocally. ¬†There’s something about having two beds and two bathrooms and one is clean and one is messy and one is red and one is white and the phone book is in one place here and the ladles are in another place there. ¬†I love my parents dearly, but this arrangement was difficult. ¬†Once, when I was older (probably at least fifteen), I got food poisoning while I was at my dad’s apartment. ¬†I woke up in the middle of the night and sprinted to run to the bathroom. ¬†I spent a few seconds trying to find the light switch, and eventually gave up and puked all over the floor. ¬†I despised myself for this. ¬†Why couldn’t things be the same everywhere? ¬†If things around me are changing, does this mean I am changing?

Dating will not be consistent. ¬†Men will not always be consistent. ¬†This is part of the reason why these things are so inexplicably terrifying to me. ¬†But at the same time, I am beginning to trust that at the end of the day, I will always have myself to come back to. ¬†I told my therapist that I often feel like there is something wrong with me as a woman, and I’m so happy that I was able to vocalize this feeling. ¬†She asked me what I see as ideal in a woman and one of the first things that came to my head was “I want to be a woman who is feminine and flirtatious, but retains her personality and character and intelligence.” ¬†I like this idea. ¬†As I was telling her about all of my (perceived) womanly defects, she stopped me and pointed out that I’m a great student, a diligent worker, and a dedicated runner. ¬†In evaluating myself as a woman, I had completely overlooked these things. ¬†Maybe I was thinking they somehow weren’t involved in my womanhood, if that’s a word. ¬†But I can’t leave these things behind, and I don’t want to. ¬†I am not sure how I will move forward in the world of men and relationships and sex and fear (for me at least), but I think that at this point, I know what’s going on with me well enough to be able to navigate what comes my way. ¬†This realization is comforting, but also a bit nauseating.

I cry pretty much every week, but more so than usual today. ¬†I am always really physically exhausted after therapy, and since it’s in the middle of the day it sort of throws things off. ¬†Part of my solution to this dilemma is frozen yogurt. ¬†I think all the crying and emotional purging might somehow affect my blood sugar. ¬†I don’t know if this is scientifically valid, but without fail, I want frozen yogurt after every session, and I usually stop and get some on the way home. ¬†It’s not a problem or anything, since I recognize it as a treat and keep my lunch light and my dinner healthy afterwards. ¬†Does anyone else experience weird physical feelings after going to therapy?

One other thing I was thinking about today, as I was balling my eyes out on my therapist’s very comfortable couch, was this: how do therapists stay sane? ¬†Seriously, if I had to listen to people who are stressed out and sad as I am all day every day, I don’t ¬†think I’d survive. ¬†I understand that there must be some kind of gratification involved in helping others, but still. It just seems like it would be incredibly draining? ¬†Any therapists out there who have thoughts on this?

Questions of the day:  What is your occupation (s) and what do you do to stay sane?

I am a busy student and part time worker (9-10 hours a week) and I make sure to give myself lots of different rewards; everything from a latte to a new fitness magazine to a museum outing or a massage. ¬†Or a cookie, of course. ūüôā

Therapy Monday

Today’s Mini Goal: Per Monica‘s February Health Goal, I am going to work on putting an end to unnecessary after dinner/late night snacking.¬† Ocassionally, I’m hungry, but I think this is primarily an emotional issue.¬† I feel lonely, bored, or worthless, so I consume food.¬† Not a ridiculous amount, typically — I don’t binge, or anything, but I just want to work on addressing the actual cause rather than covering it with food, and practicing listening to my body.

So, as you may have noticed, January’s positive notes have morphed into February mini goals!¬† I am going to try to focus on something relatively small (today’s is sort of an exception) each day.¬† I’m not going to be mad at myself for not achieving everything; I just want to be aware and have the ideas/plans in my head.

No “exercise” today, but I ended up walking about four miles to stretch out my leggies a little, and I might do some abs tonight.¬† Lots of speedwork tomorrow!

Happy eats:

Last night’s dinner: steamed sweet potato with cinnamon, salad, and a new stir-fry invention: pineapple, carrot, cashews, tofu, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper.¬† Muy tasty.

Overnight OIAJ perfection.  Layers of oats, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin, and cinnamon.  Nom nom nom.

By the way, you should know that I sliced open my thumb trying to scrape the paper of the jar (it was Maranatha) so that you could see my creation.¬† That’s food blogger¬†dedication.

Baking happy face!

Banana walnut chocolate chip bread for Cindy, the highest bidder for my baked good from Diana’s Bake Sale for Haiti!

I have been so in love with dried pineapple lately.¬† It feels like I’m eating a little piece of sunshine.

It’s Therapy Monday!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I just wanted to note that I don’t mention everything I’m working on in therapy on the blog.¬† Although I love all my new blog friends and am totally open to sharing my experiences, I don’t want to share things that involve family members or friends that they might not want shared.

Onto today.

We mostly talked about boys (men?) during today’s session.¬† I’ve done a little dating in the last few years, but not very much.¬† To be honest, it is something that makes me both fearful and anxious.¬† Because I hated myself — my body, my personality, my thoughts — for so long, I assumed that everyone else, including potential romantic partners, would hate me too.¬† Apparently, this is wrong!¬† Of course it’s wrong.¬† Well, I don’t actually mean wrong in a harsh way, but it was sort of distorted thinking.¬† I was telling my therapist about how I feel like I’ve just been having more conversations and interactions with guys lately, and she helped me realize that maybe they were always interested (not everyone, of course, but perhaps a few people), I was just too closed off to notice.¬† I think this is probably true.¬† Actually, my mom told me something similar about a year ago, but I think that was when I was in my deepest throes of self-loathing and unesteem, and I absolutely didn’t believe her.¬† Now, I think there’s a posssibility that I am not so horrible.¬† This is a major improvement for me.¬† I even hung out with a boy over the weekend.¬†¬†For quite a long time, I thought that not only did I deserve to be alone, but that my¬†deep feelings of sadness over this painful existence were¬†merely part of my lot in life.¬† I’m an extremely emotional creature, and I think that I need someone to share this with.¬† I have my¬†close friends, of course, and certainly my family members (I fiercely maintain that my mother has always been and will always be my best friend), but it¬†might also be nice to have a new kind of relationship in my life.¬† I¬†have come to the conclusion that this is something I am both ready for (finally) and desirous of.¬† I also think I have begun to understand some of the things I am looking for — not an extensive understanding, but a beginning, nonetheless.¬† Most of all, I want¬†to¬†know someone who is deeply passionate about things in¬†their life.¬† I find this very attractive.¬†¬†He doesn’t need to have the same passions as me — running, baking, books, for example — but he needs to love something very deeply.¬† Maybe I see this as an innate proof that he will be able to love me.¬† I’m not sure.¬† Whatever the case is,¬†this is something that I am finally truly ready to delve into, and I think that therpay has given me the confidence I needed for this.

Now, how do I meet one of these men…

After classes today I was feeling really anxious — my evening schedule¬†wasn’t working out exactly as I had planned it, and this¬†always upset me.¬† So I went for a walk around my neighborhood, and stumbled across the peace garden next to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.¬† I’ve been to both the garden and the cathedral before, bu they seemed to be saying new things to me today.¬† I see a (light-hearted) post about spirituality in my future.¬† The garden, the fountain, the miniature animal sculptures, the¬†massive and ornate church all immediately calmed me down.¬† I was a little awe-struck by it all, actually.¬† I took lots of¬†pictures to remind myself of the beauty and happiness all around me.¬†¬†

Ghosts?

Birds!¬† You may or may not know that I’m obsessed.

Until tomorrow my friends.  Have a happy Tuesday!