Adventure Saturday: Ocean, Body Image/Weight Concerns

Today’s Happy Note: Vitamin D overload. ¬†Sunshine! ūüôā

I ended up walking 5 or so miles yesterday; I also did a 20 minute yoga core download.  Today I did 3-4 miles walking, 2 miles running (on the beach!!!) and lots of playing in the water.

I had an awesome beach trip.  I always forget that Manhattan is so close to the ocean.  Twas lovely!

Confession: I felt so unbelievably, ridiculously fat in my swimsuit. ¬†I wanted to hide in the changing rooms and cry. ¬†I told my dad that I should not be allowed on the beach without a sign that said “whale.”

And then I hate myself for hating myself so much.  Oh, the irony.

The reality is that, between the GI illness and the hospitalization, I have gained about ten pounds. ¬†I am not someone who could afford to gain ten pounds. ¬†I’m pretty sure this makes me borderline overweight. ¬† I don’t care so much about that label as feeling good and feeling confident. ¬†I don’t feel either right now. ¬†I feel enormous.

I am not necessarily mad at myself: I have hardly been able to workout in the last month, and I have been quite stressed.   I respond to stress by eating emotionally and gaining weight easily.  Seriously, I probably even gained weight when I had my GI thing and all I could eat for three or four days was the occasional piece of toast.

I played on the beach today for hours and ended up having a lot of fun; I dug my toes into the sand, ran up and down, jumped over the waves, swam through the waves, and bothered my sister (endlessly entertaining). ¬†So I am not entirely focused on my body, but it is still there. ¬†It’s this painful, nagging thing in the background. ¬†It’s like something isn’t quite right, and my body knows this, physically and mentally.

The thing that works best for me is not obsessing, but not being lax either. ¬†Counting calories, tracking meals, only “allowing” certain food: none of this works for me. This all creates more tension and anxiety and makes me more sad and I feel worse about my body and I end up eating more. ¬†Funny how that cycle works. ¬†But at least I can recognize it. ¬†In fact, I think I do know what works: eating three wholesome meals a day (plus an afternoon snack and a small dessert), with lots of healthy fats, protein, and veggies, and not snacking in the evening. ¬†It’s as simple as that.

Pretty straightforward. ¬†That’s my plan. ¬†I do intend to use the blog to keep myself accountable. Accountability is where I have failed in the past. ¬†So I intend to do a tiny little check-in with myself when I post, mostly to note whether or not I have been mindlessly eating in the evenings.

Once in a while, I might share a full day of eats. ¬†Like today, since I figured it would be a good idea to have a baseline image of how much I need in a day on an active day where I don’t overeat.

I am sorry if this upsets anyone: if you feel like this would not be a good idea for you to read about, PLEASE skip over it.  I would not want to hurt anyone, especially if you have a history of ED/disordered eating.

Breakfast was flax oatmeal (TJ’s brand) with part of a peach (would have used it all but parts were squishy and I hate that) and a giant scoop of AB. ¬†One of my favorite breakfasts!

Lunch=giant salad with cucumbers, zuchinni, carrots, microwaved eggs, and avocado.

Afternoon snack — it was super melty since it had been at the beach with me all day and it was a hundred degrees!

A few bites of coleslaw and a giant Asian chicken salad for dinner (the size of my head). ¬†You can’t see the chicken and other toppings, but I promise they’re there!

On the left is a peanut butter cup shake I had before going to a play with my dad and sister. ¬†Right was my before blogging/bed snack of a small Godiva truffle. ¬†I REFUSE to go without dessert. ¬†Ever. Regardless of my weight. ¬†I’m sure this is some kind of dieting sin. ¬†But I don’t care.

So there you have it. ¬†I do want to lost a bit of weight. ¬†It’s very hard for me to find a balance between vigilance and obsession; I am aiming to use the blog to help me find a balance over the next few months (that won’t be the only thing on the blog though, don’t worry!). ¬† Due to my body’s natural ¬†(and rather unfortunate) chemistry/metabolism, I do need to have a certain vigilance. ¬†It sounds bizarre, but if I am not careful and I gain weight now, I could screw over my fertility in the future. ¬†Very random, I know. ¬†But I want to be a mother more than anything in the world and so I am not going to take any chances with this.

Any thoughts?

I can Move! And Restaurants Galore

Today’s ¬†Happy Note: My dad and my sister are here! ¬†They came to visit me because they were so worried. ¬†I still don’t feel sick but I know I am on the inside. ¬†Kind of an odd feeling.

I inadvertently walked about five miles today — I wasn’t trying to go that far. ¬†It was never more than one to two miles at a time. ¬†It wasn’t a struggle at all. ¬†I wasn’t short of breath and had almost zero chest pain. ¬†I could actually walk quickly without having to gasp for air! ¬†I am NOT pushing myself or anything, it’s just nice to feel like I can move a bit. ¬†I went to a yoga class yesterday and might do a yoga video tomorrow.

I kinda miss ¬†serious cardio — running, stair-climbing, kickboxing, swimming, dancing. ¬†But at the same time. ¬†It is nice to have a break from the gym or the running path. ¬†Not for too long though. ¬†Another week of this and I’ll be bored. ¬†My doctors said I could start exercising as soon as I felt better/within about a week. ¬†Which means I might go for a run this weekend; maybe three or four miles, nothing intense, I promise! ¬†And I’ll stop if I get tired. ¬†I am NOT doing it because I feel like I have to exercise. ¬†I like running: it clears my head and calms me down and gets all my nervous energy out!

In other health news: my INR is not high enough yet which means that my Coumadin dosage is not right. ¬†Grrrr. ¬†It is a very delicate drug that has to be carefully tweaked. ¬†This just means I have to continue on the Lovenox injections a little longer. ¬†I have another blood test on Monday. ¬†I have had so many needles and IVs and shots in my body in the past week that it honestly doesn’t hurt any more. ¬†I used to be quite squeamish and hated needles and now it’s just like “eh, whatever.” ¬†Weird.

I have been able to go to several wonderful restaurants since being out of the hospital!  Which is good.  I need to make up for all that inedible hospital food.  On Saturday I was still feeling quite tired and a little out of it, but I had  already made plans with Joanne and reaaaalllllllyyyy wanted to go.  So I went.  And had one of the best evenings I have had in a while.

We went to The Meatball Shop, a most interesting place. ¬†I was in the mood for some serious red meat, and this satisfied that craving in about two milliseconds. ¬†I loved how the menu was simple and straightforward. ¬†I think single-concept restaurants (i.e., peanut butter ¬†or sliders or squid…well not squid, but you get the point) do well in NYC. ¬†You get to choose your ‘balls, your sauce, a side dish, etc. ¬†The only problem with this type of menu is that if you don’t like one component of the meal, the whole thing could be thrown off. ¬†Good thing I liked it all. ¬†Joanne and I practically licked our plates clean while gossiping about boys (why oh why can’t there be any good ones at our schools?) and other very important things.

I went for the beef meatballs with parmesan cream sauce and a simple salad on the side.  You get to write your order directly onto the laminated menu!  I love fun touches like this.

Delicious ¬†delicious meatballs. ¬†We couldn’t possibly pass on dessert when we saw our options. ¬†Ice cream sandwiches. In which you could choose a cookie ¬†flavor and an ice cream flavor. ¬†We were instantly sold.

Peanut butter cookie and caramel ice cream. ¬†There are no words. ¬†So I’ll stop now, before I turn into a rambling, spewing, meaningless, incoherent…

Next up in my restaurant adventure-ing: Russian Tea Room for restaurant week!  One of the best parts about having my parents around is having my parents pay for things.  I  would never go somewhere for restaurant week on my own.

A real live samovar.  Awesome.

And the food.  Also awesome.

I need more salmon in my life. ¬†I was about to say “I need more chocolate in my life” too, but if I added any more chocolate to my diet, I would pretty much be subsisting on it. ¬†No judgment.

It was a wonderful (albeit expensive) meal.

Have you gone anywhere for restaurant week? It’s pretty fun, I must admit. ¬†Other cool restaurants in the city you’ve been to (and want to tell me about, hint hint)?

Goodnight my friends! Again, thank you for all the love and caring. ¬†You are wonderful. ūüôā

Home Is Where…

Today’s Happy Note: Family dinner! ¬†I have not had a beautiful, home cooked family dinner with all members of my family (mom, dad, sister, me, cat) present at the same time in months, if not a year or more. ¬†It was delicious, comforting, and loving. ¬†ūüôā ¬†And yes, my parents are divorced. ¬†They’re still best friends!

Vegetables galore!

Pad thai cooking away!  My sister has the best pad thai recipe outside of Thailand.

My sister and me! Some people seem to think we’re twins, others think we look nothing alike. ¬†She’s actually five years older.

Exercise:

Yesterday (Friday): 6 mile run plus four hours worth of MOVING  which I did entirely by myself.  It was a serious workout.  At one point a friend helped me lift a huge box back onto a dolly, and another friend returned a rolling bin for me, but everything else was all me.  Independent women rule.

Today (Saturday): Travelling with heavy bags. ¬†Hey, that’s serious — I was lugging my bags around for five hours. ¬†Won’t go into the details of why (JFK airport=evil) but suffice it to say my arms are feeling it right now.

So as you’ve probably noticed by now, yesterday I MOVED and today I am “HOME”. But, proximity does not imply relationship! ¬†I did move, but not back home. ¬†I moved into my apartment for the summer and then flew back to Michigan today. ¬†Needless to say it’s been an exhausting two days, and I want to go cuddle with my sister and have some ice cream right about now.

Up in the air!

Random selection of eats from the past few days:

Biscoff.  In honor of Kath!

Cookie Friday and caramel fudge lite choice in one day.  It was that kind of a day.

Storytime: Home

Two and a half years ago, after about a semester of living in NYC, I felt decently at home there. ¬†I knew that I felt a special connection to the city and that it would probably be an extraordinarily meaningful place for me. ¬†I knew how I felt looking across the rivers, finding beautiful buildings, or noticing a depth of cultural diversity. ¬†I knew these things made me thrilled and happy and I even referred to the city as my “home.” ¬†Well, actually, I thought of the city as one of my homes, with my town in Michigan and the house that I grew up in being my other home. ¬†They were both my special places. ¬†In Michigan, I have open spaces with the most lovely pumpkin fields and running trails that wind lazily through meadows. ¬†In New York, I have wonderful buzzing streets and 20-story buildings and thousands of restaurants in reach.

My father picked me up from the airport this afternoon. ¬†As we made our way along the highway and then along smaller city roads and then onto the little side street where my house sits — looking content and almost serene — I had one of the biggest realizations I’ve had in a long while: New York is not only where I live now. ¬†It is my home. ¬†New York being my home was a story that I told myself for the last three years, and in a small sense, it was true. ¬†But in the larger sense — of “home” being where my life and love and passions and future and everyday joy comes from — I wasn’t quite ready to declare the city my home. ¬†It is now, and I suddenly knew this quite clearly today.

At the same time I feel a deep longing for my family. ¬†I am not a child, but I am still a rather young person: I’m twenty years old. ¬†I have been living on my own for three years now and I still miss them deeply, daily. ¬†Many people refer to “home” as a place where their family is, and in that sense, I will always have a home in Michigan. ¬†But in 5-10 years I think I will have my own family and I believe that it will surely be in New York. ¬†With that said, being here, with the three people in the world for whom I have the most powerful, beautiful feeling of love, is a gift. ¬†My mother, sister, and I have not lived together in seven years. ¬†That’s more than a third of my life. ¬†I intend to treasure this time with them (a week and a half) as I suspect that, outside of vacations, it is the last time we will be together in one place. ¬†And not any place either, our original home. ¬†Where we climb crab apple trees and jump from thick ropy willows and hide under the sleeping bags in the basement and sit at the same mahogany walnut wood dining table that we have sat at since before I was born.

The conclusion? ¬†I love both places — among other places that are meaningful,including a special spot in Northern Michigan and Ottawa, the capital of Canada — but New York has moved from a place that I live to a home. ¬†When I walk down Broadway and know exactly how the ground feels at every street corner, I know this. ¬†I feel it. ¬†When I lie down in the sun in Central Park I feel a bit like a compass, sometimes. ¬†Like a compass that knows exactly where it’s pointing and wants to point in that direction. ¬†I sprawl out into a star shape, my limbs different places in my life. ¬†And through all this, I am centered in the city. ¬†The gorgeous, flying city. ¬†City like a flock of birds.

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?

Running Stories

Today’s Mini Goal: Get back into my no-nighttime-snacking groove! ¬†I’ve been lax about this lately and want to get back on track. ¬†Snacking at ngiht doesn’t do anything for me — I actually feel better when I don’t do it.

I’ve never started out on a run and had to stop before today. ¬†My tummy was wildly unhappy, so I called it quits after a mile and then just sat on a bench and people watched. ¬†This was very head-clearing and refreshing — I had forgotten how much I like to people watch. ¬†And it was so strange to notice how other runners run! ¬†I walked around a bit after my mile and will do another four tonight on the treadmill (I’m going to be at the gym watching the basketball game with some friends, so I might as well).

Eats:

These are my favorite oats: stovetop oats made with tons of cinnamon, extra water, maple syrup, and chopped up apple. ¬†Topped with a big scoop of peanut butter and a little scoop of pumpkin butter. ¬†I made my oats with apples long before I ever tried making them with banana. ¬†To be honest, I prefer the apple — it gets soft, but not too soft, and gives the bowl a ton of volume and sweetness. ¬†If you’re normally a whipped banana oatmeal kind of person, I definitely recommend trying this for a refreshing morning change!

Haven’t eaten this yet, but will soon. ¬†It’s random WF hot bar stuff — I’m most excited about the weird looking mixture in the upper right hand corner of the first picture (upper left of second). ¬†This is baked sweet potato, apple, and fennel. ¬†Sounds like a superstar combination to me.

I am going to attempt a lot of running this weekend because I have some serious catching up to do. ¬†I need to do a total of 25 miles, so tomorrow will be either ten or fifteen and then Sunday will be whatever I don’t do tomorrow. ¬†This isn’t going to be impossible or anything, I’ve definitely done as much or more mileage in such a short period before, but it will be tough. ¬†I will fuel myself with lots and lots of oatmeal!

I actually did 40 miles in three (or four?) days once before. ¬†I was in Marin County (supposedly the trail running capital of the world), just north of San Francisco, for a wedding this past August with my mom and sister. ¬†We stayed at this rustic little bed and breakfast and hit the trails a LOT. ¬†One of my best running stories ever came out of this vacation…

Storytime: Running Disaster

My mom, my sister, and I love taking active vacations — hiking, skiing, kayaking, snowshoeing. ¬†This particular vacation was going to be mostly about hiking. ¬†Well, running for me. ¬†This is where this story’s problem lies: my mom and my sister hike. ¬†I run. ¬†Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind the¬†occasional¬†hike. ¬†But if I’m going to be spending several days in an area with tons of beautiful trails, I’m going to want to do some serious running. ¬†I like gliding by redwood groves or powering my way up a dusty pasture hill. ¬†I like feeling strong in the wilderness, and hiking just doesn’t usually give me that feeling of euphoric energy and intensity.

On our last day, we headed out to an area of trails along high ridges that went variously through cattle pastures, forests, and beautiful, dusty meadows. ¬†It was one of the most gorgeous areas I have ever run in. ¬†We started around two or three in the afternoon, parking our rental car along the side of the road. ¬†We only had one set of keys, which my mom and sister took — I think we thought they would be back first. ¬†I had my running waist pack with my phone, some cash, water bottle and shot blox. ¬†I planned on doing 16-18 miles (the trail was about nine miles out one way). ¬†My mom and sister were planning on doing a sort of loop on one of the trail’s many off shoots. ¬†I knew I would be really thirsty when I got back to the car, since I only had my one bottle and it was relatively warm, but I had a huge, full nalgene waiting for me, so I wasn’t too worried. ¬†We made our way through a series of narrow gaps in a maze-like wooden fence (designed to keep cows off the road, I believe) and I started running up what was probably the biggest most exhausting hill I have ever encountered. ¬†It just never ended. ¬†there would be brief flat parts, then you would look up, only to realize that there was much, much more. ¬†I had to walk a few times. ¬†The way out was scattered with similarly grueling uphills, but it was so beautiful that I didn’t care. ¬†At one point, you went from field to redwood forest (almost rainforest-esque) within just a few tenths of a mile. ¬†It was absolutely wonderful.

I decided to turn around somewhere between mile seven and eight; I knew I was running 12 or 13 minute miles because of the brutal terrain. ¬†I relized that I would be done in a little over three hours, which would mean that I’d finish a bit before my mom and sister — I think we had planned on three and a half to four. ¬†Whatever, I’d survive.

The way back was much easier and a bit faster than I’d expected; there were far more downhills and my tired legs were finally loosening up. ¬†My first moment of terror occurred just about a half mile from the end. ¬†I was descending the huge hill I had struggled to make my way up at the beginning, and suddenly I was surrounded by massive cows. ¬†Everywhere. ¬†And not just any cows. ¬†No. ¬†These were angry mama cows defending their babies. ¬†They looked like they weighed a good 2000 pounds each. ¬†I didn’t really know what to do. ¬†Should I turn around and see if there was another path back to the road? ¬†Should I run through them really fast? ¬†Should I just go very slowly? ¬†I chose option number three and kept trotting along down the path. ¬†I wasn’t sure if I should look the cows in the eyes or not. ¬†I felt like they were staring me down. ¬† I tried to appear as non-threatening and small as possible, and eventually I made it safely to the gate, albeit with a slightly quickened heart rate.

As expected, my mom and sister weren’t there yet. ¬†I knew I had another thirty or forty minutes and I was getting really thirsty. ¬†My water had run out around mile 12 or so. ¬†There were a few other hikers coming in and out, and I got really desperate and asked one sweet older guy if he had any water (my full nalgene is inches away from me, in the locked car), but he hadn’t brought any that day. ¬†I kept seeing people coming over the top of the hill, but it was never my mom and/or sister. ¬†An hour passed. ¬†I was really thirsty. ¬†My phone was dead (the battery drained really quickly, probably because I was in the middle of nowhere and it had to work extra hard to stay on). ¬†I had to go to the bathroom. ¬†I was tired. ¬†An hour and a half passed. ¬†The sun was setting. ¬†I went to the bathroom on the side of the highway. ¬†It was officially dark. ¬†Two hours passed. ¬†A man and his two sons passed on their bikes and I asked them what time it was. ¬†I think it was like eight o’ clock by then. ¬†More time passed. ¬†I started panicking. ¬†I was absolutely sure they had been eaten by mountain lions and we would never find their bodies.

I realized I was going to have to flag down a car, on this dark stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere in California, and try to get help. ¬†I was afraid that if I got the wrong person’s attention, I would end up hacked into pieces in some faraway barn. ¬†I thought I saw a police car, but it passed before I worked up the courage to wave. Finally I saw a high end station wagon with a woman driver and a kid in the backseat. ¬†Perfect. ¬†I waved at her and she pulled over. ¬†I asked her if she had a phone I could use ; I called my mom’s phone and she said she and my sister were “lost”, but that they “thought” they were making their way back. ¬†Typical. ¬†My mom and sister have the worst senses of direction ever. ¬†My blind great uncle Ahmed, who has never set foot in the US, probably would have been better off in this situation. ¬†It was that bad.

The poor woman realized that I was distressed as I burst into tears and told her that my mother and sister were lost in the wilderness. ¬†My mom lost her signal after a minute or two, but had said something about crossing a bridge that said she was a mile away. ¬†The woman stayed with me for a while and probably single-handedly saved me from having a heart attack, thank God. ¬†After a while I told her I was pretty sure they’d be back soon, and she left. ¬†About twenty minutes later, there they were, walking along the side of the road. ¬†I have no idea why or how they ended up on the road as opposed to the trail, but they were back, they clearly hadn’t been attacked by mountain lions, and I had never been so happy to see my family members — or to have a bottle of water — in my life.

By the time we got into the “town” we were staying in, all the “restaurants” AND grocery stores were closed, so after this epic ordeal, we had to eat instant oatmeal for dinner. ¬†Fabulous.

That’s my best running-gone-wrong story! ¬†What’s yours?

PS — Averie is giving away a jar of coconut peanut butter! ¬†Two of the best things on earth, combines into one. ¬†Sounds good to me!

Yoging

Today’s Positive Note: I am strong, smart, beautiful, and worthy.¬† My body does not define me.¬† I have lots of valuable things to offer the world and I can and will use my talents to make my environment a better place.¬† I am making a promise to talk nicely to myself and to others.

I shall be starting a new type of daily note at the beginning of my posts tomorrow, since it’s a new month and I’m running out of nice things to say about myself.

Yoging: (noun) refers to any adventure in which yoga and running are dually involved. 

I may or may not have just made that word up, but it’s the best way to describe my adventures today!

But first, some pictures of the oatmeal chocolate chip peanut butter cookies I made last night.  I got the recipe from Tasty Kitchen.  The Pioneer Woman will never, ever fail me.  Thanks PW!

All ready to bake!

I find baking to be very soothing.¬† It’s just so rhythmic and even.¬† And tasty.

All done!¬† These babies were very chewy and flavorful, and I love when you can taste the cinnamon in a cookie.¬† I have a confession, though: I thought I had butter, so when I went to the store I didn’t get any.¬† I came back, discovered I didn’t have any, and was not about to venture back out in the ten degree bitter cold.¬† Solution? 1 cup of vanilla yogurt.¬† I’m not lying.¬† Both the consistency of the cookie and its taste are totally fine — excellent, even.¬† I don’t know if this will work for all recipes, but it sure worked here.

Okay, onto my yoging.  I thought about running first thing this morning.  I even had my outfit all laid out:

Yep, it was that cold.¬† I ended up going later in the day so I didn’t need quite that much clothing, but still…

So.¬† My cousin recommended that I try out the 12:15 donation class at Shala Yoga Studio.¬† I already knew my cousin was brilliant because¬†she has about eleven degrees including a phD¬†and she’s now doing a post-doc (which is higher than a phD¬† — who knew such a thing was possible?), but I did not know she was this brilliant.¬† She told me the class is usually not very full, but get this: I was the only person there.¬† And I paid $3 (I wasn’t trying to be¬†stingy, that’s all I had).¬† So basically, I just got an amazing private 90 minute vinyasa class in a beautiful studio with a fabulous teacher for $3.¬† In Manhattan.¬† I am not making this up.¬† I have photographic evidence.

Yes, that happened.¬† If you’re a New Yorker and you don’t check this class and/or this studio out, you just might be committing a sin.¬† Although I’m not sure they have¬†sins in yoga.¬† Well, you’ll be maligning your chakras, I can tell you that.

Here’s where the yoging¬†part comes in.¬† Before heading to the studio on the train, I sneakily planned out a running route from the studio, around lower Manhattan, and back up the West Side to my dorm.¬† I needed to get in ten miles, but I had to do some guesstimating.¬† I left straight from the studio (which is near Union Square, in case¬†you were wondering), jogged down 12th street (forgetting that West 4th street intersects with 12th street and getting horribly confused), and over to the river.¬† I knew from the start that my little leggies were very tired.¬† I kind of felt like how Murphy looked this morning.¬† The yoga class had actually been a bit intense, with lots of warriors, chaturangas, and balancing poses.¬† So I decided that today just wasn’t going to be¬†a speedy run, it was going to be a getting-the-miles-in run.¬† My miles probably averaged out around eleven minutes each.¬† Slow, but steady (okay, not really, I was super exhausted in the last three).¬† I also had not had enough water in the morning at all and went through about four bottles during the run and ended up feeling over-hydrated.¬† Ick.¬† But I made it, eventually, and I’m pretty sure I did closer to eleven miles.¬† I am actually kind of excited to rest tomorrow.

Came back and had some cereal and this tasty little sandwich.¬† Okay, so maybe it doesn’t look tasty, but it was.¬† Promise.¬† PB and apple slices on my new bread, all heated up in the microwave.

I was super wiped after my four hour yoging adventure, so I took a little well-deserved nap.

Okay, so I haven’t done much “writing” writing¬†on the blog lately, so it’s¬†storytime!

Storytime: My Beautiful Sister.

There are probably hundreds of ways to describe how my sister and I exist together ‚Äď as foreign bodies, as two moons on a shared path, as strangers who have suddenly found themselves alone on the earth and in desperate need of love.¬† But I think, mostly, we are any two things that are so disparate as to be¬†practically the same.¬† A friend, Molly, once told me that you couldn‚Äôt have love without hate or hate without love.¬† That they each presumed the other‚Äôs existence ‚Äď I was 12 and did not believe her, but now I know about people better.¬† My relationship with my sister has nothing to do with hatred, I am just trying to illustrate how sometimes, opposite things are intertwined.¬† Our names say it best: Caronae means the seashore; Darya means the sea (as it fades into the distance).¬† I‚Äôm constantly digging under her.¬† She‚Äôs always whispering away from me.¬† She is gentle, I am harder.

The day I came home from the hospital, all wrapped up in my mother‚Äôs arms, she made my infant self a special offer: she had created a cozy little nest in her favorite tree, an ash tree, in the front yard, and I was welcome to sleep there tonight ‚Äď this was November in northern Michigan.¬† My parents, thankfully, did not take her up on this offer.¬† For the longest time, I saw her suggestion as mean and spiting.¬† But she wanted to give me a nest ‚Äď baby birds live in nests.¬† Maybe I was a little baby bird friend for her.

When I was about 8 and Darya was about 12, we had a little accident with the toaster.  Our parents, notoriously stuck in the 70’s when it came to household appliances, had a non-functional TV and this dangerously old toaster.  We didn’t grow up with many electronic things.  So, my sister and I were home alone one morning trying to make ourselves some waffles (probably eggo cinnamon toast or chocolate chip, our shared favorites).  This is something we did with success fairly regularly, but this time, some of the wires in the toaster started sparking, and before we knew it, the whole thing was up in flames, and then the wooden cabinets beneath which it sat halfway on fire too.  And we were terrified.  I don’t remember the details of that day very well at all, but I do know this: my 12 year old sister insisted that I wait in the front yard.  She was trying to save me while she fought the fire herself.

I used to think her matted, curly hair was weird (she did cut it eventually), her friends were weird, her beliefs, even.  But these are the things that make Darya.  She has worn down pages of the Bible, I have stacks of running shoes and normal clothing.  So, yes, we are terribly different.  But I still have dreams in which she dies, and I never ever fall back asleep afterwards.  I never ever will unlearn how beautifully wild she is.  Like me, in a way.

All kinds of health

I am an excellent student.  I am a good learner and thinker and listener, both at school and in the rest of my life.  I like learning new facts and synthesizing information that I pick up from my city, from my friends, and from the news.  I am intelligent.

I didn’t write the above sentences to be boastful, I did it because I am trying to work on my self confidence. ¬†Self-esteem is such an important part of our overall health, and I think that sometimes I ignore my emotional and spiritual well-being. ¬†So today, I will go sledding, do a quick run, eat oatmeal, and have a salad. ¬†But I am also going to tell myself that I’m a worthy human being. ¬†I am actually studying human rights, which is basically a doctrine outlining the inherent worth in each person on this earth. ¬†Ironically, for the longest time, I believed that other people had worth, but not me! ¬†Obviously, this is a flawed vision, but when you are very depressed and are used to wearing yourself down, this is difficult to see. ¬†So this year is going to be the year of self-love. ¬†I’m going to try to write one positive thing about myself each day, and I encourage other people to do this too! ¬†It is a little scary at first, but feels surprisingly good.

In other news, I had an awesome oatmeal combination this morning! ¬†There is no picture because I don’t have a camera yet, but I plan on getting one soon with my Christmas money. ¬†I used kashi honey cinnamon instant oats (I know, I’m a bad blogger) with half a banana, crushed walnuts, and raspberry jam. ¬†It was probably one of the best bowls I’ve ever had! ¬† MY sister and I are both home right now, which only happens two or three times a year, so I’d better go play with her! ¬†We’re going sledding later, and maybe making snowmen.