Tagged: Working Out

Truth: Yoga reminds me just how much my body hates me.

I almost didn’t go to yoga last night.  I had a headache and my sinuses were stuffy with the drip that makes you cough now and again but not all the time.  I was tired and my stomach hurt and I was probably a little grumpy.

During the session, I fluctuated between feeling frustrated and slightly embarrassed.  While everyone else focused on deep, smooth breathing through their noses, I tried to avoid sneezing and/or coughing and to maintain some sort of dignity.

During the warrior poses (spread your feet very far apart and crouch/lunge with your arms out), which stretch your legs and sides, I had discomfort in my left shoulder.  I couldn’t begin to explain why.    My stomach distracted me from my heavy breathing during the twisting motions, and my wrists and hands ached during the move from downward facing dog (on your hands and feet with your butt way up in the air) to plank (on your hands and feet without your butt up in the air).

Instead of making me more aware of my body in a positive way, yoga reminds me just how much my body hates me.  I can flash a smile, turn on the charm, and lead a meeting of 300 people with smashing success, but by late afternoon my introverted self will be so drained from the performance that I’ll be in bed that evening nursing a migraine.  When my sinuses are unhappy, they yawn continuously until I find a decongestant, interrupting all sorts of fun outings that might make you miss your sinus pills (dinner with friends this past Saturday night, for example).  Over these last twenty-seven years and 358 days I’ve learned how to manage it.  I always have ibuprofen and pepto-bismol on hand.  I avoid breaded foods and make some kind of vegetable-filled soup for lunch nearly every day.   I know how to make the important things happen.  I just don’t know how to make my body like me. 

Intellectually I know what to do:  work out more regularly, drink more water, limit processed foods and sugars, increase fruits and vegetables.  This is why I signed up for yoga in the first place.  The activity will be good for me.  I’m sticking with the plan and waiting for the benefits to come.  But in this beginning stage, while I’m trying to find the kind of balance that works for my life and my fitness level and my budget, my body doesn’t really know what to do and my brain doesn’t really know what to do either.

Real Life

Hi Friends.  It’s been a hot minute since you’ve gotten an update, so that’s what you are getting today!  Hope you are doing well — can’t wait to hear about your fabulous lives as well.

Writing.

I told you how I signed up for a writing class thing for the summer, remember?  Well, it doesn’t start until July 1st but during June I’m using Elora’s 30-days of writing prompts geared for finding your purpose.  I’m not even half-way through the prompts, but I’m loving how they excite me about writing and also kick me in the butt for being lazy and not prioritizing my gifts in my own life.  If you’re interested in purchasing the prompts, you can get 30 days of prompts for only $30.  It supports a great writer, and it supports you as a writer, so it’s basically win-win.

Work.

In our last update, I mentioned that I might have a position in Chicago but that it was tricky and not certain and that I wasn’t sure if it would be with my old job or my new (same agency but different division) job or something altogether unexpected. . . Well, it’s settled now and I officially have a position and I officially start on August 12th — the same day H starts his new job!  It’s a dream come true for making our physical and financial transition smooth and I am so excited and thankful that it worked out.  I mean, I couldn’t imagine a better scenario.

Well, unless Rahm called me and was like Hey, MB, we really need a lawyer to work for us in the City of Chicago and really, you are the only one we want.  So can you come and re-do our land-use policies and make sure our master plan doesn’t accidentally (or intentionally) discriminate and be in charge of ending homelessness and economic development grants and just spend all of my city budget helping people? And can you please wear jeans and a blazer to work every day, because dress pants just aren’t our style.  That would be a pretty great scenario too. 

The Daily Grind.

H is fishing three days a week and reading Game of Thrones during his well deserved summer break after graduate school, and I’m enjoying my job a lot.  I’m incredibly busy and working on some organizational planning efforts that are complicated and messy and exactly the kind of projects I love.  I’m doing a lot better at getting to work early on time and getting full nights of sleep, and I’m trying to get to the gym twice a week and eat fewer calories and more vegetables.  I even had a glass of wine and a BLT instead of two glasses of beer and a cheeseburger at Trivia last night.  Impressive, I know.

Our Move.

We’re still planning to find an apartment after the July 4th holiday and move up the first weekend in August.  Now that we both have start-dates for our jobs, it’s getting more real.  Once we find our new place in only SIXTEEN DAYS!!! we will schedule our movers.  Between now and then, I’m going to start  going through some of our things and packing/donating.

Let’s talk about donating for a second — do you guys ever feel like Goodwill doesn’t want your donations?  On the day of my last drop-off, I was asked if the clothes I had in sacks had been dry-cleaned and were on individual hangers.  I’m not dry-cleaning t-shirts, but I don’t want to just throw them out.  Is there a better way to donate used items that still have some life in them?

We’re also looking at a lot of furniture stores, because we have a lot of things to purchase in the coming months and want to be responsible about such large expenses.  For a new sofa, we’re considering Basset Furniture — we really liked their selection and service.  We also found this AMAZING coffee table (minus the wheels) but it seems weird to pay so much for something that looks so simple. . . not that furniture making is simple, just that I wish it were so I could have whatever kind of furniture I wanted.  (P.S. Sorry this photo is a little blurry.)

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Travel.

We spent last weekend in Virginia Beach, and we had so much fun EXCEPT that the traffic on I-95 from DC toward Richmond was HORRENDOUS.  When we left at 10:30 a.m. I anticipated arriving by 3:00. . . but it was actually 6:30.  That’s how much traffic it was.

But, it was so fun to get away, and I only took one picture!  Below please find Virginia Beach’s favorite drink, the Orange Crush.

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The Storm is Over: a [disorganized] collection of thoughts

As you have undoubtedly heard, Washington, DC escaped most of Sandy’s destruction and we are headed back to work today (some as early as yesterday afternoon). The coastline was not as lucky, and many of our friends and yours are without power for an extended period and battling severe flooding. Our prayers are with them.

Here, H and I are pulling ourselves out of the apartment-pajamas forever-never going outside party that was the last few days, and it is a rude awakening! Homework, laundry, dishes, etc. can really cramp your style. :) But we’re getting it done. I’m currently on the metro with my gym bag in hand, hoping to burn off the hundreds of calories of unnecessary snacks I consumed on the sofa this weekend…

One week from today, the elections will be over. Wow, right? This year, it has felt like the election propaganda would never end. I’m ready to get to work and know a little more about the future: both politically and whether or not my job will still exist, if my bosses will all change, and if agency policy will shift. The election seems oddly personal, given the immediate impact on my day-to-day.

Today is Halloween! I honestly couldn’t care less about this day, but it does make me think fondly if a few friends who love to dress up and watch Hocus Pocus. Missing you guys today!!

The woman beside me on the train is threatening to call of her wedding, hanging up on (I’m assuming) her fiancé and then calling him again. Drama. Thank you Lord for my husband! I’m so glad to have never had to date someone in DC. Guys here suck. [Plus he’s all-around pretty great. :)]

I’m doing the Yale Open Course in the history of the New Testament and really enjoying it thus far. It’s very different from the course I took at Union (obviously) and I’m enjoying ithe contrast. I’ll hopefully have more insightful commentary than the previous statement as I dig deeper into the materials, but it is early yet.

Thanks for sticking with me through this post and through this season; I haven’t had a lot of issues to discuss lately, but promise this blog will be much more exciting when the election is over and there are no more “candidates” (and thus fewer rules).

Do endorphins make you sentimental?

I never believed people who said that “Running is fun” or the whole “Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands!” line of thinking. (50 points if you can cite that quote.) I assumed they were just perpetuating a myth, like when people say that birthing a child is beautiful but, when it is just you and a new mother, she tells you that is a bloody lie.

But, I have to admit, I’m starting to feel it. Please don’t think I enjoy running — lord have mercy it is so un-fun — but after today’s workout I’m feeling kind of, well, happy and awesome. I am feeling very confident in my routine and I haven’t fallen all over myself since that quite unfortunate iPhone dropping experience. Currently, I’m doing 20 minutes of mix-it-up cardio (random inclines and adding in jogging whenever I feel it or whenever someone I know walks by) and then upper body weightlifting, stability ball sit-ups, and some major stretching. It’s not intense, but it’s comfortably challenging and I’m excited to feel almost at home spending 45 minutes there twice a week.

After today’s workout, the metro exit was blocked off and I decided to walk up to the red line instead of walking around the building. It was a beautiful night. Every now and then I get sentimental, thinking This could be my last October 18th as a DC resident. Endorphins, right? I took a few [blurry iPhone] shots from my walk home to show you my beautiful city. How cool is it, living and working right here?

Pretty dang cool.

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Five Things on Friday

1) Hank + Sarah forever! I love Ray Romano’s new character on Parenthood — I mean, seriously, I love him. Dear NBC please please keep him and get rid of skinny-moustache-guy. Seriously, though, do it.

2) Reading Atlas Shrugged while drafting language to support jobs training for Americans in poverty is confusing. And quite intellectually stimulating. I highly recommend the experience.

3) I am deflated by work as of late. I know that I can choose to make it better, keep pushing and reading, but I haven’t been able to sustain the push for more than about four consecutive hours. So that.

4) My favorite blogger went to Haiti with a team of bloggers and each member of the team blogged about it. I added all of them to my google reader and now have about a million new blog posts to read. I recommend you do the same.

5) I really want to go to the movies. There are so many movies that I want to see! Did anyone see the one about education with Maggie and Viola? I so wanted it to be great but heard it was not. Also, Pitch Perfect? Argo? The list keeps growing.

“I am the she-king of awkward.”

It’s hard going back, isn’t it? The end of a long weekend. The end of summer vacation. The end of a five month rotation anyone? :) Today I went back to the work and…wait for it…the gym.

I interrupt this to ask a very important question: does anyone feel a five-point southern baptist sermon coming on? Hello, cliches. You are running amuck in here! Anyway…

I am a pathetic gym-goer. I veer to one side of the treadmill or the other, inches from catastrophic embarrassment. Even my face jiggles when I am jogging, and I am hyper-aware of that due to the mirrors reflecting all my sides, including said jiggle-face. Today, I tragically dropped my iPhone while getting a drink while jogging on a moving track but gracefully recovered. And by recovered, I mean heffalumped to the side of my still-moving treadmill to grab my phone from the ground, and then try [and fail, obviously] to get back on the moving treadmill.

I am the she-king of awkward.

Because I’m new to the gym, my badge isn’t authenticated yet and I couldn’t get into the locker room. So, I had to carry my work bag, gym bag, and jacket with me around the gym.

This is not an exaggeration.

But I survived. I’m building up my gym-courage and my stamina. I did 20 minutes of walk-run cardio, 50 medicine ball sit-ups, and ten minutes of light upper-body weight-lifting. That won’t get me to the Olympics, I know, but it is something. I also had salad for lunch and am wearing a North Face jacket and a KD t-shirt on the metro home, like the real-sorority-girl-I-never-was but am now one-non-awkward-trip-to-the-gym away from becoming.

So basically, I am awesome. And it is only Tuesday.

In other news, pictured somewhere on this iPhone-created blog is my new coffee mug for work. Nathaniel Hawthorne drank from it while writing short stories or something cool like that.

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First Post in 2012!

Today I was informed by one of my loyal readers that the entire world was waiting with baited breath and immeasurable anticipation for my next blog update.  So here it is, ya’ll, an update from my boring awesome life:

1.  I AM AN OFFICIAL LAWYER.  Yes, that’s right.  For the last seven months I have been a “law school graduate.”  For two of those months I was a “bar applicant;” for five months I was a “bar candidate;” and since early November I have been a bar candidate pending bar admissions.  Only this Thursday did I become a lawyer.  Yes, it is really that long, drawn-out, and complicated.  My mom flew from TN to DC all by herself to witness my swearing in and it was super nice and awesome of her and made me feel totes special and awesome.

2.  My work-life is going okay.  It’s kind of weird at the moment, so I’m just embracing the weirdness and looking forward to some new stuff coming my way.  My co-workers continue to be incredibly pleasant and knowledgeable, and I’m going to really push myself to follow my interests over the next few months.  It’s too easy to get lost in the shuffle and then realize that several weeks have passed without a single moment of excitable learning.

3.  H and I are quitting our gym [to save cash monies] and purchasing some workout equipment to keep at home instead.  The gym has been $100/month that we haven’t really been using since H started working on his MBA, so this is a wise choice financially even though it kind of makes me feel like a failure.  We are buying yoga mats and DVDs, medicine balls, resistance bands, and free weights.  And H is considering P90x, but I’m not x-treme so it’s probably not a good fit for me.  :)

4.  I really want to add more FUN STUFF in my life this year.  I’m too boring and get too settled into routines that don’t include exciting activities.  Today, I handled that by taking a serious shopping spree.  [This also supports my other goal for the year — look freaking awesome all the time.  I mean, seriously, when you’re this fantastic, you should probably wear better clothes so people know.]  So expect this blog to be like the coolest thing ever.

5.  I am going to take better care of myself, too!  Get 8 hours of sleep, go to the dentist/doctor/lady doctor/headache specialist and make sure I’m a-o-kay, and eat fruits and veggies.  I’m toying with eliminating diet coke from my nutritional intake but I’m not really good at setting goals and following through so I’m not really there yet.  But, I’m thinking about it.  And I’m going to try to pack lunches regularly again.

Right now I am eating Christmas M&Ms and sitting by H and watching the Jersey Shore.  I am already in my PJs at 7:37 PM EST (and have been since 6:15) and loving it.  I’m sad that Sister Wives is not coming on.  I really hope one of my friends has all the seasons of Big Bang Theory on DVD so I can borrow them (BBT is my newfound television love.  Mad Men is boring and out).  And I’m excited for a new year of awesomeness.