Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

  • Another year, another list

    Date: 2010.12.22 | Category: reflection | Response: View Comments

    It’s that time of year.  Resolutions!  Hardly a year of my life has gone by without a resolution list to look at for a few weeks and then toss out. 

    A little accountability this year . . .

    I’m kidding about tossing out resolutions, obviously.  I actually keep my resolutions in my Google documents so that I never lose them (even if I don’t keep them).  I title them “2010 Goals”* so that they are easy to find, and throughout the year I check in and see how I’m doing.  I don’t really do that systematically, just whenever the mood strikes (or I feel bored enough).  However, posting them here for all to see changes the game a little bit–oh hai, accountability.  (One way to increase resolution adherence is to have a system of accountability.)

    * I use goal and resolution interchangeably.  Anyone that says they are, in fact, different needs to look up the definition of semantics.

    Resolutions say a lot about you

    I think we can all acknowledge that change is hard.  Habits are hard to break.  Looking back at resolutions over the years, I can see a pattern – resolutions provide an insight to not only your bad habits, but also the habits that you perceive to be bad.  For example, I am putting “Declutter house” on my resolutions list.  However, there are many people in this world who do not see excessive possessions as a problem, and therefore would never think to put such a resolution on a list.  (Watch the show American Pickers, and you’ll know what I mean.)  I also have habits others might perceive to be negative, like loading the dishwasher improperly (right, Mark?), but I am not putting it on this year’s goal list (sorry, Mark).  Anyway, it’s interesting to look back at resolutions and their patterns.

    But Resolutions Aren’t Cool

    Some people don’t make resolutions.  I guess having resolutions is perceived as nerdy or uncool.  I’m too old to care if I’m not cool.  Also, perhaps it’s cooler to embrace unbridled self-acceptance.   Acting as though you care about anything is anti-cool.  The great thing about resolutions is that I get to be my own arbiter of cool.  And you know what, I think having goals, caring about them, and achieving them is really cool.  I think success is cool.

    Sticking to it

    With a mind towards sticking to my resolutions, I reviewed The Happiness Project’s advice on how to stick to resolutions.  And you should, too!  People say not to make resolutions because they often fail, but how about we just make resolutions and try to acheive them?  I’m sure we know what Thomas Edison (with his prodigious list of failures) would have said about that. 

    And here are mine

    1. Fitness related: get fitter.  Specifically, lose weight.  I’m in a healthy range, but I’m still definitely over where I would like to be. In 2011, I’d really like to be fitter and healthier.  I’ll be turning 30, which is kind of terrifying. (p.s. The last few weeks, I have really been working on this and making some progress!)
    2. Work out in the morning.  This has been an ongoing goal for some time but I think it’s essential for making sure I get a workout in before I get consumed by work or some other activity.
    3. Budget money better.  Pay more debt off.
    4. Improve communication with my husband.
    5. Career:
      • continue to work on blog and photography with my blog
      • figure out what I’m doing with articles I’m writing on the side and whether to continue it
      • get and read books related to IT work that I do
      • figure out what to do with my law license (go inactive this year or not)
    6. Improve home
      1. donate or sell extra stuff (possibly go through one room a month?)
      2. work on home to-do list to get it in better (selling) condition
    7. Stand up for myself and my values more.  This sounds vague, but it means something more specific to me.  I often feel that I am face-to-face with instances of bigotry but in the past have either not confronted it at all or not confronted it in a meaningful way.  I want to work on positive confrontation of bigotry, and things or people that attack me personally.

    I really enjoy reading other people’s resolutions, so I hope you enjoyed reading mine.  Does anyone else have similar resolutions?

  • Thankful

    Date: 2010.11.22 | Category: miscellaneous, reflection | Response: View Comments

    Since this is the week of Thanksgiving, I thought I would write about something I’m thankful for.

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    I’m thankful for the sweet girls I coached at Girls on the Run this year.  They made me and the other coaches posters and signed them.  They gave it to me at the “banquet” we had last week.

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    The last practice we had, we told the girls to write letters to someone who inspired them to be a “Girl on the Run.”  A couple of girls wrote me letters.

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    It’s hard to believe this was written by a 5th grader!  It was so well-written.

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    “You are the best coach EVER!”  So cute.  Another project the girls did was wrote nice messages or motivating messages on index cards for the coaches and volunteers.

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    They all went into a personalized container.

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    The coaches got together and gave me a special award for coaching when I didn’t teach or have a child at the school (this boggled their minds that someone just volunteered to volunteer I guess). 

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    It was so nice of them to do.  I turned beet red in embarrassment.  Kind of like the bottle.

    I am also thankful that I have things to remember the girls by. 

    What are you thankful for? 

  • Misc.

    Date: 2010.11.21 | Category: miscellaneous | Response: View Comments

    I started this post earlier this week and forgot to post it.  Here we go.

    Katie at Legally Fit tagged me with some questions and I’m just getting around to it!

    1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Growing up a Navy brat probably influences my answer to this question, but I think I could be happy living just about anywhere.  I really think that no matter where you are, people are generally the same.  I think I would really like Colorado though. Smile
    2. What has surprised you the most about blogging? That people read the stuff I write.
    3. What food could you not live without? This is like an extreme version of the favorite food question.  I could live without many things but my world would be a little sadder without frozen peas and ice cream.
    4. You have a Saturday all to yourself.  How would you spend it? I would go on a long run by myself, drink coffee, read trashy magazines, and then get bored, screw the day to myself idea and go on a date with Mark.
    5. What is/was your major in undergrad?  Philosophy, Law, and Rhetoric.  It was basically a pre-law degree.
    6. Are you in the field that you thought you would be when you were younger? Not really, but I had several different ideas about what I would “be” when I grew up, including: writer, journalist, interior designer, teacher/professor, judge, lifelong academic.
    7. How often do you blog?  Why? About 3 times a week I think – at least lately.  I would like to post more but I’ve been busy and when I’m not busy I can’t think of things to write!

    I am three weeks clean of Diet Coke and other artificial sweeteners.  Even though I have mixed feelings about it, I’m pretty proud of myself.

    This week we are going to Nebraska to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.  It’s a 7.5 hour drive but it means we can bring the

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    and the

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    What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

  • The Real-ish Thing

    Date: 2010.11.16 | Category: eating, reflection | Response: View Comments

    Hello!  I know I’ve been MIA for a few days but it’s because I’ve been really busy.  I feel pretty stressed out actually.  I think it’s work, and life in general…  I’m to the point where little things like laundry is stressing me out.  (Granted, the house being dirty actually stresses me out, maybe that’s a little OCD.)  I’m just the kind of person that is wound a little more tightly than others.  But I think anyone that reads this probably already knows that.  Winking smile

    Anyway, on Saturday we had the Girls on the Run 5k.  One of the girls I was paired with had not been in Girls on the Run for the full program and she was struggling.  She started to complain before the first mile was finished.  After a few walk breaks, I bargained with her: 5 minutes of running and a couple of minutes of walking.  Towards the end of the 5k, that stopped working – so I said, “If you run to the end, I’ll buy you something nice.”  Well, that worked!  She ran through the finish. 

    Our celebration for the end of the season for Girls on the Run is tomorrow and I plan on giving her the gift then.  It will be nice to see the girls one last time and congratulate them on what they accomplished. 

    I have a confession to make.  I’ve been keeping a secret.

    Well, I haven’t really been keeping it on purpose, I just haven’t mentioned it because I have a lot of thoughts about it.

    The Real Thing”™

    dietcoke

    I haven’t drank any of that for 2.5 weeks.  I have also been avoiding all artificial sugars and sweeteners.  I’m still getting ample amounts of the real thing – real sugar, not Coke, so don’t worry. 

    Before 2.5 weeks ago, I drank anywhere between 1 can of Diet Coke to two or three 24 ounce diet sodas.  In addition, I added sweetener to my coffee (one or two packets), and often one or two packets to my breakfast, especially if I ate yogurt (plain yogurt is sour on its own).  Needless to say, some days it was a lot, and I never really liked doing it.  The habit started some time in law school, and I’ve kept it up since, more or less.

    a-gallon-of-diet-coke-straight-to-the-dome

    Source: NatalieDee.com

    I’ve done this before – given up artificial sweeteners and sugars – I did it for a couple of months.  I think vanity was motivating me more than anything, because after I noticed no advantageous effects scale-wise (in fact, kind of the opposite effect I was going for), I quit.  One study reported that artificial sweeteners are linked to weight gain.  This is big news for people consuming artificial sweeteners as a way to reduce calories, and therefore control weight.

    As far as health risks go, I’m not convinced that artificial sweeteners are bad for you.  Neither is the FDA, and several other sources.  This wikipedia article has a pretty good synopsis of the controversy surrounding aspartame (the sweetener in Diet Coke), sources discrediting the studies that artificial sweeteners are linked to weight gain,  sources discrediting other claims, not to mention a hoax that has indubitably played in the subconscious like any good hoax. 

    It was this evidence that always weighed in favor of continuing to consume artificial sweeteners.  It is easy to find alarmist articles or web sites calling aspartame or other artificial sweeteners “poison,” and much harder to find actual science backing that up – and the same can be said for the opposite side.  The campaign against aspartame has been hugely successful, however, it interests me that the alleged cancer connection to aspartame is more widely feared than soy’s alleged connection.  Frankly, I do not know why that is the case.  At the end of the day, I’m not sure who or what to believe.  But I refuse to be capricious.

    All that said, why now?  Like I said earlier, I felt that I was consuming too much artificial sweetener, too often, and I didn’t like it.  One thing I always noticed was that if I drank a diet soda on an empty stomach, it would start to growl very loudly even though I wasn’t hungry (I’ve never met anyone else who had this problem!).  It led me to snack just to quiet my stomach.  Since I quit drinking diet soda, I haven’t needed a morning snack.  I knew that part of my problem was I drank coffee in the morning and after a little while I wanted a diet soda to get rid of coffee (spiked with sweetener) breath, so I gave up coffee too.  The other thing motivating me is just a desire to feel better in general, and not feel so dependent on little packs of chemicals.

    What am I drinking now?  Tea and water. 

    You would think that giving up coffee and soda would be hard to do, but it actually wasn’t at all.  I still think about getting it now and then, and I don’t see anything wrong with having it once a while.  I’m just not ready to end my sweetener-free streak yet.  Well, I will give an update on how I’m doing in a few months!  Thanks for listening if you got this far! Smile

  • Life updates

    Date: 2010.10.20 | Category: miscellaneous, real simple cookthrough | Response: View Comments

    Life is getting in the way of me making much headway in my Real Simple cook through this week (I’m on week 3 of the 4 week menu).  So far, I’ve been eating leftovers for dinner this week.  Apparently, I am taking weeks 2 and 3 of the cook through and making them last about four weeks. :) Life also gets in the way of blogging  consistently – at least lately! 

    I feel like I haven’t really said much about what’s going on in my life lately even if now and then I post pictures of food, but that’s going to change – at least in this catch-up post.  Here are my updates:

    1.  I’ve ran six races this year – one of which was a marathon and another was a half marathon.  It has been a good running year for me!  Check out my race page: “Chasing” and the race recaps there. 

    2.  I’m kind of in a self-improvement lull.  I have ideas about things I want to change or improve or start, but no plans.   To be honest, I’m sort of enjoying the goal-less lull.  I think I’m just spending more energy on the things I’m already involved in: Work, Girls on the Run, the writing I do on the side, running races that I don’t necessarily feel like running (but feel good about afterwards), watching my husband brew beer, having reading binges (I’m working on getting through the Dragon Tattoo trilogy) and the Real Simple cook through (err… whenever I make time for that).  I know it’s just a matter of time before I start up with a new endeavor so don’t leave or stop reading.  I might wake up tomorrow with a wild hair up you know where. 

    3.  Oh crap, did I just cover everything in #2?

    4.  I think that because I’ve been really busy at work for the past month, that it’s sucked some creative energy out of me, and that’s why you’re reading this weird blog post.  I’m kind of okay with that though. 

    5.  I just discovered www.latfh.com.  It’s a nice change of pace from laughing at people dressed strangely at Wal-Mart.

    6.  Girls on the Run has been great.  I’m not sure how teachers handle the constant change of students.  I know that when the program ends, I will be sad that I won’t see the girls.   I found myself wondering if I’ll ever see them again when the program ends, since I don’t have any attachment to the school (it just happens to be in a convenient location).  I’m not sure why I’m thinking about all of this when I still have until November 13 to spend time with them!  We have two practice 5ks this week – one on Friday and one on Sunday.  The 5k race for the girls in the program is November 13, and that will be my last race for 2010!  (I think.)

    7.  I just purchased and received six containers of Garlic Gold nuggets off Amazon.com.  I’ve never tried it, but I heard it’s good and couldn’t find it in store.  Apparently I trust the blogs I read quite a bit.  Yes, buying Garlic Gold deserves a spot in my life updates in this blog.

    I write a lot of asides about the things I say on this blog.  Part of me must think that most of the things I write are weird, or I am pretty self-conscious about saying stupid things.  That will not stop me from saying stupid things, so please don’t stop reading.  I’m sure I said something stupid in here already.  (Oh yep, there it is – I wrote about hairs in my ass.)  I suppose this qualifies as another aside. <–that is an aside in an aside.  Whoa.

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My name is Michelle and I like to write about running, food, and fitness in general. Check out my About Michelle section for more!

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