Sunday, November 18, 2012


I am a Christian woman and I consider myself truly conservative. Not even close to a Republican anymore. I believe in less government. The Republican party has strayed far from that mindset. 

I like politics. At one time I wanted to be a lawyer and politician until I realized my complete hatred of public speaking would prove to be a hinderance.  I am not well versed in economics and in this particular election I had no clear cut favorite.  The ideal person for me did not run.  I basically want Kinky Friedman to run and only partially for his name.  I want someone in office who will keep their hands off my guns, stay out of my bedroom, out of my marriage, out of my healthcare, and lower taxes for companies based on job creation and keeping jobs here. For those of you lamenting the potential loss of your savings etc, I understand where you are coming from and I wish there was a more fiscally conservative plan out there and if you voted for Romney based on financial reasons, this post is not about you in the least.  I was not going to vote for Romney because in the private sector he sent his jobs overseas, but the main reason I voted for the President was because of social issues.  I do not believe there is a war against women but there are some wrongdoings and to paraphrase a Tweet I read last night, something's wrong with the party if you have to ask "which rape guy?"  I won't judge the whole party by a guy or a few guys speaking up and minimalizing rape but I will judge the party for not shutting that thing down.  Honestly, I feel like the Republicans shot themselves in the feet with some of the issues they brought to light.   That being said, why did I vote for Obama? I believe in God and am a Christian.  I believe that God loves everyone and wants us to take the path of less pain, but some things are not a matter of choice. I'll address abortion because despite the fact I could not imagine ever having one I think it should stay legal and more than anything, because I support gay marriage.

Let's do a hypothetical, your daughter or future daughter is a bright and beautiful and happy 10 year old.  Loves school, loves her family, loves life.  Suddenly, seemingly overnight, that changes. She becomes withdrawn, recoils from physical affection, seems to sleep all the time, but always looks tired.  A month goes by and concerned, you take her to the doctor and the truth comes out.  A family friend/ male relative/ school employee raped her a month ago and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone (yes, this happens frequently; check out ).and she is pregnant.  What do you tell your daughter? Do you stress her young body and risk her emotional and possibly physical well-being? Or do you take her to get a clinical abortion? Keep in mind, this is your business and nobody else has to know.  As traumatic as going through an abortion would have to be, wouldn't it be more traumatic to spend the better part of a year letting her go through the shame of being a pregnant in elementary school through no fault of her own and her body nurturing the effects of her attack? Her childhood would have been severely injured by an assault regardless but to insist that your daughter literally carry a reminder of that day (or days or weeks) seems unnecessarily cruel. I believe Plan B has saved many people from having to go through this situation but what about in this case? What if abortion was the way to save a child? And even if there was some provision that allowed abortion in the case of rape, what if the rape has to be proven?  Your daughter has been scared to death for a month that you will be killed if she says anything and now she has to prove that she was raped?

Sidenote: please do not be so naive to think that this is an extremely rare situation.  I wish that was the case but sexual abuse/attacks are far too common.  A few years ago I was lucky enough to sit and talk with a group of teenagers and a few adult women. Of the group of 11 or 12, 4 of those females and been sexually abused in some form or another with an additional experiencing non sexual domestic abuse in her home and these were the ones that spoke up. 

In that same vein, it is incredibly sad to say but death is not the worst thing a child can experience at the hands of his/her parent. I abhor the idea of abortion, but I feel it is something that needs to be legal. With the great number of people desperately wanting children, abortion should not exist but it needs to. All kinds of people get pregnant that should not raise them, but instead of putting them up for adoption, they succumb to pressure from family, friends, etc to keep the child despite that they do not have the resources to care for them whether it be financially, physically, or emotionally. How many women have stayed in an abusive situation because they were pregnant and at least if they stayed with their man, their baby would be able to eat? Or if a disturbed woman that is pregnant unhappily so and chooses to raise their child by horrifically abusing the child? I work/ have worked with pediatric physical therapy patients.  One patient stood out; the 12 year old being raised by his grandparents who had been shook as an infant.  His size and strength were of a bigger than usual 12 year old boy.  His developmental age was at 2 months, if we were being generous. What kind of life does he have? I absolutely agree that abortion should be a last result and people who use it for birth control need to be counseled and -perhaps be introduced to other birth control, but there are so many circumstances were abortion needs to be an option. I've touched on some of the more violent scenarios but what about where the mother's life is in danger or the child will not have any quality of life? By quality of life, I am not talking about any imperfection, but something that severely inhibits a child's ability to live.

The ideal situation would be for none of these scenarios to happen, but they have and they will again and for this reason, abortion needs to stay legal. Abortion will happen whether it is legal or not; let's keep it safe and available for those who need it. I realize that some people will use it for birth control and I hope and pray this will change but there are simply too many exceptions to make it illegal.  By the way, not everyone who utilizes Planned Parenthood is seeking an abortion.  They provide a variety of health screenings and birth control. In other words, they do their best to ensure that women do not have to seek an abortion for an oops moment.  More importantly, they help uninsured or underinsured women the opportunity to get screened for cancer as well as other diseases. 

Another child scenario for you: you are the parent of a smart, happy, healthy son.  A bit of a late bloomer, your son goes through high school not really dating but always hanging out with friends and making good grades and being active in sports.  He goes off to college on a partial scholarship and his success continues. To your immense pride, he is even thinking about going into the ministry. Stellar grades and a happy child! Even better he announces he is in love and Chris is amazing- also an outstanding student and a Christian. They are already committed to one another and agree on so many life choices and are looking forward to raising children together in a loving, Christian home. By the way, Chris is short for Christopher. Didn't you always want your child to have a happy, loving marriage to a Christian? They will have more hardships to overcome than a straight couple but how can you deny his happiness because of who they fell in love with? Let's look at your daughter.  She's had a similar successful high school career and in college she decided to run a little wild. She meets someone and falls in love.  He's not a Christian, he's not successful, and above all, he does not treat her well and you doubt if he actually loves her. Yet when he asks if she wants to get hitched, she breathlessly agrees. Most parents wouldn't be happy about that choice and some may speak up, but others would be quietly supportive so they do no risk alienating their daughter.  How many parents would vehemently object to the son's marriage plan? Which marriage would really honor Christ the most?

Apart from that, not every marriage is a Christian marriage and the foundation of this country was for religious freedom.  Marriage is a legal contract. I believe in love and think marriage can be, and should be, so much more than a piece of paper. In the eyes of the government, it's a legal contract that allows for joint property and medical decisions to be made for one another and insurance and the like to happen.   Gay people aren't trying to force you to renounce your religious beliefs but they do want the right to truly share their life with the one they love.  Divorced people are allowed to get remarried.  They made a mistake and are allowed to try again. I'm in a relationship with a black man; I am whiter than Casper. Not that many years ago, the idea of our getting married would have been illegal (note: family, friends, etc: we are nowhere close to getting married; this is just an example, simmer down now.). Something like different colors of skin doesn't matter anymore.  Why should two people who happen to be the same gender be prevented from getting married? How does it diminish YOUR marriage? I think the celebrity who is on her fifth marriage or the serial adulterer does a lot more to diminish marriage than the two people in love who want to devote their lives to each other. 

Former Governor Romney and his wife provided a good example of a strong marriage (as far as I know), but when the Republican nominee race was in its throes the line that burned me, and still does, is the "sanctity of marriage."  Newt Gringrich particularly shone in this instance. On marriage number three with wife number two outing him as wanting an open marriage, his pious claims of gay marriage diminishing the sanctity of marriage rang rather hollow. First of all, why does anyone else's marriage affect you? If your brother does not love his wife or your coworker is in an abusive marriage, does that diminish your marriage? Also, how do two men or two women getting married diminish anything? If they love each other and want to honor and commit to each other, how does that dishonor marriage? Straight people have cheated, abused, assaulted, insulted, and killed in their marriages. It is the responsibility of the individuals of the marriage to honor themselves and their relationship; whether those people are straight or gay has nothing to do with it. I know two people who I suspect of being homosexual that chose a (different) heterosexual marriage so they could have a Christian marriage and they both suffer from chronic, stress related illness. How is lying to yourself and to everyone about who you truly are honor God in your marriage? Lying made the top ten; you’re still a sinner, but you’re sinning in private not public, is that the difference? I do not believe homosexuality is a choice.  I personally have seen kids as young as five who already have that tendency. I have friends who are teachers who have confirmed that.  With the amount of hate and discrimination and being treated like less than a person, why would someone choose that life? It is not an easy path and I’ve known so many people who really struggled to come out and others who still cannot fully come out because they love their family and don’t want to put them through that or because they hate the idea of being isolated from their family.   Marriage is a choice and if someone wants to choose marriage, why should we look down upon them because they are the same gender?

God wants us to love our neighbor. As a Christian, I try to do this daily. I struggle with it, but mostly in cases of someone being an awful person, someone who hurts others. One of my best friends is an atheist; we are able to have civil, engaging conversations about spirituality. Quite often, I feel she is close to acknowledging there is a higher being and just as she is close, a religious person (often a Christian simply because of where she lives there are not too many other religions being practiced) does or says something so hateful that she retreats. An acquaintance used to volunteer several hours weekly at a church and now he is a rabid atheist.  God did nothing to bring this about, but he lost his faith after soaking in the hostility of his fellow Christians regarding the homosexual lifestyle.  He is not a homosexual but has friends that are. We are supposed to love each other and leave the judging to God.  How much love is there though in acting as though someone is less of a person because of who they love, and then saying they accept them anyway? When someone goes on and on about how against God gay marriage is and how the gay lifestyle is a travesty and then says “I’m a Christian though and I’ll still love them”, I think that person says that to feel morally superior and I wonder how much love they are really sending.  I’ve yet to hear someone speak about how horrible divorce is and it’s a sin but they would love that person anyway. I’m sure that person is out there, but for the most part divorce, lying, adultery, honoring your parents, etc all get an automatic.  We know it’s not right exactly but God forgives sins right? We’re good.  And we are!  Everyone sins; no one is perfect, but God has got your back. We allow adulterers to get married, divorced people to get married, criminals to get married, and quite a few states allow cousins to get married, the government allows and quite frankly, cannot prevent, sinful marriages. Why are we diminishing the civil rights of gay people and denying them the right to marry?

I'm sure I've ticked off a number of friends and family with this post, but I hate people accusing me of being un-Christian because of my opinions.  Religion can be interpreted in many ways.  My top concern is loving people and making people feel loved. I have invited obnoxious people along to lunch or dinner because I don't want to hurt their feeling even for an instant. I implore people to think about what their words or actions mean to others. How much words can hurt. When you talk about how horrible a sin is, think about the person that may have had to go through that situation, chances are they feel bad enough or have struggled through a bad situation, the last thing they need is to feel worse.  Instead, offer love and support and see how you can help them be happier. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cajun potateaux

I started running last year because I needed something to do. I was living in an extended stay hotel with three cats and to say I was stressed was putting it mildly.  My dad had just died, I was trying to sell my house in Corpus- in short I felt out of control. I had always read about eating disorders that a lot of them have to do with control.  They can control what they put in their mouths.  So, I took what should be an unhealthy thing and spun it into healthy for me.  I made a concious decision to watch what I ate (but did not restrict myself from anything entirely) and decided to move more.  Moving more initially began as doing the #2011pushupchallenge and some yoga and then I decided to escape the tiny suite I was in and go outdoors.
I started with a run/walk method that I still use and I gradually began to build up endurance and distance.  Along the way, I moved into my house where I was briefly without hot water which actually helped keep me more consistent with running.  I needed to be miserably hot in order to tolerate (and sometimes enjoy) the cold water.  During the hot days of late summer, I slacked off. Needing motivation,  I signed up for my first 5K in October. It was very large and crowded and not well organized but it gave me some "race" exp and it included walkers so I wasn't last! After that I decided I needed something else. Annie was doing a half marathon in Vegas which had a catchy name- Strip at Night, but it was in December and I so did not have airfare.  I perused the Rock N Roll website and decided on New Orleans. March 4th gave me plenty of time to train, etc (this was November ish). When the Saints won big, the race was hugely discounted so I went for it. Signed up on a whim and announced it on twitter.  Then I got oral surgery where one of the odd restrictions was to not open my mouth outside. Running was sidelined apart from a few half hearted attempts on the treadmill where I usually stopped after a mile, mile and a half.  Then the whirlwind of the holidays along with a huge helping of laziness and my training was sucking.
A couple days after Christmas one of my favorite authors, Victoria Laurie, was at my favorite indie bookstore, Murder By the Book, doing a reading and because she is a psychic intuitive, she was also doing mini intuitive readings as well. I had chickend out at the previous reading and not asked a question so I was determined to do so this time.  Besides which to my fangirl little mind, our trading of tweets and FB comments had practically made us BFFs (ok, so I still do a squee! every time she responds). So, at the reading I'm waiting to ask my question and one girl asked something and she asked "are you Megan?" when the girl said no, she asked where I was and I did a little wave and she said, yeah, we're getting your question in. Big, huge inner squee! Victoria got to me towards the end and asked me how I was and if I had been running (she's recently into running as well) and I asked a question about my love life and then she brought up my half! She said I would finish my half marathon in March and it wouldn't be my last one and then she said I would do a full one next year.  I told her I didn't think I had the attention span for that; she said I'd only do one and be done with that.

My intuitive reading sparked some drive and for a week and a half I was super motivated. My distance and frequency increased and then my motivation just died. I did very, very few runs.  In mid Feb, I decided to try for 9 miles.  I made it 6 miles, mostly walking before blisters kicked my ass. My time was better than I expected so I decided that I could probably make this work.  So, procrastinator that I am, I went on about my week and went out of town for a wedding and then on the Monday before the race I looked at some hotels to book a room. Mistake. Every single hotel on the race website under $200/night was booked. I called two of the must call for reservations hotels and they were booked as well. I did a few half hearted searches and started feeling disenheartened. New Orleans was probably not going to happen. I became a little resigned and did no training.  Then Annie tweeted me to see if I wanted a roomie and I said absolutely, but no room and no rooms avail under $200.  She said she had points for that and was working on a way to run it. We went back and forth a bit.  She thought she figured out a round about way to run, then she didn't. I said, hey no worries, you love to run  save your points and we'll try another time but Annie said while she was checking prices she accidentally booked it so we were set!
Within a week, I had gone back and forth- not ready, should I try it? I'll wing it, no hotel room, search, search, possible Twitter found hotel room, no Twitter room, no hotel, resigned to not running, maybe hotel, definitely hotel, holy shit, I'm doing this! Friday afternoon, I knew I was going and was excited and just a little nauseated.   I also had a slightly sore throat and little earache, but I chanted that it was just allergies as I packed my stuff up that night.  Saturday morning, the sore throat had intensified and had approached swamp territory, the earache was holding steady, and just for fun, body aches had kicked in.  WTH? I tweeted Annie (yes, we have known each other for years and we're about to share a room, but we had not yet exchanged phone numbers) and said germy roomie, ok? She was equipped with Airborne so I headed to SuperTarget to drug myself into health and then was NOLA bound.  I picked up my first ever timing chip and the various accompaniments at the Expo and then spent the night at the hotel, freaking exhausted and feeling bad. I ordered in some pasta and continued drinking hot tea and taking meds. Annie got in a little before midnight and we talked briefly, strategizing wake up times, etc.
Race morning arrived and I woke feeling no worse, but not better.  We walked to the starting line, hung out, judged running ensembles, admired shoes, ogled runner calves, and I discovered an upside to feeling sick the day of my first half marathon- minimal nerves! Annie told me she did her first half one mile at a tie and that seemed like a reasonable goal.  My main goal was to finish and to breathe. Looking around my corral (the last one), I was hoping to see someone slower and overhead a few people talking and thought I might be able to keep ahead of them. Then I spotted the tail vehicle/sag wagon and  hoped I'd be able to not need that. As my corral came closer and closer to the start line, I did have the realization that I would be walking this half marathon. Finally we crossed the start line and I took off walking.  I thought about trying a jog, but at that particular moment I felt too bad and realized my best chance at finishing would be by walking.

I kept a fairly good pace, stayed ahead of a few dozen people and the sag wagon. I loved the route.  Gorgeous houses and adorable businesses.  Many places offering tempting food and drink.  About two miles in, I realized I had wrongly blamed my socks for the blisters I had gotten during a long run previously. New purple Under Armour socks did not prevent blisters this go round and now I'm thinking new shoes may be ahead for me. I walked on though and more than a few people passed me. I felt a little nervous as I glanced around for the sag wagon.  In sight, but a comfortable distance away.  I kept on and  more than a few times, I looked for the sag wagon, part in dread, part in hope. Maybe a little ride wouldn't be so bad. Once I got to the 7 mile mark, I felt like I had this; over half of this was done.  Somewhere between 8 and 9, I began to doubt my sanity.  But when I reached 10, I felt a little relief; only a 5K to go. About the last mile and half, a vehicle passed us and it was along the lines of "oh, hell no, I'm not riding now!" but it wasn't the dreaded tail vehicle so we just kept going (had formed a brief bond with some fellow walkers).  The encouragement towards the end was amazing.  Runners who had already finished would offer inspiring words, various groups cheerinng, signs, spectators, etc really helped to keep me moving more than I ever expected. One of my favorite signs: "Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit if You're Tired, Keep Going!"  

Finally, I crossed the finish line.  It was really mixed for me.  I was so glad I had done it and in disbelief I had managed to finish, but I was really dissapointed and felt like this one didn't count because I did not run at all. I was really relieved though I wasn't last and I avoided the sag wagon.  My medal was really pretty and surprisingly, I actually felt a little better sickness wise, but did hobble from soreness and the angry, angry blisters on the bottoms of my feet.  After a few days of soreness, I contemplated things. Now I have new goals in place and I'm looking for the next half (which I'm planning on not "winging", training for, and running)!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tag I'm It - 11 Things

Annie (of  and push up fame) tagged me in this earlier and my immediate thought was finally I'll update my blog. I have ideas but they usually come to me while I'm at work or driving or when I'm supposed to be paying attention to what someone is saying.  I do fully intend to do a real blog entry this weekend actually (I want to see the Super Bowl but I'm not emotionally invested in either team), but until then yay, for something to follow instructions on. I'm a little concerned about #6 of the rules because 11 will be tough to come up with.

  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this”. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 Random Things About Me
1.  I am inherently curious which translates into incredibly nosy.  I don't spread things around; I just     love knowing stuff.
2.  I was consistently picked last for sports teams in elementary and middle school.  I am not remotely athletic, but I'm trying to be a runner because I admire athletes for their dedication, determination, and that they look cool.  Plus, I watch a lot of crime shows and would like to give myself half a chance if I had to run from danger or run in order to prevent or somehow thwart danger.
3. I was very skeptical of psychic ability existing and then I read the first Abby Cooper book from Victoria  Laurie and was an instant believer.  Not in all psychics! But I very much believe Victoria is intuitively gifted. I had a mini reading in December and waiting to see what happens next (Tall, blond, and funny is supposed to come my way in September).
4. I believe in God and Jesus Christ, but I really want to slap some of the loud mouthed Christian upside the head. Really? You can go and pray for the soul of a mass murderer and believe he can be redeemed but you'll sneer and stick your nose in the air at a gay person? God is Love, people.  Shit, christians, get it together!
5.  Totally copying Annie here, but I agree and I'll specify a bit more. Men who can shoot well are hot. Cops, military, other law abiding types, or burnt spies that can shoot are sexy.
6. I love cheesy 90s music probably the best, but I'm really eclectic. Tori or Amanda can find an obscure mash up for me that I'll love or it'll be a rap, Tejano, merengue, or country song. I don't know titles or artists.  My main thing is happy songs.
7. I think it would be a blast to have a wedding with a Subway sandwich artist and then have Marble Slab bring their set up as well. 
8. That commercial where the chick is getting a little pissy because her dude is checking the game on his phone?  First of all, is this an important game? If so, we can go sit in the bar; just talk to me every once in awhile or during commercials. Second, he is working really hard to keep up with the game and paying attention to me, let it go.
9. I get annoyed when people talk about the horrible health of Americans and how we have more diseases, etc than some third world countries. Do you know what else we have? Kick-ass diagnostics. Yeah, those people don't die of cancer; they die of some unknown "exhaustion."
10.  One of my odd talents is recognizing actors from guest roles on Sex and the City.  I can recognize from other shows too, but I'll be watching NCIS and be able to tell you that the dead Marine used to date Charlotte just before she married Trey. Related, Tori and I like to cast siblings for various actors.
11. When I was growing up I wanted to be a veterinarian, a doctor, a lawyer, a politician,  a physical therapist/athletic trainer, a journalist, and a writer. I became a physical therapist assistant because I had been in college way too long without any sort of degree, but if I had the discipline I'd so like to be a writer.

11 Questions For ME to Answer
  1. The song you want to listen to when you get in your car and can turn the music all the way up? -So many to choose from right now... I'll go with  Blame It on the Alcohol
  2. If you knew you only had a year to live, what would you do? The health care professional in me says if I only have a year to live I probably wouldn't be able to do much. BUT, I think I would try to get my hands on money and travel, shop, and spend time with people I like/love.  And I might be a little promiscuous.
  3. Have you ever read the terms of agreement? ummm... no. I'll skim, but I have the attention span of a flea
  4. Which reality show will you be stuck in for all eternity if it turns out that you don’t make it thru the Pearly Gates? Anything with a Kardashian
  5. What is  your Super Power? My in real life super power is convincing patients to do things they don't want to do.  My desired super power is probably invisibility for the sake of spying.
  6. What gets you out of bed every morning? the need to earn money on the weekdays.
  7. Favorite meal? Mexican food- fajitas, guacamole, queso, homemade tortillas, pico de gallo
  8. Celebrity crush? Shemar Moore - hands down, shirt off
  9. Internet crush? Like a crush on someone I just know on the internet? hmmm..he's kind of celebrity but I follow his tweets way more than I watch his show- Michael Muhney
  10. If I showed up on your doorstep and said “Pack your bags” where would you want to go? New York City -  Broadway baby!
  11. What’s the one thing you wish you hadn’t had to learn the hard way?  self worth (damnit, I was witty until that one; freaking serious on that one)

11 Questions for You to Answer
1.  What is the trait of yours that is the most manly if you're a woman or the most girly if you're a man?
2. What is your dream job?
3. If you had to get an exotic pet, what would it be?
4.  What crazy skill would you love to have?
5. If you could be on a reality based show (to be clear I mean something along the lines of home improvement or a competition- more like TLC, HGTV  or Amazing Race, Survivor sort of thing), what would it be?
6.  You have to be some sort of criminal- what would you be?
7.  What's your stripper name? I know there is some sort of take your first pet's name thing but what would you choose?
8.  What fictional character do you wish was running for president this year?
9. Fictional character crush(es)? Pick up to five.
10.  What fairy tale would you like to live out?
11. What childhood/adolescent TV show do you want the entire series on DVD?

11 People I'm Tagging
This is so the toughest part! I don't know enough bloggy people so I'm tagging some of my people on Facebook/ Twitter to answer.

1. Tori - my sister and very witty
2. Amanda (the fake sister) with a blog
3. Melissa- the cousin of whom the adorable godson belongs to
4. Amber - the cousin (another blog!)
5. uh... Annie? Want to answer my questions?
6. wow, I know very few people...I think I will also tag- Katy 
7. Brigette, you're also getting hit and.... I'm out

Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Ore-Ida!

The last day of the year-  a time for reflection AKA looking back and seeing if you screwed up too badly.

This last year was seriously a year of upheaval carried over from 2010.  In the summer of 2010, I hated my job and had a particularly bad week. I went online to job search and came across some ads for an outpatient position for a physical therapist assistant. One in particular I was interested in because I had attended a continuing ed class with that organization and liked it.  It was in the 4th biggest city in the US and about 3.5 hours from where I lived at the time; did I mention that? I filled out the application, set my salary high, and decided what happened happened. A few weeks went by with nothing and then I got a call.  I talked to HR a couple times, I did a phone interview, and then after spending a weekend in Houston I stayed over on Monday morning for an early AM interview. HR called me and said "are you serious with that salary demand?" and I answered that I had been working in home health for a few years and my demand wasn't that crazy but I would negotiate. I decided on a number I would definitely take and they called back with a number that  including a sign on bonus was $1000 less than I would definitely take.  It was close enough and I moved into an Extended Stay Hotel in September.

I am so not a risk taker and I've spent most of my life playing it beyond safe, so this was a ginormous step for me. I got used to living by myself but missed my family immensely.  Around Thanksgiving I decided to travel down to CC every weekend to do family/Christmas things. On that first weekend, I got knocked out. I drove down Friday after work, talking to several people about plans. On Saturday, my sister and I went and saw our dad, stepmom, and stepsiblings and then later I went to dinner and played RockBand with more family and friends.  On Sunday, I woke up because my stepmom had called me that my dad was on his way to the hospital that she thinks he might have had a stroke. The stroke turned out to be an aneursym in his brain and before the end of the night my stepmom, sister, and I were talking about organ donation. We did decide on organ donation and between that and that my dad was a big deal in the fire department we had some media attention on top of dealing with the fact that his sudden death had knocked us on our asses.  I would not change the organ donation decision but wow, that makes things harder on the family. For all intents and purposes, Dad died on Dec 5th, but he was not declared until Dec 6th. Then he was kept clinically alive through Dec 7th until all the organs could be harvested.  I'm not sure how many times we said good-bye. My stepmom couldn't make herself leave especially at night. We have little stepsiblings that had to be told (my oldest stepbrother, 13 at the time, spent limited time at the hospital, but the littles 4 and 6 were not told until everything was done).

Surviving the first few weeks after that were rough, first my sister stayed with me during the week but then she had to be in CC since we were still trying to sell the house and my mom had work, etc. Then I was in Houston  by myself. I remembered asking my sister if she still wanted to move to Houston; she said she did. In that moment of emotional upheaval, I would've gone back to a job I disliked just to be in the familiar for the sake of myself and my family.  But I went back and liking my job makes such a huge difference for me.  The evenings were tougher though. Dealing with losing dad and the fact that my house that I loved, but needed to sell in Corpus was not selling or even being shown, gave me such a feeling of being out of control.

I hate lack of control.  I am by no means a control freak, but I do need to feel as though I have handle on things (I've never been crazy, stupid drunk for this reason).  Usually I eat my feelings. This time I decided to take an unhealthy viewpoint and spin it to make it healthy for me.  The main thing with anorexics and bullimics is that they need to control what calories they intake and burn. They take it to the extreme but since I'm a chunk I thought I can make this work for me. And I did. I did not deprive myself of everything good. In fact when I lived by myself I usually had Ben and Jerry's in my freezer. But I made the decision about what I ate and what activity I did.  It was strangely liberating to order myself around. Will I feel better if I eat all the chocolate I have in my hotel room? No?  Ok, let me eat two pieces of chocolate and these veggies. Will ice cream make me feel better?  A little bit. So, just have a few bites out of the carton (I was also into doing as few dishes as possible) and then move on.  Feeling anxious or sad?  Like you can't sit still?  Maybe you shouldn't then.  Go out and run around the block or do some yoga. To further my inspiration these crazy girls, Annie and Becca, started the #2011pushupchallenge and I had something to do every or every other day (

It worked really, really well for me.  I bought size 20 pants for my job interview in July 2010 (which was down from the size 22/24 pants I had bought a few months prior). By March of 2011, I went shopping and was able to buy size 16 pants! In May, I stopped paying the mortgage on my house in Corpus and searched for an owner financed home in Houston. I probably gained a good 10 lb in that process and the packing/moving process. I lost that by the end of the summer and then I looked at my goals. I wanted to run a 5K by the end of the year and I wanted to do a half marathon (cause all the cool kids were doing it) and wanted to do Beach to Bay.  I decided physically and financially my goal of running in Vegas in December wasn't going to happen.  The 5K needed to happen though because I was slacking with nothing to work towards.  I signed up and paid for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure on October 1st.  I ran/walked  and have no idea how I did timewise, but I was still breathing at the end and was enough of a runner to get annoyed by the five abreast walkers.  Somewhere during the fall, I dropped another size and was solidly (not loosely) in size 14 pants.  The shirt size varied because the ladies are large and in charge and I've lost inches around but not dropped a cup size yet (not an altogether bad thing).

With all this exercise and compliments from family, friends, and patients I had so much more confidence and felt like I deserved more.  I have seriously not dated in eight years. Yes, that's right eight years.  Apart from a couple awkward meetings from a guy I met online that fizzled quickly and a consideration of a friends with benefits deal that never materialized, the romance in my life was null. So, the profile I had up on got updated and I gave it a shot. I started talking to two guys in particular; one caught me on free trial day and the other was bright enough to figure out my hidden clues because I'm cheap and didn't want to pay. I've emailed with a few others.  I've been out on two dates each with the first two guys and the one is way too nice for me; I'm a bit of a bitch. The other guy's dates went extremely well but now I haven't heard from him so I'm trying not to let my new found confidence get knocked to the ground. To counter and soothe the ego, I agreed to the second date with  Nice Guy (yeah, really nice and I am way bitchy) and have been corresponding with another guy, Sports Guy, and just car flirted with a random guy on the way home from a run. I had tried online dating before with not much success and now I think I know why.  I was terrified to meet someone when I tried previously. Shaking, sick to my stomach terrified. This time around I was nervous but not terrified. The difference in my self confidence is pretty amazing. If he doesn't like me or vice versa the world will not end. But thanks to the paranoia safety concerns, my dad instilled in me I take circumspect routes home and park under a light especially with the guys I'm not as fond of.

The dating thing wasn't a goal of mine this year and last New Year's I didn't set any goals. My goals developed over the course of the year and I haven't exactly met them. One goal was to get into a size 12 by the end of the year. Well, I found a pair of old size 12 pants and technically I am in them.  As I type this, they are cutting off my blood supply.  I had to lie down on the bed to zip and button them but I am in them. Another goal was to be below a certain weight.  Last time I weighed myself (earlier this week), I was about 5 lbs over that weight. I really meant I wanted this by Chinese New Year? Any takers? But seriously, I'm kind of okay with not getting there.  Of course, I would have preferred to be in a loose size 12 and been under that magic number but I'm so close and it's so much better than last year. I can now run and am not embarrassed by how quickly I tire out. I ran/walk a 5K today and did 365 push-ups (old school girly style) and I could not have imagined doing either last year at this time.
Me on the far left in Nov 2008

December 2011

There's a huge difference there that goes beyond weight although my weight is tied into it. I like myself better. I really want kids and before this year I thought that would only happen on my own.  I'm okay with that happening on my own, but I'm willing to explore the possibility of it happening as a result of a great relationship as well.  I did not accomplish all my goals as I wanted to, but I got better as a person and for me that's all right. Here's to 2012!

PS. Per brilliant psychic/author, Victoria Laurie (, I am supposed to complete my half marathon this year and will decide to and complete a full marathon next year. And I'm supposed to meet a tall, funny, blond or fair complected guy around September who Victoria loves for me. With that echoing in my mind, I've had the best running week evah! Which is good because I'm way behind training for a half marathon that happens in a little over two months!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I got my own month! True story

My own month!  It's such an honor.  Although to be fair, one of my favorite restaurants may not have realized it was honoring me so much as the food of my nickname.  Sweet Tomatoes ( is having potato month and I've decided to take it as a personal honor.

This has been a pretty decent month for me.  I ran/walked/crawled my way through my first 5K.  I figured out I have finally reached the point where I weigh less than I did in college and am a size-ish away from where I want to be at the end of the year and about 9 lb from where I want to weigh by the end of the year.  

Sweet Tomatoes is one of those places that can be a great, healthy thing for me or a downfall.  It's a salad bar place, but as so many magazines warn just because it's a salad doesn't mean it's healthy or low calorie and Sweet Tomatoes has seriously good muffins and desserts.  Luckily, my approach to my diet in general works perfectly here.  Since I'm a brat and don't like to be denied my good stuff (AKA high calorie and delicious), I start strategically by adding stuff.  In this case, I pile the veggies high and choose other stuff more carefully.  Sure, I could add on a ton of dressing and cheese to my salad or I can pile every veggie I can stand and be sparing with the dressing and maybe only a sprinkle of cheese. I do not count calories because I'm not mathematically inclined, but I figure a plateful of veggies followed by some lean meat and more veggies in a soup (I love their chili- deep kettle or three bean turkey) allows me some room for chocolate lava cake or gooey caramel pumpkin cake (which sneaks in more fruit).  I'm trying to focus on not consuming empty calories.  If I eat something I want it to be something halfway beneficial to me or something I really want because it tastes amazing.  Every once in awhile, I'll luck out and find something that accomplishes both.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's not the size of the Tater, it's how you use it

Ok, it's the size of the Tater also.

I have been slacking off on the writing purpose (and thus existence) of this blog, but I have been keeping up with the other part.

As usual, I haven't been cutting out all the bad stuff.  I had an enchilada/fajita plate for lunch, but I brought home leftovers AND the enchilada had tomatillo sauce on it. Since my allergies/sinuses have been bugging me, I consider it medicinal. Unfortunately, the tomatillo sauce was a little wimpy so the sinuses are still wonky (I'm a healthcare professional; I hope my medical terminology does not confuse you). I've been making small changes. Sour cream would always accompany my fajita taco; now I skip it and usually skip the cheese or use the cheese sparingly.  I've found it does not make a huge difference in the taste but it cuts the calories a tad.  I have been adding fresh fruit and adding veggies where I can and I also try to have some milk or Greek yogurt. I can feel a difference in my bones when I run whether or not I'm getting enough dairy. If the hips hurt, it's time to have a glass of milk or a thing of yogurt or a slice of cheesecake. Whatever gets the job done.

I've thought about going all out and doing a stricter diet.  I look at people more fit and thinner than I am and think I need to do it like them, but they're not me. I love sweets and I make an effort to control the portion, but I will not be cutting them out.  My main eating plan is balance.  I had a crappy day of eating; it happens.  The next day I'll start better and eat a few more vegetables. But the Oreos may happen again. They're sneaky and delicious (especially the Halloween ones; is artificial orange food coloring especially delicious or is it me?)

I have been stepping up on the whole exercise thing. I decided that I wanted to finish a 5K or two and then do a half marathon in March. So, I stepped up the running then I felt myself once again starting to feel unmotivated.  Before I could think of more excuses and I'm surprisingly creative so I had more than one at the ready, I signed up for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K.  At work.  This was to keep from ducking out on the run I had planned for after work.  That worked.  I did three 5K's a week for the next few weeks up until race week and then, bizarrely, I couldn't run due to rain. I surprised myself though and the 5K wasn't bad.  I have no idea how my time was because my phone died (temporarily, but for 24 hours it was touch and go) and it was a bit disorganized  as far as where we should line up and start. I was able to run for a longer time period without stopping though and I timed it out right so I could run across the finish line.  I did more walking than I wanted to, but my main goal with this one was to run some and not walk all and to be breathing at the end (well, throughout really).  My next 5K is the Layla Grace Foundation run during the first weekend in December and I want to run 75-100% of that one.  I also plan on adding mileage to prep for the NOLA half in March (and make the 5K in December a tad easier).

Happily, these small dietary changes and the increase o exercise have paid off. I am now about 10 lbs lighter than I was when I graduated college and am able to wear a size larger than I did when I graduated high school.  I still have quite a bit to do. I was heavy in college and not exactly a lightweight in high school. As absolutely thrilling as it is to not shop exclusively in the plus sizes anymore (the ladies are large; a plus size shirt may always be in the cards for me), I'm excited to be able to do more than I used.  I avoided  running in all forms like the plague since I was a little kid. I remember making an excuse when someone asked me to fill in on a kickball team for a night when I was in my twenties.  Now, I think I would give it a shot.  I'd still be bad because the coordination would still be lacking, but now I feel like I could run to the base and have enough energy to keep going and make it home. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

All the Taties Who are Independent

I'm influenced fairly easily. I absorb people's mood (I'll spin that and say I'm empathetic) and I may adopt catch phrases from other people. Oddly enough, "que chulo" didn't come from me, but from one of my best friends, Belia. I know people who are worst; one of my other best friends has picked up accents from places she has visited and a few select places she has never been to (hearts Amanda, you quirky little dear).

With that in mind, I've been re-evaluating whether or not my mental goals are my own. Have I fallen into that peer pressure crowd? The all-the-cool-kids-are-doing-this mentality? I know a few people who are runners and I'm wondering if I've fallen into a trap. Do I just want to be cool like them? Do I really want to be a runner?

The short answer to the last two questions are yes and yes.

In this case, peer pressure is a good thing. I do want to be cool like my runner friends. I want to know the accomplishment they've known by completing a 5K, a 10K, and a half marathon. I'd like to have that endurance and strength and the pretty medals. Some of my running friends have also traveled to some cool locations to compete in races.

Being a runner has advantages I'd like to have. I want to be able to run, to not get winded so quickly.  Stereotypical fat kid that I was (am?), I was chosen last for every sports team imaginable in elementary. As an adult, I remember distinctly making up an excuse to avoid being on a kickball team for work. Part of it was my lack of foot-eye coordination since I often kick at air instead of the ball, but a bigger part was I was scared that I wouldn't be able to run the bases. I also have a slightly more obscure reason for wanting to run. Perhaps(ok, so it totally is), this is due to my love of crime fiction ( books, TV, etc), but I'd also like to be able to run from danger or to help thwart it.

I have my reasons for wanting to run, some based on envy, some on righting past hardships, some more health minded, and some that are to handle a less than likely scenario. Even though envy does not seem like an exactly pure motive, it is mine. I can spin it again and say that my running friends are my mentors. In a way they are, in another way I really want to steal their medals and run away, but I'll need to get a lot faster before that'll work out for me.