Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Run & Try Not to Die

Let me start with the best thing I've tasted in a while that wasn't a Reese Peanut Butter ice cream bar. . .

Garlic-Lime Chickpeas
(I don't know the origin of the recipe except that it came to me typed out in an email from a friend that came from a friend that came from a friend, I changed about three things from the original by decreasing the oil, increasing the vegetable broth, taking out green onions (meh), and serving over quinoa instead of rice for an extra protein burst).  Trust me, it is easy, quick, and delicious.  And CHEAP!

1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c vegetable broth
4 tbsp lime juice
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper chopped

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine all ingredients except chickpeas & red pepper in an 8 x 12 baking dish. Stir until well mixed, then add chickpeas & peppers and stir.  Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Uncover, stir, bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.  Serve over quinoa.

I was already half done before I thought to take a picture, sorry!  Bad blogger!

In activity news, I feel like I'm getting back into it. Shake off the funk.  It's hard but I know I feel better.  Today I did a Sculpt class and on the agenda for tomorrow is Core & More and Thursday, I'm going to try Zumba.  Gulp.  I've done Zumba on the Wii, alone, no witnesses.  Now I will try with people...co-workers.  

Also on Thursday, the half-marathon training clinic starts.  And I will be in it.  Yes, I'm scared.  Terrified actually.  I know there will be a few of us way at the back of the pack so that is okay with me. I know the first few weeks will be really hard but if I can get through that, I can get through the rest of the clinic.  

I leave you with this picture of my niece who is sick right now and at the children's hospital.  Even coughing up a lung, she'll give you a smile.  I wish I looked this happy while on a scale!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

11 Random Things

Let me first thank the people who emailed me regarding my last post.  Some emailed with relief that someone else had trichotillomania too and a few emailed because they are close to someone who does.  Just contact with other people with the same issue was helpful.  Thank you!

Finally!  Here are my 11 random things to finish out my Liebster award from here.

1.  I don't like water chestnuts.  It's not the taste.  It's the texture.  Like raw potato.  I'll eat them because I've really never been one to pick things out of a dish I don't like.
2.  I have vitiligo.  This loss of pigmentation started when I was about 24.  I've now lost the majority of my freckles which I miss and I have plenty of white hair.
Third grade.  My favourite freckled picture.
3.  I laugh.   A LOT.
4.  I have one tattoo.  A dolphin on my ankle.  Could I be more 19?!  I've thought of getting it removed but it actually doesn't bother me so I probably won't.  I've heard it hurts.  Gulp.
5.  I have a very high pain tolerance.  Doctors have actually told me this.  Hehe, maybe I should rethink #4.
6.  I have an older half-brother, an older half-sister, a full brother, a full sister, a younger half-brother, and a younger half-sister.  If you want to get technical, I even have two much younger stepsisters but I've never met them.  Both of my parents have been married three times....so far!
7.  For the most part, I like my job and co-workers and feel very lucky to have gotten into the company when I did.  That alone, would make it very hard to ever leave.
8.  I just started sewing again for the first time in about 20+ years.  I'm working my way up skill-wise to making a quilt for my niece out of her baby clothes.  I'm learning (again) through an ecourse at Home Ec Online.  This is my first little project.  Drawstring bag.  I used it as a gift bag for my sister's birthday.

9.  When I love a new song, I play it over and over and over and then kind of ruin it for myself and then skip it whenever it comes up in a playlist.  Ahahaha!  I don't know why I find this so funny all of a sudden.
10.  I will never ever never ever take my in suite laundry for granted.  I've had my own laundry for 9 years now and I'm still thankful every time I can walk into the laundry room in my pjs and throw a load in and let it hang out in the dryer for days.
11.  I love too many shows.  But I'm not really willing to part with any so I have a mental list of shows to catch up on in the summer when everything is repeats.

A lot of other blogs have been talking music so here's what's on my favourite playlist.  If you don't already have the Songza app, get it.  I love it simply because our radio stations kind of suck and I found a lot of music that I love through Songza.  Every time a song came on that I loved, I took a screenshot and once I had a bunch, I downloaded them all and made my own playlist.  Some of it's a few years old I think but it's new to me!!!  Most of the songs were found on one indie playlist or another.  Sometimes I take songs off or just move them to the end when I'm getting tired of them.  When I add new songs, I add them within the first 10 - 15.  Oh, some videos are so freaking weird!  I was never much into videos growing up but man, I think they've gotten stranger.

All of Me -- Tanlines (the song starts 50 seconds in)
Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun
Carried Away - Passion Pit
What You Know - Two Door Cinema Club
Fader - The Temper Trap
Closer - Tegan and Sara (I've loved them for ages so I love this peppy one, it's awesome loud in the car)
Eat That Up, It's Good For You - Two Door Cinema Club
Inner Ninja - Classifed (MY NEW FAVE!)
Please Ask For Help - Telekinesis
Half Mast - Empire of the Sun
Always Alright - Alabama Shakes (from Silver Linings Playbook)
Houdini - Foster the People
Dancing on my Own - Robyn
The Reeling - Passion Pit
Cigarettes in the Theatre - Two Door Cinema Club
We Are the People - Empire of the Sun
So Near - Jack Penate
Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
Do You Want It All - Two Door Cinema Club
Tonight is the Night - Outasight
Helena Beat - Foster the People
Little Secrets- Passion Pit
This is the Life - Two Door Cinema Club
Everything is New - Jack Penate (couldn't find on YouTube except for Live stuff so you'll have to check iTunes)
Stays the Same - Outasight
Animal - Neon Trees
Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club (do you get the idea that I really liked this particular album?)
Tongue Tied - Grouplove
I Am the D.J.  - Neon Trees
I Can Talk - Two Door Cinema Club
Heartbreaker - MSTRKRFT feat John Legen (song starts about 18 seconds in)

And finally, I worked out for the first time yesterday in weeks and it was great.  My favourite instructor was back for my favourite class.   My shoulders and abs are aching.  Good aching.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Big Hairy Deal

So I wasn't going to talk about this here.  Or anywhere for that matter.  But it's come up.   Come, follow my wayward thought process that brought me to the final paragraphs.  If you are super organized and don't need help there, skip down to the bold.

I was reading this post titled Start over at No Meat Athlete.  It was about how getting started was tough  (haha, I'm paraphrasing and over-simplifying, excessively).  He used the term "GTD experts" and had a link under GTD.  I clicked on it because I had no idea what this was and turns out it stands for 'Getting Things Done'.  Ummm what??  There is a community of 'Getting Things Done' people??  It stands to reason that I wouldn't know what it stood for seeing as how, well, I just don't get things done!

From there, I ended up doing the time-loss internet thing where you go from link to link, reading interesting tidbits, then you look at the clock and wonder where the last hour went when you started off by reading a blog post.  What I ended up finding was an organizational tool that Jerry Seinfeld used called Don't Break the Chain.  The idea is that you have a year calendar on one page (or whatever works for you) and you come up with something(s) that you want to do every day.  When you do them, you mark a big X across the day and all those X's form a chain.  Don't break the chain!!!  I figured this might work for me possibly because when I had my little counter on here for consecutive days tracking, it worked for me.  I loved this post on lifehacker because I liked the changes he made with using separate calendars and what to do if you're sick or away on vacation etc.  And I liked this post because she created a pdf calendar which I'm going to print off.

Now, I decided I would start with three things that I WANT to do every single day.
1.  Activity - I'm going to start with 15 minutes.  Most days will be more than 15 minutes just by design of the class I'll be doing but for those days where just putting on my running shoes seems like it would be too much, 15 minutes will be non-threatening. Usually when I've set out telling myself just 15 minutes, I end up completing the whole workout anyway because the obstacle has already been conquered.
2.  Cleaning -- self-explanatory.  I'm not that tidy of a person, yes, I admit it.  I'm not great at maintenance.  I've been a million times better for the last couple months though.  Again -- 15 - 20 minutes.
3.  I was trying to come up with a third thing.  One that I deemed just as important.  Something that would keep me together.  I finally came up with not pulling my hair.  Or I'll call it Pull-Free.

I have trichotillomania.  That's a fancy name for 'I pull out my f*cking hair'.  Yes, it makes me angry.  So angry.  I don't think I've ever mentioned it on my blog before.  I really try not to mention it at all.   What's to say?  I don't want to hear ignorance like 'just stop' or 'snap out of it'.  That type of approach doesn't work for drug addicts, alcoholics, overeaters, compulsive gamblers, or hand-washers etc and it doesn't work here.

I had done really well for the last couple of months.  My hair was filling in.  I really liked it.  I really thought that I was over it.  After 14 years.  Magically.  Just like that.  I wasn't that self-conscious.  Then sometime in the last couple of weeks, it snuck up on me and I find myself starting from scratch.  And the worst thing about it being hair, is that once you've pulled, it's gone.  It takes a lot of TIME for it to start coming back in.  You have one pulling episode (?) and you deal with it for months.  Or forever.  So right now, I have a massive baldish spot on the top of my head.  About the size of 1 1/2 of my hands.  It is a challenge for me to walk out the door.  I have called in sick before following pulling because I just can't go out.  Social situations are impossible.  While I don't mind hanging out with a few friends, I find this difficult to do spontaneously.  I need to have a plan because I work up to social situations.   Going to a party or a club or something like that, no.  Just no.  And I've decided that I'm not going to do things that me feel uncomfortable or anxious because that's exactly the type of feeling that bring out the anxiety and pulling.  It's not worth it.  So not worth it.  I'm sure I seem standoffish or selfish or lazy when I turn down invites but I'm going to try to stop caring about that.  So much of my energy is placed on how to make it less noticeable, cringing about sitting in front of someone on the bus, always wearing a cap to the gym.  I wonder what it would be like to just not think about it.  Freeing I bet.

I often wonder what people are thinking or how many people notice.  Thank goodness I'm tall.  You can't really tell from the front but definitely from the back and from one side.  Nobody really asks.  But geez, I don't dare let a child see the top of my head by accident because they ALWAYS notice and ALWAYS say something which is just embarrassing all around.  I've tried medication in the form of different anti-depressants but I find that they don't work well enough for me to make all the other side effects worth it.  What I've found does work for me, is behavior based stuff.  Like wearing a scarf on my head when I get home.  Or wearing gloves when I drive.  Just being really aware of when and where I do it.

After I decided my third task for Don't Break the Chain, I started googling trich.  There are loads of youtube videos where people have documented progress or just talk about what it's like etc.  However, I'd found a show that I hadn't seen before.  It looks like a documentary called Girls on the Pull that aired in the UK.  I think this show very accurately shows how it is.  So if you're interested or curious or you know me, it might be interesting for you to watch.  There's two parts, about ten minutes each.  I really wish that there was a salon or woman like the one on here close to me.  I want to find this salon and fly there.  Getting a hair cut is a freaking nightmare for me.  It would be much more bearable to get a haircut if different hair disorders like alopecia and trich were covered even briefly in hairdressing school.  The top of my head looks like the 17 year-old girl in this documentary.  I'm much fairer though so I think (hope) it's not quite as noticeable.

So now I'm wishing I had a working printer so I could print my calendars now!!  And yes, I do still have 11 random things to share leftover from here but this post is already too long so I've written them separately and will share them during the week.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Waking Up

I'm crawling out from under the weight of my self-loathing.  The last two weeks, particularly the last week, have been awful.  For eating especially.  I haven't done anything active but I think even worse is what I've been eating and the sheer volume.  Seriously, I won't even tell you because it's that embarrassing.  And it has stopped.  As of yesterday.  Self-esteem, meet toilet.

I just made a little meal plan and went grocery shopping for the week.  Although I didn't take a picture, if I laid it all out, it would look just like this one from a while ago.  In fact, I bought everything in this picture again, except for the quinoa.  I haven't run out of that yet.  Tonight, I'm making fajitas and I'm very excited for them.

Also, there's a little award going around called the Liebster award and I'm going to half-ass it.  There are rules.  I'm probably breaking blogland laws.  I'm supposed to share 11 random things and then answer 11 questions posed to me by the wonderful lady that gave me the award.  I'm also supposed to nominate 11 others with under 200 followers.  I'm only going to do the first two because I don't think I have many, if any, blogs with under 200 follower in my reader and the ones that are there, already participated.  Chain letter broken!!  Baha!!

My eleven random things will come in my next post.  haha - seriously, why is this so hard?!

And these are Natasha's questions for me:

1.  What is one of your most embarrassing moments?  I don't know!  Maybe every speech I had to do in school.  A rash would crawl up my neck and I would speak waaaay too fast.  Awful.  

2.  Do you enjoy grocery shopping or despise it?  I have a love-hate relationship with it.  If I'm on the ball and have a plan, I enjoy it.  If I'm really being awful, I hate it and end up going for convenient bad foods.  

3.  Name two songs you love right now!  I love my whole workout playlist right now.  I use Songza and what I did was take a screenshot of every song that came on that I LOVED.  After a couple weeks, I downloaded all the ones I loved and created my own playlist.  I love Songza because it introduced me to artists not on our mainstream radio stations.  Like Passion Pit, Two Door Cinema Club, Outasight, Grouplove.  Pretty much any playlist in Songza with the word Indie in it, I love.  Maybe in my next post, I'll put a list of what exactly is on the ever-evolving playlist.

4.  What is one thing in your life you feel most passionate about?  My niece!!!  I love her I love her I love her.  She's the baby in my life.  

5.  What is your biggest fear?  Dying alone.  Never losing the weight.  Update: falling in the shower. I slipped in the shower tonight and it scared the hell out of me.  If I didn't die when it happened, it would be the most embarrassing thing to be rescued from.  Wet AND naked!  Well, except by the time someone came for me, I'd probably be dry.  

6.  If you had to pick just one style of cuisine to eat what would it be?  So difficult!!!  But I think it would be Mexican.  I love Mexican food.  But oh would I miss sushi.

7.  Are you a cat person or a dog person?  I'm a some cats/some dogs person.  Currently, I have an old lady cat.  Sophie is 15.  I got her two years ago from the shelter.  I won't get another pet while I've still got her because she's been through lots and she's the sweetest little thing.  

8.  What is your favourite kitchen gadget or utensil?  MY VITAMIX!!  Hands down.

9.  What is the last movie you went to and was it good?  Gangster Squad.  Very good.  Gruesome but very good!

10.  Are you a morning person or a night owl by choice?  I don't think I've chosen.  I'm a night owl but would like to be a morning person.  They seem more productive and more rested.  

11.  What is one of the best meals you've EVER eaten and where was it?  I have two that stand out.  One was at a restaurant in White Rock, BC called W.A.G.  The meal was called Seafood Hotpot and this is the menu description: Salmon, red snapper, prawns, and mussels in a spicy, red curry cream broth with rice noodles.  So amazing.  I can still remember how it tasted.  
The second one was one night when my sister and I were in San Francisco.  Anchor Oyster Bar.  They actually let us in ten minutes after they closed and there was still one other party finishing up and it was so amazing.  Amazing bread, amazing everything else, wine, the server etc.  Best meal of the trip and when I said that, the server came back out with t-shirts for both of us.  We got the Anchor Special:  12 Oysters on the half shell, 8 steamed clams, and 4 Chilled Prawns.  The oysters came with the fixings on a bed of ice.  The clams came in the most amazing sauce ever.  Garlicky, brothy, buttery and perfect to dip the giant hunk of amazing bread in.  

Off to make the fajitas!  Probably good timing since my mouth is watering from describing the two best meals ever!!!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Messy Week

Or at least a few days.  I think I'm getting a cold.  I've felt like that for quite a while.  Every day starts off very stuffed up and seems to get better as the day goes on.  Add to that some minor aches and a ridiculous case of PMS and I'm not in good shape.  I know the minute I start craving horrible food like chips and candy and chocolate that I'm pms-ing.  Throw in some irritability and it's a sure thing and I'm unable to say no to myself it would seem.  Then I get all "woe is me" and feel all blah and then magically in a few days, I'm all good and can't remember what was so awful.  Sheesh.

I skipped my run on Monday, I did the yoga on Tuesday and nothing the rest of the week. There's something else I've noticed too.  I've managed to completely stay on top of the cleanliness and tidiness of my condo for two months now.  Even making my bed every day.  Yes, EVERY DAY.  While I'm still making my bed, over the last few days, the rest of it has hit a stand-still. It's easy to want crap for dinner when you'd have to clean first in order to makes something healthy and delicious.  So the connection I've FINALLY made is that my eating and my activity seem to be on track when my home is on track. So tonight and tomorrow night, my project is going to be getting that together.

Oh how I miss my days of super motivation.  Hoping it returns in the next 7 minutes.:)

And a cheer up just arrived!  My sister just sent me a picture of my niece in a t-shirt she just bought her.  So adorable.  Love the shirt.  She gets her eyelashes from me too.  Haha - okay, my sister has pretty great eyelashes too.