Archive for June 2012

Settling back into normal

My mom turned 80 a week ago, and I flew home over the weekend to attend her birthday party hosted by one of my cousins. Great food, cousins I hadn’t seen in YEARS. My poor kids were overwhelmed by all the family who they didn’t know, but who knew them. I did not take a single picture, and I am waiting for someone to either email some out or post on Facebook. I would poke at them to do so if I could remember who was taking them. lol Just for the record, I have broken another one of my rules. I always said, “The DragonLady doesn’t get on a plane sober,” but I did going and coming. I wasn’t at all comfortable, but I was sober.

I got up and ran 5K Saturday morning from my mom’s. That was the craziest run I have had so far. I was fine running down to Uncle Fred & Aunt Becky’s, and I was fine running to the old school, but from that point on, every time I ran uphill, I thought I was going to poop. (That’s your TMI for today.) I mean, it was crazy, and I didn’t think I would ever get that last 400 meters done. Pretty sure the chick on Nike+ said “100 meters left” twice. And once I was done, I couldn’t go. Weird.

I lost 3 pounds during week 1 of Jess’s Marathon Weight Loss Challenge.

It probably would have been more had it not been for the birthday party, and that moment of weakness when I drank a Dr. Pepper. But, it’s all good because I met my 3rd milestone and went under 180. I began reading Eat to Live since my doctor “prescribed” it 3 or 4 years ago. So far it is reinforcing everything I have researched and fell upon since going gluten free and then going natural(ish).

After waking up sick yesterday morning, I ended up calling in and went back to bed and slept until 10:30am. I think maybe I was just exhausted and dehydrated because when I got up that second time, I ate and drank a bunch of water, and then felt fine by 3pm. So about 7, I decided I could try a run, and I ran 4.55 miles. I probably could have run farther, but I told the kids before I left that it shouldn’t take me more than an hour. The first mile felt good, I wanted to quit the entire second mile, I wanted to quit for half of the 3rd mile, and then I just kept telling myself that I could make it back to the church. Once there, I told myself I could make it to the 4 mile mark, and at that point I was confident I could make it home. I was feeling real good once I made it back.

And I am now training for the half marathon in November. Karyn sent me the 20 week training plan she is following, which this would be week 19 and I’ve not been exact, and still won’t be since I have a 5k next week, but it will be ok. I think.

This was stuck in my head nearly all day Monday…

Funday Friday #10

1. I finished this virtual 5k Wednesday night:

I can’t properly describe how much I wanted to quit before I finished the first lap. It was 88º at 7:30PM when I started stretching. I probably stretched for about 10 minutes making sure I stretched out everything before starting so that I wouldn’t have the fail that I did during the Tribe run Tuesday night. I kept having to remind myself I had not only ran that distance and route before, but that I had run farther, and so “JUST KEEP MOVING!” My time was 37:42. Not bad. 12:09 pace. I am happy with that…for now. ;)

2. Three.Freaking.Weeks. :dlstrike:

3. Still hates flying.

4. Crazy cravings yesterday.

5. Watched Maude recently and totally understands now why my mom hated it. lol

I can’t come up with anything else, so…

The heart of the worship war

When you grow up in church, you tend to take things for granted, and don’t pay as close attention as you should. At least that’s how it was for me growing up in the Bible belt south. Church is routine, and depending on how life is outside the church house, it can be so routine that it doesn’t mean so much – it’s just a box to check off on your moralist checklist.

For the first 19 years of my life, I went to 4 different churches (5 if you count the few months I went to a Catholic church, but it was a technicality, and I had no intention of converting), and in those churches the service order was practically identical, and they each sang pretty much all the same hymns with the primary (if not only) accompaniment a piano. Good old southern 4-part harmony gospel with a definite country-western bent (like a Gaither Reunion only faster).

Then 20 years later, I discovered different sub-genres within Christian music just like secular music, and the churches we attended were singing these songs. Then we found a church home that sang both contemporary songs and traditional* hymns. I joined the choir and played guitar along with the music leader. Then he resigned and I became one of the worship leaders, which was not in any way a goal of mine. But because of this, I have a much different perspective on the songs we sing both from things I hear (whether direct or second hand) that people say, and from how I hear them singing along with us. But I also had my own bias to contend with.

The old saying “familiarity breeds contempt” was totally applicable to my attitude towards the “old” hymns. While a few I like because they were upbeat, I found them mostly old-fashioned and boring, and just went through the motions of singing them. Oh, sure, Amazing Grace would make me cry, but I always associated it with funerals so it was always a grieving song to me.

Then one morning, we sang a song called “Lord Have Mercy.” We had done the song before, but this was my first time leading it. (Note: this is not the arrangement we sing, but it was the only version I could find on YouTube, and it is the same song.)

I barely made it through the last verse and ending, and I remember thinking “I need to compose myself before the next song,” and when I turned to Josh to tell him to give me a minute, I guess he saw it before I had to speak, and spoke for a couple minutes while I stopped myself from sobbing. It was the first time a song had affected me like that, and would not be the last. I’ve had it happen again off and on, mostly during contemporary songs which reinforced my hymn bias.

But then it happened during a hymn that wasn’t Amazing Grace.

I grew up singing that song, and for the first time, of course while up in front of the congregation, I actually paid attention to the words I was singing, and nearly lost it. Oh, I had it coming because not long after having to step up into a music leadership position (albeit a shared one in which I still don’t want the lead position), I was aggravated over grumbling about the contemporary music. It wouldn’t have bothered me so bad if the person grumbling was singing the hymns with “gusto” (for lack of a better word), but there was no visible passion watching that person sing any of the hymns. As I told the pastor, I am not looking for a “holy roller, dance in the aisles” type of display, but that people would sing the songs like they mean it – like we are standing before the Lord singing to him. That’s when I determined that it would start with me, and that I would sing the hymns with all the energy I was pouring into the contemporary. It was reinforced when I read Singing to Build Up. That’s why Pass Me Not got me.

The worship wars aren’t specific to a particular church or even denomination. I think that as a body, we have slid towards relying on a particular musical style or accompaniment to motivate us to worship instead of relying on what God has done for us through Jesus on the cross to motivate us to worship. I just can’t help but think if we truly have hearts centered on what Christ has done for us, it would not matter what kind of song we sing, what accompaniment we have (or even if we have any at all), or whether or not we have sheet music or a power point slide on a screen. I came to that conclusion after reading Song Story: Matt Redman’s “The Heart of Worship”, and taking an inventory of my own heart and how I was approaching the worship service.

As I hear of further grumblings from the other side of the worship war, there is only one conclusion I can come to as to why there is so much active conflict and strife over music. Idolatry. Yes, that is harsh, but when you are dissatisfied with the music in your church, you are making music the object of your worship instead of the means of worship. Ask the members of underground churches in countries where being openly a Christian results in torture if not death if they need a praise band with the talent of Hillsong. Ask them if they need sheet music. Worship wars are a self-centered 1st world problem, but it is really a problem of the heart focused on the wrong object to worship.

*By traditional, I mean songs in a hymn book, which in the churches I have been in are relatively modern (reformation-era) with the oldest being written by Martin Luther.

Dieting sucks

Really, there is no other way to put it. It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, at the end of the day, when you are trying to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. That means you can’t eat as much as you want, and you get hungry because you have spent the better part of your life not denying yourself any food or amount of food because food made you feel good. That sounded a bit confessional didn’t it?

I finally got a handle (mostly) on what I am consuming, and on regular (mostly) exercise, so it is down to it. And yes, I am keeping track of what I am eating. Not so much with a diary, but I am eating the same thing every day, at the same time (mostly), in the same amount. Boring, yes, but that in itself shows a problem. I don’t need my food to entertain me. That’s what Facebook is for right? ;)

Breakfast consists of 1 cup (cooked) quinoa & amaranth with 1 banana, equalish amounts of dried cranberries & blueberries (around 2 Tbsp each), and about a 1/4 cup of milk.

Lunch is about a half cup of wild rice, and sometimes a baked sweet potato and/or a probiotic yogurt.

Supper is a cheese omelette sandwhich which I look forward to all.stinking.day. ;)

And a multivitamin + vitamin D.

And starting next week, I plan to hit the farmer’s markets and get me some good veggies to go with the wild rice. :)

You got this!

I nearly talked myself out of running last night. I totally did not want to do it, but I hadn’t run since Friday night, and figured my hip had recovered enough. The humidity was awful, and it is probably a good thing I used my inhaler first otherwise I might have quit the many times I wanted to.

Someone stopped and asked me for directions while I was running. You know why? Because I also hadn’t shaved my legs since Friday. Fail.

Anyway, last night was tougher mentally than physically. I was barely done with one “lap” before I wanted to quit. I was slow, and my legs felt like they weren’t going to hold me up. I kept telling myself, “You got this! You can do this! You’ve done it before. You’ve run farther. It’s only a 5K, and you aren’t doing it for time tonight! KEEP MOVING!” Even if I hadn’t had to stop long enough to give that lady directions, my time would have been bad. It was one of those runs. The quitter runs. The ones that have always defeated me.

Not this time.

I am determined to run the timed virtual 5K tomorrow night, and push myself for a good time. I am determined to run my butt off in a “live” 5k 4th of July, and another virtual July 21. I am determined to run a 10k followed by an 8k the following weekend in Aug/Sep. I am determined to run a half marathon in November.

And I think I am going to attempt a full marathon next year.

Unless the half sucks so bad I swear off running that far ever again. LOL

And yes, I finished the run last night, and woke up just after 3am with killer cramps in my calves. It was enough that I eventually had to get up and walk it out because rotating my ankle wasn’t calming down the right leg.

Maniacal Monday #9

1. Day 18. I will eventually explain this for everyone.

2. I was in a really bad mood Friday. I’m talking craptastic. So I would have gone for a run Friday night even if I hadn’t already planned on running that night. I really pushed myself hard that first mile trying to burn off some of the anger. Then I pushed myself the remaining 2.4 miles just to keep moving. It did wonders for my mood…until I went to sleep… The bad mood lasted pretty much all weekend, and today is Monday…

3. I’m running a 5K this week:

The way my running schedule turned out last week & this weekend, I will be running this on Wendesday.

4. I also start a marathon this week:

This has me nervous, and means I have to step up my working out and be diligent about sticking to my diet, ie, stay out of my daughter’s french vanilla ice cream. ;)

5. I got my whole yard mowed yesterday, except for the little bit that has to be push mowed and weed eated.

6. Excited that this is only a 4 day work week for me…and next week also…oh, and the week after that also!

Funday Friday #9

1. The hubby wasn’t home last night, so I didn’t run. That means I have to run tonight.

2. The sidebar needs work – minimally rearranging ——->

3. 15 days straight. :pullhair:

4. We should not be paycheck to paycheck. Seriously.

5. Feeling surprisingly bitter for a Friday.

6. Needs my left shoulder massaged…badly. I have no doubt that would feel better than just pain relief via motrin. Percocet would be an acceptable alternative to a massage… ;)

7. Spot is about to get kicked out of the house. She & KitKat are apparently engaged in a pissing contest…literally…

8. Caused my daughter to have a fit last night over Dancing Queen.

9. Still has laundry in the dryer from Monday night, unless someone did laundry today. Either way, I am sure I will have to rewash that load.

10. Looking forward to nice weather this weekend! :)

5 things I’m loving

I was going to do this, and then I decided not to do it, but I have decided again to go ahead and do it. Over at Shut Up and Run, she has a post up called 5 Things I’m Loving Right Now, and she wants folks to blog their 5 things and tag 5 more to do it. Well, you know I never miss an opportunity to link whore, so here goes.

1. Raw almond butter. First of all, I hate peanut butter. I hate peanuts. So while I can eat a pb&j if I am desperate, it will be just that – desperation. But I thought I would give the almond butter a try since I love almonds, and WOW! That stuff is the bomb!

2. Running 3 miles straight. I’ve never run that far in my life. Previous record was 2 miles and that was only out of fear of getting washed back in basic training.

3. Egg sandwiches. Note that doesn’t say egg salad, which I hate. I fry a couple of eggs like an omelette, and put it on toasted bread with some mustard and a slice of swiss cheese. Yummy!!!!

4. Watermelon. This has always been a love, but here lately it’s been like a craving. I can eat a butt-ton of it, get filled up, and it’s a zero or negative calorie burner so it’s win-win. Yes, I know it’s mostly water, but it’s naturally sweet water.

5. My inner circle of friends. These are the ones who know most (if not all) of my dirt, and love me anyway. :) They listen to me whine about my problems, tell me straight up when I am screwing up, make me run when I don’t wanna, encourage me, make me laugh when I want to wallow in self-pity, and pray for me.

Being the nonconformist that I am, I am tagging 6 of yuns (yes, pronounce that just like I spelled it because that’s how I said it in my head). Diane, MacBros, Opal @ Celebrate Life, Teeni, Molly, Petra

Meeting goals

No matter how small. This wasn’t really one of my “official” weight loss goals, but this morning I hit the 25 pound mark after some regression from 24, and subsequent bouncing. I got back on track with the portion control of my diet, and when I was craving and wanting to binge, I got a big ole bowl of fruit and went to town. I need to get back on track with meal planning, and cooking ahead, at least for lunches. I finally remembered that I still had some stuff in the freezer, like the tortilla mexican chicken that I had to leave alone for a while because pre-surgery it was the lunch I lost that one day. Even though I know full well that isn’t what made me sick, it’s a mental thing.

My budget is about to get really tight again so meal planning is going to be a really big deal especially with the kids home all summer. For that matter planning something healthy they will both eat is a major challenge. Eat it or starve is my motto, but there is another variable to that equation. Still, I make sure we have peanut butter & jelly & bread. Oh, and last night I got home and Jamie met me at the van with “We need to go get food. I’m hungry.” I countered with “Isn’t there hamburger meat in the fridge?” She paused for a few second and then popped off with “Fix me food. I’m hungry.” As if she is incapable of making burgers herself…

I still need a cook…and a maid…or both… ;)

Eye of the Tiger, baby

Yes. 3 posts in one day.

That’s how I felt when I finished the run tonight. Ok, that’s a lie. I felt like I was going to die because that last hill about killed me, and I barely managed to keep running up it. But I did, and after nearly a year, I have finally managed to run a complete 3 mile Tribe run.

Just because: