31 Sun, 2011 § 1 Comment
I wanted to do something in Sedona while the guys played a round of golf, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled to do it alone. It wasn’t far into my hike though before I was embracing the time to be in my own head, tap into some creative energy, or just unplug & take the day in. Besides, I wasn’t exactly solo; Eisley is my best little company. I enjoyed the me time so much so, when Dave & Dylan joined us for a more extended hike, I lagged behind. Ok, so the lagging primarily had to do with my sore (Chaco-rubbed) feet.
I still had fun chasing butterflies though.
I hope you enjoyed my Week in the Life as much as I enjoyed the challenge of doing it.
30 Sat, 2011 § 4 Comments
I forgot to take every day photos on Thursday…until the rainy ride home.
The rest of my night was pretty mellow; I just wanted to enjoy it with Dave & Dylan, our friend who is visiting.
At least I didn’t forget
But then I forgot to post them, & yesterday I had other (outdoor) things on my agenda; so here it is well over a day late.
I think I’m pretty happy with some of Friday’s photos…which I’ll likely post Monday. There is still the rest of my weekend to be had after all.
Ready? Unplug on 3.
1 __ 2 __
28 Thu, 2011 § 3 Comments
A Week in the Life.
I have been fighting the blahs recently. For some reason, the last two Wednesdays have been especially difficult.
But not yesterday.
Bright colors make me happy.
What we surround ourselves with has an amazing impact on our mood, so why not choose things that are bright & cheerful? — this goes for people too.
26 Tue, 2011 § 6 Comments
A Week in the Life.
Like I mentioned, this week I’m trying to take simple everyday photos, accurately depicting our days & lives right now.
Though we have less stuff filling our apartment than most, we still feel the need to reduce further from time to time. Lately I’ve been consumed with purging, organizing & beautifying our home. It’s not about going without but truly relishing in what we do have.
*photo taken of a clipping from Sunset Magazine August 2011 issue.
We do relish.
As much as I love being home, enjoying our little nest, experiencing life is life’s meaning. Sometimes we need stuff to do the things we love. I love tackling the boulders with Dave once he’s off work. It’s great to go out there with no expectations & then surprise yourself.
Yesterday was a good day.
25 Mon, 2011 § 2 Comments
Last week I scored a basketful of vintage maps.
I noticed them sitting on the “free table” in the main entrance of the building where I temp at the university. I was glowing the rest of the afternoon, which is sort of lame. I don’t care. I also dig the wicker pail they came rolled up in.
I’m seeing some fun cartography projects in the near future.
Today, while I’ve been sorting through my new maps, clearing out some clutter & even clipping a couple inspirations from a magazine, Eisley has been my constant shadow.
We are listening to thunder storms in the distance , which stress & freak Eisley out. She actually jumped in the tub while I was showering today to avoid being even more than a couple feet from me lest the thunder get her. The pup hates getting wet — usually requiring a little coaxing to get in the bath — but apparently she hates that thunder more.
I sort of want to participate in Ali Edward’s A Week in the Life, so I’m trying to take simple everyday photos, representing exactly what is going on in our lives each day this week — “from the mundane to the profound”. Though I’m not sure I’ll make a paper album, I’m excited to see if I can pull the images together by other means using text & digital composition…then posting here.
Anyone else want to play?
I’ll post today, tomorrow morning; Tuesday, Wednesday morning; & so on.
p.s. Did you check out the auction?
15 Fri, 2011 § 12 Comments
Do you have a number? There is not necessarily a good reason it exists in your mind at all. It is likely arbitrary, but there it is: the number you envision slim, attractive women weigh. Or perhaps strong, masculine men, if you are a guy.
I have my own number. Even now, though I rarely step on the scale & am not even worried about being at this number, it still floats around in my head. Honestly, I am not sure if I have ever really been at this weight; at times I have been far too under it or uncomfortably over it.
I do not own a scale. I stopped weighing myself in high school. Actually, it was in jr. high I learned weight is relative, dependent on muscle gain & such. I began to gauge my…body composition (though I didn’t know to call it that then)…by how my clothes fit. Usually I only learn my weight when I visit the doctor’s office.
When I was in Albuquerque in February, I spotted a scale at the gym. I was curious. I stepped on. Honestly, my first thought: “huh, must be muscle gain.” I weighed a good ten pounds over “my number”. I had gained a few pounds since my last weigh in. I was ok with it.
I was feeling my best, my clothes still fit — if anything, they were looser — & I was maxing out on pull ups, chin ups, push ups, etc. I knew I was strong. Maybe the scale wasn’t showing my “ideal” weight or even my happiest weight. This was a temporary price required as my body was subtly changing & becoming stronger.
That moment on the scale, there was no judgment & no criticism. I was excited to see where my body was taking me; I was enjoying the ride.
[photo by David Finch]
Lifting weights makes women bulky. At least that is what I hear over & over again. Many women are terrified of weight training. They all say the same thing: “my body is different; I bulk up.” Maybe initially this is true, but even during my weight gain, I wasn’t actually bigger. I’ll be honest: sometimes I feel like my arms are “bulky”; I want more “tone”. Dave is often my grounding force to reason, almost rolling his eyes as he assures me they are not bulky. Maybe as women, we have this I-look-like-a-dude panic whenever we build a little muscle.
If you have more body fat, you might experience initial bulk. Usually women succumb to the panic & stop all strength training. DON’T.
You have to push through…because it’s about to get so good.
When you gain muscle, your resting metabolic rate goes up; though by how much is debated [source]. Does it really matter? Your body is getting stronger & healthier. If your goal is to slim down, you’ll reach it more quickly by gaining muscle. Now, my goal isn’t to lose weight but to change my body composition. I am training to gain strength, & honestly, build lean muscle. I always think “build lean muscle” sounds kind of weird. What I’ve really done is build muscle — perhaps even a little “bulk” — & gain strength, then let me body find its balance through all of the other activities I love like climbing, cycling, swimming, interval training, etc. I’m no expert, but this seems to be working for me.
Curious again, I stepped on the scale at our gym recently. Without trying, I have lost 6 pounds since Albuquerque. Because I have added more muscle, definition & strength since then, I know it’s the kind of loss I want.
I do not obsess over the number on the scale, but I don’t mind seeing it go down right now as long as I stay strong & energized. If I weigh less while maintaining — no, increasing — strength (& stamina), my weight-to-strength ratio will be in my favor. As a climber, pulling myself up the wall or boulder, this is optimal.
I am trying not to dwell on where I want to be but just embrace the process as it is happening. I do this by climbing harder & tracking progress in the gym with a workout journal. Like I said, I’m just enjoying the ride. Of course I want to be stronger & use my passions to challenge myself & push farther, but I don’t let the little hater inside tell me I am not good enough yet.
I am. You are too.
If you only take a few things away from here, I hope you’ll believe the following:
- The ### on the scale is relative. I weigh more than many of my friends who are similar in size. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat; but a pound of muscle takes up less space. I won’t be weighing myself regularly. It works for some people, but I prefer to gauge my progress by how I feel, how my clothes fit & how I perform.
- Girls have muscles too. Some might not like the way this looks. To each his/her own, but I don’t get it. I love strong women — I love strong people. Being able to do a pull up or even a push up is empowering. I would rather be motivated by strong people than torture myself & get sucked into the realm of “thinspiration”.
- Make it about more than the number. I know I progress not because the number says so but by my performance. Am I climbing harder? Running farther? Biking faster? Squeezing out one more rep? Adding another plate to the rack? Find something you love, make your body good for something (not just pretty) & treat it like it is.
FEEDBACK! I want to know what you think about women lifting weights, muscle gain & the scale. As you can tell, I’m a little passionate about this — I know you are out there, so please share your insights!!!
14 Thu, 2011 § 6 Comments
Yesterday, I needed a lot of “me” breaks.
I stayed productive filling out forms for school, researching whether it might be in our favor to move to another apartment later this year, baked yogurt biscuits (from scratch by hand) & even debated over a few job applications; but I also spent the day on the verge of losing it. Like total meltdown. I don’t even know how to put into words what I’ve been feeling or maybe I just don’t want to put a voice to it yet.
I could throw myself a pity party, but that isn’t really what I need. Instead I took some me time throughout the day. Some of it quiet; some of it intense — not necessarily distractions but specific ways I could focus my energy while clearing my head. I usually come back with a refreshed perspective in place of the former doom.
So early in the morning, I went for a slow walk with Eisley & my camera. Walking still means I’m in my head a lot; but once I start playing with the camera, my attention shifts to what I’m seeing & trying to capture rather than the stress in my head. I really only came back with one image I like. I might share it tomorrow.
Mid-day, I decided to drop in on a yoga class. Especially tight muscles meant all of my energy went into breathing & trying to relax into even basic poses.
I was feeling better. I was coping. Still, “it” lingered.
Finally, Wednesday evenings mean spinning, which is usually a torturous treat I only look forward to. Fifteen minutes before class, I was barely coaxing myself out the door, knowing it would only do good even if I didn’t feel up to it.
The substituting instructor destroyed us. I have never sprinted that many intervals, ever.
In the midst of a truly brutal workout, there is no room to feel sorry for yourself or to call yourself weak or think your are worthless. You dig, you push & you don’t give up. You tell yourself you can do anything for 30 seconds, because you are so much stronger than you think you are; & you even have a little more to give & suddenly, you are pedaling even harder. You feel like vomiting, but instead, you grin, grunt & push. Drenched & fatigued, you can’t stop smiling all the way home.
Maybe I’m just riding the endorphin high. The issues are still there, but suddenly I’m that strong, capable person again. I can take this on, breathe, sort through it, push myself, smile & live each moment.
That’s all we can do anyway, right?