Tuesday, May 30, 2006
For four days now my brother and I have been melodramatically staggering around from sticker shock. We've both been humiliating ourselves in every store we walk into by loudly announcing to everyone around us how ridiculously expensive whatever we have in our hands is.
"Jesus! $4.50 a POUND for these shriveled sorry-a** grapes?!!"
"Holy crap!!! $4 for a small tub of cottage cheese?!!! They BETTTER have this at Costco!"
"OH MY GOD! $6.57 for a box of Fiber One?!! Isn't there a cheaper way to crap?!!"
You'd think we never lived here before. I've also forgetten that top speeds here average between 10-35 mph. I caught myself riding someone's a** the other day and was this close to flashing my brights at them before I remembered where I was and backed off.
The one thing that I do appreciate, however, is the friendliness. For three days now I've gone on the walking path behind my parents home. Each day I pass about 15-20 others, and without exception, every single one of them has said hello. No one drew a gun. No one stared us down. No one had an aggressive unleashed dog. Gotta love the island.
Friday, May 26, 2006
I learned two very important lessons today:
1. There is a reason why bikers wear spandex (and it's not because they like looking like dorks).
2. Wearing baggy shorts two sizes too big to Spin class = severe, fiery crotch pain.
I don't think there's any need to elaborate further on this point other than to say I have a part of my body that is not very pleased with me right now. Now I'm not saying I'm going to rush out and buy spandex either, but it's pretty safe to say I've made a deal with my crotch that I will NEVER. WEAR. THOSE. SHORTS. TO. SPIN. CLASS. AGAIN.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Yeah. Well unfortunately...that a-hole was me.
And I was absolutely mortified. I really wanted to stop, but here's the thing- I think I've permanently changed my eating habits. While I can still guarantee there will be PLENTY of times I'll just want to let loose and chow down (like last night, when I ordered enough food for two 300-lb. truckers)- for the most part, I want to be able to eat the healthy fare I've come to enjoy. And on top of that (cough! cough!), you have to agree that marathoners (yes, even those who are almost in training) are pretty manic about their diet. After all, you never see a marathoner chowing down on nachos and tater tots (which believe me, I FULLY intend to change).
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
This morning I was further buoyed by even more good news- I lost another pound. While this still makes me very happy (it wasn't easy), losing weight has really started to lose its once powerful grip over me. In any case, this officially puts me at 48.5 lbs. lost over the past 14 months. Once I drop the last 1.5 lbs, my absolute final goal is to lose another 10 pounds over the rest of the year. I'd like to tip my champagne glass back (or in my case, Martinelli's sparkling apple cider) at the stroke of midnight on New Year's weighing 60 pounds lighter.
I have no idea if I'll be able to attain or maintain that (since it's no longer my primary goal, running the marathon is), but it's a reasonable goal and will put me at the upper end of the 'healthy' weight for my height. And I can definitely live with that.
All righty then, I'm off to do some mindless step aerobics in front of the tv and catch the Desperate Housewives season finale since I can't eat dinner yet (half my face is still numb from getting all four of my teeth fixed today). Tomorrow I leave town for a couple of days, but am actually looking forward to it since its the only time I get to travel with coworkers- four of us girls will be put up at the Biltmore in downtown LA. And because I (cough! cough!) still have the 'biggest' car among my coworkers, I've been elected the vanpool driver for this trip. Highly embarassing when you don't have kids, people...highly embarassing.
Monday, May 22, 2006
You may remember that a few weeks ago I even reduced my once-a-week runs in order to alleviate the pressure I was placing on myself to run farther or faster each week.
So given all that, it makes very little sense that I've decided to run a marathon! Yep...even though I said I probably never would! At this point, I am petrified. I know my decision may seem a bit rash given the reasons above, and maybe even a little cliched (chubby girl loses weight and decides to run a marathon), but those are not the reasons I'm going to do it.
- I am going to run because I have always wanted to run a marathon, and I am no longer too scared to talk myself out of it.
- I am going to run because I now believe I have the strength, committment, sacrifice and faith in myself to do the impossible.
- I am going to run because I know that I will never be more proud of myself then when I cross that finish line.
I don't care about my race time. I don't care if I have to walk. I don't care if I don't lose a pound in the process. All I want to do is believe in myself and achieve a dream.
Even as I type this my mind is racing and the self doubt is creeping in. Do I really want to do this? How will I find the time to train? What if I get injured? How will I possibly be able to run more than twice than I ever have before? What will happen if I get injured? What if I have to walk part of it? What if I collapse and never finish?
The fear and self doubt are endless. So I just have to turn it off and believe that I can do it. I will have six months to train, which still seems quite daunting. Exactly how does one 'work their way up' to running twenty six miles? Yet I've never felt more capable- which is ironic given that the last 2-3 months of my life have been the most difficult ones since I started this journey. I spent much of that time feeling miserable, out of control, powerless and depressed.
But then a strange thing happened that turned it all around. A few weeks ago (at my lowest point), I decided to ask God for help. It's something I haven't done in over ten years. And I didn't ask that he help me lose weight or help me stop eating. I asked only that he give me the strength I needed. And he has. So my progress has not been, and will not be an overnight miracle. I still have my moments of uncontrollable hunger, slip ups and frustration. But I no longer feel so helpless and alone. And it feels so much better.
This past week has been one of my best ever. I not only maintained a healthy diet, but I also enjoyed a lot of the exercising. All told, last week I walked 24 miles, jogged 3, lifted weights twice, and spinned and kickboxed once each. I didn't lose so much as an ounce, but I'm okay with that. Because I know I'm doing the right things and am headed on the right track. More importantly, I felt in control and at peace.
And so it begins.
I want to run a marathon, everyone! I probably won't train full-time, and I probably won't train half as hard as I should... But I will train, and I will be running 26.2 miles on Dec. 3, 2006.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Based on my life experiences, I tend to most strongly identify with being an American first, a person from Hawaii second, and a Japanese-American third. This speech makes me wish that order were reversed, as every trait mentioned in the speech were ones that I saw stoicly modeled in my grandparent's and parent's behavior, and were taught to us as children.
The speech is about the Japanese-American Nisei soldiers (Nisei = second generation) of the U.S. 442nd Regimental Combat Team & the 100th Battalian during World War II. It was written in 2001 by Eric Saul, a (non-Japanese) United States Army Historian to honor two such soliders, William Nakamura & James Okubo.
Please read this if you can. I promise, you will not regret it and you will never forget it. I hope you enjoy it.
So why was it you Nisei, second generation, born in America, were willing to volunteer for the Army from the plantations of Hawaii, often when you were considered second-class citizens, or from concentration camps in America? Your parents couldn't become citizens or own land, so land was put in your name. Before the war, you wanted to be doctors, lawyers, and professionals, but you couldn't. No one would hire you. So you worked on your family farms, flower orchards, and shops. You were often segregated in the Little Tokyos and Japantowns. You couldn't go where you wanted, be where you wanted, be whom you wanted.
Furthermore, your President, on February 19, 1942, signed an Executive Order that said you weren't Americans anymore, you were "non-aliens." So why did you join the army? Why did you become soldiers, and ironically become, of all things, the most decorated army unit that this country has ever produced?
There were words like giri and on, which your parents taught you. Which means "duty," and "honor," and "responsibility." You had to pay back your debt to your country.
Oyakoko: love for family. Your parents couldn't become citizens, but you loved your families and you had to prove your loyalty at any cost. You used your bodies as hostages for your families to prove your love for democracy and justice when you volunteered from those camps.
Kodomo no tame ni: "for the sake of the children." Many of you didn't have children at the time, but you knew you wanted to have families. And you knew that you didn't want your children to have to suffer as you did. You wanted your children to be able to be doctors, and lawyers, and professionals. If you went into the military, did your job, perhaps things would change. You knew it, and you fought for it. You even came up with your own regimental motto that's on this honored regimental flag in front of me. It was "Go for Broke." You set the tone for your own regiment, and lived up to its motto. You made democracy work. Because of your wartime record, your children can now be what they want in a country that you wanted for them.
Enryo: humility. There's an old Japanese proverb that says if you do something really good and you don't talk about it, it must be really, really good! You never talked about your wartime record. You didn't tell your children, you didn't tell your wives, and you didn't even tell the country.
Gaman: internal fortitude, keep your troubles to yourself. Don't show how you're hurting.
Shikata ga nai: sometimes things can't be helped. But other times, you have to go for broke, and you can change things.
Haji: don't bring shame on your family. When you go off to war, fight for your country, return if you can, but die if you must.
Shinbo shite seiko suru: strength and success will grow out of adversity. When I was curator of the Presidio Museum, I wanted to know why you joined the Army. Why did you join from a concentration camp? A veteran from Cannon Company named Wally told me a story. His family was sent from Los Angeles to the Santa Anita racetrack, which was an Assembly Center for Japanese Americans. There, they were put in a horse stall. Before the war, they had a flower shop, they had their own home in Los Angeles, and they were a middle-class family. Now they were living for weeks in a horse stall that hadn't been cleaned when they moved in, and it stunk of horse manure. Wally's father said to him, "Remember that a lot of good things grow in horse manure." It did.
I remember hearing a story from a Chaplain Higuchi, the chaplain of the 442nd, who was from Hawaii. I asked him, "How could the Niseis have joined the Army under these circumstances? How could they have done what they did?" Chaplain Higuchi said he himself couldn't understand, because he was from Hawaii and hadn't suffered the same discrimination. But his job as chaplain was to go through the pockets of the Niseis who had been killed in combat. He remembered going through the pockets of one mainland Nisei. In his wallet was a news clipping that told how the family farm had been burned down by racists near Auburn, California. Yet this Nisei still volunteered for the service. Chaplain Higuchi said that there was no medal high enough in this country to give to this Nisei who had been killed and was lying in front of him. Chaplain Higuchi had to write a letter home to his parents.
You Nisei fought for this country, your country. It has taken fifty-six years to get to this point, but you made democracy stand for what it really means. When you came home from the war, President Truman had a special White House ceremony for you. It was the only time that the President of the United States had a ceremony at the White House for a unit as small as a battalion. It was raining that morning in Washington, and Truman's aide said, "Let's cancel the ceremony." Truman said to his aide, "After what those boys have been through, I can stand a little rain." He said to the Niseis, bearing their regimental standard with the motto of "Go for Broke," "I can't tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to tell you what you have done for this country. You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice and you won. You have made the Constitution stand for what it really means: the welfare of all the people, all the time." Lastly, he advised the Niseis to keep up that fight.
So in the 1980's you fought for redress. One of the reasons that redress passed so overwhelmingly in Congress was the overwhelming record of the 100th/442nd and the MIS. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 provided an apology for your parents and for your suffering. So on the battlefields of France, Italy and Germany, "Go for Broke" stood for the welfare of all of the people, all of the time.
You never lost faith in your country, and we are here today to celebrate that faith. The result of that faith is that your children can be anything that they want: professionals, doctors, and lawyers. The price that you paid for democracy was the highest combat casualty rate of any regiment that served in the United States Army. The 100th/442nd suffered 314% combat casualties. The 100th/442nd was an oversized regiment, with its own cannon and engineer company, and even its own artillery battalion. The four thousand men who started off in February of 1943 had to be replaced nearly three and one half times. Eventually, about 14,000 men would serve in the 100th/442nd.
I see many of my friends from I Company and K Company here today. In one battle alone, the battle for the Rescue of the Lost Battalion in October 1944, which you fought in, two thousand of you went in to rescue two hundred Texas soldiers who couldn't be rescued by their own division. You went and suffered almost a thousand casualties in that one battle alone, of almost five days of constant fighting. In K Company, you started off with 186 riflemen. By the time you reached the Lost Battalion, there were only eight men standing. I Company did worse. They started off with 185 men. By the time they reached the Lost Battalion, there were only four men still standing in the company. It was unbelievable! You rescued the Texas Lost Battalion, and for that you won two presidential unit citations. The army designated the Rescue of the Lost Battalion to be among the top ten battles fought by the U.S. Army in its 230-year history.
You Niseis ultimately won seven unit citations, and no other unit for its size and length of service has won that many presidential unit citations. Chet Tanaka counted how many citations and how many medals the 100th/442nd earned. Of the fourteen thousand men who served, there were eighteen thousand medals for heroism and service. You had become the most decorated unit in American military history for its size and length of service, and until recently almost no one knew your stories. You really hadn't told anyone, including your families or children. You were truly enryo. If you do something that is really good and you don't talk about it, it must be really good.
Toward the end of the war, in April 1945, the 5th US Army asked you to create a diversionary attack to help break the German Gothic Line. The US Army had three infantry divisions lined up to breach the Gothic Line, which protected the Po Valley and the entrance to Austria. And those three divisions couldn't do it - they were stalemated for six months.
The Army then asked the 442nd, the "Go for Broke" Regiment, to break the stalemate. The commander and officers of the 100th/442nd said to the commander of the 92nd Division, "General Almond, we have a plan. We can create a diversionary attack and break the Gothic Line if you give us 24 hours." The General figuratively fell out of his chair and said, "Impossible. We've had three divisions hammering away at the Gothic Line."
The Germans had their best SS Divisions on the mountains and it was considered an impenetrable fortress. He told the Niseis to "Just create a diversionary attack and we'll do the rest." But you Nisei soldiers had your own plan. You were smart. Your average age was about twenty and your average IQ was 116, which was eight points higher than necessary to be an officer in the army. You were barely a hundred twenty five pounds soaking wet, but you were college-educated, and you were going to "Go for Broke."
So you climbed up that mountain called Mount Fogarito, which the Germans had so heavily fortified. You climbed it where they didn't expect you. It was nearly a 4,000-foot vertical precipice. You climbed the mountain that was unclimbable, in combat gear. The Germans couldn't possibly expect an attack from that point. From nighttime until dawn you climbed, almost eight hours. Men fell down as they climbed the mountain, and no man cried out as he fell, so as not to give away the position. At dawn you attacked, go for broke. You took the mountain and you broke the Gothic Line. It didn't take 24 hours, as you thought, or a few weeks, as the Army had planned. It didn't take six months. The U.S. Army reported that you broke the Gothic Line in only thirty-four minutes!
If the story of the 100th/442nd is unbelievable, there is a more unbelievable story. It is the story of the Military Intelligence and Language Service. More than 6,000 Niseis served throughout the Pacific in a super-secret branch of the military. Niseis provided the eyes and ears of intelligence and language skills that helped to break the stalemate in the Pacific. They broke secret codes, interrogated prisoners, provided valuable propaganda, and translated millions of documents to help win the war in the Pacific. By the war's end, General Willoughby, General MacArthur's chief of intelligence, declared that the Nisei shortened the war by two years and saved a million Allied lives.
Never had so many owed so much to so few. I only wish that a million people could be here to hear your story and know of your service. I wish every American could know your story. We owe a great debt of honor to you Niseis for what you did for the country and for democracy. It is a debt that can never be repaid.
I am here to tell the story for your children, because I know you can't say it. It is a legacy that they must carry on and remember what you did for them and for all of us. Your legacy continues to protect us all.
I remember during the Iranian crisis that there was talk of keeping Iranian Americans possibly in protective custody. Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga said, "You can't do that. That's already been done, and you were wrong then." So your wartime service protects all of us.
You did make the Constitution stand for all of the people, all of the time. History works. You made it work, and you made it work for me, for your children, and for this country.
President Ronald Reagan remembered, when he signed the bill enacting the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which was called House Resolution 442, that blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world, the only country not founded on race, but a way, an ideal."
You Niseis came home, and became what you wanted. Eventually, many of you entered the professions and could go where you wanted and do what you wanted to do. You went about your lives, but you made sure that your parents could become citizens. By 1953, you saw your parents naturalized. Your parents had to wait, in some cases, sixty-five years to become American citizens. And that they could own land for the first time. And that others of Asian descent could own land for the first time. Your greatest success was that your children could be what they wanted to be, without the discrimination that you suffered.
Some of you became lawmakers and entered the House and the Senate. There were more than 590 laws in California in the 19th and the early 20th century against Asians. You fought a fight to make sure those laws were challenged and overturned one by one. We thank the Japanese American senators, Sparky Matsunaga and Dan Inouye, veterans of the 100th/442nd, for doing that. We thank you for your providing the legacy upon which they could fight for those rights. Justice prevailed, and your parents became citizens. We stand at a pinnacle of your history in your golden years. Redress passed and a nation apologized for a terrible injustice perpetrated against its own citizens.
A few months ago at the White House, President Clinton belatedly awarded 20 Medals of Honor to Japanese Americans. Clinton stated in his speech of the Niseis that "in the face of painful prejudice, they helped to define America at its Best."
Last night I was speaking to one of my K Company friends, Tosh Okamoto, and he said to me, "You know, the awarding of the Medals of Honor to our boys is sort of the icing on the cake. I've sort of been angry for a long time at my country and what happened to us during the internment. Getting redress and the apology, and having the country recognize my buddies, lifted a cloud from my head. I now really feel like I'm truly American, and it was all worth it."
So this is the happy ending of the 100th/442nd/MIS story, and I thank you for sharing it with us. I salute you. God bless you. And tell your kids to tell the world!
If you made it this far, I thank you. I think the speech best honors the contributions of not only the soldiers, but their families back home and the Japanese-American spirit (which you would otherwise never hear about). Think about it. As highly decorated as the unit(s) were- have you EVER heard a Japanese-American banner-waver touting their accomplishments and sacrifices?
Chances are, no. And chances are, you never will.
Go for broke.
Friday, May 19, 2006
1. Floss my teeth with the Oral B Satin floss (the good stuff);
2. Brush for 2-3 minutes using my Sonicare and kick a** All-In-One Colgate whitening toothpaste/mouthwash (brilliant by the way, Colgate...I applaud you);
3. Rinse my mouth with Act flouride rinse for 60 seconds.
This fairly rigorous routine takes at least 5 minutes every night, which seems like forever when you're already bleary-eyed, tired and ready to hit the sack. (After 10pm I try to conserve whatever energy I have anyway for whining/begging Roy to play with my hair until I fall asleep).
So how has all this perserverance and dedication worked out for me? Well for the last three years- fabulously. I've had only one minor cavity. In fact, my dental hygiene is generally so impressive that most hygienists start ooohing and ahhing over me the moment I open my mouth. I tend to have more free toothbrushes and dental floss thrust at me than I know what to do with. And you better believe I've gotten cocky about it! Everytime I saunter in for a check up I fling myself into the chair, nonchalantly throw open my mouth and then pretty much just wait for the compliments to flow...
That is, until today.
According to my dentist, I have not one, two or even three... but four cavities. FOUR?!!! ME?!!! Clearly this man was not aware of my near rock-star like status in the dental world!!! Did he not have any idea who I was??? How would I ever show my face around the clinic again? And oh my God! What would all the hygienists think?!!! I could already see them mumuring their disapointment and sadly shaking their heads upon hearing about my sudden fall from grace.
After giving me the bad news my dentist droned on and on about treatment, but I barely heard a word since I was too busy scowling and glaring at him. Once he finished I pretty much demanded to know how this was possible given my exceptional oral hygiene efforts. His answer was that it all came down to the anatomy of my teeth. Apparently, my teeth have a lot of deep crevices in them (which make them extremely vulnerable to decay). So the way I interpret this is- if most people have teeth with little lines in them like cracks in a sidewalk, my teeth are like the Grand Canyon. Pfft.
For those of you just tuning in, I not only got stuck with one of the denser brains in the family (my SAT scores go with me to the grave), but I also have to deal with premature graying, sensitive skin, acne, a short middle-linebacker-like body frame and now- skanky teeth!
But I won't be upset about this for long. Because even though it's going to cost me $350 out of pocket (since insurance won't cover the white amalgams), I figure having dental work done is a luxury most people in this world would love to have. So I'm cool with it. A little fussy still, but I'll be all right.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
For those of you who have not yet heard of the term metrosexual, here's one definition I found online:
An urban male with a heterosexual orientation who rejects many macho attributes often linked to masculinity. He adopts many traits often associated with heterosexual females and gay males -- eg expensive hair care, stylish clothes, etc.
(And no, he is definitely not a closeted homosexual. But it would've been neat if he was.)
So today I called to wish him a Happy Birthday and ask what he had done so far to celebrate (he had taken the day off to prepare for the evening's festivities with friends in LA). At the point that I had called, he had not only bought himself a new Tag watch (he already has about 5 comparable watches, each one costing more than I could auction my left kidney for), but had also had his Lexus detailed, gotten an 85-minute deluxe massage at a new spa, had his teeth whitened ($600), and was about to schedule a BOTOX appointment to get his crows feet smoothed out. He was also waffling over whether or not to get a manicure but was leaning toward the negative, since as he put it, "That might be crossing the line...even for a metro." Yeah. I'd have to agree.
So yeah, my brother is a metrosexual. And I'm totally cool with it. Although I do have to admit I've stopped going shopping with him since we're just not compatible spenders. While I hit stores like the Gap, he's frowning and signaling for me to come over to Coach where he's found an 'amazing' jacket for 'only $180' and doesn't know if he should get one or two (mind you...it doesn't get that cold in Southern California).
Here's the only thing I don't get- how this all happened. I mean, the guy is from Hawaii! And he used to be just like the rest of us and had no class at all! He once got so drunk he spilled a bunch of loose change in his toilet and then left the coins in there for OVER A YEAR (it was unnerving peeing on them)! Another time he got so drunk while packing for a trip to visit us in Japan that he only packed ONE decent shirt (and wore it every single day for TWO WEEKS). Another time he hosted a party (YES, while drunk) and cooked fried chicken, but didn't have a single napkin or paper towel in the apartment- so he handed all of the guests pieces of toilet paper.
So how, when and why he transformed is a mystery to me. But I don't care- he's a good brother, he offers me endless entertainment, and today's his birthday! So what the hell- Happy Birthday, Princess!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
You know, had I known Roy harbored such an intense hatred toward disabled people I never would have married him! So needless to say, having this condition has completely lost all of its appeal now that I realize I'm not going to get any sort of special treatment out of it. All I can say is, thank God there are more people like me than him in this world.
Stuff I Love (all food of course)
If you're looking to shed a few pounds, you have to give some of these products a try. Though I generally try to eat fresh food(s) and avoid 'diet foods' (many are misleading, not very nutritious and overpriced), each of these products has passed my finicky taste, nutrition and price tests and in their own way, make me weep with joy:
1. Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches - I've heard all the hype and finally bought them last weekend. Each sandwich has only 140 calories, is 97% fat free, has NO trans fat, and contain3g of fiber... And best of all- they taste better, creamier and lighter than most 'regular' ice creams out there. Quite simply- these are the best.
2. MorningStar Farms Veggie Burgers - In my opinion, Morningstar kicks Boca Burgers & Gardenburger's butts. They not only have the most variety (of tastes) to choose from, but their delicious burgers are high in protein and fiber and low in fat. Their only con? A little too much sodium. You absolutely have to try their Philly Cheesesteak, Tomato & Basil Pizza burgers. They will rock your world and turn any carnivore into a vegetarian hippie in no time.
3. Gardenburger Savory Portabella Mushroom Burgers - These make the list because they have much less calories than most Morningstar burgers (80 v. 130) and contain portabella mushrooms, smoked provolone cheese and wild rice. Grooooaaan. I have tried a half dozen other portabella mushroom burgers and these are King.
4. Protein bars - For overall taste, amount of calories, and high protein and fiber content, my votes go to the South Beach High Protein Cereal Bars (specifically the Maple Nut & Peanut Better), Kashi (these are the healthiest and most no-nonsense of the bunch) and Kellog's All Bran Bars (sweet and packed with fiber). All of them will satisfy your sweet tooth and fill you up without any of the guilt.
5. Knudsen Cottage Cheese Dippers (strawberry) - Packed with protein, these little 140 calorie servings are more like a dessert than anything else. Love 'em!
6. Viactive Calcium Chews - Though they're not a food and kind of pricey, they have been rated very highly in absorption tests. No matter what flavor you get, they all taste great, satisfy your sweet tooth and offer 50% of your daily calcium needs for only 20 calories each! Yum.
7. Trader Joe's Soy Crisps (cheddar)- If you're craving salt or starch, these are better than Wheat Thins, Triscuits, chips or nuts because they will fill your salt craving, but with half the calories and sodium and with plenty of protein! Best of all, they're cheap- only $2 a bag.
8. And of course...how can I forget Fiber One cereal? It still tastes like dirt and looks like dead maggots, but you will find no other product on Earth with so much fiber and so little calories. I've tried the plain original and the one with yogurt clusters...but my vote is still firmly with the dirty maggot one. Why? They're more filling and have less than half the calories. I've tried a few other fiber packed cereals, but none come close to Fiber One for calories and fiber content.
If any of you have a 'great find' that is easily accessible, please share!!!
PS - I am only on Day 2 of 'Operation Stop Eating All the Damn Time,' but so far, so good. I've done some solid, well rounded workouts (walking, kickboxing and lifting), been loading up on my fruits, veggies, and healthy proteins (but still averaging 1600-1700 calories per day) and avoiding all my trigger foods/environments. I have a really good feeling about all of this.
Monday, May 15, 2006
When I first started complaining about this, Student Nurse Roy diagnosed me as having low blood pressure. But because he has not worked in the medical field yet (wiping a** does not count), and also because we are married, I naturally discounted his opinion and took to the web to research the matter instead. And after 2-3 hours of methodical research, here's what I've come up with- I have low blood pressure.
Specifically, I have postural orthostatic hypotension. Pret-ty darn impressive, isn't it?
Unfortunately, other than the psychological impact it has on others, it's really no fun. I'm also really bummed out because I thought my blood pressure dropped because of how healthy I've become, not because I might have an actual medical issue. In fact- everytime I've gone to Longs over the last 6 months I practically dash over to the blood pressure machine so I can hop in and excitedly show off my low numbers to Roy (who rolls his eyes and tells me that they're too low).
Now I have to go to the doctor. Not that I'm upset about this. I just wish someone would have, you know...told me what was wrong with me six months ago.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
On Friday night we went out to a sushi bar to celebrate a few awards Roy won at school. Then on Saturday we had breakfast with friends, went to an Italian restaurant for lunch with Roy's mother, and then had dinner at a graduation party. It was ugly, people. Just ugly. I probably looked like a starving refugee (albeit a slightly chubby one) at her first buffet. I ate almost nonstop from 3-9pm. After I got home and tallied my caloric intake for the day, I pretty much soiled myself. This is because I realized I had set an unprecedented all-time high for the number of calories consumed in one meal (at the party). I won't go into details, but suffice to say, I sulked the rest of the evening.
This morning when I got up I was still a bit shell shocked and boldly announced to Roy that I was going on a hunger strike for the next two weeks. The hunger strike lasted a solid 30 minutes (thereby exceeding my expectations by 29 minutes) before I remembered I had invited my brother and his friend Lana (who is otherwise sane except for the fact that she has a stuffed purple Peep bunny named Patrick that she talks to on a regular basis...which unfortunately, still makes her the most normal of the bunch) over for brunch.
Thanks to guilt from the night before and inspiration from Out of the Box, I served up a variety of healthy fare. I whipped up some strawberry-banana-walnut pancakes with fresh strawberry sauce, fresh mini-blueberry muffins, a fruit platter (pears, apples, bananas, grapes and oranges), and yogurt. Following that we went on a 10-mile walk. I nearly wilted twice (NOT common when you have the fat reserves that I still do)- once from the heat, and once when I made my brother kick a dead bird out of our path and it's head separated from it's body.
So I really need to step it up this week. I've been dicking around all month with the overeating and now have less than two weeks to get my butt in gear. I'm officially pissed off and ready to kick some a**.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Even though I was just there in February, I've lost another 6 pounds since then. So whether or not I hit the fifty I'd hope to at least get...well, you know- a couple of leis, some congratulatory hugs, a band...maybe someone to hold a palm leaf over my head while I wave to all the fans from atop an elephant. To be honest though, I don't think this is gonna happen (the losing 50 lbs. part...the other stuff better happen regardless). I would have to lose about 3 pounds in the next two and a half weeks. And it probably doesn't help that I still do things like eat 1,800 calories in 15 minutes. Yesterday one of my coworkers surprised me (again) with one of my favorite foods on the planet- fresh Costco granola. Have you guys ever tried that stuff? It is hands down, the most highly addictive food on the planet. And highly caloric too. I sat at my desk and tossed down handful after handful before I realized I had eaten about a fourth of the large TUB. I quickly went on line to check the exact caloric content and nearly wept- 160 calories for 1/3 of a cup. A THIRD OF A CUP!!! I had probably inhaled 3-4 cups!!!
I waffled for the next half hour over whether or not I should become a bulimic for the day but ultimately decided against it because I refuse to puke in toilets (wouldn't the puke make the toilet water splash up on your face?). I will, however, puke in: sinks with garbage disposals, plastic containers, plastic bags, in bushes, on the side of the road, in my own hair and on other people. But absolutely, positively 100% NEVER in toilets.
In any case, even though the odds of me hitting 50 before the trip are slim to none at this point, I'm still gonna go for it. The way I see it is, if I can at least make it to 49, haven't I earned the right to round up the number a little? And if I fail, at least I tried. But I've gotta give it a go. I have to. Nothing totally manic or over the top of course, since I know how that ends (with me lying on the floor covered in little bits of granola and surrounded by three empty tubs of Costco granola).
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
1. To the person who shared their technique of spraying the air freshener directly into the bowl and then trapping it all in there with your butt and thighs to neutralize the smell? YOU ARE A VERY, VERY SICK MAN. But I love it. LOVE IT. I can't say I'd ever do that one myself, but it does sound highly effective. You've won the 2006 award for 'The Most Effective (though untested) Stench-Quashing Technique Ever.' Congratulations! You have humbled me.
2. And to the person who just emailed me their technique of what to do with the huge wads of wasted toilet paper (either noisily dispose of in the sanitary container or use it to "pad" the water to muffle the sound of poop dropping)- ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. I am pleased to present you with the award (of which I have been the ongoing recipeint) for "Best Way to Justify a Disgusting Waste of Natural Resources." (I held the title because of my recent efforts to conserve gasoline- which is to jiggle the handle a few times after I'm done pumping so that a few more drops fall out. Feel free to join me on my crusade to really stick it to those greedy oil barons. Rot in hell you bastards!!!)
In any case, it's time for me to move on. I never intended to focus so much attention on poop anyway (I intended to focus it all on me).
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
No twirling. No hopping. No hip shaking. No sashaying.
That meant no one around me had to be tripped or backhanded while I clumsily learned the new moves. Kinda nice. I think I did so well because I'm a Tae Bo devotee. At the end of class we also did something really cool called 'mud runners.' Basically it involves running with resistance bands strapped around your waist while your partner tries to hold you back. I loved it! So this makes three things I love about mud- mud pie, mud slides, and mud running. And in that order.
In other world news, I now have an answer to the great debate of whether or not my losing weight would make me more comfortable in the warm summer weather. I figured this out the other day when the A/C went out at work during a meeting. Of the 25 people in the room, only 2 of them were flushed, beading up with sweat and melodramatically fanning themselves with their folded up meeting agendas. And YES, one of them was me. NOT HAPPY.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
1. I ran further in the race last weekend. And it's difficult to top a race performance (where you are fueled by adrenaline, aid stations and people cheering you on).
2. It's getting hotter. It makes jogging a lot less pleasant.
3. I was a little frustrated by the thought of having to top that run with an even longer run next weekend. I've said this all along- it has never been my goal to become a jogger. Though I have found that there is nothing, and I do mean NOTHING that feels better than being able to say "I jogged ___ miles today" - it still is not my passion. So the thought of having to jog nine miles next weekend kind of depressed me.
So once again, I've decided to scale back. While I have no intention of stopping completely, my plan is to continue jogging one day each week, but for only 5 miles or so. It's still a good distance I can easily work up from for future races, but not so time consuming/intimidating. Before I made this decision, however, I wanted to make sure I wasn't just wimping out (which I have a tendency to do). So I asked myself the following:
Will I regret not being more competitive in future half marathons?
Maybe a little, but not really. I entered the first one just for kicks and never intended to work myself up to nearly jogging the whole second one. I don't care if a few (okay A LOT) of seniors continue to whup my butt.
Will I regret not having worked competed in a marathon someday?
Again, maybe a little, but I've come to realize that being able to run 26.2 miles requires a lot of time, energy, discomfort and dedication. And because running is not my #1 passion, it would seem odd to commit to doing one.
Why do I want to stop hitting new running accomplishments? It is just laziness?
You know, I am sure part of it is. But if I continue to keep adding mileage each week, it will become a very time consuming activity that is really not all that fun for me. And though it's hard to accept that I will no longer be breaking any new ground on the track, I know I have to do more of what I enjoy in order to sustain this lifestyle over the long haul.
Why do I feel so guilty then?
For whatever reason (likely insecurity), I often feel the need to ratchet up a 'major fitness accomplishment'- like running a marathon, hiking across the state or getting my spinning certification. It's almost as if I feel like I have to validate myself and my efforts to others with one big, noteworthy accomplishment. I feel flaky/manic everytime I want to try a new form of exercise.
Stupid, isn't it? But I bet a lot of others in my position probably feel this way too. I want to free myself to pursue whatever I want (karate, hula, hiking , paddling, yoga, weights, Pilates, swimming, biking, running, kickboxing, aerobics, stepping, walking, etc.) without any second thoughts. There is nothing wrong with being a jack of all trades, master of none. After all, as long as I'm still out there- I'm winning, right?
Friday, May 05, 2006
When it comes to matters of bodily function, as an Asian female, I will admit- I am a prude by birthright. As an example, if I have to do my business in a public restroom (which is rare, trust me) and someone enters another stall, guess what? I'm suspended in time until that person leaves. And if they take too long (damn them!) I am forced to employ either the "multiple flushing technique" or loudly unroll obscene amounts of toilet paper to muffle the sound. It's absolutely ridiculous and in both cases a horrible waste of our natural resources, but when it comes to me being potentially embarassed or having to waste water or kill trees- sorry Mother Earth. You lose.
Here is how its come up again. The other day at the office I was making a general scene about having to use a single stall restroom that was otherwise occupied. Someone suggested I use the other restrooms down the hall but I rolled my eyes and said I never those since others can hear you. I went on to explain my aforementioned multiple flushing-technique as well as the toilet paper unrolling-technique, and mentioned a third (new) technique as well. This is what I like to call the poop-flush-poop-flush technique.
This technique is for when you have to poop, someone is waiting to go right after you, but there is no appropriate ventiliation. (FYI, you should all know by now that canned air fresheners WILL NOT suffice as they DO NOT neutralize the odor, they ADD to it. You're not fooling anybody). Whereas the multiple flushing technique is intended to muffle sound, the poop-flush-poop-flush technique is meant to address the issue of odor. I came up with this when I reasoned that if poop smells, but you're able to get rid of it by flushing it away immediately (i.e.- poop...flush! poop...flush!), then it stands to reason that you won't give the poop any time to stench up the room!
Problem solved, right? Wrong! Though I thought this would be case and have been smugly employing this technique for months, Roy pointed out that it is not the actual poop that really smells, it is the gas that emits from your body. Now in his defense, I am pretty sure he has never leaned over into the bowl and deeply inhaled to verify if this is really true. I believe he learned this as part of his medical studies. But I will admit I did not clarify this point. Mostly out of a fear that I would be wrong. And then I would have to leave him.
My coworkers were also amused when I shared that I also flee restrooms whenever the room smells of recent poop. They asked why I don't just do what others do, which is to breathe with my mouth when that happens. I used to be able to do this. That is, until my brother Joseph (who God bless him, is even more of a diva about this stuff) pointed out that breathing in with your mouth makes you feel like you can taste it. Hmm. Good point. So that ended that.
Please don't email me and tell me that poop is natural and how sad it is that I'm so insecure about such a trivial thing. I already know it's natural. And I don't blame you if you don't mind the smell of your own poop or others. I just choose to avoid it. And I really don't obsess about this stuff, it has come up only recently (ever since I've become a recent Fiber One devotee). Prior to Fiber One, I went from pooping about once a year (admittedly a problem) to twice a day. Like clockwork.
Yeah. I thought you'd be proud of me too!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I lived in Japan for THREE FULL YEARS and managed to survive on about seven key phrases, all of which revolved around food-
"This is delicious, can I have some more please?"
"I didn't mean one scoop more, I meant half a plate more."
"Damnit, just give me the whole pot already!"
"Are you going to eat that last bite of fish anus?"
"Oh! Was that tray of fifty sushi supposed to be for everyone?!"
You get the idea. It's not that I didn't try. I did. I took weekly Japanese lessons for three years. But once I learned enough to be able to get around, I did my best to manipulate and distract my instructors from the fact that I hadn't retained or learned a single new thing each week (and I'm good at that).
In any case, I only used the word in the title line because I've been very busy at work lately. I've worked about 10-12 hours each day this week, and with my commute, that adds up to 14-hour days. I'm drained. Roy has been a godsend though. He's helped with dinners, done all the dishes and even filled my car up with gas tonight so I can "sleep in" until 4:40am tomorrow and not have to worry about getting gas in the morning.
I had a horrible, horrible day at work yesterday and went to a spinning class in the evening to try and work out my frustration. For weeks I had seen a shelf full of empty plastic water bottles in the the spinning studio with a sign that said something like "Proper hydration is critical. If you forgot to bring water, please feel free to use one of our clean, recycled bottles" (by filling it up at the water fountain). When I first saw the sign I was horrified. Slightly disgusted. Who on earth would want to use somebody's old water bottle?!! Gross!
Uhhh... Yeah. Guess who forgot her water bottle last night? And because I was so late to class I had no time to go to a store and buy one. Anyone who spins knows you absolutely have to have a bottle of water. Many people even have two. So without hesitation I grabbed one of the gross recycled bottles and ended up sucking from it as eagerly and happily as a newborn calf on it's mother's teat. Germs be damned. (Please don't tell Roy. He will leave me if he ever finds out.)
Monday, May 01, 2006
The old me desperately wants to berate myself for this, but I'm not going there. I will go here however- can somebody tell me why pasta is so damn caloric?! I mean, it's f***ing wheat on a plate! How does a vegetable become ALL sugar?
Every other vegetable on the planet is relatively low calorie. Even sweet, sugary fruits have less calories. I don't get it. It's a cruel, cruel world.