Friday, November 30, 2012

Some Humble Thoughts

So anyone that knows me, knows I have struggled/worked hard with my weight for as long as I can remember.  But it wasn't until the other day as we were looking through pictures and Jason asked something about when I lost weight that it really hit me.  I weigh a solid 10 pounds less and 5-6% body fat less than I did just a couple years ago.  Ever since then I've been thinking about what has changed.... what is different that caused this.

Disclaimer: I do not nor ever will claim to be any type of expert.  This is just what has worked for me, when for years no matter how desperate my attempts, nothing worked. That being said here is what I think changed:

Work out:  
 - I love gym classes.  They push me so much harder than I push myself.
- I've always been anti workout partners... but my sis-in-law has a great partner.  I'm jealous of her.  But since I've never found someone that wants to go to the gym every morning at 5:30 am I've become great friends with people at the gym.  I even have a step class where I am apart of the "dream team."
- This is probably the biggest difference in my workout from 2 years ago.  I try and lift a lot more weights.  Cardio is relatively easy for me.  But weights KILL me.  I try to lift every day now and I am seeing a HUGE difference.

Make healthy eating a life style:
- I am DONE dieting.  I'm DONE counting calories.  It only makes me feel deprived and miserable.
- I try and eat veggies at every meal.... even breakfast.
- I try and make a salad my meal at least once day.
- I always order salads when I'm eating out.
- I never eat fried food period.
- I avoid pasta and rice.
- If I want to eat something, I eat it.
- But the biggest difference is I try and eat a lot more protein. I make sure to eat protein every meal.  It's shocking the difference.

Now who knows, maybe I won't change a thing and I'll gain all that weight back next week.  Who knows, maybe there is some external factor that has changed my body that I have not even considered.

All I know is these are just a few things that have helped me in the never ending battle.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter Blues

It's ridiculous.  I finally have put my foot down.  I've tried almost everything.  More working out, more superpower foods, more caffeine, more sleep even checked my thyroid.... nothing seems to work.  It's like my body, mind, and most important my mood is attached to the sun.  When the sun shines life is great, when the sun goes down I feel like the world should be asleep.....

It happens every winter.  Especially after the time change.  My bed time is earlier and earlier...  what made me put my foot down was the other night I fell asleep before 8 PM mid sentence... so yesterday when I got to work I did my usual routine.  It used to be to check every blog I could think of.... but blogs are still blocked so now I've resorted to CNN and KSL.  I read almost every article on each website throughout the day.  I found this article yesterday "When it's more than just 'winter blues'"  I've read articles like this often.  I concluded long ago that I have SAD.  Luckily I haven't been sad... just super duper tired.  So what did I finally put my foot down and do?  I bought a "NatureBright SunTouch Plus Therapy Lamp".  There were over 400 reviews on this lamp on Amazon with over 4.5 stars.  People say that it makes the world of difference.  So between 5 and 5:30 am I will be kicking back staring at a bright light, smelling my ocean breeze air freshener, and sipping on my pina colada.

If this doesn't work..... I guess I'll be packing my bags for Brazil or Congo or maybe Indonesia.  (All located on the equator)

Monday, November 26, 2012

So much to be thankful for.

Shockingly I don't have a single picture of the food over the weekend.... But here are some of the random pictures from the most magical weekend ever.

The sunset as Marcie, Craig, and I were driving down to Cedar.

The awful state we found Chad in.... hadn't showered, shaven, or eaten since his girlfriend left.

 A few more pictures of our fun hike.  Yes, that green is water crests.  Quite tasty!

 We attended Sophie's Puppy birthday party.  Sadly I don't have a single picture of the birthday girl...

 Then Jason and I headed down to San Diego county for Thanksgiving.  I am really really bummed I don't have many pictures.  But dinner was AMAZING!  But I just wanted to show a perfect example of how awesome my boyfriend is.  Yes.  He scrubbed, buffed, and polished my favorite shoes.

 Roses in November???? Let's face it.  I love Southern California. 

When Jason goes on vacation he likes to do things like this....
 When I go on vacation I like to do things like this.....
 And when Lars goes on vacation he looks like this....

 Just kidding... I just had to show the cute sleep over Jason, Lars, and I had in the living room.
 It was a wonderful weekend...... but the best news is... only17 more school days til Christmas Vacation!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Well it's 4:51 am on Thanksgiving Morning.  Why in the world am I awake?  Well I'd love to blame it on the baby that was crying during the night or the person that was snoring really loud... but really, I'm blaming it on genetics.  This is just what my body does.  

So as I was sitting here trying to distract myself from the running I need to do I started thinking.  I wish I could come up with some profound new way to say the same thing that so many have said before.  I wish I could discover some new angle on the subject that would enlighten others.  But this morning as I was looking through all my social media outlets I came to the same conclusion that I and almost every artist, philosopher, and musician has come to before... all you need is love.

The other day I took an online test to discover my "real age".  I don't know why but it motivates me to answer questions like "How much water do you drink?"  and "How much time do you spend stretching every week?"  But as I was taking the test, what shocked me most, what these "experts" thought affected about 1/5 of a person's health is relationships.  1/5 of what determines how long a person lives is the number of deep meaningful relationships that person has.  

Now whether those "real age experts" are accurate or not is a debate for another day.  This morning as I sit in a dark cold kitchen I look around and I am so grateful for the people in my life.  I'm so grateful for the memories of yesterday.  Hiking to a beautiful ice waterfall, being a well-oiled machine in the kitchen with my mom, playing fun games with my dad, analyzing people with my brother, and getting a text message from my nephew that said, "You are awesome." I sit here and wonder how in the world I got so lucky.   

And the best news is.... the party is just getting started!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


There are so many times when I'm putting on my running shoes that I'm groaning every step of the way.... So many times when I just want to crawl back into bed and pretend like 5 am isn't my normal time to wake up. So many times I find myself in fetal position wishing upon my lucky stars that the next hour of my life could just disappear....

But then there is that rare moment. That one in million chance that I feel it. I am afraid to even talking about it because I'm afraid it might cheapen the experience.  That experience when all of the sudden the music is just right, my stride is perfect... And I am a rock star. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012


So I've always kinda been confused by girls that say they can't cook.  I mean sure I don't expect everyone to know how to make artisan breads or gourmet candies... but for the most part, cooking is pretty simple.  Read a recipe. Follow directions... right?

Ha. Ha.

So I've decided it's time.  It's probably embarrassing how much I have eaten out in the last 8 years of my life.  Luckily with my hilarious Lunch Group I have stopped going out at lunch, but here in Utah Valley I feel that the majority of entertainment is going somewhere to eat.  I'm sure it is like this every where but especially with a group of sober and celibate singles... there isn't much else to do.   I bet I don't go 2 days without going out.  And I've decided it's time to change.

Why?  I know most people would talk about how unhealthy eating out is, but I argue that it can actually be super healthy.  I eat a larger variety and more vegetables when I eat out then when I eat from home.

But I'm digressing...

I figure now that I can cook for Jason it's time to start cooking.  Time to start actually making meals.  And I figure you can tell from the start of this post....... it hasn't gone so well.  Who knew I could mess so many things up?

Sunday started with possibly the most rock star meal ever.  Marinated grilled salmon, rosemary oven fries, toasted coconut, pomegranate, apple, almond salad with a poppy seed dressing, rolls, and for dessert Chocolate lava cakes fresh out of the oven.  Yes I was a rock star.

Then the rest of the week hit.

 SUPER EASY Chicken Chili from my friend Megan's blog.  Absolute disaster.  It says put a tablespoon of chili power in.... I thought that seemed too much with the tomatoes with chilies already but I figured I'd follow the recipe.................. with tears running down his cheeks and constantly wiping his nose Jason asked, "How much chili powder did you put in this???"  Yep, the whole crock pot full went straight into the trash.

I love fish tacos so I searched high and low for a good recipe.  I marinated the fish, made my own pico de giyo, toasted my own tortilla..... but Jason "lost track of time" so I tried to grill the fish myself... both of us felt sick to our stomach over the next 24 hours worried that my grilling skills just didn't quite cut it.

Two nights ago?  It was cold outside.  I really wanted some soup.  Particularly this delicious cauliflower soup my mom has made for me a few times. (It's delicious and you'd have NO idea it had any veggies in it at all.) Because... you put the veggies cooked in chicken stock in the blender..... what they FORGOT to mention is to make sure the veggies have cooled down a bit before putting them in the blender.  Jason was eating his French Dip sandwich facing the other direction when he heard the blender followed by my scream.  He thought I was being dramatic until he turned around to see me and the entire kitchen splattered with boiling hot veggie chunks that had exploded everywhere when the steam popped the lid off the blender...  a deep clean and a few burns later... last night.... Terra Mia.

Cooking..... not such a piece a cake.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Little Secret.

I have a secret.  Not like that lame movie The Secret that Oprah talked about 5 years ago.... a real secret.  The kind that I've been afraid to tell people.  Because probably it will sound ridiculous... you will probably laugh.  But hear me out and I think you'll be convinced too.

So I have a super power.  I am about 75% positive that it is passed down genetically, maybe we'll even call it a genetic mutation.  (No it isn't my hands.... although according to my dermatological brother-in-law that is a genetic mutation as well)  but my super power you ask?  Time moves slower for me than the average human being.  This can be a huge advantage and a crippling disadvantage.

I'll start with it's advantages.  Because of this super power.... I can do whatever the average human does in typically 1/3 less the time.  Some might just call this efficient or maybe even something as simple as a multi-tasker.... but no I think it is more than that.  Whatever the task, great or small, I'll get it done and I'll get it done fast.  Now I wish I could brag that I was a perfectionist and not only will I get the task done fast but I'll also get it done perfect... but no that's not the super power, the super power is soley about speed.  Now if you are looking around your house, your desk, or you classroom and wishing you had this super power.... let me finish and you might think twice.

I think it was 3rd grade that I started to realize how I had this super power.  Every time my teacher gave us an assignment it didn't take me long to realize I was always the first one done.  So I spent the majority of elementary school and most of middle school.... staring at the clock.  It was really bad when Jen and I were in the same life science class in 7th grade.  My super power and her brains was a recipe for disaster.  We were in a constant state of mischief.  Poor Mr. Benson tried everything he could to shut us up.  First he tried putting us on the same row on opposite ends... until we realized if we both leaned back we could still communicate.  Then he tried putting me right next to his desk and poor Jen next to the mice in the back of the room.... finally he gave up and just put us next to each other.  We passed time by writing the word whatever over ten thousand, quoting Louis and Clark and the Adventures of Superman, and gossiping about who's going out with who.

So you must be wondering what's the down side?  What is the kyptonite that destroys me and my power.... one simple little word.  Boredom.  Plan and simple, boredom.  You know when you hear people say, "Oh I just lost track of time!"  or "There's just not enough hours in the day!"  Yep, you'll never hear me say that.

Now I wish I could put my super power to use saving America... maybe even get some cute tights and a mask... but I can't figure out how.  So if you have any ideas....

All joking aside do you think it's possible?  Do you think it's possible that time is different for everyone?  That my second is way slower than yours?  Or since time is clearly relative that our brains digest and interrupt time different?  Or am I just trying to come up with some socially acceptable excuse for why it's torture for me to sit through an entire movie in the theater?  Because let's be honest, that's weird.

Monday, November 12, 2012


I used to be shocked, appalled.... straight up blown away by the comments left after articles about my faith.  In a world where prejudice and bigotry are discouraged or outlawed it's shocked me to see how that applies to everything except the LDS.  I've just come to accept it.  

So when I saw this article this morning.... I was so happy I almost couldn't stand it!  Finally someone got it.... someone understood the benefit of being around LDS even if the faith is wacko.   

It made me so happy!  Read it! Enjoy it!  Be proud!

but heaven forbid....... steer clear of the 3,000 + comments.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Let the Count Down Begin

It all probably started with the movie The Holiday.  The movie was like an anthem to my life the year it came out.... Christmas 2006?  The previous Christmas had been the most magical Christmas of my life, I thought I was going to marry the man of my dreams.  All I could think about was diamonds and babies and a life in.... Texas?  Clearly that fell to pieces, and oh thank heavens it did! But a year later there I was struggling through my first real year of teaching in a new city feeling completely alone.  And that is when I saw The Holiday (3 or 4 times in the theater) .... how well I could relate to  Kate Winslet when she was so desperate that she started sucking in natural gas from her stove thinking it would do something until she snapped out of it and opened the window crying, "Low point!"  It was then that through a stream of good fortune Kate ended up in Santa Monica for Christmas.  Driving down the PCH in a convertible with the top down listening to Bing Crosby dreaming of a white Christmas.  Her life changed.

I think it was that.  Or maybe it was the Christmas of 2009 when the stars aligned for some reason and Christmas in LA was wonderful...

All I know is, for me, when I think of Christmas, I don't think of sleigh bells and hot chocolate.  No snow men or winter wonderland.... all I can think of is palm trees and sunshine.  I cannot believe how excited I am about the holidays this year.  I'm counting down the days until Thanksgiving.  I can't even dream about Christmas yet.  But the best news is...

my Holidays will look a lot like this.

(This picture is actually from South Beach Miami last year.... but you get the idea)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Like Christmas Eve

I honestly feel more excited tonight than I do on Christmas Eve.  This weekend I went to LA.  Before I left I was pretty sure Romney was going to win.  Then the 17 signs around Glendora I saw on my run Saturday morning put me over the top.  Tonight I am smiling.  I can not wait.
NO. I am not stupid enough to think Romney will take California.  And yes I recognize that probably 10 out of those 17 signs were Mormons households.  How do I know Mormons lived there?  The mini vans with BYU and Ragnar decals gave it away.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wall Flower.

In another life I'd love to give surveys.  Just sit at a place like Disneyland, or a Jazz game, or the Mall in D.C. and just ask people questions.  I guess really that's what drove me to study the social sciences... I love knowing and understanding people, groups of people and individuals.  Everywhere I go I think about people and wonder, where they are from, what is their background, what kind of education they have, what's their worldviews....  You know, I just wonder.  I recognize it's weird.  Who cares so much about random people, but for some reason I do.  It was a relief when I finally discovered my personality and read this statement, "And at amusement parks or sporting events, Idealists will eventually separate themselves mentally from the rides, the sights, and the action, and begin to observe the people around them, wondering about their personalities and fantasizing about their personal lives."

It's so interesting to me how many people view themselves as a wall flower, a misfit toy, an outcast.  Whole genres of music are dedicated to this way of thinking.  I might even argue that more people view themselves on the outside than in any type of inside.  And I think I can lead this irrational logic all back to the junior high lunch time... but I won't go there.

So I went to see this movie, The Perks of being a Wall Flower.  I was excited.  This is the type of movie that I love.  You know the movie where the high school misfits ban together and form a bond so powerful that they don't care if they get asked to prom or have a thousand signatures in their yearbook. The movie where a smart group of kids who have struggled to be popular or fit in finally realize that there is so much more to life than high school.  I can list a whole slew of movies or books that are dedicated to this quite obvious reality.

But if you haven't seen The Perks of being a Wall Flower and plan on seeing it, I won't ruin it.  I'll just say this.  Yes, the movie does fit into this category... kinda.  It's well on it's way to fit into this category until the end.  Then comes the rude awakening of life.  I feel like this is the type of movie that every teacher needs to watch.  The fact is, kids go through horrible stuff and often times this is what causes them to act the way they do, feel the way they do, be idiots the way they do.  And although this movie was pretty depressing, I think it's good every now and again for us to remember outward appearance rarely if ever tell the whole story.