When you love to eat, you've got to move.

Corn Syrup Commercial

Posted by pjcloud9 on March 14, 2011

Saturday Night Live: Corn Syrup Commercial.  Need I say more?


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Conservative Pescatarian

Posted by pjcloud9 on March 10, 2011

It is the conservative way:  Make personal choices.  Live with those choices.  Adjust as necessary.  No need for others to accomidate the choice.  No complaints, no excuses.  Employ family and friends when help is needed. 

This is how I look at my personal choices.  It especially applies to my choice to be a pescatarian

I have no expectations that anyone accomidate my personal choice to not eat meat.  Clearly the majority of people in American society eat meat.  It is the norm, thus meat is readily available and the main course choice in most cases.  I am not offended in any way when others eat meat in front of me (even in the case of BBQ sauce slathered ribs) or if it is the main dish they have chosen to prepare with me as one of the guests.  Actually, I prepare meat regularily for my kids because it is something they want to eat.

I can navigate any menu or any food provided to me and find something that works for me, even if it is small.  When it is challenging and I find myself not fully satisfied in the end, it is really no big deal.  We are so fortunate to have safe food and water so readily available around here there is really no place for complaints when I have a little hint of hunger going on.  Seriously, I will live.  (And have!)  And, as those of you who have spent extended periods of time with me, you know I always have snacks on hand.

I am coming up on my two year anniversary of adopting pescatarianism.  (This all started back with Life Long Eating Dilemma.)  I have no plans to change.  It was a very easy transition for me to shift from eating chicken daily with some occasional beef and pork to eating primarily vegetables with some occasional fish or shellfish.  I feel great, it helps me easily manage my daily calorie consumption, and it has prompted me to become more creative and adventurous in what I eat. (Octopus, anyone?)  Shopping for groceries is more fun and navigating a menu at a new restaurant or a meal provided at an event a welcome challenge.  (Note: I have to laugh when at Republican events and I am the one looking for vegetarian box lunch I ordered and people look in shock that there is an actual-real-live-Republican-vegetarian in the house! Such a sight to see!)

Overall, this change in my life has been welcome.  It combats boredom in that every present major focus area – food!  (And if you have not figured out how much I love food, clearly you are new to this blog!)

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Posted by pjcloud9 on December 13, 2010

‘Tis the season for people at the office to show appreciation for one another in the form of food.  Every time I go to the printer to pick-up a paper, there is a new box of truffles or cookies or candies staring me in the face.  Every stop in the breakroom consists of leftover pizza or sandwiches from a team party.  And don’t doubt for a minute by later this week, the crockpots will be fired up challenging the circuitry of this facility with their slow-simmering little smokies and Swedish meatballs.  (The air quality will be challenged in multiple ways as well.)  Potlucks all around – ew!

Join me on Twitter as I hash it out with #HolidayFattening.  The intent is if I Tweet it, I won’t eat it.

Tips to stop the madness of #HolidayFattening in your life these next 2 grueling weeks:

  • Tweet it so you won’t eat it: #HolidayFattening (Or eat it and Tweet it and guilt ensues – FUN!)
  • Find a way to burn a few extra calories each day.  Park farther away, take the stairs, get up from your desk and walk around for 5 min, etc.
  • If you can find time to workout among the holiday chaos, add 10% time each day for the next couple weeks.  So, if you want to get 20 minutes in, add 2 more just for good measure
  • Shame those who bring in treats by making a list, passing it around to the department and then posting it for all to see on the intranet (oh, not that one – sorry!)
  • You can have a taste if you aren’t afraid to throw food away.  Take an enjoyable bite or two, then pitch it.  Half the calories!
  • Be the life of the party by bringing healthy food in for the potluck.  Veggie trays, pita chips & hummus, be creative not creamy.

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What a difference 5 years makes!

Posted by pjcloud9 on October 21, 2010

Check and see how 100 lbs magically transferred from me to my son.  I lost it in one year.  Took him 5 to take it on in height and weight – wow!

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My hip (said in tone of the lady who has fallen and can’t get up)

Posted by pjcloud9 on October 21, 2010

Just ran the second half marathon of my life, precisely one year later.  Same race:  IMT Des Moines Marathon/Half-Marathon.  I don’t know what the hell I was thinking that a year later I could beat my time.  I mean last year, I was not working a full-time job and could train all the time.  This year, not so much, I basically have done a long run on the weekend all summer leading up to this, with my longest training run a couple of weeks ago of 12 miles.  So I came in at 2:02 versus LY of 1:59.  3 minutes, and yes I was disappointed.  I am pretty much over it now, sorta.  Looks like I am going to have to run another half-marathon now to prove I can finish in under 2 hours.  And that is just proving it to myself.  I really don’t care what all y’all think.  No offense.

So one of the issues I am experiencing is in my hip.  When someone says their hip hurts, doesn’t that sound like the great-granniest-gray-haired-90-year-old crap?  Seriously, it is as if I need a Medic-Alert necklace.  It is hurting pretty bad when walking and is going to take a while resting to recover.   My chiropractor said she thought I was limping.  UGH.  Will see if I can resist running through the week (weather is making it difficult, gorgeous autumn out there).  Has been a week or spin & swim so far.

If anyone has some ideas on recovery, stretches, etc. please let me know.  I am too young for a granny hip.

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Posted by pjcloud9 on July 17, 2010

I recently attended my high school reunion back in the Iowa town that I lived in from ages 8 thru 18, smack dab in the decade of the Eighties.  The formative years; those ten years certainly were.  How can ten years of your life seem so relevant and so immaterial at the same time?  Relevant in that even the little decisions made, or not, back then have had a huge influence on who I am today.  Relevant in the fact that I rocked some big hair, neon, plaid, and innumerable other fashion statements along the way.  Immaterial in that I had not seen anyone at the reunion in ten years – if not twenty – and I seem to be doing OK with that.  Immaterial in that I had not even been back to that town since the last reunion ten years ago and all that I could tell had changed was the size of the trees on the main street as I drove into town.

Don’t get me wrong, I mean, I chose to go to the reunion.  I was excited about it, nervous driving there solo, hoping certain people would be there and other certain people would not.  I was feeling pretty confident and poised going in, having successfully ballooned to the fattest in my life conveniently in between the 10 and 20 year reunions.  And for this 20 year reunion, I was several sizes smaller then the 10 year and back to high school size.  Damn, could not have accomplished that more effectively if I had thought about it – that felt good.  Everyone is still the same age as one another – that won’t change.  Seems obvious, but this is a huge benefit to taking some competitive edge off the reunion gathering.  Time ain’t standing still for anyone!

I had fun catching up with as many people as I could, learning about where they are today in their lives.  The reunion event itself was pretty low key with about 1/4 of the classmates in attendance, the majority there with their spouse in tow.  The spouses were mostly drinking more then the classmates – understandably.  Feels now like a lot of hype leading up to the event.  All we really did was get as many classmates as possible in the same room back at the old Country Club.  We chatted, ate a creamy, carb loaded meal out of chafing dishes and drank a keg of beer and generic cocktails served by “boys” (they really looked young!) in golf caps.

I am back here as well, after a several month hiatus.  So this is a reunion of sorts for me with my blog, my voice.  In relation to the high school reunion, I have to say this one is much sweeter.  I have been putting a lot of things behind me day by day and finding inspiration from the new and the possibilities before me.  Being a future-focused person, the thoughts of what may unfold are far more exciting then holding on to the past.

Bye-bye Boone High – again – and everything in between.  Hello now.

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Stories from the course

Posted by pjcloud9 on October 4, 2009

In awe.  Inspired.  After watching the Twin Cities Marathon today at the midpoint of the race, the feelings I have about setting personal goals and getting out on the race course to attain them are stronger then ever.  Thousands of people for countless months, days, hours trained for this day.  They had it circled, highlighted, alarmed on every calendar they own.  Their best friends, spouses, co-workers, grandparents, kids, boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates, parents knew about their training.  Their commitment.  The days they had to get their miles in – from 6 to 13 to 24.  The days their knee hurt.

And the loved ones were all there today.  With signs, cheering, whistling, watching.  Hoping they would not miss their person run by so they could just get one look at each other and both know it was going to be OK.  They were going to make it.  All the work was worth it.

Then there are others that line the race course.  The strangers.  These are the people that can also help to make the race happen for you as an athlete.  I know.  I have experienced it out there every single time I race.  You see, unfortunately the ones you love can only be so many places at once.  Uncle Jerry can be at mile 6, while your best friends Kate and Cindy can station themselves at mile 15, and everybody rushes on to the finish line.  You get your look, then they are gone.  When you are out there, working through the mental gymnastics of it all, you never know when the rough moment is going to hit.  May not see your sister or your girlfriend just then.  In your mind, you talk yourself through it, keep it positive, but sometimes it just hurts.  The littlest bit of eye contact and encouraging words from a perfect stranger can take you further then you thought you could go.

I remember the gals at the 2007 Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis.  I had just hit the run, about a third of a mile in, two laps around Lake Nokomis in my future.  One said, “Looks like you just started the race!”  The other just gave a “Whoot, whoot!”  I smiled.  It carried me.  Far.  And it has happened time and time again, race after race, never fails.  Someone will look at me, and I look at them, they say a few words of encouragement and whoosh, the moment is over.  They become a part of my story of the day, I remember them and am thankful.

The next time you get the opportunity to get out and be a spectator of a race, do it.  Whether you know someone participating or not.  Grab a cowbell and a coffee.  Be ready to yell.  Smile, and then just encourage people.  Be that person, make that moment, and keep someone going.  You will feel amazing.  A natural high for days, perhaps.   You may not know any of their names, you will probably never see them again, but you just became a part of the story that they will tell.  The day that they attained their goal.  The day they made it.

And it will all be worth it – far more then imagined.

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Mistakes were made

Posted by pjcloud9 on September 21, 2009

Just got back from a LONG run (half marathon training – UGH!), so plenty of time for thinking.

At one point on the run I was reflecting on my experience on the seventh grade track team.  I was thinking I may be a better runner now if I had participated more enthusiastically at that time.

As I have mentioned before, I was a thicker girl than most, not fat, just bigger, thicker.  Instead of running much, as I was not naturally gifted, I was designated a high jumper for the team.  After a few weeks of practice, I hurt my back and was unable to continue.  I found out many years later that I have some weird vertebrae thing that probably caused it.

Anyway, rather than bore myself by actually going to track practice most days after school, I spent my time hanging out/flirting with eighth grade boys in the old band room.  Practice rooms, to be specific.  (This is a theme for me, see Let’s Hear it for the Boy.  Yep, same boy.)  Yes, Mom, it is true.

I realize now that as a thirteen-year-old girl, I made some errors in judgment.  It is either good because I had fun, or bad because I did not act as an upstanding member of the track team.  Although if I had, I may have burned out on running long ago and would never be doing it now.  Let’s go with that theory.

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A very insightful WSJ article on getting *gasp* slower

Posted by pjcloud9 on September 10, 2009

I loved this article from the Wall Street Journal last week and have been meaning to share it.  Great perspective on making fitness, even doing races, a lifelong endeavor.

Enjoy!  Click here.

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Dream Big at Todays Mama

Posted by pjcloud9 on September 1, 2009

Thanks to the gals at Todays Mama (Shout out to Erin O., who I met while speed networking at BlogHer ’09 in Chicago), they are highlighting me the next couple weeks as the “Featured Mama – Dreaming of Cake” (of course).

Check out the feature here.

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