Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago I watched the horror unfolding on TV with a sense of detachment, thinking how lucky I was that the tragedy didn’t affect me directly.

Over the last decade I’ve learned how much it did. Yes, on a larger scale we were all affected, but as time passed it became much clearer how connected we all are. I learned later of an old friend who had perished on that day, the brother of a friend who narrowly escaped; the 391 employees & contractors of a company I worked for soon after; and the many lost loved ones of other friends, family, and co-workers.

Today I mourn for all those who were lost on that day and in the following years in Iraq & Afghanistan. My heart breaks for all their loved ones. May you find peace, and may peace prevail on earth.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A little message to myself

I found this essay on a friend of a friend's Facebook page. It kind of cut right to the core for me. I cleaned up the grammatical errors (and inserted a few of my own I'm sure) and posted it here for all my many (0) readers to see. Oh yeah, and as a reminder to myself.

You're right. It is easier to eat pizza than to run on the treadmill. It's easier to turn to ice cream rather than other people for support. It's easier to say "Fuck this, I give up" than to say "Fuck this, I can do it".

So you know what? I’m not going to sit here and tell you day after day you can do this. If you don't believe you can, then you can't. That's the honest truth. You need to do this for you, and if you don't want it enough, then you sure as hell won't achieve it. So take the easy way out and remain unhealthy and continue to gain weight because you refuse to realize you are the only one hurting yourself or get up, get moving, make the right choices, not the easy ones, and take care of yourself.

I didn't say it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.

Ok then... Are you worth it Robin?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wow! It's been a long time...

I've been off. and on. and off again. Mostly I've been off.
I've been off having fun and I've been off having not so much fun.
The fun stuff? I took my darling daughter to Maui for her birthday. Would you belive there was ANOTHER tsunami while I was there? Yep. I think I'm banned from Maui. Maybe next time a different island? I love Maui so much though...
More fun? My amazing oldest son and his long time girlfriend whom I adore decided to get married. I have never been so happy and proud while crying... I finally understand the concept of "Tears of Joy".
One of these days I'll talk about learning to snowshoe earlier this year and how much I love snow. Especially snow that you can get to (and subsequently LEAVE) in about an hour.
The not so fun? I'm injured. Again. Plantar Faciitis. I did it to myself while trying to train to hard to fast for the San Jose 1/2 Marathon. Now I don't get to go, but I hope to be better in time to train for the Las Vegas 1/2...
I've got big plans for next year, and soon I'll lay out my 100 day plan to bring me up to New Year's Day, but for now I'll just say I'm back, I'm glad, and I've missed you all!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do you have metabolic syndrome?

I recently got an email with this subject line from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. In it there was a checklist of risk factors. You can develop any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. If you have three or more of these factors, you are diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome. Your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have. In general, a person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone who doesn't have metabolic syndrome. Here's the list: 
  • High waist measurement: More than 35 inches for women, more than 40 inches for men
  • High triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or more
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol level: Less than 50 mg/dL for women, less than 40 mg/dL for men
  • Blood pressure of 130/85 or more
  • High fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dL or more
What is significant to me about this email was that by definition I no longer have metabolic syndrome. Yes, my waist measurement is still (significantly) above the optimum, but everything else has improved! I am amazed and greatful that as soon as I changed what I put in my mouth and started moving a bit, my body has been able to heal itself!
If you are reading this, have metabolic syndrome, and feel (as I did a year or so ago) that you can't make the changes, I beg you to just do three things.

First, schedule a doctor's visit for an exam and bloodwork. Keep track of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.


Engage in regular physical activity. Aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. This is only 15 bouts of 10 minute increments throughout an entire week! Take a walk on your break at work, park your car at the far edge of the parking lot and walk to the store, jog around your living room, whatever you can do to get the minutes in. Even better? Aim for 30 minutes a day, broken into 10 minutes each... you can do it!

While you're at the store, purchase food that allows you to follow a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and low-fat dairy products. No need for extremes here, just try to eat less processed food with as many colors as you can get on a plate. I have a co-workers who regularly stops by my table at lunch to see how many colors I'm eating! Make it delicious, make it fun.

My weight loss over the last two years has been slow, only 50 pounds so far, but my activity level has increased dramatically. I no longer go home after work and have to lay down with my feet up because my ankles are so swollen that they hurt. I can actually consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I can walk farther than the mailbox without getting winded.

I have come back to life. I wish the same for you...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

An amazing thing happened to me over the course of the last year, and I really didn't realize it until this weekend. With the help of some amazing people I have truly changed the foundation and structure of my life.

Let me explain... Last week I took a fall at work. Falling is never fun, and this one was (and still is) painful. I stepped on a small rock in the parking lot, rolled my left ankle and landed HARD on my right knee and shin. I've been slowly, very slowly, recuperating ever since.

(not the actual rock, but one of it's cousins)

Saturday and Sunday found me in a funk. I was forced to lay around the house with my leg iced and elevated all day. I felt bereft, sad, and lonely and initially wrote it off as being a symptom of the holiday blues. I felt like I was left out of all the fun. I wanted to be out riding my bike, hiking, going to the gym... anything but laying around.

Then I had an epiphany. I wasn't having a case of the holiday blues, I was jonesing for exercise! Two years ago I would have thought nothing about watching TV or reading all day and not moving a muscle, now I can't stand to sit still. I feel like a slug if I sleep past seven on the weekends. I ache to get out and ride.

I feel like I've won an award and since every award deserves an acceptance speech: I'd like to thank the Academy, Christy for getting me on a bike, Cynthia for teaching me endurance, Sheri for walking miles and miles with me, Laura Salcedo for being the most incredible personal trainer ever, and my body, for never giving up when it really could have.
Wholly Moley, I'm an ACTIVE person!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome to the year of NOW!

"It has happened before and will happen again, I'm going to react differently this time."

Someone I respect sent that message out in a tweet today and it really resonated with me. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, I guess the lesson I need to learn is that the path I am walking over and over again isn't getting me to the destination that I desire. I'm getting close but not quite all the way. I need to find a different path. I think many people use New Year's resolutions to force themselves onto a correct path, but many times they are just setting off on the same old path to the same old destination once again.

This year I'm starting fresh. I hope that I've found the trailhead that will lead me to a healthier, slimmer, stronger me. The new year brings a clean slate they say and you can do anything you want with a clean slate. So why do we think that January 1st is the day that gives us a clean slate? Don't we have a clean slate every minute, every second of our lives? Why wait till January 1st, till Monday, till I get that raise, promotion, fall in love? Why not give ourselves the gift of forgiving anything we think we have done "wrong", and start anew at this moment? I am moving forward with my journey NOW.

My next year, next month, week, day, hour, minute, second is going to be the best one of my life. It's also going to be the only one I can experience NOW. I can anticipate the future, and remember the past, but the only time I can live in in this minute, this second, right NOW. NOW is when I will decide to eat the food that enhances my life, and not the food I know is not as nutritious as it could be. NOW is when I will decided to move my body instead of sitting an additional hour in my chair. NOW is when I will get outside, breathe the fresh air, and look at the beauty of all that is around me. NOW is when I will tell the people that I love how much they mean to me. NOW is when I will find love, if not from a lover or mate, then from my family, my animals, my friends, even myself. NOW is when I will come to peace with who I am, and respect myself for what I've accomplished.

The past year was my year of living exuberantly and it was amazing! I'm going to take that exuberance and carry it forward into next year, and make it the year of taking care of myself "NOW"!

Peace, and Happy New Year!

Love, Robin

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not exactly a failure, but...

I think I fell into a pothole along the way somewhere. What I'm going to do is pick myself up, dust off, and continue on my merry way.

I had all kinds of things I wanted to blog about the past six months, but none of them made it here. I will attempt to rectify that in a paragraph or two... 

What didn't make it into my blog in June about the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon was my injury. I ended up with a nagging hip injury that has taken months to heal. It was probably caused by the race route going up and over that hill on the freeway. Freeways are made for cars, and cars go around corners better if the road is banked. However, people walk much better when both feet land on a level surface. I think the combination of the incline (both up and down) and the "yaw" of the road caused my illiopsoas strain. I even went to physical therapy for two months to try to repair myself. In the end, massage and stretching were what did the trick, but I was out of commission for a while.

I did have fun though... My friend Patricia moved to Atlanta, and I decided to drive across country with her over the fourth of July weekend. It was a blast and I got to see parts of the country that I had never seen. I now have an awesome collection of shot glasses from each state we drove through. Nine states in three days, and Kansas was a whole day of it!

August brought a trip to Santa Cruz for the Santa Cruz High School All-Class reunion. My friend Kevin flew in from Denver to make the drive with me, and it was so much fun to catch up with all my old buddies. Neither one of us had seen Paul in over 20 years... we hung out quite a bit and had a nice time. I really miss my friends in Santa Cruz, but I've made some great ones here in Vegas.

In September I started training for the Ragnar Relay with some of those friends. The event was held in October, and was an amazing experience. We didn't do as well as we'd hoped, but it was so much fun... in a torturous kind of way. Imaging running (or walking) three 5-10K races, riding in a car, and going sleepless for 36 hours *all at the same time* and you'll know what kind of fun we had. Actually, it *was* kind of fun, cheering each other on, supporting each other, and acting as a giant team was a real learning experience. And yes, I would do it again, but I'd rather be a runner when I did it.

November was the month for Silverman. My good friend Christy had been training all summer to finish it... I decided to volunteer during the event so that I could cheer her on. She did so well and was such an inspiration to me that my new goal is to enter the 2012 Silverman 1/2. It's going to take a lot of dedication, but I need to do it!

My greatest accomplishment in December was that I rode my bike 50 miles... in one day... actually in 4 and a half hours. I am so proud of myself!! I learned a lot about endurance thinking, about not stopping for stupid stuff, and about the value of butt butter. As my wise friend Cyn says "If you're not hurt or puking, keep pedaling!"

I think I have to take that saying more literally. I can't do this halfway anymore, I have to keep on, keep moving, keep making the better choices in food, men, friends, everything. I have to learn that not doing my absolute best isn't hurting anyone but me, and that I deserve better than I've been giving myself. I have to stop shortchanging myself. I need to put myself first. That's hard for me to do. Ouch.

Wow... I did a lot this year! I didn't mention all the hikes, bike rides, and other fun stuff I did. I'll save those for another day. In the end, I'm pretty satisfied with what I've accomplished this year, and next year will be AMAZING!