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!