Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: March 2009 Page 2 of 3

5 Random Things

I have been searching my brain all day for a post topic, and it just doesn’t exist.  So 5 random things it is!

1.  I got to see Doug Benson at a local comedy club Wednesday.  I’ve been to a couple shows there, and even mediocre comedy is pretty entertaining!  This, however, was a fantastic show.  The local guy that started the show was great, Graham was HILARIOUS, and Doug, well, was stoner Doug and great at it.  I kept wondering why we don’t go more often, and the 70 dollar tab at the end of the night reminded me!  Good thing the tickets were free!

2.  Monday and Tuesday, it was beautiful here.  A little cloudy but mostly sunny, nice and humid, high in the 80s and low in the upper 60s.  Then, Wednesday, some fresh hell blew through here and it’s been no warmer than the mid-40s with 30s at night, and constantly raining or about to rain.  I hate this weather!  We had also planned Zliten’s birthday fancy pants dress up cocktail party tomorrow night and it’s supposed to be cold.  Blah!  The weather is so not fair!  At least it will be a little less of an exceptional drought here…

3.  I have fallen in love with Kashi Go Lean Honey Cinnamon hot cereal.  However, I eat it like I eat all oatmeal, straight from the package, no water.  I love the TASTE of oatmeal but can’t hang with the texture.  It’s been on sale the last two times I’ve been to the grocery store so I’ve got 2 boxes of it but I am scared to see what regular price is…

4.  It’s been a rough week.  I’ve worked quite a few extra hours and it’s been stress stress stress.  On top of that, I’ve had this extra 50 minutes of cardio workout to contend with.  Yesterday I got out of work at almost 7, convinced myself to hit the gym after a lot of mental negotiations, completed my cardio and was almost finished with my weights when I started feeling a little dizzy and shakey.  I wish I could say that I stopped immediately and went home, but I didn’t.  I made it through about 3 more exercises and then finally decided – screw this.  I drove home and immediately ate some fruit and felt better, but it was like 8:30 by that time and I hadn’t had dinner, or anything since lunch besides a small nectarine.  I usually keep some emergency chocolate in my gym bag but I’m out.  Need to replenish!

5.  Spent the evening testing out the drink recipes for tomorrow’s fancy pants martini party.  All totally delish, we are now totally drunk.  I forgot what fun it is to be a bartender.  Tonight I tested out my recipies for a cosmo, martini, peppermint paddy, chocolate coffeetini, lichi green tini, blue lemontini,  and  more, and it was all delicious.  Tomorrow, being bartender, I must make sure I stay sober enough for the task!

Take care, internetz, see ya next week!

On Perfection…

Once again, Charlotte makes me think.  This post didn’t quite go where I thought it was going to – but I’ll try to tie it in a little at the end.

I am a recovering perfectionist.  I still fantasize occasionally what my life would have been like if I had shunned everything and decided to really try for elite gymnastics.  I wonder if I would have given it another 6 months of 100 hour weeks at my last job, if I could have finally turned it around and got the support and recognition we needed and deserved.  I wonder what fitnessy pursuits I could have undertaken in my 20s if I wouldn’t have been so anti-athletics and gained a billion lbs.  I wonder what life would have been like if I really dedicated myself to pursuing the acting bug that really caught me in college instead of being scared of being another diet-pill-addicted waitress in LA looking for her big break for the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life.  Really.  Sure, I could pick out 10 or 20 little things I’d like to change, but mostly it’s the lazy stuff like more money, less stress from stupid shit at work that could be avoided by communication, a maid, a butler, a helicopter, etc.  I love that I have a stable job in an industry I love and I get to do amazing things like audition, cast, and then direct professional actors.  I love the wonderful Zliten I ended up with and nothing in the world could make me happier.  I am proud of taking this big lumpy lump of clay that was my body 2 years ago and molding it into a pretty darn nice sculpture (if I may say so myself), and it can do things like run races and lift heavy things and dance for 3 hours and keep up with anyone doing just about anything.  I have a group of great friends who are a hell of a lot of fun.  I have a house which I am still seeming to be able to pay mortgage, so that’ a bonus.

But, truth is, I am not a beautiful and unique snowflake.  I guess I’m lucky enough to have a variety of hits on my name that are actually me.  I’ve enjoyed some mild internet fame as Sapphyra the drunken barbarian being interviewed on gaming websites and participating in podcasts.  The pinnacle of my fame was a for real magazine distributed nationwide in the millions interviewed me and did a 2 page spread on my 3 year old game – which is actually a miracle.  However, I really had (have) this big huge desire to be famous in some way.  I want to leave my mark on humanity, and I want people to know my name as being truly excellent as…something.  This drive is what causes me to really dig into something I love and want to be good at, and can make me crazy because I WANT TO BE THE BEST AT IT.

Instead, I am not the best at anything.  I never got past level 8 in gymnastics.  I never even got to state in diving (argh, by one place, both years!) and didn’t get an athletic scholarship for college.  I had mostly bit parts in college theatre and sometimes didn’t even get cast.  I’m middle management instead of overlord of my own project.  I don’t have the fanciest car, best decorated house, and I can’t make it to all the cool parties I see and want to attend because I really enjoy my sleep in my old age.

After many years in life of wishing I could be really, really good at something and berating myself if I couldn’t, I came to a realization.  I found that to be the best in the world at one thing (or even attempt it), you have to also give up being even moderately good at mostly everything else.  Elite gymnasts have no lives outside the gym.  People who live and breathe their jobs usually end up burnt, unhealthy, and sometimes alone.  If you want to be good at something, you have to work for it.  Extraordinary results require extraordinary effort (or something like that), and effort = time.  Time is something we have a finite amount of, even if we are, in fact, perfect.

In the wisdom the comes with old age (yes, I’m going to milk this until it gets old…like me…zing!), it is apparent that I can only control what I do with the 24 hours I get every day, and just about nothing else.  If I want to become a better runner, guess what I need to spend some of those hours doing?  If I want to sell jewelry on Etsy, guess what I need to spend my time doing?  It’s certainly not watching Iron Chef and drooling.

I’ve already realized that if I am NOT something, there’s no use dwelling on it.  Instead of saying that I’m a horrible person because I forgot to get my doctor visit in before 30 and I’m lazy and stupid and I’m now probably going to die because they didn’t catch a rare disease with no symptoms early enough (ok, now I AM starting to freak myself out so I should stop that…tee hee), it’s first on my list of things to do and I’ll get to it when I can.  Same with running a 10k.  Same with finishing 10 jewelery items and selling it on Etsy.  I’d say same with getting myself some new clothes/workout clothes, but I really don’t seem to have ANY problems with that.

If more people could treat themselves like their friends treat you (or they should treat you if you have crappy friends), then we’d be much better off.  Next time you start having perfectionist thoughts berating yourself for not being something you think you should be, start coming up with a plan to become it.  You can’t change the past, so it’s useless to lament over things that are there and only there.  Chances are, it will either seem silly once you start scheming about how to become an elite gymnast at the age of 30, or it will lead somewhere you never thought you could go.  I’m still working on it, but I’m not perfect.  And that’s becoming more and more ok with me.

Since I Am Without Time For Real Postings…

Just dropping a note on zee blogity blog to let everyone know that I’m not dead (yet).  I have instead been incredibly busy this week with work and then busy this weekend being out and about and just generally not home or near the internets, but let me summarize the way things are:

Birthday Presents:

Both our parents gave us decent amounts of cash for our birthdays (Zliten’s is next Saturday, the big 3-0 as well), so after contemplation, we decided to spend the dinero on bikes.  Zlitens will mostly be used for errand running and generally getting around town places that are farther than a walk and not so far that he needs a car.  Mine is for varying my workouts, maaaaaybe someday when I’m comfortable with big bad streets with lots of traffic commuting to work, and having at least the rudimentary tools to do a du/triathalon or a bike race someday.

We checked out bikes today, and I was scared – I haven’t ridden in about 16 years.  Believe it or not, it IS actually like riding a bike.  I was a little shakey at first and will DEFINITELY need to spend some time just on neighborhood streets, but I didn’t fall or feel completely ackward!  Now, the dilemma: do I go for the cheapest bike possible and switch out the seat and see if I use it, go for the top of the line big store brand which was totally comfortable and I really really really liked, or go for a used local bike shop bike that felt pretty comfortable (minus the seat), which was rideable and tuned up by pros but looked kinda ragged.  I am contemplating this today/this week and will probably buy next weekend.

Zliten got me some awesome things like a shoe wallet, a blinky running light for when I go at night, silly string, some beads, and apparently he thinks I’m T-riffic, or at least the card said so…

Deadlines:

Work has been stressful, hectic, and crazy, but strangely invigorating.  I forgot what it was like to actually be working towards a deadline and not just standing over people going “are you done yet are you done yet are you done yet”.  We pretty much made it with flying colors and now are diving in immediately to the next one.  I’m not sure if I’m going to be sad or happy when things go back to normal.  That being said, expect posts to be a bit scarce next week as well – I’ll be at the studio away from the internet during the day, and session days take a lot out of me.  I usually come home after my workouts and drool and say non-sensical things at inanimate objects and make funny face.  Hey, it’s a living.

First Week:

I’m looking to be coming in around 11000 calories.  More than normal.  Birthday dinner, cheese fries and whiskey, bbq, and margaritas happened.  However, there is no need for me to have any shame, I just need to do approximately 50 more minutes of cardio next week.  I actually did 50 more minutes of cardio THIS week just out of habit of “omg, ate too much, need to workout more”, but I’m gonna do what I said I’d do!  Pretty much, this will involve me adding an extra day that I’d usually take off and a short run and some DDR.  No biggie.

The only problem is – that combined with some morning workouts have made me the hungry monster.  I found things that normally fill me up… this week they are just *not enough*.  Especially the days I worked out before work.  I needed MUCH more food after those workouts.  Oh well, it will sort itself out eventually.  I think I might get death stares from the Zliten if I start doing more hours at the gym than I was previously, but maybe not once we get our super awesome bikes and can bike together!

I did run another 10k this weekend, and this time outside!  I was totally lagging by the end of it so it’s not a comfortable distance yet but I made it!  Debating on a 10k at the end of this month (official race) but still not crazy about the idea until I run a few more.

That’s it, thats all!  Back to margarita drinking in the backyard.  Hey, they’re sugar free! That makes it ok…

Everyone And Their Fitness Experiments…

So I link here a lot and it’s because I think Charlotte is pretty much awesome.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, please go do that now.  Just make sure to come back, please!  She is ambitious, witty, crazy-in-a-good way, and is an ex-gymnast as well.  Gymnastics must breed crazy perfectionist people, because that’s how we all turn out.  It’s all about the coveted 10.0 baby (the new scoring system can go die for my purposes right now, kthx)!

Around last…April or so, I had seen enough health articles saying to vary up your exercise occasionally to keep the progress going and stay away from plateaus.  I ended up deciding that the beginning of each month was a good time to change it – along with making a new folder at work for all the paperwork and documents I do that month, I can also tweak my workout/eating/plan so it doesn’t get stale.  I kept with it for a few months and it seemed to work.

Then after surfing around the internet, I found her blog.  And she was doing what I did to0, except with much more fervor and variation!  Though she had been doing it for much longer, so I guessed I had unintentionally imitated her.  I had even started a blog and was blogging about it (and as you know, blogging about all the other random crap that floats through my head).  For many months, I followed her blog and hoped that she didn’t think I was a copycat.

I think I’ve gotten over it now and am not constantly worried I’m going to get kicked out of the cool kids club (if I was ever in it in the first place, tee hee).  I’m realizing that wherever we got the idea from, we’re all participating constantly in our own great fitness experiment, and there are a lot of us out there.  Some of us are trying to find the holy grail – the sweet spot, that allows us to eat an amount and in a way that makes us feel more or less comfortable and satisfied, exercise in a way that makes us feel fulfilled and accomplished, but doesn’t eat our life or wreck our bodies so we can’t live our daily lives.  And some of us (them) out there are just a little more extreme.

This guy decided that what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.   He takes Michael Phelps’s crazy 12000 calorie diet and puts it to the test.  As someone who ate themselves silly a couple times recently on about 1000-1500 calorie meals – it sounds like fun until after you’re so full you want to die, and that’s about  1/10 of what this guy ate.  He had no real adverse effects besides a slight increase in blood pressure, a spike in weight (which probably went away soon after) and some digestive stuff he seemed to take the fifth about.  I think what we can all take from this is twofold – everyone’s bodies work a different way and what works for you may not work for anyone else (and vice versa), and that one day of hardcore pigging out is not going to kill you as long as you jump back on your norm the next day/meal/whatever.

I don’t know whether to be disgusted with this dude or actually really impressed.   This trainer guy was so curious about what makes obese people tick that he is going to become one.  That’s right – he’s intentionally gaining about 80 lbs – going from washboard abs to beer belly, just to be able to have the perspective of  having been there.  On one hand, it could be a total publicity scheme to get more media attention and clients.  Already having the knowledge of being super fit and a trainer definitely arms him with the ability to lose the weight after gaining better than Joe Schmoe who has never worked out in his life and thinks that the pickles and lettuce on his triple cheeseburger counts a serving of veggies.  On the other hand, he is SO curious about how the other half lives (or 60% or whatever the overweight statistic is now in the US) that he is going to actually risk damage to his body and become what he is trying to prevent.  Either way, he’s going to gain a different perspective and probably some stretch marks to boot.

I’ve been think about what I want to do in the months ahead.  I’ve learned a lot this year so far.  Taking a week off is not going to kill me.  Taking a week off running altogether and cross training after my 5k actually made me (harder, better) faster and stronger.  I like running official races and training FOR something and not just working out, even if it makes it a little harder to lose weight.  And I found out that even if I am happy with what I’m doing and want to keep doing it forever – my body will subconsciously sabatoge me so I have to change plans.  This month, I’m trying to find my sweet spot and figure out where I am most comfortable eating/working out, while still being in the range where I lose weight.

I have ideas already for the coming months.  I’d love to share them but then it wouldn’t be a surprise.  One involves a too-good-to-be-true sounding article from a fitness mag, one involves variety being the spice of life, and yet another for when I decide it’s 10k month.  I’m really excited for each and every one of them, because if there’s something I like better than plans, it’s new and exciting plans to plan!

What’s your great experiment right now, or are you happy just the way things are?

And It’s Also Square Root Day!

I totally approve of today.  I woke up this morning at around 8am, got a full home weights session done, ran a 5k around the neighborhood, and all before popping into the studio for work.  After a quick session, I met Zliten for a yummy salad bar lunch (during which I treated myself to not only a slice of pizza but ice cream with caramel AND nuts) and now am back at work for a bit.  After work, there will be out to dinner somewhere (haven’t decided where yet, maybe vietnamese-not-pho, maybe somewhere else), some intriguing presents in brown bags waiting for me to open.

30 somehow doesn’t feel much different than 29.  Actually, I feel pretty much badass today and if I’m lucky, I’ve got 2/3 or more of my life left to go.  I have a wonderful fiance, a great house that we own (ok, the bank owns most of it, technically, but we’re working on it), a super awesome group of friends, and even though I bitch about it sometimes, a pretty damn decent job working on a title that is actually doing well in this horrible economy and able to bring in the bacon to keep us living pretty much the same quality of life we are used to while the start up thing…well, finishes starting up!

Oh yeah.  And I’m about 40 lbs lighter than I was when I turned 20.  And I’m 110 lbs lighter than I was when I turned 27.  Can’t forget that.  I looked at my silhoutte while running today and thought “If that’s how 30 looks, bring it on, world!”.  I then though, “If I could get my ass up and run every morning, maybe I’d make the world explode from the sheer power of my mind’s positive thinking”.  Oh well, it’s my birthday, I’ll make the world explode if I want to.

I was going to get all deep and introspective up in here, but I realized that I just feel pretty bad ass today and am going to go spread sunshine and rainbows all over the office.  Cheers everyone, and happy day! 🙂

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