Adjusted Reality

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

Month: July 2009 (Page 1 of 4)

Resolution Round Up

So considering the year is half over (or over half over, as I had INTENDED to post this closer to July 1st rather than July 31st), I figure I should do a little bit of project management on myself and see how this year is shaping up.  I believe dietgirl was the ohwise Guru who posted this in a more timely manner.  I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it though…

Here are 2009’s Resolutions…

1.  Body: Will continue to eat in a manner that is mostly healthy as I do now and improve when I can, continue improving my fitness, and work on reaching my goal weight, whatever that ends up being, in 2009.  While I’ll always work on improving my muscles and endurance, I’d like to get to the point where the scale is just a double check a few times a week that I’m not way off track, and food journals are a thing of the past, by the end of 2009.

Yeah, I would like to say I was done.  I think I’m close, but I just can’t seem to find the secret sauce formula that gets my weight going downdowndown again.  However, I am definitely a healthier eater and person in general than I was at the start of the year.  I’ve cut down a heck of a lot on my nicotine consumption (I regularly go days without it and barely notice until I get a random craving or it’s party time).  I’ve cut down my alcohol intake.  I regularly sleep 7-8 hours per day and wake in the mornings without too much complaint.  I went from 6 miles max to running a half marathon.  I’m whittling down my 5k time.  I’m increasing my weights/reps/pushup counts.  The pullup still eludes me but I’m ever so close.

I think the “problem” is I’m getting a healthier attitude about it all.  It frustrates me to no end some days, but I care so much less about the scale than my running times and how dance class is going and if I’ve gotten my fruits and veggies for the day.  I think I look and I know I feel pretty awesome and as long as I keep up what I’m doing, I’ll just keep slowly and steadily looking and feeling awesome-r.

2.  Fitness: I will do at least one new exercise-y thing a month.  This cannot include running, DDR, yoga, traditional weights, or Cybil the arc trainer.  By the end of the year, I would like to transition 1-2 days per week to something like dance classes or volleyball or some other competitive sport OR seriously start training distance running/triathalons.  By my 30th birthday, I need to pick ONE of these to focus on and concentrate on it (and make ancillary resolutions/goals based on what I pick).  I guess what I’m trying to say is to start working out for a reason that is not just to make the scale go down.

Oh yeah, can you say knocked this out of the park?  I would be going nuts without a non-scale goal.  Maybe the problem is I am too focused on the non-scale stuff so the scale feels ignored?  Heh.  Poor scale.  You have so much less power over me than you used to.  I’m pretty sure the entire internet by now knows that I ran a half marathon.  I’m also rockin’ the partner dance classes this month and discovered Zumba = love.  I even got the courage to do some crazy moves on the roller skating floor and throw a one-and-a-half off the diving board.  Between the impending relay/5k in September and half marathon #2 training starting after the wedding, I am super happy with my progress here.

3.  Soul: I will pick something creative and establish a plan by my birthday to complete a concrete goal by the end of the year.  Decide if I’m going to pursue writing (maybe actually giving a novel or book of some sort a go), songwriting/recording, pick up drawing/painting again, acting, or work on selling my necklaces.  Maybe take up web design and flesh out this site into a pretty one like I used to do and really give blogging a go beyond just using this for personal theraputic purposes.  Realize that I need to pick ONE of these and focus on it or I’ll feel as lost as I did in 2008.

Well, here is a neglected part of my life this year.  I have blogged a lot though, so I’ll call that a bit of success.  Between the wedding planning/being active I just haven’t had much time.  I thought summer would cure the incessant need to be outside and playing but it’s just taken the playing indoors.  Dance lessons are pretty creative though, no?  Perhaps?  Errr…yeah.

Also, the purpose of this resolution was to solve the fact that I was creatively frustrated at work.  This year, I got a bit of creativity added back into my tasks, so I didn’t feel so punishingly left-brained all the damn time.  I still would like to find a not-directly-fitness creative thing to do though… I miss my artsy side.

4.  Get married sometime this year!  That’s about all there is to say on this one…

Well, I’m not married yet but the invites are out, dresses purchased, and venue booked.  It’s getting close….

5.  Allow work to be on the back burner one more year. Of course, be open and receptive to any wonderful opportunities that fall into my lap, but work on enriching my personal life and hobbies instead of focusing on promotions, raises, extra responsibility, etc. Realize that having a 40 hour per week stable job right now that I can pretty much just leave at the office when I walk out the door is a blessing that is giving me opportunities to further the work on my body, fitness, and soul.

By the year, I am getting better and better about leaving work at work.  The new move is potentially good for personal growth and perhaps later salary/position growth (but I’m being incredibly optimistic here).  The climate out there is still pretty frigid so I definitely think I’m sticking where I’m at for a while and I don’t think I mind so much.

Other goals I made:

1.  Run a 5k. Check.

2.  Get a check up from a doctor. Eep.  This is seriously on my to-do list.  Like next.  After booking vacations.  And wedding stuff.  And/and/and…  Someone reprimand me about this in the comments please.  It’s been about 4 years.

3.  Make 10 necklace/earring/bracelet sets and sell them on Etsy. Fail.  I’ve made 4 necklaces.  It just seems like so much time and effort for so little money return.  And I just want to wear them instead!  Argh.  They are just sitting in a pile, sad and lonely.  Maybe I’ll get here in the next year or 3.

How does the rest of the year look?

1.  Not go crazy before I get married.  Seriously, I just want to get through all the planning and family drama and craziness and go look cute in my dress and dance at my wedding before I have to show up there in a straightjacket.  It’s not too bad right now but the possibility is there.

2.  Pick the 2010 Jan/Feb half marathon I want to do and start training 3 months before to peak at the right time.

I think that’s about it for the big stuff, I really gotta contemplate the rest.  What are your goals for the rest of the year?  Wanna yell at me for slacking off on doctor check ups?

Friday cuteness by icanhascheezburger.com.

The Key To Motivation

I think I finally got my brain to give up a big secret yesterday.  I’ve been curious as to why I have had ZERO interest in running lately.  Like, I took almost a month off and have really had to use the self-cattle-prod to even get out and do 2 – 5ks per week.  The first few weeks it made sense – I mean, I had just gotten done running huge amounts many times per week for 3 months.  After a while though, the urge to run never came back.  My concience was what finally got me out to do a 5k two weeks ago and it was FUCKING MISERABLE.  I did not enjoy the run one bit.  Felt great after but it was 30 minutes of PURE PAIN.  Luckily, instead of feeling aversion to running because of that icky run, I decided that I needed to run more often so I didn’t feel that way again.

Last week was nice, it was cool enough in the morning to run outside so I was back out on Friday.  I pushed myself a *little* less and just did what was comfortable, and oddly enough I only added 1:30 to my 5k time and it just felt like a nice little jaunt.  I decided on two 5k runs per week, one hard, one easy.  Tuesday and Friday seem to be good days for it.

Yesterday, I had my stuff set up to get up and go in the morning and was going to head home and do weights at lunch, but when I stuck my hand outside it immediately started sweating so I threw everything in my gym bag (I think our low didn’t even get below 80), got dressed, and went to work.  By the end of the day, I was so-not-in-the-mood-to-run.  Like I was trying to talk myself out of it.  I could just go rollerskating!  I could take a walk or practice dancing with my Zliten!  But – I knew the mood I was in.  We’d have dinner, and the couch would eat us.

So instead, I said to myself, “Self, we don’t feel like running.  I know the treadmill is dull.  You have the choice of staring at either Rock of Love or the Austin, Texas sign on the wall.  Creepy dude is going to hop on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO ME instead of the 20 other open ones.  We know this.  However, since we are GOING to do this (yes, self, no getting out of this one today), we are going to do it the best we’ve ever done.”  My PR for a 5k is 27:19, I decided I would accept no less than 26:59 today.
All of a sudden – I went from pissy about it to PYSCHED for my run.  I was going to attempt a feat never completed in the history of time by me.  It went from another boring run to a chance to make HISTORY!  I’ll have you know, I got on that treadmill, warmed up like I would for a 5k, stopped it to clear the mileage, set it to 6.5 to start and then booked it.  I started at about a 9:15 mile pace and ended close to 7:30.  At first I was amazed how comfortable I felt at those high speeds, but near the end it took about all my will NOT to back the speed down but keep increasing it from 7.4 to 7.5 then the last tenth I wasn’t sure I was going to make it so I set it up at 8.0.  The little mile marker clicked over from 3.09 to 3.1 and the time read 26:46.  Woohoo!

I cooled down for the full 5 minutes instead of rushing it.  My weights session took at LEAST 15-20 minutes longer than normal because I was just dead from running, but it was totally worth it.  I think I need to at least target a 5k end of September or something so I have running motivation.  Thank goodness training for a 5k is much less time intensive than training for a half marathon!  All I am going to require is 2 runs per week.  I’ll give that a try.  Worst case, I don’t beat my PR and I got a run another race.  This is a win win!

Next week, I’ll see how I feel.  I don’t think running race pace every week is going to be the answer, but it felt good to do it yesterday.  Just framing the run in my mind the way I did changed the gym from an experience I needed to slog through to an epic day! So, dear readers, what can you change your attitude about today?  What can you shift from something you just have to get through – to something you have the opportunity in which to be amazing?

Blips On The Radar

So I have a moment to breathe.  I should probably be working but I think a short update is in order and it’s lunchtime anyhoo.

Being that I have no idea who reads this, I don’t particularly want to air any specific dirty employment-related laundry.  I’m happy to talk about my previous stint of being a total workaholic and how it mentally affected me, because that reflects on me.  My feelings, my emotions, and my process of becoming a person again who is not only identified as my job title and game title all belong to me.  It does not reflect on the management at SOE because I was given a wild amount of freedom to do with what I would.  I could have worked my 40 hours, done my job, and went home, but I didn’t.  I still don’t regret it because it was an amazing experience and a huge experiment in stretching and smashing my comfort zone, but I also don’t regret reclaiming my life.

What I won’t do is run previous coworkers under the bus in my blog.  I would never talk professional smack about someone I crossed paths with at work.  The games industry is too small and incestuous to do that.  I’ve seen too many bridges burnt that caused major trouble in the future.  There is a joke about the “form letter” that gaming people send out over email on their last day/week – it is required that you mention something about “you worked with the most talented and bright individuals” and “you hope to get a chance to work with them again”.  When it came time to write mine about 2 years ago, it was absolutely true.  I still wish I could fold some of the employees that worked for or with me into my team, and I definitely miss and respect some of the managers I worked for there.

This is a story that must leave out some of the juicy bits.  Suffice it to say, I saw an ancillary communication that made me a little angry.  I put it in my pocket though, because it was not directed to me.  Essentially, it was the equivalent of seeing a facebook message from a friend to another saying “OMG you’re my best friend we have the most fun when we hang out, you’re the bestest person I know”.  This leaves you thinking… “what about me, huh”?  But who in their right mind can be truly offended by that, right?  I have pretty thick skin so I just pretty much filed it under the “gee, I wonder what’s up with that” folder in my brain.

Wednesday, I come into work and got indirectly reprimanded for something for which I thought I was doing a fine job.  If I hadn’t seen that little message above, I would have probably grumbled and shaken it off, but it actually sent me into a small tirade at my direct manager ranting.  I don’t do tirades often, I’m pretty relaxed at work.  I calmed down after a few minutes and then said I’ll do what I could to validate what I thought was a ridiculous and insulting request, but only to the point where it didn’t feel ridiculous and demeaning.  Later that day, I found out I was moving teams.

At first I thought it to be a reflection of the management’s perception of the job I was doing, but it ended up being that the request I thought was insulting was simply DUE to the impending change (not the change DUE to the request, like I thought).  It’s not that I needed babysitting (for a task I’ve been doing for years), which is what I thought the directive implied.  So I went home a bit shaken – I was told at 4pm I was moving teams, and that it would start the next morning.  I talked with my new boss all afternoon and got overloaded with facts and felt completely overwhelmed.  Instead of dance lessons and relaxing, there was some whiskey and contemplation with my Zliten.  I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything but talk it out and think about it and lubricate my synapses with a bit of the sauce.

Why?  Well, I fear change.  Like I said before, I think my grass is pretty green.  Even if it’s kinda yellow, who knows how brown it is over the hill?  I prefer the evil I know.  I like change in small, incremented, planned amounts, and initiated by ME.  I don’t like ripping bandaids off.  I can make some decisions that seem wild and crazy to the outside world, but believe you me… I’ve already, in my head, mentally tested the waters and have acclimated myself with the idea of something before I do it if I have any say in it.  I wish sometimes to be one of those people who can make snap judgements and produce decisions at the drop of a hat, but I am just not that girl.  I want to really mean something when I make a statement of intention, so I don’t make them lightly.

Needless to say, the first few days have been EXTREMELY busy getting up to speed and I actually have more to do over here.  Couple that with some minor emergencies, new directives from the execs, and the fact that my boss is out on vacation this week (great timing, huh?)… makes for a wild first week.  I assume things will return to a normal level of crazy soon, but for now between this and all the rest of the silliness that is my life, blogging might be a little bit more scarce.

I do have to say though – all in all, I’m liking it.  I’m now on the new unannounced title so I get a chance to hone my skills shipping a game (I’ve previously pretty much specialized in live maintenance – aka expanding on a previously shipped game and updating it).  I’m liking the team I work with.  It seems a little more relaxed, while still being focused, which I’m happy with as well.  I was specifically put in this position because of my experience with sound, which makes me happy because I’m working with sound more again and that’s been one of my favorite parts of my job this year.  I think I’ll also be able to claim experience running a small sound department – and in Austin, audio production experience/management is totally fab to have on a resume.  I’m sure I’ll find things about it that DON’T make me happy, but for now I’m calling it a win.  I’ll reserve more judgement until later.

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew I was doing ok – I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled ranting about this evil plateau and how I can’t bring myself to run in the morning when it’s over 80 degrees at 8am soon.

Ch-ch-changes

So there are some big changes up in here at work and life in general.  Don’t worry I still have a job and everything is great, just different and for me that’s scary.  I generally have the opposite of the grass is greener syndrome – I think the grass under my feet is much more preferable than the grass over the hill, no matter how nice it looks.  So change for me – takes a little while to not be a little freaked out.

I might be a little incommunicado for the rest of the week (though I do owe a nice coherent one-thought post which I will follow through on, I promise!).  If I am ignoring you or your awesome blog, I plan to have a marathon catch up session just as soon as I can.

Random Feel Good Tuesday

Sometimes all it takes is a visual reminder smacking you in the face to make you wake up and stop being a grump.  I was approximately the same scale weight here (February yelp party, pre-half marathon training)…

as I am here (just last week, July yelp elite party).

This last few months may not have been great for weight loss, but I look completely different, imo (in a good way, and I’m not just talking about the horrible hair day vs good hair day).  I used these pictures simply because it was the same professional-ish photographer using the same camera.  Zliten looks a lot smaller too and he hasn’t lost much weight either (but has been building muscle for sure).

I’m also thrilled because I weighed in at 152.0 today – lowest in a while.  I also feel like el piggy with how I’m eating, so I’m glad it’s working.  I also, also went for a nice 5k fartlek (hehe I said fartlek) run outside this morning (it was a tinge under 80 and humid when I started out – much nicer than it’s been for a while) and made a promise to myself to do at LEAST 1 – 5k distance or longer run per week.  I can’t go a month without that again.  It’s been nice to recover from my race but it’s been long enough.  If we are what we repeatedly do, I am no longer a runner.  And I don’t like that.  I’m ok being a short distance/inside runner for the summer, but as horrible as pushing through those 3.1 miles was, and how beat I felt after, I feel WONDERFUL now (yay runner’s high) and I need to work on improving my short times for the relay in Sept (and I’m GOING to beat 25 minutes for my 5k SOMEDAY).

I said I wasn’t going to yak about the new diet tweaks but this is my blog, so I can make (and break) the rules.  I’ll be brief though (maybe).  I just want to share how weird it is.  I feel like I’m eating constantly and at the end of the day, what would make my ratios perfect is a shotglass full of oil.  So incredibly odd.  I’ve already gotten rid of diet bread, the next thing to go is diet dressings and diet cheese.  Instead of turkey no cheese I’m eating italians with salami, pepperoni, and proscuito and jalapeno muenster.  I’m mowing down on nuts before and after dinner.  I’m eating 300 calorie builders bars for breakfast without any alteration to my day.  And I’m at the lowest weight I’ve been in at least a month.

Keeping the carbs where they’re at is no problem.  I’d be rebelling if I had to reduce, but eating my normal 1300 calories of carbs in a 1700 calorie diet is fine.  More protien is sorta a challenge, but I’m doing ok with my 1 lb bag of jerky and greek yogurts and protien bars and such.  Fat, people?  Why is it so hard to eat fat?  I trained myself to stay away from fat because it had so many calories and I wanted the calories I had to count.  Now – I just keep telling Zliten, “I need more fat” and going around the kitchen reading labels and squealing, “Ooh, look this has a lot of fat, that’s awesome!” and shoving it in my mouth.  It’s rather bizarre.  Yesterday was the closest I came to perfect at 45/30/25 and 1702 calories.  I’m just going to have to ease into it.

For the first time in 4 years, someone has asked me to do my job.  I’ve held the Associate Producer title for that long, but it’s been in name only.  I’m always been pinch hitter for something else.  Other hats I’ve worn have included Lead Designer, Community Manager, Audio Lead, Writer, and I’ve done my fair share of marketing/PR stuff, I’ve done grunt design work, and I’ve done some minor photoshop image editing work.  What I’ve never been asked to do is make a gigantic all encompasing schedule for the whole team from nothing and do the day to day tracking of it.  That’s what I’ve been doing for a few weeks (and it’s very “hurry up and wait”, so that’s why you’ve seen a lot of posts).  At first I was a little upset because what I was doing before was much more fun, but I am getting such a kick out of the fact that someone actually asked me to do MY JOB that I’m ok now.

I need a mini-vacation sometime before the shit hits the fan at work (September) and I have more major wedding stuff to deal with (also September).  I’m thinking a 4 day weekend in August sometime sounds grand.  A trip to the waterpark *squeeeee*, a night or two at a fancy hotel downtown Austin, or maybe somewhere within a short drive, or just take all that money, stay at home, and do all sorts of fun weekday things that we can’t normally do.  What would you do if you had 4 days, and were semi-strapped for cash (so no long weekends in Paris or cruises), and just wanted to do something different than normal life?

Tomorrow, a coherent, one subject post and absolutely no lolcats.  I promise (until I change my mind).

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