The emotional impact of stories May 30, 2010Posted by Christine Coleman in Books, Writing.
I’m about halfway through reading the book right now. Familiar though it is, the emotional connection still remains.
Progress and discovery May 12, 2010Posted by Christine Coleman in Exercise, Writing.
Riverfront ramblings May 5, 2010Posted by Christine Coleman in Baseball, Exercise.
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Spending the early evenings of Monday running and Tuesday walking along the Mississippi River gave me plenty of time to think.
Fun with WordPress searches
One of the things I like best about a WordPress blog is the stats it provides, such as the number of visits to a particular post each day. It also lets me know what search terms people used to find my blog. This doesn’t happen regularly, and most have been some variation on “when to give up writing a novel.” Then there are these two searches from the past couple days:
shirtless pics of chris carpenter
“chris carpenter” shirtless cardinal
First, it was not me doing these searches. Second: What? Really? This isn’t enough? And did you actually find shirtless pictures of him out there?
I do have these actual words in one post, but it mentions Chris plus a shirtless guy I saw running on the riverfront. Sorry to disappoint the searcher. But if you did find any pictures, can you please post the links in the comments?
Speaking of my favorite Cardinal, he was on my mind while walking last night. Yesterday I realized it was exactly two months until the Firecracker Run 10K race on July 4, so I need to start adding more distance to running and walking. Along Ben Butterworth Parkway, there is a 10,000 step path – a starting point at the east end, then signs that mark every 1,000 steps to a turnaround point at the west end. Doing the whole 10,000 step path is approximately four miles and, when I walk quickly, I can do it in an hour.
As I was getting out of the car, I noticed a couple starting to walk. They were very far in front of me by the time I started – it takes me forever to get going, as I have to find the right music on my iPod, re-tie my shoes, drink some water, re-set the timer on my watch and the finally go. So I took off, walking into a pretty strong breeze but moving at a good pace.
Right after the 2,000 step sign, I noticed that couple up ahead. As I got closer, I saw they were walking on the opposite side of the path most of the time. The woman turned around several times and noticed me approaching. They were walking fairly fast, as was I, but they then started walking even faster. I would gain a little ground, but then the woman would turn around again and see me. People were approaching from the opposite direction, so they had to move to the proper side of the path. It bugged me they were so close in front of me – plus I didn’t like that the woman kept turning around – so I was determined to pass them. I picked up my pace. So did they. This was annoying. For a moment, I thought about running just to get around them, but didn’t really want to do that. No, this was now a battle – and a battle I was going to win on equal terms. Just like Chris Carpenter.
From somewhere within, my inner CC pushed me to walk at a crazy-fast pace. I pulled up side-by-side with them momentarily, then walked on by. The man said hi, but I wasn’t really paying attention. My focus was only on walking as I fast as I could, as long as I could, to get as far in front of them as possible. Then, battle won, I laughed to myself – after first having the perfect Chris Carpenter thought of “take that” with an F word thrown in (since we Cardinals fans heard for ourselves how much he likes that word). Where had this competitiveness come from? I really do have an inner Chris Carpenter. I am scaring myself.
The lesson: don’t mess with people whose initials are CC.
Springtime along the riverfront means baby geese and ducks. Haven’t spotted any ducklings yet, but there are geese! Baby Canada geese fall into the “so ugly they’re cute” category. They are yellowish-green and fuzzy, plus look so tiny at first compared to the full-grown geese. Saturday morning I saw four babies, swimming in a line along side their parents on the river. Yesterday, I saw a large group with probably 10 or more surrounded by several geese.
Dancing along the path
Monday, I thought I saw a woman dancing along the path up ahead of me and coming my way. As I got closer, I realized that she was dancing – taking big steps from side to side, swaying her shoulders and her hips and waving her arms around. Then she started skipping for a couple moments, then returned to dancing. She said hi as she passed by. Later, going the opposite direction, I passed her again – still dancing.
I had to decide what earrings to wear today. My lucky silver earrings and bracelet I’d worn each day since Saturday suddenly ran out of luck in the bottom of the 10th inning for the Cardinals last night. Yes, I’m just a little superstitious – as are Erika and Angela, my Cardinals friends and co-authors of Cardinal Diamond Diaries. Here’s Erika’s superstition post, and more on my earrings.
Why can’t we do what’s good for us? May 3, 2010Posted by Christine Coleman in Weight loss.
It makes perfect sense: when we eat well, we feel well. When we get enough sleep, we’re more alert and productive throughout the day. When we exercise, we feel energized. So why do we torture ourselves and not do these things? Why can’t we do what we know is good for us?
It’s the perfect Monday topic, since I spent the weekend overindulging. That is my downfall: eating poorly on the weekends. (And I know I’m not alone!) Mondays through Thursdays are no problem – eat really well, exercise, lose a pound or two. Then comes Friday. I’ve been good all week, so I’m going out to lunch today! (I have an unnatural love of Hardees cheeseburgers.) I could really use a candy bar to get me through the afternoon! How about a couple of beers after work? Wow, pizza sounds really good! On and on all weekend …
While I do exercise on Saturdays, and that tends to be my day to push myself running, even a run turns into a way to sabotage myself. For example, two days I ago I ran for more than 25 minutes straight, going more than two miles in the process. My motivator for the last mile was surprisingly not Chris Carpenter. Not this time. Instead it was the dark cherry mocha I saw advertised a week ago at Starbucks (when I was treating myself to a white chocolate mocha as a reward for getting up early to finish the book for my book group a couple hours later). Finish without walking, you can go to Starbucks when you’re done! I did. The cherry mocha was good, but still doesn’t beat the 400-plus calorie white chocolate mocha.
I order these mochas decaf, since caffeine is another of my battles. Several years ago, I started getting weird pains in my stomach. I went to the doctor and his first question was if I had a lot of caffeine. Yes, of course – a pot of coffee every morning before work, a diet soda or two during the day. He told me to stop having caffeine and, if the pains didn’t go away, to come back. Giving up caffeine was torture. The headaches for the first day or two were one thing, and expected. What I hadn’t known about was the lethargic feeling for a couple days after that. Once it passed, however, I felt good. No more pains. And I was able to successfully avoid coffee and caffeinated diet soda for quite a while. But one day, I was really tired at work. A Diet Coke would probably (and did) help. Then, the next day, it sounded good again. The following day, another … and now I might as well buy a 12-pack at the grocery store instead of spending 60 cents in the vending machine each day. I’ve now lost track of the number of times I get off this caffeine carousel – whenever the stomach pains return – only to get back on again within a week or so. If I would get enough sleep, it would help more. But it’s baseball season now! How can I go to bed early when the Cardinals are still playing?
Obviously I know what’s right eating-wise, and can manage to do it. I have been more disciplined – I did lose more than 60 pounds from June 2002 to March 2003. And, looking back, it seemed almost easy. The success I had in the first week built upon itself: the slightly smaller number on the scale, the leader writing the numbers on my chart and praising me, and literally getting a gold star to put on that chart motivated me week after week and month after month. Not every week was a success, but overall it added up. I still remember the day I finally reached my goal weight. Such an accomplishment, since so few at my Weight Watchers meetings ever did. A friend was going to meetings with me at the time, so she shared in my success. And how did we celebrate my goal? By going out for Mexican food and margaritas, of course!
Within a few years, I ended up gaining about 20 pounds back but refocused and lost 10. Once I did get back to my goal weight for a short period of time – running definitely helped there – but gained that 10 pounds again. Last year, after my Dad died, I gained another 10. So now I’ve been battling 20 pounds for more than a year. I’ll lose some, feel good, but then allow myself to overindulge during the week as well as on weekends and be back where I started. Such a frustration, because it’s such a cycle. I get disappointed in myself for bad choices, which just leads to more bad choices …
I wish I could answer those questions in the first paragraph, come up with a simple solution for myself and everyone else. But the truth, as we all know, is there is no easy way. No magic pill exists to instantly make us alert, thin and feeling good – despite what infomercials may try to tell us. It starts in our heads, starts with our minds, starts with making smart decisions.
One day at a time, one decision at a time.