Wednesday, September 07, 2011

 

Now, Meg S!

Well... I'm back!

(Yes, we've all heard that before.)

Lately the ole' neglected blog has been on my mind - this past weekend I started reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I have been reading her blog for some time now (not sure how I stumbled upon it), and I decided that I should actually support her in a monetary way by purchasing the newly released paperback. (And to head off any questions, yes, I'm very happy, and loving the married life, but it can never hurt to engage in some navel-gazing for my own good.)

As you can imagine, the book is about cultivating happiness — your own, and that of others around you. Gretchen created all these resolutions and commandments, and the book outlines her struggles and victories and insights she's gathered along the way. She never suggests that you follow her commandments to the letter (or at all), but I've found that a few of her own lessons have applications in my own life.

At one point early in the process, she decides to create her blog. Hmm... a blog... I thought. Ah yes. That unfinished project of mine that's constantly casting a shadow, like an ignored younger sibling or a stray cat outside my window. (In case you're wondering, the other unfinished projects hanging over my head: my beautiful quilt from '08 (shudder), five unpacked boxes from moving, and one thank you note.)

Ignoring the cries of my blog, I kept reading, until this little section stopped me short:

Then I thought of a line from William Butler Yeats. "Happiness," wrote Yeats, "is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing." Contemporary researchers make the same argument: that it isn't goal attainment but the process of striving after goals — that is, growth — that brings happiness.

Holy mackerel. Was I actually on to something when I started this little page six (gulp) years ago? Perhaps I actually was. And the point was to "grow" — have I done that? ...Though my tendency is to be hard on myself, when I look back at my original goo goals, I've actually completed three out of five goals: take scuba diving lessons, get re-certified in CPR and first aid, and write one short story a month.

Okay - yeah, so I wrote one short story, period, but that's good enough. And no, I'm not some jazzy scuba diver exploring the deep, but I gave it a shot (and got certified). And I got re-certified in CPR and first aid in...2007? So, I consider those goals a success.

The remaining two goals - take ballroom dancing lessons and brush up on my french... well, I briefly dated a guy who knew ballroom dancing, and that was definitely enough for me. And as for brushing up on my French... providing there is still space in the continuing ed. class, I'm beginning a conversational French class next week!

(I bet you thought I'd have an excuse for that one, too! ha!)

I come back to these goals for a reason (other than lamely tooting my own horn): I've had a sneaking suspicion for some time that I don't really have any hobbies. Yes, I had been busy planning our wedding with my man, and getting our house in order, but to be frank, my big interests appear to be:

1. eating
2. reading
3. watching tv
4. drinking

Egads. Not exactly the stuff of legends. So... now I'll be thinking of what I enjoy doing, and seeing how I can DO something that involves those interests. Stay tuned.

After being silent for so long, I'm afraid all this verbal spewing will make any readers OD. So... bonsoir for now!

Monday, May 02, 2011

 

Osama

Future H and I just got back from a long weekend in DC. Consequently, we were only about four blocks from the White House when Osama Bin Laden's death was announced. We deliberated heading down... but decided against it. Part of me wondered if I'd regret not going down, but right now my only regret is that I didn't go and take pictures, not that I wasn't a part of the celebrating. I don't know, I understand the elation (particularly if you're in the military or if you had a loved one who died on Sept. 11), but the idea of jumping and cheering and waving the flag as the result of someone's death leaves a funny taste in my mouth.

NPR.org posted an article called "Is It Wrong to Celebrate Bin Laden's Death?" and I'm pleased to see that I'm not alone in my conflicted thoughts. In the article they quote a statement from the Roman Catholic Church: "Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace."

Something to think about...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

 

Thanks, Kanye!

Today was my first race in almost a year...the last one I did was in May, the day after fiance and I got engaged. (I kind of don't count that race because I totally phoned it in by gabbing with a friend and staring at my sparkly huge ring the whole time.) I have never been the biggest fan of running — I enjoy saying that I ran a race, but I've never looked forward to the actual physical fitness part.

To say that I was dragged into this race kicking and screaming this morning would not be much of an exaggeration. It had snowed here last night and it was still snowing this morning...the parking for the race was about a quarter mile from the registration, and we trudged through slush and wet sidewalks the whole way. Uphill. Ugh. So by the time I picked up my number, my feet were ALREADY wet, I was ALREADY cold, and I was NOT feeling it. And knowing that this race is the first in a series of three — 3 miles this week, 4 miles next Sunday, 5 miles the next — didn't really motivate me to put myself out there today. They give out a medal after each race, and then you put them together for one massive medal, but I was more than content to have a piece of the puzzle missing. Really.

<---Last year's medal. Mine is in a box somewhere.

Eventually I got caught up in the spirit of the race (fiance calling me a quitter had no bearing on my decision), and before I really had admitted or accepted that I'd be running, I was taking off my nice long puffy coat as if in a daze and haphazardly pinning on my number.

The start of a race is always tough for me. Well, the whole thing is, but the toughness of the start is that everyone and their handicapped brother is passing me, and I need to stubbornly maintain my own little slow pace so that I'm not fried in the first half mile. So I kept trudging along, trying to pay no mind to the legions of people passing me (racers: note that this is a weenie race and didn't have markers for starting with people of your own pace), and listening to my ipod on full blast.

After a short little jog we came to THE hill. This thing is long and winding and seemingly never-ending. I had remembered this sucker from last year. Not fun. My first step up coincided with the opening bars of "Stronger" by Kanye. And I thought...this is the perfect song! As I slowly journeyed up the hill, I listened to the music, really feeling the whole "N-n-now th-that don't kill me, will only make me stronger" thing, and I was also saying to myself - I can do a plank for a minute in boot camp! DIG IN! DIG IN!

And you know what? It freaking worked! I made it to the top of the hill without stopping! Take that, all of you people who passed me at the beginning! Look who's passing you now!!

(Okay, I wasn't actually that vengeful or psycho, but it was a nice moment.)

I also raised the roof at the top of the hill. I hope the course photographer caught that.

The rest of the race, while I would never call it a "breeze," was not so bad. And, for the first time in my pathetic jogging life, I caught a wind. I knew I was less than a mile from the finish, and I felt good. So I picked up the pace, turned up "I Like it Rough" by Lady GaGa, and got a movin'. For the second time today, I was passing people. I felt like a runner — you might even call what I was doing "running," NOT "jogging."

I wish I could top off this heart-warming story by saying I had my best time yet, but I actually came in a full three minutes after last year's time. (And really, there had been room to improve.) But I can honestly say that I can't remember ever having that "runner" feeling before, and I hope to have it again. I got a taste of what all those whacko nutjob hardcore runners always talk about, and I want more!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

 

an fyi...

TGI Friday's is NOT forthcoming with their nutritional information! They have a "low fat" icon on their menu, but it's only attached to one item (which I did not get, naturally).

Last month I joined a "Bridal Boot Camp" at a local training/nutritionist small business, and it includes two boot camps a week, one personal training session a week, and two nutritional meetings a month. I had my first nutritional meeting not this past Saturday but the one before. It was...illuminating.

I've realized that breakfast, snacks, and lunch (for the most part) are manageable, but I fall apart at dinner, especially with portion sizes. Tonight fiance picked me up after a particularly strenuous boot camp, and we talked each other into a trip to our local Friday's. I know that Applebees has been pimping out their low-cal menu, so I figured TGI's would be keeping up with the Joneses.

Nope!

Ugh. I hate being that girl who counts calories and thinks about what she eats. I'm used to saying "Why the hell not?!" and going for the third... or fourth... or fifth... piece of fried chicken. Eating delicious cookie after cookie. Washing back beer after beer without thought of how many calories I've ingested. It's actually a big part of who I am and the breezy fun image I try to cultivate. In the past two weeks I've learned that a rolo has 13 calories, whereas a mini-reese's pb cup has 36. 36!! That one peanut has 6 calories (important information when adding to low-cal chocolate pudding), and a baby carrot has... okay... need to look that one up, but I think it's 4 calories? Maybe?

On the plus side, I'm eating less and getting more full. And my breakfast of 1 serving oatmeal, 1 Tbsp of peanut butter, 1 tsp. of chocolate chips, and 1 tsp. of brown sugar tastes AMAZING and keeps me going until snack time. I really recommend it. And as you can tell, I don't have to give up the things I love. Just eat less of it, and add some items that actually provide nutritional value.

While I want to look hot for the wedding (well, actually the honeymoon. I'll have professional hair and makeup and the most expensive dress of my life on my wedding day... I better look good), I'm more concerned with FINALLY embracing a fit lifestyle. I don't need to be super buff or skinny or whatever, I just need to stop the cycle of gaining each year, along with losing the extra pounds I've been gathering along the way. I've been feeling like poop about myself, and my clothes don't fit, so it was time for a change. I know I've been saying this since the goo began, but I'm all about fresh starts. Sometimes you gotta be.

Anyway, so this intensive boot camp will hopefully get my butt in gear. It's been a positive experience thus far - the trainers are excellent and really nice - so I have high hopes. I just need to remember that I'm doing this for me and my overall happiness, though staring at my sparkly ring while suffering through a plank does help a bit.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

 

Meggies!!!

I know that all (three) of you, as you go about your day, have one lingering unanswered question in your hearts: what are Meg's favorite health and beauty care products??

Well, wonder no more. For some reason I've been feeling compelled to share my favorite products on this blog. Read on to find out the Meggies of 2011!

Moisturizers
My sensitive skin is super super dry in the winter. I tried body lotion after lotion, but each one left me scratching and itching and drawing blood by mid-day. Each one, that is, until Curel's Itch Defense came into my life. I lather this stuff after my shower, and I'm itch-free until the next morning. If you have sensitive itchy skin... this is a life-saver.

I've also been on a big Lancome kick since December. A few weeks ago I bought enough to qualify for their free gift at Macy's, which came with their Nutrix Royal body lotion. It smells AMAZING. I put it on my upper body in the morning and I'm seriously smelling my arms all day. It's the free gift that keeps on giving!

For face moisturizer, I've been using Lancome's facial moisturizer for dry and sensitive skin. Like all of their other products, it also smells great (though I can't smell my face all day...). For years I used Purpose's moisturizer - it was recommended by my dermatologist after my accutane stint - and it served me well for almost a decade. If you have sensitive, dry facial skin, I definitely recommend it. It's a very light formula that does the job! (You can get this little guy at CVS/Rite-Aid, etc.)

Wrapping up the skin care regimen, I've been using Lancome facial cleanser for sensitive/dry skin and Lancome Toner for sensitive/dry skin. I had never used toner before (who needs it??), but I think it's been working well for me. Though I don't often get zits anymore (thanks, accutane!!), I haven't gotten any since I've been using it (began post-Christmas). It's pretty shocking how much dirt the toner takes away after I've washed my face, so that's a plus...I guess.

Makeup
I am a huge fan of Lancome's (yeah, yeah I know) Eye Makeup Remover. The other removers I've used have left a greasy film AND all of my eye makeup on my face. WTF. This stuff actually...hold onto your seat... removes my eyeliner and mascara!

Another shocking revelation is Victoria's Secret's eyeshadow. My mom bought me the VS Supermodel Makeup Kit - it has a bunch of eyeshadows, a blush, and various other little guys. The shocker is... the eye shadow actually lasts ALL DAY. The first time I rubbed my eyes at 5pm and there was shadow on my fingers, I was blown away.

Okay. Time to wrap this up. My favorite mascara is CoverGirl Lash Blast. No clumps. Long lasting. No complaints!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

 

Ah, APPLESAUCE!!

Ugh. Tomorrow I'm doing something that I've been putting off for, oh, about three years: seeing the dentist. I haven't been since I lived in DC, and that's more than two years ago. (And I think it had been two years before that appointment...)

My aversion to dentists appointments verges on a phobia, I think. I KNOW I should go, but I can't bring myself to make an appointment. True story, my mom had to book this one for me. I lie in the chair, tense and miserable as they chip away at my gums and inevitably find cavity after cavity.

I hate the chair with the stupid light, I hate the stupid sink that you spit in with the stupid faucet, I hate the sound and the SMELL of the evil drill. And don't get me started on the novacain.

Who knows what they'll find tomorrow. I'm hoping for a miracle here people. My appointment is at 8:45 am. Pray for me!

Friday, January 28, 2011

 

teehee



oh that storm, always stinking up the bathroom!!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

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