Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thirty Things About Me

 Today is my 30th birthday!  I can't believe that I'm actually turning 30!  I think it is more of a shift to think that I'm no longer 20 something - but now I'm 30 something.The actual age itself doesn't bother me - I have been given 30 amazing years of life which have been full and rich and I'm really excited to see what the next 30 years will bring.  As I just started blogging it seemed like a good time to introduce myself and tell you 30 things about me.

1.  I grew up predominately in a suburb of Houston, Texas - and as much as Houston is a prime example of urban sprawl - I love it and it will always be home.

2.  After majoring in theology for my undergraduate degree, I felt God calling me to medicine.  So I applied to 20+ physician associate programs and shocked myself when I was accepted to the Yale Physician Associate program.  I graduated from the program in February of 2011.
 3.  Since graduation I've worked two places: The Waikiki Health Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, a federally qualified community health center where I practiced in the primary care setting, and The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich, Connecticut, where I did a 180 with my career and now practice as a surgical PA with 100 % of my time being spent first assisting in the operating room.

 4.  While in PA school, I was granted a fellowship to do research in Kenya for 10 weeks.  It was a phenomenal time of learning and growing - both academically and as a person.

5.  Speaking of going to Kenya, it brings up the fact that I love to travel - internationally, nationally, 30 minutes down the road - I love the new adventures that come with visiting an unknown place!

6.  Internationally, I've visited England (I studied in London for 6 months), The Netherlands, Germany, Kenya, and Japan!

7.  I met my husband on eHarmony! 

8.  After talking via email and the phone for 3 weeks, we dated in Connecticut for a month.  I then went to Kenya.  While I was there, he moved to Hawaii, where he served on the USS Columbus, a fast attack submarine.

9.  For a myriad of reasons, we ended up eloping in Hawaii.  I never thought I would be one to elope, but it was the right decision for us!  And the bonus of it all is that I have beautiful wedding pics on the beach in Hawaii.

 10.  This past summer we had a wonderful marriage blessing and celebration with our family and friends.  I cannot begin to express what a special time this was.
11.  At weddings, my dad's family sings a blessing over the bride and groom.  When they sang over us it was a glimpse of pure joy and I think a glimpse into heaven.... singing and praising with the saints.

12.  I ran my first marathon by accident.  Well not really - but sort of.  One of my triathlon training friends had a guaranteed spot in the NYC Marathon, and she encouraged me to put my name in the lottery.  I never dreamed that my name would actually be selected.   This is me at mile 24.

13.  The next time I ran the NYC marathon I was not as in shape, but I had the chance to run it with my dad!  It was a neat experience.  However, I would eventually like to run another marathon with him where I'm not in as much pain.

14.  I think my favorite endurance sport to train for is the triathlon because of the variety.  Every now and again I have a hair brained idea that I'd like to do an Ironman someday.

15.  Right about the time I decided that I'd like to do an Ironman, I also decide that someday I want to qualify for Boston.  I will need serious work before that happens.

16.  I love love love to play the piano.  And for the first time in years I actually have one in my house.

17.  Cooking is stress relief for me.  Inevitably I end up trying new recipes out on friends, always with the caviate that if it tastes terrible we can order pizza.  Luckily that has not happened yet.

18.  I want a dog.  Terribly.  Which means that I spend significant amounts of time on Petfinder.

19.  Almost a year ago we moved to Groton, CT.  I'm trying to remember how to run in the cold - and what it's like to have seriously shorter days in the winter.

20.  What I love about Connecticut is that we actually have seasons.  I love autumn and spring - and I love a day or two of winter.  But I'm ready for spring now.

21.  One of the most romantic things my husband has done recently is taken me driving in the snow.  Let me rephrase, he forced me to drive in the snow.  Little Texas girl was having anxiety, and he was super patient with me as I drove 5 minutes per hour.  It was actually wildly romantic.  Although it doesn't necessarily sound that way at first blush.

22.  Last night he set his alarm for midnight so that he could wish me happy birthday immediately when it became my birthday.  That was pretty romantic too.

23.  My favorite restaurant is Roy's.  Especially the one in Ko'olina Hawaii.  The edemame and seared Ahi, and chocolate souffle, and the pineapple martini... so delicious.

24.  Red wine is a favorite of mine.  My current favorite bottle is the Petite Syrah by Bogel Vineyards.

25.  I've been known to binge watch TV series on Netflix... most recently - House of Cards, Call the Midwife, and a couple of seasons of Bones.

26.  When I'm not running, I love to work out at a Zumba class!  I'm sure I just look like a bunch of limbs flailing in the air - but I sure have fun doing it!

27.  My favorite kitchen appliance is my Kitchen Aid mixer.

28.  I have a secret obsession with cooking TV shows, cook books, and cooking magazines. 

29.  Favorite band - Mumford and Sons

30.  I am day by day learning what it means to be a child of Christ.  And I pray that this quote is true in my life:
"My job...is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, “What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents? And I can turn to them and say without blinking, “Jesus Christ.”" - Zachary Levi

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Scale

The relationship I have with my bathroom scale at best could be defined as odd.  I step on the scale - and I feel better about myself. - or I feel worse about myself.  It is a number that has the power to grab hold of my self worth and shake me to the core.  Additionally, if it's a number that I'm happy with - I will use it to say "Ah!  I can eat more."  Turning it into a trap.  And it's a trap I think that has been hindering the very thing I'm trying to measure.  My weight loss.

So this is one of the things that I'm trying to make healthy.  My relationship with the scale. 
The scale does not tell me who I am.
The scale does not determine my value.

It is more important that I chose to eat healthy foods.  It is more important that I exercise.  It is more important that I find my value in the fact that I am a Child of God.  It is more important that I listen to my husband when he tells me I'm beautiful.

The scale will no longer win.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I Want to Be a Part of It, New York

This is me.  Last year at the 2013 NYC Half Marathon.
It was a race I was super proud of finishing - but not proud at all of how I finished.  
In the months leading up to the race I got married, went on a honeymoon, packed up our life in Hawaii, spent several weeks in frozen South Dakota, and then eventually arrived herein Connecticut.  Three days later I ran that race.  Needles to say, I was not at all trained up the way I should've been.  I finished in 3:02:39.

Part of the problem is that I have a hard time sticking with a training program.  I have a history of finding excuses not to run.  But I don't want to be that person anymore.  

Because I love running in New York City - I put my name in the lottery again for the half.  To my complete and utter surprise, my name was selected from the lottery again.

This year - this year I decided to do it right.  
So I printed off the Hal Higdon Novice running schedule - and I am proud to report for the past 3 weeks I have actually STUCK to it!
The first week I started running at 5 mph, and this week I was up to 5.2 mph.  If I keep increasing my pace I should be able to break 2:30 this year which is my goal.
My long run today was 5 miles, and then I walked another .8
On the treadmill because it was dark.

Running on a treadmill is about as fun sometimes as watching paint dry - but I am so thankful that I have access to one.  

And I must admit that I love the way I feel after my run.

As a quick eating synopsis for the day:
(quick side note - we had my birthday party yesterday... so there were left overs today)
Breakfast / Lunch - Blueberries, 2 mini fritattas, 7 sausage balls, 2 slices carrot cake
Dinner - chicken, veggies, rice, dark & Stormy, 1 beer

The Beginning of My Journey

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my weight.  From being the cute chubby girl in elementary school who preferred playing piano to running and playing outside, to the still chubby girl in middle school who realized that she didn't "fit in" because of her weight, to the high schooler who was smart and talented but did not feel beautiful, to the woman that I am today - married to a wonderful man who finds me beautiful beyond words - with wonderful friends and a good job - who steps on the scale and feels utterly defeated. 

And I am tired of this.  Tired of feeling like a failure.  Tired of subconsciously feeling inferior to others in the room because of my size.  Tired of allowing food to have the power.  Tired of finding my value based on a number on the scale. 

I desperately want to change.  And I have tried different things in the past... but nothing has lasted. 

So I have decided to start blogging.  Blogging about my journey with Christ.  Finding my identity there.  Blogging about my journey with food - prayerfully to a place where I can enjoy food but not give it power.  Blogging about my journey to health - through healthier eating and exercise and better sleeping habits.

I'm note sure if others will read this blog or not.  That is not the point.  The point is to write.  To write about the journey.