Tuesday, September 30, 2008

4000 Questions: Question #37: Did you try to grow up in a hurry?

I don't' know. This is kind of a hard question. I guess I kind of did. I mean, I wanted to hurry up & become an adult & get on with the adventure my life was going to be. I was going to be married by 23 & start haveing kids 2 yrs later. I wanted at least 3 but maybe 5. (Apparently, I was insane as a child...no offense to anyone who has that life but that is so not who I am or want to be, today.)

I was going to be a world renound marine biologist who spent most of her time scuba diving, peering at water in test tubes, studying squiggly things under microscopes, tagging & releasing marine life, & eventually discovering the cure to cancer. After getting my start on a research team with either Sea World or Disney, I would become, at a young age, the prized employee (& also a renagade, pain in their side) of Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institute or NOAA, I wasn't too picky.

I'm not sure where the family was going to fit on a small research boat but that I'm sure would work itself out later on. I wasn't in the details, I was more of the final picture person.

That still sounds like a great life to me but maybe one that would more likely be written by me than actually lived.

Monday, September 29, 2008

TV: For my fellow Office nerds.

4000 Questions: Question #36: Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Milky Way Galaxy...

...in the Solar System...

...on Earth...

...on the North American Continent...

...in the United States of America...

...in Texas...

...in Bowie County...

...in Malta.

I'm not getting any more specific than that.

Couch-to-5K: Week 4

Ok, so this is really week 4. (I wish I had started documenting this better.) Anyway, last week was technically week 4 of me doing this but I had to do a modified week last week instead of jumping right in to week 4.

The percentage of running time from week 3 to week 4 is the greatest jump. It is a very difficult jump. Most people who I have talked to (via forums), both those currently going through the program & graduates of the program, have told me that they had to repeat week 3 before moving on to week 4. I didn't exactly do this. I wanted to see how far I could go last Monday. I did about half of it along the schedule then the last half was a disaster. I had a similar experience on Thursday. Then, on Friday, I had planned on trying it once again but then I had my little bout with fatigue/anemia/iron deficiency/whatever.

In week 4, you run for 3 min, walk for 1.5 min, run for 5 min, walk for 2.5 min, & then repeat.

Well, today I did it. I can't believe it. Not to mention, I did it without killing myself/thinking I was about to have a heart attack. Now don't get me wrong, it was hard as heck but I survived. I really cannot believe I'm doing this. Now, let me throw a little reality into the mix. I am running on a treadmill with no incline, which I have been informed, is like running slightly down hill. Most people suggest running at an incline of 1% - 2% to get the real sensation of running outside. Well, doing it the way I'm doing it now is hard enough for me right now. I promise, as soon as I finish this program I will start working on the incline.

Also, I am setting the speed during my running segments at about 5.2 mph. I did start out around 5.5 mph & there were a few days I pushed it up to 6 mph, but it was making it much harder to get through so I knocked it down. I will also be working on this later on, once I make the program. However, in order to actually graduate the program, you have to run a 5 K (3 mi) in 30 min, which is 6 mph.

However, I did figure out today, that in the 5 min that I am running, I am actually running 0.43 miles. That is amazing. I just ran almost an entire 1/2 mi without stopping. I don't even think I could have done that in elementary school.

Anyway, I was pretty proud of myself today. I don't know if "proud" is exactly the right word, though. I guess more "amazed" at the way my body is adapting. I know I've talked about this before but this is completely mind blowing for me. I've never experienced anything like this in my life.

With all this excitement though, I am a little nervous about next week. I know I always say this, but by day 3 of next week, I am supposed to be running for a full 20 min (2 miles), no walking. Aaaaa!!!! I really doubt that is going to happen. But, if it takes me 2 weeks to get there or even more, that will be fine. I will get there, sooner or later. I haven't quite convinced my psyche of this just yet, but I will.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

4000 Questions: Question #35: At what age did you start school?

I'm not going to write much. I've procrastinated in doing this all day & now I should be in bed. So, I was 5 yrs old when I started kindergarten at Malta Elementary school. I did not want to go to school. I hated kindergarten. I wanted to stay at home with my mom & sister. I got in trouble for talking in "music" class. Please, my mom was a piano teacher, what I probably knew more about music than this lady. And what was with those fake drums, micro tambourines, annoying cymbals, & those weird clapper things? Once during nap time, a swarm of flying ants flew through the window & started stinging us. There is only one instance where you get to use your white crayon & that happens to be when you are studying the letter "I" & you have to draw an igloo. Ironically, that is also the only time you get to use your black construction paper. Apparently, when you study "I" it is during Alaska's "dark" months. Oh, yeah, kindergarten was great. Unfortunately, I would not come to appreciate school until the 2nd semester of my 2nd year in college.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

4000 Questions: Question #34: What was the most fun subject in elementary school, & what was the subject you dreaded the most?

Well, I always loved science even though I don't remember studying it much in elementary school. In general, I hated school but some subjects I definitely hated less than others.

All I remember studying in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th grade is mainly English/writing/reading/spelling. I hated studying for spelling tests. I hated writing (even though now, I absolutely love it). I enjoyed reading, though, as long as it was something I got to pick. I do remember learning multiplication tables in 3rd grade & absolutely hating that too. In 4th grade I remember a bit about art (which I loved) & map reading (which I also loved, & I think must have been a part of social studies).

In 5th grade, I remember actually secretly liking writing but science was still my favorite. In 6th grade, I mainly remember social studies/history. I don't know why but that is what subject I associate with 6th grade. I did a great science fair entry in 6th grade, I think it was on pollution. It was a science fair with elementary through high school. Each grade (I think or age range) had 1st, 2nd, & 3rd places then there was an over all "best of show." I didn't think it went well at all & wasn't expecting much. I remember I was cleaning out my desk when they came over the loud speaker to announce the results. The announced all the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd places, & when my name wasn't called, I just went back to cleaning out my desk. I wasn't really upset because I wasn't really expecting to win anything. Then they announced my name as the "best of show." I couldn't believe it. I didn't really know how to react. The trophy was huge. Since I wasn't a sports person, I have always been pretty proud of that trophy. However, I've always wondered in the back of my head if I didn't get the prize because of who my parents were/are. Granted, I would not have won it if it had not been for my dad. He always did most of the work for our science projects, so, again, I kind of feel like I cheated a bit, but parents are supposed to help, right?

I know kids today have a lot of computer classes. But back in my day, computers were still a new thing. When I started going to school at Simms in 5th grade they had a few computers but I don't remember the classes much. We really didn't get into computers until jr. high & even then we were using the old DOS programs. We also had the old laser discs to watch films about computers on. Most printers were Dot Matrix with the reams of connected paper with the little holed ribbons on the side you had to tear off (they were great for making banners on; my dad still has one that he says is great for doing his "lettering" on...he's a wood worker & likes using it for his "lettering" patterns). The Internet was basically unheard of & if it was used it, you had to put your phone receiver on this gadget. A basic desk top computer (33 MHz CPU, 8 MB of DRAM, a 210MB hard drive, a 15-inch monitor) back in 1992 was about $2200, so that should put into perspective about how new personal computers were. I loved those classes...but that was jr. high so I can't talk about that here.

Anyway, science was always my favorite subject, I hated spelling & math, writing was okay but way too time consuming, social studies/history was just boring. However, if you include PE as a subject then I would have to say that was my all time most hated subject of all, at least while I was at Malta...heck, you can throw recess in as least favorite too, if you are talking about my time at Malta, but you could read more about that here. :)

Kristy's Random Ponderings: I think my scale has a drug problem...& religion.

That's right. I think my scale has a drug problem. Either that or it has bipolar disorder.

The scale that I have at home is not the one that I go by for my official or my weekly weigh ins. It is just what I jump on a billion times a day just out of curiosity. Usually, it is somewhat close to accurate. Other times, it seems to have an issue with schizophrenia.

For example, last night before I went to bed, & all day long for that matter, it said the same thing, 202 lbs. This morning, I have gotten on it several times & it has said 196.5 lbs every time. So, either my scale is secretly trying to confuse me or I miraculously lost about 5 lbs over night. If that is true, then I'm going to stay in bed for the next couple of months.

I never trust these stupid home scales, especially not the digital ones. I've never had much luck with them. My last one would differ by about 15 lbs every time I stepped on it. Then, in the end, it started saying that I weighed 180 lbs when, at the time, I actually weighted in the 230's.

I do my weekly weigh ins at the hospital where I work. I use a scale that is tucked back in one of our storage closets. It is as old as the hills & is weighs me about 2-3 lbs lighter than most scales. I use it because it is more private & convenient. For my official weight, I use the scale at the gym. It was the scale I used for the first time back in April. When I do weigh on it I am wearing my tennis shoes so I'm sure that adds close to 1 lb to it but still, I feel it is the more accurate one.

My official starting weight at the gym was 249 lbs. I know that I have lost over 40lbs since then. I think I am only a couple of lbs away from my 50 lbs mark. I can't wait. However. I'm feeling very surreal about the whole thing. Like I'm in some type of dream & I'm going to wake up any moment to find myself back at 249 lbs. It is almost like I am emotionally numb over the whole experience. I never thought I could do this. And, to be honest, I know it is not me that has done this. I know that it is God who has been the difference. He is the one that has enabled me to do this. I can claim no victory in this. The only thing that I did was get up & walk out the door. That is it. He has done the rest.

After hitting my 40 lbs down mark, one of the head trainers at the gym kept congratulating me & saying I should be very proud of myself but the whole time, I felt very odd accepting this praise. I knew I did nothing really to deserve it. But, being the chicken I am, I couldn't tell him that it wasn't me, that it was my God.

I am such a chicken when it comes to being open with my beliefs. In fact, writing this right now is uncomfortable for me. I know that non-Christians read this blog & think I am weird believing such things.

I am not the type of person to "beat people over the head" with the Bible. I don't feel like I know it well enough to do such things. And, to be honest, I think those methods rarely work, & more often times, turn people away from Christianity & give Christians a bad name. I feel it is a much better way to just be open about your beliefs & live as best as you can. Then, if people are interested in hearing more, they will ask to you.

Even that would make me a little nervous because I know very little about apologetics. I had never even heard the word until about 3 yrs ago. I am trying to learn as much as I can about it. Our singles group at church is reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis right now. I am totally loving this book. It is not hard to read it is just difficult to comprehend. His arguments are very deep, but I love that. I also have a book that I was going through but had to put down due to some other books I had to read for other book groups. So, I need to pick that one up again. I really don't think it is that great of an apologetics book, though. I need to find some better ones. I am also trying to study other religions. I had started studying about Mormonism, but, again, I had to put it down for some other obligations. I definitely want to get back into that, though. It is quite fascinating studying other religions & beliefs systems.

I want to get a pretty good understanding of Mormonism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Wicca/the Occult, Jehovah's Witness first. Then I would like to delve into some of the others such as, Humanism, Christian Science, Scientology, etc (some of which don't really claim to be a religion just a belief system, such as, atheism & agnosticism).

I would love to become educated enough to actually do studies/presentations on them. Maybe one day even travel about speaking on them or write about them. That is just one dream that I would like to do. I don't want to do this to incite fear or hatred towards these religions. I think we should be educated about these other belief systems so that we aren't afraid of them & so we can have educated conversations with the followers so we don't offend them or make ourselves look ignorant or make paranoid or prejudicial statements or assumptions.

I may never get that far, but I do want to be as educated in them as possible. I don't want to be one of these uneducated people that believe every little thing you hear about other religions.

Wow, boy, this post started off as one thing & totally morphed into something completely different. This is what happens when I just start typing whatever pops into my head. See, this is how my mind works. I start off thinking, "Ooo, what a pretty flower." & somehow end up thinking, "What is it about silver bullets that will kill a werewolf? And, if you shoot one in the foot will it effect him the same as if you shot him in the heart?" I'm telling you, a therapist would have a field day with me. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Great Video: We're more alike than we think

Great Video: Uncle Jay -- 9/22

4000 Questions: Question #33: What scary creatures did you think were in your childhood bedroom?

Oooo, a good one.

I never really pictured monsters under my bed or in my closet but I did imagine "bad" people in my closet. I thought there might be some crazed serial killer in there.

I also use to be scared that someone would break into our house, & being in the bedroom closest to the door, I would be attacked first. I also assumed that my parents would never hear me since I was the furthest from them. I never could yell very loud even when I was scared so that even made me more frightened. I use to lay in bed gazing, wide-eyed into the darkness just past the glow of the hall night light, listening for every little sound that may be the intruder. I would lay there for what seemed like hours, petrified, until I could gather up enough courage/adrenaline to jump out of bed & run down the hall & into the safety of my (younger) sister's room. I don't know why I always felt safer in there. Perhaps, because it was just across the hallway from my parent's room or maybe because at least there was one other person in the room. The sad part of this is that this was pretty much a nightly occurrence even through jr. high. I may have even done it in high school some but I can't remember. I know it use to drive my sister crazy.

After watching Jurassic Park for the first time I got really freaked out. That night was, I believe, the most scared I had ever been & the whole time I kept thinking how ridiculous I was being. I was in jr. high & knew there was no thing as dinosaurs roaming the country side any more but still I could not control my imagination. The movie didn't even scare me that bad, but that night as I was laying in bed my over active imagination kicked in. I snuck down the hallway & climbed into bed with my sister. Now usually, this was enough to calm me down but this night it did nothing but make the matter worse. We lived just far enough from the highway that when ever an 18-wheeler would hit this one spot, it sounded like the "boom-boom" of the T-rex's foot steps that everyone remembers from the movie. Then, the imagery started flashing before my eyes. The roof caving in, rain pouring through, teeth just inches from our faces, & the warm breath of death enveloping us. I finally went & woke my mom up or either she noticed I was in bed with Kim. I couldn't tell her what was scaring me because, how immature was I being, really? Anyway, she laid down in my bed with me but still I could not sleep. I must have dozed off at some point but I remember that being one of the worst nights ever.

I also use to worry about coyotes jumping through my window like on those wolf movies. I use to worry about one of the trees falling on the house during storms (which one did during an ice storm several years later).

I use to have this really annoying ticking, old-fashioned, wind up, alarm clock (it had a really loud alarm that would give you a minor heart attack when it went off...it was great...I never over-slept with that thing as long as I had it wound & set properly). I must also, at this point, explain that chickens were no longer my friend...that is a blog entry for another day (but most of you know the issue I have with birds of all kinds, especially chickens). I should also point out that this was either my junior or senior year in high school & I was past the "having to sleep with my sister" phase. Anyway, one night I was in a half dream-half awake state & I thought that there was a chicken just above my head on my head board, just about to attack (in reality it was the ticking alarm clock). In the midst of waking up, I grabbed my pillow, flew from the bed, throwing the pillow at the "chicken," & flipping the light on all at the same time. Man, I wish there had been a camera filming all of this. Upon discovering what exactly had happened, I broke down laughing so hard it was difficult to go back to sleep.

Since being in college, I have had a reoccurring nightmare. It has happened in every place I have gone, college dorm room, my parent's house, here in my apartment. This is one of those dreams that you wonder, "Am I dreaming?" then, you think, "If I'm dreaming the I wouldn't ask, 'Am I dreaming?' so I must be awake." It is so real, that when you do wake from it you really wonder if it didn't really happen. I dream that I wake up & feel the presence of someone in the room or house. I convince myself that I am being silly & reach for the lamp & can't turn it on. "There must be something wrong with the lamp." I finally get to a light switch & flip it & nothing happens. "There must be something wrong with the switch?" I flip it on & off several times to no results. Panic is beginning to set in at this point. "There must be something wrong with the electricity reaching this room. I'll go into the hall." The hallway light will not work either. Finally, at the end of my rope of sanity. I rush out the door into the parking lot & into safety.

This dream really freaks me out. My heart is racing right now as I write this. It seems so simple but in the dream it is the most frightening thing to ever happen. I'm sure there is some psychological/dream analysis that could explain it to me. Maybe I should research it. But, I am kind of suspecting that this could be the work of demons trying to attack me. I don't know & I know that most of you reading this may think from that statement that I'm a little kooky but I do believe there are demons & that they influence us more than we know.

Man, I hope I don't have that dream tonight now that I've talked about it. On lighter note, that dream has taught me to always dress in a way that if I did run out the door (sleep walking or running) I wouldn't be too upset if neighbors saw me (aka, shirt & shorts/pants).


I think I'm iron deficient. I am exhausted more than I can remember being in a long, long time & I haven't really done much today.

I got up this morning & felt a bit tireder than normal but I thought after the workouts that I had done yesterday, maybe I was just a little worn out. I ate breakfast, drank some water, & did start feeling a little more "awake." I went to the gym & started working out with my trainer & everything was fine until about the last 10 min or so. I was bench pressing (just the bar...I'm so weak, still that is 45 lbs) for the second time & my arms started giving away after only about 4 or 5 pushes. Even my trainer asked me what was going on (jokingly) & I joked back, "I don't know, I guess I'm loosing my mojo." I didn't really feel that bad, yet. After our workout, I just felt like I had really had a heck of an arm workout, which I had. I reached in my bag to get my keys & started heading for the car. I realized halfway to the car, though, that I didn't not have my keys, I had my mp3 player instead, so I had to refind my keys. (Forgetfulness & "mistakes" are a sign of anemia.) When I got in the car, I just sat there for a few min. I was so worn out/fatigued. I barely had the energy to put my seat belt on. That was when it dawned on me that I may be iron deficient. I started to go to the store to buy some iron supplements but I decided just to go on home (I probably couldn't have walked around the store anyway.) I had planed on doing my C25K program today but, when I got home, just walking up to my apartment was a workout in itself.

I called Dad & he asked, "You take a multivitamin, right?" Well, you see, that is part of the problem. Yes, I take one, but I take it so inconsistently that I'm sure it does not good. I may take it 2 days a week. I have got to work on that. Not just work on it, actually do it!

The other problem is that I don't eat that many foods with iron in them. I drink a lot of skim milk but that can't be my only resource of iron. I'm also premenstrual & that never helps the situation. I'm sure that is why I am feeling the way I do today. I feel like I do when I get the really bad cramps. The kind that I have come close to passing out from. But, just without the pain. Very shaky, weak, & my ears are hot. I don't know what that is all about but that tends to happen to me when I feel close to passing out.

I think this is just a culmination of not consuming enough iron, not taking my multivitamin consistently, possibly over doing the exercise over the past few days & not upping my calorie intake, & being premenstrual.

So, suffice it to say, I am not going to do any cardio today. Since iron is essential to oxygen transport to the cells, it may not be the safest thing in the world to do right now. Also, an iron deficiency can lower your immunity & I don't want to get sick. I don't like being sick.

In my research, I have found that calcium, tannins (found in teas), soy products (like the meatless corn dogs I'm so fond of), & phytates (found in whole grains) actually decrease the absorption of iron. And, of course, I've been intaking a lot of these lately. It is recommended that a woman, 19-50 yrs old should take 18 mg of iron a day. This is exactly how much my multi-vitamin provides. However, if my multivitamin also included calcium & I drink about 2 cups of milk a day, does that lower the amount I'm really getting? Should I take extra iron supplements on top of that? I really don't think I should take extra due to you can over dose on iron which can lead to death. I know these are questions I should ask my physician.

If I'm not feeling better next week then I will make an appointment. I'll probably feel better by tomorrow & if I don't, I'll probably feel better once my cycle is over.

I probably need to have my labs redrawn anyway, since it has been about 6 months of me dieting & exercising like a mad woman. I'd just like to see what my cholesterol is now (not to mention, show off my success to my PA & doctor...I'm sure they hear, "yeah, I'm going to loose weight & get healthy" & then never see any proof of it...heck, I've been one of those ones telling them that for years). It was border line in April. The recommended total cholesterol level is <200,>50-60, I can't remember what mine was but it was right on the borderline. I was pretty much on the right track for developing heart disease. My PA told me that losing weight & exercising should bring both of these into the "normal" range. Now, 6 months later, I have lost almost 50 lbs. So I'm anxious to see what the labs would say. I still have a long way to go to where I want to be but my blood pressure has dropped amazingly & my resting heart rate ususally ranges between 60-70 bpm (it has been as low as 45, 48, 50 but it is rare). "A range of 50-100 beats per minute for resting heart rate has been established as normal by the American Heart Association. However, research shows that adults with a resting heart rate over 70 have a greater risk of heart attack than those below 70." Mine use to be >80 (usually around 82-85 but occasionally getting into the 90's). That is scary. What is amazing it to see how much of an improvement I have made in just 6 months. I'm not trying to "ring my own bell," I'm just totally amazed by how quickly the body adapts to a new lifestyle & how it craves to be healthy.

Water aerobics outcome

I had a good time last night. I went about 20-30 early to swim a few laps. Man am I out of practice. I never though I would be this bad at the one sport I was actually good at.

After wearing myself out with that, the class began. I had no idea water aerobics could be so hard. My trainer is the instructor & she told me this morning that she tries to make it as hard as possible because the previous instructor was too easy on them, in her opinion. Let me tell you, she did a great job if that was her goal. I never knew running in water was so difficult. My heart was pounding through the whole thing. I couldn't let these people beat me so I gave it my all through the whole class.

I was not the youngest. I was not the fattest, nor was I the skinniest. As usual, all my paranoia was for naught. One slightly annoying thing about the class is that there are windows into the main workout area. So basically we are the entertainment for those on the treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, ab machines, etc. And, they are watching, trust me. I'm sure they are just jealous of my impressive skills & physique. Hehe.

After the class, I was worn out but one of the girls I met wanted to swim laps so I told her I would swim a couple with her. This time I actually made it all the way to one end with somewhat good form. Already an improvement. That's encouraging.

Then we sat in the steam room for about 8-10 min. That is an experience. It will totally "open your head up." The next time I get a cold, I am totally going to go up there just to sit. Leigh, my trainer, told me today that if I do to put a little Vic under my nose. She said that works really well. She also told me she is a bit of a germ-a-phobe & won't go in the steam room. She said she just imagines germs floating around in that environment (moist & hot) having germ parties. Hehe. I told her I'm pretty much the opposite of a germ-a-phobe, almost to the point of being a little too lax on prevention, especially for someone who comes into contact with more that the average person, plus most of them are some of the worst you would ever want to get even near you. I think I probably have phenominal immune system. Usually when I get sick it is allergies that morph into bronchitus & not some weird disease I've caught from someone at the hospital. Now if I could just move away from the Dallas area maybe I could eliminate just about all illnesses from my year. (I never had allergies until I moved out here...I hate DFW...but that is a whole different post...maybe later when I'm feeling especially moody about living here.)

The girl I talked about earlier just moved here from Wisconsin about 3 weeks ago. I hope she comes again. If she does I may give her my email. Maybe we could become friends. That sounds so childish, I know. But she is new to the area &, from the way she talked, may be a little lonely. Maybe I'll invite her to disc golf with our singles group next Friday. Yeah, that would be a great way to get to know her.

I always feel weird starting friendships. I'm always very excited about them but, at the same time, I wonder, "Am I coming over too strong? Am I annoying to this person? How much is too much? I don't want to seem needy." I swear, it is as stressful as trying to get a date with someone. That's funny because I never do this with someone I am attracted to. I just assume that they would never be interested in me so I ignore them. Which, I'm sure, comes off as I am rude or a snob & it is just that I am so insecure. For example, there was this guy "swimming" laps next to us during our class. The girl I spoke of commented about how nice looking he was. I, being insecure & completely oblivious, had not noticed him but when she said something I said that yes he was okay. After we left the steam room, he was sitting on the edge of the hot tub. She had walked out before me. When I walked out, he smiled at me. Nothing creepy just a friendly, "oh, I've made eye contact, now I have to smile" type smile. I'm not sure what I did. I think I managed the same type of smile then quickly threw my towel around my back fat & ran (proably at a half sprint) to the women's locker rooms.

I, of course, write this off as just a friendly smile but it could have been more of a flirt for all I know. Any self-confident, single girl would have confidenly slipped into the hot tub to "continue relaxing" & started up a conversation with "Mr. Muscles." But not me. I assume that any guy like that would be totally repulsed by me, avoid being associated with me at any cost, &, if for some odd reason, was attracted to me, he must be some type of weirdo. Later, as I considered my reaction to such situations, I wondered if I came off as rude. I hope not. I certainly would not want to hurt anyone's feelings because I can't garner enough confidence in my self to be polite.

Having said that, I was very self-conscious about walking around the pool room half naked but I have to say, I feel, that I pulled it off. I did walk around with my towel slightly cammoflaging myself but I did it. And I think I did it without comming off as the nervous girl in the corner. I didn't pick the closest spot & slide into the water hoping to not be noticed. No, I walked to the farthest end of the room took my flip-flops off, set my towel down, & got in (with out too much of a splash).

The one complaint that I do have is that the pool is not that great. It doesn't get that deep, especially at the ends so doing flipturns is pretty much impossible & diving is out of the question. :P It is clearly made for water aerobics. However, they have this terrible drain cover that has this protruding piece that hurts like the dickens if you hit your foot on it.

Well, that was how I spent my Thursday night. I'll probably start doing this as a normal part of my Thursdays. I do think I will take a nap during the day before attempting it from now on, though.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What is going on in my mind?!

Today I did, what I am calling week 4a, day 2 of the Couch-to-5K program. I didn't really feel like it but I skipped yesterday because my shin splints were killing me. So, after a little lunch (my "lunch" is usually around 8am but today I went to Wal-Mart & I didn't end up eating till about 9 am) I closed my computer, grabbed my water & mp3 player, laced up my shoes, threw on my sports bra & another shirt (that didn't fit when I bought it, by the way) & headed out the door before I could give myself time to argue myself out of doing it today (a little trick that I've learned, don't even give yourself the opportunity to think about it or you will talk yourself out of it, just get up & go without thinking). Anway, I was walking to my apartment's gym to "jog" on the treadmill here since I'm still not confident enough to do it in the public gym. In order to get to the "gym," or anything else for that matter, you have to go through the pool area or treck through the soggy & muddy grass/mud to get to the office & go through that way. Well, typical to how my day pretty much went & how this stupid apartment complex it getting to be, the gate to the pool area was locked. Great! This is really beginning to get irritating. Everytime I ask them about this they give me some "cock & bull" runaround story that doesn't make sense, & I'm so freakin' nice & agreeable I don't call them out on it. (By the way, is "cock & bull" profanity? I'm not sure...sorry if it is.) Anyway, since they are "reseeding" our "lawns" there is hardly any grass left. The "trail" to the office is one of the lowest points of the complex so all the water from the sprinkler systems seems to drain in this area. Thus, creating a muddy mess.

So, what does this nice Christian girl do?

She enters without wiping her shoes, tracking mud & grass all accross the apartment office, from one door to the other.

That'll show them. You don't mess with Kristy. Take that, you so-called "office managers." Oh yeah. I totally "brought it."

Very Christian, I know.

Anway, I got on the treadmil hoping to use this irritation to my advantage & get a really good "run" in. Well, I ran my first 3 min. Not too bad but not as easy as I was expecting. Then I ran the first segment of 5 min. I had to step on the sides of the treadmill for about 2 or 3 seconds about twice this time. You're really going down hill, Kristy. Then I started running the second set of 3 min. This one I made but I was really struggling. The last 5 min I did about 3 min of it. It seemed easier at first but then it really kicked in. As I was turning the speed down, I was mentally screaming at myself, "What are you doing?! You can do 2 more min.! It is only 2 more min.! Why are you quiting?! You're not even that tired! You're not even sweating that bad! You are such a looser! You're never going to finish this program! You might as well stop now. You probably aren't physically able to run more than 5 min." This went on forever.

What is more amazing is that most of the scales that I have stepped on this week are saying that I'm under 200 lbs now. (It's not official but still.) So why am I feeling like such a failure all of a sudden? Like I can't do this? I'm proving every day that I can do this but today I start to question myself? What is going on? Is Satan sending demons of self-loathing & doubt to attack me today or am I just PMSing bad today. Yes, I said that for all the world to see. And, you know what? I don't care. I really don't care if you know my exact weight or when I'm about to "start." (Even though you probably already figured that out by the grassy trail left in the office.)

Anyway, back to the story. I got back to the apartment after slopping through the "yard" again & decided to take a shower, maybe that would put me in a better mood. I took the shower & then decided to have an ice bath. Yes, you read that right, it says "ice bath." This is a horrible form of self-torture that I have read about in a running magizine. It is supposed to constrict your blood vessels then when you start to warm up, the blood rushes back in carrying away the toxins & debris that has collected after a long run. Typically used on marathoners & the like but right now, 5 min might as well be a marathon to me. Supposedly, it reduces the pain & swelling in you muscles. As bath was filling with cold water (that later felt like a hot tub) I ran to the freezer & got the measly amout of ice I had. I poured it into the water & sat down. Archie was watching all of this & as a banshee howl escaped from my throat, he dissappeared.

The genius that I am, decided to shave my legs during all of this because I am planning on taking a water aerobics class tonight. Yeah, that was fun. After a while the ice had finally melted but the water had drained a little bit so as the tops of my legs were no longer being covered by the artic water. I decided to add a bit more water. As the fresh water poured into the bath, I could feel the currents of warm water swirling around. You must understand that the water coming out of the spiget was as cold as I could get, but at this moment it felt like a warm breeze.

So, why would anyone subject themselves to such abuse? Well, my shin splints don't hurt near as bad as they did.

I guess the shower/bath did work a bit. I don't feel like I'm in quite a so self-defeatest mood right not. Maybe I can do this running thing. My body has adapted so far & most everybody has a hard time transitioning from week 3 to week 4. Who knows? Having said that, my trainer is teaching a water aerobics class in about 2 hrs that I am planning on going to & I'm kind of freaking out about it. "Am I going to be the fattest?" "Am I going to be the youngest/skinniest?" "Am I going to look like such a weak person that I have to take the "easy" class." "Am I going to be the worst one in class." "Am I going to drown?" "How many people are usually in this class?" I guess I'll let you guys know later. Eeek!

4000 Questions: Question #32: How did you get to school?

I walked to school 4 miles, uphill both ways, barefoot, in the snow. Hehe...yeah, snow, in Texas...that's what gave it away, right? hehe

When I first started to school, mom took me. Then she ended up teaching at New Boston & I was going to Malta. I think I rode the buss then, but I can't remember. Then mom started working at Malta, so she brought us to school. When I was in 5th grade we moved to Simms & mom still took us to school.

As I was entering high school, my parents decided to move us to New Boston (bigger school, more opportunities, supposedly). Mom is still ("is," as in, she is actually there right now, teaching 3rd/4th grade English & writing) at Simms, so we had to ride the bus. We were some of the farthest kids out so we were close to being the first kids on, in the morning & the last off in the afternoons. Both ways it was about 1 - 1.5 hr trip. :P Somewhere in here, I think mom would take us to school in the mornings on her way to school (it really wasn't on her way but I think Kim guilt tripped her into this by telling her the other kids on the bus cussed a lot).

Finally, at 16, I was allowed to drive us & the neighbor in the gray Astro van. Oh, yeah, I was cool. Just before starting my senior year, my parents got me a green Ford Taurus. It was the best car ever, in fact I just traded it in about 3 yrs ago for my silver Ford Escape. While I love my car, there are many things I love so much better on the Taurus...especially at the gas pump.

So, that is how I got to school. :)

News: Judge rules in favor of the Plano Vietnamese Baptist Church

Below is an email I received from Free Market Foundation today. I thought it was interesting.


Judge Rules in Favor of Vietnamese Baptist Church

Plano Church Can Now Hold Services in New Building

PLANO, TexasJudge Greg Brewer today ruled in favor of the Plano Vietnamese Baptist Church (PVBC) in their case against the City of Plano, Texas, which has been enforcing an unconstitutional ordinance against small churches. PVBC recently purchased a building in Plano but was barred from using it because the plot of land is too small to meet the two acre requirement in the existing zoning regulations.

“I’m walking on air,” said Thomas Le, pastor of PVBC, who, with his family, traveled to the United States as a boy to escape the Communism and religious hostility of Vietnam .

With today’s ruling, PVBC will now be allowed to use their worship in their new building, beginning next Sunday.

Jeff Mateer, lead counsel for PVBC, said, “I’m thankful we had a good judge that followed the law and gave these people the religious freedom the have traveled so far to find.”

Many PVBC members fled religious persecution under a Communist regime in Vietnam , traveling to America in the 1980s and 1990s. Pastor Le started PVBC in 2003 with a handful of individuals, and after the church grew to 50 members, began to look for a building of their own. The property Pastor Le found on Avenue G in Plano had been a church, but was converted to a daycare, and was sitting unoccupied.

Pastor Le and members of PVBC followed the proper procedures to purchase the property, and many of the members drew from their own life savings. They then petitioned the City of Plano ’s Board of Adjustment to make an exception to a two-acre-minimum site requirement, as the Board had done for other churches in the past. Despite staff’s recommendation for approval, the Board denied Pastor Le’s request, which was overturned by Judge Brewer today.

“This is the kind of thing that makes you proud to be an American,” said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute and co-counsel in the case. “Judge Brewer did the right thing and the church is thrilled that they will be able to hold services in their new building immediately.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weigh In #24

Week loss: -3 lbs
Total loss: -46.5 lbs

*** What I wrote in description box on YouTube. ***

Now that I rewatch the video, I appear to be put out or upset. I was not. It was soon after waking up so maybe that is the "I'm still asleep" look. Hehe.

Also, I've started a food/exercise blog. I do not claim to be perfect &, I admit, I eat a lot of crap food, but I thought I would offer it for those of you who are interested. Several people have asked me what I eat & I always blank out so here it is (the link is at the end).

I'm not offering this as advice to how to eat properly & I really don't want other people's advice. I know I could do a lot better but this is what is working for me now. If I hit a plateau or am not happy with the way I feel, I will change it up. I do plan on moving toward a more non-processed diet but it is a process & not something I plan on doing all in one day.

So, if you are truly interested, you are welcome. If you just want to spout off nonsense or advice that is not asked for, then please find something else to occupy your time. I'm not trying to sound like a brat but I've had people try to tell me I'm doing my protein shakes wrong but, hello, I've lost almost 50 lbs in 6 months, I think this is working for me right now.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get on my soap box. I know that most of you that watch my vids are great supporters & know what I am talking about & will excuse this little outburst. I do love you guys. You mean more to me than you will ever know. Ok, maybe you do know. We're all in this together, right? :)

My exercise/food blog: http://foodexerciselog.blogspot.com/

4000 Questions: Question #31: What childhood address(es) & phone number(s) do you remember?

My parents still live in the same house that I grew up in. However, the county gave everyone a new address. Something about 911 or something. They didn't end up changing the address until the last year that I live there so I really remember the old address better. I know the phone number better than any other number I've ever attempted to know. I still remember my granny's phone number & her old address, but not her new one. I also remember the phone number of the house that my best friend grew up in & her mom & step dad still live at.

I don't remember the address of the dorm that I lived in while in college in Fayetteville. Every once in a while it will pop in my head though, so it is stuck somewhere in there. I was filling out an envelope a while back ago & ended up putting Fayetteville's zip code on it. I was like, "What number is that? Why is it so familiar to me?" Well, dummy, that was your zip code for 2 yrs. Hehe. Anyway, I guess that's it for now. :)

Great Video: Cat vs. Printer

This is so funny. Archie freaks out when I use my printer too. I'll have to video him the next time I use it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

4000 Questions: Question #30: What were your hobbies?

Many of my hobbies today are the same hobbies I had "back in the day." Putting puzzles together, photography, playing board games, watching TV/Movies, reading, listening to music, singing, & some others. As a kid, I also really enjoyed finger painting (even though we rarely did it...I think I would secretly enjoy it still...go to love that gooey coolness squishing between your fingers), water coloring books, looking at maps, coloring books, & play dough (another, I'm sure I would still enjoy). I also loved swimming & biking. I haven't done either in a while. Not true lap swimming, that is.

I went swimming with Kim on Saturday & realized how out of shape swimming-wise I am (I'll talk more on that in my video this week...I'm too tired to take it now & the first take was terrible). I plan on getting a bike for myself for Christmas & start riding this winter. A guy at work wants me to start doing the weekend rides/races that are local here. They end in the fall, Oct or Nov, I think, but they start again in the spring, Mar or Apr, I think. That will give me a couple of months to get back in the habit & get my butt use to the seat once again. Well, I once again, ran off into tangent land but that is kind of the point of this. However, I have got to start doing this before I am completely exhausted & it is way past my bed time.

Great Link: Prairie Dog

Watch both videos on this site...My favorite is the second, the "Another One Bites the Dust" one.

Our Amazing Planet: Creepy bug

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cats...Which is Archie?

Dad, this is for you.

Here is a picture of a Persian cat.

And here is what I think Archie is. It is called a Ragdoll. Looks a lot like him, doesn't it?

Here's Archie.....

clipped from www.gomestic.com

The Ragdoll is a newer breed of cat, that quickly gained popularity in North America because it was said to be more placid and "floppy", than other breeds. As a newer breed the color initially was limited to being color point with white on the toes and face, but by genetically limiting colors, the breed was being weakened, and other colors are now accepted. I am not endorsing this breed as a specialty breed, it has come to be known that this breed was not as "floppy" as they were initially said to be. They are pretty, but close attention should be made to avoid getting one that is excessively inbred to avoid the genetic problems that are present in the breed. They are a quiet cat who does well to be kept indoors only.

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4000 Questions: Question #29: Did you enjoy physical education in school?



If you have known me for any length of time you know doing anything physical has been (until about 6 months ago) avoided at all costs. PE was not my friend. It was pretty much the worst part of the day for me, second only to recess due to being the butt of most jokes & every bully's dream come true.

While at Malta, kindergarten through 8th grade all had PE together. First we would do typical 1980's exercises. Jumping jacks, stretches, these weird things called "cotton pickers" I believe, & other stuff I can't really remember. Then we had to run a mile. I talked about this in a post just the other day. Our teacher would stand by the dirt road with her paddle & watch us. If she caught you walking you got a lick. If she didn't have her paddle, then you had to run another lap, which equaled another 1/4 mile. I really don't know if she ever really paddled anyone to my knowledge but she did have us all scared to death. I doubt she ever did because I sure as heck deserved them. I walked all the time & never got one & I can't believe that she did not know what I was doing. Man, I wish I had kept it up all these years. Oh well, live & learn.

When we moved to Simms, our PE class was much different. For starters, it was inside a really nice & carpeted gym/auditorium. We typically did stretches & small exercises like sit ups & jumping jacks to start off. Then we learned other things including, square dancing, jump ropes, gymnastics, this big ball thing, & other things I don't remember. It was much more fun.

In Jr. High, our PE instructor was one of the football coaches & figured his time would be better well spent in his office than teaching the athletic rejects anything useful. Our days usually consisted of exercising to a Richard Simmons video then cleaning the field house. My job was to vacuum. We spent the rest of the time playing cards. Every once in awhile he would have us go walk around the track a few times. Most of the time I walked with my friend Angelo (who later "came out of the closet" after high school...everyone always asked us if we were dating...maybe I turned him gay...*gasp*). The "less classy" kids, usually detoured behind the bleachers to smoke & who knows what else. (This school was labeled drug free but I know the majority of the class I was in had a drug problem before graduation HS...I had changed schools before my class went to the pits.)

My freshman year I moved to New Boston. I got out of having to have PE my first year due to being in band. Trust me, I would have rather had PE. The next year I quit band but got out of having to have PE because I assisted in teaching swimming lessons the next summer & got a life guarding assistant certification (whatever the heck that is). To tell you the truth, I'm not sure that was all legit/legal. But who cares? I graduated. Not to mention, I'm making up for it now.

I didn't take a lick of PE in college. I'm not sure how I got out of that. In x-ray school, I tried taking a karate class at the community college but quit after the first night. I don't respond well to people yelling at me. "Kick! Harder, harder!" I wanted to say, "I'll kick you, mister, just put the cushion down." Very classy, I know.

Anyway, no, I never liked PE....I cannot describe to you how much I hated it. Now that I am almost 30 (28 to be exact), I am gaining an appreciation for it though. I guess I'm just a slow learner about some things.

Hurricane Ike reveals relic

clipped from www.livescience.com

Ike Helps Uncover Mystery Vessel on Ala. Coast

FORT MORGAN, Ala. (AP) — When the waves from Hurricane Ike receded, they left behind a mystery ‚Äî a ragged shipwreck that archeologists say could be a two-masted Civil War schooner that ran aground in 1862 or another ship from some 70 years later. The wreck, about six miles from Fort Morgan, had already been partially uncovered when Hurricane Camille cleared away sand in 1969.

Researchers at the time identified it as the Monticello, a battleship that partially burned when it crashed trying to get past the U.S. Navy and into Mobile Bay during the Civil War.

Glenn Forest, another archaeologist who examined the wreck, said a full identification would require an excavation.

"It's a valuable artifact," he said. "They need to get this thing inside before it falls apart or another storm comes along and sends it through those houses there like a bowling ball."

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Food/Exercise Log

Ok, so I gave it a try. I know I didn't try for long but after just 2 days there are so many things I don't like about this site that I've decided to move it to Blogger, my old tried & true. Don't get me wrong, there are things that need tweaking at Blogger but, for the most part, I think it is the best blogging site available (at least of the ones I've tried).

What I don't like about Vox is:

1. I can't save my stuff without it publishing it. I may want to edit the entry a bit more before making it public.

2. My friends who aren't Vox members cannot comment. This is a stupid rule that I knew going into this. It is also the reason I left Xanga in the first place.

3. I was having a heck of a time with turning the bold & underline features off. I never did figure it out. It would say it was off but my words were still bold & underlined.

There were some other minor things that I could live with but those are my main complaints. So, I'm leaving.

If you want to keep up with my food/exercise log, it is now at http://foodexerciselog.blogspot.com/

4000 Questions: Question #28: What tokens of your childhood do you wish you had saved?

I can't really think of anything. I've kept pretty much everything, hence the clutter & the fact that I still have a lot of crap at my parents house. Poor parents. I really need to buy a house. If you would like to contribute to the "Kristy Needs A House" fund, just leave me a comment & I'll get right back to you. I would gladly like to hear from any millionaires, princes, people needing to launder a bit of money, movie stars trying to up their karma, lottery winners...I'm not picky. :)

So, the only thing is maybe this bouncy horse I use to ride in our living room. I loved him. We gave it to a lady who didn't have a lot of money so he went to a good home, I'm sure. He would have been very bored the last 18+ years. At least he could run the plains, chase Indian horses, chase bandits, visit streams, & what ever other fancies the children could imagine.

Movie Review: Traitor

Kim & I went to see Traitor last night at Studio Movie Grill. I talked about our experience there in the previous post so I won't go into all that here, just the review.

The movie is about Samir Horn (Don Cheadle), a devout Muslim, embedded in an Islamic terrorist group. A former US Army explosives expert, he was sent by the American government, possibly the CIA but I don't remember the movie ever being really clear about that, as a mole to inflitrate a particular terrorist organization. He has come up on the FBI (I don't really know why they were investigating international affairs) radar as being linked with several bombings. So, is he still on our side? That is the question of most of the movie.

Kim only thought this movie was okay but I really liked it. It portrays the many faces of terrorist groups. One is the reason most of the main terrorists, at least mainly the leaders, has very little to do with religion & more to do with "settleing the score" or just another version of the mafia/gang life. Another aspect is that even though they are terrorists & do terrible things, many of them do have a good side. I know what you are thinking, "How can you say that?! They are terrorists! There is nothing good about them!" Just watch the film. They also make a point of showing how completely entrenched many of these terrorists are. They could be anyone, look like anyone. You can trust no one. So, if you have issues with paranoia, you may want to skip this film.

This movie is rated PG-13 mainly due to the subject matter & violence (nothing extremely graphic like Burn After Reading, just a few gun shots & bombings). I don't remember any cursing & there was no sex. I definitely wouldn't take kids to this but high school & up would be fine.

I really liked this movie & would recommend it to just about anyone. I give somewhere between an "A-" & a "B+." It is a really good movie but I doubt I'll watch it again just because it isn't a truly "entertaining" film.

Swimming & stuff

Yesterday, I went with Kim to her gym to go swimming. This gym is flippin' amazing. Very high class. I mean, they had a machine that is to help you with your golf swing. How crazy is that? Hehe. Granted, this gym also acts as a rehab center so that is really nice. They have a lounge area with a TV, couches, ice water/lemonade in the locker rooms. They also have a really fancy vanity area & lots of hair dryers laying around. They provide towels for you & they have this really cool machine that you stick your bathing suit in & it spins it to get all the water out. How cool is that?!

This was the first time I've swam in my new bathing suit. It finally fits!....kind of. Actually, it "fit" several weeks ago but I looked like a really bad Hooter's waitress. It just wasn't decent. People kept telling me to wear a tee shirt over it but I just hate swimming in shirts. I get all caught up in them. I feel like I'm some poor sea creature caught in a net, coming very close to drowning at times. It still does not look great but once you're in the water it is hard to see much...at least that is what I keep telling myself.

We had a great time. We were there a good 1.5 hrs. We didn't swim the entire time. She walked me around & showed me everything then we swam a bit, then we sat in the hot tub & sauna for a few min. However, we did swim several laps & did get our heart rates up. I taught her how to do a flip turn. I hadn't done one in close to 12+ years so I wasn't sure how good I would be at it but I think I did pretty good, if I do say so myself. I totally have to work on taking breaths...I suck at that (no pun intended...well, okay, maybe it was...hehe). I also found that my legs are pretty much useless. I can pull myself across the pool just arms, no legs & go pretty much the same speed as if I am using my legs. :P Kim is great at the breast stroke & I'm total crap at it. My stroke is freestyle/crawl stroke. I'm pretty good at it but need so much work. I did not remember how much work it takes to get yourself accross that pool. Just one lap & I was panting as if I had just run one of my 2 - 3 min jogs.

So, if I'm going to be anywhere near ready to do a mini-triathlon next year, I've got to get on the ball. I think now, "There is no way I'll be ready to do a triathlon next year." But really, look how far I've come already, in just a few months. In April, I couldn't stay on the elliptical anymore than 5 min & now I can do an hour. Just 3 weeks ago running for 60 sec was the hardest thing I had ever done & now I'm running 3 min. Who knows where I'll be next year? Hopefully, I don't get sick or hurt so bad that I have to take off for any extended period of time. Anyway, I think I may add swimming into my exercise regimen now. I think on the days that I train with my trainer, I'll go swim afterward. It may also help with the pain. I'm still considering taking a spinning class & if & when I do that I will definitely go swimming afterward just to cool off.

After we swam a few laps, we went to the aqua aerobics pool & put these floaty things on our ankles & walked the length of the pool a few times. We also used these floaty barbel looking things to work out our arms. They were pretty cool & it gave me a new appreciation for aqua aerobics.

After we worked out we went back to her place to change & then we went to Studio Movie Grill. I didn't feel as bad about ordering food there due to the fact I had only had about 350 calories so far that day & we had probably worked all those off swimming. Kim ordered chicken quesadillas & I got a cheeseburger with fries. We ended up splitting both meals. I approximate that I had close to 700 - 800 calories there. Not sure, could have been more but I figure that is pretty close. We saw Traitor which I will review in my next blog entry.

When the guy brought us our food, he ended up spilling Kim's quesadillas. Two of them fell out onto the table. He apologized, gave her the rest of the food, & then left. We didn't know if he was going to bring her more or maybe write off the check. After about 15 or 20 mins of him not coming back, she went to talk to another guy about it. He said he didn't know that happened & he would look into it. He finally came back & said that they guy said he didn't want to say anything about it & get in trouble. Are kidding me?! So, you're just going to "forget" about it & not expect the patrons to say something about it. No, we didn't "need" those two quesadillas but when you pay close to $10 for some chicken & cheese on a tortilla, you're going to be ticked if you get ripped off. We weren't mad at the guy, mistakes happen, people spill things. But at least own up to your mistake & ask how you would like the situation to be rectified. If he had asked, "Do you want me to bring you more?" or even offer to deduct 25% or even give the drink for free that would have been one thing. But they guy just took off. Anyway, the other guy that Kim had talked to told her they were going to rerun the ticket. So they ended up bringing another whole basket. Of course, she only ate maybe one out of that basket & felt really bad about wasting all that food but she had to say something. They should have just given her a free drink or something. Oh well.

Great pics...right time, right place

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