Sunday, April 26, 2009

Body Image

I'm currently listening to all of my Aqualung albums in a row. They've been neglected.

Until halfway through college I was thin. Really, really, thin. You could see my ribs when I took my shirt off and nothing fit me well. I drowned in everything I wore. It was embarrassing. I'm in the reverse situation now. My metabolism has slowed and the fact that I don't walk everywhere anymore has created a weight gain situation. While I am not overweight by any stretch of the imagination, I am definitely soft. Due to a morbid fear of getting fat I am trying to combat the pounds by altering my altering my diet and exercising. Unfortunately my commitment to both of these is not so great. Thankfully a lot of my coworkers and friends are now working out and I will be joining them. I must be committed. I've started by limiting my fried foods to once a week (M-F). Two weeks ago was the pilot phase and I am going to keep on going. I miss french fries and Zaxby's, but it has to be done. I hate people who complain about their situations without doing anything about it, yet I've become one. It's going to end. I don't want to put on a lot of muscle or have huge pecs. I just want to have a toned/tight body and improve my cardio (strokes and heart attacks run in the family).

Now I'm going to go into a rant/soapbox/typical blogger monologue. Feel free to stop reading.

Living in the south I see a lot of overweight people. In my office alone I think there are probably 10 or fewer guys who are their proper weight. That's probably 50% normal weight, 50% overweight or obese. FYI, I'm using the the terms overweight and obese in their medical sense. It's scary.

A few weeks ago a friend told me had a free/discounted gym membership through his employer. I scoffed and thought it was just a ridiculous perk, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it was a great idea. I read an article a couple of years ago about Scotts Miracle-Gro's hyper aggressive plan to control healthcare costs (I really, really recommend you read it). Anyhow, healthcare costs are out of control in this country and one major way to improve this is via improved preventative maintenance. However, it's challenging when you have two powerful currents in modern culture that aren't pushing this message. One states you should get super "fit" and being skinny is the only way to be attractive. The other is telling you to be happy with who you are and that you should accept your body whatever shape it is. Maybe it's time for a different line of thinking that emphasizes health over appearance. Fresh fruit and vegetables should not be stigmatized and should be affordable for everyone. Some of the most obese people I know are also some of the poorest. They just can't afford to eat healthy and it's obscene. I don't know how to fix the situation on a macro level, but I know I can play a small part by taking care of my body.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I've been reading a lot lately. Not as much I could be, but nevertheless I'm moving along at a decent clip. As I've mentioned before, I've got a rather large glut of books to work through before I purchase anymore. I'm trying to be good and not buy anymore before I finish what I've got (I read 4 then buy 1). Here's the list:

The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (finished)
Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll
Salt: A World History - Mark Kurlansky
Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
Fear and Trembling - Sören Kierkegaard
Dark Night of the Soul - St. John of the Cross
The Courage to Be - Paul Tillich
A Mercy - Toni Morrison
The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
4:50 From Paddington - Agatha Christie
The Last Word - N.T. Wright
The Language of God - Francis S. Collins
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (I've started this twice before)
Twilight - Stephanie Meyer
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Garbage Land - Elizabeth Royte
Orthodoxy - Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
Nineteen Eighty-four - George Orwell
The Forsyte Saga - John Galsworthy
The Four Loves - C.S. Lewis

I'm going to be busy for awhile.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Life is good. You never know what it's going to throw at you, but that's the beauty, right? I find being able to take a step back and laugh at all the absurdity helps a lot.

I'm in the midst of reorganizing a few things in my life. I've implemented a new system to provide better transparency with my finances, started auto-saving again, am slowly getting ready for my move, and am going to yoga! My shallow goals are also close to being achieved.

I've got much more to say, but I'm distracted. Something substantial will be here soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I'm quite exhausted. I had a rather busy week/weekend full of work, adventuring, socializing, and travel. Now I am home with a dirty apartment, broken washing machine, unbalanced checkbook, and more requesting attention. This week will be madness, but I think it's going to be grand.

I had the wonderful pleasure to spend most of the weekend in Seattle. It was quite delightful. I missed the good weather but still thought it was beautiful. David was also awesome enough to show me around and I had a great time.

Earlier in the week I was catching up with a friend via her blog. I had forgotten she had it and it was a pleasant surprise to find she was still writing. She makes it known that she is a fan of whimsy, and I can't help but feel swept up in a sense of magic/excitement when talking with her. Whimsy is something I think I used to have a lot more of. Unfortunately it's lacking now and I need to reclaim it.

Today at the grocery store I was getting some apples when I pulled the wrong one from the stack and 5 or 6 started cascading down. Luckily I managed to catch or divert them all before they hit the ground. The one that escaped my reach ended up falling into my bag! What great luck.

I bought a giant chocolate Easter bunny today. I anticipate it being quite tasty.

I recently discovered I like Swedish pancakes.

I'm moving in 6 weeks and am utterly unprepared.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Best Laid Schemes

You would think I would have learned my lesson. Making plans and thinking I have any control over my life is silly. I've got to learn to live for each day and take opportunities as they arise, instead of thinking I can chart out every detail of the next five years. I can't. Case in point:

I need to get a haircut. I would go next week but I'm going to be traveling (hooray). I made an appointment at 5 today and decided to leave work at 4:30. This is earlier than usual but I had planned on coming in early. Of course, this did not happen. I had a meeting at another location which messed up my morning schedule. However, it was not a big deal and I was still set to leave at 4:30. After a rather productive day I was ready to go when I got stopped by a coworker discussing our upcoming project. I proceeded to talk to him as I continued shutting down and ended up getting out of the office at 4:35. That was fine. I had a couple of extra minutes plus I could be 2-3 minutes late and I was leaving before 5 o'clock traffic. However, the interstate was jammed. It was the most backed up I had ever seen it on a Thursday afternoon (not that I take the interstate very often). It turns out there was an accident! By the time I got off my exit it was already 5. However, I thought I could still make it and sped towards my destination. The key word being sped. Alas, a GINORMOUS speed trap was waiting and I got flagged. I was not going ridiculously over and the officer was nice enough to drop it a 5 over ticket, but it completely destroyed any chance of making my appointment. As I was almost there I got the call that she would have to cancel.

I really was not that upset. Yes it will cost me some money, but it's far from the end of the world. Honestly, it was humorous. As much energy as I put into fretting about things I have no way of controlling, I realize I can't even control small, silly things like getting to the haircut place on time. Oh well.

May I learn to take things a bit more slowly.