Tag Archives: Health

40 At 40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness … No. 28

12 Dec

I don’t see it. I just can’t see it.

Where’s the funny?

That’s what I was thinking as I was having an emotional moment over someone passing judgment on me. It burned me out and I was feeling both angry and hurt at the same time. I couldn’t seem to find my way out of it. I couldn’t shake off the nasty taste it left.

And then an opportunity to do something for someone appeared … an accidentally on purpose random act of kindness crossed my path and I smiled.

The thought of doing something good for someone I didn’t even know changed my mood. I had forgotten the stupid words that were said about me, I had forgotten the lack of common sense and sensitivity in which they based their judgement. I had forgotten about them.

And all it took was a Blood Drive to make that happen.

I know, I know most people aren’t fans of needles, on account of the pain they inflict. But I’ve got a pretty high tolerance. Plus I’m more of a fear of roaches and rodents type of person, needles aren’t that bad.

So when I pulled into the parking lot of the Target and saw a lady dressed in blue scrubs standing in front of the blood mobile hesitantly asked me … Would you like to donate blood today?

I enthusiastically replied…YESSSSSSSS! YES I am!

She smiled as she looked for the clipboard.

They’d been out there ever since 10 a.m. so being that it was three o’clock I figured they’d had 50 or 100 people. But as it turns out I was number 12.

Number 12.

I felt both happy and sad. Happy that I was able to contribute something that would help a stranger who really needed something that only I could give, my awesome rare blood. But sad that I was only number 12.

But the nurses inside were so happy and grateful that I had taken the time to do this that they didn’t care that I just was number 12, they cared that I was a mother of two taking time out of her day to help someone, to save a life. They reminded me of gratitude. They reminded me of what was important. They reminded me of the person I was before I had a bad morning.

I was grateful for having remembered. I was grateful for random acts of kindness.

Being number 12 felt pretty good.

 

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No Need For Counting Calories … Really … No Need. It’s The Holidays.

9 Dec

I don’t understand why diets and holidays tend to come together. It’s really the worst time to watch what you’re eating.

People tend to restrict themselves and cut back because they’re watching their figure. I’ve seen the Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig commercials, as well as those gym commercials. People constantly wanting you to lose weight. Now I’m not saying some people don’t need to, I’m sure they do. But the majority of us fit in the “normal” category where love handles are accepted and we really shouldn’t be pressured to feel bad about it.

I mean these new “moms” posting pictures of themselves with abs of steel days after giving birth?

Dude cut it out.

I’m glad you think you look good. That’s great, but really … normal moms everywhere don’t need to see that. That does not fuel inspiration that fuels a are-you-fucking-kidding-me moment? I think I speak for most parents when I say that sleep usually overrides any workout plan, when you have a newborn that wakes you up every two hours.

But I digress.

Food and holidays go together. It’s a must, you can’t go depriving yourself around such a food extravaganza. Come January, February, March and the rest of the months of the year, with the exception of November, you can totally cut back. Count as many points and calories as you want. But feasting on Christmas should be mandatory. It’s not going to kill you. Really regardless of what WebMD might insinuate. It won’t. So splurge people, celebrate the love of food!

 

:)

ūüôā

 

Don’t take a little bit of this and not too much of that. Take what you want, it’s Festivus for crying out loud. I’ve never been fond of that “Less is More” mentality. I think less is less. More should be more, especially around the holidays. That’s when the great cooking comes out.

And if you live in a family like mine, it only happens once a year. People in my neighborhood stock up on Maizena and Farmer John’s Manteca. It’s a feast down here in Whoville with tamales galore. Some cooking geniuses even whip up pozole.¬†

Dude.

I don’t see tamales or pozole for another 364 days of the year so if I feast on three tamales or two bowls of pozole with a pound of bread I’m good. I’m content. I don’t feel bad. I don’t feel guilty. I feel awesome. And if I want to work out, it’s not so much because I feel bad about the food I ate, it’s because it’s already in my routine. It’s also probably the escape I need from the crazy that is my family holiday.

Now before all you health people start getting crazy on me let me just say, I’m not hating on health nut body building Jillian Michaels type of people or encouraging obesity, but I am in favor of enjoyment. You know, swimming in it. I am a food lover. And I look forward to things that I can only get once a year. No need for counting calories. Really. No need. It’s the holidays, people.

So women I encourage you, feel free to let loose on your holiday celebration. Loosen the belt, people. One or two feast nights won’t kill you. It really won’t. In fact I recently found out that it’s not diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, or heart disease that kills us. According to the genius Louis CK it’s men. Men are the number cause of death for women. So if you want to avoid anything out there, you should really avoid the dude hanging out by the eggnog.

 

The Great Outdoors … My Lunkless Ticket To Fighting Fat Cells

17 Sep

 

 

The Lunk Alarm.

Apparently some people take offense to it. I thought it was funny because it’s true. There are all kinds of people¬†at the gym.¬†However just like anything else this doesn’t happen in all gyms, but it does happen.

I remembered The Lunk Alarm this weekend as I was hanging out with friends and¬†we were all talking about weight loss, eating habits,¬†and the constant¬†body changes after having kids, and¬†the changes currently happening as we are all reaching¬†40. They all talked about what they could and couldn’t eat, self-restraint, gluten allergies, and portions. We all talked about trying to keep ourselves healthy and the work it took to maintain healthy lifestyles.

Apparently I’m not the only one who feels that it gets a little harder as you get older.

Tired becomes a factor. Tired from work. Tired from school. Tired from kids. Tired from marriage. Tired from a busy life. Tired becomes a problem sometimes.

And as it became my turn to chit-chat about my outlook on the matter, I admitted, tired is a factor Most definitely. I admitted parts of my body have changed, maybe not the same ones as everyone else but nevertheless stretch marks and fat cells are part of my I had-two-kids life.

And food? I’m in love with it. I admitted to the Claim Jumper size portions. I admitted my love for pasta and that I ate it at least four times a week.¬†My adoration for chocolate. I was a food lover who had seconds, and thirds. But I did admit that because I had a deep Food Network type of amor for food, I did have to get off my ass and workout.

It just made sense.

I had to.

If I ate whatever I wanted, I needed to make sure that I got some exercise in the process. But what I failed to mention was that I hate going to gyms. All these sweaty people in one place, crowded workout areas and the Lunks walking around staring at themselves in the mirror and then staring at themselves again naked in the locker room. Yeah¬†that’s really¬†not for me.

It’s all good that you’re beefed up or that you’re “hot” … dude fantastic. You’re great eye candy, and a nice distraction for me and everyone else I imagine. High-five to you, but sometimes you’re a little too free with your body around me.

I’m all about freedom, but I love my personal space.¬† It’s mine, but sometimes staying out of my one-foot radius while you’re naked¬†becomes a little too difficult for you while you’re blow drying your hair, brushing your teeth, applying make-up or sitting down. All while you’re naked you do this. I’m clothed. I’ve got a towel. I’ve got bra and panties.¬†I’m good, but¬†skin on skin contact is not allowed, not even feet or elbows.¬†Not even accidentally.

So because I value the¬†non-naked personal space radius,¬†I don’t go to gyms. They’re just not for me. And I know not all gyms are like this. I know, but I happen to prefer The Great Outdoors anyway.

I like to do things that don’t make me feel like it’s an actual workout. Sports. Swimming. Biking. Hiking. Dancing. Boxing. Martial¬†arts.¬†Any outdoor recreation is¬†good. Triathlons are good. Races are good.¬†I’m not reminding myself that¬†I’m working out, because I’m actually having fun.

I’ve never found that working on a Stairmaster is fun¬†for me, even if I have the best playlist on my iPod, it’s just something I don’t look forward to …¬†it feels like a chore. The Great Outdoors … that doesn’t feel like a chore at all. The Great Outdoors makes it possible for me to stuff my face … to¬†eat carbs. It makes the non-workout, workout possible. Plus it has less naked people bumping into you. The Great Outdoors …¬†my ticket to fighting fat cells and stretch marks that are¬†trying¬† to kidnap my 40 year-old body.

 

 

Fitness Party Lessons

29 Apr

I know I have rhythm, I’m a regular¬†Solid Gold¬†dancer¬†with slick Latin dance moves. It’s in my Guat¬†blood and in truth¬†it’s one of my favorite traits. But I’ll admit I was a little nervous. I had never¬†participated in a Zumbathon. In truth I’d never even done Zumba, but as I mentioned before it was for a good cause. So I suited up in my best Costco sweatpants and t-shirt and was on my way.

Zumbathon.

Zumbathon Logo.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I can honestly say I didn’t expect to see this type of chick there.¬†However when¬†I walked into the basketball gym, I saw them …¬†Dude. There they were¬†all decked out in their full on Zumba gear, bracelets and hats included. I thought who the hell wears a hat when they workout. I mean if it’s not a baseball cap to hide your messed up Iris Chacon-Amanda Miguel¬†morning hair, who wears that? Who wears hats like that to sweat?¬† Who does that? Zumba¬†groupies I guess. I had been informally introduced to the Zumba groupie. I’m sure you’ve seen her, she’s the kind of chick that wears makeup to workout. After this encounter¬†I wasn’t sure I was going to be enjoying this fitness party adventure.

The Zumba Groupies

The Zumba Groupies

But after a while, the majority of the Zumbathon people trickled in and most of them were wearing the “normal” sweats, shorts, yoga pants and t-shirt attire. Most of them were people from my old high school, most of whom I hadn’t seen since I graduated, and I was all right with that.¬†There’s really no need to see certain people¬†after high school,¬†and some of them you don’t even want to run into on Facebook. Unfortunately, they find you.¬†But I was willing to¬†cowboy up and have the¬†numerous¬†Oh-my-God!-how-have-you-been conversations for the sake of raising money for my old acquaintance battling cancer.

So after all the hello hugs,¬†I found a spot with my buddies and began the “fitness party” adventure. I had been warned that it might be a¬†serious workout and that I might need to take several breaks within the two-hour frame. But in truth I was all right. I felt like I was on a dance floor at a wedding, only this time I was wearing my New Balance and not some killer high heels that would emotionally and physically damage my feet. Now don’t get me wrong there was a lot of sweat, but it didn’t feel like I was working out, which I guess was a good thing.

I enjoyed my first Zumba encounter, although there were a couple of things I learned through this experience.

The Zumba Instructors and for some reason the groupies got into the shot.

The Zumba instructors and for some reason the groupies got into the shot.

I learned that the fake excited dance teacher that you see in DVD/videos really does¬†exists. It’s not a myth. She’s real. She has all these cartoon character facial expressions and cheesy sayings¬†that she really shouldn’t use, but she does because she thinks it’s going to motivate you. It doesn’t. It makes you lose faith¬†in the Zumba¬†philosophy, and it just makes you wish you hadn’t wasted money on that particular exercise DVD. Sadly I couldn’t turn her off. She was live and in progress.¬†I was so grateful to learn that there were five other instructors that day and that fake happy dance teacher would not be returning to the stage.¬†I also learned that the¬†sixty-year old, gray-haired Zumba dance instructor was the most badass of them all.¬†Sweat was pouring out when this lady took the stage.

Lesson Number Two: You Gotta Commit. In both life and Zumba, you gotta commit. I’d never taken a dance class but apparently it’s kind of like monkey see-monkey do. You pick up the dance moves as the routine progresses. Some of the moves were a little bit too involved for me. They were a little bit too much for everyone except for the Zumba¬†groupies down in front. But as I saw the people in front of me half-ass the moves I thought¬† … dude that looks terrible. So non-athletic and non-dancer like. ¬†I can’t be looking like that. Either you’re in or you’re out.¬†So I fully committed to all the steps¬†and if I messed up the Flashdance moves … ¬†well …¬†then¬†…¬†I went down in flames and I got a couple of laughs in the process.

Working it on the Zumba dance floor.

Working it on the Zumba dance floor.

Lesson Number Three: Be Prepared to Pump It.¬†¬†I had no idea that Zumba¬†had a lot of these chest-pump dance moves. A lot.¬†I felt like I was in¬†a¬†rap video — you know the kind where the chick is wearing Daisy Duke shorts¬†with six-inch heels,¬†and all of sudden takes a wide stance, puts her hands up in the air, and does her best Beyonc√©-like chest pop. Apparently it has something to do with the abs, but I wasn’t feeling it and¬†I looked nothing like Beyonc√©. More like a chick with back problems, but nevertheless I remembered Lesson Number Two and forged on.

Two hours went by pretty¬†quickly and¬†in the end¬†everyone was pretty¬†sweaty from all that chest pumping. It was such a success that they said they might be planning another one in the fall. And who knows I might go again and learn a couple more lessons. But hopefully by then people will not feel the need to take pictures and post on them on Facebook. Maybe they’ll just take pictures for the sake of taking pictures.

 

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Keeping A Badass Frame of Mind

8 Apr

Just when I thought I was badass, The Fight For Air Climb made me think again.

I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t think¬†it would be so challenging.¬†I thought I¬†had trained for this.¬†I was Rocky Balboa for about two months and I thought I was ready. I stormed bleachers and stairs and¬†thought my Hulk Hogan-like quads were sculpted enough and ready to take on the 1,400 steps waiting for me.

Yeah … I thought. That was the problem right there …

I mean the morning started off all right, just a few jitters at the registration table.

 

My gear from the registration table.

My gear from the registration table.

 

But when I saw my t-shirt I laughed. I¬†knew I was in the right place. I was¬†still in my badass frame of mind.¬†I mean you’d have to think you were a badass to climb this monster.

 

The Challenge. 63 stories and about 1,400 steps.

The Challenge. The AON Center. 63 stories and about 1,400 steps.

 

And so I remained in this state for most of the morning.¬†However, I did have some help. The¬†DJ pumped up the crowd with a few tunes and everyone was excited for the climb to start. Then I noticed the memory wall — names of people being honored during the climb — and I saw my dad’s name¬†and it gave me¬†an extra boost. It reminded me that this was more than just another BenGay moment.

 

The memory markers hanging near the starting line.

The memory markers hanging near the starting line.

 

As I passed the memory wall I noticed a group of firefighters approaching.

 

Heading towards the front of the building.

Heading towards the front of the building.

 

I was like dude … did someone pass out already? But they seemed to be walking pretty slowly¬†to be rapidly responding to a crisis.

 

The rest of the crew, getting geared up for the race.

The rest of the crew, getting geared up for the race.

 

No. No crisis.¬†They happen to be walking to the starting line to join the multitude of elite climbers designated to go first. Apparently these firefighters were also participating in the race, however they were not wearing t-shirt, and shorts attire. They were in full-on firefighter gear. I really thought I was badass, but this … this seem to put me in the minor leagues. I couldn’t imagine climbing with all that extra weight. I could barely climb with an iPod.¬†But I was here, and I was going¬†to finish no matter what¬†league I was in.

In truth, I thought I was going to do well. As always I watched clips from Miracle, Rudy, Remember the Titans, Hoosiers, Rocky, Glory Road, The Natural, Invincible, and Breaking Away.¬†I listened to¬†inspirational coach speeches. I thought I had prepared, both physically and mentally. I’m a nerd I always prepare. I reached the starting line, got the countdown, and took off.¬† I thought … I got this.

 

Standing at the starting line.

Standing at the starting line.

 

Uh … think again. When I reached the eighth floor. Something happened, and I had to think back to my training.

There I was¬†in the¬†outdoors storming the bleachers of the local high school and community college stadium, working up a sweat after about forty minutes and thinking …¬†I can do this. But there was only one problem … I was outdoors, breathing fresh air.¬†¬†Fresh being the key word here. So I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier.¬†I guess I should have known that fresh air, or fake air for that matter, does not circulate in skyscraper stairwells. It does not.

You know what does circulate?

Sweat, smell, and claustrophobia. Yeah … it¬†spreads itself up and down those 63 stories, crop-dusting¬†itself all over, in every¬†nook and cranny. I couldn’t understand why my legs felt heavy after only twelve stories. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t storm these steps two at a time, like a real athlete, like I had during my training. I couldn’t understand why I got so tired so early and why my heart was beating so quickly.

And then it hit me. I was learning this lesson the hard way.

Oxygen. Pinche lack oxygen.

I was in the¬†American Lung Association‘s Fight For Air Climb and I was literally fighting for air. This is when my fake running began. You know¬†when you’re running at the¬†park or track and you see some chick or dude half-assing it.¬†They’re running in¬†slow motion, it’s not even jogging. It’s slower than jogging,¬†but they think they are actually sprinting because they’re pumping their arms and bobbing their head up and down. They’re going at the speed of walk. Yeah … that was me. I had become the half-ass chick because there was not enough oxygen and everyone around me was feeling it.¬†We were in full-blown hypoxia mode.

Thank God they opened a few doors on various levels, and thank God for the high school volunteers trying to fan me with signs. That definitely helped boost my energy level a bit. And then just when I thought I was getting closer I looked up and saw the sign. I had barely cleared the 24th floor.

Holy crap. This climb was definitely going to kick my ass.

 

Most definitely.

Most definitely.

 

But I didn’t want to stop, so I grabbed hold of the handrail and kept climbing. Once I hit the halfway mark I just stopped looking at the signs. I hated the fact that I was climbing so many steps only to realize that I had gone up a few¬†flights. All I wanted to see was the 60th floor approaching, but¬†I was so far off. This floor countdown was not cool, ¬†so I just tried to avoid the signs.

But, did I make it to the top without crawling, without hanging on the stairs for dear life, or without throwing up like many of my fellow climbers?

Hell yes!

I rose to the top. I did it by any means necessary. Mostly jogging, the running had stopped at the eighth floor. But there was some dancing as I passed by my fellow climbers. I fought through the lack of oxygen and smelly hallways to finish in 87th place out of 350 chicks. It may not seem fantastic, but it was good for me.

So thank¬†you Double Dutch Bus, thank you Mr. World Wide¬†Pitbull Don’t Stop The Party,¬†thank you Devil Went¬†Down to Georgia,¬†thank you Eye of The Tiger, thank you Michael Jackson’s¬†Mama-Say-Mama-Sah Ma-Ma-Coo-Sah.¬†You came through for me once I reached the 40th floor. But most of all thank you Tucanes¬†de¬†Tijiuana because¬†La Chona helped me¬†run my way to the top.

 

One of the views from the top.

One of the views from the top.

63 Stories. 1,400 stairs. I clocked in at 18.41.

Surprisingly there was no BenGay this time, maybe it was because of the VIP sports massage I got after I finished the climb. However, there was plenty of ice for my weary 37-year old knees.

But the question remains … Still, badass?

Yes. Hell yes! Most definitely.

Serenity Now

3 Apr
Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net

Yes. I found this to be true. Very true, which is probably the reason why I decided to take on the 21-Day Meditation Challenge a while back.¬†I wanted to stop having George¬†Costanza moments whenever I encountered stupid people. I don’t know why¬†they irritated me so much, but they did. And I knew these people¬†multiplied so I had to find a way of dealing with them without adding stress and aggravation to my life. So when the challenge came my way via a friendly email, I thought why not.

I finished the challenge this week and in truth I found so much peace in a couple of sessions that I meditated myself into a deep sleep and I guess that can be a good thing. Relaxation and peace¬†are the ultimate goals and sleeping is the most relaxed and peaceful state I’ve experienced. So I gave myself a B+. I would have gotten an A had I stayed awake.

But that’s not the only reason for my B+ status.¬†I didn’t quite master the art of emptying my mind until day 12. I imagine¬†it had a lot to do with the endless¬†to-do lists, my life lists, my rejection letters, my bills, my kids crankiness prior to bed, my excitement for what was¬†waiting for me on¬†my DVR, my attempt at trying to find humor in my latest personal disaster, my random ideas for another story, or my latest encounter with stupid people and how frustrated I was that they were¬†still popping into my head. It’s busy up there.¬† I had a lot emptying to do, luckily I was able to make it happen by the half-way point and I reaped the full benefits¬†of his¬†whole meditation shindig.

And after 21 days, is there a difference?

Well, I still have Costanza moments,¬†but they have simmered down a bit. I think being able to sit in the quiet, to reflect,¬†to say my mantras, and to empty my mind has helped. I’m improving my¬†perfect health portfolio which tends to include mental health, peace and inner well-being. Although chocolate is still a pretty amazing Zen experience too. But this whole meditation¬†situation added a little balance without the calories. It added my serenity now moment, without the yelling and hostility. It tamed the Costanza in me, but let’s not get crazy …¬†he’s still there. He just goes on hiatus every now and then — attempting to master his anger management skills¬†and cope with the existence of¬†brainless people.

63 Stories

1 Apr

The countdown is on …¬†Five days.

I got five days until the big race. The Big Climb, actually, and my quads¬†feel like Randy Macho Man Savage‘s, but¬†in reality they look like toothpicks. Really strong toothpicks, though.¬†The big beefy kind that you get at a¬†steak house, but no matter the size,¬†they’re going to take me to the¬†rooftop of¬†the second tallest skyscraper in the city. I might not finish first, but I’m gonna haul ass¬†and do my best to finish strong¬†… even if it’s¬†to finish at the top of¬†my “age rage”. You gotta be happy finishing at the top of your “age range” right? I¬†mean that’s how they level the playing¬†field. But you also¬†hope that you kick some 21-year-old butt and that a 65 year-old Muscle & Fitness Athlete of the Year type of chick doesn’t leave you in the dust. That’s all you really hope for right? Well, that and not falling up the stairs and causing pedestrian traffic.

So am I ready? Is Team Guat ready? Have I been training?

Most people have been putting up training logs on their fundraising page. I guess as evidence that they’re not slacking off —¬†evidence that they’re committed and that people’s donations are pumping up their spirits to finish faster. I don’t need to be doing that … my people have faith in me. They know that if I say I’m going to do something, I will slather myself up and down with BenGay in order to get it done. I will run at around my neighborhood at 9 o’clock at night, hit the bleachers at the local high school on weekends, and storm my parents’ wooden staircase when the weather (or time) does not permit me to go outside.¬†I work out. I’m prepared. I’ll get all Rocky Balboa on them.

But¬†regardless of the workout, my Guat spirit is¬†getting it done.¬†It’ll get me to the top.¬†I don’t know if I’ll still be sprinting by the time I get to the 40th floor with 20+ more floors to go, but I’ll still be moving. I’ve got the iPod loaded and my knees fortified with Glucosamine¬†… well my knees could probably use a little more lubrication, but I think they’re used to the wear and tear going on around here. Ice packs and BenGay are common household items. I stock up. I should¬†be, I know this little challenge is gonna require a lot of TLC when I’m done.

What’s ahead of me? 63 stories. About 1,400 steps. Now knowing this doesn’t necessarily make it better. In¬†fact¬†it may cause even more nerves because of the crazy number itself, but I tell myself that it can only help me. When I feel like I’ve done enough working out for the day I think … it’s 1,400 pinche¬†steps. Holy Crap!¬† I¬†could use¬†another¬†ten minutes of¬†burn. So I take a deep breath, raise up the volume on my little iPod and keep running, keep stepping, keep lunging. Don’t know if that extra time is gonna help, but I’m sure I’ll find out.

.

.

And you’d figure with all this sweat and working out that I’d at least lose a few pounds or that my pants would fit looser, but I’m still racking up the same numbers and my¬†stomach is still the stomach of a mother of two — no Shape & Fitness models up in here. I just tell myself that my legs are getting most of the lean muscle.¬†It’s the silver lining.

I also remember that I wasn’t in it to lose weight, I’m never in it for that.¬†I’m in it¬†to honor my dad. I’m in it to raise money for the American Lung Association and help others with lung disease. I’m in it to¬†reach the top.¬†¬†I’m in it for the challenge that 63 stories can bring to my Ben-Gay loving body and knees.

Being Anti-Ageless Proved To Be Too Complicated

15 Mar

I never thought I would find myself in this aisle of the CVS Pharmacy. But there I was in aisle 10A thinking about my anti-aging possibilities at age 37. What the hell?

This kind of stuff shouldn’t even occur to me until I have my mid-life crisis. I mean I have all kinds of crises — all kinds — but I haven’t had the ginormous one yet. I shouldn’t even be concerned with my epidermis. I shouldn’t even be saying epidermis. So what the hell was going on? What led me to visit aisle 10A? What led me to contemplate¬†my skin’s supposed lack of radiance and the need for renewal?

The skin renewal aisle

The skin renewal aisle

People. Regular good-looking people.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not too shabby, but this wasn’t really about looks. It was just about my face, my skin. I mean I’ve always¬†had good skin. No need for Clearasil¬†during my teenage years. No acne scars. No blotches or dark spots. No hardcore facial hair. No allergies. Just regular smooth Guat¬†skin. My only issue has been the dark circles under my eyes, but that’s all good. I’ve had those forever and I’ve learned to use concealer. I’ve grown accustomed to them. So why was I all of a¬†sudden looking at¬†creams with¬†stuff called exfoliators and Retinol?¬†Why the hell was I freaking out about my skin? I’m a Chapstick type of girl, and proud of it. That’s who I am, that’s how I roll. I’m good with it. But it wasn’t the glam look that concerned me.¬†It was me and what I saw in my face during my nighttime routine.

A couple of weeks ago I hung out with a bunch of friends, some who were moms, some who were not. It was a laid-back get-together celebrating one of our friend’s¬†personal milestones. Everyone was having a good time, laughing, chatting, and just hanging out. Everything was all good. Then when I got home something happened.

I looked in the mirror.

Now usually I tend to avoid mirrors, not that I’m hideous or anything. But I just don’t feel the need to constantly look at myself throughout the day. Just in the morning and just at night. But I was getting ready for bed so the mirror was necessary as I did my bedtime routine. I don’t know if guys have bedtime routines, but I know chicks do, even Chapstick chicks do. It’s a process.¬†So as I was lathering up my Aveeno cleanser I looked up and¬†thought … holy crap I looked jacked up. Stressed. Weary. Worn out. Defeated. I looked like my skin needed a vacation.

I thought back to the get-together from that afternoon, everyone I had hung out with today. Dude … they all looked really good. And I couldn’t use the excuse of … well I’m a mom. There were moms there¬†and some with three kids, but they were looking all CoverGirl-like. They looked energized. Vibrant. Airbrushed. They looked magazine-worthy and¬†then here I was looking like the before shot of a wondrous miracle cream that’s supposed to solve all your problems. I mean I know I had the flu and was doped up on DayQuil and NyQuil, and that could have contributed to my crappy state of being,¬†but it was still¬†a total downer.

So it was all of that combined that led me to this alpha-hydroxyl, fruit extract, RevitaLift enriched aisle. And let me tell you there were plenty of options. I realized that this trip down aisle 10A required a little more recon. I stood there about fifteen minutes lost in the multitude of anti-aging, lifting, firming, revitalizing, scrubbing serum creams. I felt like I needed a lifeline, but had no idea who to call.

I was lost. I had no idea if I needed exfoliating¬†or toning, lifting or firming. I thought cream was just cream. The fanciest I’d ever bought was something with SPF so when I saw all the choices, I was a little overwhelmed. I looked around to see if anybody in a red CVS vest was around … maybe they could give me some facial guidance, but all I saw was a teenage boy with acne trying to talk to some girls while restocking the paper towels. I guess I should have gone to Macy’s or something. They got all those chicks in the lab quotes and big mirrors¬†looking all professional with tons of makeup caked on, but I was¬†on a¬†budget and couldn’t be spending a hundred dollars on¬†a small¬†jar of¬†you-won’t-look-like-crap-anymore cream. I needed a big jar at an affordable price. I needed a¬†Costco size.

So after about thirty minutes of examining jars and tubes and soy extract formulas, I went home without anti-ageless assistance. The entire trip was a bust. It seemed that being anti-ageless was a little too complicated for me. Maybe I’ll be ready in a few weeks, after I’ve done some research, until then me and my stressed out skin will have to work on relaxing so as not to look so jacked up.¬†But then again maybe I shouldn’t be checking myself out and examining my face while I’ve got the flu. Germs tend to affect your appearance.

 

My Eat-Pray-Love Moment Without Boarding a Plane to India or Bali

11 Mar

As I mentioned last week I finally got around to lacing up my New Balance¬†and get back on the workout wagon after being kicked in the ass by the flu. And in¬†doing so,¬†I‚Äôve added challenging goals to help me get back in good Guat health condition.¬†This includes¬†roller derby class, which is not only a massive quad and butt workout, but also scary as hell. And then there‚Äôs my big American Lung Association Climb coming up. But I thought I‚Äôd also embark on another challenge. Something that‚Äôs supposed to¬†balance out my¬†entire¬†body, because you know me … I need balance.

Meditation.

For the next 21 days I’ll be participating in a meditation challenge¬†to try to improve my whole wellness¬†— body, mind, and spirit.¬†I’m challenging my body in all sorts of ways that require BenGay, why not challenge my mind, right? I mean I got Advil if necessary.

Meditation … that’s one of those hey-that-looks-easy experiences, but it’s really not.

Image via loveofmantrameditation.com

Image via loveofmantrameditation.com

I see it happen on television and movies. They sit there, in¬†their kindergarten style cross-legged position, with their fingers doing that circle thing,¬†listening¬† to weird New Age Music that’s composed mostly of wind instruments with names I can’t even pronounce.¬†They look like they have peace and stillness, but they’re actors. They’re just pretending to be centered and balanced.

I can pretend to be too, but for the sake of this challenge I’m supposed to be serious and tap into that peaceful side of the Guat.¬†I’m¬†supposed to empty my mind of all thoughts and worry. I don’t know if I can empty my mind¬†for more than five seconds. I might get bored with empty. I think too much.¬†I talk too much. I’m a writer … it happens.

But don’t get me¬†wrong,¬†I don’t mind sitting on the beach, hearing the sounds of the waves¬†and just relaxing. I don’t mind hanging out by myself in the late hours of the night when everyone is asleep, reflecting on my day and being¬†surrounded by a nice¬†quiet, not the creepy Hitchcock kind of quiet, the nice kind which is usually accompanied by tea. I don’t mind that.¬†But apparently that’s not meditating. I was schooled.

I’m not a big meditating person. It¬†seems a¬†little difficult for me, freeing my mind of thought. I thought I did that while I was asleep, but apparently I don’t, which is why my friend sent me that 21-day Meditation Challenge email. So I thought why not, what have I got to lose? Fifteen minutes every day for 21 days, I can do this. I can have an Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray Love moment without boarding a plane to India or Bali.

I may wind up more relaxed, more balanced, more at peace¬†and less likely to get all George Costanza¬†on somebody when they piss me off, but then again nothing may change and I might just enjoy the quiet of the night without the repetitions of a¬†mantra, without the OOOOOOMMMMMs, without the New Age music. I might realize that¬†a good piece of chocolate, my DVR, and some quiet is all I really need. Don’t know. But I’ll find out.

I’m Gonna Need a Strong Dose of This

8 Feb

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Considering that I am currently under the influence of DayQuil and NyQuil, I still feel pretty crappy.

Everybody knows the flu blues. Your head hurts, like Wild E. Coyote smashed it with an anvil. Your chest¬†hurts¬†like if you did 100 push-ups. Your eyeballs hurt, like if you had glaucoma. Your body aches like if you’re a senior citizen, but you’re only in your late 30s. I mean even your hair hurts and being a mom, just finishing a 14-hour shift with two kids I got no¬†blanket, no soup, or no cup of tea¬†waiting for¬†me. Just a sink full of dishes that my crazy OCD mind will just have to let go of.¬†They’ll have to wait until tomorrow just like everything on the to-do list.

Tonight … tonight¬†I’m gonna need a dose of laughter and sleep. A strong one.