My day started out with a lovely run with some wonderful friends in the brilliant sunshine! The girls standing by me and I did 5k while the rest of the
crazies more dedicated athletes, did a half marathon.
My niece’s face in this pic cracks me up. She is NOT IMPRESSED with our spread. Although I was! This year I whipped baked yams with coconut oil, cardamom, and cinnamon and it was divine! Seriously, like dessert good. Never microwave or steam a sweet potato again- I’m telling you baking in the oven takes them from veggie to…some cool descriptor that starts with V that I could think of if I wasn’t still in a tryptophan haze.
Snarky salespeople are also a great anti-depressant.
This poststarted out very different than it ended. I was all set to write another slightly heartbroken post about how my sad was making me sad and the sadness was unrelenting but then I realized – in the course of writing this out – that maybe that isn’t quite true anymore.
A month ago a friend (Hi, Angie!) started a 30-day healthy living challenge. Everyone paid $20 up front and then tallied up points over the course of the month for doing things like exercising, not eating sugar, getting at least seven hours of sleep, having dinner as a family etc. At the end of the month whoever has the most points wins the whole pot. You know the drill, I’m sure you’ve all seen a ton of these. And while I’ve done this type of thing in years past I’ve really lost any enthusiasm for them over the past couple of years, mostly because I’m super competitive and so I find food/exercise challenges can be very triggering.
This is totally true. Scares the everloving crap out of me.
Topless treadmill running has never been on my fitness bucket list but then neither was being a pro NFL cheeleader for a day or doing crunches on an underwater produce scale in an ice-cold pool for half an hour and I ended up doing both of those. So. So maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked when last Friday morning found me frantically chugging up a treadmill set to 14% incline, unsure of which was more painful – the lack of sports bra or any supportive top or all the wires snaking out of me.
I should back up. Like all the way to last Thursday. I went in for my usual doctor’s check up – It was time, I needed a flu shot and I had some questions about folic acid absorption that I had after a rousing discussion with Deb on my post about being freaking depressed all the time. (Short version: Apparently there’s a genetic marker – of which I have half of – that impedes folic acid metabolism and can manifest as depression. It’s called the MTHFR genes, which aptly sounds out like Motherf****** in my head for some obscene and hilarious reason, in case you’re curious.) Plus I have a thing for paper dress fashion. I blame all those Barbie paper dolls I grew up loving on. (And the ones with the rub-on patterns? Remember those?!?)
Best kind of diet talk ever. 3-year-old gives himself a toilet pep talk and it is awesome. (click through to see video!)
Seven things you are never supposed to talk about in a social setting, according to a recent episode of This American Life on NPR: How you slept, your period, your health (beyond a quick, general description), your dreams (as in the nighttime variety), money, your route (i.e. how you got to the particular location you are at), and your diet. According to Maria Matthiessen – a rather stiff but nonetheless adorable matriarch of an older generation concerned about us young ‘uns and our atrocious manners – all of these topics are off limits not because they’re gross or inappropriate but rather because they’re boring. Except for money talk, which she specifies as crass, the other six topics are simply verboten because they make the subjects’ eyes glaze over. To make her point, she mentions dreams specifically, saying, “The dreams themselves were incredibly boring, unbearable if you had to listen to that over your breakfast table.”
I enlisted my eldest to help make the soup! He learned how to chop an onion. I learned how to stifle my giggles while tried to cry from said onion.
Season’s first snow! Yesterday, blanketed in white, ended up being kind of a strange day. At first the kidlets were super excited to see all the flakes coming down but as the snow piled up – but just a little bit, since this is Colorado now – they got pensive. Then sad.
“I miss Minnesota,” Son #2 sighed.
“I want all my old fwiends,” Jelly Bean added.
“Can we go back home now?” Son #3 said, “To Minnesota?”
Snow always makes me a little broody (in both senses of the word) anyhow so I decided to keep going down memory lane and cook up some Minnesota comfort food. And of course for me comfort food means Gym Buddy food. All the gym buddies are amazing cooks in their own way.
Power yoga may be my new favorite workout, if only because this happened this morning: There we were, an hour into a leg-quaking, arm-shaking class when the teacher told us to we were going to take a quick break to try something new. Having been to plenty of yoga classes in my day I immediately realized that a) unless you’re laying flat down on your mat there’s no such thing as a “break” and b) “new” always means tricky. But despite my muscles silently threatening me with total boycott if I did anything fancy, I followed her instructions to crouch down onto my heels. As soon as she told us to move both hands to one side, I knew what was coming. My old nemesis Side Crow:
This isn’t Emily but it’s basically what she looks like.
I know yoga’s all peaceful and whatever but I’m just going to say it. I hate Side Crow. I’m probably doing it wrong but I always end up with all my weight on my one supporting wrist and it just doesn’t seem right to pit gravity against the teeny tiny part of my body responsible for typing, ping pong and pageant-waving. Gravity always wins.
Weight lifting builds bone density. Weight lifting increases strength and power. Weight lifting burns fat all day long. Weight lifting makes you look tougher than Chuck Norris at Comic Con. Oh sure, everyone always talks about the benefits of strength training but there is a dark side no one ever talks about. No, literally, a dark side. Namely, in my pits. Because I have very dark hair and very light skin, see. For those of you not similarly cursed (it’s not a bug, it’s a feature?), let me explain:
This is me in the shower after my workout. You will notice I am wearing a bathing suit for modesty. I do not wear a bathing suit in the shower at home but if I’ve learned anything from Ashton Kutcher it’s that I can’t have nudie pics of me floating around on the Internet or I’ll never get to inherit Demi Moore’s creepy doll collection, right? But my shower curtain really is transparent. Anyhow, here I am showering blissfully, trying to wash off all the germs from the gym. Well as blissfully as one can with a) the door ALWAYS open (Children have a strong aversion to shut doors – they assume candy is being consumed. They may not be wrong.) and b) a peanut gallery. Jelly Bean is obsessed with bathing and so she must stand and s-t-a-r-e at me the whole time I shower. Eh, you get used to it.
Our annual family photo shoot. Wearing blue and feeling blue – I feel a theme for 2013! Being depressed gives you an excuse to wear your emotions on your sleeve…literally. But really who can stay sad when I’ve got that hilarious little photo-bomber right above me?
My brain will always be broken. I know that. I gave up years ago trying to make myself be something I’m not. Depression runs deep in me – through my genes, through my history, through my heart. My family tree is a weeping willow. It is what it is. Sometimes its touch is so light I barely feel the shadow of it. But other times, like now, it pulls me under like a leaf on a river. Learning to accept the push and pull of my sadness is something I’m still working on. So believe me when I say I’m not trying to be glib or to minimize the very real pain and numbness that depression brings. But sometimes even I have to look up and realize how much good comes from bad.
What I love about being depressed:
Sleeping is my jam. I don’t want to brag or anything but I’m a champion sleeper and always have been*. (Are there extreme sleeping contests like there are extreme eating contests? I’m not sure what that would look like – hanging in a climbing tent off the face of Half Dome? – but I’d be up for it.) No matter what other issues are going on in my life, I’ve never had insomnia or random night wakings and other than a few bad bouts of PTSD (leftover from being sexually assaulted), no major nightmares either. Although I do have lots of dreams and generally remember them after waking – which sounds cooler than it is since I usually dream really lame-o stuff. Take last night for instance, I dreamt I was talking to some old coworkers from several jobs ago who ended up being just as boring in my dreams as they were in real life. Freudian acolytes, make of that what you will.
But despite my ability to fall asleep nearly anytime anywhere, I do have my preferences. IDEALLY: