Despite It All, A Great 2012

I ate so many black-eyed peas.

Sooooooo many black-eyed peas.

It was very easy to do so.  I’m not the B’klyn<3 of yester-years, that much is certain.  Those foods I used to eschew as a child (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, anything not

Rainbow on a Cloudy Day 1

The best thing about sunshine on a cloudy day...

a pizza) are ones I adore over the past 10 years (in full force now with the veganist lifestyle).

Also, Appetite for Reduction recipes can do no wrong in my book, and Hottie Black-eyed Peas is no exception.

In 2012, I started with new hope and new direction.  Despite not having New Year’s Resolutions per se (when they come, they come and start immediately), I did feel the extra rush of a blank slate to start new and fresh.  I’ve felt calmer, more relaxed than I have in a very long time.  At the same time, I was excited about pursuing some new direction in my life, thinking about possibilities for the future.

A scant 4 days into the new year, this all came crashing to a halt – quite literally.  An early morning drive on a clear, bright sunny day (which was producing quite a bit of sun glare) resulted in a crash into my car being rear-ended and me going to the emergency room via ambulance, a confused, hurt and quite blubbering mess.

Before we hit panic buttons, let me assure you that I am fine, as was the driver of the other vehicle.  After transport, I was seen after, given brief physical tests and scans.  I had a “goose egg” on my head, but was given a couple of prescriptions for pain and muscle relaxant and sent home some hours later.

I didn’t take the prescriptions at first, thinking they were not exactly needed, but some advice from others coupled with delayed muscle reaction a few days later showed me that I did.  They do help, but make me more air-headed than I naturally tend to be.

I’m very nearly recovered now, as the muscles relax and the pain diminishes.  The funny thing (if there can be funny in auto accidents) is that I found myself focusing on many positive things versus the very negativity of the situation.

  • My husband (The Husband) was there for me immediately, helping me make sense of things where nothing made sense.  I think I was crying when I gave him the worse directions in the world as to where the accident happened, but he was there quickly. I was grateful for his love and support, as well as him being the sensible one to help me communicate with the police, ambulance, etc.
  • Three out of four hospital workers that visited me in the room gave me a blanket.  I still had on my coat, but must have been shivering like a chihuahua.  One went so far as to remove the previously fetched blankets, place a “fresh from the oven” blanket over me, and then replace the removed blankets. I am grateful for those who help keep me warm.
  • The other driver was alive.  A lot of my freak out and panic came from seeing the other driver’s car magically  next to mine (after calls to 911 and The Husband).  All I could see from my vantage point was a very crushed front-end, airbags, and legs, but no movement.  Fortunately, Good Samaritans were also able to interpret my useless babble and let me know the other driver was also calling emergency services.  I’m grateful others stopped to help and tend.
  • I am alive!  Certainly it was not a minor accident, but thankfully it wasn’t also a major one.  A change in any of the conditions could have made the pendulum swing one way or the other, but the fact of the matter is, for bumps on the head or stiffness in the neck or pain in the shoulders, I am truly and ever grateful that God [or your choice of deity, karma, or random chance here] was watching over us that day and that  ultimately, everyone was okay.
Rainbow on a Cloudy Day 2

... is the resulting rainbow.

So here I am, blogging again about my vegan foods, my wild banana consumption, my crazy and oft-times lazy running training, my always being cold (now colder than ever since I lost all that weight) and about life in general.  A life I get to continue to live, and a life that I continue to love.  Big plans ahead, and it’s well past time to pursue my dreams and live my life to the fullest!

I think the ® of I Hate Everything can go ahead and take a hike now.

Happy, blessed and safe new year to all!


I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout The Woman In the Mirror

Why So Angry Pants?

This is an incredibly useful B'klyn<3 image, hence it's incredible over-use in this blog.

A couple of months ago, I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw.

I was horrified, repulsed and thoroughly disgusted.

Before anyone flies off the handle at me, know that this is not a post about how fat I am (because I know I’m not fat despite how fat I think I am which I think is just part-and-parcel of being a woman in this day and age, and my mind is still playing catch-up with the new me).

This is also not a post about how physically unattractive I am.  Trust me; I could wax poetic about the 247 distinct physical flaws that I have, but I’d likely bore you to tears before you could pounce on me and my self-pity parade.

This post is actually a hard one.  It’s a confession of sorts… for you see, the “mirror” I gazed into was my reflection in the eyes of an 8-year old child.

Some people know this, and some people don’t, so for the record:  I’m not a person of patience, nor one of keeping my temper in check.

I’m not sure how or why it evolved; while I believe I’m turning more and more into my mother (and this I don’t mind at all), there are parts of me that are very much unlike her.  My father died when I was very young, so I don’t know the how or where it developed that I would become incredibly impatient and then angry at everything.  People.  Inanimate objects.  Myself.

It’s how I developed the registered trade-mark of “I Hate Everything®.”  A phrase I’ve said so much that someone once purchased me a Happy Bunny magnet with that very phrase on it.

Now, as with running, I’ve been trying to become more focused on losing the trade-mark, having more patience, and finding peace with myself and others.

A couple of months ago I found that, as with running, I haven’t been practicing very well.

There I was back then, standing in Whole Foods, trying to get stuff accomplished with The Husband.  I wanted him to go stand in line while I picked up one last item.  He hates to stand in line while I go to pick up one last item because he believes I’ll never make it back in time.

Most times, he is correct.  This particular time, however, I was nearly standing next to the thing I wanted to pick up.

“Just go,” I said for about the fourth, trying to make a dash for the final thing that would free us from the over-crowded store that day.

“If’ you’re gonna go get more stuff,” he mumbled, steering the cart away from the cash registers and more towards my direction.

I then snapped.  I do not do very well in crowds, and I do even worse when anyone, even The Husband, starts hovering around me.

“Dang it, The Husband, go wait in line!”

Now yes; I did say “dang”, not “darn” or worse… but there was no mistaking the the meaning of my words.

He jammed the cart in the other direction and headed for the check out.

I began to turn towards my last item, my freedom, when I happened to catch my reflection in “the mirror.”

Twin mirrors at that.  The eyes of an 8-year old boy gazing up at me.  They grew large as saucers as he emitted a scandalized gasp that seemed to go on forever.

I was suddenly humiliated.  I was horrified, repulsed and thoroughly disgusted.

I do believe I turned 7000 shades of purple as I went for my item.  I heard the little boy whisper to someone, an older female relative.  I heard the adult “tsk” and “at least you know better” and other key phrases, each further deepening my shame.

Some claim to patience, peace and losing the trade-mark I have been making.

Since that time, I’ve been working-actually working– on the inner peace.

Like the running, it’s not been easy.

Today, I went to run after work.  As much as I didn’t want to, as much as I wanted to go home, take a nap, eat, do anything else, I actually got home, changed my clothes and went out.

Lasted all of 7 minutes in the cold, windy weather.

I’m kind of bummed.  I was also kind of bummed that I lost my patience once or twice with my pc.

But I got 7 minutes.  And there were moments where I took a breath, remained calm, and let the anger pass me by.

Small victories.  I will cling to them.  I will make them grow.  Because I want to look in that mirror and feel proud of what I see.  I never want to be that person again.

And I’ll need a lot of patience to get there.

Seriously Getting Serious About Running… For Serious!

Runs with Bells
I now like to run with bells…

I used to loathe running.  Truly, madly and deeply.  I used to get tired in my dreams, that is how much I hated running.

Then again, I was very overweight, and physical activity at the rate that those without said complication (because the gym teacher, of course, did not allow for anyone to drag behind) proved to be quite difficult.  While I lived in Brooklyn in a 4-story building without an elevator and often walked a couple of miles a day (yes, usually to and from a pizza parlor… or school, and then a pizza parlor), running was something of a torturous event.

When I found that walking was an activity that I could do briskly and well as I was experiencing my weight loss journey, I entered the Monument Avenue 10K in 2010 as a walker.  While I had never actually walked 6.2 miles in a row ever, I felt confident that it was something I could do, no sweat.  I had years of experience.

I have a habit, you see, that finds me usually epic-ally wrong about things.

This is a story for another day, however.  This was the moment when I spied someone: an overweight gentleman whom I’d passed with my hobble-like walk and was not witnessing as I was doubling back to the finish and trying not to double forward in pain.  He was big, slick with sweat, and redder than a tomato.  And he was running.  And he kept running.  Huffing and puffing and not quitting.

I was 65 pounds into my weight loss journey and feeling crappy just by having walked over 4 miles so far that day.  And suddenly, for the very first time in my life, I wanted to run.

So, for the past couple of years, I’ve been running.  I trained to run 1 mile, and then a 5K.  I ran a few hometown races.  In 2011, I ran the Monument Avenue 10K instead of walked and felt exhilarated instead of tired and broken.  It was fabulous.

Now, I want more.

Lately, while I sign up and run races, I haven’t been giving running any sort of strict attention that would have me improve.  I want to improve; I want to run longer and I want to run faster.  I’ve talked about this before even.  Yet I’ve not taken any steps in order to get this accomplished.  I’m not sure how to track, as all of the gadgets and gizmos have me scratching my head in confusion.  I want to run at the most impractical time of day (early morning is too dark, after work is too dark, and while I love to run right at the stroke of lunchtime, my co-workers usually appreciate it if I am not spending their afternoon stinking up the joint).

My new approach to improvement has started with one small step; I’ll be training with an actual, live training group for the 2012 10K this year.  I’ll stick to the routine and I’ll go the group sessions.  Perhaps I can learn more about form and the best way to track.  I’m hoping that a little discipline is what I need to move forward.

Also, I paid for it.  Nothing motivates me more than the desire to not waste my money.

Also, I seemed to have gained back a pound or two of my 176-lost during the holidays.  The exercise may help in my plan to re-lose them.

Speaking of all of these things, don’t forget to eat your black-eyed peas!  They are are a nutritious source of protein and fiber and are supposed to bring you luck and prosperity for the new year!  I’ll be eating what quickly became my favorite black-eyed pea recipe only last week:  Hottie Black Eyed Peas With Greens (I’ll be using kale).  This dish, comprised of things I used to loath as much as running itself, is such a completely delicious and warming dish, bursting with flavor and a nice hint of heat.

Hottie Black Eyed Peas

Since I'm Making Them Tonight, Perhaps I'll Even Have A Better Picture...

Mmm…  I will have a very prosperous New Year, indeed!


New Bog Smell II: Return of the Killer New Blog Smell!

Sunrise VA Beach

A New Dawn, A New Day, A New Blog. I'm Feeling Good!

Good morning, and Happy New Year to all!

I am certainly looking forward to a very good new year and will make strides to make thisnew blog (re-located from Blogger) the best one ever!  Looking to update more frequently and just hone my skills as a blogger.

A little about me for the new folks:  Born in the mid 70s, I’m originally from Brooklyn NY where I grazed on pizza fields as far as the eye could see (at least this is how I remembered it), and re-located to central Virginia in the early 90s.

I was overweight my entire life, topping well over 300 pounds despite trying many different weight loss methods.  In June of 2009, I joined a Weight Watchers at Work program and over the course of two years managed to lose 176 pounds.  Part of that process saw me become more and more into running (but being particularly lazy about it) and, as I learned more about food and nutrition, eventually moving to a plant-based diet (I call myself a veganist).

My interests (other than pizza) include reading, writing, drawing, knitting, walking, running, cooking, playing video games.  I often complain (and unjustly so) that I never have time for these things.  Right now, I’m working on the continual WIP that is me, trying to tone and shape my physical self (and become less lazy and be a better runner) and my spiritual self (so I can lose the registered trademark from I Hate Everything®, I’ve relied on this phrase for far too long).

This space is a place where I’ll just talk about me, my experiences as someone who has lost a lot of weight, someone who is very into food and cooking, someone who is looking to improve themselves physically and emotionally, and someone who is crazy.  I am an ever changing person, or perhaps I’ve always been the same… but in either case, I’m learning more and more about me every day, and don’t mind sharing my findings with the rest of the world, just in case they find them interesting, informative… or at least mildly entertaining.

Happy 2012 to all of you; my sincere hope is that it is peace-filled and joyous for everyone.

BklynHeart Picture

I hope you enjoy your stay here!