Thursday, August 29, 2013

Team S.J.G.R. Thursday Huddle #9: Scaling Back on the excuses. 

 "Let me know it's real, son, if it's really real."

~ Method Man

Do you weigh yourself regularly? And if so, how often? The scale is a funny thing. It can make you jump for joy or slump into a corner depending upon the day. 

Yeah, it can.

So check it. Team S.J.G.R. is all about the realness. We recognize, as a team, that knowledge is power and that lots of factors work together when it comes to health. A lot of factors.

And so. What I'm not going to do is launch into any of those things people say designed to make us wander back into hypothetical la-la land. Like what, you ask? 

Ah hem. Let me tell you a few--with arguments to keep you in touch with the REALNESS.

"Muscle weighs a lot more than fat so don't worry about the scale not moving."

Well. True dat. But honestly? If you are watching what you eat and exercising, at some point, the daggone scale should move. And if it absolutely is not? Log exactly what you are eating for three days down to the very last B-L-T (bite-lick-taste.) That's the only way to see what the problem is. 

Rule:  If you are managing the fork and moving? No matter how much muscle weighs, at some point you should see some appreciable change on the scale. Yeah, I said it.

"I think my weight is hormonal because of. . . . "

Yawn. Unless you are being treated with high dose steroids for something, to that I say to you my favorite three words accompanied by twisted lips and furrowed brow:


Your thyroid is not the reason. Nor is your birth control. You going through "the change" is not it either. Now. Do these things slow down your metabolism? Sure. But can they explain thirty extra pounds? Nope. That's a fork-management issue. Hormones just give us more reason to be more vigilant and aggressive with fork management. 

"I'm retaining water so that explains. . ."


Water weight is minimal unless you have heart failure or something like that. If you step on a scale and it's reading five pounds heavier? That ain't water, boo. Instead, it's proof that the Co-colas you've been drinking and the margaritas you've been allowing aren't water under the bridge, either. 


"This scale is jacked up."

More than five pounds of overage? Something else might be jacked up, too. 


My point? Simple. Yes, there can be a some fluctuations on your scale that aren't meaningful. But that pendulum shouldn't swing very far nor should it be the explanation for a person who is carefully watching their diet and exercising from EVER losing weight. Naah, man. I don't care how many hormonal issues that person has going on.

Yeah, I said it.

Now. Let me balance all of this out by saying that the scale is just ONE data point. So NO it isn't something that we should let guide EVERYTHING but at some point it just is what it is. At some point, it should move. Those "last ten" or "last however many" often make me think that there's still something kitche-related that hasn't been shut down or added to your "it's a no" list. 

And, okay, okay. . . .if you are doing a REALLY aggressive weight training program then maybe you might see some slower scale movement. But not in the way that I often hear people suggesting as the explanation for no results. It's all back to what we said before:

We get fit in the gym. We lose weight in the KITCHEN. If the scale isn't budging? Peep that pantry. Frisk that fridge. And whatever is in there that shouldn't be? 



So me. This week? Dude. I stepped on my scale and was up. 2 pounds. And no, my tape measure didn't show any bad changes nor did my clothes. But I knew why those 2 pounds were there and it damn sure wasn't "water weight." It was that Little Caesar's cheesy bread that I ate over the weekend. And the bagel I ate that Isaiah didn't want. And my mother-in-law's AMAZING homemade lasagna that is as heavy as a brick when you lift it onto your plate. That, and the B-L-T's I took from Zack and Isaiah's waffle fries from Chik-fil-A. 

Plus or minus a few slurps of their milkshakes.

Yes. I did that. ME. Not water weight. Not hormones. Not my vicious weight lifting routine. 

Real talk, man.
The truth is this: I ate things I didn't need to be eating. I drank some of my calories. In other words, I TRIPPED! No. I don't always get it right and I, too, struggle with yummy food weaknesses and poor impulse control at times. But how can you do better if you are in denial?

Answer: YOU CAN'T.

Yep, I did that. Let me tell you what I didn't do--I didn't trick myself into thinking that I could make it all better just by going for a long run. No'm and No SUH! Because that isn't enough. And since we believe in mostly exercise as a means to be fit and heart healthy and fork management as the way we stay on top of our weight, those things must be disconnected. 

At least for us to sustain it.

And so. Since I knew that I'd made a few bad choices, I stepped on the scale to get a shot in the arm of the realness. Sure did. When I saw that scale go up, an I knew I had SCALE DOWN. 

And that starts with scaling down the excuses.


Knowledge is power, man. If weighing yourself too much discourages you, fine, don't. But you need a tape measure or a pair of jeans or SOMETHIN'! (pronounced "sun-shin!") Something has to keep you honest. Something has to smack you out of la-la land and into reality. For me, that's a scale. And I like stepping onto it because it nips things in the bud before they become zipper issues. (Zipper issue: when you can't zip something up that you once could.)

Mmm hmm.

Look, y'all. This food part is going to be the hardest part. See, the exercise part? Once you start you get kind of hyped so it's cool. But the fork management? That parts a booger-bear. Yet to get your spare tire down and to rid yourself of that visceral fat suffocating your vital organs, it's what has to be done. Otherwise you'll be one of those people who runs 26.2 miles and bikes even more but is still struggling with extra pounds. Yep. On Team S.J.G.R. we know the truth. And the truth is that you CANNOT outrun, outbike or outswim a big DONK without simultaneous fork management. YOU CANNOT.

Doesn't that suck?

I knoooooow it does. But it's true. I'm sorry. It is. 


Yes. Once again, S.J.G.R., people.

But we got this. We do. So bring the pain. We ain't scurred a no scale.

Now playing. . . ."Bring the Pain." (Y'all don't know nothin' 'bout M-E-T-H-O-D MAN!)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Twice as nice.

The only thing better than having an awesome, loving grandmother cherishing you. . . .

. . . .is having two awesome, loving grandmothers cherishing you.

For reals, man.

You know? I just told my daddy the other day that, I swear, there is nothing more loving than the way a really awesome grandparent looks at his or her grandchild. (A really awesome one that really enjoys being a grandparent, that is.)  Like. . . it's almost like . . . .I don't know. . . something in your soul has to marinate for several years before it can ooze out of your eyeballs later in the form of effusive grandbaby adoration. Almost like a fine wine that doesn't the taste the same unless enough time passes. Which explains why our parents never looked at us that way.

Mmmm hmmm.

You know what? No matter how old you get, if you see it enough, that just-for-your-grandbaby-oozey-lovey-dovey-grandmama-and-granddaddy look of love is something that nobody can ever take away from you.



Yeah, man. Awesome grandparents pretty much rule.



But this is not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight

I don't think you unworthy
I need a moment to deliberate 

~ Alanis Morissette

Just the other day, a patient looked me intently, eyes glistening with fat tears dangling on long, black eyelashes. This patient was getting used to a newish diagnosis of HIV and now AIDS.

"Will anyone love me?" my young patient asked. "Will I always be alone now?"

"Is that your fear?" I asked.

"More than dying or being sick, it is."

I held that haunting gaze and, for some reason, we laced fingers--an action more intimate than my usual handholding but one that somehow seemed appropriate. "You know what I think?"

"What's that?" my patient asked.

"I think that a lot of us have that same fear."

"Do you?"

"On some days, I do. Maybe not in the same way you do today, but I think in some ways, yes."

"Would you love somebody who has HIV?"

I knew what my patient meant. Love. Like love-love. So then I actually thought about it. Like, I tried to imagine any circumstance that would make me not love Harry. Like love-love him. As far as that goes, I know I'd still want to be with him.

But de novo love? From-scratch, from-the-start love? And subsequently the love-love that comes with it? I didn't know. I want to believe that I would be strong enough. I also want to believe that what I know about HIV transmission and treatment would allay any fears I'd have of not love-love-ing the right person. Especially since I am certain that, at some point, I have made a choice in my young adult life that could have put me on the other side of that conversation.

But I think, because it's hypothetical, I don't really know.

"I want to believe that love can help us overcome even the scariest things. I think that's what it would take. And I believe in love."

I left it there. My patient was okay with that.

But me? I thought about that question for the rest of the day.

Happy Monday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . .

Sunday, August 25, 2013

If I don't post for a while. . . .

. . .  it's because I'm recovering from the heart attack I had while watching Justin Timberlake give his EPIC performance on the MTV Video Music Awards.

Rachel Zoe says it better than I can. 

Consider yourselves notified. And Jessica Biel? Watch your back.

Happy VMA night. From the forty-something year-old woman who may or may not have excellent floor seats to the Justin Timberlake concert in Atlanta. 

May or may not, I said.

Now playing on the real and mental iPods. You're welcome.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

All in a day's work.

When I'm sad, she comes to me
With a thousand smiles, she gives to me free
It's alright she says it's alright
Take anything you want from me,

~ Jimi Hendrix

This was just a piece of my day today. And you know what? For a lot of this week I've felt like I've been flying on one little wing. But as I lay my head on my pillow each night, I can't help but feel grateful for the life I have filled with the thousand smiles I see each day. So it's alright, man.


Happy Thursday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . .that guitar solo is. . .just. . divine.

Team S.J.G.R. Thursday Huddle #8: It's a no.

Food is good. At least, it can be. I mean. . . . it comes in so many forms. Hot and toasty. Sweet and gooey. Creamy and luscious. Crispy, crunchy and salty. When I think of my favorite foods, I can't help but break out in song like those little orphan boys in Oliver!

Food, glorious food!

Yeah man.

But here's the thing. Since we are Team S.J.G.R. and we recognize the REALNESS, we know that we (say it together):  LOSE WEIGHT in the KITCHEN and GET FIT in the GYM. In other words, no amount of side bends or sit ups will minimize that bedonkadonk unless you manage the fork, the spoon and the knife.

Which sucks, right? Because FOOD IS GOOD.

Here's what I decided. Being alive and well right now is better. Hanging out with my sons and the BHE is more awesome than anything tastes. And so. I do my best to focus on those things. I sure do.

But it's not always so easy, is it? I mean the food part. So can I tell you something that has helped me? I call the "It's a no" list. These are the foods and beverages that, under nearly all circumstances, I have decided are just not anywhere near worth it. Ever. Which in my head makes me say the following thing when they are in my presence:  "It's a no."

And yes. All inclusive vacations are my only partial caveat. But even then I still hear it in my head so that I don't go crazy. I'd suggest creating such a list in your own head. It will totally help you to shut down things that somehow find a place in front of you.

And because I am SURE that you are so curious and that you aren't busy at work right now (ha ha) I wrote a little top ten about it. Like to hear it? Here it go.


And I guess I should say that given the proper amount of squats and lunges, some "donks" are considered an. . . asset. No pun intended.

But a lot of DONKS are not the result of great lower body resistance work. They are the kind that come from NOT resisting things going into the mouth. You feel me?

Here we go:

#10  Hot dogs.

There is nothing as delicious as a good ol' kosher Hebrew National hot dog. Lawd. But at 10 to 15 grams of fat each and half of your daily allowance of salt?  It ain't that good, baby.

It's a no for me.

Even the turkey ones. Because the sodium in them all is horrid. I'd rather eat one full fat beef dog than a reduced fat turkey one. Because with the latter I just think, why? Rarely at a cook out, I will have a hot dog. But mostly, it's a no.

#9  Frozen drinks.

A 400 calorie beverage?  Uhhh, yeah. That's a no for me. All I can think of is the "every 100 calories = one mile" rule. I ask myself, "Is this four miles worth of yummy?"

Then I order a Mexican beer instead of that margarita.

Unless I'm on vacation or it's a skinny margarita. But mostly, it's a no.

#8  Chicken wings.

Sure I'll eat one or two flats. But I almost never order them for myself to just sit there and eat. Chicken wings are loaded with fat no matter how they are cooked. I'm talking a crap ton of fat.

Which, for me, makes them a buffalo NO.

#7  Baked white potato.

I could write a book on the white potato and the horrible blood sugar swings it causes. Wanna get your DONK up fast? Eat a potato. A white potato that is.

And yes. The red-skin ones count.

Your better bet is a sweet potato. For reals.

I was behind a woman in the cafeteria last week who was paying for her food. She opened the container and inside was a big ol' baked white potato. She had a little bit of sour cream on the side (just a little) and some broccoli and shredded cheese. That's it. And the cashier asked if she was on a diet, to which she said, "Yeah girl. I'm watching these hips!" Then she patted them. Which made her DONK almost shake onto my food tray.

Mmm hmmm.

Do you think I stayed in my lane?  Well? Do you?

Ha. I will keep you guessing.

#6  Random soda and juice consumption.

Come on, son. Not even worth it. I mean. . . just. . .why?Drinking calories? Yeah, that's a no.

#5  Cheesecake.

I like cheesecake. But I don't love it. Cheesecake is like Key Lime pie. You should eat it only if you ABSOLUTELY LOVE it. Otherwise, make it a 600 calorie NO.

And if you love it? Have it only in moderation. Don't let it up into your house or else you'll eat the whole thing.

#4 Muffins.

For the most part, they're a no for me. Since a muffin top is not the look I'm going for. Uhh, no 'tis not.

#3  Chik-fil-A milk shakes

Nearly one thousand calories. Not even kidding. Between that and the aftermath of combining it with my forty-something lactose intolerance? Lawd.  It's a no.

#2  Non-delicious pizza.

Pizza is hella-fattening. It just is. Yet a really, really good pizza is worth the damage and the things you have to do to make up for it. That said, certain pizzas are JUST NOT WORTH IT.

A real, true, legit Neopolitan pizza? Worth it. Some cold Papa Johns left over from your kids' play date? Not so much.

Take a bite. Ask yourself--is this absolutely DELICIOUS? Like four to five miles worth of DELICIOUSNESS? If not, it's a no.

Pizza Hut. No. Dominoes. No. Three-day-old pizza of any kind? Hell to the no.

Note: MOST pizza is not exceptional. Save your pizza consumption for those times when it is. Unless you want a DONK and a MUFFIN TOP.

#1  Croissants. 

Okay. Can I just tell you how much I personally love the taste of a heated up and yummy croissant? But dude. There is NOTHING about that food that justifies the fat-bomb it comes with. No way, no how. As a matter of fact, I mostly don't even let my kids have them.

Dead serious.

You know what makes croissants so delish? The fact that they drown every last thread of it in BUTTER and OIL. And then redrown it in some more. Just in time for you to slap some sausage and cheese on it and drown it even more.

Chile please.

It's a no. Matter of fact, it's a HELL to the no.



These girls make SMART choices. And they have the fit donks to prove it.

The bottom line: Food can be glorious. But. Some things just have to be an absolute no. Everything can't be a maybe or a sometimes if you ask me. You need some nos. Some absolute nos to balance out your hell yeses. Real talk, people.

And yes. Sh*t just got real. Again.


That's all I got today. Do you have a "no" list? What's on it?

 I wish these songs weren't on my mental iPod but they are. . . . ode to the "donks."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Small Group Family Evolution.

Small Group Alpha, est. 2007

SG Alpha welcomes their younger sibs

Small Group Beta, est. 2009

In comes another batch of family members. . . .

Small Group Gamma, est. 2011

In the snap of a finger, Mom has another baby. Her fourth!

Small Group Delta, est. 2013

SG Alpha

What's funny is how so much changes. . .
yet it somehow stays the same.

SG Delta

The love is there.
The acceptance is there.
The family is there.
It is.

They grow up, yes.
They leave the nest, yes.
But all of the things that matter are there. Always.

And you know what else?

Lawd have mercy! So is that same print hanging on my living room wall!  Can somebody say redecorate?


Happy Tuesday. I am very, very fortunate to get to do this.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . .

Keep it together in the family. Love this song -- and how Madonna mashes up Sly and the Family Stone with it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dr. No.

I walked into the clinic room and introduced myself. "Hello. My name is Dr. Manning and I'm one of the senior doctors in the clinic who works with your primary doctor."

This Grady elder sucked her teeth. Hard. She looked me all the way up and then all the way down. Then she suctioned her tongue against her back teeth once more like she had something caught back in a molar. Her lip jutted out and her brow furrowed.


"Your doctor has told me a lot about you. It's a pleasure to meet you." I tried to break up the uncomfortable once over she was giving me. But it didn't work.

"Who you said you was?" she asked. This time her face was twisted up and her nose was wrinkled like a bad smell had wafted into the room.

"I'm Dr. Manning. I work with your doctor." I tried to smile as bright as possible.

She curled her lips and then grunted. "Unnh." Kind of like the way mean girls size up other mean girls at high school basketball games. That grunt was not an approving one, that's for sure.

I decided that I didn't have the energy to try to decipher all of that, so I just came right out and asked. "Is something wrong, ma'am?"

Her response to that question started with a slow roll of her eyes. Her voice came out throaty. Almost like a growl. "Look to me like if you a doctor that you should have on something that makes somebody know who you is."

I thought I'd heard her incorrectly so I sought clarification. "Beg pardon, ma'am?"

"I SAID, 'Look to me like if you a doctor you need to be wearing something that help somebody know who you is!'" That time her voice was loud enough for anyone in earshot to hear. It was still gravelly, but mostly from the fifty plus years of smoking that I'd learned of in her chart.

I looked down at myself to see where all of this was coming from. I was wearing my badge. It was facing forward with my name and title prominently displayed. I was dressed professionally in a dress that hit at the knee and a low heeled shoe. As a matter of fact, that dress was freshly pressed from the dry cleaner and you could tell from looking at it. You could. Hell, I even had a stethoscope around my neck. What could she possibly be ---


I figured it out. On this day, I wasn't wearing my white coat. And honestly, the only reason that I wasn't was because that morning I'd decided that it was too dirty around the sleeves. Just before walking into the primary care center, I decided that it wasn't up to snuff and that my patients--ones like this woman--deserved better.

Aaaaaah. Now I get it.

"Oh, are you saying that because I'm not wearing a white coat?"

"You look like a sec-a-tary. Not a doctor. A sec-a-tary with a step-a-scope 'round yo' neck. Like you some kinda pretend doctor."


I chuckled more because I was uncomfortable than amused. She didn't even crack the tiniest smirk.


"I apologize if that made you feel less comfortable. This morning when I looked at my coat I saw a little. . .well. . .  grit on it. Kind of like 'ring around the collar' but on the sleeve." I gestured to show what I meant. "I didn't want to come and see you with a dirty coat. Since the other ones weren't readily available to me, I just took that lab coat off and clipped my badge to my dress. But it sounds like you prefer to see your doctor in a white coat?"

"I jest don't want no sec-a-tary coming at me talking 'bout my medicines, that's all. I swear fo' God I thought you was the lady at the front desk. Definitely not no doctor."


I nodded and pressed my lips together. I turned up the deference to see if it would help. "Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry for that. I really am. I want you to feel comfortable. Are you okay with me participating in your care? Without my jacket?"

My resident wanted to defend me so he jumped in. "Mrs. Palmore, did you know that these lab coats can carry infections? Like, a lot of doctors never wear them at all any more. And they can scare kids. So a lot of doctors don't wear white coats at all. Or even neck ties. Isn't that funny?"

She was not amused. Or convinced by that argument.

"You know--what what you said yo' name was?" She was talking to me.

Rut roh.

"Dr. Manning."

"Look here, Miss Manning. I'm 'bout to mek ninety next year. And in ninety some odd years I seen a lot. See, in my time, some colored people ain't even want no colored doctor.  Ain't want nothin' to do wit' 'em. That's 'cawse with all the colored hospitals, see,  they ain't have all the same stuff. Or you ain't know if the people in there had all they had credentials."


I thought about all of the doctors from my alma mater, Meharry, that had come before me. The legions of African-American physicians trained from 1876 until the year I graduated in 1996. I wanted to tell of the excellent medical education I received and that it didn't start with me. That, as a ninety year old, more than likely every single one of those black physicians that she came into contact with trained at either Meharry Medical College or Howard University College of Medicine. And that, I swear fo' God, that every single one of us earned those credentials. We did.

But. Instead, I stayed silent. And just listened.

"It used to be where when I saw doctors here at the Gradys, I ain't want to see no colored doctors. Or no lady doctors, neither. And for a long time it wasn't na'an so I ain't have to even say, you know, that this my preference. But then I start seeing more and more. Colored doctors and lady doctors, too. At first I ain't won't none of 'em. But after time, you ain't always got no choice, you know? But I seen 'em and turn out that they was good. Good as anybody, I guess."

"Hmmm."  That was all I could think to say in response. She went on.

"Yeah, the colored doctors and the lady doctors seem okay. But look to me like I always get particular about how they look."

"How they. . .look?"

"Mmmm hmmm. Like, do they look like a real doctor, you know? And could I mistake 'em for something different."

Like a sec-a-tary, perhaps?

I nodded. "So. . . .  that's what bothered you about me not having on my lab coat. You weren't sure if I was a doctor?"

"Maybe. I think it's jest the times I came up in, you know? Like you always need to prove yourself. See, this young man here? He don't got to worry 'bout all that. But you? You do." She gestured to the resident physician standing next to the examining table, his pale face now crimson. "Otherwise somebody don't know how to feel 'bout you comin' in they direction like you s'posed to be somebody."

See, this young man here? He don't got to worry 'bout all that. But you? You do.
Otherwise somebody don't know how to feel 'bout you comin' in they direction like you s'posed to be somebody.


I narrowed my eyes and let that marinate. After a few moments, I decided not to say anything in return. I chewed the inside of my cheek and tried not to look like I was filing all of this to think about more when I had time.

"Do you understand what I'm sayin'?" she finally asked me.

"Umm. . .kind of. I think I do."

And that was the end of that.

She let me examine her body and be a part of her care plan but most of her questions she directed at the resident doctor. And this woman--let me be completely clear--was African-American.


I am still trying to pick that whole interaction apart. Her thinking that I was a secretary. Her previously refusing black or "colored" physicians. Or lady ones. Her life experiences that brought her to this place. What this meant about how she felt about herself and her own people. And, of course, how all of this played into her disdain with the absence of my white coat. I couldn't sort out whether or not it embarrassed her that I was without it or underscored some preconceived idea she'd had before I even walked in.

Or both.

I don't know. I really don't. But either way. . . . this? This, my friends, is Grady.

And I swear fo' God that I don't make this stuff up.

Happy Monday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . .

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In case he forgets.

Found under some toys on Isaiah's bedside shelf tonight:

I asked about it and he shrugged and told me that it was just a "reminder note" that he'd written to himself during the week of Deanna's birthday.

"Because I knew you might feel sad and that you'd need an extra hug." And you know what? He gave me the most tender hugs that entire week. Big ones. Tight ones. He truly did.

That boy. He's been here before, I tell you. He has.


I think I'm going to write myself a few of those reminder notes for people this week. I think I am.


Happy Saturday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . .what my son seems to know intuitively that sometimes I forget. One of the most beautiful songs ever recorded. . . .thank you, Mr. Stevie Wonder. And thank you, too, Isaiah.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Team S.J.G.R. Thursday Team Huddle #7: Interval Improvements

Fist Bump for Team S.J.G.R.! Exercise UP, Forks DOWN, baby!!

Y'all! What's up?!!

First, let me say this:

You guys ROCK for all of this healthy heart stuff you've been doing. ROCK, people. You've been walking. You've been running. You've been putting down the fork and picking up healthy habits. And your hearts are better for it. You know what? Mine is, too.

Peep that hashtag: #TeamS.J.G.R.

And for those who are still thinking about it? You rock, too. Because thinking about making a change is a step. It is. So shout out to you, too.

Okay. So let me make this huddle short and sweet. . . . .

I am obsessed with interval training right now. Specifically as it relates to running. For a while I'd been super determined to "run only" because I thought that would make me more bad ass. Well. What it mostly did was give me a 'flicted ankle and an annoying stress fracture. 

That just made me chuckle at my visit to Sports Medicine. Ha ha ha.


I am NOT saying that running without walk intervals gives you stress fractures. But I am saying that there's some pretty good data that supports less injuries from those who approach it this way. Especially those who are older. 

Mmmm hmmm.

Getting sidelined back in January was WHACK. I was tortured by an elliptical for 8 weeks which I did not enjoy at all. So once I got the green light after my 'flicted ankle healed, I started looking into ways to never be 'flicted again. 

Enter: Interval running.

So. . . I know that many have already heard of this. It was popularized by this superbad running dude named Jeff Galloway and most refer to it as "The Galloway Method." Essentially, you run for a stretch then walk for like a minute and then repeat. Most of the folks I know that do this approach it with a run-nine, walk-one minute set up. And for the most part, that's what I'd been doing. 

Until Saturday night.

Crystal strikes a pose as one of her multiple personalities. Ha!

Dude. At the 4 miler, my friend Crystal said, "I run intervals, so you can just run ahead if you want." And I was like, "No, I'll roll with you because I like intervals." So check it. Crystal set her Garman watch (another runner-y thingie) to beep whenever it was time to run or walk. And so we followed the beeps.

But HERE is the kicker. The intervals were run TWO minutes, WALK one minute. Yes! Sounds super crazy but can I just tell you how awesome it felt? I ran much, much faster and felt none of those tortured feelings. And I LITERALLY shaved thirty seconds off of my mile-per-minute time. And guess what? I've been doing that since Saturday and literally ran three 10:15 second miles yesterday. All using the 2:1 method. Bananas!

I think I'm going to do this for the Army 10 miler. Yup.

The thing is this: You have to get over the hateration and hairy eyeballs that you'll get. But after that stress fracture, I don't even care. Plus all those haters came in BEHIND me on Saturday. 

Mmmm hmmm.

So yeah. Peep the Galloway Method. There are also a ton of free interval apps for your phone that will tell you when to shift gears based upon what you want to do. Harry was hating on me and saying that I was going to get a tomato thrown at me in D.C. with all the Army cats for doing this. 

To which I said:

Make sure you say that, too, whenever you're worried about looking ridiculous doing some kind of exercise.

Ha ha ha. Yeah, man. 

So that's what's going on with me and my training. I am super thankful to Crystal for turning me on to this kind of interval. I'm hyped, man!

Here's Crystal with Jeff Galloway. She's a BAWSE!!

What's up with y'all?!? Whatchoo doin' these days?

Happy Training.

Get ready

Get set

Get heart healthy, baby!

Things I like.

I like the sunrise
'cause it brings a new day
I like the new day, yeah
It brings new hope
they say

~ from "I like the sunrise"


Here is something that I think:

When you dwell on negative things, you drown in them. Conversely, when you focus on the good things around you, they seem to take center stage. This morning I am sitting at my kitchen table reflecting on some of the things that I like.

Simple as that.

I like early mornings. My house is quiet then. Runners are out and dog-walking folks, too. I sit at my kitchen table and watch them, usually lost in my own thoughts. It's one of my favorite times to write. To pray. And to just be.

I like tomatoes in the summer. Particularly those big beefsteak ones. And especially if they're room temperature. A little pepper and kosher salt makes it one of my favorite meals.

I like it when my mother-in-law visits us. She's such an easy guest to have. Her way is easygoing and her heart is good. She cooks things and, despite me asking her not to, she cleans things, too. I've never had an unpleasant interaction with her. She's not "extra" or needy as a guest, either. Almost always when she comes, I wish she'd stay for good.

I like the way I feel after a run. I feel strong. Like I could do anything.

I like reading some of my old blog posts. Like, a lot of times they represent a period in my life and going to those posts reminds me of that time. I blogged a lot when Deanna passed. I'm happy that I did. I like knowing that my thoughts were chronicled there. The comments also exemplify the kindness of human beings. On days that I worry about the world, I can find solace in some of those old posts. I do.

I like our nurses at Grady. They are hardworking and smart. They make me laugh. I like that every time I see them, they seem happy to see me. That's good because I'm happy to see them, too. Our nurses are actually one of my absolute favorite parts of my job.

I like Maybelline GreatLash mascara. In the old school pink and green tube. It's cheap. It's everywhere. And it makes you look good.

I really, really like my husband. He's such a cool guy. You know? I always say to him that if he were not my husband, I'd very much want to be his friend. His confidence and self image blow my mind. He's such a go getter and is so decisive. Tough yet tender. Selfless and serious yet ridiculously silly. I like him so much. And as time goes on, I am realizing what a blessing this is. Not to just love but LIKE your spouse. I am learning that a lot of folks have people in key areas of their lives that they don't like. I have mostly arranged it so that I don't.

I like talking to my kids. And I especially like how emotive and open Isaiah is when talking to me. Yesterday we were reading at bedtime and in this novel someone said that their parents had gotten a divorce. He started to ask me a few questions about what divorce meant. I explained what it was and he just stared at me without blinking. After that, he asked me if divorce was "bad." I told him that sometimes people decide that they want to not be in a couple and that a lot of really, really nice people come to that decision for a lot of reasons. And that "bad" isn't a good word to describe it. So he said, "I bet it isn't any fun if you are married but you don't feel happy together like holding hands and stuff." And I told him that I agreed with that and that he is wise. "But if they are a mommy and a daddy they just work as a team but sometimes in a different house, you know?" That's what I said. Then he just kind of gazed off somewhere distant. And his face started looking sad. "Do kids feel sad if their parents get a divorce?"  I answered him best I could. "Probably sometimes. But if the parents just keep on talking and hearing how they feel and treating each other nice, it probably gets better. I think."  "I think I'd be sad if you and dad got a divorce." To which I replied: "You know what, Isaiah? I think I would, too."

I like popsicles. Nearly all kinds. They make me happy.

I like my red, patent leather pumps. They automatically make me feel fierce.

I like Community Coffee (the brand from Louisiana.) It's inexpensive yet delicious.

I like coffee period. Except for Starbucks regular coffee. But I will drink it in a pinch.

I like writing. It feels good and right.

I like this picture because I think I look like JoLai in it. And I like JoLai so seeing her face in my own makes me happy.

I like my parents and my family. They're awesome.

You know?

I like my life. It's good.

Happy Thursday morning.

I like this song, too.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

All in the family.

Isaiah:  Mom, remember when you said you can see some of Grandpa's face in mine?

Me:  Yep. Actually, I can see a lot of his face in yours.

Isaiah:  Oh. Well I hope that doesn't mean I'm going to lose my hair like him.

Me:  Awww dang, Isaiah. That's cold, dog.


Happy Wednesday. Sorry, Poopdeck. (And even sorrier that this is your maternal grandfather, Isaiah.)