Sunday, October 23, 2011

Looking Up

I'm just a little sore from running yesterday.  However, it's a good, familiar sore.  It's the kind of sore where I feel like riding on it and doing something else today to keep the activity going.  So even though that was a wretched 23 minutes yesterday, some good came of it.

Last night I decided to get out of the house and meet my friend Beth at the restaurant where she's the house dancer.  She was "off duty" last night and just there to hang out.  She, like me, is in the throes of insanity for the sake of higher education and needed a break.  (She's thisclose to finishing her dissertation for her PhD.)  I haven't been to the restaurant since this spring and it's always been my favorite venue to dance, and I really should go more often.  At some point the cooks make Beth some sliders and she offers me one, but I had had a big cup of Mexican mocha and two pieces of the best baklava in the entire universe and I was full.  The owner, who chats with us at the bar, didn't hear me say I was full and said, "You're vegetarian, right?"  I laughed.  Perhaps he somehow remembered that I almost exclusively ordered the falafel wrap when I used to come by more often.  "No," I said.  "I've gotten close a few times, but bacon always brings me back.  I could never give that up."

Almost two years ago now, I wrote about how I had become an almost accidental vegetarian, and since then I have very slowly begun to eat meat more and more frequently.  It's not back up to the levels it was several years ago, but I buy it regularly now and almost always eat it when I dine out.  But lately I've been thinking about making a conscious decision to go back the other way and to go 99% vegetarian.  Why 99%?  Because I would still use chicken stock in cooking if it was on sale or something, and I freaking love bacon that much.  And carnitas.  (If I had to decide at gunpoint, I'd give up the carnitas for the bacon, though.)  My reasons are more pragmatic than passionate.  I mean, I believe that humans have canine teeth for a reason--to eat meat.  We need protein and I especially need iron.  But modern society allows us to get by with far less than we used to need, and signs are pointing to the harm that cattle farming is doing to the environment.  Plus there is the money-saving factor, although I've found that I just spend it on other things, so it's really a zero sum game there.

I had a whole roast chicken that I had to use up this week, so I did shred it and put it into a pot of 10 bean soup that I made yesterday.  I'm thinking that after that is all gone, that's it.  I'm not buying any more meat on my weekly grocery store trips.  Yes, I'm doing this even with the holidays just around the corner! *gasp* Well I don't care that much for turkey anyway, so "meh" to that.  Okay, unless my Dad decides to deep fry another one for Christmas just like he did a few years back...then we might have to re-think this.

Well, all that writing about food has made me realize it's time for lunch and I have delicious falafels in the freezer!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Making Adjustments

I've been having a mild crisis these last several weeks.  On the one hand, school is great, I've already learned a lot in these last couple of months, and I'm 100% sure that I have made the right decision.  On the other hand, I am having a rough time adjusting to the new schedule.  I'm pretty much used to the long commutes and 15 hour days now, but what I have not figured out is how to continue to work towards my personal goals of health and fitness on top of everything else.  I have all but stopped working out (we're talking going from 4-5 days a week to maybe 2), and I feel hungry all the time!  It's as though my body is responding to all this change in my life by going into comfort mode, where all I want to do when I get home is lay in bed and watch Netflix and then eat macaroni and cheese.

I'm one of the most flexible people I know--what gives with this resistance to change???  When I do manage to get to the gym anymore, it's all I can do to do some strength training and maybe 20 minutes on a cardio machine, which is about all I can stand before I'm completely checked out mentally and physically.  Today I forced myself out on a jog, thinking that once I got out there, I'd be fine and just power through a 5k or so.  Nope.  I was miserable every stinkin' minute and came back after 1.6 miles.

I think part of it is that I'm just, for lack of a better word, "bored".  At first when I started running, it was exciting to increase my time, speed, and distance just a little bit more every week.  Now it feels like, "So what?  You haven't gotten any faster or run any further for over 6 months."  Maybe I just need to sign up for a 10k so I'm motivated towards a new goal, but I don't know if that is enough.  I think about trying Pilates or buying a workout DVD, but I haven't been very successful with those either.  I certainly don't have the bandwidth to commit to another instructional class.  So I have some decisions to make, clearly.  I might have to really commit myself back to lunchtime workouts or even consider going in the morning.  Heck, I might even be desperate enough to try spinning.  (I swore off of it 5 years ago after only one try because I couldn't sit down for days afterward, but I might have to reconsider.)

I sat down with the intention of starting a series of things that I am grateful for, but sometimes you just need to bitch it out instead!