Thursday, February 26, 2015

When a Puppy Meets a Puppy

These are pictures of our 11 month old border collie puppy, Jordan meeting a 10 week old english setter puppy, Jake.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Take Yourself Out of that Little Box

A woman posted in a facebook group I'm in about a "new" thing called Orthorexia Nervosa. Long story short, the article she posted was grossly biased and it had me going back and forth between telling her so and not saying a thing. Normally when I am torn like this I might ask myself why I'm so conflicted, or why I even care.

In order to know why I care, it is important to let you know what Orthorexia Nervosa is. If it kind of sounds like an eating disorder, that's because it is. In short it's when your drive to eat "right" gets to a level of obsession where it's affecting your quality of life. 

Where it gets sticky is what the word "right" means. Eating right is just another word for "whatever your motivations are" and that could be anything from eating fully raw, to eating paleo, to atkins, low calorie, low fat, low water, low chocolate, etc.

This is all important to me because I generally err on the side of obsessive with a lot of things. My mom has called it "an addictive personality" but I really think it's just a love of control and wholeness. When I'm not dieting I am obsessing about food, when I am dieting I'm obsessing about food. When I've made a decision to stop using shampoo, the number of days I've gone without becomes a small measure of worth. My ability to stick to something is at stake. When I am in a store and there are multiple colors of one thing, I want ALL THE COLORS. At work when there is a pile of fresh notebooks - I need one. I need one every time there is a fresh pile of notebooks until I have accumulated 16 blank notebooks in my office.

I'm not one of those people who are like "There's this thing about me that only I have and it's very rare." If this is happening to me I'll bet its happening to a lot of people, so I'm thinking you might be able to relate in some way. I think a lot of disorders out there are magnified versions of general human instincts. It's normal to want all the things - it's not normal to act on it every time and then drown in your own stuff. It's normal to want chocolate cake - it is not normal to bathe in it. It's normal to bite off a hangnail if you don't have any clippers around - it's not normal to chew your fingers till they bleed. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

Anyway, those behaviors can be scary when they get that point, you know, the one where it's affecting your quality of life. Sometimes I can get like that, and in the past I have been to a point of acting out dangerous behaviors. No bueno.

I eventually did reply to that facebook post. I didn't mention that the article was a crock of spit, but I basically said that Orthorexia Nervosa is really not that far-fetched a thing. Then guess what I did?

I washed my hair with shampoo and ate a cookie.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

+/- 21 Days of Exercise

Well I've spent the last four days on struggle street when it comes to my 21 days straight of exercise. Saturday was the first day this whole time that I REALLY wasn't feeling it. I honestly never actually feel like working out (which you probably know); but this day I was on a different level. I call this level "bargaining" and we'll talk about that later. On the bright side, I made it 12 days before even considering an alternative for the day's planned workout. 

So Saturday, even though I had all the time in the world to work out, clean my room, brainstorm Etsy store ideas, write to you right here, etc. I chose to do none of those things, and I watched Marco Polo on Netflix. ALL. DAY. I knew I had a responsibility to myself to work out. Up until this point I had relied on the feeling of having "no choice," but something that day changed and I started going over my options. I was BARGAINING with myself.

"I didn't work out yet."
"Well, I could skip."
**deep breath**
**exhaling "Obviously I can't do that."**
"If I skip I will have to write about it and tell people I skipped."
"I could lie."
"For what? Lie to who?"
"It's kind of nice out, I could go for a run."
**eyes pan to the window, looking outside from my warm bed**
"It's not that nice."
"Well what counts as exercise?"
"I could do the 10-minute ab workout on the dvd."
"Ok ten minutes is not bad."
"Well neither is thirty minutes, but that's somehow too much today."
"10 minutes is not as bad as 30 minutes."
"I'm doing 10-minute abs."
**walking to the basement**
"Ok, well tomorrow is yoga and if I do 10-minute abs today, which is easier than dirty thirty, and I do the cardio tomorrow, it will be like I just switched days."
"Ok that works."

So I worked out for 10 minutes and went about my Saturday night into Sunday afternoon plans, and guess what happened Sunday night.


I'm sad to report that on Sunday my lazy side was a sneaky bitch and she got her way. Meaning, I didn't work out. I missed a day.

Then Monday I had an after-work-thing and Tina (sneaky bitch just got a name) tried really hard to convince me to not work out again. Luckily I had come to terms with my missed exercise earlier that day by talking it out with myself and coming clean to my coworker (she's also my only confirmed reader - I know because she usually reads my posts while I'm in the room).

Confessing that I had experienced failure, and knowing that I was now going to have to write about failure, kind of took the all or nothing attitude out of my... Failure. I am okay with calling it that too, because technically the goal was 100% adherence and I didn't make it. I'm passed the days of lying to myself. I'm okay with over 95% adherence though. My pass/fail assignment has just become a classic percentage grading scale and I'm still getting an A+.

So my massage is scheduled for the 17th and I am going to still reward myself for 21 days of exercise, with one skip and an extra day tacked onto the end. My last day is the 15th, so I can work out the 16th and get my massage the 17th.

All in all I have learned a little something about the balance of an all or nothing attitude. A lot of times I really, truly do need to start off super rigid with my goals, or Tina will knock them right out of my hands. (Tina needs structure or she will act out.) Eventually though the all-or-nothing can hurt me if I do make a mistake. Basically I have to bluff to Tina and hope she doesn't realize I've bluffed until we are half way through to completing a goal. At that point in time some of the rigidity can fall off and I can ride the I've-come-this-far wave to the end of the goal.

Next time we talk about the 21 days of exercise we'll know. We'll know if I have conquered my irrational inability to stick to an exercise regimen. We'll discuss what my next steps are, and if I feel like a habit has been formed after 21 days.

In the meantime I may update you on Project No Poo. Until then.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daily Exercise - Week One Accomplished

This weekend I found out I have two more readers than I thought I had. Shout out to the O'Learys!

Ok, so I've hit a milestone... One week of exercising EVERY DAY. Ta da. I worked out for 7 (now 8) days in a row and I'm ready to celebrate. The celebration is right here, with you, right now.

So here is a weekfull of glitzy stars for my weekfull of exercise. I can't believe I am going to say this, but it was worth it. I actually feel good. Could it be possible that everyone was right about consistent exercise? Is it doable? Is it *gasp* rewarding? Maybe one day I will even grow to like it... 

Annnnd I just realized I didn't tell you about my REWARD I planned for getting through 3 weeks of working out everyday.... I'm going to get a massage. I meant to tell you that in my post last Thursday (about the daily exercise) but I forgot to add it when re-writing the entire thing. Long story.

Anyway now that it's been a week and I'm a fitness guru, I'm sort of feeling like its silly to reward myself for only three weeks of working out with a massage. What next? Do I get myself a castle for 3 months of daily exercise? It's hard to ignore how much the promise of a massage (not a fitter, stronger body) has dragged me this far in the process, so I think I'm going to have to let it happen and worry about the next steps when they come.

I think the reason it's such a big deal to me is, well first of all, I'm succeeding at something I've never done, but also I'm attributing all of this seemingly effortless and amazing will power/motivation to the promise of a massage. This may or may not be the real reason for the success I've seen, but what if it is? I am afraid that without placing a light at the end of whatever tunnel I build for myself next, I might never get through.

Luckily, I have you to share my hopes and dreams and fears with. 

P.s. My hair is greasy as hell tonight.

Monday, February 2, 2015

No Poo for You

Alright, it looks like I might be attempting to go "no poo" pretty soon. I have had dandruff from hell for the last 5 or more years, and my fine hair gets overly greasy after 24 hours. No Poo is a hair care method that seems to be relatively new (or maybe just new to me) where you stop using standard shampoo and conditioner and you replace them with baking soda and apple cider vinegar (respectively) until you can stop using products altogether. Or you can just go cold turkey.

Reasons I've gathered for somebody to go No Poo:

- you have a hair or scalp abnormality you are trying to fix (me)
- you prefer to use less chemicals on your body (sort of me)
- you want to save money on shampoo and conditioner (hey, I'm in)
- you like a challenge (sure)
- its trendy (okay)
- your friends are doing it (soon to be you -- jk)

Here's more info on going no poo. This is my entire resource on the matter!

So basically I just need to get some baking soda and apple cider and mix them with water in the following ratios (from the link above):

They say that even if your hair is normally very oily, that it could very well be because regular shampoos are stripping your scalp of natural oils and it is overcompensating. I can get on board with that theory. My current method for taming my dandruff is T-gel which works pretty well, but my scalp then becomes very dry and itchy in the winter. I'm willing to try mostly anything to get my scalp to calm the F down.

Two more things:

- The greasy transition stage is apparently different for everyone. Some people might have no problem, but if your hair is usually greasy after a day you might have a more difficult time adapting to the absence of shampoo. I am going to try it, and as long as the greasy look doesn't get too awful I will try to push through.

- As I understand it, the baking soda and vinegar mixes are meant to just get you through the initial stages of going no poo. I don't think they are a "forever" shampoo and conditioner replacement, but I don't see why you couldn't keep using them. You don't have to be a hero unless you want to be.

I'll let you know how long I last!