BTVMADS's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=BTVMADS BTVMADS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Whole 30, Day 0! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5707609 So after watching the scale slowly creep UP in the 8 months since Jo was born, I've finally decided enough is enough. <BR> <BR> I've started getting more exercise, averaging 4 days per week -- really, not bad for a full-time working mom! <BR> <BR> Now it's time to tackle FOOD. I'm doing another Whole30 for the month of June. The timing is right -- work is very low stress right now because I'm not teaching. Miles no longer works nights because he's in school. I'll finish the day before my fa... Sat, 31 May 2014 18:00:15 EST Returning, maybe? (Also, a few baby pics!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5675322 I honestly don't think I've been away from my blog for this long before. There's no way to do an update and no reason to. <BR> <BR> Life is amazing. I love my daughter, I love my husby, I love my job, I love my activist work, I love my home. <BR> <BR> My body....... not so much. <BR> <BR> I returned to good habits several times. I'd get into a habit of exercising at least 10 min. a day for a week... and then something crappy would happen. First, Jo got really sick, so all my energy went ... Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:50:59 EST Thankful for my little family http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5552378 How can I not be grateful for such adorable people?? Thu, 28 Nov 2013 18:53:08 EST Six weeks of mamahood http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5541201 Six weeks ago, my baby finally decided it was time to join the outside world, and my life has (duh) been turned upside down. If ANYONE reading this is a single parent, let me take this moment to say that you are officially one strong, kick-ass person -- because I cannot imagine doing this alone. And the thing is... I've had it relatively easy! <BR> <BR> The homebirth went really well. My midwife and I did end up deciding to use some natural induction methods -- herbs for two days and then, ... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 15:20:50 EST So close http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5464367 This may very well be my last blog entry for a while. Granted, I'm not a very consistent blogger at all any more, but this time I'll have an excuse!! With just 4 weeks and 5 days until my due date, I think it's safe to say that I'm about to not have any free time. <BR> <BR> Being pregnant is no longer "the bomb" as I said three months ago. Oh sure, I love knowing that I have a freakin' baby inside me because that's hella cool... but I'm also looking forward to being able to get out of chairs... Fri, 23 Aug 2013 20:55:41 EST Being Pregnant is WONDERFUL! With pics :) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5371948 I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged! Life has been pretty crazy lately, but in some great ways. I could list them all, but honestly... why bother? They're over, and things are settling down now. <BR> <BR> On the 8th, I had an Ultrasound. Ultrasounds are not without risks, and they can make some people more anxious (and an ambiguous ultrasound is often used to justify more invasive tests), but I really wanted one. I needed to see that my baby has a brain, and a spinal cord, and ... Wed, 29 May 2013 21:57:49 EST Wow, I really can't handle the food tracker http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5288114 I've been using the food tracker for the past four days, because my midwife wants me to keep a food diary. <BR> <BR> I'm definitely DONE using the food tracker. <BR> <BR> I stopped counting calories when I did my Whole 30 last fall, and I'm very quickly remembering why. Here's the deal: <BR> <BR> 1.) I start freaking out about numbers right away. The simple fact of the matter is, I have NO IDEA how many calories I need in a day. Knowing that I'm supposed to eat "300 extra calories" each da... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 20:14:56 EST The excuses stop here http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5269088 For a few weeks, my body craved milk and toast like oxygen. <BR> <BR> Then, I started having morning sickness that was never really sickness, just a feeling like I was hungover. <BR> <BR> So for the first several weeks of my pregnancy, I just ate what tasted good at the time and didn't worry about it, whether it was fried eggs or peas or yogurt or white rice or cookies. <BR> <BR> Now the morning sickness is basically gone, I can stomach just about anything again.... and I'm still eating li... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 21:53:22 EST I'm bloated, having mood swings, and gaining weight -- WOOHOO! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5252370 Hello, Sparkies! It's been a very long time since I updated -- sorry. It's just been a really crazy start to the "New" Year, and I just haven't had the energy to post as much as I'd like. <BR> <BR> Starting in mid/late January, I've been going through a lot. My energy levels just completely dropped off -- I wasn't sleeping well even though I'd go to sleep at 8:30 and not get up until 6am, I could barely make it through the work day, and no matter how much water I drank or how nutritious my l... Sat, 16 Feb 2013 08:33:02 EST Life is good http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5171786 I have been so crazy busy lately, but I don't mind. The business is wonderful! <BR> <BR> Work is going SO WELL. My after school program wrapped up for the semester, and I don't think my girls could have made me any prouder. We all moved from the 10th to 9th gup in Taekwondo. (As an aside: I'd actually really love to keep practicing TKD, but I'd need a new teacher. Our guest instructor is a good man, but he is anti-feminist and a total Bible thumper, and I don't want to listen to preaching wh... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 07:53:27 EST Wanting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5160001 Good lord, how am I supposed to be able to function at ALL when I'm by myself and wondering if I'm pregnant? For the first time ever in my life, I was able to FEEL IT when I ovulated! And by happy coincidence, there was a lot of lovemaking going on that day and the day before. <BR> <BR> I KNOW the odds are still crazy slim, thanks to the fact that the human reproductive system is really inefficient and overly complicated. <BR> <BR> But I just want to be pregnant SO BADLY, and it would be r... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 09:07:43 EST Winter CSA Meals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5157517 All right, so what I REALLY want to blog about is this whole trying to make a baby thing, but I need to stop obsessing over that. Instead, let me tell you about my adventures in agriculture! <BR> <BR> Last week, I got my first ever CSA Share! It's a short "winter blitz" CSA -- four weeks of produce for $100. Last week, it was a somewhat small harvest, but still well worth the price. From just one box, we were able to make the following dishes: <BR> <BR> ~Roasted carrots and fennel with Ita... Wed, 5 Dec 2012 20:53:24 EST 10 Days to TTC!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5150266 I know it's partially the PMS, but I'm just so full to the brim with the emotion that I just have to let it out in writing. I need to hear from other women right now. <BR> <BR> As you all know, I've had a huge year. It began with a loss, which was immediately followed by great joy: my sister got pregnant, my sister-in-law had her son, then Miles and I bought the house, I earned a promotion and raise at work (and I feel so confident about my work lately, which is great), and I've found some r... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 07:53:11 EST Thanks for Whole30 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5143243 It's Thanksgiving morning. In two hours, my besties will be here and we will begin a whirlwind of dicing, roasting, steaming, stirring, straining, baking, mashing, creaming, and, of course, eating! It's a day for feasting, and the perfect day to enjoy non-Whole30 freedom. <BR> <BR> I woke up at 7am and knew that I could have anything I wanted for breakfast. I could have toast with butter if I wanted, or even a bowl of oatmeal. But I don't want those things. I'm going to go for a run shortly,... Thu, 22 Nov 2012 08:00:32 EST Serious Challenge, Serious Changes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5123773 The past four days have been, without a doubt, the most challenging days I've faced in terms of eating healthy since I joined SparkPeople. The Whole30 was never going to be easy to begin with, but coupling it with a last-minute business trip to the regional conference made it far more difficult. <BR> <BR> Why was it so hard? <BR> 1.) Paleo is considered controversial, and talking about it inevitably leads to people challenging my understanding of nutrition <BR> 2.) My relationship with food... Sun, 4 Nov 2012 16:01:51 EST I am in KILL ALL THE THINGS mode :( http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5114426 I think I need to stop going to the Whole30 chat forum. Maybe I'm just grouchy because I'm PMSing and going through some slight withdrawal and I have to work this afternoon (GRRR!), but the attitude of some of those moderators is pissing me off! <BR> <BR> They say not to eat cheese, so I think, "okay, no cheese on a daily basis. How about cashew 'cheese' sauce, made with nutritional yeast, once a week?" And they try to tell me the yeast is psychologically harmful because it doesn't make yo... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 08:36:12 EST Ending one phase and starting another http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5108034 Yesterday was one of the best days of my running life. <BR> <BR> I woke up at 5:35am, jumped out of bed, made a nice pot of delicious VELO coffee, and blended up a fruit smoothie with protein powder and flax seeds. I sipped my liquid breakfast while checking up on SparkPeople and Post Secret, trying not to have too many race-day nerves. I put on my chosen outfit -- the same I wore for my first HM -- woke Miles up, and laced up my sneakers. <BR> <BR> I arrived at the starting like at 6:50 (7... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 07:48:50 EST YES, Whole30! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5105482 All right, let's do this thing. <BR> <BR> My Half Marathon is on Sunday. On Tuesday, I will begin the Whole30 challenge! The timing is perfect -- I can begin this new challenge with a BANG and celebrate its finish with a Thanksgiving feast! The ONLY disappointment is that my winter CSA starts the week AFTER the 30 days... but maybe it's for the best, since it's easier to plan when you know what veggies you'll be buying. <BR> <BR> I've spent the last few days doing research about Whole30: r... Fri, 19 Oct 2012 22:34:10 EST Whole 30? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5101878 So I've been reading about this Whole 30 challenge a bit. A couple of folks here on Spark People have done it, a blogger I follow has done it, and it's just a generally well-known program for Paleo people. <BR> <BR> I'm considering giving it a try. I've basically been half-assing good eating habits since my birthday at the end of August. I managed a solid week-long streak of very low-carb choices, but that ended when I arrived in VT for a long weekend (my nephew was born!) and no longer had ... Tue, 16 Oct 2012 21:57:33 EST I AM VALUABLE! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5010113 Today is an amazing day! <BR> <BR> In addition to having 2 interviews with a pediatric cancer non-profit for a 30 hr/weekly position with potential for growth, AND being offered an interview with a school district for a classroom assistant job with benefits... <BR> <BR> <BR> I've been offered a promotion at my job! I'll be in charge of TWO programs! Full time hours! And a 20% raise! And salaried! And health care benefits! <BR> <BR> My boss asked for me to get that raise. My job doesn't gi... Fri, 10 Aug 2012 18:37:11 EST I'm alive! I'm healthy! I'm still kinda' fat though... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4996894 Holy crap, I haven't blogged in ages! But, as you have all seen, I'm still actively logging food and exercise, still commenting on the occasional blog/status (when I have time to read them), and updating my status when I can. I'm still Sparking -- just not blogging. <BR> <BR> What can I say? It's really hard to find time to blog when you're working 9 hour days, then coming home to the chaos of job hunting, moving, and fixing up your first house! <BR> <BR> So here are some highlights and low... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 19:15:22 EST One healthy choice at a time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4923913 There's good news and bad news. The bad news is first: I've already lost my 30-day challenge -- I'm not going to make 26 days of under 60 net grams of carbohydrates. But here's the good news: I've only gone over 100 grams of carbs a couple of times (when I was visiting my family and had no control over what I ate for most meals), and I'm working hard to take care of myself and not let the little pitfalls get me down. <BR> <BR> My job is FULL of stress -- the girls we serve have some major i... Tue, 12 Jun 2012 21:31:16 EST My house http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4910590 Oh yeah, you read that right. <BR> <BR> On June 28th, this home will belong to Miles and me: <link>www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdzwj4wcmUg </link> <BR> <BR> The music is lame but the house is just wonderful! <BR> <BR> I can't wait to wake up in our master bedroom, make a smoothie in my vintage-styled kitchen, head for a run through the tree-shaded, quiet roads surrounding my neighborhood, and come home to a delicious cup of coffee to enjoy on my front patio overlooking the beautifully land... Sun, 3 Jun 2012 21:44:12 EST Summer Goals and Rewards http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4890324 Summer is here in a big way in Chattanooga: It's consistently hitting 80+ degrees every day, daylight streams in my windows well past husby's bedtime, and my AC runs full time. Summer concert series have kicked off, the school year is over, and the most luscious strawberries I've ever tasted are being sold by the gallon at the Farmer's Market. Definitely summer! <BR> <BR> And with it comes an increased desire for ice cream, white wine, icy cocktails, and iced coffee. <BR> <BR> Luckily, it a... Sun, 20 May 2012 21:40:20 EST A long overdue race and life report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4887930 So, a little less than two weeks ago, I ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here's how it went! <BR> <BR> We got to Cincinnati on the Friday before the race. We immediately went to the museum my family always visited when I was a kid, then reunited with my oldest friend after 17 years apart! She took me around town, including to Jungle Jims, this CRAZY foodie paradise that was (and still is) an absolute trip. I was able to stock up on smoothie ingredients there, which was g... Fri, 18 May 2012 22:32:23 EST Post-race http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4873615 I don't really feel like writing up my whole race report now, but I will eventually. <BR> <BR> Right now, I've just got some major post-race blues. I'm not supposed to be running for a while yet, I can't ride my bike cuz it was stolen, and it's raining anyway. Sigh. <BR> <BR> I'm just bummin', and I know it's "natural" but that doesn't really help. Sunday I'm starting up my summer slim-down plan -- back to low-carb, running for fun, and lots of strength training. But until then... what am I... Wed, 9 May 2012 09:18:43 EST In 7 Days, I'll Have a new PR: My Game Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4857862 The Flying Pig is in just one week, and I'm so excited I might burst! Unlike last time, I KNOW I can handle the distance. Heck, I already covered 13 miles once during my training. By the end of it, I felt, well, the way I did at the end of Philly, lol. But I've run about 42 miles since then (not all at once, obviously!), all of them on hilly routes, and I can tell that I'm stronger. If I can maintain the same pace that I did on my last few runs, I will absolutely make a new Personal Record. I... Sun, 29 Apr 2012 16:22:35 EST Yes, my body CAN handle this! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4831994 I've been exhausted the last few days, and for a while, I thought I was maybe overtraining. I've been VERY active for the past week -- running, hiking, biking, walking. I hiked 7 miles in a weekend, took one day of almost-rest (hauled a bunch of boxes at work), and then ran 11 miles. Biked yesterday, and ran 5 more miles today. No wonder I've been wiped by 5, right? <BR> <BR> <BR> Nope, turns out it's just my TOM. (Oh. Maybe that's why I've wanted to eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE too....) <BR> <BR... Thu, 12 Apr 2012 13:50:31 EST Wiping out burnout http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4826603 WARNING. LONG AND KINDA' RAMBLING BLOG! <BR> <BR> Sometimes I wonder what you all must think about me. I blog so infrequently, and each blog is so different, I probably come off as being quasi-bipolar. Hopefully, you all recognize that I'm not crazy, just a regular person who puts a lot into her work and play, and only blogs when she has time/need. <BR> <BR> I say this because a few weeks ago, my sister accused me of being "kind of bipolar" when I tried to compress a month's worth of news i... Mon, 9 Apr 2012 08:55:08 EST Sometimes, your body sends a REALLY LOUD MESSAGE. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4813187 I really shouldn't ever drink alcohol. <BR> <BR> Sure, one small drink never does me much harm. I can enjoy one glass of wine or a cocktail with 2 ounces of liquor in it and not have any negative consequences. But once I have two or more, I always end up feeling HORRIBLE. <BR> <BR> And yet, I can never seem to remember this when I'm in a social situation. Such as when my in-laws buy two bottles of wine with dinner (there were four of us, for crying out loud!) and I wind up helping them fin... Sat, 31 Mar 2012 07:32:08 EST Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4790218 Yesterday was the greatest run I've ever had. I was feeling a little wary of it, at first -- it was a 5-mile tempo run, and tempo runs were just so difficult for me the last time I trained. I'd always set out too fast and wind up running 11-minute miles for the first 3.5-5 miles, then I'd end up just shuffling by the end. I NEVER got them right -- except for one that I did on a treadmill. Not the most heartening way to run, but it was better to screw it up a little on a tempo run than on a 2-... Fri, 16 Mar 2012 08:53:04 EST Coming up on 60,000 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4764878 So, in about a month or so, I'll be hitting 60,000 Spark Fitness Minutes. ONE THOUSAND HOURS of putting my health, body, and goals first. <BR> <BR> I want to do something awesome to reward myself when I hit that mark. Because 1,000 hours is a damn long time. I could spend every waking minute exercising, and it would still take nearly three months to exercise for that long. <BR> <BR> So, the question is, what should I do? <BR> <BR> I haven't signed up for another half marathon yet. Should I... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 09:13:05 EST I could be doing more. Do I want to? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4756750 Hi everyone! <BR> <BR> I'm gunning for a "third time's the charm" success with low-carb/ primal eating. The past two months, every time I tried to eat low carb, I'd wind up in a situation where I had little control over my food -- visiting with family, being invited to a friend's house for breakfast and finding only pancakes, flying cross-country and eating two meals in airports. I made the best choices I could, which is what matters most, and when I cook at home I really limit the starches... Sat, 25 Feb 2012 15:56:05 EST HELP! How do you get rid of a toxic person if she's your boss? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4724244 The head honcho at our office has been making my job HELL for the past month. Every week, she's got some new restriction for us. <BR> <BR> First, it was less time to do paperwork because she insisted we have more "trainings." The trainings have been presentations that have little impact on what I do at work, like a woman talking about diversity in business after the programming staff asked for a training on the psychology of urban poverty. This has put me 2 weeks behind on lesson plans for t... Sun, 5 Feb 2012 22:41:44 EST Thank you everyone -- your boost got me back on track! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4711048 This week was SO uplifting. It reminded me why, after 3 1/2 years, I am STILL a Sparker. I have a few people in "real life" who are awesome and supportive of my goals -- my husband, obviously, and my BFF Frankie, and my sister up in VT -- but for the most part, my friends here in Chattanooga are new enough that I don't feel comfortable talking about weight and food issues. But I have SparkPeople, and the advice that you all gave me last week was SO helpful and SO motivating. Knowing that you ... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 21:02:48 EST Shame shame shame shame fat cow shame http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4696693 I feel like I am completely out of control. I have descended into a disgusting world in which drinking with friends turns into bingeing with friends and I am horrified at myself for not even trying to hold back. I've been eating nasty refined unclean carbs like it's my job. I couldn't stick to my no alcohol resolution for longer than two weeks because EVERYONE I HANG OUT WITH HAS BEEN OFFERING ME ALCOHOL. Then they offer me cookies and it's like my willpower not only disappeared, but was repl... Sun, 22 Jan 2012 11:23:43 EST I'm going to brag about my blender http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4675046 My mom-in-law gave me a Vita-Mix for Christmas. <BR> <BR> It is uhmayzing. <BR> <BR> <BR> So far, I've made: <BR> ~Whole food Orange-Carrot-Beet Zinger Juice (Bright red and so yummy!) <BR> ~Sweet Greens Kale & Pear Juice (The kale gets a little too foamy -- spinach next time) <BR> ~Three or four kinds of smoothies <BR> ~My own soymilk (Awful. Never again) <BR> ~Almond milk (pure heaven. Never buying Blue Diamond again!) <BR> ~Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper soup, which you don't even nee... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 22:55:21 EST 2012: Living on Purpose http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4655443 I can't even begin to say how glad I am that 2011 is over. While things were ending well for me, 2011 was overall a year of hardship, stress, fear, and pain. I met some major goals during that time, however, and I'm thrilled to think about how much progress I've made. I've grown so much this year. I really feel like I'm an adult now. <BR> <BR> Heck, that only took 9 years. <BR> <BR> Of course, I'm saying that while wearing a purple-and-teal, fuzzy robe, drinking hot chocolate, and reading c... Tue, 3 Jan 2012 21:50:52 EST The changes are immediate, even when weight loss isn't http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4625109 Oh low carb, how I missed you! <BR> <BR> I knew that eating a low-carb diet had done me a lot of good, but I forgot just how much! And I'm not talking about weight loss, either. Heck, my period just ended -- I spent five days bloated like a puffer fish. But I'm feeling so many positive effects from eating lower carb that I don't even care if the pounds fall off right away. <BR> <BR> On Saturday, we had our office Holiday party at the CEO's house. I was really worried. Parties have always be... Wed, 14 Dec 2011 08:32:36 EST A return to low carb. YAY! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4612921 I'm officially back with the low-carb train today. I tried two weeks of Paleo/Primal, and even with all of the minor substitutions I was allowing, it was damn near impossible for me. I knew dairy wasn't Paleo but I was comfortable with eating cultured dairy, so I allowed yogurt or cheese on a limited basis. What I didn't realize was that all legumes, INCLUDING peanuts and soy, are not allowed. No sugar, either, except for Maple Syrup, Honey, and Agave Nectar, and no artificial sweeteners. So... Mon, 5 Dec 2011 08:44:27 EST Let's be thankful for our SELVES! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4597747 I'm amazing. I'm beautiful. I'm tenacious. I'm strong and powerful. I'm energetic. I'm proud of who and what I am. <BR> <BR> You should be proud, too. <BR> <BR> We women are taught, early on, that we shouldn't take pride in our accomplishments. We're taught to ignore our needs and desires so that we can play Best Supporting Actor in someone else's movie. Call it Puritanical, call it Neo-conservative, call it misogyny, but whatever you do, don't call it "Okay." There's nothing okay about pr... Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:34:47 EST The Culture of Running http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4588410 Last week at work, I helped facilitate a workshop on multiculturalism and celebrating diversity in high schools. Our focus was not on the typical "issues" that you see schools' multicultural lessons centering around; we didn't talk about holidays, or food, or music, or clothes. That stuff isn't really what multicultural awareness is about. <BR> <BR> See, there's a school of thought that sees culture/heritage as having three levels of meaning. The primary level is the Symbolic. The Symbolic a... Thu, 17 Nov 2011 10:15:10 EST Work, run, occupy. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4559019 My life is very busy, and full of three things: my job, my runs, and #OccupyWallStreet. It's hectic and exhausting and so incredibly fulfilling I feel like I could burst! <BR> <BR> That's really everything, ha. <BR> <BR> I'm happy. Sat, 29 Oct 2011 19:17:04 EST The Scale is an IDIOT and a JERK http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4533332 For the past week, the scale has been trying to tell me that I'm too fat. Ever since my first really long run of 7 miles, the scale has been telling me that I weigh somewhere around 161 and 163.8 pounds. This is rather unfortunate because my happy weight is in the mid 150s. It also makes no sense because I'm burning way more calories in my Half training than I was this summer. The scale clearly does not recognize that thanks to my efforts as a runner and a new Yoga student, I am healthier th... Thu, 13 Oct 2011 08:30:03 EST I met my culinary hero! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4500837 This man is the reason why I love to cook, have instincts for what works and doesn't work in the kitchen, "invite flavors to the party," buy farmed trout and wild salmon and never the reverse, refuse to eat a fresh tomato in January, and can plan a brunch for twelve as easily as dinner for two. I mean no disservice to my mom when I say that Alton Brown is the single biggest influence on who I am as a cook. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I didn't get to say any of this to him. Instead, Alton notic... Fri, 23 Sep 2011 21:39:28 EST I Am A Runner, Body and Soul http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4491516 It’s taken over a year and a half and well over 1000 miles of pavement-pounding to reach this point, but it has finally happened: <BR> <BR> I can run. <BR> <BR> I know, that sounds absurd. I’ve been running since November of 2009. I’ve self-defined as a runner since I finished my first 5k on Halloween in 2010. I’ve run over 600 miles in 2011. But today, I actually feel like I can run. <BR> <BR> Today, my body feels different. <BR> <BR> For the past two weeks, I have been in training mode ... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 18:51:17 EST I'm an Inspiration! (What?) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4480285 Quite a while ago, I thought I wanted to make a concerted effort to be one of "those" Sparkers. The kind who blogs every day or two, who is ALWAYS getting Popular Post awards, who has 300 SparkFriends, who loses 120lbs and gets to do the dramatic "stand in one pants leg thing," who lives by Spark and doesn't criticize anything that gets published. I thought that being a motivating, inspiring presence on SparkPeople meant being POPULAR. And the moment I had that thought, I stopped wanting to ... Mon, 12 Sep 2011 09:48:10 EST I moved 1100 miles away and found my home. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4470465 I've only been in Chattanooga for three and a half weeks, but I really think that moving here was one of the smartest things I've ever done. Moving to Chattanooga was incredibly stressful, drawing on everything I had to offer. It forced me to be absolutely secure and steadfast in a decision. It required me to be organized, timely, and logical in arranging for the physical move. It took determination and dedication and motivation to job hunt, apartment hunt, and opportunity hunt. And it calle... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 22:07:16 EST Feeling healthy again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4455069 Chattanooga is good for my health! <BR> <BR> Sure, there are some challenges to face. There are several really amazing ice cream and frozen yogurt purveyors downtown. There is a new cafe/shop near here called The Hot Chocolatier that is packed to the rafters with some of the most beautiful, decadent chocolate I've ever seen. There are a dozen restaurants I am dying to try. And my mother-in-law sent us a huge care package full of baked goods. <BR> <BR> Obviously, those things are testing my ... Mon, 29 Aug 2011 17:29:24 EST Moving 1100 miles away really does change things http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4436241 Greetings, SparkFriends! BTVMADS here, comin' at you from the Scenic City, Chattanooga TN! <BR> <BR> The moving process is officially complete, after a week of packing, three days of driving, two days without any of our possessions, and three days of unpacking! The move itself was actually kind of nice. Miles and I visited his family on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, during which time we learned that we are going to be an Aunt and Uncle!!! Thursday night, we visited with my Aunt Jo and Un... Fri, 19 Aug 2011 08:51:37 EST