Monday, June 17, 2013

Health Goals: Learning to Run

My fellow fitness inspiration, Teresa Jusino, likes to say she didn't want to run unless she's being chased. She's currently working her way through the Couch to 5k Program, just like me! The reason behind Teresa's working out is here.  I've always hated running, but I think it's perhaps it was due to not being able to do it well, and having issues with asthma.

The past several years, I've been working on being able to run 3 miles without falling over. I start, I stop. I have friends with me, I do it by myself. I've even been to a half marathon where I only "ran" the first 3 miles and walked the rest. Last Fall, I did the Run For Your Lives Zombie 5k with several friends.
Near the end of the run. I'm in the back.

Running is a weird little sport. I don't think I really began to enjoy it until last year. I don't think I realized that I had been enjoying it, until I stopped after the Zombie 5k. As I have signed myself up to run the Zombie 5k again(!) I have to keep training.

I still don't really "love" running. My brain finds reasons to stop every second of a run. (Oh, and by run - I mean jog. Cuz yeah, 70 year old speedwalkers are faster than my running pace). "Your earphones are falling out. You should stop and pee. Your nose itches. You're too hungry to run. You're almost at a walk, might as well walk. Something's in your shoe-swear to God. " Amazingly, I have learned that all runners go through this. I don't know why your brain insists on telling you reasons not to run, but it does. It really has turned into a mental exercise more than a physical one. Fascinating. I do, however, want to get to the point where people bliss out, and running turns into a meditative state. I know it happens. I just want to be able to meditate without falling asleep, which is what currently happens to me.

Punky, my running partner.
Another reason why I want to be able to run, and run well - cuz when I'm chased, I want to be able to
outrun what's chasing me. I don't want to sprint for 30 seconds and then be overtaken in an asthmatic fit. You need to be able to run so you can play with dogs, small children, and to outrun zombies chasing you or any other apocalyptic catastrophe. Adrenaline only helps so much.
My running app.
My current goal with running is just to focus on the progression of being able to run 3 miles. Since I'm using a C25K app, my focus is being able to run for different lengths of time each day. Today, I managed to run for 8 minutes twice, with a 3 minutes walking break in between. That's day 1 of week 6. Tomorrow, I'll do day 2 of week 3, and I'll be running for different intervals of 3 minutes or less. No, this isn't normally how you're supposed to do the program. But as I'm on it for about the 4th time in my life, I know I've built up the strength for this, mentally and physically. I also like repeating weeks as necessary. This time around, when I finish week 8, my plan is to then restart using the Zombies, Run! app, so I can practice sprinting away from zombies. (Truly, the best running app out there. ZOMBIES!).

I would like to thank my friends, Genie and Trina for running with me off and on through the past couple years and never laughing at me, or making a disparaging remark. If they hadn't been so supportive, I don't think I would've kept going. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Little Self Compassion Goes A Long Way

Self-compassion might sound a little odd to you. I know it did to me.

I first came across the idea last year, just a few short weeks after I had joined Weight Watchers. My meeting leader, Amy, brought it up. She was telling us how to be kind to ourselves as we learn about changing our eating habits for the better. WW really wants you to know that true weight loss is more than just a diet. If it's a true lifestyle change, there are many levels of learning, trying, failing, and learning again. 

Somehow many of us have learned that failure means we're wrong, it means we're stupid, we're not good enough, etc., etc. 

Maybe somewhere down the line, we started to believe the negative things we were told or felt, and whatever positive, supportive things we heard were easily dismissed. We started to believe the harsh things. We started to tell ourselves harsh things. We began clinging to the negative. 

This can get philosophical real quick, and I can get lost in the rabbit hole of my own rhetoric. 

Somewhere in my past, I believed the bad things said to me. I believed the world was a scary place, and I believed I deserved what I got, and asking more in life was outside my pay scale. 

I cannot tell you how tired I am of that. 

I do want more out of life. I know changes have to be made. I know I have to believe myself worthy. So when I came across the idea of self-compassion, something clicked. I got an audiobook of the book Amy recommended. Strangely enough, it's called Self-Compassion and it's by Dr. Kristen Neff. I found that it was great to listen to while I went out on morning walks. Soothing for the mind and the body, dontcha know. 

I highly recommend it for anyone who beats themselves up. Could be for any reason, you could be a big financial success, fighting depression, an addiction, or just a actor trying to make a buck in a crazy competitive field. You could be in therapy or not, supported by a lovely group of friends, or feel that you're all alone. 

I'm not a doctor, I'm just this girl who learned how to devalue herself better than anyone else could. It's also an amazing challenge to learn how to break that habit! I'm more bringing this up because I want other people to be nicer to themselves. It's easy for me to be compassionate to others. This is something that I usually try to keep to myself. But I'm learning to talk about it, because I see loved ones beating themselves up all the time. Stop it!
If you want to read the book by Dr. Neff, click here to find it on Amazon, and here it is on Audible. 

If I can learn to be nicer to myself, you certainly can, too. Just be patient with yourself. If I find I can share more about an epiphany on self-compassion, I certainly will. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Health Goals: Making a Change

I have two goals that I want to accomplish by the end of the year.

1. Cut refined sugar out of my diet a whole hell of a lot, if not all of it.

2. Begin juicing/making healthy smoothies in the morning.

Some of you may scoff, like, "hello, that's too hard. Or hello, juicing isn't really really healthy." Well, shut up and let someone try something new, all right?

I'm one of those Americans who has grown up on processed foods and I used to drink soda by the gallons. .... Maybe not gallons, but I drank it a whole lot. I still have fits of NEED SODA AT ALL TIMES, I truly think it's an addiction. It's no one's fault. It just is. Now it's something that I want to change, and I know changing is a complete challenge.

Note: This is not dieting. This isn't abstaining or depriving oneself for a set period of time. This is a lifestyle change. <--- a="" and="" br="" come="" forth.="" has="" long="" lots="" meetings.="" more="" nbsp="" of="" reading="" s="" statement="" taken="" that="" thinking="" time="" to="" watchers="" weight=""> As both goals are things that I have never truly attempted, I know this isn't gonna be over night, over a week, over a month.

First things first: I've been researching blenders vs. juicers. Gonna get me a book to read to look over recipes and ideas. Since I've got monetary restrictions, I want to see where I can get the most bang for my buck. Also, while I look up recipes, I'm a little nervous cuz trying something new and dealing with foods I'm not used to is always a little strange. Sorry, I have food issues, duh.

*I'm realizing that I'm sounding a little defensively angry. It's like I'm Chris Hardwick trying to counter every negative comment before I even see or hear it. It sucks to be openly putting yourself out there and knowing that there are people you know and love, and there are complete strangers who will always respond negatively to you. It is what it is, am I right?

Second Things Second: Really paying attention to what I'm getting when I go grocery shopping. I'm look through the ingredients and working towards purchasing less items with Sugar listed in the top 4. It's eye-opening for sure. Currently working on just one Sugary Item a day.

I'll keep you up to date as I get a book or two and when I get the juicer, (or blender), and when I begin the juicing. Eek!

PS: If you want to know more about juicing and what started me on that whole track, go watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. You can watch it on Netflix. It's very interesting. While they talk about the need for their 40 day "Reboot", I'm not planning on doing something like that. Just once a day. It's very well done and I think it's worth a watch.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Celebrating Cancer Survival With Susan

On Friday the 7th, Susan invited me to be her guest at an annual luncheon held by Cedar-Sinai for cancer survivors. 

It was very touching, humbling, and invoked a lot of gratitude. 

 There's Susan laughing at me being a photo journalist. 

An "In Memory Of..." Billboard. It was almost full by the time they took it down. 

Another booth showed examples of how big tumors could be. Susan pointed out the one size that was closest to hers. 

 What we were slated for. The special guest speaker Susan Schnell has survived 5 different cancers since 1966. 

Our fancy salad and bread. We ate at the Sofitel hotel. Food was delicious, especially the sorbet we had for dessert! 

Susan, taking a pic of her lucky little talisman, Pogo. He's been on every appointment with her since he was gifted to her by one of her art students.  

Here is Susan Schnell. Quite a remarkable woman. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. We gave her a standing ovation by the end of her speech. 

This is one of Susan's doctors, Dr. William Audeh. He shared stories of other patients and their survival. A very warm, sweet man. Susan says he listens to her, takes his time, and really cares about what she's going through. From what I've learned that isn't always the case for cancer patients. 

We sat a table with survivors, their companions, and it was wonderful to see them support each other in their same but different journeys. The closing speech was very moving as the last doctor told us what Cedars is up to, and their plans for cancer research. It's quite amazing, really. 

It was especially poignant as I sat there with Susan. It's even more so as I hung out with my friend Jen last night, who I haven't seen in awhile. She recently lost her mother to breast cancer. 

The numbers of those affected by cancer is astounding. All I can say to you, if you or a loved one is diagnosed, is to go out and gather as much information and research as possible. Make sure you ask questions. Make sure you find support, it's a scary time, but truly, you are not alone. 

New pictures of Pogo, before and after lunch. Hee. These are from Susan's phone. 

Delicious sorbet!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A New Adventure-Background Acting

I'm sitting in the lobby for Central Casting. I've stood in line for an hour. I've sat through about 90 minutes of paperwork orientation. Soon I'll stand in line to get my pic on file. The look I've chosen? Average White Chick. 

I'm in a room full of certain 'looks' or 'types'. My little Voice of Paranoia is at full speed. "You don't have a specific enough look. You only have one costume. You can't start looking for work yet. You might get called in and your day job might fire you and you're a big disappointment and you should just stay at your day job that makes you grumpy and never leave a comfort of a small paycheck cuz it's better than nothing andit'll  never work and you'll never move forward and blah blah blah blah blah" 



Yeah, I'm starting down a path that many an actor and Los Angeles Weirdo has gone down before. I feel almost sheepish to be starting now after almost 8 years if being here. In reality though, it's smarter to be making $8 an hour in an environment I want to be in, than $12 where I start to hate all of humanity. Right? You have to make those first steps forward. These are often the hardest steps. These are the steps that seem to weigh the heaviest as you don't know what to expect and all the scary options pop up first. 

I know this isn't consistent work. That scares the practical side of me. Will my day job let me do this? Should I tell them? Will it make that much difference? 


There are other places to sign up with. That's gonna happen, too. I feel like I should just collect as much info as possible before I dive in. 

I also want to share in this adventure, cuz The Internet can hold your hand and tell you it's okay. I might as well make this as fun as possible, right? Those of you out there who don't know much about this might find this interesting. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Really Should Blog More Often

I keep having great ideas for things to write about. I never write them. I always keep saying to myself I don't have time. 

That's just silly. Might as well use the app that's on the phone, right?

So here's me with minutes to go before I work on a massage client. Writing. Feed the muse. 

Currently, I'm contemplating the day job, the other day job, and I'm comparing where the happiness is compared to other jobs, other possibilities. 

Then I'm thinking about an article I read in Ms. In The Biz about, (roughly),  staying put vs moving forward, because it would just hurt more to not move forward in your life. 

That's a lot of thinking. I shall keep doing so and go work on my next client.