Saturday, June 28, 2008

Long Rambling Post On Being "Too" Sensitive, Enlightenment, and Dr. Who

I'm sure a lot of us have been accused, at one point (at least) of being too sensitive. I was CONSTANTLY harped on by family members for it, and it drove me NUTS! Granted, there were many times when I took myself too seriously, but I was A teenage girl! And an actress! It's practically a law to take yourself too seriously under those conditions!
Anyway, it wasn't until I was in my early 30's that I came to realize that being sensitive isn't such a bad thing. That actually CARING about people, even people you don't know, can actually be *gasp* a GOOD thing!
I was reading an article this morning about a woman who, after years of practicing yoga and meditation, found herself facing anxiety about her boyfriend's proposal. So she decided to meditate even more, which made her even more sensitive. She didn't want to be that way. When she talked to a friend about it, he suggested she become a Bhodisattvha, which is a person who pledges to help others find enlightenment. This includes promising to love all people, including those she doesn't like. The point of her article was that, in some ways, it was harder to accept the marriage proposal than the idea of loving everyone AND taking on their pain. But she did it.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at, without getting too mystical, is that this woman, who was trying to "toughen up" and figure her life out, ended up becoming more sensitive than ever and, as she put it, "breaking [her] heart open" and then figuring her life out. And it allowed her to say "yes" to marriage and to sharing her life with another person. And to being compassionate.
I am far from finding enlightenment myself, but i do love the idea of opening your heart instead of closing it. And empathy instead of judgment. It's not always easy (understatement!), but I think it's worth the effort. For me, anyway.
My kids have taught me a lot about this. Because they're not "typical," and because they just accept people for who they are. They're so curious and friendly and loving. I think of the person I was and the life I had before I became a mom, and it just doesn't hold a candle to the present. I feel really blessed and honored to be their mom, and I try to remember that when they're driving me bonkers, lol!

So, on to something completely different. I was watching "Dr. Who" last night and Donna, the Doctor's traveling buddy, got sucked into a virtual world, which she thought was real. Then she met another woman from the real world who told her "This isn't your life. None of this is real. This isn't your real body." And Donna said "This isn't my body? I've been dieting!"
That just made me laugh.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I stepped on the Scale

And freaked. Oh, not at first. I took a yoga class, came home, had a nice dinner, then freaked. Oh sure, I talk big, about not letting the number on the scale dictate how I feel, and usually I don't. But sometime in the past few weeks I've put on TEN POUNDS!!!!
The thing is, it seems to have happened very quickly. I wore a pair of jeans a couple of weeks ago that are too tight now. I'm hoping some of it is water retention.
Another thing is, I feel really good! And I think I look pretty good. Sure, I still have some extra stuff I'd like to get rid of, but for the most part, I feel good. And Hubby doesn't believe me when I tell him I've put on weight (how much do I love that man?!).
But still. A big part of me (no pun intended) is freaking. Out. And I think I just need to let myself freak out and then get over it.
And I am SO going back to that yoga class!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Raw Food, Whole Foods (Market), and Wal-Mart

Raw food. When it's prepared well, it's SOOOOO GOOD!!!! Equinox has a raw/vegan cafe, and very nice people who work there. Living in the Bay Area, it's easy to find great vegetarian/vegan/raw food (I often wonder if I could be a vegetarian if I lived in the south, surrounded by BBQ, catfish, biscuits and gravy...) I have some cookbooks (or un-cookbooks), but I'm finding some of it to be quite expensive and time consuming. I suppose it may partly be because I'm relatively new to it, but also because my family is not as into it as I am. (Preparing one meal for me, and something else for them=not fun.) Also, taking care of 2 kids with autism and working part-time doesn't leave me with a whole lot of spare time. (Listen! Do you here violins? They're playing just for me!) I know some of you out there are vegetarian (*cough* Charlotte!!! *cough*) and may have some ideas? Possibly?
OK, complaining is over. Because yesterday, we found PARADISE! Los Altos, near Silicon Valley, has a HUGE Whole Foods with multiple food bars, and a mall with a Wal-Mart, Target, Trader Joe's and an Iyengar yoga studio! How cool is that?!
We picked up the new Journey CD/DVD last night at Wal Mart. Have you heard the story of how they found their new lead singer, from the Philippines? I'll have to blog about that later, 'cause it's an amazing story. Right now I have to take my son swimming.
Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's Saturday!!!!!

So, a list of things that have occurred in the past 24 hours:

1) Subbed a mat class, immediately followed by the regular reformer class.
2) Went grocery shopping. Again. (I think my kids' appetites are the only thing keeping the economy from going completely down the toilet at this point.) Also realized that phone battery is completely dead, after I'd just charged it. And my phone is obsolete. Time for a new phone (yay!) that I have to pay for (boo!).
3) Came home and crashed on the bed while the kids ran around the house.
4) Woke up, told self I would take kids to the pool 'cause it's SO HOT! Then, I fell asleep on the couch while the kids ran around the house.
5) Woke up, played with the kids, ordered pizza, fed the dog, and watched a movie ("Flash Gordon," from 1980. Timothy Dalton-YUM!)
6) Hubby came home, so I fed him, then took the dog out for a walk. Also fed the geese. Dog made many friends on walk, as she is adorable and friendly.
7) Came home and watched "Dr. Who." First half of a two-parter. AWESOME episode!!!! (David Tennant-YUM! And Alex Kingston is in it- she's hot! And, y'know, talented.)
8) Cleaned out dog's ears. Poor thing gets ear infections, and I have to clean her ears to keep them from getting infected. She HATES it. And so do I.
9) Took bath, crashed out on bed. Was dreaming this morning when I heard someone gulping. Woke up to find my little girl sucking down the cup of water I keep on the end table. She had escaped her room, where we put a gate up (because of her occasional habit of waking up at 4 am and wandering the house). A few minutes later she was tickling my foot at the end of the bed. Also heard Elmo on the downstairs TV, which meant son had also risen, and it was time to get up. Hubby had let me sleep in all week while he took care of the kids, so I figured it was my turn.

So, to recap; the kids were both on vacation this week (little girl starts summer school on Monday), It's hotter than the 9th circle of Hades, I did LOTS of pilates, rode my bike to sub a class at EA Sports (only to realize later that it was actually 100 degrees out) and was wishing I had a steady job there, 'cause that place is AWESOME! And right near our house. And the woman at the desk who signed me in was getting ready for the big DODGEBALL game! How cool is that! And there was a group of shirtless twenty-something guys playing volleyball right by the bike rack. And I walked in and there were people playing video games, ping-pong, and Dance Dance Revolution. It was lunchtime, and the cafeteria was slightly louder than recess at my son's elementary school. Of course, given that the folks there work an average of 100 hours a week, I figure they earn their playtime.
Oh, and on Monday I tried Core Rhythms (you can get it at Target, don't order it off the official sight) and it's really fun and really hard! My goal is to be able to move my hips and torso like those gals (and guys) can.
So today, we're going cell phone shopping and taking the kids to the pool (FINALLY!) and just chillin'.
How 'bout you guys? Anything exciting going on? Hoping you're going to have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Depth Takes A Holiday

I can't take the credit for that. It's actually the title of a book by Sandra Tsing-Loh, a writer and performer who lives in L.A. She used to have a weekly commentary on the local NPR station called "The Loh Life" (Hee!) until she swore on the air once, and they canceled her.
I never listened to that station again.
Anyway, the reason for the title is that, after my last post, I'm doing a complete 180 and blogging about Lululemon. Or, more specifically, the fact that I was there yesterday, met a very nice fellow who works there, who then signed me up for R&D. Research and Development.
I mentioned that I teach pilates, and he told me that fitness professionals (Hey! I'm a fitness professional! Who knew?) can participate in a program in which we give feedback regarding the performance of Lululemon's clothes and products. As a reward, we get a 15% discount!!!!! FOREVER!!!!!!!
All I had to do was fill out an application and show them a paystub! Then I bought some underwear. 'Cause, they have the MOST COMFORTABLE undies on the planet! And it's all seamless! And it doesn't fall apart in the wash!
I know, I know, I'm basically a blogging advertisement right now. But I'm JUST SO EXCITED!!!! Is it weird, to get this excited over the situation?

In other news, I'm subbing a class today over at EA Sports. They're the folks who create all the sports video games for Nintendo, and their headquartered a few blocks from where we live. I'm also subbing a mat class tomorrow morning, right before my reformer class. All told, I'll have done 6 hours of pilates by week's end. Oy! I even had a dream about pilates last night! It's getting a little weird around here, folks!

Oh. Right. They've always been weird.

Never mind.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why "Days of our Lives" Rocks

Ok, I admit, I don't really watch it that much. But when I first moved to L.A., I did quite a bit of work as an extra on the show. An extra is a person in the background. We don't have any lines or dialogue, but most scenes would look pretty odd if there were no other people around. And yes, ALL the people you see on screen who are milling around behind the main actors are paid extras.

Being an extra is a good way to get experience working on-set, and it also pays pretty well (especially if you are in the union). BUT, the quality of the experience depends on the production. I did A LOT of extra work, and my experience was that the bigger the budget, the worse the extras were treated.

Soap operas aren't exactly low-budget, but they don't have as much money as a major Hollywood blockbuster wannabe. (To give you an idea, the average screenplay is 90 pages long, and it takes 3-6 months to film. Soaps film 60-90 pages PER DAY, 5 days a week!) The scene I was first involved in was a wedding, taking place in "Italy" (which looks a lot like the backlot of the NBC studios in Burbank), and it was July. We were outside, filming at night, and it was HOT!!! So the crew kept giving us breaks, to go inside where it was air-conditioned, and they kept feeding us! Then, at 4 AM, the actress playing the bride, who was VERY pregnant at the time, went into false labor, and we had to wrap. We came back a couple days later and finished the shot, and the actor playing "the bad guy" made sure we all had chairs to sit in, inside, where it was cool. TOTALLY not his job, but he did it anyway.

I worked a few more days on the show, and everyone was always so nice. Peter Reckell, was especially great. He'd hang out and chat with us, and even gave some (low-key) advice to a young actor who had a couple of lines, so that the young fella would have more face-time on camera.

But the REAL reason they rock? The head writer has 4 kids, one of whom has Autism. (He, the child, is now 19 and just graduated high school.) She has instituted a new storyline, in which one couple's 3 year-old son is diagnosed with Autism. She says she really wants to show the reality of it; how it affects the entire family (and friends), the struggle, and the hope, and all little victories.

I think that's pretty cool.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Random Thoughts for a Monday

Gotta type fast, 'cause I'm going to my daughter's school to observe her with her OT. Um, Occupational Therapist, not overtime. Although, maybe she gets a gold star for staying late and finishing that Lego house...

Went swimming. Wore board shorts, a sport bra, and a cami top. Had lots of fun. The kids are swimming better and better, and our son is jumping into the deep end! Daughter wore her little purple suit with white polka dots and skirt attached, and looked so damn cute I almost couldn't stand it! Son wore cute swim trunks, and kept rubbing his tummy. DAMN, they're adorable! (Hubby looked buff and hot in his trunks. HOO-WEE!)

I had some internal struggles with food this weekend (PMS, dontcha know), but when I woke up this morning I felt...fine. Good. Not stressed out about it.

OK, so my mother has breast cancer, my father is in remission from Melanoma, but he found out today that he has two lesions on his brain, so he has to get more radiation. My brother has one more month in The Place That Shall Not Be Named, and...
Everything is going to be OK.
My parents are quite optimistic, and my brother has a great sense of humor. So everything is going to be OK.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Taking the Plunge...Literally

Well, today I'm gonna do it. Don the dreaded bathing suit and get into the pool. It's finally warm enough that we can take the kids swimming. So, I'll liberally slather on the sunscreen and go.
My husband has pretty dark skin, and is allergic to sunscreen, and is always in amazing shape. (Even though I work out 3 times as much as he does! SO unfair,lol!) so he looks forward to this season. And so do I, for the most part. I just hate the wearing-the-bathing-suit part. And exposing my poor, pasty skin to the sun for the first time in almost a year. You laugh, but many have been temporarily blinded by the sight.
Last summer, in Hawaii, I bought board shorts and a rash guard to swim in, after forgetting to put sunscreen on my back and going snorkeling I looked like a candy cane. And, oh yeah, IT HURT!!!!! But one of the advantages to wearing such swim gear is that it's NOT a bathing suit! See, I may have come a long way with my body image issues, but not THAT far!
I still dread The Swimsuit.
And I'm not sure how to get over that.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Evil Plan Is Working, Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

Yes, my plan to dominate the world with my Pilates Empire (stops to stroke cat, evily). One by one, They are succumbing...TO ME!

OK, ok, I got a mat class at the JCC and a reformer class at Equinox. So now I have 3 classes a week, and I'm very happy! It may not be an empire, but the more I teach, the more confident I get. And, hopefully, someday I can do private, one-on-one training.

And REALLY rake it in (more evil laughter), because THAT'S why I do it! For the money! Not because, y'know, I love it or anything.

I wonder if I can sneak into the rooftop pool at Equinox?

Monday, June 2, 2008

To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

Leslie at "The Weighting Game" has an amazing post today about giving up the scale. I was going to bore everyone over there with a post about my own experiences with and without the scale , but I decided to post it here, so that folks can read it voluntarily.
A little over a year ago, when I started Intuitive Eating, I gave up the scale. A few years ago, I was one of those people who weighed every day, and determined my self-worth by that number. Or the number on the tape measure. Or on the body fat analyzer on my pedometer, which claimed I was "severely obese." Which I wasn't. was a PEDOMETER!
So giving up on weighing myself was an interesting proposition. What would change? Would I freak? Would I end up gaining massive amounts of weight? Would I LOSE massive amounts of weight?
As it turns out, none of the above. Like Leslie, I found it surprisingly easy to ignore the scale. I didn't even have to move it out of the bathroom! It just sat there, collecting dust, until i got sick of the dust and finally moved the scale. I did keep it, but it's now used to weigh luggage if we're traveling by plane. Actually, it's buried under all the other crap in my closet. Tee-hee!

I'm going to turn 39 next month, and,unlike Leslie, I have some tummy rolls. I've been experimenting lately (OK, for a week, so far!) with vegan and raw food. When I stopped and asked myself WHY I'm doing this, the honest answer was surprising; my main reason is NOT weight loss! Truly! I'm quite shocked by this as, up until recently, I was one of those people who would do almost anything to lose weight! Even when I didn't have any TO lose. And it's not all-or-nothing. I'm INCORPORATING these foods into my life, not RESTRICTING myself to them. Another part of it is that I've been in a food rut lately, and this will help get me out of it. But the main reason is that IT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER. That's it! It's so simple! I'm sleeping better, I have more energy, and I feel good. And if I want some sushi, or chicken, or whatever, I have some. No big deal.

A few weeks ago, I caved and stepped on the scale at the gym. I'd been feeling REALLY great, and happy and confident. I'd also put on a couple of pounds. At first I was upset, but i decided it wasn't going to get me down. And, a couple days later, my pants were looser again. Weight fluctuates. It happens. I'll get over it.
Yes, there are times, many times, when I look at my stomach in the mirror and catch myself sighing. But I don't hate my body anymore. How could I hate something that grew two wonderful children, and nourished them for the first years of their lives, and allows me to run and jump and play and wrap my arms around those kids, and my husband, and the dog, and has given me my new livelihood?

I do not hate my body. I do not hate anyone else's body, whether they are skinny,buff or fat. Or anywhere in-between. I refuse to hate someone based on their appearance. (I'll get to know them before I decide to hate them, lol!) I will no longer judge a person based on what their body looks like. I have been on the receiving end of that for too long, and it is a trap. It is useless, and it is false. I have also been guilty of perpetuating it, and it sucks. I promise not to hate you because you're beautiful. And you are. Every inch of you, inside and out.
You. Are. Beautiful.

(BTW, that song, by James Blunt, is my daughter's favorite. She believes it about herself, and I pray she ALWAYS does!)