Thursday, January 27, 2011

When You're Happy and You Know It...

Sometimes (ok, lots of the time), I ruminate. I obsess over small details, mulling over things that make me anxious, distraught, embarrassed, or just plain sad. A lot of this is biological and is something I've come to terms with over the last few years, but I still think it's worth it to do everything I can to combat these tendencies. One of the best ways I've found is to think about everything that is making me happy at this precise moment. It helps me to get myself back to sleep at night when I wake up in a blind panic about...nothing. So, for your enjoyment, here's the current list:

1. My monkey munchkin punkin pie little dude is crawling! Not very fast, and not very far, but man, he is moving like a champ. At least on carpet. On hard wood, we are back to the scootch and slide, but on firmer ground, he is a determined little boy. Solidly and slowly planting one hand, then one knee, then the other hand, then the other knee...then repeat. Slowly. And he's off! It makes me so proud that I jump around singing dumb songs that sound a lot like, "Heyyy nah nah nah, my munchkin man can craaaawwwlllll oh yeah hey nah nah nah nahhhh." He likes to either ignore me since he's probably crawling with fierce determination towards some enticing toy that I've placed out of reach, or sometimes look up at me and sound an approving "Gah."

2. I got a half day of work today, since my boss couldn't make it all the way to work due to the snow and decided to come home and study instead. I was home by 1 PM and Alix and I got to spend the afternoon and evening together for the first time in I don't know how long. We spent it getting...

3. New workout clothes! In honor of our new gym memberships, we decided to trek to TJ Maxx to find discount name-brand workout clothes and our efforts were rewarded. We walked out with multiple sports bras, tops, and a few bottoms to fuel our gym excitement and keep us from stinking up the gym by wearing the same stuff day after day. (So sue us, we only do laundry every two weeks, if that.)

4. Despite not feeling up to it, we made it to the gym tonight and took a new class with a new(ish) friend - someone I work with at the bakery. It was great getting to spend some time with her outside of work and the class was my favorite one so far. Not too crowded, a great instructor, and it totally kicked my butt. My goals since joining the gym have become less about changing how I look and more about changing my physical capabilities which I think is a good mental switch.

5. Finally, tomorrow is Friday. It's pay-day. I'm excited to wear more of my new stuff to the gym after I get out of work. Then Alix and I will have smoothies for dinner and go to sleep early. Maybe it sounds boring to y'all, but I can't think of anything better.

See, life really is pretty good, once you think about it. Stay warm everyone <3

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to Become a NYC Fitness Brat

So, despite my best efforts, the workout dvd craze ran its course and wasn't doing anything for me anymore, either mentally or physically. It occurred to me that the two dvd's I was working on (Cardio Max and Power Sculpt, both from the Biggest Loser enterprise) were designed for people who are very overweight and out of shape. After doing 30 Day Shred, I'm neither one of those, but sadly, still not at my goal. So, Alix and I sucked it up and joined a gym. Less than a week later, we feel we have gained an exclusive look into a club full of aggressive (read: bitchy), hungry New York women who maximize their membership costs by spending as much time and energy as possible at the gym. Here's the process by which it all shakes down:

Step 1: Visit large, shiny, intimidating gym and take tour with overexcited employee named Paul. Paul will laugh loudly and frequently, as he describes the many attributes of said gym while showing you the machines, the classes, the locker rooms, and the Pilates studio that looks like some sort of torture chamber Hitler might have built.

Step 2: Spend 20 minutes discussing in hushed urgent tones whether we have the money for such a shiny (read: expensive) gym and conclude that we need a day to think about it. Sensing impending disaster, Paul brings complimentary water bottles and offers us the equivalent of three months free membership. Deal suddenly becomes too good to pass up. Sign papers. Walk home feeling overwhelmed, excited, and wondering what the hell we've gotten ourselves into.

Step 3: Gather our courage and visit gym the next day for our first workout class. Disappointment ensues, as the class is full of women in spandex, sighing and moaning loudly while stretching into only mildly difficult toning exercises led by an ex-dancer named James while Eastern-inspired music plays loudly in the background.

Step 4: Gather our courage again, and decide to try a different class - this time, spinning. That's right, the quintessential NYC workout that all those hungry bitchy women opt for, often more than seven times a week.

Step 5: Realize extremely quickly into spinning that despite how surreal the experience is (the dark room, the pumping pop-remix music, the man with a microphone on a bike, and the 50 bikes packed into one room), spinning is actually extremely difficult. Alix and I were ready to die (proud of us, Jillian??) and that was after the warm-up. Thankfully, we made it through.

Step 6: Follow spinning with a half hour of an abs class which not only made me want to continue with the slow death that spinning began, but now I also want to vomit.

Step 7: Go home. And go back tomorrow.

Special Note: To the 50ish-year-old woman who was stretching while I walked by, I'm sorry I did an enormous double take and stared at your boobs. It was because you were wearing a Smith sports bra (go Smith!) and it made me so excited I lost control of all social graces. I hope you were flattered instead of freaked-out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Sickness and In Health

Okay, so technically, Alix and I haven't said our vows yet (nor do we have a clue what we'll be saying on the big day) but this last week has been a grand experiment in the sickness category. My boss had a cold a few weeks ago. This happens less often than you might expect, given that she is a doctor. I thought, maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't catch it, since we don't spend a whole lot of time together and I wash my hands constantly. No such luck. The cold kicked in with a horrible sore throat, moved into my lungs and aggravated my asthma so much Alix almost had to take me to the hospital one night, and then settled comfortably into my sinuses and lungs ever since so that I'm fully decked out with a hacking cough and a stuffy head. Three days later, Alix got the same cold. And then....Friday night came around, and what I thought was just motion sickness on the train home from a concert in Brooklyn turned out to be a horrible stomach virus. I've spent all weekend running a fever, throwing up, and sipping water to try to combat dehydration. I had to call in sick to work at the bakery yesterday and today and Alix has been in caretaker overdrive, bringing me Smart Water and giving me ibuprofen around the clock to keep my fever in check. Finally, this evening, my fever had broken and I'd eaten a little bit of soup and was feeling up to a very minor adventure. There's a Barnes and Noble on the corner of our street and there was a book we wanted to get about (go figure) wedding planning. So I put on some sweatpants and my slippers and my long all-purpose winter coat that covers me to my knees and we sloooowly walked over and found the book. Just as we're about to leave, this asshole woman (I'm still in shock that people can be this rude) walks by me and says to my face, "Oh don't you look comfortable!" (sweeps accusatory gaze up and down, taking in my bedraggled appearance), "No, it's great, really, you look soooo comfortable!" (shakes head, giggling at her own wit while making waggly eyebrows at her friend). I stood there in shock, completely incapable of responding, not quite understanding just exactly this woman's prerogative was. Did I look like shit? Yes, of course I did. I'd like to see what anyone looks like after running a 102 degree fever for two days looks like. But you know what else, woman? You were fat. And your hair dye job? Not looking so good. Oh, and your karma? I can tell you right now, that if there is any justice in the world, one tiny pathogen jumped from me to you during your tirade and this time tomorrow, you'll be sitting on the toilet with a bucket on your lap, just like I was. So fuck you. No, I'm not comfortable. I'm really, really sick. And I hope it made your day, making me want to cry in the middle of Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An exciting (snow) day in the lives of Cait and Al

Scene: Alix is washing the dishes from the cheesecake I am making. I am sitting at the computer, having just finished speaking an entire conversation for Tucker (yes, we have voices for our pets and use them to express what we feel they are thinking*) which involved, oddly enough, krill.

Alix: Isn't it weird that krill are so tiny and whales are so big and they eat them?
Me: They eat all day long.
Alix: Isn't that really inefficient?
Me: Well, what else are they going to do with their time?
Alix: Oh, I don't know, build bridges, make roads...
Me: ...make tea cozies? What would a tea cozy for a whale even look like?
Alix: I'm not even entirely sure what a tea cozy is...

*In case you are wondering, Tucker's voice is something like a combination of a Russian accent and lolcats speak. Rupert's is more along the lines of a kindergartner with an ADHD problem.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it....Oh Wait. She Did.

The rings. If you're gay, you get TWO rings. How special, right??

The newly engaged
A brief summary:

18 month anniversary.

Central Park.

Bench in gazebo with quote about love at first sight.

Nice words.

I said yes.


More tears.

Yet more tears.

Phone calls (Calling every sibling in my family of seven takes a long time.)


Overwhelming sense of incompetence at idea of planning wedding.

Inability to answer any questions regarding wedding other than date (July 2012), and "Is it legal in NY?" (Answer: No, but NY recognizes the marriage if it was made legal in another state.), and "Where are you going to get married?" (Answer: Not Iowa.)

More happyhappyjoyjoy.

Inability to sleep because too excited from imagining wedding, married life, reality of heavy, diamond rings on fingers, etc.

Cannot get used to ring on left hand. Absolutely cannot. (Will it always feel this way?)

Will always love her. Always.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Looking Back...But Moving On

As the new year begins, I'm at a loss for a resolution. I'm on the fence as to whether having a New Year's resolution is even a good idea to begin with, but regardless, I'm still trying to think of one. Getting fit, eating healthy, losing weight - those goals are already in progress and I have no intention of stopping them. The best that I've come up with so far is that I resolve to be more grateful, to be more patient (mostly with myself), and to keep going with the aforementioned health goals even when they seem impossible. Lofty, I know. But in an effort to begin:
1. I'm grateful for a day off today.
2. I need to be patient about the fact that it's not going to take a week/two weeks/a month to reach my health goals.
3. I started making healthy smoothies a few days ago (with my awesome immersion blender) and am now addicted. I drink them as a meal (usually breakfast) and they're super easy to make. My favorite combination so far is this:

1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 cup almond milk
1 banana
1 TB honey

It's extremely low in fat, high in protein, and comes in at 236 calories. And, oh yeah, it's absolutely delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I couldn't take a picture until I had already had a few sips. So sorry about the sub-par photo.

After finishing The 30 Day Shred workout, I can definitely see more ab, arm, and quad definition. I also lost 4-5 pounds, and I am much, much fitter than when I began. Two days ago Alix and I started our new six week program - Cardio Max plus Power Sculpt. The first 1-2 weeks of cardio workouts begin with a five minute warm-up, then a 20 minute session, followed by a five minute stretch/cool-down. Weeks 3-4 add another ten minutes of cardio, and weeks 5-6 add yet another ten minutes. The sculpt sessions are meant to be done on alternating days with the cardio workouts (so you're doing each one 4ish times per week) and include more toning exercises with little to no cardio. Alix and I did the first session of each and looked at each other afterward, our expressions both clearly reading, "Um, is that it?" Apparently, we have Jillian to thank for getting us into good enough shape that the starter workouts are way easier than we expected. So the executive decision that was reached was that we will continue with level 1 of the cardio (we were actually sore the next day, and yes, it still gets our hearts pumping and the sweat pouring) but we will definitely move up to level 2 of the sculpt sessions.

And for your enjoyment, some pictures from the Christmas holidays...
Tucker was too busy opening presents to look at the camera
Cooking healthy, even at home
Today marks 18 months of joy