Wednesday, June 29, 2005

pissed off in lab AND racing

Been doing pretty well this week. Lab work is picking up. I was kind of pissed today b/c I had to clean up all the radioactivity left by the sloppy baby of the lab who was a complete asshole when confronted...very me. If I have to go to the PI again to complain, he'll only complain that he doesn't feel comfortable, and I'll get another "talk" about getting along well with others. But anyway, my huge radioactive experiment is winding down, and I--a RESPONSIBLE, mature human being--carefully and tediously cleaned up everything, even though it took an extra hour and a half. But I'm not bitter or anything.
Jason is going to Wisconsin to see his family (they live on a dairy farm). Usually, I go too, but I need to stay here and get work done so I can graduate in December. I wish I could go. Summertime in Wisconsin is awesome. I hate visiting over Thanksgiving b/c I'm thin-skinned and always freezing at that time of year.
I'm going to try and be courageous this weekend and compete in some races! For the sheer joy of it. I don't care about time or anything. I just want to do it and enjoy it. There's a 10K downtown on Sunday, and a biathlon (4.5 mile run and 20 mile bike) in Illinois on Monday, the 4th. I just need to a) wake up early and b) get the guts up to do it--by myself. I can do it!
I mimicked the biathlon last night (indoors b/c it's like the 5th ring of hell outside in St. Louis this week). I ran 4.5 miles on our damn treadmill (I hate that thing--it's like running in glue). Then, I hopped on the bike and spun intervals for an hour. It was hard! But I did it! I drank a ton of water. It will probably take me at least 80 minutes to bike 20 miles but I figured I better not push myself too hard if I want to have enough left for the race next week. The adrenaline will give me the final push. So I can do it!
I plan on seeing if I'm up for a 10K either today or tomorrow. I think I am. I feel like I'm bouncing back quickly. I've been feeling better b/c I've been eating better and sleeping better.
I figured out that I have "delayed circadian rhythm disorder". Basically it means I'm a night owl and have a hard time getting up in the morning. So I've been trying tricks for waking up earlier (going to bed earlier is no problem). I discovered SUNSHINE this morning. Jason opened the shades when he got up, and I gradually and refreshingly woke up on my own within 40 minutes. Pretty cool, huh?

I've linked the two races I want to do to this post, not that anyone's interested.

Interactive question of the day:

We always feel so rushed in life. I often wish I could stop time and catch up with everything. If you could stop time, what would you do?

hot female athlete of the week: Misty May--Olympic beach volleyball player; makes an awesome team to drool for with Kerri Walsh (coming soon) Posted by Hello

Monday, June 27, 2005

Hot, hot, hot!

I've been a little lazy lately but it's been very hard to get motivated to work out. It's over 100 with the heat index here and so humid I can't breathe. Anyway, it made me think that it might be useful to review tips for working out in the heat.
I went for a run on Thursday at 6:30. It was an "orange quality air day" in St. Louis (it has been for awhile now with this heat wave), meaning that people may have a hard time breathing the disgusting air outside and should stay in. I thought it would be better since the sun was going down so I went out for a run. I had planned on going 5 miles. The heat stifled me the second I walked out the door. It took my breath away. I willed myself into a jog. The shade and rare wisp of an occassional breeze offered little respite from the suffocating heat. 10 minutes later, it offered no relief for my quickly overheating body. My head ached, and I felt slightly naseous--warning signs of the beginnings of heat exhaustion. Listening to my body, I slowed down to see if that would help. I could feel my heart pounding, pulsating in my head. My stomach began to act up, giving me warning signs of gastric distress. I slowed to a walk and decided to turn back early, cutting a mile off the original run. Although I only had 1 mile to go, it was torturous. When I finally got back to the air-conditioned lab, I vowed never to run in that sort of heat again.
Part of the problem is that my body didn't get the chance to adjust to the heat this summer. Last summer, I was in pretty good shape when the heat hit, and it was relatively easy to slow down and alternate between road and indoor treadmill runs for a few weeks until my body adjusted. This time, I'm trying to get back into running, and my body just can't handle trying to adjust to both stresses at once. Moral? I need to take it easy.
How to do this? Treadmill running is a blessing in disguise. I run on the treadmill more in the summer than in the winter in St. Louis. It's much harder to run in the heat than in the cold. I love blasting a fan and the a.c. on the treadmill.
Also, follow the weather in your area closely. It's best to run first thing in the morning (6:00 a.m.) when it's the coolest outside. If you can't do that (like me, a late sleeper), the next best thing is to run just before dark (or if it's safe in your area, after dark), around 7:30 p.m. when the heat isn't as intense. Try to pick shady paths. Take advantage of cooler, breezier days or intermittent thunder storms. These conditions offer much needed breaks.
Give yourself a break. You can't go as hard when it's hot b/c your body and cardio system is working equally hard to cool itself hot, causing your heart rate to soar. If you aren't wearing a heart rate monitor, listen to your body. If you start to feel out of breath, naseous, dizzy, overheated, or have a headache, slow down. Walk. If it doesn't get better, stop and rest in a cool, shady area. Heat stroke can be fatal so you need to pay attention to the signs. If you (or running partner) ever turn pale, stop sweating, or feel very faint, get to an ER immediately.
Remember to drink lots of fluids, preferably a sports drink to replenish electrolytes as well as fluids. Wear a hat and/or sunglasses. Wear sunblock. Don't forget to wear wicking, non-cotton, lightweight clothing made for running in the heat---shorts and a singlet. Warm-ups and cool-downs are also very important as they allow your body to adjust to the heat gradually. Most importantly, remember to give yourself a break. You simply can't perform in the heat like you can when it's cool. Keep that in mind and listen to your body; you'll be able to enjoy and sustain keeping fit in the heat. And if you're like me, just take it indoors and blast the a.c. Keep cool everyone!

Love St. Louis

On Friday, 06-24-2005 at approximately 11:16 pm a member of the MedicalSchool community was robbed at gunpoint of her purse and its contentswhile approaching the south doors of the Boulevard Building at 4444 ForestPark. The robbery suspect apparently approached the victim from behind,on foot, from Duncan Avenue, obtained the purse, then departed the scenein a black pick-up truck being driven by another individual.The suspect is described as an African-American male, approximately 5'06"in height and weighing 160 pounds. He was dark complected with brown eyesand short black hair. He was wearing dark oversized pants, an oversizedT-shirt, dark and white in color and a bandana on his head or over hisface.There were no reported injuries due to the incident.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Happy 5-Year Anniversary To Us!

This was the picture for our wedding program. June 24, 2000. I love you, Jason. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Gratuitous cute bunny pic of the day. Jonathan--a bunny I used to foster (now adopted, yea!). Naughty bunny! Guess he had a runny nose.  Posted by Hello

Creating your own workout

To prevent boredom, I like to switch up my workouts. I don't need a personal trainer. I have a few training videos and I subscribe to a few fitness magazines, and I get all my ideas from them. I have a workout binder, and I keep all my personalized workouts in there. I cut out the exercises I like from magazines and paste them into a scrapbook under "arms," "back," "abs," "legs," etc. I then keep a master library of each exercise in the front.
On my slow days, I do a workout for a timed amount of time (an hour), and circuit train, picking one exercise for each body part and rotating around. For example, I'll do 30 crunches on the ball, then 10 one-legged squats, 10 triceps kick-backs, and 10 biceps curls. It allows me to experiment with different exercises, keep my mind interested, and challenge my body. I'm always sore the next day.
You can do the same with running, biking, and swimming. This is handy especially for the trainer or treadmill. I was getting sick of my workout videos but wasn't motivated enough to cycle hard on the trainer on my own.
Last night, I really wanted to watch "30 Days," so I got on the trainer and started a timer. I warmed up for 5 minutes by pedaling quickly on a low gear. Then I did 3x1 min sprints on a low (but slightly higher than warm-up) gear with 30 second rests (rests were same intensity as warm-up). After 1 min. rest, I did 3x5 minute 90 rpm sets at a gear high enough to keep my heart rate about 140 bpm. I allowed myself 1 minute active (warm-up inten sity) rest between each set (allowing my heart rate to fall no lower than 120). Following this, I did 3x4 minute sets at 100 rpm (slightly lower gear), again using my heart rate as a gauge to set the gear with 45 seconds active rest between each set. Then, I did 3x3 minute sets at 110 rpm, slightly lower gear with 30 second rest between each set. I finished with a 5 minute cool-down. Don't forget to drink a lot during the rests and stretch afterwards!
This is my "base-building" workout that I adopted from Spinervals. I like it b/c it's simple and you can watch t.v. while doing it or listen to music. You don't have to think too hard. Plus, you can always add or subtract sets as needed.


Don't forget to check out the new poll. Plus, I haven't had a word or quote of the day for awhile so I added that too. Another blogger gave me the idea of posting an interactive question so I thought I'd give it a shot.

I've been having a hard time sleeping lately. (I've had SO much on my mind!) Since part of the focus of this blog is health, diet, and exercise, I thought I'd talk about sleep. Sleep is an integral part of diet and exercise. When you sleep, your body repairs all the muscles you've damaged from exercise and repairs injuries. It's during this time that you become strong and buff.
When you skimp on sleep, stress hormones, such as cortisol, rise, causing your blood pressure to rise and making you feel more hungry. Stress hormones also slow down your metabolism, causing you to cling to every calorie. This can sabotage weight-loss efforts. Plus, you decreased focus, concentration, and energy, meaning you won't perform anything. You won't want to do your workouts, and when you do, you won't be able to do them at the intensity you were doing after a good night of sleep. Studies have shown that drivers who are sleep-deprived perform as badly as drunk drivers behind the wheel. Sleep-deprivation causes many fatalities from car accidents each year! Needless to say, sleep is important.
So, number 1, make an effort to get a minimum of 7-8 hours each night. Everyone needs a different amount. To figure out what you need, try going to bed at a regular time for a few days and waking up without an alarm clock. Figure out how many hours your body needs. For me, I need a solid 8 under normal circumstances, and 10 when I'm stressed or in training. What a pain. Why can't I be one of those 6-hour a night people?
Okay, so you've made sleep a priority. That's all well and good, but many of us suffer from insomnia. Here are some tips to help you nod off each night:

1. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on weekends. Your body likes routine.

2. Avoid naps. If you have to nap, don't nap after 5 p.m., and avoid naps over 1 hour. (Personally, my naps are 3 hours. I'm a very bad girl. Moral? Do as I say, not as I do.)

3. Avoid caffeinated drinks after 3 p.m. Avoid alcoholic drinks. They can make you feel drowsy at first, but can wake you up later on.

4. Exercise routinely to help physically tire you out.

5. Allow yourself wind-down time. Two-hours before bedtime, wrap up what you were doing. Don't start any new activities. 1-hour before bedtime, relax, read a book, do something calming and pleasurable. Reading helps me turn off my brain so I stop focusing on all my worries and what I have to do tommorrow.

6. Turn off the t.v.

7. To drink or not to drink? This is a toughie. I love hot chamomile tea with a dash of skim milk and Splenda right before bedtime. It makes me very sleepy. However, it means I will have to pee several times throughout the night. Resolution? Try drinking the tea earlier to give your bladder time to respond.

8. Turn up the a.c. Your body temperature needs to drop about a degree to fall asleep. Also, try taking a hot shower or bath before bedtime. This always makes me sooo sleepy. A hot bath helps your body temperature drop afterward, lulling you to sleep.

9. If your mind is running a mile a minute after you're in bed, try a trick that works for me 90% of the time. First, make sure you don't look at the clock with every toss and turn. It doesn't help to see how much sleep you're losing. It only makes you worry more. Second, make sure you're in a comfortable position. I usually find laying on my back relaxing at first. Third, try a meditation trick. There are two things I try (which I also do when I meditate) to help turn off my brain. The trick is to occupy your mind with something that allows you to focus on something soothing and shift your attention elsewhere.
The first meditation trick involves focusing on relaxing each body part, one at a time. I start with my feet. I focus on my feet until they are tingling and slightly tense. I then consciously relax my feet, feeling all the tension oozing out of them. I know it's working when they feel slightly numb. I then move up the body methodically to the calves, knees, thighs, and so on until I reach the head. I'm usually off in dreamland before I reach my neck.
The second meditation trick involves imagining colors. I start with the color red and go through each color until I reach purple, telling myself I will be asleep by the time I get there. I focus on objects that are red, like an apple, a fire engine, my favorite dress, etc. The objects then become blurry and my inner field of vision is completely occupied by the color red. I focus on it (softly) until all I see is red, and I feel like I could touch it. I then move onto the next color--yellow, then green, blue, and finally purple. Lately, I've been asleep by the time I reach blue.
When I say focus, I mean soft focus, the type you use when you meditate. Don't force it, like when you're figuring out a tough math problem. Instead, let it come to you in waves. This will help you relax.

10. Finally, if you do need to take medication (I use Benadryl as a last resort--sleepiness can be a good side effect), make sure you take it early enough in the evening that it won't leave you feeling hung over the next day. Sometimes medication can make you feel more tired the next day so this should be a final resort after all else fails.

11. If it's been over two hours, and you're still wide awake, get out of bed and move to the sofa. Try doing a relaxing activity like reading or watching t.v. You don't want to associate the bed with tossing and turning.

Hope this helps! Sleep well, all!

Interactive Question of the Day

I got this idea from another blog. I think it's cool.

If you won 10 million dollars, how would it change your life?

Quote of the Day

"Let me have men about me that are fat, sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous."
Shakespeare, William1564-1616 British Poet Playwright Actor

Word of the Day

metabolic syndrome:
The major characteristics of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, and lipid abnormalities (i.e., elevated levels of triglycerides and low levels of high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol). Initially defined by an expert panel of the World Health Organization in 1998,5 the NCEP-ATP III4 has created an operational definition of metabolic syndrome: the co-occurrence of any three of the abnormalities mentioned above.

Basically, it is the "pre-diabetic" state many individuals experience before they develop full-blown diabetes. Obesity is usually a big component of metabolic syndrome, leading to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and other signs that your body can't handle the sugars and fat being taken in. Metabolic syndrome is often reversible through routine diet and exercise. Over 6 million Americans suffer from type II diabetes today, and an equal number are pre-diabetic, or afflicted with metabolic syndrome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Getting psyched up; which races to do?

The amateur triathlete is back! I am trying to choose from the following list of races to work towards. I don't want to choose too many! This is so exciting. I had such a hard time narrowing it down. Here's a calendar of the cool upcoming races in this area that I want to do:
  • 7/3 10K St. Louis Track Club--downtown St. Louis (Eads Bridge)


  • 7/4 5 mi run/20 mi bike--Biathlon--Hillsboro, IL

  • 7/17 Sprint Triathlon (300 yd swim/9 mi bike/3.2 mi run)--Ballwin, MO


  • 7/17 4.5 mi run/20 mi bike Touring Cyclist Duathlon--Fairview Heights, IL

  • *7/24 0.5 mi swim/19 mi bike/5k run--Show Me State Games--Columbia, MO
  • *9/17 1/2 mi swim (lake)/15 mi bike/4 mi run Trail of Tears Triathlon--Cape Girardeau, MO
  • *10/9 500 m swim/21 mi bike/5 mi run Sprint Triathlon--St. Peters, MO
  • 10/22 5K run for your life--Tower Grove Park (St. Louis)

This is still too many, but the ones with the stars are the coolest.

Something Like Normal

Today is a good day. Things have been getting better. It's funny b/c nothing has really changed in my life but my perspective is changing. My therapist had some really good things to say on Monday. My favorite was, "One day at a time." Nothing is perfect all the time but maybe if I attack things one day at a time, little by little, it will come together. My "to do" list has been much easier to tackle that way. Applying this new philosophy, I've been eating healthier, sleeping on a more consistent schedule and exercising routinely. My energy levels have slowly been rising. Something like normal.
My biggest problem is lack of patience. I know what I want so why do I have to wait? I'm not patient enough to wait for results in lab, and I'm not patient enough to allow my body to catch up with my brain. Sometimes I think my body is smarter than my mind. It seems to know a lot more than I do. If I only listened sometimes.
I went for a very pleasant run yesterday. I felt pretty zippy and even ended up passing a few guys. That's one for the ladies! I love passing guys, especially when they get that surprised/frustrated look on their faces. Yup, that's right. You're getting your ass kicked by a girl! Hee hee. It really got my adrenaline pumping. As I walked back towards lab, I saw this gorgeous red-headed woodpecker fly past and land in a nearby tree. I love all the wildlife I see right in my own backyard. He was quite large, had a brilliantly crimson head, white back, and ebony black tail. Gorgeous. Like a tuxedo with a red rose in the lapel.
I can't believe the garden. It's never looked like this. Summer is definitely here. I just need to weed and deadhead every week or so. Just maintenance. It's so much fun to go out and play in it. I can actually hide in the bushes in the back, and no one can see me. This amazes me b/c 2 years ago, it was all dirt. It's so rewarding to see something take off and flourish that you planted by seed. The colors are great: purple clematis, balloon flower, phlox, pincushion flower, purple coneflower, white daisies, yellow coreopsis, red coral bells, pink hydrangeas, and orange marigolds and daylilies. The white is a dominant color since the daisies are very happy. They glow in the moonlight, making the garden light up. I had never noticed how bright the flowers were at night. In addition, the soft neon blinking of the fireflies brings back fond childhood memories. I still get excited when I see the first fireflies of summer. It makes me want to wish on a firefly. "Fly light, fly bright, first fly I see tonight..." You get the picture. The hot, dry, humid summer is beginning. I find it relaxing. The rapid clicking hum of the cicadas at night comforts me. Summer in St. Louis. You know it when the cicadas start chirping. They sound kind of like a broken air conditioner with a whirring fan that's about to give out.
Day by day, little by little. Everything is okay. I have a plan for anything that might not be so that I know it will work out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's not too late.

I've been looking at races for later this season. I've decided to do at least 1 before the season is over. I'm sort of excited. It will give me something to look forward to and work toward. I'm trying to recruit some of my labmates to do it with me. It's taking a lot of convincing. Wimps. These are just sprint distances, people. We're not talking Ironman here (not yet, anyway). I'm just trying not to get overwhelmed. There are so many races, clubs, training rides to choose from!!! Anyway, this will help me feel better about everything. I'm trying to break out of my slump.

feeling lousy

I felt pretty good yesterday. I ended up gardening for 2 hours, changing litterboxes, and ironing for 2.5 hours though so I didn't leave enough room for exercise. I'm really really pissed at myself about that. I can't believe how much I've lost (muscle-wise).
Today, I'm covered in mosquito bites and mysterious bruises. And the scale read 1/2 a pound more, even though I cut out desserts! I've decided to cut out lattes and switch to coffee. It's cheaper as well. My shit in lab isn't working and I have the beginnings of a migraine headache. At least, I think it is. I've had it since last night, it makes me really naseous and dizzy and Ibuprofen doesn't even make a dent. Overall, I'm feeling pretty low. I want to go home and take a nap and watch bad daytime television.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Going crazy. Running in circles.

I didn't feel so hot this weekend. I was exhausted. I basically slept for 48 hours. I went home Friday, went to bed at 7, woke up at 10:30, and then went back to bed at midnight. I woke up at 9, shuffled downstairs for some pancakes, went back to sleep around noon and didn't stir again until 7:20 that night. I finally at that time, vacuumed all the bunny poop off the floor and put sheets on the bed. I've been so tired and so out of it. I think I really exhausted myself.
Lab has slowed down. I think I've been working too hard. I need to pull back and regain balance in my life. I feel so out of it. Unfortunately, part of the reason things have been slow in lab is because nothing is working. My last orthophosphate labeling experiment didn't work, the new antibody BioMol sent me doesn't work, my last two transfections didn't work for some unknown reason (they're all unknown reasons), and all my cells are dying as they differentiate. So I have no cells. I don't know what's going on. Am I completely incompetent? Is it just bad luck? Am I screwing up, or am I working with crappy reagents? I have to be patient b/c it will take awhile to figure all these problems out. I don't want to lose all the confidence I had regained with my PI, and I don't want to lose my productive flow. I hope I can sort things out...and fast. I don't have any time to lose.
So I'm frustrated and trying to regain energy. Not easy. I did manage to go for a run yesterday. Apparently, I'm out of shape b/c it wasn't even that hot, and I almost puked. That sucked. I had to walk the last mile home. I also had to start over again on going a week w/o dessert. I fell off the wagon on Saturday. I have 4 lbs to lose since I've been enslaved in lab. I want to wear a bikini dammit!
Anyway, the bunnies have been very cute. We had a bonding session last night. Taz and Oscar like each other. They're cute. Oscar doesn't like Babs so much. He sat on her. Poor gal. Then Oscar buried his head in Taz's butt and tried to hide there. Hello, Oscar! Taz is less than 1/2 your size! We can still see you! Anyway, they all had fun. They crack me up. Now if I can just get back into a normal schedule, I'd be somewhat happier.

Taz (left), Babs (right) and Oscar (big, black bunny) at the Bunny Expo last weekend. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Happy birthday, Babs and Taz! (Babs is the one flopped on her side). Posted by Hello

Happy Birthday, Babs and Taz!

Babs turns 4 this month, and Taz turns 6. They were both June babies. I don't know Oscar's b-day. He is about 5ish. Many, many more! I'm hoping they both live energetic, happy lives to at least 12. They're both still very spunky! And sooo sweet. We made a snuggle-pile last night and watched Seinfeld. They think I'm mommy bunny. Although I don't know the exact date in June when they were born, I think the 17th is good. It's in the middle of the month, and it is the 6-month anniversary (to the day) of George's death (whom I dreamed was still alive last night, which he is in spirit). It's a way to remember all my animal babies.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Jessi Stensland--US elite triathlete....and very hot. Posted by Hello

The dramatic chaos of bunny nail-clipping

Last night, I finally got up the courage to clip bunny nails. Bunnies have paws like dogs and, like dogs, need their nails trimmed regularly (every 6-8 weeks). Some people mistakenly declaw rabbits, which is extremely inhumane. Rabbits don't have retractable claws like cats; their nails are part of their foot. Declawing a rabbit is like amputating their toes. We have some declawed bunnies in the sanctuary of the main foster home at the House Rabbit Society. They are crippled and live in constant pain.
Okay, off my soapbox now. So I had to get up the courage b/c every time you clip bunny nails, there's a chance you could clip too far down and get the quick (a blood vessel in the nail; also like dog nails) and cause pain and lots of bleeding. This is the last thing I want to do. Luckily, my bunnies let me know if I get too close by flinching before I cut so I've been able to prevent this catastrophic disaster so far.
So I grabbed Babs (the best one of them all for nail-clipping), sat her on my lap in the cradle hold (her back agains my chest and one of my hands grasping her gently under her forearms, around her chest, rocking her back slightly so her hind legs are up in the air so she can't kick), and equipped with a pen light and small doggie nail clippers. I have major neck pain today from craning my neck over the bunnies for so long. For each nail, I shined the pen light underneath to illuminate where the quick ended (all my bunnies have dark nails) and then carefully clipped each one. Babs was great and didn't take too long. I sat her down and gave her a treat.
Taz was a little squirmy and whimpered (so pathetic; yes, he whimpered) a lot like usual. I gave him lots of kisses and he licked my arm in an appeasing attempt to make me stop. I finished him up pretty quickly and set him down.
Then came Oscar. Ugh. What a nightmare. He struggled so much he almost got away twice. I tried different positions to see which one would be most comfortable. He bit me once on the arm and scratched up my legs with his flailing hind legs. His eyes bugged out of his head in fear so much that his third eyelid began to protrude. Poor baby. I finally got him to settle down enough so I could do each nail. It doesn't help that he is black black. Each nail looks like it's painted with black nail polish, making it almost impossible to find the quick even with the light.
Cassidy was even worse. Well, I don't know. It's close. She didn't bite me at least. She squirmed so much. She flailed her legs. She twisted like a rolling log in rapid churning waters. She made awful grunting and squaking noises. She completely ignored my soft, calming voice and kisses on her head. After a lot of cooing and several attempts, I finally got her nails done. She was so pissed at me. I gave her some oatmeal and petted her a bit.
Then, I changed everyone's litterboxes without vacuuming so everyone would have fresh hay. I was on a roll so I then cleaned the kitchen, shook out dirty bunny towels in the garden under the moonlight (the daisies are even brighter at night, I've noticed), did laundry, and put stuff away. Whew. No excuses not to exercise today. By the time I went to bed, everyone (except for Cassidy) seemed happy and content. They had all forgiven me. I was even able to kiss Oscar on the head (a big improvement for him).

Futile attempts at rule-following

I mostly laid around like a blob last night. Trying real hard to follow my rules but can't seem to get them all in order. Last night I failed all of them. I napped, went to bed late, woke up late, didn't exercise, and ate dessert. I'm still working on going without dessert for a week. However, today is a new day, and I'm optimistic about successfully abiding by my rules. I have written down "no dessert" in my calendar every day so I can cross it off each time I follow it. That will make me feel like I'm doing something even though it's succeeding in not doing something.
I'm also documenting my daily caloric intake and caloric output and averaging weekly totals. That way, I can't escape the reality of what I'm actually doing. So far, there has been 1 single day where my calorie output exceeded my input. Ugh. I'm averaging around 2300 calories/day. Seems like I'm still eating as if I were training for a triathlon even though I'm not.
I'm also logging all my training hours into an excel spreadsheet. That way, I can follow a plan and watch my progression. My goal is to get my base back up before starting to train for something. You can't do anything without a good base. It takes a long time and is the part athletes often forget. So I'll focus on this until things get better. Anyway, this "documenting everything" strategy is nice for me b/c I love lists and it lets me translate my work into words, which makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something tangible. It works as a small reward and reinforces my "good behavior."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Activation energy theory

I have a new theory. Activation energy (not my own theory). It's like the inertia theory. It takes awhile to get going, but once you do, you stay there. And when you're lazy, you stay there. That's inertia.

Activation energy is the energy required for a chemical reaction to go. The reaction may be favorable but the rate may be so slow that it never goes. There's an initial hump that it has to get over to go to completion. An enzyme can come in and lower the amount of energy required for the reaction to take off. This is where real-life comes in. When I'm starting something new, it takes forever. I have to figure out what I'm doing, procrastinate, try it a few times and mess up; then, all of a sudden, it takes off. It gets easier and easier to do it and then I start seeing results. Take working out for example, running in particular. When you're out of shape, it takes a ton of energy to get up the guts to do it. It hurts, you get stitches, you can't breathe, your feet hurt, your sore for days afterwards. It's like this for a week or two, then all of a sudden, it gets easier. You've gotten over that activation energy hump, and now it takes less energy to go out there and do it. It's enjoyable, rewarding, and you look forward to it.
So the moral of the story? It takes a lot of energy to get something started, but it does get easier.

Hard work paying off?

My hard work in lab is starting to pay off. I'm on the verge of a huge finding. I will do whatever it takes to see it through. In the meantime, I'm finishing up some experiments to finish up the manuscript and submit my 2nd paper. This third project looks like it will culminate into an awesome 3rd paper. It seems so much more than JBC. If I get some mice in there, JCI. Diabetes? Cell Metabolism maybe? I have big aspirations. I'm so excited. It's fueling me onward. I feel so OCD lately. I've been filing all the hundreds of papers I've ever read into a big database and outlining them. I'm making my own textbook. I'm also writing up all my own protocols (I sort have these already but it's not typed up neatly). This stuff is getting addictive. If anyone has any info about the AMPK pathway in adipocytes, I'm all ears.
I snuck in a run last night. I'm getting stronger. Jason said he noticed I had a quicker pace. Maybe I can have my cake and eat it too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bunny expo

I feel a little better today. The key is to try to be productive. My routine is still shot to shit because I've been so busy in lab. I'm playing with radioactivity today again so it'll be another long day. However, I'm very proud of myself because I forced myself to get on the trainer and bike and then do a weight lifting session last night at 11:00 p.m. so I wouldn't totally lose everything. So I'm tired and sore today but at least I exercised! I have to get back into shape and lose the 4 pounds I've gained since April. Yikes. I haven't followed the no dessert rule or going to bed early and waking up early rule very well. I have to work on that a little bit more.
Don't you hate it when you're walking and you trip on something and almost fall? I did that this morning. I'm walking along, not paying attention to where I'm going because I was too busy appreciating the flowers in people's yards. The sidewalk was very uneven in one spot where the root of a tree was pushing up out of the cement. My foot caught on the root, and I fell forward. There was that sickening moment where I hung precariously in mid-air, arms waving wildly out to my sides. Then, my foot came free, saving me from a potentially bad fall and even more embarrassment. My cheeks filled with blood as a wave of naseauting embarrassment washed over me. I continued on, avoiding contact with all strangers, smirking in the shadows. Duh. My interesting morning.
I took the bunnies to the Bunny Expo for the House Rabbit Society of Missouri this weekend at the Humane Society to volunteer. It was an educational expo about bunnies. All about how to care for them, house them, exercise them, feed them, etc. I set up a bonding pen and bonding demo with Oscar, Babs, and Taz. Hey, minize well kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Volunteer and have a bonding session. I talked to a lot of people about how to bond their bunnies. I was worried my buns would be totally stressed out in a strange place with strange people, but they loved it! I brought blankets, toys, treats, a litterbox, and a quiet place for them to rest. They loved how the day was all about them. It sort of turned into a petting zoo for the kids. I let them come in and pet the buns. I was worried b/c Oscar and Babs don't particularly like kids, but they were excellent! Babs and Taz ate it up, and Oscar tolerated it very well. No grunting, charging, or biting! They were so cute.
In addition, the bonding went well. Babs couldn't dominate Oscar, b/c he's twice her size. Taz really likes Oscar. He uses him as a bodyguard. When Babs bullies him, Taz runs over to Oscar where Babs is too afraid to follow. Oscar pretty much ignored them although I think he appreciates his new fan. Taz was mimicking him--laying down when he did, grooming himself when he did, eating hay when he did; it was so cute. I think the trio will do great!
Babs was so precious. She flopped over and did the dead armadillo thing she does to get my attention. She was very clingy. It was cute. She put her paws on me and crawled into my lap when I was "ignoring" her, and she followed me on the perimeter of the pen when I had to leave to go to the bathroom. What a baby. I had really dreaded going at first, but the bunnies made it so fun because they had such a good time. I was exhausted but happy at the end of the day. ... Then I had to go into lab.
My bunnies are the best. I have more pics to post soon when I get a chance.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Feel like crap

Have been pretty depressed reason for no real good reason. Stuck doing all sorts of things I don't want to do. My routine is shot to shit. Again. I don't get to do anything I want to do and I don't have time to do the things I need to do. And even if I did, I would still feel like curling up on the sofa and crying, which really freaks out Jason and the bunnies. I hate chemicals. I have no control.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Running in the Rain

I'm totally stuck in lab tonight, and I would be pissed but I snuck a run in so I'm proud of myself. Let's see...Sunday--run; Monday--off; Tuesday--bike and weight lift; Wednesday--run. Not bad, not bad, especially considering I'm just getting back into it.
The thunderstorms finally came in today. Our lab is on the 8th floor and we have windows on all sides, including a nice view of Forest Park and the arch. Around 1 p.m. or so, the thunderheads came rolling in, dark, thick, and ominous. They came from the north. It started raining in one direction but it was still sunny if you looked out of an east window. Very cool. Of course, I was stuck at the radioactive bench so I didn't see it. I just saw everyone huddled at the windows. The sunlight was blotted out with black clouds. Everyone "oooohed and aaaahed" as the lightning bolts zig-zagged across the sky, followed by crashing thunder.
By the time 6:00 rolled around, I was still stuck playing with radioactivity, irritable, and wondering if I would be able to get outside at all. Finally, I had an hour incubation. I checked out, gave myself the all-clear with the geiger counter, and ran to the window. A steady drizzle. Okay. I could smell the rain wafting in through the ventilation system. It sparked a surge of energy in me. I just had to be outside. I checked the weather on my computer. Strong thunderstorms all evening. Crap. I looked outside. Screw it. I changed and ran out the door.
All the street lights were out, and it was madness crossing the 8-lane street to get to Forest Park. Apparently, some drivers believe that when the lights go out, it just means an automatic green, of course at a really, really high speed. When one car hesitated, I jogged out into traffic, praying the other cars would follow suit. Reluctantly, they did. Bastards. Maybe they're jealous they couldn't be out too. More likely, they just wondered what the crazy girl was doing out in the rain running into traffic.
I began the descent into the park, skipping down the steps, high-stepping through the mud. A couple of times, I skidded in the slippery mud, holding my arms out to my sides to regain balance, and then continued on. I jumped over puddles, crossed the wooden bridges and reached the gravel path. Steady drops of rain fell with muffled patters on the leaves of the trees, thickly lining the paths. The birds were everywhere. Ducks with their ducklings and a flock of Canadian geese with their quickly growing goslings, soaking up the refreshing rain, eager for the drops of relief after months of dry weather and a steady week of 90 degree, humid weather. Robins reluctantly hopped out of my path as they feasted on earthworms, crawling to the surface to abandon their flooded homes only to meet the doom of a yellow beak. An egret picked its way through the pond with its spindly yellow legs, snaking its slender white neck forward, searching for fish. Forest Park was crawling with critters, but was completely deserted of people, which was a refreshing change.
Beads of rain-mixed sweat ran down my cheek. Steady drops of rain cooled me, allowing my energy to feed my engine. I focused on form. Shoulders relaxed, supportive core, stretched up chest, even breathing. I bent slightly forward from the hips to engage the glutes and focused on pushing off with my outer hips, keeping my knees parallel. With each step, I landed lightly on my toes, bouncing off again immediately. No rest for the weary feet. With each stride, I picked each leg up a little higher from the knee, like a 5-gaited horse. I shortened my stride slightly and increased my rate of turnover, and before each footfall, I pulled my landing foot under my body, allowing it to efficiently land on the forefoot, and engage my engine to shoot it forward for the next stride.
I felt strong, I felt great, and for the first time, I believed that maybe I could regain what I had lost. If you were a horse, what type of horse would you be? I would be a Thoroughbred. Hyper, skinny, built for endurance, and just wants to go. That's me. Oh. And I'd be a mudder. Something about the rain makes me want to get out there and just sprint.
Now that I got my run in, it's okay I'm stuck here in lab. It's okay I spent 90 minutes cleaning up after all my radioactive crap. It doesn't matter. I got my run in. After I got back, all I needed was a bar of soap and a hand towel. I jumped in the shower in the bathrooms down the hall, and in 10 minutes, I was ready to go back to work. I had a good recess.

Harrowing bike ride

Another bout of PMS has come and gone. Poor Jason. I nearly broke the stupid air pump trying to get air in my tires to go on a bike ride last night. I get kind of caveman-like when I get frustrated. Like an angry chimp.
Note to self: don't try to go a week w/o chocolate right before PMSing. It's a setup for failure. I went 3 or 4 days cold turkey and then, the last 4 days, I gave in to temptation. So, I'm starting over on that one. I also have been going to bed pretty late. I've been so wired at midnight. The last thing I can think about is sleep. So I've been waking up late too. I need to shift everything back about an hour.
On the other hand, I've been pretty good about eating healthier, exercising, and cutting back on the naps. So that's a start. Last night, I decided to go for a spin around Forest Park. I'm sick of the trainer; bikes are meant to be ridden outside, for Pete's sake. I tried to tell Jason that but he wouldn't get off the trainer so I stubbornly set out by myself at 10 to 8 last night.
It felt great b/c the sun was going down and a thin layer of clouds hung in the sky, concealing the early evening shadows and the blazing sun. It had been in the 90s earlier and quite humid, but now, a light breeze, exacerbated by the speed of the bike, blew in my face like a much-needed fan.
I wore no watch, and for some reason, my cyclometer had broken and wasn't giving me a reading. It was pleasantly relaxing, yet I was still working hard. I pushed myself according to my breath. It felt good to just go and listen to my body and not worry about gadgets and computers and readings and keeping your rpms this, your heart rate that, your speed this, etc. I focused on the steady spinning of my legs, keeping even pressure with the bike throughout the pedal stroke, and keeping my upper body relaxed and still, removed from my legs, churning below me, apart from me, like a well-oiled engine.
Even though my lungs burned, I felt good. I love my bike, I love its speed, its comfort, how it fits me, how I feel like a part of it when I bike. I speed down the hill at the zoo and noticed another cyclist behind me. Many cyclists use the loop at Forest Park for a workout so I thought nothing of it.
As I headed by the playing fields, I noticed he was still behind me. I could hear the spinning of his wheels, and the shifting of his gears as we went up a hill. Several cop cars had passed me, and I passed two mounted policemen so I didn't worry too much. Even if he was following me, there were people everywhere.
The cars that drove past me had their lights on as dusk fell. I turned a corner, shifted into 3rd, and took off. Let's see if this f.cker really is following me. I decided to play a game with him. I hit about 30 mph before another hill slowed me down, forcing me to shift back to 2nd. I didn't see him behind me anymore. I was mostly relieved and a little disappointed that I had lost my new playmate.
As I coasted downhill, he caught up with me, and I realized he was definitely following me. My heart leapt in my throat. I took off again and zipped by the tennis courts and the history museum, weaving to avoid some inconsiderate cars who ignored me, almost pulling right into me.
My lungs were burning, my chest heaving, my legs screaming, but I didn't care. Up Skinker I sprinted. Halfway up, I slowed way down. I needed a rest. I sucked down water from my water bottle and hoped my pursuer would grow weary and pass me. I'm not much of a cyclist, and I'm pretty out of shape so I was pretty sure I wasn't challenging him very much. Part of me hoped he was following me because he thought I was such an awesome cyclist that he could get a great workout by riding with me. Ah, such grandiose wishes.
By the time I sped down past the zoo the 2nd time, it was almost dark, and I was debating what to do. Should I pull up to one of the police officers and claim this guy was following me? What would they do? This asshole would only deny it anyway. It's a free country. 2 people can bike on the same path. I didn't want to feel like an idiot. I decided to see what happened when I turned out of the park back towards home.
The final turn was a sharp right, forcing me to slow way down. I took this opportunity to look over my shoulder so I could get a clear glimpse of my attacker. Male, helmet, white cotton t-shirt, blue bike...wait. It was Jason! The whole time! I felt a wave of embarrassment and relief wash over me simultaneously.
"Jason!" I shouted in my southern accent, which I adopt when I'm pissed off. He didn't say anything and slowed down. I slowed down, continuing to look over my shoulder, totally blowing a stop sign and almost colliding with another cyclist in front of me (who was very forgiving). Turns out that Jason, concerned about my riding in the dark, had gotten off the trainer and come after me after I doggedly decided to go for my jaunt in the park. What a scare he gave me! Pretty hilarious.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Summer is here

Summer always begins a little early in St. Louis. We had such a beautiful, long spring. However, we got virtually no rain, which is not going to be good as we enter the dry, dog days of summer. I also haven't seen as many baby ducklings this summer. Hope they're okay!
I knew it was summer as I walked to lab this morning. 10 a.m. high 80s, 90% humidity. I felt like I was melting. St. Louis has so many trees; their flowers have been replaced by soothing, thick green leaves. I'm going to miss that. Lewis and Clark must have really been overwhelmed by the lush, green forest in the area when they began their journey.
The peonies are done. So are the lilacs. The day lilies are in full glory. The hydrangea have just started bursting in mixes of blues and pinks. It reminds me of the scene from Sleeping Beauty (Disney) when the fairies are fighting over which color to make Aurora's birthday dress. The dasies just started and the purple coneflowers are thick with buds as is the butterfly bush. There is something about the thick, jungle heat of summers in St. Louis that is relaxing. I love being outside and drinking a cold drink in the shade and reading a book. Maybe it's like a natural sauna. It forces you to slow down. If it weren't for all the insects!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Late night in lab

Another week is about to begin. I think I could use a few days just to myself. I finally feel caught up and back on track. I really like the rules I've set for myself (even though I totally blew bedtime last night--2:30 a.m. is not okay!). I'm trying to follow them. They're helping me get into a routine.
I'm getting these late-night urges to work in lab lately. That's where I've been all weekend. Here I am again. I could have done it earlier, but, no. I had to wait until almost 6 to come in for 4 hours. Ugh. My own fault. It will feel good to start off Monday with everything in order.
Today was HOT again. We went for a 4 mile run this evening around 7 p.m. (Yea, me!), and it was in the 90s with the humidity. Eck. No wonder it felt so hard. I've been sore afterwards, but I'm doing it. I know if I keep at it, it will get easier.
I played in the garden today too. Playing for me is weeding and deadheading. It was great. I have never seen the garden like this. Everything is taking over. It's like a jungle. I can't believe it because I remember when it was a bunch of dirt. I saw a baby praying mantis. They're very good for gardens. I also saw the most adoreable baby squirrel trying to get bird seed out of the feeder. He was soooo cute.
Last year, I found a nest of confused baby squirrels at the base of a tree on one of my runs. One was trying to cross the bike path and was wandering a little too close to the road for my comfort. I tried to chase him back to the nest but he was too little to be afraid of me. Instead, he mistook my leg for a sapling and climbed right up! I picked him up and carried him back to his brothers and sisters. Oh, God, was he cute. (Another time, I pushed a confused, medium-sized, pissed-off snapping turtle off the bike path but he wasn't as cute).
The only thing that sucked about gardening was all the bugs. I have mosquitoe bites everywhere b/c I forgot the DEET. I think I counted 16 or so. I hate them b/c I scratch, and the bites scab up and leave a scar. I have them on my neck, wrists, ankles, shoulders, back, legs, fingers, and 5 on my ass. Guess my ass is tasty. Gross. Something also stung my knuckle and it hurts like a motherf.cker when I where gloves in lab. I guess I have war wounds from gardening to show off now.
I'm really trying to stick to my new workout plan. I think it's so cool how your body tells you how hard to push it when you run. You don't have to think, just listen. I'm always sluggish for the 1st half mile as I warm up. Then I pick up the pace but I know if I push it too hard b/c I'll start to feel a little light-headed. My body knows just how fast to go and adjusts automatically when it's hot outside. There's all these gadgets people use (heart rate monitors, for instance, which I use sometimes, I admit), but it's so nice to go sans watch or monitor and just listen to your body.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Sat calorie calculation

bowl Honey Nut Cheerios
w/skim milk 150
3 eggs sunny-side-up 210
1/2 cup coffee 20
1/2 Fandango salad (Panera) 225
w/dressing on side
turkey sandwich w/light mayo 350
grande skim latte 120
spaghetti w/sauce 400
frozen veggies 50
yogurt 150
1 cup coffee 50
Healthy Choice ice cream bar 150

Total (in): 1725

Total (out): about 1600-1800

Net: Finally! About right!

Okay, okay, I didn't exercise, but I was so sore!

Detailed summary (calories in vs. calories out)


bagel w/cream cheese 500
grande skim latte 120
cheese lasagna 350
yogurt 150
1/2 Fandango salad 225
w/dressing on side (Panera)
1/2 turkey sandwich 200
w/swiss and light mayo
rice w/soy sauce 200
frozen veggies 150
tapioca fat-free pudding 100
bowl Honey Nut Cheerios
w/skim 150
chamomile tea w/skim 20

Total (in): 2315

Total (out): 1600
400 (4 mile run--grueling b.t.w.; and I'm sore today so I'm very out of shape)

Still 500 calories too much! w.t.f.?

Following the rules Day 3 (6/3/05)

Did very well today even though I went to bed late last night. Babs is doing much better, by the way! Anyway, I have been very productive. Full, busy day in lab, snuck in a grueling 4 mile run, and went home to change litterboxes and vacuum the house. Whew! Exercise? Check. Dessertless? Check. That's a start. I did go to bed about an hour late though, causing me to wake up 1 hour late on Saturday (1 am to 9 am). I'm an 8-hour girl! I have to work on the bedtime thing.
Saturday was less ambitious, in part due to the draining 95 degree, 90% humidity weather. I definitely broke a few rules on this one! After a nice massage, we went back to the house, and I took a comatose 3-hour nap. I love 3-hour naps! Even though I took the nap before 5, it was way too long, and it's screwing up my bedtime tonight too. Especially b/c I got this motivational bug at 10 p.m. and just had to go into lab to soothe my paranoia. So that's what I chose to do on a Sat. night. So I'm a nerd, so what?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Following the Rules--Day 2

Last night, I was very good. I didn't have dessert! Go me! I went to bed a little late (12:45) but I woke up at 7:50. Yes! I also biked for an hour. Yes! Plus, I studied and read papers at home and got ideas for experiments. I'm on fire.

bagel w/cream cheese: 400
2 grande skim lattes: 240
potato chips: 140
turkey sandwich
w/light mayo & swiss: 450
Diet Pepsi: 0
Honey Nut Cheerios
w/skim: 150
yogurt: 150
mixed frozen veggies: 50
rice w/soy sauce: 120
steak (broiled): 400
cup coffee: 50
tea w/skim: 20

Total (in): 2170

RMR: 1250
Normal Day: 1500-1800
Exercise: about 500 calories

Total (out): about 2000 calories

still about 200 calories in excess

Summary Thursday's workout:
(Spinning 60 minutes 10-11 pm
base-building; aerobic video
4x5 min 90 rpm
4x4 min 100 rpm
3x3 min 110 rpm
3 sprints 1 min each
30-60 seconds rest in b/tw each set
H.R. min 125; max 160; average: 140
Mood: energizing! (wore iPod; music helped)

Poor Babs has a tummy-ache today. Posted by Hello

Healing shoulder, incredible birds, and poor Babs

Things are going well. I have felt very productive lately, which I am relieved about. I don't know why but I've been working hard at it so maybe that's part of it. My stitches came out yesterday, and it looks really good. The doc doesn't need to do anything else with it; it's not cancer. He just told me to watch my moles since I may be predisposed to having them change. No problem. I'm good at being paranoid.
Yesterday, at lunch, this little female sparrow hoped onto the table (we were eating outside), looking for a handout. I broke off a piece of a potato chip but couldn't place it on the table w/o it falling through since it was made out of an iron-grid like thing. So I held it in my hand and reached my hand out. Without hesitation, this plucky little bird hopped right over and grabbed it out of my hand! Can you believe it? What a brave little thing!
There was this other time a starling was trying to drink water out of the pool on a hot summer day in July (not so good for the poor bird but the apartment we were living in didn't maintain the pool all that well anyway so there wasn't much chlorine). She couldn't reach her beak over far enough from the side to get to the water. I gently splashed the water over the side of the pool, trying to make a puddle but it wasn't enough for a drink. She looked at me and hopped onto my shoulder, hopped down my arm to my hand and allowed me to bring her to the middle of the pool so she could reach down and get a drink of water. She hung out there for several minutes much to the astonishment of everyone in the pool. When she noticed that everyone was staring at her, she took off. That was so incredible.

Today, I'm very worried about Babs. She had a tummy ache when I woke up. Didn't want to eat, lying listlessly in her litterbox, tummy hard on one side, and had an overall dull, grayish complexion. I gave her 2.5 cc Propulsid orally (stimulates the gut) and massaged her tummy for about 30 minutes. She finally moved away to a quiet, cool spot. I watched her for another 15 minutes before reluctantly coming to lab. She's had it before--gastric stasis. I'm going to go home a few times today to check on her. If she's still not feeling well this afternoon, I'm taking her to the vet. They'll give her an I.V. and an injection of Propulsid, which hopefully, will make her 100%. Otherwise, I'll have to force-feed, which sucks (for both her and me). I hope she's okay. I'm worried. Poor little girl.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Here's the photograph I did the painting from. It's cool b/c I planted the morning glories by seed, watered them, fertilized them, and trained them on the fence, photographed them, and painted them. Now I use them as thank you cards and other stationary. Home made, all the way! Posted by Hello

Watercolor I did of morning glory on our fence from last summer. Posted by Hello

Calorie recap--breaking the rules

For Wed., 6/1:

bagel w/cream cheese: 400
grande skim latte: 120
chocolate torte: 350
turkey sandwich on
wheat w/mayo: 400
fruit: 100
diet Pepsi: 0
chicken w/sauce
and wild rice: 400
bread w/butter: 200
salad w/dressing: 100
caramel apple pie: 500
red wine: 50
tea w/skim milk: 20

Total: 2640 calories

RMR: about 1250
normal day (no exercise): about 1800 calories

about 840 calories surplus

Following all the Rules

I am beginning to attempt to follow my rules. I had dessert last night at the seminar. And, because of the seminar, I didn't find time to exercise. Okay, that's 2 rules broken. But...I went to bed by midnight and woke up by 8 and felt well rested! So I feel like I broke even. Going to be early and waking up early is EXTREMELY difficult for me. If sleeping were an Olympic sport, I'd have a chest of gold medals. I'm proud I was in bed, lights out by midnight, even though that is still late. That's about an hour or two earlier than normal. And waking up by 8 is late for most, but it's about an hour or two earlier for me. Now, I just have to work on the other rules.

Inertia support

At the seminar I attended last night, the speaker talked about clinical research in obesity and metabolism. Very interesting. He suggested a model in which once an obese patient loses weight, the body adjusts and adopts a "starvation state" to try to channel all new incoming calories to fat in order to regain what was lost. Cool idea. It just made me think of the inertia thing again and how hard it is to change and how important it is to make small changes and be consistent and give yourself a routine to follow. Once you're used to the new routine, you adapt. We're all like pendulums swinging from one extreme to the other and trying to seek a balance somewhere in the center. However, change is always occurring, and change is importanat for the development and evolution of our beings. I just think this emphasizes why it's important to try to incorporate small steps and changes in order to reach a big goal. I also read this paper on the connection of the circadian rhythm and eating patterns. Our metabolism is connected to our sleep cycle. Everything is cyclical. This may explain why people who don't get enough sleep tend to gain weight. I guess your body thanks you for putting it into a routine. We'll see...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I have a new theory. It's called inertia. Okay, it's not new. Anyway, I think I have an explanation for why I've been so lazy these past few weeks. A body at rest stays at rest. And why at the end of such a busy day, I feel all reved up and ready to go. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Therefore, if I can get into the routine of being more active, it will feel more normal, and I'll tend to stay that way. See how that works?

I did an experiment today!!! Yea! Just an IP, but still, it felt good to do something. Plus, my adipocytes are differentiating, and they are gorgeous! All sorts of beautiful lipid droplets strung around the nuclei and clustered in the cytosol like shiny, little beads or pearl necklaces. I'm so proud of these little guys. I get to do more experiments tomorrow. Hurray! The waiting is over. I like being busy in lab. It gets me going.

I feel like I've done a ton today. Now, I have to run off to this fancy schmancy dinner and seminar at the Chase b/c I'm "high-powered" as Jason says (whatever). Whew!

Moving fiasco

Fiasco--that would be a good name for a horse. I like way it rolls off your tongue. Fiasco.

Anywho, that's not what this post is about. This post is about how crazy it is to move. A headache, I am getting (Yoda speak). So, the plan is very complicated now, but I've made all the reservations. Yipee! Here's how the twisted triangle of moving will play out:

1. ABF drops off 28-foot trailer. We pack it. They pick it up.
2. We fly out to San Diego 1-2 days before ABF gets there.
3. Take cab to U-Haul place.
4. Pick up 10-ft U-Haul truck (you'll understand in a sec).
5. Drive to apartment and meet dad with Nissan pick-up truck and bed.
6. Unload bed, park pick-up truck in parking spot (for Jason until we bring out car in Dec.)
7. Shop for groceries and cleaning supplies and get apartment ready for move-in. (Utilities are scheduled to begin the day before we arrive).
8. Bunk out in new, empty apartment as we wait for ABF (or stay in hotel). Hmmm. Money? Or comfort? Hmmmm.
9. ABF drops off trailer at apartment. Meet mover we have hired for the day to help with heavy stuff.
10. Unload sister's stuff into U-Haul truck.
11. Unload rest of stuff into apartment.
12. Dad drives sister's stuff up to parent's house until sister's apartment becomes available in September.
13. Help Jason finish unpacking. Fly back to St. Louis.
14. Jason begins graduate school.
15. Defend in December.
16. DHL ship rest of stuff to San Diego.
17. Load up bunnies and suitcases into Corolla and drive back to San Diego in December.

Phew! I'm tired just thinking about this. I have ABF, U-Haul, and plane ticket reservations. I have packed 50% of stuff. I have the plan worked out with parents and sister. I have the gas and electric set up. Am I forgetting something?

I keep getting criticized for planning everything so early. "You're not moving until December," they say. "Actually, it's August," I reply. Anyway, why should I be ashamed that I'm organized? That I'm planning ahead. It's only a little over 2 months away. And it's going to get hectic. Why not plan it now, when I have the time, when I can get the best rates, and not have to worry about it anymore?

New Rules

I'm so mad at myself for being such a lazy slob. I am reactivating my drill seargant and kicking my ass into high gear. I'm hoping that by October, I'll be back to tip-top triathlon shape, just for the sake of my own self-worth. Here are some rules I'm setting, effective today:

1. Exercise 6 days a week for at least 40 minutes where my heart rate is above 125 the whole time.
2. Weight lift at least 2 days a week.
3. On one of these days, include fun exercise that I don't normally do (basketball, tennis, roller blading, etc.). This can substitute for exercise stipulated in rule #1.
4. Eliminate sweets and desserts from my diet for 1 entire consecutive week. After this time period had elapsed successfully, I am allowed a small dessert (300 calories or less), measured out, every other day, or less.
5. Begin evaluating diet, planning out meals, and counting calories to eat more healthfully.
6. Be in bed, lights out, by midnight each night, no exceptions.
7. Get out of bed by 8 a.m. the latest, every morning during the week, and 8:30 a.m. on weekends.
8. Naps must be restricted to 1 hour or less and must be before 5 p.m., no exceptions.

I think this is a good start.

I have all these pics to show you...

I went out in the garden today and took all these fancy-schmancy photos with my high-tech, state-of-the-art digital camera. I was excited to post pics of the gorgeous flowers coming into bloom. Since it's my last season in St. Louis, I'm trying to document everything. You would have loved the close-ups of the deep purple clematis flowers, spiraling up the trellis, bordered in the background by light, airy pink blooms on the rose shrub. You might have also enjoyed some photos of pink Old English roses, blooming boldly for the first year on the vine I transplanted last fall to a sunnier spot. It had rings upon rings of petals; I've never seen a rose stuffed with so many petals. It also had a light, fresh, sweet fragrance--perfect for my sensitive nose. But, alas, when I went back inside to retrieve the card reader, I couldn't find it. Neither could I find the adaptor that connects my nifty camera to the computer. Did I lose it? No. I packed it. I have packed almost everything. Damn! Oh, well. I still have the camera. I will document everything for now, and I guess you'll have to wait until December. Argh. Well, at least you can imagine the photos of my pretty garden in St. Louis.

Imagine pictures here...