Saturday, 30 June 2018

2018 Half Way Point

Although I can’t believe we’re already half way through this year; it’s time to check in on my goals

Cross Fit:
Every Memorial Day almost every Cross Fit Box in the United States (and even some in France) features a work-out in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan . It’s a mile run, then 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and another mile run. Last year, I hit a PR by doing all 100 pull-ups, but to save my arms a bit, I modified the push-ups and did them on my knees. This year I was determined to complete the work out as prescribed and my goal was to complete it in under an hour. The true way to do Murph is to do the work in order (while wearing a weighted vest) but the majority of non-elite athletes break it up, usually into 20 sets of 5/10/15. Since I can do a high volume of pull-ups, I decided to break my work into sets of 10 (10/20/30) hoping that spending less time transitioning on and off the bar would save me time. As I got into the workout, I suddenly developed a new goal: not puking. This new goal now superseded all my previous goals. I didn’t barf and I finished in 62:31, just over my time goal. I managed to do 6 sets of 10 unbroken pull-ups and did 2 sets of 5 for the final 4 rounds. As I chatted with another woman about how she managed her strategy, she commented “Just like having a birth plan for labor, your Murph plan will quickly go out the window…”

I did’t tear my hands too badly this year 

I also entered another competition, which was a lot of fun, but also exposed all my weaknesses and lead me to develop some specific goals that I want to hit by the end of the year.

Run faster: Decrease mile time in 9 minutes
Improve Strength: Deadlift 80 Kg, Thruster 40 kg, OHS 35 kg, HPC 55 kg
Maximize efficiency: improve kipping on Toes to bar, work on butterfly progression
Skills: Strict Chest to Bar, rope climbs

Leadership Role:
When I interviewed (as the only candidate) for my current position, I asked a lot of questions about the specific responsibilities and expectations and didn’t receive a lot of precise answers as I was told; “well, it’s a new position and we’ll see how it evolves.” I feel that I’ve done well in areas where I am geared to excel. I lead a few workshops on cultural sensitivity for abortion services and as we started doing monthly clinical updates, I ended up doing the first two presentations and I was told that I set the bar very high and I even received praise from some of the toughest and most critical clinicians in our group. My weaknesses are handling some of the more human resource aspects of the position, dealing with interpersonal conflict, encouraging improved performance, and building a more cohesive team. The affiliate has been really good about offering workshops and training sessions to improve my skills, and recently someone drew the parallel that I have difficult conversations with patients, which is not that different to having a hard conversation with a colleague. Maybe in time I’ll feel a little more confident. My goal for the remainder of the year is try to be more proactive in my position rather than being reactive.

Photos to my In-laws
I missed sending them in May, as we were in Hawaii at the time, and I had thoughts of sending some of the professional shots we had done during our holiday or making a photo book of our trip. While my app hasn’t crashed on me, I’ve found it to be a bit cumbersome to use and it’s been more time consuming that I would like. I was about a week late sending out photos for June and due to work restrictions I wasn’t able to go the the gym or the pool anyway, so I lost a bit of my incentive. I’m now going to try to send on the first of the month.

Run some 5Ks with Kate
We received two more finishers medals! One race she even ran/walked on her own for about ¾ of a mile. The race organizers are really great as they will give me an unused bib for Kate (she insists on having her own) and the MC will announce her name as she crosses the finish line. She seems to be showing a genuine interest in the race experience beyond the snacks at the end.

Sending Bday cards
I’ve been rocking this one and what’s been really nice is that some of recipients have message me to express how much they appreciated getting an old fashioned card in the mail.

Participating with Kate’s share days
Still a total fail. Her new school requires a lot more parent participation in the form of brining in snacks and spending time in the classroom. They will charge you if you fail to comply, so I am going to have to try harder.

More Face time with Husband
His spring hockey season has finished, as has my resentment toward all the hours he is outside of the house and is leaving me on my own. We haven’t had an opportunity for a date night is a while, but we starting planning some activities while my parents are visiting.

After our championship meet, I decided to take a few days off, but then Husband’s travel, my work schedule, Kate having a few bad nights and our trip to Hawaii, a few days suddenly turned into a six week hiatus. It always amazes me how long it takes to get into good physical shape and how quickly it dissipates. I’m becoming more motivated to put the work in over the next few months, especially in August while my parents are visiting, as Husband will be away for three weeks in September and I will be limited in training time leading into our meet in October.

Flexible eating and weight loss
Ugh. There is a reason why I kept this one to the end. It’s been a fail. At this time last year, I weighed 151 pounds. I hit a low of 146 in September, but was back around 150 by the end of the year. Since then I’ve been following the pattern of where I was prior to my pregnancy bouncing around 151 to 153 and now 153 to 155. At the body fat test just before my successful embryo transfer, I weighed 154 lbs and had 117 pounds of muscle, so my body fat was about 24.5%. Last year, my body fat ranged between 24.4%(my PR) and 25.9% but my muscle weight was only 112. I would like to say that the extra weight I’m carrying presently is muscle…but I know it’s not. I missed body fat testing in February, but I just completed it in June. I haven’t yet looked at my results as I want to be in a better place physically before I do.
One of my biggest obstacles is Husband. He doesn’t participate in meal planning, but will complain about what I chose to cook. He’s a picky eater, who won’t admit he’s a picky eater, which is the worst type of picky eater. He also has gained all the weight his lost last year (plus more I suspect) and just isn’t as invested in eating well. I’m hoping that subscribing to a meal prep service will help us eat better, and Husband has started going to the gym (after taking ten months off due to a thumb injury) again, so I’m hoping that will motivate him to be on board with healthy eating. We also have an in house meal prep team while my parents are visiting in August and as I look back and take note that I lost weight during the past two summers, while they were visiting. I consider if I should make another appointment with our gym’s nutritional consultant who helped my last year, but I know it doesn’t matter what he tells me if I don’t comply with it! I need to hold myself accountable. One of my patients lost almost 80 pounds in just over 9 months. “Everyone assumes I had gastric bypass surgery” she informed me. “I tell them [pointing at her mouth] this is my bypass. I bypass my mouth” I’m going to carry that line for the next time I’m faced with temptation.

I looked at my results. 
Here I am 115 lbs lean 40 lbs fat 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Right Now June

Watching: The Affair on Show.time (via hulu). When the show made it’s debut four years ago, we still had cable and it was heavily promoted as part of a free trial for Show.time. I decided to give it a go, but couldn’t get passed the very first scene, which featured one of the main characters diving in a pool to swim some laps. Yes, I am going to come across as a horrible swimming snob. You see, just as medical professionals point out inaccuracies on medical dramas and lawyers find the flaws in law shows; swimmers critique actors who have a swimming scene. Interestingly, the worst offenders are pharmaceutical ads, who apparently believe that swimming is the activity that defines you as being fit and healthy. There is a Cele.brex ad that features a family swimming in a lake and the dog is the only one with proper technique. Anyway, when I first watched the opening scene to The Affair, four years ago, I just couldn’t get passed that no one, not any editors or even a best boy or grip who took swimming lessons could recognize that his form was not consistent with someone who was a lifelong swimmer (who we learn later went to college on a swimming scholarship!!). Seriously, the only thing he does correctly is put on his goggles. Furthermore, I was angry that the casting directors couldn’t just go to a community pool and find an actual swimmer with dark hair and a square jaw to use for their scene. Goggles and a swim cap makes it easy to conceal a body double. I should also mention that I was in the middle of stimming and preparing for my cat’s impending death at that time, so maybe I was a little irrational… Anyway, I overheard my colleague raving about it one day and she convinced me to give it a chance. So I fast forwarded though the initial (and other) swimming scenes and found it’s a very compelling drama. It bounces between the present and future and tells events from different perspectives, and the affair is really a side note to a murder investigation.

Reading: I finally opened and read the first chapter of Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham.

Listening: After the pleasant discovery of my new radio station after getting my car serviced. Husband changed it to a sports radio station when he borrowed my car. I kept it on the sports station during the NBA playoffs as they were discussing all things Warriors, but when the games were over, I realized I couldn’t remember what my previous station was. I called our VW dealership, found out who worked on my car and asked about the ratio station and then Husband set it as a favorite.

Drinking: A Coke.Zero. Husband bought it for me when he picked up his lunch. The beverage is a bad habit, but it’s a sweet thing he does for me.

Eating: My scale is not moving in the right direction and I’m now at my Pre-pregnancy weight after being less than PPW for almost two years. I’m now back to counting my macros and I’m eating whatever fits into 1485 calories, 110 carb grams, 60 fat grams and 125 protein grams.

Wearing: My gym clothes. Because if I put them on, I’m committed to going.

Loving: My weekend away! Remember last year I went to a medical education conference  and felt really lonely? Not this time, I’m in Napa and I’m making the most of my me-time. I’ve gone swimming, sat by the pool and read, hit the gym and I’m doing to drive into town to get a pedicure. I’ve written a few blog posts, updated a presentation for a meeting and am working on creating a photo book from our Hawaii trip. Oh yeah and I’ve been learning some stuff in my lectures and I received an invitation to be a guest speaker!

Anticipating: My parents visit in August. We’re putting in a new fence and then we’ll finally be able to use our new patio! We ordered furniture and a new grill. I’m looking forward to my parents cooking.

Hoping: Kate’s transition to her new school goes well. The past two months have been difficult as her close friends moved into the Pre-school class as they turned three. Since she won’t be three until July, which is her last month at their current school, and we love her current teacher (more so than the Pre-school ones) we initially planned just to keep her in the toddler class. I figured if she was already separated from her friends, it would be easier for her when the time comes to transition to the new school. She starting expressing that she didn’t want to go to school and she’s gone back to crying and clinging to me at drop-off. Her teacher shared her observation that she’s been struggling as she’s the oldest in her class and is developmentally advanced for her age, so she’s been frustrated trying to play with the younger kids in her group. After I was 15 minutes late to work one day after a drop-off from hell, we talked to the director and asked if we could move her into the Pre-school class earlier and they obliged. Kate came home on her first day and happily exclaimed “I went to Pre-School!” The teachers reported that she gave hugs and kisses to all her friends and cooperated really well with the activities. It’s going to make her final weeks at her current school much easier, but I hope I’m not setting her up for a difficult transition when she goes to her new school.

Following: Husband and I are paying attention to the World Cup but less enthusiastically than we have in previous years. Especially as England has been so embarrassingly disappointing in the previous World Cups, we’re not getting any hopes up.

Wondering: What to do about Tyler. His meowing at night is really getting out of control. I’ve been feeding him, which I shouldn’t do as it reinforces the behavior, but sometimes it shuts him up and as he eats it, I’m wondering if he is really hungry, which is making me wonder if there is something medically wrong with him, but he hasn’t lost any weight and he’s started peeing outside his box, which makes me think this all is a behavioral issue. Putting him on Prozac works, but it has his limits as he starts running from him when it’s time for his meds, and I acknowledge I’m probably making his anxiety worse by chasing him around the house. I met a Vet who specializes in cat behavior at our local bar, so I think I’m going to book an appointment with her.

Trying: A meal prep service! I read my last Right Now post, where I was ‘Contemplating’ this and I decided to go for it. Hopefully I’ll move it to the ‘Loving’ column in my next update.

Worrying: That Trump will get re-elected in 2020. I know it’s a long way off and I should be focused on the midterms. I think the Democrats will take the House, but I fear they will lose a few Senate seats. Even if the Muller’s investigation leads a Democrat led House to vote for Impeachment, it will likely fall short of votes needed in the Senate and he’ll remain in office. I follow Robert Reich on and he recently recounted his conversation with a Republican former congressman (who I’m pretty sure is Alan Simpson) where he described that Trump is teflon and a second term is his if he wants it. Although it doesn’t seem possible, I think things will get worse before they get better. The few Republicans who speak out again Trump (Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, John McCain) aren’t running for re-election and with the exception of McCain’s healthcare vote, they’ve all voted in line with his policies. Trump has inspired fellow Reality TV star and fellow misogynist pig Dennis Hof to run for an office seat he’s likely to win. It’s simply depressing

Planning: Kate’s Third birthday party. It’s the third year, I’ve been sitting in a conference making lists of things I need to get and do for her party. This year, I should save the list so I don’t have to start from scratch again next year.

Contemplating: Probably the only thing I’m scheming right now is trying to figure out Kate’s activities. I’ve been so fortunate that she’s been doing soccer and swimming lessons through her day care and we have gymnastics on Tuesdays when I am off work. When she starts her new school, she’ll be attending 5 days a week, which will mean squeezing in her activities on the weekends. Gymnastics classes on the weekends are already full with a 4-8 person wait list. I think I found a loop hole if I enroll her in a Saturday class now, before she turns three. Basically, you just have to get your foot in the door for a Saturday class and you get first dips to move into the next age group. The same group who does the soccer lessons at her Day Care also runs 6 week sessions at a local park, so I signed her up while my parents were visiting. I was also able to extend her swimming lessons at her current place for the month of August, then I’ve been looking to sign up for classes where “her brothers” attend, so she will have some more time to see them. Oh, and as parent participation isn’t required for 3 year olds…mommy can get some swim time at this pool too… hee-hee-hee [insert evil laugh]

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Equal Opportunity Mom Shaming

Last October, I had an incident with a Mom at Kate’s gymnastics class, who I felt Mom shamed me a little bit. I started to write a post about it, got half way though it, became too busy to finish, then wasn’t sure how I wanted to conclude it. I resurrected part of it into a new post, which is still in progress and I really intend to complete. Basically, the mom was critical of the crackers I brought for Kate’s snack. I spend most of the class gathering evidence to validate my hypothesis that she is a bitch, but it sent me into a spiral of harsh self criticism. The next week, Kate dropped the F-bomb on the way to class and I was finally able to laugh off her judgement. If she though I was a bad mother due to my snack selection, just wait until she heard my daughter’s potty mouth!

Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend. Kate and I went to the Farmer’s Market and to Tar.get. Then we had lunch at Chip.olte and I needed to make an additional trip to the Container Store to find a hamper as I didn’t find one I liked in Tar.get. As we were dragging the hamper back to my car, I sensed she was starting to fade. As she slept later that morning, I was hoping I could push her nap out a little bit, but now I was getting close to the danger zone. I really wanted to hit the sales at Old Navy and the G.ap and I had hoped that her lunch would fuel her for a while, but I could tell we would need reinforcement. So I bribed her to do a little more shopping with the promise of a frosted cookie. Ideally, I would have offered the cookie after she had exhibited good behavior at the stores, but logistically we passed the bakery before the stores. We had to queue for over half an hour, because yes you have to stand in line behind people ordering sandwiches, even if you just want baked goods.

We finally emerged from the bakery, cookie in hand, and I tried to steer her into G.ap, hoping that with busy holiday shoppers, employees wouldn’t notice a little girl eating a cookie in their store. Kate insisted that we eat outside. It was a beautiful day, the first warm day in quite a while, so I decided to follow her lead and take the time to slow down and just enjoy some time with my daughter. Kate was trying to eat her cookie as carefully as possible, but the icing was melting quickly and was getting all over her face. I was waiting until she was finished before wiping her face and hands. Just then, a couple in their mid 60s came walking toward us. The guy was wearing an Old.Navy shirt celebrating the turn of the century in 2000. As he passes us, he commented “Can’t get enough candy” in a gruff tone. He never made eye contact or smiled in my direction, so I’m pretty sure it was a remark to his wife and not to me.

I really wanted to react. I wanted to explain that the cookie was a special treat. That I don’t buy cookies, candies or any sweets to have at home. Yesterday at a friend’s birthday party, I was the mean mom who didn’t let her keep the candy she collected from the piñata. I no longer give her peanut butter crackers and she just licks the peanut butter and discards the crackers. Recently, she grabbed her snack bag and opted to eat her fruit first over her rice crackers and granola bar.  She takes swimming lessons, gymnastics and soccer classes, oh and by the way she was doing burpees with me at the gym this morning.

But I didn’t say anything. When I recounted the story to a friend the next day, I explained that there were a lot of people with smart phones and I feared they could start recording and then next thing you know, I’d be showing up in your feed “Angry Mom goes off on stranger over cookie” as we’d go viral. That was my outward explanation. The truth is that I didn’t have the nerve, because he hit a nerve. Seriously, did he have any idea how much Mom Guilt went into the decision to buy the cookie? “What message am I sending by bribing her with food?” “She’s not a dog, I shouldn’t use food as a reward” Does he think I’m not aware of her size and weight? Which by the way is a concern between me and her pediatrician. Am I not mortified by the fact that I’m needing to buy 4T pants for my not-yet three year old daughter and they look ridiculous as they’re bunched at the ankles and she still has a plumbers crack!
Just as I did with the gymnastics mom, I quickly moved into he phase of discrediting the source. He was wearing a shirt from the turn of the century. Seriously, his shirt is almost old enough to vote now. Plus, he had a gut that shows that apparently he can’t get enough candy either. Fuck you. Yet, I couldn’t quite move on passed the ‘why am I letting this bother me so much?’ phase. Then it dawned on me, it’s a new day of equal opportunity shaming. Usually mom shamers are other moms who think they have everything figured out or idealistic women without children who are imaging their own reality. Now apparently, elderly white dudes can get in the game. The gender disparity really stings, as comedian Ali Wong points out “there is so little that a man needs to do to be hailed as a great dad, and so little for a woman to do to be branded as a shit mother.”

Please note, I’m not trying to come across as the Thought Police. Think what ever you want; just keep it to yourself or at least wait until I’m out of earshot. I confess I’ve held some shaming thoughts about my cousins’ parenting. I don’t think she’s a bad parent. I know she loves her kids and wants to do what is best, but has made some bad decisions. I just don’t share thought thoughts with her; I wait until we get home and then discuss my observations with Husband. An open mind does not require an open mouth. Especially since that’s the real response to the shamers. Guess what? You can save your breath. There is nothing you can say to a mother that is harsher, meaner or more critical than anything she has already said about herself. Probably in the last five minutes. Now shut the fuck up.

My day was further aggravated by the fact that I couldn’t find my parking ticket and had to pay the $25 lost ticket fee (when I had qualified for free parking). When I arrived at home, I easily found the ticket in my purse. #momfail

I finished writing this post and hit some button that accidentally erased it and I had to compose it again. #momfailagain.