Worthy but completely undeserving

5 Days Without TV Makes One ….? May 29, 2012

…hopefully it makes one more productive.


Today begins another experiment for me.  Starting this evening, I will not turn on my TV for 5 days.  Ok, I will not turn on my TV unless it is to do my yoga DVD.  But there will be no watching of DVDs, Netfilx, or Hulu Plus (I’d say cable too but I haven’t had cable since Christmas).


I’m hearing all sorts of research saying it’s a good idea to get at least 8 hrs sleep for a myriad of reasons, and I was wondering what was keeping me from that.  Well, the only thing I can figure is having the TV on!  Most of what I do instead of going to bed is watch TV or I waste time watching TV earlier in my night.  Then everything that I have to get done gets pushed back (including bed).  So I want to give something new and different a try.


Here’s what I’m thinking will happen:

1.  I’ll get to bed earlier instead of “just one more episode” (which always turns into at least three more) and be more likely to get the recommended 8 hours.

2.  I’ll work more on my dissertation at home.  This has to happen anyway, but if TV is not an option, I might actually get going on my work sooner and therefore be more productive.

3.  I’ll have the chance to clean more during the week so that my Sunday isn’t a 4 hour cleaning party.

4.  For 30 minutes before bed, I’ll get to do something relaxing to wind down instead of being glued to the screen right until bed (like reading, journaling, yoga, prayer, bath).  This equals more “me” time which equals a happier and less stressed me.


This should be interesting.  I’ll report back next week on how it went!


I Want a Fixie April 12, 2012

Filed under: Aspiring Fitness Model — Lauren @ 2:55 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Oh. My. Word.  I have a new obsession.

And it’s not a kitchen gadget.

And it’s not a boy band (thank God).

It’s a bike.  But not a specific bike.

It’s a type of bike known as a fixed gear bike.

Or if you’re cool and know what you’re talking about, a “fixie.”

What is a fixie, you ask?  Well let me tell you what I know so far.

A fixie is a bike with only one gear.  (As an aside, I feel the need to point out the irony of this situation.  When I was 10, all I wanted was a bike with MORE gears.  Over a decade later, I have come full circle and now desire a bike with ONLY 1 gear.  Ridiculous.)

The crazy thing about fixed gear bikes that set them apart from a single speed bike is how the chain is actually attached to the rear wheel.  I’ll be honest, I don’t know all the technical terms and parts, but I do know the largest consequence of the fixed gear is that you can’t coast.  Ever.  The pedals ALWAYS spin.  So there’s no coasting down huge hills or through a turn.   There’s no giving your legs a break on a fixie.  It’s constant work.  But it also means your pedaling is more efficient.  I’m a fan of increased efficiency.

Another benefit to fixies (that I’ve read about and been told by friends that have them) is that you are extremely in-tune with your bike.  There’s a greater feeling of connectedness and control.  This ends up giving more maneuverability and makes it a great commuter bike.  In the end, this is what I want out of my bike.  I want to commute regularly.  And seeing as how I’m moving to the Detroit area in a few short months, I want to get comfortable on my bike in a smaller city before I attempt a larger, scarier place like Detroit.

Ooo.  I just shuddered thinking about it.

Hehe.  I just giggled thinking about it too.  I’m excited!  Can’t you tell?!

Oh, yet another benefit.  My health.  More activity is good for my heart.  It’s good for my physique too.  Enough said.

Now the question is, where to get my fixie fix?

A friend of mine who let me test ride her bike said she found hers on bikesdirect.com (No, they are not paying me to endorse their site.  Pretty sure they don’t know I exist.)  Another page I found is bikeisland.com (They don’t know who I am either).  Both sites have some crazy awesome bikes on there for a fraction of the retail price.  The downside is that their stock changes daily.  This is a problem for me because I haven’t quite rounded up all the cash I need to purchase the fixie of my dreams yet.

So I will wait.  I will scour their pages daily to see if my fav has sold out yet.

And then, some day very soon, I will buy one.

Hi, my name is Lauren, and I am obsessed with getting my hands on a fixie.

(Admitting it is the first step right??)


What about you?  Any experience with fixies?  Advice/warnings/suggestions for a newbie like me?


Self-Proclaimed Poetry Hater Posting a Poem April 4, 2012

Filed under: Aspiring Good Enoughist — Lauren @ 11:34 am
Tags: , ,

Yes, I like my alliteration.

I’ve never been one to really enjoy poetry at all.  The “Late Plays of Shakespeare” class I took in college was brutal.  I could never grasp what he was trying to say.  Why not just state it point-blank?  Who needs all those crazy, flowing phrases that by the end I don’t remember what the author was trying to get across in the first place?  Not me.  As a graduate student, I’m always reading at work, but it’s not easy, leisurely reading.  When I actually have a chance to pick up a book for fun, I don’t want to work to understand it.  I want something that I can understand the first time I read it through.  Minimal brain power required.

Well that was what I wanted until last summer.  Last July, I learned that it’s not usually about the destination but the journey to the destination.  Life happens during the journey.  Whether it’s the excitement about starting a new job, or making a blanket for a friend, or finishing a book, or getting healthy, the experience isn’t only about reaching the goal.  It’s what happens along the way and taking in the experience of each step.  When I finally understood this (or at least had a lightbulb moment), I began to see things differently.  I began looking for the value in each moment and asking, “What can I learn from this?”  This realization also has allowed me to  be gracious with myself and enjoy things I might have normally hated or shied away from.  Like yoga.  And poetry.

In the series finale of “Frasier”, the main character shares a few beautiful lines of poetry with some friends at a party.  It was incredibly moving, so I looked it up.  Turns out it was from the Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem “Ulysses”.  My first instinct was to close the browser window because there was no way I’d understand it.  Instead I decided to try something different and give the poem a slow read through.

Boy am I glad I did!  I absolutely LOVED it!  Sure there were words that I didn’t know – so I looked them up.  Sure I didn’t grasp the phrasing or the meaning the first time I read it – so I read it again.  This patience with myself and willingness to not “get it” the first time unlocked the door to a segment of literature that I never appreciated until now.  This doesn’t mean that I pick up poetry every chance I get, but it does mean that I’m way more willing to give it a try.

You can find the full poem from multiple sites just by conducting a basic Google search, but the excerpt below is my favorite part of the poem.  Enjoy!

“Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson


I’m Back! March 9, 2012

Filed under: Whatevs — Lauren @ 11:07 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve been away for far too long so I’m back for an update!  It’s been a crazy six months for sure.  The family had a rocky fall and winter to start out the new year, plus, I was busy landing a job.  Yes that’s right!  In August, I’ll be headed to BASF as a part of their Professional Development Program.  It’s an 18 month rotational program followed by a permanent “place out” of the program.  I couldn’t be more excited!  But before that, there’s still much to do, like finish my dissertation work AND the actual dissertation.

But all that aside, how about an update on my progress?  Like I said, the last several months have been crazy, and overall, I’ll not really budged too much on my numbers.  BUT I have learned SO much about myself through this time, that I don’t feel like it has been wasted at all.  Plus, I’ve made progress in the last two weeks, and I’m feeling great!

I’ll share the lessons I’ve learned and the workouts I’m enjoying and just keep you updated!


How about an update? October 19, 2011

Filed under: Aspiring Fitness Model — Lauren @ 11:08 pm

Well let’s see, it’s been almost 2 months since I last posted.  Yeesh…  That doesn’t do me any good as far as keeping myself accountable.  Let me recap the past (almost) 2 months…

So, I ended up kind of yoyo-ing back and forth the past couple months.  I was on track for 2 weeks and then off track for 2 weeks.  I did this a couple times and guess what?  I have no overall progress to show for it.  Just frustration.  Discouragement.

But something snapped this past weekend in me.  I realized that I have lived my life breaking agreements with myself where my fitness is concerned.  I did it in soccer all the time.  I never gave 100% in my college off-season training.

Example:  At the end of my freshman year, I was the top 1 or 2 best in shape on the team (according to that awful beep test), and I came back at the start of my sophomore year as one of the bottom 3 worst in shape.  I just didn’t do much over the summer to stay in shape.  I didn’t like running sprints or going for long runs on my own.  I knew I should do those things, but still, I didn’t do them.  Even after the embarrassment of being way out of shape at the start of that year, nothing changed over the summer before my junior year.  I came back out of shape again.

It’s self-sabotage at its finest, and I still wonder why I do this?  I think it goes back to old patterns that worked in the past for me.  Even though I had a chance to process a lot of my feelings of insignificance and believing myself to be unlovable at Focus, I’m realizing that I don’t conquer my struggles once for all (if you don’t know what Focus is, ask me!!  I’ll tell you all about it – it was basically a personal awakening).  I can absolutely process something, acknowledge what that’s created in my life, and change my actions/mindset to operate from a new position.  BUT it’s going to take vigilance to permanently change something that has been so ingrained in me the past 26 years.

One of the things I can do to help make permanent changes is accountability.  Another is positive self-talk.  Replacing those negative “I will inevitably fail” tapes with “I will succeed” tapes.  I also must stay engaged with my goals.  Reading my goals over each day and reading other people’s success stories is very motivating.

So that’s what I’ve got for now.  Since Saturday I’ve made some good progress!  I’m going to keep it up!  Until next time!!


What’s the game plan? September 3, 2011

Filed under: Aspiring Fitness Model — Lauren @ 7:04 pm

In order to succeed I need a plan of action.  I’ve been encouraged recently by several new friends to make sure I have smaller goals and a plan.  Here’s what I’ve got so far….

I need to get a baseline on where I’m starting from, so over the next 7 days I’ll be averaging my weight and % body fat.

Big picture/long term goal:  I look like a fitness model.  I have good definition and lower body fat that comes from eating clean and weight training.

In June 2012:  I’m competing in a figure competition.  This is be a feasible timeline for me to shed bf and then get some lean muscle back on my frame.  At this point, I’m back in my “game shape” from college.

In March 2012:  It’ll be “spring break” time at my mom’s work.  Usually our family heads to Gulf Shores for about 5 days around this time of year.  I’ll be rocking a new bikini that draws attention to me – no more hiding in my swimsuit!

At the start of December 2011:  I’m getting closer to my long-term goals.  The holidays have not and will not derail my progress.  I’m down 2 pants sizes by now, so that means in addition to Christmas shopping for others, I need to buy new jeans!

October 2011:  I’ve been on track for a month now.  I’m shedding some water weight, and my metabolism has re-fired.  I’m feeling good and already reaping the benefits of eating right and exercising/walking regularly.

Each week:  I’m doing a lifting circuit 3x; I’m completing 30 min of intervals 2-3x; I’m walking daily for 30-60 min; I’m burning 1-2lbs of body fat each week (notice I’m not “losing” it cause I don’t want to “find” it again later!)

Each day:  I’m drinking ~100 oz water; I eat 5 small “meals” about 2-3 hours apart; I get my exercise in; I read over my goals; I remind myself that although I have a long way to go, I only have to do these things today – that in and of itself is a goal accomplished 🙂

As a note, my workouts and eating style are adopted from the book “The Metabolic Effect Diet”.  It has a bounty of good information, and it’s come highly recommended by a friend of mine (thanks Erika!).

So that’s it!  I’ll keep you updated weekly with my progress and how things are going.

Here’s to a great adventure!!


Goal #1

Filed under: Aspiring Fitness Model — Lauren @ 5:56 pm

The first goal that I’m going to throw out there is (drumroll, please)….

To be in fitness model shape.

For a little background, I used to be a D-1 college athlete, so that means I was in excellent physical shape.  However, after I finished college, I started feeling rebellious.  No one was making me get up at 5am to get to the weight room or run hill sprints, so there was no way I was going to continue doing that.  I wanted my extra 2 hours of sleep, dangit!  Over the past few years in grad school, I’ve become increasingly out of shape – specifically, I’ve managed to gain about 35 lbs in the last 3 years.  Honestly, I’m disappointed with myself, and I’m kind of embarrassed.  But I do know that how much I weigh or what I look like does NOT reflect on who I am, and it should not affect how I feel about myself.  Or my confidence.  No matter what the scale says about my weight or % body fat, I am still beautiful, confident, and free.

However, I was entrusted with this body.  So far, I’ve been given the tools to keep it healthy, but over the last 3 years, I’ve not been using those tools.  It’s time for that to change.  I’m stepping out.  I’m taking a risk.  I’m risking failure at getting fit.  I’ve tried to get back “in shape” several times over the past year or so and failed.  Well this time, I won’t fail.  I’ll succeed.  I have the basic tools I need, and I’m learning more every day.  I can do this.  I will do this.  I’m worth this.