a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for the ‘on being fitter’ Category

And the year draws to a close

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It’s been a really interesting year, this 2008. It started off sucking pretty hard, but it’s turned into a lovely lovely friend and I’m almost sad to see it go! I’ve learned a lot about myself and about life in general, met a bunch of new people, let go of some old ones, and generally progressed forward with my life in a way that I find very agreeable.

I’m not going to go into all the details of what’s changed in my life, but the important parts are:

  • Got more into photography, specifically film photography, but I think I’m returning to digital for a little bit at least
  • My body has finally reached a happy stage where I’m happy with the way I look and feel and I don’t have to put too much effort into losing anymore, just maintaining
  • I’m finally getting used to living in California, the so-called west-coast lifestyle
  • We’ve met lots of new friends and reconnected with some old ones as well
  • Knitting is awesome and I’ve found a new knitting group that looks really promising

Jeez, I’m really not sure what’s ahead next year, but I know it starts off with a friend’s wedding (congrats C+E!!) up in beautiful Seattle. I’ll be heading up with a friend instead of with Frank since the wedding is during the week and Frank can’t take time off then. It’s sure to be a fun time since my friend has also never been to Seattle, so I can almost feel like I’m showing him around since I’ve been there a grand total of once. Ha!

Au café A dark and narrow path
A bit less film shooting for now, methinks

Hmm… what else? Oh right… about going back to digital photography for a little while… I think I need a stint where I can stop caring so much about it, because it’s been eating me up and I’ve been overly critical of my work. I don’t really know why, but I care more about my photography when I shoot film; it’s just inherent for me and I don’t really know why. When it comes to digital, I feel like the finished product is less important and that the process becomes more fun and free. Maybe I just need to go back to shooting on rangefinders instead; I’d headed back to my trusty SLR lately to have more control over the composition of my shots. Yeah… I’ve been incredibly unhappy with my photography lately, so I’m really hoping that a small trip over the dark side of digital will help revive my passion for it. I’ll probably start missing film as soon as I tell myself I need to shoot digital again.

Oh, and also on the knitting front! I managed to make gifts for a lot of people this year, and it’s been really relaxing and wonderful to create things with my hands again. I really enjoy the process of knitting or sewing something, and it’s nice giving people something that I spent time making. It’s like a litlte extra bonus love for them. Darren gave me a subscription to Make magazine, and I’m thinking of asking him to switch it to Craft since it has more sewing/knitting type stuff in it instead of cool geeky electronics stuff.

Last-minute White drop stitch scarf
Handwarmers for a cousin and a scarf for my mom

Finished!Cookies for the rest of ’em!

So… I probably won’t update again until next year when we part ways with 2008 and meet 2009 for the first time, so I’ll say “おめでとうございます!!” to you now and see you in the new year!!

I'm watchingI’m watching you!!

Written by Reese

December 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Residual Self Image.

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Anyone who has gone through some kind of physical change can certainly agree: the residual mental self image you tote around in your head takes a while to change to match your physical appearance. Memory and mental image are strong forces that are difficult to change. The body is quite malleable and can adapt to new circumstances (like starting an exercise routine), while the mind is a whole other hurdle altogether.

One of my good friends has told me that I have really nice legs, but I have a hard time convincing myself that he’s right. It’s that pesky residual self image I have that tells me that I do not have nice legs and I should not be showing them off. Lately, it’s been getting a little easier to wear skirts that end above my knees simply because my friend’s compliments have given me the confidence to do it. It’s as if I depend on the fact that someone other than my brain has said that I look nice, so therefore, I must look nice. I could always argue with myself and tell myself that he’s simply confused and is seeing things, but I chose to take him at his word. Why else would he tell me that I have nice legs, unless I actually did?

I still find myself surprised at how I look in photos and even more surprised when people tell me I look good. I know that it’s only a matter of time before my mind catches up with my actual appearance, but I keep wanting to hurry up the process. Ha, I suppose that the nice compliments I get from time to time help a lot and keep my mind aware that it’s not entirely there yet. It’s not like I have low self-esteem or anything; in fact, it’s probably the opposite! Either way, it’s just nice to hear compliments from people on things that I never used to be complimented on.

Written by Reese

October 19, 2008 at 11:28 am

Posted in on being fitter

Upped the mileage.

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Before the trip to NY and Boston, I took a bit of a break from running. I ran out of motivation, and I got really busy with other fun stuff that involved seeing friends and tasks for work. After we returned to the Bay Area, I decided to get back into running, especially after I noticed that my thighs were losing the muscle definition that I’d worked so hard for. And thus, I decided to rededicate myself to running on a regular basis. I set a schedule for myself, and I plotted out 2-3 different running routes so that I wouldn’t get bored. It’s amazing how different a running route feels even when you are running the same course but in reverse direction. It’s like a whole new route!

I’ve been running about 3 miles three times a week for 3 weeks now, and just last week I decided it was time to start increasing my mileage per run. Following the magic 10% increase rule (increase 10% of distance or time), I decided to add another 0.2-0.3 mile to my running route. Of course, this required plotting out more routes (thank you, Google maps) and soon I had another new route to test out.

Oh wait… a bit more background information before I continue…

My old running route used to be around campus. I would go twice around and that would be approximately 3 miles to and from my house. Needless to say, it got boring after a while, especially because I was going the same route all the time and I never even changed up the direction I ran. That’s probably why I got really bored with running outdoors. Anyway, when I first started running around the campus, I couldn’t go for more than a block or two without stopping for a break. I used to be really good on the treadmill, but it’s a lot harder to run the same distance outdoors!

My brand new running route has me doing a single loop around the campus before heading off into the residential neighbourhood for another large loop. What’s been really nice is that I can now run a lot further than I used to around the campus without taking a walk break! Ha… it’s funny because I never really noticed if I improved my running skills or not, but apparently things ARE getting better even if I’m not paying attention.

Good times…

Now that I’ve gone for my 3.3 mile run, it’s time for some really tasty tamales from Lucy’s Tamale Factory. We tried them yesterday and they are AMAAAAAAAAZING. I think I’ll get the jalapeno & cheese and sweet corn tamales today. Well, maybe one of the chicken ones too. Maybe… God they’re so good…

One last thing… I dropped the Mister off at the airport early this morning for his business trip. Four days of me-time all to me-self! Yay… This probably means I’ll be eating a lot of the fruit I bought at the farmer’s market yesterday, and also having more tamales… Who knows, maybe I’ll try to perfect my pan-seared ahi tuna with curried quinoa recipe.

Written by Reese

October 12, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Posted in eating, on being fitter

One size happier.

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You know those commercials on TV that have “One Size _____” where you enter some neat little adjective. Of course, I don’t watch nearly enough TV to know what company uses that advertising scheme, but I’m sure that one of you out there might know. Right… I’m also too lazy to Google it myself, so there it is.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about those commercials and what kinds of adjectives I would use in the blank space. Hmm.. I would say that I’m definitely One Size Fitter, One Size Happier, One Size Stronger, One Size More Capable. I’m not even sure that there’s one word that can possibly describe how I feel now that I’ve lost all that weight that was dragging my body down.

Right now, I am a size 12. Now, that is pretty large compared to some other girls (you skinny bitches totally rule), but I’ve lost almost 10 sizes compared to what I was wearing 1.5 years ago. I’m not sure why, but size 12 was something I used to strive for. It’s the size that my mom wore when I was growing up and she had a bit more meat on her bones (she’s now a lot leaner thanks for working out and a much healthier diet). I always thought my mom was beautiful and strong when I was a kid (I still think she rocks the clock). Size 12 just seemed to be a good idea, and it was something of an ideal that I held in my mind.

A few months back, I finally hit size 12 at Old Navy (which is actually a fake size 12 since they size their clothing larger for some vanity purposes), and I felt pretty damned good. It made me glow, but it was also a bit of a cheap victory since I knew that the rest of the world did not follow Old Navy sizes and that I was still a 14 in other brands. It was when I finally made it to size 12 in H&M that I admitted true victory to myself. Ha. I’m not sure why I thought H&M was a true test of whether or not I was size 12, but it just felt like a good thing to me. Maybe it’s the whole idea of a European brand sizing things down, so that if I was a size 12 there, then maybe I was a size 12 anywhere else.

I guess if I dropped to size 10, I would still be pretty happy. I’m still waiting for my body to even out and figure out what size is healthy for my lifestyle and activity level. Like a typical engineer, I believe that the system will reach steady state at some point, depending on the input and output. Ha. SUCH A NERD.

Ha.. this is SO vain of me to just write about this, but I just wanted to share with the world how much this physical change is affecting my mood and attitude about life. I really feel younger, happier, more energetic, etc. Ha. Next blog entry will be less self-centred. Promise!!

Written by Reese

October 9, 2008 at 11:48 am

Posted in on being fitter

what’s happenin.

with 13 comments

Hello readers! How are you doing? Do I even have faithful readers anymore since I don’t update this thing as regularly as I used to? Hmm… well here’s what’s been happening during June, even if only for my own personal reference.

a new place.
Frank and I have moved out of a soul-sucking apartment complex and into a small little house with an actual backyard. Yes, a backyard. We haven’t had one of those in almost a year, and it feels SO good to have it back again. We’re planning to do a bit of BBQing and I might even learn how to garden this summer! Well… it’s a bit late to learn how to garden right now, but I still plan to go to a nursery and finding some mint plants to keep back there. I was thinking about planting some stuff back there just to keep the dirt down (it’s two narrow strips of dirt and a walkway in the middle right now). I sweep back there almost everyday and it’s always so damned dusty!

I hear that mint grows like a weed, so while I originally wanted to plant something in the ground, I think I’ll stick to using a container for now. I don’t know if our landlord would appreciate a new mint infestation in the backyard.

coffee beans of the week.
I bought half a pound of the Whole Food’s Allegra Breakfast Blend for this week. It doesn’t look nearly as shiny and yummy as the Monsieur Beans stuff from last week. They look a bit dried out, actually.

I got a haircut yesterday and I’m pretty happy with it. It looks good even after washing and blow-drying it myself. I’m a terrible stylist, but somehow it still looks good! For a whopping $35, I don’t think I could have asked for better! I don’t know that I’ve paid that little for a haircut in over 4 years. Damn you Shag Salon! You’re SO good, yet so expensive!


I’m still going strong on the running and eating right. I’ve slowed down on losing weight, but it doesn’t bother me because I’m really really happy with where I am right now. I don’t know that I could wear a bikini to the beach anytime soon, but I feel healthy and happy and beautiful as I am. Well, I felt happy and beautiful before, but now I feel healthy! I feel like I could run to catch the bus without getting winded, and I can easily carry more heavy stuff further these days. That really matters to me since I often carry my cameras around and I’ve been working as a photographer’s assistant lately, which means carrying heavy stuff.

It’s really interesting to me that the people I’ve met here in California probably have no idea what I looked like before! That really fascinates me, that they all know me as the person I am right now, maybe noticing that I’ve lost weight since last year, but basically not knowing me when I was so much heavier. I don’t know that weight really matters to the people I know, since I try not to make friends with superficial people. Ha… Just for comparison, here’s a photo from when we got married (Sept 2005) and a recent one.

Back when...

To FSM or not?

Written by Reese

June 27, 2008 at 8:53 am

Posted in on being fitter

Tagged with , , ,

almost a year.

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Red red red
Under the technicolour umbrella

At the end of this month, I will be celebrating my one-year anniversary for running. Just around Memorial Day last year, I decided to take up running and I’ve somehow managed to actually keep it up since then. This is really embarrassing, but before I started running, I was terrifically out of shape. Getting on the treadmill for 20 minutes used to make me really tired, even just walking somewhat briskly. I had to work up to walking at 4mph, a 15 minute mile. I used to get winded at 3.5mph. That’s sad isn’t it?

I’ve noticed my progress steadily moving along. I can now run at 5.5 mph; it’s been a slow and steady climb from a mere 4.5 mph. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a huge accomplishment for me. Even now, I think 5.5mph is starting to feel a bit slow, so I’ll have to ramp up to 5.7 or 5.8mph. I’ve gone from running 1-1.5 miles a day to almost getting up to 3 miles a day. That might not really sound like much to people who run a lot, but it’s a huge step up for me, going from zero miles a week to an average of 11 miles a week. Jeez, just saying “11 miles” seems like a lot to me, but it’s not really!

It’s been amazing, to be honest. It never occurred to me that I might be able to push my body to do these things. Other people, maybe, but never me! I just could not understand the idea of setting physical goals and the satisfaction of reaching them. It’s always been a lot easier for me to set more academic or career-oriented goals for my life. This recent experience with setting and reaching fitness goals has been eye-opening. It just proves that my mom was right: I can do anything if I have enough desire.

And now I have a question for you, lovely readers. What should I do to celebrate my little running anniversary? I’ve been thinking about buying myself a new video game (hello GTA4 madness!!) so I can properly celebrate by gluing myself to the TV and sofa for weeks on end. Maybe I will reward myself with earrings or a new bracelet? Hmm… I feel like I should really do something nice for myself.

Written by Reese

May 7, 2008 at 12:13 pm