Monday, October 5, 2015

It's a week later and I've met him once.

My trainer, I mean. But I swear it was for a good reason. I haven't lifted weights in, literally, ten years. Anything makes me sore. I was supposed to go back Wednesday and I didn't because I was sore and I didn't want to end up hating it. I was going to go Thursday and I decided to go swimming with my daughter instead. Finally, it was Friday, and I was too busy at work to make it happen.

So there it is. I went once. BUT: I'm going again tomorrow, and I will make it twice this week come hell or high water. Once the first week, twice the second week, who knows what the third week will bring? :)

It's OK, you know. It's OK to go when I can and when I feel like it. This isn't about being skinny or getting crazy about being at the gym daily pumping the irons. It's about building muscle, getting strong, learning something new, and taking time for ME. I love that part.

Hold me to it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

When a comment makes you think really hard. . .

When a comment makes you think really hard. . .then you know it was worth putting the post out there.

Have you ever read something that trigger such a realization or revelation that you literally heard that needle-scratching-record sound in your head?  You think to yourself - wait, WHAT?

An old friend that is new again (ha ha) made a comment on my last blog post that threw me for a loop. Specifically, she said the following:
"Why do you want to be a blogger? Or: why does it bother you not to be blogging regularly?"
I cannot answer that question.  I have thought about it a lot.  Ad nauseum, in fact.  I don't have an answer!

The resurrection of this blog.

Oh, Hi there.

So it's September 30, 2015 and it's almost exactly a year until I turn 40. This blog was always about Fixing mahself before I turn 40 because truly, I was a hot mess in my 20s and 30s.

Unfortunately, life got in the way and I faced some pretty serious (for ME) issues that needed to be dealt with before I could spend time writing on this blog.

I hope I'm back to writing. I like to write, I like to put my thoughts on "paper." But I've tried a paper journal many times to no avail - I end up applying my own crazy brand of perfectionism and it goes nowhere.

A couple of notes. I have turned off auto-posting of comments because the internet is always that lovely anonymous means of communication where some people think it's completely OK to post whatever they want without having any idea what the impact of their words might be. To that I will refer you to the meme at the left. Copied from the internet, where it was posted a gazillion times and I cannot find any reference to it's creator.

It's perfectly OK to not read this blog if you don't like what I have to say or think I'm boring :) I'm OK with never having a lot of followers.

Moving on!

Today is Day 1 of meeting my new fitness trainer. I have one last thing to "fix" before I turn 40 and that's my physical fitness. I have fixed my career (more on that later), I have fixed my personal life (way more on that later), I've learned to live with my current state of work/life balance, and I feel good 99 % of the time. So Imma get strong and more muscular. This has taken months of trying to find the motivation. I don't really need another thing that is a time commitment. But I've managed to make myself a priority in other ways, so why not work on this too. At some point I got to that all familiar stage of PUT UP OR SHUT UP. Here's another meme that sums the issue up (right).

I will let you know how Day 1 goes! Here's to becoming strong!

<3 SW

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My "problem" with blogging.

I have tried for years to be a regular blogger.  I never maintain a blog "correctly" by promoting it, writing on regular intervals and on a cohesive topic, etc.  Why?  I am so organized and timely in my professional life, why can't I translate some of those skills to being a writer/blogger?

I will tell you why.  Because I want to do EVERYTHING.  NOW.  And I cannot commit to just one thing.

While working through "The Declaration of You," I asked myself:  "Self, what are your hobbies, what do you enjoy?"  And unfortunately my answer looked something like this:

  • Music.  Listening, collecting, playing.  I am proficient at piano and play publicly for special occasions, but my long-term goals involve forcing my daughter to take violin so I can learn strings and evench play cello.  I would also LOVE to be part of a casual band that plays publicly.
  • Craftiness.  I use this term loosely.  I have done cross stitch (and have at least 3 unfinished projects in storage), knit (I have a scarf that still needs to be finished), crochet (I started an overachiever's blanket), scrapbooking (I have 2 unfinished books), wreath making (I have an unfinished Halloween wreath sitting on my desk next to my computer right now) among many MANY others.
  • Exercise.  I've always wanted to be an aerobics instructor and was well on my way to becoming one when I got pregnant, tore my patellar tendon and got some good old fashioned excruciating IT band syndrome.  I'd like to teach step aerobics someday.
  • Writing.  I have always loved the idea of writing something like a textbook, a novel, some other work that will live on like a legacy.  This is my least successful "hobby" so far because aside from the professional writing that I've done (my last two reviews were published in 2013! Here's number one and number two), I've not been able to devote the time to develop to writing as a hobby.
  • Reading.  I looooooove to read.  I read internet magazines (print?  pshaw!), news websites, blogs, novels (mostly trash, I admit), biographies - I will almost read anything!  I cannot sleep without reading at least a paragraph first and most days I fall asleep in my king bed with a book and my google tablet.
The moral of this story/post is that I don't finish things and I am too divided.  I cannot focus hard enough on any one thing to make it happen with consistency.  For that, I apologize to my readers (all 3 of you, HA HA).

What do you think is required to be a good blogger?  How often does one have to post to remain relevant?  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A new exercise, A new book to read, I'm BACK!

There are many reasons why I haven't been writing.  I will bullet point a few in general terms so that we can move on to getting fixed by the time I turn 40 - I still have a few years and I *have made progress!

  • Time.  The last few years have been a blur, honestly.  Some huge life events, some important realizations, and a few major decisions that led me down a path that has been sending me "this was right" signals all over the place.  All positive - I will dedicate more single posts to these things and how/why I made the decisions that I did in the future.
  • Computer.  When I left my Biotech job to go back to academia, I surrendered my brand new company laptop.  I was left with my older (circa 2007) mac iBook which I thought would totally suffice.  It didn't.  I didn't want to write because my computer bogged me down.  But I have a shiny new computer!  Yay!
  • Fear.  Yep - I have been afraid to share too much detail of my life with you all.  I'm going to get over that and try to talk in general terms about what has been going on with me and what I've learned about myself that has lead me down my current path.  Have other bloggers had this fear of putting themselves out there?  Maybe.  I've heard some rumblings on the blog-o-sphere about it.

My friend wrote a book.  Her name is Michelle Ward (want to see her?) and she's the When I Grow Up Coach.  Her book is called "The Declaration of You" and according to the website:
Through a series of creative, colorful exercises — questions to get the wheels turning and an encouraging kick in the pants — you will get all the permission you crave to step passionately into your life, discover how you and your gifts are unique, and uncover what you are meant to do!

Doesn't that sound perfect for "Fixed by 40?"  I am so excited to share this with you guys and work through it!  Stay tuned.  And feel free to join me in connecting with Michelle and her co-author Jessica Swift (I have some of her art hanging in my daughter's room!) on facebook.  I know this read's like an ad and it kinda is cause I love Michelle, but it's also how I'm going to get back into sharing how I'm fixing myself.  We need to cover some pretty important topics including:

  • Why being a scientist isn't what I thought it would be.
  • Why I removed chemicals from my diet.
  • How getting older affects your outlook.
  • How to stop being a people-pleaser and seeking approval for everything I do.
  • How to detach from being a natural codependent.
We're gonna do that.  Buckle Up.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writing on writing.

I need to be sure to write more often.  I like to write and I'm pretty sure I have a decent voice and stuff to say.

So why don't I?

I am a bit afraid that no one will read the minutia of my mind.  However, if I don't put it out there, how will I know?  So here's what's on my mind today.

1.  There will be no CURE for cancer.  There will be personalized medicine and better approaches for sure but there is no cure and I am very bothered by all of the small organizations that "campaign" on this "WE WANT A CURE" platform.

2.  I think that scientific research is broken.  "The system" is set up to reward a small subset of people and accomlishments that aren't necessarily winning the battle against anything...and we have lost basic pure research (for no other reason than to figure out "life") in favor of translation to the clinic.  Not that translational research is a bad thing, but the days of the "-omics" are generating information at ludicrous speed and we don't know what to do with it.  At all.

3.  If everyone was in a little less of a hurry and more kind to one another, there would be less negativity in this world.  By that I mean what has happened to our sense of community as human beings?  I would love to talk to some evolutionary biologists and some anthropologists on this.  If you are one, hit me up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Are potatoes bad?

With all of the talk of obesity, glycemic index, paleo, cholesterol, blood sugar and diabetes on this blog, you might start to get the impression that potatoes are a "never" food.

I disagree.

A nice round whole potato is not a bad thing once in a while.  If it keeps me from eating a processed bag of nonsense from the grocery store, a potato is a whole and natural alternative.

The glycemic index (GI) of a "serving" of baked russet potato is 111.  To put that in context, an average "serving" of baked sweet potato has a GI of 74 (odd huh?  We will get to that later).  For more context, the GI of a serving of hummus - containing those "bad" peas called chickpeas - has a GI of 6.  Finally, a serving of boiled spaghetti (white) has a GI of 46.

So yeah, potatoes are "bad" for blood sugar and glycemic load.  In fact, if you look at this list of GIs from a Harvard U website, they are the "worst" GI food on the list.  Shocking, no?

It's all about starch and russet potatoes are the starchiest.

So I think, in my honest opinion, regular starchy white potatoes are a "sometimes" food.  Once a week wont kill ya.  I'm pretty certain that if a caveman happened upon a white potato that he dug up, he wouldn't have said:  OH NO WAY AM I EATING THAT.  :)  Then again, he wouldn't have come across one probably, well, ever.

Sweet potatoes are an odd bird - they are lower in GI and yet taste sweet?  What gives?

What's really interesting are that aside from GI, sweet and white potatoes are virtually identical in "stats:"
     Sweet potato:  90 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein
     White potato:  92 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 2.3 grams of dietary fiber, 2.3 g of protein


I tried to dig deeper to see why white potatoes are taboo and sweet potatoes are "in."  Aside from the soluble fiber in sweet potato and glycemic index, they are not that different.  And the fact is that research hasn't determined whether sweet potatoes are better for us in the long run since they have come into "food vogue" quite recently.  It is certainly true that sweet pots have more antioxidants and vits/minerals.  I don't argue that.  And if you're watching your blood sugar, definitely reach for the sweet potato.    But if you're an average Joe with no health issues who is not following a prescribed diet - and if you realize that eating ANYTHING deep fried is not healthy because it increases the saturated fat and caloric density of your food - a white potato now and again is not gonna kill ya!