Thursday, March 27, 2008

If things couldn't get worse...

So my last post was me talking about how this week is just stressful and that I've been running around like crazy. Things couldn't get any worse. Last night while driving, my left front tire blew out when I hit a median. I'm not exactly sure what happened though have an idea. I had help to put my spare donut tire on and then had to figure out how to get a new tire and still keep all my responsbilities I had.

Early this morning, I went by the Wal-Mar tire place. I was first pissed that the door was locked. Then I had to walk all the way around. When I finally got to the place, there was no one there! Another woman had been waiting 20 minutes and was not too happy either. The guy finally showed up and said they didn't have a tire that matched closely to my tread. Apparently, if this is the case, it can throw the car off. He also said I had a bluge in my left rear tire. Great.

I was supposed to be meeting the coordinator for the event I'm working this weekend, but instead had to go to another tire place this afternoon. I felt horribly bad about it since I like to give good first impressions, stick to my word on stuff, etc. Oh well, I'll guess she'll have to deal with it. Anyway, at the tire place, they looked at my tires and said the other two were about to go as well. In the end and over $400 later, I wound up with 4 new tires. I also have to get a new rim which they'll put on next week.

I'm trying to remain optimistic about all this really. The good thing about the tires is that they had about reached their max and it had been about 3 years--close 40,000 miles. According to the guy at the tire place, that isn't bad. That made me feel a little better, like I wasn't some awful person who didn't take care of their car well. Back in January, my car battery went out after at least 5 years with the original. The other good thing is that I get 4 free oil changes which I will be using.

I'm hoping this is the last of bad case scenarios for me. Hopefully, the start of the conference will go well tomorrow. I know I need to just let go of feeling like I'm behind, that I don't know what I'm doing, and that I can only give it my best effort. I probably wont' be able to get back online until next Monday or Tuesday unless my landlord gets my breaker fixed. Yes, I called him again. sigh.

I hope to have good news to report by then--that or at least some interesting stories.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feel like a chicken with its head cut off

Yes, the title says it all. This week is incredibly busy. I worked yesterday on my day off since I knew my boss had a really busy week as well. Yes, I'm the nice type of person that does that sort of thing. Between my work time, I ran a few errands, and in the evening skipped my evening run to do more preparation for the week.

Then this morning, I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. My physiatrist was right that his bedside manner sucks! However, I do think he is competent, it's just his presentation that (and I hate shuddering the words) makes it seem like he has an ego. One of the first things out of his mouth was "I'm exactly twice your age, and I've never had knee problems." My first thought was "great, that's you, now what about me?" Of course I didd not say this. He went on saying why he didn't have knee problems, etc. He also did give a few pointers about marathons and such, so I guess I can give him a few brownie points for that. Anyway, he wants to do an MRI on both my knees, so that's scheduled for next week. Then I'll see him the week after to go over those results.

Tomorrow and Thursday, I'm working, but then Friday through Sunday, I'm working at a dog conference in town. Although I've known about this conference for months, I'm really stressed about it. Part of it is that I feel like the coordinator and I did not get off on the right foot. It's hard to say exactly since it was via e-mail. She got upset I couldn't help out on this one day after I was told it would not be a problem by my boss. I guess I'm mostly stressed about doing something wrong, screwing up some transaction, telling the wrong things to people, etc. It doesn't help that I feel kind of like teh odd ball out since I can't help with setting everything up due to my schedule.

I wish I didn't care so much about what other people thought. Sometimes I wish that I was not the type that feels like I have to give a good first impression all the time, although by not giving one, I think that would even make me feel worse. It's such a catch-22. I know I can only do the best I can, and if they are not accepting of that, then that is their problem. Those words are so much easier to say to someone else or to write down. But to actually feel that is something I have not completely conquered.

The other things that stress me out are that I have someone covering for me at work and I have to figure out how to get my runs in this week. The other worker is new, and I'm just hoping she does things okay. Otherwise, I feel like it's on my head since I've trained her. With the runs, I know it's going to be a shorter week mileage wise, but I do want to get a few runs in.

I'm just hoping the week goes be swiftly and smoothly, then I can just put all this behind me. Oh yeah, one positive good thing is that it looks like my dog bite case is almost settled.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"I can make you thin."

I happened to catch part of this show last night while channel surfing. I think the title is kind of appalling. I mean "I can make you thin." It sounds like a gimmick, honestly, one that many people could obviosuly be enticed into watching. After all, we are a nation of wanting to get results quickly. I think the worst thing is that this show is on TLC, "The Learning Channel," part of the discovery channel network. TLC used to have some really interesting stuff. They still do have some interesting shows, it just seems to have veered off a bit from what I remember as a child.

Anyway, this show is hosted by Paul McKenna. He is a hypnotist out of the UK and has written several best selling self-help books which have apparently sold in millions in the UK. The premise behind the show is supposedly lose weight through the television. By that I mean, he shows the audience and people he works with how to stop emotional overeating, curb cravings, increase metabolism, etc. through the use of a "tapping technique" which looks essentially like "EFT," or "emotional freedom technique." The idea behind EFT is to tap into various accupuncture meridian points. The proponents of this method say it works for pain disorders, allergies, ocd, eating disorders, phobias, and a number of other issues. The tapping technique for this weight loss is supposedly going to change your brain patterns and how you think. Personally, I sit on the fence with this. I think the power of suggestion can do a lot more than people realize.

I think the other thing about this show or anything similar (National Geographic's "The Dog Whisperer" comes to mind) is that it just makes people buy into something without expertise. Even with this show, the host says how people need to eat "consciously," eat when they're hungry, stop when they're full, etc. How is that any different from what we have all heard about weight, hunger, and eating? Isn't it just common sense masked by the addition of this new, miraculous tapping technique?

Maybe I'm a bit too skeptical or research oriented or want to make sure I know my facts before jumping into anything, but this worries me in general. I guess it'll be interesting to see where the show goes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

My breaker is still not fixed yet. My landlord is so slow about these types of things. I'm going to have to remind him again. Anyway, I wanted to say Happy Easter! I don't do anything special for the holiday, although when I was younger, my parents hid my Easter baskets. My dad also used to hide decorative Easter eggs and give clues to me and my cousin where to find them. Ahh, those were the days.

Still though, I guess my parents want to keep something alive, so they still insist on mailing me Easter baskets. It's a nice thing even if I am past that stage. I just wish they would send me more healthy stuff than candy and chocolate. I wind up putting most of it in my freezer and just leaving it there.

This is off topic, but since there is a lot of chocolate around at Easter, be careful with your pets around. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is toxic to your pets. It doesn't take much to really harm your pet, especially if it is a small dog or cat. Also, watch out for the Easter plastic grass that is in baskets. That can easily be ingested and cause intestinal problems. Lastly, Easter lilies are toxic to cats. If you feel your pet has ingested any of these items, please call your emergency vet or the Animal poison control center.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Expanding eating disorder treatment centers

I started this post on Wednesday, and then suddenly my computer just shut off. Ugh! It turns out the breaker in the fuse box which the computer is hooked up to switched off. Well, I tried turning it back on and it sparked. Yikes! I contacted my landlord, so hopefully an elecrician will be here soon. I really hate being computerless.

Just read this online today. The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, part of Stanford University, is expanding their comprehensive eating disorder program for individuals aged 18-21. I think this is good news as college is often a difficult time for people this age. Plus, actually being in a "hospital" setting, more insurance companies are likely to cover the costs. It's sad but true unfortunately.

Another center in northeastern New York is also opening called the Albany Medical Center. I don't know any other information about it but may be helpful to those in that area.

Also, Remuda Ranch, a well known eating disorders treatment facility, has recently expanded their services in treating anxiety-related problems.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More Knee pain

I talked about my knee pain about a month or so ago. The last month, I did as recommended and cut back my running mileage, took my medication, did my physical therapy exercises, etc. My left knee was feeling better. However, over the weekend, my right knee pain worsened. I attempted a run yesterday but was unable to complete it at all. I actually reminded myself of the previous post I wrote about the amazing functionality of our bodies and how we needed to take care of them. :-)

I saw my physiatrist yesterday afternoon. She's concerned and frustrated just like me. She didn't tell me what she thought was wrong, but maybe she didn't know either? Anyway, she decided to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion and a "fresh" set of new eyes. That appt. will be next week. I already feel nervous about it. I keep thinking to myself that perhaps this is just a fluke and the pain will go away in a few days. I relegated myself to only the pool running yesterday, although the weather was really nice for a run.

One bad thing about the appt. was I did get weighed and am now freaked out about the number. I know honestly I should just let go of the whole numbers thing, but it just still has that power over me, especially since I know three months ago, the number was significantly different. It probably doesn't help that the last month in a half my eating has mostly been binging if anything else. sigh I want to be normal one day.

So anyway, I'll speak to my PT today about my latest appt. with my Dr. and ask her whether to come in this week or not. It's weird I feel a sense of disappointing her as I know she is frustrated as well.

On the good news, I bought some running stuff I needed for myself as a belated birthday present.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The amazing human body

Last night I caught an encore of the Discovery channel's "The Human Body: pushing the limits." I watched three of the four shows which looked at strength, brainpower, sensation, and sight. The premise of the shows were to give real world examples of how our bodies perform to the maximum when pushed to their limits.

Some of the stories they presented were incredible. A man launched a quarter of a mile thrown onto the ground due to a raging tornado and surviving with no broken bones. The sturdiness of his bones saved him after he had been knocked out by a lamp which made his body limp. Another man slipped while rock climbing and had a half ton boulder fall pin him. He managed to throw the boulder off. He never would have been able to do this except that his body was under so much stress.

One man became lost at sea for 76 days. He survived by eating all parts of a fish, including eyes, liver, etc. Essentially, his brain retuned itself to the missing nutrients his body needed under starvation.

There were many other stories like these. It's a fascinating topic to me. It reminds me how much we take our own bodies for granted. Our bodies were made to adapt and survive. It truly does everything in its power to keep itself sustained when it is pushed to the limit and under tremendous stress. This is a good reminder to to all of us how important it is to take care of our bodies. After all, we all only have one.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chinese dance

I was sent this in an e-mail recently. This is a really beautiful piece about overcoming shortcomings and a testmanet to human strength and perseverance. The video is available on youtube as well.

Alternative to polycarbonate and plastic

Since my last post was about water, I thought I'd do a quick follow up. Monday was my birthday. I didn't do anything special, but it's always been a time of reflection for me. I'll write another post about that soon. This week has been a bit busy, so I haven't been able to post. However, there are a number of topics in my head :-)

Anyway, one of the gifts my mom gave me was this water bottle:

Sigg Sakura Scents 0.6 Liter Aluminum Water Bottle (8135.70  / 813570)
image: onlinefitness

This is a Sigg water bottle. If you are not familiar with this type of bottle, take a quick look through their website. Rather than being plastic or polycarbonate, the Sigg bottles are made of aluminum. The one piece of aluminum the bottles are made from are leak proof, odorless, non-toxic, doesn't give a funny taste to beverages, highly durable, and recyclable. The water bottles come in various sizes, lots of stylish designs, and three different tops which fit on every type of bottle.

I tried mine out yesterday and really liked it. I did a little experiment seeing if I could tell the difference in taste of water from the Sigg and plastic bottle. I *think* the water from the Sigg tasted different, but who knows for sure honestly. I could have easily said to myself that it was different or giving me some kind of effect like a placebo or something. Either way, I really like it for everyday use and will continue to use mine.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Findings on water

For the most part, I'm a pretty big water drinker. Back in 2004, I changed my habit and attitude about water. I used to think it was incredibly boring, just couldn't stand drinking the stuff. Since then, however, water is the most abundant liquid I drink in a day. I do think it has valuable effects on both the body and mind as long as the consumption is safe and you do not develop hyponatremia.

Over the years, however, there have been various articles on water. For a long time, it was said to drink bottled water, not tap. Then an PepsicCO, Inc. came out that their Aquafina bottled water was really just tap water. On top of that, used bottles of water have been piling up in landfills. Some thought an alternative would be polycarbonate reuseable bottles. But then studies on that began showing chemicals that leeched from the bottle, primarily Bisphenol A, and especially increased at high temperatures. Some studies have shown that BPA has adverse effects in the human body.

The latest article looks at an analysis of water and various medications found. Although these amounts are measures in parts per billion and trillion, anti-convulsants, antibiotics, mood stabilizers, and sex hormones were found in water from across the country, according to AP probe investigators.

I find this pretty disturbing. We really don't have the details of long term studies and whether there are adverse effects on health. I think this is an important issue to look at since water comprises so much of our body. It seems like even if you do the "right" thing, you're still going to be exposed to some other unwanted thing. Now, this doesn't mean I'm going to stop drinking water, I'll just probably think about it a little more carefully. Maybe we all should in the long run.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Daylight Saving Time a Bust?

Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday morning

Tomorrow marks going onto Daylight Saving Time. Many people do not enjoy this. My mom is one of them. She always expresses with dread how much she hates this time of year. I'm not a huge fan of it either but only because waking up in darkness isn't some thrill for me or losing my precious one hour of sleep. I don't get enough of sleep anyway, so to lose an hour means a lot to me. I do like that there is an extra hour of light at the end of the day. That way, I can actually take runs after work if I want to and don't have to worry about some dog appearing in the darkness, like in the mornings.

The history of Daylight Saving Time is interesting. Over the years, it's been wrought with controversy. Everything from it saves energy to it wastes energy. It helps with health, it doesn't. It reduces the number of automobile fatalities to there is no difference. And the list goes on and on. Wikipedia gives a nice run down of the pros and cons to Daylight Saving Time.

So for now, I'll spring my clock an hour ahead and adjust to the changes as normal. I do wonder if for one year, we kept the clocks the same throughout the entire year what differences if any that would make.

White Stuff

All right, it's a little hard to tell, but that really is snow. I should have lightened the picture a bit more. It was predicted, and for once the forecasters were right. I think the average around here was 7 or so inches, but other places in the state got 10-12 inches. North of here got slammed with over a foot. It's weird, this was the first big snow of the season and yet, it's so close to spring.

I like the white stuff for the most part as long as it doesn't last too long. It beats the ice we had a few weeks ago although it was pretty. It's odd though, because when I was younger, I used to love snow and snow days. I'd go sled riding, make snow slushes, and make snow angels. These days, it's more like okay, I need go to shovel my driveway so I can get out in the morning. Maybe I've just reached adulthood now, and the snow just becomes more of a chore than looking at the idyllic view it may offer.

More thna the likely, the snow will melt in the next few days as the temperatures rise, although that means mud and slush which isn't the most fun either. Argh, I just want spring to get here!

Friday, March 7, 2008


The latest research on happiness shows that there is a genetic component. This seems like I've heard this before, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, in this study, British and Australian researchers looked at close to 1,000 identical and non-identical twins. Their research showed about half was due to genetics, while the other fifty percent was due to external factors like career, health, and relationships. The people who tended to be happier were those who were stable, active, conscientious, sociable, and hardworking.

I think this is an interesting field of research and can help with depression and what makes people happy or unhappy, however, it leaves me personally distraught. Since I have no history of my background, there's no way of knowing whether my happiness or the opposite depression is genetic for me.

One friend of mine has told me in the ten or so years she's known me she's never known me to be truly "happy." Even when my dad asks me if I am happy, I never know what to say. I want to be able to say YES, I am happy and mean it. But sometimes I wonder too if I'm afraid of being truly happy? Maybe it's too different for me? Or maybe I'm afraid that even in a vanish, it'll be gone, disappear, like it never existed.

However, even with all that, I think I still search for it. Perhaps I look for it too much externally. But what if I get all the external factors right, and yet still am unhappy? What if I'll never really be happy and just remain in this constant influx state? It just leaves me pondering so much. Maybe my happiness is rooted in letting go, being free, being accepting, valuing who I am.

So for now, I tread on in hopes of one day finding it.

APA releases fact sheet on eating disorders

The APA recently released a fact sheet on eating disorders
Overall, I like their revisions, especially addressing the prevalence of EDNOS. I was surprised they did not mention dental/teeth erosion problems in the physical consequences section. I also liked what the APA recommended in terms of addressing eating disorders. Let's hope they follow through with these suggestions as it is a much needed area of treatment.

Also, The House passed Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007. Basically, this act requires insurance to cover mental and physical illnesses when policies cover both. This is a big step in terms of mental health parity. You can read more about it here.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Featured Pet Photo

I just realized that one of my dog photos was recently featured on webshots as pet of the day.

Take a look at my crew from New Year's as well as my other photo albums.