life: super powers not included

Category — Healthy Living

When Things Get Hard

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This post was really hard to write, and I almost didn’t publish it. Being real on the blog is difficult, and I do my best to stay positive. But I also believe in openness. So here it goes.

True confession time.

I’m in a funk. I love writing this blog and I love all of you, but I’ve lost a lot of readers since I was diagnosed with EM. (Which, by the way, is totally understandable considering my life is not nearly as exciting as it used to be.)

I’d like to say that it hasn’t affected me, but it has. As much as I write this blog for myself, I also write it for others, too. I write it to connect with others. So when people leave, it’s not fun.

I think it’s affected me to the point where I don’t enjoy blogging as much as I used to. And that’s not right.

That’s why I’m taking a vacation. I think I need a week or two to remember why I loved this blog in the first place. Thanks to all of you for reading. Each and every comment makes my day. I really hope you’ll be here when I come back.

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June 10, 2011   61 Comments

Body Image: It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Hi friends.

I read this great post over at Psych Central about body image and I thought I’d share what I learned with you. Because, let’s be honest, most women have at least some issue with their bodies. Let’s start with an exercise:

Raise your hand if you’d like to have a body like this:

Jennifer Aniston

or this:

NS2

or this:

NS4

Good. Now, I’m going to list some different types of people. Mentally check off which you’d like to be when you “grow up.”

  • Someone who thinks of others over themselves
  • A good listener
  • The laughing stock of America
  • Someone who’s dependable
  • An honest person
  • Dumped by the true love of your life
  • A humanitarian
  • A regular at rehab
  • The person everyone loves

Okay, everyone ready?

Because there’s a good reason I showed you decapitated women.

So…

Did anyone check The laughing stock of America?

Paris Hiltonsource

What about Dumped by the true love of your life?

Jennifer Anistonsource

Or A regular at rehab?

Lindsay Lohansource

The point of this exercise is to prove what you already know in terms of your friends and family: It’s inner beauty that counts. We don’t pick our friends because they’re pretty or skinny, we pick them because we enjoy spending time with them. They make us laugh, stick with us through hard times, are honest and reliable.

Yes, outer beauty comes into play at the beginning of a relationship. To say otherwise would be a lie. (Though honestly, do you want to be with someone who’s only in it because you’re hot?) Most (lasting) relationships are built on more than good looks. Do you want a boyfriend/girlfriend whose best merit is his face? Or body? Don’t you also value a sense of humor, some intelligence, et cetera, et cetera?

That’s what other people look for in you, too. (Unless there’s someone out there who really does pick friends based on hotness quotient. In which case, I’m sure you also use the word fetch. Tip: That’s so last year.)

Think about this: Who do you admire? And why?

How do you want people to think about you?

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June 8, 2011   16 Comments

The Work Terminator


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As a testament to my own patheticness (um, uh, yeah, it’s a word…) only one person asked a question in response to my posts last week. If that makes me a loser as well, please don’t tell me.

So I thought I’d answer Alina’s question today. She said: I want to know how you write two blogs and a book and have a full-time job! Along the lines of “from 6 to 8 I do this…”

I can see how you’d be impressed. But, really, you too could run two blogs, write a book, and have a full-time job. And here’s how: Give up your social life.

P.S. That wasn’t a joke. Still, I love writing, so spending my free time doing it isn’t a chore. It’s like a hobby.

But Alina was looking for a detailed answer so here it is…

8 a.m. My alarm goes off, and I curse the fact that I’m unable to stop time. Sleeping four more hours would be ideal.

8:40 I finally stop pressing snooze and sit up in bed. My feet are flaring, so I grab my computer from the table beside my bed and get to work.

10:30 During a good week, my feet have usually stopped burning by now, and I can finally pee. My bladder thanks me.

10: 35 Now that I don’t feel like I’m going to explode, I eat breakfast. It’s usually an apple, a pear, and some other piece of fruit. Recently it’s been peaches, which make me all sorts of happy.

1:30 p.m. If The Man’s home, I’ll have lunch. Typically it’s either a sandwich with avocado, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, and mustard; a quesadilla; or a big salad.

5 Work’s over. (More or less. It depends on the day.) If The Man worked during the day, he gets home about now. When I’m unable to make lunch (if, say, my feet turned into fireballs), he’ll make me lunch. If I’ve already eaten, I catch up on some blogs.

6 I work on my blogs. I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on both of them, so I write each on the same day.

7 After I’ve scheduled posts for both of my blogs, I eat dinner with The Man. That is, if I had lunch around 1. If I ate at 5, I’ll either hang out with The Man (currently we’re watching Dexter) or get to writing.

9:30 I’ve written for two hours. If I ate lunch at 5 p.m., I’ll break for dinner.

10:30 I’ll either go back to writing or hang out with The Man.

I’m ashamed to say this, but…

1 a.m. Look at the clock and be amazed it’s one in the morning. Get ready for bed.

Of course, that’s a typical day. On weekends, most of the time devoted to my job is used up on writing or reading. That is, I’ll write from 11 a.m. (I’m a late sleeper, okay?) to 11 or 12 p.m. Those are the nights when The Man’s working and I have nothing better to do than work on my manuscript.

Before you tell me I’m crazy for working that much on a weekend, you should know that I often take a break in the middle to read a book or watch a movie.

And that’s my day. So, yeah, it all boils down to

human – social life = machine

Or, like, the Work Terminator.

How do you balance work, play, social commitments, blogging, and the ever-important sleep?

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June 6, 2011   21 Comments

8 Things I’m Loving

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I think it’s safe to say that summer is here. And while I’ll be staying far, far away from the beach and outdoor parties in the heat, it still makes me think of colorful cups, pedicures, and flip-flops. (Granted, winter also makes me think of flip-flops, but my body has a sick sense of humor.)

Anyhow, I thought I’d show you a few things that scream summer to me…

RugbyStripeBin_xI was ready to order three of these baskets when I saw that they were on backorder at The Container Store. I’m weighing the pros and cons of ordering and waiting. Pro: I get the baskets eventually. Con: I have to wait. Hmm, come to think of it, that’s not really a con. Someone add them to my tab.

Paper straws

These straws are flat-out adorable, and I’m pretty sure my iced tea would taste better if I sucked it through one of those. They’d be perfect for a party, too. Which is my way of saying I wouldn’t use them on a daily basis because, you know, the plastic one in my insulated Starbucks cup is reusable.

Okay, I’m going to preface this section by saying I’m a sucker for fun nail colors in the summer. Usually I’d give myself a pedicure and paint my toes either really dark or something beachy.

Since the feet are now off-limits, I’m considering these for my fingers. (Yeah, technically I could put polish on, but the whole process would probably make my feet flare. They have incredibly bad tempers.)

braziliant

Essie’s Braziliant
I love the shimmer and the fact that this orange isn’t overly peachy. I will say, this would be a fantastic color for toes.

Essie’s Aruba Blue
It’s just kind of fun and makes me think of being a teen. It’s ironic, I guess, since I would never have worn this as a teen. (I was a total Ballet Slippers kind of girl.) Maybe I’m rebelling against both my teen and adult self.

Essie’s Damsel in a Dress
First, that’s an awesome name. Second, I actually like this color for fingers better than toes. There’s no reasoning behind that thought.

Essie’s Jelly Apple
It reminds me more of a candy apple, but whatevs, Essie. This color’s fun, but I’m not sure it would go well with my hands when they become hot and darker than the polish. However, Jelly Apple would look fabulous on my cold, pale hands.

bars_nakedCoconut_sm2_0

C’mon, nothing goes together better than summer and ice cream. (Fun fact: I don’t really like ice cream.) The Man picked up these bars—made from coconut milk and dried coconut—for me, thinking they’d make a good dessert. They’re gluten-free and vegan, though they do have some sugar in the form of agave nectar. The Man had one tonight and gave me a bite. I have to say, it tastes like the inside of an Almond Joy. For serious. Sugar-free me found a single bite sweet enough, but The Man ate the whole bar and loved it.

So, it’s been about two centuries since I did a Q&A. Let’s resurrect that beast, shall we? Today through Friday, ask me anything—silly questions 100 percent allowed—and I’ll answer them next week.

Here’s an example to refresh your memory, except right now I’ll only answer the questions in GIF format. I promise I won’t do this for the real Q&A.

QUESTION: How do you eat your cereal?

QUESTION: How do you celebrate good news?

On a good day…

And on a really good day…

QUESTION: Can we join you in that happy dance?

All right guys, ask away!

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June 1, 2011   11 Comments

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

I thought I’d talk about something real today, but instead I’ll just let the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention* do it for me. (Click to enlarge each section.)

CDC1

CDC2

CDC3

Excuse my while I pack my zombie repellent.

How will you survive the zombie Apocalypse?

Also, check out my guest post on Healthy Living Blogs: How to craft a great disclaimer statement. I promise funny animations.

*For the original disaster preparedness article (and, no, I’m not making this up) click here. Hey, at least the folks over at the CDC have a sense of humor.

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May 20, 2011   11 Comments

News That Makes You Go What?!

Two doses of crazy on this lovely Friday. Just for you.

Here’s a brief description of each. Let’s chat in the comments, mkay?

Toddlers in tiaras
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Botox for Babies
Well, technically 8-year-olds. Yep, a mother gave her young daughter botox and leg waxes to make her pageant-ready. Because, you know, she had too many wrinkles and garish leg hair. The girl’s response to her transformation? She “looks way better, like, beautiful, pretty, like, all those kinds of nice words.”

Because I’m sure she was none of those things before…

And now for the latest rich-dude-who-wants-to-exploit-women’s-insecurities news:

Drinks with the girlssource

Get Wasted for Your Health
A bar in New York is selling beauty with its cocktails. Apparently you can order antioxidant- and nutrient-infused alcoholic drinks aimed at rejuvenating skin, evening your complexion, and otherwise make you more beautiful (and younger) than when you entered. Er, at least those are the claims. I wonder if the jet set crowd that frequents the place knows that the only thing alcohol will do for their skin is leave it parched and puffy.

But as a dermatologist mentioned in this article, it’s possible the lack of results are masked by beer goggles.

Oh yeah, that’s a big:

Alright, have at it in the comments. What’s your take on these?

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May 13, 2011   20 Comments

On Exercise & A Change

cyclingsource

I hope all of you mothers out there had a wonderful day yesterday filled with breakfast in bed, hours lounging around, and dishes already cleaned and put away in the kitchen. Welcome back to real life.

P.S. The toaster’s on fire.

So I’m sure plenty of you have heard of the idea of an exercise afterburn. Researchers weren’t even clear whether or not it existed, but I read an interesting article that says it does—sometimes.

The idea is that exercise doesn’t just burn calories while you’re doing it; even when you’re done, your body keeps burning calories. This study learned that men who did 45 minutes of hard-core exercise burned 190 extra calories hours after they stopped.

The reason for the afterburn? Intensity. Compared to other studies, which found the body doesn’t continue to burn calories post-exercise, this one instructed participants to work out harder.

Which could give you another reason to push yourself at the gym. Think of it this way: Bike a little harder and your body might cover that chocolate bar you’re going to eat after dinner.

Or, um, do it to add extra calories to the ones you burned. Yanno—whatever works for you.

(But seriously, you sometimes cheat, right? I’m not the only one who’s worked out and then scarfed a Twix bar five hours later…right?)

There’s one more thing I wanted to talk about. My schedule. See, these days I kind of look like this:

So from now on I’ll be posting here on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I contemplated this for a long time. The conversation went something like this:

ME: I need to allot more hours to working on this book.
Me: So?

ME: So I think I might post less on my I’m {not} Superhuman blog.

Me: Stares blankly.

ME: What?

Me: Nothing. It’s just… Nothing, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

ME: What will be fine? Is that a bad idea?

Me: Well, your readers are going to hate you.

ME: But it’ll give me more time to comment on their blogs.

Me: They’ll visit you on Monday and forget you exist by Wednesday.

ME: Really?

Me: C’mon, people like to read blogs daily or three times a day.

ME: I won’t do it then.

Me: They hate you anyway, so you might as well do it.

ME: They hate me already?

Me: Yeah, you’re typing this conversation on your blog right now. They know how you feel.

And that’s basically the gist of it. I might have edited out some blatant name-calling. Which leads me to this…

Please don’t leave me.* I love you all, and if you go I’ll have serious abandonment issues that will probably screw up all of my future relationships.

I will try to bribe you with this:

Cupcake with cherry
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Pretty please, with a cherry on top?

And this:

Puppy with leash
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You are free to yell at me in the comments. Or tell me whether you work harder at the gym when you know you’re going to indulge.

See you Wednesday, guys!

*If you really feel like you won’t remember, you could subscribe to the newsletter (that pretty white envelope in the top left corner of the page. Or you could subscribe to the RSS feed, which basically guarantees permanent friendship. Until you dump me by clicking “unsubscribe.” But we won’t think about that.

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May 9, 2011   28 Comments

From the Garden

Gardensource

Well I’m swamped. Every time I look at the clock I’m amazed at how late is. Like yesterday, when I was working on contacting a million people, typing up notes, and sending follow-up emails. I looked at the clock, figuring it was probably noon and I should eat lunch. Only it was 4 p.m.

And then there are the past three nights. Each night, The Man and I have been sitting on the couch either working or blogging or watching TV, and we notice that it’s midnight.

I don’t know where those hours go. I suspect they’re slipping through my wardrobe and getting stuck in Narnia. Or somewhere like that…

Fantasy landssource

Anyhow, I haven’t been commenting on blogs much, but know that I’m reading. In some instances, reading your blogs has reminded me that it’s 8 p.m. and I should have dinner. I guess I owe you thanks.

So there’s that.

In other news, The Man and I are planning to create a container garden on our balcony. We get partial sunlight in the morning, but in the afternoon and evening it’s as sunny as the beach. Minus the sand. And the waves. And the view of the ocean instead of office buildings. Whatever.

I’m pretty sure our balcony garden will look like this in no time:

Flowerssource

Naturally, I will be beautiful and laze in the sun wearing nothing but a tunic and ankle boots.

Or, yanno, this:

Dead gardensource

We’re planting basil because last year our little plant sprouted into a tree. It was sort of a mutant. I’m thinking we’ll also do parsley, cilantro, and mint—and maybe strawberries.

In the past I’ve planted dill, mint, and rosemary. Dill and I got along great for a while. But in the end, it didn’t work out. Because Dill died.

Strawberriessource

If we grow strawberries, I can guarantee I’ll eat them every day until winter. Of course, that presumes that they’ll actually grow. This thumb is pasty white, not green.

Here’s my question: Has anyone else grown food on their balcony or railing or in the house? What fruits, veggies, or herbs should I try to grow?

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April 27, 2011   24 Comments

Try This, Avoid That

lemon____by_marshmallowslove-d33pl1s_largesource

It’s finally Friday. My life kind of revolves around Friday. I measure each day based on its distance from Friday. So the start of the week is 5 Days From Friday, the day after that is 4 Days From Friday, and so on. (I hear there’s another way to count the days.)

So yesterday I mentioned showing you an excerpt from the story I’m working on and some of you said that, yes, you’d like to see that. For the time being, I’ll direct you to my writing blog, where I posted my characters’ first kiss.

Let’s move on to today’s post.

TRY THIS

probioticssource

I used to scoff at probiotics, back when they were only in yogurt. And I am still apprehensive about those, but not the probiotic pills.

I started taking probiotics a few years ago, when The Man was a pharmaceutical rep and a product of his was Align. It helped reduce stomach aches and digestive problems. My sister, who has worse stomach problems than anyone else I know, says it helps her with the pain. And a study of Align found that its particular bacteria reduced problems related to irritable bowel syndrome.

When I started taking antibiotics, I swallowed six probiotic pills a day. I eventually switched to Pearls because going through an entire pack of Align in a day was a bit too expensive.

I find both brands help with digestive issues. Here’s the thing: Just because one brand works for you doesn’t mean all probiotics will. And just because one brand works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. There are different strains, different species, different preparations.

And about those probiotic yogurts. The amount of live cultures in them aren’t nearly enough to do much or anything. And scientists aren’t sure bacteria cultures can even live in that environment while holding on to their beneficial properties.

That’s not to say they don’t work for some people. (Cough. Jamie Lee Curtis. Cough, cough.) But they may not work for people with serious stomach issues.

AVOID THAT

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I know experts advise people who have a hard time meeting the eight-glasses-a-day rule to drink lemon water. And I’ll admit, it’s really good. For a while there, I was drinking more than eight glasses a day—all with a generous squeeze of lemon.

But then my dentist told me she was watching three spots in my teeth that might be cavities. Since I’ve had a million* cavities but floss daily, I asked if I was doing something wrong.

Turns out, it may be from the lemon water. The acid in the water stays on your teeth and eats away the enamel. Since I wasn’t about to swish with regular water every time I had a sip of lemon water, I quit it. (It was a messy breakup and I don’t even want to talk about it because if I do I know I’ll be tempted to drink it. And I don’t want to ride that rollercoaster romance anymore.)

Anyone else addicted to citrus water like I was? And what are your thoughts on probiotics? Do you take them?

*Maybe a little less. I do not, as implied, have the mouth of a shark.

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April 22, 2011   25 Comments

3 Things I Learned This Weekend

Saltinessource

Hello, hello.

How was your weekend? Mine was uneventful, though I did pick up three key pieces of information:

1. My feet hate me more than I thought. I went to the doctor’s on Friday, at which time my physician told me my feet look like they have second degree burns.

Yes, MY BODY IS GIVING ME SECOND-DEGREE BURNS.

That was me shouting so as to underscore the absurdity of the matter.

2. The Man’s the best home chef a girl could ask for. When I’m burning, he makes my food and brings it to me. (Yes, it’s nice, but I’d rather not burn than have a man slave.) Anyways, I asked for a goat cheese and bean quesadilla with sprouts and this is what I got:

Quesadilla

Note the tomato slices around the pile of sprouts. Five points for making my lunch look like something I might get at a café.

3. Eating a dairy- and gluten-free vegan diet is almost impossible when you’re nauseous. At least, it’s almost impossible when you’re in the car, plastic bag held to your face because you’re about to throw up any second.

If you’re wondering: I cheated.

So I’m curious what you do when you’re nauseous. The Man says he can’t eat. I need Saltines. What do you reach for—when you’re not reaching for the toilet?

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April 18, 2011   26 Comments

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