Taking care of No. 1

As a woman I have to remind myself that I need to take care of me, too.

I have a long commute to work and a long day during the week as I get up between 5:15 and 5:30 most mornings. At times my job can be demanding and stressful.

Even though I am not a mother I am usually worrying about someone else or thinking about someone else or making sure things get done for someone else.

In order to take care of others we have to take care of No. 1 first. Otherwise we really can’t take care of others as well as we think we should.

Lately I have been getting a massage once a month. For years I have gotten massages regularly. And when money is OK I make sure to do it more often.

Today I got a massage from my awesome massage therapist Thanh at Bellissima Day Spa in Berkeley, where I have been going for more than seven years. Thanh is amazing with her hands. She is also a good, kind and hard working person. She cares about me and the feeling is mutual.

Today as she was working me I realized … Continue reading

It’s time to exercise

So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?

I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.

When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.

The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.

Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.

But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.

A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.

Continue reading

Are you eating healthy this weekend?

Anyone who has been on Weight Watchers, any sort of diet and/or healthy lifestyle may have someone ask them, are you eating healthy right now? Are you on plan? Are you off plan?

I usually hear one of those questions before going out to eat at a restaurant. I can almost always find a decently healthy thing or two on the menu to eat.

And sometimes I decide to indulge and eat whatever I want.

We had a friend visiting over the weekend who is also on WW. So at some point I asked, are you eating healthy this weekend?

She decided to enjoy her food and booze.

At the point I asked her I hadn’t decided yet my plan for the weekend. But by the multiple beers ordered at McNally’s, the Mac & Cheese for dinner … I answered my own question.

Neither of us went too crazy. But we enjoyed ourselves. But we also made sure to get some exercise in: spin on Saturday and yoga on Sunday.

AND I still lost a tiny bit of weight. I am on my way to hitting my goal weight … very soon.

And yesterday I was back on plan.

As … Continue reading

What kind of muscular development do you want?

It’s a good thing I pre-wrote some posts over the weekend in anticipation of a busy week.

Between work, working on the shuttle bus on the way home, coming home and working, getting exercise in, visiting friend’s cat while she is away, being dressed suitably for work each day and still eating healthy I really had to do some planning over the weekend.

And it helps that I stole this directly from a Facebook post from In-Shape City (my gym):

 The amount of weight you lift should be dependent on your desired muscular development goal. What does this mean?

If you want to build muscle size and strength–heavy weights, which you can properly lift approximately 6-10 times is the most effective, resting at least one minute between each exercise set.

If you want to tone your muscles–lighter weights, which you can properly lift approximately 12-20 times is the most effective, resting less than 1 minute between each exercise set.

Remember! Mix things up to prevent plateaus: light weights, heavy weights, super-sets, stability balls, boss ball, kettle-bells, etc.

I feel like attending classes really helps me mix things up. Sometimes I work … Continue reading

Feeding your body after exercise

I really wanted to blog on Thursday night. Mainly because I had skipped blogging for days before. But I got home late and still had stuff to do around the house and work work to do as well. And by the time I was done I was exhausted.

The past work week has been exhausting and busy. And I anticipate this coming week to be busy as well, especially since starting on Friday I will be on vacation for 10 days! I can’t wait!

I found an interesting article on Yahoo about the mistake many people make by thinking just because they work out they can eat or drink anything they want. It’s all in moderation.

I posted the link on both my personal FB page and the GFG! FB page. My friend and neighbor Jessie commented that after she works out in the morning she is so hungry. I know that feeling of needing carbs or protein and sometimes just feeling wiped out.

So I asked her what she eats afterward.

She said she usually grabs a Naked protein smoothie.

So, of course, this prompted some research and lucky for you, a post.

I looked up a Naked … Continue reading

It’s all for the patients

As a real full-fledged grownup (though I really still feel like a kid most of the time) I have worked for only two companies: Gannett and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

I worked in newspapers (Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. and The Arizona Republic in Phoenix) for seven years as an editor.

A little more than seven years ago Curt and I moved to the Bay Area. I signed up with a temp agency and ended up at Onyx helping with filing in the Legal Department. I became a full-time employee in October 2005. I am still in the Legal Department working with the same boss seven years later.

In December 2005, Nexavar was approved in kidney cancer. Onyx and Bayer collaborate on this compound. I still remember our small Onyx team standing in the kitchen of the 12th floor building in Emeryville toasting to our success. A few years later Nexavar was approved in a second cancer, liver.

On Friday, July 20, KYPROLIS received accelerated approval by the FDA in multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer. Today we had all kinds of celebrations at work.

It’s hard to describe the feelings going through me today: pride, giddiness, happy, … Continue reading

Why I am Child Free By Choice

I think being a mom is the most important job in the world. The second most important job is being president of the United States.

I don’t want to be either.

This post is about why I, along with my husband, have chosen to be Child Free By Choice. It is not a reflection on or judgment  on anyone else. This is about ME.

I don’t ever remember having an overwhelming desire to have a baby.

At some point in my 20s I decided if I was still single at 30 I would adopt a baby.

By the time I was 30 I was married. When Curt and I got married I figured we would have kids. Because that is what you do, right? Get married … have kids …

A little more than a year after we were married we moved to the Bay Area. We were no longer in newspapers, which meant we were no longer working nights, weekends, holidays. We had the same days off and could actually do stuff together. What an amazing concept.

About six months after moving to Berkeley my temporary gig became a full-time job and money was starting to be less of … Continue reading

Comment Contest Tuesday

I had promised you an exciting Comment Contest Tuesday. Well, this isn’t the one I promised. Sorry, that awesome one will be coming soon.

But for now you get a different one. (Which I am a little excited about.)

I have been pretty busy lately and I just feel like I can’t get everything done I want to at work and at home. My life feels a little crazed.

So I want to know from my busy readers, how do you do it all? Whether you are a mom or a dad or some sort of caretaker or someone without kids or with grown kids or someone with a lot of responsibility in your life.

How do you get it all done? Or maybe you don’t. What do you sacrifice? Sleep, exercise, eating healthy? Do you have work/life balance?

For me, things around the house can suffer. Or maybe I am so exhausted when I get home that I just have cereal or popcorn for dinner or sometimes I skip dinner (gasp!) or just have a glass of wine (double gasp!!).

I try to catch up on weekends. Or I am so tired from my busy week that I just … Continue reading

Family is First

This past week has been rough.

Work has been busy and tense.

My grandpa has been in the hospital. He went in last Sunday night and left Friday. They kept doing one more test. He has a tumor on his colon, which needs to be removed. It could have been much worse.

I have decided it is best for me to go to Tucson to be there for my grandpa and my dad. I want to be there before and after Grandpa’s surgery, which will be on Tuesday.

I also want to be able to help out anyway I can. If Grandpa needs groceries, I will make sure to get them. If Grandpa needs something from Walgreens, I will pick it up. If my dad needs me to pick up dinner, I will.

My grandpa is 90. You would never know it if you met him. He is a pretty amazing grandpa. I am grateful for him.

As a little girl I had three great-grandmas; two grandmas; and two grandpas. My first great-grandma died when I was in junior high; the second in high school; and the third two days after my wedding. (I believe she waited until after she … Continue reading

Connecting to benefits of massage

As I have mentioned in recent posts work has been exhausting and overwhelming lately.

So today after work I treated myself to a massage. I have been going to Bellissima Day Spa for seven years. And probably for the past 3-4 years Thanh has been taking care of me.

And Thanh does an awesome job of taking care of me. She does amazing work with her hands and I can tell she cares about me.

We chat a lot during most appointments (though I don’t like to chat while getting a massage) and I always get a hug before I leave.

I noticed she changed things up a bit today. Sometimes Thanh will ask me how I am or what is going on and that helps her determine the type if work she will rub into my knots and muscles.

I have never been disappointed with Thanh’s work. And today was no exception.

I actually feel asleep briefly a few times. I don’t want to miss out on enjoying the massage during it so I don’t want to fall asleep. But I was really tired.

This Mayo Clinic article states some of the many benefits of massage: