Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chris & Gwyneth : please call it what it is.

Nothing like a good current event to inspire me to write!

On Gwyneth Paltrow's website, Goop, she and her husband of over a decade (Chris Martin) announced their separation.

When I saw Paltrow appear on Ellen months ago in light of being named People Magazine's World's Most Beautiful Woman , I already assumed they weren't together. I don't know her or Chris Martin, but it was just apparent in a way that made others speculate as well. Anyway, that doesn't point of all of that was that the announcement didn't come as a shock to me.

What actually grinds my gears is when people take something and make it a "thing." Like binge watching shows on Netflix is a thing now. Saying "literally" in the context of "not literally" is a thing. Some things are now normal and used to be abnormal, but it's okay now because they're a thing...but lately, our culture is in the business of making things, sometimes out of nothing at all.

I hate some things because I feel as if people create them to make their lives easier and to give themselves allowances that they wouldn't have if these things didn't exist.

For instance, I do not think fat shaming is good. Do not ridicule or bully someone simply because they are overweight, especially if you have no idea what it's like to struggle with your weight. Even if you did struggle with your weight and overcame it, leave it alone. No one should subject someone to shame because of who they are. However, glorifying fat is now a thing. I am all about loving oneself. I am all for self-acceptance, but not to the point of ignoring warning signs that could lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. When a person has a serious food addiction and may die decades early because they chose not to see the truth, because it's a thing now to not try to change if you're overweight, then hmmm. Look, I don't have the answers because I do not know where the line is. Where is the happy medium between fat shaming and loving yourself? Anyway, my point is...this thing, which is now glorifying fat, allows more people to accept who they are to a point of hurting themselves more in the long run.

The biggest THING about which I am writing, was called to the public eye yesterday by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Marting: conscious uncoupling.

Their entry, for which the link to is above, includes an article by Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami. "When the whole concept of marriage and divorce is reexamined, there's actually something far more powerful—and positive—at play." Okay, we're going to reexamine it now to make it what we want so we can feel better about it. We're making it a thing.

They argue that because humans live so much longer than they used to, the divorce rate is high as a result. "Our biology and psychology aren't set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades....The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone,"

They go on, "We're living three lifetimes compared to early humans, perhaps we need to redefine the construct. Social research suggests that because we're living so long, most people will have two or three significant long-term relationships in their lifetime."

I understand that from time to time, marriages are broken. Over time, that person you married may turn out to be someone you do not love anymore. Or you might find out right away that you simply weren't ready to get married. OR your spouse may have done something unforgivable from which the relationship can never recover. And that's okay. Your life isn't over. There are resources and hopefully there are friends and family to lean on for support. You have to find a way to pick yourself up, even when it seems like you can't. But for the sake of your children and your life, you find a way to carry on.

However, I don't feel right about making divorce or separation a THING we now call "conscious uncoupling." I don't call a stomach flu a "fast way to get skinny"! It's not a thing! It SUCKS!

There are already support systems, there are good lawyers, there are blogs, and there are self-help books to help you come to the decision to divorce or not divorce. The article, which seems to encourage re-thinking and re-defining divorce, and most importantly, taking the pressure away, made me extremely uncomfortable. I think the reason why I don't care that there are lawyers and books offering to help you get a divorce but I DO care that there's now this thing called conscious uncoupling is because the former concept still acknowledges that you were married and now you're not (and you weren't supposed to not be)....and it sucks.

Do I feel as if Gwyneth and Chris think they're better than all the other divorced couples out there because they went through a "different" process, this THING called conscious uncoupling? YES, I DO! And it bothers me! Sorry Chris and Gwyneth, you're just like all the other divorced couples out there...and you didn't try any harder than the ones who fought to stay together but just couldn't make it work. You're making a thing out of it to give yourself an allowance to feel okay about taking a vow and then breaking it. Do I think that everyone should feel shitty forever about being divorced? No! I don't think divorced people are failures, but I do want them and everyone else to call it what it is, and not this THING.

Dear divorced couples, don't let the Martins make you feel like you should have went through a different process to make your divorce a positive, learning experience. Today you may feel positive about it because time has healed your wounds...but in the beginning, it was a divorce. It may have been awful at times and heartbreaking and impossible. Dear married couples, please do not suddenly have the expectation that because you're probably going to live for a long time that you're eventually going to separate from your spouse. If you think you won't succeed, you probably won't.

That's it. Sorry if I pissed anyone off. This GOOP on the internet made me upset.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You call THAT a chop? get a load of THIS! Oh, and Yoga.

Okay, it's been so long since I posted that I changed my hair yet again.

I did that nearly a week ago and it's wonderfully easy. I can go longer without washing it and it's fun to wear in class! I also noticed that if I do not color the shaved part of my hair, it stands out more because my natural hair color is lighter (with some, GULP, grays). Therefore, I'm going to refrain from coloring that part. DONE!

How is your 2014 going?

I started the year a few pounds heavier because I didn't hold back over Christmas. It was a rare, week-long break of my routine in which I didn't exercise multiple times a day (just ONCE a day! WHAT?) and ate even more than I normally do. Since I do not struggle with the motivation to exercise, I thought it was fine. I was feeling crappy for the first two weeks or so back on the bike because I seemed, to myself, bloated and awful. Riding my cycling class and other people's cycling classes didn't seem to jumpstart my metabolism, but like others, I realize I simply lacked patience.

Marc had been asking me over and over again to practice yoga with him. We did a power yoga class over Christmas simply because I had no excuse- I couldn't say I was too busy working or teaching. It wasn't fun because we had our yoga mats in a living room and we were watching a video on an iPad. I got discouraged very easily because the room wasn't heated and the "mood" wasn't right.

Last week, Marc made it his personal mission to find a Yoga studio as one can only do so many of the same iPad video/YouTube classes. He tried Bikram Yoga, but who honestly has 90 minutes to spend in 105 degree temperatures? Then he found a place in our neighborhood called Bare Feet Power Yoga ! He loved the small size of the studio, the welcoming nature of the staff/teachers, and of course the class! I was so thrilled for him that he took the initiative to discover a community for himself, go BY himself and dive in. I take that kind of thing for granted within myself. I should praise others for it more often, especially those who are not extroverts.

Marc convinced me to accompany him to Barefeet Yoga ! This was Monday, so I had already taught 6am AND 4:30pm Flywheel and had worked at Reform. However, I had THE most wonderful time. I didn't give myself enough credit in the mind-body realm now that I work out very avidly on the Pilates reformer. I love the athletic, movement-based nature of power yoga. I love the poses! I love the options! I felt very confident in myself, my breathing, my core strength, my balance, and my overall mind-body connection.

Rewind back to where I felt bloated and awful. I felt back to my old self after sweating it out in a hot room for an hour. It was exactly what I needed.

I AM A YOGI!!!!!!!!!! I probably shouldn't proclaim that until I try at least one more class.

It has taken me a few years, but I think I am starting to evolve into the fit person I wanted to be all along. Do I say that every month!?! Maybe! The more new workouts I try, the more I discover how much the body needs each one of them to truly achieve balance and top performance. I am fortunate that I work where I work out so I don't pay for 90% of my workouts, but at just $15 per class, Barefeet Yoga is a place I wouldn't mind frequenting.

Readers, what new adventure are you taking up in 2014?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

long overdue - the CHOP

I finally took the time to post pictures of my haircut!

First, I let the side be cut with scissors, but then I got braver and more impatient because it kept growing back so fast that I started shaving it:

Isn't my mom so FLY, by the way?

Anyway. I am very happy with the undercut style because it adds a little bit of edge! I get so many compliments on it from strangers and people I know. I'm going to go back for a trim very soon and add more layers to the bob so it doesn't look quite as bob-ish. I am unsure of what will happen someday when I finally want to grow it out, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. I've never been one to freak out about hair.

Shout out to Marc who shaves it every week for me!

Currently I am battling a head cold but classes and work are going very well! I hope all is well in everyone's world...

Friday, September 6, 2013

The end of the hair growing road.

I have been growing my hair out forever and ever and ever....more specifically since 2009. Here's more. can's been a long time! I don't think I have any blogs from 2009 but you get the picture.

And now, here is the finished product...4 years of growing!

It is so long that at times, it gets stuck under my armpits. That's gross. I can reach behind my back and touch it. I am ready for a change so this afternoon I am going to the hair salon and cutting lots of inches off!

Kat, my hairdresser, has seen me through the entire growing out process but I think she will be really excited to make me over!

I will definitely post the 'do to the blog and maybe it will motivate me to actually do more with my hair and maintain it regularly. It has seriously been 7 months since my last haircut. Sheesh.

The color? It's been black for a very very long time...since 2007. I need to keep's my signature color and very easy to maintain. Done!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Does a Root Canal Hurt?

I wanted to post this entry for random people on the internet who are Googling that exact wording:

"Does a root canal hurt?"

So there comes a time in someone's life where they might need a root canal. That time came for me earlier this month. I didn't realize I had lost a filling because a bit of decay was moving up my tooth from the site of the filling. Then my tooth started to hurt. Gross!

All of this could have perhaps been prevented had I actually gone to the dentist in the past seven years. Yes, my wedding day came, I moved away from home and I started putting off the dentist. For years.

The answer to the question "does a root canal hurt" depends a lot on 1) your endodontist 2) the extent of your infection.

I had to have three shots in my mouth for my root canal. I didn't feel the first two hardly at all, and the third one was in the roof of my mouth, which doesn't sound fun at all. My endodontist was so gentle and careful that the shot to the roof of my mouth felt like a tiny pinch.

Do I have a low pain tolerance? Yes. I got a tattoo that took 5 minutes and I wanted to cry. However, I always have pain in my mouth because I am prone to lots of canker sores. I also didn't think my cleaning, which was very aggressive after 7 years of not having any cleanings, hurt. Perhaps canker sores, which sometimes are so painful you can't eat, have toughened me a bit when it comes to oral trauma.

So far, the answer to the question is: it could hurt just a little if you feel the needles that the endodontist gives you. However, as soon as the medicine starts moving from the needle to your gums, you immediately stop feeling it.

I was told that my root canal would be simple and straightforward which lead me to believe that the extent of my infection in my tooth was not very great. I talked to two people who said their root canals were painful due to the needles, and their affected teeth had very deep infections. I wonder if the affected tooth also has an impact on the amount of pain you may or may not experience. My root canal was in my top left molar. Just FYI.

The actual procedure was worse than the needles because it was very scary. There was a lot of drilling. Drilling is terrifying to me because I know it's supposed to hurt. Let me reiterate that nothing hurt. However, feeling the vibration of the drill against my tooth and also hearing the terrible sound it made was just awful. My friend asked me why I couldn't listen to headphones. Because I am jumpy. If something touches me and I don't know what it's going to sound or feel like, I will jump. That can't be good for precise dental work, so I had to just bear hearing all of what was happening.

The other part that kind of stinks is having your mouth being held open by a bite guard. Because my affected tooth was far back, it was uncomfortable keeping my mouth so open wide. My jaw started to feel sore and swallowing was weird.

So for the first procedure, I'll summarize: the needles don't really hurt, but the actual procedure is unpleasant because of the drilling and loud scary noises.

The second procedure involved getting a crown on the affected tooth. There was SO MUCH DRILLING for that because the dentist had to basically wear my tooth down so the crown could be put over it. That was not fun because of the above reasons. The needles I had to get for the crown and a filling on my bottom tooth were slightly more uncomfortable but again, I just describe them as little pinches. I'd rather have those than get another tattoo.

The materials that went into my mouth for the crown tasted funny, and there were a lot more breaks during the crown where I could relax and close my mouth. All in all, a less scary visit than the root canal. My crown feels awesome and my tooth pain is GONE!

I learned the importance of 1) getting regular cleanings, 2) brushing after every meal or snack, or at least staying hydrated after snacks so food doesn't just sit on your teeth all day and 3) taking ibuprofen before both procedures. Trust me, it helps.

Again, in summary. Root canals/crowns do not hurt if you have a great dentist and endodontist. How you choose to react to the terrifying, murderous noises going on close to your head is entirely up to you.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Glycogen, Cholesterol and eating cleaner!

Hi, all.

Yes, it's been awhile! Good to see you all in the blogging world.

Since this blog is mostly dedicated to my attempt at a healthier lifestyle, I wanted to post an update on all kinds of health-related milestones in the Miller household.

Firstly, I can say for the first time since marrying him: Marc no longer has high cholesterol. There it is! After years of working to try to get it down, he has succeeded.

Here are his numbers from when he began testing until just a couple of weeks ago (2010-2013):

And for those of you who need reminders, LDL is "bad" cholesterol, which you should strive to have lower than 130. HDL is "good" cholesterol, which you should strive to have above 50. Anything above 60 is considered "optimal" (we won't talk about how mine is 103 WOOT WOOT!). Total cholesterol should be under 200 to not be considered high.

2010 LDL: 173
2012 LDL: 144
2013 LDL: 120!!!

2010 HDL: 55
2012 HDL: 56
2013 HDL: 55

2010 total cholesterol: 243
2012 total cholesterol: 226
2013 total cholesterol: 195 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only number I am slightly unhappy with (or more like, surprised by) is the HDL. To raise your HDL, it takes consistent exercise, which Marc has been keeping up with quite a bit, but perhaps he needs to be in that routine of vigorous exercise for a longer period to see that number go up more. I'm sure when the test is repeated next year the numbers will continue to improve.

Marc is a living example of how one can go from sedentary to active and from ignorant to aware. 1) he maintains a healthy weight through daily cardio exercise. 2) he juices fruits and vegetables to get more nutrients at once. 3) he cuts down on foods that cause inflammation. 4) he cuts out animal products from his diet to once a day. 5) he does not eat egg yolks, EVER. 6) he trains with weights and does not just do cardio. 7) he eats lots of berries and apples, which contain antioxidants and properties that essentially block bad cholesterol. 8) he got rid of all of his excuses.

And he does this while maintaining a full time job. But how? Because it's a priority.

And then there is yours truly. Even though my workouts are really no longer mine, I have been trying to keep my health in the forefront of my mind. A lot of younger people I know have recently been suffering from health problems, the most scary of those is cancer. I know my immune system is strong but what am I REALLY doing to try to prevent chronic or acute illnesses such as cancer?

I thought about the one thing I was NOT doing: cutting out artificial sweeteners and striving to eat whole grains instead of things made from white flour. Artificial sweeteners and white flour are two things that are strongly believed to be cancer-causing.

I kept making excuses that if I had low blood sugar, I could eat any carbohydrate I wanted because my body would just need the glycogen. However, all of that crappy stuff is still going into my body.

Two weeks ago I stopped using Splenda in my coffee, I no longer drink Diet Coke, and I replaced all of my pastas and grains with whole wheat products. I also make sure that a high percentage of my foods don't contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). A lot of things that claim to be whole wheat or whole grain still have yeast made from GMOs. This sounds very extreme of me, but I don't want things to come up with my health that I could have prevented just by substituting one thing for another. I'm going to turn 29 in a couple of weeks and as I start to get older (and no, I know I'm not OLD), I realize a lot of my actions with diet and health will yield more severe consequences.

The biggest update I have in my life is my management of my energy levels! I have finally replenished all of my once-depleted glycogen! And now that I am doing it with cleaner foods, my workouts and classes have never been better. I teach 11 classes a week and I don't find myself constantly hovering in the red zone. I know the exact pace I need to keep in a class. A lot of it was from going past the point of no return but it's been a very long time since I've been down that road. I also find that the classes I teach are safer. It's not that the pace is slower or easier, but it is more purposeful and technical.

On Sunday I am going on a week-long vacation to North Carolina! I'm excited to take on the challenge of keeping fit without a gym. I'll post about the workouts I completed on the beach! Have a wonderful end of June.

Thursday, May 23, 2013