Commit To Being Healthy|90 days In

Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.


Henry David Thoreau

Lent began in the month of March and for forty days before Easter (April) it all about finding the balance between exercise and being healthy. Which would have been lovely if I did not start the season of Lent off sick! In the spirit of being healthy, well… some times the cold virus finds you, and takes you down for a few days. I am thankful every year I do not get the flu virus and with being vaccinated every year, this is the reason why I bounce back from a cold as well. It meant having to put my 5k training plan on the back burner for a week and half to make sure I was healthy enough to start back on it.

Being sick sucks! Having a hot toddy tea and reading the latest book on the royals made it better!

This month had been one of those going from two extremes; stress and peace. After enduring one extreme after another in the month of February, March started out with an extreme of snow still falling, to ending with spring sun. Gave the whole meaning of March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. Also another month of food with St. Patrick’s day full of the most unhealthy versions of Irish food and cheap green beer at restaurants. I some how made it through this month. Staying ninety days committed to making healthy choices is not a sprint, but a marathon at times. So here is the questions and answers to how the March- 90 days in all went down.

How Was I Successful?

With spring coming early in March, there were days when the sun was shinning and getting outside for a few hours helped with getting in the necessary exercise needed. With starting to train for my 5k this July, I started to go walking at least a few times a week after work.

Real authentic Irish food was made and consumed on St. Partick’s day instead the over hyped unhealthy food people associate the day with. This year I decided to make an Irish boxy with brown gravy to make my English Great-Nana proud, and Irish soda bread made with Guinness. May come across not even close to Whole30, but the ingredients are as wholesome as it get.

What Went So Well?

The fact there was a stretch of days of sunny warm weather in Seattle right before spring. After a few days of snow showers coming down, and the other crazy weather happening, just have a warm sunny day helped in getting outside for a few hours. With days becoming more spring like later in the month, the farm stands along the road started popping up selling fresh produce. Having a farm stand on my way to work and back home helped with those days when you need something healthy, but don’t want to drive to the grocery store.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

As I mentioned above, getting sick at the beginning of the month did not go so well. Getting older being struck down for a few days with a cold or flu just takes a whole lot out of you. Research as suggested when someone starts changing some of their unhealthy eating habits and looses weight, the immune system

Sick-in-office

I started to find myself keeping up with Whole30 plan slipping. When I came down with a cold, all I wanted was garlic bread, orange juice, and chicken noodle soup. Each of those are not completely Whole30 compliant, and feeling unwell I did not care! This I did not care went on for two weeks where I was fasting by not eating breakfast or lunch in order to speed up my weight loss. Great if you have a fast metabolism, but as we age or metabolism slows down.

What Can I do Differently?

Figure out how to balance all the stress happening all of sudden from work, and life. I am known to be a stress eater, so when times of stress happen it can derail me fast. With stress comes unhealthy sleeping habits and putting your immune system at risk of catching the latest virus circulating around. I realized taking my work home every night is not a solution to the mass amount of work needing to be done, and I need to set boundaries for myself to follow through on. With the days becoming longer and sunny, I should take a real lunch break and get outside for awhile instead of sitting eating my lunch at my desk while doing work.

Yep I maybe turning into a workaholic-please send help soon!

I believe this could be what I do differently next month. Stop stressing over not getting everything done in one day, and set boundaries in eating away from my desk. My mental health and sanity will thank me later for doing this.

What Motivates Me?

After the bought of sickness from a cold spreading around work, I decided to go through all my workout cloths and start fresh again. During a store closing sale, I picked up new workout bottoms to start training for my 5k run in July. Just putting these bottoms on gave the motivation to get out there an kick some butt! With three months to go before running 3.1 mile around the T-Mobile Park for a non-profit, and the fact summer is fast approaching, I need to be fit for all the hikes I want to take.

How Do I Feel?

I’m feeling the spring fever of a fresh start again. I noticed a little of weight has come off this past thirty days, but not nearly as much as last month. I feel better after being knocked down for a few days by a cold, and now with sun coming out, my goal of healthy habits started to really ramp up.

I Give Myself  4/5  Stars

Spring Has Come Finally!

Spring has finally arrived here in Seattle! As the cherry trees blossoms awash the area in whitish-pinkish color, there are many signs of spring has finally here! The tulips are starting to come out of their slumber, and the yellow heads of daffodils are shining brightly through the gray days of spring. Finally after a roller coaster ride of a winter season, spring has come.

While large crowds crammed themselves into the University of Washington’s quad full of cherry trees, the Washington Park Arboretum and the Japanese Garden’s cherry trees where in bloom minus the large crowds. For four hours I walked the winding paths through the different gardens soaking in the spring sunshine with the cherry trees and dogwood trees in full bloom.

Unexpected find in the rhododendron garden! These beauties are Camellias. They are a broad leaf evergreen shrub with pink, white and red large showy flowers. I want to have these in my garden one day!

Photography done on a Samsung Galaxy S9 phone.

Baseball: As A Road To God| Part 1

Back when I was a student at Northwest University, a professor of Christian Thought had the class read an excerpt from John Sexton’s book Baseball As a Road to God to understand how sports can and at times lead people to God. The game of baseball has deep-rooted features associated with life and the journey many Christians take on the road to God. Yet two years later I would pick this book up again after reading Lou Piniella’s autobiography.

Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com

Baseball As a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game grew out of John Sexton’s courses tough at New York University. It all started when a fellow student told him how silly people are for thinking baseball is life. This sparked a challenge to see what makes baseball so true to life and how the game is one of the roads to God. Little did Sexton knew, it would become one of the most popular courses among students.

In this four part series I will go through what I learned about the game of baseball as a road to God, and how it has made me look at baseball differently all because of John Sexton’s book.

The Knothole Gang:

Related image
Missouri Historical Society Cardinals players looking through a fence, 1935

The knothole gangs came about as professional ballparks were first being built with wooden fences. Kids without the price of a seat would find that the wooden fences surrounding the parks provided spy holes to watch the games for free. These holes were created when knots in the wood popped out. Naturally, gangs of kids gathered around the knotholes.

Baseball evokes in the life of it’s faithful features associated with life; faith, doubt, conversion, blessing, curses, miracles, saints and sinners, and community. In Sextion’s book, baseball is really the physical representation of the road to God played out before an audience.

How is this sport closest to the road of God you ask? It is a superficial similarity between baseball and religion. Sextion spells it out:

  • Ballpark is a church
  • Ballgame is a mass (Sextion is Catholic)
  • Three strikes to an out
  • Three outs to an inning
  • Three holy trinities (baseball diamonds)
  • Nine positions on a field
  • Nine innings to a game
  • Nine muses in Greek mythology.

To the outsider peeking through the knothole of a ballpark fence they see a game, but if look closely, there is a complex sacred dance playing out in all corners of the ballpark.

1st Inning: Sacred Space & Sacred Time

Unity in time and space in the nature of the show.

John Updike (Unity In Life

Sexton starts off the road to God at the first inning, the inning where baseball moves beyond ordinary space, time, in the flow of feelings and images. Baseball in full context is “constructed stage beast three folds of Dante’s rose (heaven, hell, and purgatory).” Remember the knothole? Looking through it, does it look like a game of chess or ballet or both? Baseball is a combination of both. When looks like nothing is going on choose a player and watch the reaction. The game ebbs and flows like water. A sacred water flow coming from within the deepest recess of a player.

Seattle Mariners: T-Mobile Field

The sacred space of the ballpark is similar to a sacred place like a church. Sexton notes that a day at a ballpark summons an inner self-conjured as one moves through the entrance to the park. Crossing the threshold separates the profane world outside the sacred world lies inside the gates. Most people find a state of being, a transformation evoking a deep and meaningful connection to something within the ballpark. A stadium a church. The bleachers are the pews. The intersection between our world and the transcendent world, the connection between ordinary from spiritual dimensions.

Baseball operates out of ordinary time-timeless in it’s essence. Sitting in the seats, what do you notice?

  • Length of an inning or game is not set by a clock.
  • Time is not linear (simple: past, present, and future)

Time is cyclical building towards certain quintessential moments in baseball game according to Sexton. This same cyclical building mirrors religious times: liturgical. The time marked by ritual and ceremony. The liturgical time of baseball is the season from opening day to World Series. But it goes further than this. According to Sexton, it all starts before opening day with Easter/Passover (spring training) where there is a sense of renewal and the “wait until next year”, the prolong replaced with hope. Opening day with pomp and circumstance of something wonderful can and will happen (the beginning). The great time of the season (midseason), and the holy of holy days in baseball, the World Series. The World Series according to baseball lore, is the holiest of days where baseball stories become memories passed down to the next generation.

Yet Sexton notes, during this time overwhelming occurs throughout the ballpark. As you sit in the seat watching the game, notice the crowd around you. The cheering crowd wells up and carries you along as a powerful wave. In this wave, there is a solid foundation supported, and riding this wave carries you along. There is meaning to life in this powerful feeling of waves, just as this powerful wave moves through worshipers during Sunday morning service. Baseball creates and lives the cyclical repetitive liturgy and sacramental time of religion.

Over millennia such sacramental moments have been a part of human’s efforts to touch the deepest place of existence.

John Sexton

This time exists within the realm of baseball fields, parks and stadiums. Each field holds the greatest show, the greatest game, a journey, a road each person takes in life, all within nine innings.

Baseball is more than a game. It’s like life played out on a field.

Juliana Hatfield

Baseball As A Road To God: Seeing Beyond the Game, by John Sexton

Note: Safeco Field is now T-Mobile Field as of 2019.

Commit To Being Healthy|60 Days On Whole30

February is a short month, but judging by all the craziness happening in the short twenty-eight days, it seemed to drag on longer than expected. No, it was not getting bored with Whole30 meals, but the weather here in Seattle. What made February a crazy month was the two three winter snow storms that hounded the Seattle area. If you saw the post on the snowpocalypse you would understand why it was called an apocalypse. Sticking to Whole30 is hard when you really want to indulge in hot chocolate- real creamy hot chocolate- without falling off the wagon. Thank goodness someone figured out how to make hot chocolate Whole30 compliant. Other than shoveling snow constantly (hey exercise!), February was a month of dodging all that Valentines Days candy on sale or at work (and girl scout cookies too, ugh double whammy!). I somehow made it through without having the damn sugar dragon going on all-out war. Here is a recap of what commit to being healthy!

Progress Snapshot:

After all the snow shoveling I should have lost some weight. After stepping back on the scale after another thirty days, I had managed to loose 4.5lbs! Some of it had to do with starting to train for a 5k in July. Right now I have managed to average 10lb weight loss in two months.

How Was I Successful?

Have you ever struggled to drink enough water? I have! I came across an Instagram story by Brittney Aldean (Jason Aldean’s wife) talking about how she struggled with drinking enough water during her pregnancy. She recommended Liquid I.V. electrolyte drink mix as a way for the body to get more hydrated. Being the scientist I am, I did a little research and tried the stuff out for a whole week. I found it did help keep me hydrated during the day (science lab air can be very drying during the winter months) and did help in drinking an equivalent of three glasses with a single packet. The difference I found with Liquid I.V. does not taste like a sports drink, but more towards what Pedialyte taste like. After a month drinking the stuff I started to make a habit of drinking more water or tea to reach the eight glasses a day of water.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

All those Valentines Day candies on sale because of the snow storm. Yep, almost too a nose dives into a bowl of Hersey’s kisses and hugs because I need a hug after driving in the winter storms.

Also I noticed (TMI alert) I’m passing gas more frequently (not the stinky stuff) then before. This could be a side effect of my gut health being restored back to normal working order, and the rest of my body is still trying to catch up with the new changes. Who knows!

What Can I Do Differently?

One thing I could do differently is not stress about all the things I cannot eat! There has been times where the stress went through the roof when trying to find something to eat that was Whole30 compliant. I have to remember this is elimination diet of foods that are potential issues, and not eliminate natural flavor of the foods itself.

How Do I Feeling?

Feeling like I am slowly managing the sugar dragon, and making a dent into making a habit of eating healthy clean food.

What Motivates Me?

Image result for refuse to abuse 5k

I signed up for my first 5k run in a few years for July. Now $40 into this, I might as well get serious on being committed to being healthy if I want to run majority of this race.

I Give Myself  3/5  Stars

The Process of Cleaning Out My Life-Konmari Style

KonMari method has been making the rounds in the first months of 2019. Everywhere I turn another person is telling me how the Netflix show starring Marie Kondo has changed their life. I would like to call myself an organized person. Even my desk and lab bench at work are organized in an OCD way. Yet when watching the show I realized what I thought organized stuff was really just organizing chaos into bins. The Bowl Full of Lemons organization method was no longer working anymore! But my desire for the organization did not begin after watching Netflix, it began after a whirlwind summer and college graduation this past year.

With every new stage/level/etc in life, there is some degree of needing to purge, organize and update one’s life. The whole process took more than a weekend, but months as I did a deep cleaning of both my physical space and mental space.

Konmari The Shit Out Of The House:

Starting from the attic to the basement was the approach and one room at a time. Since I was unemployed for two of the months, I had time to take one room and deep cleaned the area out. One room I do not hear people talk about in the KonMari method is the attic or basement. Cleaning out the attic was a walk down memory lane.

I am a book nerd by default and the number of books I have acquired over the years is a testament to this. When in college a second time, I rented most of my textbooks instead of buying them. This helped in keeping the cost down and not being stuck with outdated textbooks. Still, there were a lot of books to purge I no longer found interesting, outgrew and no longer relevant to my life. Most of the book went to second-hand booksellers, Goodwill, and Amazon Market Place. I made rougly $30 selling the books!

Organizing filing cabinet is going down the proverbial black hole. Clearing out old paper work from years ago and shredding them takes time. One organizational tip I have employed in the past is using a manila envelope to hold all my tax documents and accompaned filing paperwork together. Each envelope roughly with the tax year (came in handy during college FASA submissions) and when you need to reference a year, you just pull out the envelope.

Moving to other areas of the home was cleaning out old tattered kitchen towels, bath towels, nasty Tupperware containers, broken electronics, chargers without a mate, all the Bath and Body free samples, and just throwing stuff out no longer being used. Even the contents of the car had to pass does it spark joy test or things just had to go.

Cleaning Out The Closet

After three half years of being a poor college student, I noticed my clothing looked old tired, ratty, and outright inappropriate for career clothing. Even the work clothes I use to wear before college looked dated and age-inappropriate. Purging my closet started with doing all the laundry, then putting all my clothes in a pile and sorted them out. First going through sorting out all clothes with holes, rips, and stains-trashed. Then started sorting clothing by type, and then started getting to nitty gritty of the Konmari method. By the time I had finished the process, it came apparent I needed to do a complete wardrobe overhaul for the next stages of life. Over the months I have slowly rebuilt my wardrobe both for work and non-work items.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on Pexels.com

Little by little bags full of clothing made its way to the local Goodwill, and a few items in good condition went to friends or family. The whole purging and organizing my closet gave insight into how much clothing came from fast fashion brands where low quality clothing fell a part fast. Since the purging I have been spending a little more on clothing I buy for the quality of the item, and taking much better care of the clothing I have.

Saying Buh-Bye: Decluttering Relationships

At this point in my life, if I put all the effort in a friendship or relationship and it does not seem like the other person shares the same values, morels, or not putting in the effort, it wont work out. I no longer hold on to relationships just because. Toxic relationships do not spark joy, but take joy. I read another fellow blogger’s take on KonMari method to toxic relationships, their method is to throw everything onto a pile, every man, every financial burden, every negative person influencing your vibe or taking up unnecessary space or time. Just like physical objects, go piece by piece asking yourself “does this spark joy? Do I need this in my future?” This meant taking the physical things given in the relationship I had been holding on to and letting them go. Not only purging the physical things, but also the mental and spiritual things cluttering my life due to those relationships.

Purging & Balancing Social Media

How do you KonMari method the shit out of your social media? Being honest with yourself on what you want in social media expereince. I purged a few things on this blog. Archiving old posts, cleaning up old posts, updating popular post for the most updated information. Instagram feed needed to be purged of a few followers (I realized some “followers” are porn accounts! Does anyone have/had this problem? Even when your is is private?) and unfollowed a few accounts I no longer want to see anymore. Cleaning up Pinterest boards for better organization of pins. I love the feature of having subcatagories within a board to further organize pins into. Lately have been disenchanted with Facebook. Purging or unfollow people I no longer keep in contact with (very old co-workers) or have not met in real life (yep have a few of those).

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Konmari process did not take a weekend to do, but a few months. The best advice for sparking joy is to trust the process. Trust your own process in decluttering your life, your space, and the people you no longer need that once upon a time brought you joy, but is now taking up space. Konmari method is about trusting the process in cleaning out to be healthy again.



Valentine’s Day Six Years Later|Forgiveness

I came across the first blog post I wrote for this blog (Life Must Moving On-2012) while cleaning up a few blog posts. Last year I celebrated six years with WordPress and little by little this blog post was pushed in a dark corner of my blog’s filing cabinet not seen daylight for five years. A dark place really for a post full of hurt and pain. Moving on from any relationship is hard, let alone a dark sinister one filled with violence. Dating violence, domestic violence, and any form of violence have a lasting impact on someone’s life for years. Sometimes it takes a long time to fully heal from the damage someone inflicts upon you.

In the past few years, I have started to tell bits and pieces of my story, a story when played out in spoken words has an impact I never expected. See some of us who have been through it really don’t talk about it, instead choose to move forward to what the future holds for us and one day when we have an unguarded moment, we talk. I find myself only talking when I am confronted with it from another person’s life story I either read, heard or saw first hand. All the while keeping from deflecting my experiences on to the other person. It takes a lot of strength to not fall apart when helping a fellow person who is going through abuse. This strength could only come from forgiveness of my own experience.

It does take a lot to forgive someone who has done an unspeakable thing to you. Especially when they have moved on with their lives knowing well what they had done. Yet, in order for anyone to move on, you do have to forgive the person, not say it never happened, but more for yourself to move on into the future you want for yourself. By allowing forgiveness to lead you to the person(s) who would never dream of hurting you like the other person did, you start the process of healing fully.

For me, it took a long road to fully heal and to finally say I forgive them fully. It took a trip to Tanzania with Northwest University/Convoy of Hope, two positions in biotech, going back to school to finish what I started before them, finding the real true friends and family who would walk every painful step towards healing. In six years I have rebuilt my life, what it took one person to destroy in two years. In those six years, Jesus and many people along the road came through many times to get me to where I am today. Most of all to the men I dated after who even when the relationship did not work out, taught me love does not destroy another person but strengthens them to a better person than before.

Never again will I justify the scars just because I loved the person holding the knife. - Steve Maraboli

Valentine’s day is about love, but for some, the day is about love through forgiveness of one’s self and forgiveness for another person’s false love. To me, Valentine’s day is about freeing myself from abuse disguising as love, and the ultimate act of love, forgiveness.

I have said this countless time to people before,

I was a victim, then a survivor, now I am thriving!

I no longer am a victim to the pain of someone’s actions long ago anymore!