Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Prom night for grownups

I chaperoned. I wanted to dress up, but didn't want to look like a student. I don't know, did I succeed?

Eyes

- UDPP
- Sugarpill Chromalust loose shadow in Tiara all over the lid
- Urban Decay e/s Gunmetal in the crease and a little in the outer corner
- Urban Decay e/s Venus (from Naked Basics) to blend out/highlight
- NYX Roll-On Eye Shimmer in Platinum dabbed onto the center of the lid (p
- Stila Stay All Day liquid liner in black along the upper lash line
- Urban Decay eye pencil in Mushroom along the lower lash line, topped with Mushroom e/s
- Maybelline The Rocket mascara




Lips

Funny thing - I had initially put on OCC Lip Tar in Super NSFW and then changed my mind, but of course, if you know OCC Lip Tar, you know that one does not simply wipe off OCC Lip Tar with a tissue. So I had some bright red residue still on my lips, and then I put on Urban Decay lipstick in Buzzkill, which resulted in the lip look you see here. I don't remember the last time I wore Buzzkill by itself, so I have no idea if it's that bright on its own :)

Face

- UD Naked BB cream
- BeneFit Boi-ing concealer
- UD Naked Skin foundation
- UD Razor Sharp HD powder
- Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Blushing Bride
- Tarte Park Avenue Princess bronzer to contour

Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm a See Jane Run ambassador!!!



I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I've been selected as a See Jane Run Ambassador for 2013-2014. I'm a particular fan of their race series, and now I officially get to represent them!

Keep an eye out for my SJR blog posts, which will be tagged "See Jane Run," as well as my tweets, which will be tagged #seejanerun.  I am stoked to help support a brand that does so much to empower female runners.

See you on the starting line, Janes!

Whole30 week 2

Checking in:

- Down two pounds, for a total of eleven pounds down. It was weird, I weighed myself every day this week, and it was exactly the same for five days. Then I didn't weigh myself Saturday or Sunday, and weighed myself this morning, and was down two pounds all of a sudden. The moral of this story is that I lose more weight when I'm not weighing myself? Bodies are funny things.

- I didn't really plan out my meals this week, as compared to last week, and luckily, I managed okay. I didn't like not having a plan (just didn't get around to making one), but I'm now glad to know that I can get by without one as well. I will go back to meal planning this week.

- Workouts were hard this week, but I can feel some improvement. I was able to keep a slightly faster pace on my weekday runs than the week before, but Saturday's long run was torturous - I think because I went to CrossFit the night before, and didn't get enough rest. (Normally I run on Sundays, which is two days after my previous run - Thursday - and over a full 24 hours after Friday night CrossFit.) I am recovering much more quickly and experiencing less soreness.

- If we want to split hairs, I wasn't perfectly Paleo this week: I've decided that GU just needs to be a part of my life. I know there are natural-food energy gel alternatives, and it's madness to think that they would irritate my stomach, but I am SO finicky about my running routine. And GUs were meant to be burned off right away on your run - it's not like I sit around snacking on them. Also, I made myself an "iced latte" with almond milk and Starbucks Via instant iced coffee, which does have sugar in it. I didn't drink the whole thing though, because it tasted kind of gross :( I'm sad I wasted so much almond milk. Also, maybe as a result of that iced coffee, I was having stomach aches, and the only thing that settles my stomach is Gin Gins ginger candy.

^ But other than those things, I've been perfectly Whole30. I was hoping to be able to maintain it strictly for an entire 30 days, just to complete the actual challenge on its own terms, but I have two races coming up these next two weekends, and adjustments need to be made. (This wasn't a problem when I did a Whole30 the first time because I wasn't running at the time.) Oh well. We do the best we can, right? Like I said, I've been perfect otherwise.

For fun:

I chaperoned prom this weekend, and wore this yellow dress that I bought ages ago. Here's a picture of me wearing it in December 2011 (two months before I started Paleo for the first time), and a picture of me wearing it again this past weekend (after a year of on/off Paleo, including these last two weeks of Whole30):


Friday, April 26, 2013

Comparison swatches - new Urban Decay eye pencils

Okay - I got a chance to swatch the new UD pencils I got against ones I already have (current and discontinued), and some of the results were surprising!

UD has other greens, of course, but I didn't even bother swatching them because they were nowhere near the same sort of green as Freak. Graffiti is the closest one and it's not even close.

Goldmine is really similar to Eldorado, but Goldmine is more yellow with a hint of sparkle, while Eldorado is more metallic. None of the other ones come close. (Honey is still my favorite though.)

I thought Invasion would look like Mainline, but it's definitely blacker and greener. It looks like the base for LSD, but again, greener.

I thought Scorch would be the easiest to match. Baked is pretty similar, but Scorch is more brown than Baked is. It's probably similar enough that you don't need both. All the other browns are definite browns, and you saw all the other golds above.

I decided to put Vice and Ether in the same swatch photo because they are both purpley. Vice is a deeper, more red-based purple than the other two that you can see here (and those were the two that I thought would come the closest to matching Vice.) Ether looks like Delinquent but with a lighter base and lighter-purple sparkles. Ether's base is actually REALLY REALLY light - lighter than Mushroom, probably, if you're just doing a couple passes. After a few passes, you can start to make it look like Uzi, but you'd have to really layer it on. It is amazingly beautiful though - I'm going to have to figure out how to work that into an eye look.

So there you have it. If you're thinking about getting one (or some, or all) of these particular shades, you can see how they stack up against other colors in UD's past and present.

I'll probably get the remaining six shades a couple at a time. You can expect that as soon as I get new ones, I will swatch them for you too :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Swatches - new Urban Decay eye pencil shades

Just some preliminary swatching. This isn't all of them - there are 13 new colors and I've managed to procure 7: Vice, Ether, Invasion, Freak, Goldmine, Scorch, and Roach. (A bunch of us split a Vault.)


First thoughts:
- Invasion looks like Mainline, but darker?
- Freak looks FABULOUS. OMG.
- Goldmine reminds me of Belle from Beauty and the Beast :)
- Scorch looks like other colors they have already
- Ether looks really, really interesting. I had to really build it up to get it that dark. A couple passes of it was still a pretty pale gray (but really interesting with the purple sparkle!)

Comparison swatches forthcoming.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 1, done.


So, I've just completed one full week of my second Whole30. Here's what I can report:

- I'm down 9 pounds
- I'm waking up less during the night
- I have more energy, especially at the end of the day - no more afternoon DEAD feeling
- Didn't really have any stomach aches this week
- Muscles are recovering more quickly from difficult workouts (and believe me, I had some really hard ones last week)
- My complexion is improving - not that I had a lot of skin issues to begin with, but my skin looks and feels better, probably because...
- ... I'm drinking more water. Since soda is no longer an option, and I'm not drinking juice either, AND I recently got a new Contigo water bottle (that keeps my water cold all day), I am much better hydrated than before when I was chugging down Coke like no one's business.
- I never feel like I'm not eating enough.

You could argue that these are anecdotal, sure. Maybe a person who eats healthy on the Standard American Diet would have similar results. Who knows? All I know is, I would not be that successful on the SAD because I am incapable of being able to eat healthy that way. I know it's only been a week, but I feel MILES better than I did the week before, like a whole new person.

I will also add that this past week, I WODed twice and ran three times. The exercise helps the weight loss too, of course, but the diet helps the exercise, so...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Revelations

Despite my face, I actually had a great workout.
I've been doing a lot of reading lately, about working out and diets and weight loss. Some good, and some aggravating as f***. (Here are some more things.)

Look, I'm not a scientist. I'm not a trainer, or a coach, or an elite athlete, or a doctor or anyone whose opinion is really worth anything, so you can feel free to take it with a grain of salt. BUT... I've been on this road a fairly long time. I was forced onto this "BE LESS FAT" road as a little girl, I've been conditioned by society that this is a goal that I should have, and I've tried almost everything possible that isn't life-threatening or requires surgery. (Which is not to say that everything I've tried has been healthy or safe.) And I've learned a few things about this process.

- Eat clean. If you think of your body as a complex machine with many functioning parts (which it basically is, right?) then you need to make sure you're giving it the best possible fuel. Good, clean fuel. Now, there are lots (LOTS!) of opinions about what the best fuel is, but my own opinion is that everyone's body is different and only you can truly determine what's best for you. I myself discovered that Paleo is what my body likes best, but maybe other people are perfectly happy eating the Standard American Diet. Their diet is awesome for them, and my diet is awesome for me; I do not judge. But no matter what your best way of eating is, that's what you've got to do consistently. Treats are lovely, and they are happiness-inducing, but they have got to stay treats and not become regular meals. I have discovered that, for me, it's not enough just to eat less and work out more - it's about eating the right things for my body.

- Lift heavy. As a woman, my whole life, I've read tons of articles about how get stronger without getting bulky. GOD FORBID I look like man. Nevermind that it's impossible for me to achieve bodybuilder physique. So all these articles recommend light weights and high reps. You know what ended up happening? NOTHING. Because either it wasn't challenging my muscles enough or I got SUPER bored and decided I'd call it quits. (Or both.) I only started doing heavy lifting when I took up CrossFit, but it has worked wonders - I felt the difference IMMEDIATELY. (And when I say "heavy lifting," I don't mean that I picked out bigger dumbbells for bicep curls - I'm talking about the old school squats, presses, cleans, etc, using barbells. Not isolated muscle movements.) And yes, I'm a bit huge. I'm a big girl to begin with, and I also put on muscle really easily - even when I took up swimming in college, my shoulders were suddenly bulldog-like. But you know what? I don't mind. It's not something I can control, and therefore, it's not something I'm willing to waste time worrying about.Which brings me to my next point...

- Have fun. I enjoy CrossFit and running, and I don't care if I DO get bulky. And I don't care if running isn't effective weight loss - I do both these things because I LOVE them. I have fun. I feel good physically and emotionally. I don't understand people who put in hours doing exercises that they HATE just because they want to lose weight.

- There is more to life than just "being less fat." These are my lessons for losing weight, but my one BIG takeaway is that, actually, losing weight is not the most important thing for my body to do. It is a difficult goal, to lose weight and "be pretty"; it requires a lot of hard work and is nothing to scoff at. But let's be honest - losing weight is not necessarily the same as getting healthier. There are ANY NUMBER of ways that I could lose weight, if that is purely my one goal. One weekend, not too long ago, I had the stomach flu or something and lost eight pounds IN A DAY. But that was just about one of the most unpleasant weekends I've ever had. What I have realized is that my body is capable of MORE than losing weight. It is capable of some amazing things, like completing a marathon and front squatting 160 pounds (hey, that's a big number for me) and, I don't know, having a baby, and those are all things that would be drastically impaired if I were to aggressively try to be skinny. (This is not a judgment on people who are already naturally skinny - people who are naturally skinny are that way because that's where their bodies want to be. I am not a naturally skinny person, so the only way for ME to be skinny is to do it unnaturally, and you know that won't go well.) In my lifelong quest to BE LESS FAT, I've discovered that all of a sudden, being less fat is no longer the most important thing*. Purely being less fat isn't going to make me love myself - accomplishing goals and having fun are what make me love myself, because with those two things come confidence and peace of mind.

I know - some people will be like, "But I like sitting on my couch all day, eating cupcakes and drinking beer! It's what I love to do!" And you know what? If you are happy doing that, then DO IT. I will not judge you. In fact, I will envy you. I am extremely prone to bouts of depression if I don't busy myself with some training goal or hobby, not to mention that I also have a low-level gluten intolerance, so I am happy to give up certain foods and to go out for a run if it means that I will come back feeling cheery and that I won't be dealing with constant stomach discomfort and itchy red eyes.

So, I don't judge anyone's life style choices, but for those of you who want to lose weight, get stronger, be happier with yourselves, those are my takeaways so far. Do with them what you will.

*This doesn't mean that I don't care about my weight - I still weigh myself and track my gains and losses. It's just that it's no longer my reason for existing. I am more than a number.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just a word or two.

I know I should not be reading comments, but seriously:
http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2013/04/17/steady-state-cardio-thyroid-killer/
(Note: I am not taking issue with the blog post itself, but rather, a couple comments that some people left on the blog post.)

You do NOT get into distance training and distance events TO LOSE WEIGHT. Training for a triathlon or a marathon requires serious amounts of calories to fuel you properly. Working out more (and more intensely) demands proper nutrition to support it. 1200 calories a day is not going to get you through a 20-miler, sweetheart. You will either fail at losing weight or fail at achieving your training goal, so pick one or the other to focus on for now. There will always be time for the other one later. I thought this was common knowledge?

I am in general agreement that slogging in endless hours on the treadmill really doesn't help you lose weight. I am down with that theory. I am not disagreeing with what Melissa Joulwan says or what the article that she links to says (even though the tone of that article was rather condescending and rubbed me the wrong way). Especially endless hours on a treadmill and then rewarding yourself with a cupcake afterward. Eat CLEAN. Lift weights.

That doesn't stop me from running, though - I run because I love it. I run because when I get out on a trail, it's me against the wind, me against my own brain and the voices that echo within. I have never run to lose weight - I run to race. I am an athlete, and running is my sport.

If you want to lose weight, try CrossFit. Try Paleo. But if you want to run, then keep running. If running is something you love, then KEEP RUNNING.

Why has weight loss become the one and only issue in life? Why don't people do things for general well-being or happiness anymore? Why is everyone's life's goal to lose weight? I am not saying that I don't also want to lose weight, but there are other physical activities I participate in just for the sake of enjoyment, and if those activities don't help me lose weight, I really don't care. I can be fat and happy.

Maybe I spend too much time IN the running community, but everyone I know who runs, does so because it's a part of their souls. The runners I know are not the gym queens that are talked about in the article-in-the-blog-post above. But even the author mentions women who train with TNT (a category to which I also do not belong). But is it TRUE that all those women are sucked in with promises of sculpted bodies? Because I don't think so. I can't purport to know their motives, but I can hazard a guess and say that 1) they are running in honor of someone, 2) they aren't running for someone specific, but wanted to fundraise for a good cause while attempting a major goal (half, full, tri), or 3) they wanted structured coaching and a solid framework for attempting a major goal, instead of having a go at it alone (which is what I do, and it's hard).

Anyway... what is my point. I don't know. My point is that not all of us care about weight loss when we run. And that people who do care about weight loss should not feel the need to stop running just because they care about weight loss, if they really truly enjoy running. (They just need to find other avenues for losing weight.) And that no one who is trying to train for a distance event should be including weight loss as a goal, silly! That's just crazypants.

Do what you love. Do what makes you feel good (like, good in a healthy way, not good in a drunk-on-sugar way). Your body weight will be whatever it will be. Yes, I am working to change my body, but I am also working to change my mindset, and I'm hoping the two will meet somewhere in the middle.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reset

The

I feel like I must say this all the time on my blog, but I am going back on Paleo, after weeks of eating junk. But this time, I'm doing a full Whole30 reset - going back to super strict guidelines. I know it will kind of suck, because my Paleo normally includes dark chocolate and agave, but what I really need is to do a full clean-up of my diet. When I did Whole30 the first time, I kept it up for 8 weeks before I had a gallstone attack and was then too sick/tired to deal with it.

So right now, I'm gearing up for my reset - I am combing through all the recipes I've amassed, I plan to make actual meal plans, etc, etc. One of the big reasons why I fall off the wagon is that I will be really tired when I get home at the end of the day, and maybe my fridge will happen to be on the empty side, and instead of making a trip to the store and cooking a full meal, it is just so much easier to go pick up some pho or something. I need to plan ahead, keeping in mind that I have a busy life and that I AM incredibly lazy.

So, wish me luck! I will start Whole30 #2 this coming Monday, after spring break is over.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Race recap: Santa Cruz Half Marathon

The lesson of the day is "mental toughness."

So, I've never driven to Santa Cruz by myself. I think someone must have told me a long time ago, when I was first learning how to drive and venturing outside of my little corner of the South Bay, that the drive to Santa Cruz was winding and tricky, and accidents happen easily because 17 is winding and people take the turns too fast, etc. So ever since then, I've avoided driving myself down there. Which hasn't been a big deal - I rarely have cause to visit, and the couple of times I've gone, other people have driven.

Over time, it got built up in my head to be this huge THING. Like traveling to Mordor or something. (Yes, I am more than a little ridiculous.)

But I really wanted to do this race. My grand plan was to have Jimmy drive me, because he is an excellent driver, but at the last minute, I changed my mind, because I didn't want to drag him out to the race and make him wait three hours for me all by himself. It just wouldn't be fair. So, I bit the bullet and drove myself.

I admit, I was a nervous. I made sure I had plenty of time to get there, because I fully intended on taking those turns at grandma speed, clenching my steering wheel with two hands the entire time. I told myself to toughen up and stop being such a scared little kid. It ended up being not nearly as bad as I thought - seriously, what was I so afraid of? - and I got there and found parking with little trouble. (In other news, because it was metered parking and I only had a twenty on me, I now have a nice little stockpile of dollar coins. :/)

It was a good thing that I gave myself extra time, because I was parked waaaaay down the street from where the start line was. After I picked up my bib and did my usual pre-race "suiting up," I glanced quickly around the area to find the sweat check.

Um... there wasn't one.

SO. Yeah. Great. My car was too far away for me to drop off my bag and get back in time for my race start, and I was not willing to just stash my bag behind a random bush and hope for the best. (It's my running bag. Even though I had all my valuables tucked into my belts, I was not willing to lose this bag. I am extraordinarily attached to this bag, and its one purpose in life is to hold my running things.) And they were not willing to keep an eye on it for me, so... my only option, pretty much, was to carry it.

The entire way.

For 13.1 miles.

F***.

So... another good panic. I was standing there, two minutes before my start, trying not to freak out about carrying my huge bag with me for the entire race - it's a tote bag, not even a backpack or a messenger that would be easier to cinch close to my body, so it had to sit on my shoulder. Again, I had to tell myself to toughen up and deal - people are running with strollers and pace signs; a tote bag should be nothing in comparison. I could either let it be an excuse, or I could make it a bragging point. (I did get a few people along the way saying to me, "WOW, I can't believe you've been carrying that the whole time. Did you train with it?", to which I sheepishly replied, "Uh, I didn't know there wouldn't be a sweat check." What? They didn't say there would be one, but they didn't say there wouldn't be one either, and I STILL maintain that it was NOT an unreasonable assumption to make on my part.)

Off I went. I probably took the first two miles a little too fast, because everything felt difficult after that. The bag bothered me mentally more than it did physically. In general, I had a really hard time mentally this entire race. Physically I felt fine, aside from my head being a little throbby for the last two miles due to all the sun - there was direct sunlight almost the entire course, and I've never dealt well with running in the heat. My legs, though, felt the strongest they've ever been. (*waves* Hi CrossFit!! You're the best.) Usually, no matter how many walk breaks I take, my legs start getting that lead feeling once I hit double digits. Today? I felt fine the entire way. I probably could've done another couple of miles on top of the race, and my legs would've been fine.

But my head was a different story. (Mentally, not physically.)

After I finished the race, I walked over to the wharf and sat down to drink some water and catch my breath. The ocean is really great for contemplating life.

In all honesty, I'm not sure I deserve this medal. Even though I finished under 3 hours like I had wanted to, the truth is that I phoned it in really early. I must be a faster runner than I think, because I was bailing on my running intervals early almost every time after the first two miles - my brain was just not getting me through and I was letting myself give up way too easily. Come to think of it, I possibly could have PRed (or come really close to it) if I had pushed myself. I'm a lot stronger than I was in January, physically. But mentally, I still have a lot of strengthening to do.

That said... my finish time was 2:56:57, making it my second-fastest HM time. But in truth, I'm not so proud of it :/

Next up and on deck: the Western Pacific HM and the Mermaid East Bay HM. They are on back-to-back weekends at the beginning of May, and both are at the exact same place. I have a little time now to work on getting stronger in all ways.

And now, some pictures.

Starting area -



Gorgeous, gorgeous views along the way -



Post-race, from the wharf -






I would do this race again. I think I WILL do it again. Santa Cruz, we got off on the wrong foot. Let me make it up to you next year.

Edited to add:

Here is my stupid tote bag, for reference. It wasn't this full for most of the race, though (nor did I have that bottle of water).


Thursday, April 4, 2013

F. Scott Fitzgerald


She was in the middle thirties, and faintly stout, but she carried her surplus flesh sensuously as some women can. Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering.

 - The Great Gatsby

I've decided that I want to be someone who carries my surplus flesh sensuously. I'm going to work on that.