I recently finished the The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. Here is the description of the book by Amazon:
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
If you're looking for an entertaining read that builds your personal development library, I highly suggest this book.
I ran my April 5k last weekend. I ran my fastest time and beat the goal I set for myself. Here is a pic of all of us at the finish line.
Keeping with my goal for the year, I ran my March 5k. Actually, this was my second 5k for March, but the first one was unofficial, and I did not register for the race. Gasp! I know. I ran for free. This particular race is called the Firefly. It starts at night and everyone wears glow sticks and flashy lights and runs the race. I ran with a couple of friends who are trying to get back into the running lifestyle after taking some time off. We had a great time despite the crowds, late start time, and my belly full of Tex Mex. Note to self, DO NOT eat a big meal before a race no matter how long you think you have to digest. Heartburn city! Here are some pictures from the race!
The weather has been unseasonably cold and snowy in Dallas. We typically get 1-2 ice days per winter, and usually in December or January. Here we are in March and we are snowed in...again. With actual snow, I might add, instead of sheets of ice and muddy slush that is typical of this region. I’m so ready for spring! Our average temps are easily in the 60s this time of year. I want to get outside, soak up some vitamin D, and be active OUTDOORS!
I’ve started collecting weights and other exercise tools so that I can still get a good workout in my home when weather or time does not permit me to go to the gym or get outdoors. I’ve found that when I don’t exercise, I crave the bad stuff more. Staying active is important for curbing those cravings or bouts of moodiness.
My house is spotless. I go around cleaning all of those nooks and crannies that normally get neglected on my cleaning days. Not to mention, it’s a great workout to move around and clean all day. I’ve also rearranged all of my living room furniture about 5 times. I think I’ve finally settled on a position for everything.
I’ve decided to dump cable and cut the cord. I watch too much TV as it is, and I don’t mind saving the $100 per month that I waste on rotting my brain. I've invested in a Roku to watch shows on apps. So, still rotting my brain, but at a cheaper price.
I’ve been collecting books from my family and friends to add to my reading list. I also found out that I can check out ebooks from my local library online. Not sure if this is a common thing with all library systems, but check with your local library! A reading habit can get expensive! The most popular reads for free? I’m sold!
So, to keep moving in the right direction with improving myself mind, body, and soul!
Here's a snowy pic from a Texas winter wonderland. Enjoy!
I feel like I’ve been MIA, lately. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, I keep making mental notes of things that I want to share. I’ve found myself stressing out about my work-load, between thesis writing, and picking up new hobbies, I started to get the disturbing sense that I’m over committing myself. It took me a couple of weeks, but I decided to take blog writing off of my plate for the week to get caught up on other things. Blogs are supposed to be a welcome release of stress and emotion, but sometimes, the overachieving, people pleaser in me felt obligated to write. I shouldn’t feel obligated. I should be looking forward to writing down and sharing my thoughts.
My area was hit with an ice storm. Now, this may seem insignificant, except that my city shuts down when there’s an ice storm. I’ve been going a bit stir crazy, and was in a bit of a weird mood due to the weather. I was actually excited to come into work today and be able to have a face interaction with human beings. Not that I don’t enjoy being alone and just having to deal with my four-legged friends, I do need that human connection at times.
Now, let me get into some back story. I’ve always been one of those people that “hates people”. Okay, maybe not always. And, maybe hate is a strong word. But, since my 20s, I’ve developed pretty much sheer disdain for any individual. Aside from my friends and family, which I only occasionally feel sensations of disdain for, I just really dreaded having to talk to or interact with people. I guess my unhealthy lifestyle was making me intolerant to the general public. Though, I don’t want to put all of the blame on my lifestyle, because, let’s face it, the general public can be pretty stupid.
Previously, in my efforts to reduce the negativity in my life, I would practice yoga and force myself to see the divine in every human being. Now, sometimes I was successful, but most times I just ended up letting my inner self give the other’s inner divine a visualized flip of the middle finger. Since I’ve made the change to become healthier, I’ve discovered a more social, patient, understanding, genuinely kind inner self. One that I’m beginning to see as truly divine.
These new feelings are VERY strong and can be overwhelming and difficult to work through. Almost like a flood of emotions at once. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s almost as if I’m pulling from the other person’s emotions and feeling them all at the same time. Excitement, nervousness, deep understanding of the individual. This is usually followed with a sense of mutual understanding, similar to being in on an inside joke with a close friend. I know what most of you are thinking, this lady is off her rocker. Now, I don’t think I’m empathic or psychic or any of that specialness. It’s like the book The Celestine Prophecy (if you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it), this is the closest comparison that I can come to minus the Peruvian setting and topping the best sellers list. These feelings have never been negative or malicious. Scary, sure, but only due to the overwhelming nature of the emotion flooding through me. A lot of this might be built up energy from the years of isolation, and social outcasting I’ve placed on myself.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve found myself being more social, putting myself in social situations that I never would have before. For instance, I’m running a 5k every month this year and I ran my February 5k on Saturday with a total running buddy that I met in an online group. And it turns out, this experience was one of the best, most fun experiences I can remember having. I was in the moment, genuinely enjoying another human being’s company, blocking out any other cares in the world. Normally, I would have been too concerned with “I’m not good enough of a runner to be included in this crowd. Do I look funny when I run? What if this person doesn’t like me?” None of this even popped into my mind. It was just two people, who can relate to each other, enjoying a shared hobby. And not to mention that I met a very kind hearted, genuine individual with some sage advice, mad running skills, and the most enjoyable company. I look forward to catching up on these types of missed connections that I replaced with saccharine coated relationships, forced enjoyment. Man, we shoulda taken a selfie! I did get a shot of myself with my participation medal. Enjoy!
I’m glad to start a new calendar year, and another year older as a happier me! I’m looking forward to my birthday plans. I’ve invited a couple of friends to attend a murder mystery dinner. It’s an interactive show with a 4 course meal included. Think of the movie Clue. I’ve been wanting to do this since I was a kid, but never got my act together in organizing it. They even promote coming in costume, and I have the perfect 1920s flapper theme outfit to wear! Playing dress up and a show?! Sign me up! My actual birthday is on Saturday and I will be doing my traditional family dinner at a nice restaurant. It should be a perfect and entertaining weekend! I will update with pictures later.
Before I talked about signing up for a 5k every month of the year. For the month of January, I signed up for the Hypnotic Donut Dash. That’s right, donut dash. I figured keeping the races fun will help me stay motivated with my running. Well, I finished the race (running the entire time) in under 32 minutes. I had a couple of friends join me, but they aren’t as into running as I am, and I think they were more dedicated to enjoying the free beer and donuts that followed the race. Of course, I only enjoyed the donuts! I’m so glad I did the race, it was a really fun experience! I can’t wait until the next one.
Here is a picture of us post race, donuts in hand.
The race went around Fair Park, which is the historic fairgrounds in Dallas. If you’re not familiar with Fair Park, or Dallas, this is where the famous State Fair of Texas is held every year. The grounds hold a special place in my heart, as the State Fair is my favorite time of year. It’s a magical time, and Dallas is a different place during the month-long fair. The architecture on the grounds is spectacular, historic structures mostly following an art deco theme. I’ve included a picture, below. Actually, now that I think about it, my cover picture on the homepage/About Me page is of the Texas Star, which is the iconic ferris wheel that has become an integral part of the Dallas skyline. Here is a picture of my friend and I post race with the ferris wheel in the background.
After the race, I hung out with a few close friends and we made a nice 3 course dinner. I guess I was super anxious that night. I completely binged on so much food while preparing the meal. I mean, it was disgusting. Even my friend asked what was wrong with me and if I was nervous about something. I ate chocolate, candies, hummus and dip, and anything else I could get my hands on. This is after having donuts for breakfast and Thai food for lunch. I never felt full the entire day. And then I had seconds of dinner. I’m not sure what my 2000 calorie (on top of my normal daily caloric intake) binge fest was about, but it grossed me out. I have tried to put it behind me and be kind to myself instead of feeling disgusted with myself. I’m very strict with my diet and exercise regimen during the weekdays, and I’ve been struggling with finding the right recipe to get the results I’m looking for.
I stress all week with logging and calculating every meal and regulating my macronutrient percentages only to see the numbers go up on my Friday progress day. I think I’d just had it this weekend. I do allow for quite a bit of flexibility on the weekends, as far as cheat meals and treats are concerned, but this weekend was out of control! About 4 years ago, I’d hit such a high weight that I decided I had to make a change. I was always the pudgy girl growing up. Getting teased, binging on afternoon snacks when I got home, and all around feeling fat and depressed for most of my adolescence. I lost 50 pounds and I’m now considered quite small. This was frustrating since for the past few years I knew my body to a T. I knew when and what I could eat and how my body would react. I maintained a weight within a 5-10 pound range depending on the time of year, and could accommodate for those events/holidays that involved eating. I guess I have to learn a new recipe. I also keep telling myself that I need to finally love my body and be happy. I’m fit and healthy, yet I still see the little fat girl when I look in the mirror. I’m taking a lifetime of insecurities and trying to reverse them in a fraction of the time that it took to cultivate. I’m figuring out that I need to find a happy medium of nourishing and exercising in a healthy way, but not falling into either extreme end of the spectrum. Like I say, this is me in progress. I’ll figure it all out and the stars will align…someday.
Has anyone else struggled with their eating habits and weight? I'd like to hear your story :)
I’ve made a point to get to know the new me and begin doing things that the old me never could or would have done. One of the activities that I’ve picked up is running. I always have flashbacks of the one time I joined my high school cross-country team because my friends all did it. I walked home sobbing, feeling sorry for myself, and convinced that my body was not designed to run. Then, I tried again after I broke my leg in 2010. Not having the use of my leg really brought me to the realization of how much being handicapped flat out sucks! I gained a whole new outlook on not having the use of a limb, as well as the shocking revelation of how rude people really are to those who suffer from a handicap. Anyway, I digress…
Since 2010, I attempted to pick up the running habit, though never making it longer than 5 minutes straight running or the equivalent of a quarter mile. It’s not that I didn’t possess the fitness level, even being extremely overweight, I still maintained a regular fitness regimen. I kept trying, even after I picked back up my smoking habit that I’d kicked to the curb in 2009. Since I was never able to regulate my breathing when running, the smoker’s cough further impeded my attempts at running.
After I lost 50 pounds through diet and exercise, I came to the conclusion that the weight had been holding me back all of those years and I should have no problem running. Lo, and behold, I still could not run. I’d practice every day and just couldn’t break through to that “other side”. I’d see women gracefully jogging down the street with a smile on their face, healthy glow, and not an ounce of sweat dripping from them. Oh, how I loathed those women. So, I quickly told myself that little lie, “I just wasn’t made to run” when in reality, I couldn’t break through the mental block that kept me from succeeding.
Since living a healthier lifestyle, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve found that I always made excuses, never giving it my all at anything I ever attempted. Whether it was school, or running, I would complete a task to the point of “just good enough” or spend more time creating the illusion that I had worked diligently on something without actually learning, excelling at, or retaining anything I’d just done. I would make excuses and push back until I could get out of accomplishing something to my full potential. What I didn’t know was that all of those years of lying to myself, manipulating situations, and deceiving others, I was really cheating myself. I did it out of fear of failure. Fear of realizing I’m not good enough. And fear of seeing what I’m truly capable of doing. Well, no more excuses!
I’m not sure when or how I started running, again. I don’t remember lacing up my shoes, or telling myself to start running. I think I was just out for one of my walks around the neighborhood to get a little bit of cardio in. I think I just started chopping and realized that I had been running for about ten minutes. I guess the frustration I had for not living my life to the fullest got me going. The next day, I hit the trail by my house. When I hit the ten minute mark, I assessed how I felt and told myself to go for another ten. Before I knew it, I’d run for two miles. I broke through that mental barrier that told me to stop after a couple of minutes. Now, I’m not saying that I look like those glowing, smiling women. In fact, I’m a dripping mess, with a red face, swollen feet, and painful grimace. That really doesn’t matter to me. The fact that I am out there running, and accomplishing one of the most difficult physical and mental feats of my entire life is what keeps me going.
I’ve decided to run a 5k every month of this year. I think this will be a good way to hold me accountable and get me out meeting people and experiencing life. I will make a point to update the blog with a description and picture of each one. I’ll give you a hint to the one for this month, it includes donuts :D
I’d like to share this quote from Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers: The Story of Success” since it really hit home for the theme of this post:
"Those three things - autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us."
Thanks for stopping by! I’d like to know, what are some activities or hobbies that you’ve overcome in your life that you never thought you could accomplish?
HI’ve picked up a long forgotten passion for reading. I mentioned this in previous posts, and I want to make sure that I’m documenting everything I’m reading whether it’s a book related to recovery or not. Last night I finished the book “Outliers:The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell. Now, many of you have probably read this book or at least have heard of it. If not, I highly recommend picking up a copy or skimming over the synopsis. This book is applicable to any individual in some aspect of their life. Basically, Gladwell discusses individual stories of success, such as Bill Gates. He analyzes the specific events that lead up to a person’s success and identifies details that are unique to their current situation and that which their success is dependent upon. Here are some quotes that stood out to me:
“Working really hard is what successful people do...”
This last quote really stands out to me. My whole life I’ve always used the excuse that “I was not born with that talent, skill, etc.” Well, I’m now realizing that thinking that is just exactly that. An excuse. I thought my body wasn’t made to run. But now I’m a runner. I’m tired of making excuses for my laziness, lack of motivation, or will. I’m a believer that if you are willing to do something, then you can do it. If you aren’t willing to do something, then you never will. Nothing you truly want comes easy; you have to work for it. Like Malcolm Gladwell says, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become perfect at something. I think that’s true for anything, whether it be flying a plane or running. So, those of you struggling out there to live a healthier lifestyle, just think that the minutes, hours, days that you are successful contribute to your 10,000 hours of perfecting your life. That’s just under 417 days worth of hours. If you have the will, then you will. That doesn’t mean you won’t experience bumps in the road. But, when you do, just jump back up, and continue racking up those successes.
With those thoughts, I will end with saying, here’s to getting closer to my 10,000 hours.
Happy New Year, to all of you Me In Progress readers! I look forward to this year as a happier, healthier, wiser, more empowered, more enriched ME!
I have rekindled my love for reading. I was always an avid reader, especially in my younger years. I fondly remember my dad opening my bedroom door a crack to peek in and say his goodnights. I always had my bedside lamp on and a book in hand. He would proudly exclaim “You’re reading, again?!” and continue to ask questions about my book. Last night, I finished my first book about alcoholism and addiction since becoming sober. I remember this book being in the spotlight when it was added to Oprah’s Book Club…and then later revealed that it wasn’t a completely true story. The book is “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. James tells his story of addiction beginning with alcohol and cigarettes and progressing into marijuana, huffing, and eventually crack. He ends up in a treatment center and describes his stay in the center. The story paints a clear picture of a hard core addict and how the addict brain works. Though it is difficult to read at times, in that it becomes quite graphic, I really enjoyed the read.
Continuing on with man’s search for meaning, this weekend I attended a free lecture at my university. The topic was over Egyptology and the speaker is a celebrity in the field of all things Egypt. The nerd in me geeked out at the idea of voluntarily spending my Saturday night in a lecture hall learning about Egypt. In the past, I would have eventually talked myself out of attending such an event. Now, don’t get me wrong, the introvert and social anxiety within me bubbled up and tried to talk (more like YELL) me out of going many times. However, the new and improved me kept saying “what else are you gonna do? Sit at home and watch TV? You can do that after the lecture!” So, I went to the lecture with all of my anxiety buzzing and oozing out of me. Naturally, I was the only person under the age of 60 present in the room, which garnered quite a bit of attention from the older gentlemen who insisted on knowing my life’s story. Perfect scenario for a wallflower…NOT! I just wanted to put on my invisibility cloak and slide in under the radar. But, I made the best of the situation and mixed some smiles and mundane small talk in with my mumbles and nods. Overall, I’m glad I went and I look forward to attending similar events in the future.
It’s been a little bit longer than I would like since I last posted. Last week I got to travel to Minneapolis on business. It was my first time there and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My boss/best friend is originally from there, so he showed me around the town during our down time. I narrowly escaped the arctic blast that blew through last night. Whew! This Texan would have frozen mid giddyup!
My flight home was a little different than the flight out. It was a Friday night, and it seemed like everyone on the plane was intoxicated. I found myself becoming more and more irritated. The flight attendants were singing into the intercom. I actually had a panic attack during takeoff. I got the sensation that I couldn’t breathe and the rational side of me was completely convinced that we’d lost cabin pressure. Because that happens often in real life. Anyway, as I was on the verge of causing a scene, I put my head between my legs and took slow, deep breaths until I felt better. Aside from flying and being sleep deprived, I think part of this panic was due to the feeling that something was wrong at home. I’m extremely intuitive, so when I got a strange feeling and my family was behaving strangely, red flags flew up. I kept asking my sister if anything was wrong which she would change the subject to something random. This was another indication that something was not right. The next morning, my sister called me to confirm my suspicions and tell me that the family dog had died. The details of the situation were unusually tragic and gory making it even more difficult to cope with. So, I will conclude with a picture of my sweet Maverick in all of her puppy glory!