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Friday, October 31, 2008

Tricks for Managing Treats: Chubby Mommy Weighs In (So to Speak)

Ah, Halloween. Here at last.

For those of you who are wondering about me and my secret boyfriend Mr. Peanut Butter Cup: we met in real life. I couldn't resist him. And I don't feel guilty. It is what it is.

So today I got an email from those friendly South Beach Diet folks. They want to help me manage my candy eating today, so they sent me some Treat Tricks. They're so nice. So helpful. They care about me, I think.

Here are their helpful hints, followed by what I think about said hints in bold italics:

1. Provide healthy alternatives for you and your kids. Keep a ready supply of nuts, reduced-fat cheese sticks, and fresh fruit on hand throughout the day. This strategy works for two reasons: It satisfies your hunger so you won't need to snack on candy to fill you up, and it keeps blood-sugar levels stable and thus moderates cravings, minimizing your urge to splurge on sweets.

I tried this today. After my egg white/chicken and spinach scramble at lunch, I promptly ate one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, one snack sized Kit-Kat, and a Mini Mr. Goodbar. Yum. Is this what they meant?

2. Hand out inedible treats. consider handing out inedible treats instead. Stickers, colorful Halloween pencils and erasers, and trading cards are some good options.

Whatever. Who wants an eraser for Halloween? You can't eat an eraser.

3. Keep a snack stash at the office. Be prepared for the fact that many coworkers will bring in leftover candy. Store South Beach Diet–friendly snacks (such as high-fiber whole-grain crackers, dried apricots, and roasted soybeans) in your desk so you're prepared with alternative munchies.

I work at home, and all my secret stashes involve candy. I know where the pantry is. I can eat soybeans and apricots any time I want. I just don't really want to.

4. Delight in dark chocolate. The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle that allows for occasional indulgences. This means that it's okay to have a piece (or two) of Halloween candy. The best choice is a small amount of dark chocolate, since it's rich in antioxidant compounds that have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve blood-sugar metabolism in healthy individuals. No matter what type of candy you choose, Marie Almon, MS, RD, nutrition director of the South Beach Diet, offers this advice: "Take three bites and savor each one."

This is my favorite tip so far. I savored the three bites of dark chocolate three different times to test the theory. I think that equals nine bites, but who's counting? I mean, besides Marie?

5. Steer clear of the clearance rack. After Halloween is over, stores will put candy on sale to make room for other seasonal merchandise. Keep in mind what you've gained by adopting the healthy eating principles of the South Beach Diet — more energy, self-esteem, and best of all, better health — as well as the weight you've lost. Staying focused on your goals and accomplishments will help you stay on track — and leave the sale candy on the shelves.

Okay, I agree on this one. I don't really buy candy after Halloween, except when the Christmas-colored Reese's minis start showing up. But that doesn't count, 'cause it's not on sale, right? I'm hoping this strategy will improve my self-esteem.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Secret Boyfriend: Mr. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

We're nearly there. Tomorrow is candy gorge-day. I'm not worried. I can handle it. I'm a professional. Except for my one clandestine affair with a certain someone I'm not sure I can give up.

The thing is, I've kind of lost my all or nothing candy-binge persona. I'm just not that into it anymore. It could be my Gladiator Diet kicking in. Even though I don't follow it religiously, I've noticed I don't have cravings for sweets and caffeine the way I used to, which means my blood sugar is pretty even.

But the lack of craving won't stop me from hooking up with my secret boyfriend, Mr. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, an annual tradition that I've come to accept and to love.

I rarely buy a candy bar in real life, and I don't care much for hard candy. The only thing that tempts me at the checkout counter is Altoids Gum (curiously strong!) and People Magazine when George Clooney's on the front. And buying a candy bar out of a vending machine? Nope. I don't run into many vending machines working at home, thank goodness.

Mr. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (RPBC for short) and I usually carry on our love affair at Halloween and Christmas only. We look forward to it. We're like secret lovers, pining for each other until the autumn and winter of each year.

I love Mr. RBPC. I like to think he loves me too. But if I listen to my body, she says "you're going to regret this in the morning." If I listen to Dear Abby, I can hear her voice of reason asking "are you better off with him, or without him?"

These are tough questions. I'll think about them today when I go running, and then I'll meet Mr. RPBC tomorrow and ask him what he thinks.

I'll say "Darling, I love you, but I know you're not very good for me. Should we stop meeting like this? Should I eat you, or give you away?"

What do you think he'll say?

(By the way, this is not a picture of me, although I wish it was because this girl is a cutie pie and oh how I wish I could hug Mr. RPBC in person. I found it on schneezles718 webshots!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Harrison Ford and my New Running Pants

Finally, I feel better and I want to run. But first an adventure, an expedition. I need to find my pants.

I have to dig, dig, dig through my closet to find my new running pants. It seems like it should be easy to fulfill my quest. if I am patient enough, clever enough, and smile my Indiana Jones smile enough, I'll eventually unearth my treasure.

I find my very cool vintage suede cowboy boots. I find a red leather jacket that's 2 sizes too small. I can almost dress the part of the rugged archaeologist, so I know I'm getting close. Alas, I do not find any spiders or snakes, and I do not find a whip.

I bought these nice running pants before my photo shoot with Lyle Cox last week, because I was too embarrassed to wear my regular, worn out saggy ones from Ray's Supermarket that I got last year for the newspaper. I'm not too embarrassed to run around my neighborhood in cheap, unflattering clothes mind you, but too vain to appear in the newspaper looking like a frump.

I dig to the bottom of the closet, but I still can't find the new pants. I start panicking a little. I wish I had a clue book. I wish I'd thought to put a secret Ark of the Covenant type box in my closet to hold my most precious and important things, like new running pants.

I stand in the middle of the room, cross my arms and sigh. I look at my dresser. It is dark, teak wood, made in Japan. Simple, box-like. Like an Ark with drawers. A place reserved for the best clothes.

Ah yes, there they are in the bottom drawer, next to that new jog bra that actually fits (shh...don't tell anyone, I never did lose that 15 pounds, I just bought a bigger one!)

Cue the theme music. Where's my hat? I'm ready to run.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jingle Bell Run - Let's Do This Thing!

Fawn and Kate cornered me at Jackson's Corner last week. They suggested we train for the Jingle Bell Run, on December 6th. You may remember Fawn and Kate. They scare me, a bit, because they actually run and they actually want to help me build a real little running club. Which means I actually have to run.

I said sure, sure to the Jingle Bells, because I was hoping maybe I didn't have to run until December 6th, but they thought maybe we could meet once or twice a week from now until then to run together, to stay motivated.

I think they call this concept "Training." Real runners prepare themselves for races, apparently. Sounds like a lot of work to me, but nobody puts @juliejulie in a corner.

It was such a nice day at Jackson's Corner, that day they cornered me. 72', crisp and autumnal (that's a word I picked up from Martha Stewart) I was eating Thai Steak salad, the sun was shining in my eyes, and I was surrounded by friends. It seemed like a good idea to Train on Saturday. A good idea to get up early and run around the river.

It was a good idea. But now it's Saturday, and I'm sick. I have a sore throat. And I'm not even faking, I swear. I'm a bit disappointed, actually. Because even though I'm still a bit scared of Fawn and Kate, I was looking forward to following them around the river.

Next week, perhaps? I swear I'll try to do some Jingle Training on my own this week. Unless someone else wants to join me?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chubby Mommy Talks about Depression, Resilience and Red Shoes

Last night was cool.

I helped put on the Resilience event at the Tower Theater, a fundraiser for Mentor Research Institute.

Our goal is to reach out and build hope in a community that's been hit hard by the economic melt-down. A community that's seen far too many suicides in teens and adults in the past year. Our community, like most communities, is often unsure about how to talk about depression and mental illness, especially when it hits to close to home.

I'm lucky. I seem to stumble into these interesting things where I get to meet cool people, and I'm still not sure how. Here's how I go lucky this time:

One day, about 7 weeks ago, I was sitting at Thump with my buddy John Gottberg Anderson, a travel writer. We were talking about blogs and books and careers and Bend.

Kevin Rea, a friend of John's, came up and said he had an idea, and would John like to help? John said yes and volunteered me too. That's what friends do, after all.

Kevin is one of those sparkly people who naturally draws people into his world, and gets them excited about things. He can't help it. I mean, look at this picture. Even his grown children are sparkly, you can just tell.

Kevin's like a can of 7-Up that you shake up secretly, and put into the fridge for your sister to find later. His excitement spreads up over the can and spills onto the floor. And then the dogs lap it up.

So I said sure, why not? Sounds interesting, I'll help you. Yes, yes, I said, we should fight the stigma of mental illness and depression.

I've seen depression up close. It's tricky. It's exhausting. Depression can be painful. It can be embarrassing. It's something you'd rather not talk about. Depression is so close and so personal, that you whisper it to yourself, afraid to say the word out loud.

Should you tell people you're depressed? Should you tell them someone in your family is? What would your boss or your friends or your neighbors think? Unstable? Mental illness? No thanks, we say. If you just ignore it, maybe it will go away.


Yikes. I thought. Should I really volunteer for this? I worried that this whole thing might be a big downer. You know, since it's a fundraiser for depression. Will a bunch of depressed people be there?

'Cause I'm a master at exuding positive energy. It's my job. Kevin's like 7-Up and I'm like Dr. Pepper. But could I hold it together and be positive in the middle of sadness and angst? People are vulnerable here, in this town. People are in real pain. What happens if my empathy crashes and burns at the wrong time?

Here's the truth: being so positive all the time can wear me out. Even Dr. Pepper wants to stay in the back of the fridge sometimes. Maybe I don't want anyone to shake me. It's cool and dark back there, when the light's off. Sometimes I don't want anyone to know I'm back there. What if I lose my fizz at the wrong time?

What if...what if I cried in the middle of talking to someone about depression? What if someone needs help and I don't know what to say?

Ah. That's it then. That's the thing. Being scared of fear? Maybe it's time to face the fear and walk through it, I said to myself.

Turns out, last night was fun. Who knew fighting stigma was so much fun? Turns out it's actually not such a big deal to cry in front of strangers. The truth is, I do it all the time.

So Kevin and his buddy Dr. Mike Conner wanted to have a good time at this event too. They wanted to remind people how to be resilient in times of trouble. So, they invited a few other people to participate and lend their expertise.

People like Eric Hipple, a former NFL player for the Detroit Lions, who lost his 15 year old son to suicide, and now works for the University Michigan's Depression Center, and travels the country talking to kids and adults about awareness and hope. He wrote a book called "Real Men Do Cry."

Oh, look, there's that crying thing again.

People like Scott Bedbury, the marketing guru behind Nike's Just Do It success, who later sailed the Starbucks brand into the global ocean, and serves as a board member at Mentor Research. Because he's a good guy.

People like Stephanie Prechter, who honors her father, Heinz Prechter by spreading the message of hope and understanding to people who live with Bipolar Disorder.

People like John Ballantine who lives here in Bend and is working on a new way to bring kids, parents and coaches together online to share, celebrate, teach and learn more about the wonderful world of team sports and how to make a difference in the lives of kids.

People like Mac Bledsoe whose non-profit, Parenting with Dignity teaches parents how to instill a sense of responsible decision making in their kids.

People like Joe Leonardi, who makes videos for non-profits and sings songs with his kid on stage.

And a wonderful "real runner" Ms. Ali McKnight. an elite athlete who beat Jackie Joyner Kersey at the olympic trials, who drove up from Nevada to hang out with us. What a treat for a Chubby Mommy Runner, I tell you! Ali is fast, fast, fast. I'm hoping, now that we're friends, she'll teach me how to run faster. Unless it involves breathing harder and sweating more, which I'm not really into.

And of course, Kevin finds amazing people like Amanda and Chris and Lauren, who get things done and make things happen. And also model diamond necklaces for raffles, and taste wine to make sure it's okay. Hey, someone's got to do it.

These people were strangers to me, all. I'd never met any of them before this whole Resilience thing took on a life of its own. Laughing and crying with strangers? It's actually pretty cool.

Here's the best part: turns out, these people are hilarious. We hung out, talked about changing the world at lunch, had a pre-party event to raise money with 100 of our closest friends at The Loft of Bend, went to the main event at the Tower, then had a little after-party too.

Tears or smiles, I'm all about the party.

Since Kevin's the one who spilled the sparkly bubbles over all us, it turns out we all liked each other and we had a blast. We sat around at the end of the night, telling funny stories. Really, really funny stories about kids and pets and wild birds and bats and tennis rackets, and yelling at raccoons to "Freeze!" as you warn them to step away from the house.

You know, all those things dads do to protect their kids from the hard, scary things in life. Stories of resilience. I wonder if Raccoons get depressed?

We laughed 'til we cried, and it turns out laughing and crying with a bunch of strangers from different places wasn't so bad.

Last night was cool.

PS: Did you notice those fabulous red shoes Stephanie got at the Nike campus when she went to visit Charlie Denson? I need some of those. I wonder if they have them in orange. If I had some, maybe I'd turn into a real runner. Maybe I could run as fast as Ali McKnight.

You never know, it could happen.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Parking Lot Mamas Ate Chubby Mommy

Oops. I meant to post my "Chubby Mommy Running Club Gets Organized" ditty on Chubby Mommy Running Club, but I must have hit the wrong button somewhere along the way. You know, because Blogger is so technical and complicated and all...

I posted it over on a new blog I'm writing for called Parking Lot Mamas. My friend Lori started it, and I get a kick out of writing with a bunch of funny ladies who are going through middle aged angst with me.

You know us. We're the older moms who have great lives and great careers that may have been interrupted by kids, in a good way of course, but now we can't quite figure out what to do with ourselves while we're "between jobs" and the kids are in school.

I mean, how many over the top birthday parties do your kids really need, and why do we get so mad at the happy checkers at the grocery store? We know we're being ridiculous, but it's our angst people, and we are trying to remain calm so just bear with us.

So, please join us, and I'll try to write something fun over here soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lyle Cox is a Trooper - CMRC Photoshoot with Dogs

Reason #456 that Bend is a cool place to live: the photographers from the local paper, who get sent out to take pictures of a Chubby Mommy Runner and her energetic dogs, display great professionalism.

Lyle's been around Bend much longer than I have, and has shot his share of exciting news in Bend, I'm sure. Because Bend is such an exciting town, of course. I mean, we have Chubby Mommies who write blogs about running with their dogs, after all.

I've worked on some stories with Lyle in the past, but he's never met my dogs. He came to my house for the photo shoot, and I made him walk around my neighborhood and up a few hills to get to a lovely photogenic spot with some views.

Not that I was micromanaging or anything. Far be it from me to tell people what to do...

Lyle forgot to bring his running shoes, but he has totally cool boots, as you can see.

Thanks Lyle, you're a good sport! Can't wait to see the article about me, and a few of the other Bend Bloggers in the November 1st edition of the Bulletin's "U-Magazine."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meet and Tweet if You Fancy

We're having another Meet-Tweet-Up! Calling all Bend bloggers, Twitter-ers, Geeks, Chubby Mommies, not-so-chubby Mommies, and everyone in between:

Join us on Friday, October 17th at The Blacksmith restaurant downtown, in the Anvil room. We'll start at 5:30 p.m., for happy hour and hang out 'til we're done.

I'll be at The Bend Venture Conference, which officially ends at 6:00 p.m., and I'll try to bring some Entrepreneurs and VCs and Angels with me. Because everyone loves angels. Especially the kind who want to give money to Start-ups.

So, if you're a Twitter geek, follow Jen @fiveforefun, or Sarah @SarahCofer or Collin @cjgraphix or Julio @SocialJulio and they'll tell you where we are and where we're headed next.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bend Film: Meeting Cornelia and The Dark Horse

I crashed the Bend Film party last night. I got in the tent.

Technically, I was hanging out at the Film Oregon Alliance party at Bella Cucina, and a friend had an extra ticket to the Bend Film awards dinner, in the tent across the street.

Untechnically, as soon as I got in, I spotted another friend, Julie G., at a table near the door that happened to have an extra place. It was the Fairy Godmother's table. Seemed like a good spot for me.

So I swooped in, grabbed a chair and sat down next to a lady with 4 feet of strawberry blond hair. I mean, seriously, her thick, wavy hair goes down below her knees. She had to put it on the outside of the back of the chair. It touched the floor. Intriguing.

Her name is Cornelia Duryee Moore, and she wrote and directed The Dark Horse Movie about coming to terms with the potential loss of her childhood home on Orcas Island, and how a grown woman grieves the loss of childhood while dealing with family drama.

She was sitting next to her friend Karen, from Bend, who shared her childhood with her. BFF's always sit next to you when the film you made about your life gets into a film festival. That's just what friends do. Especially cool friends like Karen, who make cute skirts out of neckties.

So anyway, I quickly sat down next to Cornelia and introduced myself.

"You are so beautiful!" she said.

I was kind of speechless, then, which doesn't happen often. Huh? What?

"Wow, thank you!" I stumbled, and grabbed her hand to shake it. Seems like you should shake someone's hand when they say that to you.

"Are you an actor?" she said.

"Uh, no," I stammered, wondering if I should tell her about my Improv. Troup days in college, or my stint as Queen of Hearts in 3rd grade. "But I think you and I should be friends now!"

She agreed, so we whispered and giggled a bit more, and she told me about her movie and Karen's amazing costume and fashion designs, before we figured we should listen to the speaker.

Later, during a break, Karen told me that Cornelia runs a production and casting company up in Seattle with her husband and her sons, which I think is interesting, but not because I was thinking about my acting career, and wondering if she wanted to cast me in her next film, since I wasn't, since I don't have an acting career, I just hang out with actors and film makers. Because they're interesting.

And then it was time for the "Best of the Northwest" award, worth $2,000, which was sponsored by Integra Telecom (who I wrote about a while ago) and I told her I'd met the CEO and he was nice.

They announced her name! Cornelia won! She won the big cardboard check and one of those amazing, 40 lb. bronze Bend Film awards! And it was so exciting, our whole table clapped and clapped, and I grabbed her camera and took some great pictures of her accepting that heavy statue thingy. She was beaming, just beaming!

After all the other awards, we stood up and hugged and chatted about how she's a 5th generation Washingtonian and I'm a 5th generation Oregonian, and maybe we're cousins, and then Karen went somewhere, and then some bigwigs came up to talk to Cornelia, which is good for her career, so I decided to go home and let her move on with her career without me.

We didn't exchange emails or phone numbers, I didn't have any business cards, and I didn't even tell her about this blog, because I was a crasher, not there to network. I was there to swoop in and spread cheer and clap for winners. And get compliments on my looks apparently, but I swear that was just a bonus!

I am anonymous to her, she probably can't even remember my name. It's kind of fun, in a way, to be a representative of the Bend Community who just happened to sit by her and share in her joy and accomplishments. I want her to remember Bend as a friendly town, even though we were freezing, freezing in that tent. The air is cold here, but not the people. That's what I'd like her to remember.

But I would like to find Karen, because I want her to make me a neck tie skirt. So, if anyone has any information about this amazing seamstress/fashion maven who sells her creations out of her living room, sometimes, when the mood strikes her, please let me know.

And of course, if anyone's looking for a middle aged chubby mommy to play a middle aged chubby mommy in their next film, I'm happy to audition.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Running Tricks: Hop to it

Gold star for me! I tricked myself into running today. It's true, I did.

When I walk with my husband and the dog, I usually carry weights to keep my heart rate up, because I don't walk as fast as I run. I figured the weights were working, because I keep gaining muscle and losing fat, which is great.

But, now I'm up to carrying two 15 pound dumbbells, which is dumb, dumb, dumb, because my wrists were starting to hurt. I know carrying 30 extra pounds in my hands, while walking 3 miles up hills, is not the best thing for my wrists and shoulders.

So this morning, when Pierre the Puppy started ringing his bell for his walk (there's a bell on the door that we taught him to ring when he has to go potty, but now he rings it when he's bored, and when it's time for a walk-pretty much all day-argh!) I decided I'd just walk, without weights. I'd just walk, leisurely, socially, for fun. I'd just walk, and enjoy the beautiful, but windy Autumn morning here in Bend.

Nothing wrong with a walk, I said to myself. Every outing doesn't have to be so intense. It's okay to relax and enjoy people and puppies and leaves that are turning scarlet and gold. Besides, you can run later, I said. It's better to get out than sitting in front of the computer, after all. Don't fret about running clothes. Just wear your jeans. Just go. Just go now.

So off we went, before I could talk myself right out of the mood.

The puppy runs. He runs for three miles. He could probably run six miles. But before he settles into real running, he hops. He hops like a bunny, actually, because he's so excited to get out and go.

I wish I could be like that. I thought about hopping. Hopping is harder than skipping, it turns out, and I wasn't in the mood to skip (although sometimes I am) so I just started to do a light jog to keep up with him. Just a little, to warm myself up.

And what do you know? I thought. Look at me, I'm running. I'm actually running, and it's not so bad, because I do run, after all, I am a runner, you know, I said. I mean, I even write a blog about running, I reminded myself.

So we ran. We ran up the hills and down the hills and over to the park, and back up the hills, through the woods. I stopped a few times to catch my breath, and the puppy stopped too, to wait for me. So I started running again, which made him happy.

Because running is so much easier on his wrists and shoulders than hopping.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hot Pants for juliejulie?

Red Hot, Chili Hot. Youch! I think I just burned my eyes looking at this picture.

Just because you can, does it mean you should?

My legs have never looked like this, and I highly doubt they ever will. But if they did, would I wear these pants?

Would you?

Where do you wear red hot pants like these, anyway? Where would I wear these pants, if I could, if I wanted to?

To parent teacher conferences? To Safeway to get Milk? To Cupcake Meetings with my tech girl friends? To business networking events? To pick up my kids from swim team? To client meetings? To volunteer at the non-profits I work with? To pitch our web start-up to potential investors? To walk the dogs along my 3 mile hill route around my neighborhood? To Pilates?

Hmm...let me know where you'd wear these pants, if you would, if you could.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

COWPU Boots and Brownies

This is me showing off my red boot at the last COWPU meeting. Jen took this picture, but I cropped it.

I didn't crop out the brownie I was holding in my right hand on purpose. I wasn't worried that my nutrition coach or my Pilates teacher would say "Oh, so that's why she hasn't been in lately...she's been eating brownies instead."

I didn't crop the picture because the brownie was distracting me and I want to find another one; nope. It was distracting to the composition of the picture (yep, that's it.) I'm thinking of art, here, not just trying to hide my sudden, secret cravings for chocolate and red wine.

But look at my boots! These are my best boots. I got them at a second hand store about 8 years ago and they are still fabulous. I've been waiting all summer to wear them. Thank goodness it started raining this week. Perfect boot weather, here in Central Oregon, finally.

We'd love to see some locals at the next geek meeting, which will feature Bob Calfin author of "Selling Your IT Business" who will share practical suggestions for leaders to build into their business plan before they consider selling their company.

I may or may not wear my boots, but please wear yours, so Jen can get some good pictures.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Holey Shoes, Batman! That's Some Fast Walkin'...

Darcy is a dedicated walker. You can tell by her shoes. Yes, those are holes on the top. This girl walks so much that she burns holes in her shoes on the way up Pilot Butte, in Bend.

Speaking of Pilot Butte, I was excited to see that a 12 year old girl won the race up Pilot Butte last weekend. Amazing.

The Pilot Butte Challenge is a 1-mile run from the base of Pilot Butte to the top(493feet of elevation gain)!

I did not participate. I should have. I will next year. I think I need a year to train for it, actually, since walking up the Pilot Butte still gives me pause. Maybe I will walk fast enough to burn a hole in my shoe

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pikachu Goes to Work

Another gem from the eye of Patty Freeman Martin, one of my favorite artists. Pikachu looks so happy to start the day. I can't tell if that's a bottle of soda, beer or vodka in the front though. Whatever it is, it obviously helps our favorite Pokemon start the day off right.