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Wednesday, July 29, 2009


So, for real, my sweet little nephew is going off to real boot camp this week. He joined the Navy.


I'm happy for him because it's a big deal for a young man (or woman) to decide he's gonna just go for it and serve his country and stuff, but of course I'm worried sick that he'll get stuck in a submarine or shipped off somewhere scary and get hurt, you know, like all those other brave young people who are defending our country, who I super appreciate, and am very thankful for, except they aren't the actual babies I held in my arms right after they were born and got all bonded to over the last 20 years. And stuff.

But I digress.

This post isn't about growing up, or being brave, or America, or world politics. This post is about exercising and getting in shape and living your best life, to borrow a phrase from Oprah.

You can draw your own conclusions about life, death, health, appreciation for what you have, self sacrifice and getting over your own issues that get in the way of whatever it is you feel in your heart that you should do to make yourself, your family, and the world better a better place.

I'm just sayin'. Maybe it's time for you to get brave in your own way, whatever that way may be.

As for me, I'm just here to announce that Malibu Stacey and Erin Joy and Big Johnny (the token hot guy who happens to happily married to Stacey so back off) are putting on a fun little exercise boot camp at Snap Fitness. It also meets at Compass Park in Northwest Crossing because it's FUN and a great place to meet people and they're doing their part to build community so just think about it.

And it won't be so OMG it's so hot outside I'm gonna melt! here in Bend forever, so just get over your heat stroke and sign up.

If you don't live here, go find a boot camp in your area and tell us about it and we'll all help each other feel good getting healthy, meeting new people, and feeling lucky that our legs and arms still work well enough to at least try, not cry.

Because for real, we're lucky. And we know it. And we should appreciate each other. And ourselves. And we should live our best life, and thank all the people who are truly brave.

So here's to you, Nigel Dumas, and all the other new recruits who are going through real boot camp this week. Good luck out there, and please don't drown in the Navy. Thank you, and please come back safe and sound because your aunties still remember the first time you smiled your little baby smiles at us, which made us melt, in a good way.


Aunt Julie

Snap Fitness Bootcamp Facts: $20 off! Tell them Chubby Mommy Sent You!
Where: 6AM–Snap Fitness 6PM Compass Park-NWX

When: Class 1: Mon., Wed., Thurs. 6– 7AM

Class 2: Mon., Wed., Thurs. 6- 7PM

Start Date: Monday Aug. 3rd (for 4 weeks)

Cost: $120 (only $10/session!) $150 non-members

Type of Class: Cardio Drills & Interval Training

Instructors: Johnathan Sonne (541) 948-0099, Certified Personal Trainer

Erin Cummings (541) 408-5468 ACE-Certified Group Fitness Instructor

& Personal Trainer

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The One About My Knee

Some of you regular readers (thank you thank you thank you) may remember this first post I did about being chubby in real life, and not getting too worked up about it. So here's another installment in the life of a chubby mommy runner:

I hurt my knee. I think it was the three 6 mile runs, the two 5 mile runs and the one 3 mile walk with the 20 pound weight vest this week that might have done it.

Too much, too fast. Not a surprise, really. Story of my life.

So now I have to sit here with frozen peas on my knee and worry about not running, and what's going to happen to my sanity this week.

The thing is, I've kind of gotten used to running for an hour in the mornings because it makes the rest of my day go better, it helps me sleep, it makes my brain happy, and all I can think about is what am I supposed to do now, sitting here with peas on my leg all day?

I'm a little worried about this, for real. It's causing me angst. Even Twitter isn't solving my problem. I know it. It's kind of bad.

So this whole thing is a bit funny actually (in a weird way not in a haha way) when you think about it, because I still sort of hate running, even though I actually sort of love it once I get over the 3 mile mark and get into the endorphin-high thing. But I still hate the first mile and I always have.

Love-hate, love-hate, love-hate. I'm like a movie star fighting the paparazzi. Kind of.

Before you say "you should just walk fast!" or "you should ride your bike!" or "you should swim!" let me just say, I know. But I sort of hate those things too. I actually sort of hate them more than running and here's why:

Walking Fast: I do walk fast several days a week, in addition to my running, because I like to go on walks with Pierre the puppy, and my husband and my kids. It's all well and good, but walking doesn't actually do enough to burn off my fat and make my brain switch over to it's happy druggy place. Trust me on this. If you leave me comments about how I'm not doing the walking right, I'll ignore you.

Biking: it's good transportation, and I rode my bike to work for a year and a half back when I had a real job, but I hate being hot with a bike to deal with in the middle of the desert just for "fun." Not my thing.

Swimming: I used to swim all the time. I sort of hate lap swimming though. There's always a little chance I could drown if I get tired, and it ruins my hair which I don't think Rachel will appreciate. I still swim for fun you know, with my friends, while we're sitting around drinking vodka at the pool (ok, for real this only happened once on "vacation" so pipe down) and watching our kids frolic and then we get in and do some handstands and maybe race the 9 year olds across the pool before we get out, sit in the shade and read our magazines. I know I might have to swim again for exercise if forced, but I have to pay to use the pool and I have to drive there. And I have to put on a swimsuit.

So. Back to the running.

Please, for the love of god, remember that I'm 43 and I've been running since high school, off and on, and I've always been chubby, off and on, which means running and I have our own little love-hate relationship, so just leave us the f*u*k alone because we already know all about this ridiculous, unreasonable thing we have together.

Running and I both know I don't have the body type for the distances I want to run. We know it's unreasonable for us to continue this relationship. It just doesn't make sense, long term. It never has. I can't explain it. I don't know why I insist on continuing the farce. I guess it's a co-dependent addiction.

I should stop running and just keep reading "The Power of Now." I should Zen myself away from running. It'd be better for me. I'd become self-actualized, probably, if I stopped running.

My name is juliejulie and I still run, even though I'm really too chubby for this sport.

Oh, sorry I sort of used the F word without being brave enough to use all the letters. That's lame, I know. Maybe if I were brave enough to cuss on my blog, I'd be brave enough to do all sorts of things I want to do but know I probably shouldn't.

Let's not go there today.

The fact is, it boils down to this: I'm 43, about 25 pounds over weight, depending on who you're talking too, and what kind of muscle tone I happen to be sporting this year, and my knees can only take so much.

Duh. I know this.

So now I'll sit around for a few days with my peas and go on little walks with the dog and pretend this will all be fine, and I'll be better soon. Because this is how I deal with everything in my life, you see, and so far it's worked out.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Running Around with a 25 Year Old CEO

I met Joanna Van Vleck, a 25 year old entrepreneur, a few months ago through mutual friends.

When you live in a small town like Bend, Oregon and you've been bitten by the Start Up bug, you end up running in the same circles with the other crazy people who are trying to change the world.

In this case, Joanna and I started running together, literally. But we say we're running "loops" instead of running in circles. Three mile loop? Four mile loop? Should we try the five mile loop on Saturday, just to see if we can do it?

So now we are running partners. We text each other to make sure the alarms have done their jobs at 5:30 a.m. It's harder to bail when you know someone else got up early for you, you better damn well show up.

Joanna and I push each other a bit: are you really sick, or should I go over there and kick your butt out of your warm bed? Yes, we have to go now, you know we won't go later. Let's just do it, we'll feel better all day if we run now. Yes we should do the hills, of course we hate them but we'll conquer them.

At first Joanna and I met each other over coffee and she asked me lots of questions about what I did, and wanted my opinions about sales and business and new ideas. I'm old enough to be her mother (if I had started young...ahem!) and was thrilled to think this fresh, smart kid with a brilliant business plan was seeking my advice.

As her business, The Trunk Club for Men started taking off at rocket speed, getting a coffee date with Joanna Van Vleck became nearly impossible, so we decided to start running instead. We meet at 6:00 a.m., the first appointment of the day. So far, so good.

I've said in the past that I like to run alone, and I still do, but it turns out running with Joanna works well for me. We run at the same pace, we both like to talk, we encourage each other, we're usually in good moods...I guess we are "morning" people.

So a funny thing happened during the miles and miles of conversations I was having with Joanna, week after week: it became quite clear to me that I was no longer mentoring Joanna, she was in fact, mentoring me.

When I throw out ideas about things I want to do, things I'm working on, or even kernels of ideas I might like to explore someday, she'll take them and run circles around them with me until the way to actually execute the thing becomes clear and visible. What about this? She'll say. Could you try it this way? Yes, you should do it, definitely!

Wow. I say. That's a great idea. Yes, I smile, that makes a lot of sense. Huh, I think, this kid is smart. Shit, I realize, if I had half her enthusiasm, her fearlessness, and her confidence to plow full stream ahead with a few of these ideas in this wacky economy, maybe I could stop worrying about playing it safe all the time, and just go for it.

A few weeks ago we had some major, unseasonable rainstorms here in Bend. Our usual running trails were flooded and soggy. We came to an underpass that was really a mess, and Joanna and I didn't want to run through two feet of water to get to the other side.

Huh, I said, I guess we can go back down the block and cross the street at the sidewalk. Joanna, who was in the middle of a great story about meeting a new VC, looked to where I was pointing, turned the other way, and started scrambling up the embankment to the other side, without missing a beat. I followed, of course.

I don't like running in soaking wet shoes and pants, but I don't mind a little mud, and her shortcut got us back on track quickly and efficiently.

I can't wait to see where this remarkable, talented young woman ends up in a couple of years, and I'm happy to keep running the trails with her, it I can keep up.

Monday, July 6, 2009

@juliejulie Palin for President?

So, it seems you all like my new haircut, and especially my after picture.

It also seems you all think I look like Sarah Palin, and that maybe I'm considering running for President.


I never really thought of running for President. I guess it'd be okay. I could try it. But you have to know upfront that I'm not that interested in politics, and in fact, I don't know that much about politics.

I do think all the people are fascinating I really do. So, it could be fun. Probably.

Here's the deal though: if I run for President and you all elect me, I get to choose my Cabinet, right? And everyone has to say yes to who I pick. Or I'll quit.

OK then. I'm picking my Cabinet from the long list of people I admire on Twitter. Because, you know, they're all transparent and stuff, due to the nature of social media, so I feel like I know them all really well, even though I haven't met most of them in real life. That does not matter these days, of course, since the boundaries of reality have blurred because of the power and magic of New Media and how it is changing the

Here's who I choose to help me run America, and yes, of course, the world:

@juliejulie's Cabinet, in order of succession to the Presidency:

Vice President of the United States

Stacey Sonne
(@StaceySpandex) I mean seriously, this girl puts up with me, and she’d kick ass as leader of the free world if I keel over and die while jogging, or something.

Department of State

Secretary @Moonalice – I want the entire band. They are smart, talented, fun and nice. World peace through music?

Department of the Treasury

Secretary Paul Kedrosky (@PaulKedrosky) It was a tie between him and Jim Cramer but Cramer never answers me, and I think Paul is funnier, and he likes mountain biking.

Department of Defense
(I don’t know! I need some ideas here! Please nominate someone?)

Department of Justice
@AmandaChapel Amanda is about truth, and will not put up with hype. She holds us accountable, even though we don’t like to listen to her sometimes. Plus she’d probably go commando under the robe, which would be both naughty and exciting.

Department of the Interior
Secretary Robert Scoble
I just like Robert. I think he’d be fun to have in my cabinet. I bet he’d laugh at my jokes, and get me totally popular on friendfeed.

Department of Agriculture
Secretary Tallivan Sunder
@tallivansunder Everything will be wholesome and delicious!

Department of Commerce
Secretary Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee If anyone understands how to sell stuff, it’s Gary. Plus we’d all get good wine with dinner.

Department of Labor
Secretary Heather B. Armstrong
I think she had the most famous labor on the internet this year.

Department of Health and Human Services
Matt Davio @MissTrade
He’s working on some amazing stuff that will change the healthcare industry over at
Proxense, and he knows Sanjay Gupta, who shoulda taken the job when he had the chance!

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Kim Sherrell
@kimsherrell She seems hip and urban in a Hollywood-ish way. Plus, she’s creating some new type of reality show; maybe she’ll put the top twits in a house and let them battle it out online.

Department of Transportation
Lance Armstrong Obviously, he’ll be pro-bikes. Fast bikes, too.

Department of Energy

Secretary @TheFlyLady This woman has more energy than anyone I’ve ever met.

Department of Education
Secretary Jenny Lawson
@TheBloggess Jenny tells it like it is. Can you imagine how our next generation would turn out if The Bloggess was in charge of their young minds?

Department of Veterans Affairs
Guy Kawasaki I like Guy, for real, I’m impressed with how he’s helped put together groups of popular bloggers to visit the troupes on aircraft carriers. Seriously, that was cool. He’ll make sure we don’t forget about our Vetrans. Plus, I bet he’d give them their own category on Alltop, too.

Department of Homeland Security
Loren Feldman (@1938media) Loren will not take shit from anyone, this I know for sure. He’d take the bad guys down.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Julie's New Hair: Rachel is Magic

Remember when Malibu Stacey told me my hair was horrible and I need a whole life makeover? Well, I took the first step on Friday, by letting her friend Rachel "the most adorable pregnant lady you've ever seen" (according to Stacey) have her way with my hair.

This is Rachel Ebarb:
I know it. She really is adorable.

So I drove over to Plethora Salon, which just so happens to be next to The Village Bakery in Bend, Oregon, but I chose coffee, this time at least. That bakery smells like heaven, so I was in a happy mood when I walked into the Salon.

I bet I probably shouldn't trade with the bakery though, since writing for cookies is probably counter-productive for a Chubby Mommy Runner who's trying to lose weight, and Stacey would probably put a hidden camera on me to monitor my bakery choices, than tweet to the whole entire world that I'm sabotaging her reputation and entire career by making "counter productive" food choices after my workouts with her.

I never should have taught @StaceySpandex how to tweet...

But enough about Stacey. Let's talk about Rachel.

When I walked in to the lovely front room of Plethora, I appreciated its lemon yellow walls catching the morning sun, which was shining softly through gauzy curtains. I felt my shoulders relax, and I asked Rachel if I could maybe hang out on the overstuffed couch and read back issues of Vogue for a while.

But I looked like this:
So Rachel said no, in a cheery, happy way, and how about I come on over to her chair and drink my coffee while we talked about me, and my hair, and my favorite colors?

I could tell we'd be friends right away.

Rachel ran her fingers through my hair and said surely Stacey must have been over-reacting, in her usual dramatic way, when she placed the 911 hair emergency call last week, because as far as Rachel could tell, my hair really wasn't that bad, but wouldn't it be fun to maybe add a little color, and a few layers, just to liven it up a bit?

Oh, yes, I said. That sounds like a lot of fun.

So then I got on Twitter and Facebook and asked everyone what color I should choose for my hair. All the women said red, and the men said "brown." Which is funny, because my hair is already brown, so I chose red.

But I was secretly please that my (self-proclaimed) Twitter fan club boys probably think my hair is fine being brown, because maybe my hair doesn't really matter so much to them, because they just like me for me, and my funny little tweets and really don't care what I look like.

Is it any wonder that I like Twitter so much? I get to make up my own theories, and they are always right, because I just tweet them.

Anyway, back to my hair. Please.

There are so very many kinds of reds, of course, that a person could talk about the best red all day, if there was time.

Rachel and I poured over pages and pages of lovely redheads to figure out the best kind of red for me. Despite my insisting that she could choose whatever shade she thought would look best, she gradually led me to the conclusion that I did have a preference, and then she went to the back and mixed up a batch of the perfect red for me.

I don't think I whined or said "I hate this!" (like I do with Stacey) once the entire time I was with Rachel, even though I had to sit in front of a mirror for a long time, while she put these things in my hair while I twittered:

I think Stylists are easier to be deal with than personal trainers, but that's just a guess.

So after a lovely morning of chatting with Rachel about babies and working and how she nearly cut her finger off once but managed to finish up the client's haircut before she went to ER to get her knuckle stitched up, while she snipped and feathered and showed me her beautiful tattoos, I ended up looking like this:
And now that all is said and done, I think Stacey was right. I did need a little hair help after all. And I will go back to Rachel from now on, and maybe try some other colors, just for fun.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vodka or tea? Which one would you choose?

When my kids were little, they made me read Edith Kunhart's "Which One Would You Choose?" book over and over and over. It's a lovely little book which tells the story of Will and Maggie making choices from breakfast to bedtime.

Time to get dressed. Will chose the red shirt, Maggie chose the blue shirt. Which one do you choose? How about breakfast: Will chose cereal, Maggie chose oatmeal. Which one do you choose? Playing outside in the rain? Will chose the raincoat, Maggie chose the umbrella? What about you?

All day long, in this simply drawn world, Will and Maggie make little choices. What kind of ice cream? Which kitten to play with? Which cuddly toy to sleep with at night?

Every time we read the book, my kids would hesitate a little over their own choices. Oh, sure, they had their favorites, but it was fun to mix it up a little. Maybe choose the green striped shirt this time, even though Maggie never did, just to be brave, and go a little crazy!

So, I've been busy with work lately, and my husband's been in charge of the kids and the cooking. And they all like to cook things, for fun. To entertain themselves. To experiment. To learn how to look up a recipe online, how to read it, how to work the stove, how to measure things, and best of all, how to operate little machines like mixers and blenders.

Lately I've come home after meetings in the real world, and I get hit with the amazing smell of bacon or cookies when I open the front door.

Sometimes there are donuts in pink boxes sitting on the counter when I get home from my run in the early mornings, because, you know, we ran out of milk and my husband went to the store and took a kid along for the ride. They all know they can talk him into donuts if I'm not around. He can even talk his own self into donuts, with or without a kid there.

So then I have to make a choice. Oatmeal or donut, which one do I choose? Dad chose bacon, mom chose turkey, which one do you choose? Duh. I'm sure Will and Maggie would probably choose bacon. Just a guess.

I gave up wine a while ago because it's hard for me to stop at one glass, and it gives me insomnia, and sometimes I feel a little off the next morning when I run, and I have a hard time losing weight if I drink 2 or 3 glasses of wine a night, so I chose none.

But then I chose vodka for a while because it doesn't have sugar so I don't get hangovers, and I can usually stop at one drink, and I do enjoy a little shot of relax-ment after a long day.

But then I realized I was choosing it every night, and it became a habit, and it was getting expensive, and because I'm a bit of a control freak (me?) after a while I feel a need to prove to myself that I'm not addicted to anything, so I stop.

It's funny how easy it is for me to stop doing something when I choose to.

It's easy for me to stop drinking alcohol every night, because I'm the only one who buys it. So I just stop buying it. Then there isn't any more, so I don't drink it. The first night, I missed it because it was such a nice habit, and I rather enjoyed it. But then I chose peach tea on the rocks. And now I haven't thought about buying vodka for several days.

It is a little harder for me to not choose bacon and donuts when they magically appear on my kitchen counter while I'm gone, because, well, duh. They're bacon and donuts.

The trick I use to not choose them is to think of them as food. They aren't signs of love or loathing, they aren't morally good or bad, right or wrong. They don't represent success or failure. They're just units of calories. Just like oatmeal and egg whites and flax seed.

Right...just the same.

Well, most of the time, this works. For the record, sometimes I choose donuts and bacon. They are yum, personified. And I'm sure I'll have vodka again before I die. Maybe even tomorrow. But then tomorrow comes and I remember that every day I wake up, I get to choose again.


Good luck with your choices!