Friday, January 30, 2009


I've been trying this new jedi mind trick coaching exercise to try and diminish the amount of mental energy I devote to worrying. This is a challenge, because I'm pretty sure there is a genetic component to my capacity to worry if my mother and maternal grandmother are any indication. (Yes, Mom, you worry ateeeensytinybit.) Whenever I find myself adrift in the sea of whatifs, oh nos, i don't wants... which is approximately every seven seconds, I stop myself and flip it around and start asking "so, what do I want? what will happen? what's the best outcome?" I also spend a lot of time daydreaming (or manifesting, the more sophisticated term used in coaching realms) - picturing myself walking through the exact scenario I want. (You know, Oprah going MEGHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN CLINE!", or Biggest Loser calling with the job offer to be their life coach, or working from home looking out my bay window that looks on to the beach - just your typical daydream stuff.) Both of these exercises immediately and surprisingly jolt me from panic, worry, anxiousness, fear to hope, excitement, optimism and gratitude. I try to block out all doubts as to whether or not they actually will happen, I just sit back and enjoy the visuals. And you know what? It's been working, to my shock and delight.

On Tuesday, I became out of the blue violently ill. One minute I was on the phone, scrounging in the freezer for dinner options, the next I was on the couch clutching my stomach while my husband gave me the whatisgoingonhere look. An hour later I was crouched lotus style praying to porcelain gods. There was this little voice in the back of my head that kept going "O-M-G. Not a GI BUG. This is IT. You're going to get sick again. Colitis is going to flare. Panic. Panic. PANIC!!!" And heavens knows I can't blame that voice, as that was chapter 2-5 in the story of my disease. (Don't worry. That story does not come with illustrations.) Every time I heard that voice yesterday, I quickly tried to drown it out with a louder voice chanting "I am healthy. I am healthy. I am healthy." It became my mantra in between sips of Gatorade and nibbles of saltines. I heard it as I drifted in and out of sleep and DVRed Oprah's on the couch. I said it quietly to myself as I headed into work yesterday, not quite trusting whether I was going to be able to get through the day with a VIP access to the restrooms. And if last night's dinner of Kimono-style broccoli, bratwurst and sauerkraut is any indication of my prognosis, I think I'm in the clear. I. am. healthy.

I'm enjoying flexing my new mental muscle and I'm wondering just how strong it might be. In the gym, Monica has started me on a new workout I like to lovingly call "The Hour Where Monica Kicks My Ass." (Although I confess that more recently I have also been calling it "Wearing My Sophomore Year Jeans Again," and have not been complaining quite so vehemently.) Despite 6 years of being a personal trainer, I have to admit that this is the first time I have legitimately gone to failure while strength training. It is an overwhelmingly powerless feeling to feel your body come to a dead stop while your mind is still screaming GET THIS FRIGGIN BAR OFFFF MEEEEE. This is the part where Monica will step in and lift the bar off me with one pinky. Hate. Her.

If I flex my mental muscle too much, will I fail? Possibly, yes. Will it be stronger next time? Most definitely, yes. Failure is that terrifying, powerless feeling. It's one I've been running away from since 1994 when my cheerleading coach made fun of me for demonstrating a dance move I thought was cool and she thought was...well, who knows. Not my fault she didn't know what the Tootsee Roll was yet, I still flashback to that memory with the soundtrack of Adam Sandler's "They're All Going to Laugh at You" playing as background music. I hate being embarrassed. I hate not being good at something I try. I hate not following through with something. But I think I'm starting to trust that if I fail, I've got a good number of people who will rush over and pick the bar off with me just a pinky - making it seem so easy to free myself and start over.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Impatient Patient

I'll admit it: I'm a terrible patient. You'd think being married to a such a good soontobe doctor, I'd be just a superb patient - you know, opposites attract and all? Nope. I'm whiny, I'm lethargic, I'm mopey and I really seem to lack that suck it up & deal gene. Yesterday I felt perfectly fine straight through 4 pm - I had taught 3 classes, I had a bunch of coaching sessions, I had even had a super hard workout with my drill sergeant co-worker. Somewhere around 5 pm, I knew I should be getting dinner started but I found that some incredible force had me glued to the sofa. I finally gathered myself and started cooking. Had there been a way to sit on the floor and stir the saucepan on the stove, I would have. By the time dinner was finished, I was growing more nauseated by the minute by the smell. At 7, I retired to the bed much to my husband's shock. By 9, I was up again and for the next 2 hours, seemingly could not decide which end of me belonged on the toliet. Nice huh? Dr. Husband declared me on quarantine (and has subsequently Cloroxed the entire house including stuff I swear I did not touch) but he also has been patiently filling up cups with ice chips and saltines and giving me that look that says "Drink more fluids, watch your DVR'ed Oprah and don't even think about whining or I'll tell you about someone who deserves to whine." He's working in the ICU right now, so I'm prettttty sure he could fulfill that last part if need be.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mmmm, Foot. So Tasty.

Do you ever say something trying to be funny and reazlie later it sounded kind of, well, mean? There's a young-ish new professor in our department (probs in his young 30s) who's very Northern and has a very sarcastic/dry humor. I usually find my very Northern and sarcastic/dry humor side comes out whenever we talk (kind of like how when I spend a lot of time with my Southern participants, I start saying things like "yall take care!" and "he gets it honest"). Anyways, he was over at the research center where I teach my classes today doing a lab on how to take blood pressures while the subject is exercising. I took this class circa 2003, and commented on my experience of it. Trust me, it's very hard to hear those lub dubs when the bike is whirling, not to mention you're trying to pump up a cuff on a subject that's moving around. Not the easiest task. He was like "yup - real exciting stuff", to which I replied something along the lines of "yeaaaaa, 5 years later and I can't remember any that stuff." I think that could be roughly translated to: WHAT YOU TEACH? YEA, NOT THAT IMPORTANT.

Oof. Nice one, Megs. Open mouth, insert foot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day Worthy

Snow Day Worthy, originally uploaded by dancindeac.

One day when my children ask me where I was when our 44th president was sworn in, I can tell them that thanks to the snow day gods I was at home, instead of in an basement office with no windows. I was parked in front of the TV, eating a tuna & spinach salad, still wearing my pajamas while working from home. Thank you, Snow Day, for allowing me to partake in history. (Not that it wasn't being DVR-ed anyways...BUT STILL.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Feeling Kinda Sunday...

Why does it feel so decadent to have a morning to myself with coffee and a bowl of dried cherries and a working internet connection and a whole stack of post-it notes/envelopes/index cards/business cards I've jotted weight loss coaching ideas on? Sundays are usually my to do list days, the day on which I tackle the weekly tasks of laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, errands... always with the high hopes that somewhere I'll sneak in a project or some downtime reading or one of my five saved episodes of Oprah/Dr. Phil I have yet to watch.... then inevitably, it's 5:43 pm, dinner needs readying, and not long after that there's dishes to do, then lunches to pack, gym bags to ready, and how did it get to be 9 pm already? This is real life isn't it? And it's not a complaint - the Daryl Worley song "Awful Beautiful Life" tumbles through my head often on these days and I'll be in the middle of wiping out the gunk on the microwave thinking to myself, "I am so lucky to have this life."

Oh, but to wake up on Sunday and know that there is ONE MORE DAY to procrastinate the Have To Do's and revel in the Want To Do's... now that is my very own favorite suburban delight.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Imperfectly Perfect

I am looking around my living room in just complete bliss. At 10:00 this morning, I mentioned to my co-worker that she and her boyfriend should come over and watch the Wake game. Now, 4 1/2 hours and a few more text messages later, 11 people are using up every scrap of seating we have available, our recycling bin is getting full of empty soldiers, and a bowl of hastily purchased chips and salsa is quickly disappearing. Have I mentioned I love impromptu get togethers? Or how I love that our basketball team is undefeated?

One booyah for giving up the idea that a party has to be perfectly planned and organized, one booyah for the freaking awesome basketball team of my alma mater and a third booyah for a perfectly content, cozy and fun Saturday afternoon with friends. (And maybe even a fourth booyah for the Forsey's lovesac which provided extra seating and conversation.)

Coozies, ready & waiting.

Friday, January 16, 2009

4th Year: Celebrate We Will

Yesterday we found out our friends, Zac and Jamie, are going to be staying here in Winston for Zac's optho residency! We are so excited for them, since this was their first choice AND a very highly competitive program. That's right, take a moment to send your mental congrats to Dr Z! It hardly seems fair now that they know their match and the rest of us have to wait til another EIGHT friggin weeks, but that's what the Match Day Gods have decided, so wait we shall...and in the meantime, celebrate we will. Upon finding out the news, we rounded up a few buddies to get together to cheers to the good news. Matt demonstrated his cake decorating prowess with an eyeball adorned ice cream cake, and Zac appropriately sliced right into the sclera. (Yes, I confess, I looked that up. I'm not that on top of my eyeball terminology.)

The cake disappeared quickly, the Prosecco flowed and before long, the wii fit came out. All this on a school night? Whoever said med school was tough forgot to put the foot note on that says... Ummm yea. Except fourth year. Enjoy that, seniors. It's hard to believe 4th year is here, and trust me, we're soaking it up.

Even puggle got in on the celebratory bevs!

These fine gents are your future physicians!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where is my inner nerd when I need her most?

I promised myself I was going to do it today: tackle the merger of my website and my weight loss blog. My wonderful friend Jack has sent me explicit instructions on how I can create a wordpress blog that will let me have all sorts of room for freedom of exploration and design and creation, and create static images and move the domain name manager and *breathe meghan breathe*... before I know it the room starts getting smaller and everything sound as if I'm listening through tin cans and I want to put my head down on the desk and breathe slow, shallow little breaths. I like a challenge. I love reading manuals and following directions. But there are two areas of expertise in which even the most clear, concise directions cause my CNS to react as if a saber tooth tiger was panting down my neck: Taxes and HTML. I really, really, really want to figure both these things out. Last night I DREAMT of my wordpress website, how beautiful my blog was with the links to my coaching website nuzzling around it.... quite a vivid dream, and I had fully expected to see Jacob and Bella in my REM cycles having just finished Eclipse. I DREAMT ABOUT BLOGGING. Yes, I think this fully conveys the nerdiness of the situation. Now, I just need a little fairly to appear out of nowhere, hold my hand through all the HTML-ing to make this happen and tell me when it's over. It hardly seems fair that I have a memory with a cataloged index of calories, I can name the artist of almost any song from 1982-2009, I can perfectly orient myself towards a beach when in any foreign country but I have a brain that childishly refuses to even attempt to understand how to build a website. My inner dorkiness is usually so potent - why must it fail me now?

Also file under: thinly disguised plea for help to tech-savvy friends.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

An object at rest stays...

You would think having had two weeks off over Christmas that by this weekend I would be back into the swing of things and would have had a ton of energy to tackle that ever-lingering project to do list (AHEM: WEDDING ALBUM), or finally take down the Christmas tree, or at the very least get out of bed before 10 am. Nope, Nope and of course, nope. Maybe it was because my first week back at work I kind of forgot how very essential a little thing called sleep can be to surviving the week. Before the break, I had gotten in such a good routine of head on the pillow by 9:30 that my early morning wake ups no longer fazed me. Getting back on track this week was another story. I stayed up like a college freshmen and woke up with the roosters. I walked around all week in a sleep deprived dazed that I can only attribute to watching just one more episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight or reading just one more chapter of New Moon. So this weekend was essentially a recharge of the batteries that had absolutely no right to be quite so zapped.

48 hours spent just. like. this.

But I did wii fit.... that has to count for something?

Except that we made cookies right after. And ate them. All of them.

The post-vacay sloth spares no one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Poop On A Plane (the less popular spinoff that Samuel L. Jackson wisely turned down)

While we were coming into Dulles on my flight back from Rochester, I had a 50 minute connection (stupid to do in Dulles, which is approximately the size of a small city.) 10 minutes before landing this little girl 2 rows up starts WAILING. She's at least 3-4 years old. Not like a wee baby where you're like "wow, poor moms" (because obvi at that age, you can't really do too much of the logical talk and soothing things like "sssshh, the other people are starting to give me death looks thanks to your banshee wails" isn't nearly as meaningful to a 5 mo old as they would be to a 3.5 year old right? I don't know - no children, not sure at which age "logic" is apropos. Never? Is Never the right age?)

, I digress. So, 10 minutes to landing, there's wailing, there's a little bit of ineffective shushing going on, there's passengers exchanging that look (you know the one, you've done it too) and all of a sudden the wailing turns into "I gottttaaaaa pooooooop." Now this gets a good dose of nervous laughter from the fellow passengers around her. "I gotta poop and I caaaaaaan't." Ok, so the poor dear is constipated which according to many people is very uncomfortable. I would not know. (Thank you colitis.) We land. Late. 40 minutes til my next flight boards. I'm doing lots of deep yoga breaths to keep the nerves at bay as I glance at my watch approximately every 8 seconds. We dally on the run way - another plane is at our gate. 20 minutes til my next flight and the cacophony of pleas for use of the potty has not shown any signs of a ceasefire. Finally, she stops. The silence is so peaceful the entire plane exhales simultaneously.

"MOOOOOM I POOOOPED MY PAAAAAANTSSSS." Immediately, a stomach-turning odor fills our end of the cabin, and of course, the plane is STILL. NOT. MOVING. Those little nozzles of air above your head do not dissipate poo smells very well, just FYI. 10 minutes til boarding and my heart is racing. Wailing, poop smells, no more sympathetic smiles from the passengers, and finally thankyouthankyouthankyou we're moving again. As we pull into the gate, the attendant comes on the overhead and says "Folks, if I could ask your cooperation for a minute - if you could all remain seated while I get this young lady off the plane first - I think she might need to use the bathroom."

YA THINK? Cos I'm pretty sure she just told us SHE ALREADY DID.

5 minutes to go, overwhelming smell, no one is getting off the plane and PS, Degree deodorant YOU DO NOT WORK.

The poopy passenger was whisked off and seatbelts came off faster than a freshmen's pants on pledge night. clickclickclickGET OFF THE FREAKING PLANE ALREADY. 3 minutes til boarding, I'm never going to make it across the Behemoth That Is Dulles International in that huge pod on wheels.

But, by the Grace of God, I step off of Flight 349D at Gate 2C. Boarding next to me, at 3C was Flight 3489. To Greensboro. Halle-freaking-lujah.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008: Year in Review

I found this annual review over at a blog I regularly read and couldn't resist partaking in a little year end review. Enjoy and feel free to fill out on your own blogs (if appropriate), or go forth and visit the bajillions of other blogs she's painstakingly linked.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Wakeboarded. Snowboarded out west. Stressed a teeny tiny bit less. Just enough for me to notice.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I find that I end up making them all year round. I'm a resolutions kind of gal.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My cousin Danielle had her 3rd. Charlie Maureen. My best friend from middle school had her first, Jacob Connor. And my cousin-in-law just welcomed her first little girl on the first day of '09. (So technically not part of this year in review, I suppose.)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, amazingly and fortunately so.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ooooh Canada.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Follow through.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 11 - 1 year wedding anniversary
October 11 - Baltimore Half Marathon with this chickie

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating coaching school

9. What was your biggest failure?
Bringing work problems come home with me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Shingles in January, a minor colitis flare in April, but a healthy year overall.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A wii for Matt and new dungarees for moi.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My hubby's. 4th Year is supposed to be take it easy year and every time I turn around he's doing the dishes, going to the grocery store or vacuuming. Also, my co-workers - we became a formidable team this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I won't go down this road on a public forum, but suffice it to say this last quarter of the year taught me some life lessons of the working world.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Student loans, Wal-mart and bridesmaid dresses.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A new camera. Biggest Loser. Wino Weddings.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
TI /Rhianna - Live Your Life

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder?b) thinner or fatter?c) richer or poorer?
Equally as happy. Slightly thinner. Equi-rich.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Gone out. Traveled. Wrote. Prayed. Listened.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Complained. Judged. Gossiped. Whined.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Lincolnton with my in-laws, then flew up to Rochester to be with my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Even more with my hub? Yes. (Sorry. Cheese.)

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Biggest Loser

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
Twilight, The Shack and Eat Pray Love. Oh just one? Yea, I can't.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ingrid Michaelson, Boyce Avenue, Casting Crowns, Bret Harris

26. What did you want and get?
A new camera. I am in love. Sigh.

27. What did you want and not get?
A dog.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Forgetting Sarah Marshall was actually really funny, and The Dark Knight was excellent.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
26, I celebrated with the most scrumptious cake that I obligingly shared with my husband, mom and sister and neighbors Zac and Jamie.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Cheaper air fare.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Ann Taylor Loft, say hello to Forever 21.

32. What kept you sane?
Going to bed early, Matt making me laugh, Wino List Serve, Pinot Grigio and long runs with J.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Bob Harper. And Oprah. It's a tie.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The bail-outs.

35. Who did you miss?
Far-flung friends and Mike&Share.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
My favorite new people of 2008 are our friends' Zac & Jamie's relatives Margaret & John who graciously took us in, not once but twice, in Utah and then again in Toronto. Not only are they hospitable, but they're hilarious and generous, and made us feel like family when we were the ones crashing on their family time.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Be more involved and less invested.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I've got a peaceful easy feeling / and I know you won't let me down / cause I'm already standing / on the ground. (-Eagles)

Ciao, '08. I imagine I will look back at 2008 as a quiet, peaceful easy year, sandwiched between two eventful years (2007 = marriage, 2009 = hubby's GRADUATION!). It was a year of settling into our role as Mr. and Mrs. and the first year I stayed at my current residence for more than one year (yet thanks to weddings and interview and fun, still managed to drag around a suitcase with great frequency). It was a year of steady health, of job and school stability, of relative peace and quiet in both our families. While in retrospect it appears almost unexceptional, perhaps this year of status quo provides welcome respite. Who knows what 2009 hold for us?

Cheers to a happy & healthy 2009!