Tuesday, March 24

March 25, 2009 - Down in the Valley

Hello All,

Continuing last week's them of Peaks and Valleys, apparently I decided to dig a hole in the valley and climb right into it! I am having trouble with motivation and feeling overwhelmed. I think what I need to do is concentrate on only the bare necessities to get through this dip. Of course, one of the main necessities is doing everything I need to do to prepare for the Mini Marathon. It is taking me a lot longer to walk the miles that I need to, but I am getting out there and doing it most days.

Now, I do not necessarily think the author of Peaks and Valleys is referring to depression as a valley, but it did get me thinking about one of my favorite Podcasts of all time. It is part of The Moth storytellers series and is very amusing and poetic. You MIGHT still be able to get it on iTunes by subscribing to the the free The Moth podcasts, it should show in your list. The storyteller is Andrew Solomon who wrote; Noonday Demon. If you want to hear it and cannot get it, let me know.

Now, you should listen to the story on iTunes, but if you do not have time click here to read a transcript of the basic gist of the story of what happened when he attended a ndop. A ndop is a ceremony that is performed for people to make them feel better in Senegal. Senegal does not have a word for depression, but they obviously experience it in non-Western civilization as well.

In the iTunes story he goes on to explain that years later he is in Rwanda working on another book. There he learns they have a similar ceremony to make people feel better. Again, it involves sacrificing an animal, the people in the community dance around you, you are outside, and music is playing. All of these things are good for getting your heart pumping, and in essence feeling like you are part of the community. I am not going to ruin the punchline for you, but you get the gist of the story.

So, I have some questions for you:

*Does anyone have a Ram, 2 cockerels, and a couple of hens we could sacrifice?

*Where can I get millet?

*Do you think you could take the day off of work, come to my house and dance around me while I am covered in blankets with the ram?

*Anyone play tribal drums?

Let me know!


Originally published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 19

March 18, 2009 - Peaks and Valleys

The following is a letter that I am not going to send (for fear Dr. Pita would get a concussion when he bangs his head on the desk after reading it), but provide for your amusement. The exchange is in reference to a book that Dr. Pita is currently "peddling" (his words not mine). The book is by one of the authors of Who Moved My Cheese. Dr. Pita apparently just recently read the book Peaks and Valleys and LOVED IT.

The premise of the book is to learn to deal with and appreciate the ups and downs of life. It is a good book written in the style of a parable. I liked it, but when you read my fake letter you will see I had a bit of trouble with it in my current state of mind.

Dear Dr. Pita;

To say I am perturbed by your recent book suggestion is an understatement. Wednesday afternoon, on my way to see Dr. Pins and Needles, I used my Borders coupon to purchase Peaks and Valleys. At the time, I did not know that I should have asked you for a prescription for Xanax to get through it.

I settled down to read the book later Wednesday evening. It starts out nicely before it gets into the nitty gritty of what it is trying to teach. As I progressed through the book my mind begins to whirl faster and faster. I do not know if I was looking for hidden meaning or what, but the following thoughts kept going faster and faster in my head. Of course, these are only a small fraction of what I was thinking.

*The young man is in the Valley, does this mean he is depressed? Why is he depressed? What is it really signifying?

*Does the old man mean that when we are in a valley it is okay? That we should just "stop and smell the roses?" That the bad stuff will go away on its own? Scratch that. That is not what it means.

*Are Peaks and Valleys REALLY the same as HIGHS and LOWS?!?! What?!?

*So is the book saying that during the good times we prepare for the bad times? If so, does it mean we should always just stick with the basics and be done with it?

*Peaks and Valleys are not really the same as depression and "the super opposite of depression" (you know I REFUSE to use that other word). They are external factors, in a way. Right, they are not the same? Or are they in a way?


*Ooooo...looking at the "truth" behind what is causing a Valley is a good point. What is causing my current Valley? I know! I got away from the basics and what was working!

*Okay, so I plan what the next Peak looks like. Do I need to write it down? Do I make a project plan to attain it? Isn't this much like goal setting? I KNOW! I KNOW! I should do this for my Mini Marthon training!

As you can see, Dr. Pita, my mind was very busy. I had to take a nap after reading the book. Fortunately, it only took me about 40 minutes to read the book, but I had to sleep for 12 hours to recover from it!

One of Your Favorite Patients,

P.S. Since I gained 2 pounds (brought the stock market up) the past two weeks (muscle and water) and had a problem with some binge eating, I will be in next week to get weighed. I am also going back to some basics, such as concentrating on my water and fiber intake. The rest should fall into place. My exercise plan is to keep up the Mini Marathon walking and strength training.

Originally Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 11

March 11, 2009 - It's All My Fault

Hi All,

I should say I am sorry, but I am not apologizing!

Here is the evidence of my misdeed. The following is a graph of my weight loss by week over the past 50 weeks.

Here is the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past year. Note the similarities.

My plan is to see if increasing the amount of weight I can lift with PT Bruiser and the miles I walk will reverse trend in the Dow. Stay tuned to see if it works!

Til Next Week,

P.S. I had a rough week getting my miles in and being healthy in general, but the coach with Bricks to Bricks had an inspiring talk last night that might put be back on the "straight and narrow."

Originally Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 4

March 4, 2009 - Dreaming of David Cassidy

Hello All,

For the record (according to my interpretation of Dr. Pita’s lecture today), I need to document that I did not have a “good week” as far as being completely in the right state of mind starting the day after the Polar Bear Walk (an allergy attack is no excuse). Okay, there I did it. Now I will remember. Of course, how can I forget any of the following?

*Screaming at the guy on the interstate for “learning to drive in [insert your least favorite State here]”. He HAD it coming to him, he was driving very stupidly and in two lanes at once!

*Yelling at the dog for breathing too loudly (he was sleeping at the time). I was trying to sleep. He gets to sleep all day.

*Circling the truck a couple of times because I was convinced someone was underneath it ready to slash my Achilles. This could happen, ya know.

*Going back to bed for 4 hours after having just slept for 14. I was TIRED! Who hasn't done this?

*Staring at the ceiling for about an hour saying to myself; “Why get out of bed, it doesn’t matter anyway. We all die in the end.” Obviously, not a good day AT ALL.

Fortunately, by the middle of the week, I was on my way back into a better mood. I think my mood started getting better when I tweeted that I needed to get in a better mood. The next morning I woke up with the Partridge Family Theme Song stuck in my head (SERIOUSLY, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP).

For those that do not know the song, here are the lyrics and click here to hear it.

Hello, world, hear the song that we're singin'

C'mon get happy!

A whole lot of lovin' is what we'll be bringin'

We'll make you happy!

We had a dream, we'd go travelin' together,

We'd spread a little lovin' then we'd keep movin' on.

Somethin' always happens whenever we're together

We get a happy feelin' when we're singing a song.

Trav'lin' along there's a song that we're singin'

C'mon get happy!

A Whole lot of lovin' is what we'll be bringin'

We'll make you happy! We'll make you happy!

We'll make you happy!

It was at that moment I needed to decide if I was going to get in a better mood or go insane with that idiotic song in my head! I chose the former.

Til Next Week,

P.S. I lost another 2.5 pounds in the past two weeks! I also added some new statistics on the right.

P.P.S. I have theory as to WHY I dreamed this song after tweeting. The first person to guess the theory wins bragging rights. For those that use Twitter you should be able to figure out what I believe my subconscious mind did while I was sleeping that night to make me wake up singing the song. Answer to be revealed next week.

P.P.P.S. I am not the crazy one in the family this week. My sister apparently has a foot fetish. Check her blog out here.

Originally Published to http://kristiasher.blogspot.com/