Tuesday, May 31, 2011


...well at least for this evening.
I had a bit of a rough day.  I had hopes for a good day and while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t particularly good either and was full of tears (I told you I was a crier!).
I had to be at work at 7 this morning for something and the plan was to spend 1/2 my day doing my normal job and the other 1/2 shadowing another department.  Well that didn’t happen.  It was one of those days when it felt like a lot needed to get done and I felt like I was playing catch-up though I never stopped working.  I took my legal breaks (though maybe slightly shortened...shhh don’t tell!).  I sent one of my coworkers home the moment she walked in the door because she wasn’t feeling well.  I was fine without her, it just meant a little more run around.  I spent my morning getting pulled to the floor to fix visuals related tasks since I was the only “visuals” person in the store at the time, pushing my real duties back.
One of those tasks included fixing one of our printers on the floor, which happened to fall and hit me in the nose.  I let out a bit of a yelp and scared a few people.  It hurt.  It lead to tears, but I think they were more tears of frustration than tears of pain.  I tried to take a break, only to get pulled into helping a co-worker while I had my wallet in hand and was beginning to eat my snack.  The only reason I hadn’t walked out of the store was to make sure my manager didn’t need a coffee or anything since he had yet to get a break.  I handed off my co-worker to someone else as soon as possible to get my much needed break.
My day continued with random stops and starts.  A few moments of just shutting the office door so I could have a minute to myself.  There was lots of Bon Iver playing through out the day (or “hippie music” to some people).
Throughout the day, my back kept needing to pop or feeling like it needed to pop.  Every little movement led to me feeling like I needed to twist and put something back in place.  Little did I know, this was only the beginning.  By the afternoon, I had pinching in my upper back and the feeling that things needed to be put back in place was constant, no matter what I did.  It progressed into a pinch in my lower back.  The pain was one of those instances where you feel like you could pass out.  This led to more tears.  My day was ending but it still felt like there was so much I could have / wanted / needed to do.  Everyone kept asking if I was okay, even once I stopped crying but pain was radiating through my entire spine so terribly my answer was simply “no” and I walked away.  I made sure my managers were ready to take on the remainder of the evening without me (or any member of my team) and hobbled my way out the door.  Walking was now difficult.  Sitting was (and still is difficult).
I will spend a bit of time with my legs up the wall (yoga pose) and the rest of the time I’ll be laying in bed or sitting on my couch.  I wanted to go to yoga tomorrow and get in a run, so I’m hoping this is just some weird fluke.  There’s also a headache lingering in my head so I think it’s time for some ibuprofen.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Post Challenge Breakthrough #1: Time Spent Alone

I spend a lot of time alone.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my time to myself.  I’m very much an independent person and crave time away from people, to sit in the comfort of my own home in my pajamas and be left alone.  But at the same time, sometimes it gets to be too much time alone, too much time to think, or more like over-think.  Sometimes I think the amount of time I spend alone, is the reason I struggle with some of the things I struggle with.  Sometimes I think it may be the reason I struggle to maintain friendships with people.  I have some amazing friends, they’re just really spread out (as in all over the country).  It makes it great when we finally get to reunite because I know it’s going to be a blast but it makes living in one place difficult.

I’m a generally quiet person.  If you know me well, if you take the time to get to know me, you’ll learn it can be hard to shut me up at times.  And while I’ve spent my life working to come out of my shell, I’ve also dealt with a lot of heartache and I’ve realized how it’s made me more of a quiet person again, more likely to over-think my every move and word.  Those kinds of behaviors make it hard to show people who I am.  They make it hard for me to really open up to people.  They make it hard for me to say “Hi, my name is Katie. It’s nice to meet you” and take any steps to further a conversation.  I’m not exactly sure when this happened but it’s been one of those things that I’ve thought a lot about but have always been afraid to share.
I’m an emotional person.  I cry and I cry easily.  I cry when I’m hurt, happy, frustrated, excited, whatever.  It’s very easy to bring tears to my eyes.  It’s difficult to admit because I know so many people see tears as a sign of weakness but for me, it’s a sign of my passion.  A passion for everything I do and a passion for every person in my life that I allow close enough to see the real me and who choose to stay a part of my life and allow me to see the real them.
Why am I sharing this?  This isn’t meant to be a sad post, though it may seem this way at first glance.  I’ve spent the last 30 days taking 90 minutes every.single.day to focus on me and my breath.  In learning these habits, I’ve been able to get a clearer view on myself and my life and what I need and would like to be happier and live a more fulfilling life.  And one of those things is to work on my friendships.  I want to repair frayed relationships; I want to tighten strong friendships; and most importantly, I want to build new friendships.

I see other’s friendships and can’t help but feel a tingle of jealousy.  I have some amazing friends, please don’t get me wrong.  And to my friends out there reading this, please don’t be offended by our friendships and take this the wrong way.  But as I said, I spend a lot of time alone and I want to change that.  I want to feel more open and willing to spend time with other people.  I want to build strong friendships (and strengthen existing ones) to create a support group in LA, as I hope this will be one thing to help me feel happier and more at home out here.  
And believe it or not, I kind of want a roommate.  Living alone has so many upsides, but it also has it’s downsides.  I can’t tell you how easy it is to come home after a long day, put on my yoga pants and crash on my couch and not move for the remainder of the evening until I eventually fall asleep on the couch, only to wake up a few hours later and move to my bed.  This is a daily occurrence in my apartment.  But it’s also one that has made me spend even more time alone because it makes me too lazy to go out and meet people.  And all that time alone can bring about some major loneliness.  But my history with roommates (aside from the ever amazing roomie Justine!), has me hesitant to live with people but I think it’s time to reconsider.  I think it’s time to open myself up to the potential struggle of living with others and embrace the challenge and money saving opportunities.  You never know until you try.  And as long as I have my own bathroom, I’m open.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mission Accomplished!!

Did you expect anything different? :)

30 Days in a row. 90 mins per day.  2,700 minutes total.
That’s a lot of yoga.  That’s a lot of breathing.  That’s a lot of healing.

And I must tell you, I feel amazing!
I definitely ended on a great note with an amazing class this evening.  I wish we were downstairs so it would have been heated but despite there only being three students, the room sure did get warm and I sweat, which is always the goal when I work out.  (No, I’m clearly not one of those people at the gym who is afraid of sweating.  I want to sweat.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment in what I’m doing.  Sorry...But at least I clean my machines when I’m done sweating all over them!) 
Anyway, I have to tell you this was such an amazing experience!  It wasn’t easy but at the same time, it was because my heart was so in it.  I wanted the challenge and variety added to my workout but I also wanted the mental clarity associated with yoga.  And the best way to see benefits from something like this, is to truly commit and make a habit out of it.  So I did.  And quite honestly, it saved my life.  I fear writing that last statement and freaking everyone out because I know the initial thoughts that just popped in everyone’s heads and it wasn’t in that kind of way.  But rather in the way that I learned to take control of my life, my thoughts and how best to deal with stress and fear - just BREATHE!  If you’re someone who knows me well (and even if you aren’t), you’ve probably witnessed the anxiety, stress and fear that I used to allow to consume me at times.  I’m not okay with that; I was never okay with that, I just didn’t know how to deal with it.
Solution: Breathe through it.  Breathe through it all.  And when you feel like you can’t push one bit further, breathe again.

It works.  I’m now an advocate and you will find me telling you to keep breathing any time I sense your stress, fear, anxiety, sadness, whatever it may be.  If I need to, I will go a step further and stick my phone in front of your face and make you breathe along with the “My Calm Beat” app that helps you regulate your breath.  (I’m sure it does more than that, but that’s about all I’ve taken the time to figure out/use it for.)
In the past 30 days, I’ve become more positive.  I’m not exactly sure when the change occurred, but the important fact is that it did.  I became wiser.  And the only way I know this is because I can now look back on parts of my life in a clearer mindset and see how I’ve removed myself from the rubble.  I can confidently tell you, it will get better.  All you have to do, is breathe and make a conscious effort to move forward.  When you come back to me and tell me “it’s easier said than done,” I can agree and say “I know, I’ve been there.  I made it through, so can you.”
I’ve often told you all that not every day is a good day; we all know this.  We know to expect it but the key to these bad days is to look at them in just that way - A bad day.  ONE bad day.  ONE bad day in the midst of many good days.  And stop and think about it, how many bad days do you remember?  Like specifics that made it so terrible?  ...that’s what I thought.  There are very few.  And the ones you remember, it’s probably because of a significant thing (a break-up, death in the family, or some other major event).  Not because someone cut you off in traffic.  Not because your boss or coworker pissed you off that day.  Not because you felt fat.  You don’t remember those days.  You know they happened, but you don’t actually remember them.  Why? Because they aren’t important!  They aren’t what makes you YOU.
Over the last 30 days, I pushed through more of the hurt of losing the band.  I pushed through the feeling of loss and unknown in my life that overtook me after I lost them.  I decided that I needed to create a new plan for myself.  I decided that I could create a career, a life that included all of my passions, not just one.  I signed up to go back to school; I bought my textbook, notebook and pens (nerd); I told everyone all about it and I have received a tremendous amount of support.  I couldn’t be more excited about what is in store.
As I finished off this 30 Day Yoga Challenge today, I found myself a mix of giddy and nervous.  I was excited to be able to say I did it and then work to finding the right balance of yoga, running, lifting and misc cardio in my life.  But I was nervous - part because I was afraid something would happen making me miss my class (getting stuck at work, class being cancelled, something).  But also nervous for the “after.”  I’ve spent the last 30 days going to yoga every.single.day.  It became part of my daily routine; part of my life, so there’s definitely a fear that I may not be able to maintain the same mental balance that I’ve developed the last 30 days.  I guess this is where the real challenge actually begins.  But since The Yoga Collective is having a summer special of $49 unlimited/month until September, I can find the money to continue through the summer - not everyday, but 3 or so days/week and then continue my 20-30 minute sessions at home on those other days. 
As class was slowing down today, I found myself smiling.  I was proud of how close I was.  I found myself super relaxed and smiling while in Savasana.  And when class ended, I had a great conversation with the instructor, Brianna, about yoga for people with Scoliosis.  (I’ve been going to several of her classes and today she came over to me for adjustment and asked if I had a curvature in my spine and adjusted me to where it would be better for my back - it was amazing!)  I guess she went to a workshop this weekend about “Yoga for Scoliosis” and was just beaming with excitement and information.  She recommended a book which I’m definitely going to have to check out but it was just an amazing way to end the class and to end the challenge - with a feeling of community and connection.  I grabbed my stuff and as I was walking out, one of the other ladies in my class told me to “have a good rest of the weekend.”  Why is it that something that simple, can make you feel so good?  I was walking down the stairs from the building, out the front door and to my car with tears in my eyes.  I’m proud.  And I feel amazing!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Respect (I do).

I don't expect much from people because I know we all have different values and work ethics but I'm having one of those days where I am just appalled by people.  I often remind myself that we aren't all made the same and not everyone is a perfectionist to the same extent that I am but still people...
Be aware of conversations you're having, who's around and when they shouldn't be and when it’s okay.
Trust people who are in positions of responsibility. Remember they are there for a reason. 
Think about the pictures you post and where you post them.  Respect yourself.  There’s a level of confidence and then there’s the level where it seems egotistical or just TMI.
I wouldn’t consider myself “conservative” but maybe I’m more so than I ever realized or knew.  Or maybe I’m too shy and not confident enough in my body to flaunt it all over the place (I am).  Or maybe I respect myself, others and my work (I do).  Maybe I expect people to work the way I do (I do).  
Maybe I need to breathe more (I do).


Thursday, May 26, 2011


I can't even finish a challenge before a new one begins...
Before you think I've gone totally crazy, I didn't decide to do it this way. Granted I did pick the date for the yoga challenge to start, I felt like there was "no better time than now" and I'm so glad I decided to do it when I did. I'm not going to go into the details about how it went because it's only day 28, so I'm not done receiving the benefits. (though please note I won't stop once the challenge is over, I just won't go day after day making yoga my main source of exercise.)
Well I'm sure at this point you're wondering what the new challenge is...
One of my favorite benefits working for Apple is their support for maintaining health, whether that be exercise, quitting smoking, etc. 
Last year they teamed up with Nike for a 6 week "cardio challenge" where you used the Nike + app and sensor to track your mileage walking or running.  Well they did it again this year for the iWalk I did a few weeks ago and then for another round of the cardio challenge.  It started this Monday with a week of overlap and boy my body is feeling it already! 
Yesterday I did a 4 mile run + 90 min yoga class and when I tried to run a 2 miler this morning, my body quickly decided that wasn't going to happen.  1 mile later, I was moving myself over to a stationary bike for the remainder of my sweat session. 
My body is still tired....
I hope I can make it up tomorrow morning for another run. I don't want to get behind my 75 mile goal!! 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Foodie for a Day - Pizza on the Table

I have to make this quick.  Sleepiness (& a headache) are very quickly taking over my body.
Today was my “day off” but there was an admin team meeting requested and they were willing to have the meeting be when I got out of yoga at 1 and since it’s right down the Promenade, I agreed.  
So after a 4 mile run this morning, quick rinse off shower, breakfast and 90 minutes of sweaty yoga, I was off to a meeting.  (Plus a delicious fresh farmers market orange after yoga, of course!)  Meeting was painless, not too long and we took an extra couple of minutes to work out our June schedule, which is good to have out of the way.  Good changes are coming, I think!
Anyway, I owe you all a foodie post but I feel like I need to share that I’ve been a terrible foodie this week.  Despite my best efforts to plan dinners, I ultimately failed.  I found myself being too tired and lazy when I came home from work.  I’m sure the crazy schedule I worked last week has played a major role in my laziness factor.  I’m really having the hardest time bouncing back (and I think I increased my caffeine addiction / dependency too...awesome...).  I found myself eating a lot of cereal for dinner.  I would always do my best to “healthy” it up a bit with 1/2 sliced banana leftover from breakfast + a dollop of peanut butter.  Not to mention, my cereal options aren’t really unhealthy (Shredded Oats) and my milk choice is just a plain soy milk.  It was delicious and happened more times last week than I’d like to admit.
With that said, my goal for this week was to help stock up on some foods that will make my life easier and help support some sudden urges of laziness or tiredness.  I’ve stocked up on bread, pitas, hummus, tempeh, frozen veggies, soy based cheese, sauces and (yes, more!) cereal.
I also decided that despite how tired I’m feeling from today’s intense exercise, I was going to make dinner.  I have a few fun possible “foodie” posts for the coming weeks but today I was just not feeling up to the challenges.  But I do want to present to you a delicious dairy free, whole wheat pizza you can feel good about eating!
Thank you Trader Joe’s for supplying EVERY ingredient in tonight’s dinner.  

TJ's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough resting + frozen peppers thawing out
a snack while I wait...
Stretched and ready for toppings

TJ brand pizza sauce - cheap and yummy
the BEST soy cheese I've ever had! hands down! You may have to grate it but it melts AND browns.  Delish!
For some added nutritional benefits
ready to come out of the oven!
ready to be served

I've always wanted to try making mini personal sized pizzas (by dividing the dough in 4), forcing me to not over-eat which ends up happening every.single.time. despite my efforts to not do so.  And by the tummy ache I have right now, I can assure you this time was no exception... :-/

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You Gotta Go Broke to Make Money

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.  (For this whole going back to school thing at least).
$600 for 1 class - credit card charged
$150 for the book for said class - credit card charged (thank you Half.com for it being cheaper than the $250 price listed through the UCLA bookstore...)
$13 for a 3-subject notebook and package of Sharpie brand pens - credit card charged
My class doesn’t start for another month and I’m already so excited I purchased my “needed” school supplies.  That’s right, I’m a nerd and you should accept me for who I am. :)
I also logged into the online “Blackboard system” UCLA uses to begin to get myself acquainted with the system.  I want to be ready to rock and spend my precious time learning the class material, NOT learning how to use the program!  To my surprise and delight, I found they have an APP!  No joke!  With the app you are supposed to be able to access your courses, view grades, post and read the discussion boards and even submit files if your phone allows you to do that! How cool?!
My nerdy-ness is continuing to show itself isn’t it?


I Need

- more dinner
- a trip
- a run
- a massage
- a hug
- to breathe through it
- to breathe through all of it


Monday, May 23, 2011


I survived the weekend but quite honestly, sometimes I'm not sure I did.  The over night at work was fun and if you haven’t been to an Apple store since Sunday, I would highly recommend because it looks really cool.  I survived the 12 hours I worked on Sunday, but didn’t actually pay attention to how everything looked, I just focused on accomplishing the task of implementing the changes.
After I left on Sunday, I skipped the offer for breakfast with the rest of the team and headed straight to yoga.  I knew if I didn’t go as soon as I left, then I wouldn’t make it and thus would lose my 30 day yoga challenge after completing 23 days.  I made it through day 24!  I definitely fell asleep in a few poses including pigeon (and I don’t normally enjoy this pose so this is definitely one I never would have expected falling asleep in).  I fell asleep the moment my butt hit the couch.  Woke up for a quick hour or so, ate an apple, brushed my teeth, texted a friend for a bit and crashed again.
While I was able to get up for a run at 4:30 this morning, I still feel mentally and physically exhausted.  More so mentally than anything else.  I find myself getting more frustrated than I have been lately, which of course makes me more frustrated but such is life.  I decided to bring my laptop with me to work so I could give you all a quick little update, head out to my 6:15 yoga class and hopefully just go to bed the moment I walk in the door.  Please notice I said hope.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Should Be Sleeping

For the girl who is starting work at midnight, I should really be sleeping right now...Come about 4/4:30 ish I tried to sleep and went in and out for a couple hours.  That’s when I decided to wake up, have a green smoothie and allow myself to fall asleep watching a movie.  
That didn’t happen.
Blog reading is rather distracting.  Facebook is rather distracting.  As was the Orientation for the online system for my class this summer (more about that later).  And then deciding to actually blog is rather distracting.
But now it’s after 8, I’m feeling sleepy and knowing the alarms I set for 10 and 11 PM are going to come way too soon.  The only reason for the 11PM alarm is a “just in case” I over sleep and it’s my warning I have to be at work in an hour and I need to be ready and showered for the long day that awaits me.
And for those of you a little worried, have no fear.  There is this wonderful technology that allows you to set a delay brew time on your coffee pot.  Mine will begin brewing at 10PM.  One cup is planned for while I get ready, the other is planned to come with me.  (My pot only makes 2 mug-fulls, so there are only 2 cups to be had....at least until Starbucks opens in the morning). 

I'm going to try that whole sleep thing again.  I’m going to be tired.  Boy I hope we’re doing something cool! ;)

My photo. My addition of text. :)

"Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life"

To my surprise, I’ve been enjoying the new addition of Twitter into my life.  I’ve realized it’s not the “I just ate dinner,” “I need to pee,” “I’m typing as I type this” kind of thing that I thought it was before joining.  There is actually a point to it.  There is an ability to spread a word, a point.  There is an ability to almost network and share common interests.  I’ve been having fun!
I bring this up because one of the “people” I started to follow is called “Greatest Quotes” and throughout the day they post many amazing, inspiring, beautiful quotes (maybe even some funny ones too).  But one that came up this morning was a quote by Ernest Holmes “Change your thinking, change your life.”  I re-tweeted it.  I wanted to make sure that any one who didn’t see it, got a chance to see (or at least all 14 of my followers).  But it’s so true.
If I look back to 2010, it was a bumpy ride for me.  As with life, I had some great days and I had some awful days, but it felt like the awful days were occurring more often than I wanted them to.  And when they came around they were worse than I had known them to be.  Or the ability to bounce back from them was harder, so they’d last longer than a day.  I knew if I wanted to change things around, I would have to make a conscious effort to actually do so.  I slowly but surely tried and some days I failed.  As I believe I’ve mentioned here before, I decided to start 2011 on a fresh note.  I decided to stay in; I decided to spend it alone; I decided to go to bed around 10pm; I decided I wasn’t going to care what anyone said about the way I chose to spend my evening.  And that’s what I did.  I woke up the next morning bright and early so I could get to work and open and unlike everyone else, I was awake; I was happy; I didn’t stink of last night’s drinks sweating out my pores; I wasn’t tired and dragging; I felt amazing!  And at that point, I was given the reassurance that 2011 would be different and while it would take a lot of work for me, choosing to take steps to reduce the toxicity in my life and make a conscious effort to change my thinking, could really work.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I knew I’d have some awful days and I’d have some amazing days, but I also knew I needed to stick with it if I was going to see the change I wanted in my life.
You have all stuck with me and witnessed this journey, or at least everything I’ve chosen to publish, so you all know it hasn’t been easy.  But through all of this I have gained wisdom and peace and happiness.  I bring this up because a co-worker of mine is going through some hard times and I’m witnessing the impact it is having on him.  So when he posted his frustration this morning on Facebook about 5 minutes after I saw this Ernest Holmes quote, I really realized just how much this statement is true and that I needed to tell him that.  So I did.  My response was simply “change your thinking, change your life.”  I look forward to witnessing his journey. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Announcement!

I have been trying to hold this secret in for as long as I possibly could but the excitement is just building up inside of me too much and I can’t wait to share!
It’s something I’ve been thinking about for awhile but haven’t really been able to push the thought away.  My initial instinct was this thought was my way of freaking out and over-reacting to the situation at hand (losing the band), but after weeks (months) of this re-occurring thought, I decided to view it in a different light: this is my sign that it’s my chance to create my career in a fresh new way, combining ALL of my passions into one life that I truly enjoy.
If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life - that is my goal!
And I’m sure now you’re wondering HOW I’m going to do that? 
Well that’s exactly what I’m going to be figuring out, but here’s where I’m going to start:
I’m joining the UCLA Extension Program to receive my Certificate in Fitness Instruction!
This is going to take some time to complete; they say the average is about 2 years.  I’m not looking to rush this process, but rather start slow to ensure this is what I want to be doing.
I’m going to be starting this summer with 1 online course in Human Anatomy & Physiology.  It’s not the course I’d necessarily want to start with but it’s recommended to start, so I figured I probably should.
Upon completion of my certificate, I’ll have the possibility of getting my Masters in Kinesiology, though I’m not sure if I want to do that just yet.
As I mentioned above, I want to create my career in a fresh new way, combining ALL of my passions into one life that I truly enjoy.  And by ALL, I do mean ALL.  I want to combine fitness, nutrition and music, into one career (or multiple careers if I want) and one life that makes me happy.
I want to be able to write about the steps that I take to live a healthy lifestyle with a complete understanding and education as to why.  I want to confidently be able to inform others how they can improve their lifestyles in a way that won’t really feel like work or that they’re missing out on something more.  I’m going to find a way to do this and still have the music industry be an integral part of my career.  I have a couple ideas but starting classes is the beginning of the journey to figure out what will really work for me. 
Thank you all for your support and I welcome you to continue this journey with me. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Forks Over Knives

With today being a “foodie” day, I figured it’s also a good day to share the trailer for “Forks Over Knives.”  I haven’t seen the full length feature and I’ll admit part of me is afraid, while another part is highly intrigued.
I’ve been vegetarian since I was 15 (9 years ago...wow! I feel old again), and I’ve never once regretted my decision.  For anyone curious, I stopped eating meat because I didn’t like how it tasted, so it seemed silly to keep eating it when there were plenty of other delicious foods out there.  As with every (or at least most) new vegetarians, I went through my phases of eating poorly and trying to figure out what I should be eating as a vegetarian to stay healthy.  And I also went through the phase of college where I ate the same things all the time because the vegetarian options in the “Caf” seemed unappealing and like reheated left-overs everyday.  I ate a lot of bagels, grilled cheese, pasta and tuna wraps.  Clearly from that you can tell I still eat seafood (it’s pretty delicious so it’s stayed).
After living on my own in a place where I could make my own meals, I began eating healthier.  I still struggled with the tight budget I was living (and still do) live under, but I’ve spent years now working to find healthy convenient alternatives while still allowing myself some of my favorite comfort foods (like Kraft 3-Cheese Mac & Cheese).  I’ve also come to the point where I try very hard to eat more “real” food.  When you eat well and know what’s in your food, you feel better about the things you’re putting into your body and the energy that’s coming out of it.
But even the trailer alone for “Forks Over Knives” scared me into being happy I’m a vegetarian and spend every day of my life working hard to live a healthy one.
Consider yourself warned.