The Job Search

Some of you may be aware that I am now unemployed since I finished the internship. Though I am studying for my RD exam at home, I find that finding employment is almost, in itself, a full-time job. Irony.

So due to some clever networking, I was to meet with a holistic/integrative/complementary and alternative medicine clinic that helps people with common conditions like food intolerances/allergies, depression, GI distress, menopause, fibromyalgia, etc. These patients come here because Western medicine has failed them.

This clinic uses LEAP therapy (Lifestyle Eating and Performance Program), which really interests me, so I was interested immediately. LEAP involves taking a blood sample and analyzing it for markers that indicate food allergies and intolerances. It’s 90% accurate (more accurate than the test they give at the doctor, called the Alcat test, that’s 60% accurate). They even have their own pharmacy. I’d love to see how they make the meds/supplements, kinda like we saw the TPN compounding. I felt like I really hit it off with the employees I met.

Basically, this was everything that I would want as a company…it’s established, treats clients/patients as individuals (not numbers) and it has an integrative approach to healthcare. It calls to me, almost literally. I think that the future of nutrition is individualized diets. Not “oh you have cardiovascular disease? Here’s a cardiac diet. You don’t have to follow it in a few months.” More like “oh, you have cardiovascular disease? Let’s test you for other insensitivities so we can make an integrative eating plan that will work for the rest of your life. You said you crave bread like crazy? Let’s create a 7-day meal plan together and see what works and what doesn’t.” It’s the team approach, folks!

Problem is that the interview went great. GREAT! We talked about hiking, sports nutrition, food politics, GMOs, Michael Pollan…the inner workings of Christine!

Then comes the line “we’ll put you in our file.” Might as well drop-kick me out the back door. Devastating. That phrase kills me.

Leaving in utter devastation now that my hopes and dreams have been built up and smashed again in 45 minutes, I turn on the tunes. Guess what song comes on the radio? Just what I needed to hear. “You can’t always get what you want” by the Rolling Stones. Okay, I get it. God has a sense of humor. I knew this.

That song came on after we purchased my Rav-4 too. How ironic. And everything turned out fine with that car, never failed me (minus the slight acceleration, er, problem it had on the freeways Minor problem).

So this too, shall come to pass. Even though I would have loved that job with my soul.

A helpful/encouraging/SUCK IT UP! link of the week

Here’s a link that I stumbled on today. It’s from a fitness/healthy/nutrition/lifestyle blog called Fitness Spotlight, titled “How to Win the Mental Battle.” Summarizing bullet points are as follows (quoted from the article):

  • Health and Weight loss is simple - Follow the basics of healthy eating and be active daily.
  • You have 100% control - Now live your life the way you want to. If you don’t like something the way it is now, either do something to change it up or stop focusing on it. Take action or let it go.
  • No more Excuses, No one left to Blame - Don’t look for someone to take the blame, there is no blame anymore. Don’t beat yourself up, you are not to blame for anything. Forget the past, and focus just on what you need to do right now!
  • “Wake Up” and Live in the Moment - Don’t be asleep like most. Take action on purpose…just don’t react to anything that comes along. Take time to just live and experience life all around you. “Watch” yourself from a distance, and release your attachments. Be Free!
  • All you have is actions and results – Failure or success is non-existent and doesn’t matter anymore. Just keep taking actions and moving forward in life on moment at a time. You will become whatever you focus on….so focus on making things happen.
  • Enjoy the Journey – That is what life is.…and we only get one turn (as far as I know). Don’t live for regrets or be left to wonder “what if”. Make anything happen, dream big, try anything….if you think you can, you will!

I really liked this post because it deals with all aspects of health: physical, mental, and emotional. To some, it may sound a little Jillian Michaels-esque with the “ain’t nobodies fault but your own” attitude. However, sometimes we need that (or maybe I am just speaking for myself?).

That negative self-talk that can occur in relation to healthy mind/body/soul is self-defeating, agreed. But when someone writes it all out in a blog post, ain’t no excuses and ain’t no where to run when they say “you have 100% control of your life.” Time to take a little accountability for our own actions.

Amen, brother!

Organizing/Donating Stuff

After today’s sermon on decluttering our lives to make room for God and a recent viewing of A&E’s show “Hoarders,” I was inspired to clean out my old toys, juvenile trinkets, and random keychains that I collected throughout the years.

Here is the list of relatively important/exciting things that are now at a local Goodwill store:

1. Rapping Microphone

Imagine a small speaker and "beatbox" button on the side, and this was my tool

I mean, right, who didn’t have one of these? Little Christine, walking around the house doing beatbox. I could’ve been the next Eminem. There was so much potential there. I probably have this on VCR somewhere.

Speaking of VCR…

2. Authentic 1982 Video Camera

We never bought a digital one, probably because my parents grew out of the “let’s video tape EVERY-THING” phase after about the 8th year of my life. When we visited Disney World at age 10, the technology museum had one of these. Museum. It was then that I realized how incredibly outdated our camera was.

Still, no shame. Represent.

3. Unpainted Ceramics

Can I tell you how many painting parties I went to as a kid? I also took 3-D art for 3 semesters in high school. I would overextend myself and have to put in extra time in after school to get the project done, hence why monkey, giraffe, and rhino heads plus and unpainted ark dwelled in my closet for 5 years. Guess the theme there.

4. 8th grade-freshman year diary

Wasn’t middle school just plain weird for everybody? We were all knockin’ on puberty’s door, learning where we fit in (a lifelong process, really), and discovering the “popular” cliques. I transitioned from one friend group to the next, went from one fashion statement to another, yet somehow came out relatively unscathed with only minor scars for a therapist to heal. Ok, fine, half kidding about the therapy part. Minus the band-nerd label.

Man, childhood certainly wasn’t boring.

What is Femininity?

This is what hiking does to me. I start thinking.

Look ma, no ropes! Just pure chutzpah

I just returned to the motherland after 4 days/3 nights of hiking in the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. I backpacked with 35 lbs on my back, over treacherous terrain with the possibility of falling into the canyon due to the narrow, unmaintained paths. After we finished, we headed to Vegas for some R&R and see to Cirque de Solei and some good grub.

Honestly, I hated Vegas. It was a completely different world from the Grand Canyon. It’s like, let’s compare God’s creation to manmade plastic structures designed to mimic buildings (again manmade) in ancient Greece, Paris, and New York. Or, better yet, let’s take several different vices, including gambling, prostitution, and flat out stupor-drunkeness and smash them together in one city.

Like I said, hated it.

Where I could be free on the trail, talk how I wanted, look how I wanted (including wearing the same shirt for 4 days), Vegas was the total opposite. I felt almost peer pressured into dressing up, wearing makeup, speaking succinctly (hard to hide the Texas drawl sometimes), etc.

And now, I emerge from this experience with some new thoughts. Well, ok, not new, per say, but refreshed.

If you know me in person, you know I am a minor feminist. Meaning, I’m not a bra burner, but I am aware of women’s rights and how far we’ve come. I’ve read the Feminine Mystique as “recreational” reading and it had a huge impact on me. That said, I pose a question for you:

What is femininity? How is it defined?

Is it by the length of our hair? Whether we’ve shaved our legs/not? Done the laundry? Birthed children? Made dinner? Or maybe it’s our strength, our honesty, down to earthed-ness, and compassion.

Or is it our versatility to do all of the above?

I was inspired by this thought in part to a blog post by Cassandra Forsythe’s post, What is a Beautiful Female Body? and Some Women Think Biceps Are Gross. She writes about how a woman in her boot camp class fears the “bump” growing on her upper arm, i.e. her growing biceps.

As a female, future Registered Dietitian, workout enthusiast, former athlete, and now Grand Canyon Conqueror, this question begs for some contemplation.

I pose to you the same question that I keep thinking…to you, what is femininity?

Thoughts on the article “My Not Drinking Bothers Friends”

“My Not Drinking Bothers Friends”by Megan Knas was posted on the front page of CNN.com today. With a title like that, how could I ignore it? You can read it here, but I’ll give you the bullet points (aka direct quotes):

  • When I first quit drinking, having to say no to cute cocktails and slender-stemmed wine glasses filled me with bottomless shame.
  • I’ve since grown into my life as a non-drinker — a life without starting awake covered in sweat and wringing my hands as I fumble to recall what I said or did in the previous hours — and embraced my choice to abstain.
  • I sleep like a kitten. I feel clearer and calmer than I ever did during my decade-long stint with booze. I enjoy beautiful mornings. I don’t let secrets slip.
  • When you’re sober, especially if you want to stay that way, you have to be at peace with where you are.
  • You have to believe you’re already where you need to be.
  • If someone makes the difficult choice to quit drinking, it’s quite possibly to save her life, not a commentary on anyone else’s and definitely not an issue to be mocked or interrogated at a social gathering.

I can’t seem to support Knas more. It’s refreshing to find a successful writer such as herself (published on cnn.com, that’s a big deal!) and enjoying life. She mentions how much she enjoys dancing while being sober. Couldn’t support you more, sister!

Personally, I don’t drink. It’s just something that I do not enjoy, something that I don’t want to spend time doing. Plus one side of my family has a bit of a history with alcohol, so it’s something I”d rather avoid. Like Knas, I don’t judge people for drinking. That’s like when friends tell me not to judge them for eating potato chips. Silly.

Another bonus point she makes, on which I agree: What’s better than living in the moment, living in the now?

If the reality in which we live isn’t the reality that we desire, booze won’t make that reality better…it’ll only soften the edges or blow up our into more difficult problems, broken hearts, dissolved friendships. Tends to make you-know-what hit the fan, fast.

And that’s messy.

So I’m not saying booze is bad or drinking is the devil. We each have our own personal reasons for not engaging in certain activities, and I have mine for not drinking.  We are “allowed” to do what we want to do as adults, without peer pressure. Save that card  for middle school dances.

These are a few of my fav-orite things

I figured it was time for another rally of my favorite stuff. Materialism at it’s finest.

1. Massages: Not that I’m in an intense/highly stressful/high expectations-related work/school situation, *winks*, but massages certainly helps to relieve some tension. I’ve only gotten a few since I’ve been transplanted here because they are rather expensive. Personally, I like a male masseuse cuz they are stronger, flat out (that’s a huge step, denying my inner feminist). Usually it’s some old guy, and that’s fine. Last time, I got a really cute young guy…and it was kind of awkward. Not sure if I can continue this expensive luxury when I get back to the motherland, but it was enjoyable while it lasted!

Mexico Trip 2010

2. Adventures with Dad: On my last trip, we went to Mexico with the company that award me a scholarship. We loved all the construction work, fellowship with the company, opportunity to travel and time together. For our next excursion, we will go to the Grand Canyon with one of REI’s adventure groups (click the link for our specific trip). We are going backpacking for 4 days with a group of 9 folks, including 2 guides, around the North Rim. The public can access the South Rim, but since we’re special, we get to hike the North Rim (it’s all rocks, right? Kidding). I’m expecting some beautiful sites and look forward to getting back to nature. These trips (previously been to Big Bend National Park) are FANTASTIC! (with emphatics) because we enjoy spending time together, seriously. Oh, AND nature is awesome. When you are out there in the middle of nowhere and see the stars, I mean SEE the stars (no light pollution from the city or clouds), it reminds you of the life that’s around us…that we are so infinitely small in this huge huge universe. That there are so many important things in life that we don’t recognize, that we forget about because we are so consumed in the hustle ‘n bustle of daily life. Ok, stepping off soapbox.

3. Friends and Family: *cue “aawww” track*. I have to say that I honestly could not have made it thru this experience without the support of so many friends and family members. I was encouraged, inspired, and brought to tears by the words of these incredible humans and I cannot thank them enough for that. It helps it believe in yourself, true, but when others believe in you more than you do…it’s an act of love. And I have no idea how to line up these pics, obviously  ;-)