Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How stupid do we look? (and my fitness motivation update)

Ok, so I get most of my news and US info on the net. I watch news clips and read major news webpages often. And recently there has been this one commercial that pops up before many news clips. It is Brooke Sheilds advertising Colgate toothpaste(I think, maybe it's Crest?) and it just floors me what these product companies will try to pass off on us.

The commercial shows Brooke stretching and so forth being fit, and then brushing her teeth. And then she pops up saying, "Can there be a connection between the health of your mouth and the health of your body?" and then mister narrator comes on and says that recent studies have shown that people with gum disease and other oral disease have a higher risk of having such diseases as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Then beautiful Ms. Brooke appears again and says, "If there is a connection then I choose Colgate, my Destist recommended it..." yadah yadah yadah!

HOW STUPID DO WE CONSUMERS LOOK??? They want you to automatically assume that using Colgate is going to help lower your risk of these diseases? DO WE ALL WALK AROUND WITH DUNCE HATS ON??? Come ON people! I mean please. Any person with at least 2% of logic can understand that the connection is, some people who don't take good care of their diets and their bodies MAY also neglect their teeth. Not to mention the fact that, the types of diets that can lead to these diseases probably will also lead to tooth and gum disease. PUH-lease!

Ok, my rant is over. I just get so sick of my intelligence being assaulted every time I watch a commercial. Give me a break!

Anyways, life is going along just fine these days. Except for my extremely embarrasing episode at McDonald's today (which will appear on Hana's blog shortly), I am doing great. Busy but good.

My workouts have been AWESOME this week. I must warn you, I'm gonna brag on myself just a little here cause I have accomplished so much since my little slump recently.

Instead of starting to jog as a new challenge (since I have cheapo OLD outdoor tennies that are like walking on cardboard and would probably cause more harm than good with a jog) I decided to change up my routine at the gym a little. I upped my time on the elliptical by 15 minutes (now up to 50 minutes a session) AND I upped the level too! The first day I just ALMOST reached burning 600 calories, the next time I was over 600 and so on. BUT today, I made it to 660!!!!!!! AND I was trucking it during the first 30 minutes before the first cycle automatically ends (cause the silly machine won't let you do more than 30 min) and I had burned 475 calories by the end of the first cycle. I reset it for more time and topped it off at 660 total! AND (this is the part I love the most) I checked my heart rate 10 min. into the workout and I was in the heavy intensity range for HR already, not to mention I was at 85%!!!!!!! I stayed there for the remaining 40 minutes! WAHOOOOOO, now THAT is what I call a workout!

I payed for it later today though. I had to work out this a.m. because Rocky is out this evening, and I don't usually do morning fitness and it gets to me. I fell asleep watching some TV with Hana this afternoon. But I feel great! I also didn't go to bed until really late last night too.

Which brings me to my other GRIPE for the evening. US IMMIGRATION!!!!!!!! AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I had to pray for forgiveness last night (for thoughts of strangulation and torture) about 10 times while trying to get some questions answer by USCIS (United States Citizens and Immigration Services). What a joke, what a load of bull honkey that place is! They can't even answer questions about their OWN process! What is that? And they provide you with ONE phone number to call, at which you get a customer service rep who is just typing your questions into the computer and reading you the answer. I can do that on the internet, the reason I am CALLING you is because that information doesn't answer my qeustion! If you ask them a question that their computer won't spit out the answer they tell you that you'll have to contact a community organization that helps with immigration or a lawyer. So if you try to contact any of those people they tell you "because the extremely complex and sensitive nature of information pertaining to immigration visas we can not answer your questions over the phone, you msut appear in person at our office between so-and-so hours and pay $$$$ to get help!" Somebody help me understand. My tax dollars pay for people to NOT answer my questions about immigration at the immigration office so that I can go pay someone else to do it?! What is that all about!??? This is information that should be free and available to anyone, ESPECIALLY an AMERICAN CITIZEN. And they should provide phone numbers to connect you to people who know and understand the process so you can get your questions answered by someone who knows something.

So here is the deal. I am trying to get Hana naturalized as an American citizen. US law says she is entitled to her American Citizenship because she is the child of a US citizen. She has been in our custody for more than two year so I do not need an immigration visa or any other process, she is already MY child in the eyes of the US law, so he should automatically be an American? Right? WRONG! She is already an American, but I have to file some forms, pay a bunch of money, AND appear for an interview in PERSON before they will approve it. AND get this, there is a SPECIFIC application process for the naturalization of children residing overseas but you have to appear in person for the interview, in the US at the USCIS office that handles your case ON DEMAND, when THEY set the appointment. HELLO!? We live overseas, there is a US consulate just 1 1/2 hours from my home. Why do I have to spend thousands of dollars to fly to the US to appear before a US government official when all documentation SHOWS you that my daughter is my daughter and the law already says she has a RIGHT to her US citizenship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????? OH, did I mention I could strangle somebody?

Anyways, we don't know what to do. Churches schedule their concerts months in advance and advertise for them. If USCIS calls and says we have to come on a certain day, how can we tell a church that has been preparing for months that we have to cancel? And oh I could go on and on. AHH, UGHHH! I have no idea how we are going to pull this off.

In defense of SOME American government offices, I called the US embassy IN JAPAN today and got all my questions answered very kindly a compassionately, to the best of her knowledge, by a very precious young lady named Sarah! God bless her, she was obviously a sister in Christ and she felt my pain about the process and the completely INCOMPETENT USCIS. Dear Lord, bless my precious sister Sarah!

Why did I stay up till almost 2am last night calling US offices someone in Japan could answer my questions?! UGH

Ok, my rant is all done I think. On to other blogs...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I'm here and doing good...

So I haven't had much time on the 'putter lately but I'm here and doing good. I'm sticking with my working out when life allows. Today I couldn't go and won't be able to tomorrow either, if my stinking gym would stay open later on the weekends it would help a little! ugh!

So anyways, we had a neat day today. We attended a memorial service. The amazing pastor I always talk about, Noguchi-sensei, his Mom passed away recently at 102 and 10 months of age! WOW! They were saying today that all her siblings have passed away mostly in their 90's. They have certainly got some longevity genes in that family and I am so thankful, cause I want Noguchi-sensei to be around for a LONG while! Anyways, the service was neat. I got to share about my memories of oba-chan (the term for grandmother, which she so graciously allowed me to call her) and we sang a couple of songs in memory of her. Then this evening we had dinner with the whole family. What a neat legacy she left behind! They are a precious family.

We are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo busy right now. It is a blessing but I haven't had a quiet day at home in WEEKS! I need to do laundry but we are never home.

Just thought I'd leave a little note. I gotta go get in bed, tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Plum tuckered out!

This little cowgirl is plum tuckered out this evening. Starting yesterday at 10 a.m. drive 5 hours to Nobeoka, set up sound, check into hotel, eat dinner, give concert, fellowship, get back to hotel, bathe Hana-baby, get her to sleep (FINALLY at almost midnight!) try to sleep with Hana snoring (she has a slight cold) and coughing and my pillow smelling like cigarette smoke. 7 a.m. today -- UP with Hana-baby, get ready, eat breakfast, pack up, check out, go to church, do another concert, eat lunch, fellowship, drive back home, eat dinner, bathe Hana-baby, put her to bed (at a much more reasonable 9 o'clock tonight)! I then took a LONG hot bath to try to forget about my crazy day! Family band concerts ware me out anyways, but today, on the way home, Hana was especially hyper in the car and for a while talked NON-stop begging for attention and interaction, for songs on her favorite CD to be repeated OVER and OVER and OVER again, for food, for teetee stops, for "Baba, play you!"(play with me) "Mommy, hold you!" etc., she didn't fall asleep until 4:30 (over 2 hours into the car ride home). Then when we finally got back, she wet her pants on the way home from dinner. Of all the days in the last 9 months since she's been potty trained to have an accident, AND IN her car seat, no less! When we got home, we unloaded, and when bringing the car seat in, there must have been a pool of teetee inside it somewhere and as I swung it around to set it down, I sloshed teetee all over a bunch of stuff! EWWWWWw, GROSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! So I had to clean all that up, tear apart the car seat and put a bunch of things in the wash, wash out the car seat as best I could in the shower, and then clean up the bath tub and run a bath! After the long day we had today I wanted to come home and just chill! NOT! At least Hana was fully entertained by Mommy standing half-clothed in the bath giving her car seat a shower. She thought this was pretty hilarious, unfortunately Mommy did not think ONE BIT of it was funny. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

In the course of all those things, I also messed up on two songs in concert, missed an exit on the express-way coming home (which made us have to go 90 kilometers the long way around) and drank TWO cokes in the last 24 hours. BAD BAD BAD! (I'm really NOT neurotic, or an anal perfectionist, REALLY!)

WHEW, I am sooooooooooooo tired! So anyways, in the midst of ALL that, it was an amazing weekend. I had an awesome opportunity to witness to a woman who is really searching (I'll put that in our newsletter this week over on the ministry blog) AND just really enjoyed the church we were at and the people there.

Now on to another busy week (we have something almost every day this week too).

OH and on a fitness note, as I suspected, no time to work out the past two days, BUT I think all that I went through consititues for some kind of work out! I did do well with eating and food choice except for the two cokes which were for the purpose of keeping me awake on the long drive! I'll hit the gym again tomorrow. I will remain motivated to work out this week! I give myself NO CHOICE.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A new motivator...

Tonight, my sweet hubby played the role of motivator for me. He knows I am struggling with wanting to go work out. So you know what he did? He brought home for me a yummy dessert to have after dinner. He's been talking about bringing me one of these little interesting strawberry-cream puff-short cake-rice dough covered balls for ages, which can only be bought at Kokura train station. Sounds yummy, right?! Only if you are a strange "gaijin" (foreigner) like myself! So anyways, he finally had the chance to bring some home today, and it was indeed delicious by the way. So just HOW does this add up to being a supporter and motivator for working out, you ask? Since I had all that fat and calories for dessert for dinner I could NOT say no to getting my rear up to that gym and burning those calories off! Which I did, to the tune of 10 minutes on the treadmill (waiting for an eliptical trainer to open up) and 35 minutes on the eliptical. Burned over 500 calories there, and lifted weights! Yea for me!!!!!!!!!! Thank you sugarpie, the dessert was yummy AND a GREAT motivator!

It's going to be a long, busy weekend with concerts so I doubt I will get to go back to the gym until Monday.

Interestingly enough, there are two little buddies of mine at the gym who also keep me accountable. When they don't see me at the gym they pick on me and ask me where I was. These two fellows are very devoted to their fitness and have been a great encouragement to me. Telling me they can see how much weight I've lost or that I'm doing good building muscle, etc (and not in a bad way, but purely encouraging and complimentary). I always try to take the chance to get to know them a little better when we are resting between machines and drinking water or stretching. It's not easy to build any kind of meaningful conversation in short little 3 or 4 minutes spurts, but tonight I was able to find out a little more about one guy, and he asked about what I do. It is a start in introducing them to my faith! But I never thought I'd have to figure out a way to evangelize with this pattern, 3 or 4 3-4 minutes relationship building conversations 3-4 times a week! Anyone know any 3-4 evangelism training tools?! There are so many out there, theres gotta be one especially designed for this! ;) just kidding!

Anyways, I continue to get along in this "no motivation" slump I'm in. I refuse to let it get the best of me, and I WILL not go back to the lifestyle or SIZE that I was before. So I will survive one way or another...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

One day down...

Ok, so my confession last night did the trick (at least for today). I hit the gym this morning and did 50 minutes on the eliptical. Yep that's right FIFTY, burned about 600 calories! and it felt great! I am feeling motivated to go again tomorrow. Even though it feels so great to do a workout like that, I so quickly forget the lift it gives me and even the next day am fighting myself mentally about working out again... why?!

I used one of my "tricks" I used to use early on in this lifestyle change I made, I gave myself NO CHOICE. When I first started working out this last year, I knew from past experience if I ever skipped a day, then I'd skip another, and another. So I gave myself NO CHOICE, I had to go workout EVERYDAY. Or if the gym was closed or schedule wouldn't allow it, I got out my little stepper thingy here at home and did that for a while. I read an article by Chris Freytag saying that fitness is commitment, consistency, and convenience - read it here. In her consistency segment, she suggested working out every day, even if it is for only 10 minutes. That was one of the best bits of advice I read about fitness. No questions about it, no matter how much I mentally tried to talk myself out of working out, I told myself I had no choice. It is all so totally mental!

and, it is a day by day process too! I tackled a new mindset, new eating habits, new fitness habits and self-image one day at a time over the last year, and I can't stop that now. Tomorrow will be another day...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Ok, so maybe if I confess it will make it better. I've been bad, REALLY bad! I haven't gone to workout since Friday. Last week I went 3 times, but the week before that I COULDN'T go at all (because of Japanese holidays and our schedule) and somehow that made my motivation go right through the floor. I mean I have NO motivation to go. I'm going tomorrow whether I like it or not! NO QUESTIONS asked, no ifs, ands, or buts about it! Technically I could have gone tonight and I chose not to. BAD BAD me!

Ok, there I feel a little better, now the question is will this motivate me to be a good girl now? For some reason I doubt it. part of the problem is I am totally stalled. I am STUCK at 62 kilo and feeling good, looking pretty good so I'm too comfy here. I wanted to get down a couple more before summer and then be done (of course maintain) but at this rate, I'm gonna be stuck here forever. I can not motivate myself to eat as well as I was over the last year, and I can't bring myself to work out as dilligently as before.

Where'd that motivation go??? COME BACK COME BACK COME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


That is just WILD! I turned 32 today. I can NOT believe it. I have recently been getting back in touch with a few old High School friends and it seems unreal to me that we graduated 14 years ago! I never thought I would be an adult. I still feel like I'm 16 or so. It amazes me sometimes when I stop and think about the fact that I am a wife and mother and am responsible for my family and a household! Not to mention the ministry that we do. I'm not really this grown up, am I???

I had a wonderful day though. Rocky gave me my birthday present early so I didn't get any presents today, but he did a lot of little things for me all day, he washed the lunch dishes, and took care of some of Hana's little needs, and let me take a nap this afternoon! Plus he took me out to eat at a fancy Italian restaurant for dinner! AND I got to go to the gym tonight for the first time in over a week (because of our schedule and Japanse holidays) so that was a treat too!

I'm so blessed in my short little 32 years of life. I look forward to what the next 32 years holds...

I discovered a nifty little website today call and it is so handy. I wanted to see how many miles I am walking when I take Hana to and from preschool everday now. It turns out I walk one mile round trip, so that is two miles total most days. Not bad I guess. But I decided to map out a "run" if I were to get brave enough to try and start jogging and I am so tempted to go and actually try to jog it. I could run from her to the park over near Rocky's parents house, run through that park and take another route back home and it would be 5 miles. I am stalled on my weight loss right now and really just have about 3 more kilo (6 or so pounds) to lose to reach my final goal. So I am contemplating running as a change of pace to maybe get me motivated again and get my metabolism to change a little. I am still going to the gym but just don't seem as motivated to push myself too hard, and I have relaxed a LOT on my eating. I know from experience that if I throw in a new challenge I'll be more motivated to behave!

Anyways, enough about me. I'm off to blog about my sweet little Hana!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Visual DNA...

This was pretty cool, and the profile at the end pretty much nailed me! You should try it, it's fun!