Header from Fyr til Fyr 60k. Photo by Moses Løvstad

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Friday, 27 February 2009

weight loss


After 3 days straight of eating exclusively oatmeal, gum and flødeboller (chocolate-covered marshmallow cream balls), I made it below my target weight. I was aiming for 50.1 and this morning I weighed 49.8! It took just over one month. So those of you who guessed one month were the closest.

I guess it goes to show that it's not what you eat that makes you lose weight, but how many calories. This was also the result of a study from today's New England Journal (http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/360/9/923). It looks like the percentage of fat vs. protein vs. carbs has little if any bearing on how much weight one loses. It's simply adherence to calorie reduction. Interestingly, higher education and income may actually have more of a bearing on success than the diet one choses (http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/95/9/1539?ijkey=008854a87208e56ec0c7b8ded8aa33fc193d3e5b&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha). Of course I did feel like crap after three days of that diet.

Though I'm happy about the weight loss, I keep thinking about how step-daughter told SR that when she moves to Denmark she promises she'll be as thin as me. There is a fine line between trying to be healthy and a fast runner and being obsessed. This line woulnd't be so important if I didn't have kids. It is astounding the impact we have on our kids. There was an interesting article in the NY Times about orthorexia http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/health/nutrition/26food.html?_r=1&em (when one becomes obsessed with "righteous eating") and the affect parents with orthorexia have on their kids. Having a kid with an anxiety disorder seems like a slightly worse problem than eating a Kit Kat bar.

Running Song of The Day: Do You Know What it Feels Like? by Enrique Iglesias

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Stepmom again


This past week my parents and step-daughter came to visit Næstved.

My parents were of course happy to be here seeing The Bois, but it was step-daughter who could barely contain her excitement. She talked about how it had been her dream "her whole life" to live close enough to a grocery store that she could walk to.

She loved her room in our apartment. And there is no doubt it is the coolest room of any house or apartment I have lived in. Then she made a Danish friend who lives upstairs. And for her birthday we bought her a little pink laptop computer (which is staying here). Happily, she seemed to be in heaven.

But then the crying started midweek; she wanted to stay in Denmark. Her life has been very hard the last three years. There is no doubt she has changed since I first met her. She used to be a content girl who loved to play and be the center of attention. Now if things don't go exactly as she wants she either pouts (perhaps for an entire day) or, as my dad says, "believes in punishing people." These are not good traits for an eight year old to have. But her life has been very unpredictable. She used to spend every day with her dad and now she doesn't. She used be involved in sports and activities and now she isn't. There are many things that are beginning to concern us, including the fact she seems to be stalling in school.

But this week, she got to step away from all of that. And I hope it was a good experience for her.

At the airport security gate, she was screaming and crying. She wouldn't let go of SR. I think even the security guards may have gotten a tear in their eye. 5 months until she moves here. I think I speak for all three of us (plus The Bois) when I say that time can't come too soon.

Friday, 13 February 2009

One Year

The Bois just celebrated his first birthday.



After a long year of growth and development and a lot of birthday partying, he "fell asleep at the roll."



It has been a year of very good times and many challenges. But since this is (sort of) a blog about running, I'll just point out that, if anything, having a baby helped my running.

I PR'd in the mile, the 5k, the 10k and the marathon. I won a 5k, a 6.2k, a 10k and a marathon. And I ran my first two 50k's and my first 50 miler. I think I deserve to fall asleep at the roll, too.

So the obvious question is, what's next? Well, first of all, full time work. But other than that, we've got the major goal of the 7 day trans-alpine run in September. And we're hoping to get into orienteering running. But honestly, the major challenge is going to be to stay in shape while working full time.

Speaking of which, the weight was at 50.4 this morning. 0.3kg from my goal. Some would settle for taking a diuretic and reweighing.

Running song of the day: Kun for mig by Medina

Monday, 2 February 2009

Working mothers, Part 2

This subject has certainly stirred up emotions. And I think we all basically agree: taking care of our children is perhaps the most important thing we can do with our lives. And I, for one, left my residency program in the United States because they only offered 15 days of maternity leave and to me, spending time with the little Bois and breastfeeding him was my number 1 priority.


But I would like to respond to what Abbie wrote. I totally agree that having an education is an asset to being a mother. And often (especially when daycares have untrained employees), children get much better care from their mothers than from daycares. But I must ask, if everyone who held bachelors and masters degrees dropped out of the working world and raised children, what would happen to our society (be it Danish or American)? Take another example: what if all men and women who went to medical school suddenly decided that it was more important to stay home and raise their children than to contribute to society as doctors? Life as we know it would fall apart. And what about all of the public funds that go to education? At least here in Denmark, a university education along with medical education are paid for by the government. Can you imagine how all of the tax paying citizens would feel if the money the spent to educate doctors went instead to those doctors staying in their homes and only sharing their education with their children? That just wouldn't be fair to the society that educated them (and this applies to any degree).

I do, however, think that women everywhere should have the right to chose what she does with her life (as opposed to the situation Olga described in communist Russia). But it is sad when daycares are so expensive or of such poor quality that women are compelled to stay at home. After all, having a fulfilling job can make a mother very happy and, in turn, (maybe) make her a better mother.


On another note, I've been entertaining myself by reading what a certain forum has been writing about me and my blog. They say that The Bois is nothing more than an accessory to me (because I just want to send him to daycare and go to work). I immediately thought of the Flav-o-Flav clock necklace.






But then I thought that if by accessory they meant a compass, then there is truth in that. Not to sound sappy, but he gives direction to my life with his beautiful, unconditional love. And I'm sure that anyone who has had a child can relate to that feeling.

Please see the related poem by John Dunne "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning" (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/mourning.php)



And I am so proud of him. He did so well in his obligatory 1 hour speed crawling session on the treadmill (we need to get rid of that rear end cellulite!). Here he is afterwards with his personal trainer.