In-N-Out

In-N-Out Burger has landed in Houston, Texas.

Well, the Houston area, anyway – not in Houston proper, but in a couple highly populated suburbs of it.

I went to the nearest one today for lunch, as I was somewhat already on the way there (compared to where I live in inner city) due to my working location this morning.

And it was all because my mom sent me a photo of their onesie pajamas that she had discovered online (though, I’m not too sure why she was looking not why she sent it to me).

When I checked Google Maps to see if it was open already and how to get there, I noticed only where it was and that it opened at 10:30am and that the other location was already open for today.

Yay!

So, I went.

And cars were everywhere.

Traffic cones line the street next to the parking lot.

Traffic cops direct cars.

About ten to fifteen In-N-Out employees are moving around the neatly organized parking lot, taking orders, it seems, and managing the drive-through lines.

Another employee or two are handing out hats and stickers to people waiting (outside) in line for dine-in ordering.

I tell my mom that I hadn’t known it was opening day, and she says I might as well stay and eat anyway, especially because of that, and also because I had come al the way out for it already.

I agreed that I could sit and read one of my current books, and begin following signs for ‘Dine-In’.

The parking lot-based employees tell me to pass a certain way, and they move a couple cones and a sign for me to truck through into the front parking lot, which is today exclusively for dine-in customers.

I go in, wait not much more than five to seven minutes in line, place my order, and receive my ticket.

As I am heading outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather while I wait, I head the number two called.

My number is 75.

Everyone is in a good mood, though, and is waiting happily enough.

I am delighted for In-N-Out.

Eventually, my mom and my cousin’s husband join me, and I have an outdoor table in the shade, and I get my food.

The cousin husband shows me a saddle that he’s just picked up – super cool, by the way – and heads off, while my mom sits with me while I eat.

We invite a couple to join us at the table, since they already have food but no table on which to set their little trays.

They inform us that the store has been open for a while, and that it is like this every day, open to close.

Wow.

The food is delicious, as usual.

When leaving, I see a couple doing just what I had considered doing, if we hadn’t been able to sit at a table by the time the food came.

It felt like a very cute Texas touch to In-N-Out.

Plus, it was just adorable to see, so I really enjoyed it.

Like dessert to my meal. πŸ˜›

Anyway…, welcome to Houston, In-N-Out Burger!! πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

Early risers vs the nots

I asked my mom what time she needs me to have breakfast ready for tomorrow.

I asked her to find out a better eta for the family driving down.

She didn’t understand why, at first, but eventually got it… somewhat…

I wanted to know what time breakfast needed to be ready to serve tomorrow.

But she just kept telling me that it was okay to have it ready at 9am…

Family won’t event be arriving until ten at the absolute earliest, based on their most recent check-in with us.

AND my mom doesn’t like eating breakfast until closer to lunchtime than breakfast-time…

I don’t see a need for me to be up early tomorrow just because my mother is… I am not a morning person unless I must be… which is almost never.

I don’t care if it is Okay for me to have breakfast ready at 9am… I care about knowing when it needs to be ready, so I, therefore, am able to sleep as long as is possible tonight…

I have been to bed way late, and then up super early… I need to sleep in for once, especially if I will have little girls running around me all day… hmm…

(Fun fact: I just realized that I might be able to do some photos of the kiddos…that would be awesome!)

Anyway, goodnight. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Food belly

I tested out eating ‘normal’ food last night at dinner with friends.

We went and had Korean food – the irony of the situation being that a friend of mine came with us, and she was visiting Houston from Korea – and agreed, as is typical for Asian eating situations, to have everything be shared (a style I rather prefer, as I have said often).

They asked for dietary restrictions, and I mentioned that I had mine, but that I was going to use the night as a tester for whether I’m okay eating ‘normal’ foods from time to time (because this diet is a lot to keep up, and it seems a bit nuts to keep up every day for the rest of forever, especially considering holidays and cultural events that have foods that just don’t fit the bill…).

I ate food with them.

It was delicious.

While eating, I noticed quite quickly some physical responses to certain foods (e.g. having to clear my throat from excess mucus somewhat constantly after eating the dish with dairy and the high gluten one).

Afterward, I noticed slight discomfort, but nothing too bad – it was only somewhat noticeable.

I was pleased.

Good thing, I thought.

I went home, delighted with the evening with friends, as well as with the food situation with my body – no, I had no intentions of eating that way anywhere near often, but yes, I would be able to take part in special occasions like tonight.

I go to bed, ready to pass the *** out, because it is so late by then.

At 5am, to a searing pain in my lower stomach, I awaken, almost in a bit of a fit.

I rush to the bathroom, unsure as to whether something needs to come out by gravity, or whether I need to hurl…

… it feels like both.

……..

Almost an hour later, I have managed not to throw up, despite the rising panic that it was wanting to happen, I have cleared out a good amount of what was hurting my bowels so badly, and I go back to bed, exhausted, only to feel another wave of nausea hit me when I lie down flat.

I curl over to one side, and strategically place body parts to help ease the once-again increasing pain in my belly, and somehow fall back asleep.

Today, I felt okay all day, but still exhausted from not enough sleep – had to get up too early today – and somewhat low on energy due to the bit of food debacle early this morning.

I told my friend about what happened, and she said that we are sticking to my dietary restrictions from now on at dinners. πŸ˜›

Well, I survived it, which is great, and I now know not to do it unless I want a lot of pain and discomfort – which, I don’t.

The point is that I have lived and learned on the matter, and I can move forward content with my dietary restrictions, and people who get weird about it can go eat a can of glass… just saying… πŸ˜›

(Haha – for some reason, that last bit really makes me chuckle, it is so absurd and came out of nowhere.)

Post-a-day 2019

Go fish… or go, fish?

The fish isn’t mine.

We just live in the same house together.

Every day, at some point or other – some days, it is more than once, and sometimes for hours at a time – we see one another.

I say hi to the fish just about every time it is the first time I’ve seen him in the last few hours or so, and I feel a sort of acknowledgement come my way, as his own greeting to me.

We are comfortable housemates, and we watch out for one another.

He keeps his space clean, and I help him stay alive, and make sure his light gets turned off at night – too many people seem to think it is a good idea to turn on his light in the evening, and then leave it on the entire night… (I mean, when and how is he supposed to sleep???)

::eyeroll

Anyway…, we are buddies of a sort.

Happy house-sharers.

Some nights, I walk into the main room without looking yet at the fish tank, but I can tell he knows I am there – I can feel his eyes on me.

And, sure enough, on such nights, when I turn around and give my attention to the fish tank, the fish is there, facing directly toward me, wherever I am, his nose almost pressing against the glass.

It did not take me long to discover why he did this, of course.

Every single time, it is because he has not been fed.

It’s nice not having to check the log to know if he’s been fed or not – he helps me out that way.

And I help him out by feeding him.

He also is a great listener – he accepts me the way I am, and offers minimal judgment, always allowing me to be open and honest, wall-free about things.

And I can always know that he accepts me as I am, whether he cares about what I have to say or not.

And that is really nice.

Do you think he’s so especially good at this all, because he is part of so much meditation (he’s located in the main meditation and yoga room)?

Maybe…, just maybe… a meditative fish makes for a good friend…

Like the sharks from “Finding Nemo” declares, fish are friends, not food.

And this one is a good friend. πŸ™‚

Now, the question is: How do we build more relationships like this with people?

That’s a good question well worth answering, I do believe…

Post-a-day 2019

Being myself, laughing out loud*

Be the person you long to be.

Let go of whatever is holding you back, including yourself.

Accept the fears, acknowledge them, and allow them to be superfluous side comments in your mind.

Feel the pressure that time is upon you, and just start – then the pressure will be off.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Be who you long to be, now.

These are my near-daily considerations…, plus specifics on who that person is who I want to be.

In January, I began slowly searching for what to do next in becoming that person… I knew it had to do with my physical body and my fitness level, but I didn’t yet know how that would turn out.

I got a friend to join me in my search, as I knew I needed the moral support to make it truly happen.

In April, I found the place where I wanted to belong.

The place where the person I want to be would belong.

101 workouts later, I am so much that woman, it is almost scary for me even to consider it – I have been afraid of never becoming that woman for so long, and it seems that I am actually being she, and now… I’m not waiting for 40, like I had once thought.

There is an image I’ve had for years, and it is of me when I am 40 – I live in a chic place, with a chic and gorgeous man, and, somewhere, there is a kid or few… every time I glimpse this woman, my breath is caught in envy – she is my every dream for myself…, all the better that she is myself, though my future self.

In the past several months, I have been taking on being she now, and not waiting for 40 anymore.

When I began these workouts in April, joined this gym, I knew I was taking a step I had never before taken toward being that woman.

Fitness would be only the catalyst for an explosion of transformation in who I am in life.

I knew I would end up fitter than ever before (though I grew up doing sports, and was always fit), and that fitness would help me be who I wanted to be.

I knew that I was acknowledging that, despite the fact that there are terrible deeds done by people constantly in this world, those people and those deeds do not define humanity, nor do they define my life.

I was acknowledging that being fit, being sexy, being the best physical version of myself need not be dangerous, despite what has happened to me in the past.

Besides…, now I could just kick the guy’s a**, if ever he – whoever any new he may happen to be – tries something terrible toward me… anyway…

My second class, I had to attend alone, without my friend who signed up with me.

When it got hard physically, and I felt the beginnings of the challenges to come that would change my body for the better, for the sexy self I wanted for myself, I cried.

I was alone and exposed, and it was emotionally scary.

For the next few weeks, whenever I hit those physical challenges, I cried – I was not accustomed to fitness and sexiness being safe, and so it was scary to know that I was doing work that would turn my body fit and sexy.

It felt like walking around Downtown Gotham at night, singing – as though asking for an attack from any which direction…, but I now knew that it wasn’t… in a way, I knew that Batman was by my side – please excuse the silly reference, but it is oddly applicable – … and he still is…, and it’s like I’m training to be Robin – I’ll always have Batman, but I can handle things on my own, too…. and, it just so happens to be that we have cleaned up Gotham altogether, and there are only the occasional bad guys now…

Anyway, enough Batman…

Working out was scary and actually made me cry from fear on the almost daily – not because of actual dangers, but because of perceived dangers from the physical results I eventually would have.

After a month of what I felt were too minimal results, I took my diet fully into hand – I did a mostly raw cleanse for two weeks, tried out some regular foods again afterward, decided I hated how the regular foods made me feel, and eventually took on my current diet of absurdity that has me feeling amazing, pretty much always.

I currently weigh – and have weighed for a few months now – less than I did at my fittest, back in high school, and I still have some more visible patches to relieve.

I fit into all of my shorts, and have had to alter some of them, because they were too big, only weeks after they suddenly fit again.

Just about every item of clothing I own…, actually no… some of my clothing is just a bit too big, because of how I’ve shaped out and slimmed down, but some of the best pieces from my wardrobe look absolutely amazing on me.

I’m almost totally comfortable in a swimsuit, and I can get over it and wear one when circumstances involve swimming.

I have dropped several percentage points in my body fat, to the point that I am in a fancy percentile of really healthy people.

My butt is about 75% muscle now, and I kind of can’t stop checking it (to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating on that estimate)…, and it makes me smile with delight every time I rediscover how much muscle there is there now.

I find myself looking at and feeling my muscles somewhat as a pastime nowadays, and it makes me chuckle every time I notice that I am doing it.

I’m not (socially) afraid of attractive men, and I don’t feel inadequate around them or attractive women.

I am stronger than I have ever been, and by far.

And not just physically.

I teach high school boys, and I could totally take a good chunk of them – it’s actually funny seeing the weights some of them use at weightlifting practice, when I consider that I used to think them so strong and fit compared to “adults” who are not in the prime of life and have ‘let themselves go’.

I now see that the prime of life is more about when we take on life and take on being our best possible selves, and much less about an age.

(e.g. “Sexy Old Man” at the gym, as my friend always calls him, is fitter than probably all but a handful of these boys, and even that handful is questionable.)

I practically bounce when I get out of bed in the mornings, and I glide with ease down and up my stairs (in the dark), like I have been up for hours and have stretched and gone for a run…, instead of rolling achingly from bed, and creaking down the stairs, everything just a little too uncomfortable to be moving so much so quickly.

I only feel lame in terms of my fitness when I look to compare myself with others at the gym – who, by the way, are some of the fittest people I’ve ever seen in life, so it’s really no biggie there – so I aim to remind myself that that is not a necessary comparison, but merely a point for encouragement.

And it is encouraging, so long as I keep it straight in my head (which has been easier and easier the further I’ve come with everything these past months).

I am a little bit in love with my gym, and its role in helping me – in being such a valuable tool for me – to become this person I so long to be.

I am extremely grateful – to the point that words cannot express, and only a good, long look into my grateful eyes could possibly portray – to the owner of my gym and to the coaches there.

To the owner, I am grateful for his stand to have an exceptional gym.

Period.

He does not settle – be it in something that improves his gym or himself, he will make it happen, thereby encouraging, enabling, and empowering others to do the same for themselves in their fitness and, therefore, their lives.

Also, I love his humor – I laughed pretty hard today – though I wouldn’t say he jokes around much… genuine is more the word for how he shows up in the world.

And, for his genuineness, I am the most grateful.

He cares, and it shows in everything he does.

And it is always felt, and forever appreciated.

His gym is a place of love and inspiration, and encouragement to be the best possible version of oneself – it is no wonder that it is his gym I ended up joining, though without knowing what exactly it was that drew me in at the time.

For the first time in my life, I am bummed when I ‘don’t get to go to the gym’, as it now is phrased…, because I actually love going there.

I still am super focused on myself and my own training during the workouts, but I even enjoy talking to and with people now, because he has a gym filled with great people – these aren’t meatheads or dopes, but awesome people, every one of them…., and they are all there, because people always end up being surrounded by similar people.

If you have an awesome and amazing and fun gym owner, you get a gym filled with awesome and amazing and fun people.

And I am honored to be a part of their clan, and forever grateful.

Five and half months in, 101 workouts completed, and I know that this is one place where I belong.

I just worked out this evening, but I – despite never having been and still not being a morning person – am practically excited about getting up for the 5:15 class in the morning.

Who knew life could alter so much – and for the better – just by joining a gym? πŸ™‚

πŸ€—πŸ™πŸͺ

πŸ¦– Rawr, World – here I am. πŸ¦–

“Let’s Freakin’ Go”

*because 101… lol πŸ˜‚

Post-a-day 2019

At-home Malai Kulfi

Finally, I am going to bed.

It’s 2:18 in the morning, and I am absolutely wiped… my eyes are even burning around the edges, and are heavy with weight and sleep…

Why am I still up, you ask?

Well, I somehow thought it was an acceptable idea to start making handmade homemade ice cream around 10:30pm… every fifteen-ish minutes since then, I have pulled out the tub from the freezer and stirred, and then replaced it in the freezer…

Only on this last stir did I accept that it was good enough for tonight – I ate many bites more than the one intended, and I enjoyed them thoroughly – and put it back in the freezer for the rest of the night and however long tomorrow.

Oh, the flavour is cardamom, rose, cinnamon, vanilla… absolutely delicious.

It tastes a lot like Malai Kulfi, the amazing Indian dessert.

Oh, and, what’s better (to me, anyway) if that it is Paleo (and, even, vegan and raw), made with coconut milk, sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, a bit of salt, and the spices… which, (again) to me, makes it all the more delicious.

Yummy!

And it’s in my tummy (and likely will be again tomorrow, too!)!

Post-a-day 2019

Food

I made a grain-free gumbo tonight.

It actually turned out okay.

It took way, way longer for the arrowroot flour to brown for the roux, and so I gave up after half an hour, and just went ahead and continued onward with the gumbo… if I’d gone even another ten minutes, I think it would have made a very positive difference in the overall flavor.

The smell was amazing, anyway.

The taste ended up slightly bland, and so I added loads of black pepper, which isn’t exactly the most well-rounded flavor for gumbo, but it was acceptable.

I think my friend just didn’t really like it that much.

To be fair, we think she hadn’t actually ever had gumbo before, and, seeing as how all she could think about was Γ©toufΓ©e, this was probably an odd flavor in comparison to that.

Also, even though the rice was riced cauliflower, I thought it was reasonably good in the gumbo… she was insistent upon putting butter into her rice(d cauliflower) before adding the gumbo… I think it might have affected the flavors somewhat negatively…

Anyway, I made it and the recipe passed for anyone who can’t do the whole grain diet anymore, which is good enough… just like the regular recipe, of course, though, it takes time and patience to make it all.

Post-a-day 2019