How I Got Brave Enough to Speak at Conferences

In March of 2006, I attended my first tech conference. And while I came back invigorated, inspired and bubbling over with new ideas, I also realized that what I really wanted from a tech conference was to be on stage. Number one, there were not nearly enough women on stage. Or at the conference, for that matter. And number two, I was smart, dedicated, passionate, and I felt like I had something to contribute to the conversation.

But I didn’t even try to speak at conferences until the very end of 2011. Why? Continue reading

Another fitness goal…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working toward running a 5K with the C25K running program . Three walking/running workouts a week gradually progressing in length and intensity to move you from couch potato to running a 5K in 9 weeks.

Well, it’s taken me more like 11 weeks. I had a tough time getting through Week 6 and had to attempt it three times before I was able to get through all three workouts. But I did it!

I only have Week 9 left to go – three more workouts and I’ll be there! Able to run a 5K. (3.1 miles for people who are metric-ly challenged like me)

Never one to rest on my laurels, didn’t I stumble across one hundred pushups yesterday? 0 to 100 pushups in 6 weeks. I’m not going to try this while I’m still doing C25K, so next Monday, the 100 pushups challenge begins. I bet it takes me longer than 6 weeks, but I bet I can still get there. And just so you know, those will be girlie pushups, on the knees.

Care to join me?

Another way to think about getting fit

I think that most of my life I’ve thought about weight loss as a fight – I had to be strong, had to work hard, had to overcome. I had to behave like it was a war, not just a battle.

But here’s the problem with that scenario: who’s the enemy I’m fighting against? Food that must be resisted at all costs? Exercises that must be conquered with gritted teeth and sweating brow? My own body that has to be beaten into shape against its will?

It’s not a pretty picture. And I don’t think a very healthy one.

So now I’m thinking in a different way. It’s not a war, it’s not a battle, it’s not a fight. It’s a journey. And food and exercise and my own body are my traveling companions, helping me to get where I want to be.

It’s not about facing down a pizza and winning or conquering a giant chocolate brownie. It’s about choosing to eat the apple instead because it’s a better ally and a better choice. It’s not about avoiding the things that are bad, but about making positive, healthful decisions.

And you know what? If I do eat a pizza or a chocolate brownie, I haven’t lost a battle. I’ve just stepped a few steps backward on my journey. I’ve traveled 1000 miles forward and took two steps backward. That’s hardly worth calling off the whole journey. So I’ll keep going.

Perfect Thanksgiving mashed potatoes

  1. Use the right kind of potato. Russets work best.
  2. Fill a big pot with cold, salty water. You can’t put too much salt in the water. It should be as salty as seawater.
  3. Peel the potatoes and drop them right into the cold water to keep them from turning brown. If you want to add garlic, do it now. Add the cloves of peeled garlic to the cold water.
  4. Put the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Drain well, return the potatoes to the pan and put them over low heat for five minutes or so to dry them out.
  6. Warm equal parts cream, milk, and butter in a small saucepan. You don’t want to add anything cold to the warm potatoes.
  7. Never, ever, ever mash them with a food processor or an electric mixer. Use a food mill or a potato ricer to mash the potatoes. Crush the garlic cloves in with the potatoes.
  8. Slowly add in the warm butter mixture, mixing well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes mounds of fluffy, creamy potatoes.