A Window That Won’t Leave Me Feeling Cold

Recently, I was contacted by Canopi for an awesome opportunity. Fathead® was looking for 25 bloggers to review their very own Fathead® of choice, for LARGER THAN LIFE, FOR REAL.™. I always saw ads for Fathead® while watching sports with Mr. B and recently learned they do MORE than “just sports”. Intrigued by this concept, and knowing I already received countless compliments on a similar piece I have in my living room, I applied and was accepted as one of the 25 bloggers. Excellent!


When I first applied I was hoping to review one of the “create your own” decals. I was planning to make something with my logo for my computer or the wall space near my desk. After being selected I was asked to review a piece from their Art & Decor : Home Decor Graphics line. Wondering what in the world I would select, the answer came to me when I noticed the home decor wall decals include instant windows. Finally, after nearly 2 years at my office I was getting a window! And I would NEVER need to worry about washing it or getting drafty in the winter!


Looking at the amazing selection I was drawn to many of the mountain or lake pieces. Especially after my time in Portland. Since Fathead® graphics are easily applied and removed and are reusable I also toyed with the idea of getting holiday themed pieces. Eventually, I decided on the giraffes since I am OBSESSED with them and knew I would love the piece no matter what for that reason alone.

Some of the other bloggers took pictures and wrote about the installation processes. Mother nature was against that idea for me. My window arrived in a long triangle cardboard protection device, and it was hard core raining. I opened the box and brought the piece out to keep from getting wet. Apparently in my haste I didn’t notice the device to help install and tossed all the extra pieces out. After a few days the rain stopped and I took my decal to the office. A few coworkers offered to help and two of us placed it on the wall, while a third directed us where to place.

Now I have a great window, and my clients have something better to look at than paint peeling off the wall and a few rusty nails. I love the idea of a wall decal because it is more cost effective and more attractive than art work of its size, it doesn’t damaged the wall, and there’s little risk of it falling down and hurting anyone or breaking. Since installing it a few weeks ago I have had at least 3 different staff members and 2-3 clients write down the Fathead® website and information to buy their own windows or other decals.

Some info, in case you do not know about Fathead®:

Fathead LLC is the industry leader of graphics products for large & small spaces – led by authentic, officially licensed sports & entertainment graphics. Fathead gives fans the opportunity to feel passion For Real by bringing their favorite inspiration to life. Based in Detroit, Michigan, Fathead manufactures all products in the USA and Canada for purchase worldwide. Fathead carries thousands of images and maintains over 500 license agreements with leading consumer brands across many industries and professional sports leagues.

Also, if you want to see up close and personal how another blogger chose and displayed their piece, check that out over with Karen at Just Me & My Running Shoes.

For those who hate clicking new windows, here is a graphic provided by Canopi of a collage of several bloggers’ displays. I loved seeing this, because it shows how unique everyone can be with their Fathead® and how there is certainly a design to fit your wants or needs. Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m about to move in with Adventures of a Misfit Librarian. Or at least steal her bike pillows and amazing style sense. Coincidentally, she’s also the blogger who is linking to me today.


What do you think? Will you be heading over to the site and making or ordering a piece of your own? Make sure to snap a picture and share it if you do!

Losing Weight for the Wrong Reasons?

I feel numb, as if too many of my posts from last week were commercialized and we (myself and you the reader) haven’t sat down and simply “chatted” recently. This won’t be a long post or a fancy post, but it is something I’ve been thinking about as of late and would like any feedback you may have to offer.

What are the reasons you first lost weight? Or want to lose it now? Or any other version of the question.

When I first lost weight, it was partially because I went to a health fair and I saw how much fat was in my body. I also went to an exhibit on Bodies and saw the way fat will reconfigure organs and cause damage. Like this image below, only the actual bodies.

I was scared. I was in my young 20’s and I didn’t want to hurt myself.

Actually, that’s a lie. I tell people about that time in my life as the first time I lost weight, partially because it was the first and only time I lost weight a healthy way and for the right reasons.

So, let’s go back to the beginning…

In middle school I was fat. Not growing child fat, but growing depression fat. There were some serious issues going on at home and I didn’t really feel safe talking to anyone about things. Long story short, I was a cutter and I ate too much. What defines too much? At 10 years old I could order a value meal at a fast food place, super size it, eat the whole thing PLUS another sandwich and not feel full. I could easily eat an entire large pizza on my own and not feel full. Needless to say I gained weight quickly.

Toward the end of middle school I made new friends and things perked up in life. I started to eat better and wanted to be outside more. I even planned to try out for track and volleyball for high school.  I didn’t make volleyball and took a nasty fall the first day of 9th grade and had to skip trying out for track.

Life still wasn’t perfect though, so I would play a “game” with myself. How long could I go without eating? Wouldn’t you know it? I could go days on end without eating! Finally something I had control over, something no one else had any say over in MY life! I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, but my friends did turn me into the counselor. I convinced her nothing was wrong. I bruised easily, was tired and irritable all the time and my hair was falling out. Of course I could convince just about anyone this was all due to typical teenage growth concerns and hormones.

I lost weight as a brand new teen in order to be more popular. I decided I wasn’t pretty so I could at least be thin.

I’d love to tell you how in the last 15-ish years I’ve learned to overcome such silly ideas. Maybe in another 5-10 I’ll have an answer. The truth is, I still want to lose weight to be popular. I want to lose weight because I have decided I’m not pretty so I can at least be thin.

I want to lose weight because OBVIOUSLY that’s the only reason any boyfriend ever broke up with me or girls didn’t invite me to their parties/lunches. The thought maybe I wasn’t kind, or caring, that I wasn’t smart enough or driven enough or didn’t have the same values is too much for me to deal with so I convinced myself if I were just THINNER or if I wore MORE MAKEUP then those boys wouldn’t have stopped loving me. Those girls would regret not including me. Even if I don’t want them, I want or need them to want me. Why? I don’t know.

I want to lose weight because I CARE what other people think. I care if I look like a “fat” trail runner. In the past I cared if people look at me and the guy I’m dating and think “she couldn’t have done better” or I care when the guy I’m with is hot and I worry people think “why is he with her”. I know most people don’t think this way, but it’s what I worry about when I’m unhappy with myself.

I wish I could tell you I want to lose weight for my health, or to perform better, or help my leg/ITB feel better, or anything of the sort. I wish I could tell you I embrace my body the way it is and the way it will be in the future. All I can say is, I wish I didn’t look at weight loss as a contest. I wish I didn’t want to lose weight to be more popular. I wish I didn’t believe people are valued in society based on their outward appearance.

At the end of the day, I’m not heavy enough to be a GOOD weight-loss blogger and I’m not thin enough to be a GOOD motivational fitness blogger. I don’t have children or a live-in significant other. I’m not a student. I don’t follow a special diet. Here I am in limbo. Slightly overweight. Slightly overworked. And slightly trying to eat right and be fit. Nothing at all special.

Maybe it’s my amazing ability to be average…to be relate-able…that keeps you all coming back?

More wishes? I wish this was ending on a more positive note, but some things in life aren’t positive…some things in life are a work in progress…

Water? You Mean Like Outta the Toilet?

This was my 4th year of volunteering for the Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run. At this point in the game I thought I could basically wake up and be on autopilot. Not so much.


The PLAN was to wake and get ready around 5 AM to report for 6 AM duty at mile 12.4 aid station. Everything was laid out the night before, I had picked out multiple outfits for all the various stations all including different themes, I had taken my shower and prepped my food. I was ready. 5 AM rolled around and I set my gears in motion. Then I walked into my room and what did I notice? The world’s greatest dog aka Emme had an accident in my bed! And not something that was easily cleaned up either. Honestly, if it had been literally anywhere else I would have left it, but it was my BED on the side I sleep on for crying out loud! So I had to take an unexpected break to clean. Luckily my mattress pad (which is like a giant electric blanket) is so thick, the mattress was fine.

Out the door without the aforementioned food and a few other supplies, I drove 80+ MPH all the way there! Ugg. I arrived around 6:20, moments before the first runner. Not cool man, not cool. Our theme was once again Woodstock and without the massive downpour like last year it was rather awesome. I brought brownies and decorations and my task was to stand along the edge of the road with jugs of water and fill bottles as runners approached. I was also cheering.

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Of course every time someone would yell out to a runner “Water! I have water!” Or a worker would tell someone to drink Heed because “It has electrolytes” My mine would go to the Brawndo scene from Idiocracy.

The station overall was quite uneventful this year. Except for a small field mouse who kept running back and forth across the street and the volunteers keep ooing and aahing over his cuteness. All the runners were reasonably spaced out and no one said or did anything too crazy. A few were funny (like the guy who skipped Ed and said he needed his water “from the hippy” referring to me) or dressed up (colorful tutu and hair), and the last runner came through WAY before the official cut off. In fact I think we were closed and put away long before the actual cut off. All of this is great for the runners though! It meant people were rocking it and in a safe way.


Afterward while it was raining big time, Gale and her boyfriend Ed showed me how to geocache…which means I’m now covered in new mosquito bites. Then we went to Bob Evan’s for some breakfast and chatting. It was so nice to catch up with her I don’t think we even thought to notice the time. Of course it didn’t help that a GIANT potato drove by. OK IT didn’t drive by, but it did go by on a truck. So after our meal we stalked it. Because, what else would you do?


Needless to say when I noticed I wouldn’t make it to the Egbert station until after 12 PM, I realized it wasn’t worth my dropping in this year. Instead I took my super tired self home and crawled into bed. Of course thanks to Emme I had a total Jenna Marbles moment and just tossed some blankets on the bed to “make it”. Back up around 3 PM to have some lunch, get dressed and head back out the door to the rest of the fun (and write the first part of this post).


I arrived at Pine Lane around 5 PM. I saw Katie and Adam, Julie and Tom, and Melissa and Rick. I stood around and chatted with a few friends and helped fill water bottles. We were well staffed and the racers were well spaced, meaning it was another station where we were never overwhelmed or too busy. Adam and Katie brought yummy chips to share and Pam brought hot dogs, so I had “dinner”. Pam also had her dog Charlie there which was a highlight to nearly all volunteers and runners alike.


Mostly this was another chance to talk with friends and rekindle what has always been there for my running community. Sorry if I didn’t mention you by name and you were there. I did talk to a lot of people this weekend with the same theme “I’m hurt, I can’t run right now”. Here I was thinking so many people have forgotten me or ditched me in the community and the truth is a lot of them are missing from the community too. Injury, pain and struggling as all part of what we sign up for as runners. It’s never going to not suck to deal with it, but even when I’m “alone” I should remember I’m not going through it by myself. I’m also super happy to report Gale and Melissa and I are going for a looooong hike next Sunday. Guess my training for BBA50K is officially underway!

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The only other thing worth noting about Pine Lane is the moment when a super super insanely hot guy was at the aid station. No, seriously, looking at him made me feel like I had 4 pots of coffee being directly inserted into my veins/heart. Holy palpitations. Of course Mark knew who he was…and just writing that opens me up to the risk of someone putting two and two together and telling him I wrote this, but whatever. He was all tan and sweaty and his shorts were so so so low it was borderline illegal to be that damn sexy at mile 60 of a 100 mile race.

I left Pine Lane around 10 PM with a watermelon and a bag of bananas and headed to the Covered Bridge and mile 80.

Covered Bridge adopted the theme of M*A*S*H, and I have to admit it was a bit before my time, so while I know what the theme was, I didn’t really “get” any of the jokes/decorations.

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Mile 80 is an interesting point of the race. Very different feeling from where I was moments before at mile 60. Back in the day, this was a place where runners looped through twice. This made it a very important station and a very high traffic area. It was also a location for crew, meaning very crowded. This year the race directors and the park took away crew access. We also did not have a fire or generators. Everything was lit by lanterns and food was prepared on grills with propane or whatever it was. My impression of the changes? Very eerie. It was too quiet and too calm and too lonely. The workers were able to stay sane for the first time ever, but if I were a runner coming in at that point in the race, I would WANT the chaos and the energy. I would NEED it to replenish my tank and keep going. Then again I’ve never gone 80 miles so what do I know? It seemed to be working though, because unlike other years where people were literally camped out for hours under the bridge, very few people stayed for more than a few minutes.

I called it a night around 2 AM and drove home. Past the darkness and the deer lining the roads and into the city. To my house and then walking up the steps and falling into bed at about 2:30 AM. I set my alarm for 9:30. I woke at 5 AM to pee and turn my heat on, then almost immediately back to sleep.

It was a great weekend. Burning River always is a great weekend. As I said on Facebook…From the start to whatever mile your race ended, YOU ARE AMAZING. Thank you runners for doing what you do.