Sunday, April 17, 2011

You've gotta have faith

I wasn't really sure whether or not I wanted to talk about this in a public forum or not because, for most, and especially for me, faith is such a personal thing. Finding it has been such a journey that I don't think I'll ever have the energy nor right words to express the process correctly.

It's been a long journey for me to come to the feeling and belief of having faith in God and in God's plan. I can remember being 12 years old and having the belief that Catholicism and the bible was a crock of shit. My parents forced me to get confirmed in the Catholic church at 13 years old. I spent my teenage years in Catholic school and going to church only when I was made to because it was a school function. My high school religion teacher taught us that the bible is a book of stories, not to be taken literally. I found this a much easier pill to swallow, however I still couldn't bring myself to believe and to have faith in God and His plan.

I carried this feeling all through high school and into my adulthood...until recently. For the last year or two, when my grandmother started getting really ill, I felt a stronger and stronger internal pull to go to church. I hadn't gone except for a couple of times that I went with Jenn's family for special occasions. Both times I felt so at peace and a part of something inside that church, but I didn't have the strength to follow up on it. Plus all of my friends detest the idea of church in any form and I was afraid of dealing with their attitudes if I started going.

I still haven't gone to church, but since receiving a framed picture of the Virgin de Guadalupe that had been my grandmother's for many, many years, I've begun praying. Having Her in the house gives me peace. And praying has given my soul some weight. I don't feel like I'm floating around, lost in the universe. I don't know exactly where to go from here, but I do feel like I have a connection to something. I feel like I have some kind of purpose.

I feel like I believe.

I can also tell you that I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I think I've been heading in this direction for a long time, but had to just find my own way and do it in my own time. I feel good, spiritually. It's really an amazing feeling.

I'm still trying to find a church. All I know is that it's probably not going to be a Catholic church. I've looked into some churches, but it seems that some places require you to be a member and take classes and tithe every week. I'm not so into that. I don't want to be forced into anything. I have to do things on my own, as anyone who knows me can tell you. There are a couple that have piqued my interest, but I'm still afraid of doing things on my own, so it may still take some time to get me in a sanctuary.

The other day a link was posted on the Twitter page belonging to Victoria Osteen, Joel Osteen's wife. I love Joel Osteen. I watched his sermons on Sunday mornings whenever I was up early enough to catch them. The link on his wife's page was a directory of churches they support. There are 2 in San Jose that I want to research and possibly attend.

This is all really new to me, but I did feel the need to share this excitement I feel at finding some faith and belief in God.

And if anyone local wants to take me to your church, I'm game! =o)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Get on your bikes and ride!!

I did another big ride today. It was a gorgeous (albeit windy) day, and I couldn't resist. Plus I wanted to explore another trail.

Here's a comparison map of today's ride (in green) versus my old route (in red):

Huge difference! I think I probably biked close to 8 miles. I probably could have gone longer, but I hadn't eaten and the longer I was out there, the more I was scared that I'd get sick or something, so I came home. There is another branch of the route that goes farther south that I want to try. Maybe next week. I'll be sure to eat that day. LOL.

First stop on my ride was the duck pond. It's actually part way up that red route (on the south side of the airport, not the back side where the original red route is). When I pulled out the first piece of bread, I was mobbed by birds. Pigeons, ducks, geese, and some other little baby bird I didn't recognize, but he ate out of my hand!!

The pigeons got the closest. A few of them actually climbed up on my foot! LOL

This goose came running from the other parking lot 200 feet away. Running geese is a funny sight.

This little guy sat on the bench with me and ate out of my hand.

This is NASA. It seemed kinda far from my house when taking the freeway, but it's really not that far.

One of the days last week, when I first found this trail, but only partially followed it, I saw a military style jet take off from down there. It was pretty cool. I didn't see anyone take off from down there today.

It was a little windy. LOL. My hair has floated outside of the frame of the photo. LOL. Behind me is wetland and those mountains back there are between Fremont and Milipitas on the other side of the bay.

This is an awesome sculpture that I've seen from the freeway (at this point in my adventure, I completed the marshland and was back on the frontage road about 1.25 miles from my house). I was so glad to finally see it up close.

I think I got sunburnt a little but nothing too bad. I remembered my sunblock, though. I just felt a little hot to the touch for a while, but now I'm not feeling any residual heat. Thankfully. =o)

I really loved the solitude of my ride. I had some beautifully appropriate music for most of my ride. It made my experience that much better. I am so glad I decided to break the bank and get my bike. I have had buyers remorse, but then I go out on my bike and remind myself that it was so worth it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Last Sunday I bought a bicycle. It's a cruiser style bike. It's orange. I love it. =o)

Behind my house, and all around my neighborhood, there's marshlands that you can bike and walk through. From my house, the trail to get to the marshland starts from the water pump station next door, then goes east towards the bay. It runs behind a park, the golf course, and the airport before getting to the marshland. To get back there, it's about 2 miles. That makes the round trip roughly 4 miles. There are several trails that I want to explore.

Biking is so much fun. I forgot how much I love it. I haven't owned a bike since I was a kid. In the 7 days since I've owned the bike, I've ridden that route 4 times...maybe 5. I wanted to go out today and explore a new area, but it's windy and cold. I did a ride last night and the wind just makes it miserable. I was riding into the wind the whole way home. It makes things that much harder when you're on a one-speed bike. lol. Instead, I did a 3/4 mile run on the elliptical. I think I'll do another one later since I had a 1,000 calorie breakfast (pancakes).

Yesterday I bought a basket for my bike. I want to be able to bike down the street to Mi Pueblo to pick up a few groceries as I need them (or make a Starbucks run) and carry them home easily. The basket has a separate base that is attached to the bike and the basket sits on the base, so it's removable to use as a shopping basket inside the market. How neat! I got a bike lock, too, so my awesome bike doesn't get stolen.

I actually named my bike, too. LOL. I've named her Clementine. Technically my bike is a men's bike, but since it's pretty much standard that all vehicles are referred to as "she" I thought it was appropriate to give my bike a girl name. LOL.

Having the bike has really helped with my weight loss, too. I don't actually own a scale, but I can see it when I look in the mirror. I can feel it in my clothes. Plus I've already seen/felt a difference in my stamina. I don't get so winded walking up 2 flights of stairs at work. =o) That's really awesome.

I'm really liking the LoseIt App for my iPhone. It's really helping me stay under 2000 calories a day. I didn't want to be drastic in my calorie cutting because I'd end up screwing things up and getting discouraged and give up. My plan is to lose weight slowly, get down to 200 pounds by the end of the year. Once I hit 200, then I'll drop my calories again to get down to my goal weight of 175 by the end of next year.

I've always done drastic diets, and failed miserably after 2 weeks. Or a month. This isn't a diet. I'm just holding myself accountable for what I'm putting in my mouth and making wise choices to stay in my calorie count. The other day I actually made poor choices in my lunch and dinner choices and was out of calories for the day, but was still starving at 9pm. Know what I did? I drank water to keep off the hunger, then went to bed. I didn't give in and eat. I was really proud of myself for that.

So that's what's new. I think I'm gonna lay down and try to nap. I'm sleepy. My Sunday paper will just have to wait a little while longer. LOL