New Balance.

There’s a lot happening in these parts, which is becoming the norm, I guess.

1) First and foremost: my face is getting much, much, much better. My skin was completely clear after about 10-12 days eating “clean” on the supplements, but then I spent an entire weekend drinking wine and dehydrating my body, which meant I had a massive break out just before Prague (which was delightful, as it lasted throughout the whole of the trip). In Prague, I relaxed some of the food restrictions (sugar and white flour mostly) because I wanted to be on vacation and didn’t want to spend time worrying about what I was eating. (Also, my face was already a mess, so I figured why not?) Even though I allowed pasta and bread and occasional sugar, I continued to drink massive amounts of green tea and water. As it turns out, my skin healed while I was away and by the time I was home, it was completely clear of active acne (there is still plenty of scarring). I’m still taking supplements and making sure to eat mostly whole foods, but I’ve also chilled out about white flour and have been eating teeny bits of sugary goodness when I feel like it. Most importantly, I think, I’m drinking water or tea all day long. I always have a mug or water bottle at hand and I really think it is the hydration, in addition to the supplements, that is making the difference. I’ve also successfully completed over a month without dairy, and now only miss ice cream for about 16 hours a day. Improvements all around!

I’ll post photos of my face sans makeup tomorrow. I just don’t feel like washing my face and reapplying at the moment. I have important Skype dates to attend to. (And yes, I dress up from the waist up to Skype with my Californian loves. Shut up about it.)

2) Since reuniting with my lifelong friend White Flour, I’ve gotten back into baking. In the last week, I’ve made soft pretzels, pizza dough, and Irish scones (much to the delight of an Irish houseguest we had over for this long weekend). I’m successfully changing recipes to suit my tastes, which in baking is like the equivalent of magic as far as I’m concerned. I’m starting to understand what this all means! I’m cooking and baking for other people and they actually enjoy it – apparently I had to leave my entire life behind in order to get domestic.

photo 3

I cannot even articulate how excited I am that I am now able to hand make my most favorite culinary delight in all the land. These were SO GOOD.

photo 2

My Irish scones, which look a little more done than they should be. In real life, they were delicious. These were a second batch I kinda forgot about because I was too busy inhaling scones from the first batch, which were snapped up and eaten before I could take a decent photo.

photo 1

You know you’re hosting an Irish person when they suggest you top your pizza with thinly sliced potato.

3) I’m running a half marathon. Six weeks from now. It just might be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever agreed to do, but I’m doing it. To be fair, it was totally my idea, but I pitched it as a bit of a joke to a friend who is too committed and honest and wonderful. There is no way I can flake on this. Last week, I bought my first pair of running shoes in several years, and this morning, I went on my first run in nearly half a decade. I did about two and a half miles and didn’t feel like falling into pieces or throwing up on everything, so I’m counting that as a win. The plan as of now is to follow a slightly modified six-week half marathon training guide I found online, using my forty-five minute round trip walk to work as my “cross training” on days when I don’t go out for a run. I’m hoping that by next weekend, I can comfortably run five to six miles, and then slowly gain mileage from there. (YES, I am aware that that is the whole purpose of training. I just have to write it out and publish it because then I will be shamed into following through.)

photo 5

My beautiful new shoes.

As much as I am not looking forward to running for two hours and covering 13.1 miles, I am so excited to face down and handle another challenge. It is so liberating to know you can do anything you set your mind to.

Hello, Confidence. Where were you my whole life?

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