Thursday, 8 September 2011


In case you are looking for information about the Calvin Klein parfume called 'Obsession', this is not the right page for this kind of information. This page is about personal obsessions, my everyday obsessions, yes you are reading right: everyday. I don't know myself freed from any kind of obsessions.

During my run today I let my thoughts wander and realised how I had lost interest in so many of my former obsessions: fashion and make-up products and jewelery. I used to burn for the perfect brush, the right eye brow pencil and the perfect white Tee and the perfect pair of diamonds for my ears.

These days - and those "these days" have been around for some months by now it has been all about my shape. It seems as if I had to get other things right (the make up, the fasion, the hair color, the jewellery) before I could jump into the new project that might be the biggest and most important project of all. By project I really mean project. In the past I have been searching for the perfect eyeliner-brush a lot, as did the project for the perfect concealer challenge me in the past. Over the last year I got lucky and as of today all those essentials happily rest in my dressing table and since the sweaty summer days are history, most of the stuff returns on my cheeks and eyes where it actually belongs! Not so long ago, all I could think about was where to find the right concealer in the right shade. Then Lisa Eldridge came into my life (some of you might remember, the gorgeous make up-artist and her youtube-channel) and most of my "problems" where solved in no time. I ordered via lookfantastic and other UK-online stores, asked close friends to return from their London-stay with Suqqu products and I even stocked up with AVEDA shampoos litre-wise (yes, the search for the perfect shampoo selection (one is never enough) has the potential to become a demanding project,too). So far, so good. Next to make up I was obsessed with my wardrobe: the perfect cashmere sweater, the perfect white Tee. (oh no, not another woman who read the 100 things a stylish woman must own).

A few months ago I let half of the closet space to Mr Paula which lead straight to a stuffed closet for my wardrobe. As if this weren't enough, I wanted to quit summer and winter wardobes (I keep either of them in two boxes in the top of the closed while the other is in use) and store everything in use, no boxing anymore which equales like a 200% decrease of closet space! Obsessive is all I can say.
I wear a lot of clothes I have not been wearing for a long time and whatever does not make me feel comfortable has to leave. As long as my closet space is stuffed I see no sense in going shopping for clothes. Maybe my hidden wish was to stop shopping for clothes and that's why I let Mr Paula half of the space? Before he used to get 25%, max.! The loss of space might explain my loss in interest for any new clothes. I had been hunting for the perfect white Tee last fall and finally found it at Benetton's gents-department. There are black shoes which are perfectly fine that wait to be taken out, jeans that will perfectly fit again and cashmere v-necks in camel and navy that I bought last winter that will comfort me in the winter months. So maybe I am just "done" with fashion.

Freed from fashion and make-up issues, I was free to focus on a brand new project and weight-loss plus gaining a decent fitness was the plan. And for the last months I have stayed on track. Tracked my exercises on, made my first 5K run and lost 6 pounds and improved my health state (no cold, no virus, no sore throat since january! horray!). All the fitness would be worth nothing if I was to get sick every other month due to overexercising.

When I return from my run, I go straight to the red mat that hides behind the chest of drawers and do my sit-ups on the floor. The physician made it clear: I need abdominal muscles. Period. Ever since I started running, I do those sit-ups as part of my running-routine. So to say a win-win situation. No lumbago since last September (keeping my fingers crossed, September with its warm sun and chilly breeze is always an acid test for my back).

This is where I lay down every other evening after my run.

I wonder when I will come up with a new project. I know myself as a person literally burning for something new, every other months. Maybe all the things that mattered before are solved by now: the perfect hair-colour (after leaving the beauty salon where I got my hair dyed initially, I found the right beauty salon which provides the perfect blonde).

Right now there is nothing I need to do/get/find besides my shape. Maybe the endorphines I emit quench even the tiniest thirst for a new project? Some languages wait to be mastered, but I don't fancy the idea of sitting in a classroom after work, besides, you hardly make any progress attending those classes.

My projects were seldom beneficially for my health , because they had always turned into some sort of obsession. The recent project (shape) has the potential to be the first healthy obsession if an obsession can be healthy at all. Yes, I turn down friends who call me and want to go out for a dring the same evening when I have already planned a run that evening.

In case you wonder if I might become too skinny if I continue counting kcals: not at all! Right now I am a US Size 12, sometimes 14, depending on the cut.

I fear it might sound cynical and maybe it really is cynical and I am a coldhearted egocentric woman, but I am thankful - for the overweight my mother and my sister carry around, the weight that makes them feel unhealthy, unfit, sometimes even unhappy (since they need to buy new clothes every other year simply because the old clothes don't fit any more). I am thankful because I see them and I know I never want to become overweight and be as unhappy or frustrated as they are.
I was already really frustrated earlier this year, when I pulled my beloved navy capri-pants out of the box. I had gotten the capris fitted last year because they had been too loose. I could not zip them anymore, the fat on my hips was in the way. I had paid 40 EUR to fit them and now I would have to throw them away?
No way! This was my turning point. I knew I had to do something and I began running plus counting kcals. And it worked. You have to believe me, those capri pants are the best!

When I ran to my parents house the other weekend, my youngest niece came my way in the stairway and smiled at me. I was wearing my running shorts, sneakers and a sweaty running shirt. She smiled at me and said "You are cool!" Active women do not show up as role-models in my family. My brother in law and Mr Paula - both not our blood - are the active chaps. It was not my mothers decision to live an life: her parents forbid her to learn how to ride a bike after her two cousins had hurt themselves when falling from a bike in the 1940's. What can you do when you are the only child of overprotective parents?

I know that one day it will be too late to change my habits. For example when the overweight I would carry around would hinder me from running without ruining my knees. Last winter my physician even told me not to run because my abdominals muscles were too weak. I am so glad I did not listen to her but started running. I also watched the video of an obese man who lost 120 pounds through running. If he can do it, I can do it, too!

I would love to see myself running in my 50's and 60's, you know, ut are the older age classes at races which are to fear. I still have the biggest respect for those kids who run for the sake of running. The open my heart every time I see them. And they would always laugh while running. And second to the kids come the huge trees in the Schlosspark Schönbrunn I see every other evening when running my miles. During my runs outside I meet people, some run, many walk, some bike ... after 8 hours at the office with the same people every day, it feels good to meet people you have never seen before, even better when they share the same interest: running and cross your way. I might call it refreshing.

I like to tell you why I like running above other kinds of sports or even a membership in the gym:
When you run you don't need a lot of things. Most of the days you are ready to go for a run. And since I don't push myself too hard during my runs (I mean it takes me more than 40 mins to run 5K), I can even run when I feel a little hungry after work. It is just basic and this is probably what satisfies me no end.

I was lucky to find some inspiration trough blogs, above all The Stylish Shoe Girl in Brisbane, Australia who made the Couch 2 5 programme really tempting.

And tonight I ran with a cap for the first time ever - Mrs Stranded in Cleveland also loves to run with a cap - I did not know how well they absorb the sweat that used to pour down all over my face.

Sorry for my obsessive speech! ... and for spelling/typing mistakes. I re-read this long posting a second time for mistakes but by that time I rewrote many passages, so new mistakes might have found their way in.

Good night!


  1. hi paula,

    first, thanks for the soup recipe. it sounds delish!

    i'm glad you are loving your running. i used to run all the time and as you know i tried the couch to 5k this year. it was going well and then i just missed my walk. so now i'm back on my 3 mile walk and then yoga afterwards. congratulations for sticking with your program. the best part for me is the ease. no gym membership, no special equipment. just a pair of comfy shoes and fresh air.

  2. You have been very successful with this regime and it must make you feel so proud of your dedication.
    Your comment "done with fashion" must mean that you have all that you need already which will save you time and money. I am pretty close to my target minimalist wardrobe.

  3. Very interesting post! I'm so glad you've taken the steps to get in better shape and I admire you for taking control and being determined to fit back into your capris instead of buying a new pair. Now that I'm over my hissy fit from the other day, I realized that being healthy is what's most important. Not our speed or even the distance we ran. But keep our hearts healthy and staying active. Congrats to you for making this goal a priority. Very impressive! And - running with the cap, the best, right?!

  4. That's great that you're so focused, I just cannot run it kills me.
    I have the dreaded lumbago as well, it can be agonising can't it?

    Oh I wish I did look like Kim Kardashian!

  5. janet, I will cook the soup again, soon! what I liked about it is the loads of different veggies plus the tofu. Maybe I prefer to run because some streets around here aren't worth a closer look. In beautiful (=green) surroundings I might want to walk more, too.

    Hostess, regime is the right word. Yes, I have all I need, wardrobe wise, whish unfortunately means I step out of the fashion-play, because fashion is never about "needs" but more about "wants". On one hand my closet space seems so tiny, on the other hand it is not so small at all. I will check it's size and post about it. Would love to read comparisons. If I were to live in a walk-in-closet, I would continue shopping, for sure!

    Mrs. Stranded, I proudly presented the cap to Mr Paula when I returned back home: the outside was WET and inside it was dry. Very impressive textiles on the market. A few years ago I was not allowed to exercise after I went through surgery. Back then I realised how much I need to move my body on a daily basis. I work like that.

    Tabitha, running used to kill me, too. This was before I found out about the Couch 2 5K programme. I have to admit, lumbago can trigger depressions in no time! Horrible. A life in constant pain must be the worst life. But somehow it's like always: you don't treasure what you have until you lost it. I don't wake up and say "ah, my back is fine, I feel great, what a wonderful day ahead". I probably should, because there were days when the days ahead were painful and counting of the pills allowed was part of the game. No fun!

  6. Hello Paula

    I love running too.

    Keeps me sane and allows me to eat anything I want. Just jokes about the eating!

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog