Friday, December 27, 2013

Maybe. I Don't Know.

I'm feeling a little blue today. It is my first day off since Christmas, and I spent it all alone. I think I've spoken to the people who made my food and that's it. I didn't get up until after 2 in the afternoon (I woke up before that, but stayed in bed until I felt hungry). My whole house is kind of messy right now. I know that if I just cleaned up the clutter I would feel better, but instead, I just sat all day long. As I was coming home from picking up dinner (yeah...I didn't even pretend to want to cook today), I thought to myself, that I just have to take today for what it is. It is the post-holiday blues. I don't know if I've ever really experienced this, though. Usually it is such a relief to be done with the holiday shoppers and rush and crankiness that I'm pretty dang happy right about now. But making the choice to be happy and let Christmas be a part of my life again this year had this unexpected consequence. Maybe I feel like this every year, but I have never noticed it before because it is actually a rise in my mood. I don't know. All I know is I was sitting in my living room today after it had gotten dark, I plugged in my tree and felt sad. I felt sad that I would have to pack up these decorations that I had so lovingly put up for not only myself, but for my roommates to enjoy. I probably enjoyed them the most, but it was awesome to see the look on their faces when they first saw them. It was fun to shop for my family and friends and then to give them gifts that I actually enjoyed picking out, feeling that anticipation when they were opened. Would they like them? Would they need the gift receipt I got just in case? (Seriously...get a gift receipt). I think it was a pretty successful attempt. 

So, I can keep the decorations up until New Years Day, then New Years starts and I will focus on my health again like half the nation. Around the first weekend in February, 99% of the people who focused on their health on January 1st will have given up or gone back to bad habits when the Superbowl rolls around, then Valentine's Day, then it's just a long time until spring gets here. Spring will struggle to happen here in Utah, like it does every year...snow...warm...snow...cold...warm...snow...until May. May will be a good month because that is the end of the school year, my birthday, spring, then summer finally shows up, and I can travel without impediments again. Then, summer starts and I have to get used to a swamp cooler again that barely cools the house (when did this year become about me? Oh, yeah...my blog). I will go to work. I will come back home. I will go to movies by myself before school gets out for the year, but once it does, I will stop because then it gets too busy there. Summer will draaaaggggg. If it is a hotter one, like last year, it will be almost unbearable to do anything unless it's work or sitting and trying to stay cool (last summer sucked). I will probably go home to visit my family in Washington at some point during this summer or fall. School starts again. Fall will struggle to get here. Hot...cooler....hot....hotter...cool nights, warm days (look it's fall!)...cool...snow...cold...warm...snow. Then, I will start to get ready for the busy holidays again. 

Why did I write out what my next year is going to look like? Because it is the same. It's not that I crave change, but there is fine line between living and accepting a life you love and falling into a rut. And I don't think I've ever loved or accepted my life. Nothing has turned out how I thought or hoped it might. I know, I know, I KNOW this is one of the big life lessons we all have to learn, but learning it is so hard sometimes. I may make it harder than it needs to be, but I also hate to let things that are dear to my heart...go. For example, I had a really hard time giving up the reason I thought I was here in Utah. I don't know if anyone knows how much my heart hurts at this. Or how lost I have been. You can kind of hear it in the posts I've done this past year or so. They are disconnected. They are trying to find...something...to hold onto. Trying to find a reason. And to hold onto that reason because sometimes that's all I have to get me through another month. But it's never enough to fully satisfy the need and hole inside me. I try to fill the rest with food. Usually later at night. Usually alone. 

Maybe it's not post-holiday blues. Maybe I just feel lonely. Maybe. I don't know. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Series of Endings...then Beginnings

I know I just posted, but I have another completely unrelated thing to write about. I thought about tacking it onto the end of the holiday one, but thought that I didn't want to disrupt that happy ending. Not that this is going to be an unhappy post, but be prepared for some deepness. I know you've just been waiting in anticipation for my next discovery about myself, Imaginary Cyberspace Friend, so here it is.

I was watching the Biggest Loser the other day. Surprise, I know. This season has been kind of lackluster for me. It's only an hour, so there's really no time to get into the nitty gritty parts of the contestants' lives. It's felt incomplete. The show has tried by giving us a minute or less of a deep discovery and then cutting away to a contest or to a workout. Well, this past week, Jillian was given the opportunity to travel to one of her contestant's homes and train him exclusively. With this came much more time dedicated to one player, which allowed for a deeper than usual moment to happen. Jay, the name of the contestant, took Jillian to this giant hole in the ground. There, he told her about how this was his childhood home that had burned down a few years back. He then told her about how his parents had divorced a few years before that and how that devastated him. (Little side note: this is the second time in as many weeks that I heard about parents divorcing when their children are grown and the almost more tragic effect it has on the adult children. Just food for thought). Jay starts to talk about the future and starting over. Jillian then asks him, what died in your life? If you are beginning, then there was an end. It means that something inside of you died. And you can't really begin again until you grieve that death. What died? (or something very close to that). Jay tries to talk about the future again and Jillian cuts him off, like she does, and says again, "what died?" And Jay, this strong cowboy, father and husband, starts crying and says, "I did."

I immediately started crying. And not just a tear running daintily down my cheek, but that ugly type of crying that only happens when something has rung true about your own life. I have been trying to begin, very unsuccessfully, for the past several months. I thought I was in a place where I could begin after being in a bad place. But to get out of that bad place, I pushed everything down. It has been very much like my later teenage years where I had no real emotion. I don't cry. I only let emotions in when there is something highly stimulating (movies are a good example...and the Biggest Loser, I guess). I have become hard. And so, trying to begin has been impossible. I have not faced that pain. I have not faced that disappointment. I have not grieved over what has died in my life. And so many things did...all at once. I lost relationships (so many), a best friend, and even a single mom to understand me (I know this might be unfair, but it was an end to something big in my life). I think I haven't wanted to grieve because that would be admitting that it really is the end. That these parts have died. And not the kind of death that is only for time (for all my LDS friends). Grieving means accepting that. It means crying sometimes. It means stopping the longing for something that no longer exists. I have always said that I am meant to do hard things, but I will admit, I haven't wanted to do this.

Maybe I will try beginning again tomorrow. But this time, I will begin again with the knowledge that I begin after an end I didn't want or expect. What do I want for this next part of my life? I don't know. I'm coming to realize that this life is a series of endings...then beginnings...with some not really knowing what you're doing sprinkled in there sometimes.


I thought I'd add a cute picture of my niece, Kait, just for fun.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Annual Blog Post on the Holidays

Well, it's December 6th and it's probably about time for my annual blog post on the holidays. Right? Shouldn't I be crazy (or getting there) right about now? It will probably happen in a couple of weeks, but right now, I feel...Christmas Spirit. It is a strange feeling. I haven't felt it for a few years, at least. I haven't decorated much for Christmas since I've been in Utah as evidenced by the fact that all of my holiday boxes are still in storage up in Washington. So, what makes this year different? Why do I feel content with just sitting by the tree I decorated? A week ago, I didn't think I would feel like this. I was preparing to feel all Scrooge-y again. In fact, I even ticked off one of my dearest sisters with negative comments about the holidays. I felt justified in my comments at the time. She didn't know how I was supposed to feel this time of year. She didn't know that I come home and just sit or sleep. All my energy is poured into my work. She didn't know that because of other people's negative comments or other people's attitudes that my life is worse. She didn't know that I am lonely. So lonely this time of year. She didn't know that when I come home each night to sit, I have no one to talk to about my day. I have no one who fully understands this except others who, like me, are jaded by this holiday.

But the more I sat there that night, looking at the meager decorations I had collected over the past couple of years still in boxes, something...changed. I didn't want to feel Scrooge-y. I didn't want to go through this short season bitter and putting on an act whenever I am at work, but then coming home to nothing. So, the next day, I started to plan. I pulled out the fake tree my roommate has kept stored in a closet (let's face it...it's much cheaper than a real tree). I purchased decorations (because mine are still in Washington) and put on Christmas music, willingly. And got to work. In the matter of a morning and afternoon, my living room and kitchen went from being very, very sparsely decorated (there were three blocks that spelled out JOY
and three bowls with pine cones and holly in them) to being fully decorated with a beautiful tree, two Nativity scenes, and a bunch more carefully placed nick knacks. I like it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"I love you and I like you"

I have a Saturday off with not much to do, and I'm listening to the love song channel on Pandora, so I thought, Hey! Why not write a blog post? It's a beautiful day out today. Sunny. Blue skies. It makes me want to cherish this weather before the cold sets in. Did I just talk about the weather with you, Imaginary Cyberspace Friend? You know me better than that, don't you. Talking about the weather usually means I have something else I want to talk about, but don't know how to bring it up.

You know I've done posts on motivation before. What is it. Where is it. I admit that I struggle with that every once in a while. I work in a book store, and so I see self help books all the time trying to convince me that one way will work. No, no, no...that way is wrong...try this way! And this is only reading the back of the books. I couldn't imagine how confused I would be if I tried reading a few of these books. That's not to say they won't work for one person or another. It probably worked for the author or he wouldn't have written a book about it, right? Right?

I've been trying to find my "why". As some of you know, I've recently started down the weight loss path again after taking a year off (Memo to me: don't EVER take a year off...not worth it, plus you lose a WHOLE year of life) and it has been HARD! I don't believe it has anything to do with my ability to lose weight. I know, logically and now scientifically, how to do it. It has to do with my "why." Why is this important? Why should I try? Why should I restrict myself in any way? Why should I put myself through this hell (my trainers words)? Why, indeed.

So, I put the question out to a group I belong to on Facebook. I wanted to get people's opinions on what motivates them who were in similar situations as me: no kids, single, of a certain age and religion. It's only been a few hours since it's been out there, but a few responses have to do with loving yourself, accepting that you're never going to have kids and being happy about it, supporting other parents, making myself better so I can attract the type of man I want, being positive, etc. While those are all great and wonderful ideas (well, some of them), for me, they won't motivate me. I'm thinking back to my previous motivations to better myself: a boy, a boy, a boy. Huh. Another boy. While I do want to be a stone cold fox for my future significant other, after this past year, there is no way that could be a motivation now.

Okay, so we're taking the making myself better so I can attract the type of man I want reason out.

I'm just going to ceremoniously throw out the accept and be happy I'm never having kids reason. If I gave up on that one before I should (i.e. when menopause has hit), that would be the most unmotivated thing I could think of. Not the direction I want to go. So...gone.

While I do support other parents and love my nieces and nephews like no other thing in this world, they are not a motivating factor to better myself. The fact is...they would love me regardless of who or what I am. And I don't have to be around to see their children grow up because they wouldn't be my grandchildren.

Being positive. Being positive. Yeah..........

So, that leaves loving myself. I've been watching this television show, Parks and Recreation, lately. It is almost side splitting funny sometimes, but that's not why I love it. The main couple on there, Leslie and Ben, are probably the best portrayal of what I want in a relationship. When they got married, in their vows, they said to each other, "I love you and I like you." Love is fantastic. But I want like.

To bring it back to motivation, I love myself. I can make a list of the things I love about myself. And more than that, believe them. But sometimes I don't like myself. I don't like the things I do. I don't like the things I say. Sometimes. This past year, I did not like the way I acted. With respect to men. With respect to my body. With respect to some family members. With respect to God. My motivation is not there because I have not forgiven myself for not liking myself. For not seeking forgiveness from those I need to.

I have a poster up on my motivational wall that lists my "whys". None of them have worked so far. I'm going to put up a sign that simply says, "I love you and I like you."

And get to work achieving that.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Four Pillars

Do you ever have one of those days where you seem to do everything right (I got up at a decent time, bought a textbook, completely cleaned out my fridge, even worked out like I was supposed to) and you still end up feeling slightly disgruntled with yourself? Today was one of those days, Imaginary Cyberspace Friend. You understand me, don't you. I had been fighting this grumpiness all day when I decided to look through some of my facebook pictures. Why do I do this to myself? I know I'm not where I used to be. I know this. I did work out tonight and it was HARD! The workout I did was not supposed to be hard for me! Hmmm...maybe that added to my grumpiness. But what it comes down to, the heart of my disgruntleness, is that I do not think I am beautiful anymore. Stop boo hooing for me. I am not saying that to feel sorry for myself, but to say it out loud (or I guess type it) for the first time in a really, really long time. It is so crazy how much I identified myself with how I look or looked. It has given me confidence and on the flip side, brought me down to the some of the lowest of lows. I don't think people talk about how they perceive themselves very often. It is a rare conversation for me anyway even to have with myself. Is it really important? Is how I perceive myself and my health important to my overall well being? That would be an overwhelming YES. 

I saw a therapist last year for a bit (you know to try to get over that series of terrible men I dated) and we talked about the four pillars of a happy and balanced life. One of them was your relationship with your family and those close to you. One was your relationship with whatever God/Creator/Great Spirit you worship. One was your mental well being and the last was your physical well being. If any one of these is out of whack, then your life is unbalanced. To have all four of those things working for you at the same time is the goal. Have I achieved that goal? Not even close. But I'm working on it. How I see myself is part mental, part physical. Because I have seen myself as a person in much better shape, I have a higher standard for my physical well being. If I had never taken the path of weight loss by exercise and diet, then I don't think the standard would be that high. I could find that happiness with less, but since I have seen more, I strive for more now. 

Now, one of the things we discussed was how much these four pillars affect the others. For example, if there
is something wrong with one of your family relationships, then it may manifest itself in the physical by sickness or gaining unnecessary weight. If you used to be spiritual and that part of your life has lapsed, it may manifest itself with depression or some sort of mental strife. Depression can lead to weight gain. Suddenly your life is completely out of balance and until you find the root cause, it will most likely stay that way.

Huh. This is not where I was seeing this blog entry going. Let's end it on a slightly better note and maybe get rid of some of the grumpiness I started with. Even though I have a long, long way to go, overall, I do feel better. And stronger. My muscles are waking up again (sometimes a little too much...ouch!). My clothes, even though they are my bigger clothes, are fitting correctly and some are getting a little loose. I am trying to buoy up the physical pillar to help with the mental pillar to help with the relationships in my life. It all works. 

Oh, for the pictures, I was trying to get a before and after picture, but I don't have any really great after pictures, so I just picked the most recent one. Haha.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

One MAJOR Flaw (with making a single man, of a certain age, interested in women, your best friend)

Alright, this is something that I've been thinking about for a little while. Boys. Okay, I've been thinking about them for most of my life, but today's topic is boys as friends. I am both a fan and not a fan. Why wouldn't I be a fan? Well, that will come later, but let's first do a pro list. I am a fan of pros and cons lists and feel like there is never enough of them in the world...yeah. But for this topic, I think it is appropriate. 

1. First and foremost is they generally have considerably less drama in their lives than women. Since I am a woman, I can say this.

2. They like to do outdoor stuff (this is also a generalization).

3. They like to watch cool movies (I have found this to be pretty universal).

4. I learn things from them my mother never taught me...nor my father. 

5. I find them generally easier to talk to because the conversation is usually to the point and they won't just let me go on and on and on and on without stopping me.

6. They are nice to look at. Even if we are just friends.

7. They have given me invaluable insight into the mind of men and what they think, look for, etc.

8. They don't over-think things (usually).

9. They generally don't care how they look (when we are in the friendship zone). Dirty t-shirt? Haven't showered for three days? Sure!! Come on over!

10. They seem to boost confidence instead of tearing down (again...a generalization).

You would think from my Top 10 List of Pros for having male friends that I would be all over that. And I have been. Until recently. There is just one MAJOR flaw with making a single man of a certain age, interested in women, your best friend. They tend to start dating those women. Then, if everything aligns perfectly in the heavens, they get married to one of those women. Well, shoot. What do I do then? If it were a perfect world, then the new girlfriend or wife would realize that I just wanted to be friends, nothing more. But it is not a perfect world and the friendship we once had is...gone. Sometimes it works out if it's just a girlfriend, but when it becomes more serious, I have to step out, if I hadn't already been cast aside in the name of love to begin with (I really like it when it's not even my decision to end a friendship...). 

If I were in a solid, stable, long term relationship, I wouldn't be writing this. I'm not saying that because I loooong for a solid, stable long term relationship or that I'm pining to find the "one." No, it is just a fact that if I were part of a couple, I could have other couple friends, including the male. No big deal. 

The moral of this story? I need more girl friends. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Year and a Half

I think I'm going to pretend the last year and a half didn't happen. Except that it did (I mean, of course it did). As I wrote that first sentence, I was suddenly reminded of all the great things that have happened in that year and a half. I started school and finished my first year back with a 4.0 (something I thought I was previously not capable of). I had the opportunity to see two of the dearest people in my life get married. I met some amazing people (the list would be too long, and I don't want to embarrass anyone with my gushing of how amazing they really are). I feel like I've reconnected with family members that I had previously, maybe, might have, ummm...ignored just a bit (sorry!). I've found some great music (those of you who don't know me very well might not know that I'm a pretty big music fanatic). I'm sure there's more, but just like the amazing people I've met, the list would be too long.

I was having a conversation with my amazing roommate, Jana, the other night and I told her that I came to Utah with such gusto (later on, in my mind, I called it swagger...or swagga if you want to be all gangsta). I told her I came to change Utah, not to have Utah change me. I said this with some trepidation because this past year and a half, I feel like I have been failing at this goal. My gusto/swagga was gone. Then, we started talking about the individual people in my life that have changed completely since I've been here. I'm not saying it was all me (no way), but I feel like I was in the right place at the right time to help affect change. To set an example. To say a prayer. To talk (and talk and talk). To just be there. And once in a while to say...what you are doing is dumb...stop it.

We went on talking and I said, now what? I can keep doing that, looking for opportunity to help others (and I will for sure), but this past year and a half I have lost myself. This happened for several reasons (please read my previous posts for why) and that is all well and good, but how long can I keep dwelling on the past? How long does it take to affect change in myself? The answer to that question? A year and a half.

It started with school, then my job and now my life. The phrase that keeps going through my mind is I am doing things right this time. I am doing school right. I am doing things right with my job (I seriously love my job right now) and a couple weeks ago, I started to do things right with my life. And tonight as I was working out, I almost felt normal (I say almost because I have a long way to go from that year and a half). In short, I felt my swagger coming back.

Okay, so right now I really want to say: Watch Out Boys...sorry mom...Men! But, I can't. Joey, my trainer, would, I'm 99% sure, kill me (in my workout). He has that power. Seriously. Because I'm doing that right this time, too.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I wanted to write about sleep. This past week I have been having such a weird sleep pattern that I thought it might be time to come up with some research about why proper sleep is so necessary for nutrition. And it's out there. Google: sleep and you'll find any sort of information you could ever want to find.

But I don't want to talk about sleep. The other thing that's been going on in my life this past week has been a redecoration of my basement living area and room. It is still very much in the beginning stages of reconstruction, but it sparked what I really wanted to talk about and that is your home environment. I'm talking about the way you feel when you walk into your house. Do you feel calm? Do you feel dismayed? Do you feel slightly panicked at the clutter on your floor or counters? Do you feel like it's time to call Hoarders? I have felt everything except the Hoarders one (oh, please never let me feel the Hoarders one). 

I bet you might be asking...what does this have to do with nutrition? Let me ask you a question. When you walk in to your home and see clutter and disorder (I'm talking outside of the normal daily stuff, esp. you guys with kids), do you want to cook a healthy meal in that kitchen? Or do you want to exercise when your floor has little walking room, let alone enough room to do a jumping jack or push-up? I know that I don't. A clean and organized house (shout out to Christa!) will not only help you feel better about where you are living, but it will, even subconsciously, help you with any sort of nutritional goals you have in mind.

Plus, maybe if we start spring cleaning early, this nasty winter will end sooner. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Succeed In Change

This morning I woke up with puffy eyes. Does this have anything to do with the topic of this blog? Not really, but it's a detail. The topic of this blog is one of revamping. But we'll get to that in a little bit. First, I want to start with a little background.

11 months ago, I started chatting with this boy from Price, Utah. I was currently in the best shape of my life. It did not end well (see posts from February 2012), but one thing most people, who don't see me on a regular basis, don't know is it was also a catalyst to give up. After that experience, I stopped going to the gym regularly and I started eating from convenience stores. I also started playing large amounts of video games. Drinking soda. It was almost like I was outside of this life I had worked so hard for and all I could do was watch it quickly spiral out of control.

When I started school, 50 lbs heavier than 6 months previous, I kept saying to myself: this is actually a good thing because you are going to have clients who do this sort of thing. They are going to have one moment in their lives that they can't seem to get over and it will be your job to help them through it, nutritionally and most likely, emotionally! But I had to get through it, myself, in order for this logic to work. I tried starting another competition to jump start weight loss. I tried joining a kickboxing gym because that is an exercise I really enjoy doing. I took a Fitness for Life class at school. I have even committed to a degree of Exercise and Sports Science. I have come up with 12 things in my life that were either detrimental to my weight loss or could help it.

And finally, I have to admit to myself: Nothing seems to be working. Why is the question I asked myself this morning. Why after everything I've been through and committed to and spent money for (school is expensive) am I not motivated? Not only am I not motivated to continue on a weight loss path, I completely regressed down the path I had taken. I have the tools. I have the knowledge and I'm gaining more knowledge almost every day now.

After asking myself why, I decided I needed to make a pros and cons list to losing weight. There MUST be some sort of CON to losing weight if I seem to be so against it. Here is what I came up with:

Pros:

1. I would look Hot
2. I would have more Energy
3. And Confidence
4. It is Career Motivating
5. Heart Attack potentially Diverted
6. I can Motivate others
7. I can Run Races again
8. I get to work through Weight Related Issues
9. I would enjoy going to the Gym
10. I would Date again

That seems like it should be good enough for anyone to start. Plenty of motivation, right?

Here is my cons list:

1. Men might Use Me
2. I have an excuse Not to Date or Get Hurt
3. It's how I've Always Been-I Don't have to Change

I've known about the man issue for a couple of months now, but I don't think I knew about the third one. People have an identity in this life. It is usually formed in the early years of childhood and adolescence. At least for me, it was. I have always been the fat one. I know this one thing is true: even when I was at my fittest, I still saw myself as fatter than everyone else around me. I did not appreciate my hard work. I did not recognize the fact that I had lost 85 lbs. All I saw was I still was able to shop at Lane Bryant. I was still bigger than most of my co-workers. Here's the kicker: even though my body had changed, my mind was still stuck way back on that dang path. And when I let my guard down this past year, my mind dragged my body back with it. Let's be completely honest: That sucks. It sucks that I have to do it all over again. It sucks that I have to spend money to buy bigger clothes and then turn around and spend more money to buy smaller clothes. It sucks to have to look friends and family in the face and have them physically see how far I've fallen. It sucks to not be able to workout like I want to. And all of this for three stupid reasons.

After making that pros and cons list, I decided:

1. The Pros definitely Outweigh the Cons
2. I have to Revamp some Things in my life (ahhhhh...there it is)
3. I will never Succeed In a career Change if I don't change first

The first thing I am going to revamp is this blog. Since I'm going to be learning about nutrition for the next several years, I am going to share that knowledge with you, along with this second journey I'm starting on. I want to get a broader audience, so if you know anyone who needs nutritional advice, along with a dose of humor about the whole thing, sign them up. I plan on writing every few days, to possibly turn into a daily thing. Baby steps.