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.