Monday, January 31, 2011

Be here now

Have you ever just allowed yourself to be? Be in the moment, be here, be present? I find myself often living in the past and planning for the future. What could I have differently yesterday to make today a better day? What is tomorrow going to look like? I rarely take time to just soak in the day and relax. Don't misinterpret that as not taking time for me, because I do take time for me. But even in those moments I don't allow myself to just be. My mind is racing with a million thoughts of what to do, where to go, and how to get there. I don't spend time just focusing on today and enjoying every moment in that moment. Instead, I enjoy that moment tomorrow when I'm thinking about yesterday.

In session today my counselor tried this technique on me. He gave me a piece of candy, a mint, and asked me to put it in my mouth. He asked me to focus on that piece of candy in my mouth. What was my tongue tasting, could I feel the soothing sensation as the minty taste went down my throat, what could I smell as I breathed in and out, and how did I feel after that moment of focusing on the here and now. How did I feel? I felt alive, I felt aware, I felt focused, and I felt present. It was such a simple technique and yet the effects were clear. He encouraged me to spend five minutes a day just focusing on being present. I am not to think about what happened yesterday, hope for tomorrow, or plan for the future. I am simply to be in the moment. Calm, balanced, aware, present. Do you think you can do the same?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bad decisions

I think we've all made bad decisions in life. Some people regret their bad decisions, some would rather forget them, and some choose to learn from their bad decisions. I am one of those that chooses to learn from my mistakes and bad decisions, including the decisions I've made regarding the guys that I consider significant relationships. Some of the relationships were brief, some were not. Some had great emotion attached to the relationship and others didn't. Let me explain. We'll start with my first love. We were friends, talked on and off about dating when one of us was single, finally got our shot, and we blew it. Our actual dating relationship was all of three months, but the love was there and it was five years in the making. He'll always hold a special place in my heart as most first loves do. My worst relationship was 13 months, but I wasn't in love with him. I liked him a lot and we talked about a future, but I never had the overwhelming feelings of love that I had for my first love or the most recent failure. But that relationship left the deepest wounds. I was lied to A LOT. I was cheated on. And did I mention that I was lied to A LOT? I wasn't sure I'd ever heal from that relationship. But here I am, stronger than ever. I've learned more from that one relationship than I have from all the others combined.

The last relationship was a relationship that was doomed from the beginning to be honest, but I got sucked in like I always do and refused to ignore that voice inside my head that said "You promised yourself you wouldn't date another guy fresh out of a relationship". I told that voice to shut up and that came back to bite me in the ass. But what did I learn? That I've come to realize when a guy is ready and when he's not and to tell him to hit the road if he's not. I am firm in who I am. I know what I want. I'm ready to settle down and have the life of mama and wife. I refuse to settle for less than what I deserve. Does that make me cocky? I don't think so. I think it means that I'm a strong, confident woman who realizes that she's worth fighting for when times get tough, more kisses than there are stars in the sky, and a deeper love than some will ever know. I refuse to believe that the guy for me isn't out there and until he comes along I'll keep learning from my mistakes and hoping that love is just around the corner.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Getting to know me #1

I was thinking last night that I have some blog followers who don't really know me. You're following my life changing journey and yet what do you really know about me except that I'm overweight, I have no cable, and I'm in counseling for some past/current issues? So from time to time I'm going to post some insights into what makes me, well me! Today is your first insight.

1) I like to drink orange juice with my pizza. I'm not quite sure why, but if I'm eating pizza I'm probably drinking orange juice.
2) I love pictures and I like to be surrounded by them so therefore I have them all over my walls in my house. Everywhere you look you'll see my family, friends, and me sharing in some great memories.
3) I have to be cold when I sleep. Not sleeping in -5 below temperatures, but about a 65 degree temperature. If I'm hot I can't sleep and then I get cranky and me cranky sleepy is not a good me.
4) I don't eat vegetables, which makes this whole losing weight thing harder. I like peas, corn, and sometimes carrots (potatoes too but those aren't exactly ideal). I'll eat broccoli, mushrooms, or spinach if it's in small pieces and cooked in something. I HATE peppers. Gross!
5) I once punched an ex-boyfriend, right in the jaw, when he told me that he wasn't actually going through divorce but that they had an open relationship while he was away working. I don't condone physical aggression at all, but in this case it was justified and it felt good! And yes I did break up with him then and there.
6) I have a hard time picking a favorite author so my top three would be Jodi Picoult (pronounced Pea-coe), Nicholas Sparks, and Emily Giffin.
7) Seven is my favorite number so I'll probably do seven random facts about me at a time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No cable equals ?

So in the quest to save money before I have to quit my big girl job (aka professional job) in January I canceled my cable on Monday morning. I haven't watched much of it, or at least I thought, in the last few months so I figured why not? Apparently I watched more than I thought. The last few days I have gotten quite a bit accomplished. Stuff that was typically waiting until the weekends that I was actually home to get done like laundry, cooking, and working out. I have been that woman that in the past has skipped going to the gym and just said "I'm just going to go home and work out". What do you think I actually did when I got home? If you said everything but work out you'd be correct (sorry no prizes for winning). I would watch TV, I'd play with Chloe (my adorable pooch who is definitely cuter than yours), play on Facebook, jump on a forum, or a million other things. However, not having the option to plop down in front of the TV has given me the motivation I needed to get on the ball with all the things that I'm wanting to get down around here.

The barrier to that is scheduling. As I write this I'm already currently behind what I was hoping would be my new set bedtime of 11:30. I have a horrible sleep schedule as of now. I go to bed between 12:30 and 1:00 and get up at 8:00, which is just enough time to get ready and get out the door to be at the office by 9:00. Sometimes I'll end up doing a little work from home first and then going into the office, but either way my sleeping schedule sucks. Add on me being a full-time graduate student and trying to date and be the best friend possible and well chaos is inevitable. So the only way I can get the chaos under control is planning, planning, and more planning. However, even the best laid plans go wrong (IE: blogging 15 minutes past bedtime) and so I must be dedicated and committed and willing to be honest with myself about where I'm getting off course. So, with that said it is time for bed. So I wish you all a goodnight and the sweetest dreams that one can dream.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The best gift for yourself

I know that humans are by nature gratuitous creatures. We seek approval from others, we like to treat ourselves, and we want people to treat us a certain way. I have always been the type that seeks approval from others whether it's a compliment on looking good or a congratulations, great job kind of thing. I've never really given myself the approval. I always find the things to nitpick at such as my thunder thighs, belly pooch, or after wave (flabby underarms) as Mama Doreen calls them. I pick at my schoolwork, I pick at my job performance, and I pick at my wardrobe.

Counseling is changing all of that. It's honestly been the give I have ever given myself. I go 2x a month for an hour - hour and a half each time. We discuss everything in intimate detail and you would think with me being as open as I am that it would be easy. But divulging every detail of your life to another human being and exploring the core reasons for the cognitive distortions (irrational thoughts) is extremely hard. It makes you feel vulnerable and naked. It brings about an awareness that you aren't necessarily ready for. It exposes you for who you really are and who you want to be. It is truly therapeutic because it helps you to release all of this stuff that has been festering inside of you. It helps to say everything that you are thinking, feeling, and wanting to say out loud without judgment and retribution. It helps you to look deep inside of yourself and ask yourself Why am I here? What got me here? What can I do to get out of this spot?

I'm so glad that I have decided to get counseling as part of my self-help project. I want to be the best person that I can be. I want to be someone that I can be proud of. I don't care about anyone else at this point. I want to be able to say that I am proud of what I've done, who I am, and what I will do in the future. I want to discover every part of myself and figure out what it is that makes me tick and will keep me ticking for years to come. This journey I'm taking isn't for the faint of heart. It requires gut wrenching honesty, a lot of tears, and hours of reflection. But at the end of the day, nothing has been worth what this process is worth. I will cherish this time in my time and always remember when I took back control of my life and lived it for me and no one else.

30 Day Shred...take two!

Yeah yeah I'm sure y'all are thinking "She just posted back in October how she was on day two and doing fantastic, blah blah blah". And I wouldn't blame you for thinking that. How many times in the last six months have I said I'm ready to get back on the weight loss train and not gotten back on? How many times have I said I'm going to get back to the gym and not done it? Ugh too many times for me to keep track of at this point and I'm exhausted with the merry-go-round myself. And it's high time that I get off of it and run with this new motivation. I am going to kick my butt for the next 30 days. Jillian Michaels, martial arts, Zumba, and running will not get the best of me. I will do this. I will jump start my weight loss again. I will show this merry-go-round who is boss. My goal is 10 lbs for these next 30 days...let's get to it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Big decisions

You know those decisions that have to be made, but you don't really want to make them? I've had one of those come up recently and it's caused me massive amounts of anxiety for a few reasons.
1) Selling a house in a tanked economy = a potential loss
2) Finishing up school in a year and a half means job applications and possible relocation for a job in your field.
3) Moving home during school and then facing a potential second move a year later means money
4) An internship that causes you to quit a big girl job that pays the bills causes you to reevaluate every financial decision you've ever made.

With all of that said the decision I've come to is this: I'm not moving back to WV. This decision has cost me a lot of lost sleep, tears, and fights with my self (yes I yell at myself...don't judge). I wanted to move home because I miss my family, I miss my friends, and well life events have occurred that caused me to think about why I'm not living closer to home. I am missing precious life moments of my nieces and nephews. I am missing precious moments of time spent with my beloved family and friends. However, I have to look at the big picture and that picture in reality. Even if I were to move closer to home I would still miss out on events due to work, school, and life in general. Sadly I don't get paid to be a social butterfly and therefore must maintain a real, big girl job. Living closer to home would not guarantee that I wouldn't miss out on birthdays, showers, holidays, etc. It would just mean that physically I would be closer. To be honest, I think I see my family more now than when I lived in WV. Sad, but true.

Given the economy it's just not a good time to move. Given where I'm at in life (a year and a half from graduation) it's not a good time to move. And the reasons I moved away are still valid. I wanted to find me. I wanted to find my voice away from everyone I have known since birth. I'm still on that mission. Granted, I have found me but with the curve balls life has thrown I've become a slightly meaker version of that woman. I want that verocity back and I'm working on it. I will use this year to save more money, continue on my journey of self-discovery, and figure out where I want this life to take me. If it takes me home to the hills of WV I will be thrilled, but if not I will continue to find joy in the moments that I can sneak away on those country roads to laugh with my friends, live through the memories, and love my family more than I did the day before.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More than numbers

I hate when you go to the doctor's office and the first thing they do is weigh you. Why can't that be the last thing they do? Because after the height, weight, blah blah blah it makes me feel like a bunch of numbers. Last I checked my height didn't define me, but for those that care to know I am exactly 5'1.5" of fun-sized fun. And the other number isn't relevant to anyone but me, and really it shouldn't even be relevant to me. Because I am more than the number on the scale and the number on the scale just confirms what I already see in the mirror. I am overweight. I am completely 100% aware of this. I do not need anyone else to confirm it by commenting on what I eat (or rather don't eat) or noting what size jeans I wear. The number on the scale isn't relevant. However, how I feel about how I look and how I feel overall is relevant. I don't feel healthy in any way, shape, or form. I haven't felt healthy since high school and even then I wasn't the healthiest girl in the school. But I sure felt better then than I do now and it's no one's fault but my own. I own all of my numbers and I'm going to share a few of them with the blogging world.

Arms: 15 inches
Calves: 17 inches
Thighs: 29 inches
Hips: 48 inches
Belly: 45 inches
Chest: 36 1/2
Waist: 36 1/2

For those comparing my numbers to the "perfect" body I've got at least one of the 36-24-36 desired measurements down and who knew in high school that would ever happen?! I am not looking to achieve that perfect or ideal body either. I want to be healthy for me. I want to reach a goal weight that I'm happy with and not one that a chart on a doctor's office wall tells me I should be. I have hips, thighs, and a chest that outdoes most Hooter's girls and I love my curves. I just want them to be smaller curves. That's not too much to ask right?

I'm shooting for a goal weight of 140 and then I'll reevaluate once I get there. I have mini goals set for myself as well. From my heaviest, I have lost a total of 21 lbs. My next goal is to hit 30 lbs. I want to see a change in the pictures that I'll be taking (and *gulp* posting) every month. I know that I can do this. I am more committed than ever to losing the weight, losing the inches, and keeping this off. The first step is getting your head in the game, right? Well I'm on step two and the only place to go is forward. I hope you can keep up!

January 2011 Pictures

Monday, January 3, 2011

Born to stand out

I hear many people say that they are going to become a better them, a healthier them, a new improved them. But how many of them actually have a plan to do anything about it? How many actually do A,B, and C to make the changes that are necessary to be a new improved version of themselves? Given that not many people follow through with their New Year's resolutions I would say not many have a solid plan. However, I have a plan. It's a detailed plan too, because I'm a planner and a list maker and organize like it's my job. I am going to list my plan here so that I have my followers and friends to keep me accountable for what I say I'm going to do. So here goes.

1) Attend bi-weekly counseling sessions. Today was session #2 and my counselor already has me thinking and evaluating and working on "homework" each session. It's great accountability for me.
2) Get myself on a regular sleeping schedule. Bedtime is 11:30 and rise and shine is 6:30. An early rise and shine guarantees that I'll have time to relax and prep for the day and thoroughly enjoy my morning cup of hot tea (tiny bit of sugar, little bit of Creme Brulee creamer = perfection).
3) Get back into a workout routine. My goal for my 6:30 wake up call is to squeeze in a morning workout session courtesy of Jillian Michael's and the 30 Day Shred. I have had this issue this past year of starting something, getting 3-4 days in, and then quitting. Not this time. I WILL finish one 30 day round with Jillian and then go from there. Day one starts tomorrow!
4) Save more money! With my taxes I will be paying off two out of three credit cards and a part of the third, which will save me some extra every month. I also don't watch cable, or at least haven't since I've gotten Netflix. It's $50 a month that I'm throwing away. It will be canceled tomorrow. I am going to be big girl jobless come January 2012 for my internship and every penny saved now is a penny that can pay some bills come January.
5) Get to work on my house. I have some painting to do, small repairs to make, and maintenance cleaning to do. I keep putting it off and well it's not doing me any good and only makes me feel lazy when I look at the minor things I want to do.
6) Stop giving more than I get from the intimate relationships in my life. I know what I deserve and it's more than I've been settling for in the past. I am making a promise to myself to not do that EVER again.
7) Make myself a priority again. I was at the top of my game and doing so well and finally getting comfortable in my own skin. Due to unforseen circumstances I lost my focus, but it's back and I will no longer let myself not be a priority. It's full steam ahead! So either get on board or get out of my way!

I can and I will do this. I have to do this for myself. If I can't love me then how can I expect anyone else to love me? I was born to stand out and that's exactly what this year is all about!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Woman on a Mission

I'm that person who you can come to with any issue, any dilemma, any question and I will be honest with you. I won't judge you and I won't assume that I know everything, but I will be real and honest because as my friend I think you deserve the truth. I don't believe in sugar coating because what does that really do? Sugar coating may help you to feel all warm and gooey inside, but it's short and fleeting and in the end you still feel insecure about whatever it was. I lost that part of me with the most recent guy I was seeing and it's one of my favorite parts about myself. It's one of the favorite qualities of me that my closest friends love. But for some reason I didn't show that part of me with him out of fear, insecurity, I'm not really sure. I hate that I lost part of myself again.

Those of you who have been in my life for the last two years know how much I have worked to get back to me after two break-ups that left me broken-hearted. I finally started focusing on me for the first time in ever. I was losing weight and taking part in things that I loved including volunteering and finding a new church and living life to the fullest. In the past seven months I've gotten very off track. I would love to blame it on reasons out of my control, but let's be honest. I can't control life's circumstances but I can control how I react to them. I've reacted poorly. I stopped working out, I've resorted to taking naps after work (I'm OK with the indulgence of naps on the weekends when I have nothing else to do), and I have said no to spending time with friends when normally I would never do that.

All of that has to stop and I'm working on it. I recently started counseling to delve into the pathology behind my issues, mainly self-esteem issues that have been present my entire life. I have to stop trying to save the men in my life from their past disappointments. I realize there is a theme in my past relationships and it stops with the last guy. It's time that I let a guy prove to to me that he is worth my attention and love. It's time to prove to myself that I'm worth the attention and love. It starts today and this time it will continue on for the rest of my life. I'm a woman on a mission to truly love me for me and nothing will stop me this time.