Thursday, March 27, 2014

Where Does the Time Go?!


I swear, I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted! I have no excuse. I really am sorry...mostly.

Things have been crazy, but mostly uneventful...if that even makes sense. We've been keeping busy. 

I started a medically assisted weight loss program last month. I'm down 21 pounds. That's about a third of my first goal. Well, no. That's a lie. I've got 16lbs till I reach my first goal, "One"derland as they say.  From there it'll be another 21 to my ok weight range. Then another bit to reach a "healthy BMI". That's in quotes because you know how skewed the BMI chart is.  I carry quite a bit of lean weight under this massiveness that allows me to carry more than BMI says is acceptable.  Maybe I'm in denial ;)

The program has allowed me to get over some mental obstacles that held me back from dieting before.  It has also helped with some physical aspects...the mind/body connection if you will.  I'll go into more detail about it later. 

I attribute all of my success so far to my close friends, husband, coworkers, and doctor who are all very invested in helping me succeed and are extremely supportive. I couldn't do it without them <3 It is both very exciting and scary to be losing weight, especially after struggling for long. 

Other exciting news. We're going out of town with some friends this weekend. Husband is celebrating his birthday and the rest of us need a mini vacation so we're packing up and taking a trip :D We've never taken a vacation aside from obligatory family visits across country so I'm excited! We've done mini road trips to concerts, but never a booked vacation for a whole weekend.  I miss my puppy already, but I know she'll stay busy with her friend.

Updated photos, then I'm off! Sleep tight, world! 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Exciting Year

It will be an exciting year. How do I know? Because we will make it so!! And because a word find puzzle told us so. Ryan saw one of those "the first three words you see will be your 2014" silly bits of nonsense. His three words were love, intelligence, and experience. My words were love, lust, and popularity. Both sets sound very exciting ;)

It has already been exciting. Our apartment is not equipped for single digit temperatures. We have three space heaters so its slowly getting better. I'm just so glad we got our rugs down last weekend! I imagine it could have been colder without them. It would also help if I could find my curtains :/ And my sewing machine to hem them as the windows ere are MUCH shorter than at the house.

That's all I have for today. More tolerable than yesterday's novel, yes?

Oh, before I go. Here's an updated picture of our horse...goat...er, puppy. She's 7.5 months old and 53lbs now :)




Monday, January 6, 2014

It's a New Year

Here's to being more consistent...hopefully ;)

I've completely forgotten about blogging lately.  It's not that I mean to, of course.  It's just not in my face so I don't think about it as much.  Things haven’t necessarily been stressful, just busy!  Christmas was quiet and simple.  My dad’s side of the family didn't celebrate much.  It just isn't the same as the old days when there were at least 20 people around.  Ryan’s side of the family was ill so we waited until Saturday to get together.

New Year’s Eve was tons of fun.  Ryan had to work the next morning.  I was fortunate enough to be off. 
I started reading The Hunger Games a few weeks ago.  I finished Catching Fire last night.  Now I have to wait until Thursday, pay day, before I can get the last book.  I'm not usually surprised by book events.  Perhaps it's because I haven't read a book in FOREVER.  I was certainly thrown off by the tribute selection, though...the process of the choosing, I suppose.  I need the third book pronto.  I’m growing impatient.  I suppose I’ll occupy my time with art...until Thursday.  Then I'm borrowing Game of Thrones from a friend.  So excited!

We spent the weekend sleeping and working on the apartment, aside from reading my book.  It felt like a lazy weekend, but it really was quite productive!

The other day my friend asked me what my New Year’s resolution was.  I hadn't thought about it.  I had originally thought to not make one, and then forgot about it altogether.  When she asked I figured I should come up with something.  Considering I hadn't thought about it, I came up with one rather quickly.  It isn't a goal necessarily.  It’s more of a resolution of existence.  Here is what came out when I responded:
“I suppose with my self learning this past year it would be to stress less, better practice what I preach in taking thing in stride as they come, be less reserved because what people think about me shouldn't be based on what I choose to show or hide from them…to just be happy…because THAT is what people will see and I want people to remember me as a free spirit who loves unconditionally and as someone who loves (lives) life to the fullest.”

Sound like a plan?  I think so.

Do you remember when I was going the 200 squat program?  If so, I'm sure you can recall that I stopped doing it (along with the 100 push ups and 200 sit ups).  I'm still not doing it, BUT I am doing squats again, but without the program.  I feared I was back to square one...45.  I sort of was at 50, but I also didn't push too hard because I was recovering from a cold.  About a week later I had the pleasure of getting two good nights of sleep and was feeling rather peppy so I pushed myself to failure...130.  Woo!  About another week passed and I did squats with my friend (we're trying to encourage each other) and we did 70.  I should have done more, but I'm trying not to burn myself out.  Another week went by...150!  I shot a video of the 150 as proof, but it's a really silly looking video so I won't post it.  My squat buddy can vouch for the video, though :P  I definitely feel a difference in only four sessions.  My thighs feel a bit less lumpy, and I definitely have more strength/stamina that before.  My squat buddy showed me some yoga and I have an app that I enjoy so I'm going to try to incorporate it more.  I definitely need it, especially in my lower legs.

Part of the work we did on the apartment was putting rugs down (all concrete floors).  Now that there's some cushion I'm going to *try* to do more push ups.  We'll see how long that lasts.  I like squats.  I hate push ups and crunches >.<

I am due to clock back in.  I will post again soon, even if it's not very exciting.  It will at least keep these novels down to short, easily read posts.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Art Therapy

I took an art therapy class during my second year of college. I hated it...probably my least favorite class. It felt very scripted and I felt fake. It was "art therapy", but I was graded on my art. I "didn't use enough color". They were MY expressions. It's was subjective. I didn't feel like a colorful person at the time. It made me angry. Who tells someone to express their thoughts through art and then gives them a lower grade because it wasn't what the teacher wanted?!  Therapy is about the client, or in this case, student. It turned me against the concept altogether. Like...passionately hated the topic since then. 

I watched a show on Netflix that incorporated art therapy. It seemed interesting, but I didn't think much of it. I went to the book store today and was really intrigued by the art books. After dinner to tonight I had the sudden urge to make art. 

Growing up I drew things from paper, never really creating anything original. Tonight, I had the urge to create...not because I *wanted* to make something, but because I *needed* to. I need therapy, and I'm not entirely willing to hunt down a psychologist.  I was shocked when I realized this. I feel that I have been dealing with things better...friendships, marriage, family.  I've been more direct than ever and I love it. I think that being more open has formed a path in which I want to be more artfully involved again. 

And so I pinned SEVERAL art therapy activities on Pinterest because, you know, I'm an addict. I am so excited! I've missed making art, but never really had a direction to go toward. I know art therapy isn't really a "direction", but I feel that it breaks the mindset that I have to be making art for a purpose, for it to look good, or for someone. Art is for me, though, not for a purpose, but for therapy, especially since I no longer have my piano. I still hold dark feelings toward my teacher for ruining something so important to me (I know...get over it), but she's no longer part of the process, an she can't put a grade on it now. 


Monday, November 11, 2013

Autumn Happenings

There seems to be change surrounding us. Not only are we relocating and adjusting, but everyone around us has a change in life situation going on as well. It's overwhelming!

The move from house to apartment was a great deal more chaotic than I had anticipated. I developed a migraine on the last day of the move, and I have been experiencing cluster headaches since, almost a week ago. We wouldn't have gotten everything done without the awesomeness of our friends and family. 

In addition to the migraine from hell, I had to pick up extra hours at work because my manager fell ill. I don't mind as I'd rather her be in good health, but on top of the 1.5 hr round trip everyday it was a little stressful. I mean, 1.5 hrs a day, five days a week, ends up being almost an entire work day wasted just driving!!! It could have been spent doing something productive. The drive is really the only down side of working in Bristol, though. 

We've been having minor electrical issues. There's a breaker that can't support heavy use (fridge + 2 heaters) so we are being strategic in appliance placement until the breaker is replaced.

We got the yard fenced in the other day. All of that freedom and pup wants to lay by the door! She's been able to stay on more since we're not moving stuff in and out of houses now. She's much better behaved inside now, too. We need to update the address on her tag.  There's a white husky down the road. They're best buds now <3

The cats adjusted to the move just fine. When Gir realized Diane's bed was there he made himself cozy and went to sleep. Kurumi and Tango took a little more convincing but ultimately, by the end of the night, they were just fine.

We're still tight on cash with our final utility bills coming through ($200 more than the usual total due after disconnect), but next month should get easier.  I'm trying to figure out what to do for Christmas. I have people who understand financial struggles, but a husband who loves shopping (and going over budget) for peoples' gifts.

Well, I'm going to try to nap before I'm expected to be exciting tonight. Hope you are all well! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We're moving!

I'm getting more and more excited by the day.  Then on moving day I'll be like, "WTFWEREYOUTHINKING?!"  I'm hoping we'll have plenty of help.  More people means less work load for everyone overall and the job pays in pizza and beer/wine.  I mean, who wouldn't take up that offer?  I would!  I'm just going to copy and paste the email I sent to a friend because I already spelled out the pros and cons to her.  Work smarter, not harder, yea?

Some info.  It's my Papaw's basement turned into an apartment.  It's an apartment without all of the horrible apartment things we were afraid of in regards to moving into an apartment (awful neighbors, noise, terrible landlord, etc)

The following copy/paste has been edited...just FYI.

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It's a cute little apartment that needs a lot of work so I'll probably been spending the next few Saturdays there working, painting, cleaning, etc.  During the following few weeks we'll be going through our stuff to downsize and start packing for the move.  I think we're going to rent a Uhaul on Saturday the 26th and try to recruit help.  We'll provide pizza for anyone interested in helping us load and unload the truck ;)

This month is going to be CRAZY. We also have a birthday party tonight so I won't be able to work on it, and we've got a party next Saturday night.  I have two songs I have to learn on piano in the next two and a half weeks for a last minute wedding gig.  I think I'm going to try to give my piano away after the 19th.  I need it until then so I can practice for the wedding.  If you know anyone who wants it (needs work) let me know.  They have to provide help and transportation, though (probably 5 or 6 people).

So, cons of the move: 
- Not as many windows...3 total. 

- Lighting needs improvement, but so does our current house. (My dad added some lights which improved it vastly...still needs more lighting, though)

- Kitchen is small.  We're discussing ways to make it useful.  There isn't really a dining area so I'm thinking we can make a fold up table that locks against the wall.  See #23: http://crazyfood.net/the-27-lifehacks-for-your-tiny-kitchen/  There's a hallway by the kitchen that we are going to add utility shelving to for storage.  We are also thinking of getting a kitchen cart as a portable cutting board type of thing.  I can also get one of those cutting boards you put over the sink.

-There's no washer/dryer hookup.  However, I can use my Papaw's.  His washer is in the back of his house by his old bedroom away from everything so we won't disturb him by doing laundry.  There is also a stair case next to our entrance and a door by his washer and dryer so I don't have far to travel.  It's like the old days where you built your wash room separate from the rest of the house!

- We'll have to run a dehumidifier all the time since it is a basement and there isn't proper ventilation with only three small windows, but that's okay.  I like to have some sort of steady noise in the background.  This should help with the amount of flour it takes me to make bread also ;)

I think that's really the only major cons.  My dad pulling up the carpet and is fixing the plumbing because the toilet flooded and molded the carpet and sheet rock.  He mentioned a cover rug, but we're going to ask if we can acid wash it.  https://www.google.com/search?q=acid+concrete+stain&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=rtROUv7vHcT94APH4YHQBQ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1152&bih=749&dpr=1

All of the construction is new so once we paint it, it should look really nice in there!  My uncle's family lived there before.  They left a ton of stuff behind that we have to clear out and there are drawings ALL OVER the walls.  It's awful.  

Pros:
- There are still two bedrooms so we can maintain our current setup relatively easily.  The master bedroom is really big.  The master bedroom is down the hallway away from the main living area of the house so that's nice.  Right now our bedroom meets up with the kitchen, living room, and the bathroom.  It's so noisy! You have people rummaging in the kitchen, people using the bathroom, cats eating food or scratching in the litter box, and if I have a migraine it's hard to rest when we have company because of the living area.  We'll actually be able to afford a new bed soonish with the money we'll be saving so maybe my quality of sleep will improve overall :D  

- We'll have a fenced in yard so Melody can run around.  AND my uncle built the fence with it partly under ground so I don't have to worry about Melody digging under the fencing.  How convenient?!

- We can swim/use the hot tub any time we want because my dad lives across the driveway.

- I'll live in the tree streets again so I can ride my bike whenever I want and not worry about getting run over/followed by creepers.  This also means I can wear down Melody's energy when walking just doesn't cut it...because walking NEVER cuts it.

- We'll be right in the middle of our family.  My in laws on Ryan's Dad's side and his youngest sister live across the street and a few houses down now so we'll have access to my dad and Ryan's dad.  No more travelling to see the parents!  This also means my little sister can help keep Melody occupied :P  Last week she said "Nana, I wish you lived with us" and my heart melted.  I hugged her back and said "You have NO idea how close we'll be soon".  Then she drove me crazy.  She kept pressuring me to let her walk the dog (which she had previously done AND dropped the leash and let her go).  I told her it wasn't polite to pressure me and bully me into doing what she wants.  

- Our rent and utilities total will go from almost $900/mo to $450, electric and water included.  We'll only be paying separately for our internet which just went down because Charter is having a new promotion.  Wee!

- Because of the money saving I can afford to eat how I need to instead of settling on garbage.  I'm not sure if you've read my previous blog post, but it discusses a lot of the problems.  I'm horrible at dieting, have no will power, and struggle mentally with all of it.  I will now have the resources available to help me succeed.  I am SO excited!!  And I finally talked to Ryan about my struggles so he's been really helpful in trying to motivate me to keep active and make smart choices while I'm at home :)

- The floors are concrete.  No more creaking wood floor!  Also, because they are concrete (2 ft of foundation under us), my dad is confident that we should be well insulated in regards to heating/cooling.  Concrete floors also mean I can play DDR without it shaking shelves and knocking things over.

- I'll be 10 minutes closer to my mom which will be lovely.  I can walk Melody down to the Johnson City center to see her on my days off :D 

- Moving into a smaller place is forcing us to go through our stuff which is MUCH needed.  I'm excited and on a roll!


Though there are some cons, but the pros FAR outweigh them.  And it's only temporary (in regards to dealing with the tiny kitchen).  It's not where we're ultimately settling.  We're much looking forward to being close to family and being back in the tree streets.  And my Papaw is "tickled" (according to my dad) that we don't smoke.  

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I took Melody out for a bike ride today.  She did really well to watch for the tires while turning.  She loved it.  She really has some pulling power!  I should hook a sled harness to her and put her in front of the bike to pull me up hills ;)

The piano statement still stands.  If you know anyone who wants my piano (it needs to be tuned and some restoration) let me know!  I'm trying to find a home for it after the 19th.  They have to provide transportation and moving hands, though.  It's a tight squeeze through the front door so a pulley, lift, or something is recommended as I don't think just man power will be enough.

I suppose that's all I have for the moment!  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ramblings

How do you guys deal with mental barriers? I know I've talked a bit about my relationship with food as in I experience great anxiety revolving around food choices. Today was a prime example. 

I wanted something sweet so I stopped to get some caramel corn. I thought to turn around in the parking lot and leave, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I thought I was making a conscious decision to enjoy said treat, but when I got to the check out line I felt my ears get hot and my blood pressure go up. I should have put it down, but at this point the caramel corn became a gotta have it now sort of thing. I felt frantic that an inanimate object had so much control over me. I bought it. I paid $1.07 for an anxiety attack. 

When I got back to the car I noticed a missed call from my mom. I almost didn't call her back because it would interrupt digging into my drug of choice. I called anyway. She said I sounded distracted. I claimed it was because there wasn't much to talk about, but honestly I was just irritated that I didn't have an extra hand...one to drive, one to hold the phone, and one to mindlessly transport food to my face. 

I have a serious problem. I turned down cake at a wedding celebration and was so proud of myself because I was at peace and content with that choice. Then I find myself irritable with my own mother over a dollar bag of crunchy sugar. I caught myself and corrected the behavior at the moment, but it didn't stop me from  scarfing it down when the call ended. 

I know it's all my doing and I just need to get over it, but it's so much easier said than done. At the core of it I blame my parents. They made me very self conscious about my weight while I was growing up. I blame their food choices and I fear for my youngest sister as she is stuck with similar food options. I grew up with massive amount of processed food an snacks. My mom was possessive and weird about her Nutty Buddy bars and Mountain Dew. No joke. She got really mean about it if you just asked for one. At the same time, though, processed food is really all thy could afford. Now, though I know *how* to make the right food choices, I really struggle with following through. 

It sounds silly, but I would like more than anything to eat a mostly vegan, even raw vegan diet, but I can't maintain that sort of lifestyle financially...not with my omnivore husband, anyway. It's expensive buying for two lifestyle food choices. We're looking into a different living arrangement...hopefully cheaper. If it works out I look forward to being able to participate in the lifestyle, but for now I really need to learn ti work with what I have. 

I know I'm not alone in these struggles and it would be amazing if I could find someone with a similar mindset who's made it and succeeded in their battles. 

These issues have really taking their toll on my weight in the past seven years (I've mentioned my weight loss in high school). There are days where I really feel in control and am able to happily make good, conscious choices, but it's mentally draining to keep reminding yourself to make those choices. 

I'm just tired and exhausted of this battle.  It consumes all if my time and energy. I really don't think it's any better than someone trying to quit smoking. 

That's all I have for today.  Thanks for listening to my heartache <3