2014 has turned to 2015

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2014 has floated away from us.

In some ways this year has flown by me and in others, I know it has been a slow struggle. The most important thing is I ended it on a much better note than I started it on. A year ago I couldn’t have imagined the road ahead.

I am finished with the associates degree and have started looking for paralegal & legal assistant jobs. Honestly I was going to wait til after the 1st to start sending out resumes, but I saw a post for a position that sounded ideal so I applied. The following day I had an interview lined up & will have a decision soon. Wild! Talk about confidence boost! Even if I don’t get this position (don’t get me wrong, I would absolutely LOVE it!), it felt really great to get a response to the first resume sent out. To actually get to sit for an interview was huge to me. The interview felt comfortable and easy. My approach at this point is that what needs to happen will. If it is a good fit, then it will work. If not, there will always be new positions opening up that could be just what I want. Even if I end up in a situation that isn’t quite what I am hoping for, it will all give me experience & teach me something new. Win – win. Fingers crossed & head held high.

At the end of 2013, I found myself with someone moving in and thought it was going to be a long term thing. At the end of 2014, I found myself enjoying adventures with a guy who has been by my side through it all. I love him on so many levels which makes it all feel slightly surreal at times. I’ve thought of him as a friend for so long, sometimes it is hard to believe we are now a couple. No longer sharing stories of the dates, troubles or seeking advice or comfort when the latest goes bad. Now we work on us, which honestly hasn’t felt like work at all. There is a great comfort just living life without worrying about impressing someone or questioning their intentions. He knows me. The good, the bad, the history and yet his face lights up and he still smiles when we meet up. He gives me peace just being there. Who knows where the end of 2015 will lead, but the most important thing I have learned is to just enjoy the moments for what they are, make as many memories as you can while you can and lean on those you trust.

Physically 2014 was a doozy for sure. First few months, I didn’t know if I would even see 2015. The diagnoses that my blood sugars were a lot higher than they should be rocked my world. Scary as it was, I feel it saved my life. Now 50 lbs lighter (& still going!), I feel much healthier and like I want to be active. I crave the healthier foods and although I still slip now and then, I don’t beat myself up over it all.  Holidays were pure chaos, but I am happy to say I didn’t gain back a pound! Didn’t lose any & at times I was up, but at this point I start January at the same weight that I started November. That is a success in my book!

Have really gotten into working out for the feeling instead of the “need-to” & “have-to” motivation and it makes all the difference. At times I still have to push myself into it but once I am on a kick, I am in! Too much fun to be had. Long walks, climbing trees, playing on a playground, all fun!  I find myself just enjoying it all and doing what feels right. Have already signed up for a silks class & have my eyes on a couple of 5ks in 2015. Also I WON this! Which is great timing to give me a boost.

Simply put the lesson 2014 gave me was to just ENJOY LIFE in each moment. Don’t stress or count on the tomorrows, just savor the now. Forgive what has already happened and let it go or it will sink you deep to the bottom of the ocean. The real fun is drifting in the waves which come and go all too quickly.

So here’s to 2015, whatever it will bring.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

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the 10 Day YOU Challenge: 7 & the DietBet results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10-Day-You-Challenge

 

7 WANTS:

( will skip the obvious stuff like true love, world peace, cure for cancer, perfect health for all & stick to the materialistic stuff. Also great job & dream home on the beach are pretty much assumed right along side ability to swim like a mermaid & communicate with all species! Rest assured when I dream, I dream bigger than a list of 7 so I will limit it to items that can actually be purchased.)

7. This jeep. Love the color and quite frankly I am dying to get something with 4 wheel drive to get out to the North End areas of the beach to go camping & just relax in general. Sure I go to all the other beaches, but I want to be able to drive there too.

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ok pink or purple also would be awesome… black is good too.  Maybe I need to think more on this. But of the fun!

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6. Panthers jersey…. & of course a primo seat with season tickets.

5. Aviary greenhouse combo. Something where beautiful tropical plants can grow & a place where the parrots can get out & enjoy being “outside” but safely.  My own lil paradise.

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4. My own dance studio. Some space to just move around and work out. Barre, mirrored wall to check form when needed, pole & of course a great sound system & a weight bench over in a corner. Would be bliss. I miss the stretching involved in ballet dancing, the release of getting into the music & the strength that came from learning various pole moves.

3. New dish set that magically clean themselves after use. Too much to ask for? They don’t already make those? Why not?

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Ok so I guess just a fun new set of salad plates to have fun with would work too.

2. A boat.  No not just any boat, I want one I can enjoy & travel a bit on. Some space below to sleep.

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Like a ticket to the world. Plus imagine the adventures & the views!

1. All my memories.  Well organized. I wish we had organized all the photos we have taken over the years & made more notes along the way. Noted who was who & what date they were taken, where… all the details we forget. Hoping to start something better than just the old tote full of envelopes or the old peel and stick photo albums, although they are certainly a start. Wild how much work it can be all at once but if we just had done it along the way. No time like the present.

I could dream all day & actually have been thinking about this post several days. So much to desire in life, but also hit me how much I already have. I’m grateful for everything and that at times I have more than enough and am able to share. But oh what fun to dream!

Everything starts with a dream & thankfully I have happy news to report: I won my DietBet!

Baxter was happy too!

Baxter was happy too!

Not sure what the amount won will be, but I lost 14 lbs instead of the 8 lbs that was required. That in itself makes me a winner.  Will find out more after everyone’s outcomes have been verified & they determine how many people won. I have been verified so I am in! There were 1,10 people last I checked so that is a lot of people to verify!  & yes that means a pot of $25,250 to split up.

Hopefully the big payoff will be with improved medical tests when I return to the doctor. Either way I am celebrating with feeling great (& maybe buying myself something non-food). Need to dream more.

On the search for a new bet to place. Certainly can reinvest in myself, because I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Clean Plates

Just a few years ago, I ate incredibly. Working at a health food co-op and having an unquenchable thirst for information on nutrition with a never ending supply of inspiration & knowledge from the customers and staff helped foster that habit. Sadly when it was time to move on employment wise I rebelled a bit from everything that was the former job (other than some great friends I had worked with). Due to poor & extremely negative management I got burned out & needed the break.  Then life happened. Dealing with the attack & the physical ramifications followed by Mom’s deterioration in health ended up being my focus. Eating was just a necessary evil. Anything quick, fast & cheap was the go to. I didn’t pay much attention to anything nutritionally other than “did it taste good?” & “could I afford it?”. In some ways I saw this as a side of being recovered. No more obsession on counting calories or guilt from eating “bad” foods. Occasionally ED would rear its ugly head & try to work its way back into my life, but never for long. I had learned to eat. Which was good. Watching Mom literally waste away was brutal and made me appreciate every pound that was on my body. I no longer was that underweight anemic girl who skipped periods & never had enough energy to get through the day. So when I found myself a bit heavier than I would like & still not having any energy, it just seemed strange.

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So know I know why & know that eating HEALTHILY nutrition not volume wise, is vital to taking care of myself. It is not enough to get the recommended calories, but they can’t be empty calories anymore. My body needs more than a multivitamin to get through this.

There is a happy medium. Weight wise & nutritionally. That is where I have to get back to. Time to relearn healthy eating & clearly it isn’t what the average person eats. What works for most doesn’t work for me (& I question whether it works long term for anyone). My basis on what to eat can’t be based on taste anymore but other factors have to be included. No more red wine & dark chocolate dinners! How can I expect my body to be the best unless I give it the best, which never seems to come with a side of fries or soft drink!

Past few days I have tried to refresh my mind on what is truly a good way to eat. Also trying to learn how someone with high blood sugar should eat. Honestly, I’m still really confused on how the glycemic index works and what the ratios of protein to carbs to fats really means, but I will get this.

One of the hardest things is reading about food, while trying to watch what you are eating! It gets me craving just from reading the recipes while trying to find the ones that will be best for me. So far, so good. Even made it through a birthday party where I was the only one who just sipped water the whole time. No dips, no drinks, no cake or ice cream cake. I was the weirdo. I am tracking every calorie and last night I already had my calories before heading to the party. Knowing that the sugar in the cakes would have jacked up my glucose levels made “just one bite” less appealing. Could have experimented to see how it really effects me, but building a habit is more important right now. So I survived & being the exciting chick I am found myself exhausted & in bed shortly after 10 pm on a Friday night.

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Drinking in general has been a huge challenge for me. I can deal without alcohol, but I have been caffeine’s bitch for a long time now. Adding the withdrawal headaches isn’t ideal at the moment. Sweet tea is going to be my biggest hurdle. I LOVE IT. I have to have it normally on a daily basis. Not cola, soda or pop, but sweet tea & lots of it. Which isn’t going to work anymore. The options are limited. Anytime you are out to eat you basically have the choice of water (usually tap, which scares me & isn’t always desirable in taste), soda (which I never have been big on anyway) or tea. Some places you may be able to get juice or milk, but the juice is too high in sugar to drink & I haven’t enjoyed milk in decades. Tend to do the soy/coconut/almond options when it is needed. So what’s left? Tea. Plain unsweet tea. Which it seems is going to be my new best friend through this. I’ve made the switch & hoping that soon I won’t remember how delicious sweetened tea actually is & trick myself into thinking this is the good stuff, because well it is good to me. Also going to get into a habit of carrying water with me more. I’m guzzling like a fish, something I always have done, but with the decrease in safe options it is more important to have.

I’m angry & scared about it all, but in a way I also am excited. I do have a chance to become as healthy as is possible. Thankfully I have witnessed others overcome less than ideal diagnoses. My Dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure and as a Type 2 diabetic & through diet and exercise is now significantly reduced the blood pressure medication and no longer at levels that are considered diabetic. I’ve watched a friend learn that she was diagnosed with celiac disease and struggled to learn how to avoid any & all gluten in a world where it is EVERYWHERE. Seriously she is an inspiration & although she says she may still feel like a rookie, she is a pro & now focuses on fitness because she finally is healthy and has energy! Check out her blog for more on her journey- Gluten Hates Me. I can do this. Just have to keep reminding myself & keep focus.

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As much as I don’t feel like it, I am lucky. We are figuring out what is going on with my body & hopefully this will arm me to fight to prevent any worse conditions.  In the grand scope of life, I am very lucky to have the health I do have. Just want to make sure I keep it that way & repair what I can. It will be awkward & it will be hard, but I am worth it. Deserve this. I will get back on track and back to me.

… just a me without sweet tea.

Betting On It

I have a confession.

I may have a gambling problem.

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Will know more in 4 weeks.  Just teasing, this time I placed a bet on myself that I WILL win.

A friend recently posted on Facebook that he was losing weight & had made a bet on it. He won that bet.

My recent physical opened my eyes to a couple of potential issues I may be facing and one of the things that may help is to lose a few pounds. Genetics can be a real bitch. Also there are some eating issues that stress brings out in me. Noticing patterns has me aware, but awareness is only part of the solution. Actions are what matters. In this case, I need some accountability to make sure that I don’t get myself in trouble. Namely I need to eat regularly and I need to eat healthy.

No more skipping meals by accident and no more junk food. Ok once in a while, not forbidding anything. I know that game. The minute you say no more X, then X is all you crave. Self control is going to be easier than absolute restrictions.

The good news is there is some explanation for the “off” feeling I have had most of this year. It isn’t me losing my mind or just being lazy. The crappy news is now things have to change to try to gain back energy and be as healthy as possible.

First step is to start tracking everything I eat and eliminate a few things. Thanks to a couple of aps, the food tracking has been more simple than I expected it to be.  Started that today & admit it feels very familiar. This time I am using my power for good. Working with my doctor and psychiatrist to ensure this is going to be a step in the healing direction. Healthy is the goal.

In addition to the professionals, I wanted daily motivation and social support. A cheering squad to keep me on track.

So I placed my own bet. A simple $25 statement that says I believe in myself & my ability to do this. Well I believe that I can lose 4% of my body weight at least.

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Enter DietBet!

The rules are easy to understand. You join a group and the money is pooled together. At the end of the designated time, if you reach your goal, you get paid. I have 4 weeks to lose the 4% and then I will get my $25 back as well as my share of the pot (split between winners). At the moment the pot is over$16,575!

Admittedly the before pictures were a challenge in themselves. Emotionally and logistically. You get a code word to write on a piece of paper & hold that in 2 pictures – one full body, with face, showing you standing on the scale & another of the code word beside the scale as you are standing on it, showing your weight.

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This ensures that you are starting at a real weight instead of jacking your weight up above what it actually is.  Lots of trial & error since Baxter has yet to figure out how to take pictures. Lazy pug!

So now the game begins. There is a lot more than $25 on the line. As they say, Tomorrow is the first day…. of the rest of my life.

 

 

You Just Can’t Make Life Up

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There is one great truth to life, it will always pop up with something unexpected. You can plan every detail you want but surprises appear along the way.

Dating again (or at least trying to) is no exemption to this law.

The dating site profiles are back up. The insanely crude messages are coming in as it seems is par for the territory of meeting people while not actually meeting them. Along with the expected comes the unreal that I never could have thought of. Like the guy who claims to be a secret agent with the Army stationed currently in Nigeria (riiiight, guess that secret part escaped him).  Tried to just ignore him, but it got the best of me when he asked what I did for a living. My reply of “leading an intergalactic rebellion” just got a “I do not understand your work” & a delete of his messages.

A few nice guys have popped up. But so far nothing that really connects. Still I am proud to be getting back out there and trying. Still feel a bit jaded and annoyed at the irresponsibility of all the insincerity that I trusted from Mr Man, but time heals. Hopefully at some point I will meet someone who is on my level and enjoys my company as much as I do their’s.  So far it has been fun having some unique conversations and just feeling wanted again. I’m in no rush to get physical but I imagine in time that will change with the right guy too.

So for now I am just spending as much time making myself happy as I can. Lots of beach time & working on the list of things to do.

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Well that & trying to figure out how to lose the tan lines without being arrested for indecent exposure. Missing my tanning bed this year, but loving being at the beach more. Yes I am using sunscreen, but still the lines come.

Classes started back this week to there is added distraction there that I am grateful for. Who knows where this summer will lead. It promises to be memorable. I’m trusting that I am exactly where I need to be right now & that my path is unrolling as it should be. I just have to trust and keep walking even if I can’t see the road for the turns up ahead.

Busy is the new Happy

Know how when you try not to think of something, that ends up being the only thing you can think about?

That’s pretty much how my weekend ended up.

I keep thinking about everything that happened & didn’t happen. I miss him & still love him. Even have thought I have seen him a few times only to take a second look and it ends up being someone slightly similar. I know it is over but it still hurts.

I decided to get out of the house and do something rather than just wallowing in missing Mr Man. Distraction action!

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Spent some time at the beach. Starting my list of things I want to do… although not sure what the time frame is, this summer/before I start trying to find the next relationship? Also discovered that most of the time, if there is something I want to do, I just do it. No need to wait for a list. Which is pretty awesome. In fact some of the things I thought of and added to the list Friday, already happened this weekend! Checking off already! List to come soon.

Tossed the cheap pedometer that wasn’t counting steps any better than if I was trying to mentally count them. You get what you pay for sometimes. Turned out the FitBit Ones were on sale so back to a real deal I can trust. Goal is each day get more steps than the day before. This weekend though, I just focused on getting thru the days.

Attended group therapy (always interesting) & am looking forward to getting up with a friend there & possibly helping her with a resume. (old HR skills come in handy) Also learned of a yoga group that meets for the new moon that sounds incredible that I may join her for.

Accepted an invitation to a Kentucky Derby party & actually placed a bet on a horse.  Samraat didn’t win, but he/she came pretty close. Still proud. Ended up figuring out that the floppy hats got tossed during the purge, so had to make due with my trusty mouse ears.

Met up with a few friends after that downtown for the Port City Comedy Fest Top Comic Finals. We all could use a few laughs. Pleasantly surprised by some of the talent there. Definitely going to have to check out the local stand up scene more often. Still as I sat there, I just kept thinking how much I want to crawl in my bed and be held. I laughed, but sadness was still there. So when the contest was over & it was time to go dancing, I bid everyone a good night & headed home. Just didn’t feel like dancing & certainly didn’t feel like dampening their mood.

Woke up & hit the beach again. Sadness and missing Mr Man more and more. What do I stumble on while trying to park? TWO BRIDES. Dagger to the heart. Ended up tossing the towel a long distance away from the weddings and enjoyed soaking up some sun & listening to the waves.

Next up was to finally check out the crystal shop that I have been thinking about going to for a while now. They had a TON of stones that were just beautiful. Some that I really wanted to come home with me, but were beyond my meager means. Discovered some crystals I hadn’t even heard of. Before I went I thought about getting something to help with meditation & something to alleve this miserable muggy fog about me lately. Maybe a rose quartz or new amethyst to charge. Maybe something grounding to help ease the emotional wreck I have been lately. I was surprised by the selection & had two stones that I just couldn’t leave behind.

This stunning auralite 23 and blue fluorite!

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Smitten kitten. I basically just want to hold them forever. As soon as I got them home & sat feeling their energy, I felt peace. The tears stopped and I felt calm.

Both are healing stones and help with insights and growth.

Funny enough as I was leaving, the expert who was selling the stones mentioned that the blue fluorite was also called the student’s stone because it was excellent in helping to focus the mind. PERFECT. After the troubles this semester, I certainly needed this boost. Sometimes it seems the stones pick you.

As I held the auralite, I could almost feel a pulse emanating from it. Just a really beautiful, powerful crystal! It’s energy is inspiring & comforting. Yes I am in love.

Alas I had to separate from my new rock star friends for a few because I had agreed to another event & I was making myself go. Now is not the time to slip back into the staying home and avoiding crowds tendencies and this one promised to be a crowd.

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There was a rally downtown to support keeping the local film industry here. State politicians are threatening to end the incentives given to lure productions to the state and without them, the jobs will be lost to the 44 other states that DO offer incentives. Wilmington is a HUGE productions town, in fact a movie was being filmed in a restaurant just a few blocks up from the rally. Many people here benefit from the various TV shows, commercials, music videos & films being produced here. From the families that directly work in production to the people who serve them when they take a break, it all helps the local economy. To lose it would greatly impact the character and life of this city. Simply put FILM = JOBS & we need them here.

Attending the rally was inspiring but also exhausting. Sensory overload and a lot of people.  Still no panic attack & no need for a klonapin to get me through, which is a major plus. In fact I didn’t have to deal with any panic attacks or feel the need to pop klonapin to avoid them all weekend. I’m dealing and even if I haven’t a clue what is next or how to make life better at the moment, I’m healing.

Just got to get over this aching and back to better days.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day I wake and everything feels better.

Mellowing Me

Dealing

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A lot of crying.  Lot of anger. Lot of dreaming. Lot of hoping.
Few revisions of life.

Lucky to have family,  past and present who show me about survival.  And what real love looks like.  If my Dad can survive losing my mom and  If my grams can survive losing my grampa, after all those years of devotion and being together everyday, I can deal with losing someone who never cared for me an inch compared to their miles.

Relationships come and go, but when it is real, it stays and grows.

I still love him. But that will mellow.  I’m still angry that he could leave.  But that too will mellow in time. I cry for the memories of when we were together and I cry for the plans we had that will never happen.  I miss him during the night.  I miss him sharing meals (which I realized tonight may be part of why I have been forgetting to eat lately). I miss so much.

But there is so much changing in my life anyway that hopefully the distractions will keep me sane. If not there is still a closet and junk draw to clear out. Feeling another purge session. There is a freedom in letting go of the clutter in our lives.

My schedule is changing since the semester is over & summer session will be day classes.  Changing habits that I let slip trying to wait to get time to do them together. Pedometer goes back on today! I have a 5k coming up (in September, but surely there will be another before that). My lack of recent meditation sessions certainly can’t be blamed on him, but time to bring them back. Getting together with friends & accepting invites that before I would have wanted to check to see if “we” had plans or wanted to go. Photography has slipped away unless you can count phone shots, which while fun just isn’t the same. I’m journaling again & reading more. Helps the time pass.

Sooner or later it will feel better. Always does.

Also as much as I dread touching anything dosage wise after the last fiasco, we’re changing my meds again. See if it helps. Also going for a physical to see if there is anything else going on that may have changed things. Not sure I want a positive confirmation but with diagnosis you are more likely to better know how to treat.  Hope so. Scary but also I know something isn’t right. Figuring out how to make it better has to be better than just waiting for another meltdown.

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Discovered another Ali who went through a breakup & changed it into a positive recently. Her blog, The Break Up List, chronicles her life changing from the pain of having a 9 year relationship end to the pleasures of creating a life lived to its fullest. She even continues the list beyond the original 100 things and keeps going years later. By living life by her list she kept herself and (spoiler alert, but come on anyone sees this coming) she finds a new relationship that respects and encourages who she is.

So who knows. Maybe I will take time to create my own list. Certainly wasn’t as earth shattering a split, but I do miss my friend. It is time for a reinvention. Refocus on getting back to me.

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