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!

 

I’m crashing from the high – I’m letting go tonight

Trust.

Who doesn’t have issue with it during their lives? If there are people who actually have missed this painful of all life lessons, they truly are the blessed ones. I however find I keep retaking the test. Perhaps one day I will pass, but I can at least know that I have given everything I have where I have felt it was needed or deserved. I have tried to help overcome mistakes that were never mine in the first place & find it just leaves me depleted and angry at myself.
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Evolving has never been a bad thing in my eyes. Maybe it is growing up but at some point past just doesn’t fit into the present or lead you into a future. Shedding off the old unveils the person you were meant to be during the here and now. Even if it isn’t the easiest to accept.

The clutter of trying to be empathetic and understanding of others at times will suffocate if you don’t make sure to keep your head up and stand on your own now and then. The past week I found myself exhausted and realized most of my energy was being expended trying to help various people who I valued in my life. Having one event that I wanted to attend gave me a realization. I was pulled in so many directions that everything else ended up coming first. A sacrifice I made and knew I was making it when I made it. Still anything for friends. Then I realized through several interactions with a couple of people that it all just drained & depressed me. Conversations gave me reality checks that this isn’t me. Maybe it was, but that kind of life was just shackling me to the past. The negativity grew and never feels right.

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I exploded.

Several times in ways that stretched from angry texts to taking the neighbor stealing my recycling bin as a personal attack. Yes I got it back & let them know that it WILL never end up in their yard again without consequences. Forgot how intimidating I can be when it is needed. In Kali feels good to release now and then.  Only through the destruction can you be free to create what you dream. Why I keep forgetting or keep thinking I need to hold fast to everything in hopes that it will once again bring the joy it had I never know. My flaw.

But now I am WIDE AWAKE.

Grateful for the people who reciprocate the respect. No one should ever be used or abused. When the relationship turns, it is time to toss it out. The things that are meant to be will be. No rules state that you can’t reconnect later in life when you are both in better places. Won’t be the same connection, but if you truly are able to support each other in becoming the best you can be then why not? Only by freeing the space do you open up life to fill it with the good stuff of the present. Step into where you should be now.

It feels divine.

 

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.

 

 

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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Earth Day – Grab that butt

Today I start a new adventure.

A challenge.

One I really hope that others join me on.

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In honor of Earth Day, I pledge to pick up one piece of litter everyday for the next year.

Could be a plastic bag, cigarette butt, straw or whatever is found to be laying around. Of course picking up more than one piece would be even better, but can you imagine if each and every person on this planet picked up one single piece a day? Together we would literally change the world and save lives.

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So will you join me? Maybe bring along a few friends to join the challenge. Together we CAN make a difference.

But wait, is it really that big a deal? I mean I walk outside & I see plenty of trash cans & plenty of grass. Is litter really a big deal?

YES.

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Face it, people are lazy or they just simply don’t even realize they dropped something or the wind blows it out of reach… life happens. The problem lies in the “it isn’t my job or my stuff littering, so I don’t need to worry about it” attitude. You are right in that it may not be anything you caused or created, but we are all living together. So be kind and help out by tossing those left behind items where they belong.

The blame game doesn’t get us anywhere, but action will.

This is a simple act that absolutely anyone who shares life on this planet can easily do. Just takes a few seconds and doesn’t cost a single cent. All it takes is motivation and dedication to make where you live a bit better. Increase the property value of Earth and feel great while doing it.

So can you join me? In honor of our beautiful planet.

Day One - piece number one, right in my yard. yuck!

Day One – piece number one, right in my yard. yuck!

Let’s clean it up.

As they say, this is the only home we have.

Happy Earth Day!

Hope and Determination

So much changes so fast.

This time last week, I felt my life slipping away from me. Today I awoke with a spark.

More optimistic even if things aren’t perfect.

Mr Man & I have had some long talks and who knows where things will end up. What I do know is it is very hard to deal with depression from the inside, but it is also very difficult to deal with as someone who wants to support and make life better & can’t. There are some trust issues for both of us, but I think we both have good intentions. Time will tell if we work together or if we really just can’t be good influences on each other. Still stings but understanding the reasons and getting apologies certainly helps. Living together is tough even without the added stress.

Face it. We are both a bit nuts.

Face it. We are both a bit nuts.

Other than the stress of having him leave, neither one of us has done anything that would be a deal breaker. I can forgive a lot if there are good intentions behind it. I’m a bit cautious but part of having an adult relationship is working through the tough parts. Both of us being stubborn and used to being in control doesn’t help. We have both been hurt in the past. Our choices now are all that matter. For now the positives of being together outweigh the positives of being apart. So we take it day by day.

Having his stuff out has enabled me to take a better look at my stuff & question why there is so much of it! I swear the clothes in my closet multiply on their own. Feel like I just went through them & purged but clearly the space filled up again and it’s time to go through them again.

Call it Spring Cleaning or sanity saving diversion, the stuff has got to go. In the closet & out. Fixing up the bedroom just allowed me to neglect the other areas of the house. Problem with a great bed is you never want to leave it. Especially when the TV with the Roku is in here. Could just be that I enjoy the green walls so much better than those old white ones.

My goal is to reorganize and maybe even move furniture around.

I can’t change the past, but I know that I can shape the future. So that is where I am placing my energy, focusing on where I want to go, being who I want to be.

Fingers crossed.

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