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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OK Mom, I Did It. What Next?

Last couple of days have not been easy for me. (Life has been a bit of a whirlwind… thus no post recently here. Too much going on & no time to write.)

The 5 year anniversary of being attacked hit me harder than I ever would have thought it would. Can’t believe it has already been so long. Hard to think that my hand has been wonky all that time. I still am not used to the scars. Grateful for the help my Mom & sister were in helping me get through healing & dealing with all that entailed. Don’t know what I would do if it happened today.

Started a book that details struggling with a mother who is dying from cancer in the first chapter & that brought back a lot of memories. Tough to get through & I admit I ended up crying myself to sleep that night & spent most of the next day upset. Just missing Mom pretty big right now.

For one thing, she would be so happy.

My last class is DONE.

My last semester is DONE.

Not only done, but with a 4.0 GPA which I am pretty stinking proud of since there were definitely a few times I was struggling.

So am I officially a graduate? Not sure.  Technically I think so, but the community college doesn’t do December graduation ceremonies so I have to wait until May if I wanted to do all the pomp & circumstances formalities.  Having gone all out for my bachelor degree graduation, I have had my moment. Truth be told, I was done with all that after High School but Mom pushed me to do it & I guess I am glad I did.

I promised her before she died that I wouldn’t quit. No matter what I would finish this program. She didn’t want her death to stop my life.

So Mom. I did it. Finished & I know you would be proud.

But now what?

Sort of bitter-sweet. Another step further away from her & the part of life that we shared. Had to happen and I’m glad to be finished, but in a way it connected me to something I was doing for her…. and for me.

Instead of wild parties & living it up celebrating, feel more like just snuggling up with a cozy blanket in a quiet room. (Doesn’t help my cold has turned into a sinus infection.) So that is what I am doing. Relaxing. Savoring the emotions whatever they are.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great moments that have happened lately.

Got to get away to the mountains with a great guy who I trust and who understands what I have been through. In fact he was supposed to meet up with me that night but ended up celebrating his birthday with friends in another part of town. Comforting having someone who knew you before and knows you now. I know I have changed but then again doesn’t everyone over time?

So now instead of student, I am recently graduated & unemployed for the moment. First of the year I hope to change that. Til then I am going to spend as much time enjoying life with people I love as I can knowing that this moment is all I have. Tomorrow isn’t promised but hopefully we can keep the promises we make and go on to make more. Always something to work toward and look ahead to.

Just need to figure out what.

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.

 

the 10 Day YOU Challenge: 7 & the DietBet results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.