2014 has turned to 2015

2014-new-wallpaper

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.

10734049_10205584252588015_8759015228922160828_n

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

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.

Be the Bison

The past couple of days have been a real bitch. In a lot of ways I just want to break down and cry and do the dramatic why me shit. But I won’t. Wouldn’t get me anywhere but where I am so why bother?

Sometimes you have to be the bison.

19248_1369139790902_3041402_n

Huh? a Bison? Yes. The all american bison. Or as some call them buffalo.

See the bison have this quirk that makes them pretty bad ass. I know they already look that way & with their size & natural weaponry they can do some real damage. Add in their herding number that back each other up & you have a real death wise messing with them. Still to watch them, they seem naturally to be calm creatures who just want to relax in the sun enjoying a good meal then stroll along to whatever is next in their life.  They enjoy being together and aren’t afraid to run full speed or stroll barely at a snail’s pace. Awesome enough right there, but then comes the quirk.  When the storms come and most animals hide away to make it through letting the storm pass, bison go into the storm. They face it & walk into it.  They know that the storm passes quicker when you are going in the opposite direction.

Smart beast.

Yes I have a major crush on bison. Just want to hang out with them & maybe snuggle a little.

Bison in snowstorm, Yellowstone NP

For me, the storm seems to keep being my health. Just when I feel like I have this whole blood sugar thing down & actually have learned to drink the unsweet tea (even without stevia most times!), something else comes along to knock me off my feet.

I have developed habit of walking that I am loving. This past week I joined a friend to walk just over 6 miles on Monday, then again another 6 miles Wednesday & had plans to walk at least 4 miles Thursday. All day Thursday I just felt off. Made it through my internship hours and even go in a little shopping where I found some new sneakers marked down to $25! Got home changed clothes to go walk & just didn’t feel right. One of the things that had been bothering me all day had been a soreness in my chest. Like I had pulled a muscle just under my breast. Not sure doing what but I just brushed it off as maybe I slept stretch out wrong or lifted something weird. I have learned to love sore muscles because it means they are working & hopefully getting better at what they are doing. This one just was painful. Deep breathing made it worse. I had no energy all day which made sense because I had barely slept and as much as I hate admitting this hardly eaten. Just didn’t feel like eating & had been busy. Had a cup of coffee & a big B vitamin to help keep me moving. So much so that I felt like I could feel my pulse. Couldn’t shake the off feeling, so I thought just take your blood pressure – see that it is completely normal then go work out. You will feel better.

Only it didn’t give me any comfort. I have been regularly taking readings since the physical in September when she said I was pre-hypertensive and needed to get the blood pressure down. Common with type 2 diabetics. I knew my numbers were high, but the past few months of healthy eating, working out & losing weight they had dropped down.  A typical reading for me is around 118/78. When I did the check Thursday, I got 187/110! Which is NOT GOOD & completely explained the feeling the pulse.

With anxiety attacks I get a burst of higher numbers & I know that is pretty normal, but I wasn’t anxious at all. If anything I was excited to be going out (was a beautiful warm day) but not THAT excited.  Seeing numbers higher than I had ever seen made me scared.

Since my heart rate didn’t need to be raised at all, I canceled my plans & the girls went on without me.

Then the stress hit. I emergency called my sister who used to do cardiac rehab to see if this was anything to worry about. She was actually working at her hospital at the time and walked me through several symptoms. Made me feel better than she wasn’t extremely concerned. Basically I had 2 options, run to the hospital now or see if relaxing a bit could get it down. The second option sounded a lot more affordable to me & since I didn’t have pain in my arm or even a sharp throbbing one in my chest or really any other symptom we went with door number 2. Which thankfully worked. I got the numbers dropping and started to calm down.

After about 2 hours, the readings were normal again but I was exhausted.

Luckily I hadn’t planned to work yesterday, so I was able to rest all day other than a quick trip in to see the doc. I needed the rest.

Now I am keeping a more regular log & tracking several times daily.  Fun, fun, fun.

Hopefully that was just a weird, one time fluke, but I am scared.  Especially of working out. Wednesday I had plans of registering for my next couple of 5ks & even to try to increase the pace & miles each week. Now I am just terrified that I am going to do something and make my blood vessel or heart explode! I know our bodies are adaptive and exercise is probably the best prescription for this. I just don’t trust myself. My body is once again my enemy.

As the song goes LET THE STORM RAGE ON…  I am a fighter. I’m scared but I am turning to face the storm. Like the bison I will WALK head first and hope that this works to get me through to better days.

I have come too far to stop & in a lot of ways I feel healthier than ever. Still don’t have much energy, but in time hopefully that too will come. I am going further than I have thought I would & the distance of the 5k which used to seem so huge, is now less than the normal walk. I’m proud of what I have achieved & am not ready to quit.

So into the storm I walk.

Giving my body a couple more rest days & going to pick up a heart rate monitor to better gauge how hard I am pushing myself just to be safe, but I am going to get back into adding up those miles. Maybe not the fastest, but I will be the bison!

Almost there.

7b477c38dac8f722fed007aee9910f1e

For the first time in my life, I let Halloween pass me by without even wearing a single costume. Weird. BUT I ended up voting & got the “I Voted” sticker that day so I am just going with the idea that I dressed as a voter part of the day. The real excitement came when I decided to meet up with a friend to people watch downtown & had my car battery go out on me. Always something. This adulthood stuff is entirely overrated for sure.

Next year, it is on. There will be a costume on this body. Clearly I am punished when I don’t celebrate. To the tune of bumming a ride, a tow truck & the installation of a new battery!

Who knows where next year will find me.

This year turned out to be nothing like I would have imagined last year. This morning I woke & stepped on the scale to see I am one pound short of being 50 lbs less than I started this year at. Part of me is amazed & thrilled. The other just is embarrassed & confused how I ever got that much extra weight to be able to loose in the first place!

All that matters is the here & now I guess. Can’t change the past.

Grateful for friends who inspire & family who support me.

& healthier versions of temptations I once loved, like crustless low carb pumpkin pie.

Made it yesterday & it is indeed delicious. I may survive Thanksgiving after all!

 

 

 

Just 98 Workouts To Go – #WorkItOut100

b843ec333a5611152df7dd33783e6c1a

The last couple of weeks I have watched the Panthers games with friends of a friend.  Started simple enough. Watched with him one week got invited to his friends to watch the next. Then with another set last week. Each time I had a blast and ended up meeting some great people and enjoying some delicious food. While I did a mad dash on the way to snag a bag of chip and some sort of dip to take at the last minute. (Hint: Cheese balls are surprisingly a hit because… well when is the last time you had one? Great childhood memories get brought up with these it seems!) In an effort to make sure I had something lower carb & natural, I took some grapes last time but overall I felt a little like I was being a slacker in the pile of homemade goodness. Still when you get a last minute, hey let’s go watch here… you don’t have time to plan ahead. This week I tried to get proactive.

So back to running to get a quick bag of cheese balls or something at the store! Second thought cheese sticks might be extra fun & a lot healthier. Will think of something or who knows. May just skip it all and hang out at a bar with another set of friends entirely.

Made a batch of sausage cheese balls last night. They taste like shit. See I got smart and found some turkey sausage which is healthier and makes these an option for me since I don’t eat pork and haven’t since the mid-90s. Problem is turkey sausage is a rarity it seems. While there are a variety of choices for pork sausage, turkey you are lucky to even find. So I add spices to kick it up flavorwise. Usually. Last night I was tired and forgot. So when I taste tested one I found it to taste bland. Not what I want to take to hang out with people I barely know.

On to the next test. I will find something that I can take that is healthier and tastier than a bag of chips. Something I can actually eat. Chips just don’t do much for me & are typically horrible carbwise (thus not so great on my blood sugar levels). All part of learning to deal I guess. Just adapt and make it work.

Which also applies to working it. Just adapt & make it work.

Needed a boost to push me to get excited about it all again. Thankfully just a few clicks online & there it is!

56bb067ee190baa16559d220ac1454dd

The #WorkItOut100 Challenge!

The basic deal – work out 100 Days in a row. I need goals to reach for & some comisery, I mean others to inspire me towards that goal.  Amanda & Laura challenged themselves to work out 100 days straight & it worked so well they are motivating others to join them. Count me in!  I’m on day three today & looking forward to crossing in another block on my tally sheet. They provide inspiration and motivation all over – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & even Pinterest, but you can learn all the details at their site, Work It Out 100. A workout can be anything that gets you up & moving so don’t feel like you have to run a half marathon each day. Just do what works for you & pushes you to grow and build the habits.

tumblr_n7sjg2XDfa1qzjqrio1_500

 

So are you in? All it takes is starting & keeping the commitment to yourself. Use the hashtag #WorkItOut100 to join in the fun. You know I will be.

But first today is GAME DAY!  Panthers are up in Green Bay.  They KEEP POUNDING & so shall I!  CHEERS!

Remember When…

I used to post?

_MG_9693

Lately life has just been moving too fast & honestly I don’t even know what to think much less what to share. In the past posting has been therapeutic and helped to relieve my worries. A release. I can openly share my struggle with watching Mom get sick and pass away. Share my grief & even my own mental fights with PTSD, depression and anxiety. I can openly talk about the eating disorder I dealt with in high school and how food and the weight became a comfy afterwards. Seeing the way pounds helped give Mom a little longer towards the end only validated that the extra I wore wasn’t the worst thing in life. Sure I might not be a model but health is more important than vanity.  For some reason talking about everything going on physically now, just is harder.

Then came the type 2 diagnosis. I cleaned up my diet and my body responded.

The push to drop pounds was simply to improve the numbers medically but the focus was on eating right and giving  my body the nutrition it needs. The weight loss was a side effect of that shift.

In some ways it felt great to value myself by eating healthy, fresh foods & I didn’t miss the convenience stuff I grew up (& gained it all) on.  I didn’t have a goal weight or look so this isn’t like before. I don’t avoid eating and nothing if off limits. Occasionally I eat foods I know aren’t ideal (yesterday was a pumpkin spice donut breakfast kind of day!) and I don’t feel guilt doing so. I do feel the effects afterwards and the calories I still keep in check so using them in “worthless” food means making up the difference during the rest of the day which can be challenging.

At the start I looked forward to making meals. Right now, I am less than enthusiastic. The quick, pick up stuff does seem to have a draw, but it doesn’t have the same flavor or feel right anymore. Working (although only a 20 hour internship) along with classes and juggling somewhat of a social life does make a time crunch & I’m worried what going back to a full time work week will do. Hopefully this is just a temporary hurdle. Something I can figure out how to get past. Still is it so much to ask that there be a few options outside my house that are quick and healthy? Don’t even mention salads, because iceberg is not food. Give me spinach or spring green… something with some flavor & color. Crunch is optional.

The upside: the numbers look a lot better last time I check with my doctor and ….drum roll because for me this is HUMONGOUS… I can actually test my blood when needed now without feeling faint. Well a majority of the time. Sure sometimes it still takes me 3 test strips to get what I need, but I am getting there. The girl who passed out so often at the doc’s office that she knew to position me on the bed with the feet up anytime she needed to use needles, draws her own blood.  (Go on laugh, but I am still damn proud of this!)

So all good right?

Sort of. Weird thing is that although I see the numbers change, I don’t see it. I know the scale keeps going down. The tape measure gets closer and closer on each body part & the clothes have had to be replaced. Still when I look in the mirror – same girl as always. I’m trying to see it but honestly it isn’t as drastic as some people are acting like it is. Felt slightly bad when my doc got so excited and celebratory of the weight loss and I just kind of thought whatever. Isn’t that big of a deal. Attitude is everything so fake it till you make it. It all feels bizarre. Hopefully my mind will catch up. Right now it just feels too survival mode still.

Spend a bit of time shopping which does feel better than it used to.  Clothes fit better. This part is both fun and dangerous. Plus I STILL need to purge the closet of the old stuff.

af3d183d33782e6c3182cf076b7af44f

yes, it bores me to death too.

SEE why I haven’t posted much? This is the stuff that consumes my mind lately. Not humor. Not men. Just wondering how to deal & if it is healthy or not. Dullsville.

Still there is football. For a few hours each week my mind shuts down and I focus on the field. Which feels amazing! (Even if there was a tie of all things! At least we didn’t have to resort to twisting ankles to get there.)

So hopefully soon I will have more to share. Miss writing, but then again I am still writing a lot – just more in the line of legal memos & research notes. Wish I could share some of the insanity that I see in the files I am working with, but… just can’t. Let’s just say that personal injury law is nothing like I imagined it to be. I have yet to see anyone who is looking for an easy paycheck. Everyone just wants to pay off their bills. Also I look at cars completely differently after reading so many accident reports! First couple of weeks I honestly was a tad scared to drive anywhere. Seems like the person who causes the accident usually gets off easier than the one(s) being hit! So while I trust my skills, I don’t anyone else’s! I really was disappointed when the public defender’s office canceled the internships this semester & it only helped that I wasn’t the only one to lose the placement (so don’t take it personal). Meeting the amazing staff & learning about personal injury law has been better than I could have imagined. I know my time is limited at the firm, but I’m not sure I could have asked for more of an internship! Also less scared that this isn’t where I should be. Doubt is gone.

HIGH FIVE

HIGH FIVE

OH!!!!  & did I mention I passed my exam to be a NOTARY!?!?

Passed with a HUNDRED! Time to pay the fee, send the ap, order the stamp & take the oath. Then it is official. Who would have thought it? Yes that does deserve the high five from the seriously fuking cute baby panda.

One step closer.

Long journey ahead, but I do have the cutest shoes!

 

Just keep sparkling

 

Dont-Let-Anyone-Dull-Your-Sparkle

Some days just SPARKLE right from the start.

After a trying weekend, I woke today (from a FULL night of sleep without any hard dreams) to find Baxter snuggled up so cozy, the air felt just a bit softer & the scale forgave me for a decadent birthday. Hit another milestone this morning & feel like dancing around. Hearing my Dad is going to take me “shopping for clothes that don’t fall off”me this weekend for my birthday is one of the best gifts ever. Not just because he is right, but more because he has noticed & clothes shopping was always more of Mom’s deal.

Tough birthday for sure without her. Not celebrating really til this coming weekend when I can make it in to see the family. Spent the day just low key. Enjoyed watching a storm roll in on the beach. Shopped a little without buying a single thing. I did take a day off of counting calories & carbs and ended up “treating” myself to a trip through what used to be a favorite drive thru. Of course there are reasons I don’t do that anymore & of course my body reminded me. Yesterday I felt awful. No energy and just felt sick all day.  Thankfully my bloodwork was done Thursday before I went nuts so it shouldn’t effect my A1c or any of the test readings. Still a bit nervous to meet with the doc again this week to go over everything. I REALLY don’t want to have to start doing injections ever! I know I could clean up the diet a little more but not without really being the weirdo & I already feel like there are times I am tip toeing around ED territory again. Reminding myself this restricting is for good not evil & at some point when I reach a healthy weight, it will change.

Moments I don’t feel like I am sure of myself & what I am doing. So many changes this year. Trying to figure out the internship & change from thinking criminal law to civil. Hard to imagine that this is the last semester. What next? I’m scared that the 9-5 will bring me back to a world of stress I can’t handle. Hopefully without the added pressure of worrying about Mom’s illness & actually caring again about what I am doing, it will be easier to balance. It is strange to have life flip some times. Especially when the comfort clothes don’t even fit the same, the comfort foods are off limits & the ones you would call to get the reminder of who you are, you aren’t able to reach. All part of the adjustment I guess. Time for new comforts. Thankfully some are still around like friends, the family that are here, pets & Panthers football (even if last night’s game wasn’t the birthday wish come true!).

2 favorites of mine - Marilyn & Nikon

2 favorites of mine – Marilyn & Nikon

It is very strange to know that now I am older than an idol ever got to be.

Physically I can truly say I am better off than last year. Well aside from the diabetic stuff. Weight wise anyway. Not where I expected to be by this age, but just have to trust everything works out as it should & keep going.

Which with temperatures like these… how can you not enjoy the moments?

PLUS only 224 days til I will once again be in the happiest place on earth & just like I did when I was celebrating single digit birthdays, knowing this makes me ridiculously happy!

10626871_10204817494419540_9146296520415968923_n