Big stress = little waist

So my whole bettering myself plan hasn’t really happened this year. I’m easily distracted by things like work and tiredness, stress and sleep. Work is stressing me out to the max and instead of turning to exercise for relief, I turn to sleeping pills and fast food. I’ve lost weight, which is really nice as far as fitting into my old clothes goes, but it hasn’t been a healthy weight loss. It’s a stress weight loss, which for me, means not eating as much as I should be. And not eating the right things. So I’m slimmer but not any healthier. I’m very happy to be slim, but I want to use this bad weight loss as a jumping point for a new workout program.

I stumbled upon something on Instagram a few weeks ago and I have been thinking about it ever since. There’s a trainer in Australia named Kayla Itsines and she regularly posts result pictures that girls using her program post and tag her in. And they look EXACTLY like how I want to look! And many of them actually start out looking the way I already look – slim, but a flabby kind of slim. Then they lose fat and develop muscles and lean tone. Which is EXACTLY what I want! So, I finally bought the program today. I bought the eating guide, as well, because my diet is abysmal. I eat fast food for pretty much every meal. I’m a 500 lb. person in a skinny body (and my only saving grace is my major calorie-burning, labor-intensive job, plus some stress).

So, while I’m loving my bikini body this summer (thank goodness!), I know that I’m very unhealthy and I would like to change that. As you know. I’ve been trying FOREVER. I’m hoping this guide will be the change I need. I’m very low on energy (which is another thing that makes working out hard) and very high on stress so I need a huge change.

And, for those of you who told me that I should focus on ONE thing, this is my one thing. Another nice thing about stress, besides weight loss, is how it causes me to lose the ability to focus on many things at once. My brain sort of shuts down and I can’t think about much besides what’s stressing me out. So this one thing is what I will be focusing on. Thankfully, because of the guides, I will hopefully not have to think much. I will just have to DO. But doing is the hardest part.

By the way, this week, or just prior to starting this new program, I will post a current “before” picture. It will be better than my last one, and hopefully I will have more frequent updates to post! The people I see using this program have AMAZING after pictures just half way through the program. I hope to be one of them.

Whodathunkit?

Oh, man. I apologize for disappearing. It was not intentional. Let the excuses begin!

1. Unemployment was getting to me. I was getting stir-crazy, regular crazy, bored, etc. It was hard to motivate myself to do ANYTHING because I felt like I was never going to find employment or be a contributing citizen to society. 

2. The opposite of that excuse is this one: I found employment!! I started my new job on last Monday. Today was my seventh day in a row working. (The schedule is being worked out so I didn’t know until this morning, after I was already at work, that today was the start of my weekend.)

I actually wanted to talk about something slightly deep. Life always surprises me. The most frequent lesson I have learned during the last decade is that you really can’t plan life. Well, that’s a lie. I know some people who can plan much of their life. I am not one of those. It feels like things are really out of my control ALL THE TIME. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it feels like it, and it gets me really down, but then things turn out better than I could have made them myself.

Take my career path. I studied journalism and public relations (translation: a LOT of writing) with a side of marketing in college. My first job was with the marketing department of my college. It was great. It was so full of responsibility. It made me step up and show that I could be mature, trustworthy, intelligent, and get sh*t done. It mostly showed ME that I could do something. Before I graduated, I had really low self esteem when it came to future employment. My two best friends were the smartest kids ever and they were super successful in anything they did. They got the best grades, had lots of friends, were just awesome. And then there was me. I got A’s and B’s…some C’s (it was hard to really take things seriously when I didn’t care about them or have any interest in them [WORLD GEOGRAPHY – at the time]). 

There was this one time – maybe junior year? – in a class where we basically learned how to try to get a job (resumes, interviews, and all that jazz). Well, we had some fake interviews one night with real professionals who volunteered their time to interview us and give feedback. Well, my two best friends and I interviewed with one guy and mine was HORRIBLE. I felt like complete and utter sh*t afterward. I don’t remember if it was just that I didn’t know how to answer his questions or that he said something (I really think he said something) and I just realized: I have nothing to offer humanity. No one will hire me because I can do nothing for anyone. My bffs both left the interview feeling good. I wanted to jump off a building. I’m pretty sure I cried. I think I almost cried DURING the FAKE interview. It was that bad. 

Anyway, so you can see that I felt pretty bad about this whole “getting a job” thing. So my first job, that I got through the woman I had worked for IN college, was really good for me on so many levels. The most important positive, like I said, was that it showed ME that I am awesome and that I can pretty much do anything I want to. Literally ANYTHING. I managed a $200k budget – reconciling it down to the PENNY. I developed relationships with vendors, saved the university lots of moolah, had meetings with pretty much every bigwig on campus, convinced those bigwigs to let me control the social media for the school for six whole months (remember – temporary gig). Half of my job was actually supposed to be the job of the marketing director – of which there was none at the time. 

Ok, enough bragging. As a girl who has been unemployed five different times since she graduated college five years ago, I can’t really brag THAT much. 

Ok, so I was on the marketing track back then. After that temporary gig ended, I moved to St. Louis to live near my best friend from college and I took whatever job I could that paid rent. That job was as a bank teller. My intentions were to find a sweet marketing gig from there. Well, that didn’t happen. I moved jobs, the second one sucked, I found myself unemployed for the second time since graduation. 

Now, here’s where it gets crazy. I found an 8 week temporary gig that allowed me to stay in St. Louis until after the wedding of one of my best friends and then I moved back in with my mom. I NEVER thought I would move back to the city I went to high school in. I didn’t like this city. And I REALLY never ever ever thought I would ever ever EVER live with my mom again. Ever. 

See? Things I was never planning on happened anyway. 

But here comes the good part.

When I was in St. Louis I randomly started volunteering one day a week (I actually started before I found my temporary job, while I was sitting around unemployed) at a wildlife rescue center. And I LOVED it. That one day was the highlight of my week – and I was working for free! So I decided that I needed to make this my job – and actually get paid for it!

So when I moved in with my mom, she supported me for three months while I did an unpaid internship with the San Antonio Zoo bird department. At the end of my internship (which was for nothing – I didn’t need any college credit – I just wanted to get my foot in the door and gain some experience) I got hired! I NEVER imagined I would ever be a zoo keeper. Seriously. Even when I imagined working with animals as a kid/teen, I never thought about zoo keeping. Ever. But there I was. A zoo keeper. And I cared for BIRDS. I mean, who goes into animal care and works with birds? Well, I ended up LOVING working with birds. I got to the point where I never wanted to go to another department and get experience with anything else because I loved my birds too much. 

So, the point to this long story is that where I’m at, working these jobs that I LOVE, was never in my life plan. But things worked out better. 

My new job is as an animal caregiver at a sanctuary. We mostly have primates – but we also have some birds and cats. I’m a relief caregiver, so I’ll be working in 2 or 3 different sections throughout the week, when people go on their weekends. That means I get a great variety. So far I work with birds, a few monkeys, lemurs, tamarins, marmosets, African serval cats, and bobcats.

The basic purpose of this place is to give reprieve to former medical testing animals and animals who were once pets and were either abandoned, mistreated, or donated. And let me tell you – everyone loves these animals. We are trying to give them the best alternative life they can have. Though I can imagine that it wouldn’t be hard to surpass some of their past lives. Some of the medical testing stories I’ve heard about these guys sound AWFUL. Cringe-worthy. It’s crazy that these animals seem so balanced. I’m pretty sure I would have some irreparable neurological damage if I lived the lives some of these guys have had.  

So, crazy life, man. I’m doing something I never thought about, living somewhere I never wanted to return to (to live, anyway). The only thing I would really like to change now is my living situation. It is time to move away from home again. I used to live on my own. For a few years. Hopefully that will happen again. Maybe this year! That’s my big goal right now. Save up for an apartment. 

Ok, sorry for the boring post! But now you’re caught up and hopefully I can resume writing like normal! I’m a contributing citizen of humanity!!! 

C.A.T. L.A.D.Y.

I entered my first cat photo contest. Yup. This cat lady thing is getting real. I didn’t win. But I did get posted to the website. http://moderncat.com/articles/best-buds/68086

It’s the same photo I use on this blog – but it’s one of my favorites of me and Stuart. CAT LADY!!!!!!!! I’m a little scared for what this means for me in the future, but, since I’m not dating until at least 2014, I guess I shouldn’t worry for at least another ten months.

Being female is not often advantageous.

I’m going to be honest. I hate everything right now. EV. ‘RY. THING. 

Yup. PMS. It’s taking over my brain and turning me into an angry and sad and empathetic pile of mush. Everything makes me cry – whether I’m mad, sad, happy, or anxious. And tiny little comments make me seethe and steam. 

Don’t even get me started on pre-period reflections upon my own life. Oh, man. That’s a dangerous rabbit hole to fall down. 

I think it’s time to just turn off the brain, binge-watch Vampire Diaries on Netflix, and not talk to anyone for five more days.

Don’t wear sweat pants to the grocery store.

So…I usually don’t have to worry about running into people I know when I’m out shopping. Almost no one I know lives near me and I haven’t ever run into anyone that I really know. WELL, that changed today. So I went to the grocery store (not the closest one, but the better one) with my mom. I was so cold that I just didn’t want to change my clothes – so I went out in sweat pants, slippers, and a bulky windbreaker. My hair was kind of frizzy and I was wearing glasses.

I was almost done shopping, walking through the very last row, when I saw this cute guy who looked familiar. I immediately realized that I’d gone out with him a few times via Match.com. And it had ended weird and badly. And I looked, in the words of one of my best friends, GRUNGY!

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I was so flustered after I saw him, because it was such a bad ending (I’ll probably talk about it some day). He definitely looked right at me, too, but I just awkwardly looked away and walked faster, staring at the frozen foods in the cases, while my mom talked to me, oblivious to my trauma. I immediately had to text all my friends and share the horrible experience.

I’m also kind of a douche.

I’m also a douche. 

So I was on Facebook the other day. You know, for, like, the 18th time that day, and I came upon my high school bff in “friends you might know.” I haven’t talked to her since some time in college – we had a falling out. We lived on the same floor freshman year, but after what I’m about to tell you, we didn’t really ever get back into the swing of things. 

ANYWAY, I clicked on this girl’s page and low and behold, it looks like she’s now a lesbian. Maybe even a married lesbian. What? 

Before you freak, I have nothing against being gay. I am Christian and I love every one. (Except for those bitch ass boys who have rejected me. Haha.) (Ok, I don’t love everyone but I really do try.) Anywho, it’s surprising because last I knew, she was very straight. 

Now, here’s where the douche-baggery comes in. The reason we’re no longer friends.

So, in college, we sort of drifted apart. Being at a bigger school than high school, the variety of people to be friends with was so much deeper than our class of 17 in high school, and we naturally drifted apart. But she (ok, I’m going to call her Gina*) became bffs with my roommate. (My roommate is straight and has been married to a man for a few years, the same man she was dating all through college and even in high school.) My roommate and Gina spent tons of time together in our room. They spent a lot of time in bed together in our room. They spent a lot of time on top of each other in bed together in our room. Not in a sexual way, ever (at least that I ever saw), but in a way that was weird and uncomfortable for me and the rest of my hallmates. I spent a lot of time in other people’s rooms. And when people could come in looking for me, they always backed out awkwardly. 

Now, since I felt uncomfortable being in my own room, I did a lot of complaining. I’m kind of a loudmouth. A huge loudmouth. Especially when something bothers me. SO I went around to my friends, at track practice, in the dining hall, complaining about my roommate and former best friend’s weird level of comfort with each other. And I said, jokingly (but rudely) that they were lesbians. And I would always follow up with “Ok, not really. But it’s really weird and annoying.” I think it actually would have been way less awkward if they were actually lesbians. I think that was the weird part about it. Anyway, so one day I got locked into my room by Gina and my roommate and they yelled at me, saying that I was telling the whole school that they were lesbians. Some male friend of theirs said that I told him this – and I have never even spoken a word to the dude. About anything. But obviously they heard that I’d said something along the lesbian lines to someone. Which was kind of true. I mean, I was never actually calling them lesbians. I just didn’t know how to label what they were doing and I didn’t know why they were doing it. So much spooning….

Anyway, so big fight. Awkward. My roommate and I made up and were cordial the rest of college but Gina and I never really were friends again. We hung out in our hometown again, later in college, but it just felt so weird to me that I never did it again. 

Fast forward 5-7 years, and now it seems as though she is in a very serious relationship with a lady. First of all, we didn’t date in high school. She kind of dated one of our friends…I guess….but not really. I don’t think she really dated in the early years of college. So seeing that she was in a serious relationship (there was a picture of them holding hands with a date…so I’m guessing that it was a wedding date?) with ANYONE blew my mind. Then my mind pieces were blown even further when I saw that it was to a girl. And I called her a lesbian in college. Kinda douchey.

Especially if she was actually dealing with hiding this fact in an environment that was not gay-friendly (good old Lutheran education). So, I’m sorry. I know she’ll never read this and I’m sure I’ll never talk to her again unless I randomly bump into her. I don’t even know where she lives. 

But we both handled the situation back then poorly. And I have to put my foot in my mouth so often that I should just keep it there. But my mind is still reeling from this news. This girl was my best friend from ages 13-18ish.

*Gina is not her real name.

I’m a crazy person

Tomorrow it’s happening. In the afternoon I will be donning my swimsuit, standing in my mom’s room in front of her full-length mirror (my room has become too dirty again to take a picture using MY mirror – everyone would see the mess), and taking another picture. And I’m sad to say, due to the unemployment/not-having-a-car stress of the new year, there will be no difference. I think I initially lost some weight, got back into fitting into some of my pants…but all that is gone. My jeans are super tight again. I’m eating like a maniac. I think my period is also coming, which could mean bloating and the desire to eat and eat and eat – but still. Tight pants. No good. Body might look a smidge tighter, which is good, but not much improvement overall. 

But never fear! The year is still pretty new. We’re only one month in. I’d say I was good for half the month – which is a vast improvement on last year as a whole (the only working out I did was working in a zoo!). 

I’ve also been stressing over something that is probably nothing – but with my anxiety comes a bit of hypochondria. So, with a second trip to the doctor tomorrow, hopefully a large (and pointless) piece of my stress will be gone. The self-induced crazy stress is really getting on my nerves. I have to take sleeping pills most nights just so I can get SOME sleep (and so I don’t go running into my mom’s room in the middle of the night to talk about my hypochondriatic woes – so SHE can get some sleep), my eating has been all over the place. Sometimes I’m not hungry because I get so worried. Then sometimes I feel better so I eat like crazy – but all bad, comfort food. I’m just a hot mess. And I hope the doctor can look at me and say, “The only thing wrong here, hun, is that you’re crazy.” That I can deal with. I already know that much. So if my doctor thinks that’s all that’s going on, I’ll be cool. Here’s hoping.

So wish me luck. Luck at the doctor (though, if it is all in my mind, it’s going to be an embarrassing visit. I just went a couple weeks ago. Though, I’d rather it be embarrassing than have something actually be wrong.) 

I’m Worried

I’m not going to lie: my enthusiasm for getting fit and eating right is waning right now. I’m going to blame all the stress in my life. This whole not-having-a-job-or-a-car-thing is really getting to me. I’m stressed about how to find the right car. I’m stressed that I’ll never find a job I love. Or that I’ll find plenty but I’ll never get hired for them. I’m stressed about my finances since I haven’t had any income for a few weeks. I’m stressed that I won’t lose these last ten pounds. I’m stressed that I’ll actually start gaining weight again.

So many things to worry about, so little time.

This is a chronic problem of mine. I’m a worrier. And, if I don’t have anything to worry about, I make something up.

So whine, whine, whine, whine. That’s what I want to do right now instead of working out. But maybe, because I know it’ll make me feel so much better, I’ll go do one of my favorite quick workouts that I got from my friend Bethany.

10 to 1: Do 10 of each move, then 9, then 8, etc. Taking no breaks means you also get a cardio workout.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Crunches (or any ab move)
  • Squat jumps

Seriously, this workout is a full-body wonder. You’ll be sore and tired but the more you do it, the more you can do. I’ve actually upped this workout to 15 to 1 before. It killed me. In a good way. (Aka I took a step down my front porch after a 15 to 1 workout and I almost went sprawling to my death because my legs were SO tired and jello-y.)

Wow, just writing this post already made me feel better. 10 to 1, here I come!

BOOTS!!!!!!

So, the following is a blog post from an old blog of mine. I was copying hyperboleandahalf’s style because I have some hilarious childhood stories to share – and these pictures really do seem to help. So, this is just a goofy bonus post for you. I LOVE these cartoons that I made. Maybe I’ll make some more in the future. I have maybe three more completed ones from my old blog that I’ll randomly share here. For fun. Enjoy.

(Originally posted October 2010.) “I get a little dramatic sometimes.
And for a girl who once calmly watched one of her kittens slowly die after it was bit by my dog when she was a child, I have crazy reactions and feelings about my animals, especially if I believe harm will befall them.
In 8th grade I had a black and white cat named Boots. I named him after a large TY stuffed cat he looked just like. [A little backwards?]
One day I opened the garage door for something. Then I closed it.
Boots was loitering at the garage door entrance, right where the door was going to close. I told him to get out.

I went into the house and ran outside to make sure boots moved. I didn’t trust his English comprehension.

When I rounded the corner of the house I saw Boots HADN’T moved and was just laying there under the garage door that began closing on him.

I screamed, “BOOTS!!!”

And with a crazy surge of adrenaline I grabbed the garage door handle and yanked up as hard as my adrenaline-packed muscles could.

I was able to yank the garage door up and off Boots. I grabbed him and held him tight, like a mother who had almost lost her baby. I was a bit shaky after the ordeal.

Boots didn’t even know what was going on.

Later that day I journaled about the experience

.

9/17/00

“Today I went to church. I was very crabby because I went to bed at 12:00 P.M. [sic] and woke up at 7:00 A.M.

I had the scare of a life-time today! I had opened the garage to get something. Boots was laying by it. Then I shut it & ran out to see if Boots was in the way. And the garage door begun [sic] to squish him. I couldn’t even think! I screamed, ‘Boots!!’ And I grabbed the garge [sic] handle & yanked up, hard. The garage went up a foot & stopped. Boots got out. I was shaking so much. I just held Boots for 3 minutes. I had been so scared. I thought for sure Boots was going to be crushed. Part of his body was in & part was out when it was closing. He’s OK, though. I think I was more scared then [sic] he was because I knew what could happen to him & he didn’t.

My cow pillow (which I got for my 8th or 9th birthday) is in the wash so it’s kind of uncomfortable.

For the past few days it’s been raining alot [sic] & our backyard is FLOODED with these tall, skinny flowers.

If you pull firm, gentle, & hard enough, you’ll get the whole flower. Even the white part at the end. I feel like crying now, thinking back to how Boots looked. I didn’t have time to cry at the time. I just had to think fast. I don’t know what……..

Oh I just can’t think about it! Bye.

Alicia Foley (still trying to figure out my signature)”

And that is the saga of when my cat was almost crushed by the garage door.”