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Just kickin' it...again...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My knee has gotten significantly better over the past few months, and resolving the swelling in my lower leg seems to have helped even further. I have been able to return to taking long walks and biking. I have been boxing. But I have been missing my true passion, and that is kickboxing. I feel strong doing kickboxing, not to mention feeling like a major bad-ass. Most of my kickboxing training has been Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing), but I started doing a mix of Muay Thai and American-style kickboxing a few years ago. I've been a kickboxer for nearly 7 years.

I had taken a Tae Kwon Do course at the University of Minnesota in 2004, and I wanted to continue studying it. I found a class nearby and went at the time that I was told the class would be starting. There was another class going on at the time. There were guys grappling each other on the ground, and there were other guys doing spinning kicks and launching off the ground and practically flying at each other.

The coach came up to me and asked if he could help me. I told him I was here for a tae kwon do class. He shook his head and said that there were no tae kwon do classes at this facility. I picked up my stuff to leave. I pointed to the guys doing the kicking and flying through the air. "What are they doing?"

"Muay Thai."

"Muay what?"

He explained that he was the coach for this team, and that they were a Mixed Martial Arts team. They were cage fighters, and they practiced a combination of Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, and touches of other martial arts. He went by Kru Mike ("Kru" translate to "teacher" in Thai). He gestured towards the group of guys who were kicking and punching, alternating between looking ultra-serious and going into fits of laughter, patting each other on the backs. "Would you like to try?"

I looked at the group of very muscular guys, and looked at my own flabby body. I had lost about 50 pounds on WeightWatchers at that point, but I was nowhere near having the physique of these fighters. Nonetheless, it looked fun. "Can I just watch?"

Kru Mike shook his head. "You won't learn anything. Just try." He took me by the arm over to the group of guys and introduced me. They all shook my hands, and the next thing I knew, I was being shown how to do a Muay Thai roundhouse kick.



Kru Mike ("Mike X"), my first Muay Thai coach. Image from minnesotatopteam.com


I started going to 90-minute practice sessions 4-5 days per week. I was hooked. It was quickly apparent that I was no good at ground grappling, but I was a very strong kicker. I had to really learn how to fight back, because the guys in the group, all of whom were much stronger than me, did not hold back because I was a woman. There were 2 other women in the group, but since I had strength that matched the men better, I was usually partnered with one of the guys.

Kru Mike taught me self-discipline and lit the fire for finally learning some self-respect. I have never forgotten the principles I learned from him, both about martial arts and about life in general. He talked about his childhood growing up as an orphan in a Muay Thai boarding school in Thailand, and then going on to being a street fighter. He moved to the U.S. about 30 years ago and has been teaching Muay Thai since. The principles I learned about martial arts from Kru Mike started to spread to other areas of my life. I became more aware of how others were treating me because of his teachings. I finally started to grow a spine. Unfortunately, we lost our gym space and the group dispersed, and I lost track of Kru Mike.




Muay Thai knee move. Image from muaythaiclassic.com.



The famous Muay Thai "flying knee." Image from sarahcait.blogspot.com.



About 3 years ago, I joined another kickboxing gym at the recommendation of a friend. I was attending kickboxing and Muay Thai training at least 3 days a week. And then, last year, my knee started acting up. I could barely walk, let alone kick or throw any knee moves. I dropped my membership altogether to allow my knee to heal, and started a frustrating journey of trying to get an answer as to what is wrong with my knee. I never got a real answer, but never mind, it's getting better; that's all that matters.

I started going back to the gym in February, doing American-style boxing only. It was good to return to a very challenging activity, given the severe restriction with my knee. But at my more recent kickboxing gym, I have missed the camaraderie that I used to have with working out with a fight team. I became downright frustrated with the way I've been treated by other members. However, I will be returning to kickboxing and working out with fight team members more often. I always enjoyed working out with them. The "beginners" at the gym tend to act more like grade-schoolers out at recess, while the fight team members are much more respectful and disciplined.

Although I am still going to avoid high-impact and jumping activities for now (e.g. running, jump rope, high-impact plyometrics, etc.), I have missed kickboxing terribly. Yesterday I biked to the gym to do a boxing workout, and I wondered, "Am I able to kick?" So I tried some light kicking on the bags. My knee felt great. I did a 30 minute workout. I decided if my knee felt okay during the workout--and the next day--that I would start going again. I am extremely pleased that my knee doesn't hurt at all today and my leg is not swollen. I am going to take it easy, but I am excited to start training again.

I'm also looking forward to spending more time with my coach, Chris, who is one of my favorite people. He is very charismatic and provides that "silent motivation" that makes me push myself harder than I thought I could. He is never in our faces yelling or anything, either; he's just the type of person that makes you want to do well, all the while making me consider if I am pushing myself as much as possible at any given moment. Since I don't feel self-conscious around him, I don't feel "stupid" or weak if I have to modify because of my knee.

And needless to say, no one can argue with the physique of a serious kickboxer. I dropped weight very quickly when I was training intensely a few years ago; this time I will need to make sure I'm eating enough so the weight doesn't crash off like when I did WeightWatchers. When I was living and breathing kickboxing, I didn't even want to eat crap; I focused on whole foods and clean eating, although I needed to be eating more than the WeightWatchers plan called for (I don't think they can account very easily for burning 5,000+ calories a week). This is going to be intense, but I'm ready again.

I've been very patient. I'm ready to stop chillin' and to start kickin' it again.



My trainer Chris (with the belt) after winning a match. Image from cellarkickboxing.com

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:52PM

  You ARE very strong and I'm so glad that your knee is behaving itself so you can get back to kickboxing!

Yay You!!

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GEMINIAN1 8/2/2011 9:24AM

    7 years? emoticon
Sounds like you really have a passion for it.
I'm glad to hear that your knee is better and that you're able to return to it.
I like the pictures that you put in emoticon
I think a coach can, sometimes, make or break things; so, I'm really happy to hear that he's one of your favorite people.
Cheers to ...
"I'm ready to stop chillin' and to start kickin' it" emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HIKINGSD 7/30/2011 8:12PM

    Kicking boxing- excellent! emoticon

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EMRANA 7/30/2011 6:31PM

  Marvelous blog! I felt myself feeling stronger the more I read your words ~ now that's a powerful entry!

I'm so super excited for you to return to what you love. When I got my yoga practice back after my spine injury, I finally felt peace again. That is what is getting me through these latest challenges as well. The yoga is stronger than anything else I may face, and I'm sure the kickboxing works the same way. Especially when you come from such a place of strength and power!

Thank you for sharing this with all of us! Your teachers sound fantastic!

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/30/2011 4:59PM

    Remind me not to make you mad! LOL!

The one pic of pulling the head to the knee is actually one of my creative one steps, basically a "single" move to defend against an attack. It is one of my favorites. I've wanted to try boxing, to balance out the karate, but haven't found a class that fits my schedule. Nor do I want to over commit to too many goals.

emoticon that your knee is getting better & you can return to something you love!

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I AM paying the man to teach me how to do it right...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Have your tongue more towards the tip, and try a lighter touch. Pull your lips back more."

"Try slowing it down if it gets too hard doing it fast. It's fine to start out slower."

"Try pulling your tongue back more, don't purse your lips, it'll flow a lot better."

"It doesn't look like you're doing anything crazy with your mouth or anything, I think you just need to work on your positioning."

"The fingering is pretty good, you just need to get into the rhythm."

"Having control of the jaw is really important, don't let it go all over the place."

"You know your tongue is in the right place if the back of it is against the back teeth."

"Try to blow evenly."



Yep, my saxophone teacher really pays attention to the details. I've been taking saxophone lessons for about a month now. I'm not sure why, but I thought that he might take it easier on me since I'm just getting back into playing again after a 12-year hiatus, but no, he expects to actually, ya know...WORK. My teacher really challenges me, which is something I need. But he also indicates that I over-analyze the music a lot and don't just "play" enough. On one hand, he tells me that I over-think what I'm trying to do, and on the other hand I feel like I'm doing everything wrong.

This week, my teacher wanted me to use only the mouthpiece to make a single note, to help me learn how to have better control of how I'm playing. He had a music tuner, and I could go above the note, and just below it...but I just couldn't hit it. He said, "Don't think about it, just let your ears do the thinking, and your body will know what to do." (Dammit, that's what I'm trying to do.) Still...not getting it right. It was kind of a goofy exercise, and he could tell I was reserved about making funny noises through the mouthpiece. He waved his hand, "No embarrassment, just let it out." And then he proceeded to play almost an entire classical piece with only the mouthpiece. It sounded like a kazoo on crack, and I don't know why I was trying NOT to laugh. My fear of looking stupid in front of someone else is holding me back from having fun with my lessons. I feel like my lessons should be "serious time," when I put on my game face and show my teacher how perfect I can be.

Now today, not playing in front of someone who I'm trying to impress, I hit it spot on the first time I tried. I didn't THINK about it, I just DID it. I need to change my approach to playing and stop thinking so hard, and just PLAY.



"You can't stay the same. If you're a musician and a singer, you have to change, that's the way it works. "
-Van Morrison



I'm not thinking like a musician right now. I'm thinking like a stressed-out, people-pleasing, overworked person. I picked up my saxophone again a couple of months ago because it sounded fun to play again, and I missed having music in my life. It started out being an outlet for stress, but I'm too stressed out about work to just pick it up and play. Everything I try to play sounds awful right now. I'm killing every song I try to play, and it probably reflects some of the stress I've been feeling because of my job and feeling some uncertainty for the future. These are not valid reasons to butcher the notes that someone worked so hard to put on paper. Music should be my release, and should bring out any joy I feel inside. I believe it's in there; I just need to let it out. My teacher seems to think it's somewhere in there, too.

I felt like I was doing well with working on a piece called "Sonata No. 3" by Handel. A couple of weeks ago, when I was in a better overall state of mind, the piece was starting to sound pretty good. But my over-analyzing, over-thinking, trying-too-hard brain kicked in and now I just freeze up. My tempo goes all over the place. I stumble over the notes. Plus, I get nervous playing in front of a professional (even if he is my teacher). If I stop to think about some of the humorous things my teacher says, or the phrases that I interpret like a 14-year-old boy would, I start to giggle. I relax. I am able to play, in every sense of the word. I'm telling you, I'm going to make that classical piece my bitch. And hopefully I can show that to my teacher next week when he tells me more about how to "handle the piece."




My sax teacher. Image from kingmusic.org.



"Music is the shorthand of emotion. "
-Leo Tolstoy

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:48PM

  Yup! There's a reason they call it PLAYING an instrument!

Your silliness and sense of humor is one of your chiefest charms, my darling! Let him see you!

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THISYEARSMODEL 7/31/2011 6:43AM

    You answered your own problem in your blog: it is called PLAYing music. Have fun!

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KRAWRS 7/29/2011 12:54PM

    Why don't you try out with a simpler piece? One that you KNOW you can play? (Even if its "Hot Cross Buns," darnit!) Build some confidence, and work your way up to that piece that was "starting to sound pretty good" way back when. Try being silly by yourself, no one watching. See how that feels. Maybe when you are with the professional, all this practice will help! Just like exercise, you can't expect to run a marathon if you've been out of commission for six months... you have to retrain your body AND YOUR MIND to get back to where you started!

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GEMINIAN1 7/29/2011 8:03AM

    You're introduction ...
We must, both, be part 14 year old boy ... lol.

It's an outlet for stress and you're too stressed to play; that's a lot of stress my friend. I hope you can decompress. Stress is the worst.

'kazoo on crack' ... hahahahaha ... you said kazoo.
Love that picture of your teacher.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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UTMIZ_2000 7/29/2011 6:37AM

    I love the saxaphone. It sounds like you are getting it. It's like riding a bike (don't you love when people say that?). Just give it some time. I think if you can master relaxation while you are playing the sax it will spill over into other areas.

Hang in there, you'll get it!

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SHOOPETTE 7/29/2011 2:33AM

    music is food for the ear, congrats on picking it up again!

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EVERSTEPH 7/28/2011 11:32PM

    Wow, I must be a pervert. I had no idea until sentence 9 that we were talking about playing a musical instrument.

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/28/2011 9:57PM

    I loved playing Handel's music, it was always my music of choice for solo & ensemble. Have you tried anything by Bach? I've found his music more analytical, less emotional if that makes sense. It might work better for you right now if you tend to over-think the music, at least until you can get to where it just flows.

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ANGELA3373 7/28/2011 9:45PM

    Wow! I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves to make music but cannot do it in the right state of mind. Keep up the hard work!

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BECKY3774 7/28/2011 9:11PM

    You're too funny........It sounds like even with the stress, you're finding an outlet with your humor, which is AWESOME!!! Try to relax, good things are happening, you just don't know it yet! emoticon
emoticon
Becky

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MISTYBLUE716 7/28/2011 9:11PM

    way to go playing the sax! I always wanted to but played the clarinet instead all through grade school and high school....Music is emoticon

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Whatevah! I do what I want!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don't have any clean laundry, because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?
-Anonymous



Today is the first day I've had off in 15 days, and considering how much I despise my job now, it was a long stretch. I have been counting down the days until today. Then again, is it really a day off? My house and garden are utterly neglected. I could spend the next 24 hours straight cleaning and weeding and still not be anywhere near being done. I could do the grown-up thing and start tackling the house and yard work, but I'm not gonna. Today, I do what I want!

I am always amazed by people who own a house and who have children and who also go to school full time...I don't know how they get it all done. No doubt these people are driven into the ground. After being a single homeowner full-time working full-time college student, I understand a bit about what it's like to have to do it all yourself. Therefore, no day off is an ACTUAL day off. The never-ending cycle of adulthood tasks piles up, the dishes glaring from the sink, "Why don't you wash meeeee? Don't you loooove me?" The weeds in the garden waving in the wind, giggling in the sunshine, "You shan't control me, weakling human! How could you...you are a mere HUMAN! MWAHHAHAHAHAAA!" Fortunately, I pick up after myself most of the time, I yank some weeds from the garden as I see them, I sweep the floor almost every day. But I'm no Martha Stewart.




Well, even Martha Stewart kicks back sometimes.



So I am declaring to be an ACTUAL day off. Yes, I'll wash some damn dishes. I MAY even put in a load of laundry. I MAY go pull a few weeds. But I will do these things only if they strike my fancy, and most certainly not because they need to be done. I am choosing not to be perfect. And not being perfect means I can actually enjoy myself for a few hours. So what DO I want to do today?

1) Watch T.V.
2) Practice my saxophone
3) Walk the dogs
4) Do my strength training and kettlebell workouts
5) Watch more T.V.

Now, I'm missing People's Court as I sit here writing, so I have to go now. I hope that some of you out there get to enjoy an ACTUAL day off at some point.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:45PM

  YAY for doing what you want! I feel that life is too short and I do the fun stuff first when I'm not working.

Of course, my house reflects that philosophy, but oh well.

I'm not gonna be reflecting over my life on my deathbed and wish I had dusted and cleaned more often!

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ABB698 7/28/2011 10:40PM

    Hope you had a whole day of doing whateva, as you deserved!

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/28/2011 7:57PM

    Go you! Here's to a real day off, may they not be so few & far between!

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JLSPARKLES 7/28/2011 3:55PM

    I am a full time student, mother to three and work outside the home full time as well. I am also very much driven into the ground! Great blog!

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GEMINIAN1 7/28/2011 2:10PM

    emoticon Hear you *loud and clear*.
Bought my first one at 24; I can *soooo* relate ...
:-)
I hope it was a good day off; great one; awesome one!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
"South Park"
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
(Computer & TV in the same room, no?)

Comment edited on: 7/28/2011 2:10:46 PM

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OWENSAUNT1 7/28/2011 10:16AM

    I work a 9-5 M-F job (although I've been in your shoes, plenty!) and all week long I say "on Saturday I'm going to . . " and "on Sunday, i'm going to" and I come up with fabulous combinations of extra work/overtime, housework, workouts, and hobbies like scrapbooking, sewing, etc. By the time Sat rolls around I don't even want to get out of bed, but less accomplish my massive to-do list.

This is why I always say "if Oprah can't lose weight and keep it off, how can I? She has servants . . people to shop, plan her meals, cook, wash her dishes, and encourage her to work out. How is little old busy, crazy me supposed to do all this alone?" Yet, somehow, enough of the chores get done that the city doesn't condemn my home, my pets are fed and loved, I get in some dance class and workout time, etc. etc. etc. Somehow we keep finding ways to squeeze more time in the day.

But, hell yeah, don't even think twice about taking a ME day if you have your first day off in 15! You deserve a break!

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HIKINGSD 7/27/2011 11:58PM

    Love it! Good for you!

15 days without a day off..yikes!!

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BECKYSRN 7/27/2011 9:20PM

    emoticon I saw your title and thought of Cartman right away!
You're right, though, sometimes we need to kick back and actually relax and just be. Hope you had a good day.
Blessed be.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 7/27/2011 7:31PM

    That quote has been thrown around a lot in this house.
And I have felt what you are feeling. Some days it's just better to take a mental health day than have clean house, clean laundry, etc.
Everyone needs some me time now and then.

I hope you had a great me time day!

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ANDREA409 7/27/2011 6:39PM

    This is great! My bf is constantly saying that, but I never knew where he picked it up. Now I see it's from South Park. LOL. There are days I love doing nothing but watching tv. Good for you!


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HILLERYH 7/27/2011 6:31PM

    I read your blog just because of the title, and hoping you were referencing South Park. Haha. I'm a South Park junkie!

On the topic of your blog though, Hooray for a day off! I am a full time college student, full time worker, full time wife, and during school, I am driven into the ground! My apartment is always a mess, I am always behind on reading, and I neglect my husband a little more than I probably should. I. Feel. Your. Pain.

Hope you have a good day off, and that People's Court was a good one!

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LETTINGGO85 7/27/2011 6:20PM

    Love it! You do you!

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SUZMAXIMUS3 7/27/2011 5:43PM

    Yeah, Martha is full of crap anyway! Yesterday I utilized the one weekday that my husband has off so he could watch the kid. What did I do? Well aside from not working out (a no no I know), I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop/bookstore just chatting away with my sister who just moved to Chicago. It was awesome and I don't regret a moment of it. Sure a dirty house was waiting for me, but screw it. I had to de-stress from a horrible day at a job I too despise like nothing else. If you don't take the time for yourself, nobody else will. Cliche as it may be it's true!
Enjoy your day girl!

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CATSDONTPRAY 7/27/2011 4:48PM

    I like to add a W in there for extra attitude: "Whateva, whateva, I do what I wawnt!"

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SYZYGY922 7/27/2011 4:29PM

    Hell yeah! I am the most childish adult ever. I don't own a home, and honestly if I did, it would be a disaster. I would never mow the lawn or anything, and my neighbors would hate me. I have enough trouble keeping up with my one cat and my tiny studio, and I don't even have a job!

I used to be more functional, but yeah, I never understood how people did all this normal stuff when they had kids. TOO HARD.

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ANNIE7205 7/27/2011 4:15PM

    If only I had a nickel for everytime I had Cartman saying "Whateva, whateva" running through my head.... And I love the quote about laundry. I'm so using that the next time the other half makes a comment about my lack of diligence in that area.

Enjoy your day off!

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KKINNEA 7/27/2011 4:04PM

    Yes, do it! For me too!

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NINJA_SMOO 7/27/2011 3:59PM

  Sounds like a great plan! Have an awesome day off :D

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ERIKA05 7/27/2011 3:55PM

    Bwahahaha - I had to click over from the Biggest Loser Blog Crawl, because of your ingenious use of my favourite Cartman quote EVAR!
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I hope you're enjoying some well earned TV and relaxation time. Also, really impressed that your actual day off includes kettlebells. Mine includes kettle chips.
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CDGOLDILOCKS 7/27/2011 3:54PM

    I feel the same way some days.

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NYS_EMT 7/27/2011 3:47PM

    I hope you totally enjoy your day off! You deserve it!

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KRAWRS 7/27/2011 3:16PM

    This weekend was an ACTUAL weekend off for me. I've been running around on my weekends off for weeks! Part of a healthy lifestyle is all about BALANCE. And sometimes you need some RELAXATION. Get that? NEED it. So I'm glad you are taking the time to enjoy yourself! Lord knows you deserve it after 15 straight days of working!!!!!!!

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REBECCAMA 7/27/2011 3:11PM

  Get a laptop or a netbook so you can watch tv and surf the web.

Laundry doesn't bother me too much. I just don't fold things or put things away. Dishes get done in the dishwasher. Weeds grow in my gardens for free and my house is a mess.

Time with my kid is more important. I do what I want too!

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FREECANDY 7/27/2011 3:11PM

    I'm with you. Being a grown up sucks.

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Stuck...repeat after me...

Monday, July 25, 2011

"I am awesome...I am awesome...I am awesome..."

I have been trying to get my resume together and start writing some cover letters today. I am finding it difficult to muster up the words to sell myself. I've been staring at my computer screen for over an hour and I've written about 2 sentences of a cover letter. I am having difficulty thinking of good things about myself to put in the "Skills" section of my resume. I am having difficulty remembering being successful in working, and how I've made that happen in the past. I feel fake writing about being great, because I've been told otherwise over the past couple of years.

I KNOW I am smart. I KNOW I am capable. But my words are failing me. My current job has sapped all of my self-confidence when it comes to my work. How can I sell myself when all I've been told over the past 2 years is that I'm not good enough, that I don't work hard enough, that I'm constantly under the eye of Big Brother? My brain has become mush. I've been phoning it in at work for 2 years now (pun intended), and I need to remember the reasons that I have taken pride in work in the past.

I had no idea how bad it was until I tried to start writing about how great I am and why I deserve to be hired more than the other 10,000 people applying for the same position. I should just take the same approach to writing the letters as I do with writing anything else: just let the words out. I can fix it later. I will let the words run free; I WILL remember why I deserve to have a good job where I am appreciated.




In the words of my good senator...


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:42PM

  You ARE awesome, and any employer would be lucky to have you!



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JITZUROE 7/27/2011 9:48PM

    Just start writing about nonsense, as if you were working through some writers block OK? Or better yet, write about why someone should NOT hire you, and you will definitely get some giggles back sooner than you think, and break that stress streak. You ARE awesome and amazing, and so gifted in writing - and I don't even know what you're applying for! : )

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KRAWRS 7/25/2011 10:30PM

    I agree, just write your butt off, edit later! Selling yourself is hard in any circumstance (I think it is anyway, I always have a hard time with it), much less if you've had reason to feel less than great about yourself. Just do your best and remember you ARE great and you DO deserve to be hired!!!

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MARVEEME 7/25/2011 8:13PM

    Damn right you're awesome. Perhaps not as articulate as you wish at the moment, but the task itself is overwhelmingly emotional at times like these.

Never stop promoting your assets, ALL of them.

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EMRANA 7/25/2011 7:11PM

  "I feel fake writing about being great, because I've been told otherwise over the past couple of years. "

Just because people told you lies, doesn't mean you have to believe them.

Remember that, my friend, and rock your resume!

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HIKINGSD 7/25/2011 7:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LUCYCT001 7/25/2011 6:01PM

    You can do it and we all think you ARE awesome, so you must be!

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APED7969 7/25/2011 5:39PM

    To get me started I searched lots of websites on writing cover letters. It at least provided me with a framework and then I'd change each one for each job to make it sound as if I was perfect for the job. And I'd make damn sure I sent the right letter to the right job :-) Do you have good recommendation letters? They help a lot too for the getting the job but also if you can read them first they give you lots of reasons why someone else thinks you're awesome which can remind you of why you are awesome to write it in your coverletter.

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GEMINIAN1 7/25/2011 3:02PM

    I am awesome, I am awesome, I am awesome emoticon
Your openings to your blogs, gots me laughin'.

Oh man, you've got to be the best resume writer in the land.

When I did mine; I went to the library and checked out *lots* of books with examples for formats; not for the wording itself. You know, because there's like a trillion ways you can lay it out. It really helped me, *tons*.

You're breaking my heart emoticon
You *can* do this.

My advice would be to go to the library, seriously.
If you don't get anything from it, then the worst that happens is you're back to where you already are, you know?
The whole nothing to lose thing.

Resume writing vibes coming your way ()(()))))((((()))))))(())


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ABB698 7/25/2011 2:38PM

    YES YOU ARE! emoticon

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DEE0973 7/25/2011 2:37PM

    I agree, just start writing you can always edit later. Good luck

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KKINNEA 7/25/2011 2:22PM

    Agree!!

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REBECCAMA 7/25/2011 2:12PM

  Love the picture!

I alternate between considering myself a "glorified data entry operator" and something much less humble. Good luck!

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MARTY728 7/25/2011 1:59PM

    emoticonSounds as though you work in a negative environment. If you have not considered it, you make want to consider changing jobs either inside or outside of your current employer. Working in a negative environment is not good for anyone.

Hoping it get better!

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HINCTYBEAT 7/25/2011 1:48PM

    spend some time looking at the jobs you are applying for and use your cover letter to explain where you best fit with that job. No one is comfortable just tooting their own horn, and anyone can say that they're detail oriented (which means that you surely have a big typo in there somewhere :) However, explaining a couple of your strongest fit points for that job highlights what you'd like them to see when they look at your resume - and also shows that you really understand the position. Best of luck! Gosh darn it, people DO like you!!

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MNGIRLIE 7/25/2011 1:40PM

    I've been meaning to get out there and apply for jobs as well - for like the last 6 months or more. Though as soon as I sit down to start on my resume and god forbid my cover letter I seize up mentally. I can't write coherent and bragging snappy lines to sell myself either. And with that I've put off the entire job search.

One thing that helped me start the process though is to write down EVERY SINGLE THING I do in my job that I could use as a search word for future jobs. I used that as a base for my relevant skills and such on my resume.

Searching for a job sucks, but keep at it and you'll find something that fits.

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COMINGBACKTOME 7/25/2011 1:26PM

    Stuart!!!

If I can offer any tips on job hunting, it's to go to your local employment center. You don't need to be on unemployment to go and the help is invaluable. When I was unemployed last year, I took a skills assessment class. It didn't change the skills I had, but it opened my eyes to how I could apply my existing skills to other industries. If you go to servicelocator.org, you can find your local employment center or you can get tools to take a skills assessment online.

I know I whine about being unemployed, but this is the first time in my life that I have been unemployed for longer than 3 months - compared to friends of mine that have been unemployed for 2 years, this is a blessing.

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SYZYGY922 7/25/2011 1:24PM

    I understand. I went through a similar difficult time, and it was extended over seven years. I don't really want to talk about it publicly, but yeah, it was bad. I've had many jabs to my self-esteem, but probably the worst jabs came from horrible jobs. emoticon


Good luck! You'll find a job where you're appreciated, I just know it!

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FREECANDY 7/25/2011 1:24PM

    LOL at Stuart Smalley. That skit used to crack me up.

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The Week in Review: Lost 6 pounds...from my right calf?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This past week went very well. I finally got through my head that I need to get a new job. Writing about my job yesterday really helped it sink in and helped me process it (if you read that blog, be forewarned that your computer may explode from all the venting). Well, I'm not wasting any time. I've come across about 10 jobs for which I am qualified and have a salary range suitable for my needs. I also came across a site for credentialing health educators. I feel kind of dumb that I was not aware of this certification, and I think my Bachelor's qualifies me to take the exam and become a health educator, which was what I was going to go to grad school to do. I thought I had to have a Master's degree to be a health educator, but turns out I'm wrong! I feel like I have a future again with thinking about having a brand new shiny career to go along with my healthy lifestyle.

This was also, needless to say, a big weight loss week. After several weeks of not-so-great losses, I dropped 6 pounds this week. I didn't do anything crazy. Actually, I think the weight was lost from my lower right leg.

I have had lower leg edema for months now, and my mother (who is a nurse) said she thinks I may have primary lymphedema in my legs. This condition runs in our family, so I guess it's not surprising. I wondered what was going on when I measured my right thigh at the beginning of July and it was 2 inches bigger than at the beginning of June. I knew I hadn't had the best month for weight loss in June, but really? I thought I was just rocking the cankles when I would look at my legs that looked like bloated balloons. My right foot got so swollen that most of my shoes didn't fit, and the pressure from wearing the shoes actually damaged my right big toenail. I thought my legs have just been sore because of arthritis and/or the knee problem I've been having. My mom said that she thinks my right knee hurts not because of the injury, but rather *because* the leg has been swelling up. My left leg has been getting swelling, too, but not as bad as my right. I will get evaluated when I have insurance, but for now, I trust my mom's 40 years of E.R. nursing to get me through.

My mother gave me some sexy compression socks (T.E.D. hose) and told me to try wearing them at work. My right leg felt better almost instantly. The first day I wore them, I took it off when I got home and my eyes widened. My leg wasn't a swollen balloon any more--I actually had a nice taper where my calf muscles meet my ankle. No cankle. Huh. I see now how easy it is to dismiss an abnormality as a result of being overweight. And even better yet, my leg doesn't hurt, not even the knee. Wearing the T.E.D. hose has make a huge difference.



Admit it--T.E.D. hose are HAWT!


As a result, I think I lost a lot of fluid weight by getting the swelling to go down. I can't give total credit to the edema, though; I did much better on both the nutrition and exercise fronts this week.

I tempered my exercise a bit over the past week and didn't worry too much about following a strict exercise plan. I still worked out almost every day, but modified when needed for my crazy and exhausting work schedule. The exercise highlight was biking to meet KVARNLOV on Friday, and we biked to the beach and swam for a while. I got in a solid 30 minute swim, and I did a total of 105 minutes of biking. Yesterday, however, I started my Shock Training System (STS) upper body workout, and it was evident 10 minutes in that I was too tired to complete the workout. So I will do my STS workout today.

My nutrition was also much better this past week. I ate within an appropriate range every day, which, oddly enough, actually leads to weight loss. I have actually discovered a REVOLUTIONARY new weight loss plan that I followed this week. You will be AMAZED!:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqhr3eG1VTw

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:42PM

  Way to go! And yes, you've got GREAT legs! Hubba hubba!

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EVERSTEPH 7/27/2011 5:49AM

    Great work! That sounds painful.

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GEMINIAN1 7/25/2011 2:52PM

    My computer didn't explode ... emoticon
10 JOBS ... emoticon
'a brand new shiny career to go along with my healthy lifestyle'
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUSICALLYMINDED 7/25/2011 11:25AM

    I liked the youtube video. Haha!

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MISTYBLUE716 7/24/2011 9:47PM

    emoticon

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JEANNETTE59 7/24/2011 5:53PM

  emoticon

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KRAWRS 7/24/2011 2:01PM

    I think your legs are sexy lol. I can't wait for my legs to look that good! :p I loved that link at the end, very funny! Well just keep an eye on your health and you should be fine. Glad you have your mom to guide you, and that's great news that her suggestions are helping!

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HIKINGSD 7/24/2011 1:45PM

    emoticon

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ERLYWA 7/24/2011 11:17AM

    So, the hose aren't really that sexy ;) but your tats are awesome!! Good for you for starting to figure out what's going on with that leg and start working on some solutions. Stuff like that is really frustrating...

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ELUNAMAKATA 7/24/2011 10:57AM

    Interesting, I tend to swell a lot in my right leg too...its funny cause I was noticing the other day, my left ankle, you can see the cute little ankle knot you know? but on the right one? you can see a big puff of fluid. I may have to try the compression sock on my right leg.

Tabbycat is totally right!! and I love the ink!

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 7/24/2011 9:55AM

    I agree with TABBYCAT78 about your legs...and love the ink on your right leg (can't really see the one on your left ankle)!

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UTMIZ_2000 7/24/2011 9:52AM

    Sounds like you have had a week of revelations. Good for you. I really don't care where the 6 pounds came from, but I am excited to hear they are gone.

New job? Wow, that is exciting news. You are finding your inner self and it is looking good.

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CIYWLJOURNEY 7/24/2011 8:35AM

    Love the socks! Maybe we can patten them with the DONE girl logo! emoticon

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RAZZBABE 7/24/2011 7:09AM

    You might be on to something...weight loss socks...Love it!

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APED7969 7/24/2011 6:04AM

    Yay for finding jobs around and for finding out you don't need a master's degree for what you want to do. Sometimes the process to get accredited for the job you think you just educated yourself for can be super confusing! I'm also very glad to hear you currently get paid more than most vet techs. I know they often don't make much! Good luck with the applications :)

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TABBYCAT78 7/24/2011 5:06AM

    Actually, all joking aside, you have really sexy legs. Strut your stuff, doll!!

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TABBYCAT78 7/24/2011 5:05AM

    Hell yeah, girl...you are rocking the T.E.D.!!
emoticon lol

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