Thursday, February 02, 2012
I'm noticing a lot of my lovely SparkFriends are in the habit of posting monthly goals, either due to a team challenge they're participating in or for themselves. I realize this is NOT news and that this occurs rather frequently. Why its never occurred to me to give that a shot, I'll never know! But, maybe that's a nice thing to do. I'm fairly goal-oriented and having it listed or written down somewhere is something I'm inclined to do and enjoy and follow. So, I've decided to give it a go:
Track food at least 3 days (all food eaten) per week. One has to be a weekend day.
Drink 64oz of water (plain) a day for at least 3 days of the week. I can count unsweetened tea or Crystal Lite To-Go as "other" water.
No more f***ing soda! I'm angry to even have to have this as a goal, as I normally don't drink soda... went months without it, in fact... but, the last few weeks... grrr...
Eat breakfast MWF before class (or take one to eat during class).
Meet or exceed 500 minute fitness goal for February. I was 104 minutes short of this goal for January. I can do better.
Plant something edible. Tomatoes, herbs, peppers... doesn't matter. Plant it!
Get through my baby brother's wedding without killing anyone. Why am I the only sane member of my family?!
Keep up/catch up with homework in all 4 classes, including the week I'll be at my parent's for the wedding.
Alright, that should do it. School and wedding have me pretty busy, so I'm not going to stress too much about it.
I had a great time at the latest San Diego Spark Rally. WOLFKITTY (Jocelyn) came to pick me up in the morning and we headed to Tecolote Shores at Mission Bay. It was a gorgeous, sunny day out. We walked along the marked path for a bit over 4 miles (almost 4.5, natch). It was a great walk. Lots of people out enjoying their fitness, playing in the water, men with no shirts playing volleyball, kids on the playground... It was great to get to chat with such wonderful Sparks in person! HAWAIIANMAMA and KSANDIEGO were awesome walking company the first leg of the journey; WOLFKITTY and SASSYJAY were my amazing companions on the journey back. SMILEY1K brought her husband along to walk with us, and FITNFUNJEN joined us a bit later with her husband. ABB698 stayed at the picnic table with her adorable daughter and held down the fort.
We had a delicious and healthy potluck lunch! I made Chicken Machaca burritos (recipe here: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-deta
il.asp?recipe=1968926). Other Sparks brought egg salad (made with veganaise) on wheat sandwich thins, cactus salsa, black bean and cauliflower wraps, fruit salad with yogurt, juicy orange slices, and baked seaweed snacks. It was a super feast of delicious epicness! We sat and ate and talked and talked and enjoyed each other's company. I can't wait for the next rally (I hope I get to go).
As far as school is going, I'm a busy bee with 4 classes. Two are nutrition classes, so I'm majorly stoked- advanced nutrition and diet therapy. Both should be interesting. I'm also enrolled in a leadership class, which is so far not as interesting, but hopefully it'll pick up. Its a theory class, so its a little tougher than the run-of-the-mill college class. And I'm in a culinary class for commercial cooking/kitchens. That should be a lot of fun because I'll actually be spending time in a commercial kitchen! I gotta dig out my chef's coat, pants, skull cap, apron, and non-slip shoes. All are required! So cool!!! These are the 4 classes I need to get my Dietary Services Supervisor certificate. I still have to do my practicum, which involves me working in an actual nursing home kitchen. That's up in the air for when that'll happen. If the budget doesn't completely tank, I can do it as early as this summer. If it does, then the earliest would be throughout fall semester... Seems like that'll be really far away, but if that's the case, then I'll have my surgery early in the summer. If I can do practicum over summer, then I'll do my surgery later in the summer. So, I'll find out in May what the dealio is.
I guess that's it for me...
Once again, machaca link:
Friday, January 20, 2012
I read a great article on MSN today about a woman who loves her body, but hates her legs. That caught my eye because I hate my legs, too! (I can't say I love my body, yet, but I suspect I'd be in a similar boat as the woman in the article.) Here's the link to it:
This woman may as well have been me writing this story. The way she describes the physical appearance of her legs are the same way I describe mine: blotchy, stuffed sausage. I consider myself to be a person with moderate or average self-esteem, but when it comes to my legs, my confidence crumbles. I don't own a pair of shorts that aren't meant to be worn outside a pool. I don't wear swimsuits without a long pair of boardshorts. I have knee-length dresses, but it takes a feat of strength on my part to ignore the fact that you can still see my huge calves and ankles. So, I normally wear long dresses, pants (even in summer), long skirts, and "flood" length pants (which still make me uncomfortable sometimes).
Long board shorts on my Mexican Riviera vacay.
Rolled up floods in Puerto Vallarta, MX. It was 90+ degrees outside and I still wore heavy denim. I felt awkward with these and my "ugly" shoes.
I hate my legs more than any other part of my body. I have that awful "double wave" on my arms... ya know, that extra flab under the bicep. I do hate that, but I hate it less than my legs. I wish that pooch on my tummy, the part right under my belly button that cushions my internal lady organs, was significantly smaller... or at least stuck out only as much as my upper tummy. I wish my butt was a little more perky, and a lot less saggy. I don't even necessarily want it smaller at this point. Just up more than down. I would love for my teeth to be whiter, but those white strip things burn my gums and make my teeth SUPER sensitive. And, I hate all these things, but I hate them less than my legs.
Maybe its because I'm afraid I won't ever be able to do anything about them. My body shape is a lot like my grandmother's and my aunt's. I'm pear shaped, with a larger lower half. My grandmother isn't the biggest woman (she's lost a lot of weight recently), but her calves look very "athletic", and they always have. Same with my aunt. And same with me. I want my body to look proportional when I get to my goal. And somehow, I don't think my legs will cooperate.
My calves look ginormous to me in this pic. Like the stuffed sausage I think of when it comes to my legs.
Besides that, my legs are total jerks. My knees are the crap. They hurt going up and down stairs. My ankles are weak little wussies. And my feet... man, don't get my started on that plantar fasciitis. And my calves can't handle a little bit of workout. Several years ago I sustained a pretty wicked injury when I was coaching gymnastics. Part of our employment agreement there was to at least be working on good exercise habits and gymnastic moves if possible. I was a fairly decent tumbler, especially considering I wasn't the smallest girl. So, after work, when all the kids had gone home, and most of the coaches, too, a few of us would stay after and get our fitness on. One of the coaches was working on becoming a certified personal trainer, so we offered to be her guinea pigs. She did a great job on me. My butt was lifted, I dropped two pants sizes, I felt good and I looked good.
Well, one night we were doing calve raises on the floor beam, which provides a greater range of motion. Unfortunately, I must have overdone it even though I didn't feel a thing that night. I woke up the next day unable to walk. My calves had spasmed sooooo bad! I was unable to walk for a week, and I was unable to walk normally for another after that. And I've always had problems ever since. My muscles up the back of both calves are always tight and bother me when I exercise. Grrr... I probably should have had some sort of physical therapy, but I didn't have health insurance at the time.
A few things about myself and my journey differed from her article. When life starts to suck (and lets face it, these days it does quite a bit) I don't notice a heightened sense of self-criticism when it comes to my physical appearance. My grandmother may/may not have been raised in a time when women were reliant on their looks to "land a man" or a job or whatever else. But, I never got that impression from her. She never projected an importance on looks, just health.
"Coping with imperfections is the best way of dealing with them," says Martin. "You can't heal relationships with your body once and for all. It's a constant negotiation. The women who are successful at this are those who take the time to really tune into their lives, to reject their own internal critics, and really turn up their focus on joy and wellness. Once you step away and look at the bigger picture, the size of your thighs seems pretty insignificant."
This blog really wasn't meant to be a huge put-down on myself. It was just supposed to be working on myself about accepting who I am, how I am. Sometime I'd like to think I'll get there. So, I apparently need to step away and look at the bigger picture, focus on my joy and wellness, and really tune into my life. However you do that.
It would be nice to not have to buy wide-calf boots someday.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Some statistics to make you think. Just because we're plus sized, doesn't always mean we're unhealthy.
I love the tips at the bottom, especially by supporting the companies that better cater to your size and supporting indie designers.
Sunday, January 01, 2012
I posted a blog on January 1, 2011, with a list of 11 goals I wanted to accomplish this past year. I printed them out on a piece of fun stationary and taped it up by my bathroom mirror. Let's see how it went, shall we?
1. Actively engage in a healthier lifestyle! Exercise more, eat less, eat healthier, get more sleep, and keep learning (to exercise my brain). I won't always succeed on a day to day basis, but as long as I keep working at it, I know I'll reach my goals.
Hmmm... I'd say I did this pretty well. I worked as hard as I could and think I made great strides in my journey. I eat better, I eat more mindfully, and I'm still in school exercising that brain. I did a lot more exercise then I have in years passed. CHECK!
2. Get another/better job. I know this one isn't necessarily in my control, but I believe with persistence, dedication, and hard work, that I can reasonably accomplish this sometime in the next 365 daysÖ right?
Well, persistence, dedication, and hard work are all fine and good, but alas... this goal did not get accomplished. :-( Every single week day and most weekends for a solid 6 months did not yield me a job. I got 4 interviews all year for jobs I applied to and never got. Sad, sad day. Let's hope 2012 brings me into some work. Preferably that I'll enjoy.
3. When I finally have that job, start paying off my credit card. I'm able to make just above the minimum payments most of the time. I'd love it if I could start paying off bigger chunks and bringing my balance way, way down. It'll take a few years to get it down to nothing, but paying off at least $300 this year would be great!
Despite not having a job, I did manage to work some things out and almost make this goal. For all I know, I did make my goal. I just haven't checked. And I'm not going to. Paying anything down at all was way more than I thought I'd be able to without a job. CHECK!
4. Save some money. I'm not talking anything huge, but putting away $10 or $20 a month is better than putting away nothing.
This I didn't do. :-( In fact, I did the opposite and closed out my savings account. I just don't have anything to keep in there. My savings dwindled to nothing and it would cost more in "maintenance fees" than I even had available! Boo!
5. Secure health insurance. Well, that's just self-explanatory. And also something that isnít necessarily in my control.
Thanks to my parents, who worked some magic with their own strained finances, I have a state health insurance. Its for people with existing conditions, which is me to the max! So, whenever I want, I can get this gallbladder out! And not have to pay a ridiculous amount of money out of pocket. CHECK!
6. Do some volunteer work. Iíve been wanting to do something for quite a while. I need to find a way to be able to do so.
I almost did this. I even went to an orientation for a volunteer gig, but the location was not conducive to my transportation abilities. Someday, I'd still like to volunteer doing something.
7. Move to a townhouse, house, or condo with a little bit of a yard that also allows pets. I can't live in my apartment in University City anymore. The neighbors above me cause me untold amounts of stress. Also, this area is pretty pricey. Aiming for a move this summer. The money I save can be spent on a cat, which I desperately want. I also want a little bit more yard space to grow some herbs, fruit, and/or veggies.
At the last minute, I pulled this one off! I'm sitting in my room, in a house, surrounded by massive amounts of boxes and bags and STUFF that needs to get tossed, donated, put away, etc. I pay more than $200 less in rent per month here. I'm very pleased! CHECK!
8. Learn to knit/crochet. I know I've set this goal for myself before and didn't get it done, but I've been inspired recently, so I'm planning on getting back to this. Maybe I can find a class or a club to join.
I had a friend offer to teach me, but we just never connected. She lives pretty far from me, so its hard to schedule in some knit time. I have all the supplies necessary. I just need someone to teach me (this is something I've discovered I can't teach myself). I couldn't find a club or class to join, either. Stop being so underground, hobby!
9. Sew more. I got a new sewing machine a few months ago and I would love to work on more projects! I'd like to go to Comic-Con this year, hopefully, so a costume project would be awesome!
Well, I did sew more, although nothing was for myself. I hemmed countless pants (okay, 3 pair for some friends) and a big project for my friend's MIL. I sewed two GIANT table cloths (that barely fit in my apartment!) and about 22 cloth napkins. That was a difficult project due to space limitations and my lame pre-arthritic thumbs. I slathered more Ben Gay on my hands then I care to admit. But, my machine got lots of use! CHECK!
10. Read for pleasure more. I got a few books coming in April. I have a book to read now. I can start on Sherlock Holmes. I have magazine subscriptions, but I need to make sure Iím reading good books, too.
The sad event of Borders closing down led to me getting an insane amount of books for insane prices! I think I got 40-45 books for about $50. I was able to read a few books and just enjoy them. Stephen King has a new book relating to his Dark Tower series coming out next year, so I have that to look forward to, too! More reading!!! Bottom line, I read for pleasure more than I usually get the opportunity to, so this goal gets a: CHECK!
11. Scrapbook! I have many supplies and things to put in a scrapbook. I just need to sit down and actually do it! I have friends that scrapbook, too, so I could invite them over for a scrapbooking party and just be creative for a day.
Once again, I have not scrapbooked. I have added more to my "must put in scrapbook" pile, too. I don't have as many supplies as I thought for a good, nice scrapbook. I need to gather some things before I can actually do this. No check for this one...
Well, 55% success rate this year. Not bad, but not the greatest. If that were a grade, that would be an F. I'll be sitting down tomorrow and thinking of some new goals for 2012. :-) Look out for that blog!
To everyone, thank you for the goodies and comments and 'likes'. I'll get back to my regularly scheduled Sparking when I'm settled into the house. I hope your goals were reached and that you all have an amazing New Year!
Sunday, December 04, 2011
I mentioned this in my previous blog, so I thought I'd go further into in hopes someone will have heard of this before. I've tried to research this before, but I can't find anything about it.
I have had sleeping problems for a long, long time now. It started as insomnia when I was a teen and in my early 20's. Over the last few years, its sort of become part of a cycle of sleep: normal sleep, insomnia for a few days at a time, and this awful dreaming sleep.
I'll sleep normal hours at night, between 7-9, and wake up feeling just as tired as though I never slept at all. All night I'll dream vivid, detailed dreams. Not realistic situations, like any dream, but so realistic in just how complex they are. It almost seems as though I don't completely cycle through the stages of sleep. It's like I get stuck on the one part of the cycle and stay there. Either all night, or something... I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what it feels like. I'm just musing.
My friend told me she used to have the same problem and she was the only other person I've known to have had the same issue. The only thing is, hers was due to an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant she was taking. She switched medications and the problem went away. I'm not taking any medications that alter my body's physiology too much, other than hormones, asthma meds, and allergy meds. But, I'm still taking these meds when I sleep normally, too.
My mom says she's sure its stress related, and I can see where that is so. I am stressed out. I'm going to be moving somewhere by the end of the month or beginning of next month. My lease at my current apartment ends on Dec. 31st. Moving is always stressful. I hate it (I don't know anyone who loves moving!) and moving during the holiday season is just that much more sucktastic. This latest bought of dream-sleep began in the few days before we were due to turn in our 30 day notice to leave here. And now that its "official" or "final" that we are moving, it hasn't gone away. I look around my apartment and the thought of having to pack it all up is overwhelming. Unfortunately, I'll be doing most of it myself, as my future roommate (which was my previous roommate, but not my current roommate) is not going to be back in California until Dec. 28th. So, the job will be left up to me. Also, I need to schedule my surgery, but I'm not sure when I should be doing that. Ideally, the beginning of January would great, but the next school semester starts January 23rd. That's not a lot of time to recover. Added stress. Then, of course, next week is my final for my nutrition class and this week my project is due. I'm waiting on my friend to get back to me with some info (I'm analyzing his diet for the project) before I can really begin.
I was exercising very regularly, which in and of itself should help with stress, but I guess the "mental" part is overriding the rest. I'm so tired these days, I can't even muster up the energy to go for a quick walk. I had a Christmas party here last night and I was struggling to stay awake during the White Elephant gift exchange. I went to the Farmer's Market with a friend, then to lunch, and by the time we got back (at about 2pm) I was napping on the couch. And I pretty much napped all afternoon. I got up from it and still feel like I could just go to bed altogether. What little I slept I dreamed... of course.
I'm sort of at my whit's end. I don't want to be this tired. 5 days is enough. 5 days is too long. Stress related, chemical imbalance? I just want to know what I can do to get a good night of quality sleep.
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