Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Today is the first day I don't have to wake up and go be miserable for 8+ hours. Regularly working 50 hours a week (and only being compensated for 43 of them) is rough. It took a toll on my mental health, as well as my physical health. I'm glad to be relieved of that burden. Even the loss of my income is less stressful and worrisome than having to wake up in the morning to go to 'that job'. I feel like I can now get back on track to achieving my own goals... continuing to plug away at school, get back to blogging on my food blog (loooooooooong neglected at this point), and focusing on losing weight again. I've gained back almost 10 lbs since starting that job. Not okay. I have a few things I'd like to do with my free time, too.
At least I was well-liked.
Before I go any further, I just wanted to say thank you for those that expressed their sympathies when I lost my MeowMeow in mid-July. Here's the blurb I left on her Angry Meow Meow Facebook page:
"To all the wonderful followers and friends of The Angry MeowMeow: I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. This afternoon while at the vet's office, the beautiful gray cat that stole my heart, stopped breathing and slipped quietly over the Rainbow Bridge. Her x-rays revealed she had a large amount of cancer in her chest and her little body was no longer able to continue on. She was well loved in her short time with me and holds a place in my heart and soul."
I only had my sweet kitty for about a year. She was definitely a young beauty. I was telling Mary (MEWHENRYSMAMA) that I'm almost positive she chose me to ease her transition from this world to the next. She saw that I would love and care for her in her last bit of time here and that she would be comfortable and content until the end. I sure hope that's what I did for her. She's been interred in the “family plot” along with 4 other beloved beasts that went before her.
In the meantime, I have my brother's cat and our cat-sitting cat to ease my pain. They've both been great comforts to me over the past few weeks. Someday I'll get a new cat, but for now, I'm content with these two beasties keeping me company.
This is Kyle. He's, um... "special".
I do start school on Monday. I'll be taking Chem 100 w/ lab (basic chem here in my state) and working my way through the series I guess, just so I can get to the classes I really need: o-chem, bio chem, micro bio, bio, anatomy, and physiology. I'm also enrolled in a medical terminology class. I'm surprised I wasn't required to take a medical terminology class when I was doing my coursework for becoming a DSS. It would have been extremely helpful. And, my guess is, it would be extremely helpful when I am an RD, so I'll do that now. I'm looking at open classes and/or other classes that I can crash. I don't mind being full time.
Ballet classes start in September, but without an income, I'm not sure if I'll be able to do them. I'm not giving up hope on that, so I'll keep positive regarding this. I just really wanna get back into dancing again. I loved it so much before. It was a good stress reliever. And great exercise. Plus, my class schedule is once again at odds with the choir schedule. I think I mentioned previously (a decade ago, it seems) that I wanted to re-join the community choir here. But, sadly, my Chem class is at the same day/time as choir. Oh well... maybe next semester...
I'll be looking for a blissfully mindless part-time job in the meantime. I have an offer already for another full-time job, but I don't think I'll be taking it. I don't want to be working full-time while I'm going to school. Especially not with all the cerebral classes I'll have to be taking. California also passed a law allowing for home-produced cottage foods, and I've finally come up with a few ideas on what to do with that, so I'll be looking into that again.
I did mention that I've gained back approximately 10 lbs (might be closer to 8lbs, but what's 2lbs?) since starting that job. Remarkable that it was so little, but it goes to show you how active I was at work! My downfall was nutrition, not movement. The ladies in that kitchen can cook! Its all so yummy and authentic and homemade. I couldn't resist. Chorizo and potato burritoes with homemade tortillas. Special quesadillas (a local specialty). Enchiladas with sauce made from scratch. I started out this job able to take my lunch every day. I ended this job with lots of fast food. :-S I'm looking forward to getting back to eating healthier and feeling like I have more control in that aspect.
My middle brother is moving to San Diego (yet another person that gets to be there when I don't get to be) to go to school. He's leaving this weekend in fact. So, the household responsibilities will fall to me. And along with him, the need for meat and potatoes meals. I think I'll finally be able to transition the family over into a semi-vegetarian diet. 75% of my family (in this house) suffer from IBS. So, I think reducing meats and going toward a more vegetable based diet would be very helpful. I'm looking forward to it, actually.
Anyway, I think I've typed up enough. I am going to upload Comic Con photos soon, so I'll post a few of those when I get the chance.
I miss you all and look forward to being part of the Spark community again!
Saturday, July 13, 2013
I'm your fool...
Anyway, I have some unloading to do, so if you're having a good day, you may wanna save this one for another time. I don't wanna be a downer for ya! ;-) No, really.
Right now, I feel like someone is getting the best of me (see the video I linked above). My job. Yes, initially I was excited. I had my work cut out for me prior to state survey. I mostly enjoyed what I was doing. Then, the after state effects have taken hold... Budget cuts, staffing cuts, etc, have left me very saddened. Workplace politics at their finest, I can tell you! For the first 6 weeks of this job, things were easy to overlook because I was intensely focused on passing survey. And I did so, very well. Almost immediately after, these things started becoming more noticeable, prominent, not "overlookable". And I have found myself slipping into a depression. I feel completely consumed by this job. When I'm not there, I'm constantly worried I'll get a phone call about something: someone calling in sick, something happening and I need to go in, whatever. I can't even focus on anything outside of work. I have come home on more than one occasion (okay, SEVERAL occasions) and just sat with my mom and *sobbed*. There was even a day at work where I spent the entire day exercising all the willpower in my entire body -literally- to keep from crying (and I failed at one point... luckily on my lunch "break"). The stress, the intensity, the responsibility. It's more than I think I'm able to handle.
And of course, I feel conflicted. There are parts of this job that I do enjoy. I enjoy interacting with the residents and doing the responsibilities as they relate to nutrition and working with the registered dietitian. It's the other half of my job that I hate: kitchen management. Wow, do I ever hate it. I mean, seriously. I don't like being in charge of the employees, I don't like ordering the groceries (or putting them all away by myself), I don't even like having to do the cooking on the occasions that I have, even when the residents have nothing but compliments for me when I do. But, that is what a DSS does. We oversee both the nutrition and the kitchen. We don't get to pick one or the other.
The other conflict is, of course, money. It's very nice having the income. I'm able to do some things I haven't been able to do for a while (upgrade cell phone finally, get a Kindle, buy some clothes for myself -I believe I've mentioned in previous blogs that I hadn't done that in several years, yes, YEARS- help my family out with stuff they need...) and with the income I'd be able to buy a car (currently saving for one, or at least a nice down payment), get new glasses (whoops, still haven't done that one and I've needed new glasses for a few years now), buy a new computer, a gym membership or ballet lessons again... Not having money has been tough. I haven't had money since I graduated from UCSD (3 years ago) and it is quite the struggle. I don't want to do that again.
However, is it worth all this? The tears, the stress, the sleepless nights... I don't see my family any more and I live with them! I'm afraid of what juggling school and work is going to be like. I start classes again on August 19th, and luckily am able to take night classes, but still. Chemistry and Medical Terminology are not easy classes. And I don't want this job to slow me down when it comes to school. If I don't keep going in a forward motion, then that's just going to extend the time until I'm going to be doing what I really want to do. I don't want to be stuck down here for 5 or more years when my plan is to be here no more than 3.
And I also don't want to disappoint anyone. I told my granny about it and her reaction seemed as though she would be disappointed if I stopped working. My mom I think would like it. I would be disappointed to that it had to come to that. I would be sad about leaving the residents and coworkers...
It's a huge weight on my mind. And I'm seriously, honestly feeling very blue about it. My mom is afraid that I'll end up having to go to a shrink and end up on anti-depressants just so I can get through my work week. At first I thought that was a little dramatic, but really... I think that's a valid fear because I can see myself heading that way. And I'm not sure what to do about it. My nutrition has suffered tremendously. And I know better. I've eaten more fast food than I care to admit, and only make sensible fast food choices about 25% of the time. Why have a grilled chicken salad with low cal balsamic dressing when I can have the bacon burger and french fries?! Why have the egg white english muffin sandwich when I can have the egg, cheese, sausage biscuit?! Whip cream on my mocha? You bet! Coke Zero or unsweetened iced tea? Pfffft... COKE!!! And I know better. Don't even get me started on exercise. Admittedly, I've found a gym I'd like to join, and it's pretty reasonable as far as rates go. No boxing classes, but I'm still working on that, too. Ballet isn't until fall sometime. I haven't actually done any exercise. I can feel my clothes getting tighter. My thighs getting flabbier. My stomach getting softer. And my "second wave" arms getting... erm... wavier. But, I'm too tired to work out. Too unmotivated. Too depressed to move at all, unless its for basic functions and to get to work. And be at work, doing work. Then, coming home from work. Once I'm home though, I don't have any desire to move any more.
Ideally, I'd have a part time job that isn't so stressful (something even a little mindless would be nice) and I'd continue with school until I've done all the chem, o-chem, bio chem, micro bio, anatomy, and physiology required to get into a program. NONE of those classes are going to be easy.
A lot of things for me to ponder.
Oh, and I got my final PhotoShop project to save without crashing a computer. Here it is, in it's tiny, shrunken glory (remember, it's supposed to be the size of a movie poster)
Thursday, June 27, 2013
So, I dropped off the face of the Earth for a while there. Sorry about that. Totally my bad. I should have checked in and let you know what the dealio was.
State walked in to the building on June 10. From that point on, things were just GO GO GO! for 4 solid days. Like, seriously. In those 4 days, I worked 53 hours. And then worked my usual 8 the day after they left, making a grand total of 61 hours in 5 days. Worth it, though. My department came out with only 2 deficiencies. I'd like to have 0 next year. In some ways, I feel like I'm still recovering from that grueling week. I know I am recovering in work that got set aside or put off. I'm practically drowning in paperwork that needs to be caught up on!
I haven't done much good for myself lately, either. No real exercise to speak of. And the weather has already reached 120*F outside, so... Yeah. That's the sort of heat that saps your energy even when you're indoors with the A/C running full blast. I'm wondering if we'll see another 100*F at midnight type of summer. Anyway, I want to start something fun like boxing training, but I've decided to wait until mid-ish-July to do so. 1) I'll have another paycheck in the bank. 2) I'll have a set of wheels to go somewhere to train (my granny is going on vacation for 2 months and I get to use her car in the meantime!) 3) I'll have figured out where to go to train by then (I hope). If I was a morning person, which I'm not and never, ever, EVER in my life have EVER been, I would get up early and get in a workout before work. And I'm not going to make myself feel guilty for not doing so. Of course, this leaves the time for me to workout at "after work". Unfortunately, I'm usually pretty exhausted at the end of my work day. I've got a 30 minute commute in addition to my 8.5 hour day. I know if I start small and build up that eventually I'll have more energy than I know what to do with, but it's taking that small step to start it initially. And I'm just not 'there' yet.
Nutritionally, my intake has been varied, at best. Terrible- and I mean terrible- at worst. Lots of junk, convenience foods, and really sh!tty gas station coffee... Which, sadly, is less sh!tty than the coffee brewed in my own work kitchen. I don't drink enough coffee to warrant brewing a pot at home. And Starbucks is always too damn packed in the morning. I got places to GO! Anyway, I digress. Most days of the week I am eating pretty decent dinners, and the leftovers for lunch the next day. My breakfasts are the meals that get sketchy... My lady cooks in the kitchen are all Mexican and they make some really REALLY AWESOME authentic, from scratch, homemade Mexican food breakfasts. Nopales and eggs, chorizo and potatoes, chilequiles, handmade tortillas, and my ultimate favorite- special quesadillas. It's a dish that's strictly regional. I can't even find special quesadillas in San Diego, 120 miles away. Then I try to tell people about them and they think I'm nuts. Let's just say they're stuffed to the gills with cheese and deep fried. For breakfast. Every Friday. YIKES. Then, the rest of the weekend hits...
Could you resist??
Saturdays are my scheduled splurge day.
Just before state walked in (literally, the Saturday before the Monday) was my "niece's" 1st birthday, so I got to go and enjoy that. Us 30-year-olds kicked all the kids outta the bouncy castle and had 5 minutes of fun with that. Had lots of yummy food- sandwiches, potato salad, beer (just like California to have beer at a 1-year-old's birthday party! ), fresh fruit, Caesar salad... Awesome times! Even more awesome is it was NOT in my hometown, so the weather was simply beautiful.
Bouncy castles. Not just for kids.
Last Saturday I got to do something fun and just for me... I hung out with a friend! WOO! We had frozen yogurt. Then, on a whim, decided to go see a movie, where I had popcorn (with that oily fake buttery crap all over it!), nachos with not nearly enough jalapenos, and a huge Mr. Pibb. Granted, that was all I ate that day, but still. You see where this 2 paragraph rant is going. Even my "healthy" meals during the week don't have enough vegetable or fruit elements to them. Whole grains are hit or miss. Lean meats are no problem. Dairy is lacking, too, in many instances. Basically, how the hell am I still alive?! Hahaha, no really, though. Even if- IF- my macronutrients were in ranges, and thanks to my lack of tracking and the fact the SparkPeople now CHARGES for their app LAMEEEEE!!! I don't know if they are or not, the things I'm putting in my body aren't nutritionally dense. I'm sure they're lacking vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber, etc. that my body needs to function optimally.
Today it was super evident. Just before lunch today, my blood sugar plummeted. Luckily, there are nurses as far as the eye can see where I work. So, I ate my lunch and still didn't feel okay. So, I was ordered to drink an orange juice, 4 ounces, with- get this- a packet of sugar added to it. I did as I was told, and while I felt immensely better afterward, can I just say... EW. Over-sweet orange juice is just awful. That alone makes me want to watch myself more closely. And, so, I'm going to be doing just that.
Anyway, that's the long and short of it for me. I've got my kitty's Facebook page up and going if you want to follow along on her angry exploits:
And here is my second to final project for my PhotoShop class (I still can't get my final project to save in a smaller format without crashing my computer... sorry) I can't believe I didn't post this one. It turned out great.
"Bloody Face Boom Boom" is what I've decided my roller derby name will be. If I decide to ever do roller derby. Which I never will. Because I like my teeth just where/they way they are.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
So, for those of you who can recall, oh so long ago (at least that's how it seems to me) that I had set a few goals for the month of April. I started off strong that first week, struggled through the second week, and began what I can only describe as "limping along" for the first part of the third, then getting a job out of nowhere and that was the end of any goals I ever did have!
I know where I lost momentum. I just don't know why. Where did my motivation go? Where did that drive go? I seriously don't know. Am I happy being only halfway to my goal? (No.) Am I content with being a size 14/16 instead of a size 18/20? (No.) Do I like having a Large t-shirt instead of an XL/XXL? (No.) Do I like feeling sluggish and tired because of junky, processed, nutritional wasteland-type foods? (No.) So, what's the dealio, yo? Why do I seem to want to stay this way instead of improving? I don't have an answer for that.
Last week was the end of my classes for the semester. Just in the two weeks that my job and classes overlapped, I have to say: I don't know how people do it. I don't know how people work at a job 8/+ hours a day and then go to classes, too. And fulfill responsibilities at home. I had so little time for homework. I spent an entire day, from the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to bed (waaaaaaaaaay past my bedtime, too) working on my final project for PhotoShop. It turned out nice and everyone had nice things to say about it. I got a 95/100 on it. I'm not disappointed with that grade. I knew I wouldn't get 100pts on it because I didn't do a "compilation" background. I tried, but the vision in my head was not translating to the canvas. So, I took a background, did some modifications on it to better suit my needs, and went with that. I think it turned out better than anything I could have pieced together. Even if it is plagiarism. Or copyright infringement. Whatever. That's all this class has ever been. I would post a completed copy of my project for ya'll to see, but the canvas size was soooooo huge (it was meant to be poster-sized) that I couldn't save it as a .jpeg without crashing my computer. My final product's size (in .psd format) is 1.21gb. Huge. I did, however, get an A in the class overall. So, that's just fine with me.
My stats final... didn't go too well. Thanks to my job and working outrageously huge amounts of hours, I was left with very little time to study. By the time I'd get home from work and sit down to do some homework/studying, I'd be so exhausted I'd fall asleep with my calculator in my lap and my computer on. And he saved the hardest chapter for last: probabilities. I remember them from my last attempt at taking stats. They were hard. And a concept I couldn't easily grasp. And still couldn't by the time our test came around. Sadly, out of the 25 questions on the test, about 18 of them were probability questions from that chapter. The rest were from other chapters throughout the semester. Unfortunately, I don't know my grade from that test or that class yet. At my estimation, the best I could have done is a mid-C. At least I passed it, but the reality is, I needed to also do well in it. It was a class the admissions folks for my Master's Program are going to look at and factor in. :-(
So, let me tell you about this job. It's a DSS position (dietary services supervisor) at a skilled nursing facility. The kitchen there has been long neglected. There are issues up the yin-yang that need to be fixed. And that's where I come in. I oversee the kitchen and dietary doings. So, I've been working on the kitchen and getting it up to code as far as equipment, sanitation training for employees, emergency supplies, etc. Its a lot of work and very long days. I also screen new admits and update their charts regarding their nutrition status. That part involves a lot of paperwork. And a lot of time. It's one of those things that requires a lot of little details in addition to the big picture. I'm glad I can say I'm employed again. I'm glad I can say I am using some part of my schooling, finally... all those 5am days, 4+ hours on public transportation, countless cups of coffee, training... finally paid off. I still feel like I'm learning as I go, and that will possibly always be the case, but I'm glad to be where I am. Now I just need my own car to make life a bit easier.
I'm not sure what my immediate future is going to hold with all these changes and revelations. I still hope to join ballet in the fall. I'd like to get a gym membership to take boxing classes at a local gym. I hope I can still take classes and continue working toward my "higherest" education. Maybe once I've let myself settle into the position over summer, I can be better equipped to integrate class work with my work schedule.
Anyhow, I'm sorry to have dropped off the radar, but now you know why. I am keeping up with you all, slowly and silently. I read your blogs and updates. I just haven't always had the time to drop ya'll a line to let you know I'm still here.
And since it's Mother's Day...
Happy Mother's Day!
Hmmm... I need a new pic! This was like... 3 years ago.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
#1, maybe in light of some recent events in our United States and the world, a positive pick-me-up blog is what you or someone you may know needs:
#2, "April Take Back" week 2 was rough for me. I feel like every step was a struggle. I had to constantly push and force and this and that. My calories were all way over where they should have been (and as such, many other macronutrients as well). My vitamin intake was low, also. I may have to consider supplements. I couldn't get a handle on how much I was taking in, even if I thought I was eating really healthy. I also know I ate passed midnight at least 2 nights. My fitness minutes are in dispute. Spark counts a week as Sun-Sat, starting anew on Sunday. But, April began on Monday, so I'm counting my weeks as Mon-Sun. So, I either came in 27 minutes short or was at 181 fitness minutes. Depends on how you wanna look at it. Personally, I like the numbers of where I was successful!
However, my fitness has not been all that consistent. I skipped workouts two days in a row, worked out a day, then skipped a day again, worked out, skipped another day... I need to workout daily, and plan for 1 or 2 rest days (at most) in the week. My first two workouts of the week were just over 30 minutes long, and then the next one was 48 minutes, and the next 58 minutes. I'd like to keep them consistently higher (although 30 is my month's minimum, so maybe I need to just chillax). Despite the spotty record, I do find that my endurance has improved a bit. I am still literally dripping with sweat by the end, but I find I'm able to go longer, do more reps, etc. It's the little things...
I weighed myself and found I gained 2 full pounds. I'm not trusting that number, though, because it's TOM for me, so I'm sure I'm bloated and retaining water. Also, that could explain my sh!tty nutrition for the week. So, I know what needs improving for this week. Its going to be tough (I have yet another stats test on Thursday... didn't I just take one of those?!?!) and I need to be consistent and schedule myself accordingly.
#3, Boston. I just have no words. I'm heartbroken. I can only hope the jerk(s) who did this are brought to justice. I keep the people affected in my prayers and thoughts. Today, in honor of them, I'm wearing my Iron Girl t-shirt, since it's my only race shirt, and I wear it in solidarity with the running/fitness community [and the world community]. All my love to the big city that feels like a little city!
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