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Weekend getaway and August plans

Monday, August 04, 2014

Here it is Monday and I find myself needing to regroup and recommit. Again. But cest' la vie, I've been trying to enjoy my summer--its always been my favorite time of year.

I've been working my butt off at work trying to prove I am deserving of my promotion, so when I get home, the last thing I feel like doing is being more productive.

Last weekend, not this past weekend, my boyfriend and I took a little weekend getaway to Shenandoah, which was truly the perfect getaway. We drove out there on Friday and got a 6.6mile hike in. Then, we still had to drive up to our campsite but it was closer to evening by then, so it was prime wildlife time--we saw tons of deer and 3 separate black bear sightings, including a mother with her cubs, the cubs were so tiny! I was glad I was in the car though, throughout our hike we kept a steady stream of showtunes going so we would scare off any bears lol. I totally killed my knees by the end of the hike, but it was worth it. Just a lot of uneven surface with rocks and going down, my knees simply can't handle it; I'd rather go up. Luckily, we reversed the hike by accident and we actually did the steep part going up at the end of the hiike which worked out better for me. I was carrying my camera backpack, snacks/water for the day, and after 3+ hours, Spark claims I burned over 800 calories. I doubt, but it was still a work out.

Saturday we had a ziplining tour in the morning, we've both been ziplining before so although it was tons of fun, there wasn't much novelty there. But at the end of the tour we had to rappel our way down, and not against anything. Normally you rappel down a wall or something, nope, this was freely down with a rope, it took a lot to trust yourself that when you let go you didn't just free fall down--adrenaline going!
That afternoon we relaxed, as planned, not that my knees could handle anymore hiking anyway, and did a little tour of Virginia wine country in that area. It was a beautiful day, warm, the wineries we went to had some great views, oh, and the wine was good ;) bf let me do most of the tastings so he could drive--always have to be responsible.

That evening we built up a big campfire, drank more wine, and ate lots of s'mores. Totally negated my hiking from the previous day but so worth it.
Sunday we made the drive back, stopping at a few more wineries, I drove so bf could do more of the tastings instead :)

Anyways, while that little weekend getaway was perfect, I think it really kicked my sweet tooth into overdrive (must have been all those amazing s'mores). And we didn't have time to go grocery shopping sunday evening when we got back so the whole week was pretty much a food wash. I tried to get salads for lunch but I had several binges, including one evening where my dinner was popcorn. This past weekend was also a mix of health and not so much. We did a fitness trail (fitness stops like bars and stuff along a bike trail) near us, which took about an hour to complete, and we were legit trying to run/jog between stations. Really enjoyed that. But Friday we went to a wine/chocolate/cheese bistro bar and consumed far too much of all those things, and Saturday fared no better. But, grocery shopping finally got done over the weekend and I am DETERMINED to stick to my calories this week.

I keep reading that diet is more important than exercise. I really need to hunker down and focus on that. We leave for our whirlwind new england road trip to see friends/family in 3 weeks and I want people to NOTICE my efforts. I have my meals planned this week. I just need to not let myself slip so much on the weekends and get my binging under control.

Wish me luck!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMZBEE 8/5/2014 9:51AM

    WOW! Looks like an amazing weekend! All of that hiking and walking DEFINITELY negated those s'mores. emoticon

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KABMPH 8/5/2014 9:07AM

    Sounds lovely!

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BONOLICIOUS2 8/5/2014 8:17AM

    Wowwww beautiful! That is Virginia?! I always think of 495 when I think of Virginia and shudder.

I also had no idea Virginia has BEARS. Ahhhhhhhhhh!

Although you ate smores and all of that, a few days away with wine and camping and everything is good for your SOUL. Gotta take care of that too sometimes!

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KIKKI-G 8/4/2014 9:32PM

    Sounds like a good time & what weekends are all about !

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IRP1114 8/4/2014 3:40PM

    Glad you are enjoying your summer! I agree it is time to kick it up a notch!! Let's do this! emoticon

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CLRWILLIAMS25 8/4/2014 2:37PM

    Love your photos from your trip! I feel like this is the perfect time of year to visit wineries and see the other half of our state :)
So cool you saw black bears, especially the babies :) I have been hiking with others while they've seen bears, but I always seem to miss the actual bear sighting!
Like PPs have already said, stick to your plan and you'll do great! Also, I follow Get In Shape Girl on FB and the challenge she posted this month is to do 100 reps of something every day. Might be easy for you to add in to your evenings (or at work!) to get a little bit of exercise in after a long day.

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CHODGES83 8/4/2014 1:40PM

    Sounds like a great weekend! Definitely need those every so often- I'd like them to be more often than not, ha!

Hope this week treats you well!

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EMMY_DUCKIE149 8/4/2014 1:25PM

    Jealous of your weekend adventure. Sounds fun!

Get it! Stay determined!

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ARUNNINGKAT 8/4/2014 1:00PM

    Your weekend adventures sound like so much fun! I realized last weekend that I really need to get out and enjoy nature more than I do now. I miss it!

I know you will do a great job of sticking to your goals and achieving what you want to before your upcoming trip!

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 8/4/2014 12:54PM

    Your weekend trip sounds right up my alley!! Glad you had a great time with your bf! Planning your meals for the week will definitely help to keep you on track.

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On my mind lately

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

First of all, I just want to say a big thank you to all of you especially on my last blog for all your support and encouragement! And for helping me feel not so alone and for understanding that sometimes we just get into funks, and thats okay. Your words are truly appreciated.

I'm feeling a little better than that last blog. I know I need to focus on things I CAN control, and I usually do have that mindset, sometimes I just get caught up. One thing at a time.

emoticon My job. My managers still suck. But I realized its not the end of the world; my manager should be lucky that I care so much about my job and doing well that I'm busting my butt proving that I DO deserve my promotion despite her saying I won't (again, how can you tell me months out I won't get it? obviously you're not even reviewing my performance since the period isn't over and I've done nothing but good work). Also they gave me a special project I am thrilled to be involved in. I still put my feelers out and applied to a couple other jobs. My boss is also retiring in another year or so, so at this point, I really don't mind staying where I am. I'm working hard, I mostly like what I do, it pays well and I get vacation. Those things are important to me. While I would also like recognition for the things I do, I can't have it all. This job is not a be all end all of my career.

emoticon My boyfriend. I need to find a way to deal better when I'm put into a situation where I'm made to feel bad about myself b/c its 7 years and my boyfriend can't commit. My friend was in town recently with her mom (more on that later) and her mom was asking about us and basically asked why, what is taking him so long? I obviously don't know! My own mother always reminds me (but with derogatory undertones) that her and my father were together 7 years before getting married. Yep, I'm there. Over 7 years, hellooo. We had a uncharacteristically huge fight recently that kind of rattled me. I also brought it up again, not demanding where is my ring, but we need to be honest with each other and you need to be fair to me, so if this isn't what you need to tell me. So yeah, I can never get much out of him. I think I'll end up proposing to him!

emoticon Friends. I still wish I had more friends where I live. Finding out recently that I wasn't invited to a bachelorette party for a friend I see monthly (however I was invited to the wedding) kind of hurt. I panicked during my fight with my bf that I have no support if we break up, so I ended up going out to a girlnight meetup, which was fun, but it seemed like a one time thing nobody was interested in further reaching out to each other. I had a friend from high school come visit me recently b/c she was in town for a wedding, but I hadn't seen or talked to her in years. That felt really good she contacted me and it was great catching up! It's amazing how sometimes a little hey lets catch up can bring a friend back in your life, least I hope!

emoticon emoticon Food/fitness/health. So my friend who came into town recently is one of my best childhood friends, I'll be her co-maid of honor in her wedding (don't get me started on the "co" thing). So she was in town for a pageant, which right away I will say I don't support. I can see ones (and I was actually in one and won myself in high school) that are actual scholarship programs and don't require one to parade around half naked. This was not that kind of pageant, it was a true pageant, not even talent, just be "beautiful" and walk a runway. Anyways, she hired a pageant "personal trainer" who whipped her butt "into shape" and I asked her if she had her on a diet too...she said, well its kind of unhealthy (um red flag) but it really produces results. The gist of her diet seemed to be rice cakes and applesauce, with on occasional egg and half a banana. she also had to eat every few hours and was encouraged to eat a couple pieces of candy to "stay perky." UMMMM And her mother was going on and on about how wonderful she looks and how amazing she looks and she's never had abs before and just look at her! and yet her mother admitted shes gotten comments from others that she's too skinny! I showed her pics to my bf, and a few other close friends and they all agreed she was too skinny. So allow me to body bash and be jealous for minute (also, how does that make sense that I'm jealous and yet most people think shes too skinny). okay, done. she is a stunning girl, always has been tall, we met as dancers so she still looks the part, but I'm sorry how is that worth it? and of course I'm jealous that she has the will power and can afford a "personal trainer" (although anyone who calls themself that then recommends a diet like that is NOT in my opinion, a healthy-focused personal trainer) and gets "results." But I will NEVER look like her. I'm not shaped like her I'm not tall like her I could never look the pageant part, not that I want to. Its actually sad I really dont know why she wants to do pageants and subject herself to being unhealthy in the first place. Anyways, now I'm worried she's going to keep this up for her wedding in a year. I'll be the short fat maid next to her-ha! Its fine, everyone will be looking at her. Okay, rant over.

I just need to continue on my journey in a healthy way. Which has been incredibly hard lately. I've been doing a lot of barre so I feel like my stamina isn't quite there b/c I'm not getting a lot of cardio. I really need to step it up. I've been drinking and eating too much on weekends and negating any week progress.

I'm going on vacation in August, for a whirlwind tour around new england where my bf and I are from, visiting family and friends, and in general just being tourists in our home states. Really looking forward to it! But from now until then I really need to step it up so I look good for that.
emoticon pick it up on the cardio
emoticon Continue barre
emoticon Less drinking, try to aim for none
emoticon Less food cheats (that giant muffin last week, donuts were brought into work, frozen yogurt "because its hot out")
emoticon More meal planning.
I know, not smart goals
Just over 5 weeks until vacation! mini vacation weekend camping in less than 2, whoo hoo! I love summer! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGEL_AMBER 7/16/2014 9:05AM

    Wow that diet sounds crazy that your friend is on. And unhealthy. I would assume she won't be able to keep it up long-term and I bet in a few years she may actually turn to you for weight loss advice.

My boyfriend took 5 years to propose and it was always a huge fight for us. I just wanted to know where we stood. If we had the same goals. I eventually said 'look i do not want to force you to propose, but I just need to know we are on the same page because I would like to spend the rest of my life with you. And if you asked me right now I would say yes and marry you. I just need to know you feel the same way."

After that fight - he proposed 5 months later.

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CHODGES83 7/15/2014 3:38PM

    Your story about the skinny pictures made me think of Bethenny Frankel. Not sure you saw the picture of her in her 4y/o daughter's pjs, but it just seems irresponsible. I understand there are thin people, but they still need to be healthy and treating their body well. Being thin shouldn't outweigh being healthy (weird choice of words, but you get what I'm saying, think). I'd say you're doing what you should be and your goals are great! Keep it up and enjoy that vacation!

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BONOLICIOUS2 7/15/2014 1:17PM

    Ummm wow! I really want to see the pageant pix haha. But that sounds crazy! I often find myself wishing I could afford a nutritionist and a trainer, but I also don't want to depend on anyone else for my success. Don't you think it means a bit more when you kick your own self into gear?! But us folks conserving our cash have to do what we can and that is the best we can do. AND THAT IS OKAY!

And your guess is totally as good as mine on why we're not wifey material. Good jobs, cook and clean, sweethearts not on drugs or blowing our credit cards. Hmmm...

Anyways, be the best you that you can be and keep on truckin'!

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RYDERB 7/15/2014 1:01PM

    I'm so happy to learn you're feeling better. Stay strong. You're amazing and could never be "the fat" maid-of-honor. Good luck getting in your cardio. emoticon

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ARUNNINGKAT 7/15/2014 12:27PM

    Love your goals! That whole meal planning and keeping food in check is quite the battle isn't it??

It is great that you put things "down on paper" so to speak. I think that is very healthy and helps assess where you truly are, rather than having all your thoughts just swirling around in your head, always present, but never completely organized. Or at least that is how I feel sometimes! emoticon

Take care of yourself! You are going to rock your vacation preparations and have a great trip!

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VEG954 7/15/2014 11:16AM

  You are doing all things necessary to make positive changes.
Lighten up and give yourself credit for what you have done.

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In need of...

Monday, June 23, 2014

a hug?
a mental health day?
a yoga and spa session?
an eat-pray-love find my soul type getaway?

I've been feeling down lately. Like break down. melt down. quarter life crisis. I can't even exactly pin point what it is, which is almost more frustrating than feeling this way.

I get so caught up in the misery of the daily grind--is this all there is to life? I'm not meal planning. I can't bring myself to do much of anything in evenings, especially if I do work out. I resent that my daily life is work, workout, sleep (badly, at that). I'm not working out as hard as I should so I don't think my endorphins are kicking in enough to curb my anxiety. I'm not rested. I can't function without coffee in the morning. I'm not motivated. Last night the tension pain in my neck and shoulders was so bad I barely slept. I don't sleep well normally but it was especially bad.

My job, which I was once excited about because it directly uses my degree (which was important to me) and I was on a career track, has been in the decline. My supervisor has already told me I won't get my final promotion (which is completely unethical and maybe unlawful to tell me that months out, which means you're not basing the decision on my performance...but that's a whole other rant) and my management in general treats us like children. They drastically reduced our telework for no reason. She gets upset bc we wear capris (dress capris) to work. She thinks none of us actually work when we do telework. She is complete idiot, really, I have had to show her how to send emails and format Word documents before. I'm feeling under appreciated and its not good to feel like your supervisor doesn't feel like you do anything (when teleworking, or in general) the only reason I don't take it too personally is because she feels that way about her whole team. She just can't manage her employees. So yeah, the level of frustration I have is really getting to me.

I'm just extra down b/c this past weekend posted all over facebook was a couple of our graduate school friends getting married. So it felt like a double whammy--1) that this couple had been together less than my bf and I and are now married, and 2) we were like the only people from graduate school who were not invited, so that kind of hurt, and highlighted the fact that yet again, I feel like I have no friends.

And then of course there's the never ending struggle with my body. I haven't been able to lose any weight and I am still down only 5 lbs from my starting and a full 7lbs up from my lowest. But I can't get motivation to eat less and track, so what can I expect?

My birthday and my anniversary with my bf came and went recently and I'm now a year older and we are another year more together and nothing's changed. I know that sounds ungrateful. I just don't know what to do with my life, or what I'm expecting out of it. I know I should be grateful, and on paper, I am doing well, I have a good job, I'm able to pay my bills and enjoy the expensive area I live in, I love my kitty and I have a wonderful committed boyfriend. But sometimes I just get overwhelmed with the mundane and fantasize about leaving everything behind and traveling the know? *sigh*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRP1114 6/27/2014 2:37PM

    emoticon emoticon
Sparkmailed you! emoticon

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GREGGWEISBROD 6/27/2014 1:54PM

    *hugs* :( Any summer vacation plans on the horizon? :D Those always help me out my daily grind funks. I've read a few of your recent posts just now as well, and that sucks about your struggles forming a nice group of friends to chill with. I feel like I just luckily land ass backwards into circles of friends, cause whenever I actively try to make friends it's always an awkward and self-conscious mess. *one more hug* :)

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SONICB 6/26/2014 3:03PM

    Sending emoticon your way. Really sorry to hear about the job situation... I hope things get better for you soon. Hearing ahead of time that I wouldn't get that final promotion might lead me to at least start looking at other jobs to see if there are better opportunities out there.

Re: the marriage thing... I find that a lot of people rush into it (after dating for only 1 or 2 years!). I might not be one to speak having been with my bf for almost 6 years in August, but a lot of couples I know who married after 1-2 years end up divorcing or cheating on each other.

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RYDERB 6/25/2014 4:06PM

Hope things turn around soon.

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RAINEMARIE214 6/24/2014 3:10PM

    I feel like 6 months ago I could have written this blog entry for you :( I am sorry you are feeling so down.

You know what happened to me (and I had been with my bf less than you) but I finally said a decision had to be made and it resulted in us breaking up. I was really sad, but now, after 6 months, I know that it was the best thing for me because if I hadnt felt so "free" I wouldnt be making so many huge changes in my life right now. Two years ago I blogged constantly about how much I hated my job, felt like my career was going nowhere, and last year felt like my relationship wasnt progressing how I wanted it to. I know if my relationship hadnt ended, I would be writing those same blogs again now, though - instead, I finally had the confidence and freedom to make the changes that are absolutely necessary for me.

I am not saying that you need to do that, too. I'm just saying that it was what I needed to finally get out of my funk and make the changes that I really needed, even if it is terrifying at times! Maybe now is a good time for you to start looking for new jobs, maybe make one change at at a time and see if that helps? Maybe its time to have a serious discussion with your bf about how you are feeling.

I hope you start feeling better soon!

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EDDYMEESE 6/23/2014 9:55PM

    I am with you 100%, my friend.

1. Marriage - I'm sorry you weren't invited. Just tell yourself it is their loss. Just because they've been together less time and are now married means nothing. I do the same. I have friends who, in the last 6 years, have gone from single to dating to engaged to married to 2 kids...and my ovaries and I are sitting here watching life pass us by, lol. One thing I promise you: only you know what you have. It is easy to look at other people and wish we had what they do - but we don't really know that their life is all that great. I have friends who are "jealous" of my career (but no kids) and I'm "jealous" that they have kids (but no career). It is human nature to look at other people and think the grass is greener...

2. Friends - sigh. Like I said on your "Friends" blog, I get it.

3. Weight - at some point, you have to see past what you think you see and see what everyone else is seeing...which is a rockin' body :) But that's all up to you. It is hard, I know.

4. Work - that seriously sucks. I know you were really excited about this job. Keep the job and start looking elsewhere? Would your BF be willing to relocate or are you feeling stuck? If you can relocate, you might find more exciting opportunities elsewhere!

5. I call it "the itch". We get into that rut of life and wonder if this is all there is. I tend to start to think about just up and leaving. If I wasn't married, I'd have been long gone. It is really hard to find the meaning of life when you feel like it's all work and no play. Maybe you need to create your own play. I know it is easier said than done.

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SHRINKING_SARA 6/23/2014 4:12PM


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ARUNNINGKAT 6/23/2014 3:10PM

    Sending hugs your way dear friend! I understand how you are feeling so very well because I have been going through a similar rut lately. Slightly different issues, but the same lost feeling. Unfortunately, I still don't have it figured out so I can't provide any help for you except to let you know that you are not alone. emoticon

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BONOLICIOUS2 6/23/2014 2:25PM

    You know I hear you loud and clear... ugh. We gotta plan our meet up!

Sounds like it might be a good time to start the job search. Believe it or not, our supervisors make a HUGE difference in our job satisfaction. You could be a widget processor in a widget factory and it wouldn't matter if your supervisor gave you a career path, coaching, used common sense, etc. A bad supervisor is toxic and can definitely bleed into other areas of your life. I was reading your blog and felt the same vibe I had with a bad supervisor and it made me cringe. Gotta cut the negativity! If you want the better environment, you gotta be the one to make the change.

I also have been seeing loads of proposals and weddings on my newsfeed these days. It causes so much self doubt and everything. Is the big wedding what you want? Might be time to stick your priorities out there in clear english for the bf. If you're unsure, hang out a bit more. But don't let everyone else dictate what should make you happy or fulfilled! Follow your own path and don't forget to check in with "yourself" over others!

But seriously, I hear you. Maybe we should play hookie together one day and have sushi and mani/pedis. Yes?!

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AMBERLICIOUS88 6/23/2014 2:07PM

    Awe sweetie, I get sad when I hear someone is feeling this way. I admit I get this way a lot too...I just don't blog when I'm feeling that way, so good for you getting off your chest. Not being married doesn't make you any less of a person, and unfortunately that is not something you can control. Neither is a crappy boss/workplace. Diet and exercise IS something we can control, but don't let it control your life. Please remember, there are people out there with ALOT more than 7 lbs to worry about. And you look amazing the way you are already. I would kill for your body! When I start feeling the way you are right now, I start thinking about gratitude and how many people are so much more worse off than I am. When I think of my problems that way it seems to make them seem so small....cheer up! Maybe a spa day/massage will fix you up!

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VALIENDRA 6/23/2014 1:28PM

    I am sorry you feel that way. I cannot tell you what's the purpose of life as I have no idea. When I was a bit younger, around your age actually, that question made my life difficult. Was it really all there were to life? Working, sleeping, doing laundry and the likes... Well, it took myself some times to figure it out but eventually, I started doing something I really wanted to, changed my career path (still not happy with work but it's getting there) and I got involved in things I liked. I love volleyball though I lack coordination so I found a league in which I play every week. I tried hockey so my boyfriend and I had something to do together on a daily basis. I tried golf for the same reason. I started scrap booking and I've done pretty cool things.

Now, if work sucks, quit. That's all. You need to be happy and feel involved to give your best. So if it's not happening and if it's possible, make the move.

Good luck and feel better ☼

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 6/23/2014 1:09PM

    I am so sorry you're going through a tough time. Definitely do something for yourself to decompress and relax. Have you had a talk with your boyfriend recently about your feelings?

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HUSKERLAND3 6/23/2014 9:56AM

    Keep your head up.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche

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Monday, May 19, 2014

This blog really has nothing to do with Spark or related health/fitness things. I will say I am doing 2 weeks of barre3 online workouts because I have a 2 week trial. And I'm trying to stay within my calories as much as possible and eat healthy. You know, the usual. The three pound loss that showed up recently was bloat loss post bad eating wedding weekend.

Anyways, I'm feeling a bit blue right now and need to get it out. I'm kind of down on myself because I don't have a lot of friends. Summer is coming and there's so many things going on and all I can think is that I really wish I had friends to go out and do stuff with. Or even just a casual, come hang out by my pool with me!

This has always been an issue with me, feeling like I don't have friends and having anxiety about people not liking me (could be related to me not having many friends to begin with, but I guess that's another issue). If I reach out to people and they don't respond, I assume they don't like me and I give up and get depressed. I feel like I make friends easily but when it's not reciprocated I think, I guess they didn't really like me after all.

I moved down here almost three years ago from graduate school. College was hard for me because I was never friends with my roommates and I didn't bond with people my freshman year and I feel like most people did, so if you didn't, you pretty much missed the boat on lasting friendships. I came out of college with 1, maybe 2, friends I still keep in touch with, and of course, my boyfriend. I'm envious of girls that plan getaway weekends and reunions. Graduate school was better, I think being in a small cohort allows you all to bond better. I was lucky that a few of those friends ended up moving down here too. But, I just found out today that one couple is moving back home for job/family (she just found out shes pregnant). *sigh* I understand this is the course most people take in life. But to be completely selfish, there goes 50% of my friends/people that I knew down here. So yeah, do the math. 2 people. 2 friends. I've blogged about this before but it really gets to me that I don't have a great set of "sex and the city" type friends I can count on and be close with, and I feel like I should have that, and want that, at this point in my life. I love my bf and we have so much fun together, I DO consider him my best friend, but its not healthy for him to be my only social life, and I long for girls nights and the like. I keep feeling like if my bf and I ever broke up I would have zero support and zero friends to lean on, and it kind of makes me panic. I have a little bit of a girlfriends outlet at work, two of my coworkers are similar in age and we often get coffee or go get lunch. But they ask me about my weekend plans or tell me about theirs but there's never any consideration to hang out beyond work.

And before you all tell me to join groups or try Meetups, I've definitely done that. And yes, I should do more. But the meetups are always so awkward, I've rarely clicked with anyone, and if I do, I revert back to the nobody reaches out to me (even if I reach out to them) so I guess they didn't like me mindset. I also had a bad experience where I fell in to a group of ladies I met via meetup, but then they started cliquing and blatantly not inviting me out beyond meetup. Definitely not looking for high school drama in my friendships.

Sad, but true, this lack of friends makes me anxious about getting married. Not that that will ever even happen, but I have had the thought that I wouldn't have anyone to be in my party let alone invite to the wedding. Not sure what it is about me or why its so hard to find friends! I need to focus on positivity and what I DO have in my life, not what I wish I had. But friendships are an integral part of a fulfilled life and I just feel like there's a void in mine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Making friends is never easy, but instead of trying meetups, why don't you try making friends at one of your activities. If you decide to stick with the Barre workouts, you'll find you start to hang out with a few people more and more, and let things grow slowly.

The hardest thing is when you get super-attached to early (like me). I've met lots and lots of people through climbing and foosball, and, because I do them regularly, they see me so often that we've become friends. Most of them, I don't hang out with outside of climbing, but some have become close friends.

I would always recommend activities over meetups: during a sport/activity, you're doing something and then chatting a little before/after. It takes a lot of the awkward out of early friendship forming: it's not an awkward silence! It's time to move!

Good luck: it's not easy, I know :(

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EDDYMEESE 5/22/2014 9:11PM

    My brother and his wife are perfect for each other. They have SO MANY friends between the two of them - joint and from before they got together. Heck, my brother is friends with people he's known for 25 years. They are the people you're talking about - she's in Mexico with girlfriends, he meets up with friends non-stop for drinks. If he has a BBQ, the place is packed.

I left undergrad with ZERO friends (well, one, but she had a baby and that was that).

I left vet school with 4 friends, none of whom fall into the Sex in the City category. I only talk to one of them regularly, the other sporadically, and two others none at all. Yes, we might go out once a year, but that's it.

That's it. I'm 34. I have 1, maybe 2 friends.

When I graduated vet school, everyone on the list of invitees for my little party was either family or my brother's friends (and so sort of mine since we're a close family). Nobody there was MY friend, lol. How sad is that???

So I totally understand. The older you get, the harder it is, for sure, because people have their cliques and people have families and such.

I guess the question I'd ask you is this: do you think that YOU put in enough effort? Because I know that I was never that person who always said yes to offers of going out, never invited people to hang out, never really put myself out there. So...?

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STFRENCH 5/20/2014 3:37PM

    I wish I had some wise advice to give you, but in this case, I find myself in a bit of a similar situation. I had a great group of friends whom I had met through our midwife, when we all had our babies through the same year. Then, at some point, the group splintered in two. And, lately, I have felt myself becoming more and more removed from what is left of our group. Most of my friends have had other babies, which I didn't, and they have bonded further over this, leaving me a bit on the sidelines. Also, as a single mum, I often do not have enough money to go out, and I am missing out on a lot of bonding there. This weekend only, I've worked out that the person I would have called my best friend has had a massive change in her life circumstances. But, she never told me: I only guessed at it through her Facebook status. But I know from a fact that the other members of the group will already have known about it. And that made me feel really sad and isolated and maybe even a little bit jealous :( But I honestly do not know what to do about it. I try to cultivate friendships in other places, like my Zumba group or work, but even then, it's nothing very profound. I think the person I'm the closest to is Carol, whom I used to job-share with but that's just about it. I wish my Sparkfriends were physically closer to me! :) xx

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STODD251 5/20/2014 12:44PM

    So many of us seem to be feeling this way... I feel like there has got to be a solution. I know I'm in the same boat, and so is my sister, and a bunch of people I've met on sparkpeople. It's such a common problem. We really should start doing meetups with sparkfriends. There are so many people on here that have been truer friends to me than many past college/high school/grad school acquaintances, but I've never even met any of you. I wish I had an answer for you, but all I can say is at least we're not alone in our aloneness. You're better than me because at least you've showed up to Meetup groups. I've never had the nerve to actually go to one... Maybe try asking about weekend plans with some of the girls from work sometime. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. My best friends in my area are actually people I worked with, so that can work.

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IRP1114 5/20/2014 12:21PM

    You got some great suggestions : )

I agree it is a common thing to have trouble making new friends in our busy worlds. Even if we have multiple friends they aren't all mutual friends where we can hang out all together the way it happens in childhood.

Try looking at your life being perfectly unique, and not so much as what it "should" be. We all get caught up in this in one way or another but the reality is we all have unique circumstances for everything including friendships.

Anyone would be lucky to have you as a friend. I know I would love to join you in finding that perfect circle of friends to have a girls night with ; ) Bet it would be easy to do if all of our mutual spark friends lived much closer than we do!

Smile and enjoy your life chica! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHODGES83 5/20/2014 11:01AM

    It's kind of surprising reading these responses seeing other women feeling like they don't fit into a group. I feel like it speaks volumes about our society, but I won't get on my soapbox in the comment section of your honest blog.

I have always fell in and out of groups of friends. I have a few close girls from grade school/high school. I also find myself relying to much on my husband to make plans for us or waiting for the women to make plans for us or hanging out with my 13y/o daughter. Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with her, but it's obviously not the same dynamic as hanging out with your girlfriends.

So that being said I sort of unconsciously started making plans for this summer and inviting select people to do things instead of trying to arrange big get togethers that inevitably fall through because everyone is on a different schedule. Fingers crossed.

What I'm saying is put yourself out there. Baby steps, Bob, baby steps.

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CARADAWN 5/20/2014 11:01AM

    I totally understand! I have never been the girl to have a big group of friends and I was always envious of those girls. I had two good friends in college, neither of which I keep in touch with now, and only one friend when I moved to the city I currently live in. But, I tried everything you have (meetups, joinging groups, etc.) and ended up making another great friend who has now moved away.

With that being said I have actually made more friends since being married and having kids. I have met a few moms that I really like through my daughter (music class and just in the neighborhood). And I have also met my best friend for the past few years through my running group. I still don't have huge girls nights out or a big group to get together with but I have one really close friend in town and my best friend from growing up as well as my family to lean on. There is nothing wrong with only having one or two good friends. Life happens and people come and go - don't give up!!

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LIFEASMRSA 5/20/2014 9:26AM

    Sorry for your situation and honestly I don't havw any solutions for your either.. Not sure what you do for work.. But do you get along with your coworkers? Maybe start there since you may all have common ground because you all work together?? Or maybe you can connect with someone on spark who lives close to you? emoticon

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KABMPH 5/20/2014 9:04AM

    This is so normal. It gets increasingly hard to make friends as we get older. Here's an article about it:
nted=all&_r=0 This article helped me so much deal with the sadness of not having close friends nearby.

You know that I also live in the DC area. It's a transient place. I've been here 9 years now and most of the people I became friends with have moved. Now that I'm older, I haven't made "replacement" friends. (That sounds awful!) I have tried Meetups too but they ARE awkward. I became friends with one person through Meetup but recently decided to unfriend her because she's, well, IMHO, crazy. ;-)

I find that as I get older, more and more people are unacceptable to me. Trying to make friends now is sort of like dating. It's painful and more often than not, unsuccessful.

And you know how envious many people will be that you met your BF in college and you are still together, through grad school and everything?!

I have days where I feel the same as you do. But I try to, most of the time, to maintain my friendships across the country (and globe!) by visiting, Skyping*, emailing, Facebooking, etc. to keep myself part of their lives.

*In fact, my book club disbanded after a couple of people moved. Now there are 4 of us, each in different time zones, who meet on a Google Hangout every couple of months to discuss a book we read together. It's AWESOME.

Comment edited on: 5/20/2014 9:05:20 AM

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BONOLICIOUS2 5/20/2014 8:41AM

    Oh my goodness, we have had very similar experiences. I only have 1-2 good friends, they don't live here either, and I've even had the same thoughts of "if I got married I'd be better off eloping because I don't have anyone to be in my wedding party" - seriously, I GET THAT. Weird!

That being said - HEY - don't you live close by me?! And I have the same problem? Why don't we meet up?! duh!

I know meeting strangers is awkward and weird and I'm a bit of an introvert so it is a stretch, but you seem un-homicidal and I don't have a pool anymore that I can go to (as long as you don't tell anyone how bad I look in a bathing suit!) Seems like an opportunity to me!

Anyways, I always try to remind myself that quality is better than quantity when it comes to friends. I'd rather have less people that I trust, like, and are cool than force myself to deal with dishonest, stupid or lame people. You have standards, that is pretty cool!

Chin up! And breathe the drama free air!

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CLRWILLIAMS25 5/19/2014 9:22PM

    *hugs* That really stinks that you don't feel like you're clicking with people, especially with the Meetups, as they are a place where I assumed people were tying to meet other people and not be cliquey. I really do wish we lived closer, even if it was for wine and tv watching. You should still go out and do/see all of the fun stuff that happens around DC this summer, even if you don't always have someone to share the experience with. You always look happy in your pictures when you're out and about :)

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BRAINYBLONDE5 5/19/2014 8:18PM

    I can relate completely! I am seriously going through the exact same thing! If you lived close, TRUST ME, we would be friends. its tough and I wish I had more to say, but you are not alone. emoticon

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/19/2014 6:31PM

    I feel your pain, but unfortunately I don't have any great solutions for you. I think the hard part is that people in general are horrible at follow-up and actually making their great ideas happen. I try to make sure that I don't utter the infamous idle idea like "Oh, we will have you over for dinner sometime" and then fail to follow through, but I know that I have done it a time or two. And I have run into a lot of people that do the same thing to me. Oh yes, I do wonder if they just don't care to be friends, but then try to assume the this case the best being that they are just horrible at follow through. Dealing with people can be hard sometimes. I guess that I suggest that you still take the initiative and just work to not let any disinterest hurt you. Invite your work friends out for a glass of wine on the weekend and see what happens. emoticon

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Posing for pics (with pics!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I'm in full beat myself up mode right now and I need to snap out of it. The wedding that I've been talking about was this past weekend, the one where the bride asked me to do a reading in the ceremony. I guess I did well, people I obviously didn't know (since I pretty much only knew the bride and groom and a couple of the wedding party) kept coming up to me after saying what a wonderful job I did. More importantly, the wedding was wonderful, the bride looked gorgeous, the weather held out, the speeches made everyone cry, and overall, it was the perfect day (or what looked like it) for her and I was so happy for her!!

I got to re-wear a dress that I wore for my cousin's wedding a few years ago. The dress has one strap so I wanted to do my hair sweeping on the opposite side, it came out like this:

I got several compliments on my dress and even the bride told me I looked gorgeous, and I'm like what are you saying, not as much as you!! I have a hard time with compliments. Pictures came out and all of it went right out the window. If you've followed me for some time, you know I am incredibly self-conscious of my arms, and here's why:

I have a hard time looking at this. I literally hate my arms. Even my dress that I got so many compliments on looks all weird and bunchy and I'm like what were people seeing? I pretty much just think I look awful. I am TRYING my hardest to blame my inability to pose properly for pictures and that I don't ACTUALLY look that big. Here's another pic of me at yet another wedding we went to recently:

I did the 'ole hand on my hip elbow sticking out bit that is most flattering on my arms, but it doesn't always look natural, so I opted not to do it in the one above. Obviously that was a big mistake. But it has me thinking, how in the world am I ever supposed to get a flattering picture that is not the contrived hand on hip pose? Literally, it makes me dread being in my friend's wedding party or heaven forbid it actually happens, my own wedding, where there will literally be hundreds of pictures taken of me. Any advice on posing for pics?

I gained 4 pounds over the weekend which I'm sure is mostly bloat (I rarely drink alcohol two nights in a row) and eating badly. On Saturday before the wedding we found this brunch place near our hotel that was amazing:

Yeah, that would be fluffy French toast with craisins and pecans and brown sugar sauce. To. die. for. and I ate almost ALL of it. The wedding then had a candy bar which I proceeded to finish my bag of on the flight home. Mother's day was good, I hadn't been able to make it home in a few years to see my mom but I did this year since the wedding was close, and she was very happy to have me and my sister home. We spent all day drinking tea and sitting out in the sun... emoticon it was just lovely. Then of course being wonderful mom she is, showers her love (love=food) on me and I was sent home with copious amounts of baked goods, cornbread, banana bread, and oatmeal raisin cookies. Talk about carb overload.

I keep thinking about how thick my arms look. I don't know what will help. While I am up a few pounds from where I've been and where I'd like to be, I don't think diet and exercise will help me. I don't know what to do. Right now my plan is to get strict with my calories and continue working out, and no alcohol until my birthday (june 3).

And here's a picture of my baby, I had my friend cat sit her when I was gone, pretty sure she fell in love with her. She tends to have that effect on people :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STFRENCH 5/14/2014 9:47AM

    Loving your fur-baby emoticon emoticon

I think you look great in those pictures. Your hair and dress were lovely.
Think that a picture is just a still image that you can pour over and dissect, whereas people at the wedding will have seen you moving, smiling, in action... We often focus on the smallest detail about ourselves and blow it out of proportion, when people don't notice it at all.
This being said I can understand where you come from ; I hate having my photo taken as I am not photogenic. And I don't think I'll ever become photogenic, no matter my weight! emoticon


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BONOLICIOUS2 5/14/2014 8:17AM

    First of all - squishy kitty is so cute!!!!!

Second of all, I scrolled too far down before reading and saw your pic and my first thought was "omg, I wish I had a waist like that!" I just have this awful "Is she pregnant or just fat?" pudgy stomach. I caught myself jealousy bashing myself - sooooo what does that mean?

Probably that we're all a little too harsh on ourselves for our own good. I think that is also the case for you here! You are GORGEOUS and I wish I looked like you! And you are brave because I can't even bring myself to post the pictures from the wedding I was just in, I'm too embarrassed. And I honestly thought I saw MUSCLES in your arm, not fat. You're strong! At least that is what me as an outsider sees.

We all have a weird way of looking at ourselves. I think there are even full blown psych studies that prove we can't see ourselves accurately. Try to keep feeding yourself positive reinforcement - we're not all lying to you, you're really pretty and toned! We just gotta help you believe it yourself!

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CARADAWN 5/14/2014 8:07AM

    Stop beating yourself up - you look amazing in those photos! I know we are our own hardest critics but try to look at yourself, and your pictures, objectively. I imagine if you saw the pictures you posted on someone elses blog you would not have the same feelings / thoughts towards them. It's hard to realize that the way we see ourselves is not the way other people see us but if everyone is telling you that you look amazing it's because you did!

I hope you are able to see how beautiful you are emoticon

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LIFEASMRSA 5/13/2014 9:25PM

    You look great!!!

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SUE5007 5/13/2014 5:24PM

    Honestly the first thing I saw when I looked at your arm was that I could see muscle tone, especially in your shoulder. If I just stand there with straight arms then my arms will look my triceps are being smooshed outwards which makes me look wider. Try standing in front of the mirror and seeing what angles are the best for your arms. Try copying poses you see in other photos. Sometimes it's the angle we are facing, other times it's that our arms are being held tightly against our bodies.
And your dress...honey, that's all dress. Dresses are the worst for group shots like that. Especially satin. Unless you are standing perfectly straight and still it will have wrinkles in it. That color is great on you!

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CHODGES83 5/13/2014 2:55PM

    I think we're all too hard on ourselves. I see a beautiful woman who looks like she's having a great time. Love the hair, too! Glad that you got to see your mama!
Have a good week!

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 5/13/2014 2:42PM

    I wish you could stop being so hard on yourself. Your hair looks beautiful and you look amazing in both dresses!

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EDDYMEESE 5/13/2014 1:48PM

    Aw, your kitty is darling...ragdoll?

The only problem with your arms is that you see them through lenses that nobody else is wearing. I have the same issue with my skin - I'm always getting compliments on what an amazing complexion I have and all I see is bumpy, red, dry skin. I literally do NOT see what other people are seeing. By the way, I abhor my arms, too. But I have really fat ones. Even at a low weight, my arms are fat, never toned. I know exactly how you feel! But yours really do look normal, lol!

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SCOTMAMA 5/13/2014 12:35PM

    I think this is the first time I've looked at one of your blogs, and let me say, personally I see "nothing wrong with the way you look right NOW!" Everyone's arms look a bit larger when they are by your side. It's the same way that if you cross your legs at the calf area it will make your calves look fuller than they really are. I use that gimmick a lot. My calves are not too bad, 13.5 inches, but I wish they were larger. I am a small-boned person, only 5'2, so don't try to compare my inches to yours.

One little hint is that if you stand up straight and throw your shoulders back slightly, and lower your chin just a bit it gives your torso and bustline the best image, and by lowering your chin just a tiny bit it gives the best look to your face. This was told to me by a professional photographer of women. Also, if you don't want your arm at your side, if it is an informal photo, try a slight wave, that brings your arm out from your body, and gets away from the look you hate.

Personally, I envy the way you look. You are truly a beautiful woman!

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NIMIRRA137 5/13/2014 12:28PM

    Your arms not big at all! I think you look great in both photos.

I understand what you mean about not wanting to always do the hand the hip contrived pose. I've had people point out that I "always" do that. It's the only way I know not to make them look huge.

I think one way to avoid the hand on the hip pose is to just not flatten your arm against your body but try to hold it out/away just a bit. That way it doesn't get the smooshed look.

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IRP1114 5/13/2014 12:23PM

    Missed reading your blogs. You look gorgeous chica! Love yourself emoticon
Glad you spent some time with your family. Nothing like it. Even if they make us eat more than we want lol. emoticon

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ARUNNINGKAT 5/13/2014 11:58AM

    I have the same frustration - I really don't like how my arms look! But that being said, I think you are being too hard on yourself! You really did look fabulous in that dress and I can see why you were getting compliments! emoticon

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KNEEMAKER 5/13/2014 11:36AM

  emoticon emoticon

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BRAINYBLONDE5 5/13/2014 11:16AM

    there is nothing wrong with your arms! learn to embrace and love them!!!! oh goodness that kitty is absolutely adorable!!! emoticon

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