CATS_MEOW_0911's SparkPeople Blog CATS_MEOW_0911's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Dugan's Road Trip Adventure (PICTURES) I'm working on an update blog post, but thought you might enjoy some pictures of my dog Dugan enjoying life on the road in his big adventure out west. Enjoy. :) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Badlands National Park, SD <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 3 Jan 2016 12:39:57 EST "How can you NOT smile?" Tonight I tried (and loved) a different jiu jitsu gym out here in Washington. We did a conditioning class (both adults and kids) and one of the students, after 40 minutes of insane sweaty goodness, jokingly said, "Smile!" to the class. <BR> <BR> One of the little girls in the class, without missing a burpee, said: "How can you not smile. It's a WORKOUT, for pete's sake!" <BR> <BR> How come kids are always right? <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> Working on a couple of update blogs, they'll be up s... Thu, 8 Oct 2015 01:42:04 EST Movin' right along <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Have you been searching everywhere on SparkPeople for the most whiny-ass blog ever posted? Yes? Well, your search ends here! <BR> <BR> So I haven't posted a moving update in a while because 1) I didn't know what the hell was going on, and 2) There was a lot of back and forth as far as if I was going to stay in Minnesota or move to Oregon/Washington. The primary reason I had decided not to m... Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:08:24 EST Overdue Update Blog <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Hello, friends. I hope all is well out there in Sparkland! Just wanted to post a quick update on house/job/life. <BR> <BR> <em>199</em> House: My house is up for short sale; short sales are anything but short. Not sure what all happens next, but I should here from the bank over the next week or so. The short sale bought me another summer in my house, which actually pissed me o... Mon, 18 May 2015 17:03:31 EST Plans So first I would like to announce that I will be staying in Minneapolis for now. I had a disheartening conversation with my uncle in Washington a couple of weeks ago and it was clear that my mother would just have them abuse me. I simply can't have any contact with my family. While I would get away from the womb donor if move out of state (and winter), my friends here were very upset that I was going to move. When I told my best friend that I was staying, she said she was glad because she had... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 09:52:11 EST Shadow of the Sainted Son: Beginnings of Abuse Thank you all for the supportive comments on the last blog post about my mother. Again, this blog post has ended up being long, but it really helps me to write this stuff out. I am working on healing from emotional abuse and biding my time until I can officially get away from my mother and all of her flying monkeys. The only place where there is no one to report back to my mother is my work. I live two doors down from close friends of hers. My brother is at my gym. My family reports to her. I... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:24:51 EST Two Years Ago Today... Two years ago today, at this time, I had a nice normal day off and was getting ready to head out the door to jiu jitsu class. <BR> <BR> Two years ago tomorrow I was picking out the coffin I thought would suit my dad the best. <BR> <BR> Today is the two year anniversary of my dad's death. His death was absolutely not on my radar. In fact, just the day before we had made lunch plans for later in the week. Our last words to each other over the phone were, "I love you." <BR> <BR> I am still h... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:47:38 EST Back in da Hood <img src=""> <BR> No, not that hood, this Hood! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "You don't climb mountains without a team, you don't climb mountains without being fit, you don't climb mountains without being prepared and you don't climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident - it has to be intentional." <BR> -Mark Udall <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> When I was a kid, my uncle John moved from Min... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 18:13:35 EST The Shadow of Gaslighted Grief I have been tinkering away at a couple of “serious” blog posts for a couple of weeks now. I had intended to post the blog about my house first, but this one got done first, so here ya go. <BR> <BR> This post became monstrously long. It felt good for me to write it, so I’ve posted the whole thing. If you want the very succinct version, here you go: I am cutting off contact with my emotionally abusive mother after realizing what a poisonous human being she is, as she is totally unwilling to a... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 22:28:13 EST 2015 Plan: From "Meh" to Yeh! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you’ve lived so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.” <BR> -J.K. Rowling <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I posted a blog yesterday about how hard 2014 was, blah blah starts a series of blogs about what the hell I plan on doing about it. <BR> <BR> During the first week of January, I watched a show called “Wake Up Call” sta... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 09:47:15 EST 2014: Meh. “For last year's words belong to last year's language <BR> And next year's words await another voice.” <BR> -T.S. Eliot <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Hi there. Here is a very overdue blog post and review of 2014. <BR> <BR> If I could rate the year 2014 on Yelp, I would give it 2.5 stars. One star for earning my blue belt in Jiu Jitsu, another star for my trip out west and to Yellowstone, and a half star for finishing massage school. The stuff that was good was really good, like being handed a har... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:53:43 EST Wonderful Article on Food Addiction I came across this opinion piece on CNN, and this woman's story is very relatable. She frankly discusses her feelings towards herself and her experiences with food addiction. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-struggles-first-person/index.html?iid<BR>=article_sidebar </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> P.S. I still plan on posting a blog about having surgery last week. Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:15:07 EST Bittersweet Birthday: A life celebrated, a hero remembered (repost) This blog is a repost from 2011; I probably couldn't write a better memorial for my cousin Bobby today, so I thought it best to reshare. My birthday has become a bittersweet occasion, as it has also been a death anniversary for a family member since the World Trade Center fell 13 years ago today. Thanks for reading. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> My second cousin Bobby, in his younger years. <BR> <BR> <BR> <... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:47:26 EST Scale Confessions I am here to confess. Yesterday, I got on the scale for the first time in a while. I could've been all like: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Picture from <BR> <BR> But instead I was all like: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Picture from <BR> <BR> <BR> Yeah, I’ve gained. Eh. I expected it. I’ve gained about 20 pounds back over the... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:46:27 EST Being great, according to Amy Poehler I came across a quote from Amy Poehler ("Saturday Night Live, "Parks and Recreation") that I wanted to hang on to: <BR> <BR> "Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it... Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that -- that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know so... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:38:24 EST Yellowstone and More: Trek Across the West (lots o' pics) On July 25th, my friend KVARNLOV and I got on a train headed to Portland, OR, where we were going to meet my aunt and uncle and stay for a few days. They live across the Columbia River in Camas, WA. KVARNLOV had never been to the Pacific Northwest, so we had fun showing off the spectacular sights. We went to the Oregon Coast (Seaside, OR, and Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach) and Multnomah Falls/Columbia River Gorge. I didn't take many pictures while we were in the Northwest, as I have spent a... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:48:46 EST Blue Belt (with pics) I got promoted to a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu on June 8th. For the test, we had to roll (spar) for one hour straight. In class, we usually roll for five minutes at a time with a break, for a total of 20-30 minutes, so rolling for a whole hour was an endurance challenge. Afterwards, several of my teammates went out for Japanese food, and then went and met my teacher for a picnic on the beach. It was a very fun day. <BR> <BR> There are five belt levels in jiu jitsu--white, blue, purple,... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:16:55 EST Ummm, yeah...long time, no blog... Hello SparkPeeps, I hope all is well in your world. <BR> <BR> I haven't blogged in a long time. So, I will give you a ridiculously quick update: <BR> <BR> *I obtained my personal training certification in January and have been building a clientele. <BR> <BR> *I finished massage school in May and am working as a therapist now. <BR> <BR> *I earned my blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu in June. It is the second level out of the five in traditional jiu jitsu belt systems. <BR> <BR> *I went o... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:29:41 EST 2013 in Review: The Most Chaotic Year of My Life <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The year 2013 was--by far--the most chaotic and difficult year of my adult life. My father passed away very suddenly on February 11th, sending a shockwave through my life at a point when I was approaching a high point. What ensued after with dealing with his ice-cold wife was what made the ordeal nearly unbearable, as my brother and I watched helplessly as she erased his existence (without our consult)... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 00:29:11 EST Quick Update (with pics) I haven't blogged in quite a while! Part of the reason for this is that I have started focusing my efforts on paid writing gigs and developing a freelance writing business. I will be writing primarily for health and wellness and also for veterinary medicine. I finished my first article for publication (and for pay!) for a strength training journal and it will be published in January (details to follow). <BR> <BR> I am also working on a book (or possible series of books) on creative life cha... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 10:03:07 EST Saying Good-bye to a Gentle Soul <img src=""> <BR> Dmitri <BR> 1999 (or thereabouts)-2013 <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I made the difficult choice to euthanize my dog Dmitri today. He was about 14 years old and I adopted him from the Humane Society 12 years ago, in July of 2001. He was a total impulse buy. I was a die-hard cat person. I NEVER thought that I would have a dog. I went to the Humane Society that day to help a friend pick out a reptile. While she was looking, I we... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 22:46:12 EST Beast Mode...ENGAGE We have all been in low places. Hopefully most of us haven't truly reached rock bottom before, but many of us have been there, too. I am lucky; I did not reach rock bottom this time, but came dangerously close. Fortunately, I had developed coping mechanisms that were strong enough to get me through even the toughest moments, even when my forebrain was wondering how much more I could take. I have been Depressed as Hell Erin for the past few months. Perhaps I had a right to feel that way, but i... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:55:02 EST The Martin <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am." <BR> -Joan Jett <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wow. I haven't posted a blog since mid-April. That's probably a good indication of how stuck I have been. But today I had a really big problem. I'll get to that in a second. <BR> <BR> Of course I have been struggling a lot since my dad's death in February. Unfortunately, sadness... Wed, 12 Jun 2013 02:42:20 EST My "Spring" Garden Taken April 19th, 2013. It should be about 60 degrees and bright GREEN. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:42:44 EST The Ever-Frozen Ground Minnesotans are know for being cold-hardy. We love winter. We think people from other parts of the country are babies when it comes to cold and snow. We joke about "Minne-snow-ta" and hunker down with hot cocoa as the flakes fall. When we do have to drive through ice pellets and the surrounding opaque whiteness, we shake our fists in frustration at people going too slow, figuring they MUST not be from around here. We bundle up until no skin is visible and venture out to sled and plop on the g... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:54:55 EST A New Journey Some events are so shocking and so significant that they change us to our very core. A few days after my dad died, it dawned on me that I would probably never be the same person. But sometimes the worst circumstances cause us to grow the most as a human being. By saying I will never be the same person, I do not mean that I will be some moping depressed person for the rest of my life. Actually, other than the meltdown a couple of weeks ago, I have felt pretty good. I had a great relationship w... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 02:30:34 EST The Week in Review: Putting Honey Badger to Shame <img src=""> <BR> Awww, how cute, honey badger is trying to be me. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> In reading over this blog before posting it, I can tell it has a pretty different tone from what I usually write. I wrote most of it while I was really pissed off. I also wish that SparkPeople allowed swear words. But as they say: Honey badger don't care. <BR> <BR> I am not normally an angry person. Of course I get upset, I GET angry, bu... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 22:06:56 EST Office Space: Creating a New Work Life "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now." <BR> -Chinese Proverb <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My career goal when I was a child was to be an astronomer. Astronomy was my hobby and passion. I started to pursue a degree in astrophysics by taking basic science and astronomy courses in college. I did okay in basic astronomy courses and got good grades in math courses until I got to calculus. I just didn't get it. I could not grasp chemistry and physics. My ... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 01:20:15 EST The Week in Review: Six Feet Under <img src=""> <BR> My dad and my brother Brian when he was a toddler. We could not get them plots right next to each other, but my dad was buried in the same row as Brian. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As most of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on February 11th. The past few weeks have been an exhausting emotional roller coaster. I have felt virtually every emotion there is, sometimes simultaneously. <BR> <BR> I had finished watching th... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 22:29:09 EST In Memory of My Dad <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> My dad in his early 20s. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As many of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on Monday, February 11th. I buried my dad a week ago today. This has been an overwhelmingly emotion time; I will address that in a later blog. I wanted to post a quick blog in memory of my dad. A single blog cannot, of course, encompass our ... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 19:33:56 EST My father passed away tonight. I am in a little bit of shock right now. I went to the gym tonight, came home and showered, got out, and the phone rang almost immediately. It was a nurse at a hospital telling me my father had passed away and that I needed to come to the hospital immediately. Needless to say, I was pretty hysterical. I am very fortunate that I have close friends, and my best friend came right over and drove me to the hospital. <BR> <BR> My poor stepmom had been with him the whole time. He collapsed suddenl... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 03:24:54 EST Article Addressing Weight Loss Resistance Just wanted to share an article from Cathe Friedrich that addresses "weight loss resistance," or lack of weight loss despite doing "all the right things." I am glad that research is starting to address the fact that people can eat right and exercise and still not lose weight. Every body is different, so it is a matter of experimenting until the right balance is struck. <BR> <BR> Here is the article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-weight-loss-resistance </link> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:55:10 EST The Week In Review: Trip to Los Angeles (with pics) <img src=""> <BR> TapouT Training Center, downtown Los Angeles. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am not the same person I was a week ago. <BR> <BR> I knew that my trip to Los Angeles to do Jiu Jitsu training would be pretty exciting: I would be training at the TapouT gym, meeting and training with Jiu Jitsu master Eddie Bravo, probably meeting some famous people, seeing a taping of Conan O'Brien, walking by the ocean, and hanging out with... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 19:24:18 EST 2012 in Review: Gold Medal Year (with pics) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I started my SparkPeople journey from a very dark place a little over 2 years ago. I was at a breaking point where I was willing to try anything to make my life feel tolerable to me. I started to be more active on SparkPeople and make small changes to develop healthier habits. Gradually, new habits became ingrained and I started to lose weight. I learned to treat myself better and that other people need to t... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 16:08:48 EST The Week in Review: Pants Around My Ankles (with pics) *Please note: There are no pictures with my pants around my ankles.* <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I reached 66 pounds down this past week, which is about halfway to my goal weight. All of a sudden it seems that a lot of my clothes are way too big. My winter coat is very baggy. I have noticed shirts especially becoming very loose. I decided to go shopping in my own closet. I have a pair of brown corduroy pants that I had been waiting to fit back into. This week I wondered if they fit.... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 10:40:15 EST The Week (and Month) in Review: 60 Pounds Gone and Gold Medal Wins <img src=""> <BR> My podium gold medal win at Jiu Jitsu competition on 11/17. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> November marked one of the most defining moments in my entire life: winning a competition. Not just participating, but winning. If you had asked me a few years ago, when I was still the fat kid in gym class getting bullied about my weight, I would have said that winning a sporting event was out of the question. I still kind of can't belie... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 12:15:52 EST The Week in Review: Guts, Glory, and Gold The end of October marked a year of doing Jiu Jitsu. My journey of Jiu Jitsu started with taking a small chance by trying out 1 class. I kept showing up, trying my best, and worked through the frustrations of the long learning curve of learning a martial art. After a year, I feel like the moves are becoming more intuitive and flowing together naturally. <BR> <BR> I won second place in my division at my first Jiu Jitsu tournament in June. Afterwards, I consistently told my coaches that I was... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:46:36 EST Learn About Maintenance Before Losing Weight I was happy to come across an article on CNN that discussed a study that demonstrated the importance of understanding weight maintenance before weight loss begins. Most people worry about losing the weight and then either mistakenly believe that maintenance will be natural, or, that "being thin is it's own reward" and that they will be so ecstatic to be thin that they will not let the weight come back on. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of people who lose weight regain it (myself included... Mon, 5 Nov 2012 17:26:14 EST The Week in Review: Laziest Blog Ever I have a lot to say, I have a lot on my mind, but I have been too busy/distracted to blog. I am feeling a little stuck. In any case, I wanted to get something down for the record. So, I will let some quotes do the talking. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 28 Oct 2012 22:26:26 EST The Week in Review: California Girl (w/ progress pics) <img src=""> <BR> Image from <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My gym has planned a trip to Los Angeles to take classes with Eddie Bravo, the founder of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. After a couple of weeks of waiting for plans to be finalized, the trip was finally set for 1/7-1/11/2013. I purchased my ticket to get to Los Angeles yesterday, waiting to purchase my ticket with my coach Nate so we could travel together. There abo... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 10:41:11 EST The Week in Review: Happy Butt (with pics) Hah! Not the kind of pics you might think. <em>211</em> I'll talk more later about diet and exercise in another blog (all is going pretty well), but wanted to update about what has been consuming my life over the past few months: my dog Dugan's tail. <BR> <BR> My dog developed hair loss on the tip of his tail a little over 2 months ago. Then he started to act as though it hurt when he was wagging it. I noticed he started to chew at it, so I put the cone of shame on him, hoping that the i... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 01:06:50 EST The Week in Review: The Student Becomes the Teacher This past week was pretty good. I had a good birthday on Tuesday. It was a training day, so I didn't overdo the eating. I got a 90 minute deep tissue massage and then met my mom for lunch. Tuesdays are my long training day at the gym, so I got there and warmed up with some weights, did Muay Thai and had a great workout, and then had a fun Jiu Jitsu class. I couldn't think of a better way to ring in this next year of life than training at the gym with some of my favorite people. <BR> <BR> I ... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 22:45:05 EST Happy Birthday to Me: The Gift of Promises "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." <BR> -Henry David Thoreau <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am not anxious about aging. My best days are not behind me; they are ahead. I truly believe that life is what you make it, or rather, life is how you perceive it. I feel like I am getting way better with age. I finally have the independence AND the wisdom to enjoy it. I have learned (and will continue to learn) who and what needs to be in my life. Challenges present lea... Tue, 11 Sep 2012 12:33:20 EST The Week in Review: I'll try not to injure myself, my dog, or anyone else in the process... ...of writing this blog. <BR> <BR> It's been like The 3 Stooges 'round these parts this week. First, my dog apparently whacked his tail on something ("happy tail") and then proceeded to chew off the tip of his tail. Normally I try to treat simple stuff myself (I am a vet tech) but it was clear he needed antibiotics. So, we went to the vet on Friday. He now has a giant cone of shame and a bandage on his tail and looks rather pathetic. Now we just need to hope it heals up well and that he does... Sun, 9 Sep 2012 21:58:37 EST The Week (and Month) in Review: I can't do it. "I can't do it." <BR> <BR> No word in the sentence has more than 4 letters, but those 4 short words have stopped us from trying and doing so many things throughout our lives. Just the thought of the sentence causes us to lose some momentum when we are trying to decide whether to attempt something. It excuses any attempt to try because we have already shut down the idea that there is a possibility of success. I wonder how many thousands of times I have uttered those 4 little words, shutting o... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 15:44:14 EST The Week in Review: The Girls Take Over Jiu Jitsu (w/ pics) <img src=""> <BR> Group picture of Jiu Jitsu class taken Saturday. We had a record-breaking 4 women in class. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> During Jiu Jitsu class this week, a couple of the guys were talking about how they admire women who do Jiu Jitsu. They said they understood how intimidating it must be to walk into a class for the first time. It's intimidating for a guy to start doing Jiu Jitsu, so it must be even more so for a woman. Then ... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:52:12 EST 2 Years of Sparkin': 2 Year SparkVersary Celebration! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A little over 2 years ago, I saw the number 298 on the scale. I found this number utterly overwhelming. I knew I could not keep letting that number climb, but I didn't know where to begin. I already enjoyed exercise, but I was debilitated by a bad right knee and could hardly do any exercise. On the other hand, I knew my knee would probably get better if I lost some weight. So, I slowly start... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 22:49:57 EST The Past 6 Weeks (or so) in Review: The Short Short Version I have been trying to hammer out a blog for a couple of weeks and it just ain't happening. So, I will post a super-quick update blog. <BR> <BR> I just haven't felt much like blogging recently, but I hadn't realized that I hadn't written an update blog in about 6 weeks, since my Jiu Jitsu tournament. I have mostly been in a holding change in weight (hey, still better than going up), eating has mostly been good, still pretty consistent with workouts. I was a little down for a cou... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 20:41:36 EST The Coolest Olympian: Sarah Robles <img src=""> <BR> Weightlifter Sarah Robles. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I often feel out of place calling myself an athlete. This isn't as much the case as it used to be, but sometimes I feel like I'm in a game of "Which One Doesn't Belong?" Granted, I don't feel like I'm treated this way (at least not anymore), but I still feel a bit awkward in my martial arts classes. I don't often see other big martial artists, especially women. I do my be... Mon, 13 Aug 2012 19:17:06 EST Fifty (or maybe "Fitty") Things About Me Hmmm, it has been a while since I have blogged. I have not been posting a "Week in Review" blog like I should, but I am working on a blog post. In the meantime, I came across this "50 Things About Me" deal on BAZOOKABOBCAT's blog and it looks fun, so here it is: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? <BR> Nope! Came close to being named "Gladys" after my great grandmother, though. <BR> <BR> 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? <BR> Haha, probably at some point over the past w... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 18:35:52 EST