Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 17: Some Observations.

I don't own a scale, which is something I've thought about reconsidering on and off for the last couple of weeks.

I wanted to try the plan where I give myself certain rewards for reaching certain weights, but even that takes a lot of willpower and I'm afraid I'll get overwhelmed if I have access to a scale every day.  It's really hard for me not to weigh myself all the time if I have a scale, so I'm still deciding what I want to do on that front.

Right now I'm just gauging based on how I feel and how my clothes are fitting.  This seems like a good goal, especially since my primary concern is changing my lifestyle.  How I feel has been a huge indicator and even though sometimes things get annoying I can see myself continuing what I've been doing because I feel good.

Some things are getting easier and some things are not.

For instance, I don't really have many cravings anymore, even for sugar, which I was totally hooked on.  I think it's partly because I'm breaking the addiction and partly because I eat nutrient-rich foods and drink tons of water and green tea all day, so there's nothing my body is trying to ask for.  I'm also not hungry all the time, which is nice.  But I've based so much of my food preparation in satisfying cravings that I sometimes don't know what to do with myself.

The hardest part is when I don't feel like cooking.  I haven't mastered making food and freezing for during the week yet, so on nights where I don't feel like cooking I get a little lost.  I can't bring myself to just eat some pizza or pasta, which would have been my go-to in the past, but I don't want to take the time to make a full meal.  God forbid I need to go to the grocery store.

This was part of my problem before I changed my diet, as well.  But I was just eating whatever then.

This week I intend to make a meal plan and do a bunch of the prep-work on Sunday, which will really help me during the week.  Also, it will be better for my finances than buying salads at Trader Joe's when I didn't make dinner the night before, even though they are delicious.

At just over two weeks I've reached the point where I would usually start to revert to my old ways.  Because I'm lazy and habitual.  The thing is, I've already noticed enough of a difference in my body in multiple ways that my willpower is stronger than it has been before.

My pants are looser.  My skin is softer.  My face has cleared up substantially-- I didn't have that many zits before but there is definitely a huge difference there.  I have more energy; I'm not super cranky and lethargic when I get home from work.  I feel healthier.  More inspired, actually.

I'm not willing to give up on this yet.

Especially when I finally feel like getting back in my skinny jeans might really be possible.  Also, I really want to be able to jog for more than five seconds.  Like, really bad.  But right now jogging is irritating because it entails a lot more wiggling than I really want it to.

I guess the only way to make progress on that front is to keep trying.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dogs > People.

Today I met a dog named Noah.*

For a little dog he was pretty cute.  I think he was a Shih-tsu but he was almost completely black.  He had very big brown eyes and a squishy pigface button nose.

I was taking my lunchtime walk on the little trail by my office and his owner was walking him.  Owner said "hi" as I walked by; pretty standard.

Then this poor little dog heard me speak and decided they were following me now.  So then I had to kneel down and meet him.  I didn't want to be rude...

In a nutshell this is what happens when I'm alone and I see a dog.  I try to play it cool, but on the inside I'm even more excited than they look.  Meeting new dogs is like a billion times better than meeting new people.

I politely smile and say, "hello" but on the inside this is happening:  "Omg that person has a dog.  That's a nice looking dog.  Awwww...  He's wearing a vest...  That's so cute!  I want to get a vest for my dog...  When I get a dog.  I should get Chase a vest.  Do they make super triple-wide vests for gargantuan dogs?  Maybe I can just get him a men's vest.  It would fit him.  Man, I want a dog.  Oooh the dog noticed me!  He's coming over...  Be cool, man.  You don't want to come on too strong; it freaks the people out.  Can I pet the dog?  I want to pet the dog.  I'm gonna pet the dog.  Yesss this is going so well right now."


Then I actually start talking to the dog and I sound like a crazy person.  Good thing I was wearing nice clothes today or the owner might have thought I was one of the homeless people that lives by the creek.

I meet dogs like dogs meet rawhide bones.

But have to I internalize the crazy eyes because I don't want to put off the people and decrease my chances of playing with the dog.

When I meet new people I never remember their names after hearing them once.  I remember their pets' names, though.  I don't even have to have met them.

My life basically revolves around getting to interact with animals.

I don't always like other people that much, as a group.  Actually, if I have to meet a group of new people all at once I really kind of need to be on Xanax because my anxiety skyrockets.  I can handle up to three new people at once.  More than that and I shut down.

But if you put me in a pen full of dogs or cats or rabbits I become the happiest and most comfortable person in the world.

Man, I need to work at a zoo or something.

That being said, I REALLY want to meet and be friends with an elephant.  I feel like we'd get along.  That feeling is mostly based on how much I love them and obsess over them, but that doesn't mean we couldn't or wouldn't be friends.  The only problem is that when I finally do meet an elephant I'm going to be Kristen Bell the first time she met a sloth.

If that happens, I hope the elephant comforts me.  And then I ride it into the sunset and we live happily ever after.

*Isn't that the cutest little doggy name?  He was no Ryan Gosling, but he was still very sweet.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Running in the Rain.

It was overcast and misty this morning when I left my apartment for work.  Those are the best mornings for me.  I don't mind sunlight but I generally prefer to start my mornings with the sky a little overcast.  I'm especially happy if it's misty.  It's a nice way to ease into my day.

I'm restless.

We've been in the North Bay for almost seven months and I'm just now getting to the point where I feel settled.  Not necessarily settled here.  Settled after having uprooted my life for three years to go back to school.  Seven months is how long it took for me to really feel like myself again.

The problem is that now that I'm settling back into myself I'm realizing I don't know if I want to live here forever.  Don't get me wrong, I love it here.  I just don't love how many other people love it here.  I don't love how much I have to fight with other vehicles to get anywhere, especially in rush hour to my work.  I don't love how expensive everything is, especially rental rates.  It's ridiculous what property owners/managers can get away with because the area is desirable.  It's not as bad as actually being in the city, but I can barely handle this.

I think if I lived in the city I would be less than an inch away from committing homicide.

More than anything I think my problem is that I have certain expectations; things I want in life sometime in the next year or so.  One of those things is that Yoshi and I both really want is to adopt a dog.

We have actually had a dog plan for over a year now.  He wants either a German Shepherd or Husky mix and I want a Great Dane.  But we also really want to adopt a shelter dog.  So our plan has been to adopt a shelter dog that's not a puppy but is trained and still young and healthy, then in a couple of years we want to get his dog, then a few years after that get mine (since the Great Dane will have the shortest life span it makes sense to get it last).  If we find ourselves in a situation where it works to get any of the dogs sooner, we will probably do that.

We love dogs.  Big dogs.

But right now we're having trouble even having one medium-sized dog because we already have two cats and it was hard enough to find somewhere in the North Bay that was in our budget and would allow us to have two pets.

Really, our best bet for having multiple pets while still renting is to rent a house or find a lenient property management company with a townhouse or duplex.  For what we're paying for our tiny apartment right now we should be in at least a one bedroom house.

So when I get frustrated about the fact that my sort of decent salary seems abysmal here, that's why.  It's because all of it seems to go to rent and bills, yet we have pretty much no space in our apartment so I get mad that I'm paying so much for it.  Like, every day I'm mad at my apartment for being more expensive than it's worth.

That's the area in which we live.

So, if we want to get a dog or, you know, breathe, we may have to move again.  As much as I hate moving, I don't hate this idea.  I just want to feel like I have space to take a breath, both literally and with my finances.

Also, I have this snippet of future fantasy that I'm desperate to live out.

The fantasy is this:  I want to jog with my dog on the beach in the misty rain.

That's all.  I want it to be overcast and wet, but not pouring.  I want it to be cold.  I want to be wearing my mint green fleece pullover.  I want to be in good enough shape that I can jog with the dog.  And I want the dog to be well-behaved enough that we can go out and if there aren't many people around he can be off-leash.

There are a bunch of other things that could go along with this fantasy, but for the immediate future this little snippet is all I want.

Now, what do I have to do to get there?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If I Were a Rich (Wo)man.

It’s been six weeks since my last haircut, which is kind of a problem now that my hair is short again because it means that it’s time for another haircut.  This wouldn’t be an issue if I trusted randoms to cut my hair, but I don’t so much. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was fine popping into Mastercuts once in a while when I had short hair because I can even out a few strands here and there when I have long hair with no bangs.  But now I have a short a-line with bangs and I don’t trust anyone with that shit. 

Except my hairdresser.

Who lives in FarNorCal.

Three and a half hours away from me.

Even though gas is super cheap, I’m also (hopefully more temporarily than it has been) pretty poor right now, which makes it difficult for me to justify a trip to Redding to get my hair cut.  Even if it does mean I get to see my parents.

I was feeling bad about this earlier and thinking about how much I want a cut and how I want to dye my hair auburn and put some kind of fuscia/red in it when I remembered that one of my coworkers had mentioned his wife does hair several months ago when I first got my short cut.  So I sent him a message and asked about it; he gave me her number and the name of her shop so I could look it up.

Which I did.

And it’s fancy.

Just a standard women’s haircut is $65.

Fuck me, $65 for a haircut? 

The whole reason I couldn’t justify going to Norcal was the expense.  For like $20 more than that haircut I could spend a day with my family, too!

I wish I could just magic myself there so I didn’t have to pay for the gas or drive for 8 hours.  Then I could hang out and get my hair cut.

But no. 

I decided to move to the Bay Area, where a one bedroom apartment costs more each month than the three bedroom townhouse I rented in Turlock when I went to school.  Half the square feet, twice the rent.  And I’m not even in the city.

It’s sad, but things like this make me seriously question how much I really want to spend my life here.  The expense and the traffic are really the only two things I have a problem with, but they’re big problems.  I’ve had it take me 40 minutes to drive the 15 miles from my work to my apartment.

And you basically have to be making a six-figure income to afford anything decent, as far as square footage and living conditions are concerned.

I feel like I’m just incredibly frustrated about everything lately. 

Probably the fact that I just got a decent raise at work and I still apparently can’t afford a haircut could have something to do with it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Day Four and Thigh Gap.

You know what I really don't understand?

Why is thigh gap a desirable thing?

I don't mean that as an offense to the women who are naturally very slight of frame; that's the way you are built and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  This question isn't about trying make anyone feel bad about their size.  

I know all too well what that feels like.

It's more that I don't understand how "society" (read: the media and pop culture) decided that in order to be "perfect" (socially acceptable and thin) your thighs can't touch.

We're not flamingos, man.

Even men's thighs touch.  

To be fair, this thought was prompted by the fact that I follow a lot of fashion blogs because I really love shoes.  Like, a lot.  And to run a fashion blog you practically have to be skinny, although I follow a couple of cool bloggers that are not super thin but they are much less prevalent than the slenderer bloggers. 

Which makes sense.

Thin has been synonymous with fashion for years and years.

But why would pop culture set this ridiculous standard that only few women can achieve?  Especially without starving themselves. 

I guess that probably is why.  It’s like royalty; everyone aspires but only a few can actually achieve it.

I’m just incredibly happy that feminism is helping bring about a rise of body positivity in women, especially. 

I’ve scrutinized every single detail of myself.  Picked, prodded, pinched, and pulled at myself until my skin was pink and cried in the shower because my favorite dress no longer would zip up past my boobs.  I’ve skipped dessert, I’ve skipped meals, I’ve skipped eating for an entire day and drunk a bottle of Gatorade so I didn’t pass out.

How is it that that’s okay?

How is it that no matter how many “love your body” campaigns I see on tv, no matter how many articles I read, there’s still this giant part of me that feels inadequate because of my size?

The thing is, for the last four months I stopped trying.  I stopped trying to lose weight and eat to make my acid stay where it’s supposed to. 

I was stressed out and unhappy and I didn’t want to worry about it.  So I didn’t.

In a way it was nice because the entire time I was in school I was constantly shaming myself internally.  Constantly looking at clothes I felt I could never wear again.  Constantly trying to lose weight but then giving up because I didn’t want to admit that I was trying to lose weight, I didn’t want to try and then fail to get back to the size I used to be, a size I actually loved, and because I didn’t want to lose the weight again only to gain it back.  Again.  That shit hurt enough the first time.

Here’s the truth:

I would give up a lot of things to be the size I used to be, and that’s more or less what I’m working toward right now.  Holding myself accountable to giving up those things is so incredibly hard, and I’m hoping I miss them less the longer I’m actually being healthy, but I’ve realized that if I can be comfortable in my own skin again it’s all worth it.

I have a love/hate relationship with my boobs.  I’m mostly fine with them until I try to buy a bra or put clothes on or I see a picture of myself and see how dowdy I look.

I can be okay with the fact that I have a booty, but I really would like it to be more muscle than fat.

More than anything I’m tired of having a tummy, which is incredibly hard to deal with when you have a maxed out chest and sit all day at work. 

I’ve felt pressure to be pretty and to be skinny since I was 10 years old.  And after 17 years that starts to weigh on you.  It starts to crush you.  And I’m tired of feeling trapped by it.

I hate admitting that I’m on a diet, but I guess I am.  Even though I’m considering it a lifestyle change more than a diet.  I live in a place where organics and farmer’s markets are EVERYWHERE, where it seems like people actually try to be health-conscious. 

It’s so incredibly inspiring. 

I want to be one of them.  I want to jog through my neighborhood with my dog and go home to make a green smoothie. 

I can’t afford to live somewhere that will let me have a dog yet and I don’t really like drinking things that taste like Kale.  But if I can eat a cabbage salad for lunch when I decided I was more or less okay with steamed cabbage about two months ago, then I can drink some kale.

Despite how it probably sounds, I’m okay if I can’t get back to the size I used to be, as long as I can prove to myself that I actually tried this time.  I’d rather be healthy and take care of myself than be thinner, even if that does mean my bra is going to continue to have to cut through a mile of back fat in order to barely hold my boobs in place.

I know my thighs are never going to not touch and I actually like that. 

I like looking womanly.  I like having a shape with curves on the edges of it.

I don’t like having to emergency poop in the TJ Maxx bathroom because I got stressed out trying to find granny panties that would squash my belly roll under a formal gown/wouldn’t make lines in the doughy sides of my ass and my body obviously doesn’t want to process the Burger King I had for lunch all the way. 

We’ll see how things go, but for now I’m still on the wagon.  So far I really like the view from up here.