Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Life Plan

When I was young and dumb, I had a grand life plan.

Age 22: graduate college, obtain excellent job immediately

Age 23: Marry my college boyfriend.

Age 24: get some status in my chosen profession, save up some money, buy house.
Age 25: baby #1


Age 27: baby #2
Age 30: 2 kids in school. Back to work for me! The rest of my life will then just fall into place with a stream of happy kid-related things and living the dream.

Instead I got 2 part time jobs when I graduated, one of them in retail, broke up with my fiance, eventually lost my job, and ended up living alone in a stranger's basement.


Once I finally got the job and happy relationship thing straightened out again, my ovaries said nope.

So here I am, facing down 30 (okay, not quite, but it feels REALLY close) without any babies. Zero babies. Life is different. I'm ok with that. But I am having some trouble adjusting...

I am thankful for where I am right now. I am not where my stupid "life plan" said I would be, I am somewhere better. I've got a great job, and Nick! And the rest will all just work itself out eventually.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gratuitous puppy pictures

I apologize for the crappy quality. Phone pictures will never be art, but they're what I take.

The other night, Nick and I stayed up way past our normal bedtime and kept Kiwi up late and she just could not handle being awake. As a result, she was super sleepy and cuddly.
My legs are indeed 18 inches long. Thanks for asking.

This photo is a good reminder that angles are everything. And yes, I'm wearing pajama pants with a normal shirt. I don't fit in normal pants after 6pm.

Super cuddles. She is getting much longer but not much taller.

Kiwi is super smart but incredibly stubborn. We don't let her on the couch, so instead we get faces like this:
If I stare at you, you'll let me up there.

We took her for 2 long-ish hike/walks this weekend and she adored it. One day we went to a park close to the house and hiked about 1.5 miles. So many new things to sniff! The second day we went to a park about 45 minutes away and did closer to 4 miles walking. She did so well, except there were a lot of people and a few dogs on the trail and she got way too excited when people came by. She's adorable, so most folks don't mind that she wants their attention, but it would be nice if she'd take it down a notch. I know it's at least 50% that she's a puppy and easily excitable, but the other 50% can hopefully be helped with more training. Either way, we had a great time, everyone got good exercise, and we all slept incredibly well. Mission accomplished.

And here's a log with at least 17 turtles on it. So many turtles.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pride

This post by a fellow out of service runner (for injury reasons, and btw she's run SO MANY RACES in such cool places) made me think again about what I miss about running, and why. *I promise someday I'll have something new to talk about*

Pride.

I talked about this the other day, about how I am having trouble defining and redefining myself as a non-athlete. As the unhealthy coworker. I don't feel special or different anymore. I don't feel like I have accomplishments to be proud of right now. The ironic thing about the timing of this whole HA thing is that I had just really started seeing progress in my running and when I ran a 3:37:07 in November I wanted to get it tatooed on my freaking forehead. I placed in my age group in a (tiny) marathon! I was winning 5k's! I felt like a real runner. I felt I looked like a real runner, which was also important to me. If you had asked me a year before (when I ran a 4:06 at the Richmond Marathon) what I was proudest of, in my whole life, it would have been 1) happy life with Nick and 2) I was "skinny." I KNOW.


A year later and skinniness was still definitely on my list, but it was below pride about my marriage, my job, and my running. And now, 4 months later, I'm still proud of other parts of my life, but running is now off the list. And so is being skinny.

I was joking about needing a hobby recently, but I honestly think I do. I mean, hanging out with my dog and husband is cool, and makes me happy, but my time that used to be filled with fitness is now filled with... thinking about fitness. Which is not fun.

Here are some ideas I've come up with:
- Cooking
- Reading more
-... that's it. 

I actually googled "hobbies" (because that's not the saddest thing ever). The list is on Wikipedia is not good, although it does include things like "watching movies" and "eating," which means, hooray, I already have at least 2 hobbies! I have friends who are homebrewers, or knitters or quilters. All of those are interesting and fun and things that those people can be proud of. "Look what I knitted/brewed/quilted!" But none of those things appeal to me. Is complaining on the internet a hobby? Can it be?

Do you have a hobby? Do you mistakenly type "hooby" every time like I do? 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eating "clean" from the other side.

Disclaimer: I truly don't care how you eat. This is about me, and how I feel about clean eating and fad diets and other things as someone who struggles/struggled with this for a long time.

Subtitle: if your food needs a hashtag, you're doing it wrong.

I've gone over the many stages of my relationship with food before. The main take home of all those is I thought about food way too much. Many hours of my life were consumed by when I would eat next, how many calories it would be, and how many grams of protein/fat/carbs I'd be consuming. And because each day had a target goal for calories, and I was undereating, each of my meals came with the big question

"How long will these keep me full before I have to eat again?" 

The healthy people out there are hopefully scratching their heads, because seriously, I was not doing what my body was meant to do. I went through years of strictly timing my food because hunger cues were evil and not to be trusted. If I ate when I was hungry, I'd go back to being overweight immediately, right?

Y'all, weight gain sucks. It suckity suck suck sucks. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant and I'm not happy about it. I'm not saying that part isn't terrible. But constantly being hungry sucks too. Analyzing every meal to figure out just how filling to make it was a constant obsession (but never confuse filling with caloric. Because a huge pile of spinach is filling.). Thinking about how you SHOULDN'T be hungry because you just had 15g of protein and it's NOT TIME for another meal yet is NOT FUN. If I could tell 5 years ago me one thing, it would be to let it go.

Everything does not need to be counted and quantified. I got to the ripe old age of 17 without every counting a calorie. 17 years! Of bliss! People around the world lead happy, fulfilled lives and never scrutinize a nutrition label. They don't think about whether something fits into their special snowflake eating plan. Because THEY DON'T HAVE AN EATING PLAN.

Yes, I feel terrible about my weight. Every day. I hate how my clothes fit. The only thing I use the mirror for lately is to see how much of my belly pooch will hang out when my shirt rides up (I'm super duper hot. Be jealous of Nick). However, eating like a normal person is incredibly freeing (when I can manage to do it...). My husband eats when he's hungry. Yes, sometimes he has pretzels for dinner, but so what? He's not overanalyzing his food choices and he's quite pretty well. So when I see your "omg super #cleaneating" pictures on Facebook or blogs or whatever, it gives me pause. It makes me a little sad. It reminds me of how proud I used to be when I went to a restaurant and could only eat the bare-bones salad with dressing on the side (duh) because I just couldn't be "unhealthy" enough to stomach anything else. You know what I had for dinner last night? Fries as an appetizer, a big salad, two glasses of wine, and then more fries. In my defense, the appetizer fries were white potatoes with truffle salt and the entree fries were sweet potato (yes, I did indeed die of happiness). And although I was self-conscious about eating multiple potatoes for dinner, I got over it. I left dinner feeling pretty full but also quite happy. Did I worry about not getting protein? For a minute, but I didn't worry about it enough to stop me from tearing into the potato-y goodness. Old me would have chosen what I saw as the moral high road (I hate myself just for typing that) and eaten air instead of 6 servings of potatoes. New me says "screw it." I prefer to look like a weirdo with a carb obsession instead of the frigid, picky bitch who subsists on spinach.

I know that clean eating is a thing and it makes people feel good. It makes me feel good too, really! Veggies are good for you and I love eating them. I know that certain foods ARE better for you. Given the choice, I would have preferred that one serving of my potato dinner would have been replaced by a veggie burger or something a little more substantial. But I ate to sate my hunger, and it was delicious, and I left happy. And I'm trying to let that be the only thing that matters.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bathroom remodel update!

Subtitle: This is why other people are paid the big bucks.

After much ado, the bathroom is DONE (ish... just needs all the paint edges cleaned up and a tile issue fixed and the mirror hung and... ok so it's not done). It is functional! We even bought a nice new trashcan for it! I'm living the dream.

No, I couldn't be bothered to fix the towel before I took the picture.

Tiny bathroom + huge cabinet = <3

I haven't provided many updates on this because we've taken it slow and not so steady. Nick (with help from my dad!) did an amazing job laying the tile. It is lovely and bright and I would never do it again. Never ever. I say "I" because although Nick did all the work, I did lots of fretting. I was super worried the whole time it was going down because, ugh, white tile laid on dark mastic looks really awful until the grout is put in. I was worried it would look grimy forever. Then we took a little break.

The rest of the work was also Nick-heavy and I am so thankful for my handy husband. I did a lot of the painting, but he really did the rest. He's the best. My mom bought us a very cute shower curtain, rug, and towel set that go nicely with the walls. With such a small room and those dark walls, it would be easy to feel small, but the bright floor and light accessories brighten it up. We still need to hang the mirror. We scavenged the door off a medicine cabinet because all the other standard mirrors were way too big. We needed something about 16" wide to fit in the space next to the cabinet. I was torn between using the  big cabinet but needing a small mirror, versus using a larger medicine cabinet but not having the big cabinet. The room needs more storage than just a medicine cabinet can provide, so we went with the big cabinet. Cabinet cabinet cabinet. That word loses meaning when you type it too many times.

I'm still looking for more accessory type stuff, like an oil diffuser. Preferably in the bright yellow accent color. And something to hang on the walls. I remember a friend's house that had a picture of the owners, smiling happily, in their bathroom. They gazed pleasantly at you while you were using the bathroom. I think we just might be creepy enough to do that. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

I am the luckiest.

Subtitle: read the poem at the bottom. Because it's deep and meaningful and it inspired me. I am feeling touchy-feely enough lately to actually be inspired. Deal with it.

My posts lately are basically a bunch of whining, I know this. I like to whine and then follow up with some snark because it diffuses all the feelings I'm feeling. It's my version of breaking the tension. And it also gives me a chance to pop my head out from all the whining and wink, like "hey, I'm complaining but I don't mean it! Life is peachy"

But it's not. 

But is also is. And I keep losing sight of that. I can spiral down (or rabbit hole, as Nick and I call it) from normal gripes about day-to-day life to how I am a failure as a person very, very quickly. Example: I'm tired because I didn't sleep well because I'm worrying and worrying is stress and stress will negatively effect my hormones so stop worrying or else you'll never have a baby. I'm not exaggerating even a little bit. But when I do this, I lose all my chances to reflect on the positives in my life. So I want to truly think about those.

I have a husband who is wonderful and we get to celebrate our anniversary soon! 

I have a puppy who thinks I'm the best thing that's ever happened to her every day when I come home from work.

I have a house that, while it has its issues, is still a house. And it houses me, Nick, and Kiwi perfectly.

I have the resources to feed myself more so I can GAIN weight to eventually have a child I am choosing to have. This decision is based off of bloodwork and diagnoses from doctors that I don't pay very much to see because I have a job with excellent health insurance.

And a now, because I'm not random and out-of-character enough today, here's a poem:

The Peace of Wild Things

BY WENDELL BERRY
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. (source)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bad habits

At the beginning of 2012, I tried to do a cute little "goal a week" deal, where I set mini-goals in order to break bad habits. I totally lost sight of that, which is probably good. Although it was well intentioned, my actual bad habits are way worse than "eats too much work candy." Let's discuss.

I make faces at people if they're rude to me.
Example: Person A is approaching me in the hallway at work. We make eye contact, I smile, nod, and sometimes say "hi." Person A ignores me. When he passes me, I make a really terrible face.
Holy wrinkles. Holy chin. Holy... wow I really learned a lot about myself by taking this picture.

Which, whatever, I'm rude, that's the least of my problems. The issue is when I've been focusing on Person A, and I should have noticed that he has Person B behind him. And I've just contorted my face at that person. I also make this face when someone doesn't hold the door for me, or fails to say thank you if I hold the door for him. I am amazed the muscles I use to make this face aren't all bulgey, because I do it all the time.

I still haven't met a bag of chips I won't eat in one sitting.
Potato. Tortilla. Gluten-free lentil. I will eat them all. I really don't know why the self-control break down happens specifically around chip-type things. I mean, I also have problems with ice cream, even faux ice cream, but I am able to engage my frontal lobe in some higher order decision-making and stop myself from killing a whole container in one sitting. With chips? All bets are off.

If someone is trying to talk to me in the bathroom, I am unable to pee.
I guess this isn't a bad habit. Hell, it's not even something I want to change about myself because WHY is someone even trying to talk to me in the bathroom? The worst is the extended talk.. when I'm done, and the other person isn't, and yet we're still conversing for some reason while my mind gets a chance to imagine why she's taking so long to fasten her pants. Long shirt? Complicated underwear? Tight pants? JUST LET ME LEAVE THE BATHROOM.

I'm judgey.
As if you hadn't already figured that out by my previous bullets. The thing is, I will judge someone, then feel bad about it, then come up with some justification for why they're doing what they're doing (She has her finger halfway up her nose because she has a cold! He loves Nickelback because he has literally never heard another band in his life.) then continue judging anyways. This is something I actually want to change about myself because 1) it's not nice and 2) it's incredibly tiring. Going around thinking mean things about people (see my first point, about the face-making) is not a fun way to live. Trying to go through life without a hidden set of criteria that the people around me are constantly not meeting sounds like a better way to spend my days. I think I'll try that.

Are you a terrible person too? Cool, let's be friends. At least we'll go into the friendship knowing we're both awful people. And then I'll eat all your chips.