Thursday, June 26, 2014

And I Was Full

The last few weeks have been a struggle. For months I would start each week with that high ambition of making it "the week" that I get back on the wagon of watching what I ate religiously. And by about 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, there would be a bag of gummi bears on my desk.

For some reason, I just couldn't feel satisfied. I don't want to blame it on stress or being busy because I can't think of a person on Earth, who doesn't have those two words and all the feelings around them to justify any poor behavior. Something felt off and different. I didn't seem to be eating all that much more, but weight kept creeping on and for about three weeks I lost the feeling of fullness. It seemed like I could push myself to eat steadily without that feeling that prompts me to stop.

But the real motivation came when I was in the bathroom and closed a drawer on my stomach while leaned over the counter to do my makeup. It's pretty embarrassing to admit. I mean, I have typed a novel with my boobs without even knowing it (busty women out there can feel me on that one), but I've never closed a drawer on my stomach. Here's the scary part: I didn't feel it or realize it until I leaned back. I probably shouldn't admit that but let's just put you all in the frame of mind that I was dealing with when I decided enough was enough.

I knew I had to get a handle on things quickly. I didn't want to end up where I was at about seven years ago when I started my first weight loss adventure. I couldn't wait until I was well over 200 lbs before I righted the ship.

Plus I had enough encouragement from Chef telling me that he thought I had a slow metabolism because I wasn't eating that much. Maybe I wanted some validation, so I decided to go to a doctor and see what I could find out. I had a bunch of tests and it turns out the news was reassuring but also kinda crappy: turns out my metabolism burns about 450 calories less per day than it should.

The doctor asked if I had tried Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or anything else. In fact, WW was the last thing that I had tried about 2 years ago and it wasn't really effective--because even at the lower calorie intake, it wasn't low enough to overcome the 450 calorie deficit that my metabolism was bringing to the table.

I'm now working to "reset" my metabolism and am on a protein and plant-based plan to help drop some lbs again. I know and always know that battling the bulge will be a lifelong struggle for me, but knowing that doesn't make it suck any less.

Wish me luck. . .again.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Making time for Me

If you've been checking back here lately and not found a post, well honestly, you must be a relative. But anyway, you may have surmised that I've been busy. You would be right.  

In the last few months, I've had a stretch of working 38 of 40 days. Then working a ton during the week. Then a few more weekends.  Don't get me wrong. I love my job and I'm thankful for it, but in the near compulsive need to please people (clients, bosses, coworkers, husbands), I've forgotten to please someone pretty important: myself. 

I'm not unhappy, but I'm not as happy as I could be and frankly the fault is my own. I know myself fairly well. I know that I am most satisfied when I take time for myself to do the things that feed my soul. My soul is hungry. And no amount of gummi bears or cheeseburgers or lazy afternoons on the couch will make me feel better. 

So I'm going back to what makes me happy. Unless I'm in danger of missing a client deadline, I am going to leave the office before 7 each night. I am going to workout every weekday. And by workout, I mean work up a sweat. I will do something to move my dreams each day. This will probably involve having fun with my novel in Scrivener, which is awesome. 

And so this post is like so many more where I have to remind myself that I'm important. Taking time for myself is not selfish. 

And all this to say thank God I don't have kids. I don't think I could stand the guilt. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

What Can You Get From a Toilet Seat Anyway?

I get all judgey in bathrooms. People that look like normal citizens in any other setting suddenly become carriers of every exotic disease known to man when they enter the bathroom. It's made a little paranoid and I'm not sure the reasons are all that valid. (Although MERS is a real thing, people).

For example, I'm not a big fan of the paper toilet seat cover. I don't think it really does anything. But there are times when I see someone washing their hands, and notice that the stall I went in to has water that's clearly just been flushed, and I'll grab one. I told you. I'm judgey in bathrooms.

And that's if the person is actually washing their hands. If they are just making the motions or messing with their hair and it's obvious that they haven't even attempted cleanliness, I'll just move on out of the stall and hit the next one.

But honestly, despite this paranoia, what actual diseases can you get from a toilet seat? The first rumor about any new disease is that you can't get it from a toilet seat. HIV/AIDS? Not the toilet seat. The Clap? Not from the crapper. Cancer? Yet again, not transmitted through porcelain.

Seriously, I'm probably still going to be judgmental in the bathroom (and don't act like you aren't. You know you are), but do I have anything to be afraid of (Except MERS, of course)?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shaken and Stirred

An earthquake isn't the best form of alarm clock that I know of. I would much prefer something a little more soothing and that doesn't freak the crap out of my cats.

I actually was drifting back to sleep as I had decided after my alarm went off at the normal 5:45 that my aching feet from an event I worked yesterday didn't need to hit the treadmill quite yet. The shaking started and it rattling the windows pretty hard. A little before the shaking started, I heard the cats scurry from their shelf-perches. Then they all ended up in bed with me. Chef, on the other hand, didn't wake up at all. That man can sleep through just about anything.

But the earthquake was just the start of a jarring day. It wasn't particularly bad or remarkable or even unusual in the sense that nothing happened that was out of the ordinary. But for some reason I was a little shaken in more than the physical sense today.

I thought of a question on my way out to my car. Pondering life and art and all those things that only seem to pop into my head when I'm trying to think about other things, less important daily duties, I thought to myself: Do you have to sacrifice something for your dreams?  Is that a prerequisite?

I honestly don't know the answer or am not sure there really is an answer. Do you have to sacrifice family to be a true artist? Or a career to have a true passion (assuming it's not in that career field, of course)? Clearly, there's no secret formula to making dreams come true. Other than luck. I'm a firm believer that luck (or timing or coincidence or faith or whatever you believe in) plays a bit role in making things happen. And yes, the harder you work the "luckier" you seem to get. I've heard that.

But I guess I found it appropriate on St. Patrick's Day to wonder: Is it luck or sacrifice that plays a bigger role in making dreams a reality?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Indecisiveness Strikes at the AutoMall

It's time to get a new car. The Sentra is up and running like a champ, but it would better serve Chef than me at this point. Knowing this, I ventured out to my local Carmax last weekend wanting to look at about six different car models.

After careful consideration, I am no closer to choosing one than I was before.

I like one because it's fuel efficient and newer and from a  reliable brand, but it doesn't have as many luxuries for the price. One is slightly older has more luxuries and is also reliable, but is rumored to require the sale of a kidney for upkeep in its later days. Some are new but basic, others are older (less than 3 years old) but pimped out. And frankly, I just can't decide.

So I've decided to put off the decision, because that's what all reasonable people do.

What kind of car do you drive? Would you recommend it?

Saturday, March 08, 2014

I Got Called A "Bitch" By A Total Stranger. . .again

I was unloading my groceries as my car was parked on the street outside my apartment building when I was approached by a wiry, shirtless man who had been pacing the sidewalk while carrying what looked to be t-shirt that was wrapped around something and held tight by duct tape.

"You going into that apartment complex?" he asked.

I nodded.

"Will you let me in? My son lives there," he said.

"I don't know you, dude. I don't let people in that I don't know," I replied.

At this point he was still pacing around me on the sidewalk.

"My son lives here. He lives with his grandma who is like 85 and can't hear the phone to let me in. I can go by the leasing office with you if it makes you feel better"

Me: "How about you just call the leasing office from the main gate and have them escort you to the apartment?"

He didn't wait for me to finish, but bounded down the sidewalk away from me towards the front gate. Thinking this was settled, I grabbed my bags and headed to the side entrance that's locked and for residents only. I was unlocking it when I noticed the guy was right behind me.

"You don't mind, do you?" he asked again.

"Yes. I absolutely do mind. But I guess you're not going to care about that at all and just do what you want to do."

At this point he followed me into the complex and started raising his voice that FINE. I could follow him down to the leasing office and he'll prove that he's been there before if it makes me feel better. Fine. I told him that it would be great if could go down there and at least have them escort him to the apartment he was to visit. He started to head down there and then he stopped when he thought I wasn't looking and muttered "Fucking bitch."

Me with groceries still in my arms: "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?"

"I said you're a fucking bitch. All uppity and shit. I told you we could go to the leasing office together but you still didn't want to let me in and then you gave me attitude."

Me: "I didn't give you attitude. I told you twice that I wouldn't let you and yet you still followed me in."

At this point he came back towards me and went from being about 20 feet away to about three feet away.

"You had to say that 'I was gonna do what I wanted to do anyway," after I said I'd go to the leasing office and everything."

Me: "I would say that I had a pretty accurate accessment since you did what you wanted to do and we're sitting here with your finger in my face instead of actually going down to the leasing office. But come on. Let's go."

We proceeded to go to the leasing office where Alex, our leasing agent, verified that the man had a son who lived there (and wasn't a resident himself) and the guy acted like he was vindicated.

"Should he be let into the premises against a resident's wishes?" I asked.

"Well, no,"  Alex said.

At this point, the guy bounded out and towards the apartment he was visiting. The leasing agent told me he'd call the apartment and make sure everything was okay. To make things doubly creepy, the kid he was visiting was the family that lives in the apartment across from us. And when I say across from us, I mean that our doors are about 4 feet apart. 

Next time, I'm calling Chef out to help. Although I have a feeling if Chef had been there, there might have been some hand to hand combat.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Unintended Consequence of Traveling Alone: Selfie Abundance

Amsterdam was awesome. The city was beautiful, the people friendly and the food (for the most part) delicious. It was a great work trip and I was really lucky to be able to go. The only thing that would have made it even better was if Chef was able to go. Maybe if I'm lucky enough to go back to this conference I'll plan far enough ahead to bring him along too.

Anyway, one of the things I learned after looking through my pictures was that I apparently took a lot of selfies. I think this was mostly because I was alone, vain, and have been taking them before they went digital and had a name. I literally have hundreds of pics from holding the camera out in front of me all my life. So it really is no surprise that I have selfies galore from the trip.

Since I had them, I thought I'd tell the story through myself. Or my selfies.

This was right outside of the Anne Frank House. It was touching and amazing. And no photos allowed inside. 

Me and a piece of art at the Rijks Museum. I wanted a Rembrandt selfie or a selfie with Van Gogh's self portrait,
but they were always busy with crowds.

Selfie with a Kendra, my DC co-worker on our last night

Last Dinner selfie. I have to say that the tablescape was prettier than any wedding I've been too (sorry, friends)

"I'm on a boat" selfie. We getting ready to glide through the canals with champagne.

Selfie with my NYC colleague, Ed, while we made some pastries and chocolates.

Not technically a selfie because my hands were full. Here I am filling chocolates with a ganache.
Chef would've been so proud. 

Again, not a selfie, but me and another DC colleague Amaris making Dutch Apple Pie (of course)

So, I went to McDonald's. So what. After 4 days of meals with 10 ingredients per dish, you'd probably want a cheeseburger too. Plus they're a client, so that's technically just doing my job, right?

This used to be the Capitol building in Amsterdam
but the prince decided at one point it was too nice to be government and took it over. It was pretty sweet. 

Some large statue that someone told me was important.
There were always people gathered around it, so I bought in. 

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