Monday, July 30, 2012

Links for a Monday

  • Olympic Opening Ceremony – 2012 – I only saw snippets of this, while having dinner at a bar (and a couple of drinks [oh, Corona with lime, it’s been too long]), but it was pretty intense. I’ve been told the Beijing opening ceremony was pretty badass, and I saw none of it, and now I really want to check it out.
  • Food in 20 years – Leave my meat alone! I might have to become a farmer. Someone recently reminded me that they would not be able to eat meat in space, either, so I guess I won’t be going to Mars anytime soon. I’d still love to see a station built on the Moon in my lifetime, but I’ll probably be very, very old at that point.
  • Speaking of the Moon, it’s really weird to think how there’s no wind on the Moon. Should that be capitalized? Since the Earth is, I suppose so. The Moon is a moon.
  • I’m doing another Whole30 for August. This will save me a little bit of money, not having ice cream as much (it became a weekly thing in July), as well as hopefully helping some gut issues I’ve been having. I finished off my yogurt yesterday and am having some cheese with my lunch, then no more dairy! If you’re interested in changing your way of eating for 30 days to see how your life and health could improve, I suggest checking out their new day-by-day guide.

  • High cholesterol and a Paleo diet – “More information” is a good starting point with any medical condition. Given my family’s history with high cholesterol, there is a chance I may end up in a similar boat when I’m older, but I’m hoping that taking good care of myself now will mean I never have to worry about this. Low-inflammatory foods is  key!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Post inspired by Primal Kitchen’s The Magic Number.

As a pre-adolescent (around the age of 12), I distinctly remember not giving a crap about how my body looked. I had always been thin and was completely non-judgmental about my shape in comparison to others. The first time I really remember being judged for my body was by a teacher in middle school, when rumors went around that she was making a list of girls in my grade that she thought had eating disorders. I was on that list. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure that rumor was completely made up by a student who had their own body image issues and was projecting their issues on others to try and deal with it. I remember feeling really angry that someone would assume I was starving myself to be just how I was. I ate plenty!

After that, puberty was encroaching and hormones really did a number on my overall psyche. I’m sure there are/were many factors that play into it, but I believe the majority of my emotional problems stemmed from hormonal imbalances, since my depression started after/with puberty. I have never had my levels tested, and it might be pointless to do it now, since I feel so much better than I used to. I would still like to know for sure if my hormones are in a reasonable range, just to know.

As a result of my depression, my personal body image suffered greatly. I didn’t worry too much about myself at first, but over the years, as I felt worse and worse about myself as a person, it spread to how I looked. At an average of 115lbs at 5’6” for most of high school, there’s no doubting I was thin, but without much muscle mass, I perceived myself as squishy and misshapen. What a horrible thing to think about yourself!

Changing the way I eat had a wonderful effect on my body, and as a result, on my self esteem! Not only are my emotions more balanced (as a result of more balanced hormones?), I lost the excess weight I had gained after graduating college, and I believe I am now at what is my natural weight, which is fairly slim. My body is not exactly  how I’d like it to be, but I know how to change it: exercise! My goals have changed over the past year of dedicated self-improvement (through nutrition, supplementation, exercise, and therapy), from getting to my graduating weight (118 lbs ) to becoming fit (and I don’t care what weight that is, I just want to be able to do functional and sporadic physical activities comfortably and relatively easily). I’m not 100% comfortable with my body or being scantily clad, but I try to push my personal boundaries whenever possible and that’s been working pretty well for me for the past year.

A look at changes that have happened to me. I don’t think most people would notice the differences all that much, but I do, and I’m really proud of them!

skinny-mini just turning 18

2006

August 2011, just starting out with Primal eating

2011

Look! There's a little bit of muscle! About 1 yr primal/paleo

2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Managing the personal and professional

Like many other young-adults in similarly-shaped shoes, I struggle with managing my personal and professional lives. I am not adept at leaving my work stress in the office and often come home feeling down-trodden and completely worn out (emotionally, physically…spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically…). Some evenings are more successful than others in terms of separating myself from my stressful work-day and being mildly productive in caring for the apartment, my boyfriend, and myself.

Since that is a skill that will probably requires years of honing, I like to take full advantage of my weekends. If I feel like I need to sleep in, I will, but I often set an alarm for as early as 9AM to ensure that I start my day at a reasonable hour and don’t mess up my energy levels by over-sleeping (over 9 hours usually results in excess fatigue for me). This past weekend, I felt incredibly productive in all matters. I took care of some organization projects around the apartment, I went out and saw The Dark Knight Rises (I thought it was excellent!) with my boyfriend and a friend in Boston (thus fulfilling a hankering to “get out”). I had a nice dinner out with my parents and was treated to a haircut, some kitty supplies (no more flinging poo onto the floor with this high-sided litter box!), and new tubes and tires for my bike. I also took some time to veg and watch Supernatural with my boyfriend (our current favorite TV show, we’re on season 4 on Netflix). We splurged a little and went out for ice cream at the 24-hour CVS last night and I felt like the entire weekend was a success.

Hill's Pond at a local forest park

Family dog, not really interested in pond water

This weekend, I’m taking a mini-vacation to a lake in upstate New York. With all that’s been going on in my personal and professional life lately, I definitely feel like I need it! Sometimes, I feel guilt over feeling like I need time off to decompress, but I realize that I am not in a usual situation at my age: it’s uncommon for someone to essentially be the single-point of tech support for an office of 45-50 people at the age of 24 with one retail job separating this position and graduating college. I am proud of my accomplishments and how well I manage my free time considering all this, and I really do feel that I deserve time off from time to time. I’m not like other people, in being in the work environment that I am at this age, and I’m not like other people, in needing just a bit of extra down time to handle stress. And that’s okay.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Career dreams–helping others with depression

This Wednesday, I spent some quality time hanging with my mom. Our discussion eventually veered to helping kids with behavioral/mental disorders in schools, and my experiences with trying to get help in a public school system. 8 years since my overdose, it was interesting to get her perspective on trying to get my high school to acknowledge that they seriously dropped the ball in keeping an eye out for warning signs, as well as having systems in place to offer me help or allow me to feel enabled to seek assistance from someone. It should not have gone past my teachers’ heads that the girl shuffling around in hoodies, with suddenly dropping grades (from A-average to low B-average), and hiding in plain sight from day to day wasn’t fairing well. It’s not the school’s fault that I was depressed, but they definitely could have done more.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Smoke & mirrors

Am I the only person who watches themselves as they walk by reflective surfaces? When I go to a public bathroom with a wall of mirrors, I don’t examine myself in the reflection to check for imperfections or adjust my hair (well, only sometimes, but I prefer it messy), I just look. Sometimes, I get the briefest glimpse of what I might look like to someone else. There’s an odd disconnect to my own image in those moments. Sometimes it happens when I look at pictures of myself and think it’s my sister for a split-second. I can’t identify the focus change that occurs when I realize it’s me. I can’t look at it “new” again. So I keep looking at reflections, wondering about who I see walking in-stride with me.

And sometimes I just want to check out my hair.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Now in Technicolor!


Boyfriend and I are big movie watchers. I grew up watching a lot of classic Hollywood cinema, with actors such as Gene Kelly (a crush of mine), Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Audrey and Katherine Hepburn, Carey Grant ('nother crush), Jimmy Stewart... I could go on. Off the top of my  head, two favorites old-Hollywood classics are Singin’ In the Rain and The Philadelphia Story. Watching White Christmas and The Bishop's Wife with my family was an annual tradition for many years (and now that I think of it, watching so many musicals as a kid is probably why I often imagine myself walking around to a soundtrack). Boyfriend and I go to a lot of first-night showings. We're picky, we do pay attention to ratings, but generally agree more with audiences than critics. Even with films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I can see how awful they are (plot problems, bad make-up, bad stunts etc.), but it does not stop me from enjoying it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to get news? with links

You may have noticed I get a lot of my news articles from BBC News. This is mostly thanks to Boyfriend, who, at the time we first started seeing each other, would often reference news articles and goings-on. I got into the habit of at least skimming article titles, if not reading an article or two from each category/world location. I tend to focus on the In Pictures, Health, and Entertainment sections as well as the top trending stories, now. Just too much to read!

What are your favorite news sources? I find most US-based sites are too much rumor-mill material.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Gratitude post

Coming back to blogging and I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, so of course, don’t really feel like writing much. I’ve been struggling with a lot of feelings of anger and frustration lately. I do see this as an improvement over feeling depressed and anxious, so that’s good, at least! I just have to learn how to deal with them.

Queue 10 things I’m grateful for post!

  1. My awesome boyfriend for being awesome and supportive and defensive and protecting me from internet people.
  2. No matter how irritating it may be at times (last week, the week before…and today), I am incredibly grateful for being employed full-time at this job!
  3. My scooter works. Not well, but it works. Getting to work is important, yo.
  4. Eating amazing whole foods, like those steak kebabs I’m tossing in the broiler tonight. No guilt.
  5. Summer weather, while a bit too humid in this area, is helping immensely to keep my mood up.
  6. I’ve been eating this whole foods diet for over a year now. I didn’t start off that well, still eating lots of junk and questionably healthy foods at first, but I really feel like this has made a huge difference in my overall mental and physical health since last year. I feel great and I’m grateful that I took the time to educate myself and make a change and stick with it.
  7. Being at the point in my life where I can pop over to my folks’ place on a day off or weekend and just veg. It’s nice to feel like an adult daughter, and not just “the youngest daughter.”
  8. I am grateful for technology, especially smartphones! Sometimes getting lost is fun, but it’s nice to have something that can easily locate you and your destination, plus fun stops that may be along the way.
  9. The CW show Supernatural. Seriously, for a channel that featured America’s Next Top Model, it’s a fun show! If you can deal with the constant “Boo!” moments, however.
  10. As usual, I need to plug my buddies over at Mark’s Daily Apple, who often provide sage advice to me, such as “Keep your overtime, woman!” (not really, I’m actually the one who said that, but the sentiment was there) when I really want to leave work early on a bad day.

Inspired by Sometimes Sweet’s recent post.