Health Update

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Starting Weight: 185 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 179 lbs
This Weigh-in: 170 lbs

I know that losing 15 lbs in a year is no big whoop.  There are great weight loss success stories out there that have taken only a few months.  I think I got caught up in the idea that I could do it too, while balancing two jobs and lots of side projects.  As it turns out, this journey has taught me that I am not that kind of person.

My goal was to be down to 150 lbs by this time, which is kind of disappointing, as I am still 20lbs away from that. However, I can tell you that the amount of cheeseburgers in my life directly correlates with my general feelings of happy on certain days, and that’s a reason. Yesterday, I was super distraught and had a delightful 750 calorie lunch that did actually make me feel better at the time. Instead of a cheeseburger or pizza, it was hummus with pita bread and a salad.  I’m working on this, guys.  So with these facts in mind, it was kind of ridiculous to assume I would be down that far by now.  Realism is my biggest takeaway in the last 6 months.

My biggest help with the last few pounds was going to Hawaii.  That was my own personal fat camp.  We hiked/walked so much that I burnt about 1000 calories a day, which helped because sometimes I really splurged with food.  I lost 3 lbs on that trip and wondered if I should start leading hikes for a living instead of menial desk jobs.

With that in mind, my upcoming goal is to have lost 1o more pounds by February 2015.  I already know that I can handle that — I’ve already done it once. If I can manage that, I will be down to 160 lbs by February — the lightest I’ve been since undergrad (six years). I remember writing the last post and it feels like 160 is way more attainable than it was last time. What a wonderful feeling.

Things I’ve been doing right: Realism, excluding bacon from cheeseburgers (not that big of a deal after all), cutting alcohol intake, not eating the whole dish laid in front of me (last night with a restaurant-sized plate of spaghetti and meatballs — the struggle was real), learning to identify about how many calories are in something by sight, ordering things other than cheeseburgers in certain restaurants, running/exercise of some sort 5-6 days a week.

Things I still need to work on: Eating my feelings, drinking Coke Zero (still bad for you), assuming dessert is a right and not a privilege, trying not to weigh myself every day, keeping up with body measurements, not eating out as much, making workouts more fun so I won’t dread them like humans are wont to do.

Are you on a weight loss journey? What are your strengths and pitfalls? Are you also having a torrid love affair with cheeseburgers? let me know!

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Content Warning: Name Calling on the Job

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It’s pretty normal for me to be yelled at on a weekly basis at my job.  Okay, people experience that.  It isn’t that abnormal.  But not everyone is called was fucking bitch at their job yesterday, like me.

Except teachers. And people that work retail (Oh, Borders <3)

I could go on and on about disrespect and ‘kids these days’. But who has the time for that? And I’ve already talked about how disappointing it is when a career path doesn’t work out.

I just wanted to point out that in the large scope of employment in this country, that shouldn’t be happening.  Retail and education are tough.

Change needs to happen for me (for everyone really). I’m contemplating new options that will get me out of this situation faster.  I’ll keep you posted.

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Dying Off

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“I figured it was time for a garden update. I just came back from Hawaii to find this:”

I started a draft of this post on the day that I left assuming I would come home to nothing but skeletons of the plants I once loved. Instead, I came back to overgrowth,tangled branches, and leaves spindling wildly over my tupperware-inspired last ditch effort to ensure their survival.  Yep, an hour before I left, I put them all in large plastic tubs submerged in 3-inch deep water.

Evidently, that was the best thing I could have done for them, and thankfully I didn’t have a frog infestation on my hands. Only one of my plants died, an effort at rooting basil that was probably doomed from the start, and it was inside the whole time. A huge contributing factor to my success was the weather.  It stayed in the high 70’s and rained half the time I was gone. My plants are on a covered porch, but it still helped to have a moist atmosphere.image

I know their mortal clocks are ticking, though.

Dying off is a natural part of plant life. Many species die off every winter and come back just as strong as they had been in the spring. Dormancy helps usher seedlings into new trees. Bears freaking hibernate. It’s the way of things and definitely a common sight with the new fall season upon us.

That doesn’t mean I can’t mourn the loss. I love the smells of a humid summer day in my garden, even if my body will never be used to the heat. I just have to remember that spring will come and things will grow again.

If you garden, do you get separation anxiety when harvest passes? Do you have a winter garden?

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Hawaii and Some Thoughts on Being LOST

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Where to begin? Nine days of awesome is a lot to cram into one blog post, but I feel like splitting it into sections would be contrite.

LOST was the whole reason for this trip and our decision to go was made on a whim. That’s why when things came together to easily, the whole trip kind of seems surreal in retrospect. We got a deal on a convertible rental and ended up driving into Honolulu with a rainbow for a backdrop, for instance.  If that isn’t perfect, I don’t know what is.  In fact, 50% of our days there involved rainbows. It makes their license plate make so much more sense.

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The surreal factor to almost everything we did really went along with the whole theme of the show. Over the course of the week, we went to over 80 different LOST related locations (some twice) to take pictures.  We spent several hours hiking up mountains or sitting by water holes. We could almost always recognize what scenes had been filmed in certain places, and from what angle.  From what we experienced (bruises, sunburns, mosquitos, thirst, exhaustion, etc), we gained a lot of respect for the actors and crew. We also marveled at the creativity involved in morphing two city blocks into several cities in several countries.

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Near the end of the week, the fan gathering aspect of the trip started to pick up speed.  There was an initial meeting of around 40 LOSTies at O’Tooles, a pub where several scenes were filmed.  Everyone was instantly friends. We all had some common interest, after all.

Over the next three days, people went on tours, attended the Q&A, had a costume party, and generally got their geek on. I thought *I* was obsessed.  No. There are people who know every line, who made insanely intricate costumes about references to the show that were barely mentioned. The best part about the whole thing was that no one tried to out-geek anyone else.  I was surprised.  Usually when 300 people get together, there’s at least one bad apple.  This was definitely not the case.

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The whole event was held by a charity called Cancer Gets LOST and they had a silent auction for hundreds of items from the show. So far, they’ve raised an estimated $77,000+ for the American Cancer Society.  That’s nothing to sneeze at. Here’s one of the items (I think it went for $1000):

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My takeaway from all of this are the memories of all of the wonderful, generous people that all love LOST.  Sure, the sights were breathtaking and that’s the first crater I’ve ever hiked, but these relationships are going to last a lifetime.  The people are what make a show like LOST something more than it was when it started.

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Losing My Phone

If you’ve ever lost your phone, you can associate with the feelings I felt the other morning after I had searched through all of my luggage and couldn’t find it.  The boyfriend and I had called the taxi company several times and couldn’t get the record of our cab trip that we had taken just 20 minutes earlier. What kind of cab company won’t keep records like that? As he went off to work, I spent most of the morning going through most of the stages of loss.

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As I said, I had already ripped through all of my clothes and poured the contents of my purse on the floor to try to find the damn thing (denial). Then, got ridiculously angry at my idiocy and at the cab company for not caring more (they probably handle lost phones all the time). I had also gotten pretty angry at the Find My iPhone app, because it wasn’t working for me.*

I skipped bargaining (I’m a realist, people) and advanced to depression, thinking about the pictures I had lost and how I’d have to start all over.** Finally, I accepted the fact that I was going to have to drop a bit of cash to get a new phone.  I was planning to do that soon anyway, but I prefer to do that kind of thing on my own time.

When the boyfriend found out that he didn’t actually have to work today, he messaged me that he was on his way home.  Being as awesome as he is, he brought home muffins.  I wasn’t very hungry and was planning to eat them later, but he said, “They are really special muffins, you’ll really like them once you see them.” So I opened the box and realized that he is, in fact, the sweetest and best person alive ever:

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I have since backed up my phone completely, but I can’t help but think about how lost I felt without my phone.  It’s upsetting how important being connected can feel.  If this had happened ten years ago, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.  It’s interesting how time has changed us. Thanks for reattaching my limb, boyfriend!

Have you ever lost your phone? Did you ever find it?

*Note: Once I got my phone back, I finally go the app to work.
**However, two unwatched episodes of Outlander definitely took the edge off of my depression.

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On Staying Organized: Lists, Feedly, Email, Bookmarks, Pinterest

I find a lot of inspiration online, but mostly during work hours, unfortunately.  Since I don’t have a permanent computer at school, it’s hard to keep track of the different articles and DIYs I come across and maintain some semblance of organization.  I came up with a method that looks a little like this: Lists, Email, Feedly, Bookmarks, and Pinterest.

Lists:
I live on post-it notes. Pretty much every teacher has them in their desk, but I keep some with me just in case. I admit that I email myself a million things to remember, but the post-its are a nice way for me to take time to organize my thoughts. The post-its allow for more than a minute’s involvement, whichkeep me more organized in the end. Most of the information houses in these mediums are ideas and to-dos. Sometimes, I tend to doodle…Photo Feb 10, 9 48 46 AM.jpg

Email:
Emails look like this: ‘deodorant, trash, bills, run’. This method works best when I am on the go or don’t have time to assemble anything coherent. That means most of the time. Once I have time to pull them back up, I sort links and ideas into their appropriate spots (Bookmarks/Pinterest). Boyfriend makes serious fun of me because I receive more email from myself than anyone else.

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Feedly:
This is where the ideas find a foothold. For instance, I follow tons of blogs on Feedly and often find information on there about how to carry out my ideas. It’s not super specific (Pinterest is better for specific searches on DIY). Feedly makes it easy for me to organize those blogs and find inspiration at my leisure.

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Bookmarks:
Once I find an article or a product I like, it gets arranged into bookmarks on my home browser. Usually, this process happens after I’ve emailed myself an article from Feedly that I saw during work hours. Note: it always feels so much more efficient to go from Feedly straight to Bookmarks or Pinterest without the inconvenience of my Email middle man. *I should just start lugging my computer to work. From here, if I have some extra cash, I just browse through my ‘Shopping Addiction’ bookmarks. Similarly, I can easily pull up info on how to make a salve out of eucalyptus from my section on herbs.

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Pinterest:
This is similar to Bookmarks, except that it’s my mobile form of it. The fact that it adds a picture to the mix eliminates the chance that I might click on the link and realize it wasn’t what I thought it was initially. I am slowly migrating all of my bookmarks onto Pinterest, so I don’t have to be on my computer to access them. This will eliminate the email step completely, causing my boyfriend to find other avenues to tease me (not hard).

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How do you organize your online inspiration?

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Back From Hawaii

I had an awesome time in Honolulu with tons of other LOST fans. I got to see a ridiculous amount of the island, burned all the calories ever by hiking to various filming locations, and even caught a glimpse of the Green Flash.  I’m back on the east coast and totally unsure of what time it actually might be, but I promise to post more about my adventures tomorrow on my day off.
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Stasis

Since I am gone for a week and some change, I needed to find a way to keep my plants watered.  You’d think, ‘oh, why doesn’t she just ask a friend or neighbor to water them while she’s gone?’

Have you seen my garden? It’s kind of intimidatingly huge.  There were over 60 potted plants at one point. Everyone I’ve asked has given me looks of polite reticence.

And, if a person knows anything about me, they know that I love the shit out of my garden. I can only imagine what people might think I would do to them if they killed my babies.

People.  It’s not that scary.  Promise.

After so many rejections, I just stopped asking people (read: don’t be offended if I didn’t ask you). So, I devised a way to kind of self water them while I am gone.  It’s not hard.
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I essentially stuck my plants in giant tubs of water.  Note the friend that got smuggled inside. Hopefully it will work out.  It’s not supposed to get over 85 (with an average in the high 70s) in the next week, which is pretty darn temperate for Raleigh. Hopefully it works out.  Honestly, as long as my rosemary lives, I’ll be okay.

How do you keep your plants alive when you are on vacation? 

 

 

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Next Semester’s Expenditures

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In the same vein as the last post, I’m also planning where my money will go next semester:

-New plants. I’m pretty sure leaving them in tubs full of water for nine days will not completely ensure the survival of the horde. And I need to buy out the supply of the dollar store’s dirt. Note that plants are my first priority.

- New computer. Sad but true. I’m going to go with another MacBook Pro and hope I can still get away with additions (space, RAM, etc). Mine’s five years old and that’s usually the useful life span of a computer that you can add things to — a trait that Macs sadly lack now. They are in the bad habit of making things without screws now or soldering motherboards to RAM cards. Jerks. Mine is struggling and I do too many useful things with it now (it’s not just an internet machine anymore). I’m afraid death throes aren’t far off. See how I legitimize this purchase. I see buyers remorse in my future.

- Seriously work on paying off my credit cards. Holy poo. I was careless in my early college years and still owe a bit. One of them is closed so it is only functioning as a virtual money pit. Kinda like saying, “This is the tax you pay because you were foolish and had a severe Starbucks addiction when you were 21.” I did actually need the money at the time, but this is a good lesson on interest and payments. Ugh.

- Domain and et ceteras. It is time to get serious about a business. I’d like to start manufacturing essential oils and loose herbs, etc. The man of the house made a point to mention that I’d be happier doing that and working part time, instead of the standard 9-5 mess. I couldn’t help but agree. More on that in another post.

- Savings. Because I am an adult now.

- Travel funds. I’ve started a bank account specifically for travel (and Christmas). This will keep me more organized and give me something to look forward to during the year. I also tend to over budget on trips, so this will keep me on track.

Here’s to 2015!

 

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Planning to Be Better

My college career, in both undergrad and postgrad, I followed a very specific schedule of procrastination. It usually involved me staying up all night on a caffeine bender rushing to get things finished before deadline, then turning it in, but not staying for class. That was more prevalent in undergrad, but writing my thesis was pretty much ‘coffee, tears, pee, repeat’ in a 72-hour period.

Now that I am attempting to be a grown ass adult (and the fact that I just can’t hang — I was not designed for all-nighters), I’m exploring this new thing called ‘organization’.

Like I explained in this post (plane to Hawaii post), this experiment is making my life so much easier. Suddenly, I am finishing things early and it’s giving me a lot more time for things that I enjoy. And I am making it to work on time, which is a new thing for me. Hopefully I can keep all of this up.

Has everyone else been procrastinating with me or am I late to the game?

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