Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Moment on the Lips is a Lifetime on the Hips

Not sure if anyone actually follows this (besides Alexis...Hi Alexis!) but if so you may be aware that in addition to becoming a good vegetarian and master yogi I'm also trying to lose 60 lbs. I started saying I was trying to lose weight months ago but around the 1st of November I joined a gym and have seriously been on a mission. So far I've lost 8 pounds and 2.3% body fat but since I Used to be Skinny I'm really not sure what constitutes as good weight loss. I'm also much too afraid to get my measurements done for some strange and vain reason so I don't exactly have a reference point other than poundage. One day I did actually manage to face my fears and I used the scale at the gym to measure my weight, body fat percentage and BMI. It was a really, really sad day. But it has given me a frame of reference so hopefully I'll stay on the right track. Just for reference for your sake, I'll put a picture of when I was young and cute and...well...what I look like now.

Image

Young, Skinny Me on College Graduation Day
May 2010



Image


One of the very FEW pictures I've allowed taken of me in the past year
July 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days of Yoga: Day 24

So, my project is almost over and I really think that I've been able to successfully incorporate yoga into my life. A couple of nights ago I got really upset but instead of doing my usual freak out and get mad/sad and just become beside myself I went up to my room and did yoga. I practiced breathing, cleared my mind and ended up feeling a lot better within a matter of minutes. Not only that but it's really helpful to be able to really target the problems or issues that are bothering me and solve them with a calm, clear head. I love the changes yoga has made in my life so far and can't wait to continue the journey :)



 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Yoga: Day 15

Halfway through and I feel better than ever. My sister tells me I'm spouting off "yoga talk", basically that things aren't such a big deal. For example, I was reading my facebook newsfeed this morning and my goodness there's so much negativity! Everybody hates someone or some group of people for whatever reason and in hating on others turning themselves into the victims and the "less fortunate". Let's just put it this way, if you have facebook it means you have some sort of access to the internet which in turn makes you one of the relatively fortunate. There will always be people with more money than you, who are better looking, more talented, who have better jobs and more expensive clothes but for Christ's sake just accept it and move on. For everything I just said you are that person to someone else. You are the rich, attractive, talented person they're jealous of. As someone who used to be the undisputed QUEEN of jealousy and complaining I understand that it's not easy to stop doing it but for the sake of YOURSELF it's something you must learn to do. As soon as I stopped comparing my shortcomings to other people's successes my whole world changed. What else is interesting is that I spent my time only comparing my shortcomings. I never compared my strengths to someone else and said "Wow, I'm a really good *insert word here*" Instead, I was looking at Olympic runners and saying "Man, I'll never be that fast. I'm so fat and slow. etc. etc." Well duh! I'm not an Olympian! Sometimes you look at your downfalls but don't forget to look at your strengths. Where there's bad there's good. Where there's evil there's good. Where there's pain there's good. Stop looking for all the bad in the world and recognize the good. And if there's something that's not good, change it. You don't have to change the world and you sure as hell can't change others. Cliche, I know, but listen to Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror. Negativity breeds negativity, we all know that. But maybe if we all try positivity on it can become just as strong. Enough of my rant, I know this is supposed to be about yoga. But this is the person yoga is turning me into and I honestly couldn't be happier about it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days of Yoga: Day 11

OMG I can't believe I'm already on day 11! I'm even more surprised that I've stuck with it and even though the blogging doesn't reflect that, I've done yoga every one of these 11 days. I can't believe how incredible I feel and how my outlook has changed on life. Even when bad things happen during the day, knowing that at the end of the day you'll do your yoga and release it all just makes it not seem like such a big deal. I've gotten a new yoga dvd (yes, I'm still convinced my body looks way too awful to be seen in a yoga studio) by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman.

I am to the point that I basically live and die by this dvd. There is an energizing series and rejuvenation and on more than one occasion I've been known to do the energizing in the morning and rejuvenation at night. They're really easy, there's a lot of holding of poses and it really just gives me time inside my own head (which I used to dread) but now I really know how to utilize to my benefit. In the same way I used to solve all of life's mysteries while running, now I use the time to reflect and let go. Nothing else to say now. Night night!

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Yoga: Days 3-6

Let me reiterate that I'm extremely bad at blogging. That said, I have been doing yoga the past 3 days and I feel fantastic. Yesterday I did a morning energizing session and last night did rejuvenation. I had a work event last night so unfortunately I ate like crap and didn't do any exercise OTHER than yoga. But no worries, I was back at the gym today and I surely can't change yesterday so just have to move on :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Simple Sun Salutation

Simple Sun Salutation

30 Days of Yoga: Day 2

Today I just did some simple sun salutations. Lame I know. I was planning to try a new yoga studio because it was my day off and I've found daytime classes are typically less crowded which is much more relaxing for me. Unfortunately in yoga-land, Halloween is a holiday and therefore cause to close your studio. Anyhow, I've found that I really like a more hatha style yoga just because it's much slower, there's a lot more focus on getting into the pose and being in the pose. Vinyasa (the only yoga on exercise tv on demand) is much more about flowing from pose to pose and I feel like I could do well with that eventually but for right now I just don't think I'm ready for that. I'm never sure if I've done the first pose right before we move to the second and it's a lot less relaxing for me because I'm always freaking out about being perfect. Anyways, I'll be back for another installment tomorrow. Namaste.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vrksasana, Tree Pose

Vrksasana, Tree Pose

30 Days of Yoga: Day 1

So for a very long time now I've thought about becoming a yoga instructor. I really do love it and hope to someday be someone's crazy, vegan yoga instructor. The process of becoming a yoga instructor is quite daunting and can typically take around 10 years to complete. The reason is because before you can even start to think about becoming an instructor you need to actually be able to do the poses which obviously take time. That said, since 10 years is way too big of a time period for me to focus on I am starting with a simple 30 Days of Yoga (and I use the word "simple" loosely). Today was Day 1 and I gotta tell ya, I am quite far from ever teaching yoga let alone entering a real yoga studio. I used to do yoga all the time but after gaining 60 pounds the idea of being in a room with other people around while I huff and puff and move my stomach to the side to try to get into a good "Proud Pigeon" pose is just more than I can deal with. I know that no one is looking at me or paying any attention to me whatsoever but it's just that crazy, female, self conscious brain going haywire again. Anyhow, I will also try to "master" one beginning yoga pose per day/week. Since today was day one and I needed some confidence I decided to master one of the easiest poses, for me at least and that would be "Vrksasana" or "Tree Pose". It's one of my favorites for some reason, probably because I can do it, but I always feel really good after holding it for a good long while. Well, off to bingo now. I'll see you for day 2!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nothing like a little free time

I've had several good days in a row and for that I'm very proud. Unfortunately, today is not one of them. I am bored out of my freaking mind and more ambitious yet discouraged than ever. When I was in college people used to always ask me what I'd do when I only had one job instead of 4 and no school instead of full time school and I never knew the answer. Now that I'm thinking about it, I really should've tried to come up with something because now I'm just bored to death. All I do is sit around and think about things I want to do and yet the motivation is not there. As hard as I'm trying to lose weight and be confident I just get too nervous when I think about actually doing the things I want to do. Going to a cooking class is terrifying to me but I've always wanted to do it. Basically, going out and meeting people is terrifying and I'm so mad because for a while I was making a lot of progress but now it's back to me, my pets and my computer. I want to be around people who are like me in at least one aspect but they're hard to find. The worst part about this weight loss thing is that I always really liked group fitness and now I'm too self conscious to do it. So I'm stuck at home trying to motivate myself and doing the p90x and doing the exercise tv but it just isn't the same. I miss boot camp and want to try cross fit and really miss taking yoga classes but I don't want to be the fat girl. I'm new to this and I don't know how it works and I'm so ANGRY at myself for letting me get to this point. I'm embarrassed. I'm not the girl who ran the marathon or any of those other races. I'm not the girl who plays tennis (which I miss) or swims or even runs at all anymore. I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. The one thing I am happy about is my job and that's a first. I'm really proud of myself for getting it and for how well (hopefully) I'm doing. I'm learning a lot and trying to keep up and getting things done and then I come home all jazzed but don't know what to do. I don't like working out but I do it. I'm hungry but don't want to eat. I'm tired but don't want to sleep. Beyond frustrating. If anyone has any words of wisdom, please share.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad Day!

Ugh today was horrible! I should've known after I woke up late, which to a time nazi like me is like intentionally killing puppies and kittens. Basically unheard of and disgusting. After my late wake up things just got worse. So bad in fact that when I arrived in the parking garage at work (again, late) I irrationally burst into tears. The strange part was that I just could not get myself together.

Long story short, today was just awful. But I always try to remember that I've been through worse, it could be worse and for some people it is worse. It's not easy to think like that but sometimes you just get to the point that you have to. After years and years of battling depression to the point when I literally couldn't cry anymore, I realize that sometimes I just need to chill and stop taking things and myself so seriously. Easier said than done but it's a necessary evil. I need to stop should-ing all over myself (in the words of Sex and the City) and just accept life for what it is. Que sera, sera.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I need to stop eating so much pizza

This week has been a down week. I've had a lot of good days in a row so it was really only a matter of time before I went back down my roller coaster. But with that said at least I'm due to go back up soon. I've been down for a few reasons but can't really pinpoint much. I know that I really miss school. I love school and learning and I always have. Yes, I know I'm a big nerd but it's cool to be a nerd when you're making money doing it. I would love to study primates and anthropology but I just can't 100% nail down what I want. It doesn't help that I love my job! It's stressing me out right now because I'm just not good at it. I have no idea what I'm doing and I know that I'm learning but it's frustrating because I'm used to working hard and doing well. I'm also trying to get back into boot camp and considered doing one for people who have 50+ pounds to lose. Apparently I look different to everyone else than I do to myself. I'm very aware that I'm almost 200 pounds yet I'm assuming I don't look like that to anyone other than myself. Some days I think I'm a fat gross slob and other days I'm fine with myself...relatively. But I still and always will eat pizza. That's non-negotiable. Sorry for a boo hoo post. Just a bad week. But like they say, what goes down must come...up?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

If you got eyes look at me now

A few interesting things have happened lately and by interesting I mean just mildly interesting and probably only to me. As you may or may not know, as part of my new job I work at Bingo on Sundays and Thursdays. Well on Thursday, homegirl comes in and buys 11 packs to play on. Each pack has 18 faces. Thus, homegirl was playing bingo on 198 different cards. Some of the people I see are fascinating enough that Tyler and I have decided to pitch the secret life of bingo goers as a tv show to A&E and TLC.  I'll keep you updated on our progress.

Anyhow, back to my cooking. The other night I made the most delicious dinner I've ever managed. Unfortunately, it was a salad so I don't really know if I get to take credit. I got these great salad choppers from pampered chef so thankfully I can chop my Green Bean Delivery greens much easier and I can buy bunches and full heads as opposed to chopped greens. So I put together a few types of lettuce and spinach with celery, onions and tomato basil almonds, cheese stuffed spinach tortellini and sun dried tomato vinaigrette dressing. The greatest meal I've ever had! Even Tyler agreed and he is not a salad eater. I also the day before made my own potato wedges which were equally as amazing and so easy! Just slice some potatoes and then throw them in a bag with EVOO (thank you Rachael Ray) and some seasonings, shake it up and bake for 30 min turning once halfway through. It's been fun so far to be able to just try things out and cook. It also gives me something else to look forward to when I get home which makes me love home even more. Speaking of home, I'm looking into buying this one. Eek! I'm not old enough yet!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"The time will come when men such as I (da Vinci) will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."

So I'm trying out this cooking thing in addition to just baking. You may or may not know of my dream to become a pastry chef but lately I've been thinking about trying my hand at cooking actual foods. My friend Jen turned me on to a company called Green Bean Delivery and they deliver fresh produce to your home for about the same cost as buying them at the grocery store. So I got my first delivery and OMG was it amazing! Last night I tried to make just a simple vegetable soup with grilled cheese (ham and cheese for Tyler) and it turned out wonderfully! I decided to slice, season and roast the veggies first for about 30 min then add them to the broth for about an hour. As not to jinx it, I am currently baking a gluten-free banana bread. The soup was also gluten-free. My sister has a gluten issue, possibly so it's been fun trying to find things to bake for her. I'm surprised at how many gluten free recipes are also dairy-free and vegan friendly. I'm also trying out egg replacements so really I'm only a perfect cheese substitute away from being a vegan.

On the note of vegan/vegetarianism, I'd just like to toot my own horn and mention how proud I am of myself for sticking to what I believe in. I'm not telling everyone they need to stop eating meat, although I'd love it if everyone did, but I'm also not eating it regardless of peer pressure or convenience or any other thing that causes people to fall off their chosen wagons. I've had my share of easy and convenient dinners (i.e. peanut butter sandwiches, cereal...etc.) but I don't hit up the BK Lounge or grab some McTrash just because it's on my way home. Again, I'm not encouraging everyone to stop eating meat (ok, that's not true, I am encouraging you but I'm not pressuring you) but I do encourage everyone to think about the choices and beliefs that you live your life by and see if you're really sticking with them. Especially think about the things you believe that are hard to stick with or unpopular and if they're worth it make a conscious effort to stick with them through the weekend at least. Most importantly you'll be proud of yourself and really that's the best feeling there is.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A New Job!

So finally, Finally, FINALLY my hard work and six internships have paid off! I will now be working in development for the Kentucky Opera and could not be happier. I'm excited to get into what I went to school for and into what I will actually be good at. I'm sure it will have it's stress and ups and downs like every job but it's what I want to do and that's what I'm excited about. Lame blog post, I know, but I don't really have anything else to say. If anyone would like to celebrate with me just let me know! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So Excited!!!

I wish I could come up with a more clever title but sometimes sacrifices need to be made. It's a plus that I'm even blogging at all actually. Anyhow, let me explain...

For the past, I don't know, 6 or 7 months I really haven't been myself. I've been constantly exhausted, constantly irritated, unmotivated and gluttonous. We also won't even get into the constant headaches. It turned into a cycle. Depressed because I've gained so much weight, which lead me to eat more, which lead to more depression, which lead to no energy, which lead to less exercise, which lead to more weight gain and eventually just got to giving up (unmotivated). Who was I becoming???? I worked 4 jobs and was a full time student for years during college! I studied every day for months and took the LSAT! I ran a freaking marathon and woke up at 5:30 in the morning 6 days  a week to do it! And now I couldn't even WALK a mile. Every day it was the struggle of all struggles to get me out of bed (ask Tyler). Something had to be done.

And it was. I went to the doctor and had blood work and Friday got the results back, extremely low Vitamin D. Feel free to Google what that means exactly but you'll basically just get a big picture of me (though I may just be a bit vain...). Forgive me for not knowing the exact measurements but a relatively health adult's vitamin D levels are between 32 and 100 somethings. My level was 8. See the problem? So now we're trying to jumpstart my body into recognizing vitamin D and also producing it's own endorphins by taking a vitamin supplement once a week and my trusty antidepressant every night. 5 words: Thank God for Health Insurance.

So why are we excited? Because I'm already feeling so much better! I had the energy today to go to the store with my sister and do the dishes, clean the kitchen and start my crock pot dinner. It may  not sound like much but after 6 months of only being able to do one task per WEEK (i.e. one week grocery shopping, next week dishes, next week cleaning...ish) it's an incredible feeling! Ps- for any of you who know how orderly I like things, you can only imagine how upset I am that my house has been in some sort of disarray.

That's all for now. I'm really looking forward to getting back to running, cooking, blogging and basically being a productive member of society!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Jealousy is all the fun you think they had"

"Jealousy is all the fun you think they had..." is quite possibly the best quote I've heard in a long time. I've never heard it before today but it will for now on be something I'll try to remind myself of. I spend SO MUCH TIME as an outsider. I look at people laughing and at facebook pictures and at reality tv and see people just having the time of their lives, living these lavish lifestyles. People who don't suck at their jobs, who are using their degrees, who are capable of just being grateful for things like getting a bouquet of flowers instead of being mad that they cost too much money (even if they did in fact cost too much)...

This post has taken me a really long time to write. During my drive home I was thinking of what I wanted to write about tonight to distract my mind from the fact that my car allegedly needs more than $600 worth of maintenance and is sort of like driving with a funnel cloud directly over you that serves as a constant reminder of impending doom and at any moment could swoop down and wreak all sorts of havoc on my life and thought to myself how brave I was for being willing to share these things about myself. But now I'm realizing that I'm a chicken. No more chicken than anyone else maybe but much too chicken to share what I'm thinking and/or feeling. Until next time...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Prendo Molte Decisioni Difettose

I love Italian. Gorgeous language.

Anyhow, as the title says (for anyone who reads Italian) I make a lot of bad decisions. My last post was all about how much I love fostering and I think life is funny in how quickly it changes. Today is not a good day to be a foster mom, today is also a day I realize how selfish I can really be sometimes. Every time I foster an animal (or two) it's always MY decision. I simply say to Tyler something along the lines of, "Oh my gosh! Tyler they need someone to foster (insert foster pet)! Look how cute! Oh my gosh, we need him/her/them! I'm gonna get him/her/them!" There's no "Can we", "Do you want", "What do you think of", "Should we" and worst of all there's never really a "we". I'm not a "we" person. I don't discuss details of my relationships or feelings and that's how I've always been and always will be. You'll probably never read about what Tyler and I did for said holiday, what we got each other for said occasion or how we spent a particular evening/day. I don't think this is something I should change about myself, but I do think that it's something I need to be aware of and something that occasionally needs to be addressed.

Back to fostering. As Fuzz continues to pee every 20 minutes on the floor (though to her credit, not on the carpet) and Tyler continues tot get angrier and angrier I realize that this idea could have been a mistake. I am always thinking about others. Other animals in particular. I became a vegetarian for that reason. I rescued TJ and Armani for that reason. And I've fostered Little Black and Little Blonde, Little Fluffy (Fluff) and his sister, and now Fuzz for that same reason. But I never think about others the way I should, as in, the others in my life and more importantly, the other PEOPLE in my home. I do everything for me and that's something I need to change. Don't worry, I'm not ready to walk down the aisle or anything but I really need to start becoming a "We" instead of just a "Me". And that's hard for someone like me. I thrive on independence. If I'm proud of anything about myself it's my independence. And I think that's what I'm afraid of losing.

I don't know if this blog makes any sense. I had a really big Strawberry Daiquiri with dinner tonight. Well I guess before dinner. *insert marketing plug for El Nopal*

Monday, February 14, 2011

For the Love of Love

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm the opposite of affectionate, mushy, lovey dovey, all that stuff but in honor of Valentine's Day I've decided to discuss something I love...BEING A FOSTER PARENT! I absolutely love bringing in silly little babies and helping them grow, mature, get better and ultimately find a new home.

Foster Experience #1
Little Black and Little Blonde

[slideshow]

These pups came from LMAS where their abandoned mother was taken after being found in some park somewhere. She ended up (surprise!) giving birth to 6 babies! For those of you who don't know, puppies and kittens do not do well in kennel/shelter environments. It's like taking a newborn to the ER. It's like filling underdeveloped immune systems with very developed diseases...if that makes any sense. Anyhow, these 8 weekers needed out so I felt it my civic duty to take action. All 6 needed fosters and mom too. So long story short, I ended up with 2 pups. Little Black and Little Blonde. Little Black was a worried little boy who was all skin and bones. He was super cuddly but very sneezy and sniffly. But once let out of his crate he would instantly pick up a toy and bring it over to you. Little Blonde was a brute and I loved her for it. She was just such a bully but not necessarily in a bad way. She was just the bigger, stronger, faster sister who was always sure to eat first, drink first and have the best sleeping spots. As my first foster experience, these little ones were a bit much. So energetic and so much work considering they were sick and were NOT potty trained but in the 2 weeks I had them they matured tremendously. They were introduced to another dog and a cat and learned to use pee pee pads not to mention how much their health improved.

Please stay tuned for our next installment of Foster Love but for now my friends, I am way too tired to continue. So I'll sign off with my favorite Italian word, attraversiamo!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe




This is the first thing I've ever really made completely without a recipe. I was searching and searching and couldn't find a recipe I was satisfied with so I just kind of went for it. Keep in mind that I'm a vegetarian so there obviously isn't any meat in this but I'm sure you could add ham and/or bacon or something as you wish. I loved it so maybe you will too :)

Ingredients

* 2 cans of vegetable broth
*2 stalks of celery
*2 carrots (I used baby carrots since Tyler and Alexis don't like them so the pieces were smaller)
*1 diced onion (or less if you don't like onions much)
*4 red potatoes
*1 4oz block of velveeta cheese
*1 2oz block of colby/monteray jack cheese (mixed)
*Imitation bacon bits
*Shredded cheddar cheese
*1/2 cup of milk
*1 stick of margarine

1. Boil potatoes until they are tender when poked with a fork.

2. While potatoes are boiling, add vegetable broth to the crock pot and chop celery, carrots and onions and add them to the broth in the crock pot. Once potatoes are finished, drain, peel and slice them into bite sized pieces. I left the skin on the potatoes but it came off once they were in the crock pot. I don't mind the skin but some people might not like random bits of potato skin.

3. Add potatoes to crock pot, cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.

4. Close to the last hour of cooking, begin melting cheese. Put water into pot just so it covers the bottom. Set on medium heat and add blocks of cheese. Stir as cheese melts so it will blend together. Once cheese is melted and smooth add to crock pot along with milk during the last hour of cooking.

5. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes once everything is together so the cheese will blend with everything else. Add shredded cheese and bacon bits as garnish or during cooking, your choice.

That's it! It's really easy but I also really like to cook. This potato soup is much thinner than normal potato soup because I don't use cream. If you do want a thicker consistency you can try 1/2 cup of flour (I use unbleached all natural) or of course, try adding more cheese :)


Rennay, Julie & Julia

Today I watched Julie & Julia (thanks Redbox!) and it was really good. If you haven't seen it, watch it. Anyhow, it really made me think about my life and blogging and cooking and all. So at this moment, I vow to be a better blogger...although as of right now I'm the only one affected by this decision.  Not that I think I'm terribly interesting, a very good writer or someone with things worth saying, however, I do think I have things that I want to say and if someone finds those things interesting...well that's just great.

I recall asking my mom and other people pretty regularly, "What's wrong with me?" and/or "Why am I such a weirdo?" Lately it has been occurring to me that maybe I'm not a weirdo and that I'm just different. I'm a vegetarian, I love to read, I'm a foster parent to unwanted animals and I volunteer with middle schoolers for at least 4 months out of the year coaching speech and drama. I've graduated college with a bachelors degree, run a marathon, had a poem published (albeit the source may not have been 100% credible), become a national junior public speaking champion, attended 2 national speech, drama and debate competitions and came home with 3 trophies (1st, 2nd and 3rd) not to mention the dozens of trophies in general accumulated over the years, completed six internships, been to Europe and moved over 800 miles away from everything I knew. Honestly, I do a lot of things that a lot of people wouldn't do. Why? Because it's hard! Public speaking is terrifying! Running is exhausting! School is expensive AND time consuming! But I did those things. I'm not conceited as it may seem at this point. In fact, I probably have the lowest self esteem of anyone I know. But at some point a person needs to learn to recognize themselves, appreciate themselves and congratulate themselves. So that's what I'm doing.

This blog is going to become an outlet for me and also just a way to recognize myself, my family, my boyfriend, my pets and anyone/anything else I find to deserve recognition. Hopefully now I can just keep it up :)