I’m on day one of week six with yoga. I ventured into an hour session rather than my thirty-minute one on Monday. My body is quite mad at me still and it hurts to laugh. I’m thinking this is a good thing as I’m honing in on all the right areas I want to work on. I also recognize the names of poses now and can follow without straining my neck to see the television. I’ve started following a beginner’s yoga group, as well as reading Yoga Journal. The group and articles help as they remind me that this is an individual type of exercise and progress is measured only by YOU. I also have the advantage of reaching out to my best friend who is a certified yoga instructor for guidance and reassurance. I’m feeling committed—in a good way.
The “livet” is going well, too. All of the meals I’m preparing are healthy, without any sense of restricting what I’m craving. I’m still only down ten pounds, but I know the inches are coming off by the way things fit. I knew I was saving all those clothes in the back of the closet for a good reason! I’ve been using the MyNetDiary app to keep track of my daily calories and exercise, not to mention my water intake. It’s not an exact science, but it helps put things in perspective these past three weeks. Portion sizes are reduced, however I’m enjoying everything I put together. It does give me a grade on my choices, making me the honor student I strive to be. Some of my choices are C-average, but I disagree with the notion that the turkey meatballs I make are anywhere near average. I got a D on my grass-fed ground beef hamburger—an absolute A in my book. So, the app has flaws (not really)—but, don’t we all.
The large spike in the above diagram is the day we ventured out for meals and went a bit “crazy.” I devoured half of a blackened shrimp wrap and half a burger for lunch. For dinner, we had some pineapple fried rice with a side of Shrimp Pad Thai. Although I got and A and B as grades, my body decided to hang on to the 175-ish grams of carbs I ate. The next spike was also due to going out for lunch. It's a bit challenging counting the calories, unless the restaurant posts them on the menu. I do venture to ask about the nutrition numbers, but always feel like one of those people I normally roll my eyes about.
Today marks the end of our three week kidless staycation (we don’t really count the older one as he’s always at work). Our two teenagers arrive at midnight tonight from Texas and will no doubt sleep most of the day away tomorrow. We didn’t do as much as we would have liked while they were gone—a trip to Jamaica, long-road trips, and beach days—but, it was so very pleasant. There was no anxiety, frustration, or influx of whining—from us or them. The house stayed clean and there was always food in the fridge. I’m sure they will be relieved to be home and we did miss them—mostly. We will consider it a good recharge and hope for the best. The youngest starts high school in twelve days, so we just have to all get along until then.
Someone confided to me that they were experiencing feelings of being judged. And, they weren’t allowed the opportunity to provide clarity or context—they were simply dismissed. The worst part is it came from family—the ones who are supposed to lift you up and provide a sense of belonging. The little snarky comments and side-eyed looks caused frustration and feelings of rejection.
“Expressions of disgust or contempt communicate absolute rejection.” ~Beverly Engel
The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused—And Start Standing Up For Yourself.
To compound the problem, they further blamed how she was raised—adding “insult” to her parents. I don’t believe her extended family actually realized how they were making her feel. Nevertheless, they were rejecting who she is based on their views of how she is supposed to be. They view their life and choices as the more appropriate way to live—there is little room for diversity.
I will add, that as parents, we do inadvertently mold our children to our way of thinking. As they get older, we begin to see the disparity in points of view as they formulate their own thoughts about life. That is a beautiful thing. There is an appreciation that my children are willing to discuss what they believe—even if I do feel they have lost their minds. I welcome the opportunity to both learn from them and share what my experiences have taught me.
The conversation I had with her wasn’t to build self-esteem so much as it was to neutralize the judgmental comments. She recognized for the first time just how closed-minded they were. I encouraged her to be assertive and speak her mind—to not be dismissed. I also encouraged her to pick her battles as some are just not worth fighting for.
“Nothing is right or wrong. It's all an interpretation of which lens we are looking through.” ~Tarun Sharma
It’s been a hell of a week so far social media wise. I’ve been more political than I usually am socially as even I grow tired of all the bullshit this president dishes out. I know my little posts don’t mean much in the overall scheme of things, but I feel a little bit better after. I think what bothers me more are the comments by those blind followers--no matter what the president says or does. Apparently being a racist, a sexist, and a narcissist are qualities some feel are acceptable for the "leader" of our country. Their arguments are half-ass attempts to compare his actions by disparaging others with misleading stories out of context. If confronted that their story isn’t true, the response is usually “So what?” These are what Neil deGrasse Tyson refers to as political truths. The incessant repetition that people absorb into truth. If those blind followers keep reposting erroneous articles, those too ignorant to research will believe them.
For me, it isn’t a Democrat or Republican thing, it’s a character thing. I was registered Republican since I was able to vote and now I’m an Independent—and have been for years. I view that status as someone who votes for the person they feel is best for the elected position. My views are very much split down the middle, but perhaps leaning a little left. The bottom line is that I"m flexible.
Now, it's no longer about a “business man” taking hold the reins and seeing if running the government like a business works. He bullies any opposition—no matter how small--via Twitter and anyone willing to give him air time. Not even those he appointed and/or liked the day before are safe from the barrage of insults and accusations. Do I believe he may be a puppet for something bigger hidden within our government? Possibly. It’s always a mystery how a candidate can lose the popular vote, yet still be in office. For example:
It’s neither here nor there whether those who “lost” these elections were best suited for the job—my point is the consistency of their political party. It's an interesting observation. For the present, I will count the days until the election and see what happens. Does my vote count? It doesn’t seem like it does. But, will I still vote? Absolutely, because it certainly doesn't hurt.
So, I will continue to vent occasionally, if only to make myself feel better. I will continue to scroll on by all the ignorant memes and comments as I always do. And, I will sporadically respond to an article someone has posted to let them know it’s inaccurate and present the facts. I know facts or my words won’t change anyone’s mind at this point about the president or his administration. My only hope is that they’ll be annoyed enough to stop. And if you find that I am not responding to even your benign, non-political posts, chances are that I have embraced the “snooze for 30 days” feature Facebook has so generous provided.
"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." ~Oscar Wilde
I realize my collecting of books can be called by some as hoarding. That’s a transitive verb that means to collect and often hide away a supply of…(fill in with whatever you like). In general, it is often considered negative, which is understandable if out of control. Hoarding is a subjective situation and one may consider my having over 300 books as hoarding—one that is not an avid reader, that is. They are all neatly placed on shelves and not hidden away, stacked in corners, or falling out of boxes.
Aside from the enjoyment I get out of reading, there is an appreciation for the beauty of books. They aren’t just printed pages glued together and bound. They are mental stimulation as I’m exercising my brain. They expand my vocabulary and knowledge. They enhance my imagination and take me to places I’ve never dreamed. As a writer, it will strengthen my skills and broaden my abilities. They also help with anxiety and stress. There are so many benefits I could go on about, but in the end, you either like to read or you don’t.
I will admit that it got out of control in the past. I started buying used books—the collectible variety—with no regard to whether I was interested in actually reading them. That has changed and I’m more thoughtful about what I add to my library. I’ve weeded through all of them, keeping only the ones I will read. I also trade the some of the books I’ve read with the used book store. I keep only the collectibles and those I may read again.
One might say I won’t be able to read them all in my lifetime considering the amount—but one never knows. Challenge accepted! It will only take twenty-five years reading one book a month with my estimated collection. Having read thirteen so far this year, it's doable.
There is one weakness I have when coming across books—handwritten notes. I don’t condone writing in books, but seeing a heartfelt message written inside dated 1925, or even last year, fascinates me. Resisting the urge to buy these simply because of the notes inside takes willpower.
Either way, I challenge anyone to read as there is always a book that will interest you. It would be impossible to not find at least one. If you don't like to read, you just haven't found the right book.
The countdown has reached launch! Two of three teenagers have taken off and landed safely into their grandparents hands. The third leaves next Wednesday for a week! Unfortunately, there seems to be a potential hurricane brewing in the Gulf. Not a great way to start their vacation away from home, but I know they’ll be safe in my parent’s house. I have no doubt it will become an adventure of some sort.
I wonder if they are relieved to not be here. Probably. In Houston, they will be spoiled, fed beyond all reason, and have a lot of activities. Here, we don’t go out much and stock our pantry with only ingredients to make food—no pizza rolls, pop tarts, or frozen chicken fingers. I will not worry in the least how much sugar and carbs they consume on their vacation. I will not worry if they brush their teeth for the entire three weeks. And, I will not worry if they stay up late and sleep all day. In the hands of my family, they are golden and I don’t have to witness any of it of the debauchery.
We still have no kid-free plans overall, but it’s nice to know we could fly to Rome at a moment’s notice. Our only venture planned so far is a Rolling Stones concert in Jacksonville—and that’s something! We also get to feed our book fetish while there at Chamblin’s Bookmine—which I can say is almost as exciting that the concert. Call me weird, but we like our books.
The summer days have been consistently rolling by as they always seem to do. Most of our time off is spent relaxing by the pool. That, combined with our healthier eating and my Yoga, we are looking tan and more slender. Overall, I’d call that a good summer.
With eight days of Yoga behind me, I think I have officially started a routine. This includes both exercise and eating healthier. I have always despised dieting as it means to do without—in my mind. I don't mean healthy in the sense of brown rice and no bread. I mean healthy in the sense of fewer calories by measuring (okay yes, sometimes eyeballing) the portions. This also means choosing wisely what I decided to eat.
Although I never thought I’d ever do this, I am going to quote Kanye West. I honestly don’t know if he came up with it—I just heard him say it during an interview with David Letterman. Rather than a diet, I am now on a “livet."
I like the idea of the word as eating healthy and exercise helps you do just that—live. I’m learning that I can keep the calories down and still enjoy the foods I want. I don’t know how it is for you, but conditioning my mind to enjoy what I eat has been easier than I thought. Maybe because I was ready for it, I don’t know. My weakness is Mexican food and it’s pretty much a staple in our home. Quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas—essentially anything that I can wrap a tortilla around. Chips and salsa? Yea, I’m all about that. I did something remarkable the other day. I counted out the exact number of tortilla chips for a serving size to go with a homemade avocado dip. Did I eat just those? No. However, the three extra chips I added were enough and didn’t break me. I am a bottomless pit when it comes to tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole, or queso. I don’t get full. I simply run out of chips. That day, I was satisfied with the portion I served and honestly felt good about myself.
Today’s lunch was Poblano Chicken Quesadillas that teetered on 250 calories. I got the recipe from Cooking Light’s website and made it my own. I eliminated the mushrooms as I am not that trendy. And, I don’t poach chicken—ever! I lightly seasoned the chicken, pan-frying it in a little olive oil. Using one of those handy calorie calculator websites, I got lower than the original recipe’s calorie count. Mostly because I wasn’t cooking for six people and needed far fewer ingredients, including cheese. For those of you who enjoy cooking, you learn what ingredients work together as you hone your culinary skills. You also learn what doesn’t work, like mushrooms in a quesadilla.
My goals are set small now, making success feel more attainable. I’ve become friends with the bathroom scale after many years of bitter fighting. I simply ignored it as the scale never had anything nice to say. Now, I look forward to our morning conversations.
I am a woman-child at heart; continuously evolving to find my place in life. I am a mother, a daughter, and a sister. I am a lover and a dreamer--an explorer and a traveler. But it's my passion for writing that allows me to explore my ingenuity. This is something that undoubtedly carries over to the many roles that make up the ever evolving woman I am.