Offline

A few years ago, I made the New Year’s resolution to have more of an offline presence.  I didn’t want all of my life documented on Facebook and the the fact “pics or it didn’t happen” is a thing is still beyond me. Needless to say, I didn’t accomplish it that year but lately,  I’ve gotten around to it.

Finally, for the first time since I signed up for Facebook back in 2006, not every moment of my life is documented online. I go have adventures, and experiences, without having to prove myself to the online community. The same has gone for my running. Aside from my fitbit, which updates automatically, I’ve been more or less reluctant to post my runs. Why? Because, I’m quite sure no one cares. Yes, awesome, you went for a run. Great…but do you care? Nope. I liken this to how I feel about friends and their relationship updates sometimes.  Yes, awesome, your boyfriend took you out to dinner. Great, but I don’t care.

As a result, as you can see, this leads to less and less updates here. I’ve thought about closing the blog, but nah. It did/does what I intended. I documented a journey, a continuing a journey. And there are still more mile posts to show. I’m sure I’ll be updating again, but yea, not as regularly as I have in the past. Life has been happening and it is awesome. I feel no need to write it down or prove it to anyone. I love it and I’m getting to live in the moment.

Losing It

This morning, I had my Saturday planned out. First, I would go to my WW meeting and weigh in then go to a zumba class and then some relaxing for the evening. I was super excited about my WW meeting and weigh in. I’d been watching all my points, making sure I exercised and I was positive I would see the results on the scale. Since rejoining WeightWatchers, I’d not lost more than a lb at a time, but this week I was positive I would lose at least 2, maybe more. As part of my reward, I would get myself some nail polish I really wanted.

When I arrived, the guy I weighed in  with seemed distracted, but I handed him my book and I waited until he let me get on the scale. It took him a while, and then finally he turned and said he’d made me a sticker for my last week’s weigh in. The last time I’d weighed in, I’d gone to their non computerized location, and so they just wrote it in. I nodded and said whatever, because honestly I didn’t care about last week.  I got on the scale finally, and saw my weight and was honestly elated. But something was wrong. The receptionist,  scanned my Id a bunch of times, but doesn’t tell me to get off the scale. When he finally does, I realized he wrote in the new weight instead of giving me a sticker for this week. It didn’t make sense, because he made a point of making me a sticker for last week. I didn’t ask (I should have) and I went back to my car.

Once I checked the WW app in the car, I realized what happened. When he decided to make me a sticker, the computer overwrote the scale and thought this was my weight for this week. So it would not give him a new sticker for this week because he was trying to weigh in the same person twice. Last weeks weight was 150.2 and this week should have been 148.2, but instead the WW computer thinks I have two weeks at 150.2.

Sitting in my car, I tried to delete it, but when you weigh in at a location, WW considers that the official record and it cannot be deleted. This also trumps the paper weight record as I’ve lost my record in the past and was just given a new one. I was livid. Because I had been so focused on the weight, to have the official record be wrong, I was upset and frustrated. After 10 minutes, I went back in to see if they could remove it. I got stopped at the door buy the same guy. Before I could say anything, he asks, “It’s wrong on the website isn’t it?” I felt myself getting more angry.  He had known all along that it wouldn’t be right. He had known the moment I’d stepped on the scale. Had he explained there, I don’t think I would be so upset. He had let me leave because he knew he was wrong. He said they could only fix it next week. Had I never come back in, I wouldn’t have known there was a difference until later. So I have to keep it for a week, and hope that they believe the written in weight loss that doesn’t match with the computer says is right and someone fixes it. Though…fixing the previous week’s weight record is what caused the problem in the first place.

I drove away fuming.  My weight loss had been tarnished by an inept receptionist. In my mind, I was more upset with the fact looking back, no one would know of my hard work. I wanted to go home. I wanted to go back and yell at the receptionist. I wanted to write to WeightWatchers and tell them how mad I was. After about 20 minutes of letting it fester, I realized that I was just holding on to nothing. In the end, WeightWatcher’s doesn’t care. The receptionist, had no idea how much this meant to me, but   at the end of the day, he has no vested interest either. Screaming was’t going to make it better. In the end, I knew I lost 2 lbs. I earned my reward. I was going to zumba and to the gym and next week, WW will just have a record that I lost 4 lbs. No biggie. Granted my day didn’t turn out the way I expected, but I would live.  Back to the grind.

 

 

I’m back!

So yea. When I came back from being vegan, I sort of fell of the wagon there.  I will admit, I got lost. I commend all the vegans out there, but I honestly feel like that was the most damaging thing I’ve done in a while. I stopped enjoying food and it was my main focus, even though my being vegan had nothing to do with my weight loss.

So I stopped being vegan, and gained some weight. The problem was, I’ve never been very good at eating on my own, and now  the floodgates were open for me.  Nothing was off limits and my issues have always been with portion size. After sometime time, I sucked up my pride and did what I’ve done many times before. Go back to Weight Watchers.

I hate that step. I hated it even more when I walked into the meeting room. I resolved that I would not do online again, but try to go into meetings. I felt so uncomfortable. So mad at myself for not knowing how to eat properly. But it is what it is.  I’ve lost 3 lbs in the 7 weeks since being back. I felt disheartened at first because it didn’t seem like a big enough number. But then I put into perspective, the last 7 weeks, were though the holidays. I lost weight…through the holidays. Some weeks it was .2 there, .5 there. But heck, I will take every single pound the scale with let me have. Also, it’s a minor annoyance to me, that weigh in at home vs doing it at a WW center. Let me put it this way, when you weigh in at home it really is a trust exercise between you and the organization. But with no one around, you can *ahem*, wear less than you would at the center. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes, clothes can we change the number you see at home and what you see at the center…especially during the winter.  But it’s good. I’m getting back to basics and taking care of myself. Maybe this time it will stick?

Obligatory End of Year Post

It is beyond cold outside and I find myself standing at the end of another year.  In the shower this morning, I thought about my plans, and I realized I was ending the year with someone different than I started with. I remember when the ball dropped into 2013, I thought that this was it. It’s funny how life is sometimes.

I could do a rehash of all the changes that happened this year, but there were so many. You can read all about them by scrolling down.

Last year I made a few resolutions:

1. Read 50 books by December 31st. 

Well that didn’t happen. As of today I have completed 42 books and am on #43.  This is the same number completed as last year. I’m not sure if I can finish this last one. I am on vacation so it is possible. Also a special note should be made for the fact that I started and finished 3 of those books yesterday. What can I say, it was a restful Sabbath.

2. Run a race in another State.

Nope. I slowed way down on running this year. I finished 18 of the 19 races I had planned. The final one I didn’t do because it was too cold. I refuse to run in temps less than 20 degrees. Last year’s sinus infection taught me that.

3. Train and complete a marathon by December 31st 2013.

haha…um no. See previous.

4. Let it go.

See how funny life is? I let a lot of stuff go this year. Including the person I made the resolution for/with.  It’s not something I’ve ever been good at, but God made it happen. Even when I held on and BAWLED, in the end I let go.

5. Go on Vacation.

I did manage this. I went to Florida for 3 days and did absolutely nothing. I laid on the beach every single day and ate nothing but Taco Bell. I wound up losing 2 lbs I think and having one heck of a tan.

6. Write, Write, Write.

In the end, I didn’t do any more writing than I did the year before. I took a few classes so maybe that counts? But no creative writing. There were less blog entries, but in the end, I’m ok with this.

7. Switch it Up:

I did. I quit WW and was vegan for a bit there.

 Resolutions for 2014:

1. Don’t be afraid to be hurt or hurt.

That’s a mouthful. It took until August of this year to come face to face with my actions and reactions. I think a lot of the time, I don’t want to be that girl and I will always try to protect myself. I was sitting in a meeting today, and someone burst into tears. Her dog was dying. I thought was very sad, but then I was amazed at the resolution she got from it. She wanted to live  life more fully.  She’d often not used china because it wasn’t a special occasion. She’d not visited people because she thought she could see them later. Her resolution was to be more present. Mine is to do that, but also not be afraid of the hard things.

2. Let someone else help.

I had a dark spot this year. It was after my break up, when I was I trying to get myself out of a hole and I was part of the way out too. I basically got kicked in the gut. It was hard and it made me afraid. I was surprised to look up and have so many people who knew about it, come to my aid. I’m not a very open person, but knowing that there were prayers out there for me to come out of it and be whole again, made me come out unscathed. In the words of my father: “It could have been so much worse. But you survived.” Cue Destiny’s Child in the back ground.

3. “Speak your Mind, even when your voice shakes- Maggie Kuhn

I am a pleaser. I hate saying no to people, and will often agonize over the decision for days. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in awkward situations because I didn’t want to be there, but didn’t know how to say “no”.  I learned this about myself in a one month therapy session. I was going with someone, saving what couldn’t be saved, but I did learn , I love to please others.(get it?)  Except when I don’t. And when I don’t, I say no as the quietest little mouse in the cupboard. I’m so quiet, that it’s often hard to hear me at all. The problem is, it’s often so quiet, I get ignored. That usually queue’s an explosion. It would be so much easier if I said no a little earlier and a little louder right? Right. This year, I resolve to say no.

4. Go on a mission trip.

I’ve been agonizing about this one for a few weeks. I could think of a billion reasons I can’t go; Money, my job, my rent, etc. However there are so many other reasons to go. If this is what God wants, then the rest of of it will figure its own way out.

5. Believe in Myself

I say “I can’t” a lot. I often won’t make a decision unless I have back up. A lot of it pertains to my own life, so why not just believe in my own abilities?

2013 took a lot of growing up. I made a lot of changes. I broke some things. I put some things back together. I put me back together. I know all of the changes weren’t for naught and I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings :).

Advent

It’s that time of year. I finished my Christmas shopping yesterday, inhaled a pulled pork sandwich, and ate a lot of my roommates truffles.  They were delicious and I have all the regrets.  The gifts are wrapped and sitting by the door.

Today, I will pack my car and celebrate an early Christmas with someone who means a lot to me. I am anxious to see the look on their face when the tear open their gifts. Hopefully, I nailed it. If not, their birthday is in February. Round two friends, round two.

Afterwards, I going to my church’s Christmas eve service signaling the end of Advent. Last night, I found myself restless, unable to sleep. It was anticipation. Not of the gifts I would tear open, but of the thankfulness of my heart. It’s been a very different year than I’m used to. All I can say is that I’m happy and I feel like its shining out of me. I am unmarried, with no kids, but unbelievably happy.  Merry Christmas.

No Regrets

I’m still in my post-vegan weight gain phase.  I’ve been heading to the gym very regularly and due to falling back last weekend, I’ve been able to get back to a.m. runs. This is something I haven’t been able to do since I started my new job about three months ago. I am definitely a morning runner. I have no issue going to the gym after work, even though it takes some convincing some days,  I go more often than not. As for running, there is no problem with me bouncing out of bed in the am, but it if I have to run after work, there is a 99% chance it won’t happen. As a result, there was minimal to no training for either of my races last weekend.

With all the exercising, I’ve been paying close attention to what I eat and I’ve been weighing myself regularly. I’ve been disappointed each and every time I’ve stepped on the scale, because my weight would not change. No amount of salad or gym time seemed to be able to change my weight in the slightest. I was starting to get upset. I could hear that voice in my head: If you went back to weight watchers you could lose the weight. I’ve said it before, weightwatchers is effective,  but I feel like I do’t know how to maintain my weight on my own. I’ve put my foot down, this time I’m not going back. I thought this week, I’d reached my limit, after a I woke up Wednesday and still nothing. I’d had a really good run Tuesday morning and my eating had been stellar. Then I had a thought, Who said you had to weigh 142 lbs? Well no one had. 145 had been my goal  when I started WW and after some time, I had naturally setteled at 142. But had I been happy at that weight? That’s a tough question. While on WW, I was doing a lot of running, but at the same time, being vegan meant no fast food, no cake, no donuts. Being vegan was no fun.

Was this why I had quit? 

I was making breakfast while these thoughts ran though my head. As a Non vegan, I had a lot more food options at my disposal. Granted, I’m still not sure if I’ll be a non-vegan forever. I still don’t think an omnivore diet is sustainable for the planet and I worry about the incidence of heart disease and other health woes. But when I thought about my meal choices for the day before, I hadn’t regretted a thing. And it had included 3 bite sized snicker bars. I love Halloween candy. The truth of it was, I was happy. With three straight days of exercise under my belt, I felt amazing and I was sleeping a lot better too. Granted, I was not at the best weight, and by best, I mean expected-of-myself weight. But I was exercising, my plates still had green on them, and I felt good.

I decided that if the weight never fell off, at least I would be healthy based on exercise. After all, my weight did not show the full picture. Last weekend, I ran two races, one on Saturday, and the other on Sunday, 13 miles combined, and I did not die. In fact, I was faster on Sunday than I was on Saturday with little to no training for either race. I’m healthy. Who cares about a number? Clearly I did, but I’m learning to let that go.

 

Then Friday morning, I woke up and realized I’d lost a pound. I smiled and then ate too much frozen yogurt Friday night. No regrets.

Balance

So I stopped begin a vegan.

And then I gained 8 lbs.

I really wish I were kidding.  I was like a little kid in a candy store. For a while I debated if I wanted to be a vegetarian. And then I had a chicken sandwich. It was weird.

I started to wonder what it all meant. Within a few days of going back to meat, a friend challenged me on animal rights, and despite the fact that I had pulled pork within 24 hours of the conversation, I ripped into him.  It is a weird balance and then not, as I was starting to gain weight. At the same time I quit Weight Watchers. Yes. Again. It turned out to be the exact same problem as it was before. I was looking for a way to cut costs and it boggled my mind that I would be paying for Weight Watchers forever. Forget what I said in the past, forever is a long time. And here I was a year later and I still had no idea how to eat without the program telling me how.

With WW, it’s all points and numbers and weigh ins. The program works amazingly well, but it isn’t designed for you to ever stop following it. Sure, you will always know how many points are in a brownie, or how many points you earn from 45 minutes on the elliptical, but you never have any idea what it all means. The basic premise is to have more green things on your plate.  Ok fine, but what does that mean? How much lasagna is too much when I’m going out to eat? Stop eating when I’m full? Ok gotcha. But at what point do I actually get to enjoy food?

So I quit.

I bought a fitbit and tried to log my eating habits. After a few weeks,  I think I’ve found a balance; vegan at home with eggs for breakfast, and whatever I feel like when I’m out. There are days when I am out, and I still opt for a vegan entree. Although as the saying goes, you cannot outrun a bad diet. Despite it being incredibly easy for me to gain the weight, it is has been extremely difficult for me to take it off. I’ve made a commitment to going to the gym 6 days a week. It does not have to be extreme, just go and sweat are my rules right now.  It almost feels like I’m starting over again. At what point does fitness stop being a journey?

Well here goes nothing…again.

A new wind is blowing

I took this title from something my step mom said about me recently. A lot has changed and I feel like the changes aren’t done yet. This morning, I was charged with leading a devotional at work. At first I was really unsure of what I would say. My text was Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I found the longer I spoke, the more I realized my devotion was about how grateful I am. A new wind is blowing and I think, I’m ready for it.

 

UnVeganism

This morning I woke up, and decided I didn’t want to be a vegan anymore.

Heh. Never say never?

Before I continue, I have not actually had any non vegan meals as yet. It started as an idea in my head, when I woke up this morning but I didn’t actually voice anything until about lunch time today. I’m not sure what this means for me. Being vegan is hard. I never quite made it in some areas? (Finding make that works for brown people is hard, and is my steering wheel leather? Oh that dress that I’ve had for forever vegan?) I’m sure there are areas that I’ve missed. I guess this is me taking a breath. I know that I don’t want beef or chicken. I think I want fish, but if you put a fillet in front of me right now, I might cry and shun it. No dairy please. I’m quite sure I want to eat in a way that causes as little harm as possible. But I miss eggs? Does my “want” of eggs override the need to treat animals better to get the eggs? Right now I know I can get eggs from a legitmate farmer. Like legit, he has a small farm where he goes out and gets this chicken’s eggs every morning and they roam his farm ..but is that any better than what the industry does?

I am surprised at this turn of events, because I was fine yesterday. Vegan and fine. No vows have been broken, but part of me wonders if the intense craving I have for eggs is actually a deficiency that I missed. Missed until this very moment. So back to vegetarianism?

Who knows? I may get up tomorrow and this craving has passed.

Edited to add:

Please don’t tell me, my craving means I need more protein and thus meat. I get plenty of protein thanks. I’m not an idiot.

My Birfday Love

Today was my birthday. I”m officially 27. Yep.

And I couldn’t be happier. First, let me explain; I expected it to be horrible.

A month ago, I panicked hardcore. I looked at my calender and realized that my birthday was approaching and did the whole self examination thing and freaked out a bit more. I wanted to put the brakes on everything and stop the world from spinning. But I couldn’t. I felt a bit frozen, allowing it to just go on without me.

As the big day approached, I really tried to avoid talking about it. My birthdays since I turned 25 had been hit or miss. Twenty- five was dreadful. For 26, I was with my ex and well, lets leave it at that. I was really worried about this year. I am single and going through some personal changes, and I was concerned about what it all meant. I came home from work Friday night and wanted to just make dinner and crash. I had a few tentative plans for the big day, but I just had all this dread in the pit of my stomach. I was enjoying homemade vegan tacos when I got a text from friend. He offered to buy me a drink for my birthday. I seriously had no reason to say no.

One drink in, the complaining started. I stopped long enough to take a sip and my friend let me have it: Stop it! Just stop it. I had all these stupid excuses…But this…but that..but, but, but.

But he wasn’t having it. By the 2nd beer I shut up.

We got off the topic of my “horrible” life and we made progress on the amazing things that were happening. My awesome new job, my so awesome new car, awesome new friends. Life was good. Even from the bottom of that beer glass, I couldn’t see it.

I was getting wrapped up in the lack of love in my life. Ever feel like you are in Love Rehab? Yea, I’ve been there. It was the sole focus of my life at the moment. But then a funny thing happened. I got love. Tons of it.  My night could have gone horribly wrong, but it didn’t. I woke up this morning with this incredible grin on my face. It’s amazing how someone can give you love, without being overt about it.  I had some bad isht happen a few months ago, and I was so so grateful I was not there again. It was almost as though there was this schism in my life dividing last night and this morning. This morning, I got up and was just like: I am twenty freaking seven…and I am awesome. I just am. Three cups of coffee later I was ready to scream it from the tops of people’s houses. Wednesday in an effort to keep myself busy, I had signed up for a free fun run and had agreed to attend a meeting. I looked at my watch and knew none of those were going to happen. Oh the best laid plans of mice and men….

The birthday texts were pouring in all morning, and  I received more birthday love: time with my roommate. Have I mentioned how awesome she is? We’ve lived together for a year and a half and have legit never had a serious argument. She went shopping with me, and bought me lunch. We ran some errands together, and more of my planned day started to fall apart. Another friend of mine had promised me a movie marathon. After we found out that our alma mater was playing a game against our rivals we agreed that we would watch that instead. He had some plans for later that day and we agreed that after seeing a movie we would split up. At about 1, he started to send me text that made me feel like he was canceling on me. I was about to fall back down my rabbit hole again. It was MY birthday, how dare he? I ranted to my roommate in Walmart for about 20 minutes so loudly that a cashier got involved. I was miffed and after mouthing off to any one who would listen, I told him. I was afraid I was losing my high of my day and that he would choose a date over me. I didn’t understand how this would be possible given that the two events were supposed to take place hours a part. I said some unnice things via text and threw the phone into another room.

At around 3:30, I cracked open a beer and put my legs on the coffee table, when our dog lost it. There was someone at our front door. It was my friend, here to apologize. I was kind of shocked. It was more unexpected birthday love coming my way. He apologized, and I apologized and we agreed to watch the game together…only to discover that I didn’t get that channel. At that point, I honestly stopped trying. I said whatever and said we were watching the Green Lantern.

But G, was determined. He made a few calls and bam, found us a Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game.

In hindsight, about about 90% sure those fries were not vegan. G really is not a football fan at all, but I’m so grateful to him for making this happen.  I even sent out a little prayer for my Hawks prior to kick off

Jesus, let Iowa win. I don’t ask for much. I just would like a win. Besides, have you seen Ames?

Thanks,
Ash

We didn’t get to see the whole game because we left a few minutes into the 3rd quarter because we had to make our movie: Insidious 2. While purchasing tickets we learned I’ve been saying it wrong. *kanye shrug*

Another friend was supposed to join us, but he wound up going to the wrong theater, because my texts are about as clear as mud. He agreed to buy me a drink another time and I went to see my movie, which was AMAZING!

On the way home, we were discussing the day when this came on the radio. I love this song. I haven’t heard in months and months. For the first time I realized the lyrics were: This is your life and this is your time. Nothing could have nailed it better. I was really not expecting to have such a stellar birthday. From last night to this morning, I’ve just been given so much love from those who made time from me. I was truly truly grateful for every single drop of it. So, I’ve officially entered the late twenties phase of my life. I don’t know why I feel this why, I can’t explain it, but 27 is going to be freaking awesome.

Did I also mention the Hawkeyes won?