Recognizing what Life I want

I am sure that most of us have at one time in our life have heard that you need to choosedownload the life you want to live. If the life you are currently living isn’t working for you then it is because of the choices you have made and it is up to you to change your choices to make every step a towards the life you want.

It sounds so easy. Then when you are given the task of determining what you want in life it is hard. Abstract things come to mind, like “I want to be Happy.”, “I want to love and be loved”, “I want to be a part of something.”… but what exactly do those things mean to me. What tangible things can be used to measure achievement of these steps? That is where the work comes in, delving deep to understand exactly what I want and how to visualize it. How to plan for a life that may or may not happen is scary. But I do know that it is more likely to happen if I work towards it instead of just let things happen randomly.

What makse me Happy? What do I have in life that I can’t live with out, what is currently missing in my life? When have I been at my happiest?

12645266_10100728350382362_7965539373990019587_nLooking back on my life to find happy moments is hard because everything I am currently feeling about life has jaded my perception, but a few moments stand out. When I was a pre-teen  I had the chance to spend a week at a Horseback riding camp. We learned how to care for the horses as well as ride. That week was a high point in those years and I loved being around the horses. They made me feel connected to something. Their power and grace helped disguise my awkwardness.

Then during High School I can clearly pick 2 things that made me happy. The first wasdownload being part of the Academic Super Bowl. It fulfilled my need to be part of something and celebrated my intellect while providing me the opportunity to be a leader. It was the one place that I was allowed to be smart with out worrying about offending other people. The second was art class which I took for all 4 years. Art gave me an emotional outlet. I was able to create things from nothing more than a vision in my head. Creating art has always calmed my mind and soul. download (1)

In the 20 yrs since High School a variety of moments have crossed my memory as truly happy. Making good friends, sharing my life with pets, hiking in the woods, mountainimages (4) biking trails, camping alone or with friends,swimming in the ocean, travelling, finding download (2)adventure, photographing landscapes, driving on road trips, making a difference in the lives of others, and creating art are all things that have been happy points in my life.

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What does being a part of something mean to me?

To me it is finding people that want to be around me and that I want to be around. It means that what I am doing in the moment truly matters in my life. That I am not just drifting from one thing to the next to just please people. It means that I have a true soul connection to people, places and things. A lot of my happiest times involve this connection, the feeling of belonging.

How do I define loving and being loved?

For me love isn’t just for a life partner but also for every person I encounter. At the end of download (3)the day I want to know that above all I cared for the people I have come across regardless of their emotional return. I want to know that I am the type of person that people want to be around and to emulate because I lift others up instead of knocking them down.

I also want to love a man that in turn loves me. I want to feel security and comfort in knowing I get the privileged of waking up to someone images (5)whom wants to wake up to me. I want to find the person whom makes my life complete and for whom I do the same. My partner in life.

 

So what is the life I truly want??? Well I want,

To celebrate my intellect, do what matters, be a leader, spend time in nature, travel, have adventure, connect with animals, create art, make a difference by lifting others up, have a soul connection, and find my life partner.

Knowing is half the battle (per GI Joe) now I have to focus on what these things look like in my life and how to create a plan that moves me towards those goals.

If you say it enough you eventually believe it

At what point in my life did I start believing that my outward appearance determined my worth. I don’t have a memory of one instance where my brain said fat = worthless, but instead a montage of images that taught me what the world thought a persons worth correlated to, especially for women. I have spent years having people telling me to lose weight, of watching t.v. with a predetermined vision of what females should be, images (2).jpgmagazines, movies, you name it. It has been a constant barrage of reminders how I don’t fit what the world sees as worth in women. This doesn’t just relate to size either. I felt not girly enough, too tall, too broad shouldered, to smart, not classically pretty enough, the wrong hair color, the wrong skin color, the wrong facial features, too deep of a voice… the list can go on and on. I can pick almost any part of who I am and find a way to turn it into a reason for why I am not good enough. Some where in my past I didn’t have these thoughts.Somewhere there was a day that I first said this part of me = worthlessness and then instead of stopping that mantra I let it grow into a neurological tract that is set on repeat. It has kept me from living. It has consumed my time and distorted my memories. Just this Friday I attended our school formal and with every photo I am reminded how unattractive I see myself as.20160408_215502 I have believed that I am not worth anyone’s time, attention, and especially not their love. Now at the age of 37 it has crippled me. I met a man that I wholeheartedly believe is the perfect match for me, but I have talked myself into believing it will never be possible because I am not good enough for him. I am taking away any possibility there is by telling myself that my weight is going to stop him from loving me. It is over before it can even begin. Even as I write this I am comparing myself to the women in a TV show and thinking how I am not them and therefore will never be worth something.

If I can train my brain into believing worthlessness, I then can train it into finding worth. If I say enough times that I am worthy and that every part of me is unique to me and makes me who I am, maybe I will eventually believe it. Maybe I can take back control from the world that has taught me that I am not good enough for it.

Reset Button

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to decide whether or not to start back with this blog. I contemplated simply erasing everything I have written over the past few years and starting fresh. Hitting the proverbial reset button if you would. But  it came to me that doing this would be untruthful to my journey. It would discount the work that I have done to get to where I am. Yeah, I am not really any farther along in the weight loss game but I have healed some wounds and learned a lot about my self. The journey isn’t easy… I have started and stopped more times than I can count. Sometimes in the same day… maybe even in the same hour. But through it all I keep trying. I have not given up completely therefore I am not failing. I am trying again.Today isn’t day 1 it isn’t even day 365… it is today, a day that I get to make choices, a day that I get to share and breath and live.

I took some pictures from the past few years to show the changes I have gone through, both good and bad. Despite what embarrassment I feel towards them I feel the need to share them. To be honest with the world and remain accountable to myself. Here I am in all my size and glory. I need to remember me that my size doesn’t define me but it can limit me if I let it.

Week 2 and Week 3 of the Fresh 20 reset

Week 2 was a pretty good week despite the need to go to the Urgent care as my finger swelled to nearly twice it’s original size. Amazingly I didn’t break it. The NP was more shocked than I was about that fact.

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Following the diet this week was hard. Not because I wanted crap food but instead I didn’t want the meals that were planned. I did a lot of improvising. I had a couple of meals from take out due to laziness and time constraints but I kept them healthy and on track.

Then the weekend hit. I drove 6 hours North to visit my sisters and parents while celebrating my niece’s pregnancy. After having worked late on Friday and driving all morning I was exhausted. At the baby shower my sister had cook out food and I dove in wholeheartedly. To my credit I only drank water and didn’t have any snacks prior to eating lunch. I also tried to have larger portions of the vegetables but I know that the “salads” were laden with unhealthiness via mayonnaise and sugars. But everything was good and I enjoyed eating it. Then for dinner I brought a bunch of veggies from home and made a Kale, Zucchini, and Mushroom tofu quiche for my parents, aunt and sister. Everyone enjoyed it and I was back on track.

Then on Sunday I went back to my sisters house and ended up eating leftover cake for lunch. I had to trow out part of it because it was just too sugary but I still regret eating it at all because that was what really started the down slide. That night after another 6 hour drive home I ended up ordering a pizza.

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Week 3 was full of eating out despite the multitude of veggies in my fridge. I just couldn’t find the motivation to cook. I wasn’t eating as horribly as I had prior to the reset but I certainly wasn’t eating like I should. Processed food, sugary drinks, dessert when I didn’t need it. So much of my old habits. I found myself hungry despite having just eaten and the more I ate the more tired I felt.

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The week was crazy busy with vet visits (my dog got into something and was pretty sick), work (2 jobs), and 2 doctors visits for myself as well as 1 surgery for my best friend (I drove her and was there the whole surgery). I didn’t plan and didn’t have energy to do what I should have. I made some good choices when eating out but I made many more unhealthy ones. But today I made some strategic moves to get back on track starting in the morning. I really needed to drive tonight for some extra cash but I figured that getting organized was more important. So back at it!!!

These are all the healthy meals that I had and remembered to photograph. A lot of breakfasts were just nuts and dried apricots.

Day 7

Tonight I write this entry with the use of one and a half hands. Yep the klutz in me struck again. I was working most of the day in the yard, trying to tame the wildness that it has become. I went to Lowe’s for a few things and upon returning I was walking in from the garage and missed the first step into the house. I twisted my ankle, which I broke when I was 12 and has ever since been weak, and fell forward. Out of instinct, I put my arms out to catch myself but I was far too close to the wall and door. My hand crashed into the wall and my pointer finger jammed itself back into my hand.

My ankle hurts some and I am sure in the morning I will feel the full amount of damage it endured, but currently my finger is tapped up with a splint and my middle finger, to immobilize it, because it hurts like a word I probably shouldn’t use. If the pain is worse, or the swelling doesn’t subside, I will be heading to the doctor tomorrow.

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Because of my busy day and low amount of food left for this weeks groceries (see yesterday’s post) I decided to get fajitas from my local Mexican place. They make everything fresh and don’t use a ton of grease or fats. There is no cheese (only a little on the beans) and I choose to avoid the carbs of the rice. I did eat one tortilla though. It was fabulous.

After my fall, which caused me to nearly pass out, I decided to get some Ice Cream. Not all my habits will be unlearned in a week. I know that I shouldn’t justify unhealthy food because I got hurt, but there it is… I can’t take it back now and I refuse to guilt myself into feeling less of a person because I at some ice cream.

I got a small brownie cookie dough blizzard. It was OK. I for once in my life ate it rather slowly and when I was done I was satisfied and didn’t feel the need to get anything else. My hand and ankle still hurt like hell, but I no longer felt like feeding the emotion, where in the past I would have felt like I needed to follow up the ice cream with a 2 liter of soda and possibly a whole pizza.

So tomorrow starts week 2 and I am feeling pretty good. I have my food and am ready to enjoy another week of fresh cooking. So far I don’t miss too much food, other than cheese and the occasional lice of bread (I am talking good bread like an artisan loaf or french bread).

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and avocado with tomato

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Thoughts: Avocado was not good so I scrapped it off. Probably need to choose a little less ripe avocados next time.

Lunch: Chicken Fajitas and re-fried beans

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Thoughts: as always these are awesome. Only ate half.

Dinner: Last of the veggies free for all

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Thoughts: Combined the greens and broccoli with the second half of lunch and heated them then put them on what was left of the romaine lettuce and topped with tomatoes. Not bad. Had a lot of flavor.

Got the last bit of groceries that I couldn’t get via Green Bean Delivery and found a 40 oz bag of dried apricots. WOOT WOOT!!

Day 6 Cheat day

I decided that I would allow 1 meal on 1 day as a cheat. That means that I can eat anything for that meal and I can’t feel bad about doing it.

Well turns out that I can feel bad, not guilty bad, but sick in my gut bad. Lesson learned. Instead of choosing carry out I need to do the dishes and make my dinner.

Breakfast: Tasted Oatmeal and Blackberries

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Thoughts: Used regular oatmeal today and it was mushier but pretty tasty. Better than the chewiness of the steel cut.

Lunch: Dijon mustard Tofu Wraps

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Thoguhts: Pretty good. Need more sauce to tofu ratio.

Dinner: Chinese take out – Hot and sour soup, Steamed Potstickers and fried scallops

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Thoughts: I can’t go to far from the bathroom. The meal was good but not worth the pain. I have had better tasting meals in the last week. Should have just had the soup and been done with it.

Snack: Cashews and dried apricots (ok I am really starting to like these)

With one day left in my first week of Fresh 20 meals I have found I have very little left over produce/ groceries which is the first time in a long time that I have not thrown out a bunch of stuff because I didn’t get around to using it before it went bad.

20150606_173840 This is what is left!!!! And I still have another day of food to make!!!

Day 5

Today started with a headache. Just a horrible headache and a lack of energy. I really just wanted to sleep the day away so I kind of did. I really need to start getting stuff done. It has been 2 weeks since classes ended and I haven’t accomplished anything. But all things in time.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie

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Thought: Nope NOPE Nope. It was all I could do to not gag on this. The taste was OK. I just can’t do the texture and the foamy consistency. Blah

Lunch: Grilled Shrimp Salad

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Thoughts: I could eat this on a regular basis

Dinner: Broccoli Frittata and side salad

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Thoughts: This was really good and filling. The frittata could still have used cheese but I survived with out it.

Snacks: Cashews with dried apricots and half an apple (needed more since I didn’t finish the smoothie); Apple with peanut butter

On A happy note my first delivery of produce and groceries came tonight from Green Bean Delivery. I am so excited about not having to shop for groceries.

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Day 4

Late to bed and early to rise means I had a very long nap this afternoon.

I went to the doctor this morning and felt the usual shame as I tried to explain how I got to where I am but how I am trying t o fix that.

I had blood work done and fear what the results may be but I guess they can only get better.

First day of new part time job. UGH.

Breakfast: Tomato and avocado omelette

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Thoughts: I am starting to taste food again

Lunch: Peseant Bean Soup Leftovers

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Thoughts: Too tired and too short on time to do a fresh meal.

Dinner: Fried Egg Asian Lettuce Wraps

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Thoughts: This was kind of made up on the spot. It was about as good as it gets after a long day. The chopped up cashews were unbelievable

Snack: Cashews and dried apricots (Starting to like these)

Day 3

Day 3 was full of me being tired followed by me trying to do some photography and realizing that the light was not right followed by the best dinner ever and some karaoke fun

Breakfast: Toasted Steel Cut oatmeal with apples

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Thought: Still too chewy but better than the green smoothie I was supposed to make

Lunch: Taco Tofu Salad

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Thought: Looks messy taste good.

Dinner: Salmon and baby greens in a citrus vinaigrette from Locally Grown Gardens

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Thought: Words can not describe

Reset Day 2

Today I took a drive back home to see my parents. I prepared my meals and took them with me but still ended up eating out with my mom. I stuck to the plan though.

Still not homicidal but I seriously considered robbing a convenience store for some HOHO’s. Driving 2 hours one way leaves one with a multitude of minutes to reflect on life and fantasize about food. Why can’t carrots taste like ice cream? Why can’t everything taste like ice cream? I wonder if someone in this world has a medical condition that makes everything they eat taste like ice cream. I would pay for that affliction.

Breakfast: Toasted steel cut Oats and Blackberries

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Thoughts: Probably better with regular oats. The steel cut are super chewy, like rubbery grape nuts. The Blackberries are amazing. Could use some sweetness.

Lunch: Minestrone and Salad

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Thoughts: Despite packing lunch I ended up going out. I ordered the salad at Casa’s with out cheese and croutons then ordered minestrone (which I forgot had noodles… I ate around them as best I could). Cheese really is divine and not having it sucks, but not as bad as I thought it would suck.

Dinner: Shrimp Primavera

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Thoughts: This was supposed to be lunch but turned into dinner. I added capers in lieu of pine nuts. The vinegary taste of the capers sealed the deal for me. Tons of flavor and I didn’t even miss the pasta… maybe the cheese a little bit.

Snack: Cashews and dried apricots (still undecided on these), Banana and mixed nuts

Avoided: I avoided the sweets that are on display in my parents kitchen except to get a picture. This is what I grew up with but I had very little self control when I was young and still struggle with saying no to sweets.

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