Learning to Love Yourself

You wouldn’t know it by the weather this week, but summer time and bikini season is looming.  Usually, I’m always amped to throw on a swimmy suit and hit the beach or the pool, but this year, something is different…..

I think I’ve given myself unrealistic body goals.

I believe the root cause is in the fact that I sort of inadvertently lost so much weight last summer.  While struggling with and trying to get my anxiety and panic attacks under control last summer, I basically quit eating.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be eating, I’m not one of those girls who doesn’t eat…..food is always my jam!  I was just way too worked up all the time.  Eating just a couple bites of anything would just make me feel sick and nauseous.  I remember distinctly sitting at work trying to eat a cliff bar…..it took me 4 days to get through the whole bar!!  During this period I was also working out a ton, because ya know….that’s what they tell you to do when you’re stressed.  Run a bunch, lift all the heavy things and put them down, and get those happy endorphin feelings flowing!  I’m not sure how exactly I managed to function, but apparently anxiety gives you super powers….just not the sort of super powers anyone really wants or should have.

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It turns out that loosing 15 pounds in two weeks has a dramatic effect on your muffin top.  It also has a dramatic effect on your psyche…

I know that I only achieved my slimmed down self because I was unhappy, and that unhappiness and stress changed my body in ways that I normally cannot and would not do.  The worst part though….is that I felt so accomplished.  Maybe it was just the sense of control I had over things.  Nothing felt good, but I had finally achieved the look I had been craving since high school but never had.  It was the one little thing that seemed to be going in my favor.  I finally had reached a point where I didn’t have to squat stretch out my freshly washed jeans, I could throw on anything in my closet and there wasn’t a lump or bump to be found, and I think it just gave me this inflated and superficial sense of self-esteem…..which when you talk about it sounds super awful and unhealthy……BECAUSE IT WAS!

My body is obviously not meant to existing in a muffin top free state….I’m honestly not sure that even the strictest diet would have kept me looking that way.  Once I started feeling better the muffin top slowly but surely started making a come back.  I’m naturally curvy and just tend to carry and collect all my weight generally on my love handles and around my belly button…..a spot I’ve nicknamed “The Doughnut of Awful”.  I’m right around 5’10” so I’m overall very proportional and quite a healthy weight for my height.  I’ve never been told that I need to loose weight by any of my doctors, and even in high school at my most active, swimming and dancing for several hours everyday, I still was no where near as slim and lean as I was last summer.

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…..this photo stresses me out…..as much as I hate to say that and I want to rise above it all…..it still does.  I know that it’s only 12ish pounds and some summer time tan, but I’m not sure that this picture makes me feel as happy as the other one, which is my continual struggle.  There’s some muffin top and tummy squish, and my ribs and hips aren’t poking out of my body.  Idk….it’s not bad, I can rationalize that, but at the same time I don’t exactly feel good about it either.

Lately, I’ve been trying very hard to convince myself that a slightly squishy Miss Happenings is a happier Miss Happenings.

  • I try and remind myself that I’m in a happy relationship, and if I eat out a bit more or drink a bit more now than before it’s because I’m with someone who wants to spend time doing things and having fun with me.
  • I should be happy that my brain finally realizes that skipping a workout to have lunch with friends IS NOT AN ANNOYANCE OR AN INCONVENIENCE!!!  That’s just how my anxiety made me feel about it all the time.  It’s a rare chance to spend quality time with some of my favorite people.
  • I should realize that I rarely hang out in bikinis alone, so even if I’m looking slightly squishy in a bikini I’m still surrounded by people who love and care about me regardless of my muffin top.

I do honestly remind myself of all these things and more when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see.  I suppose that I probably will always occasionally struggle with my weight and how I look.  I always have from time to time, so it doesn’t make sense that it would mystically go away anytime soon.  The most annoying and hardest part is the small little diva voice in the back of my mind that sometimes quietly whispers that if I just stopped eating for a couple weeks I would slim right down again.  Ugh….go away crazy diva voice…..I have burgers and shit to eat, new beers to try, and things to do that have nothing to do with you!

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Going forward, the best I can do is continue to work out, maybe reign in the diet and kick up the cardio a bit, and just generally live the best and healthiest life I can live!  You only get one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.  I refuse to believe that anyone looks back on their life and regrets the fancy desserts they ate, or the summer time patio drinks with friends they drank.  That simply can’t be reality…..and if it is, I don’t want it to be my reality.  If I had continued on the stressed out path I was on, I know looking back that I would have regrets.  I already regret the things I did or didn’t do because my anxiety controlled my life.

I lived that life once, and I refuse to go back there.

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This summer, in the same jeans as last summer.  A little bit squishier than last summer, but I’m happy!  Ignore the sass face, The Engineer was mocking my photo skills….but he’s just jealous of my shooting skillz!

Happy is healthy….and that’s all there is to it!

 

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Chapter 13: The Blog I Thought I’d Never Have to Write

I never thought I’d have to write this blog.  I’ve written blogs like this before, but I never thought I would have to write one about this person…..Main Squeeze…..

 

I wrote the title and the first line 2 months ago, and then I just sat on it.  I waited in the hopes of not burning a bridge, I waited hoping that things would change, and we would get better.  I waited thinking that if you had love everything else would eventually fall into place.  I waited thinking that a connection as strong as and instant as we had had to mean something.

I was wrong

For two months I fought everyday to hold on to feelings and a love that I thought could get us through anything.  I knew I couldn’t make him love me, but he swore that he did, and he promised that a life with me was what he wanted.  He was my person, he was the one I turned to to make things better, and even now I just want him to tell me that things will be ok.

For two months I waited.  Waited to feel like I mattered to him again, mattered more than just a text message, or a random phone call.  Waited for him to decide that he wanted to see me, and that things would go back to how they had always been.  In the moments were it all felt hopeless he would talk to me, and we would talk about how we were feeling and how much we loved each other and it felt like we’d turn a corner…….but the corner was never a corner, just a ring.

For two months we talked everyday.  He told me how much he wanted to fix things and that we were going to work on things to be better together.  And for two months I believed him, I trusted that we wanted the same thing, and I had hope that things would be ok.  After one ruined vacation with him, he told me he wanted to go on vacation with my family, and I trusted him.  I invited him to spend time with my family even though I had never met his.

For two months I poured my whole heart into something that couldn’t have been more of a lie.

Yesterday he told me that he’s no longer in love with me, but that he still loves me.  Yesterday he told me that we have nothing in common, because I don’t love sports the way he does.  Yesterday he told me he no longer could see me in his future, because he doesn’t want to be in a relationship like we had.

In that moment, everything felt like it was crumbling.  I had known things weren’t perfect, and I knew we were nearing the end, but to have it happen all over again was something I just wasn’t ready for.  I had woke up Friday morning knowing that he wasn’t going to come see me for the weekend like he promised. I don’t know how or why any of this caught me off guard and made me feel so helpless, but it did.  To have to listen to him say those things after finding so much comfort the night before in him saying that I was the girl he wanted and that we weren’t fizzling out, it was crushing.

I don’t even know how to feel…..

 

Seasonal Hobby Disorder

Do you ever find that are certain things you only do during certain times of the year?  Maybe it’s just me, but there are plenty of activities I only find to be tolerable if done at the “proper” time.  I hadn’t ever really stopped to give this much thought until now.  I suddenly have a mildly overwhelming desire to refinish a piece of furniture, and it occurs to me that I always do that kind of activity in the Fall.

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that the seasons control my general life productivity probably much more than they should.  However, I’m not really sure that I’m willing to change this particular quirk because I think doing so would feel unnatural.

Now I understand that some activities can only be performed during a certain time of year.  But let’s be realistic, I could put paint on furniture at anytime…..so why does it only feel okay to do so once the leaves begin to change.  In case you think I’m kidding, I’ll list out my seasonal specifics…..

Fall–

  • Furniture refinishing – I had always had really good feelings about all the pieces of furniture I had refinished, until the last one.  I recently redid my nightstand, and I don’t like it at all…..PROBABLY BECAUSE I DID IT IN THE SUMMER……STUPID.
  • Decorating – Maybe this goes along with having new pieces of furniture to put in the house that then need to be styled, but it just seems like I do more like more decor shopping as the weather starts to cool.  Also, prepping for Christmas decorating becomes a bit of an obsession…..like is it too early for me to put up garland now!?

Winter–

  • Crafting – Unless I need to craft something specific for someone, I’m generally drawn to doing all my crafting in Winter.  This might be because during other times of the year I can be outside doing other things, but it just seems most natural to be to do it then.  Anything else feels forced, but let’s be honest….there shouldn’t feel like there’s a difference between scrapbooking in the Summer or doing it in the snow.  Additionally, I find the idea of knitting anything while it’s hot and humid outside to be about as off-putting as it gets.  Who wants a pile of knit in their lap when it’s hot out?!
  • Baking – As a life rule, I try and always avoid baking, but sometimes in the Winter I feel compelled to do it.  It starts to feel like a compulsion or a void that needs to be filled.

Spring–

  • Nothing?! – Specifically around here, Spring is more of a general suggestion than an actual thing.  To paraphrase Forrest Gump,”Momma always said Spring is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”  You can’t plan anything in Spring around here because it might be sunny and nice, it might blizzard, or everything might be covered in a thick, death like layer of freezing drizzle…..it’s just hopeless.  No one knows when it might start, how long it might last, or if you’ll even make it through.  Probably I don’t know what I do during Spring because it’s generally horrible and stress inducing so my brain blocks it from memory for self protection.

Summer–

  • Reading – I am usually religious about going to the gym, but Summer rolls around and I become more prone to skipping it favor of sitting on my patio reading…..until it get’s dark and buggy, and then I just move the reading indoors.  Don’t ask me why I don’t read year round, I try occasionally, I just never seem to get very far or even manage to find a book that will capture my interest.  Summertime….I’ll read anything I can get my hands on.
  • Watching Westerns – Possibly because I used to always spend the end of Summer vacation at the farm with my grandparent’s, or possibly because the end of Summer is when I can things, obviously, and canning reminds me of making salsa and pickles at the farm, the end of Summer seems like the only acceptable time of year to watch classic western movies.  It just isn’t the end of summer otherwise.  Case in point, currently watching Jane Got a Gun, granted this isn’t a classic western, but it is set in that time period, and I’ve already rematched all of Lonesome Dove this season.  I’d venture to say even Grandpa got sick of the classics sometimes.

Does any of this make any sense?!

In other less random news, Momma came up for part of the long weekend and we got the baseboard installed in my bedroom and some artwork re-matted and hung.  It really sorta looks like it’s coming together now!  It’s amazing what some 1x4s and paint will add.  We pulled up the existing baseboard, which was just door trim, painting it all, installed the 1x4s and then stacked the old trim on top.  You get way more bang for your buck if you reuse the old trim.

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Ignore the unfilled nail holes, but you get the general idea!

I also started working on refinishing the door that will be turned into my full length mirror.  I’m probably the worst girl on the planet because I don’t currently, and haven’t since my senior year of college, have a mirror that I can see my full self in at one time.  My current options are:

  1. Try and take a selfie to make sure my outfits look alright
  2. Assess the top half of myself in my bathroom mirror, then run upstairs and stand on the bathtub wall to see the bottom half of myself in the upstairs mirror
  3. Just say fuck it and hope for the best

So…..hopefully the door will do the trick nicely.  It’s in a bit of rough shape, so for now it’s gotten a coat of Annie Sloan dark wax to try and deepen the color and add some much needed moisture back into the wood.  One coat wasn’t really enough, but it’s a starting place anyway.  We shall see where it goes from here.  Only makes sense that I’ve started working on it now after having had it for almost a year……FALL IS COMING!

Spirit in the Sky

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I never know how to feel on days like today.

It’s almost too many emotions to pick apart and quantify.  I’ve always been good at quantitative analysis, so the fact that I don’t know how to explain my emotions on these days makes me almost as upset as the day itself.

  • I’m sad……but I’m not sure how sad I am, or how sad I’m supposed to be.
  • I’m nervous…….because I sometimes don’t want to talk about it when people ask, but how much of my feeling is nerves?
  • I’m jealous……of people who have their parents around, but don’t appreciate them.  Am I even supposed to be feeling that way?
  • I’m empathetic……..to the kids, many much younger than me, who’ve lost their parents.  This, more than the other emotions, has I think slowly taken up the bulk of my feelings on this day as time as passed.
  • I’m anxious……..about things in the future that I will need my Dad for, and he won’t be here when I need him.

 

This this what being an adult has come to?  If you open the door to death does it suddenly just swoop into your life and consume it?  I hope not, and most of the time I don’t think that at all!  However, in the past few weeks, it feels like death has circled around several of the people who’ve I’ve held very close during various phases of my life.  Two of my blood bank sisters now have to raise their children without loving fathers…..both taken far too young.  A high school acquaintance is left to raise a large family after her husband was taken.  A sudden death rocked not only Cornhusker nation, but the Main Squeeze’s family last week.  Sometimes, it just all feels like I don’t know what the world is coming to.

I live my life the way Dad wanted us to live in the “pre-death/post-cancer” life we as a family were handed, WE MOVE FORWARD!  We do everything we are supposed to do, and life as we had known it remained remarkably the same until it suddenly was not.

I guess in that way I watched my Dad fight cancer in much the same way he always wanted me to swim my competitive races.

Leave it all in the water, and if you can’t get out of the pool at the end, I’ll pull you out.”

I guess Dad just needed someone much bigger to pull him out when he was done with the race.

 

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So, I suppose I shall celebrate the day by working on some woodwork for my bedroom.  I might also get around to putting my “Fuck Cancer” sticker on the car.  I was once told I had earned the right to the sticker.  I’m not sure it’s a right I wanted to have earned, but I suppose there’s nothing to do now but embrace it.  Plus, “Fuck Cancer” is a true life statement!

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Sometimes Life Just Hurts

I am hurt, I am heart broken, I’m exhausted, and I just need to regroup.

 

Times like these, you’re reminded who your real friends are. They are the ones who drive an hour to meet you for lunch because you’re too exhausted to go to the gym. The ones who text to make sure you aren’t sitting at home alone on a Friday night, and the ones who welcome you, spur of the moment, into their own plans with family and friends because your world came to a crashing halt. The family and friends who try to help salvage a ruined vacation, and who make sure you eat because they know you wouldn’t otherwise.

 

This weekend, while everyone is celebrating freedom and an extra day off work, I’m trying to recollect myself and celebrating my friends and family who have never, ever let me down.

Life with a Limper

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When you are the momma to a recovered, limpy, sore dog, there are certain things you don’t take for granted.

  • The good walks you get to take.  Even if you’re busy, even if it’s hot and buggy or too cold and blowing, a good walk is always a good walk.
  • Every time she jumps onto the couch by herself.
  • When she can tackle stairs and not look nervous or in pain.
  • Talking to other dog owners about her brace, and maybe helping other people consider non-surgerical treatment options to get their fur babies back on the right track.
  • Every spin, swirl, and buck when she’s showing her toys who’s boss.
  • When you neighbors ask about her leg and compliment how much better she’s looking lately.
  • She she prances over whipping her rope for a game of tug-o-war.
  • Not having to worry about reigning in her activity or making sure she doesn’t hurt herself some more.
  • Watching like a proud momma when she comes out of her shell around other people and dogs because she can move comfortably.
  • The days you forget she’s limpy because she acts just like a normal dog.

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When your recovered, limpy, sore dog injures her other leg, there are certain things you hate.

  • You’re new vet telling you that you’ve ruined your dogs quality of life.
  • Hearing about arthritis, surgeries, and recovery time and feeling like you don’t know which is the right decision to make.
  • Any vet telling you, “Just let her be and maybe she’ll get better,” or “Well, she has a history of joint issues so this will just continue to happen.”
  • Knowing that as a rescue fur momma you promised to keep your pound baby safe and happy, and feeling like you’re failing.
  • Watching her tripod around and struggle just to live her little puppy dog life.
  • Doing the best you can, but knowing that someone will always judge your choices.
  • When you’ve made huge gains and progress on getting her back into fighting shape, and now it feels derailed.

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On to brace number two, and hoping my fur baby has a second speedy recovery!

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Weekend Fix #1

Lately, I’ve been meaning to clean out the old junk from my closet. I still have shirts in there from highschool….it’s a bit uncalled for! I’m all about using things till they are worn out, but the majority of my closet is getting a bit thread bare, worn out, and just plain out of style.  Maybe it’s because I’m now totally done with school, but I just suddenly feel the overwhelming desire to declutter my life and proceed with being an adult.  Not that blowing your budget on clothes has much to do with being an adult I guess, but you have to start somewhere.

In an effort to jump start the closet revamp project, I decided to order myself a Stitch Fix box.  It just seemed like something fun and new to try.  Stitch Fix has been around quite awhile, and I know people who have used it so it didn’t seem totally hoaxy.  I will say that the online quiz they have you take was maybe slightly less than ideal.  They ask you to rate groupings of multiple outfits, but my problem was I would like parts of each group, but then there would be other pieces in the group that were just horrible.  After the quiz you can link a Pinterest board so that they can look through and see the sorta things you’re into.  My board is mostly hair and makeup, but there are some clothes on there I guess.  You can make requests for what you’d like them to send, so I said I needed some cute tops for wearing on dates and to vacation and some jewelry.  I have such mixed feelings about jewelry…..like I like it, but I never buy it, and if I buy it I never wear it.  I have the best intentions of wearing it always, I just forget or I don’t ever feel like I style them right.  Honestly, if it isn’t something I can put on and leave on for the long term, probably it’s mostly just going to hang out in the closet.

My first box arrived on Friday and I didn’t even open it.  I threw it in the car with the Pupster, and we headed down to the Main Squeeze’s for the weekend.  Saturday afternoon we finally got around to opening the box.  I got a pair of shorts, two tank tops, a romper, and a necklace.  I tried everything on and Main Squeeze helped decided what to keep and what to send back.

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Necklace by Bancroft: It’s cute, but ultimately I decided not to keep it.  Again, it just comes down to styling it.  Typically, most of my jewelry is pretty plain and simple, I’m just not sure what  I would ever pair this with.

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Denim Shorts by Liverpool: These were a weird length, and I wasn’t really a fan of the print at all.  She said she picked these based on outfits on my Pinterest board, but these just don’t really look like me at all.

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Tank top by RD Style: It’s hard to see in the picture but its a thin tan/white stripe.  There wasn’t anything wrong with this top, but it would have needed to be taken in under the arms, and it honestly wasn’t really anything special.  If it had fit better I probably would have kept it, I just didn’t love it enough to want to put the work into making it fit better.

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Tank top by Dex: This was cute, even though I generally wouldn’t have tried it because I’m not a huge fan of crotchet on clothes.  However, it was really short in the front.  There is a sheer band at the bottom, if that had been the solid cotton jersey I probably would have kept it, but it just hit me in a weird spot to be that short.

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Romper by Market and Spruce: This is the only item of the Fix that I’m keeping.  It maybe needs the addition of a belt, but I like it.  It fits well and has adjustable sleeves so it can be more of a tank or have small capped sleeves.

The total price of all the items shipped to me was $254.  If I were to keep all the items I would get a 25% discount as well as a $20 credit.  That makes the total for the 5 items $170.50, which honestly doesn’t seem that bad for what I received.  However, since I’m just keeping that romper that’s $64, but I think the $20 credit is also applied to that.  If you don’t keep any item from you fix they still charge you the $20 styling fee.  The box also comes with styling idea cards and a letter from the stylist about why they chose the items for you that they did.

All in all, I would say that this isn’t a bad idea at all.  Obviously, you probably couldn’t build your whole wardrobe this way, but it seems like a fun way to add a few new pieces into the mix everyone in awhile.  I will probably order another box sometime in the future, but I’m not sure that I would have them send boxes on auto ship.  I also picked up two new dresses and a tank top from TJMaxx that I had Main Squeeze look at, but I think those are all going back also.

Sadly, it hasn’t been the best weekend at Main Squeeze’s.  The neighbor lady across the street backed into my car and smashed the back end pretty good and broke the tail light.  Then, Scout and Jeter were playing in the yard this morning, Scout jumped off the deck stairs and hurt her knee.  So now I have a crumpled car and a very limpy, tripod puppy.  Hopefully her knee will start to feel better soon.  I’m hoping she just twisted it and that she didn’t do any damage.  She tore the tendon in her other knee a few years ago and I bought her a knee brace for it.  Unfortunately, the braces are quite expensive, although it does really seem to have helped her.  Sadly, the knee she hurt this morning was her good knee. 😦  The braces don’t really seem interchangeable, although I did try that this morning.  I’ll give her a few days of rest and hopefully it will come around and be better.  If not I guess I will be calling the vet to get another brace made.