Sunday, August 28, 2011

Housewife Shower and Distracting Myself

My friend Lofton got married last year in a nice-but-quickie “let’s sign some papers before he enlists in the Army” ceremony, so they’re doing a big one this year close to their 1-year anniversary.  That means we get to have showers for her!

Lofton loves Guinness and stout beers in general, so Kaycee made her some Guinness cupcakes (I made the picks!)…

Guinness cupcakes

Guests each got their own martini glasses

Martini Glasses

And I made a punch of cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and diet ginger ale to which guests could add vodka and/or rum.

DIY cocktails

Obviously our colors were teal blue and red!

decor

Lofton’s not much for cooking and baking, so our favors included her favorite cookie and its recipe…

Lofton's cookie recipe: buy. break. bake. eat.

Kaycee made mini-meatloafs with mashed potatoes piped on like frosting.  AH. MAH. GAH.

Mini meatloafs with mashed potato "frosting"

We also had green beans and mac ’n’ cheese – all classic comfort foods!

mini meatloaf, green beans, mac 'n' cheese

We dressed in 50s-ish attire (those red paper lanterns make great hats for Kaycee and myself…)

girlies

I want to get married for many reasons, but mostly so I can put a KitchenAid mixer on my registry…

KitchenAid Mixer

I love these gals!

Girlies

I’ve been having a tough time lately, and I hate that I can never predict when a day will be good or bad (I know, I know – I should be the one to dictate whether I’ll have a good or bad day).  I spent some time with my good friend Joy the other night who was visiting from NYC and had a great time with her, but after she and I parted ways, I encountered someone I didn’t want to see, and I let it ruin my night.  I’ve gotta learn to let things go, to let it roll off my back, to not hold onto grudges and anger.  I’ve found I’m more likely to self-soothe with food when I’m upset like that, and I’ve spent way too much time being upset over the past few months.  I can’t backslide and fall into the same patterns I did years ago.  I refuse.

I’ve picked up knitting again and have spent some time coloring mandalas, both in an effort to distract me from thinking too much.  And of course I’m hanging out with my friends a lot, but it’s tough not to compare myself to them, their relationships, their jobs, their appearances.  Not good.  I am finding the urge to exercise again, so that’s awesome.  Now that I can look forward to the weather getting cooler soon, I’m hoping to take up running again.

Now I’m faced with the dilemma of where to meet people.  I don’t hang out in bars and don’t go to church, so I have no idea where to make new friends now that several of mine are moving away, tied up with relationships and marriage, busy with kids, etc., and I definitely don’t know how to meet guys.  Meetup groups?  Online dating?  Just walk up to random strangers on the street?  This was so much easier in college…

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And in an ultimate “that’s so meta” move…

I’ll ask you guys what questions to ask…

  • What kinds of questions would YOU ask weight loss patients in order to engage them on Facebook?
  • If you were to write a blog post or email digest with an audience of weight loss patients, what kinds of things would you include?  I’m thinking recipes, motivational quotes, websites with resources (portion size quizzes, etc.)…?
  • I’m trying to think outside the box, not be lame, not do cutesy crap that’ll just get overlooked…it’s friggin’ difficult!

Finding and Fostering Motivation

Stream-of-consciousness post ahoy.  Ye be warned.

Obviously I’ve got motivational issues of my own, especially when it comes to weight loss.  But what am I supposed to do when that very dilemma is one I’m facing at work, too?  For over 20 years I’ve struggled with my weight, and it has negatively impacted so many aspects of my life.  So now that I work for a weight loss clinic – the very clinic through which I got help losing weight – struggling to find motivation not only affects me personally but professionally.

I’m really trying lately to engage the clients, get them reaching out for support, sharing ideas, and actively participating in taking ownership of their habits.  But I feel like a failure sometimes when I can’t do the same for myself.  Through years of various weight loss regimens and degrees of study, I KNOW the right things to do in order to lose weight and change habits, but it’s odd how that knowledge breaks down when I try to apply it to myself.  I’ve been in a post-dump funk for a few months and have kinda let my eating habits slide – I’ve sought out the company of others to cheer me up, and inevitably we’ll gather over food and drinks.  Thanks to my “coping” skills, I’ve gained 5 pounds in about a month, all the while having patients at the clinic ask me each day, “so how are YOU doing with your weight?” Everyone there knows I still have 20-30lbs I want to lose, and I’m totally fine being open about it, but it makes me feel guilty knowing I’m such a hypocrite – pushing a weight loss regimen I’m not even strong enough to follow myself lately.

I keep dishing out hints and tips, all the while thinking in the back of my mind, “I did that a few times when I was super-motivated at first…”  But after awhile I’m wondering if I’m subconsciously unwilling to accept these weight management tips as lifelong rules I’ll have to follow.  It’s this pitfall that has gotten me into trouble so many times before.  I can’t expect to lose weight and suddenly be able to eat whatever I want without repercussions, or else the cycle will start itself all over again.

Along with trying to encourage dialogue and active participation among the patients, I’m trying to use social media and community-building tools in and around the office.  There are only so many things you can post on Facebook (like “what’s your favorite exercise routine?” or “got any new low-carb recipes to share?”) before wondering “is anyone really paying attention, or am I just being annoying and turning them off?”

It’s a hard thing to get people talking about something they 1) aren’t used to talking about, and 2) might not even ben comfortable talking about in the first place.  My friend (hi, M!) confessed to Lizzie and me a few months back that she’s been more open with talking about her own health and weight since we were so obnoxious vocal about ours.  Of course at first I felt good to hear that, but then I got kinda sad realizing that weight management isn’t as huge an elephant in the room for everyone as it is for me.  Sad not for them, but for me – it’s literally ALWAYS been at the front of my mind.  And now that I seem to be teetering on the edge of success and relapse, I have to worry about motivating others, too. 

Having said all that (just to get it off my chest, really), I AM feeling more encouraged lately, like I really turned a corner this past week depression-wise, and I’m excited about a couple of new ventures I’m taking at the office.  While it’s sad sometimes to realize weight management will always be a problem for me, I do take pride in the thought that maybe I can help others with their weight, too.  And sometimes I even get to use some of my fancy college-learnin’ around the office, so that makes me feel pretty useful!  I hope this post hasn’t come across as *too* whiny – maybe because weight management is and will always be at the front of my mind, I’ll be better able to control it should it start to get out of hand again.  And since it’s always been a problem for me, I feel it does help me better empathize with the people I encounter every day.

I’ve just gotta keep brainstorming about how to help others keep their heads in the game, keep things interesting, and get people helping others and themselves…easy peasy, right?  Smile with tongue out

Monday, August 15, 2011

Who am I?

Misery loves company.  You know who also loves company?  20-somethings who don’t know where the hell their lives are going.  My buddy Jordy recently wrote a blog about trying to figure out who he really is, and it made me realize that I owe it to myself to do the same.  Sometimes I find myself changing based on who I’m around, and I realize it’s because I’m so insecure with myself that I try too hard to fit in.  Not cool, Kat.

So who am I?  What do I like?  I think I set a negative tone up there with the word “misery” – I don’t think it’s a burden to be in this position but rather a gift (that’s what I’m telling myself, at least!).  I’m not trying to kiss anyone’s ass at the moment (I’m single, living on my own, am happy in my job), so I’m in a place where I can really spend time to find myself and find some internal motivation to lose weight and keep it off.

So one decision at a time, I’m discovering myself.  To start exemplifying, here are several cell phone pics I’ve taken over the past couple of months of things that make me happy.  (Yes, I realize these are all external/material things…next step is identifying those intangible things that make me tick)

I appreciate the hell out of books.  I’ve always thought I was too impatient for novels so I’ve stocked up on coffee table books (see below), but I’m craving words lately.  I need to visit the library.

coffee table books

I used to be super-impulsive when it came to making decisions just to hurry up and *have* something.  Lately I’ve found it takes me a lot longer to make decisions because I know exactly what I want and don’t want to settle.  Case in point: I saw my perfect curtains in my head, and I didn’t give in to “good enough.”  I found exactly what I wanted even though it took awhile.

curtains

I used to make trendy impulse decisions that I’d soon come to regret, but I’m really pleased with my tastes in d├ęcor and clothing, and I don’t go back on a decision once I’ve made it.  Illustrated below – my new dresser (Ikea – don’t judge) and my late grandmother’s chair/ottoman I’ve been waiting years to get my hands on.  We had/have similar tastes.  Smile In contrast, that chandelier picture on the chair – total trend from 3 years ago…not sure I’m keeping it.

dresser and chair

While these pictures appear all “hey, look at my stuff,” to me they’re examples of my coming to make decisions for the right reasons.  Other decisions I’ve been making lately:  saying YES to things I probably would’ve turned down a few years ago, like kayaking a few weeks ago:

kat kayaking

And camping/tubing in the mountains this past weekend (no pictures of the actual action, but here’s where the tubing took place):

river

In both cases I was scared shitless before I went, almost wussed out, but had a great time once I got there (though it DOES suck to camp in the rain, I’m not gonna lie).  I can tell that stepping outside my comfort zone is helping me figure myself out a little more (especially by making me realize that I AM enough and can take care of myself), so I’m gonna keep doing it.  Have you pinpointed any activities or exercises that have helped you better discover yourself?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gaining Control

I’m not going to open with an overly-enthusiastic “I’M BAAAACK!” because every time I proclaim such a thing…I end up falling off the end of the interwebs again.  I just know that too many parts of my life lately seem out of whack, and I’ve been toying with the idea of blogging for awhile, so here it goes.

My weight has stayed the same over these many months, which is quite an amazing feat considering my past history with weight maintenance and all the things that have been going on lately.

I moved into my own place almost 2 months ago, and I’m completely in love with it.  I’ve almost got everything decorated the way I want it, but my bedroom still has a way to go.  Pictures to follow if I can get my act together!

My relationship ended a few months ago and I still have no idea why.  Obviously I’m still upset about it and am trying to recover, which reeeeally sucks because I want to move on but just can’t seem to.  I don’t want to stew and suffer anymore, I just want to be happy.  So…c’mon, soul.  Heal faster.  I’m ready.

I’ve got quite a few friends who live near my new place, so I’m trying to keep busy hanging out with them.  It really helps to be able to call on people when you need them most.  Case in point – I’m having a pretty emo day, and one of my closest friends around here just met me at the grocery store for a shopping date.  Whatta gal.  And two of my dearest friends just had their first baby, so I imagine/hope I’ll be visiting them a whole lot in the near future (this happens to be the most recent picture I’ve got of myself):

DSC_6244

I need to get back to exercising, both for my body and psyche.  There are a couple of parks near me that have walking trails, and my gym membership grants me access to a branch on this side of town, but it’s mustering up the energy to actually GO and the courage to face the crowds that will inevitably be there.  Plus it’s hot as balls outside, and once I’m in my nice air-conditioned apartment, I don’t want to leave.  Just gotta suck it up.

While I’ve been considering my blog, I’ve realized I don’t want to fall into the same patterns I did with it before.  I’ll log on to TweetDeck every now and then and be amazed at some of the banal and even disordered messages being broadcast in an attempt to get readers.  I’m not trying to fit in or be any big-name-blogger anymore, I just need an outlet.  Sometimes that might mean sharing a product or recipe, but it’ll also mean branching out of the box (I hope) and talking about some non-food and non-exercise topics.  I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to post what I eat like I did when I started (since that IS one of the things I’ve been struggling with lately), but I just need some accountability and a place to vent.  But also a place to share pretty pictures, like this gluten-free Greek pizza I made Friday night:

DSC_6253

So…here I am.  Again. Smile