Please Pardon My Dust

As I mentioned yesterday, I really can’t call myself a healthy living blogger right now. I am not living a healthy lifestyle right now, I am just trying to survive and get through each day. And I am by no means focused on losing weight right now. Because of all of this, I haven’t been posting or participating in the blog world for a while.

I considered just closing the blog and letting it go, but every time I did my next thought was what my next blog would be about. Obviously I still love writing a blog; I just stopped loving writing this blog… at least in its current format.

Over the next month I will be completely revamping the blog from the name to the content to the appearance. While everything is not completely solidified, the content will focus more on my interests and life outside of weight loss and fitness.  As I am self-hosted, I will be keeping the same web address and most of the old content will remain. I will eventually find my way back to a healthy lifestyle, just not right now.

There will be a few posts going up in September while I am transitioning the blog, but for the most part I will be focusing on the behind the scenes aspect of the things. But I will be back in a few weeks; refreshed and renewed (at least the blog will be).

In addition to revamping the blog, I am also working on revamping my life and digging myself out of the hole that I am currently living in. I don’t pretend that it will be easy, and I admit that things might get worse before they get better, but things cannot remain the way that they are.

So please pardon my dust if you happen to venture onto the site and find things looking a little odd, it will all come together in the end (I hope).

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The Most Honest Post I’ve Ever Written

I haven’t been posting and I said before that I wasn’t being truly authentic, but the total truth is that I feel like a fraud because I’m not currently living a healthy life, so I can’t really call myself a healthy living blogger. My sporadic absences of ever increasing time frames have lead to a total loss of readership, so I actually feel safe putting everything out there right now because I honestly don’t think anyone is going to even read this post.

I’m not even sure where to begin… I just can’t keep pretending that I am living a healthy lifestyle when I’m not. Honestly, all that I am doing right now is surviving and hanging on by my fingernails as I struggle through each day.

Seriously, how can I pretend to be living a healthy lifestyle when the current contents of my refrigerator are 4 juice boxes, a partial bag of shredded cheese and some condiments? When the days that there’s pizza or chips or baked treats at work are the best because it means I can actually eat something other than top ramen or pasta because I can’t afford to buy groceries? I’m certainly not eating healthy and haven’t been for several months now.

And how can I pretend to be living a healthy lifestyle when even the walk between work and the bus is a challenge? It’s 9 blocks! Three-quarters of a mile! And I struggle with it some days! My joints ache and I never feel like I have enough energy from not fueling well and from stress.

How can I pretend to be living a healthy lifestyle when I am too tired to clean my house and there are bags of trash waiting to be taken out, dirty dishes cluttering the kitchen and piles of dirty clothes everywhere. Yet no matter how I try to devote time to cleaning, I end up sleeping instead because I am just so tired all the time.

My depression is stable, that is one plus, but my anxiety levels are through the roof. I freak out when riding the bus almost every day, sure that we are going to crash. I have ridden the bus exclusively since moving to Washington and have never had any issues on the bus, so my only explanation is the stress in other areas of my life is manifesting itself as anxiety while I’m on the bus. And how is this healthy?

And where is the stress coming from? Money, for the most part, and my complete inability to budget and manage my own money. Quite frankly this is completely ridiculous because I am highly intelligent, very good at math, love lists and charts and can manage money for work  and other organizations I’ve been involved with no problem. But my own money? I dig myself into such deep holes that I am never able to dig back out of them again and I bury my head in the sand to keep from facing them. I make the absolute worst decisions about money and find myself in trouble again and again. I really am trying to do better, but I can never seem to keep my head above water lately. Right now I’m $100 short on rent (which is due in 3 days and has to be paid on time to keep me from being evicted as I have already been given multiple extensions and consideration and was even served eviction papers last month, but managed to scrounge up enough money to cover it and have the process stopped) and, as I previously stated above, I have no food in the house. And I have no idea where I’m going to come up with this money as I have already sold everything of value that I own (I need my computer for work) and payday loans are part of the reason I’m in the mess I’m currently in. I need to move somewhere cheaper, but I need money for a deposit and moving expenses. I honestly feel like I am spinning out of control when it comes to money right now.

There’s also my job. There are a lot of things happening at work right now that have me worried even though management has assured me that out jobs are secure. A lot of what is happening is reminiscent to things that happened when I was laid off several years ago. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s just my anxiety making me worry, but I am concerned. I know the company is strong, I just feel like they are going to make a big change with my department soon and I don’t know what it will mean.

I know several of you (if in fact anyone is reading this) are probably thinking “Why doesn’t she apply for public assistance?” I have, I don’t qualify. I’ve also looked into roommate situations, but no one is willing to take both cats (or they’re charging as much for a room as some places are charging for an entire apartment). And no, I am not giving up my cats because they are my family and currently all I have in Washington as I rarely see the few friends I do have here.

I am working on changing things, but digging out of the financial situation I am currently in will take a while, and that is the primary stumbling block for everything else. Whether we like to admit it or not, money is necessary to function in this world and without it you end up struggling to survive.

OK, so this was a giant purge and I honestly don’t know if I feel better or worse for having written all of this out. And now I have to decide if I’m going to hit publish and let the world (or anyone who still happens to be reading this blog) know what is really, honestly, going on in my life right now. If I do hit publish and someone does happen to read this, please refrain from negative comments or criticism. Trust me, I beat myself up over this and call myself every negative term you can think of every single minute of every single day.

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Baby Steps

Way back at the beginning of this journey, I decided that taking baby steps would be the key to my success. And baby steps worked, until I got derailed and kept thinking that I could just jump back in where I had left off before my most recent derailment. But it never worked to just jump back in and each time I think I ended up worse off than before. So I am going back to the beginning and focusing on baby steps again.

My two biggest challenges, and where I want to start my baby steps, are getting in enough water each day and finding consistency in exercise. So I am going all the way back to the beginning and starting with 8 cups of water per day and 10 minutes of exercise per day. Considering right now I am averaging between 3-6 cups of water each day and virtually no exercise, I think these are good starting points for me again.

When I was successful in the past, losing 50 lbs, I started with baby steps and a lot of walking. Most of my success has come when I have been walking and drinking a lot of water, which is why I really want to start with the water part again. I don’t necessarily intend to have walking be my go to exercise to start out right now, but fully intend to incorporate more walking (and maybe some running) as time goes on.

Today I had 9 cups of water and danced for 15 minutes, plus did some light stretching. Baby steps done, day one.

Do you prefer baby steps or all or nothing?

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44

I knew I hadn’t posted in a while, but I hadn’t realized it had been a month and half since my last posting… wow! In that time I contemplated posting several times and I also contemplated never posting again. But I think no matter how many times I think about leaving this blog, I will keep coming back, because in truth I love blogging. I love putting my words out there and the community I have found. I love that this blog has brought so many incredible people into my life. And in all honesty, even though I wasn’t posting, I was still thinking about this blog every single day.

But why haven’t I been posting? Because I for the last year I’ve felt like a fraud. I haven’t been living a healthy lifestyle. I haven’t been working on my weight loss journey. I have struggled almost every single day in so many ways. How can I write a blog about my weight loss journey and healthy living when I’m not even on the journey?

I feel like so many of my posts over the last year have been forced and inauthentic. I have gained weight and gotten out of shape. I cycle between not eating and eating tons of junk food. I cycle between no sleep and too much sleep. I gave up, I stopped trying and I stopped seeing the good in myself.

No matter how many times over the last year that I told myself that I was going to get back on track, I just never did. My inner dialog went from motivation and encouragement to negativity and shame. And how could I motivate and encourage others when I couldn’t even be nice to myself?

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 44. I look back at my life and realize that I am so far from where I expected to be at this point in my life and I wonder how I got so far off track. There are some things that I’m happy are different than what I expected, but others are things I still want in my life. I need to find a way to get them.

I’m not going to promise to post every day, or even x number of posts per week. I’m not going to declare that I’m going to suddenly become healthy and whole again. But I will promise that I am going to work on it, I’m going to start trusting myself again. And I promise that when I share with all of you, it will be real and authentic. Right now I am taking things one step at a time.

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Midnight Snacking

Full Disclosure: This post brought to you by Blue Diamond. I received Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Almonds in exchange for this post through the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program. As always, all opinions are my own.

With my crazy work schedule, I have kind of a crazy eating schedule too. My meals tend to be switched from most people with my “breakfast” around 6pm, “lunch” around 1am and “dinner” around 7am. With this type of schedule, most of my snacking takes place in the wee hours of the morning and usually at my desk at work.

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I try to bring healthier snack options with me to avoid hitting up the vending machine for chips or a candy bar and have found several favorite snacks that work really well for me including veggies and hummus, fruit and peanut butter, air popped popcorn, nuts and homemade trail mix.

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When Blue Diamond asked to send me a 5 oz bag of their Oven Roasted Sea Salt Almonds and a 5 oz bag of their Oven Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds, I of course said yes! If you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all, you know I love Blue Diamond Almonds and generally have several containers on hand at any given time.

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While I love snacking on almonds straight out of the can (or in this case their new bags), I also really enjoy mixing them with other flavors as well, so the are great for serving as the base of a homemade trail mix. I love mixing sweet and salty treats together and tend to put together some pretty epic trail mix combinations. I like to mix a variety of nuts and seeds together with dried fruits and dark chocolate and have yet to be disappointed by any of the flavor combinations I’ve put together

I decided to put together a quick trail mix with the new almonds flavors and some other staples I tend to have in the pantry and have been enjoying this treat at work for the past week!

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Sweet & Salty Trail Mix

Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Sea Salt Almonds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola
Blue Diamond Over Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Dried Pineapple

measurements are to taste; combine all ingredients and enjoy!

What do you like to put in your trail mix?

 

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Smoothie Love

Full Disclosure: I received a carton of Almond Breeze Vanilla Hint of Honey Almond Milk free through the Blue Diamond Tastemakers. As always, all opinions are my own.

I have been a fan of smoothies for as long as I can remember. When I first started creating my own smoothies at home twenty-some years ago, I started out with a very basic smoothie recipe: frozen strawberries, a banana, plain yogurt, orange juice and milk. Over time, I started experimenting more and adding different ingredients to my smoothies.

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Over the last several years, my go to smoothie has been a protein smoothie, mixing protein powder with various ingredients including fruit, peanut butter and coconut oil. My favorite combination has been chocolate protein powder, almond milk, powdered peanut butter and a banana.

When Blue Diamond offered to send me their new Almond Breeze Vanilla Hint of Honey almond milk to try, I knew right away I wanted to make it into a smoothie. Unfortunately I had just run out of my favorite protein powder, so I knew I was going to have to get creative.

After much deliberation, I decided to go back to my old school favorite smoothie with a bit of an upgrade… and it was one of the most delicious smoothies I have had in a long time!

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My Old School Smoothie:

8 oz Blue Diamond Vanilla Hint of Honey Almond Milk
8 oz orange juice
6 oz vanilla yogurt
1 medium banana
2 cups frozen berry medley (raspberries, blackberries & blueberries)

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Blend well and enjoy!

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Sundays are for Sharing #1

I am completely behind on my blog reading right now, but I wanted to share some of my favorite posts from the last few weeks…

SundaySharing

I Eat High Fructose Corn Syrup from Back to Her Roots

Dear Self: On Mistakes from Passion for Life, Love and Health

Decision Fatigue and How to Deal from A Merry Life

No One Talks About the Darkness: A Postpartum Conversation from The Lunchbox Diaries

Cheating… Helpful or Hurtful? from Living the Dream

How to Build Your Own Training Plan- 5K to Marathon from Run To The Finish

Love the Skin You’re In Virtual 5K from Brooke Not on a Diet

Think Outside the Box: 15 Ways to Technique from The Self Help Hipster

Lessons Lately from Girl Meets Life

 

Enjoy!

 

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Emergency Preparedness

At 7:23 pm on Sunday evening, I awoke from a dead sleep to an earsplitting noise. I could not identify it at first and spent a few precious moments trying to figure out where it was coming from. Then I realized what it was, at the same time I smelled something burning and saw my neighbors leaving the building with their pets. The building’s fire alarm was going off.

My heart started racing and I immediately grabbed Disney and put her in a carrier, closing the door. The other carrier did not have the door attached (the cats like to hang out in the carrier and the door never stayed open). A few more precious moments were wasted climbing to the back of my closet for the door and reattaching it to the carrier before putting Cheshire inside. At this point, I threw a jacket on and grabbed my keys and phone (thankfully I had worn a tank top and bike shorts to bed- not the most glamorous outfit, but I was clothed) and started out the door, but I couldn’t find my shoes. I had just received a free pair from a vendor at work, so I dumped them out of the box and threw them on before grabbing the carriers and heading down the stairs and out of the building. I didn’t even grab my purse.

Once outside, I joined the rest of my neighbors and their dogs (only one other neighbor had evacuated their cats with them), while the fire department checked the building, disabled the alarm and gave us the ok to re-enter the building. It turns out my immediate downstairs neighbor had fallen asleep with the oven on, which created a lot of smoke (and the burning smell) and triggered the alarm, but there was no actual fire thank goodness.

While everyone is ok and this particular instance was a false alarm, it was a real wake up call for me. I was not prepared to get me and the kitties out of the building quickly and wasted precious time getting the carrier ready. And though I got the most important things out of the apartment (the cats and myself), I would have had no means of getting us anywhere without my purse (which contained all of the identification I just finished replacing).

After the incident, I am putting together an emergency kit to keep by the front door with all of the essentials I’ll need to take with me in the event of an evacuation. And the doors will remain on both carriers! I already keep the carriers in the living room, so this won’t change, in addition to the emergency kit (which I will be setting up in a backpack), I will be keeping a pair of slip on shoes by the front door as well.

The emergency kit will contain:

Important paperwork ( birth certificate, microchip records, etc)
A few cans of cat food, dishes and dry food
A bottle of water
Puppy Pads (since I can’t fit a litter box in the bag)
A couple of toys to make the kitties feel comfortable
Cash
A pair of leggings, shirt and underclothes for myself
Any prescription medication as needed
A mini first aid kit

As I will be on foot since I don’t have a car, I will need to keep things fairly light and the backpack will free up my hands to carry both carriers. I will also put my purse and keys with the emergency kit when I arrive home each day and keep my phone with me in whatever room I happen to be in. In a true emergency seconds count, and I don’t want to be caught unprepared again.

Do you have an emergency kit?
What do/would you have in your kit?
Have you ever needed to evacuate in a hurry?

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Thinking Out Loud~ 5/7/15

Yay! It’s Thursday!!One of my favorite posts to write is my Thinking Out Loud posts to link up with Amanda. I really enjoy sharing random tidbits of my life with all of you this way. Granted, some of my posts are way more random than others, but here we go…

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~ I need to confess that I am incredibly sappy and I tend to tear up when I read certain types of blog posts… lately marathon recaps! Because I am not a runner, especially now with my hip giving me issues, I am in awe of anyone who can run a marathon and reading emotional experiences about either running or spectating a marathon just brings out all of the feels for me!

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~ It has been over a month since my phone/wallet was stolen and I finally got my replacement license Wednesday. I’ve been checking the mail every day waiting for it since it was the last thing to arrive. But now everything is officially replaced!

~ On Friday we are having our annual inspection at my apartments. Basically they just check to make sure that we haven’t disabled the smoke detector or completely destroyed the apartment. I have been cleaning most of the week to make sure everything looks pretty when they come. The biggest problem for me, though, is that they will be here sometime between 10a-6p and we can’t schedule an appointment time. Since I am in one of the end buildings, I figure they will either start or end here, but it makes it really awkward for a day sleeper like me to plan. At this point I think I’m just going to close myself and the kids in the bedroom and leave a note on the front door to be quiet.

~ Speaking of sleep, I’ve actually been sleeping really well lately. Since I took my mini-vacation and have returned to normal work hours, I have been averaging between 6-7 hours of sleep per day. Granted in the past my body has worked optimally at between 8-9 hours of sleep, I am still functioning well and only feeling slightly tired throughout the day.

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~ I have been tackling a few projects that have been hanging out for a while. I built a new tower for the cats as their birthday presents (both had birthdays in April), will be putting together a new jewelry armoire next weekend, and have been cleaning out and organizing my kitchen cupboards. I still need to tackle my filing cabinet and linen closet/ pantry; but that will come over the next few weeks.

~ After realizing just how close to 50 I actually am, and along with that, just how quickly time is passing, I have rededicated myself to my studies and am back on my study place for my PT certification. Unfortunately my savings plan kind of went out the window (I am SO bad with money), so I have to work on saving the money for the test, plus for tuition for the other courses I want to take. I seriously need to play the lottery and win so I can do everything I want to do (I want 4 certifications plus 2 bachelor degrees ultimately to fully round out my dream gig).

~ And that’s quite a lot of rambling today, so I think we’ll finish here. Don’t forget to check out all of the other great Thinking Out Loud posts today as well!

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An Almost Wordless Wednesday

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Cheshire couldn’t wait until I finished assembling the new tower to try it out

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Supplementing

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Finally got my fitbook!

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So thankful to everyone who helped after the robbery

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Because… donut!

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