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Mrs. Featherbottom

14 Mar

(Title inspiration)

Man. I am suffering through the worst case of writer’s block. All my energy and creativity is being efficiently sucked and drained via work and volunteer work. Nah, I take that back. I give my creativity and energy to the volunteer stuff. Work forces it out and then bludgeons it with an ice pick while I watch.

Hence why I am applying for new positions.

Hence, hence why I am even more run-down than usual.

Oh, and I am still taking the stats class from hell. Math and I do not get along. I am a terribly illogical person. I do not do well with certainties or problems with one answer. You cant create anything with numbers that hasn’t already be created.

(This is when I expect some random mathlete will bomb my site with videos of someone doing something original with numbers or math. My answer to you, nerd, is that “You just showed it to me, so now I cant do it. No longer original. BAM.”)

Either way, I’m tired.

I was at a job interview last week where I was casually trying to sell myself. Since I wasn’t sure if I wanted the job or not, I kept it casual and focused on my volunteer work with the animal rescue. To be fair, it is almost a full time job some weeks. But I figure that lots of people volunteer, especially when they want to work exclusively in non-profits or start-ups. But I was pretty thrown when the interviewer called me “Mary Poppins” for balancing home, work, school, and philanthropy.

Frankly, I view myself more like Sherry Bobbins. Nah, more like Mrs. Featherbottom:

Maybe I should give myself more credit? Unlikely to happen. Let’s just be honest here. I don’t do well with self esteem. I do well with being an under-estimator who tirelessly plugs along like everyone else does.

So, sorry world. My contributions are limited until end of April rolls around. You’ll just have to suffer with a cranky and tired Michelle.

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So much to say…

21 Feb

… and no motivation to do it.

It took me about 5 minutes to fully write that sentence, btw.

Anyways, facing/faced some fears this week.

First, and most importantly, I am dealing with my flight or fight instinct. My natural tendency has always been and most likely always will be to flee. I dont necessarily think of this as bad, though many of you will disagree.

I’m not going to sugarcoat things. My job is BAD. I am an ambitious, persistent worker with a ton of experience and drive for my field. Yet, the current position I am in is not letting me take a command over my profession (i.e. doing admissions and academic advising for a master’s program). While my peers in similar departments as mine receive job promotions, better titles, and actual responsibilities, I am left feeling like a secretary who is constantly being looked over. Yet, my performance reviews and my loyalty to the school I work for show that I am capable of so much more.

So I apply. But as many of you know, this is a world of “nos” these days, especially to people in my situation: Bachelor’s degree in another field (in my case teaching), 3+ years of experience, yet working a job way under my performance and skill level. No one wants to hire someone who looks like they’ve been doing nothing but filing paperwork or drafting meeting minutes.

I’ve become a LinkedIn junkie over the last year. I join women’s networking groups and am constantly updating my resume on other career sites. All the while, I am diligently searching for just one break in a pile of positions either above or below me.

But my heart isn’t in it. After two years of actively trying to get out of what I am doing, I am exhausted. I recognize that I am blessed to have a full time job as flexible as mine. Yet, all I can think of is the travel I should be doing now, the people I should be meeting, the life I should be pushing aside for just some kind of adventure. 

This weekend, I was faced with the choice of staying longer and continuing to build my life here, or to leave immediately and pay for the consequences later. There were bigger, more personal, factors at play, but I ultimately chose the first.

Why? Well, I have to believe that good things are coming. Forget that I get hives thinking about how much our wedding is costing or that I essentially owe the IRS $5k this year in taxes. Let’s even push aside the fact that my job has made me a lump of an Office Space character who is constantly checking the time while filing papers.

There has to be something good coming. 

It’s around this corner. Whether it takes me a week or 7 months to get there, my “good” is coming. And I’ll keep working on it. If the wedding hits and I’m in the same mental and physical space, we can make the ultimate decision then. But right now, I am staying put for the long haul.

The second fear I’ve been facing is my weight. Seriously. When have I not been afraid of the number on the scale or the jeans that do not fit? But this year, it’s become real. I have a $600 wedding dress that does not fit. If that doesn’t make it tangible, then I dont know what would.

So, I’ve been doing this dietbet. 28 days to lose 4% of my body weight. Tuesday was my day. And I did it. 

I lost 8lbs. 8lbs! How amazing is that? Really, money will make me do anything, including giving up pasta and bagels.

But as soon as the bet was done, I was celebrating with my comfort foods, telling myself that I would get back to it all tomorrow. I wont. 

There has to be something good coming.

Another dietbet it is. This one starts March 1st-29th. This is the one I’m doing, in case you’re curious.  It’s a $20 bet to get in. Since I made $44 off of the last one, I just used $20 of that. As my weight stands in from this morning, I will need to lose 7.6lbs. That means, that on March 29th, I will need to weigh in at 1x3lbs. I haven’t seen that number in over a year.

Fear is a big motivator. Maybe bigger or more significant than money. My plan of action for this dietbet is to scare the shit out of myself by taking advantage of my gym’s free, monthly bodymetric measuring. I’m doing this for the first time, but I’m assuming I’ll get weighed in and professionally measured. And then scolded for being so, gosh darn overweight. Let it come. I am ready. I’ll use whatever we throw at me as fire. And I’ll hit that 1x3lb mark as easily as I hit my current weight.

This was a hard post to write. I’m not going to lie. I’ve been stuck in my depression block for awhile now. It’s taking a lot to get out. But I am. I’m crawling towards spring time a little lighter, a lot more grounded. I’ll get out.

Go Your Own Way

17 Jan

I remember reading about this “challenge” a couple months ago. You take one photo every hour and post it to your stream (I used Instagram and Twitter). I thought it would be neat to look back at how my day unfolded for a regular Wednesday workday. Since WordPress is being an ass, you’ll have to visit my sights to see where I was all day. It’s riveting stuff, I tell ya.

Sigh.

It’s been a long couple of days. I’ll be honest and say that the gray cloud from the weekend is still hanging on. My nightmares have all been wedding dress related. Last night, I got ketchup on it. Like, Carrie style. And I HATE ketchup. The night before, I dreamt that I was stuck in an elevator and my dress kept getting cut up by the doors. I’m pretty sure that’s a metaphor. 

As I told my therapist last night, I am more of frustrated at myself. It would be one thing if I wasn’t doing anything to lose weight. If that was the situation, I would be more depressed. With this, I am just red hot mad. I am doing the right things and am seeing zero or negative responses. How can someone work out and eat relatively well for three months and end up gaining a pound?

Frustration station.

Out of that anger and frustration, I decided to join this dietbet. Basically, you put money in the pot that you can lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days. Being a bigger girl, that number is HUGE for me. Ok, not huge. But it’s a pretty hefty amount of weight to lose in less than a month. When I saw the number, I was like “No way.” But I’m pretty confident that I just need to kickstart myself in gear. And 28 days is long enough to do it. Wish me luck! I’d like to keep or earn some money!

Ok, I’m out of here. I’m going to try to shake off this miserable, no good feeling by hitting a yoga class. I’ve been pretty tight in the hips, so I’m hoping it will help. Plus, I heard from my favorite travel blog that the hips are where all of your pent up emotions are!

That Damn Wedding Dress

15 Jan

From what I hear, the stress of the “big wedding day” can give any bride nightmares. I’ve had a couple. Mainly, they involve thousands of people shooting bows and arrows at my head as I walk down the aisle or the cake being poison. Nothing too bad, and all totally relating to my unrelenting social anxiety.

But, there’s another. It’s not so much of a nightmare as it is a phobia/fear. WHAT THE F#$CK WILL I DO IF I CANT FIT IN MY G-DAMN DRESS?!?!

Forget my hair looking good. Screw people not coming. I couldn’t care less if food is even there. My dress scares the crap out of me. It’s like my worst enemy at this point. I dread seeing it, I dont want to talk about it, and it’s hidden in some dark (literal) closet.

I may have forgotten to mention that I bought that dress about… oh… 20lbs ago. That’s right. I gained 20lbs in less than a year. It’s as horrible as it sounds so feel free to judge me for it. 2012 was a bad year full of emotional eating and avoiding my gym shoes like the plague. The fact that I had gained 20lbs wasn’t lost on me leading up to this weekend. I knew going in that this would be a tight fit. I expected it to not exactly zip up either.

What I got was worse. So much so. My dress wasn’t even CLOSE to zipping. It got about half way up and was like “Screw this, bitch.” I tried to smile through this mini-fitting with my mom. I put on my new shoes and kept redirecting my her attention to them. But she couldn’t even keep in her fear and continually brought up the “What are you going to do if it doesn’t zip up?” question I’ve been avoiding.

See, it has to fit. I am not that girl. I’m not getting it taken out, nor am I changing it to a corset back. This dress will fit. And I will even go running if I have to. I tried to muster that determined spirit as I reassured my now panicking mother (who, three days later, is still bringing it up). But who am I kidding? This is a mess.

Oh god. This is some shit for therapy. I’ve had plenty of clothing not fit. But none of those are my wedding dress.

I know that I did this to myself. I had a full year to get myself together, but I didn’t. I was too busy focusing on my depression and literally feeding in to it. And now I am here: 8 months to go and I HAVE to lose at least 15lbs. I cant maintain anymore. This is getting desperate.

So, I’m making a plan:

  • Drink at least 8 cups of water a day. No calories as beverages except for milk and the occasional glass of juice. Alcohol allowed on only special occasions
  • 1200-1600 calories per day except for when I burn more than 600 calories working out.
  • Carbs at lunch and breakfast only. Can move carbs to dinner, but I must have worked out that day. Pasta is only allowed twice a week.
  • No eating past 8:30pm except when dining out or eating my one cheat food (popcorn).
  • Popcorn has moved to a once a week treat to once every other week. Sorry fiance and dog.
  • All food and calories burned via exercise shall be tracked daily. You can visit myfitness pal (I’m ohmybears48) to make sure I’m doing this.
  •  Participate in #plankaday challenge. Post results on twitter for accountability.
  • Workouts are as follows*:

Monday: 20-30 min run, 30 min. kickboxing, and 20 min core
Tuesday: 1 hour boot camp class (or 30 min elliptical and 30 min kettlebell)
Wednesday: 30 min weight lift sculpt, 30 min run
Thursday: 1 hour yoga
Friday: 30 min run
Saturday: 1 hour boot camp or cardio hour class
Sunday: 30 min cardio hour, 30 min power hour, 1 hour yoga (or 1 hour dance and 30 min run)

*I’m not crazy, nor a novice, so I wont be too anal about this schedule as long as I get the majority or the equivalent done.

I plan on trying on the dress again at Easter, so March 31st. If I have lost over 5lbs, I will reward myself by buying new earrings. If I have lost 10lbs, I will buy myself a massage. If I have lost more, I will buy myself a new work outfit. My second try on will be when I get a fitting done with a friend/seamstress probably in May or June. Same rewards apply.

Plan set? Plan sound good? Ok. Let’s go.

Q. How Many Calories Can I Burn While Dropping It Like It’s Hot?

7 Jan

A. 700 per hour. At least, according to my heart rate monitor at last night’s Dance Dance Party Party session. But a note on that… when I dance, I go ALL out. I cant dance at all and I get nervous in crowds. But something about being in the dark with a limited amount of space makes me go all Footloose.

Speaking of which, have we seen this. I love this woman. I want to be her. I hope my future daughters become her (or at least get her dance moves because I couldn’t dance like this girl if I went to DDPP every night for five years):

She reminds me of my favorite dance project EVER: Girl Talk’s film All Day where three professional dancers go through the Girl Talk album while dancing dancing in New York. It’s a pretty awesome love story.

All of these lady dancers! Man. It’s a theme. I should have become a dancer. Oh wait, no I shouldn’t. I cant dance, unless your version of dancing is flailing while awkwardly moving feet. My dance moves are a combo of hippy chick, stoner dance moves mixed with poorly executed SNL parodies of “Single Ladies.” It’s that bad.

But at least I burn a ton of calories doing it!

And my wedding is going to be awesome in terms of dancing. While I am an introvert, I am promising myself that I will UNLEASH at my wedding. My dress is PUURFECT  for the dance floor, and I bought a pair of some kick ass gold, sparkling shoes this weekend that will complete my disco Goddess look perfectly. Dance floor = mine to own.

Here are my shoes, btw. Big props to the fiance for spotting them at a busy Macy’s department store. Also, for letting me get them even though it was totally not in the plans to purchase my shoes. Their so sparkly, it’s obnoxious. And if I am going to throw a big wedding as a person with sometimes crippling and diagnosed social anxiety, I best be the most obnoxious person there.

In other news from the weekend: I registered for one class on Saturday. Yes, one class. Apparently I need a statistics course to become a social worker. Luckily, it’s online so I can look confused and dumbfounded in the privacy of my own home. (who am I kidding… my fiance and dog will both judge me still.)

I also burned an additional 700 calories from boot camp and attempting to teach fiance some basic yoga moves. Both were hell. Just kidding. Boot camp wasn’t that hard. <sarcasm>

 

365-ish Days In The Library

4 Jan

I’ve been dawdling on this post. Every year, I feel like I write out this long “resolution list” that goes nowhere. Like so many, I start each year optimistic and slowly fade in to cynicism by June. The only time I was truly successful in keeping a resolution was in 2011 when I ran a half marathon and lost 30lbs.

And then gained it all back (plus some) in 2012.

However, this year will be different. Not because I’ve got some grand plan or some rad organization system going. No, this year will be different because it has to be. 2013 (or, if you read the Bloggess, The Library) is the year I get married. If that isn’t a change, I dont know what is!

Interrupting, Mental Voice: Actually, it isn’t much of a change, Michelle. You already live with your fiance and share about 80% of your finances. Besides the legality, what will be different. 

Ok, that b$tch of a mental voice has a point. What will be different? I wake up every morning to this fantastic, supportive being at my side. He’s not going anywhere soon. Nor am I. It’s been like this for three years.

So, maybe it’s the wedding that will force my life to change. I’m not one of those brides who thinks their wedding deserves more than the day. But as the time gets closer to solidify my bridal party, send out invitations, and wade through food choices, I find myself more and more overwhelmed with what involves in coordinating essentially four large family reunions and a ceremony in one location. There’s a lot of emotion there, especially since my little sister has gone first and I have something to compare/compete with (middle child syndrome). It’s going to take a lot of emotional strength to get through this.

Resolution #1: Get through wedding planning.
How I’m going to do it: YOGA (once a week), dancing (whenever I feel like it), and managing my finances.
Pay off: If we can manage to save thousands upon thousands upon thousands (and some more thousands…) while thriving mentally, I know my marriage will be well worth it.

Of course I want to lose weight for the wedding. Who hasn’t? I’m not happy with where I am. Not even close. I look in that mirror and think “WHAT HAPPENED?” Just two years ago, I proved that I could do this. It took a lot of work, some in which I am not willing to put in to save myself mentally, but I did it.

Resolution #2: Feel beautiful on September 28th, 2013
How I’m going to do it: Checking in on myfitnesspal.com, utilizing my gym membership 4 times a week, and visiting the treadmills.
Pay off: I ran today (alone) for the first time in about three months. It felt great! Ok, no it didn’t. It felt like I was a slow, flying brick about to hit the ground at any moment. But I did it. And it forced me to write this blog. There’s that.

Not wedding related, but something that will happen right around wedding time is that I am hoping to start work towards my MSW (master of social work) so that I can be a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) in CF practices (children and family). God, I love acronyms. Just ten minutes ago, I finished applying to one program here in the city and I plan on starting application number 2 later this week.

I am confident that working in social work is a field that I would be successful in. After speaking with my therapist, people in the field currently, and with my support group of awesomeness (SGoA), I believe that I can manage this. I would like to work full time while going to the program of my choice, but I’d also consider going full time if I could find a near full time assistantship position.

Resolution #3: Change of careers
How I’m going to do it: Start a new academic program OR find a new job. ASAP. It’s not like I dont already spend about 4 hours a day on job search websites anyways…
The payoff: I certainly dont expect more money. In fact, I am pretty sure I’ll make right around what I’m getting now. But I’d rather make a difference than feel like I’m working my ass off towards nothing. I love my students and profession, but I just haven’t gotten that “you’re doing some good in the world” feeling from it. The ultimate self satisfaction is well deserved self-righteousness.

Ok. I’m off to ice my legs, write some “please recommend me even though you haven’t seen me in four years” emails, and look up cake toppers! What are you doing in the year of the library?

All I Got For Christmas Is an IPad Mini and the Stomach Flu

27 Dec

I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that three days of over eating and indulgence can now be found on the curb five minutes from my apartment complex.

I really overate.

That’s an understatement.

I ATE EVERYTHING.

I’m not really what I would consider to be an emotional eater, but there is something about the stress of my grandma’s house (which can be likened to a zoo on acid) and the large platters of assorted chocolates that sends my good intentions of healthy eating out the door. Loud noise = EAT! Everyone mentioning the wedding = EAT! Everyone not mentioning the wedding = EAT! Children running = EAT! Grandma crying = EAT!

It would be a pretty fantastic bingo drinking game, but luckily that is the one indulgence that I do not partake in (much).

So, after consuming a super unhealthy and alarming amount of cinnamon rolls in a two day span, I left my Christmas’d stomach on the side of a road. And unfortunately, all the innocent commuters, small children, a pit bull, and my future brother-in-law were there to witness it. At least everyone can now believe me when I say we left Brendan’s family’s Christmas party early for good reasons.

When anyone asks what I got for Christmas, I’m just going to tell them I got my nifty Ipad mini and a stomach bug. It pretty much sums up the last couple of days.

Oh, and I got this super sweet Iphone cover:

236429_212029246-caseiphone5_l

Now Ron Swanson can remind me of how horrible I am for owning and depending upon so many Apple products.

I am digging the Ipad though. All be honest and say that it is just a slightly larger Iphone. But who wants to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows on their Iphone? I’m hoping the Ipad will tap in to my creative, design side or at least let me be a bit more artistic. I even ordered a bluetooth keyboard for it so I could start blogging on it.

(I have a real computer… but it was broken in some tragic accident involving booze and a drying rack.)

In other, non-Christmas and Tech related news, I actually ran this weekend! I accidentally misread the times of the morning boot camp time, so I had to supplement it with this Cardio Hour class. I had no idea what it was going in to it, so I was alarmed to find out that it was circuits on the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike. LOTS of running at 10 minute mile speed on 7.0-10.0 inclines. I’m going to be honest and say that I didn’t do so hot, but I burned about 550 calories in that hour. Maybe I’ll go back… next time I’ll wear my compression sock.