Ten Years

What is wrong with me? I post “why I’ve been blogging less but oh don’t worry I’ll still be around!!!”…then I run away. I suck.

I thought the internet was lacking in a sentimental post so here I am to save the day and make all the readers in the place with style and grace…cringe. In the spring of 2004, I was in 8th grade. Throughout grade school I played field hockey (fall), basketball (winter), softball (spring). I mostly did it because my friends did it and I had (still have?) FOMO- fear of missing out. Softball was far and away my least favorite, so I finally decided to ~live for me~ and quit so I could enjoy the remaining of my 8th grade days because I assumed life would be SUPER stressful in omg high school. I think I announced my retirement in a dramatic AIM away message. Maybe with Something Corporate lyrics.

Suddenly I had hours free! So much spare time! It was wonderful….and it jumpstarted the problem I’d have for the next decade. Too much spare time, nothing to do, so I started eating. I ballooned. I’d always been tall for my age, but by 8th grade, everyone had grown and I had stopped. At 5’2 (maybe 5’3 if you’re in a generous kind of mood). I graduated as the 11th shortest girl (I commemorated this in my diary so that’s how you know it rocked me to my core) and undeniably a little bit bigger. I remember my mom asking me once “You’re eating again? Are you sure? There’s a pool party coming up.” I was like “What? Yes I am hungry. I’ll be ready for the pool party, GEEZ MOM.” Lo and behold, a few weeks later, I wasn’t ready for that pool party. I didn’t go in the pool. I wore a two piece but never took my cover-up off. When my friends went in the pool, I sat or went to the bathroom to pretend to fix my hair or something.

I quit softball and filled my spare time with mindless snacking. A habit I have yet to break.

It’s hard to accept that it’s been ten years since that spring. I’ve written over and over in lengthy, painful, rambling posts about how I feel my weight and eating habits have held me back. It’s sobering to realize that a whole decade passed where I hated my body, ate more because I hated my body, and yet I didn’t have “it” to change. “It” meaning: the willpower, the mental fortitude, the knowledge of nutrition or how my body worked, the desire to learn all that, etc. I was miserable for so long about how my body looked so I’d eat to cheer myself up after a dismal shopping trip with my mom when I wanted to wear cute, stylish clothes that hugged my body and instead went with flimsy, flowy blouses or to fill a void when I saw my friends in relationships. Whatever. The list and the drama can go on (and probably does in multiple posts on this blog).

I’ve officially been blogging about my grand weight loss attempt for a year. I’ve done really well, then let myself have a reward “just one cheat day” on a Saturday which turned into a Sunday resolve of “ehhh just make it a cheat WEEKEND” that turned into eating poorly on Monday and Tuesday, but I couldn’t re-start healthy eating and living on a Wednesday! That was dumb! So NEXT MONDAY it would begin! Or when I didn’t feel like prepping healthy meals, figuring out what groceries I needed and then actually grocery shopping.

I’ve re-started with the resolve, then stopped, then taken forever to re-start again so many times over the past year. This particular winter has been brutal when I just couldn’t make myself get up to go to the gym and so hibernated in my house binging because it was too cold! The last week has been better, and I realize NOW that I really can’t let myself off the hook too much with “cheat days” because otherwise it just turns into one big, binge-y freefall. Should it have taken me so embarrassingly long? Probably not.

The last year has been one of so much learning, so much stopping, and eventually re-starting. All that matters is the re-start happens and I’m a lot more motivated than ever. Realizing it’s been a DECADE like this helps. Turning 25 in May helps.

It’s been 10 years but it won’t make it to my favorite number 11 🙂

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Why I’ve Been Blogging Less

Right. hello.

Life has been busier than usual round these parts but you are probably still busier. I try not to post about how OMG STRESSED AND BUSY AND CRAZAAAYY life is ever (it’s usually not) because I remember from Queen Mindy Kaling’s book where she says “A note about me: I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time EVERYONE IS STRESSED OUT. Going on and on in detail about how stressed how I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, “Wow, Mindy, you really have it ESPECIALLY bad. I have heard some stories of stress but this just TAKES THE CAKE.”

I read that and was like hell ya! This applies to me. So now I try not to whine about how tired (okay I fail at that one a lot), busy, stressed, whatev I am because….that quote. I love it. So I try to shut up.

This is obviously not me shutting up. And if you ever want tips on how to kill a blog, seek out yours truly. I’m the worst. BUT I can’t deny that it is kind of a success.

….I never presume anyone notices or further, cares, but it makes me cringe and feel bad when I see the blog name in the search terms section of blog stats. Oh and yes some version “I’m fat and hate myself” always makes an appearance in the search terms.  What a legacy I’m carving out.  So here I am about to fumble through an explanation that will probably make sense to a party of one Caitlyn but I feel compelled to try.

I’m trying to get out behind my computer more. I loooooove the Internet and can easily spend hours lost skimming in forums. Example, a few months ago I found Make-up Alley. I spent at least four straight days just browsing and reading reviews and then throwing things on my Amazon wishlist. A make-up artist I will probably never be but I like to imagine that I could someday be the girl who easily blends eyeshadows together to make eyes pop because that would be fun or be the girl who knows how to apply concealer juuuuust right, instead of just smearing it on my face and hoping for generously bad lighting all day like I do now. Hence why the zillion eyeshadow palettes, concealer jars, contouring brushes, are still sitting on my wishlists. Snort.

In the spring I had all these grand dreams for growing the blog but then I soured on them and realized I honestly didn’t care about growing it because I like it as it is and I hate change. In the fall I realized it was stupid how much time I spent cooped up in my room on the internet. I moved to a city like I always wanted to…and I would (still do) spend all my spare time in my room. No one is on their death bed and thinks “Sheesh if only I wasted more time on the internet.” Thus I am trying to cut down on my Internet time. Where I am at now is…I don’t know what to do with myself (this does not apply to recent, busier time). If you know of any “pathetic life” awards feel free to nominate me. I don’t really have any hobbies beside reading (which I am doing even more of) and reality tv. Over the winter months when I also could pinpoint the weather for being in my house all the time like a shut-in, I on-line browsed (and sometimes purchased) all the time. I’ve developed a new love for candles through all my yankee candle browsing.

I’m trying to cook/bake more because…adulthood.. but I really hate it. Really, really, really hate it. It makes me so anxious and I don’t know why. The other day I was baking bars and my hands were trembling the whole time and when the bars were finally cut and put away, I just felt such relief. ‘Twas bizarre.  I do more work-out DVDs. I still don’t clean my room.

So one of the things that has fallen by the wayside is blogging. I don’t put any pressure on myself to churn out “content” (like I used to in the spring) or creating graphics for pinterest (although I admire and happily pin yours and others). Maybe another reason is because I do all that at work?

This isn’t a goodbye or anything. I’m not quitting and I’ll still blog but I just wanted to try and explain the lack of consistent posts and blog reading/commenting. Soo I’m still here, always ready to rant and ramble, anddddd doesn’t mean I love ya any less 😉

 

 

The Way I Think

Hey. Thanks so so much for all your comments on my last post. Sometimes I wonder why I blog, then I read other peoples blogs, comments on other peoples blogs, comments on my own blog, and…I remember exactly why. To hear I’m not alone. I love social media and I also hate it because seeing everyone’s statuses squealing about getting promotions or getting the coolest job ever, Instagram pictures that feature the hashtag “#engaged” and whatever, gets me reallll down in the dumps. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for everyone and when I comment ‘congrats! happy for you!’ I mean it (most times), but sheesh, I hate that their happiness/success makes me feel like shit about myself. I feel angry and saddened that (it appears) everyone is moving forward yet I am like a hamster on the wheel that never gets anywhere, forever chilling on the very bottom. Being grateful every day is not something that comes easily to me. Neither does self-acceptance (believe me we know, think longtime readers of this blog).

I was thinking today about how I always dwell on all the things that I’m not and all the things I don’t have, instead of all the things that I am and all the things that I do have. What brought this revelation on was when I was at the mechanic/neighbors picking up our plentiful packages [oh the holiday season], and one of the mechanics said to me, “I thought you should know that when your package came today, as so-and-so signed for it, he said ‘Oh good, that means Caitlyn will come by today.’ We all look forward to your appearances because you make us laugh.” I was so stunned/touched by this, I think I stuttered a thank you, resorted to my standby self-deprecating humor bout how that’s the first time I ever heard somebody say they were looking forward to seeing me, we all laughed, I walked away smiling and hadn’t stopped smiling since. Whenever I’m at the neighbors, I am just trying to not be my always awkward self, and I never thought what they might see or take out of the brief exchange because I always just assume my jokes are stupid, that they’re counting the seconds until that awkward neighbor leaves. I always see the worst. I think I’m awkward, I’m always going to be awkward, but that’s not what other people necessarily see. These neighbors don’t know how I see myself.

I pout too often about how I don’t like my weight right now, but I ignore the positive changes I have made.  I was staring at my grocery cart in the check-out line the other day and I couldn’t believe that it was my cart, full of stuff picked out by ME. Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you what egg whites were. Or why too much sodium was a problem. Or what almond milk was. Or what Greek yogurt was. and why it was different. Two years ago when I went to the grocery store, I completely ignored the perimeter of the grocery store. I never bought produce. Ever. I bought cookies, crackers, bagel bites, ice-cream, cheez-its, pop-tarts. All I drank was soda, alcohol and the occasional water with Crystal Light. I’m pretty confident that I never, ever, ever hit my suggested veggie intake. Now I fill my cart with egg whites, fat-free Greek yogurt, cranberries, spinach, bananas, strawberries, almonds, carrots. I think and care about things like my veggie intake everyday and make smoothies or small salads to accommodate if I realize it’s low. I pause to dwell on if I am drinking enough water – and sometimes, I even drink more water than recommended. I limit myself to one soda or one Crystal Light a week, and sometimes I go without them.

I get borderline depressed when I look at my bank account and remember how poor I am. But if I frame the situation another way,  I  feel proud that while my bank account doesn’t end with as many zero’s as I’d like it to, I’m living on my own in a new city, paying bills, and am still managing to save something.  When I moved to this city, I lived here for 4.5 months without any income. I’m proud that I managed to make it work and am still here making it work and learning about living on my own. I personally have a lot to learn about how to be an adult and live on my own.

Not only do I tend to have a distaste for where I am in my life and dwell on all the things that I’m presently not, I am guilty of pigeon-holing myself and accepting what I  let myself think I can never be. Make sense? Probably not. I know I hold myself back and don’t take chances because “well, obviously, that’s not for me, that’s for people cooler/more successful/more talented than me. I won’t be able to do that.” It’s sobering to realize I severely underestimate myself and cut myself off from fun things. Shouldn’t I be my own advocate? My biggest  cheerleader? It’s sad to realize I’m always my worst critic – and yes, I know I’m not alone in that. I’m training for a 12 miler in August (!!!!!) which I NEVER thought I’d do. Those kinds of things were obviously for runners only and I can never be a runner because .. hello..look at me, my name is Caitlyn, it’s not in my DNA, I suck at everything forever and ever amen. I’m still not 100% convinced I’ll be able to pull it off but I try to banish those thoughts and just focus on going a teensy bit further than I did yesterday.  I always thought it’d be so cool to be a half-marathoner but never pursued it because of who I thought I was and who I just accept that I am. Lazy, afraid, doomed, terrible at everything,hopeless. Yes, I’m lazy, but I can overcome that. Yes, I walked a nearly-20 minute mile in 7th grade and hated it every second, but why oh why still think about that 10 years later? It was a stupid grade school fitness test, it should have nothing to do with today, and the Caitlyn back then was most definitely not the Caitlyn of now. Thank God.

Really I get so angsty about how I’m not where I want to be, but I don’t stop to think about where I am, compared to where I  have been. Sure it’s not as fast and the results aren’t as sudden as I’d want them to be, but they are there. The littlest of results. Things – good things – will happen if I keep chugging along. Even if it feels like I’m getting nowhere. Good things are there. I just have to pay more attention and readjust what view I’m looking at.

Stuck

That’s me. I feel stuck. In every aspect.  December has not been a kind month. I got screamed at in the middle of a meeting for the first time. I cried in the bathroom at work for the first time. I kind of cried to my boss for the first time after we had a big confrontation over the one instance where I whispered (whispered!!) a joke to the girl next to me in a meeting where 20 other people were talking to the person next to them and when I do it, it’s single-handedly THE MOST UNPROFESSIONAL THING EVER. Despite sitting there singing Katy Perry ‘Roar’ lyrics in my head so I wouldn’t I still kind of cried and she saw and told me ‘oh geez don’t get upset’ which for some reason made me MORE upset. I’ve also  had to pull over on the car ride home for the first time so I could cry. My dad said “I’m sorry you’re feeling miserable” and I said “I’m not miserable. I just feel so stuck.” I haven’t been able to pull myself out of bed at 4 am to go to the gym because if I’m asleep I can delay being awake and feeling stuck and thinking about being stuck.

My love life [haaaaaa] is non-existent. My battle with weight is so frustrating. I have been doing so well  and then weeks like recently happen and the only way I know how to deal is to just inhale.all.the.foods.I feel like I’m not that connected to Baltimore and it’s my own fault. I have been better with this, and I’ve met some more people, but I still don’t have many Baltimore friends. I have like, 3, people to go out with on weekends and if none of them can go, I’m out of luck. And that’s my fault too but I just am too awkward to put in too much effort and after work all I want to do is put on sweatpants and stay in my house. My college roommates keep asking me if I think I should move and that seems way too dramatic..even for me. I don’t even know what I would move for- a job? I don’t know what I want to do. I like what I do. It makes sense to do what I do but I don’t know if I’m that good at it. I still often feel like I’m faking it. Somedays I escape meetings where I babble on about nothing and when people nod I think ‘phew. I fooled them again. They couldn’t tell that I don’t know a damn thing.’

I guess at 24.5, with 25 looming,  I realize I’m nowhere near the girl I thought I would be at 25. I thought the 25 year old me would be thin, have a great job I loved and kicked ass at, had a great boyfriend, a great wardrobe, live in a city and did such cool things. I’m in a city, but i can’t seem to propel myself into making the rest happen. Lazy, scared, pick one I don’t know. Oh and I don’t know anything. There’s that too. But! There’s still time. May 12 [my birthday] is 5 months away. All I know is I’m sick of disappointing myself and feeling like sometimes all I do is wander aimlessly and that I just survive. That sounds dramatic but I feel like lately 200 times a day I say ‘I just want to go home and be in bed.’

Sooo that’s where I’m at. I’m just pulling myself forward and trying to figure out how to be proactive and find answers and..blah. This post is slightly hysterical. I’m not depressed or anything that serious. I’m …fine. But is that enough? I dunno. At this age (the time of my life!!! or something), shouldn’t I be more?

uh. happy friday!? take a shot every time i say stuck in this post.

And I’m Here….Again.

I’ve been the worst blogger in all of the land and sorry. Work has been crazy and I’ve lost any pretend grasp of control of my life. BUT…I can’t just blame work as much as I would absolutely love to. I’ve, uh, been avoiding the blog kind of because … yeah.

For my roommate Molly’s wedding, all I wanted to do was show up looking thin and toned. I knew about her wedding for months [years, even], so anytime I reverted back to my horrible, junk food eating habits, I’d stand back up and brush it off and resolve that I had to get my act together for Molly’s wedding. Yet somehow, three days before her wedding, I found myself in the same situation I’ve been finding myself in for years. Sitting in a dressing room with horrendously critical lighting surrounded by dresses, wearing one that I couldn’t zip up, fighting back tears. Except only this time, thank God, my mom wasn’t outside the door. Here I was back at my normal size and I HATED how everything looked. How was I here again? After all my months of trying so hard, here I was AGAIN. It felt like I hadn’t even made any progress because I just looked the same. All I had wanted to do was show up at the wedding 10-15 pounds lighter and barring a miracle, that wasn’t going to happen. I pulled myself together somewhat and bought a dress I didn’t like that much because it was the only one I thought looked kind of okay.

On the ride home, I felt so frustrated. I felt so sad. I felt so disappointed. And my mom called. My car has a speaker phone thing in it so there’s no getting around it. I was weak and answered. She noted I sounded down and so I told her I didn’t like my dress. She translated accordingly [why do moms know everything?] and sighed. “Caitlyn…you know…don’t get mad at me, I know you’ll get mad at me but….for as long as you have been working at this, you should be 80 pounds by now.” I snapped and told her if I were 80 pounds I’d probably be dead, and then hung up. I’ve been dragging my family along [and everyone via this blog] for months on some great, wonderful, weight loss journey of self-discovery and here I was. With nothing to show for it except for now I know how to microwave egg whites and that I like Trader Joes balsamic dressing. Whoopie.

Sure, I overslept for Body Pump a few times, or missed it because I was working, or just because I didn’t feel like going or I had groceries in my car and didn’t go to the gym because I didn’t want to let them sit. I’m so good at letting myself off the hook and think ‘Oh I’ll get ‘em tomorrow.’ Or I haven’t been 100% committed to healthy eating even though…

Abs are made in the kitchen

 

I let myself off the hook too easily with an unhealthy snack or a binge session because oh hey! I ate salads and oatmeal and apples yesterday..I’m good! Can’t I ‘cash in’ on yesterday’s success? I knew when I started this whole thing that one of my problems is that I’m lazy, have a hard time committing to things and staying motivated. I like to run when things get hard and never be forced to face it.

This whole healthy living thing isn’t easy and it takes time. I knew that going in. But that’s not an excuse. I should absolutely have more to show by now. It’s horrendously embarrassing to have somehow lost any momentum and have come to a sputtering stop trying to figure out how I keep winding up here.

And that, friends, is one of the reasons I’ve been semi-absent. Pride. Embarrassment. I debated deleting the blog because who wants to keep writing stupid, whiny, pitiful posts by a girl who can’t figure it out and put it together? At this horrendous rate I’m going, it’ll be 5 years before I lose 10 pounds and keep it off for longer than a month. But then I remembered how much I like you guys sooooo….blame yourselves. 🙂

Where do I go from here?…I’d claim it was rock bottom but I still apparently have enough self-control to pull back the reigns on the dramatic effect…I don’t know. I can’t feel any lower about all my attempts than I did over the last three-ish weeks. I guess it’s ‘New Resolve’ version 9.0. And what’s the saying, can only go up from here? I sure as hell hope so.

 

The Road I’m On

I was thinking the other night about how happy I am when I go to the gym and that I work out. Weird. Have I fallen in love with fitness? I’m not sure I’d call it love yet, but right now, it’s definitely infatuation.  All I know is we’re in it for the long haul. Fitness has been trying to court me forever, and I’ve brushed it off with lame excuses that are the equivalent of “I can’t..I have to wash my hair” or flirting with it briefly then never calling it for months and months and diving out of the way when I see it on the street.  We’re going to have our highs and lows throughout the decades and I’m probably going to hate it and behave like a bratty Taylor Swift toward it from time to time. Lately, though, I’m starting to feel as if I’m getting in the groove.

I never was someone who liked working out. In college I’d take my Kindle to the gym and sit on an exercise bike going the slowest possible speed and would read.  Or I’d just go for long, slow walks on the most isolated part of campus when the gym was too crowded so I could be alone with my thoughts and my cheesy bad pop music on my I-pod. I never would attempt to work out very hard. I didn’t like how red my face got if I tried too hard. So unattractive. Of course another factor was that I was in such bad shape with virtually zero stamina so why would I want to embarrass myself and flaunt my pathetic status in front of my classmates? I didn’t like my body and knew I had to work out and eat better, but I had no interest in it. I didn’t want to try and set myself up for embarrassment or failure. I have a hard time sticking with things when they’re hard and give up on myself pretty quickly.

But after  starting a new chapter when I moved to a new city, I realized I was sick of coasting and so easily accepting that I was: overweight, not in shape, weak,  a horrible eater and resentful. I was too young to give up and just slot myself into the role of a person I didn’t want to be. I had such an opportunity for a fun life in my new city, I could start over here. I could be happy here. So I started a blog about it (my condolences to the Internet).

My fitness journey for the few months has found me going to a class or just ducking into the cardio cinema and doing strictly treadmill or elliptical because I didn’t know what else to do at the gym. But lately I have been hanging out in the private training area. It’s very isolated and I get to try out new circuits without feeling self-conscious or like everyone is silently mocking my slowness or noting that my arms start shaking 5 seconds after I get into a plank. I’ve had so much fun playing around on Pinterest and finding work-outs to do. I’ll find them the night before, save the pin to my camera roll on my phone, then watch a Youtube video on how to perform a certain move.  I, of course, forget how to perform that move when I actually get to the gym. BUT…I get really sweaty, have fun (will wonders never cease?) and afterward feel like the cat that swallowed the canary. The red face I used to dread is now worn as a badge of honor, of sorts. Like, yep, I worked out hard people. 

I love feeling my heart beat faster and the beads of sweat. I love getting my body moving. After years of only fueling it with poor nutrition, I love knowing I’m finally taking care of it.

apartment-house-quote

 

image from fellow bmore blend, kate. I LOVE THIS QUOTE. #hitshome 

Over the last few months, I’ve tried a lot of new things. I’m not particularly adventurous and am very intimidated at the idea of new things. Remember it took me two months to work up the nerve to go to Body Pump? And I LOVE it. I’ve tried CXWORX, which I liked even though I made a fool of myself, and I really look forward to definitely seeing improvement as I get stronger and not having such a hard time with the ONE piece of equipment the class uses [sigh]. Also I ran two 5ks.

I’m so glad I found  Brian, the Zumba instructor at the gym, and that I have such a good time at his class. I love that I can kinda run a little now- granted, it’s still pathetic and I’m slower than molasses, red-faced, panting, dying, cursing with my last breaths, etc., but I can do it. And I do do it. Slowly I’m learning to let myself revel in the fact that I do it, and not pay attention to how much faster everyone else is or how much longer they can go for, because just the fact that I am going at all is wonderful.  I love that I have the Bmore Blends and that we’re plotting out fun workouts. I love that I’m get to try classes like Body Combat but I especially love how gleeful I am  about trying these classes.

It’s also dizzily exciting how much I am looking forward to trying things out: I’m determined to compete in a half marathon sometime in the next 18-ish months. I want to try CrossFit. I want to try the bootcamp type classes my gym offers that right now I’m still too scared to attend.  And whatever else I decide I want to do.  It’s truly amazing that I now look forward to fitness classes and going to the gym.  I’m excited for all that’s ahead and working toward it.