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.

Putting It All Together

When I made the decision that this was going to be the year when I was finally going to commit to exercising and eating healthier (which would hopefully lead to the ultimate goal: losing 15-20 pounds), I thought the hardest part would be physically. I was going to be sore. The exercises would be hard. My body would hurt. I thought there would be a few mental uphill battles but I’d get over them because I was really DETERMINED. Now that I was DETERMINED, those mental battles would be a swift and easy defeat.

Oh, no. Oh, no no no no no. How wrong I was.

This weight loss/get fit journey is most taxing mentally. Now I roll my eyes and laugh when I think about how I underestimated the mental battles. Have you caught onto the underlying theme of this blog yet: progression is so freaking slow, I am impatient, I really like to complain and I’m totally and completely ignorant about everything? Oy vey.

I’ve touched on the mental battle before but me oh my, it never ends. And I get so easily frustrated with my own self-destruction mentally or how I can’t seem to put it all together. I get frustrated that I’m so uneducated about this whole shebang: fitness, nutrition, healthy eating habits, healthy living habits. I know it all takes time. There’s so much I don’t know that I’m (again, slowly) figuring out.

I allow myself one day to skip the gym during the work week, but twice I’ve taken two skip days. And the whole drive into work on the second skip day, I’m furious with myself. I was so mad at myself for sleepily convincing myself to have another skip day even though I was more than capable of getting up and going to work out.

Then I’d get mad at myself for my adamant refusal to go work out in the afternoons. The gym I go to is a chain, and there are two locations so close to my house that I could go to. But I don’t. Because the one location I do always go to is the one with the cardio cinema where nobody can see me huffing and puffing away in the dark. And I like watching the shows & the movies in a theater environment. I never want to go in the afternoon because then I’ll hit rush hour traffic on my way back. I refuse to consider afternoon work-outs at the other closer locations because:

1) I’m tired after work: This is true but everyone else in zee world is tired after work and most of them can do it, so I could too.

2) No cardio cinema. Uh, no, that’s not diva-ish at alllllllll.

3) There’s going to be a lot more PEOPLE!! It’s going to be so crowded. At 5 AM there’s nobody and I love it. And all these afternoon / evening people are going to have the bodies I want to have but don’t yet and I’m going to be embarrassed and intimidated and assuming they’re silently mocking my paltry efforts: Sigh.

When I am on the treadmill, I still have to talk myself down from the That’s It I Quit This Was A Dumb Idea I’m Never Going To Succeed Because Even Though It’s Been Two Months I Still Suck At Running And I Don’t Yet Like Running STOP THE TRAIN ledge. Oh yes, such a ledge exists and I’m usually always precariously perched on it.

Or when I’m doing Tone It Up exercises and it takes me 15 minutes just to figure out what the hell my left arm is supposed to do in one of the moves. And then I’m still not sure that I do it right. I think about how easy it would be to stop the madness, get up from my floor and to just lay on my bed watching Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Part 3 for the 12th time and eat a whole box of Goldfish Extra Cheddar. I should go do that instead because I can do that. I’m really good at that and have lots of practice in that.

When I do that, I’m content. I wouldn’t say happy because I know what I should be doing: lying on my floor, thinking “NO PAIN NO GAIN DIG DEEPER” or something, and trying not to drop 5 pound dumbbells (are they even called that, I don’t know) on my face. I’ve always been a resident of Easy Street but now I’m doing something that’s hard.

Of course after every workout I’m congratulating myself and feel like a rockstar. If only I could bottle that up and drink in my times of weakness.

With food, I’ve been all kinds of horrible for the last few weeks at breakfast and lunch in The Cubicle lately. As in, I’ve been skipping one or both. I know it’s beyond awful, is not at all helpful and teetering on a slippery slope. There have been a few days where I decided I was NOT going to skip and I am going to eat because I’m hungry dammit. So I go to the vending machines and spend the .50 cents on a bag of pretzels because my bank account number never seems to go up and for some reason, to spend the $6-7 at Subway on nourishment seems like an unnecessary expense and I’d rather have a hunger headache all day. Then, of course, I get home and gorge on everything in sight. And everything in my sight is not healthy. I know it’s bad but I can’t seem to talk myself out of it because AHGRGHTRKYTLYTEJKTR I’M SO HUNGRY SHUT UP BRAIN.

There was one day where I stopped into the grocery store in the morning before work to stock up on frozen dinners and oh my gosh, they’re having a sale on Tostitos & salsa so I ate that all day at my desk and hated myself because I know it’s not healthy. Mentally, I know it is a badbadbadbad idea but I lack the willpower to talk myself out of it.

So as of late last week, I’m working on reading more about nutrition & healthy eating habits. When I’m at home, where I’m so much more susceptible to over-snacking, I make myself pause and think “Dear Caitlyn, are you actually hungry? Or are you bored? Are you sure you’re not thirsty and mistaking it for hunger?”

At work for the last 4 days I’ve been bringing breakfast & lunch that I enjoy and have been even packing healthy snacks for my afternoon cravings so I don’t pig out the second I’m home.

I started figuring out a few months ago that if I didn’t buy junk food, I couldn’t eat it! But then another problem arose: I didn’t know what healthy food I did like. Again, slowly and surely, figuring it out. And yep, I bought a container of blueberries only to try some and find that I hated them.$5 down the drain. My roommates don’t buy too much healthy things so I can’t sample from them.

If there’s a smarter financial way of figuring out what healthy foods one likes, please oh please let me know.

It’s a balancing act. Before, I wasn’t exercising, and I was eating somewhat healthy although my snacking habits on weekends were a mess. Now I’m exercising and I recently let my healthy eating slide. This self-sabotage is frustrating and annoying because I know I and I alone am the one doing it. I know I need to figure it out and yes, it’s taking time and will continue to take more time and it’s a lifelong marathon that will have a lot of stumbles and in this age of instant gratification I can’t get stupid. Just have to keep plugging away and realize there’s as much value in the journey as there is in the destination.

I would also like to note, for the record, that this post was written with “Next Episode” by Dr. Dre playing on repeat 22 times.

hey potato chips i want to eat you

Serial Grocery Store Dater

Attempting to get up earlier each morning so eventually I can begin running before work is not going well. Why did I wait until this week to put my flannel sheets on my bed? They are sooo comfortable. Can anyone tell me why it takes at least 45 minutes to an hour for me to fall asleep because I’m hot (and when I’m hot I can’t sleep) and just cannot get comfortable, but when my alarm goes off, suddenly I am the most comfortable person in the world and I’m cold and I just cannot get up out of bed when I’m cold and feel so comfortable? So screwed up. I read that when you fall back asleep for a few more minutes, it does not help at all so even though I am armed with that knowledge, I just love to lay in bed and not get up ever. Flannel sheets for the freaking win. I actually hit “snooze” for an hour Tuesday morning. I sure can do whatever I put my mind to 😉 Yesterday we were supposed to get snow around 7 & snow, coupled with my fear of driving, is the best motivation to get me out of bed. I want to get to work before any snow.

My stunning work lunches have been put on a halt all week since I have been unable to get out of bed early enough to go to grocery store. The lettuce from last weeks attempts has browned so I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast and lunch again. I did however pull myself out of bed yesterday morning and go to the grocery store so today produced a breakfast and lunch that I was fervently hoping would become staples.

Is this strange…I have three grocery stores I shop at. They’re all different chains, ha.

1) The grocery store down the street from work. It’s so easy to drive to and just convenient for when I really need groceries, but didn’t get up quite early enough to go to #1 or #2.. They also have the hummus I like.

2) A grocery store 3 minutes from my house. I like their lean cuisine / smart choice / healthy choice frozen selection best. This is where I get my lettuce. This is the store I went to yesterday morning.

3) A grocery store 5 minutes from my house (just down the road from #2, actually) that I went to this morning. Here is my favorite place to get my strawberries, apples, grapes and carrots for my salad and hummus. They also have a good frozen dinner selection.

Is it strange going to multiple grocery stores? Do a lot of people do this? I feel like I’m on The Bachelorette….I have a different connection with each store, they’re all so special to me, but all offer something different. 

Courtney at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life and many other food bloggers I stalk, always seem to have yogurt bowls for breakfast or a snack. So what if they all use Greek yogurt? I like regular yogurt, surely Greek yogurt won’t be a problem.Come to think of it, most people seem to eat Greek yogurt. My roommate Dana can’t get enough of it. I will totes like it. So yesterday I bought a big thing of Chobani vanilla yogurt.

Here is my yogurt bowl:

Image

Yeah, I got overzealous and there’s a lot in there. This breakfast is perfect because I bought SO much granola when I was making my fruit & granola concoction. So I dumped in there vanilla Chobani, granola, strawberries, and a little hint of ground cinnamon. Greek yogurt is…different. I don’t think I hate it, I think it’ll take some getting used to. I don’t know what’s different, but it is somehow. Whenever I look down at it I think of sour cream, which skeeves me out since I hate sour cream. I need to stop thinking of it as sour cream.

This is my salad.

Image

I totally and completely gave up on the idea of making my own salad dressing. So I bought Newman’s own lite honey mustard since it appeared to be the healthiest. I like this dressing so far. However, I repeated my past mistake and drizzled the salad dressing on the night  before. My lettuce was all stuck together and a little wilted. Also in the salad is cut-up string cheese and sliced almonds.

Happy Valentines Day! I hate this holiday.

Here’s a beautiful love story regardless: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/liveblog/wp/2013/02/07/when-bill-met-shelley-no-disability-could-keep-them-apart/

 

 

Aloha to My First Aloha Friday!!

Adventures in the Kitchen, Healthy Eating and Salad Making

So this is a post I’m excited about. And I think foodies will get a kick out of it.

These are the things we know:

  1. I HATE DRIVING. And traffic. I like to avoid it whenever possible.
  2. I hate crowds, especially at grocery stores, when I still am trying to navigate aisles I’ve never been in before.
  3.  I can’t cook and know very little about ANYTHING kitchen-related. Remember my joy when I made a wrap?
  4. I’m trying to be healthier and lose some weight.

I’d also like to clarify that I wasn’t raised in a mansion with butlers, maids and chefs, since you might be wondering how the heck I grew up completely avoiding the kitchen like the plague. We were your typical working family. Mom and Dad switched on and off in cooking, and I had no interest in helping. Books were far more interesting. A few times they mentioned “Oh we should teach you how to cook…” but they always forgot and I never pressed it. Hence, I am now a bumbling idiot who doesn’t know how to do anything in the kitchen.

Since I hate driving to the grocery store, lunches at work have been an issue. Lettuce goes bad so quickly. I tired of my fruit concoction and the fruit in it also went bad very quickly.

So, here i what I’vebeen eating at work:

Breakfast:

Dannon Yogurt. When I ran out of yogurt at home, I’d eat oatmeal

 Lunch:

Fig Newtons, oatmeal or walk to the nearby 7-11, Subway or bagel store for lunch at work.

And when I felt sluggish all day, I’d know why. Poor nutrition. But I was too lazy to go to grocery store and fight crowds after work. I like to get up and go to grocery store in the morning when there’s no traffic and no crowds, but it’s SO hard to get out of bed when I’m so tired and it’s so dark and cold outside. I also didn’t really know what I liked to eat and what I did like to eat, was fast food and so unhealthy.

Seriously, finding healthy food I like is an issue.

What I’d Like To Eat?

-McDonalds ($1 double cheeseburger), Chipotle (burrito bol with chips and guac)

-Goldfish

-Cookies & ice-cream

-Doritos

-Cheez-its

-Tostitos & salsa con queso (mmmm!!)

I am getting better. I’m training myself and now I eat lots of carrots and hummus, string cheese, 100-calorie packs, fig newtons, pretzels and peanut butter. So that takes care of snacks. Although I still crave the bad food, I know moderation is an issue for me so I’m trying to just avoid it altogether.

But lunch is proving to be all kinds of difficult.

Now that I get home around 4:30, I have an hour to myself in the house where I can spend time fiddling around with the next day’s lunch without having to answer questions or hear remarks from my roommates. So I’ve been looking up recipes for salads.

There’s a three bean salad recipe I’ve had before that I know I love. So when I dragged myself to the grocery store, it was interesting.  My trips to the grocery store usually just entail the frozen aisle for my frozen dinners, then the snacks aisle. When I wanted to make bean salad, I had no clue where the beans would even be located.

If you didn’t realize how bad my kitchen skills were, now maybe you will: I’ve never used a can-opener. I have really poor fine motor skills so I’ve probably attempted a time or two before someone just grabbed the can from me to do it themselves. So once I bought the beans, I can’t even make the darn salad without asking for help to open the three cans.

Then I turned to just regular old lettuce salad. In the food blogs and on Pinterest, the pictures looked SO GOOD. I was excited.

I found four or five recipes for salads and salad dressing that I thought sounded interesting. I went out in the morning and bought all kinds of stuff I’d never bought before: red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, maple syrup, white balsamic vinegar.

This was Salad Day #1)

New Image salad1

The dressing called for: lemon juice, maple syrup, and sea salt.

I dumped in there: lettuce, cheese, raisins, apples.

I made it at 5:00 the night before, threw it in Tupperware in the refrigerator, and when I got to it at 12:30 the next day, the lettuce was soggy and there was a lot of dressing. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? If it helps, the lettuce is Romaine Lettuce pre-bagged at grocery store.  This salad was okay. I ate a few pieces and threw it out. The sogginess was just gross.

Up next are some dressings that call for dijon mustard which I’m hopeful about. Stay tuned to see how those work out…