Nothing to see here…

Today at work I sat down and ripped the zipper clean out of my pants.

That totally happened.

Now never you mind that these particular pants are at least 5 years old, are my favorite black ones, and have been worn and washed at least once per week since I bought them.

We also should not take into consideration that the hems on both legs have fallen out more than once, and have been repaired, and even now the left one is being held on by safety pins because I just haven’t had the time to get the sewing machine out.

It’s irrelevant that all of the buttons on them are not the originals, as over time they’ve fallen off and needed to be replaced.

None of that matters.

Because right now I’m focused the fact that my fat ass sad down and RIPPED THE EFFING ZIPPER OUT OF MY PANTS people.

I’m never eating again.

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Ask and you shall… end up with a gypsy psychic?

Just tell me what you wannnnnttttttt.
Just tell me what you wannnnnttttttt.

“Don’t you always get your way?” McBeal asked this morning at Crossfit.

I’m not even sure what I had just got my way on, but I’m sure I had sold a line of crap to someone who bought it and here I was, getting called out on it.

Rather that feign offense, I decided to just tell the truth.

“Yeah, usually,” I admitted.

When I was a kid I would swear that I was like, psychic or something.  You know, before I knew what that meant.   I thought through my psychosis (yes, I swear) that I was able to control people’s thoughts and get them to give me what I want.

Extra cupcake?  Tell grandma how much you love her and can’t wait to chill with her in heaven.

Extended curfew?  Ask mom, but not when she’s at work and preferably after telling her I had just done an extra chore without being asked.

Job offer?  Yeah, I’ve been offered every position I’ve ever interviewed for that I’ve actually wanted.  I would love to claim that I have been qualified for each, but that would be untrue.

So how do I do it?

Two simple practices.  First, is applying my years and years of sales training.  I’ve mastered the art of persuasion, and helping folks to come to the conclusions that I want them to on their own.  I would say that’s a pretty fancy feat for 30.  I’m like one of those gypsy psychics they bring on Oprah who knows what you’re going to say before you say it because you’re going to say what I’m trying to make you say.

Or something.

But really, I more often it’s because I practice a fine art that I sometimes think has been lost through the ages.

I ask people for what I want.

*Gasp!*  The shock, the horror!

I realize that making direct requests is not in everyone’s comfort zone, but I would suggest this is one surefire technique to get what you ultimately want.  I tend to be super laid back about most things, but when I actually have an opinion I offer it, and when I actually want something, I ask for it.

So here is my challenge to you my readers, next time you want something, ask for it.  Make your case as to why it is a good idea, and then simply ask.  Every job I’ve been offered has been because I sold my skills well in the interview, and then asked when I could expect their phone call with my formal job offer.  Every extra cupcake I ever stuffed in my pie hole was from simply saying that I wanted one.

Just ask.  Nine times out of ten, it ends pretty well.

And for that other one time, I always have my psychosis.  Let me know if you need to borrow it.

Dreams are so much better when they’re naked

dreams

Dreams are funny little buggers.  I really enjoy some of them. Especially the ones where I don’t want to wake up because I’m so SO close to having way too much of a good time.  I guess you could say that I’m lucky that my subconscious is both very creative and very realistic with the stuff it comes up with.

Though when the dreams are NOT so good, that doesn’t exactly work to my advantage.

It’s amazing how our subconscious can remind us of things we don’t want to remember, or bring to life fears we didn’t even realize we have.  I know there are many different theories on dreaming, and after mine of the past new nights, I had to know what the hell is going on in my brain.

Fancy that, in her article published in Psychology Today, Ilana Simons presents five modern theories on why we dream.   The fourth theory relates to dreams being a way of giving ourselves our own personal psychotherapy.  Simons says:

“Ernest Hartmann, a doctor at Tufts, focuses on the emotional learning that happens in dreams. He has developed the theory that dreaming puts our difficult emotions into pictures. In dreams, we deal with emotional content in a safe place, making connections that we would not make if left to our more critical or defensive brains. In this sense, dreaming is like therapy on the couch: We think through emotional stuff in a less rational and defensive frame of mind. Through that process, we come to accept truths we might otherwise repress. Dreams are our nightly psychotherapy.” Source

That’s all fine and well, but then why do I wake up from my dreams and carry their weight with me?  In this case, for days at a time?

Two nights ago I had a dream that reminded me of one of the most traumatic times in my life.  Believe it or not, it was my senior year of high school, and through a series of events I ended up quitting something that was hugely important to me, alienating all of my friends, and nearly losing myself in the process.

In hindsight, I see clearly why things played out the way that they did and understand what lead to these decisions.  I can even accept that, at the time, this was the right decision to be made.  But sure, I still think about the choices I made frequently.  And yeah, I still hate that I quit something that was so incredibly important to me.

I had never quit anything before, and can honestly say that I haven’t given up on anything that important since.  I’m certain that my fear of failure ties directly to this one decision that I made almost 15 years ago, even if I did make it for the right reasons.

So that was Sunday night.  I spent the better part of yesterday hugely introspective and unsettled with nagging feelings of guilt and failure.

When I crawled into bed last night I was at first nervous that I wouldn’t sleep, but I fell asleep easily.  Now I kinda wish I hadn’t.

I only remember slivers of my dream last night, but like most of my others it was realistic as hell.  I was at Crossfit and Coach was yelling at me.  Not “come on you can do it” yelling, but angry yelling.  He was extremely upset with me, but I had no idea why.  I can’t remember anything that was said except “I am so damn disappointed in you.”

I’m not even kidding that I woke up nearly in tears.

I mean come ON subconscious, please don’t take my safe place and someone I know who believes in me and do THAT.  That’s just unfair.

So again today I’m really unsettled.  My failures are weighing on me even though they have no reason to.  I know that I’m a little too far in my headspace and need to just stop, but I’m struggling to do so.

Clearly, subconscious brain didn’t go to shrink school, because man she sucks at this therapy crap.

Why can’t I just have dreams that I’m flying or naked like normal people?

Who needs sleep? I have porn.

insomnia

Insomnia is a real bummer.  As a true insomniac, I understand the frustration of lying awake in bed when you know you should be sleeping and worrying about how tired you will be during the next day.

My solution?  Don’t lay around.  Do something with yourself.  Below is my short and not even remotely comprehensive list of the grand things I accomplish while unable to sleep.

Things to do when insomnia doesn’t care how exhausted you are at 3 a.m.:

 Laundry.  Especially the weird stuff.

You know those rags you use to wash your car?  Or the pillowcases and sheets in the guest bedroom that no one has ever slept in?  Well they need to be washed too, right?  Right.  After two or three nights of insomnia all the normal laundry is probably done, so capitalize on this opportunity to get everything squeaky and fluffy in case great Aunt Irma decides to stop over for a visit.

Read scary zombie books or watch scary zombie movies

Remember that moment when you decided, “no, I won’t read this book/watch this tv show right before bed because I want to be able to sleep tonight?”  This is your subconscious minds way of playing a cruel joke on you.  Punish it by subjecting yourself to the scariest most face eating shit you can find.  It’s not like you’re going to fall back to sleep anyway.

 Scrub the tile floors

You’re always too exhausted to do it after you’ve cleaned the whole house, so it goes a few weeks (or ok, months) between good thorough down on your hands and knees with the bucket of bleach water scrubbing.  Since you have more energy at 3 a.m. than you ever dreamed possible, might as well get it out of the way!

Paint your nails, and toenails… and heck, the dog/cats nails while you’re at it

Waiting for polish to dry is a pain the ass during busy day to day life.  But hey, it’s 3 a.m.!  Outside of your 24 hour Wal-Mart there is literally no other place on earth that you even could be, much less anywhere than you would need to be.  And really, Wal-Mart at 3 a.m. is even scarier than during the day.  Don’t do it.  Trust me.

Watch porn.  And do whatever it is you do while watching porn

I’m not proud.  When all else fails, an orgasm is a kind of sure fire way to get you relaxed enough that there might be hope that you will fall back to sleep.  If that doesn’t work, well, at least you were productive.

Waffles and Whiplash

starting over

I’m on one hell of a roller coaster at the moment.  Day 1, I neurotically plan out every morsel that will pass my lips over the next seven days.  Including cheat meals, nights I will drink, the works.  I create a grocery list and meticulously shop for every item.  I cook several evenings worth of meals, portion them off into microwave friendly containers.  I stick to the plan like a freaking bodybuilder during their cut weeks leading up to a show… for exactly one week.

Then, I go out drinking, have an unplanned cheeseburger and all hell breaks loose.

Somewhere between 7 and 21 days later, I find myself back at the bottom, crawling my way up with my neurosis firmly trudging forward so we can take the ride again.

Doubt me?  Go back and read the last two months of my blog.  Tell me how many times I have a “come to Jesus” with myself about eating and exercise.

I’ve got to get off this ride.  I’m starting to get whiplash.

When I look back at the past year of my journey, I am so amazed with how far I’ve come.  The gains I’ve seen in strength, and the progress I’ve made in my overall health and wellness because of Crossfit have been pretty amazing.

But here’s the ugly truth kittens.  I started doing Crossfit because I wanted to lose weight.  I wanted to see a physical, aesthetic difference in my body.

At the end of the day, while I’m impressed with how much I can squat, that fundamental reason hasn’t changed.

And what’s more, it’s not Crossfit that will get me to where I want to be aesthetically.  That comes down to my diet.  That comes down to me.

There’s a ton of memes out there that talk about how you can’t out train a bad diet, and they are all true.

When I look around me at other women who have started Crossfit around the time I have, I see some amazing results.  In some cases, I see the results I’m looking for.  In every case, I hear stories of how they overhauled their diet and that is the key to their success.

I can pout all I want and tell myself that I too have changed the way I eat.  Sure I have, about 30% of the time.  The rest of the time, I’m on the loopy downward spiraling part of the coaster that looks exactly like what I was doing before Crossfit.

I can whine about it, or not.  I can blog about it, or not.  None of that changes whether I follow a solid nutrition plan… or not.

I am the only one who can change that.

I’ve said before that one piece of what I’ve tried to learn through this journey is to not be so hard on myself.  I am trying.  But sometimes, even someone as passive as me needs some tough love.  So here is my tough love to myself.

I am better than this.

I am stronger than this.

I know HOW to be successful.

Stop whining about how hard it is, and how you’re starting over again and just DO what you know you need to in order to achieve your goals.

I’m not starting over, I’m starting from here.  And every good decision is one step forward.

But this time, rather than climbing to the top of the roller coaster drop for another ride, let’s envision climbing to the top of a mountain.  A big, steep climb that isn’t going to happen quickly, but once I’m there I will have a whole new perspective.

Maybe I’ll turn into one of those furry mountain people that doesn’t ever want to come down.

I admit, I deserve a throat punch

My colon is on a war path today.

It might have something to do with the entire bottle of wine I drank last night.  Or it might have something to do with the fact that the entire bottle of wine chased down pretty much an entire Chinese restaurants worth of every deep fried, delicious, MSG infused thing you can think of.

And that was just dinner.  Furthermore, that was just yesterday.

Do you ever talk to yourself?  I do.  And not just because I’m nuts.  Sometimes, talking to myself gives me some perspective.

This morning my conversation went something like, “Nicole, why did you do this to yourself?”

I’m sure you all remember last week when I was whining about my health, learning that I need to eat more, and was super motivated to figure this whole thing out.

Feel free to throat punch me today for doing exactly what I said I shouldn’t do, and eating more of all the wrong things.

Literally, all of them.

I’m pretty sure if you could name something that could potentially have negative health effects or inflame my immune and digestive system, I ate it over this weekend.

I don’t even have a hollow leg to blame it on.

I’m determined not to beat myself up any more than I already have and find a way to learn and move forward.

I am very lucky in that my downfall is not lack of knowledge.  People who simply do not KNOW how to be successful have a really hard path to try to follow.  But me?  I know exactly what I have to do.  My path while not easy, is simple.  I simply need to execute the plan that I already have, and use the knowledge that I’ve already gained to do the things that I know will allow me to be successful.

If knowledge is power, I’m freaking Wonder Woman.  Now let’s crack that whip… er… I mean… lasso.

 

My sociopathic tendencies

I am terrible at talking about my feeeeeeeeelings.  Terrible.  I would rather talk about pretty much anything else, including my bowel movements, than how I feel.  I usually end up cracking a bad joke or changing the subject abruptly when things become too emotionally complex just so that I don’t need to venture into squirmy territory.

So basically, it’s a pain in the ass to be in a relationship with me.

Admittedly, there are some perks.  I rarely get upset to the point I need to talk about things, and it takes a whole lot for me to start a fight.

On the opposite end however, when I get my feelings hurt or if there is an emotional discussion I need to have,  I am a complete pussy about having it.

I remember when I was kid writing my mom notes to tell her why I was upset, rather than sitting down and talking with her about it.  I even drove her crazy, and she birthed me.

As an adult I like to think I’ve gotten at least a bit better about it, but I still hold things inside for days longer than I should and often times will resort to writing/texting or emailing when I should just pick up the phone or have a conversation face to face.  It’s not that I’m intimidated by confrontation, but that I am just so darn uncomfortable talking about how I feel.

Here’s hoping it’s one of those things I overcome with age.  But if not, there’s always email.  And alcohol.

Free entertainment with $50 copay

bad parenting

When I close my eyes it feels like my eyeballs are going to “flame on” and burn a hole through my eyelids.

Oh the joy of running a fever.

It would seem that my unfortunate favorite pastime of licking the shopping cart handles at my local Wal-Mart has caught up to me and yet again, I’m sick.

This time I managed to escape without my typical strep throat, but I’m still stuck with a nasty sinus infection coupled with tonsillitis and a cough that could wake the dead.   According to the doc I’m in for 17-20 days of this fun, but he took pity on me and gave me some cough syrup with the good drugs in it, so at least I get to be in a coma for a solid 50% of it.

Luckily, trips to the doctor (ie our friendly neighborhood urgent care clinic) always result is some excellent stories, so you my readers are in luck.

People watching at the doctor’s office is pretty much some of the best people watching around.  Yesterday was no exception.

As I was filling out my paperwork, a woman about my age entered with six (count them SIX) children ranging in ages from two to eight.  That’s a lot of back to back procreation my friends.  The two eldest needed to get their physicals for school.  She and her brood sat down so that she could fill out paperwork and for the next 10 minutes I witnessed what could only be described as the seventh circle of hell.

Was it the seventh?  Is that the one where screaming waterfighting minions take over?  Maybe that’s the fourth.  No matter…

Her six children ran screaming through the waiting room.  They discovered the drinking fountain, and proceeded to have a water fight.  They climbed on chairs and counters, then jumped off exclaiming that they could fly.  Their mother didn’t even look up, or bat an eye.

I cowered in the corner for fear they might start breathing fire or announce their plans to take over the world.

At this point, one of the nurses came out and told the kids they could not behave that way.  She explained to the parent, and her children, that jumping off the furniture was dangerous and could cause accidents, and that having water all over the floor in a medical facility was a real hazard.  The nurse then proceeded to get paper towels from the bathroom to clean up the mess, all while keeping a watchful eye on the children.

Only when she finally walked away did the mother finally speak up.

What pearls of wisdom did she have for her children?  How did she use this moment to teach them the appropriate way to behave?

She hollered at them, “Ya’ll are so BAD!  I hate all of you!  I can’t take you anywhere.  They always ask me to leave because of you.  Is that FAIR?  IS IT?”

Her children were quiet for a solid 10 seconds before they started their antics again and she went back to ignoring them.

I was more grateful than I can even describe that I had my headphones with me.  While children make me crazy, in this particular instance, it was the mother I wanted to throttle.

Life After Whole 30: Who knew I had food-emotions?

After I had my slight psychological break and went on this rant  last week, I received a lot of great support both from my readers here and the people who know me in real life and stalk me on facebook.

Not surprisingly, I’m not alone in my feeeeeeelings about food.

Or perhaps that is better phrased as my feelings ABOUT my feelings about food.  Yup, you’re gonna have to read that sentence at least three times.  It’s ok.  I’ll wait.

Sadly, I don’t come to you today, on the final day of my Whole 30 with all the answers.  In fact, I don’t really have any more than I had last week.  I continue to make myself aware when I’m eating for emotional reasons, and I’m continuing to try to understand the link between the two.

Today  the male half of my favorite blogging couple Bob, of Bob and Meg over at (Not As) Big Bob  wrote the first part of what will be a five part series on his feelings about an article he read recently called the Stigma of Obesity.

First off, check out Bob’s post.  Insightful stuff.  I’m always amazed at his knowledge and perspective and how, even though we are two very different people, we struggle with some very similar things.

In “The Stigma of Obesity” the author references an article by a physician at an obesity clinic with a group of bariatric surgeons written by Karen Hitchcock.  Being on this kind of quest for knowledge about the how’s and whys behind food in culture, I read it.

Karen Hitchcock, you are kind of the cat’s meow to me right now.

Sure, it’s written from the perspective of a skinny person who has always been skinny, understood moderation, and self-control.  In the first paragraph or two, I kind of want to slap her.  But then she took me along this journey of tough love and being on the other side of the coin when it comes to the obesity epidemic that is affecting our world as we know it.

Below is an excerpt from her article “Fat City-What can stop obesity?”  Please, follow the link and read the rest.  I admit, it’s not short or a quick read, but her perspective has given me a bit of a new one of my own.

This won’t be the last blog about this, but hopefully instead the first of many in my quest for knowledge, and ultimately health.

 

“I once attended a hospital lecture on the genetic determinants of obesity delivered by a specialist physician. The doctor giving the talk was very fat. As he went on, his face got red and stains of sweat spread from his armpits. Obesity is genetic, he argued, wiping his brow: obesity is a disease. He said: If you make a fat person thin, you are sentencing them to a lifetime of hunger.

This depends on your definition of hunger. Eating is not a purely rational, biological act. I can give you a diet that will keep you full all day and make you lose weight, but it won’t be very entertaining: it will be mainly made up of watery vegetables like cabbage and celery, egg whites and very lean meat. The pain of abstinence, of unmet desire, is something quite separate from the pain of an empty stomach. The pleasures of eating are complex and multifaceted. In our society, consumption is a form of entertainment and pleasure. Eating is part of this: from the theatre of a meal at a fine-dining establishment to a bag of chips augmenting the television-viewing experience. Most people do not overeat because of a feeling of hunger emanating from the stomach; they are giving in to a desire to consume – they are seeking pleasure or relief, or hoping to fill a void.”**

**Bold content has been done by me to emphasize the points that most hit home, not by the origional author.**

Big surprise, the fat kid is obsessed with food

cookie-monster-cookies-orig

I am obsessed with food.

Obsessed. 

I think about it all the time.  If I’m not eating, I’m thinking about what I will eat next.  Whether or not it’s healthy.  If I’m going out to eat I pep talk myself ahead of time about food I will avoid because it’s “bad,” and then I usually end up ordering it because it’s all I’ve thought about all day.

Over the course of the Whole 30 it’s been a bit better.  There’s an approved list and anything outside of that I can’t eat.  But now, with less than a week left to go, all I can think about are all of the “bad” things that I “can” eat one week from today.

This can’t be healthy.

In fact, I know it isn’t.  This thought process is the exact reason why I have so many issues with my weight.

I once went to a shrink who talked to me on end about my “relationship with food.”  I remember thinking at the time how freaking dumb that sounded.  It’s FOOD.  I don’t care about the cow’s feelings, I just want to eat it.

In hindsight, maybe she had a point.  It doesn’t matter how the cow felt, it matters that, when I devour the cow in mass ground up quantities topped with cheese, bbq sauce and bacon, I FEEL better… if only for a moment.

Then, the reality of the situation sinks in and I feel guilty.  I regret the choice as I know it’s not great for weight loss.  I know if I want to physically look like I believe that I want to look, I need to eat things that aren’t “bad” for me.  And so the negative self-talk continues and my obsession with food grows and grows.

Why is it “good” or “bad?”  Why can’t I just eat moderate portions of what I want, enjoy them, exercise, and be healthy?  Does it really REALLY need to be this complicated?

I don’t have a good answer.  Heck, as someone who is literally manically plotting what my first “cheat” meal will be after my 30 days is up, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m about the furthest thing from an expert on this subject.

What I DO know is that I probably need to keep examining the WHY behind all of this, hopefully without making myself even more crazy.  I’ve said it before and I’m certain I will say it again many many times, but if I can at least understand why I’m doing something or behaving in a specific way, I’m one step closer to potentially changing that pattern or that behavior.

I don’t want to be obsessed.  At least not with food.  I would rather pick something mutually beneficial… you know, like sex.