Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Visitor - A Tale for Valentines

I've often likened myself to an island.  I love people, and I love music.  Those two things quite suffice.

However, one of dearest friends in Liverpool said something that got me thinking way back when.  She said, "Sarah, you know, it's strange - I'd consider you one of my best friends, but I know very little about you."

She was right.  I know so many people and could chat the day away, but as excruciatingly social as I am, I am also intensely guarded.  I've always figured that I had a certain amount of transparency and that people could just inherently "know" me.  Well, they may, but I'm not the greatest at getting very close with people.

I'm even worse at using the word boyfriend.

I am a lover of humans.  I thrive on human interaction, and am happy to galavant about and join in whatever people just might get up to.  It is as though the entire world is my boyfriend.  

I had an odd thought lately, but I'm going to share it with you anyway.  You should expect this by now.  

When I'd started dating someone a bit back in the day in Liverpool, a friend of mine said, "Sarah - it's just strange.  And this isn't meant to sound horrible, but it's almost like you're asexual.  I just can't imagine anyone being attached to you."

I thought that was hilarious, and actually quite accurate!  As I said, it is as though the world is my boyfriend.  It's almost as though I have this silly sense of duty to the world to love everyone and be everything I can be for them, so to have someone, one person, who I call my boyfriend or even, maybe, you know, fall in LOVE with, would just be ludicrous and a huge disservice to all of the lovely humans.

I did tell you it was an odd thought.

But, here's the thing.

This island had a visitor.

The visit was far more brief than I'd have cared for it to be, but it happened.  Someone got to this island.  It was good.  It was fun.  He was lovely.  I wasn't expecting it, and I got more out of it than I could have possibly anticipated.  Even when it ended, it ended with a three hour, wonderful conversation that literally ended a phase of chaos and helped me learn a great deal about myself.  

I'm not an island, I suppose.  And letting someone get to me, while possibly a disservice to all the other humans in the world (oh gee, laugh out loud, etc.), turned out to be wonderful.  

A few things that I got from this:  

I know even more lovely humans.
I learned that it turns out, I'm a pretty good girlfriend.
I learned that I don't have to worry about being able to handle work, working out, dieting, a social life, plus having a companion along for the ride.  I can do it.
I was reminded how wonderfully we all deserve to be treated and can't wait for it to happen again someday.

I also got Mister Breakfast.  It just happened, and we had to elaborate...  See below.

I'm spending Valentines Day running around town in a red polka dot shirt my Mom got for me handing out silly Lego Star Wars & holographic kitten and puppy valentines with candy hearts in them to all of my favorite humans, and probably a few I don't even know.  And then I'm going to have dinner with one of my favorite ladies in the world.  And then I'm going to smile for a moment and look forward to when I have another island visitor to share it with someday.

I do have copious amounts of love for you all.  Have the happiest Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feeling good feels good.

It's impossible to not feel slightly more good after listening
to this.  Walk down the street playing this in your earbuds
and tell me you don't smile.  Impossible!

It's funny how life has its ebbs and flows.  This is nothing new, but somehow it seems like an epiphany over and over again.  When you're in the thick of it, some part of you is very logical and aware that it will most certainly pass, but another part of you just can't see past it.  It's hard to remember how to get back to feeling good again.

Once I got the hang of tracking my food, eating healthier and exercising regularly, it got to be second nature. It seemed so easy.  It was the norm.  It wasn't a challenge.  It was my way of life.  It was all so simple and so good.  

I forgot how easy it can be for that to not be the norm.

After a summer and an autumn of struggle, things are finally getting back to normal.  Being the person of extremes that I am, I expected to just start back up and rule the world as I remembered doing before.  But, therein lies the problem!  I had to break my mindset of trying to get back to where was.

THERE anymore!  That was then.  This is now.  Move along.

A lot has changed since then.  But, things have settled down and I'm in a better place in every way now.  I love it when you finally feel something break, something give way, and you know that you're on the right path again.  Well, it's not even that you're on the correct path again - you're at a great pace and making some serious headway towards whatever intersection, bend, bridge or whatever might be on the way.

I met up with a friend last Sunday who is a dietitian.  The initial plan was to talk about food, get some good ideas for new ways of eating, and new things to eat.  It ended up being a great conversation about where I'm at in life in general and what I've got to do to progress.  

It was a healthy dose of divine intervention.  Even though the things we talked about are things I already knew, it sometimes takes the right person at the right time saying something they didn't even know they needed to that hits you, breaks you down, builds you up, and propels you all at once.

I keep forgetting that life is a process.  Things don't magically find a perfect groove forever.  You may have a good stretch, but you'll have rough ones, too.  And they will come and go, and then come and go again.  

I'm finally starting to get it.  

I don't have to do it all at once!  There are so many things I need to do, both at work, and for myself.  But I've been working on a few things at a time.  This week, my goal was to go grocery shopping and return to my regular eating and exercise habits, remembering that even if I only get a half hour of something in, it is better than nothing.  I've also tried starting my days with 10-15 minutes of some kind of exercise.  One morning, I did a 10 minute Pilates video.  Another morning, I did a bunch of core exercises.  I've overcome my urge to buy peanut butter, because if that's in my house, well - it's over.  

I've also done necessary but boring things like scheduling appointments with doctors and insurance agents, rethinking my spending habits and reworking my budget, getting organized, and figuring out a regular schedule of exercise.  I just might start going to bed earlier, too.  

You've heard me say this before, and I will say it over and over again.

It is amazing what happens when you make calculated, boring, conscious choices to simply do things.  

I'm learning that feeling good and being content is not as simple as "feeling" good.  Right now, I've got a lot to work on.  But feeling good is a choice, and it's choosing to make good decisions that will lead to a life of good, not a season of good.  

It's a new kind of goodness, but nonetheless, it feels good to feel good once again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Y'all best appreciate.

Admit it.  You do it, too.

Sometimes we get so focused on the things that we need to work on that we forget to stop and appreciate the things we've already done and what we've got.


I've got a bum.  Yup.  I've not been the biggest fan of this bum and, in fact, started to focus on trying to trim that little lady down.  But, the street I work on and walk up and down multiple times a day lends itself to forgetting anyone else is on the other side of those windows and checking yourself out in the reflection.  (Seriously - ask my friends who work inside a media hub on the corner, and they'll have a few goodies to share about things people do in those windows' reflections, including me doing the running man while they're in meetings.)

Today, while strutting past those windows, I noticed my bum.  And I also noticed that it's not too bad of a bum.

I'm doin' alright.  You're doin' alright.  And if you aren't doing' alright, then do a little something about it. Take .3 seconds and remind yourself about the things you DO like about you.  There's a lot more good than we take the time to remember. Y'all best appreciate.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Resolve for a New Year.

Ending 2012 trying to remember how
far I've come!
Dear, dear readers!

A year ago, and feeling amazing.
Oh, my, so much has happened in the last couple of months.  So very much.  And you can be sure I intend to fill you in little by little.  It would be too much for one conversation.  Silly as it may seem, I do view these blogs as more of a conversation with all of you lovely humans I picture as I write.  I have missed you all.  I have missed our chats.

So, let's get reacquainted.  Catch up a bit.

How are you?  Did you have happy holidays?  What did you get for Christmas?  Did you indulge happily, satisfyingly refrain, or a bit of both?  Did you kiss someone on New Years' Eve at midnight, or did you make the most of a bit of mistletoe?  Did you make any resolutions this year?  If you made any last year, how did that go?

The New Year has never felt particularly new to me.  I've never felt like January 1st is anything other than a new day on a calendar.  I've never felt any particular significance to the magic date change that begins the next year.

Since I can recall, my year's always begun around August to September.  Having parents in education, being a student once upon a time, and working within the entertainment industry lends to things winding down in June and kicking back into high gear in August and September.

It just so happens that something's been brewing within me for quite some time, and the resolve to push forward finally made its way to the forefront.  I like that this happened to happen right now, the beginning of a brand new year.

When people have talked about "plateaus" in the past, I always surmised that it was a physical one.  Turns out, it can be mental, too.  And mine certainly has been.  A few things have happened in the last week, though, that have renewed me and instilled a drive and lust for life that I've been missing for a while.

A dear friend of mine put it like this:  there's a wall in front of you, and you've got a few big cement blocks you can stand on just enough to see over it, so you think, "Sweet!  I'm out of it!"  But, it turns out you aren't over it - you just got a view of the other side.  Then, something happens - and whatever it is, it puts its hands together, gives you a foothold and a lift, then nudges you on your way up the wall.  Before you know it, you're on top of the wall and all you have to do is start down the other side. Or, if you're like me, you just jump.

A year ago also, thrilled to be turning 30
and DJing alongside friends.
So, with this new year, I will not make resolutions.  I will embrace this new resolve and the faith that things are better, will continue to get better, and remember what I have done and what I am capable of doing.  I will be thankful for the things I've done and experienced in 2012.  And I will start out 2013 with the resolve to work on these things:

I will be thankful for the wonderful humans that have entered into my life, some of these even in just the last couple of months.
I will work harder.
I will focus, organize, and start ruling the world once again.
I will start tracking my food and working out a minimum of 5 times a week (and attempt to do so in the morning).  This is not because of a desire to be thin, but because of the satisfaction and contentment and happiness an active, healthy life brings me.

And I'll tell you all about it along the way.

Happy New Year, friends.  I hope and pray your 2013 is one full of truly living life, and things that may not be comfortable, but will be very, very good.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back in the saddle again.


These are a few of my (least) favorite things.

As you know, they have been some of the most prominent things in my life over the last while, however.  So I went back to the beginning: what started all this?  What did I do that made this work?


I didn't feel.  I didn't analyze.  I didn't get all bent out of shape about things.  There was no "A-ha" moment that made me magically start doing anything.  I made boring, calculated, measurable choices that eventually led to bigger changes both physically and mentally.

So I did it again.  I just started.

I'd gotten back up to 200.6 lbs as of about a week and a half ago.  I made myself get on the scale because I knew I needed to see it.  I broke down crying at the gym and felt like an utter failure.  Then, I went a bit numb for a few days.  

I made a boring, calculated choice to start doing what I know I should do again.  

1.5 weeks back into it?  This is what happened.  

I.  AM.  BACK!!!!!

Here we go, people.  I shall never cease to be repeatedly amazed at the simple truth that great things happen if you'll simply just do it.  

Carry on, people.  Carry on.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breaking fat.

I’ve never thought of myself as “fat.”  I’ve always quite liked quite a few things about me.  But, how would I describe me if asked?  Do I see the same person in the mirror that others do?  How do I perceive myself? 

I’ve been struggling intensely over the last 6 months with a battle of projecting my leftover “fat girl mentality” onto others, by assuming their perception and potential reactions towards me are ones that only I have toward myself.  I’m consistently a bit baffled by all of the ways my weight affected me, and I really had no idea just how much it had influenced my mind.

That's me there, on the far right... Cowardly Lion at your service.
For years, I was literally an obstruction.  I was well over 320lbs at some point, and there’s just no getting around it – I was an obstacle at times, both physically and mentally.  I’ve had people in my life who’ve rolled with it the best they could and never made me feel as though I was a burden.  But some part in the back of my mind was and still is perpetually in this mode of constant apology, always feeling and assuming that I am an imposition. 

Something as simple as wanting to text a friend to hang out with her: 
Well, I don’t want to bother them…

I see people I know and I want to walk up to them: 
Should I? Shouldn’t I?  I don’t want to bother them…  Will they think it’s weird I’m just out and about by myself?  Will they mind if I join them?  I dunno…
“Sorry to bother you guys… Do you mind if…”

If I want to talk about anything personal with a friend, or, God-forbid, maybe show that I’m not 120% happy and ruling the world all the time, I’m petrified and just know it’s a bother, so I don’t.  I keep it in, or as you've heard me mention before, I "pull an ostrich."

Why would they be bothered? They are my friends.  If they were to walk up to me, I would most likely be overly giddy and delighted that they were there and wanted to join me.  Why do I assume people have such negative reactions to me? 

It is because it is not nearly as much about perception for me as it is projection: a projection of this bizarre, intense fear of vulnerability, rejection and failure.  At some point along the line, I allowed myself to be a defeatist.  I’ve come leaps and bounds since beginning this process, and sharing with all of you, in realizing that I have such a propensity to sell myself grossly short and prematurely fail.

Premature failure: the tendency to over-analyze things to an excruciating extent before actually taking action because, despite all potentially good outcomes, the result is nothing short of impending doom, hurt, and/or humiliation.

Problem sorted. Crisis averted.  Humiliation avoided.  Progress: none.

When it boils down to it, the problem is fear. 

Fear can be a crippling, stifling, cruel beast if you give it too much power.  I have no idea why my tendency is to submit to it, but I’ve reached my limit. 

It has been really, really tough. 

Here is what I am going to do about it.

I’m going to talk about it. Both to you all, because you deserve to know about all the mind-bending wonder you might encounter through the weight-loss process, and to someone who’s a pro.  I think it would be good for me, especially if I can find someone who's talked to people going through the weight loss process.  I’m going to make a conscious decision to do the opposite of what my fear is saying in hopes that, eventually, I’ll have ignored it enough to have overcome it.  I’m going to create a structure for better managing my time, my budget, and my work. I’m going to track my food more meticulously for the time being.  I’m going to create a new list of goals and desires to strive towards.

As someone said to me recently before I set off on a cold walk alone in the rain, “Everybody’s gotta be a big girl sometime…”  And it’s about that time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Love & do. And don't stop.

I wanted to remember something, so I grabbed my little cork notebook that I carry with me at all times. I suppose it's a journal, but for some reason I have an aversion to the word "journal." It's full of thoughts; sometimes a word, sometimes a few pages.

I opened it up and came across this. I really needed to remember this today, and thought I'd share with you.

You are great. You are unique. You are special. And the same applies to you.