Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 79: Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

And true to form, it is very quiet and relaxing. My kitteh baby Frodo is asleep on top of the heating vent, and I am listening to the radio with my space heater on. :-) My fiancé is on the way home from work, and it is just a peaceful night.

I went to Whole Foods tonight and picked up my vegan roast and "giblet" gravy. I didn't realize there was so much to preparing a vegan roast, I thought you just stuck it in the oven and were done with it. But you actually have to baste the thing and prepare it in the oven and everything! That sounds super cool and I am definitely up for the challenge! Plus, I got all these fresh fruits and veggies, and I think I will make a cherry-banana green smoothie tomorrow. I bought some cherries off-season and they seriously cost me $10 for a small bag! Next time, I will get the frozen organic kind, lol!

I have also discovered that being a vegan is not necessarily and end-all-be-all to weight loss. Even if you're hard core vegan and eating healthily, you still have to work out and eat healthily. It seems like common knowledge, but I suppose this is something that you have to find out the hard way. So, needless to say, tomorrow I will be going walking/running and doing some sprints. I am sure it will be super cold tomorrow so I will wear some hard core layers, but since our Thanksgiving meal is not until dinner, I have plenty of time to chillax, do some running, and prepare my Thanksgiving roast. :-)

I'm in a picture-taking sort of mood tonight, so here's a photo of my Tofurky roast:

Tofurky roast and gravy! Nommy.
 
 
I have also been doing a little bit of shopping besides going for my Tofurky. I went to Hobby Lobby in a crafting sort of mood, but couldn't find anything to my liking. Pretty much all I need is wire and to find my crimping shears, but I decided to wait until I had some more money and time later. But... I DID go to Cafepress and look for a vegan Euro decal. My car is admittedly a bumper sticker mecca; I love them and basically exhaust all possible space without it looking too tacky. :-D I have this really cool one that I got from a vegan Meetup but I am afraid to put it on my car because it's pretty out there. But I will put it on there eventually. Anyhoo, this is the one I will be getting in mid-December:
 
Sorry it's so big! Lol.
 
 
I am soo excited! I saw some of these in the past and never got brave enough to buy them. But this time I decided I was going to go for it. :-)
 
Well, I am going to jet for now; I'm not sure if I will post on Thanksgiving but if I can I certainly will. Namaste all, and enjoy the journey! 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 78: One Week Vegan :)

Well, I have hit the seven-day mark for my veganism. I started last Wednesday after feeling rather convicted (and ill from my lactose intolerance) that I should do something to fix it. And so far, so great! I have felt more awake, energetic, and for the most part in a better mood. :-) Some days are better than others, of course (as the previous post so engagingly pointed out) but there is at least an upward trend. I don't really feel deprived from not eating meat or dairy, sometimes I do crave it a little bit, but most of the time it is easily resolved. Granted, I am losing weight more slowly due to my gut healing up and not rejecting everything I put in it, but I'll take that kind of weight loss over the annoying interruptions that I had before.

I am starting to heal up also from the emotional beating I took the other day. I have been reading more into ASDs and this really cool book called Living Well on the Spectrum. It has some of the more subtle symptoms of ASD and how they effect your daily life. I noticed that a lot of it fit me really well, especially the forgetfulness and lack of coordination, as well as just not knowing how to make small talk or assert yourself socially. I like the author's perspective on ASD, that it is an alternate way of thinking rather than just a disorder that needs to be eradicated. That's kind of cool to think about I suppose, but they give enough practical coping strategies that it's not just flowery-hippie idealism about how we're different but all the same. Not that I'm knocking that notion, just that it isn't very realistic in practice. But that's a whole nother novel and I'm sure you're not really that interested. :-)

One thing I noticed today too is just how ridiculously offendable people are. One of my favorite companies posted something from Thug Kitchen, which is profanity-laced gloriousness and has some pretty good recipes too. But there were several spoilsports in the bunch who wanted to complain about the swearing. To the point of alienating people on the website, and just being plain ridiculous. C'mon, people. The company itself swears all the time and is not a traditional company, and no one bats an eyelash. But people just love to make a stink, just for the sake of making a stink. I have met so many people who are just deeply offended if you use "bad" words. Honestly, do you really think I care if someone calls me a "vegangelical" or a "veganazi" or even a "granola?" I don't care! I call myself that, because I am devoted to being a vegan and yes, I can be a little preachy about it. Don't like it? You're welcome not to, I don't judge. But for me to say I'm offended because someone thinks I'm a radical? So what, they're right! :-) And damn proud of it. And I really think people should take this attitude more. Let the smut roll off your back and just GET. OVER. IT.

/END RANT

Sorry, I saw this today and had to say something. :-) Ah well, glad to get it out there. Pick it apart if you must, but remember to be kind and mindful. Namaste, and enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 77ish: Hey hey, it's okay...

Like my awesome made-up song title? I think I'm onto something there. :-)

In seriousness, my fiancé brought up something that I thought was super cool. I was bummed out because I had not done very well on my Chemistry test, I guess for whatever reason I just had a bad weekend and didn't want to do much of anything. He said to me, in essence, that doing badly on one chemistry test was okay, especially since I had average 90s on the other test and the lowest score would be dropped. He didn't sound the least bit disappointed, and said that some tests are just harder than others and I would have no trouble with the final. In that moment, he was giving me permission to fail. :-)

Maybe this sounds outrageous to some people, after all, if he gives you permission to fail, doesn't that mean that he wouldn't mind if you failed? Yes, and no. He may want me to succeed, but if I put out the effort and don't make it, I simply have to make a change in my actions and try again, with no guilt trips and repercussions from him. :-) That is a revolutionary and refreshing idea!

My parents, for all intents and purpose, simply didn't have the ability to give me that option. My dad has a doctorate and my mom has a master's, and I can remember ever since I have been in school, they were obsessed with my grades. They bribed me financially when I made A's and B's, they told me everyday that they "needed to see those A's," and just made me a nervous wreck about bringing home anything other than an A or a B. I remember forging signatures on a signed test when I was in the 7th grade because I was so embarrassed to tell them I made a D on a test. I have been at a number of GPA's, even joining the honor's society one semester with a 4.0 GPA and at one point getting an overall GPA below a 1.0.

I don't know how much is related to this, but it has caused me to hold myself to a ridiculous standard of perfection. I was crushed if I didn't bring home a 100, if I got a C on a test I would stop going because I knew I couldn't salvage it. I studied 30 hours or more a week, as well as going to school. It was just high pressure, all the time, and I couldn't handle it.

I have been in college over a decade. I have wrapped my life so much in making my parents happy by getting good grades, I just hoped that if I could complete school the way they wanted me to, I would be happy, they would be happy, and everything would be hunky-dory.

THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS WAY TO LIVE!!!!

My passion is writing, animal rights, and jewelry-making. I used to make jewelry everyday, and wore it, and I was super proud of my work. I got asked to do a jewelry show but was hell-bent on making a 4.0 GPA, so I turned it down. I think this was a HUGE mistake, and I could have gotten a huge self-esteem boost from it. I love to write and wanted desperately to become published. I never got to do any of this! I let myself go to the point of making everyone else happy. You know what, I want to have my own jewelry business, I want to write novels, and that's okay!! There is nothing wrong with any of that. I also love photography and want to take photography classes, and that's okay too! All of that is okay! I don't have to be in school my whole life or make everyone happy to be happy myself. I can live my own life and be okay with it. :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 76ish: School, Writing, and Everything Else

I am sorry I haven't been posting on here for awhile. I have two blogs and I generally tend to focus on one and not the other sometimes. :-)

It has been hard for the past few days. I am sure I have run the gamut already so I don't want to get into it for now, but I have felt numb, lost, and alone. I have suffered from intermittent depression my whole life and I guess it's just been a rough spell for me. I wish I had something more optimistic to say but I'm just not feeling it tonight. That's okay though, I know God takes care of me and something good will come out of it. That I do know for sure.

I registered for classes today, General Biology I and Ethics. I took the Ethics class last year but had similar issues to right now and I had to drop out. I am taking it again because I love philosophy, and wanted to absorb the whole class and really enjoy it. I am taking it from the same professor, and am seriously looking forward to it. Since I am no longer in the medical field, that course will fulfill a literature credit. :-) Besides, I enjoy reading about Greek and Roman philosophers even though most of them are Atheists. I also love Greek mythology. :-) Too bad I will never use it, lol.

I need to get back into the writing one of these days. You know you're going through writing withdrawal when your characters appear to you in dreams and ask you why you're not writing anymore, lol. I have been writing and telling stories pretty much my whole life, especially the Fort Cyprus Bysto series which I have written intermittently since 1999. I also had a series of books called Red Rivers, Redemption, and a third unnamed book which I usually call Renewal or Restart. Those are strongly autobiographical but more exaggerated than my actual life. I don't write super often because once I get started I want to write ALL. THE. TIME. and I can't afford to do that, lol! :-D One of these days I will share some more about Fort Cyprus Bysto and my characters. :-)

Also, my school is putting on a Veterans Week which I will be at religiously. I am not a Veteran, nor do I know too many military vets, but I can relate to them because of a high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder, which I had in early adulthood and for a little while 3 years ago (it has since gone away) and I can't compare my trauma to that of the military vets, but somehow I feel a camaraderie there and I will always support military vets and those currently serving. :-)

Lots of different topics tonight, but it feels good to talk about something different for a change. :-) I hope I will be able to elaborate on this blog somewhat, I have missed posting here and sharing with all of you. I hope all of you have a fantastic evening, I am delving into chemistry land and hopefully I'll still be balanced on the other side. Ha ha, chemistry humor. :-D Be blessed and enjoy the journey.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 75: Me, A Vegan???

Sorry for the lack of posts on my part! Have been busy with school and everything. I hope I will be able to become more active henceforth. :-)

I have suspected for a long time I had an allergy to dairy. It can be rather intermittent, but lately I have been having severe GI issues, sometimes for several days at a time, and I couldn't figure it out. Well, I have discovered I'm allergic to dairy and possibly have a soy/grain allergy as well. It would explain why I feel allergic to everything! So, on that note, I have decided to eliminate some things from my diet, mainly meat, dairy, and as much soy as possible. So, this gal will be vegan, again. :-)

I am a little nervous about this transition. My fiancé and I eat out a lot, and so does my family. I am, however, looking forward to trying my hand at some new vegan recipes. I used to run a blog that had all kinds of reviews of vegan recipes, vegan products, and all kinds of fun stuff like that. However, when I stopped being vegan I stopped maintaining the website. Now, it seems that my life has inevitably been turned in that direction again, and I may be reopening the website. :-)

It will definitely take some effort and some tolerance. But I think it will be a positive thing for me. I have impacted a lot of people through the Girl on Fire site and I think I will be able to make a positive impact with the V365 site as well. I have always been supportive of animal rights issues in various avenues, and I totally think its a great thing to be vegan. :-)

In unrelated news, I am doing well staying below 200, have been in the 190s for several days now. However, I can't seem to move from there! It may be to my benefit to change my diet up for that reason as well, maybe it will move the scale. But for now, I'm all about taking care of my body and doing what is best for it. :-)

Hope everyone has a fantastic day! Be blessed and enjoy the journey!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 74: "And the introspection. The introspection was killer."

I guess I'm shamelessly quoting myself. That was from a book I wrote eons ago called Red Rivers. It does kind of embody my mood tonight, being shamelessly introspective and retrospective. My protagonist introspects about why she had gotten from one place in her life to another, and was briefly reminiscing about the steps that had caused her to self-harm. She said that quote, and although I no longer struggle with the demons that Melanie Parker does, I am occasionally inclined towards sadness and difficulty with change.

The later books show a well-adjusted Melanie with a strong faith and a warrior's spirit. I seemed to see something even then in myself that was hidden from view. Melanie lost a ton of weight, began working out, and was happily married. Keep in mind that I wrote this 5 years ago!! The novels were strongly autobiographical but badly written, and I would love to continue the Red Rivers/Redemption/Renewal series but encountered a severe blow to my ability to write that has kept me from it for years. But I digress.

-----
I am reaching a crossroads in my life. My fiancé has graduated college and joined the workforce, and I have been struggling with my writer's block for some time now. It has actually created in me a bit of a fear of writing, that if anyone actually read my work they would punch holes in it and tell me it was bad. I failed a Creative Writing class because I was so scared to let anyone read my work and eventually stopped going to class because I was embarrassed. It has also kept me from submitting my novels for publication. My degree is in English and my trade is technical writing. I love it. Like, mindnumbingly love it. I love my creative writing with equal passion. I am one of those eclectically-minded people who can shift from creative to technical writing on a dime and I totally don't mind. It's my life and my passion.

And yet, I have been spending my life running from it. :-( I'm freaked out by what would happen if I found a job, if I was no longer miserable and broke and did end up well-adjusted with a strong spirit. My fear isn't so much that I will suck at writing, I've been writing since I was 5 years old. My fear is that my whole identity was bound in being a victim. I carried around this huge chip on my shoulder for many years, and that I was the victim of one circumstance or another. To break with that, to take responsibility for my own life and acknowledge that I didn't get a great start but WILL get a great finish, scares me shitless. Excuse my French. :-)

I know this sounds like a random post and I apologize. But running from the things I love for fear of success is a frequently occurring theme in my life and one of the reasons I couldn't lose weight for the longest time. I was literally afraid to succeed. Which is a sad position to be in, to be honest. I truly want to stop that. I want to finish Redemption and Renewal and write more books. I want to be a successful technical writer. But first I must get my bum in gear and realize that being successful really isn't something to be afraid of. :-)

Thanks so much for wading through my deep posts again. I appreciate it so much. Have a fantastic evening and sleep well. :-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 73: Keeping it Amazing

It has been an awesome day. :-)

I found out today that my mom will continue to fund my education after way too many years in college. I've finally found my niche in Chemistry/Biology and enjoy every day that I'm there. I was shocked, because for awhile I thought she wasn't really that interested in my going to school, but my mom's and my relationship has been growing by leaps and bounds every day. I am continually amazed at my mom's positive attitude. She hasn't really had an easy time of it with my grandpa being ill, but she is there almost every weekend and takes care of him. :-) My mom is such an amazing, strong person and I feel blessed to know her. My dad too! He's funny and way smarter than me, lol. :-)

I went for a short run today. I intended to break records today, and I felt God telling me to put away the timer for the run. I was not keen on this at all, I have always run with a timer and it is super glued into my hand most of the run. I finally decided to heed the feeling and put the timer away, only to discover when I took it out a minute later that I had accidently deleted my running apps from my phone! What are the odds? I was even more frustrated and ticked, but I went with my instinct for how far to run and when to stop. And I still had a good run even without the timer. In fact, it felt so good I think I will be running "naked" from now on.

Not to worry, I won't be running without clothes on! To run "naked" means not to track time, calories, or any kind of distance. You simply run until you feel like stopping, and walk some, and run some. I liked the freedom of running without a timer, there was no sense of failure because I hadn't accomplished my 30 minute distance that has been eluding me for weeks. I enjoyed being outside, enjoyed the weather, and just relaxed. :-)

My fiancé is coming over Saturday to see me! I have missed him since he started work. He seems to be having a great time at his new job, but he still misses me a lot. I miss him too! I keep hoping for a job with relatively flexible hours so when we get married in a year that I will actually be able to see him. :-) I'm still keen on being a Beachbody coach, lol! Maybe someday. ;-)

I hope everyone has a fantastic evening! I will be buried in Chemistry homework land as usual. Be blessed and enjoy the journey!