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September 28th, 2008

12:23 pm - Sizes. Compliments. Pudge. Acceptance. Being happy. And how they all fit together.
Under the influence of Carleigh (my highly-liberal, highly-feminist, newly-Canadian high school friend), I've begun to read more feminist and size-acceptance blogs in addition to the weight loss blogs I currently read. I feel proud that most of the weight-loss blogs I already read followed the "Happy At Every Size" mantra. Some of the bloggers I thought had stopped updating actually had just begun writing on these new group blogs Carleigh led me to. There's a concentration on fitness in these women's writing, on finding, accepting, and keeping your body strong and healthy, rather than worrying about a size. They use weight training, running, yoga, spinning, and healthy eating to do so. Many of these women have dropped -- and are maintaining -- a significant number of pounds. Numbers on scales are discussed, but in a "how does this relate to my feelings and my health?" way, not an "OMG GAINED TWO POUNDS I'M SO FAT I'LL NEVER WEAR MY SIZE 3 JEANS AGAIN" way.

My biggest struggle throughout all the 90+ pounds and 5+ sizes I've lost has definitely been mental, rather than physical. I have a tough time being proud of what I've done and concentrating on how far I've come. Instead, it seems that every day I'm fighting a constant litany of negativity from my brain, most of it food-related. I make personal judgments on how "good" or "bad" I am based on my food choices, especially if I'm not doing "well" that day. It seeps into my feelings on my exercise habits and appearance. It's especially hard because I'm about 25 pounds above my lowest weight, and even that lowest weight was 25 pounds above my "goal". I know I concentrate on that stupid number way too much, especially with everything else you can factor in, but I can't get my mind to focus elsewhere. I find myself concentrating on the extra squish in my middle, and I feel weak and unattractive for not being able to get rid of it and the 30-50 pounds I need to lose to be at a "healthy" weight.

I used to think it was good to have these sort of guilt feelings, especially about my food intake, because I kept me on the straight-and-narrow, calorically-speaking. Now, though, I'm beginning to get through my head how negative, detrimental, and emotionally tiring this line of thinking is. I'm trying to come to grips with the fact that I am a strong, healthy woman. I should be proud of the amounts of weight I can lift, the distances I run, how quickly my heart rate and breathing recover after a tough spinning class. Tons of people don't work hard like me, can't -- and don't -- do what I do. I just can't figure out why, even though I read these blogs and absorb their size acceptance messages and AGREE WITH THEM, I can't get this message through in my brain about MY OWN BODY. A friend bopped me in the head after I countered a compliment he gave me with a self-deprecating remark. "OW! What the hell?" I said. "What," he asked, "it's okay for you to do that to yourself mentally with negative comments, but I can't do it? Because that's what you're doing every time you say or think things like that."

In addition to the positive stories of strength and confidence, some of these women touch on the negative feelings of being TOO thin. They have reactions to medication or catch stomach viruses that cause them to drastically drop large amounts of weight -- and people actually COMPLIMENT THEM on how good they look, tell them how envious they are of the SICKNESSES LAYING WASTE to their bodies. Dani, in that link, questions a jealous friend, asking how much she'd like to lose. “Like, seventeen percent of your body weight? Like, irrespective of whether it’s fat, muscle, or bone? Like, enough to ruin your life?” I see how being thin is NOT the road to happiness, that there is no magical size everyone is satisfied with themselves, but I still say to myself, "well, yeah, but... I still would be happier if I had surgery to remove this extra skin from my stomach, thighs, and arms. It'd make me SO much more attractive."

I just wish there were an easy way to just...get over all this, to concentrate on my weight and body no more than I do about painting my nails. People complimented me so much when I started to lose, and it further cemented the "weight loss good, pudge bad" association. I spent too much of my life being told how ugly, worthless, and lazy I was by anyone who thought they had a right to judge me. It's just really difficult to take an aspect of me that has been such a formative part of my life and just let go of my feelings about it.

Here are my top links, for anyone who might be interested. Some concentrate on size acceptance, some more on fitness and weight loss:
Shapely Prose (Size acceptance, fitness, weight loss)
Lose the Buddha (Fitness, weight loss)
Pasta Queen (Fitness, weight loss)
Elastic Waist (Size acceptance, fitness, weight loss)
Shakesville (Size acceptance, feminist/liberal writings)
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

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February 23rd, 2008

01:35 pm - Al finds a beer (okay, a cider) and perpetuates an addiction
Last night, Brad and I (along with one of my co-workers and her husband) went to a BGSU alumni gathering. We had tremendously good appetizers at Flannery's (veggies, quesadillas, potato skins, ribs, and the best damn fried cheese thingies I've had ever. Yay, fried food for dinner!) If you wanted mixed drinks, shots, or wine you had to pay for them, but beer was included in the price of the whole shindig soooo....yeah. Beer it was. Because of this, I have discovered that I really (no, REALLY) like drinking Strongbow. Consuming two (was it two? maybe three) of them, plus a Blue Moon, in less than two hours makes walking around Cleveland in the winter an entertaining adventure! Good thing Brad is patient, so he didn't give up and leave me to find my own way home was willing to hold my hand and be my guide over to The Q. :) The Cavs beat the Wizards, even after they traded, like, their entire damn team. It's a good thing no one got hurt yesterday, because I don't think they would have been able to have 5 guys on the floor if they lost anyone. It was an excellent game, though. I have now been to a grand total of TWO professional sporting events in Cleveland, and it only took me TWENTY SIX YEARS. Man I'm awesome. Next year I'll have to do a Browns game.

Also, as a ginormous added bonus, I acquired...are you ready for this?...


(And no, you can't have any of them. I will totally use them all. Chapstick addiction FOREVAR! Muahahaha!)

We might go sledding at Brandywine later. This is such a fun weekend. :)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

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January 22nd, 2008

06:49 pm - The HELL.
Dude. Seriously.
This upsets me -- and not just because he was pretty. I've seen all the Dark Knight previews and was SO excited to see him take on such a different and challenging role. What a shame that a movie that could have gotten him more great recognition will come out posthumously.

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October 4th, 2007

08:09 pm - Long pauses make long entries...
It's been a good few months since I posted here last. I really wish I could -- and would -- post here more. I guess I've just moved on from the random ramblings of college and feel like I don't have as much to say...or the problem is, I guess I just don't want to publish all the things that I'm thinking about. Like they're deep thoughts or something. Heh. But mostly I guess I figure I don't have any readers anymore, so who even cares if I post to it?

I'm quite busy lately, working at the school and with The Marching Band, and I had to quit Curves because it just wasn't working on my schedule. I quit working out there, too, and moved on to another gym. (More on that later). I've been feeling fairly introspective lately, especially on the people and job front. (But of course, what other huge things are there to focus on in life but people and your job?) I'm only 25, yet I feel like life has some sort of finish line I have to be constantly working towards, keep going, hurry up, pick up the pace. I read the journals of several different people that I don't even know, regular blogs and weight loss blogs and blogs of all kinds, and so many of these people have picked up and moved their life from one coast of the country to another, shifted cities and states and countries, only to pick up and move again a few years later...and it just gets me thinking. Why do I feel like if I move geographically from where I am and decide it's not precisely where I am supposed to be, it'd be like playing Sorry and being bumped back ten squares? I mean, I haven't had a consistent job in three years, what's the difference between doing that here in Ohio or doing it somewhere else? I don't know. I feel like I'm stuck in my safety net, unwilling to move more than a few feet from where I am for fear of....of...

Well, maybe that's the problem. I don't really know what it is I'm afraid of. Messing up? Being wrong? hard work? Mediocrity? Strangers with candy?

I really just need to shake things up a little and get some changes in my life. The problem is, I'm just not exactly sure how to start the shaking, or where to shake it on over to.

Speaking of shaking, I started at my new gym last Monday, and it's GLORIOUS. The owner leads a class that meets every Monday night where she teaches a new circuit workout, and we go back in two more days that week to repeat it. Combining that with my running has made me feel fabulous (even though this week has been extraordinarily mediocre in the workout department because of band business keeping me tied up all weekend, but we're not talking about that right now, are we?) Even though I've only seen small weight-loss benefits, I feel so much prouder of myself and so much stronger. I feel accomplished when I'm done, and fricking TIRED, which wasn't happening anymore for me at Curves. I needed something that would challenge me when I attempted it, because I was getting too lazy to push myself hard there. There's no possible way I can be lazy lifting here, unless I refuse to do the amount of reps that are expected, and....yeah. I'm definitely doing all the reps. Don't worry. :)

In other fitness goals, the 28th of October is the 5k that I'm going to run. A few weeks ago I completed the course in 35 minutes. My goal is to get that under 30 minutes by the time the race rolls around in three weeks. Provided that not being able to run for 4 days doesn't put me totally off schedule, I'm figuring that's a feasable goal. I'm....just...not quite sure how to accomplish it. But I figure that at least if I keep plugging away at it, keep completing the 3.1 miles and trying to run even farther, then I can make it easier on myself when it's actually race time. I'm just really excited to have gone fitness-wise from where I was to where I am now, and keeping this in mind is really helping me when I'm feeling upset about not having reached my weight goal yet. (Yes, we're still working on getting 30 pounds down from here.)

Alright. Time to go pack for this weekend's band trip and head to bed.
Current Mood: pensivepensive

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May 4th, 2007

06:52 pm
Someday, I will leave a school in June for summer break, and know that I get to come back to that very same school the following August. Eventually, one school year, I will be able to develop a curriculum over the summer because I will know where I'm going to be more than two weeks before school begins.

This year? Not so much.

They're closing the elementary school where I teach. I'm in the unassign pool for next year.

Current Mood: crushedcrushed

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March 4th, 2007

08:22 pm
It isn't very difficult to see why
You are the way you are
Doesn't take a genius to realise
That sometimes life is hard
It's gonna take time
But you'll just have to wait
You're gonna be fine
But in the meantime

Come over here lady
Let me wipe your tears away
Come a little nearer baby
Coz you'll heal over
Heal over
Heal over someday

And I don't wanna hear you tell yourself
That these feelings are in the past
You know it doesn't mean they're off the shelf

Because pain's built to last
Everybody sails alone
But we can travel side by side
Even if you fail
You know that no one really minds
Come over here lady

Don't hold on but don't let go
I know it's so hard
You've got to try to trust yourself
I know it's so hard, so hard

Come over here lady
Let me wipe your tears away
Come a little nearer baby
Coz you'll heal over, heal over, heal over someday

"Heal Over", KT Tunstall
Current Mood: depresseddepressed

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February 18th, 2007

09:51 am - Kids should not listen to the radio. Ever.
I'm giving my 6th graders a music quiz and I'm playing examples of most of the artists for them. One of the artists mentioned, however, was Eminem:

AL: Sorry kids, I couldn't find an example appropriate for school. But you all know who he is.
STUDENT 1: You could have used "Smack That"!
AL: ...No...I....couldn't have.
STUDENT 2: Yes you can! What's wrong with that song?
AL: *Seriously contemplates suicide before losing her job by explaining the meaning of this song to a group of 12 year olds*

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December 31st, 2006

11:55 am - Woot!
GUESS WHAT I DID :-D (Clicky clicky!)
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
Current Music: Three Days Grace - Pain

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November 18th, 2006

09:34 am - Music rules.
Can anyone else track their musical opinions by this list? I know and love almost every song from 1994 -- when I started junior high -- to present, but could care less about the majority of the pre-1994 songs. (Aw, memories -- it's the soundtrack of post-junior high life. :) Apparently I didn't have a musical opinion of my own until I turned 12 and discovered Green Day.)

Then again, not only is it just one genre of music, but most of the teachers at school would say, "You were in seventh grade in 1994?!!! I was graduated from COLLEGE before then!!!!", sooooo....maybe it is just me. :)

EDITED to add: Ooo! this list is even better (and includes more years.) I can also tell when I STOPPED listening to the radio.

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July 10th, 2006

05:00 pm

Making favors for Ligaya's bridal shower:
ME: How many bags of candy do you think we're going to need?
GRANDMA: Oh, I don't know. Three, maybe?
ME: Are you sure that's enough?
GRANDMA: Well....okay. Get four bags. And if we have too much.....we'll just eat the rest.
ME: I like the way you think.

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