Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tricks I play on myself

Here's how I've been keeping myself on the right track since deciding to eat healthier:
  • Water is easier to drink if it tastes like something. I freeze lemon and lime wedges and put one in my Nalgene bottle at the beginning of the work day. Chilly, flavored water is much easier to drink. The only drawback: a woman in my office today asked, "What's that green fuzzy thing in your water?" Ew.
  • Splenda + fat free half and half in my coffee is delicious and low on calories. It took me months to even purchase fat free half and half. What's the point? What two halves am I drinking now? Oh well. I'm over the obsession with cream. I don't think I'll ever be able to drink black coffee. It seems too medicinal (and tastes disgusting).
  • A little yogurt and granola goes a long way. Seriously: 1/3 cup of each is actually filling.
  • The torrid love affair with peanut butter must end. I'm still grieving the end of this relationship. One measly tablespoon hardly seems worth it, but it's better than nothing on my sandwich bread.
  • Today, for the first time in YEARS, I bought a bag of baby carrots (ask me sometime about a two-year overdose on baby carrots). I like the crunchiness, but why are they slimy? Sick. It's more than I can handle.
  • The biggest temptation for me at work is the vending machine. Solution: no change in my desk drawer.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Seasons and Self Improvement

So, here we are. It's Fall already. I haven't been in school for six years now, but September still feels like a season of new beginnings to me. It's like the return to a schedule (even though I'm still working the exact same hours I did all summer). Maybe it's the shorter daylight hours. I'm 28 years old, but feel like I have a curfew once it's dark outside.

My summer was great. I loved every hot day, every meal outdoors, every outing with Hubs, every book I read, every dip in the pool. I've taken a ton of pictures but honestly haven't had the patience to load them, individually, to the blog. If anyone shows interest, maybe that will motivate me to load at least one picture. What do you want to see? Our new car, courtesy of Cash for Clunkers? The townhouse we are hoping to buy? Us lovebirds on a day trip? I seriously can't stand how long it takes to load photos, so choose wisely.

There's a bunch of stuff on my mind today, especially since the seasons are changing and there's a sense of "new" in the air. Without going into a lot of detail and jinxing anything, there is a chance we may be moving in the near future. We're hoping it could even be considered a "probability" and not just a possibility. But like I said, I'm nervous to say too much about something that could fall through at any moment. Home buying is complicated, people. And apparently quite a fragile process. What seemed like a done deal in July crapped out on us and the "dream home" we fell in love with in the course of two days was ripped from our grasp. [Minor editorial exaggeration]. From tax credits, to government incentive options for urban development, to the plain old process of waiting, it's a taxing experience (haha. Pun intended). Stay tuned for less-vague updates on this topic.

Whatever the reasons may be, there's a bunch of things rattling around my head today, and it's probably time to put them into writing, make them a little more tangible by seeing them in print, and open myself up to some accountability by posting my good intentions.

The general category here is self-discipline. I lack it. I used to be really rigid and so "by the book" that I drove myself crazy. I've relaxed a bunch in the last 3 years, primarily because the intensity of life changed in a big way in 2006. I came home from a two year tour, having spent no longer than a few days in any one geographical location. I hibernated for 6 months. I slowly came out of my shell, was reunited with my ex-boyfriend-who-waited-two-years-for-me, fell in love all over again, and got married the following spring. Life as a married woman has plenty of perks. Financial stability, a reliable date, companionship, acceptance, and mostly-unconditional love. As a result, I've gotten lazy. The "newly wed" stage is over, we have routines and habits, and the dust is settling.

But hark! What have we here?! Hyper-Vigilant-Emily is gone! No more closely scheduled days, with every hour accounted for and optimized. No more OCD-level cleanliness. No more daily devotions. No more weekly activity and exercise. The value I assigned myself based on my behavior is also gone. I feel guilty for becoming a slob, but not quite guilty enough to change.

I've tried to focus on one or two areas at a time this past year: taking a stab at Weight Watchers, creating a personal budget, seeing a new counselor for anxiety. But this piece-meal thing isn't really panning out. I'm not committed enough in any one area to really see a difference. Is it possible to do a complete personal overhaul? Will changing everything at once kill me? I fear it might. But if it's possible, that would be AWESOME! Let's just jump past all the work to one year in the future where there's progress to see! Yeah! Celebrate success everybody!

"Success" will look like this (in no particular order):
  • Wii Fit won't classify me as "obese."
  • My cholesterol will be 100 points lower (found out today it's waay out of hand).
  • No cavities (found out today I'll be seeing a LOT of my new dentist this year).
  • We'll be in our own home (which will be clean).
  • I'll have a full head of hair (ever heard of trichotillomania?).
  • I will be able to identify at least one source of spiritual input.
  • I'll have a completed notebook or two of my writing (essay and personal narrative).
  • I'll be able to talk about the impact Alzheimer's has had on my family without immediately bursting into tears.
There's lots more to say. But that's about as much honesty as I can handle for now.