Over the weekend, I made:

  • chicken, sausage and bell pepper soup
  • ham bone and potato soup
  • turkey and spinach lasagna (made bechamel instead of using ricotta, and I made the pasta from scratch)
  • chicken parmesan (time consuming but worth every bite)
  • peanut butter cookies (so friggin delicious)
  • a loaf of bread (well, the dough is still rising, but it’ll be done tonight)
  • butter

I also cut my hair, and I’m glad I did. It was getting way too long and taking hours to dry. I will miss wearing it in a bun whenever I don’t feel like doing anything with it, but I really like it the way it is now.

My legs/left foot didn’t hurt this morning during my walk. I have no idea what I did other than walk slowly. I stretched a bit. I’m going to enjoy it for now and walk slow during lunch.

I’m working on a story, and it feels good to write again.

Welp, off on my walk.

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It’s Administrative Professionals Day, and I have received a $30 Starbucks card and a $50 Powell’s Books card. I am especially excited about Powell’s. Wes and I are taking three days off together next week, so we plan on walking there and spending at least half a day reading books.

On Friday I won a $5 Target gift card. I attended a baby shower and took photos. I had the closest guess on how many pins were in a baby bottle. We ate Thai food, and I listened to everyone talk about their children. Dustin and I don’t have children, nor do we plan on having children. I looked over at him and gave him a look, and I think he understood it, because he started laughing. I feel like I’ve reached an age where it’s normal to have children, but I haven’t fully accepted that. I remember in high school a classmate got pregnant during our senior year, and I felt terror on her behalf. Life feels like it’s just beginning, but I think she had (and hopefully still has) a loving family willing to help her through the rest of high school, college and beyond. I can’t imagine what that would be like in high school. My father always assumed I would announce my pregnancy before I could even apply to colleges. I was a junior, and we were sitting in a Walgreen’s parking lot. We were waiting for my mom, and he begins the conversation with, “I know you’re going to a lot of parties…”

“What parties? I don’t even go outside.”

“…but I want to let you know that if you get pregnant, your mom and I aren’t helping you.”

“That’s great, because I don’t plan on getting pregnant.”

“I really wish I could believe you, but I don’t.”

I can laugh at it now, but I remember being so stunned by those words that I remained silent. I figure once someone already has an opinion about me it’s impossible to change it. A person’s opinion of you is more a reflection of them, and you just can’t change other people. Even when I didn’t get pregnant in high school there was something else I was bound to fail at, and I realized there was no point in proving him wrong. In his mind, he was always right. I have no idea why I’m thinking about this. I guess that was on my mind the whole time I was at the baby shower. That, and I can’t even imagine being a parent now. Or ever. But thanks for the $5 gift card! I’ll probably get Talenti gelato and some batteries.

I sometimes feel the way my father felt about me in high school. In the middle of the day, I can hear his voice. “Why even try? You can’t do that.” And I’ve learned to use that voice for better things, like laughing at it when I prove it wrong and laughing even louder, joyously even, when I’ve proven myself right.

My walk to work on Monday and Tuesday was painful, and I had to stop multiple times to rest and stretch. I tend to relax a little more on the weekends, and I don’t really walk, I just clean and dance. The pattern I’ve noticed is that Mondays and Tuesdays are horrible days for walking, and I’m usually fine Wednesday through Friday. The cycle starts again on Monday. This weekend, I am going to walk on Saturday and Sunday and see if that makes a difference on Monday. I don’t know why it’s happening, but it’s annoying.

My walk to work today wasn’t too bad, and I was able to take a 1.5 mile walk during lunch. I finally purchased a battery for my FitBit. I wanted to take a break from counting every step, though I have to admit I’m not walking as much as I should. I walk to work everyday but other than that I’m at my desk and what I love about owning a glorified pedometer is the fact I can look down and see I need to step up my game. Literally.

Even though I’m dealing with weird pain, I’m really proud of myself for not giving up. I felt defeated for so long. I’m glad that exercise has become a part of my life. It was very hard in the beginning and sometimes it still is. Being active has changed so many things about my life. I don’t feel stressed as often as I used to. It’s rare but when I do, a long walk does the trick.

I finally read She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, and I haven’t been able to stick with another book, because I’m still overwhelmed. It was recommended to me by a friend almost ten years ago. I purchased it at a used book store in 2009 but donated it just before moving to a new state in 2013. I then purchased it again in January when I thought about it randomly. I read a couple of chapters, but I stopped and opted for something else. Last week, I decided to give it another try to finished within two days. The book is devastating. I’m pretty sure I spent the second half of the book crying. I’m overwhelmed piecing together parts of the story and trying to make sense of some things. Books, man.

Yesterday, I was almost hit by a car. Well, more like grazed. When I walk, I don’t listen to music, because I don’t like to be distracted and when I cross the street and see a car approaching, I stop and make sure they see me and slow down. The dude was going slow enough, and I made eye contact with him and continued to walk. But he kept on driving, and my body touched his bumper, and I pounded my fist against his hood and yelled, “How about not hitting me today!” He was going slow enough, but I am still amazed at how much people don’t pay attention to what they’re doing when they’re in a machine that could kill someone so easily. It’s part of the reason I don’t drive anymore. Though I do plan on getting my license for emergencies. Thankfully, I still have my old license, so I only need to take the knowledge test.

I’ve eaten out too much. It started off slow, and I felt good about it, but now I’m noticing a pattern, and I’m stopping it before it approaches “binge territory.” I’m bringing extra food to work and trying only to eat out once or twice a month.

A couple of weekends ago, I felt really depressed, so I woke up on Saturday morning and just started cooking. I learned how to make a pie crust and made quiche and a three berry pie. I made fresh pasta noodles with bolognese sauce, French onion soup, dinner rolls, buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy. I also had some fun making fresh whipped cream and butter. It was oddly relaxing. It was also difficult not eating everything. I somehow survived, though I did overeat a bit. Also, I am never buying pasta again, unless it’s macaroni.

I decided to consolidate my debt and applied for a loan. I was immediately approved and now I feel a lot better because the interest rate is a bit lower, and my monthly payment went way down. I’m going to focus on building up my savings again and pay off the loan at least a year early. That’s the plan.

I miss my bike. I had a bigass Yuba Mundo. It was blue and beautiful, and it was an instant conversation starter. If I ever bought one again, I’ll force Wes to sit in the back and go shopping. I don’t think I gave myself enough time to get comfortable with cycling. I commuted a lot, but I never just road leisurely. I was self-conscious and slow and worried so much about falling. I think I know now there isn’t anything wrong with falling.

My foot is still in a lot of pain, so I am forcing myself to go to the doctor. I’m able to walk to work in the morning, but I cannot walk home unless I take the bus part of the way. Yesterday, I was able to walk the last mile home, and it wasn’t too bad. I walked because the bus was full, and it was suffocating. The only time I feel claustrophobic is in a bus.

Speaking of foot pain, I am officially stopping marathon training. At this point, I am 5 1/2 months away from the marathon, and I’m not able to keep up with the training schedule. I read something the other day about goals and when we set unrealistic goals, we tend to procrastinate. But when we set a realistic goal, it’s easier to meet. Well, duh, right? Walking a marathon is something I can do after my foot heals, and I’ve done a half marathon. I think I wanted to do something amazing, to prove I could do something that I didn’t think I could. And though I’m sad I won’t be able to participate this year, I’m realizing I don’t have to sign up for a marathon to amaze myself. I will sign up again for 2016 and once I know what’s up with my foot, I’ll begin training again.

Though I count my calories and focus on being active everyday, I’m not really making an effort to lose weight. It’s exhausting, and I think I needed a break from it. I still walk at least 10,000 steps a day and try to keep my calories within my range. Yesterday, I hit 275 days on MyFitnessPal, my longest streak. I don’t think I’ve missed a day of logging meals, though sometimes I get lazy and just do quick add. I could complain that I haven’t lost any weight in months, but I haven’t weighed myself and really, I just don’t want to be around the scale. I’m tired of putting so much emphasis on what I should look like and how things fit and what number I should see on the scale. I go back and forth. Sometimes, I just want to be 100 pounds lighter instantly. Other times, I’m just enjoying the ride. I’m proud of my progress and happy that I’m continuing to be active and eat reasonably. This feels more permanent than anything I’ve done in the past. I’m able to make a mistake and instead of spending an inordinate amount of time regretting that mistake, I learn from it and move on.

I’m beginning to realize that life is too short to care about shit that doesn’t matter. Knowing it is one thing but actually applying it is something else. It’s difficult at first, like breaking free from any bad habit. But once I started paying attention to what makes me happy instead of all the shit that brings me down, it became easier to ignore negativity, whether it was from me or others. I don’t even know if I’m making sense at this point. Sometimes I wonder if I’m at a good place in my life, but I don’t think being in a good place has a specific checklist. Am I happy with where I am? Sure. Am I happy with where I’m heading? Yeah. So I guess I’m in a good place.

Last night, I had a dream I weighed myself, and I was at my lowest weight in years. I got on the scale again, and I weighed more. I got on the scale a final time, and I was at an even higher weight. And in my dream, I felt so much anxiety over that number. The only other thing I remember is stealing a cake from a party and eating most of it because I was so depressed from the number. My boyfriend called me and when I returned, everyone was mad that I destroyed the cake.

It was interesting and fitting since today is my weigh-in day. I have no intention of weighing myself. That dream revealed a lot of my past. I felt like all of my progress was tied to that number and if it wasn’t “right” nothing I did could rectify that. I then wondered what the point was in trying. Cue late night binging episodes and refusing to exercise. And I know how insane it is, but that’s what I did to justify eating a whole pizza. It ain’t right, but it’s true.

Life without the scale is interesting. Last Saturday, we replaced our dresser, and I uncovered the hiding spot of the scale. My boyfriend stepped on, and he lost another ten pounds. I think he’s lost about 90 so far. It’s amazing seeing his progress, and I’m in awe of his relaxed approach to weight loss. I was also angry, because he wouldn’t leave the room so I could step on. That number feels so private for some reason. I made him promise all those months ago to never let me weigh myself even if I was angry or begged, and he’s kept his promise. Once a month. That’s it. I understand how strange a request like that is. “Hey, could you hide the scale, so I don’t obsess over it? And no matter how much I complain, don’t bring it out, because I’ll spend the rest of my life placing my happiness on that number? Thanks!”

When I initially asked him to do it, he was completely honest with me. “That’s so… sad.” It is. And I explained to him being fat since I was what, four? Five? I was always taller, always bigger and always made fun of. And though I felt so much anxiety over my weight, I ate because that’s all I knew. That’s what felt good and right and made me happier. It buried the feelings, and I never had to deal with problems as long as I was full. And once I realized what I did to myself, to my life, I didn’t now how to reverse it. I was 350 pounds. How do you keep on living knowing you’ve spent the majority of your life lying to yourself? So when I tried to lose weight, I did everything I could to succeed. I learned about food, counted every calorie and exercised everyday. I felt the same weighing myself as I did binging. It was addicting. I had to do it multiple times a day. If the number wasn’t right, I starved myself. Sometimes, I’d last days. Other times, I’d last until the end of the day and binge on whatever I could find once I got home from work. I can’t be healthy if I’m losing weight using the same methods I did to gain it. It’s not all or nothing. And what works now might not work a month from now.

For the first time I feel at home inside of myself. I’m embracing every change, every setback, every improvement. The expectation isn’t perfection but continuous accountability and improvement. I don’t want to just learn from the missteps but to apply my new wisdom everyday in how I live. So… yeah.