Progress Photos: Expired Polaroid Edition

I was looking through photos and two from last summer popped up. It’s fun seeing simple changes in my body. Also, going back to bangs was a really good ideas.

I can also zip up a coat I want to wear for the fall. I’ve kept it for years hoping someday I would lose the weight. I’m glad I didn’t donate it.


Last week, I calculated how much I actually use my bus pass, and it turns out I’m losing money. In terms of commute, since all I need is a pass to get home, I would save almost $50.00 a month. I can usually walk to everything I want to do on the weekends but on the occasion I need to use a pass, I’d still be saving money by purchasing it than getting a year pass. So I guess this is a non-scale victory of sorts. I walk so much I’m saving money! This might even be a great incentive to walk home even more. Maybe every day I walk home, I’ll put $2.50 in a jar and at the end of the year I can do something with it like get a new lens or buy new clothing.

Though Sundays are relaxing, it’s hell at times when I’m cooking. I want to eat everything. I ate a bowl of the shrimp soup I made and wanted more and the feeling persisted throughout the day. At dinner, I could feel how full I was and stopped eating immediately. Progress ain’t perfect, but it’s something.

  • I like quiet Sundays filled with cooking.
  • Instead of making shrimp tacos, I opted for a soup with rice and lots of bell peppers.
  • My co-worker and I had a lovely conversation about literature, and she gave me four books. I am so excited to read them.
  • Wes brought home mini cupcakes from work. I made ice cream cake with it. It was amazing. And fitting considering I couldn’t stop talking about ice cream cake the other day.
  • It rained yesterday. I missed the sound. I like to leave the door open as I cook, and it’s so comforting.
  • Since getting all my film developed, I’ve been using my cameras a lot more. I can remember all the little moments as I took them.
  • I want to binge today. Struggling a bit.

My internal dialogue when I walk varies from day to day. Today, I was insecure as a woman passed me. She was running and gorgeous and I looked down as I walked. And then I thought, “C’mon, Jo. You’re gorgeous too.” I then walked with my head held high.

I spent a few minutes this morning staring at myself in the mirror before leaving. I feel like I’m getting to know myself all over again, and I’m realizing that this isn’t as scary as I thought it was. After years of gaining and losing, I have learned that I can’t hide from me, nor do I want to anymore.

Menu for next week:

  • ground turkey and spinach stuffed sweet potatoes
  • banana ice cream (whipping cream + sweetened condensed milk + bananas = it’s gone by the end of the night – add peanut butter, always add peanut butter)
  • shrimp tacos
  • pico de gallo
  • shredded chicken
  • fruit salad
  • Couldn’t finish everything on our list for last week, but we did most of it. Almost ten miles walked. Kenny & Zuke’s was well deserved (their pastrami cheese fries are the best).
  • Purchased my ticket for my vacation in October. I can’t believe it’s only a little more than two months away. I’m excited to get two weeks off. I’m probably going to forget how to do my job. I miss Dillon a lot and can’t wait to have crazy adventures with him. It’ll be a fun week. I then have a week off with Wesley, and I have no doubt we’ll be thoroughly lazy, though we’re definitely going to the beach.
  • Though I don’t count my binge free days anymore, it’s been at least a month, and I’m really proud of myself. I’ve experienced days that would usually trigger a binge. Instead, I read/write/photograph/walk/do something else, and the feeling passes. It feels incredible to conquer it.
  • I have seven rolls of film I’m picking up today. Well, one roll of film had to be processed at a different facility, so six rolls of film. I cannot wait to see what the last six months looked like. I love my little point and shoot.
  • I finally purchased batteries for my wireless remote. I love it, but it’s impossible to do double exposures, and that was the point of getting it for me. I’ll figure something out.
  • It’s amazing how clothes change my perspective. Everything is on the looser side and made me look a lot bigger than I was. It’s amazing what a pair of jeans, two bras and a dress can do. I can also fit in Old Navy clothes! The fuck. I looked at the dress and thought there wasn’t any way it was going to fit. It wouldn’t zip up at first, but it was because it was stuck on a piece of fabric.
  • How is it only Thursday?
  • I wish I had more time after work to do things I like. Last night, I wanted to read and passed out after a couple pages. Though we did get a lot done.
  • I made jalapeno popper nachos with panko shrimp. It was incredible, and I shouldn’t do that again (but I will).

Weekend Plans & Meal Prep

Plans for my three day weekend:

  • Finish Mistborn
  • Help Wes get presents for his siblings
  • Finish reading DMV handbook (I have been slacking with getting my license)
  • Bike riding (I think I might need my biked tuned up)
  • Wes wants chicken parmesan and jalapeno popper quesadillas, so I’m totally making that Saturday and Sunday night
  • Portland Nursery
  • donation to Goodwill

Meal prep will be the usual.

  • Shredded chicken
  • Turkey & spinach stuffed sweet potatoes
  • jalapeno popper quesadillas
  • shrimp nachos
  • banana & peanut butter ice cream
  • lots of eggs (I’ve been in the mood for over easy with sweet potatoes)
  • Applesauce
  • Fruit salad
  • Zucchini bread

Things I forget when I’m having a difficult time

  • Struggle IS progress.
  • Using food to cope with uncomfortable situations won’t change the outcome.
  • This is not permanent.
  • I know you don’t want to face the world outside, but seriously Jo, go out for a fucking walk.
  • You don’t have to be alone. Sometimes talking it out with a friend helps you see it through a different perspective.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, simplify. What do you need to do right now? Do that thing.
  • Comparing yourself to others does nothing.
  • You are in charge of your own happiness. Don’t place that responsibility on someone/something else.
  • Lamenting over a mistake you made wastes time. Accept it, learn from it, apply that knowledge.
  • Sayin’ ain’t doin’.
  • Treat yourself the way you want to be treated.
  • Write it out. Awful poetry makes a really bad time somewhat bearable.

Money Orders & Childhood Memories

This morning, my landlord posted a notice on our door stating that if we didn’t pay rent by the 14th, we had 72 hours to vacate our duplex. I sent the money order via certified mail on June 30th and being incredibly stupid, I recycled the receipts a week ago. I figured it was delivered, and that I take ownership for. That was completely my fault. Because I couldn’t find the receipts in our recycling, I began to panic. Wes and I work really hard, and it has taken us so long to build up our savings. I felt terrible. I went to the post office, and they couldn’t locate the mail (thank you, John, for being so incredibly helpful). I then paid for another money order and sniffled my way upstairs to my cube.

My co-worker saw me walking down the hall, and we went into an empty office. I told her what happened, and she said, “Look at it this way. You had the foresight to save money in the event something like this happened. At your age, I wasn’t even thinking about that. You’re going to find the receipts in recycling and in the future you’ll save receipts so this doesn’t happen again. Lesson learned. You’re still doing great.” When I finally got to my desk, I started looking through recycling and after ten minutes of searching, I found it. It turns out money order was routed through Los Angeles, and it should be there by Monday. My landlord hasn’t responded to my e-mail or my text, but I’ve always had an odd relationship with her.

Lesson learned. Keep receipts no matter what.

Shout out to Wes for being super supportive while I was freaking out.

After lunch, my co-worker stopped by my desk, and somehow we started talking about weight and shared battle stories about being fat as a kid. When I was little my grandmother used to feed me a ton of food and then berate me for being so fat. That memory pops up sometimes, but I never really made that connection to adulthood until now. What have I done to myself for years? I binge and then I berate myself for being fat. I have repeated this process for years, long after my grandmother moved away. I feel like I have to carry all the pain I received as a kid, and that feeling never stopped. Even as I try to lose weight, I feel like I don’t deserve this. I hear my mom telling me I’m too ugly to be loved and Lord have mercy on this sad body. I hear my dad tell me I won’t find a job because someone skinnier will get it. I feel my grandmother’s embarrassment whenever she had to introduce me to her friends.

What happened in my childhood isn’t my fault, but it is my fault I’m still living in the past. Seeing this so clearly now makes me want to change. I’ve known in the past that I deserve better, but now I feel like I deserve it. I want this. I want to be healthy and happy. I want to work through my issues with food. I want to be better for me and improve my life. I want to be old as hell.

I want to look back on this moment, on all the moments that defined me and fucking thrive.

Since 2011, I have worked hard to improve myself. I’ve had really shitty moments that sometimes outshine the good things that have happened in the last four years. However, I think a lot of improvement in my life can’t really be measured graphically or in any other way than looking back and realizing that I’m in a better place now than in the past. And I know that someday in the future I will look back on this moment or this year and think the same (hopefully). I figure if I’m looking back and sighing in relief at how far I’ve come, then I’m doing something right. Right? I think so. I tend to focus more on the quantity rather than the quality of my improvement at times, and that stifles my progress because I’m an asshole to myself.

So in an effort to not be an asshole to myself, I’m going to appreciate who I am at this moment. I sometimes worry that I’m not fulfilling my dreams, but I realize that all things take time. I love Wes’ muscle analogy. Anything you want to do is like a muscle. Are you going going to bench press 200 pounds tomorrow or are you going to start off with what you know you can do and build up to that? I forget that frequently. I look at things in my life and want to change them instantly, but would I even appreciate it without the work? Everything I’ve gone through in the past has helped me in some way, and I can’t help but think this struggle is building up to something amazing.