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Manic Monday: Year Long Blogging Challenge (Oh My Gods I Am Awful At This)

I suppose I should just stop saying things like, “And THIS time I will DO what I SAID I would DO – ON TIME!” Because, lol really. Let us just go ahead and call it like it is: I have failed this challenge. Yet, I continue…

Week 7: What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned to date?

The most important life lesson I have learned is one I am still learning: to accept me and not compare myself to others. It is so easy to fall into mindset of wanting – more ambition or drive, a higher metabolism, a quicker mind – but the truth remains that I am nobody else but myself. To modify a quote from Wreck-it Ralph, “I am [me], and that’s good. I will never be [anyone else] and that’s not bad. There is no one I would rather be than me.”

Week 8: What Staple Foods Stay Stocked in Your Fridge?

  • Skim milk
  • Eggs
  • String cheese
  • Deli turkey
  • Fruit/vegetables (right now: strawberries, apples, grapes, asparagus, green beans)
  • Spinach or other salad greens

Week 9: If you could get rid of one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be?

I would love to be able to eliminate sleeping, or at least to be able to exist on less of it. My daily requirement for sleep is currently about 7 or 8 hours, and ain’t nobody got time for that. At least, I do not, with all the things I would rather, or should, be doing.

Week 10: Favorite Childhood Memory

This is a strange one, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind. I used to spend several days each summer at my aunt’s condo in Pensacola, FL. One late morning I started to have typical menstrual cramps, and dealt with them in my typical way: by being sad about it. This was before I was comfortable swallowing pills, so I would just deal with it and be grumpy like a typical young teenager. My practical aunt would not stand for such nonsense, so she convinced me to take a couple of Aleve and lie down with her heating pad for a little while. After much self-coaching, I choked down the medicine and slid between the fluffy white down comforter and soft white sheets. Half an hour later, I woke up pain-free. This was the first time I had ever felt relief from my monthly pains, and it was the most incredible feeling ever. Even better, I was hungry, and the turkey-on-toast sandwich my aunt made me was the most delicious, satisfying meal I had eaten to that day. I still remember the incredible sense of relief and relaxation beneath the heating pad in that glorious cool bed, and how wonderful hunger felt in place of pain and nausea.

I am sure there are much better memories than that, but hey, I’m crazy! edit I did have a normal, healthy childhood. I just have a terrible memory, I guess. IT’S MONDAY, OKAY

Week 11: Describe a product that needs to be invented. What irritation or problem could be solved with a nifty new device?

Now that I am a real person and can handle taking pills… a capsule of some sort that satisfies hunger, cravings, and all the required vitamins and minerals for keeping a body alive. Food and a healthy diet are a constant source of stress for me. Making healthy choices is fucking hard. Though, I would really miss eating, as obvious by some of my other answers.

Week 12: What is your favorite restaurant in Huntsville?

Hands down, Below the Radar.

Week 13: What goals are you currently pursuing?

This is less my goal than my husband’s, but I support him entirely and it requires both of our efforts. We are currently working on becoming the owners of a local business. This has been his dream for years, and it is only a few more months of pinching pennies away.

Personally, I still am fighting towards a 50 or 60 pound weight loss, and reading 50 books by the end of the year.

Week 14: What is the most memorable meal you have ever had?

There are two of them, and they are both during the same week in 2011. I traveled to Austin, TX, for a work conference in August. The second night my coworkers and I arrived, we had dinner with some customers at Fogo de Chao. I had the rarest cut of filet I’ve ever eaten before, and it was unbelievable. Also, I tried grappa for the first time. Aside from excellent food (and drinks!), the group was amazing. We had such a fantastic few hours together.

Despite my hotel being 2 blocks from everything, I was completely exhausted mid-week. Long days of being on my feet coupled with it being Texas in August meant I just crashed one afternoon in my hotel. I woke up a little disoriented with a text from my boss inviting me to dinner with another coworker. After making myself as presentable as possible, I walked in a daze to Moonshine. At first I had no appetite, but my coworker insisted I have a meal, so I ordered baked rainbow trout (and yes, I only ordered it because rainbows) with a side of macaroni and cheese. This meal is my favorite meal in the history of ever, and I have eaten a lot of fucking delicious things. Just know that I ate the exact same meal twice the next year, and the crushing, bitter disappointment at not being able to go this August is 99% because I won’t get to eat at Moonshine.

Week 15: What is your favorite quote?

“What fun is there in making sense?” – Discord, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Shut up.


I am not going to make any promises any more.  🙂

The Rocket City Bloggers are a diverse group of bloggers with at least one thing in common: writing from the Huntsville, AL area, otherwise known as Rocket City. This April began a Year Long Blogging Challenge, and I am attempting to participate. Clearly, though, this is proving to be more of a challenge for me than I initially believed.  Click the image below for more awesome people from the Rocket City.


Rocket City Bloggers Year Long Blogging Challenge (YLBC): Week One

Recently I joined the local community Rocket City Bloggers. I guess because I am kind of a hermit when it comes to local events and groups, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon it. You mean boring Huntsville has actual things? People around here do cool, non-church-related stuff? Maybe this city isn’t so bad, after all. Yeah, a little late to the party, but all of the sudden I am wanting to be involved! Cue frantic waving.

It just so happens that the Rocket City Bloggers have, just this week, started a year long weekly blogging challenge. The first week’s topic just so happens to be What Do You Need More of Right Now? My answer just so happens to be motivationThe RCB community and the YLBC (so many acronyms! this must be a military town!) just so happen to be perfect motivation for blogging more often, which I have needed for quite some time.

You can see by looking at my list of posts – less than 25 in almost two years – that I am not the most active of bloggers. My online presence is fairly scattered. A private Livejournal was my first pursuit of writing online, like many people I know . Since then I’ve hopped around on different sites with little direction or care. I like a hell of a lot of different things, I’m a mom, I like have to write, and I have a mood disorder that sometimes prevents me from doing anything, sometimes makes me go on days-long creativity highs. When given direction and a deadline, however, I usually can kick some ass.

One thing I have noticed is that when I really feel the motivation to write, my words are more genuine and my voice comes through easier. Reading through past posts, not just here but on all my other blogs, it is pretty obvious (to me) when I felt a deep, inner need to write and when I just felt guilty or bored.

Here, here! To motivation from new sources, a new found diverse community of local bloggers, and more god damn posts! Plenty of nonsense coming your way.

unicorns and glitter and cloudy days and blergyness, too, because i'm bipolar.

And rainbows. Always plenty of rainbows.


P.S. Local folks – I will SO be hitting up Ponypalooza at the Madison Public Library this weekend with my daughter and few friends (mine, not G’s. Yes. Adults). Hope to see some of you there!

fat brain

Like most everyone, I made a vow to myself for 2013 that I would lose the 60 pounds that quickly fell upon me over the past year and a half. Mid-2011 I was at a perfectly acceptable weight for my height; I looked great and felt awesome. Right about that time I had the Mirena IUD removed, and since then my weight has slowly topped my personal charts. After six months I had gained almost 50 pounds. 2012 was spent carefully eating everything in my path and packing on another 10. At 209 pounds around Christmas time, heavier than I was when I was most heavily pregnant with my 10-pound son, I knew some shit had to be change. This time, actually change, not temporarily shuffle around.

My relationship with food is unhealthy. It makes me feel disgusting to admit that, but it is what it is. I eat without thinking, pushing myself past my limits of fullness to stuffed. After tracking my foods for a few days on through this app and weighing every day*, I noticed how often mindless eating occurs. Before I started paying attention, I could not understand why the weight packed on so quickly. What I failed to realize was that every calorie adds up, and when I am constantly consuming calorie-dense foods, 2000 calories is just not a lot. Eating to self-soothe is possibly the worst idea I’ve ever had. Combined with my sedentary desk job and utter lack of exercise elsewhere, no god damn wonder I gained weight so quickly. The hormone shift likely had something to do with my attitude, but that’s the thing – it is my attitude and I can’t blame it on some tiny piece of plastic or mean people anymore.

Hence, new year change. Fortunately my husband is willing to do the work with me. We both have significant numbers to drop by the end of this year, and without the accountability I don’t know if either of us could do it. We have tried separate weight loss journeys before and it just doesn’t work. Grocery trips, eating out, and exercising are all nearly impossible without the other person supporting. We have been working on the Couch-to-5K program (LOL YES AGAIN) since January 1 and have been doing pretty well. I feel like my attitude is better this time around, but I always feel that way in the beginning. It’s not going to be easy, I realize that, but making small changes has made building up to significant ones a lot less daunting. First I cut sodas and desserts, then started cutting elsewhere: a 4 oz. glass of juice instead of 8. A bite of the kid’s macaroni instead of an entire serving, or more, for myself. One piece of bread for my sandwich, with half the condiments, or none altogether. And every single bite is entered into my calorie tracker, so no calories “disappear” into the fat folds of my unhealthy brain. Every calorie counts. Even the 3 in my morning coffee.

Last night was a night full of misery for both of us. After eating ribs and “funeral potatoes” at a business dinner, we both couldn’t fall asleep for hours despite being exhausted and sore from working out earlier in the day. We were restless and had trouble getting comfortable. Our anxiety spiked (we both have similar issues with it, including matching physical symptoms. Live with someone long enough… ). All for ribs and some carbs. Unhealthy food and the temporary pleasure is really just not worth the anguish any longer.

*I use this weight-tracking spreadsheet in my Google Drive, which I also mostly access on my phone. After ten days it gives you a running average, as well as a graph for visual tracking of changes/trends. It also calculates your weight loss as well as percentage. I want to lose an astonishing 33.01% of my highest weight. I have lost 8% of my goal so far!