Hello Again

Heyo! I’m sorry I have not posted in over two months now. I’ve just been so busy! I have two other blogs, jaboutofcontext.wordpress.com and mediamonth.wordpress.com. The first is a creative writing blog, the second is poetry, mood boards, and vlogs. I write a poem for a monthly theme the first week of the month, my friend Sasha makes a mood board for that theme the second week, my other friend Judi makes a vlog with the theme the third week, and the fourth week we take turns announcing the next theme and creating a collaborative playlist. It is a way for the three of us to keep in contact after we graduate. I hope you will go follow those other blogs! I will probably be posting there more than over here.

With these other blogs, I’m still keeping up my new year’s resolution to make at least one blog post a week! As for my weight loss resolution…. I haven’t lost anything since after spring break. I want to start working out every day this summer though. I’ll keep you updated on that.

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Weight Loss Journey Week 13: General Update

Weight: 162.8

Once again, I have failed to actually plan what to write. I’ve been more focused on my new creative writing blog that I’m doing with my friend Judi over at jaboutofcontext.wordpress.com On our blog, we give each other sentences out of context that we’ve heard or read in our life and write a piece that uses that sentence. Judi posts on Mondays, and I post on Thursdays. We give the other person their sentence after we make our post. I’ve been more focused on writing for that blog recently.

Anyway, on to a general weight loss update.

Losing weight is hard. It is hard to choose healthy food or to say no to free junk food, especially when you’re stressed like I’ve been. This past week I’ve been freaking out about my Capstone project. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before. I’m essentially starting a kitten foster program at my school. The kittens are coming tomorrow, so I’ve had to put a lot of work into getting everything ready. We actually still aren’t 100% ready because we need to get the right kitten food! *siiiigh* But it’s okay. I have that trip planned for today and then we will be ready. Everything is okay now. But last week…

Until last Thursday, I was not the president of the group. I was just the Biomed department head, but I was doing the job of the president. That stressed me out because I did not have the authority to tell the group to do their work and the president wasn’t telling them to do their work so nothing was getting done – except for what I was doing. I finally went and talked to the president, and she immediately let me become president, as long as she could be vice-president. It went a lot smoother than expected, actually.

But the days leading up to that conversation were stressful, and Blizzards were  buy one get one free at Diary Queen so I got a Blizzard on Wednesday. And two on Friday. And two more over the weekend… All the blizzards were delicious, but also the reason why I did not lose any weight this week.

I also have this problem with asking my mom “Should I have this?” and she’ll go “If you want it,” meaning it’s my choice, and I’ll go “Oh no, my mom said I have to eat it…” and then I’ll eat the thing. I reason to myself that it’s okay because my mom said it’s okay, but my mom is just giving me the freedom to make my own choices. I could always choose to not eat the thing, or to eat a healthier thing. I just… don’t.

My plan to combat this is to start telling myself “I don’t want it. I don’t need it. I won’t have it.” I’ve done this before, and I believe it did help. But I also had a boyfriend at the time, and we’ve already talked about how that affected my weight loss… Anyway, I’m going to start that mantra again. And I’ll ask myself “Am I hungry? No, so I’ll wait to eat.” If I’ve already eaten, I’ve give my stomach time to tell my brain it’s full before just going back for seconds. I’m also going to stop eating after 7:00. Thanks to both of my grandmothers, I always have dinner before 7pm, so there is no reason to be eating after that. I’m also going to stop snacking just to have something to do with my hands while I watch Netflix or YouTube. Instead, I’m going to start knitting more. I have a few projects going right now, so that shouldn’t be too hard.

Hopefully, with all of these adjustments, I will get back on track and start losing weight again.

Weight Loss Journey Week 12: Just Keep Swimming

Weight: 162.8 lbs

Total Loss: 4 lbs

Today my focus has been on not giving up when I eat bad.

On Tuesday, March 21, I had home sick with a cold and really wanted cookie dough. Lucky for me, we had a pint cookie dough ice cream in the deep freezer. I planned on eating one serving, which was 250 calories, and having a salad for dinner. I opened up the carton and saw… vanilla ice cream. No cookie dough in sight. I thought, maybe there just isn’t anything right on top. I’ll just scoop out my serving and everything should be fine. The ice cream was rock hard, so warmed it up a little bit. The sides had melted enough so that the entire pint lifted up out of the carton. And you know what I saw? Plain vanilla ice cream! No cookie dough! Then I thought I would just eat a serving out of the carton, surely there must be pieces of something in the middle. I ended up eating the entire thing, all 1000 calories, in search of the cookie dough. I found just four or five measly pieces. But it was worth it.

After that, I ate whatever I wanted, and ended up eating about 3,000 calories worth of food throughout the entire day.

The rest of the week wasn’t as bad as that, but it still wasn’t the best. I kept just wanting to give in and eat everything. But I didn’t.

Even though I did have more high calories days than I wanted, I didn’t eat absolutely everything I wanted to. I got more on track as the week went on, and I ended up still losing a pound.

The moral of this story? Don’t give up. When you cheat, instead of beating yourself up and/or quitting, just say ‘ok, that wasn’t the best decision, but I know I can make better choices if I keep trying.” We all stumble on our way to our goals. We just have to remember that we can always pick ourselves up and keep going.

Hair Update

It has been two months since I first decided that I wouldn’t shampoo my hair anymore. But I didn’t go cold turkey. Instead, I just starting shampooing my hair every four days, or about twice a week. I’ve got to say, I’ve noticed a huge change in my hair. It is a lot easier to handle and looks a lot nicer with less work.

Though I have also noticed that I have a little dandruff in one area of my head, but that started well before January. Right now it’s not a problem, but if it starts to be then I’ll try some home remedies to deal with it.

Once I’m in college I’ll start using goats milk soap for all my washing, which some quick research shows me is even better than not using shampoo at all. I want to do this because I want to start using more natural products in my day to day life.

Right now I can’t help that my parents buy shampoos full of chemicals and highly processed foods. When I’m the one buying my own groceries, I’m going to really try to get organic and all natural foods and products. That will be hard to do on a college student budget, but it is eventually my goal to be able to afford that kind of lifestyle. I won’t go total hipster, though. Goats milk soap and organic food, yes, going completely off the grid and hating everything mainstream, no. Okay, that was an extreme example, but you get the point. I want to strive for more healthy living.

Concordia Crossing 2017

This past weekend, February 24th and 25th, I got to spend the night at Concordia University, the college I will be attending this fall, at their Concordia Crossing 2017 event. It was an amazing experience.

It all started early Friday morning. I woke up and got dressed in a red tank and red plaid sweater, packed up my bedding (I did not know we didn’t have a sleeping bag until that morning, so I have to stuff the Crash Pad in my closet into a trash bag with my blanket and pillow), put all my bags in the car and was ready to leave by 6:30 am. My dad drove since I didn’t know the way. He thought it would be best if we took 183 all the way to Concordia. When it got to be 7:40 am and we still weren’t even in Austin, we started to think we would be late. I emailed my admissions counselors, called one of them, and tweeted at the CTX twitter in an attempt to tell them that I would be late. I was supposed to be there by 8:30 am, and by that point it was clear that I wasn’t getting anywhere close to campus before 9 am.

The good news is that sitting in the car allowed me to enter a text-to-win contest on the radio to get some Jim Gaffigan tickets. I also realized that it is possible for me to be late and not completely freak out. Normally I am kinda weird about schedules. If I say I’m going to be there at a certain time, I will be there ten minutes before that time or something is going to get hurt. But, while I was sitting in that car, realizing I would be almost an hour late, I was pretty calm. It probably had to do with the fact that I was praying to be calm and the fact that I’ll be living at Concordia for the next four years so it didn’t really matter if I missed a little of this event.

At 9:15 we finally arrived. We went to the residence halls where check-in was supposed to be to find my old admissions counselor (I wasn’t in her district after I moved) and another person in a neon blue Staff t-shirt packing up. It was so late that they were moving check-in to the Welcome Center. I got back in the car with my dad and after a few minutes we followed the staff’s red car to the center. My dad dropped me off there. Inside, another lady took my bags inside to put them in the admissions offices until evening. They told me to hang out for a bit, all the other visiting students were in class. I was not sad to miss out on that, since, as I mentioned earlier, I’ll be attending Concordia for the next four years. I’ll have plenty of time to be in class. A few of the Staff said hi to me, and one sat down and started a conversation. She was very friendly. Class was over at about 10 am, and then chapel started.

I sat in the front row in the far right set of  seats. I started out in the set to the left, but then I was directly in front of the pulpit and I found that a little uncomfortable. Another Staff sat next to be during chapel and talked to be a little before hand. She was very nice. The sermon that day was the last in a series about how God has given each of us different gifts, different talents. He spoke about a writer who went blind and was in despair because he could no longer use the gift that God had given him. But it was actually totally okay. I don’t remember exactly why, it was something about God doesn’t need our gifts and talents, He loves us no matter what we do. Or something like that.

After that we all went out in front of the chapel, where they had set up a table of snacks. They gave everyone a brown bag to fill with as many snacks as we wanted, in case we got hungry throughout the day. We would have about half an hour to hang out. A staff member introduced me to a girl named Beulah, who introduced me to Grace and Jessica. They were all Hispanic girls who were also most likely going to attend Concordia. We talked until it was time for the tours.

Staff took us on tours of campus. I stayed at the very front of the tour group, as I always do. It was a nice tour, I always love seeing the CTX campus. It is beautiful.

After that was lunch, which was in the dining hall. Beulah, Grace, Jessica and I all ate together. I had a big salad, macaroni and cheese, grilled chicken, and fries. I had milk to drink. The four of us exchanged Instagram usernames and talked about our interests. We got along really well. Once we were done we got ice cream cones and went to the bookstore, since we had a lot of time to spare. I got a t-shirt I had seen on the online bookstore that was on sale, and Beulah got a drawstring bag to carry her things.

Finally it was time for the sessions. First was Student Life. Grace, Beulah and I went to that. Jessica went to the athletics one. The student life played some name games and talked about all the activities on campus. They do a lot of fun things, from Mister Twister to an annual party boat to rock climbing to normal clubs. The people who run the mission trips also talked. Concordia does a lot in out of country missions. They also gave away free stuff for asking questions. I got a keychain and a sticker. They had two cool t-shirts, but I didn’t know they were just up for grabs as we were leaving, so I didn’t get them. Two dudes did.

The next session was Student Success. I sat in the front row. They had candy, one big soft peppermint and two mini York patties. This session made me less scared about college, because they talked about all that they do to help students. They do a lot to support the students in finding jobs and internships, in passing their classes, and in helping their mental health. I also learned that boys are annoying. There were a few boys in this session who just kept talking and making stupid jokes.

After that was more hangout time. My squad sat on the couches by some boys, the same boys who had been loud during the second session. They were still being annoying.

After that we went on a charter bus to downtown Austin. Beulah, Grace, Jessica and I power walked to the bus so we could get front seats so that we could be the first to pick seats on the double decker bus in Austin. But first, we had to get to down town. The Staff told the driver, an older African American woman, to take a short cut. The short cut was through the rich part of town that is extremely hilly. We actually rolled back several feet on one really steep hill. It was scary.

Eventually we arrived at our destination, with plans to NOT take the short cut back to campus. My squad got seats on the top of the double decker bus. The tour of downtown austin was really cool. I learned a lot, and I had fun pointing out spots from the Servant Girl Annihilator audio tour. One spot, where one victim was found dead,  the tour guide asked me to repeat so she could tell the entire bus. That was pretty cool.

On the charter bus back to campus we had Jimmy Dean turkey wraps for dinner. I spent most of the ride listening to a cute guy talk to the photographer and a guy that I think is slightly Autistic about cyber safety. Apparently this guy knows how to do some serious, illegal stuff with computers. He has a website to teach others about cyber safety. I wanted to ask for the site, but I was to shy.

We got back to campus around 7pm, in time for Trivia night. My squad joined up with six other girls to form The Aguas. We had a lot of fun eating frozen chocolate covered bananas and answering questions. We did not win the competition, however. We were pretty sure that we got 3rd place, but there was no prize for that. First and second places got Starbucks gift cards.

After that was 909, which is student lead worship. The music and message were amazing. I danced and I cried. Though I may have been emotional because I was so tired.

After worship we (another high school student and our college student host) went to the dorms. I slept on the floor. I got a good solid five hours of sleep, then I tossed and turned for a few hours. I was the first one to wake up in the morning, and I left as everyone else was just waking. I had to leave my things in a Staff’s office because there was some confusion. My host said I could leave my things in her room, but the check out staff told me I couldn’t, then the check-in staff said I could have. So I left my stuff in an office.

I got breakfast from the table they had set up outside of the chapel. I had two cinnamon rolls, some strawberries, some orange juice, and some hot chocolate. At 10am we had chapel, then the morning sessions began.

I went to Painting with a Twister, and I sat next to an African American high school student who will be majoring in Psychology. She and I will probably have a lot of classes together.

After the painting session we went to the tailgate. I had a free hotdog, free chips, free cookies, free cupcake, and free water. I played games with my new friends. I watched part of a baseball game, CTX against Concordia Chicago. I got my face painted. It was a lot of fun.

The last event for me was the preserve tour. I got to see a few of the trails on the CTX preserve with an amazing tour guide that works on/with the preserve, a few staff girls, and a few people that are family of current or incoming students. That was really cool and absolutely beautiful.

Finally, I had to go get my things from the office they were left in. I was so proud of myself, I found the office and made my way back to the welcome center at the chapel all by myself! There I waited for my dad to pick me up, and then we headed to my grandmother’s house.

I loved every minute of my visit to CTX, and I cannot wait to go there this fall! This visit has resolved any fears I had about going to college. Sure, I’m still nervous, and I know it won’t all be free food and rainbows, but I also know that CTX is home. I felt at home there.

Weight Loss Journey Week 11: Gotta Gain It To Lose It

Weight: 163.6

Gained 2.8 pounds over spring break

Even though I had a week with no school, I still had no time to really plan out this post, as per usual, so I’m just going to do whatever comes to mind about how this last week went.

The first three days of spring break were great. I was exercising and eating well. I was still losing weight. Then Pi Day, March 14, came around. I had pizza and made three cookie pies. The next five days were high calories days, which is a nice way of saying I ate a lot. I ate my cookie pies and ice cream. I had candy during family movies. I did have grilled chicken when we went out to eat, but I also had a butt load of mozzarella sticks and rolls.

So now I am way off where I should be at this point, and I’m trying not to beat myself up too much about it. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we need to treat ourselves from time to time. We shouldn’t feel bad about having fun with our family over good foods. We shouldn’t cheat every day, and not with every meal, but sometimes and perfectly okay.

Spring break is over, I’m back at school. This should make it easier to eat well, since don’t eat at home. Breakfast and lunch are supplied by school, and dinner comes from my grandmother. I always have a few choices with each meal, but all the choices are healthy and portioned out for me.

This makes me wonder about what will happen in college, when it is up to me to decide what I want. I will really have to start disciplining myself when I am not at school to practice making good choices. Most weekends I am able to make good choices, but it can be hard when my mom bakes, or it’s someone’s birthday, or when we go see a movie, or when my siblings are stressing me out. At college there is going to be a lot of free junk food, unlimited junk food in the cafeteria, and a  lot of new stress. I will need to really make an effort to eat salad even when I want to cry over fried chicken and ice cream. I will have to learn to ration the free sweets.

I have no doubt that I can do this, it’s just a matter of wanting to.

And I mean, you have to gain it to lose it, so why not get that ice cream…

Weight Loss Journey Week 10: It’s The Little Things

Weight: 160.8 lbs

Total Net Loss: 7.2 lbs

Today I have a list of little things you can do in your day to day life to help you lose weight. I do all of these things myself as well.

  • Brush your teeth after every meal
    • This will deter you from snacking between meals, thus reducing the overall amount of calories you consume
    • It will also make your dentist happy
  • Plan your meals
    • If you plan out what you are going to eat that day or week, you will be less likely to just grab whatever is cheapest and easiest
    • Stock up on easy but healthy meals, such as Lean Cuisine meals, boxes of quinoa rice, or organic soups
    • Make one big meal over the weekend, enough for that day and a few meals during the week
  • Use smaller plates
    • By using smaller plates and bowls, you will reduce the amount of food you eat at one time
    • You will also feel like you are eating more because you can tell yourself ‘Look at how full my plate is! This is so much food!’ Mind over matter
  • Do TV Workouts
    • Get in some exercise while you watch TV
    • If you watch cable, Hulu, or anything with commercials you can do any activity of your choice during the commercials
    • You can also look up workouts specific to the show you’re watching, the ones that say ‘Every time they say this, do this’ For example, a part of the House workout says to do five butt kicks every time the word ‘drugs’ is said, and five jumping jacks every time they say ‘surgery’
  • Do household chores
    • Believe it or not, just doing chores can burn a lot of calories, as long as you don’t sit down
    • You can look up exactly how many calories each chore burns
    • Losing weight is just the motivation you needed to tackle all that laundry and vacuuming
  • Make an effort to walk more
    • If you need to go somewhere that is within walking distance of your house, just walk or bike there
    • Walk up and down every aisle at the grocery store to get those steps in