Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 3 Over

So I gained back that .2 lbs I lost last week. I figured it would actually be more. I've been dealing with some kidney stone pain since about Thursday, at which time I felt so sick that I didn't both tracking my food. I did however start tracking it again today. Hopefully a loss is on it's way.

So I finally watched the Swedish version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" yesterday. Definitely another great version of the movie - both movies that I have seen did a pretty good job of following the book and I have to admit that it was nice to be able to hear how some of the Swedish pronunciations came out - makes my reading more realistic if I can read it how it is actually pronounced. I'm currently working on reading the second book, at which point, I will probably watch the Swedish version of that movie as well. Not quite sure how long it will be before the 2nd American version comes out, but I don't think I can wait that long.

I found a new app on my Samsung Epic that I think is going to help me keep track of the number of books that I read this year. It's called Book Catalogue and I can actually just scan in the barcode of the book and sort it into a bookshelf that I aptly named 2012 so that I can see how many books I've read this year. Definitely pretty cool.

Peace and Love

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 2 Over

So after having a pretty bad week this past week with my eating habits on WW, I didn't think I was going to lose anything. Turns out, I lost .2 lbs. Not a lot at all, but definitely better than gaining, which I thought might happen. So no matter, how small the loss, I'm happy to say that I had one. I'm definitely learning to eat healthier, and have become more aware of what I eat. I still eat things every once in a while that may have way more points than I can afford, but sometimes its worth it. I had my first burger from a fast food joint since I started WW last night, and it wasn't even something that was all that good. Kinda feels good to say that.

I did also recently finish the book "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. I must say, it was a brilliant book. It was one of those books that I hated to put down to go to sleep every night and was one that I could read for hours on end. It provided beautiful writing and hours of enjoyment. I thought that after I saw the movie, at which point, I was almost to the middle of the book, that it wouldn't be a good read anymore. Boy was I wrong. The book was just as brilliant since there were differences between the book and the movie that made each interesting in its own way. This book is worth reading in every way possible - as Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" once imagined, I give this book an A++++++++

Peace and Love

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thoughts Floating...

Sometimes I feel as though the world surrounding me has overwhelmed my being. Thoughts continuously floating in and out of my mind, with no rhyme or reason attached to any of them. Things that makes sense and things that don't. Pain and happiness in a tug of war. Learning that it's possible to live with both. Sometimes, my emotions come out in ways I never thought possible, around people I never imagined would take notice. Feeling like my arms are stretched open wide, ready to embrace life; yet never having the faith in myself to reach for some of my dreams. Reality seems like an alternative. Wanting and ever more needing to accomplish something that makes me happy. Being told that I can't or won't because it just doesn't happen to people like me. Knowing that it would take more time and devotion than I have to give; yet, feeling the pull of gravity in the direction of my heart. Feeling freedom...finding me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week one over

So after finishing my first week on Weight Watchers yesterday, I weighed myself. I actually managed to lose 2.4 lbs! I was incredibly happy, even though that probably doesn't seem like a whole lot. I had come to the conclusion the night before "weighing in" that if I didn't lose anything the first week, that would be okay because I had learned a lot about making healthier decisions and was becoming more aware of what I was eating and putting into my body. So to see the weigh loss was even more awesome at that point. Now is the start of week two and we'll have to see how it goes, but each week that I can either learn something more about the program or lose weight, I'm going to be happy.

I didn't do a whole lot of exercising last week. I have been taking a walk around the building at work to get my exercise during my lunch hour. But after it snowed and got closer, I didn't really want to go walk around in that. So, I didn't. Thus, I haven't been getting any sort of conventional exercise for the last week. I did take down the ornaments on the Christmas tree and scrape off the car several times, but I'm not sure how much exercise that really accounts for. I am hoping that once tax time comes, which should be shortly, to get a Kinect for Xbox, which I think will definitely get me moving.

I had a four day weekend this past week and today is my last day off before I go back to work for the week. But on Friday, my boyfriend and I went to see "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I have not yet finished the book, so I was a little apprehensive about seeing the movie before that was done. But I'm glad I did. It was phenomenal. Plus, there are slight differences between the movie and the book, which there usually are for cinematic value, which has made reading the remainder of the book great. I didn't know what to expect when I saw the movie, but I do know that there is an incredible amount of sex in it - and we are talking about probably the most nudity that has been shown in theaters for a rated R movie, which just shows how far our society has come in what is acceptable to see in public. This movie was engaging and easy to follow for the most part, with a beautiful score. Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander is captivating and has an incredible magnetism about her, while Daniel Craig makes for a wonderful Mikael Blomkvist. The sequence that plays out during the opening credits is amazing dark and artistic and the storyline, while eliminating some details from the book, is gorgeously written. I have not seen the Swedish version of the movie, which I may wait to watch until after I finish the book, but this one was definitely worth seeing.

Speaking of finishing the book, I'm hoping that I can finish it today possibly or at least by the end of the week. It is so hard to put it down once I have started reading. I can't wait to read the next book.

Peace and Love

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 1

I've signed up for Weight Watchers. As you can tell by the title of this post, today is day 1. Nothing else has really worked for me, so I figured that I would give this a try and the fact that I spent money to try this out for three months (I got the sign up fee waived because I committed to 3 months) is something that I think will motivate me even more. I'm really excited about the program that Weight Watchers offers, which is called PointsPlus. It gives you a certain amount of points that you are able to "spend" each day on food, which each has a point value. The points that you get to spend are dependent on your starting weight and your goal weight. Plus, it gives you 49 points that you are able to use weekly...for instance if you use all your points in a day, but want to eat a piece of chocolate, you can use part of those 49 points for that. Or, if you are going to a party or a wedding, you can use the points for that as well. What I like the best is that there are no limits to what you can and can't eat, which has always seemed to be a problem for me. Exercise is also key, as you earn activity points which you can later turn into food points if you would like. Either way, this program seems incredibly promising. I won't note as to what weight I am starting at (kind of embarrassing at this time), but I will be tracking how I am doing, as I think that might be a key to staying motivated. Another thing that has been keeping me motivated: I've been walking a lap around my work building on my lunch break, so I know that I am getting some sort of exercise in every day, even if it isn't much. I'm going to have eventually start adding more time and intensity to it, but I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to do this on a consistent basis.

As for reading, I am currently reading the first of Steig Larsson's books "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." I also recently received my weekly Time issue and my monthly Good Housekeeping issue, which ironically enough has Weight Watchers spokesperson Jennifer Hudson on it's cover (she looks incredible, by the way). I have to say that I have been trying to get more reading in each day, so I'm hoping to be able to get through both the book and magazines by the end of the week.

Peace and Love

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012!!!

Happy New Year everyone! As this is my first post of the new year, I wanted to reflect on a couple of things. I recently looked over my resolutions for 2011 to see what I could improve upon for this year and to see how I did last year. Here are what my past goals were and how I finished:

* Try to get in better shape = did not happen in any sense of the word. I was working out for a little bit of time, but apparently, exercising past a certain level of intensity makes my migraine pain stronger. While that could be used as an excuse, I was also pretty lazy about it.

*Eat healthier = I wish that I could say that I was doing this as much as I would have liked. I tried really, REALLY watching what I ate at the beginning, but like exercising, it ended pretty quickly.

*Work on my book = I am proud to say that I did manage to do at least a couple of things for the book. I have a potential protagonist's name, the potential format of the book, and a potential first line. I know that it does not sound like a lot, but I'm just glad that I was able to get some ideas rolling around. Notice that I did say everything was "potential" as everything with a book in progress (at least in my case) is subject to change.

*Pay of debt = I am very happy to say that I was able to pay back money that I owed to a University, as well as pay back money that had been loaned to me about 4 years ago from my Uncle. I have also been paying off twice as much as the minimum payment for another one of my loans, as well as paying on a student loan, saving to pay back my Grandfather for a car that he bought me a couple of years ago, and paying off water bills. I can definitely say that my finance skills have improved tremendously.

*Learn something new every day = I can say that I am definitely learning something new every day. Constantly reading a book or a magazine, watching certain shows, even working - I feel like I am constantly learning something new.

*Stop swearing so much = I'd have to say that I do it about as often as anyone else does, although I make more of a conscious effort not to if I don't think it fits the situation.

*Grow in my faith = I do feel like I have grown in my faith this past year, going back to where I started I guess you could say. I started reading my Bible more often and have spent more energy than I had been on my faith.

*Complain less and show more gratitude = I would love to say that I did wonderfully on this, but I'm not 100% sure that I did. I definitely have more gratitude for my life and the things and people that I am lucky to have in my life, but my complaining about things such as migraine pain probably didn't happen less often. I still need to work on remembering that complaining about something (depending on the situation) isn't necessarily going to change it.

*Read 75 books in 2011 = Ha! Yeah right. For the second year in a row, I failed to even get close.

After looking over all of the things that I tried to get through and resolve last year, I have found that I am still a work in progress (hard to believe, I know). There are things that I am probably always going to have to work on and things that I definitely improved upon. This year, I decided to narrow down my list a little bit. Here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2012:

1. Continue to pay down debt - I feel that I did a pretty good job of that in 2011, but seeing it happen and making it such a big goal definitely made me able to appreciate that I am doing it on my own now. I would love to pay off at least another loan or two this year.

2. Read 38 books this year - I figure that it is time that I adjust my goal a little bit more. I could continue to keep it at 75, but I would like to make sure that 38 is feasible before I make goals that are just too far out of reach. Plus, I am going to finish the Bible this year.

3. Be more open-minded about possible migraine treatments - I have always been a little apprehensive about trying some new things to help with my migraines when they have never caused problems before. It has been suggested that I switch my birth control to something with less hormones to see if that is what is causing them, or possibly trying Botox (which I have never been fond of because I don't like the idea of botulism in my head), which has been proven to work on some patients. I have also ready about a migraine surgery, but I don't think that is something that my neurologist would consider at this point, although I have heard great things about how it increases the quality of life for the people who have had it. The biggest thing that my boyfriend and I think is causing or attributing to my migraines is my sleep apnea, which I did not have when I weighed less. So I have decided that when I get my tax return back (if not a little sooner), I may join Weight Watchers
online. I have never paid for any program or anything before, and it hasn't gotten me anywhere because I haven't found the willpower to change. I am thinking about trying it out for 3 months and really put my all into it and see if it is something that I can stick with. But I am going to look more into it before I make my final decision.

4. Don't take frustrations out on others - I do have a habit of taking things out on other people, especially my boyfriend, when I get incredibly frustrated. Most of the time, it has to do with my migraines. I forget that a lot of people don't know what they are like, thus not being able to understand what the pain is like. Plus, migraine pain isn't the same with everyone. I have been working really hard on remembering that other people are not necessarily causing my migraines (although there are situations where that is not true). I know that I have improved in that aspect, but I need to make sure that I live by a quote I once read somewhere: "Just because I'm in pain doesn't mean I have to be one."

5. Make better decisions - Instead of saying that I am going to lose weight this year or exercise more or something like, I decided that it isn't always just about the weight. It's about the decisions that I make about how I live my life in general. It's the decisions about how to spend money, what food to eat, procrastinating, etc. I want to make sure that I am living the life that is the best for me. I realize that there are things in life that I have no control over (as much as I would like), but the things that I can control are my decisions. I have decided that it's time for me to grow up. I don't always have to make the best decisions, because I know that no one is perfect, but I do know that I need to make better ones.

While I know that these resolutions cover a wide spectrum of things, especially the last one, I know that life isn't just about one thing or another. 2011 turned out to be a pretty good year - I was hired the end of March for a wonderful job that has allowed me to pay bills and take care of myself without having to rely on my boyfriend and save money, which I have never really done. I have learned the value of being able to spend time alone and the value of being able to spend time with my boyfriend - plus the job has greatly improved our relationship as we don't see each other as often, thus making us value our time together more. While that is one thing that was an incredible blessing, my migraines did not get tremendously better. I will say that having a regular sleep schedule, always getting about 8 hrs and 15 mins of sleep has definitely helped, but the pain is still hard to work through most days. I'm determined that this is the year that I will not doubt myself. This is the year that I have made the decision to fight back. I'm going to do everything I can to keep pushing through the pain, to keep faith and hope that I will get better.

Here's to a Happy 2012 - may it be full of love, health, and happiness.

Peace and Love