Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | A Fleeting Moment of Confidence

There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | Fleeting

I have a very love/hate relationship with diet and exercise. As some of you may already know, from the middle of October to the end of December, I decided to make some changes, and started eating a mostly vegan diet (I still ate eggs). I didn’t do it for any moral reason, and I don’t care if you eat meat, or don’t eat meat, I did it for me, to be a healthier individual. I struggled a bit at first with giving up dairy, as a large part of my diet tended to include cheese, or milk products, but I found that giving up meat was pretty simple, as I never really ate much of it, and didn’t really crave it in any way.

Not only did I make this change to my diet, but I also decided to actually DIET during this time. I downloaded a free app called Lose It!, which I had used previously to lose weight, and began tracking my daily calorie intake, as well as my weight loss. If you are counting calories, and want a free, simple app to help you out, I highly recommend it. Between this complete overhaul in my diet, and counting calories, I found myself struggling to stay on track early on, as well as struggling with cravings. I had many, many slip-ups and cheat days for the first month, and kicked myself over it, feeling guilty and disgusted with myself. I tried to keep junk food and dairy out of my fridge, but that becomes incredibly difficult when you live with a dairy crazed carnivore who wouldn’t touch a vegetable if would save his life. Every other day he was bringing home cookies, or ordering pizza, or bags of chips, and it was unbearable. I even asked him to stop, but he never did.

I was losing weight, slowly, but not at the rate that I wanted, so I started exercising. I was already going on somewhat regular walks with my son, around 2.5 miles each time we went out, but with the weather getting colder, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be forced to stay indoor. At the recommendation of a few friends, as well as my mom, I started looking up beginner Zumba videos on YouTube, and was instantly hooked. I was able to burn several hundred calories in 1/4 the time as walking, and it was fun. The weight started to melt off after that.

I lost 10 pounds. Then 15 pounds. Then 25 pounds. I had already reached my pre-baby weight, as well as my lowest weight since college, and I felt great. My skin had cleared up from the lack of daily in my diet, and I was able to buy clothes, several sizes smaller, for the first time since getting pregnant. I even began considering buying a bathing suit, and shorts, for the first time since college. I am not joking, I haven’t owned a bathing suit in 7 years, or work shorts in probably 5 or 6. I felt good, and I looked good.

For a fleeting moment, I was the happiest I had been in years.

Then, the holidays came. I tried to have some self-control, but no one in Kyle’s family seemed to understand my struggle with my body, or my diet. Despite being very open about my dietary restrictions, and politely turning down their cooking (they are the type of folks who cook everything with ten pounds of butter), they would just repeatedly tell me to “Just have a cheat day!”, or “You look fine, just eat!”, and it drove me nuts. Even when I did eat, his grandmother would keep pestering me to eat MORE, or actually BRING ME PLATES OF FOOD when I politely declined. She would get offended when I said no. I hated being forced to eat, but I allowed it to happen, just to please her.

That was the start of the end.

There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely. Over the course of barely two months, I gained back 9 pounds of the 27 total pounds that I had lost. I noticed the definition in my legs and waist going back to being flabby, and the new, smaller clothing that I had bought stop fitting me in a flattering way. And once again, I hated myself.

I tried to get back into my diet several times, but no longer had room on my phone for my calorie tracker app, and used that as an excuse to ballpark it, which ended in failure. I would get stuck eating my son’s leftovers from his meals, and using that as an excuse to eat other meat or dairy items, as I had already lost it for the day. I made a lot of excuses, and it showed. It showed all over my body.

The weather has started to warm up, and I have been able to get outside to walk more with my son, and he is finally old enough to play with me at the park. This has given me hope, and determination, to try to get back on track. My birthday is in a month and a half, and I have decided that I want to lose 10 pounds by then. I ate a vegan diet today, and managed to get a good walk in with my kiddo, as well as a brief Zumba workout (I am astonishingly out of shape from my time away from it). I felt great… until Kyle got home, made two amazing smelling pork burritos, and only ate one of them. He was going to throw away the other… and I ate it. Granted, I didn’t go bonkers on the calories today, but I ate a burrito that was basically nothing but meat and cheese, and I hate myself for it.

As I’ve written about in the past, self-control is my biggest downfall when it comes to anything. It has ruined everything in my life at some point. I love eating healthy, and I love exercising. I love fruits and vegetables and salad and cooking… but between the weather, my empty bank account, my un-supportive, carnivorous husband, and my horrible lack of self-control, maintaining any sort of healthy lifestyle is a massive struggle.

I’m hoping my self-hatred can outweigh my lack of self-control… otherwise, I fear I will never be happy with my appearance. And I can’t live like that anymore. I miss my fleeting moment of confidence.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/11/2016 | Under My Skin

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/11/2016 | Quirk of Habit

“Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.”

Strangely enough, peoples’ various quirks don’t bother me all that much. There are a few things that I would prefer that people refrain from doing around me, but nothing too crazy. I’ve seen people get physically angry at someone smacking their gum, or clicking a pen, or constantly clearing phlegm from their throats (okay, that one is pretty gross though…), but I’m just not one of those people. I’m not perfect, and I know I probably do things that might annoy other peoples, and I’m okay with that.

I do enjoy when people are kind, and do nice things for others, without being given orders to do so. I greatly admire people in the medical community, specifically doctors and nurses, who give up sleep, sanity, and often times family, to help others. I admire volunteers, whether it be once a month at a food kitchen, or every day at an animal shelter. People who sacrifice a little bit from their lives to improve the lives of others. Those people are just wonderful.

So, habits don’t bother me, but I guess you could say certain personalities do. Even certain, tiny aspects of peoples’ personalities. Is that a habit? I actually don’t know. Let me just give you a few examples of things that do get to me, and be warned, this is going to get a bit ranty, and may likely offend someone.

1) When teenage girls refer to a grown man, who is a complete stranger, as “daddy” on the internet, and says things like “fuck me“. I specifically see this on Facebook/Twitter/YouTube, directed at YouTubers, or musicians, etc., and it is SO creepy. Now, I’m no prude, and I’m definitely not going to judge grown men and women who call their partners “mommy” or “daddy“, or any variation of the two, in the bedroom, because that is none of my business. But when a 12-year old girl comments on a 29-year old YouTuber’s Instagram selfie with “OMG daddy fuck me“, I get concerned. Where the hell are the parents? Who is teaching them this? Ugh. That really gets to me. It is just so unhealthy.

Related irks: People who obsessively “ship” two real people, young teenagers writing VERY smutty fanfiction, stalkers.

2) People who blatantly fish for compliments. I’ll be the first to admit that I have low self-esteem, and I know there are many out there who feel the same way about themselves. Recently, on Facebook, a friend of a friend shared an image of a piece of paper that simple said “Share this if your ugly!“. Grammatical error aside, things like this piss me off, because this is 110% for attention. The ONLY reason to post something like this is to get responses like, “Aww, no, you’re beautiful!” but this is the wrong way to do it, and it just irks people, and makes you look insane. The kicker in this situation was that the girl was GORGEOUS, and upon further snooping, I discovered that she is actually a MODEL. Are you joking? No. Just stop.

3) People who constantly butt into other peoples’ issues and problems. As many of you know, we recently had to deal with some stupid, family drama surrounding the Dodge Journey that we received from Kyle’s aunt. Well, as of last night, we got a new car (that gorgeous Lincoln LS), and Kyle’s mom took the Journey off our hands to use as a second vehicle. But just a few days prior, our drama reached a boiling point, when Kyle’s grandmother poked her nose into a matter that did not concern her, and tried to play middle woman, but ended up twisting everything that Kyle said, passing along false information (lies), and ultimately made the whole situation 10000% worse. In the end, Kyle ended up blocking his grandmother, and both of his aunts, and we most likely won’t be attending Christmas this year. Ugh. If a problem has nothing to do with you, then leave it alone. If it is not directly affecting your life, then butt out, and let the other parties sort it out.

And now… the big one. I’ll apologize ahead of time. Sorry.

4) I’m not religious, but I am also not disrespectful towards people tho choose to believe in what they believe in, as long as they are not forcing those beliefs on others in order to control them and their lives. We’re all living on this planet together, and life is too short to hate on someone for believing in something different. With that being said, one of the things that bothers me more than ANYTHING else, is people who use the Bible to justify their hatred of something, i.e. homosexuality, but cherry-pick through the rest of the sins, simply because they want to do them. You all know what I’m talking about. Saying that you hate homosexuality because it is an abomination, because the Bible says so, but being guilty of ANY of the following, makes you a hypocrite:

Divorce/Adultery.
Love of money.
Any of the following dietary abominations: eating shellfish, eating many kinds of birds, eating anything that has many legs, or stands on four legs, and eating and touching PORK!
A woman wearing PANTS.
LYING, guys. That’s a big one!
Arrogance.
Blatantly ignoring the law.
Wearing mixed fabrics.

Getting a HAIRCUT, or shaving your beard.

So, if you’ve done any of those things, which I know you have, guess what? Those are all considered just as sinful as homosexuality. Those are abominations, according to the book that you quote from, to prevent two people who love each other from getting married, or living happily. You can’t pick and choose what things to be an asshole about, just because you like to eat shrimp, and think that two men kissing is icky, or unnatural. Guess what? There are over 1,500 species of animals that display homosexual behavior, and many of these species are older than the human race. You can’t get any more natural than nature, folks. So, I’m sorry, but that just isn’t how it works.

Now, if I remember anything from my time in the Brownies, I seem to recall that the original book was written with no punctuation, and was completely open to interpretation, and has changed so many times throughout the years, to fit the specific beliefs of whomever was interpreting it. If this is correct, then couldn’t it be possible that many of these things, as well as homosexuality, were not originally meant to be labelled as abominations, but the words were misinterpreted as such? Just something to consider.

As I said before, I personally don’t believe in any of this. I lead a life free of religion. I do believe that, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, or infringing on someone’s legal and human rights, then everyone deserves to be happy. But you need to understand that there are so many religions that are practiced on this earth, and not everyone believes in yours, and they all have different rules, which are open to interpretation, and we are all live vastly different lives, and just accept that. Stop thinking that just because someone chooses to believe differently, or acknowledge different things, that you and your beliefs are being threatened. Relax, folks. I do apologize if this offended anyone, but if it did, then maybe you have some things you need to think about?

Anyway, I’m done. Those are some of the big ones for me. I’m not trying to start a debate in the comments, or attack anyone’s beliefs, I’m just trying to tell you things how I see and interpret them.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan