Daily Prompt 3/16/2016 | Envy

Take some time to appreciate your cards, because while you may not have a Royal Flush, your Full House is still better than that other guy’s hand, which spontaneously combusted, burning both the cards, and his hands, and then he was rushing to the hospital, but he didn’t have insurance because he lives in a crappy country with an even crappier healthcare system, and he were slapped with an outrageous medical bill that he will never be able to pay because he never got to finish school, because he couldn’t afford the high tuition at the community college he attended, and has since been stuck working horrible jobs that pay poverty wages, making it impossible for him to go back to school to finish his education, even though he really, really wants to so that he can have a better life, but now he is horribly in debt, and now people will call him lazy for the rest of his life without knowing a damn thing about his struggles to try and build a better life for himself.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/16/2016 | Envy

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to myself is my somewhat lack of appreciation for the things that I have. Yes, I am aware that this is a huge, obnoxious flaw on my otherwise sterling list of personality traits, but I also feel like we are all guilty of this to some degree, even if we try to say that we aren’t. We live in a society that tells us that our worth is based off of what we look like, and how much stuff we have, and this makes us want more and more, even when we already have all that we need. Everyone does it. Try as I may, I can not seem to change this ugly thing about myself, though I have gotten much better about accepting my life and certain situations in recent years.

I think my envious nature peaked in high school, and plateaued pretty terribly over the next few years. I was jealous of every single person that I met, sometimes over the most ridiculous things. So much so, that I became bitter toward people, even complete strangers, for having things that I did not. And, of course, when you focus all your energy on all of the things that you don’t have, you don’t leave yourself enough energy to love the things you do have, especially when it comes to personal things, such as appearance.

I still have days where I want to curl up into a tiny ball of hatred thanks to my envy of the most trivial, unimportant things, but I’ve got a pretty decent handle on it these days. Growing up, and starting a family, has opened my eyes, and has helped me appreciate many of the things that I do have in my life, both big and small.

I’ve struggled with my weight throughout most of my teenage and adult life, and sometimes, when I see a thin girl wearing something cute that I don’t think I could pull off, I get upset. But then I remind myself that I am aware of my body, and I am working on it, and some day, I could wear that same outfit with confidence. She may have insecurities as well. No one is perfect. Yes, I have a weight problem, but I am otherwise healthy. I have perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol, no major back problems, and no underlying medical conditions that attribute to my weight issue that would make it impossible to lose weight. I am healthy, and if I really hate my appearance that much, I do have the power to change it. The only thing stopping me, is me.

I also get jealous over gorgeous hair, flawless skin, full lips, etc… but hey, that is just genetics. And those who don’t have it, either embrace what they were born with, or fake it. And I don’t particularly want to be fake.

The one thing that I have been obnoxiously proud of in my life is my son. My handsome, energetic, brilliant son. My son, who has been sleeping through the night, every night, since he was 4 months old. My son, who is tall and skinny and perfect. My son, who amazes me every day with how advanced he is with his development. My son, who embraces strangers’ children at the park because he loves people and playing. I am so freaking proud of the little human that I created, and I pat myself on the back for being a huge factor in who he is today. I rock.

Moving on…

Money. Everyone wants more money. People who say money doesn’t matter, or money can’t buy happiness, are lying. Have you ever been behind on paying your bills, and have run the risk of having your power and heat shut off in the middle of winter? Have you ever looked in your cabinet, and saw that your baby was almost out of formula, and it would be a solid week before you could afford more? These things cause massive amounts of stress and anxiety on people. I’ve struggled with these things. Luckily, our financial situation has stabilized, and we are so much better off than we were just a year ago. My husband works his butt off so that I can stay home to raise our beautiful son, and we are still able to have full bellies and paid bills, even with only one of of working. We have a crummy apartment, but we aren’t homeless. We don’t have a Mercedes, but we have a reliable car that gets us around safely. We don’t have new, high end furniture, but we have comfy beds where we dream of a better future, a used couch that my son loves to climb on, and everything in our apartment serves it’s purpose.

Being jealous of what other people have is normal, in my opinion. I find myself still feeling it from time to time, most often with my sister-in-law, who is two months younger than me, but she has a house, two cars, and is constantly decorating and redecorating her home in beautiful ways. But I also know that she is in debt. A lot of debt. I have no debt. None at all. I also have a phenomenal credit score, and I don’t even have any credit cards. When she got pregnant at a young age, she lived at home with her mother for a long time with her boyfriend, and did not have to work to pay bills. They were able to just save and save and save. Her now husband has a great job, and was able to support her for several years, and was able to buy her a car, and pay for her to go to school, so that she could get a decent job, and they were able to save up until they could buy a house.

She is still in debt, and complains about it often, yet is constantly buying new furniture, and gets her nails and hair done bi-weekly. Having the prettiest house on Pinterest, and the most sparkly nails at work, are not goals that I want to obtain. I want my son to have a college fund. I don’t feel like the understands the value of money, and how crippling debt can be, because of being handed things, and I guess that is where we vary. Our situations are wildly different, because we had different advantages and disadvantages, which obviously would lead to different outcomes.

I got off on a bit of a tangent, and I’m not quite sure where I was going, so I guess I’ll leave it there. Sorry about that. I guess what I was trying to say was that everyone has a different story, and that green may be my favorite color, but it is not flattering to wear green on your heart. Everyone has been dealt a different set of cards, and that will have a huge impact on the game and how we play it.

Take some time to appreciate your cards, because while you may not have a Royal Flush, your Full House is still better than that other guy’s hand, which spontaneously combusted, burning both the cards, and his hands, and then he was rushing to the hospital, but he didn’t have insurance because he lives in a crappy country with an even crappier healthcare system, and he were slapped with an outrageous medical bill that he will never be able to pay because he never got to finish school, because he couldn’t afford the high tuition at the community college he attended, and doesn’t have anyone who can help him out financially, so he has since been stuck working menial, dead end jobs that pay poverty wages, making it impossible for him to go back to school to finish his education, even though he really, really wants to so that he can have a better life, but now he is horribly in debt, and now people will call him lazy for the rest of his life without knowing a damn thing about his struggles to try and build a better life for himself.

Yeah. You’re probably at least slightly better off than that guy. So appreciate your shit.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

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 3/1/2016 | Not A Secret Anymore

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/1/2016 | Secret

“Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.”

Have these prompts have been super uninteresting and/or repetitive lately, or is it just me? I skipped several days in a row because they just weren’t good prompts. Judging by the number of responses I’ve seen for them as well, I’m not alone in feeling like this. Well, here goes. Again.

As I stated in the last Daily Prompt about secrets, which was just a few weeks ago, I don’t really have any. Actually, you should probably just go and read about that secret, which I guess is no longer a secret, because that’s about all I have. Sorry! I don’t really have any secrets, and since I no longer have friends, I am no longer a secret keeper. It is unfortunate, as I enjoy being the keeper of many secrets.

So… go ahead and read that post, because that’s the one secret-but-not-a-secret that I have.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan