Monday, June 8, 2015

Confessions

In the past week, I've been asked 4 times (that I can specifically count) if I have lost weight. There is no easy way to talk about this and quite frankly, it is an awkward conversion to have with anyone in person, but that is why I blog. The easy answer is yes, but I have more to explain and talk about than a simple "yes".

I grew up wondering what my body genetics would turn out to be considering my mom has always been able to eat anything she wants and not gain weight and my dad could look at food and gain weight. By the end of high school, it seemed like I was taking my moms metabolism weighing less than 115lbs and standing maybe 5'4" tall.

I went to college and somewhere mid-way through, I remember stepping on the scale and seeing 148 pounds. Needless to say, I freaked out. Nine months later, I saw my brother cry for the first time when he caught me in the midst of my coping mechanism, what I can now admit was an [un-diagnosed] eating disorder. Seeing my brother have that reaction to something I was doing was enough to find a means to an end. Apart from my family, I have really only talked to 3 close friends about that period and maybe some day I will elaborate, but eating disorders are never really cured, so it is still a healing process. All I know is that I was not comfortable with my weight, wanted to eat anything I wanted and not gain weight, but decided there had to be a healthier way.

I slowly changed my eating habits and carved out the most unhealthy habits I had like; eating fast food daily, drinking soda, snacking before bed, and binging on sweets. Five years later and 28 pounds lighter, I feel like I am finally at a good place physically. So, yes, I have lost weight and I hope that losing 6 pounds a year is healthily acceptable. The image I see in the mirror may always be distorted, but the scale doesn't lie. I have spent countless hours thinking about food and weight, like most women, and don't want to fall into the trap of "freaking out" again.

Honestly, I'm not sure what a healthy weight means for a 5'5" tall woman, but to me, it means comfort-ability. Until recently, I was not happy or comfortable, so that is my answer.

I have mixed feelings when I am asked if I have lost weight. Part of me is ecstatic that it is noticeable and part of me wants to cry when I am reminded every time what I have gone through to make it here. Magazines make me seem fat yet getting the comment " you're skin and bones!" makes me feel unhealthily skinny. I get that everyone's perception is different and mine is likely also skewed, but again, I am finally comfortable and got here in a healthy way.

Thanks for your support and listening.

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

10 YEARS in Wisconsin!

Hello internet!

It has come to my attention that I have not blogged about a very important event in my life. I have lived in Wisconsin for 10 years!!! If I am still here when I am 28 in January of 2019, I will have lived here half of my life, which I do not think I have ever been able to say before. However, that is 4 years away and I hope I live in a warmer climate by then, but I never would have thought I would have been here this long already.

The grass is always greener on the other side, so it will be very interesting to see my life in 10 more years!

That was my moment of "celebrating", now life goes on..

Monday, May 18, 2015

A-Squad

This post is dedicated to my very handsome, single, male friend, Francisco, aka Cisco. He is an eligible bachelor who recently ended his time in the marines, sniper platoon, after about 6 years. Although currently living in Milwaukee, he has seen the world and can't wait to share his experiences with a lovely lady. Cisco-thank you for your service and best wishes to finding a woman that can compare to you. I also want to say thank you to my boyfriend, James, who will be helping to upgrade my blog in the near future and provide professional web designers from his company to do so. Thirdly, my brother, Isaiah, I would not be writing the following post if it was not for you. You are my biggest motivator and inspiration.

I wanted to talk about running today...I am an amateur and frankly beginner runner, but after 4 successful, dedicated weeks running, I have some insightful reflections that you won't get from avid/professional runners.

1- I don't find running the hardest part. Meaning; my legs aren't killing and I have not gotten shin splints yet, which has always been an early running deterrent for me. I find breathing the hardest part. I also find it very easy to tell myself it is so hard that I should just walk and then when I have done my run and recover within 15 minutes, I realize I probably did not have to stop.

2- Allergies. Sometimes after I run (which I've only been running outside) I die of sneezing and watery eyes and then it stops within an hour. It is not every time and it is similar to other allergies I have, but I found that interesting. Especially because it does not start until after I am done running and back inside.

3- Whenever I see another runner, I want to cheer and say; "Keep going! You're doing great!". Especially people struggling more than me. Good for them. HOWEVER, I get some interesting reactions from people. Some men stop and stare then turn to watch me run away (which I don't appreciate). I have gotten a few high fives, which is awesome. I don't like running where there are lots of people, but it has its benefits at times also. Running at the lake is great for people watching and I must say, it keeps me from thinking about stopping.

4- Along with tracking my runs on Runkeeper, I've been keeping a "running journal". Most importantly to track what I eat/drink prior to the days run, how I feel during that run, and what the weather is like. I am interested in correlations, to find out what works for me and what doesn't with actual data and not assuming.

5- That feeling you get when you bend over to do something and the stretch you feel in your legs feels so good you stay there for a while. Also when walking/running up stairs and you feel like some 10lb weights you've had for the past 20 years have been removed because it is so much easier.

It is exciting to see my progression. From barely being able to finish a mile a month ago to shaving 6 minutes off of my 4 mile run. I am far from good, but each run helps in some way. I am about a month out from my 5K and I can't wait!

Congrats to everyone who ran the Green Bay Half & Marathon this weekend! You rock!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Employment

I do not talk about work much on my blog because I am scared I might say something that does not represent my company in the way they want and get me in trouble. That does not discount the fact that I spend 45 hours a week "earning" a paycheck and working for the big man in Zurich.

Work is a funny topic for me. I probably relate to very few of you.

Apart from lawn mowing and doing office work for my dad, my first job was at Shopko when I was 16. Within a year, I went from cashier to service desk to customer service supervisor. Yes, I was managing people at the age of 17. Where do you put that on a resume? I left that job for college, and I still look back on it as one of the greatest learning experiences I have had related to jobs/careers. I was a waitress one summer, which was probably the most mentally difficult job I have ever had, then I was a cocktail waitress at a bar, which paid amazing and meshed well with my college habits and sleep schedule. During school, I worked at my college bookstore, which was the absolute best way to numb my brain after sitting in engineering classes all day and included 2 great bosses who treated me like their child. My junior year of college I got my first internship which has turned into the job I have now.

My internship could not have been better. I was on top of the world, getting paid more than I ever had, dressing up every day, getting up 4hrs earlier than I was used to every day, having freedom none of my other jobs had ever given me, and MOST IMPORTANTLY it affirmed that I wanted to be an engineer and finish school.

I always said that the day I walk into work unhappy was the day I needed to start looking for another job. In respect to jobs, I am an extremely positive person. My dad once told me something to the effect of having to make work fun or you will live a very long, unhappy life, so that is what I have tried doing. I also believe that you can influence your emotions based on how you decide to think. If you think "work sucks" and it is "boring", that is what it will be. I can't say I am that positive in all aspects of my life, but when I am having a bad day at work, I will complain about it and then think how blessed I am to have what I do.

I attended a retirement party recently for a fellow coworker and it was an eye-opening experience. He had 40+ years of experience and mostly with our company. A phrase that stuck with me is when he told the older generation to have patience with the younger employees. He said that we will make the same mistakes he/they did at one point, but you grow and keep making mistakes until you retire. He said that we all bring something to the table and have to be understanding of each other to grow as a company. Not any person alone can run this company and even older employees can learn from young ones. It felt good to hear from a retiree that he has something to learn from someone with such little experience because in many aspects I look up to him just like you look up to your grandparents because of their wisdom and worldly knowledge.

So I switched jobs at the beginning of the year to a different division in the same company and boy has it been interesting! Who knew it could be so different simply switching divisions? I went from knowing a lot to knowing very little and it has been hard for me. I switched jobs probably for the main reason that I didn't feel I was growing exponentially anymore. I was extremely comfortable and knew if I did not take the opportunity to grow elsewhere, I might be stuck feeling comfortable for a while. I think all of this stems from college and learning so much so quick so there is a void when that feeling is not there.

Every day is a unique experience and as much as we try to understand the course, we may never. Until then, I will try to keep learning. :)