The Yearly Cliché.

A couple years ago, I wrote about not making New Years Resolutions but instead making smaller goals each month to try and stay on track. It worked for awhile just like every other variation of a resolution does. But somewhere along the way, it quietly vanished.

This year, I’m going to revert to the more cliché version of a set of resolutions. Some I’ll succeed at and some I won’t. Most of these are very realistic. Some are a stretch but with the proper guidance, I know I can succeed. To make up for a really crappy couple of years (2011-2012) I want to do a little traveling. Of course, I want to travel the world but in order to succeed at fulfilling my New Years Resolutions, I’m going to be a bit more realistic.

  • Create a realistic 5-Year plan. I’m 25. I’m not married, have no children, nor do I own a house. I want to do all of those things in the next 5 years. I’d like Channing and I to sit down sometime soon and prioritize our needs and wants both as a couple and on the professional front – to create a plan and stick to it. I also plan on making a personal 5-year plan that will lay out my personal interests and hobbies which may or may not include writing a book, Pinteresting my way into home shows, and traveling to England, Paris, and Ireland.
  • Lose 50 pounds. Since June, I’ve lost about 33 pounds. It’s been a little rocky and I’ve gotten off track since moving to Bemidji but I’m determined to continue my progress. 50 pounds is very realistic if I use the tools I’ve been given. Ideally, I want to push myself to double that number in the year 20-15. I know 100 pounds does seem unrealistic but given how much I actually need to lose in order to become healthy, it’s a blip on the radar screen.
  • Travel around the area. This is a long one..Because I first need to lose a substantial amount of weight before I feel comfortable purchasing ONE seat in airfare (rather than 2); I decided that I’m going to travel via car this year. Traveling further than I can drive will be one of my many rewards after losing more weight. I want to travel to all the border states/countries of Minnesota. I’ve listed a few specific places. Some I’ve been to, some I haven’t: Duluth, Gooseberry Falls, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Superior, Brainerd, Red Wing, Wisconsin Dells, and Sioux Falls just to name a few. I’d also like to go somewhere in ND other than Fargo or Grand Forks, stop at a few other places in SD, and venture to Iowa. Where in Iowa? I have no idea. Included in the Minnesotan borders is Canada. I don’t know where specifically but I’ll head that way too! I’d also like to visit as many waterfalls, caves, and state parks as possible. I want to be on the water, sail, and visit lighthouses. I love to explore.
  • Don’t Pass Up Good Events. This is something I’ve done a lot. Sadly, I’ve had a handful of oppertunities over the last few years to go and do something but I either used a bad day, Channing’s mood, or money as an excuse not to do something or go somewhere. A few things on my bucket list this year given that they are within driving distance and things aren’t sold out would include: Seeing Taylor Swift in either Fargo or St. Paul, Bo Burhnham if he ever gets his ass to tour around here, and a Vikings football and Twins baseball game. I don’t really like either of those sports to any kind of extreme but I think a professional sports team would be interesting to see live and because my boyfriend likes sports, we both win. I should also probably make a point of going to the MN State Fair this year too since I’ve never been.
  • Buy A Passport. I believe I need one these days in order to even go to Canada so it’s a must-get for this year. If I’m not mistaken, they are good for 10 years too so that should get me set for my European venture in a couple years.

There you go! I have quite a few more resolutions which primarily fall in the first resolution so I won’t bore you with them quite yet. I’d love to hear about your New Years Resolutions! The realistic ones and the far-fetched ideas. What are you going to do to make this year one to remember? Also, if you have any fun or must-see places that you’ve been to in the region, let me know. Word of mouth experiences are the best places to visit.

Cheers to 20-15!!

Willpower.

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I’ve recently tapped into my willpower energy and let me tell you; it’s damn difficult. Up until I became serious about losing the weight that I’ve accumulated over the last 24 or so years – I didn’t really view willpower as something that anyone could actually obtain. It’s not easy, that’s for sure..but it’s possible.

I’m still learning and I’m only in the beginning stages of making progress on my weight-loss journey but I wanted to summarize a conversation I had today about deprivation. Anyone will tell you not to deprive yourself and you shouldn’t I guess. But in my case, it almost feels like I need to in order to make real progress. So in reply to a gal noting that I should have a piece of cake that she made for a potluck today I said:

“I didn’t deprive myself for the last 24 years. I ate whatever, whenever I wanted. So I think it’s okay to deprive myself for one day with potluck food…”

And it’s true. This weight-loss journey that I’m trying to accomplish isn’t an easy feat and it shouldn’t be treated with food rewards. You wouldn’t tell an alcoholic in the process of sobriety to have “just one drink, it won’t hurt” would you?

That’s another thing I’ve recently accepted. Addiction. Even though I’ve heard it my entire life, I never really associated eating with addiction. And it’s one of the worst kinds too. You have to eat in order to survive. It’s everywhere.

There is no comparison but for a simple example…you can quit smoking. Get a prescription, use the patch, nicotine gum, ect. You don’t need it to survive. It seems much more practical to kick just about any addiction other than food. But maybe I’m just being biased because I’m dealing with my own addiction.

I’ll forever be addicted to food no matter what I’ll do. I know for a fact, that I’ll indulge at times. Hopefully it won’t be as often as my current once a week motto or in other words “free day.” I’m not quite to that step of willpower yet.

I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite but I hope to have a little control over my future children’s lives as far as health goes. Due to my weight I’ve limited myself more and more in so many things that I’d love to do out of fear of embarrassment and I don’t want anyone to have to go through that. I’m not going to deprive them of food but I pray that I can teach them healthy eating habits early on and not expose them to fast food for as long as motherly possible.

If I overcome this lifelong journey, I want to spread awareness. I used to think it was stupid – seeing obesity commercials on TV, the radio, in newspaper ads, but it’s not. I hope I have enough willpower to become a survivor.

Selfie Or Helpie?

I’ve noticed a phenomenon on Facebook feeds around the area. This has been happening for about a year now but more recently more and more people have followed suit. The topic at hand here – is pre and post workout pictures being blasted all over social media.

I feel indifferent about this. On one hand, I get it. So many “inspirational leaders” are showing off their goods because they want you to jump on the bandwagon. To get healthy and fit. They are proud of themselves and are bound and determined to show you, your mother, brother, teacher, and co-workers that they can do the same.

I’m new to the workout and eating right world. And when I say new, I mean old. I’ve been trying to get into the swing of things since I was in 4th grade when I was put on my first “diet.” However, over the last 7 or so weeks, I started something new and I’m currently down 17.6 pounds and making progress. Go me!! But I’m nowhere near the “show my stomach on Facebook” progress though. That’ll never happen.

Getting a little side-tracked here. But I get it. I get that a good 10 of you on Facebook are Beachbody coaches. Your job is to help and encourage others to do the same as you, try as hard as you, look as good as you. It’s motivating. Sometimes.

But other times, it’s annoying. You’re flat stomach still looks the same as it looked yesterday and the day before. It even looks the same as the day you started. I don’t really think this has to do with “jealously” of the thin and famous. It’s more along the lines of wanting to see someone that has actually gone through a transformation struggle. Not someone that has always been an athlete, or slim built, or naturally born with metabolism.

Just an observation I guess. I do follow most of the people, not for the results but for the encouraging words. Most of them post a picture of their fabulous physique but they also talk about the struggle of making yourself workout and making yourself eat right and making yourself choose life rather than death.

I guess sometimes I just don’t know if they are actually “helping” people because they want to and that’s what drives them or if they are just excited to take a selfie and show off. Every. Single. Day. Considering that we live in a primarily narcissistic world, it’s hard to tell the difference.

Yesterday You Said Tomorrow.

9979869b8fc798974d85940c3b6f0cbeI’ve been lacking big time on my get healthy mantra. Like really really, lacking. So I decided to turn to Pinterest for some inspiration and motivation. I found a brilliant idea for a meal board and am going to pick up some supplies tonight. I can’t promise I’ll get it together this week but I have no plans for the weekend so I plan to put it together at that time.

On the other side of getting healthy, is fitness. It’s currently obsolete in my world and I have no reason or excuse that is worth coming up with. My gym clothes and shoes are nicely folded right out on the dining room table. I lay down for bed around 10:00 PM (to allow sleep and no I can’t make it any earlier) and I set my alarm for 5:00 AM. Every morning at 5:00 I hit snooze and then snooze again. Again and again and again like a redundant forget me not.

93cc588bc8f6a5c9d43e4a088a74cce5Why 5:00 AM? Well because I have to get my boyfriend to work by 6:30 and we car pool thus preventing me from pushing it off until later in the morning but still before work. And no, I will not go after work. Why would I? When the rush is unbearable and even though you’re in a no judgement zone, people still stare. I see it. Belive me, I see it.

7483a19d1fb8ccb368565aa8ca664e2dNow even though all that bologna sounds like excuses, it’s not. It’s just a summary of the day to day struggle that I find myself in. So tonight, I’ll do the same. I’ll lay down at 10:00. Set my alarm for 5:00. And hope, just hope, that my motivation, inspiration, where I want to be, who I want to be, dreamland of a fantasy will be enough for me to roll out of bed, put on my gym shoes, and get my fat ass to the damn gym.

Time Does Not Pass, It Continues.

IMG_5033Sitting in the only comfortable chair and table combo in the history of Subway, downtown Grand Forks – I feel like writing. This is the perfect spot to bring a laptop, listen to Americas top 100, smell the fresh aroma that Subway is famous for, and just write. But I have nothing to write about.

I’ve been up to nothing new. Just work and usual day to day stuff. I’m still trying to push myself to the gym. I signed up last week and haven’t set foot inside. I went to the trouble of signing up and buying new gym shoes. I bought another shipment of Shakeology (still unopened) and a good set of vitamins. I’m ready, I’m geared up! Time to tie the shoes and hit the road. So what’s in the way? Me. It’s always me. I hold myself back.

IMG_5026On another more positive front, my brothers graduation cards are now ordered! I wish I could do this stuff for a living. Photography, editing, announcements, ect. Of course I cheated and used Shutterfly for the layout but if I had known how to properly use the correct software, I would have loved to try with an empty sheet and create my own thought up masterpiece.

It’s crazy to think that the youngest in our family of 5 is graduating in 52 short days. What does that even mean?

It means my mom has been done with diapers for nearly 16 years. It means my parents are old enough to be grandparents and everyone is able to drive. It means the art projects are old and tattered. It means the refrigerator picture magnets are full of 90’s hairstyles. My baby brother graduating high school means we’re all adults. It means I’m 24 and that he’s not really a baby anymore. It means another chapter is ending and 30 more are beginning.

“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Its just a day in a month in a year in a decade. It’s a day that not everyone is fortunate enough to get to. It’s a struggle for some and a breeze for others. It’s truly a milestone. I can’t believe the kid who got a grass stain on his white blonde head is the same kid that’s going to be wearing that black square-shaped cap. The kid that broke his arm, had rods jabbed into it, let it heal, and then broke it again. The kid that I can’t stand but love to death. The “baby.” He’s graduating!

I still remember my first day of kindergarten and getting lost on my way, switching school buses. I remember throwing up on a girl named Mary and playing marbles on the track during recess. I remember making tunnels on the snow hills and Hawk Boy in Warroad. I remember getting out of school to sandbag for the flood and being the new kid in Newfolden. I remember it all like it was yesterday. Are we dreaming or does time really fly by that damn fast?

“There are those of us who learn to live completely in the moment. For such people the past vanishes and the future loses meaning. There is only the present, which means that two of the three Aalim¹ are surplus to requirements. And then there are those of us who are trapped in yesterdays, in the memory of a lost love, or a childhood home, or a dreadful crime. And some people live only for a better tomorrow; for them the past ceases to exist” ― Salman Rushdie

I guess I did have something to write about after all.


¹Aalim – u·le·ma or u·la·ma  (o̅o̅′lə-mä′) – pl.n. Ulama, also spelled ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies and Polymath. They are well versed in legal fiqh and are considered the arbiters of sharia law, being Islamic lawyers.

My Motivation.

Don’t roll your eyes or anything but I’ve been thinking about joining a gym again. I don’t have any master plan other than a potential regular schedule in compared to my unorganized life that I’ve accepted over the last year and a half or so.

Since my other half will be starting his new job soon and we’ll still be carpooling; we’ll both have the opportunity to have a little more consistency than we are used to. The only “downfall” I foresee is that his starting time is 5:00 AM. Holy shit right? But instead of taking that as a negative; I’d like to pull a 360 and consider it a positive. It’s not like I’ll have the option to sleep in since we share a vehicle. I’ll already have to be up and driven across town before the sun is up. By the time I get home; I can’t really see myself going back to bed for another hour. Once I’m up, I usually stay up so why not take advantage of it? We’ll probably be going to bed earlier considering the job change so it shouldn’t be difficult to make a routine of dropping him off, going to the gym, and starting my day. By the time work starts at 8; I would have gotten the “not so fun” stuff out of the way already and I probably would actually make time for breakfast.

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Camping In Warroad.

All that sounds like a wonderful idea but can I do it? Thanks to the go-getting motivating people that I’ve come across, I know that the answer is yes as long as you make a point to do it. Make a point to be motivated and go to the gym. Make a point of exercising and eating breakfast. I’ll call Anytime Fitness tomorrow and we’ll go from there. I already re-ordered my Shakelogy last week so that should be coming soon. I have a few things in the near future that if I think about them, can give me motivation:

My brothers graduation in May. For the 3rd time in 6 years have some extended family coming up. I’ll also be going to my old high school where I know I’ll see some people that I graduated with. I’m over half way to my 10 year reunion and don’t want to be the person that already went downhill and doesn’t have getting married or having kids to blame. I want to look good, damnit.

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The Brewster Clan.

Family vacation in June. We’ll be going on a camping vacation at the end of June with my family, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We’ll be swimming and walking, canoeing, and sunbathing. I don’t want to let how I feel about myself prevent me from enjoying my time. I want to be a part of the photographic memories and not just the person taking the pictures to avoid the other side of the camera. I want to feel fit so that I don’t get winded walking on trails.

 

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Our anniversary in July. We’ll be coming up on 6 years and even though I know my other half loves me no matter what; I do want him to have some beautiful arm candy on the celebration of 72 months. So often couples fall into a boring ol’ routine after being together for a long time and we never dress up or go out much anymore. One of the hidden reasons that I don’t actively offer fun nights out is because I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.

School. I’ve been thinking about it as mentioned in a previous post and although I might gear myself more towards the online studies to begin with; I would like to attend night school and not that I have to look good for anyone; I still want to feel good about myself and look nice. I want to feel comfortable sitting next to anyone in class or choosing a partner for a project. I want to know that I can confidently walk up to someone and strike a conversation. This whole “no friends” thing is caused by me feeling like a gross giant next to anyone that I’m around so I pull the shy quiet card rather than the fun, talkative person that I know I’ve lost touch with.

So, it might not seem much but I’m going to use those to give me motivation. To help me drive the extra block to the gym and make my shake in the mornings. I’m going to use that to pack my lunch instead of grabbing McDonalds durning the noon hour. I’m going to do this and I’m going to do this right.

What gets you motivated? I would love to hear from someone that has been overweight and overcome it. How they found motivation or what clicked inside their heads to get them going? Although I appreciate and accept any and all motivating words; I often find it difficult to take advice from someone that had always been thin but wasn’t happy with the lack of muscle they had or something. It’s difficult for me to relate when they haven’t gone through the same pain and disappointment in myself that I have. So, are you out there? I’d love to hear from you!

Thirsty Thursday.

Thirsty for water. The second day of the new year kind of feels just the same as the Thursday before. It usually does, doesn’t it?

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Twenty-fourteen is going to be the year that I find myself. To be truly happy, to enjoy the smallest of things. I don’t want to dwell on the problems and issues of the day. I’m not going to hide things in a little corner under my bed until I burst but I’m done sweating the small stuff. If other people want to lead miserable lives, than so be it.  Let them. I’ve done it long enough and I can tell you that it’s far from anything to be proud of.

I want to dive into the creative crevices of my brain and pull out dusty old junk that’s been laying around. Bring it back to life again. I want to rediscover hobbies and try ones that I’ve been just dreaming about.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to open a box of crazy but I simply am looking to be wholly and contently happy with where I am and what I’ve accomplished.

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For far too long many of us including myself beat ourselves up over the most trivial of things. I struggle with the fact on an often basis that I didn’t go back to school after obtaining my Associates Degree. I also obsess over the very obvious issue visible to the human eye. I’ve let things like this make me unhappy. I let it alter the quality of my life that I’ve been living or lack thereof. I don’t go places because I don’t want people to stare. I limit myself to enjoy concerts or art museums or anything else because of the judgmental whispers.Even though the below things might not be relatable or even connect from dot to dot, they are the beginning of my New Years “Goals.”

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Blog & Write & Write & Blog. Be honest, dive deep, and to not be afraid of anything. Blog every day, any time of the day. Blog about nothing or about everything. Just as long as it’s about something.

Crochet/Sew. This doesn’t need to be considered a thing of the past. Contrary to my first goal, this will help me disconnect which I think we all need to work on before we don’t know how to do anything without a computer of some kind.

Go Places. Get a passport. Travel. Get out of here.  Drive. See new things. It won’t be far and it  might not seem exciting but I’m going to make the most of it.

 Photography. I’d like to think that I can see things that others can’t and I  might just go ahead and continue believing that. Regardless, I’m going to use my eyes and the camera lens to remember the memories that haven’t yet happened.

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Stop And Smell The Hollyhocks. I don’t know about you but every day goes faster and faster than the day before. It might not happen every day or every week but an important goals is to appreciate everything as much as possible and take time to breathe in the air around me. 

And Lastly..For Now..

Decide And Deal With It. I’m going to make decisions I’ve been sitting on for three or more years. I’m going to make them and I’m going to stick to them.

Just like you (I hope), there are so many other things I’d like to accomplish and achieve throughout the year and the rest of my life but those will come.

Today, do something. Do something that makes you happy or proud. Do something that boosts your self-confidence. Do something that makes you feel as intelligent as you know you are. Each and every one of us needs to prove to ourselves that we are awesome before anyone else will believe it.

Here’s to you!