Monthly Archives: February 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of February 28th

I can’t believe today is the last day of February.  2011 is moving full speed ahead! Less than 3 months until lake season.  I want to wear shorts and tank tops and not feel the way I would feel if I had to put them on right now!  I am looking forward to springing forward in less than 2 weeks (eep! so early this year!) so I can spend more evening time outside and to the Farmer’s Market coming back, which really cannot happen soon enough.  Now that things have settled down from my birthday last week (which was freakin’ fabulous by the way, but that post is for another day!) I can get back to my regularly scheduled life, which is a little sad but also kind of nice — I just don’t have the energy to be that busy all the time.

Monday:  Leftover whole wheat rigatoni w/ meat sauce (homemade yesterday with ingredients that were getting sketchy in my cupboards…); Breakfast for dinner — some type of hash is the plan

Tuesday:  Mrs. V is going to be in town on business so we’re planning to meet for lunch; My virtual book club is going to grab a bite before seeing Yann Martel

Wednesday:  Lemon-Cranberry Tuna Salad (WW recipe I’ve never tried before — let you know how it turns out); Baked fish w/ green veggies

Thursday:  Tuna Salad Sandwich; Leftover pasta

Friday:  Tuna Salad; TBD

Breakfasts:  Cream of Wheat, WW Smoothies

Snacks: Fruit, Veggies and Dip, Yogurt <— I’m in a huge rut. Any suggestions would be welcome!

This plan is slightly vague because I haven’t actually gotten to go to the grocery store yet.  Glad to be back on the wagon so to speak.  What have you made lately that was healthy and fresh? Any recipes I should try?

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The Dark & Twisty Place*

A couple of weeks ago, I had this dream about being in love.  I was in high school and was completely, head over heels in love with someone I actually dated in high school.  (Yes, the younger brother of Bball PB popped up in my dream.  Totally rando.)  I woke up slightly dazed and emotionally intoxicated from the dream.  (I feel like I should mention that I dream vividly and often and almost always remember my dreams upon waking so they tend to affect me more profoundly than they might affect others.)  It was weird to dream in emotions that felt so real.  And then, when my post-dream glow wore off a bit, the fact that the emotions were figments of my imagination was kind of crushing, in a makes my chest feel heavy kind of way (not heart attack heavy, but heart ache heavy).

I think I’ve been carrying that same heaviness around with me for the last couple of weeks.  I spent the weekend in my so-called “darky and twisty place,” wallowing in self-pity/loathing.  I’m turning 27 in two days.  And I feel stagnant.  Don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways things are better than they were 2 years ago but at the same time, somethings are still exactly the same.  I feel like everyone around me is moving forward and I am standing completely still.  My friends are going back to school, looking for new jobs, graduating, and growing in their adult romantic relationships.  While I feel like work-wise things are on a nice, steady upward climb, everything else is just sitting.  I’m still overweight.  I still don’t have what I would consider sufficient savings.  And I’m still alone.

These three things have been true for the last 8 years.  Eight years.  That’s pretty pathetic.  Borderline disgusting considering that I have control of 2 of the 3.  I used to consider myself a highly motivated, goal-oriented individual.  But then I think about the fact that I have been struggling with the same issues for eight years and I think maybe I am not who I thought I was.

I also think that my outsides and insides match up less and less all of the time.  I was recently explaining to Miss PR how I feel about dating and my body and she said she never knew I felt the way I do (which to summarize, is crappy).  I think I spend a lot of time concealing how I really feel about myself from the people around me.  I think I didn’t even realized how I felt about myself in a conscious way until fairly recently.  But in the past few months my feelings of self-loathing have crept in and set up shop in my head and my heart. (I really hope you are picturing a Mucinex commercial right now, but instead of mucus living in my nose gray clouds of feelings are nesting in my heart.)  I’ve always been what I like to call “emotionally intense” but usually once I recognize the feelings I can shake them off.  But lately, my capacity to recover seems non-existent.  The things that upset me/make me feel badly outweigh the things that don’t.  I have mastered the art of turning the most innocent of sentences into belittling jabs aimed directly at my ass.  I have been taking everything personally and I usually don’t.

I don’t want to be this girl.  I am not this girl.  But I don’t know how to get rid of her right now.  I only get to be 26 for one more day.  And as much as 27 terrifies me, I want it to be different.  I want the first day I am 27 to be the first day I decide to stop hating myself for how I look, for what I’ve done to my body, for what I haven’t done for my bank account and everything else in between.  Feeling badly about myself seems so high school.  I want to be proud of the woman I am.  (Being ashamed of myself doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere as it stands anyway.)  I’m not entirely sure what the first step to letting go of my self-loathing is, but I hope that doing small things that I am proud of is a step in the right direction.  And listening to less sad/angsty music probably couldn’t hurt….

What do you do to pull yourself out of a funk?  What makes you feel good about yourself?

*Note: I’m really not that dark or twisty.  But sometimes I like to crawl inside myself and wallow.  And listen to Counting Crows.  And read Twilight.  And eat sugar cookies. And cry.

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PB doesn’t just stand for “peanut butter.”

It also stands, or should I say used to stand, for “pretend boyfriend.”  Or at least it did in my world.  I have had more “pretend boyfriends” than I could ever possibly count, but a few really stand out in my mind.  But first, I suppose I should explain what I mean when I say PBs.  Some might describe them as the stalking victims of my adolescence.  I prefer to explain that they were boys I had somewhat unreasonable crushes on when I was much younger and must less mature.  When I say unreasonable, I mean extreme.  And usually my victims, I mean PBs, were guys I didn’t even know very well.  They more like vessels for me to project the romantic fantasies (think sweet, not slutty) of my vivid imagination upon.

In high school, my major PB was a basketball player who was a year older than me.  We had a class together when he was a senior and I was junior.  I thought it was lurve.  Problem: I had briefly “dated” (if we couldn’t drive does it still count?) his younger brother the year before.  Oh, and I barely knew him and I am pretty confident we had nothing in common, except for the fact that he was the only white basketball player and I was the only white cheerleader (I’m really giving myself away here, but hey, it was a million years ago and I think he probably knew about it anyway).  GO Hornets!  So in my infinite crazy I did the following:

1) Drove by his house on the weekends.  I figured this was relatively safe because if I got caught I could either say I was actually stalking his brother (I’m not sure how that was better in my 17-year-old mind, but it was) or that I was going to his next-door neighbor’s house because I had dated him too.  (I realize all this dating makes me sound more popular than I was, but seriously, I was a tool who wore short-alls and ribbons in her hair in high school).

2) Traded another cheerleader to have him as my “basketball buddy” so I would be in charge of making all of his spirit snacks for the season.  I spent an inappropriate amount of time on his senior poster too.

3)  After Miss Rose and I convinced our first period class to have a Valentine’s Day party (we were the only girls in a class full of senior boys, good thing they were semi-nerdy), I painstakingly picked out the flirtiest Valentine that came in the set I purchased and put it in his Valentine sack.  Seriously. I was 17. And that actually happened.

Fortunately for him, I started dating another junior just before my Bball PB graduated so he didn’t have to worry about me stalking him to college.  My next major PB came along in college and I am afraid to admit that I was far creepier with College PB than Bball PB. I know, you didn’t think that was possible, but with me, it totally was.  Again, I didn’t really know him that well, but we did have a lot of mutual friends and he was a smart, frat boy — sometimes really hard to come by.  So I did what I do best, I fixated:

1)  Found excuses to cross paths with him on campus, at parties or at his frat house.

2)  “Borrowed” at hat from him without his knowledge.  (For the record, I had accomplices — I’m looking at you, Miss Dubs.)

3)  Not-so-loosely based the main character in the epic romance saga I wrote my senior year of college on him . . . Yeah, that was pretty bad.

I fell out of “love” with College PB when he a) asked a mutual friend for Miss K2’s phone number and b) started dating a girl I went to high school with.  It was just too much.  Unfortunately, washing my hands of him effectively ended my work on the next great American smut novel, much to the disappointment of my roommates.

I wasn’t nearly as into my Law School PB as I had been with my previous PBs.  But I did look for any excuse to cross paths with him and I may or may not have drunkenly forced him to take a party pic with me at the law school Halloween party.  He was more just someone to talk about than anything else.  Also, I was fascinated by how incredibly weird he was.

I think all three of these people just served as faces for the men in my daydreams and in my “novel.”  I turned them into who I wished they were and used them as muses in my creative outlet — writing.  But I don’t think I had any real feelings for any of them.  I’d like to say that I’ve outgrown my PB obsession, but honestly, I probably haven’t.  In fact, when I don’t have a real object of affection/admiration/desire, I default to my current PB, who I will not identify for fear that it will get back to him.  It’s nice to have a fake crush when I’m feeling bored, especially since I rarely have any real crushes.  For the most part it’s all in good fun and relatively harmless . . . unless they find out how truly creepy/stalkerish I am. . .

Anyone else ever have a “pretend boyfriend?”  Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who participated in the high school “drive-by!”  (I know I wasn’t because I vividly remember dragging the likes of Miss Rose, Miss BW and Miss PoliSci with me on many occasions!)

PS – I have no idea what possessed me to confess my crazy on the internet, but here it is.  I think Valentine’s Day helped me think of several relationship/love related post ideas.  Even though this post is mostly silly, it was fun for me to write and to remember how truly crazy I used to be.  Look how far I’ve come! =)

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Plus-Size Clothes Are Ugly.

Seriously, they are.  I’m not saying that I think I should get to wear every possible trend out there.  I (think anyway) understand my body, its shape, and what is flattering.  But omg, just because I need a bigger size does not mean style should go straight out the window!  I have been an Old Navy/Target girl forever.  But sometimes they really piss me off.  How is it possible that they can make cute clothes and they can make plus-size clothes but they can’t make cute plus-size clothes?

Example: Old Navy has some alright jean shorts available online in their plus-size section right now. (Yes, I want to rock jorts in Summer 2011. I know, I know, I never thought I’d see the day.)  The problem is they are in a super light wash.  First of all, I think dark washes are cuter and more happenin’ in general and second, a girl with an ass this size has no business rocking anything lightly colored on the lower half! Dark jeans are far more slimming and look better overall. Why can’t they make the same shorts in a darker color?!

Why oh why can't you be darker?

And Target’s plus-size shorts collection is equally bad.  I realize that there are other resources for plus-size clothing, but I feel like Target and Old Navy are the most reasonably priced and easily accessible options. Is it really too much to ask for a plus-size short that looks like these:

 

These are exactly what I want.

Apparently because I am plus-sized I am supposed to wear dated colors/washes and camo capris.  (Only the plus-size gals get to rock the ON camo pants — they don’t come in 0-16.  Try not to die of jealousy.) I’m not asking for stores/designers to produce their full collections in plus-size versions.  I’m sure that is would not be a good business move — hell, I wouldn’t wear a lot of trendy stuff for the sole reason that it isn’t figure flattering on a plus-size lady such as myself.  But come on, you can’t give me a couple good-looking basics?  I just want one decent looking pair of shorts for the summer so I don’t have to wear the super scary larry pair I wore all last summer out of desperation.

I guess not being able to walk into a store and always buy off the rack is part of the burden of being over weight.  I am not a standard size and therefore am not allowed to dress as coolly as my slimmer peers.  I’m not looking to replicate the likes of Carrie Bradshaw or Serena Van der Woodsen.  I just want one decent pair of shorts.

What makes shopping frustrating for you? Height? Broad Shoulders? Small Chest? Waist-Hip Ratio? Selection in your size?

DISCLAIMER:  I realize that wearing a size 6 does not magically turn shopping into this magical occasion during which every article of clothing you try on fits perfectly.  I know that no one is perfect, all of our bodies are different and finding a good fit is difficult for everyone for a variety of reasons.

*Click on images for sources.

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Things That Make Being Single Not Suck

In honor, or maybe more accurately dishonor, of Valentine’s Day(aka Single Awareness Day), here are a few reasons that single isn’t so bad:

1.  If I want to eat cereal three meals a day, every day (a la Miss Agnes), no one cares.  In fact, I don’t have to take anyone into consideration at all when I cook.  I grew up in a family of non-picky eaters, but the older I get the more I appreciate the fact that I am not picky and that I do not have to cater to anyone else’s food needs/wants.

2.  I can sleep in the middle of the bed, wrapped up like a burrito. And I do.

3.  I don’t have to shave my legs if I don’t want to.

4.  I can watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it.  Hello, Veronica Mars, I Used to be Fat, and One Tree Hill.

 

Robert Buckley. If you aren't watching OTH, he is why you should be.

 

5.  I get to make my own schedule.  If someone invites me to do something, I can check my calendar and that’s it.  Not worrying about what someone else may or may not have planned is pretty darn nice.

6.  Silence.  Sometimes I want to walk around the house with my iPod on listening to an audiobook or sit in the living room and cut recipes out of magazines or fold laundry without talking to anyone or feeling like I should be talking to someone.  (Man, that made my life sound super glamorous.)

7.  I get to spend unlimited time with my friends and family.  I watch my friends do the boyfriend-friends-family juggle all the time, and while they do it well most of the time, it makes me appreciate that I can devote myself to my best friend for an evening when she comes to town without feeling guilty about not being with my SO or wishing that I was with SO.  No being torn between friends and boyfriend.

8.  Time.  I’ve already told you that I don’t think there are enough hours in the day.  Some weeks I can’t imagine when I would have time to go on a date if someone actually asked me.  Adding a relationship to my plate sounds really stressful sometimes.

9.  My money is my money.  From what I hear, combining finances can be a huge pain for a couple.  It’s nice to be able to go buy something without running it by anyone else.

10.  Mobility.  If I decided tomorrow that I wanted to pick up and move to, well anywhere, I could do it.  Without worrying about how/if it would affect my relationship.  No stressing about whether my SO would want to come, SO finding a job, co-habitating, long distance relationships, etc.  I could just pack up and leave.  (Note: I currently have no intention of doing this.  I have a good job and am only licensed to practice law in the State of Oklahoma.)

Honestly, I thought I could come up with a much longer list than this.  And really everything I wrote boils down to having freedom and independence.  While I appreciate my current freedoms, I’ve had them for a long time, and as I get older, I crave them less.  It’s been 9 years since I moved out of my parents house.  I have spent the last decade soaking up my independence.  As much as I enjoy doing my own thing, I don’t think it would bother me to incorporate someone else into my day-to-day life.  That said, I don’t necessarily think I would be very good at it.

What do like about being single? Or in the alternative, what do you miss the most about being single now that you are in a relationship?

Happy Single Awareness/Valentine’s Day!

* Click on images for source. Warning: Source for Robert Buckley picture is NSFW.

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Menu Plan Monday: Week of February 14th

Ah, it feels so nice to be back to planning my menu!  I decided to keep things pretty simple/light this week.  I made my soup on Sunday evening while my acorn squash was roasting (I decided that I like Butternut Squash much better).  I also boiled the eggs for my egg salad so I can put it together at lunch tomorrow.

Monday*:  Vegetable Soup (Seriously, this WW has almost every veggie you can think of) & Egg Salad Sandwich;  Steak, acorn squash, brussels sprouts, baked potato w/ fat-free sugar-free chocolate fudge pudding and strawberries for dessert =)

Tuesday:  Vegetable Soup & Egg Salad Sandwich; Book Club — I haven’t decided what I’m going to contribute yet, but the theme is “heart healthy” so I think everything will be a little lighter than our normal book club fare.

Wednesday:  Chicken-Veggie Soup (I put chicken in half of the soup I made to mix things up and to get some extra protein in); Steak, brussels sprouts, sauteed spinach

Thursday:  Egg Salad & Veggie Soup; Breakfast for dinner — Eggs, turkey bacon, rye toast, fruit salad

Friday:  Chicken-Veggie Soup; TBD

Breakfasts:  Cream of wheat, eggs, turkey bacon, Thomas Bagel Thins, Shredded Wheat

Snacks:  Fruit, yogurt, whole wheat homemade pita chips w/ Laughing Cow Light, veggies w/ ranch dip (1 16 oz. tub of light sour cream + 1 packet of hidden valley ranch dry mix)

* I decided that in honor of Valentine’s Day, I would indulge in meat on Meatless Monday.  I also plan on “indulging” in two workouts and a glass of red wine since my “singles” lifegroup is canceled for V-Day.  Oh, the irony….

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Brain Purge

There are few miscellaneous things that have crossed my mind this week that I wanted to share, but don’t really warrant full blog posts so I thought I would just combine them all into one jumbled, random post for your enjoyment.

1.  Last month I posted Facebook = Failure, about how Facebook often makes me feel inadequate/jealous/lame.  Well, last week’s message at church was called “I Quit Comparing!” It was all about comparing ourselves to other people regarding our appearance, possessions, level of success and circumstances.  He actually said something about always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride when discussing circumstances comparisons.  I swear God was talking directly to me through the pastor.  One of my favorite quotes: “Success is about being who God wants you to be, not who you wish you were.” Everything he said really hit home and reminded me of the importance of contentment.  So if you related to my post, I encourage you to check it out!

2.  Valentine’s Day.  It’s pretty much every where — every store I go to, every website I peruse.  I had a new thought about it this week.  I know that it is a total Hallmark holiday and it is pretty unimportant in the big scheme of things.  And while I would like to say that I don’t care about it at all, a little, small, teeny, tiny part of me does.  Most of my friends who are in relationships say that they don’t care about it/aren’t that into it either and they aren’t making any really big plans.  I think it is much easier to say it isn’t a big deal/you don’t care about Valentine’s Day when you have the option of caring — i.e. when you have a Valentine.  When you have a significant other, you can choose to celebrate or not as a couple.  When you don’t have a significant other, the decision is made for you.  I think it is similar to people saying they don’t care what size their pants are — it’s a lot easier when the size is a single digit and you have an amazing metabolism or women who say they don’t worry much about leaving the house without make up on — it’s easier to do that when you have nice skin/coloring.  So yeah, maybe I care a little bit because I don’t feel like I have the choice to not care.

3. Driver’s License Photo = Inspiration.  My driver’s license FINALLY expires on November 30, 2011.  I seriously cannot wait. I have pretty much loathed the picture from the moment it was taken. Getting a new DL photo should def go on my “Reasons I Want to Lose Weight” list.  I would like to be able to whip out my license when I get carded (which sadly happens less and less often all the time) and show a nice, thinner picture of my self.  Maybe I should blow up the horrid pic and put it on my wall as a reminder…

4.  Shameless plug.  My awesome friend, Geoffersonspin, is training to Ride for Cure for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society again this year.  He and his sister plan to raise over $5,000.00 and complete a one-hundred mile ride at Lake Tahoe.  If you feel so inclined, show Geoffersonspin some love and donate to a great cause!

5.  I read this quote recently and thought it was really poignant and interesting so I figured I would toss it in here so I’d have a #5:

“Finding love is not as hard as picking the right person to spend the rest of your life with.”

Yeah. Deep. Let that roll around in your head for a while. 😉

Hope you are all looking forward to a warmer, sun-filled weekend! Anyone doing anything fun?

 

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