Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ten Totally Legitimate Reasons Why Losing Weight Is Hard

I’ve been losing and gaining pounds for years, mostly the latter but I've come up with a valid list of explanations as to why it is so dang difficult to get skinny.

1. Because cookies.
Sweet cookie Gods! They taste. So. Good. Just 7 more, and then I promise I’ll go for a walk…to the fridge to get some milk to go with these cookies.

2. Going to the gym is scary.
Sweaty me is a me that nobody needs to see. There are parts of me that wiggle and jiggle and I’m doing others a service really by keeping my jiggly self at home. Also, it’s better not to pretend like you know how to use that weight-lifting equipment.  What do you mean this leg machine isn’t for arm curls? 

3. Healthy food is expensive.
Yes, I’d love to have that in gluten-free but not for $2 more. Do you know what I could do with that $2? That’s right, buy french fries.

4. Man made Netflix.
Curse every episode and movie on this site. All I ever want to do now is curl up in an over-sized sweater with hot Starbucks and watch Daryl Dixon shoot his crossbow over and over.  

5. Smoothies aren’t really that awesome.
Once, I made a smoothie with spinach, peanut butter and banana and it took me two weeks to drink all 16 ounces of that vomit-colored nastiness. It was so potent; I could only handle it in small increments. Pardon me while I erase ‘body building champion’ off my bucket list.

6. They make advertisements.
It never fails. I’m in the middle of eating my turkey, veggie, complex carb cuisine and a commercial for Sonic’s 25 ice cream shake flavors comes on. ½ price after 8pm! Drizzling chocolate syrup over a fluffy bed of whipped cream topped with a juicy cherry. Wait, what was I doing? Oh yeah, getting my car keys. Don’t worry Sonic, I won’t let you down.

7. We want quick results.
What do you mean I can’t get a defined abdomen in three days!? I only lost 1 pound this week!? AAAARRRGGGHHH! In a world where we can ship that cute pair of shoes overnight, why can’t I express ship me some biceps? Now that I might consider paying extra for.

8. Dining out is easier than cooking.
All I want for Christmas is a personal chef. I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter how many times I try, I’ll never be able to properly chop tomatoes. Screw it. Subway chops them perfectly!

9. Commitment is tough.
I’ll start after this weekend…I say every Saturday. Picking a starting point is easy. Actually surviving a week of your diet/exercise routine without devouring your refrigerator? Not so simple. All it takes is a whiff of bread to make me forget how to pronounce the word salad.

10. There’s a snooze button on alarms.
And it is significantly larger and more convenient than groping your alarm to find the off switch, so it just makes sense to push snooze first. I need the extra sleep anyway. Dieting has me beat.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Being Single, Being Okay, and Pigs

I am 23. I've never been on a date. I've never had a boyfriend. I am okay with that.

To be honest, I’m not sure that I’d know what having a boyfriend entails. Do you have to hang out with them all the time? How do you plan all these activities to do? When do you kiss? When do you hold hands? When do you say I love you? How are you supposed to act in front of his friends? His family? Should you cook for him?

This is all really stressful stuff to think about. For me, it’s easier not to have a boyfriend.

I remember a time, when I liked a guy. I decided to go bowling with him and some friends. I spent the whole day prepping for the occasion. It was prom all over again. I washed. I shaved. I applied. I curled. It was a four or five hour routine so I could roll an eleven-pound ball down a slick wooden runway. I was shaking. I was sweating. It wasn't a date but that didn't stop it from feeling like one. I tried to relax but couldn't. I remember buying a beer at the bowling alley, hoping it would calm my nerves. It didn't. We went out for pizza afterwards. I wanted to eat seventeen pieces but I settled for one. Didn't want to look like a pig in front of my crush. We drove home and ended up drinking at my house but soon, everyone got tired and I headed to bed. My crush stayed the night (in the living room FYI) but left the next morning before I woke up. Great story huh?

It was ridiculous to be so stressed about the situation but if dating someone is even remotely similar to the scenario above, count me out. When you've spent your entire life being single, it’s hard to see yourself as anything but. You get used to being alone. The day was fun but it was also torture.

Guys, in general, scare the crap out of me. If I find one even slightly attractive, I want to get away from him as quickly as possible. How many girls do you know who think that way? None, because most girls are out there looking for guys like it’s the end of the world and we’re running out of Twinkies. We all know what happened when they stopped making Twinkies for five seconds.

Personally, I never really liked Twinkies all that much and being single doesn't bother me that much. I've watched people younger than me get married, move into apartments, get pregnant and start down the same road many couples have traveled. I've also seen couples get married and then divorce a year later because they didn't take the time to get to know each other. I've known girls who got pregnant when they were still kids themselves. I've met people who will live their entire life in the same place and never question what else is out there.

That is not me.

I am not going to marry the first guy who comes along and shows interest in me. I’m not going to give up my dream of moving to the city or finding a career I’m passionate about. I’m not going to stop traveling and seeing the world. I’m not going to go broke racking up debt for things I can’t afford. I’m not going to settle.

I’m going to share something for anyone willing to listen: Getting married and/or having children does not make you an adult. Though, a lot of people think it does. I am an adult because I have earned the title by being responsible but sometimes I mess up when it comes to taking care of me. That is how I know I’m not ready to be responsible for someone else. That is what marriage and a family is about. It’s being responsible for someone other than just you. When you get married, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about you and your spouse. You become one and every decision you make should be about what is best for both of you. It continues on like this until you have children. After that, it’s not about you and your spouse anymore; it’s about your children and what is best for them.

That is the cycle. Step 1: Stop being selfish so you can be a good spouse. Step 2: Stop being selfish to be a good parent. Bonus Step 3: You should never reverse the cycle. Take your time with these steps as they are not accomplished overnight.  Instead, we believe there is some pattern we have to follow in a certain amount of time. We must not fall behind. We must not let anyone get ahead of us. Somewhere in that logic, the foundation for building a strong marriage and having a family is lost.

You search for someone to marry, not someone to love. Then when you feel unloved, you have a child, hoping to fill the void. A few years down the road and a few kids later, the bills are piled high and the void has only grown. You couldn't afford kids and yet, you had them. You spend all your time fighting with your spouse and can’t handle it so you get a divorce but divorce isn't what’s best for your children. It's what's best for you. Ask any kid whose parents got divorced. You start to be selfish and it reverses the whole cycle and you've already forgotten step 3. 

Being selfish isn't always bad. It’s a basic human instinct but when you decide you are old enough to be married and have children, you give up your right to always put yourself first. Don’t like the sound of that? Then you are not ready for the commitment.  

I’m single. I do whatever I want, when I want. In the last year alone, I've paid off my college loan and bought a brand new car that yes, I can actually afford. I got to be there for the birth of my first nephew. I've saved up money and I’m crossing a trip to New York City off my bucket list soon. At the end of the summer, I’m going to see one of my favorite artists in concert. 

Sometimes, I go to the movie alone. It’s cheaper. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t do it. I get to be completely selfish and I don’t feel any guilt for that. I’m not out making bad choices or ruining my life. I’m just trying to enjoy it. Sometimes I get bored or lonely but then I remind myself that once I go down that road, there is no going back. I know it will be a beautiful road to travel someday but not yet. I’m not ready to give up my carefree life and I refuse to let anyone make me feel like I'm behind, even myself. I’m often asked if there are any prospects in my life, meaning men. No, there aren't but that doesn't make me sad. It makes me feel strong to know that my happiness doesn't depend on anyone else but me. On the plus side, I can eat as many pieces of pizza as I want and not care if I look like a pig. Pigs can be happy creatures.

Until I find my pig soulmate,


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No Man, No Children, NO HURRY!

I did a little research. By research, I mean I Binged the question “What is the average age of marriage in the US?”
I stumbled upon this lovely list on The Huffington Post titled “5 Good Reasons to Get Married While You're Young”. I might have adlibbed a bit and added the word “not” in the title somewhere.
1.       It could make you happier.

       So could chocolate. Never underestimate the power of it. It’s kind of yummy. Just ask this baby:

Spend time with friends or family. Take a trip. Watch your favorite movie. Exercise. Treat yourself to something new. Be merry, not married.
2.       You’ll make more money.

Consider counterfeiting. I’m kidding. Don’t do that, it’s illegal. How about working towards a promotion? Go to college and get a degree or go again. Work two jobs instead of one. There are a lot of ways to make more money. *Here’s a hint: Don’t have children. They cost money. If you are making it by okay on the salary you currently have but there isn’t much wiggle room, then for goodness sakes, DON’T PUT ANY BUNS IN ANY OVEN! Put a chastity belt on that oven. If you need more income, there is a really obvious solution and it involves putting on “real” pants, not taking them off.
3.       You’ll have more sex.

Go out clubbing/bar hopping/partying on a Friday or Saturday evening. My guess is that with a little inebriation, the end result will bring you #3 if that’s what you’re after. But don’t forget about number 2 while you’re at it. Number 3 could ruin your chances at achieving number 2.
4.       You’ll drink less alcohol.

That’s a nice thought. But you might need a little alcohol every now and then because you’re married.
5.       There’s nothing to be gained from waiting—if you think you’re ready.

Uhh…except for your own independence. As a girl, I can say that there is a huge advantage to having a man in your life, especially when you don’t want to find out why the sink isn’t draining. Being alone forces you to figure out how to take care of yourself. We live in a world of convenience today and I think it’s making us spoiled. Maybe you’ll break something if you try to repair the sink but maybe you’ll find out that there was a minor clog and it’s a simple fix. I am no exterminator but killing a spider and being able to get rid of it is not such a bad skill to have.
Once you are married, there is no going back. There are no days off from marriage. It’s not a job. The older you are, the more of life you’ve experienced so you will know when you are ready to get married. You will know why that relationship with that particular person is different from any other you’ve had before.  It’s a big decision and it’s as the vows say, “‘til death”. I don’t say that to scare you. I say it so you’ll think it through. It's more than a walk down the isle in a pretty dress. It's more than decorations and rings and pictures. Don’t say that if it doesn’t work out you can always get a divorce. The word divorce shouldn’t be on your mind if you are getting married.

Marriage is not about what you want. It’s about what you both want. “You” becomes “us”. No do-overs or take-backs. You put someone else’s needs before your own. That is love. This is not me saying to never get married! I want to get married someday, I do. My brother is married with a child and another kid on the way. Two of my younger cousins are already ahead of me, one engaged, one going to be a father. One of my best friends is married and expecting her first bundle of joy. Old classmates of mine are married and having children and buying houses.

I’m happy for all of them. Sometimes I’m jealous. Sometimes I feel like I have to catch up but then I remind myself that I AM NOT BEHIND. Today’s culture wants you to believe that you need to follow a pattern and it all needs to start about the time you reach college age. Going through the motions (dating, engagement, marriage, new house, baby) doesn’t make you happy.  

Wanting something because other people have it is not the right reason to want anything. Want it because you are ready and because it will make you happy.

Most importantly, it is okay to be merry without being married. So if you are reading this and you are already married, Congratulations! I hope you are enjoying a strong, faithful, passionate relationship with your spouse. If you are reading this and you aren’t married, Congratulations! Let’s hang out and travel to Europe. I have a craving for some Italian pasta and wine.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spend the $12.99

Have you listened to any of the songs from Lea Michele's debut album, Louder?
I am a fan of Glee but I'm an even bigger fan of Lea Michele. Her voice is phenomenal and powerful.

I let myself listen to one of those minute-long previews of the single "Cannonball" on iTunes but I found myself bored after a couple of measures. I think I previewed it again a few weeks later and still wasn't impressed. It had a catchy chorus but I just...expected more. This was my idol and I was a little disappointed that I couldn't even get hooked on her first single.

Then, upon a spontaneous trip to Target, I coughed up $12.99 and went out to the car and popped the CD in. I listened to it on the drive home and I didn't like it. I freakin' loved it. In particular at this moment in my life, I'm obsessed with track number one: "Cannonball". I'm laughing at myself because the very song that I was so disappointed in a couple months ago is now the song I'm clinging to as I take the first step in my weight-loss journey.

I've decided to do the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. After reading about it on my Facebook wall for the last year, I start tomorrow. I'm scared as hell because I'm not sure if I'll be able to commit to the next 24 days that lay ahead of me. Doing this AdvoCare thing is a lot like buying that album. I don't know if this will work because I've never done anything like it. I am hesitant but I'm doing it anyway.

I'm listening to this song and I can't get over how closely the lyrics seem to describe what my mind is going through right now:

I was scared to death I was losing my mind
I couldn’t close my eyes I was pacing all night, oh, no,
I think I found the light at the end of the tunnel (and my doubts)
I couldn’t find the truth I was going under

But I won’t hide inside
I gotta get out, gotta get out, gotta get out, gotta get out
Lonely inside and light the fuse
Light it now, light it now, light it now

And now I will start living today, today, today
I close the door
I got this new beginning and I will fly
I’ll fly like a cannonball, like a cannonball, like a cannonball
I’ll fly, I’ll fly, I’ll fly like a cannonball

I did not like this song and now I can't get it (or the entire album) out of my head. I don't like to diet or exercise but maybe that is something I can learn to like. 

So for me and anyone out there who is trying to lose weight or just trying to make a change in your life, close the door behind you and start living the life you want. Whatever it is, whatever you want. Now is the time to do it and screw anybody who thinks you can't have everything you want. 

 Seriously though, just spend the $12.99. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Two Most Hated Words

There's a picture of me, in case you feel the need to put a face to the name.
It's Leslie by the way.

I'm 23. I live in the middle of nowhere.
The nearest Wal-Mart is 79.9 miles from my house and 1 hour, 22 minutes. 
The nearest Starbucks? 99.1 miles and 1 hour, 42 minutes.
When I say I live in the middle of nowhere, I'm not exaggerating.
I've always wanted to blog religiously but I fought myself on it; as if I need another reason to sit on my ass, stare at a computer screen, accomplish nothing, and procrastinate life. 
(Thank you Facebook/Pinterest/every clothing website ever/YouTube/Bing homepage news stories)

The truth is that I like to write and I'm embarking on a journey and it might be the two most hated words:  

Losing Weight

But wait. 

This blog isn't just going to be about that because my life does NOT revolve around losing weight. 

There are plenty of other things going on and I'd love to write about them if you're willing to read. 

Now, I'd like to say a giant HELLO! 
Take a seat.
Do nothing.
Stop feeling guilty.
Read and enjoy.