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On weight loss goals

Weight loss is such a rollercoaster for me. Only rather than going up and down, I just go down, plateau, wait, go down a bit more, stall out again... You know, when I'm looking at fitness and workout stuff on Pinterest, or reading one of my fitness magazines, or playing around on SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal, I get motivated, inspired, and, I guess, envious of the hot, fit bodies that I see, the cute outfits, the toned legs and buns and stuff. And I want to be that person, those people. I feel like I am that girl on the inside, because I was, but I'm not yet back to being that person on the outside. And while I've made some really great progress, it's that yo-yo again -- do really good, feel great about myself, allow myself to back-slide for a week or so before starting to feel kinda gross and getting back on the wagon again. And it's frustrating because if I could keep a steady pace going, I could reach my goals so much faster. I want to lose another 20 pounds, and really, 15 would get me back to where I was before I got pregnant. In a perfect world, I would LOVE to lose 30, and hit what was always my goal of 150 pounds. But even just getting back to pre-baby would be awesome. 

Now, if you go with the lowest number in that scenario, 15 pounds -- if I worked hard, paid attention to what I was eating, stayed active, and stayed motivated, I could reach that goal in 8 weeks. That's two months. Two. Months. I mean really, two months goes by like nothing when I'm NOT trying to keep track of it. Two months is nothing! And I have Erica at work as a GREAT support system, she is so motivated and on top of it that I have no excuse not to eat right and exercise around her. In fact, I find myself sneaking treats and coming up with excuses as to why I can't hit the gym that day, like she's my teacher or something, because I don't want her to wag her finger at me. So it's not like I don't have support. 

And I like the word "motivated" as opposed to like, dedicated or focused or whatever. Those other words each have this hidden negative, because not being dedicated, losing focus, makes you feel like a failure, like you've done something bad. But losing motivation, hey, that just means you've hit a snag, and you need to get those good feelings back again. And nothing propels weight loss and fitness success like focusing on good feelings, on that pay off that you're working towards. So I think I will start trying to use motivated as the word to describe my feelings towards exercise. Motivation is easy to fix. Telling yourself you lack dedication or that you lost focus is like telling yourself that you suck, and that's a sure way to land my butt on the couch instead of up and working out. 

Mar. 14th, 2012

I know it sounds cliche, but turning 29 has already turned on the "I'm old" sirens. Which is just sort of making me hate life, a lot of aspects of my life, as they stand, now, with only one year left of my twenties.

First, some things are great. I hadn't really actively planned to have a baby by now, but when I did think of having kids, I knew I wanted to be a young, hot, cool mom, so that's accomplished. I have a hunky man who loves me and we have a fun, good relationship, despite the fact the we spend a lot of our time right now on the day-to-day domestic issues and stress. But when we have the time and money and opportunity to go out, we have a good time. And we'll be getting married in a few short months. I'm not yet back to my old shape, but I'm well on my way, and confident that by the time I walk down the aisle in August I will be back to my fighting weight and ready to start my 30s in the best shape of my life. That's easy enough to take care of, I'm losing weight already and on track to lose more.

But what else. I have a good, solid job that pays me a pretty good wage. That's something, and nothing to sneeze at, it's a lot more than a lot of people can say right now and I am thankful that I have that, at least. But I left the field I wanted to be in for the extra money that I desperately needed in order to keep my family afloat, so while I don't HATE my work, I'm just not terribly moved by it, my commute sucks, I'm always late, and the people I work for annoy me more with each passing day. Everyday something else happens that reminds me I am so much smarter than these people, and what annoys me most is that I am not in a position of power enough to utilize my strengths and do the things I am good at.

I have been, to this point, an abject failure at managing my money. I do, in fact, make enough money to support our family of 3 without too much pinching, though we wouldn't necessarily be living the high life. But something in me just stalls whenever I think of managing money, of taking a look at the actual numbers, putting them into a spreadsheet, paying what needs to be paid and living on what's left. I have this fear that stops me from looking at my money, it's the biggest stress in my life, and my avoidance of it only makes matters worse. I have a fear of going without, probably from years of hearing "we can't afford it" as a child. I hate having to say those words now, and so I pretend that there is all the money in the world only to have it catch up with me at the end of the paycheck. And it is now, somehow, at the point that if I don't start taking charge, I will not be able to have the adult life that I want, with a home and a nice car and the ability to take vacations and generally enjoy myself.

So it all stems from that, really. I still drive a shitty old car that runs fine but is old and looks like crap. I live in a nice enough apartment, but it's still an apartment, with no yard, or garage, and only one bedroom. I'm in debt.

Piling further on all this is the absence of any creative output, the novel that is still sitting on my laptop. getting better and closer to being done, yes, but still not finished, and not given as much attention as it deserves. Why? Because too many evenings, after coming home from work, exercising, putting the baby to sleep, etc., I go onto Facebook, or Pinterest, or any number of other sites, just to check one thing, or plop down in front of the television, and suddenly find myself on the other side of 11pm without having even opened my Word doc or even read a single page of the several books I'm trying to get through. Where is my motivation? Where is my drive? Where is the creative zeal that I find so easy to get distracted by during the day, once I have some uninterrupted hours at night to devote to it? I claim to be a writer, and yet I spend most of my free time trolling websites and watching crap tv, not working on my passion or doing anything to advance my dream. And making it worse is that, on all my social websites, are the countless posts from friends detailing all the amazing things they are doing -- going to grad school, opening businesses, showing artwork at galleries, and otherwise pursuing their dreams and passions, while I water virtual crops and leave witty comments on clips from The Daily Show. I mean, really, what the hell am I doing with my life?

This is not who I thought I would be, this is not who I am. I'm better than this. I'm just as talented and smart and capable as anyone else out there starting a business or doing their own thing, making it happen. There are things I want to do, things I desperately want to make happen. Yet what happens to all my big ideas after I've brainstormed them all out onto paper instead of working on some Wednesday afternoon, how is it they all just fade away and go back into the cluttered closet of my mind?

Writing and writing

 I'll be sad to take a hiatus from my writing group for the next several weeks. My last meeting with them is this Thursday, and then we're breaking so that I can deliver this baby. Of course, I imagine we'll still email each other things and keep active online. And soon I'll be able to juggle meeting with them again. Of course, when Shawn and I move down south, I'll lose those in-person meetings again. But even having an online group is a fun thing. It's gotten me to write two new short stories that I wouldn't have otherwise, anyway, so that's something. Some productivity is better than none. Like Elaine said, just meeting with them once a week, even if all we do is gossip, keeps writing in the front of my mind every week, and the more I think about it the more likely I am to do it. 

I'm working on making the edits they suggested to my first short story now, so that I can have a finished draft of that. I'd like to send it out to a few places if I can. Then I'm going to work on finishing our Irish-themed stories and email that to the group for feedback. I know I will miss having time to write once the baby gets here, so I'm forcing myself to concentrate on it now, whether I want to or not, so that I can feel like I've gotten something done. 

I keep reading all these articles about going for what you really want to do, and writing is the only thing that really makes me happy. So if I can make a living off my writing, or at least feel like I'm putting all the extra energy into it that I can and not getting sucked up by my bill-paying job, then I will feel happier and better about myself. 

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Having a writing deadline is awesome for productivity. My writing group chose prompts for one another to write short stories at our meeting two weeks ago, and finished drafts are due at our meeting tomorrow. I have about half of mine written, and I managed to plot out the rest of it this afternoon, so I can finish the writing tonight. But without that deadline looming? It would probably never get finished. No sense of urgency = no motivation.

Going to the gym tonight after work, for the first time in a very long time. As much as I'd rather just go home and veg, I keep repeating the mantra, "I've never regretted a workout, but I've regretted skipping plenty of them." I know I'll feel awesome after I go, and I'm only going for 30min, so really, I have no room to complain.

Money and Writing

So, I still haven't received my holiday bonus from work. From what I understand, we're getting them, but I was expecting it at the xmas party yesterday, and no such luck. Nor was anything in my mailbox this morning. So I'm getting pretty annoyed, because I don't know how close to christmas they expect me to cut my christmas shopping. Jesus.

Money just really sucks, that's all.

Lately, I've been meeting with a small group of fellow writers once a month, and the boost it's given to my own writing habit is wonderful. I am actually writing just about every day, rather than just thinking about doing it and feeling guilty for not. We have set ourselves a short story deadline and chosen prompts at random, and we will be sharing our work at next week's meeting. We're also planning to start reading other short stories and discussing them to help improve our own craft, as well as being generally artsy and cultural and going to museums and other such events. It's wonderfully stimulating to my creative mind, and something I was missing in my life for a long time. Shawn has his band, and now I have my writer's group. We're trying to start a creative movement, hehe, and we've purposefully not given ourselves a name, since all the great movements were named by someone else.

So I have a short in the works, which will be good, as I need to have more of those for publishing purposes, as well as fleshing out a subplot of Dexter's novel and putting the finishing touches on it. It feels like I'm actually getting some work done, and being motivated to devote time to what's important to me.

NaNo Update

 I've been behind in my NaNo novel since day one, but at least I'm keeping up a decent pace on it. With any luck I can catch up by the end of this weekend. I think I'm sketching out a decent story arc, so that's a good thing. I'll have a lot of blanks to fill in later.

Part of me is just trying to finish this month and get it done with so that I can go back to my Dexter project and finish that. That's where my focus really is.

NaNo 2010

It's almost here, ladies and gentlemen. NaNoWriMo2010 is upon us. I had a flash of inspiration yesterday and have completely changed the novel I was going to write. I've abandoned the gypsy idea in favor of one about the elements personified, set, most likely, in ancient Greece or thereabouts. I'm very excited. Of course, actually finishing this year is my goal, as I've fallen woefully short the last two years. But I'm super in love with this plot, so we'll see how it goes.

Who else is NaNo-ing? Who wants to be a writing buddy? Wee!

Food woes

 Ugh. I had McDonald's for dinner tonight. In my defense, I had the salad first. But it's sort of finally hitting me that I can't be eating that stuff. It's not good for the baby, and I don't want this kid to be hooked on junk food like a fat kid when it's born. And everyone keeps telling me that what they craved and ate a lot when they were pregnant is what their kids love now. So. There. Salads and healthy food it is. 

14 weeks

 I've been forgetting to blog/journal as much as I wanted to throughout this whole pregnancy. I want to remember how things went. Well, I'm at 14 weeks, and the nausea is finally starting to go away. I still feel kind of sick in the morning, but most times I can eat something and it goes away. So far, only two people have tried to rub my belly, which is still mostly just my old pot belly, even though I can feel that it's bigger. One was Leti, and I told her I would punch her if she didn't stop. The other was Sharryl, who is a mom herself, so I gave her a pass. I don't even have a bump yet, and I'm already annoyed by people touching my stomach. It's surprising how disconcerting that was. It felt very invasive. Weird. 

I've been craving salty and spicy foods. But a handful of times now, when I get the thing I've been craving, it didn't taste the same. It was either too salty suddenly, or just not what I was expecting. And this is stuff like Acapulco, which I've had a hundred times. And suddenly it tastes different. Apparently the hormones make your taste buds change. 

My mom is taking me shopping for maternity clothes next weekend. I don't really need proper maternity clothes yet, but I could certainly do with some more dresses and loose fitting things. 

There is some kind of weird old 70s moving on tv right now. There are dead people and a priest. I wonder what it is. 

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APA Articles

 Greenpeace attacks Facebook on coal-powered data center. (2010, September). PC Magazine Online.

This article outlines the back and forth between Facebook and Greenpeace regarding Facebook's new data storage center in Oregon. Facebook claims it is energy efficient and will reduce their overall carbon footprint, while Greenpeace argues that they chose less efficient options on purpose, and could be doing more to be environmentally friendly. 

Personally, I think Greenpeace is splitting hairs. The fact that Facebook would take it upon itself to invest in an energy friendly data center should be applauded, rather than picking apart all the things they could have done differently. At the very least, it could be worded in a more constructive way, instead of as an argument. After all, aren't we all on the side of saving the planet in this instance?

In Michael Stephen's chapter, the author suggests that social networking sites are places were we go to connect, to have conversations. The conversation about being green and energy efficient is one that Greenpeace should be helping Facebook to encourage, rather than making themselves out to be a tyrant against a young company life Facebook.