Catching Up

Hello there, little blog. It’s been far too long since I’ve written. For some reason, I’ve had complete writer’s block when it comes to this blog (blogger’s block?). Now summer is drawing to a close and the first whispers of fall are in the air.

The best way to push through writer’s block is to write, so here I am, and I figured I could break the metaphorical ice by writing a little update about the goings-on in my life over the last few weeks.

I Was Bitten By A Cat

My sweet kitty Darwin bit me on the hand repeatedly as I attempted to give him a shot. It wasn’t his fault – I had restrained him and he got scared, and he only bit me because he could not run away from me – but the injury left me unable to use my left hand up until a few days ago. I had to keep my hand in a splint, wrapped with an Ace bandage. I was taking antibiotics that give me terrible headaches and at times make me sick to my stomach. I missed work for nearly a week, spending my days recuperating on the couch.

I was bitten on a Saturday, and didn’t go to urgent care for treatment until Sunday. Please, don’t do this. If you are bitten by an animal and suffer actual puncture wounds, go get checked out right away. Animal bites are nasty things. Left untreated, they can develop dangerous infections. I received a tetanus shot and antibiotics, and even with all that, I still developed an infection in my bite wounds and had to be prescribed a second antibiotic to supplement what I was already taking. I also had to have X-rays – at times, a part of the animal’s tooth can be broken off when they bite, and if you have a tiny piece of tooth embedded in your wound, it will never heal. One of the doctors who treated me told me a scary story about a woman who was bitten on the hand by a cat, and developed a severe infection that required hospitalization. So, even though it might seem like a huge inconvenience to go to urgent care or the Emergency Room for what you think is just a minor wound, go anyway. I’m grateful that a couple of friends of mine urged me to seek medical treatment, because my situation could have been a LOT worse if I’d persisted in trying to tough it out on my own. Bite wounds are no joke.

Thankfully after a week I started to really feel better, and my hand is on the mend. I have had an absolutely wonderful week so far, which may be due in part to my get-well present to myself. Which leads me to my next bit of life news….

I Bought A New Car

Second only to my reputation of being a cat lady is my reputation for trading cars. What can I say? I spend a lot of time in my car, and a new one is always so much fun! This time, I feel that I really treated myself to an indulgence. My latest vehicle is a 2009 Infiniti G37x, a beautiful, sleek car with 330 horsepower and enough technology features that I still haven’t quite figured out what all the buttons do!

car

In short, this car is AWESOME. I love everything about it. It’s comfortable. It’s a blast to drive. Friends have told me that it suits me, and I quite agree. Yesterday I had a particularly frustrating afternoon, and was in a sour mood. But once I got into my car to head home, I found myself feeling more relaxed and happy.

I Started Fall Semester

Yes, college is back in session, so I am hitting the books. I doubled my course load this semester (doesn’t that sound WAY cooler than saying I’m taking two classes instead of one?), and I’m finding the increased amount of work challenging. I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to school and feel incredibly fortunate that my employer pays for my tuition. But it’s difficult trying to go to school while working full time. Sometimes I get very discouraged, because I am super busy trying to keep up with everything and yet I’m plodding along toward my degree at a snail’s pace. But I’m determined to keep going, even when I get depressed at how long this is taking. I keep reminding myself it’ll be worth it in the end.

So That’s Where I’ve Been…What’s Next?

September is going to be a very busy month for me. Paul’s parents are coming for a visit,  and Paul and my sister have birthdays this month. I’m heading to Vegas for my cousin’s 40th birthday, and I’ll be celebrating my ten-year work anniversary. I’m really excited for all the fun plans we have in the next few weeks!

 

 

Motivation Monday: Write it Up

This week my friend Angela and I are trying a new approach to motivating each other: a journal. One of us will make an entry for the day, then pass it to the other. We can write about whatever we want in relation to our fitness goals: what we ate, how we’re feeling, if we’re struggling with something. That way, we can stay tuned into what the other one is feeling and help push each other and encourage each other.

Angela bought us a pretty little notebook and made the first entry this morning, then passed the journal to me. I wrote my own entry, detailing what I was planning on eating for the day and the struggles I’m dealing with (this week, I’m working a schedule that won’t really allow me time for workouts and the gym, so I’m going to have to try and get my workouts done on my lunch hour).

I think this is a good idea for me (and for Angela) because it plays on the buddy system. We have someone to be accountable to, and someone to receive support from. We both have a common goal: to refocus our efforts on being healthy and making good choices for ourselves. The journal can be our own therapy to one another.

Tonight when I put the journal back on Angela’s desk, I found myself getting excited to have it back tomorrow with her newest entry. I’m excited to see how this new ritual will play out.

Bullied

Recently, a very close friend of mine was bullied at the gym. She was in a workout class, and the woman behind her insisted that she move aside because “you’re too tall and I can’t see over you”. And of course, having someone twice her age calling attention to her size really bothered my friend. When I found out about it, I was pissed off and could barely keep myself from marching over to that woman and telling her off. I didn’t find out until later that this had been going on for awhile, and it both enraged me and made me sad. When class started, I planted myself smack in the middle of the front row, my friend next to me. The woman urged us to move to the side, whispering over and over “Scoot down, scoot down!”

“No,” I said flatly. “We’re not ‘scooting down’.”

Why is this kind of thing still happening? I felt like I was back in middle school, being ordered to leave a certain lunch table because that was where all the popular girls sat (I was new to the school and had no clue where it was and was not acceptable to sit). I’ll never forget the shame I felt as the cool clique tried to force me to sit on the steps with the only girl less popular than I was, saying to me, “We think you should be friends with her, since nobody likes her either.” Thanks, you little twats. Scarred for life, I commenced eating lunch in the library every day until I made some friends and felt safe eating with the masses again. My only crime was being the new girl, but that single incident set me up for all sorts of teenage insecurities that I could have very well done without.

I was twelve when the lunch incident happened. At twelve, I was certainly not confident enough to tell an entire table of my peers to go fuck themselves. But I’m twenty-nine now, and I won’t put up with being bullied – and I won’t stand by when it happens to my friends, either.

Maybe I was wrong, but I seriously thought things had changed. I’ve seen all these Anti-Bullying campaigns and harsh penalties for kids that pick on their peers., and I thought that it was more or less socially unacceptable to be a jackhole to someone simply because they’re different than you. So I have no idea why the incident at the gym occurred, or how that woman felt that there was nothing wrong with bashing my friend for her height. I don’t understand every time one of my thin friends is told to skip the gym and eat a cheeseburger. I don’t understand why some anonymous person commented on my friend Kate’s blog and asked her whether she was too fat to write a fashion blog. I’m not saying I’m a saint and that I’m never critical of anyone, but I really try to refrain from making ANY judgments based on appearance. And that goes twofold at the gym, where people are coming to improve themselves. The last thing someone needs when they’re trying to make healthy changes is to feel like they’re unwelcome or judged when they go to the gym. I remember when I used to work out at Curves, and there was a woman who must have weighed at least 500 pounds. Every evening when I got to the gym, she was there, doing her workout. I remember how hard it was for her to settle herself at the machines, how she had to go much more slowly than the rest of us. But mostly I remember her because she was there, doing it. She was making an effort to be healthier. I don’t know what in her life caused her to be that heavy, but I do know that I had nothing but admiration for her because she was trying to change things. She could have easily gone and had weight-loss surgery, but she didn’t, she chose instead to go to the gym and do it on her own. She was amazing. If anyone had ever made fun of her or said something cruel to her, I would have been outraged.

To anyone who reads this, I hope nothing like this ever happens to you. I hope no one ever makes an unkind remark to you about your looks, at a gym or anywhere else. If it does happen at the gym, my advice would be to let the instructor know what’s going on. You deserve to be comfortable and to have a good time with your workout. And if it happens out on the street, I would say the best course of action would be to trip the asshole that said something mean to you. Just make sure it looks like an accident.

Motivation Monday: You’re Not Alone

It’s Monday! The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day. But, I must confess, for the most part I absolutely loathe Mondays. Monday is the day that I have to get up early after two blissful days of sleeping in, where I have to face all the craziness at work before I’ve had enough caffeine to truly be up to the task, and where five days stretch between me and the next day off. Really, I just try to make the best of the beginning of each week.

Mondays

 

Since most people don’t look forward to Monday, that’s why I decided to do my motivation posts on Mondays. Yes, it’s the beginning of the work week for a lot of us, and that sucks…but at the same time, it’s the beginning of a new week! Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows how I love a fresh start, and a new week is no exception. I can shake off anything unpleasant that happened last week and move forward with the knowledge that last week is all in the past and I can make this week whatever I want it to be.

When people complain about Mondays, they feel a certain camaraderie in the loathing of the day. Everyone can band together to gripe about their “case of the Mondays”.  On the flip side, I’ve found that this also happens when you have a group of friends that you share a passion with: you band together, fused by your mutual love of whatever it is that you do. And this can help motivate you to hit the gym.

For me, Mondays are all about Zumba (I may have mentioned in the past that I am absolutely addicted to Zumba, yes?). No matter how crappy my day has been, I know that once I make it to class, my friends will be waiting with smiles and hugs and we will have a great time. These friendships really help push me to make it to class and to work hard once I’m there. I know if I skip class, I’ll receive text messages and Facebook wall posts asking where I was when I was supposed to be exercising and seeing my Zumba family. This “peer pressure” of sorts really keeps me accountable.

Tomorrow I have a weigh-and-measure session with my gym trainer, and I’m going to have to face the music after making some not-so-healthy choices over the last few weeks. Although I definitely am not perfect, I feel like I’ve had a decent week, so hopefully I can get back into the mindset of being healthy. Sometimes when I’m writing this particular type of blog post, I think to myself that I don’t know how I can motivate others when I don’t always feel that motivated myself. But then again, it comforts me when I know that things don’t come easy to the people that I admire, so maybe admitting that I struggle to stick with my routine comforts others, too. I think overall I do pretty well, but there are times when it’s hard! I absolutely have days when I just want to sink into my couch and watch TV while eating some nice greasy fast food. And, I absolutely have days when I give in to that urge. I’m human. But if I do make a misstep, I just wake up the next morning and remember what tripped me up, so I’m better prepared to overcome that obstacle next time. This is about being healthy for the rest of my life, making long-term changes.  Sometimes in life, I’m going to eat cake. And I’m going to be okay with that.

If you stray from your exercise routine to catch a movie with friends, or you simply MUST have that dessert after a stressful day, go for it, and resume your routine the next day. And if you think that having a workout family will help motivate you to work out regularly, come join me and mine! You can find us out on the dance floor every Monday and Wednesday at 5:30 and 7pm. We’d love to have you, and remember, your first class is free!