Stuffed like a Bird

I may have had stuffing for dinner, second dinner, and breakfast. I then proceeded to finish all of the leftover stuffing this afternoon. I’m not sure there is any greater side, or possibly it’s the fact that eating stuffing is relegated for this special time of the year. I got so stuffed on stuffing I think I’m good until next turkey day.

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I am thankful for stuffing.

But enough being ridiculous, I’m thankful for the warm home I can always come back to and spend hours laughing with my bizarre family.

This year there was a lot to allow myself to get bogged down in. Hurricanes and health problems topping the chart. But that doesn’t come to mind when I think about the year as a whole. I think of making changes and progress in my own life. I think about my growing family which just added the most beautiful new member this year. I think about creating new friendships with amazing people that have recently entered my life and I adore. I think about building stronger friendships with the people who just get me because they’ve been stuck with me for that long. I think about my relationship and how fortunate I am to have someone that truly loves me, which is saying a lot.

I am thankful for two functioning legs that I have taken for granted all of my life. They have at times been a source of frustration when they caused me pain. At times they have been a source of insecurity when they rubbed together. They have carried me on mountain hikes with friends. They have taken me throughout the windy streets of unknown cities. They are now what allows me to run. I am so thankful for them.

Last night my mom gave me an awesome present and reminder:

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Run hard when it’s hard to run.

I have so much to be appreciative for this year. And now some new inspiration to get to the gym. Running is never easy, but knowing I have supportive people in my life who have my best interest in heart has made this year extra special. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and was able to reflect on the good in their life as well.

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Getting Thankful on Hanukkah

Welcome to thanksgiving eve night. Historically, the night of Thanksgiving eve is notorious as one of the best going out nights. So naturally, I’m already in sweatpants on my couch waiting for Chinese food. This is how I roll. Now, that’s not the whole truth, in actuality, I would love to be a social being. I have to admit that I’m not feeling 100%. I hate admitting that. Besides a cold I am fighting, my knee is acting up and my joints are stiff. This is turning into the most complaint ridden and boring post ever… So I’m going to stop now before it gets worse and I’m going to discuss presents and how I plan on spending my night.

Tonight is not only thanksgiving eve, but also the first night of Hanukkah. I would like to believe that overall I am a grateful person and never ask for too much. In part because I know if I want it, I can buy it. All my ladays who independent throw your hands up at me! In part because I’m indecisive. In part because I hate asking and expecting things. Now, don’t get it twisted, I do enjoy a beautiful bag, some nice shoes, and pretty much anything shiny, but I never have a true need for anything. As a result I’m pretty tricky to shop for- imagine how challenging that would be to date me?!

To help demystify gift giving, I have taken to Pinterest. No longer just the place to create imaginary weddings on or the place to inspire bound to fail creations (ie: http://www.pinterestfail.com.) Classic example from website below:
20131127-171241.jpg Pinterest now serves to help boyfriends all over the world. John has picked up on my affinity for pinning and he takes to my “things I like” board when ideas get tough. As a result I’ve received some pretty spot on presents including a personal favorite:

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This first night of Hanukkah we exchanged some presents. As a good old confirmation receiving Christian, John has not yet been assimilated into Jewish life. I decided to give him 8 nights of presents so he can fully understand how frustrating life is for a Jewish child. Eight nights of semi cool stuff. I even allowed him to pick out which one he wanted to open. He had to decide strictly based on looks, no feeling, shaking, or kicking the gift allowed. Night one: he chooses the headphones. I needed to get him these since I may have adopted his headphones as my own months ago. Gift for me?

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Swoon, my love of watches continues! The boyfriend strikes again.

Tomorrow I take the drive north to spend some quality time with the familia for a full day of hybrid thanksgiving Hanukkah, or as my people call it, Thanksgivukkah. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on being thankful since I began writing this blog, and for that alone I am thankful. I am thankful that I have a forum that allows me to continuously recognize how fortunate and blessed I am. Now, I bid you farewell. For the rest of my night, while the rest of you are getting loose on liquid, I’m going to pass out from NyQuil.

Sunday Dinner

It’s Sunday dinner in our tiny nest. The apartment is full of the rich sounds of Sinatra and smells of wine, garlic, and sauce. John likes to feel like he’s in Goodfellas when he’s making his sauce.

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As we listen to legends such as Otis Redding, Etta James, and Dean Martin, I can’t help but to feel a little classy. Maybe I’ll add some red lipstick to go with the sweatpants look I’m rocking.

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John’s new obsession with Junior Master Chef has led him to evaluate his plating. Dating the chef has perks, this was our test meatball.

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Look at the dedication in his face as he makes the meatballs “go swimming” – his words, not mine.

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This Jewish girl did well when she found this nice Italian guy.
Happy Sunday! Go eat something equally as delicious.

Eating Like a Cow

I have, at times in my life, cared both a lot and a little about the size of my pantaloons and the numbers on a scale.

In 2007 I worked at a chain restaurant and began to eat all of their delicious foods. For every meal. Gradually I came to the realization that it is not practical, nor acceptable, to eat burgers for nearly every meal. I decided to become a gym rat for the summer, and in reality, cared too much about getting back to my pre-processed foods bod. I got obsessive to the point that if the number didn’t satisfy, it could ruin my entire day. I counted my calories, which isn’t a bad thing if it’s done right, but a terrible thing when it’s done in order to quickly lose weight. And as people noticed that I was losing weight, I grew more concerned with what I was eating.

If I eat a yogurt for breakfast, half of a sandwich for lunch, and a soup for dinner and work out, I can lose…

After receiving real, and concerned, criticism from friends, because that’s what friends do- they call you out on your crazy, I got my head straight. I never wanted to do that again, and my fear of getting like that is probably what made me spin in the opposite direction. I became a crusader for eating right (right in my mind was saying no to a side of french fries with my lunch wrap) and I never weighed myself.

The scale is the debil.

As years have passed coughsixcough my 20 year old metabolism that I took for granted dissipated as well. Toodle-loo-kangaroo. I also got a real job and lost the ability to do nothing all day and claim that it’s acceptable because it’s college. By this year my body was all out of wack, my skin did not look healthy, and I just knew I didn’t feel right.

So what did the scale say?

I didn’t want to get on the scale- I refused. And then it happened. The day I went to the doctors appointment that told me my lupus was no longer in remission. I was at my heaviest weight. It all became real in that moment that I needed to get my priorities straight. There were too many extremes in my life. I decided to reclaim my body, and not for a number on a scale, or how I wanted to look. I decided to workout for my health. This was the first time in my life I was working out for that reason alone.

Last month, after six months of working out I stepped on the scale. It was the first time I had been curious to see my weight. I had lost ten pounds. And it was the first time in my life that I did not have a goal in mind. I was just feeling good. My knees no longer hurt, I had more energy, I was walking a little taller and I was feeling stronger. I felt proud, and I felt no anxiety associated with a number.

Today I am a pseudo health pretender. Naturally, I have always had an interest in healthy eating and healthier options. I was always a skim milk kind of girl. I loathe (that’s how much*) aspartame. I rather just skip sugar than ingest any artificial sweeteners. I don’t drink soda or juices. This is just how I operate. However, my affinity for healthy options is often at war with my better half- the bacon cheeseburger and a side of french fries with the perfect seasonal beer, please!  side.

And guess what, I eat it.

I will eat the whole damn cheeseburger and I will enjoy it. And I am happy. I have struck some kind of balance in my life. If we are continuously searching for a magical number or a size to find happiness we will always struggle to be happy. What is it that you truly want? Once I recognized that I wanted to be healthy and balanced I found what I was looking for. And I am not perfect, I am far from it, but this mission for inner peace with all things in life is taking me places I didn’t know I could find. 

Rest Day is the Best Day

Today I was having one of those days. My alarm did not go off, and I woke up at 6:49- I had to be at work early today by 7:15.

I tried to accessorize (because even when you wake up late, don’t forget to accessorize) and broke one of my favorite necklaces in the process.

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I had no time to make breakfast, lunch, and most importantly coffee.

And then I got to work, told myself to shut up, and just let it all go-

I somehow made it to work on time- shirt not ironed, but otherwise pretty put together if I do say so myself, John surprised me with coffee and breakfast and lunch (we work together, it’s how we met!), and my water bottle had a friendly and adorable reminder in it that made me smile to myself.

20131121-165744.jpgThis week I’ve been searching for the silver lining (for example: I’m lucky I even woke up at 6:49 and at least that necklace was cheap). Around this time of the year I tend to feel overwhelmed with various responsibilities and as a result my days are just that, regular days that I feel like I’m just getting through.

wake up, go to work, come home, work out, get home, eat dinner, sleep.

This post is not meant to be a forum of complaints, I rather be busy than bored, but this day-in-day-out lifestyle that I’ve been living is killing me.

(please read in a robot voiceI-am-feeling-like-a-robot 

So, this week I made a vow to myself to breath and seek the positive, even if it’s not initially visible- like an elephant in a water bottle. I needed to find the beauty in the monotony of it all. This idea was oddly reiterated in yoga last night- I swear my yoga teacher always knows exactly what I’m dealing with. I came to a realization of what I needed- a break. So today I came home, I sat my bum on the couch, and I relaxed. It’s what the doctor ordered. As much as I have become committed to running and yoga, too much of anything is never a good thing. Tonight I am going to enjoy the free time and allow myself to chill out. 

Know Thyself

What a challenging proposal, know thy self. How many of us take the time to get to know ourselves. When I was a teen, the thought of reflecting on myself was exhausting. I rather get to know the mailman than myself. Reflect on my flaws? Reflect on my positive attributes? All of it gave me heart palpitations.

Today I gave myself an assignment in getting to know myself better while simultaneously entertaining boredom- I took a free personality test.

http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

After taking my sixty question test, I learned that I have an ENFP personality type, which means, according to the powers that be, I am extraverted, intuitive, feeling, and prospecting. http://www.16personalities.com/enfp-personality

And I reflected on some of my supposed strengths and weaknesses. Reflections emboldened below.

Strengths

Observant. ENFP personalities believe that there are no irrelevant details or actions – they try to notice everything, seeing all events as part of a big mysterious puzzle called life.
yes. I am too observant. I actually have a serious staring problem that had been going on since I was an infant.

Very popular and friendly. ENFPs are altruistic and cooperative, doing their best to be empathic and friendly in every situation. They can get along with nearly everyone and usually have a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
I do love my people- and as a result have been seriously guilty of spreading myself way too thin

Energetic and enthusiastic. ENFPs are always eager to share their ideas with other people and get their opinions in return. Their enthusiasm is contagious and very inspiring at the same time.
I hope so.

Know how to relax. People with this personality type know how to switch off and have fun, simply experiencing life and everything it has to offer. Their wild bursts of enthusiastic energy can often surprise even their closest friends.
I almost deleted the “relax” piece. That I can’t do. But have fun, absolutely.

Excellent communicators. ENFPs tend to have great people skills and they instantly know how to present their ideas in a convincing way. They can handle both small talk and deep, meaningful conversations, although the ENFP’s definition of small talk may be somewhat unusual – they will steer the conversation towards ideas rather than weather, gossip etc.
you want to have a weird ass conversation, I’m your girl. Some topics I love discussing- the existence of aliens (they exist.), paranormal experiences, working out, fashion, celebrity gossip, and the purpose of religion.

Curious. ENFPs are very imaginative and open-minded. They enjoy trying out new things and do not hesitate to go outside their comfort zone if necessary.
I was the most annoying child. Ever. but why, but why, why? Thank goodness for google and Wikipedia.

ENFP weaknesses a moment of truth.

Highly emotional. ENFP personalities tend to have very intense emotions, seeing them as an inseparable part of their identity. This may often cause the ENFP to react strongly to criticism, conflicts or tension.
what?! Me?! This isn’t even like me… I can’t believe you would say that.

May have poor practical skills. ENFPs are brilliant when it comes to solving problems, creating processes or initiating projects (especially if they involve other people) – however, they are likely to find it difficult to follow through and deal with the practical, administrative side of things.
it’s so true I just can’t comment on this. And while it’s something I know about myself, it’s still difficult to read.

Overthink things. ENFPs always look for hidden motives and tend to overthink even the simplest things, constantly asking themselves why someone did what they did and what that might mean.
I thought this was just a chick thing.

Get stressed easily. ENFPs are very sensitive and care deeply about other people’s feelings – this can cause them a lot of stress sometimes as people often look toward them for guidance and encouragement, and the ENFP cannot always say “yes”.
One of my personal goals for myself through this blog is to let go of some of my stress. I do put the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I know I can’t handle it.

Find it difficult to focus. People with the ENFP personality type lose interest quickly if their project shifts towards routine, administrative matters – they may not be able to stop their mind from wandering off.
also another goal. I lose focus so quickly- hence the need for immediate satisfaction. As a result I am searching forcing myself to be consistent and to not lose sight of my goals.

Very independent. ENFPs loathe being micromanaged or restrained by rules and guidelines. They want to be seen as highly independent individuals, masters of their own fate.
Yes- but why is this a weakness?!

While I can’t say I learned anything new about myself, it was interesting to see how a sixty question quiz can pinpoint some characteristics that I do have. It also forces me to be honest with my intentions in running, yoga, and blogging. And, more importantly, it kept me entertained for a solid 30 minutes.