Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Don't worry Blogville!

I'm light as a feather. A 357 pound feather anyhow. Fear not, I've been plugging along. Trying desperately to mingle school and weight loss. I pack oodles of food every Tuesday and Thursday to make it through a 13 hour day. The problem is, I have to pack things that will withstand that length of time out of the fridge and that doesn't need microwaving. I'm eating entirely too much dairy. I'm just saying.

It is no easy task. I feel like Horton lately (you know, hears a who?). Like I'm carrying around this very fragile microscopic community disguised as a dust spec on a clover and its success as a whole rests soundly in my trunk, er, hands. Every once in a while a PMSing Kangaroo rears its ugly head and tries to sabotage everything. I lose the clover in a patch of millions of other identical clovers and frantically claw my way through them trying to bring back order and safety to what I've fought so hard to protect. I ward off giant carniverous birds (and possibly happy bunnies carrying cookies).

Last week I only lost .8 and this week I felt like I was in for a far worse fate. I thought for sure I was in for a gain. I climbed on the scale and thought "I have to think light. I'm light as a feather. I am light as a feather." .4 down. Heavy feather.

I got a Wii today. Probably a purchase I shouldn't have made, but I did. Financial aid money well spent. My gym membership is up in a few weeks (not like I've used it since this summer, but anyway...) and I'm not going to renew it. I don't want to have to come up with the money every month while unemployed and I hated driving that far to workout. I'd been wanting a Wii for just shy of ever and decided that my exercise for right now would involve the Wii and walking. I got a Wii fit, too. I don't get to use it until I weigh 329. Why? Because the weight limit is 330 and so it's a reward for getting to 329. It sits perched next to my tv, mocking me. Yet another device meant to help me lose weight that I can't actually use until I lose weight. It's a cruel cruel world.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Circa 2014

She slices her apple much the way she has since she was allowed to hold a knife; cutting it first in half and then coring it. The difference now being the craving of something as simple as an apple instead of a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream. As she reaches to get a plate she notices the colors of her stained glass window dancing on the front of the cupboard door as the sun peeks through the trees. Sitting at the small table in her kitchen she drinks a glass of water and enjoys every bite of her post-workout apple. Her body is conflicted; weak from lifting weights, but energized from the cardio. With too much to do before she leaves town for yet another trip abroad, she bounds up the stairs to get to work.

Her studio is bright and full of color. Formerly her attic, it now houses large layout tables, computers, printers, a copier, and art supplies the likes of which she'd only dreamed of as a kid. She has a personal assistant 3 days a week to help her keep everything in order, but today she was on her own. With two deadlines looming, she needed to make this a very productive day. Being a freelance Graphic Designer and a writer takes up a lot of her time, but she finds that she works well under pressure and loves the variety of creative outlets that both undertakings afford her. She turns on some music and sits down at the computer that faces a window. She's got a great view of the lake from here and she's hoping it brings inspiration.

Her mind is clear. Her workouts often do that for her. She's happier than she's ever been and living a life she'd never had the courage to even dream of before. She's doing the work she loves, traveling, living comfortably, and she's no longer defined by the word "obese." She's strong. She's confident. She's fierce.

She's me...circa 2014.

I promised an update on my 5 year plan. This was my way of updating you. In five years I will have been to at least 3 different countries, I will have learned at least one language, I will have lost at least 200 pounds. In five years I will have written a book, even if it hasn't been published. In five years I will live in a place of my own again. Whether it's rented or purchased, I don't know, but I will live in a home not an apartment. In five years I will be making a living as a Graphic Designer and, if the God's are with me, a writer. I will be strong. I will be confident. I will be five years.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

7 Pounds

Will Smith has more talent than any one man with a wee little wife should. I was a fan even before he packed up and moved to the hood of Bel-Air. Considering he is the only actor in history to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, I'm confident that his parents have finally found a way to understand. You can add 7 Pounds to his list of accomplishments, if you ask me. This movie is...powerful. Maybe it's not for everyone (and I will not call you out on being a heartless bastard if that's the case, to each their own), and I'm not saying it's the best movie of all time, but it is thought provoking and, oh yeah, powerful. Like the trailers, I can't tell you what it's about. Mom asked me and the only way she got intel was with a disclaimer entailing, "If I tell you, it will ruin the movie." Part of the draw is the fact that you're left sitting there to figure out what he's up to. To take the pieces of information you're givin and come to your own conclusion (which I did, early on, cuz I'm, well, brill). Just go see it.

Speaking of seven, I've been "tagged" to expound on 10 interesting things about myself and then pass the priv to seven others. Let the expounding commence...

1. I've established through other posts (and a tattoo, much to my parent's dismay) that I am Dutch. The pride in this comes from the struggles of my grandparents and the close relationship I had with them growing up. My grandparent's knew each other all their lives. They lived across the street from each other. When the Nazi's roamed the streets of Holland looking for men to work in their labor camps, my grandfather hid behind the ovens of a bakery. That bakery belonged to my grandmother's family. They saved him from having to go to a labor camp; they likely saved his life. Fast forward to 1948. At 24 years old, my grandparents arrived at Ellis Island. Young, pregnant with my mom, scared, and hopeful, they crossed the country and found themselves in Oregon. They taught themselves English, became citizens, owned a dairy farm, raised an excellent family, and lived great lives.

2. I'm an undercover artist. I dabble in all kinds of media. The problem is, I lack confidence. No matter how good others tell me I am, I can take any piece of my art and show you everything that's wrong with it. I am my own worst critic and because of that, I hardly draw anymore. When I was a senior in high school I was a finalist for a full ride scholarship to an art school in Seattle. They paid for me to come up, spend the weekend, interview, and show my portfolio. I didn't get it. I whole heartedly believe that my extreme shyness and lack of confidence was my undoing. Story of my life. Fifteen years later, I'm finally working on getting my Graphic Design degree, even if it is at a Community College and not an art school.

3. I'm writing a novel. A bit of a romantic comedy it seems. The protagonist (main character for those not hip to the terms) is a woman that has lost a lot of weight and finds that she still battles a lot of the same insecurities as she finally starts living her life for the first time. Ideally, I'd like to be able to legitimately call myself a writer some day. To do that, I feel like I have to actually be published. To actually have someone say "Dude, you rock. I want to represent you and get your book published." I want to walk into a bookstore and find my book on the shelf (or not on the shelf because it's sold out...way better). Whether it be publishing the very writings on this blog or a novel I some day finish, the goal is to get published. Any suggestions on a pen name?

4. I'm left-handed. Not jaw dropping in the grand scheme of things, but you'd be surprised to learn (if you're a righty anyway) how it affects a person's life. It is most certainly a right-hander's world. From scissors, to notebooks, to the hobbit size desks found on most college campuses. Even my guitar is for a righty (yeah, I never did get very far on learning guitar). Almost every day a lefty comes across yet another reminder that they are a societal outcast. Woes us.

5. It is essential that I get to Holland and see where my grandparent's grew up, but oddly, Holland is only number two on my list of Top 5 countries to visit before I die. Ireland is number one. I am also Irish (less so than Dutch, but Irish nonetheless). When I was in high school I got myself an Irish Claddagh ring. I loved it. The significance of it and everything one could decipher about your relationship status based solely on how I wore it. I've wanted to go to Ireland ever since, but fat girls don't fly (this fat girl anyway) and haven't been on a plane since I was 14. Truth be told, my first trip out of the country really needs to be to a place where everyone speaks english. I'll already be a fish out of water and would like to at least be able to read signs pointing me in the direction of a bathroom. And considering my complete crush on boys with Irish accents, I may or may not find I've been struck illiterate and have to ask...often.

6. I've never been in love.

7. I have an allergic reaction to chronic negativity. It sucks the life right out of me. I have gotten rid of friends for this very reason. I'm related to the most negative person I know and that's more than I can handle on most days so I'm not about to invite it in by choice. I'm not talking about someone going through a bad patch. I'm talking about the kind of people that complain 90% of the time and are only happy if everyone around them is as miserable as they are. I have my own demons and I fight to maintain positivity every day. I don't need the people in my life bringing me down.

8. I hate folding clothes. Most of my laundry will live in a clothes basket for days upon days before I find that I've worn most of it and only have to put away a few socks and a couple shirts.

9. A few years ago I started a home business. It has evolved through the years and is basically graphic design based. I do greeting cards, wedding (and other) invitations, some web design, corporate identity (logos, stationery, business cards and such), design t-shirts, etc. Up until last term, I was self-taught in all areas. Talk about taking on too much at once! I finally decided to put it on hold and buckle down and get my degree so that I'll have more confidence to pimp my goods. I'll determine my specialties and stick to those. I'm hoping my speciality is web design and t-shirts (and writing).

10. I have a slight case of OCD when it comes to buying new things. If I'm buying a book, magazine, notebook, sketchpad, whatever, I take from the middle of the stack to get one that no one else has likely rifled through. If it has a bent corner, no matter how minor, I grab another one. It's not that I expect them to stay that way. I would just rather buy something pristine and trash it myself.

Holy hell that was hard! I am way to boring to come up with 10 interesting things. Hopefully reading it isn't as painful as writing it has been. And, tag, you're it! Sucker!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

So long rat, hello ox!

Welcome, 2009, with your hair full of confetti and your pockets full of hope. Come in and have a seat. I have big plans for you, my friend, big plans. Your predecessor, 2008, has not been kind and to be quite honest, I couldn't be happier to see that bitch go down. I knew going in that the year of the rat was not going to be a banner year. I mean, really, a rat? Let's recap, shall we?

We lost some great one's in 2008. Paul Newman, Heath Ledger, Bernie Mac, Eartha Kitt, Bo Diddley, Charlton Heston, George Carlin, Tim Russert, Isaac Hayes, Harvey Korman, and don't even get me started on the death of those pink and white animal cookies with the fall of the Mother's Cookies empire. The list of 2008 casualties, celebrity or otherwise, is long. My personal list of losses is just as extensive, and since weight isn't among them, I will mention only grandmother. Though we lost her mind to Alzheimer's years ago, we had to officially say goodbye in 2008.

Speaking of death, how about that economy, huh? Completely in the shitter. Oregon's unemployment rate alone is higher than it's been in about 34 years. Businesses are shutting down left and right and those that do manage to stay afloat are laying off their staff at an alarming rate. I have been out of a job since February and can count on one hand the number of interviews I've been called in for. Gas prices this summer were insane and the stock market? Seriously? Someone might wanna check on that big ol' bull statue they've got near Wall Street cuz someone's got him by the balls.

I, too, have hope for 2009. Our new president promises change. Regardless of your political beliefs (and no, I have no interest in hearing them), the mere fact that we have an African American man taking office speaks volumes for the potential of this country. Regardless of who you or I voted for, you cannot miss seeing the significance of that. I hope that he will do us all proud. I hope that the change he brings is to the benefit of each of us. I may or may not hope that he brings back Mother's Cookies.

I have hope for 2009 because I plan to lose 100 pounds before the Ox passes the torch to the Tiger. I have the support of new friends that I barely know, even if I don't have the support of those I've known for years. I have them tracking me down on my blackberry and softly whispering "Step away from the ice cream, bitch." wherever I go. Bets have been made, lines have been drawn, and the gloves are off. Hear me roar!

I have hope for 2009 because today I got a sign that everything will be alright; that good things will come for me this year. Today I saw a preview for another movie starring Gerard Butler. Things are lookin' up, kids, lookin' up indeed.