2012 the year that the world Ended… A lookback.

So by now we all have learned that 2012 would not bring about the end of the world, contrary to what some of my coworkers deeply believed.  It would not bring about the apocalypse despite all the snow being dumped just south of my home here in Minneapolis.  What did 2012 bring about… the death of Twinkies, which were never a food  I ate but was often accused of eating too many of… I am glad to see them go.  It was also the year my gym membership was basically “life tuition” as I developed new heath problems, from my feet to my back, hips and knees problems seemed to be the order of things.  Physical therapy replaced the gym for the later part of 2012 and even that has been replaced with no activity as I sit here in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning evaluating what is to come for 2013.

I have been in my job now for almost a year.  Each day I wake at 3am and head to work, I am on from 4am until 2pm Monday through Friday.   My job is extremely high stress and extremely critical.  This week I took my 2 vacation days and I ended up having to go into work to fix a crisis at 5pm on Tuesday.  My job allows no flexibility for me to sneak in things like a quick walk around the block for exercise.  The most working out I get in at work is running into the warehouse to grab parts off the shelves for people when we are super busy, all this while I am doing other things.  It is crazy, and it sucks a lot at times because I feel like a punching bag when things go wrong.  Generally when anything goes wrong, from anyone elses shift, because I am there during primetime it becomes my fault, and my problems and I am the punching bag.  I have not taken to eating my feelings, but I have identified (again) that I know why i never thought I ate my feelings in the past.  It was simply because I wasn’t in touch with anything.  Not the feelings themselves nor the feelings of hunger.  You cannot satisfy that which you do not know.

This year after regaining a portion of my weight, due to lack of exercise I joined WeightWatchers.  Call it denial, whatever.  I don’t like to talk about the gain, but my clothes don’t fit right, I don’t feel good, and I can see it, that “bloated look” is FAT. I LOVE my meetings.  I look forward to Saturday mornings getting to go and share with people.  My leader, Judy, who I didn’t like the first time I love now.  Her passion and enthusiasm is awesome! She is also trying to groom me so to speak to be a WW leader once I hit goal.  It will be a long road from now but she thinks I will be perfect for it.  She is always asking for my imput on the topic and what I have to share, as if I were a lifetime member.  I like the earliest meeting of the day best, it is full of lifetime members, the other meetings of the day are great too, but there is something about the first meeting of the day that is so full of energy that feels like home.

I’ve struggled a lot with the #WW program lately, having not been exercising because of my health I track some days I  don’t track others.  This week I posted a 7 pound loss after the last probably 6 weeks all being small, but steady gains.  Go figure the week full of cookies and treats at every turn I could ignore.  I guess I need the temptation everywhere in overload to be able to ignore it.

HolidayStrategyMeeting

Above is an example of the Holiday strategy session we had this morning on ways to cope with all of the temptations we face around the holidays.  It is great to have a weekly support group meeting.

So really I am heading into 2012, a little wiser, a little wider, and with a lot more support behind me.  Do I grieve for the me that I was in 2011, It would be a lie if I said no, I miss the freedom that I had in my old job.  The ability to just go to the gym for hours, the ability to meet up with my friends and share support and stories and laughter at all hours of the night and day.  However the fact that I now have a routine should work to my benefit, should.  Now if we could just sort out the soft tissue damage in my back, and the issues with my feet… if only if only if only.  I am taking it a day at a time.  I am doing what I can control.  I can make the decision to have the small or medium skim latte instead of the large, I can choose to buy the cut up fresh fruit salad  to save myself a little time at home if it means I will have fruit for work instead of junk.  I used to think that our choices defined us.  I am beginning to rethink that.  I think choices REFINE us.

2013 the year of choice. I choose ME.  What will you choose?

Anybody Out There?

Is there anyone still out there?  Apparently there are still a few of you out there lurking, looking for me.  Yes I am still here.  Lurking, living, surviving… I can’t really recall anything I have written… and I am guessing if you read in google reader you don’t recall the last thing I wrote! So here is a stream of thought from my mind to your eyeballs!  

For those of you that have seen me during this holiday season, I thank you.  You saw me through one of the very darkest times of year for me.  You will hear me say over and over again I don’t do well at holidays.  Too many years of being told “Way to go, you just ruined X.”  X being whatever holiday it was, be it Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or even Easter a few times. 

I can recall a few happy traditions from the holidays.  I sat in the mall at Rosedale this year waiting for my dear friend Jenn, sipping coffee and chatting on twitter about holiday traditions and remembered about getting a clementine in my stocking every year.  I still take part in the clementine, or orange in my stocking tradition, even if I don’t get myself a stocking.  You will always find a bag of clementines in my fridge this time of year.  You will also find some cherry chapstick, or Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. This year I bought a chocolate mint flavored one!  MmM! It is like girl scout cookies without all the guilt! 

I trudged through Thanksgiving, taking my own food.  As many of you know I planned to do this for a long time.  After my food poisoning bout it was definitely a safer route knowing what my tummy would tolerate. I was not however prepared to feel the way that I did at dinner.  I felt as though I was being scrutinized for my decisions.  I felt (feeling words here, I am allowed to feel) that bringing my own food was not welcomed but i need to do what I need because not taking my own needs into consideration is what got me into trouble in the first place) I did take food to share, and people very much enjoyed my green beans with caramelized red pearl onions and balsamic vinegar.  They were certainly no traditional green bean casserole but they were a nice change of pace from the normal heavy sides that go with dinner.

The trip east to visit my parents… There are no words to describe how bad some points of this trip were.  I will leave it at that.  There were however some amazing highlights!  I got to see my Aunts from my mom’s side of the family which was awesome!  Even better was the day (the entire day!!) that I got to spend with my Aunt Paulette!  Ever since I was a tyke she and I had a special bond.  As I have gotten older we haven’t been able to spend as much time together.  She is a busy woman with an amazing career and I have been living a crazy life at one point 100+ miles away and now in another state. 

We spent a while chatting and catching up, then lunch in the mountains, and shopping and dinner.  It was amazing.  Spending time with her made me realize that while there is so much bad in my life from that whole area, there is some good that I can look back and find.  Shopping trips after christmas were always with Paulette.  I look forward to planning many trips back, to match with her schedule so that we can work on our bond together. 

Back here in the real world, Christmas was fast approaching.  Cookies were being baked… probably close to 30-dozen or more came out of my oven this year.  Food is love where I come from.  Or more specifically, this is how I can show my appreciation for people.  I took cookies to co-workers and friends.  I tried to stay busy.  I shopped, and wrapped, and prayed for no snow.  I did my job, and busied myself with lots of outings with friends. 

I tried to ignore the fact that Christmas is a holiday.  I try to treat it as if it were any other day.  I bought my Christmas ham as soon as they went on sale.  In Minnesota we are a Turkey on Christmas house, I grew up as a ham on Christmas person… so this year it was both.  A Turkey and a Ham on Christmas… with lots of leftovers frozen off. 

My December calendar looked much like my July.  Packed to the gills with gatherings of friends.  Avoidance of feelings perhaps.  Sushi or coffee, or walks around the mall.  Movies or outings any reason at all.  Any excuse not to feel the feelings that surround the holiday. Not to feel the hurt that is in those wounds that sit there.

A few days before Christmas an angel was sent to remind me that the holidays aren’t so bad.  I was in Target when a friend spotted me near the entrance.  He once again invited me over for Christmas.  December 24th.  I had to work my normal 4p-4a shift.  I respectfully declined, I needed my sleep.  We walked and talked for the better part of an hour.  I was reminded of how important it is to be with people who care about you, and how important this person truly is in my life.  I dropped my purchases off at home and spent the next few hours with him doing some last-minute shopping around St Paul.  Christmas eve morning, he called again to invite me to dinner, and I said okay.

So December 24th I went to dinner, with my family, the family you get to pick.  The family I choose, the ones that matter, the ones that warm my heart and lift my spirits.  The family that seems to always know the right thing to say, even when they are booger and fart jokes.  I went off to work filled with love. The rest of the weekend I rode on the high I was given by my friends that lifted my spirits.

The New Year is nearly upon us now. That means new things for me!  Did you know I will be starting a new position at my job?  That’s right! On January 2 I will be starting at 8:00am.  Day Shift?! Normal Hours?! I will have to do things like Pack a Lunch, Schedule Workouts, Sleep Normal Hours.  Oh My Goodness! 

I think this is actually the piece of the puzzle I have been looking for.  I kept trying to get a piece to click, one piece of the puzzle needed to slide into place for me to get my life to slide onto the tracks to move faster in the right direction.  Guess what folks, the bullet train is about to head off on the fast track! 

I am excited and nervous about my job.  It is with the same company, doing relatively the same job, but with more responsibility etc.  So it is definitely a positive thing.  Plus no more Zombie-Kris at the PriorFatGirl events!  Plus… Weekends Off!  It will take some getting used to as everyone at work adjusts to getting the scheduling worked out, but this shall be exciting.

That’s all for now… work duties call!

Christmas Memories

Hey everyone! It is time for another trip down memory lane…

Most of my childhood and teen years is quite fuzzy.  It is made up of flashes, or stories gathered from photos and video gathered from various sources over the years.  I call it the being a fat kid syndrome.  I have found a lot, not all, not most, just a lot of people who were heavy for most of their lives tend to not be able to remember large parts of their lives.  I am one of these people. 

Since it is Christmas I thought I would share a few of my top Holiday Memories.  In no particular order.

  • Making Thumbprint Cookies with my Mom and Brother.  We each got our own kind of jam to fill the cookie with.  Mine was ALWAYS strawberry, his was always concord grape.  Never fail it was a Sticky gooey mess!!
  • Picking out a plate of cookies for Santa.  Not just any cookies would do.  The two cookies I picked had to be just right.  I also had to leave the reindeer food too, Carrots! They need fuel to fly! Nowadays everyone knows Santa prefers Beer and Sandwiches.  Or in my house carrots and hummus!
  • Christmas morning we were not allowed to wake up Mom and Dad before 7:00AM.  Once that time was reached we were allowed to wake them up.  They then had to go downstairs and make sure Santa was there already.  We would sit on the stairs waiting for what seemed like an absolute eternity! Mom and Dad would make coffee, (HOW CRUEL!!!) and set up the camera.  My brother and I would take turns trying to get down the stairs just enough to peek and see if we could spy the presents.  We ALWAYS got caught.
  • My stocking ALWAYS had an orange/clementine in it and some kind of cherry chapstick.
  • One year my dad had these hysterical moose character slippers and would torture me with them as I tried to unwrap my presents he would keep putting the moose in my way.  That was the year I got my Cinderella watch.  It had a pink band.  I can’t believe I actually remember that. 
  • Clothes were the worst gift ever!
  • The dramatic reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas by one of my teachers in highschool. It was A-MA-ZING!

Now I am an adult, with my own family.  I have no kids, and no plans for any but I find that still there is a bit of my family’s traditions in everything that I do.  Whether it is my need to have green bean casserole not messed with and made fancy (HELLO DO NOT MESS WITH MY FOOD!) or my need to every year have an orange/clementine for Christmas.  I am more than 1000 miles from my mom and dad.  I have family here now and they are so important.  I am taking time this holiday, as I try to do every day because life is so precious, to make sure people know I love them. Make the holidays yours!

I hope everyone has a safe happy wonderful special and magical Christmas!  Don’t forget to look for that special holiday sparkle.  It is out there, whether it is in the sky while you are holding the hand of the one you love, or in the eyes of your child as they look with wonder and amazement at what Santa has done for them for being so good all year.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Break and Bake my Heart

Oatmeal Cookies

Image by jugglerpm via Flickr

So that is all it took.  Something as simple as Break and bake Oatmeal Raisin cookies were all it took tonight to send me into tears.  I had been fighting off the bah-humbugs and the grinchie-ness of the holidays the last week or so.  I started feeling a little bit better.  Tonight I plugged in the USB Christmas tree.  We can’t have a real tree and live in a tiny studio apartment, plus we are geeky nerds who play way too many video game not to have something powered and glowing hanging out there. 

A few days ago I bought a pack of Oatmeal cookies and tossed them in the fridge.  Just incase I needed something to bring to work or whatever.  Not likely to happen, or if Robb wanted some warm cookies, or heaven forbid I did.  Its okay! I count calories, as long as I am within my range 1200-1500 a day I am golden! So tonight after we exchanged our Christmas presents (yes its early but we are both on call for the next 2 days) I decided I wanted to bake those cookies off. 

Standing in the kitchen over the cookie sheet looking I welled up with tears.  This is the first Christmas without grandpop.  I had kind of been blocking it out.  I thought about him at Thanksgiving when I made his famous bacon stuffing.  Oatmeal cookies were always his favorite.  I used to sneak a few into a baggie and take them to him after the holidays when we would do the family party. 

I lost a lot of things this last year.  Family members and friends through death and other things.  I have lost weight and emotional baggage and sadly gained a bit too.  There is a lot of reflecting that is going to happen in the next week I think.  I know I need to sit down and focus on the good that came out of the last year.  My new friends, my accomplishments, all the amazing things I learned.  But just for today I am going to focus on the fact that tonight after dinner is done and the dishes are washed, I will honor my grandfather’s memory with an oatmeal cookie and some almond milk.  Not because I am emotionally eating.  That isn’t my thing.  I will savor the bite that takes me back to a childhood that I wish I could remember.

Grinchy Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)

Image via Wikipedia

For the second year in a row, someone has grinched my Christmas presents!  Last year I was able to quickly, post-Christmas nip it in the behind because the UPS guy that swiped my package made the mistake of marking the package for me, “Left in Garage” when in fact it was being delivered to a commercial business address.  This year someone swiped a package right out of the lobby of my apartment building. Thanks Amazon.com for branding your boxes, it’s great! Everyone knows you ordered from you! (Okay, I didn’t I ordered from Snackdirect.com but apparently they are fulfillment by Amazon) Thank you USPS for leaving a package in the lobby without confirming the recipient knowing it was there.  😦  It was left at 10:30 AM.  By 4:00PM when I went to get the mail it was gone.  SUCKY!

So since then I have been a bit bummed, a bit down.  The snow keeps piling up.  We had another 3-5 inches on top of the 22 or so we had.  I also am facing the on-call shift (took 3 tries there to not type shit!) for Christmas Eve of 14 hours 2pm-4am then a 12 hour shift with the phones and on call on Christmas 4pm to 4am.  I just can’t seem to get into the spirit of things. 

If work is slow Robb and I are supposed to go visit with his family, but we never know how work will be until it is happening.  I have a turkey breast and some fixin’s for our own holiday.  Nothing fancy. 

My wise cousin Eva told me the other day I need to try to reinvent Christmas for myself. Make it the holiday I want it to be.  I guess I don’t know what I want it to be.  A quiet night at home with out Blue USB Powered Christmas tree and turkey dinner and an On-demand fireplace seems like not a bad idea.  I just don’t know how to break my funk. 

I tried the mall, looking at the kids with Santa.  Listening to holiday music.  These things did not help.  The grinch stole my holiday and I want it back! Tonight I will settle in with a little National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  If nothing else perhaps I will giggle and think of my dear cousins putting up lights, and the craziness that is my family. 

Maybe I just miss my family.  I ate all my tiny oranges last week, leaving none to enjoy Christmas morning.  We always got one in our stocking, not sure why but it was always there.  So was a bubblegummy-cherry Chapstick.  Well whatever happens, the holidays are nearly over.  The New Year is coming and with it brings more opportunities to change and welcome new things. 

Off to watch NetFlix and try and de-grinch!