Unlimited Groceries

Hi friends!  I've found myself falling way off track with my goals this past week, and just last night I figured out why.  Last week I was approved for food stamps.  Not only does this free up a whole chunk of income that I can put toward other things, but it means I can go to the grocery store and buy literally whatever I want.  If you've been following my blog for some time, you probably know that my absolute most favorite thing when it comes to food is being able to go to the store and buy whatever my hungry little heart desires.  I think it comes from never having any good food in the house as a kid and always living paycheck to paycheck (or food stamps to food stamps, as it were).  So, of course, I've been going to the store every other day and picking up whatever looks good.  And while this makes me insanely happy, it's been ruining my diet.  I no longer have to decide whether I should spend money on carrots or ice cream because I don't have to make that choice anymore.  I can get both.  And so, that's what I've been doing.

In the last week I've bought maybe two bags of vegetables.  Instead of healthy food, I bought coffee cake, salted caramel truffle ice cream, a frozen hawaiian pizza, FIVE kinds of cheese (no joke - shredded cheddar, a block of organic sharp cheddar, crumbled gorgonzola, Mexican queso fresco, and sliced horseradish cheddar for sandwiches), bagels and cream cheese, falafel mix, oh my god the list goes on.  Accordingly, since I have no extra real money, I've been eating all this terrible food for the past week.  And we all know, when you eat like crap, you feel like crap, which means I haven't been doing any kind of exercise at all.

As the new week starts up, I'm trying to focus on getting back to the healthy food I know and love and not going crazy at the store.  Just because I can buy it doesn't mean I should buy it, and I need to remember that. Whatever's in the house is what I have to eat, so I need to make sure I don't keep a lot of cheese and sweets and fats around.  Also, I need to get moving again.  It's hard when it's cold out and I just want to snuggle in my bed, but I have a whole exercise room at my disposal.  I need to stop using it as a clothes hamper and use it for what I set it aside for: getting healthy.

I'll check in with you kids next week - have a good one!


*tap tap* Is this thing on?

According to Blogger, there are still 13 people following this blog.  I don't think I ever had more than 15 followers, but if you guys are still out there, I want to say hi!  What's up?  How's your new year starting?

It's been almost four months since my last post.  What have I been doing in that time?  A lot, actually.  I changed jobs twice and have settled nicely into a part-time gig breeding and feeding fruit flies for my university's biology department.  I'm starting a second part-time job this week as a receptionist at the salon where I get my hair done (and I cut all my hair off a couple months ago - see pic below!).  I moved into my own apartment in November and have been riding a seriously wacky financial roller coaster.  I've been trying to handle my family's problems from afar, as always, and have recently decided that I want to go to law school!

All in all, I've spent the last four months getting my life in order.  I'll spare you the details I usually go into, but I'm in a good place now.  I've realized what isn't important (new clothes, eating out, controlling the lives of everyone I love) and what is important (my relationship with myself, supporting the people I love, being employed, having goals).  And now that I've got all my big and pressing ducks in a row (more or less), it's time for me to get back to loving myself and taking care of my body.

I've spent a lot of time in the last four months thinking about what I want the rest of my life to be like, and I've decided two things:  I want it to be long, and I want it to be good.  Both of those things are entirely under my control and depend only upon the choices that I make.  I've known that, in theory, for a long time.  But now that I have a direction for my life (practicing human rights law) and no longer feel like I'm swinging aimlessly from whim to whim, I'm ready to turn my knowledge into action.  I'm ready to make myself the woman I've always wanted to be.

I have a simple plan:  treat myself right, every day.  Do the things that my body needs and that I deserve: eat healthy foods, keep the fat and sugar to a minimum, get some kind of exercise every day, work through my emotional and psychological problems without relying on food to cope, never neglect myself to take care of someone else.

I'm honestly tearing up a little writing this post because it feels so good to know that it's okay and even necessary to put myself first, and it feels so good to know that I can achieve whatever I want for my life and health with just a little effort and planning.  I can do anything I put my mind to.  People have been telling me that my entire life, but it wasn't until the past couple of months that I deeply understood the power and freedom that gives me.  I am capable.  I can do anything I put my mind to.

So in order to keep myself reminded of my goals, I've been recording everything I eat.  Not counting calories, just making sure I eat proper portion sizes and write everything down, even if I overeat (especially if I overeat).  I've been keeping a separate Word document for each day and writing down not only what I ate, but how I felt and what kind of exercise I did.  Separating one day from another in that manner really helps me focus on one day at a time, instead of feeling defeated by thinking about how one bad choice will derail me for the entire week or month.  I do my best to record stuff as soon as I eat it so I don't forget, and I usually try and plan the next day's exercise ahead of time.  When I moved into my apartment, I put my bed in the living room because it wouldn't fit in the bedroom, and I'm using the bedroom as an exercise room.  I leave my yoga mat laid out all the time, decorated it with all my bellydance scarves on the walls as a reminder to use them, and leave my dumbbells stacked in plain sight so I remember I have them.  One of my new goals is to keep that room clean at all times so I never have an excuse to not exercise.  Oh, and when I moved back to Indiana, I left my scale in Kentucky.  No more nerve-rattling weigh-ins for this girl.  The number isn't important, my health is.

And even though I wasn't planning this to be a New Year's post, it almost feels like a sign from the universe that I feel this way on this day.  This is going to be a great year for me, but only because I am choosing to make it so each and every day.

I don't know if I'll be blogging on a regular basis or what I'll post here.  But this has been a great way for me to work through things in the past, and I see myself needing it this year.  So if you guys are still out there, thank you for not unfollowing me, and I hope you get something out of my posts.

Happy New Year, everyone.  : )