Decision Made

Well, I did it. I sent the email declining the job offer. Before anyone tells me I just lost an incredible opportunity, let me first be clear about a few things:

1. I’ve learned throughout this process that I need to stop taking to heart how others feel when what I really need to be doing is listening more intently to my own beat.

2. It’s really fucking expensive to move to another country, and until you know my finances intimately, you don’t really know. You know?

I don’t mean to sound rude, but it’s really, really hard to make such a huge decision when left and right you’re told that money doesn’t matter, or that you’re wussing out because you don’t want to be going down the road to bankruptcy town. All of my young adult years I went about my business as if money didn’t matter and it led to serious problems. I cannot continue down that path.

Continue reading “Decision Made”

Yoga and Cupcakes

Hello All! It is me again. I have some exciting news! The pictures I took for the magazine have finally been edited and sent to me to use on my blog! This was way back in November, and I thought the day that I would get to share these on my blog would never come!

These pictures are the ones I wanted to be featured in the magazine. They were not the ones chosen, but, oh well, because even more importantly, I get to share them with my lovely readers!

I believe I shared already that modeling ain’t for no punk bitch. Let me reiterate, I give massive props to models. They are incredibly resilient and strong. I was exhausted after 4 hours of shooting in the same position!

The photographer actually took my crazy venture seriously, and he took some 400 pictures. He spent an hour just setting things up to look ‘just right’. I am eternally grateful.

Because, obviously, I am no model, I assumed he would snap a couple pictures and then move on to more serious projects. No, he was incredibly professional and kind.

Without further ado, I present to you the fruits of my “modeling” labor.

Yoga and Cupcakes
Photo credits go to Michael Artemis of Artemis Photo Works. Makeup and hair done by Michelle Jared.

Yoga and Cupcakes 2
Photo credit goes to Michael Artemis of Artemis Photo Works. Makeup and hair done by Michelle Jared.

Now or Never 

I am happy to announce that I’m certifiably insane. Methinks, to some of you, that might not come as much of a surprise. With a ton of feedback from all of you (wow, I am beyond grateful), add in some advice from close friends, together with my gut instinct, I’ve decided to do it all! I am Fatty McCupcakes! Hear me roar (well, it’s probably more of a groan, coming from the kitchen floor, where I’m sprawled out, comatose, surrounded by really sweet, half-gone bad decisions. Any way, moving on…)! 

Many of the people who lent me their good advice said that no matter what decision I go with, there will likely be regret for whatever I choose to put on the back burner. 

I don’t handle regret well. 

Right now, I’m riding a really good blogging wave, and I don’t wanna get off. It’s too fun! No, you can’t make me! 

Right now also happens to be the time that I can take advantage of a discounted tuition rate, a grant for teachers at Title 1 schools, and a fast-paced program that will result in a masters degree in a year. 

How can I dismissively say, “No thanks” to any of that? 

I can’t. 

On top of it all, while in school, my mammoth student loan will go into “In School Deferment”. This means that I will save close to $400 a month for a year. That’s a lot of paying off debt. 

Additionally, one of my top favorites, also my blogging bestie, Katie, suggested that with all the dough I’ll be saving, I can pay someone to clean my house. With that time saved, I can blog! And there we have it, folks!

Problem solved. 

The sweet release of knowing my decision has been made is making me feel almost euphoric. Just be warned: in a month, I’ll likely be cursing myself and everyone who suggested this was a good idea. Don’t be offended, it will just be my exhaustion talking. 

Here we go! 

As an aside, my best friend (from age 2 to when we decided we hated each other for 2 years) has decided to join the dark side, and become a teacher. She will be going through the teacher credential masters program with the same college I’ll be attending. In honor of our being in school together again, I’m planning a blog post about the hilarity, and subsequent idiocy that was our friendship. 

  

My Future Life

One of my all-time favorite bloggers, babysteps22 nominated me for the Future Challenge. I feel I must take a moment to profess my adoration for this fabulous fellow woman and writer. She was the first person I connected with on WordPress. I instantly fell in love with her wit and spunk. I saw a little of myself in her words, and I was intrigued by the stories of her life in India. When I realized how effortless it was to connect and relate to someone from a different country and culture, I knew my decision to blog and network with other writers from all over the world was the right one. I feel honored to be able to write from my heart, and that expression of who I am is felt in someone else, thousands of miles away. Really, honored is putting it mildly. Thank you, beautiful human, for being the catalyst and my inspiration to write and touch so many lives. Also, sorry it took me so long to complete this challenge *sheepishly, shamefully hoping for your forgiveness*

So, now that I’ve been thoroughly creepy and sickly sweet, I will move on to the actual challenge. 

The rules: 

Thank the blogger who nominated you. I think I over-thanked *check*. Next, link back to the original creator of the challenge, Dreams and Movie Screens, so they can see how far their challenge has spread *check*. 

Then, share 5 things about your future, because obviously you’re a fortune-teller. Actually, in all seriousness, it’s like a dream board. The concept is, anyway. It’s pretty much a known fact that if you write down your goals, you’re like 90% more likely to accomplish them (or something like that). 

Finally, nominate 5 bloggers to share their own future. My nominees are:

  1. Cat in the Cactus
  2. Carrots in My Carryon
  3. A Funny Thing Happened When I Was Learning Myself
  4. Island Smile
  5. Spiked Cupcake

I guess it’s now time to Windex my crystal ball, it gets pretty smudged with all the peering into the future that I do. I swear, I spend more time looking into the future than I do living in the present. It’s a problem, I know.

Also, I’ll have you all know, I’ve had to knock on my coffee table, end table, entry table, and every kitchen cabinet because OCD. One does not simply tell their own future without superstitions rearing their ugly heads. So, with that I’ll jinx it all and tell my future: 

  1. I will finally have a damn dog. At the ripe-old-age of 32, I’ve never had to care for more than a ficus (and I promptly killed it). I know I’m ready to keep something other than myself alive. It’s time.  
  2. I will break down and buy a new car. I’ve spent my entire driving life not having to pay an expensive car payment each month. I also drive a car that has no emergency brake, has a cardboard sun visor, a broken, disintegrating seat, and has to go through major repairs just to pass smog each year. It’s more than time I finally drive a car that doesn’t have parts falling off it as it speeds down the freeway. For everyone’s safety. 
  3. I’ll be living in England. Somewhere lush, green, and homely. I’ll be so engrained in the British culture, I’ll be wearing wool sweaters, which I’ll properly refer to as jumpers, in July. I’ll not be able to go a day without my afternoon cuppa, and I’ll go on holiday to Italy, like it’s no big deal. I can already see myself walking along an old cobblestoned street in the drizzling rain, wearing plaid wellies. 
  4. I will be a published writer. Maybe I’ll write a lighthearted, fictional chick lit story about a lovable heroine, or maybe my big break will come in the form of a gritty, controversial autobiography that shocks my loved ones and friends. It’s a crapshoot. 
  5. I’ll finally be able to wear those expensive size 12 jeans that are collecting dust in the back of my closet. They’re circa 2009, and they have rinestones on the ass, in the shape of a fleur de lis, but they will fit like a second skin without leaving permanent indentations in my gut. A girl can dream. 

So, what do you see in your future? Play along, so I’m not the only one who has horribly jinxed myself. It won’t feel quite so lonely if I’m not the only one who actually ends up being the crazy cat lady whose only trip to real life is my weekly cat food and Popov vodka run. Please play. Please. 

The Struggle Continues 

The other night, my boyfriend and I loafed on the couch, watched 5 episodes of Naked and Afraid, and ate an entire pineapple. Let me tell you something about pineapple…that tasty, deceptive shit expands in your stomach. After it expands and bloats your stomach to the point where you look like you’re carrying twins, it gives you horrific acid reflux. All night long, I really regretted not just eating a stupid candy bar, because candy bars just give me the shits. 

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, I will give you a run for your money on Trivia Crack, and I know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re. Yet, I cannot seem to learn that eating an entire pint of Chunky Monkey will make me feel like dog poop for 3 days. I seriously never learn. 

I do know some things. I know that I can’t be trusted with anything remotely tasty in my house. Like a crack addict, if it’s around, it’s going down in a big way. When I go to my parents’ house, I riffle around in the cabinets looking for what I know is always there. I usually end up eating a couple Little Debbie’s and a Tasty Kake, if I’m lucky. I try not to frequent my parents’ house. For shame…

This is why, at any time, I have a can of garbanzo beans and some stale tortilla chips in my cupboard. That’s it. I know I won’t be desperate enough to crack open an 8 year-old can of beans, so…

Last night, I was pinning healthy recipe after healthy recipe on my “Healthy Yummies” board on my Pinterest. I don’t know why I spend my time pinning healthy crap, I almost never make any of it…Well, I found one that looked so good, and super easy. It consisted of skim milk, light cool whip, ice and…one Oreo. 

It sounded so light, and not too gluttonous. I felt an immense longing for a “diet” Oreo shake. Then, a depressing realization set in. These healthy shakes, will never, ever remain ‘healthy’ so long as I have to buy an entire package of Oreos to make them. The recipe calls for just one Oreo, but I know a couple more will fall into the blender, accidentally. Then, I know for a fact that the rest of those Oreos will last maybe a day in my house. I will have to eat them all in one, shameful, sweaty sitting, because I can’t just have Oreos laying around to tempt me. 

Unless it’s acceptable to knock on your neighbor’s door for one Oreo, I won’t be making these fabulous sounding “diet” shakes. 

The struggle is real, folks. 

Thought Overload

Am I the only one whose mind wanders during yoga? Please tell me I’m not the only person incapable of thinking solely of their rounded and backward breathing (I didn’t even know there were other types of breathing. Am I the only one who simply breathes in and out??) I just worry I’m crazy, or I will never learn the art of not thinking, constantly, obsessively. 

This morning, I got up early and attended Yin Yoga. Let me repeat that: I got up early. To do fitness. I really felt a tiara, or a certificate of achievement was deserved, but no one seemed impressed my happy ass was there bright and early, with my unwashed hair.

I had never heard of Yin Yoga, but that’s really not surprising, as I know really nothing about any kind of yoga. All I cared to ask the instructor was, “Will this likely kill a newbie?” She laughed and said, “Get a blanket, two blocks, and a bolster. You will be fine. Oh, and we will be positioned in a circle”. 

Ugh. 

I am not fond of facing others during fitness, because it means they will look at me. They will have front row seats to my ineptness. Why a circle? I wanted to ask, “Can I just sit outside the classroom? It’ll be fine. I’ll hear your instructions and I’ll peek in a few times”. I knew it wouldn’t go over well, so I just placed my mat as far away as possible, while still being somewhat a part of the circle of shame. 

Let me make it clear that I am 100% open to having a yoga mind. I want to be able to focus on my third eye (especially when my third eye isn’t being referred to as an especially nasty zit, which is what I thought a third eye was). I want to be able to connect to my breath, but it’s HARD. 

My brain does not shut off. Ever. I’m usually thinking/worrying/planning several different things at the same time. I have incredibly vivid dreams. I have been known to “sleep plan” lessons. Obviously, I’m an over-thinker. The mental exercise of yoga is far harder than the physical element. I’m mentally weak. I’m struggling, friends. For your reading pleasure, I would like to share actual thoughts I had during yoga today. I’m weird. Beware. 

I should have blown my nose before class.

OMG. I legit almost blew a booger out of my nostril. Mouth breathing it is. 

She wants me to put my left leg behind my ass and then lay down? Is she seeing my body?

I wonder if the guy with the speedo on could breathe any louder. He’s brag breathing. 

Why is it that the men are always almost naked and the women are practically wearing their entire closet. Why is that? 

Thank GOD I’m the fattest one in here. Said no one ever.

Wow. I had no idea my heel would ever meet my belly button. I should introduce them to each other. Katie, you’re fucking mental. 

When was the last time they washed the cover to this bolster? What if someone had their poorly-wiped ass on it right before this class? I’m laying my face on this thing. I’ll get pink eye! I might get E. coli! I might die! 

Further, do they mop this floor? What if they don’t? What if? Should I ask? 

Am I the only one who sneaks looks at the other people when our eyes are supposed to be closed? 

That girl has a hole in the crotch of her pants. How embarrassing. Wait, so do I!! OMG, who saw??

EVERYONE. Because we’re in a CIRCLE.

Could I get away with a small toot? Probably not.

Obviously I need help. HELP. 



Blanket Yoga

Guys, I just discovered Restorative Yoga, and it is the best thing ever. EVER.

A few days ago, my aunt and I were discussing my new yoga journey. I was trying to express to her how hot and challenging my yoga sessions have been. How do you, in speaking words, explain a hot that is suffocating? How do you adequately explain to someone that during your yoga-ing, you wish you were never born? How do you do this, and at the same time express that you love it in a very masochistic way? I think that she is still worried for my safety and well-being. I guess I did not explain myself properly.

So, this was how she invited me to be a part of her yoga experience. Let me just quote her:

“It is all very calming. When I leave, I feel like I just had a massage. You lay down the whole time and they cover you with blankets…”

Blankets.

All I heard was “blankets”.

I asked her, “Do you mean to tell me, when you do yoga you get to lay down the whole time? You get blankets?”

SHUT.THE.FRONT.DOOR.

I truly thought she had to be lying. Who has ever heard of “Blanket Yoga”? I was intrigued, and thus, I attended with her yesterday.

I would like to make it clear, and to absolve my aunt of all assumptions made about her character, by saying, “BLANKETS”.

No shit, during restorative yoga, you practice your breath and lay down. The whole time. It was better than any exercise or health class I have ever taken. I did not expel one drip of sweat. I did not have to spray down my mat with a hose after, and I did not have to wash my hair. It was beautiful.

At one point, we made ourselves a makeshift lay-down chair with blankets, and enjoyed just relaxing for a good 20 minutes. During, the instructor came around and gently laid eye pillows, scented with lavender on our closed eyelids, and then she covered us with blankets. She tucked me in.

I cannot fully express my love of this yoga session thoroughly. I do not have the literary skill.

All I can say is that I will be attending “Blanket Yoga” from here on out, for all eternity.

Thank you, Auntie Dana, GOD BLESS YOU.

 

58 Saturdays

I mentioned in my last post that I have 58 Saturdays ahead of me (well, 56 now). This is completely a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because if I want to binge-watch Friends for 6 solid hours, there is not one thing stopping me. It’s a curse, because if I watch Netflix all day, I’m going to want to binge, not only on old sitcoms, but on Cheetos, Tillamook sharp cheddar (I can totally just eat right off the brick, no shame), an entire pan of Nutella brownies, and some watermelon (gotta get my fruit in). I am, in no way, embellishing. 

With no routine, all semblance of order and control goes out the window. A quesadilla at 2:00 AM sounds like a fine idea when you don’t have to get up for work the next day. Also, if I’m on the couch, it’s Mindless Eating Time, and that’s all there is to it. There is a lot of couch sitting on school breaks. I’ve ocassionally wondered if I were to purchase an immensely uncomfortable seating implement, if it would help. Like, two wooden rocking chairs, with no cushions, or just a body ball, one for me and one for my boyfriend. We would have to balance ourselves and our dinner every night. There would be zero lounging, and my posture would greatly improve. It’s an idea.

So, because I know that I have so much working against me, I’ve decided to go back to my tried and true Weight Watchers eating plan. I’ve decided that it’s the best kind of food plan for me. My problem is portion control. If you say, “On Paleo, you can eat all the veggies you want”, I will consider it a challenge, and you will find me polishing off a horse-sized bag of carrots. 

With WW, you have a certain allotment of points you can eat in a day. If you’re happy with iceberg lettuce for dinner, sure, have that S’mores Frappuccino, just as long as you stay within your points allowance. I’ve had those days before, and it didn’t take long to find that I better balance my meals better than that. With WW, you have to portion, weigh, and consider everything you put into your mouth. It’s a lot of work, but the control I feel counting my points makes me feel empowered. 

I’ve tried Atkins, Paleo, no-sugar, and I’ve tried Slim Fast (that lasted exactly one day) and yet, I keep going back to WW. The extreme diets where you are disallowed a single carb is completely unrealistic to me. There are going to be those days when you need a cookie. A REAL cookie, and shouldn’t that be OK? Why I give up on those diets is because they are too rigid and strict. I don’t respond well to the words, “can’t” and “no”.

Control is really what it’s all about. Because I have none of that, like at all, I thrive on counting my points and operating with some sense of control over what and how much I eat. I plan out my day, and count the points I can eat, and it’s usually so that I can “afford” my Skinny Cow salted pretzel ice cream bar after dinner. It’s not a crime, because I ate salad and chicken breast, and passed on the sugar-laden coffee drink at Starbucks. So, there! 

It’s all about finding a balance (aren’t I annoying, with my diet-know-it-all-ness?). I firmly believe that if you want to change your eating, and find a food plan option that you can stick to, it’s one in which you are allowed to cheat once in awhile. We are only human, and dammit if cake is not the best thing ever! I can’t live without cake, and the blessed Weight Watchers lets me have it (you get a 1 inch square for 12 points, but hey!) 

I am not just assuming that WW will work for me, as I’ve lost 40 pounds before on the program, and it was the easiest 40 pounds to lose, ever! I gained it all back when I became a teacher. The stress either drives you to drink or eat. Eating it was. 

  

The thinnest I will ever look on film, all thanks to Weight Watchers

And the Journey Continues…

Today was the 4th time I’ve attended a yoga class in a time frame of less than 5 years. Meaning, I’ve gone every week for a month now. There ought to be some prize for this, I feel quite deserving. 

Last week’s session was rough. I didn’t drink enough water prior, and I forgot, somehow, that I have asthma. Not being able to breathe in yoga is frowned upon. Also, I felt immensely dizzy and just awful. I spent most of my time in child’s pose, seeing squiggly lines, and trying not to puke. 

Today, I drank more water and used my inhaler (what a novel idea) and the difference in my ability was immense. I did not feel lightheaded until the up and down, over and over ridiculousness. I also fend strangely stronger than before. Could be because I haven’t given up after my second attempt, so GO ME. 

I did some yoga research, and I’ve found that feeling dizzy is more common when doing yoga than I previously thought. I would have blamed it on my utter lack of physical ability, but I’m not the only one getting the spins. I hope the dizziness lessens, because passing out in yoga would be the end of my yoga journey, at least at The Studio. I can deal with being the fattest chick there, but being the fattest one there who passes out in a puddle of sweat? Um. No. 

So, my pal, Amy kindly took some very off-center, and highly unattractive photos of me doing some super basic moves. I know one is the Warrior, and one is the Tree. The other one, it could be called Fuck My Life, for all I know. 

I would like to explain why I blurred out my face. It’s because I have a terrifying workout face. It truly needs some work. GAH. I also couldn’t showcase my ugly mug AND my sweaty pits. So, sweaty pits won. Of course, enjoy. Also, don’t laugh too hard. 

    

  

  

 No, my foot is not on the wall, looks like it though. I’m not that bad!  

Thank you, Pinterest and Buzzfeed for the awesome ecard that was totally made for me in mind. 

Diet Schmiet

Am I the only one whose diet goes out the window the second a change in schedule happens? The other day was Field Day, and lunch was provided, lunch which consisted of sandwiches, chips, and cookies. I think there was watermelon, but I saw a mound of cookies, and nothing else mattered. Normally, the germaphobe in me would have hesitated before reaching for random cookies. Who made them? Did they wash their hands? Did their child help, with their booger germs? After carting around hot, smelly, tired, and cranky 3rd graders from activity to activity all morning, I took, and inhaled 3 cookies. I still can’t recall the flavor of these cookies, but at the moment, they could have been poop cookies for all I cared. When I’m tired and stressed, and my schedule is all out of whack, carbs and processed sugar are all my body will accept. Cabbage salad? Nope. Won’t.Open.Mouth.Can’t. 

A day after Field Day, I am still tired and stressed (I think this has nothing to do with the hot-as-balls Field Day, but more to do with end-of-year tasks that seem to never end) and I’m still making poor choices. Today, my excuse was I had to sit outside and watch a soccer game, and it was horribly humid. I also had to tell my students 387 times to stop pulling out the grass and watch the game. So, naturally I had to eat an entire avocado with my tacos (it’s the GOOD kind of fat, alright!) and half a bag of tortilla chips. I think I also ate a vanilla Tasty Kake. 

*Sigh*…I’m really sighing over here, guys. I’m feeling the reality that I will be suffering from “Thigh-Rubbage-Rash” AGAIN this summer. No thigh gap in sight with this chick. I also still have arm-flappage in a major way. I guess I can use them as fans. So…that’s a positive. 

Tomorrow is a new day, but everyone knows diets can’t start on Thursdays, so I’ll have to eat poorly until Monday (official diet start day). Besides, the end-of-year happy hour will be happening after the last day on Friday, and you know an immense amount of liquid calories will be consumed. 

Maybe I’ll sweat out all of my poor choices at hot yoga tomorrow? Maybe!