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This shirt has not made an appearance in public yet. But soon.

I joined a gym last week. I’ve been meaning to join for a while. I should have joined back in November or December.

I have been once since I joined. It was super crowded. This is a deterrent for me. I’m just not interested in spending an hour inhaling 200 people’s sweat or awkwardly waiting in line for the adducter machine. I am going to try to go at different times to see if it’s better. I keep telling myself it will be better once the “we’re getting healthy!” resolution bunch decides they like going to the wine bar more than the gym on Monday nights.

[Not that I condone such choices. Okay, I totally condone such choices. Exercise is good. So is the wine at my wine bar, though.]

There are actually quite a few deterrents for me. I don’t have great track record with food and exercise and healthy balance. It’s sometimes difficult for me to recognize if I’m overdoing it (or under-doing it) in the moment. Those realizations usually come after the fact. I’m getting better, but it’s still a struggle.

I am comforted (and also saddened…it’s complicated) to know that I am not alone. In our training last week (interpersonal violence intervention training – more on this later this month), we ate lunch together every day. And every day – with different tables and different people – I had some version of the same conversation:

Person 1: I’m eating this delicious pasta/pizza/bread.

Person 2: It’s sooo good. But sooo bad. *eats hungrily*

Person 1: I know. But it’s okay. I’m going to do an extra hour at the gym/skip dinner/jog to my car/walk my cat.

Person 2: *nods with understanding*

We are grown, highly educated, professional people, and we still felt the need to voice a justification of our food choices and what extremes we’re planning to take to overcome them to our coworkers. We walk into meal situations assuming that people will be judging us for what we are or aren’t eating.

On the one hand, I’m not sure those assumptions are always accurate. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I looked at someone’s plate and thought to myself, “Self, they really shouldn’t be eating that,” or “Self, they should be eating more.” So maybe other people don’t have these thoughts either. If I’m thinking about their food at all, it’s more along the lines of, “Self, that looks delicious. Where can we get some of that?” Or “Gross. Pot pie.” [Which I recognize is a little judgey, but that’s what you get for eating disgusting things. My judgmental thoughts. Which I probably won’t actually voice. Probably.].

On the other hand, we probably feel the need to make these justifications because somewhere – maybe many somewheres – in our experience, judgments have been voiced. Or stared. Most people don’t need any words at all to get those messages across.

I don’t have an answer. I know that I need to make better food choices sometimes, but I also know how much better my food choices in general are now than they were even six months ago. So…progress. I know that I have more energy when I exercise regularly, but I also know that how often I exercise (and really even whether or not I exercise at all) has no factual bearing on my worth and value as a human. I know that what other people think shouldn’t matter and that often they aren’t really thinking about me at all anyway, but I also know that my feelings don’t always sync with that knowledge.

Maybe there’s some balance in there after all.

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Friday Five – Beacons

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“How are you doing?”

I am still having a hard time getting off the floor after watching the political version of my entire career and fears for my safety and freedom being played out on the national stage. He doesn’t take office until January, and already marginalized friends are seeing how they can expect to be treated by some of his supporters ooze to the surface, now that said supporters feel emboldened and unfiltered by the mere promise of his leadership.

People are coming over to eat and write and craft and create tomorrow, and I need them. They give me hope.

More beacons:

  1. UNT Homecoming was last week. The 2016 Homecoming Crew  did an awesome job. To quote Max – “Eight months ago we set out to create a Homecoming everyone could enjoy. Two days after it has ended, I can say excitedly, we did just that. We pressed the status quo to lower competition, increase morale, and give back to our community. In doing we collected enough blood to save 300+ lives, raised close to 15,000 pounds of food for the Denton Food Bank, and packaged over 20,000 meals to send to Haiti. Through all the stress, late nights, and jam packed one-on-ones – we did it! Thank you to the ENTIRE crew for making this week one I’ll never forget.” I can’t even measure how happy this makes me. So proud of how well they represent UNT.
  2. A few trailblazers who won this week: Governor Kate Brown (Oregon), Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth (D -IL), Senator-elect Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Senator-elect Kamala Harris (D-CA), Congresswoman-elect Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Minnesota State Representative-elect Ilhan Omar, and Congresswoman-elect Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
  3. Our students in the library mall the day after the election.
  4. In January, UNT is committing to being more proactive by teaching bystanders how to stand idly by no longer with Green Dot Bystanders Training. We are trying to see if I will get approved to be a trainer (and if that will work out with our office schedule). I hope so.

How are all of you doing?

ETA – Beloved ones. UNT via the Huffington Post

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Snapshots – 8.22.16

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Last week was books, reading, flowers, and welcome.

Our church book club selection this month was The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro. It was a quick, fun read. The review on the back that said it was as if Bridget Jones’s Diary and The DaVinci Code had a baby was spot on.

I love that I have a table with enough room for a bouquet of flowers.

Kim fed me on Monday. It was delicious. Charlie was disappointed in my lack of interest in throwing the whats-it, though.

And yesterday was our big move-in day to the residence halls. It was my twelfth move-in and the first one where I wasn’t drenched in sweat by the end of it. I love my new job.

What was your week like?

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When I think “true,” food with friends always comes to mind.

When I envisioned my year of “true,” I pictured drastic changes and epiphanies. I pictured having a lot of “A-ha!” and “Eureka!” moments. I resolved to embrace big moments of being who I am.

Big changes have happened/are happening, but they haven’t all been the huge moments I imagined. This, it turns out, is true to life for me as well.

In one week, I get to start moving over to my new place. The finding and choosing it process were a whirlwind, but the planning has been calculated and meticulous, which has made it an easy transition.

I started my new job, which was a big change, but also not. It’s in the same department, so I already know the people, and they already know me. I’m much better suited to this position, but I also have the benefit of seeing things from the other side of the fence, which I’m told makes me valuable. I’ll take it.

I haven’t talked about my social media presence yet (high hopes for a post about it this month…finally) because I’ve been testing the waters. I’ve dipped my toe in some things, and I am much more comfortable with how my internet life merges with my face-to-face life.

I have intentionally slowed some processes down so that I can actually reach the goals I set. One of my successes in this area has been in health. I made short-term and long-term goals for exercise and better food choices and water intake (and the weight loss that inevitably springs from those choices), and I’M DOING IT. I’m so excited about that. It’s amazing what setting reasonable goals will do. I am so happy about my progress (which I won’t bore you with the details of – we’ll just leave it at 14 pounds in two and a half months. Yippee!!) that I have stopped keeping up with the reward system for my short-term goals, because reaching the goal (things like 10, 25, 50 days of good hydration, exercise, good food choices, etc.) is its own reward.

What I would like to improve this summer are the “true to delight” resolutions. I want to read and cook more (once I get moved – until then, it’s salad and sandwiches, friends). I want to entertain again. I want to get back into my writing seasons rhythm (although I’m proud of the progress on Epic Meal Planning).

Did you make resolutions? How are yours coming?

 

I’m linking up with Marvia Davidson for Real Talk (do I ever actually do this on a) Tuesday.

 

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Same cup, new office. I think it looks good here.

This week, I started my new job. It’s a welcome change, and I’ve been allowed to acclimate slowly (which is my very favorite way to acclimate). I even got to choose the office music yesterday (Ingrid Michaelson playlist, so basically we’re listening to the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. You’re welcome, office mates.). In mid-June, I move to my new home across town. This is also a welcome change, and I have a whole month to move. Change – even good change – stresses me out, but I am making these changes in the least stressful way possible.

This is a kindness and a blessing. There’s a lot of hope around lately.

Because I gotta be me, though, I still have anxious moments. I have gotten clutchy with the purse strings in the last couple of years, so dropping deposits and knowing my rent is going to increase so much *cough*notreallythatmuch*cough* in a couple of months is disconcerting. I couldn’t keep much of anything down and didn’t get much sleep the week that I signed the lease and gave notice that I was moving out from my current apartment. In the midst of immense relief, there still was anxiety. It wanted to be my best friend.

One night as I was watching the light on the ceiling change with the hours, exasperated, I breathed to God, “I’m going to trust you. I’m going to believe you that nothing has been forgotten or overlooked. I’m going to trust me. And I’m going to trust you to back me up.”

This is not the most faithful prayer I’ve ever prayed. It’s not quite the flying leap I used to make when I knew I had not thought the decision through and went ahead and made it anyway. I’ve thought this one through. I know it’s not all faith and hope. It’s mostly common sense and careful planning.

But the hope is important. The hope is what is making it possible to sleep and eat again.

Hope* kicks anxiety’s tail.

Hope is becoming my favorite change of all. I’ve missed it. I’m glad it’s back.

 

*and also the appropriate professional help and possibly meds. Get help when you need it. /public service announcement

 

I’m linking up with Marvia Davidson’s Real Talk Tuesday. Join us?

 

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April was a month of celebrations and change. I typically am opposed to changes,  but I like these ones.

Mom and Dad, my brother-in-law, and several friends all have birthdays in April. I didn’t get to see my parents on their birthdays, but we talked on the phone. I got to go out to dinner with several friends and my brother-in-law on their birthdays, though. I forget how expensive going out to eat is. How did I do that so often when I was in college? Mystery.

I did get to deliver good news on my parents’ birthdays, though. On Mom’s birthday, I got to tell her that I got a new job (which started today!). And on Dad’s birthday, I got to tell him that I found a new place to live (moving in June). I think they’re even more excited than I am. Mom broke out that chipper, squeaky voice that she usually reserves for babies and feral cats she’s trying to woo.

I’ve been binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy. This show has taken over my life. I’m on season five, and I already know the terrible thing that happens toward the end of the season, and my heart is angry already.

Most of my reading has been cookbooks. Simple Food, Big Flavor by Aaron Sanchez makes me want to roast all the things and make them into sauces. I don’t like the way he writes, but the food makes up for it. Simply Done Well Done by Aaron McCargo, Jr. also had some great food ideas. There was a lot of deep-frying and heavy cream involved, though, so they’re going to have to be sometimes-food. My favorite cookbook I read this month was Sunny’s Kitchen by Sunny Anderson. I appreciate her stories about how her travels have affected her cooking. I also appreciate that she cooks exactly the way I do. Usually when I read a cookbook, I find myself saying, “That’s a good idea, but I would change this and substitute that.” Not on hers. I will follow those recipes exactly.

In March, I started a new health plan that basically involves drinking more water, eating better, and exercising regularly. At the beginning of April, I had already lost 6 pounds. Now I’ve lost 3 more pounds, even though I have eaten luxuriously and only completed about half of my exercise days. Yippee!

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I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer. Hop over there and tell us what you’re into!

 

 

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SFT Memories

Two Friday Fives in one day, you ask? Why not?

Today is my last day at my desk job at SFT. On Monday, I move to Central Housing to work in Assignments. I am two parts excited, one part nostalgic.

Here are some memories from my time at SFT.

SFT animals

Puppies, squirrels, and creepy rats left in my drawer.

SFT Festive

SFT is festive. Also, proof that sometimes, it does snow in Texas.

SFT groups

Aw, friends. SFT of yore.

SFt shenanigans

Aw, former residents.

sft i do not know

Weirdness and truth.

I’m happy to be moving forward, but I’m also happy about all the friends and memories I’ve made at my hall.

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