Over Half Way There

So it’s been over 2 weeks! I haven’t drank since the 25th of May and we’re holding strong. I’m honestly as surprised as you are readers, particularly with how stressful things have been over the last few weeks and I love unwinding from a long day with a nice, big, cold glass of white wine.

(Don’t worry my dear, Chateau St. Michelle, I’ll be back for you soon)

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The whole point of this was to see what health benefits/changes that I would see and here is the list so far.

  1. Sleeping way better! I’m having much more consistent sleep and I feel like I’m sleeping for longer now. I absolutely love it since I notoriously wake up in the middle of the night and that hasn’t been happening, making it easier to wake up in the morning (which is 5/5:30 for me).
  2. I haven’t fucked up my diet! Usually when I have a little too much wine, I tend to forget about my new health goals and then I’ve suddenly eaten a bunch of garbage and everything has just gone to hell.
  3. Better skin. An unexpected result that I’ve seen is that it seems like my skin is much better! Who would have guessed? (probably many of you, but i digress).

I’m feeling pretty good about all of this so far and I’ll be curious to see if more benefits show up, but with the 25th looming (SEATTLE PRIDE!!!!), I seem to be having more moments of weakness rather than strength.

If I can’t go a whole month, what does that mean about me?

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Turning Myself into a Lab Rat

Yes, I have been lazy about posting again, but bright side, I’ve been balancing the rest of my life very well!

Except for one area. I’ve been going a little crazy with the drinks lately.

Don’t get confused, I’m in no way dependent, but when I have partaken in some silly juice, it’s a lot of fucking silly juice. I honestly like the feeling of being intoxicated. You just don’t give a fuck and that can be really nice sometimes.

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But what is this doing to my body? Specifically, my weight? We all know that alcohol has hidden sugars and calories that we don’t think about for one reason or another, so sitting down and drinking a bottle of wine with friends without thinking can add up pretty quick when you think about it.

So I’ve decided to run a little experiment.

What type of physical changes will I see if I don’t drink any alcohol for the month of June?

I don’t drink very often during the week, but I do go ham on the weekends and holy shit does that ruin my diet. Will I lose more weight? Will I see changes in my skin? More so, will I see changes in my weekend habits? I definitely plan on keeping updates on how things change and while I probably won’t have a drink tomorrow, I will only be considering changes that occur during the month of June.

I don’t have one specific reason to be doing this besides morbid curiosity. I know that I can go a month without drinking, but I’m genuinely curious about what it will mean for my health. For all I know, this could be something completely mind blowing and I’ll rarely drink ever again! OR! It could show nothing changing and I go back to my regular life.

I guess only time will tell.

Failing at Adulting

I feel like everyone is good at balancing their lives, but somehow I just can’t seem to manage it…

Wake up by 5:30, make breakfast and lunches, out the door by 7am to be at work by 8am, work non-stop till 4pm, workout, get home by 6:30, cook dinner, clean, spend time with spouse, asleep by 9pm.

It’s all laid out, and for some reason it never all happens and I just can’t get it to work in a way where it does. Something will happen at work, or my work out class will be cancelled, or dinner will take longer to cook than planned. I don’t know where I got the expectation that it was possible to make everything go smoothly in a day, I know it’s rare for such a thing to happen, but I really wish it could. I don’t do well when things aren’t planned or change last minute.

I’ve been known to have a meltdown or two over it…

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I think my generation (generation y aka millennials) has an interesting amount of standards that many of us feel we have to live up to.

We see our grandparents, many who have had successful marriages for 60+ years, strong, opinionated, bought houses at a young age, and very family focused. We hear them talk about how hard but wonderful their lives were (my grandparents both grew up on farms) and that you make things work no matter how hard it is.

Then we see our parents, the Baby Boomers. Highly successful career wise, raising families in a time where few people had to worry about money like they do today, pre-recession. They went to college that resulted in successful, high-paying jobs, were able to afford a family and home right away in many cases, and had the outlook that things would stay this way forever many times.

We grew up hearing stories from both groups, were promised that if you work hard and go to college, your life will be good. But things haven’t worked out that way for everyone. Now, many people don’t see a college degree as enough to work for their company and won’t even give you a chance. The housing market is out of reach for many, as well as the rental market as well (at least here in Seattle). More people value free labor over well paid, loyal employees.

I even recently sat in on a seminar where the speaker stated “why hire a coordinator when you can keep hiring interns for free”. The faces of all the coordinators around the room were quite sad.

A lot of people like to say we (generation y) just want to complain and not work, but we’re set to unreachable expectations in a society that is very different then that of our parents and grandparents. For many of us, we don’t know how to deal with not being able to live up to the lives that we were told about, no matter how hard many of us try. I in no way blame the generations before us for any of this, how were they to know that things would turn out so different for our generation?

My happiness is directly linked to how successful I feel my day was very often, which is really sad. I want a specific life for myself, the one I built in my head from the stories of others that I thought would mean perfection, and I’m learning that it probably will never exist, and that has to be okay. At what point do we decide that a dream is unreachable, and thus we must alter our dream so that they can become reality?

I found this interesting video that Buzzfeed posted a few weeks ago, I suggest you take a few minutes to watch it and perhaps it will give some insight on just how much the time that we were born affects us as adults.

Yoga Kicks My Ass… and I Like It

Have you ever done something that you knew was going to suck but you did it anyway? That made you suffer but you go back day after day? That makes you feel like you’re becoming Zach from The Try Guys while you do it, but then you come out looking like fucking Eugene?!

This is hot yoga and I am a yoga masochist.

I started going to yoga when I was in middle school per the request of my mother who didn’t want to do it alone. The tiny studio in the corner of the crappy gym was not exact a selling point to a 12 year old, particularly one who was blooming into her teen angst early, but I did love the exercise. It was calming and everyone was fairly intense about not being too close together so you always had room to move, and fall in my case.

Throughout the next 15 years, I would continue my on-again, off-again affair with yoga, from skipping it every day that I could in high school (asking an anti-social 18 year old to do yoga at 8am every morning just won’t work out for anyone), to trying hot yoga for the first time while trying to past the lonely nights when my husband worked until 1am. I constantly fell out of love with yoga, but I have always come back to it, time after time.

When I decided to start my journey of changing my life and myself, I knew that I wanted to go back to hot yoga and really dedicate to it. Having had so many injuries to my back, ankles, and shoulders, I knew the heat would be like pouring unicorn blood on my joints and perhaps keep me going back over and over. I ended up trying a studio near my work and after getting past the first few classes and feeling absolutely horrible, the endorphins kicked in and I was able to appreciate much more than just the workout that I was getting.

My teachers don’t just lead us through moves and positions, but teach us so much more. They discuss respecting ourselves and doing yoga with an intent, whatever that may be. That the energy we put into our practice can also be energy we put towards other things and have the same positive feeling and results. That we can learn to love and take care of ourselves so that we can love and help take care of others.

As someone who never learned growing up how to be emotionally supportive of myself, learning these practices now is teaching me to be better and care about myself more. I don’t think I would be trying as hard as I am to make my life better if these ideas hadn’t been presented to me. It has given me the tools to love myself and be proud of myself now, as well as who I will become in the future.

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Hiking Up to Poo-Poo Point

So as I stated earlier this week, I wanted to challenge myself this weekend and make my outdoor adventure something big. Since my husband also had the day off (we rarely have one off together), we decided to wake up early and go out to Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, Washington.

Even though I was born and raised in Seattle, I have never gone out to Tiger Mountain, let alone hiked any of the trails out there. As a thick girl, hiking uphill, which most of Poo-Poo Point trail is, was definitely an adventure and I think that I went through every feeling on the way up.

Now I have no idea where Poo-Poo Point got its name from and I don’t really feel like doing research right now, but my husband looked up some information and it is rumored that it has something to do with the logs in the water when there was logging on the mountain (I’ll let you use your imagination). I definitely felt like I needed to take a picture of the sign just to prove that I’m not making up the name.

By the halfway point (shown on the map above), I definitely was not feeling super happy. Hauling 250 pounds up a mountain is not easy! I made myself a promise before we started that I wouldn’t give up, I want to change my lifestyle and my attitude towards life and part of doing that is not giving up just because something is hard for me. With all of that being said, selfies were not part of the photo series at this point.

Now one thing about not having done this trail before is that I also didn’t know what the end point looked like. I was not disappointed. 20170415_113324

It was one of the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen in my life. When you officially reach the top of the trail, initially all you see if a bench, trash can, and a bathroom. After following the sound of voices over a small hill, we were met with the above view and people sitting eating and talking on the side of the hill. It really did feel like we were sitting on the top of the world. Seeing everything below and being able to see how far we had really come was completely overwhelming for me.

I in general have a very self deprecating attitude towards myself that I try to hide fairly well from others. I never in a hundred years thought that I would be able to hike that far, let alone that high up, and be so happy in the end. Not only did I find my love for nature again, but I also found a new level of confidence in my ability to complete challenges that I set for myself.

With the trail being fairly popular, I found inspiration in very strange places, but one specifically being a young woman hiking the trail with he baby strapped to her. HOLY CRAP! As a woman entering my late 20s and contemplating children in the future, I can only hope that I am that badass.

Also, there was a little frenchie puppy that wiggled its little ass all the way up and it was both amazingly adorable and encouraging. If a powerful little puppy could do it, so could I!

With all of this being said, hiking will definitely become another large part of my life, whether I go alone or with others.

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