R&R

Left school for the weekend despite being invited to things, events happening, and having work to do, I needed to get away from it all for a little bit. I was doing fine, even considering telling my parents “sorry, I’ll have to come home another time” because of everything that was going on, but then on Thursday I just started feeling…ill.  

I hate that since my life has gotten to the ideal place that I’ve wanted it to be in for awhile, yet I can’t seem to handle it. I have a lot of different friends, I’m an editor on the school paper, and literally just landed my ideal part time job working on an actual, real newspaper. My weight could be better, but I’ve been getting a lot of positive attention for my looks lately, which is definitely weird. I am not at all used to getting compliments based solely on my appearance from strangers. In fact, it pretty much never happened until I got back to college three weeks ago.

This is such an in-between place in life, even more so than high school, I think. In high school you’re still a kid, for the most part you kind of know what your next step will be, and you still live under someone else’s control. In college/around college age (at least for myself and many other people I know), you’re caught in a strange place. You still identify with teenagers and teen culture, you’re not totally financially independent but you’re almost…transitioning into it. You’re in a learning environment, yet many professors will treat you more like an equal than a kid they’re babysitting. You start looking for real jobs, wondering about your career, wondering about if casual dating could become a serious relationship, or maybe not.

It is kind of overwhelming. I’m an adult. I can vote, I do not live with my parents, I have a real job in a real office. Yet I still go to school. I still only can work part-time because of school, so I’m still dependent on my parents financially, yet I no longer have to follow their rules or constantly try to meet their expectations. 

I wonder where I’m going.

Big Apple/Big Goals

The lack of posts between Yuma and here are due to the fact that I had barely 48 hours to get back to my campus and get all my things together before I had to leave for New York for the CMA spring college media convention, which has been quite a time.

There’s been a lot of turmoil within our visiting staff (cramming sightseeing and Times Square plus two full conference days into such a short amount of time takes its toll), but personally I’m taking a lot away from the experience. Everyone is tired and frustrated while trying to sightsee; I myself am feeling okay (and not interested in seeing the sights; this is far from my first time here so I’ve seen Manhattan over and out a couple times now), but maybe it’s because I already had my crazy existential crisis earlier this morning, which include a mix of both “I’m starving and tired and wtf,” and the terrifying “dear god I’m never going to make a career out of this there’s too much competition why am I not a math genius or something.” But I digress.

I got to see Scott Pelley (CBS News), learn about what I might want to do after college, take a tour of the Huffington Post offices and headquarters, which I think was the most inspiring and fun thing I did, because it made me realize that HuffPost is the kind of company I want to work for in a few years: great writers and editors, but laid back and a great center of creativity. A lot more my speed than the fast-paced, stressful, 24/7 news jobs I had thought I wanted, until I learned what goes into them.

Which brings me to what I really want to say: I am going to start a new blog, probably this weekend while I have some free time to get things going. I need a blog that will attract attention, readership, and get me noticed as a HerCampus blogger or even a HuffPost blog contributor someday. I know it won’t happen right away (or anytime soon, really) but I’m eager to start working my way up to that level. 

Here’s the thing: I need to narrow down my blogging to a niche. I love this blog; this blog is great writing practice and helps me hone my style, which I think I’ve gotten down pretty well but could always develop. Having a distinct narrative is really important, so mine is always developing. But since this is my personal, whatever-I-feel-like-at-the-time blog, it’s not as specifically centered as I’d want my other blog to be. This blog is for fun, not for gaining any following. Not to say I don’t LOVE the people who follow me and reading their work, because I’m extremely flattered you guys find me interesting. Again, I digress.

My question to ANYONE reading this: what should I blog about? I’ve heard to make a list of hobbies/things you love or are good at, and here’s the shortlist:

Things I’m good at:
-Writing
-Dressing cute on a budget
-Eating (a little too good at that one)

Things I love:
-News
-Fashion/Style (mine’s kind of unique)
-Food (obviously)
-Social networking
Giving advice (to some extent)
-Books and reading

I know it seems vague now, so if anyone can help me get specific I would love that. Please help, really. Comment or email me! It would be much appreciated.

~My Lifestyle Goals~

As I promised I’d post earlier, here are a list of small things I want to change about my lifestyle that can actually make a big difference. In no particular order:

1. Wean myself off of any kind of sweeteners in my coffee. Sugars not great, artificial sweeteners like Equal aren’t really better. Going to try to get on coffee with skim milk only.

2. Cut down to washing my hair every other day instead of every day. I’ve already started this, and it makes me happy because my hair is much healthier and I can now get away with it because it seems like I’m finally growing out of my ever-greasy teenager hair that I had to wash daily just to keep looking clean. 

3. Start drinking smoothies. Not talking about the smoothie shop kind, I mean the kind you make at home in your blender with no added nonsense.

4. Limit ordering pizza and going for Chinese to once a month, not one or two times a week. This seems like it should be easy, but those are two of my biggest cravings aside from chocolate, so they’re going to be harder to kick than I’d like.

5. Related to the last one, learn to manage my cravings better. I tend to carbo-load at night and overdo it on sugary foods, because honestly, desserts and sugary drinks are like a type of drug with how addictive they are. If I can learn to eat healthier things and kick my cravings, I’ll feel a lot better about myself.

6. Don’t eat frozen dinners as snacks. And on that note, being a small girl and not a huge burly hungry man who needs to eat 3000 calories a day just to keep kicking, I should probably quit eating both the Hot Pockets at once. 

7. Go to the library more often. I feel like my grades are going to improve so much from this. I focus and get a hell of a lot more done when I set aside the library for work, and my room for relaxing (and Netflix). 

8. DRINK MORE WATER. I’m really bad about this because I have a really small and overly efficient bladder, and whenever I try to get the daily recommended eight to ten cups, I pee an obnoxiously large amount. It gets annoying when I have to get up and go during and between every class. But I guess I’ll just have to learn to suck it up and train my bladder to hold water without being a little bitch. 

9. Moisturize more. Since I have relatively oily skin I tend to not do that much, but it’s best to start now while I’m young.

10. Learn to accept myself more. This one is probably the most important, and also requires the least amount of explanation.

Body Liberation

So doing a lot of investigation into why I put on weight over the last half a year (as well as a ton of Americans all the time), and what I’m getting out of all my research is that sugar is a huge weight-gain cause. I feel like I am l great example about what I like to call sugar overload can do to your body.

Getting to college gave me the freedom to eat what I wanted, when I wanted. After growing up in a very health-conscious home (not saying I was ever really “skinny,” I have a naturally curvy hourglass figure so it’s in my genes not to be model-thin), my mom is an extremely healthy cooker and never let junk food into our house. So when I moved out to the world of “you can order pizza with your school meal plan,” “there’s a bagel shop on campus!,” and “you’ll be eating dinner in a buffet-style cafeteria every night,” I went overboard. Which is a common problem.

My main two issues:

1. I overdid it on desserts and at dinner almost nightly. It was bad. The desserts aren’t even that high of quality: they’re just very tempting, and they will “hijack your brain” like a drug and make you want more and more of them once you start.

2. I made best friends with Dominos and carbo-loaded WAY, WAY more than was necessary at night. Carbs from things like white bread and pasta are just sugar in a clever disguise: once you eat those things, your body turns them into sugars to use as energy, unfortunately, it’s way more sugar than your body needs.

Those two combined has made me into a very bloated, very unhappy girl. I haven’t been getting nearly enough vegetables, or healthy forms of dairy. I used to drink milk almost every night, and after getting to college that habit went kablooey, mostly because I was just busy and didn’t have time to relax with a glass of milk at night, or drink one at breakfast. That’s changing now too. I’m not saying DRINK A TON OF MILK YOU’LL BE SKINNY because obviously overdoing it on anything is going to mess you up, but dairy is really good to have in your diet, in healthy forms such as Greek yogurt (which after battling with for three years I have finally come to love), and skim milk.

Regardless. My problems were apparent: too much cheesy-stuffed cheesy bread, not enough nearly enough vegetables. So after a small mental breakdown on Monday night after my body felt worn and sad from the way I’d been treating it, I decided to finally make a lasting change.

To be clear: this isn’t a diet. I’m not cutting ANYTHING out. This is not temporary. I need to make a change in my lifestyle because if I keep eating the way I do, not only will I be unhappy with my weight, but I will be pretty unhealthy pretty fast. I am not going to stop eating processed sugars altogether because, guess what, that’s nearly impossible. They are in almost everything, from ice cream to bread to ketchup. However, I will be cutting down on them because they took up a large part of my diet and that is really just not good.

I’m still going to eat pizza. I’m still going to eat reduced-fat strawberry cream cheese on my honey whole wheat bagel from Einstein’s because frankly, that is one of my weekly treats to myself. I’m still going to eat frozen yogurt with my family and go out for ice cream with my friends. I’m still going share Waffle House waffles and orange juice with my boyfriend when we go on vacation. But I am going to stop ordering pizza two or three times a week, and definitely stop eating more than one dessert at dinner. In fact, the desserts at dinner are going to be cut out most days because frankly, they are crappy desserts and kind of a waste of calories in most cases.

I’ve been working on this for a whopping two days now (yeah I know great), and it’s been going pretty well so far. Tonight at dinner I had a very healthy brown rice + black bean burrito on a wheat wrap (with no sour cream or guac, sigh). I said no to lame-o desserts and had some pretty kickass grapes and a banana (my favorite fruit right now), and miracle of miracles: I was full. I was full without bread, without pasta, without two pieces of cake or three cookies. This has got to be an ongoing thing, because the moments of self pride I had making healthy choices was great.

I’m taking a little slogan I heard on the documentary I’m watching (Hungry for Change, I think I blogged about it earlier this week): When you change your mind from “I want that, but I can’t have it,” to “I can have that, but I don’t want it,” that’s when you’re going to really feel a difference in your life. I absolutely LOVE that idea. I am not going to stop myself from having dessert when I feel like it, or maybe eating a hot pocket for lunch sometimes because I need something really fast that’s not in smoothie form. But when I see those poorly-made desserts or the often rock-hard bread rolls at dinner, I just think “If I really want that, I can have it. But I don’t want it.” And I feel loads better. It’s great. Because when I take think about those types of thing I overeat, especially in the cafeteria, instead of just auto-grabbing them up, I realize that I don’t even really want about 80% of them. It’s liberating.

I’ll be posting about this a lot, so I hope I don’t annoy any of my loverly readers. Thank you all, by the way. I look at every blog who follows me and will more often than not follow back, because I love to read the interesting things other people have to say. I am really honored that so many of you have decided to follow me and like/comment on my posts. The little inner squeal of glee I get when a notification pops up on my phone makes me feel great about myself.

Now, I’m going to do some real studying because golly gee, looks like I’m in college and have midterms next week, how excellent. I’ll post more later about my ~healthy goals~ that should be fun. Once again, love you all. Thanks for the support. ❤

Dreams

I find it funny that the things we want the most, our ideal job, our perfect husband, wife, or friend, our favorite car, are all referred to as dreams, like having a dream job or a dream man. I always find this strange because my goals in life are not something that ever show up in my actual dreams.

My actual dreams are weird, and often awkward. They are very much just my brain trying to organize what’s happened to me that past day, and not so much my ideals of the future. Sometimes, I’ll even dream memories in really good detail. However, dreams are always the past, whether it be a memory of childhood or something that happened an hour before I fell asleep.

So in light of this, I will not be saying things like “dream house” anymore. I will say what I want my career goals to be, however vague or precise. What my goal weight or pants size might be, not my “dream body” (because to be honest, in my dreams I never see myself, except for those few weird pregnancy dreams that I’m definitely not going to go into).

I know this is just me taking the English language too seriously, but nevertheless. Dreams don’t happen, even dreams that are memories are not real, there is always something off about them.

This is me being all weird and introspective for the day. Sorry, guys.