Re-invention

I am constantly re-inventing myself, and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever totally find who I am/who I want to be, or if it will be a constantly changing idea. Does everyone experience this type of thing? I have friends who seem so concretely sure of who they are. They are like beautiful little rocks. They seem to know who they are, what they like, and they stand next to those aspects of themselves with steadfast clarity.

Then there’s me, sitting over there, constantly getting rid of/re-wearing clothes, trying to act differently, be different, to see what honestly reflects who I am. Unfortunately, who I am right now and who I want to be are two different women, and I’m not sure how to bridge that gap. If I try to act more how I wish I was rather than who I truly am, does that make me a hypocrite, or am I just learning and slowly making this acting more of a reality?

This brings me to aesthetics. I am perfectly aware that appearance isn’t everything. That being said, the way I dress is one of my absolute favorite ways to express myself. My outfit definitely affects my confidence level, which is why despite what I might put off, I usually think these things through pretty thoroughly. There are several online communities (and some in real life) who all dress/present themselves with the same type of aesthetic, and I want to belong to one of them. Somewhere. But I’m not sure exactly where I fit in there, either.

The other problem is, I’ll become really attracted to a certain kind of aesthetic, and identify heavily with it for a few months or even just a few weeks, but then it’s like I’ve pressed the refresh button and I’m suddenly off on a different path.

The main thing I wonder is what I asked earlier in this post: does everyone experience this? Or is my life just…overly-transitional? 

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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.

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. ❤

Not to Sound Conceited: A Positive Post About the Author

Before I start writing what I want to write, I just want to give a nod to all the people who have followed me the past couple weeks. I really appreciate that you all care what I have to say; it means a lot to me, it really does. Secondly, I want to give another nod to whoever read/liked my last post regarding my body image. It makes me feel like I actually have some supporters out there.

In lieu of the fact that I was a very good girl today who did not overeat and went to the gym despite lingering Zumba-legs. It is really nice to know that I can eat a limited amount of calories (I’m trying to lose a couple pounds mostly so I can fit into my old pants. I’m a broke college student; I do not have money for a whole new set of chub pants like I sometimes have to get when I gain weight) without starving myself/going hungry. I ate a reasonable amount. One helpful part being that I didn’t eat dinner in the school cafeteria because I had a meeting during my usual dinnertime. The cafeteria at my college is probably the #2 factor in my weight gain since getting here; I always over-indulge on the variety of buffet-style food FYI to anyone who cares, I’m going to say that’s #2 because I believe the #1 reason is my EXCESSIVE snacking on things that are not supposed to be snacks. Like whole loaves of Dominos cheesy bread. Yikes, Sarah.

I digress.  After discussing this issues I have with my body, I thought I would discuss a few things I like about myself.

My confidence is getting better. I have really pretty eyes, and despite the decrease in my health since getting to college, I’ve been taking better care of my hair, and it’s looking better than it ever has. Honestly my face is not terrible. It’s grown into a nice shape and with a little blush it seems like I actually have some okay cheekbones. I can’t complain about my face at all, which is huge step up from where I was a few years ago.

In regards to my body, it’s not all bad. I have really nice skin, and my figure is really well proportioned. I wish it would shrink down a little bit, but nevertheless.

It is really nice to be able to sit there in front of the mirror and not constantly think that I’m ugly, or even average. Sometimes, I can be really pretty. I feel like the more I work on my inner self, the more it will reflect upon my outer self. I know, I know, that sounds a lot more oddly spiritual that my normal trains of thought, but that’s just the way I’m feeling right now.