March 26, 2013

How is This Healthy? This is Just Jacking My Blood Pressure

Due to the momentous stuff going on in the news today/this week regarding gay and civil rights, I was considering coming on here and writing about my thoughts but honestly, there's nothing else that I can say that wold be more poignant, effective, clear, humorous, accurate, and dynamic as some of the things other people have said. Every adult human has the right to marriage, end of story. That's my viewpoint.

In other news, have y'all started watching Bates Motel yet? Shit is getting more and more real! Again, I'm probably biased because it marries my former career choice (criminal psychology) with my current (marriage and family therapy) BUT you should watch anyway so my show doesn't get cancelled on me.

Moving along...

I had planned over a week ago that this week's post would be about food and my current culinary and health efforts. Serendipitously, this past weekend I had class with a lot of group presentations and one was about body image-- with a very heavy focus on eating disorders. One member of the group (who appeared to be the leader and main drive behind why the group chose the topic) proceeded to argue how disturbing it was how people will put an unhealthy focus on their body and how your body image is not just your perspective on your body but a culmination of things. Because body image is more than just your body, people should not be so hung up on looking a particular way. Further, the "fit-spiration" (i.e. the stuff all over the Internet people circulate to motivate themselves to be healthier) is as damaging as the "thin-spiration" used by those with eating disorders to starve and be thin.

I'm not sure where to even start with how much I did not like the presentation and the statements made because it honestly pisses me off the more I think about it. I mean, first, if body image is not just your perspective on your body (which, gee, really sounds like the exact same thing), why the hell did your presentation narrow in on only eating disorders?

Here, I need to add a note. The group consisted of 3 people and one person focused on body image in India and did not focus solely on weight but also on skin color and other physical appearances. I really liked her section but again, it mainly focused on the outward/external experience of BODY.

Second, even if you did not include the other aspects of self that add up to body image (whatever you think that they are), you can talk about more than the negative stuff. So I asked after their presentation how effective they thought the Dove campaign was. For those who do not know: the Dove campaign has made a conscious effort to show "real" women in their ads. These women have curves, minimal makeup and tend to be from a greater variety of backgrounds than what we typically see in the media. I, personally, think it's a good step in the right direction as the women still look beautiful and happy despite not fitting what we traditionally see. The girl presenting did not agree and felt that all "body positive" campaigns such as Dove were damaging as they still focused on the body instead of encouraging that you are worth more than just that.

Overall, I sat fuming as this person does fit the traditional desirable model of beauty-- White and thin. I couldn't help but think that it's pretty fucking easy to make judgments on how other people should or should not feel when you are not at all in that perspective. Further, that's not what I see and whether I'm 100 or 400 pounds, I don't appreciate my viewpoint being marginalized.

But I didn't say anything because the previously link post states, I'm not that bad off. I'm overweight but not obese and the reason I'm overweight is because of the lifestyle choices I make. Another classmate stated on the lunch break we had how upset she was because she has a fit-spiration board on Pinterest and has lost 40 pounds in the last year (which is a perfectly healthy loss as you should only lose 2 pounds a week).

I didn't want to make it about me but I wish I had told my classmate how impressed I was with her efforts but losing weight and trying to maintain healthy habits is most frustrating shit that ever existed.

...ok, that's an exaggeration. But honestly, I have ZERO self-control and I live with two people who have a totally different compass from which they gauge their health and we're all trying to eat the same food. Shit is difficult.

In case you missed it or haven't talked to me I'm trying to eat healthier, work on my cooking skills, and ideally lose weight. I'm aware that my definition of healthy is not incredibly... accurate? honest? complete? productive? all of the above?... since I started from the point where my parents are now. So, I've been cruising the Internet for accurate, honest, complete, productive sources on healthy eating. I found which is the only site I've trusted so far. I found out I'm not eating enough food. Well, I'm eating more than I should at dinner but the small snacky-ness throughout the afternoon/evening around a large dinner doesn't add up to much and it's mostly bad. So I'm sitting here thinking, "Shit, I have to eat more food, disrupt my day more often and think of a lot of options to meet these requirements because I will get sick of food SO quickly-- particularly if it's good for me." And then we reach the fucking vegetables. Did you know that there 5 different types of vegetables and you need a different amount of each every week? Are you fucking kidding me? And then there's only but so many dead animals that I can slap on a plate and present healthy with all the proteins and stuff needed.

Essentially, setting up for my first week took over 4 hours. Now, granted, some of those hours was just recording and researching the different types of vegetables, what's in season, etc. and will not need to be done again. THEN there was the clusterfuck of incorporating my tastes (I don't like fish or spicy food); my mom's taste which appears to be growing more selective every week (doesn't like vegetables unless cooked to death, doesn't want to eat any healthy grains because they have no flavor which I would think is better that having a BAD flavor but ok); the fact that shit goes bad in like 2 days just BEING in our kitchen (which really cuts down on fresh possibilities); and the fact that I cannot go too nuts with the changes because it will upset the pattern my parents have taken years to form. OH YEA, and we do not really have the money or the space to go apeshit on "buy everything so everyone is happy". AND I'd like to try the recipes I posted on Pinterest and in about 50 cookbooks WITH THE FULL INTENTION TO TRY THEM.

The crap takes 2 hours to do THEN there's ordering everything online and shopping to make sure I got the cheapest stuff without totally eliminating quality. This takes another 2 hours. So I guess the first week the whole process took 6 hours. Either way, WHO HAS TIME FOR THIS SHIT?! No wonder all of America is fat-- we have shit to do! Sweet Baby Rays! WTF?! It's like a part-time fucking job to be healthy! My blood pressure is sky rocketing just thinking about making a weekly menu.

Needless to say, menu planning was not maintained the next week-- it took me months to wrangle the patience to work out the first menu, it will probably take just as long before I get back to it. I'm in over head. Fuck this.

No wonder my classmate didn't want to focus on physical health. Shit is annoying...

March 19, 2013

Really? I Could've Sworn I Was Competent...

We're going to start yet another post with a TV detour--

I watched the premiere of Bates Motel on TV last night and it was pretty good. Not sure if the show will continue to be epic but it's a little tough seeing Charlie Bucket as Norman Bates. Also, the show doesn't have the violin music from the Psycho theme. I want to, like, teach a class on cultural implications of Alfred Hitchcock now... Like I need something else on my plate.

... Anddd that will be our terrible segue into this week's post. In reality, I just wanted a moment to talk about Alfred Hitchcock because I'm a major dork.

Why doesn't anybody say how tough it is to be happy? Like, my God, this shit is taking a lot of work! Being a negative nancy was ten times easier. Geesh, life.

Now, like any good therapist, I do believe that pushing through and learning to adapt during the tough times builds character and helps one become a stronger person. But seriously, there's no tap out like "Ok, I cannot handle more, please stop." Life has no safeword-- it just keeps going. and then I sit here wondering what type of terrible shit I did to reap an overabundance of bad karma.

And I also feel, yes, in the grand scheme of things, life is really not that terrible. I have a roof, food, water, lots of opportunity... things are pretty decent, actually, and are a hell of a lot better than they were a few months ago. Maybe it's more daylight. I do dig the sun.

ANYWAY! It just feels like doing anything in the past few months has been an uphill battle and after this past weekend (which was wonderful with zero pain), I thought, "whew! I'm finally catching a break." and then reality came and slapped me in the face, forcing me to readjust my schedule YET AGAIN.

In between the crying pity party last night, I enumerated all the things I was trying to do to improve myself. Holy crap, that shit added up! I didn't realize I was trying to do at least 12 different things and tackle most of them every week... no wonder I suck.

Amidst trying to reinvent myself via a dozen tasks, the one place that has been genuinely difficult and out of my control has been two of my classes this semester. I've gotten poor feedback on just about everything I've done and it's a wearing me thin. I got a 4.0 GPA at La Salle without trying and a 4.0 last semester without much effort. As these two classes have burst my bubble, I started to dread that here I was operating under the false bravado that I'm competent but shit just got real and I am, in fact, not all that hot shit. So I've been trying to go above and beyond on assignments and put more effort than I ever have into them and then I got shot down for doing too much for an assignment and I was told that I did not use enough research when presenting my opinion and when I gave my opinion and cited sources, I was too harsh. Geez-ass. I just don't know what these professors want.

So that was my mindset walking into my third class of the semester this past weekend. I'm an idiot.I'manidiotI'manidiot. Not only was the professor AWESOME but he's one of those teachers that asks the class, "Who has heard of ___?" And about 80% of the time, I had totally heard about what he was talking about and COULD EVEN RECALL WHAT IT WAS... that's pretty big for me if you don't know me that well. I'm classic for the "Isn't that the thing in the place with the deal?" AND AND AND PLUS PLUS PLUS, I coordinated my group project (yea, I did the OCPD overhaul take-over. I'm not proud of that fact) so that we finished our entire project during class. I still have to send out an email but I'm pretty much done with half of my class!

Back to last night's "WTF am I doing wrong with my life" fest-- not only am I doing too many things but I just have the unfortunate situation of having two ridiculous standards professors in one semester and on top of all that, I'm rather tapped. Just no energy.

With all of that in mind, I sat here, at my freezing desk (for reals, what gives weather?), ready to destroy and re-do my schedule for about the 10th time this year (and I mean calendar year). Out of the 12 things I'm trying to do, being more positive is not on there and it really should. So in working around two kind of super painful classes (why don't they warn you need lube to slip through these classes?), prioritize classes then happiness then everything else.

Already I realized I dumped so much time into reading, which I cannot stand. Then when I don't read I feel guilty and unproductive. TO HELL WITH YOU, READING! I'VE GOT SHIT TO DO AND BE HAPPY ABOUT!!!

... because that's how a chronic planner has to work-- happiness doesn't just "happen" it get's scheduled in. Duh. Why didn't I think of that? I'm going to schedule in this fun stuff and fit in the lame around it. Here's the sunshine and rainbows take over of the schedule!

... hopefully it works.

...and hopefully it will include watching Charlie Bucket with his bat-shit crazy mom.

March 12, 2013

Pretty Sure Gandhi Wasn't Talking About Puke

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

This is one of Mahatma Gandhi's most infamous quotes and it was even referenced in Prison Break, the most epic TV show of all time *sigh* come back to my TV, Michael Scofield... Oh. Sorry. Was I fantasizing about Wentworth Miller again? Yea that happens...


Did you know Gandhi had kids?! I mean, I'm not surprised but I guess I never pictured Gandhi as an actual, like, guy with a wife and kids but I just noticed that while googling his name to make sure I spelled it right (that's right, you guys got spellcheck this week, aren't you lucky!). You know you're a sexologist when your first thought is, "I wonder what it would be like to have sex with Gandhi."... or really any prophet for that matter (which I just spelled as "profit"-- never noticed those were the same word, huh). And what about him as a dad?! Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see in the world." Kid: "Well then, dad, then YOU should probably clean my room since I don't really have any clean visions of it." *pause* Gandhi: "No one likes a smartass." ... ok, maybe it was only my parents who said that last one.

Ok, folks, seriously, let's stop having the attention span of a ferret.

So, the story inspiring this post took place on Saturday. I was hankering for Panera, which, when I think about it, has pretty much become an addiction to that orange goo they put on Sierra Turkey sandwiches which is the only thing I've ever eaten there outside of the bakery case. Recently, the Panera in Falls Church has become like every other chain in Falls Church-- it gets so much business from our 2.1 square mile population that it does not need to have stellar service... in fact, it doesn't even have to breach "adequate" half the time.

But I digress, clearly as I continue to go to Panera at least once every other week, the crack goo they put on their sandwiches is working sufficiently. Underestimating the "healthy" and wealthy motivations of Falls Church soccer moms and their 1 point 5 billion children all congregating at Panera and not Burger King like normal fat-ass Americans, I walked into a ridiculously long line at 1:30pm. Now, standing in a long line was bad enough but then you LITERALLY had an entire soccer team walk in with their respective parents, find the one parent waiting in line with her kids and gave her their order. Which means that 1 mom with her fidgety boys represents about 20 sandwiches. That's just the epitome of dicketry. If you looked up dicketry on an online dictionary or "dickholes" or "dickweasels" or anything related to YOU'RE A DICK, that shit would be right there as an example.

Now, my anxiety was probably heightened by a small child standing behind me coughing and just generally standing too close to me (I have an issues with kids, it's why I'm never reproducing) so I started doing all of my tricks where I create distance with the person behind me and thank God I did because the kid coughed and began puking all over the floor.

Side note: This is not the first time this has happened, it's the fifth. Shit you not, I told my mom this story and she proceeded to ask why is it that kids only throw up in restaurants when I'm around. I don't know why they do, I just really wish they would stop because puke makes me want to puke so if germy little children could stop, that'd be fabulous.

Naturally, the mom rushes the kid out as soon as she can but somehow everyone in the restaurant BUT me has missed this event which is now evidence in a large pool of bile on the floor and are standing in front of the mother and then WALKING IN THE PUKE. Honestly, how much do you have to be not tuned into your surroundings to miss a kid Exorcist-ing all over the floor? So before I start adding to the bile pile, I lean over and interrupt someone ordering to tell the cashier, "Um, a kid got sick over here and someone needs to mop up right away." The guy now behind me (who yes, moved closer to the mess to ensure his position all up in my personal space) mumbles loudly, "Oh great, now they only have THREE cashiers." My anxiety has literally retracted my head into my spine as if I was turtle but upon hearing this, pops out to do a 180 degree turn and yell, "Oh, I'm SORRY but there is THROW UP in the middle of where people are EATING! I JUST thought that maybe I'd take the COURTESY to care for myself and EVERYONE AROUND ME to get rid of this HEALTH HAZARD." Cue no one being alarmed by my yelling and instead checking their shoes idly like, "Oh, did I step in puke?" The man remained offended that I dared to distract a cashier from expediting the sandwich receiving process... Anyway, long story short *too late*, I got home with no chips and the crack goo was replaced by mayonnaise on my sandwich which means I definitely drove back and I've sworn off that Panera forever... or until I forget about this incident in a year or so, whatever.

But it's shit like that that I think of when I hear people say how people are so much nicer in the South. Um... not in Virginia. Even in undergrad in southern Virginia (I get that DC area-ians are their own shade of dicketry, ordering enough sandwiches to feed half of Falls Church), people were not that nice. It was in undergrad too where my geography professor whom had been all over the world told me how the city of brotherly and sisterly love that I was intended to move to was filled with the biggest, most unpleasant assholes ever. I was thoroughly prepared to run for my life at any given moment. People in Philly were DELIGHTFUL. No, I did not go to a sports game and yes, I got involved in a few fights (not by choice, trust me-- my only move is the aforementioned turtle move. Fuck if I'm getting in a fight) but they were with New Jerseyians-- a stereotype that WASN'T broken in my short Philly residency. Sorry, Jersey people! But over the two years, people would start conversations with me all the time even when I was standing there being the DC-ian that I am, thinking, "Dude, I have shit to do." People would SMILE to each other walking down the street and would help you find parking. I don't know where Philly people got this bad rep although they do tend to be cocky (maybe you should work on that? I dunno).

So when I moved back to the South (you know, that place known for it's courtesy and *ahem* good food) and found the most unsociable people at the gym, no one smiling at each other, or refraining from hoking their horn at you when you're trying to park in our notoriously shit parking garages, I was rather bummed. I had a conversation with my dad tonight about the low attendance rate at his Lion's Club and I said how people aren't invested in their community-- their invested in their kids and work, not at all in themselves, becoming better people, or being better citizens of planet Earth. I found myself stressing to my dad how he needed to talk directly to his fellow lions-- what are the things you like about the club that you want to see put more into action?

Be change you want to see in the world-- whether it's a less puke covered world or a more heavily attended Lions Club. Or you can create a position in your student organization to have the program connect more as a group of awesome people changing the future. Maybe you want to see more sex positivity and open dialogue about a heavily stigmatized community. Be the change.

Now if I can just figure out how to be the change that gets Wentworth Miller more into my world.

March 5, 2013

Steve Carrell is my Therapist... Is That Weird?

In case you missed it, I've become a negative nancy.

But the first step is admitting it! Let's move onto step 2. Have you ever noticed how no one ever talks about step 2? It's like, you reached step 1 (and usually it's in a sarcastic sense of "Dude, you need to reach step 1") anddd you're done. If only things were that easy. But they're not! So let's continue...

In a previous post, I talked about how a friend was being spontaneous and I found that so inspiring and I was jealous-- how does one not plan?! Fast forward to now, I'm planning the crap out of my life and things are not really getting done and I'm feeling lost. A mutual friend informed me how the aforementioned friend isn't doing super well with the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants routine. As I'm sitting here, listening to this play out, I wonder, "On what planet was that a good idea?" and I catch myself wondering how I envied this lifestyle and, luckily, didn't follow through with it. *whew*

Last night, while I was doing my weekly moping of planning my upcoming week and sighing heavily at the things unaccomplished the previous week, I was also watching Crazy, Stupid Love. Yet again I became envious because here is Steve Carrell just sitting there and the fox mcfox Ryan Gosling walks up to offer changing his life and making him a better "more interesting" person. Ironically, I came to the conclusion a few days ago I have become super boring despite the fact I am doing 10 different things. So I want to be more interesting, more diverse and, like, make it a legit pattern and part of me. Yes, I am admitting that I cannot watch a movie without a) having a normal fucking movie experience, and b) learning valuable life lessons from Steve Carrell. I would almost work on this except I have other shit to do.

Which leads me to throwing out the Bucket List-- surprisingly, I've gotten a lot more on it started than I realized. But the sad face of the bucket list is that if you don't get it done by a certain time, you failed. It doesn't reward efforts. So we are fighting the negative nancies with a "Solid-Attempts" List. Love that name? I worked on it for a solid 2 seconds. Solid try 1-- DONE! Boom. Progress already.

By the end of this month, I'd like to make the following Solid Attempts:
  • Get a haircut: and, in turn, getting myself on a haircutting schedule so I'm not constantly wondering, "When's the last time I got a haircut, again?"
  • Make progress on the basement: everyone hasn't heard crap about the basement because I haven't done crap in about 2 months. Over the last few days, though, I've gotten over some barriers that were holding me up and it feels pretty good. Ideally, getting the craft supplies under control would be a good thing for this month but as it looks like an incredible bitch to do, let's not crap on our Solid Attempts list already.
  • Make progress on my textbooks: I'd love to have more than half of my 10 required textbooks read by the end of the semester but as I keep making multiple day stretches without reading, that's unlikely. And, again, this a Solid Attempts list-- not a Bucket List that makes demands.
  • Be comfortable with my productivity: yes, yes, let's flourish the positivity! Sunshine and rainbows on this crap!
  • Be healthier with my diet: finding that cupcake place over in Merrifield was a bad life choice... particularly as it is Girl Scout cookie time. But we're going to lie and say that this is prepping me for the incredible amount of food I should be eating... which needs to be considerably healthier.
By the end of summer:
  • Have some sort of gathering that includes showing off the basement: this would imply that the basement needs to be done BUT IT DOESN'T. Let's repeat, it's ok if it's not perfect.
  • Lock in my brand name and begin work!: I finally thought of the perfect name for my brand which I've heard you cannot Google because people sit around waiting to steal handle names and such so they can sell it to you or something... I don't know. Even if I have just that figured out, I'll be happy.
  • Get a project done: I don't care if the project is a piece of furniture from scratch, the free online course I signed up for (like and idiot), or finishing a scrapbook (for reals, I need to get back on that).
  • Make progress on my books: I currently have 24 books I want to read and take notes on to improve myself as a researcher/therapist/BDSM expert/etc. This doesn't include the other books I want to read "for fun" (which is such a bizarre concept since I still don't like reading) nor does it include the 50 Shades books which I have to have polished off and presented coherently at my mom's book club in August. I will inevitably have more textbooks in the summer bringing that number... somewhere. So if could not have the number get to astronomical levels, that'd be super.
  • Consider expanding this list: ok, only going to the end of summer doesn't seem like much but these are Solid Attempts! There's quite the possibility I'll be on some other kick by the time summer rolls around and you guys are just going to have to go with it *evil laugh* ... or stop reading. But hey, I appreciate any solid attempts you make in trying to stick with me.

SO! In conclusion, we are being where we are by appreciating the solid attempts and by trying to be less boring as facilitated by the great therapist Carrell (with an assist by topless Ryan Gosling. My. God. What a foxy man. That shit would motivate anybody. The man is like eye therapy.).

The glass just got half full... of VODKA!!! Where's some lemons and cranberry juice?