Sunday, September 19, 2010

All Quiet on the Northeastern Front

It's been more than a few days!  Nothing is particularly new, well, except for a few things:

A. I've got a job lined up.
  1. Pro: I'll be making slightly more than minimum wage.  As I'm not sure what minimum wage is at this point ($7.50?), and I'm not sure what my employer's defintion of slightly is, I stand to either be disappointed or ok with my hourly wage.
  2. Con: I'm working retail again which, aside from food service, is the last place I wanted to end up.  Not saying anything bad about the food service workers and waitstaff of America and beyond, I just am really not confident in my service skills and I feel like people take both food and money especially serious and I just don't want to stick my hand in that fire.
  3. Pro: While I will be working retail, my official title is Stocker, so I will be more-or-less behind the scenes.  Also a pro is that I won't be attached to a register and allowed, nay expected, to be mobile for my entire shift.  That'll make the time go by faster as well as keep me active and less likely to graze throughout my shift (though I don't yet know any of the company policies about food/drink/breaks).
  4. Pro and/or Con: Training doesn't begin until October 6th.  This is good because I wanted to have a little time to process the whole having a job thing before I was thrust into it, BUT it would be nice to be getting a paycheck right the hell now seeing as I haven't received one in months.  Also, since I have been out of work since March, I feel like rejoining the work force will take the same amount of mental and emotional transition as starting my first job.  Hopefully that won't be the case and the transition will be much easier as I am a much different person nowadays.
B.  Not to keep anyone on tenterhooks, I bought some groceries!
  1. I had to do it!  I was getting better at not breaking down at every meal, but my food choices (read: fruit and veg) were becoming seriously compromised.  I had to decide which was more important: my wallet or my tumtum.  And sorry, but the ol' Tum wins every time!
  2. I am being frugal.  I don't need to spend a dollar on 6 oz. of Greek yogurt.  Instead, I've been buying Yoplait.  I know it doesn't have the best ingredient list or the same nutritional profile of my Chobani, but I also know that it isn't going to kill me to eat it for awhile.  I've also been trying to go lighter on my staples, such as only eating honey on one thing every day instead of finding some way to incorporate a bit of honey into every meal and snack and beverage (black tea).
  3. I'm happier!  I don't know what that says about my psyche, that two years and 70 lbs. later food still equals happy...but it's the truth.  At the very least, Food = Happy = Healthy = Happy!  That's gotta mean something.
C.  Randomness!
  1. I do not like the new auto-complete Google.  It distracts me from typing my original search query because the auto-results draw my attention, make me jump, and wonder what the heck is going on.  It really threw me the first couple times.  Maybe I won't find it so annoying the more I get used to it.  
  2. I've been watching a lot of The Rachel Zoe project.  It's just about as ridiculous as any reality tv show out there, short of anything having to do with dating/finding love.  Those kinds are just sad, except for Flavor of Love and I Love New York.  Both of those shows deserve Emmys.  Back to dear Rachel.  Lately, a big focus has been on Rachel, and her husband, Rodger becoming parents.  I am not even going to get into the dynamics/logisitics/legitimacy of that relationship, but has anyone else noticed that Rachel is a skeleton?!  She has, what I like to call, a sunken bird chest.  I am in no way trying to ridicule her if she does indeed have an eating disorder.  Same goes if she just so happens to be naturally emaciated.  I don't think it's possible for her to become or maintain pregnancy, and it seems to me that should be a focus of her family and friends.
That's about it.  It's Sunday.  Life is pretty good and now I am gonna go do something until dinner!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Addicted to Health

I've been completely angsty the last few days - a feeling that I really don't enjoy and want to move on from.  For the past few days, I've kind of been vacillating between just going to the store and charging an ungodly amount of food to my credit card OR just staying put and breathing through this little transition period.  Luckily, I've opted for the latter.  I've learned a few things about myself while sitting on my hands and eyeing my Discover card.

1.  I have become addicted to food.  Granted, I've always been addicted to food.  You don't gain a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time, then keep it, and add on 20 more pounds over the next decade if you don't like food.  I guess the difference is, in my heavier days, I was never obsessed with food.  I never thought about what I was going to eat, though when I did eat, I did in excess.  I never sat staring at the clock waiting for a set time that I deemed it ok to eat again.  When I was hungry, I ate.  So I ate around the clock.  There is no way that I was actually hungry all the time, but I miss the days when I didn't set such rigid food rules for myself.  Even though I made unhealthy choices, it was a much healthier frame of mind, and one I am working toward redeveloping.

2.  Like any addiction, withdrawal takes time.  I haven't had yogurt in almost two weeks.  Beautiful broccoli hasn't entered my maw in over seven days.  It hurts to think about, but it's ok.  I'm ok.  I'm starting to realize that I wasn't eating those things because I was hungry, but because they taste good and I ate them in a timely manner.  Those aren't bad reasons to eat, but I had more of a Pavlovian response to them than an actual appetite.  "It's three.  Time for Chobani."  Since I haven't had my Chobani, I've noticed that I am less hungry.  This could be a sign that I am shame-spiralling into a deep depression, OR I like to think that without the stimuli to get all panting and excited about, my response (Automatic 3 o'clock hunger) has changed. 

3.  It isn't worth it to me to cry over ripped lavash...and yeah, I have this past week on multiple occasions.  Food is food is food.  While I might not yet resort to sustaining myself of Hamburger Helper, if my meals aren't ideal for the next couple of weeks, I choose not to sweat it.  I'm lucky to be eating.  In this city.  In this state.  In this world.  Billions of people are doing without basic human needs.  I think I'll survive a spell without hummus.

Well, I'm off to help my dad make some pork won-tons.  Poor me! 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Grocery List (of sorts)

Being unemployed has its perks!

I am free to hang out whenever you want...But I don't have extra cash to spend on meals out, trips to the movies, or shopping.

I have all the time in the world to cook exotic dishes...But I don't have money for fancy food.

I mean, I have some money, but as the months become more months, I'm trying to hold on to every last penny.  Since I still live at home, this is a somewhat achievable - if not soul-crushingly depressing - possibility.

In my attempt, I haven't bought groceries for awhile.  I spent six dollars at Walmart after a job interview on Tuesday as a sort of "Congratulations!  You did it without throwing up!" treat, but I haven't done a full-blown produce trip in awhile.  I miss it!  A lot!  It's kind of driving me crazy that my staples are not being replenished like I'm used to.

I thought I would just list all the foods I miss...just to make myself feel worse!

1.  Sweet Potatoes.  When the going was good, I'd eat a half a cup or so with my oatmeal every morning.  Not mixed in, just kind of plopped on top.  Eat a little oatmeal.  Eat a little sweet potato.  Sometimes both in one spoonful!  It was also my go-to dessert.  All mashed up, cold from the fridge, with some whipped cream on top.  YUM!  Right before I ran out, I discovered the joy of sweet potato and peanut butter.  Alas, the days of wine and roses have come to a bitter end.

2.  Greek Yogurt.  My 3 o'clock snack.  Chobani.  Fage.  Oikos.  Mixed with a banana.  A little sprinkling of Kashi Heart to Heart and whipped cream on top.  Delicious.  My heart is breaking a little over here.

3.  Hummus.  Sabra Supremely Spicy!  Why?!  Why is this recession lasting so long?!

4.  Broccoli.  Steamed.  Served cold.  So good.  Same goes for baby carrots.  Baby spinach.  Apples.  Red Seedless Grapes.  Any and all fruits and vegetables.

5.  Medjool Dates.  For my morning oats.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

6.  Lunch meat.  Do you know how long it's been since I've had Hormel Nitrate-free sliced turkey or chicken?!  On one hand it's good.  I've been eating more legumes for protein.  On the other, it's devastatingly sad.

7.  Edamame.  We were never soul mates...but you helped out in a pinch.  Miss ya!

8.  Honey.  So I have a tub from the health food store in the cupboard.  But you're half gone.  And it's only been a week.  I won't make it without you!

9.  Lavash.  I've got one of you suckers left, but once you're gone...I haven't really thought of what the bereavement process is gonna look like, but it's gonna be lengthy.

10.  Thai food.  This was my one eating out pleasure.  I haven't been in months.  There is talk of going for my mom's birthday.  In exactly 19 days.  I'm seriously white knuckling this one.

Long story short.  If you can afford to buy groceries (and technically I can, it's that I won't, or at least I'm trying not to) or if someone else (coughaparentcough) buys your groceries, be extremely thankful.  I'm sure you already are.  But the point is, it's a Good Thing!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some Uncomfortable Truths

Since I shared my weight-loss back story in my first post, I thought this second post would be a good opportunity to share some thoughts about what my life is like today and who I am now (70 lbs. lighter).  As far as I can figure out, I'm:

1.  A college graduate.  It took me six years, at a small, local university with a median age of 40, to get my degree.  I basically duffed around for the last 1.5 years, but in the end, I got it done.

2.  Unemployed.  Since March.  Six months!  I initially quit the job that got me through college because I hated it and I hated the thought of still working retail when I was obviously destined for so much more.  Plus there was a bit of conflict over my cell phone usage on the sales floor.  Needless to say, I kinda-sorta flipped out on my manager and gave my two months notice.  Why two months?  Because I figured the human thing would be to help out during the holiday season seeing as my boss is/was completely incompetent and made a habit of hiring barely functioning associates.  I got another job in February at a local, family-owned flooring company.  It was full-time, a schedule I can't keep without losing large parts of my sanity and sense of self - something I am gonna have to work on at my next full-time job.  Also, I worked basically in a refurbished warehouse, with no windows in sight, on dirty carpets, in a busted-up chair, with missing ceiling tiles above my head.  It was less than ideal.  And I could just feel myself getting fat.  "I don't like it here!  I know, a handful of M & Ms offered by my co-worker will surely make everything ok!"  Well, it didn't.  One of my direct supervisors was a complete lecherous jerk, so I quit.  It was a temp job so I didn't feel they deserved notice.  But anyway, here I am...six months later.  I've only had 2 interviews in that time.  I've applied to 20 jobs since September 1st.

3.  Hungry.  Like, right now.  I'm really hungry.  Maybe not really hungry, but I could definitely eat something.  Am I gonna?  No.  I'm still in that place, post-weight loss, just learning how to maintain, where my food/exercise thoughts are more than a little disordered.  Losing weight is such a simple process when you get down to the meat-and-potatoes of the whole debacle (at least it was pretty easy for me.  I almost enjoyed it in a sick second way, as if I was conducting a science experiment with my own body.)  I'd like to get to a place where I don't think about calories consumed and burned, and some days I do better than others.  Truth is, I could probably stand to gain a couple of pounds, maybe get to somewhere between 130-135.  But after nearly two years of steadily seeing lower numbers on the scale, it's a bit of a blow to see the number hover day-after-day.  I should be happier, I am happy that I am finally at a weight that makes me feel good about myself.  My mind has yet to catch up to my body.  It took me years to see how unhealthy I had made myself.  I imagine it will take a little time for the opposite.  I still feel huge, lurking.  Like I take up too much space.  'Tis a mind fuck!

4.  Lost!  I'm 24.  Live at home.  I have less than $1,000 in the bank.  I want Fage and skinny cords!  I thought everything (read: life) would just figure itself out for me while I was in school.  To clarify, things have always come easy to me.  I'm not stuck-up about it, it's just a fact.  I always got my spelling words correct on the first try and got to learn the larger, more challenging words.  I knew what teachers expected out of tests, papers, reports and got As.  I would be happier about this fact if it had actually led to a logical conclusion.  Turns out, in life, there are no teachers to impress.  There is no secret formula that just needs to be deciphered before the money starts rolling in and I am world-famous.  Or maybe there is, but I used up all my good luck on book reports and dioramas.  That would suck!  So, yeah.  I'm a typical case of Failure to Launch.  My high school guidance counselor went so far as to call me - in a letter of reference - "Jack of all Trades, Master at None."  I have no clue what I am doing/going to do with my life/where I will be/who I will share that life with.  It's disheartening/frustrating, but in true-Kendall fashion, I remain positive that it's all gonna work out somehow and life outside my head will be as fabulous as it is inside!

Anyway, that's all for now!  Think I will go for a walk before it starts to downpour again.

Oh, and when I said I wasn't going to eat again...I meant until dinnertime!  I gotta have my eats!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Taking the Plunge!

Deep breath, Kendall....

Hi!  I'm Kendall!

As the title suggests, starting a Healthy Living blog is quite literally like taking a plunge into a very deep pool.

Or, more accurately, doing a backwards somersault, off a cliff, into shark-infested waters!  So yeah, I'm a little nervous.  But I'm getting ahead of myself, here.  Let me Begin at the Beguine.

My weight loss story:

Short version...I used to weigh 196 lbs.  Almost two years later, I weigh 127 lbs.

Long version...

I first started gaining weight my freshman year of high school.  Bad eating habits developed in middle school (my first taste of the a la carte line) carried over to high school, where the selection of bad foods was MUCH larger.  Most days, lunch consisted of a burger (chicken/beef) or popcorn chicken and french fries or a big bagel with cream cheese and a yogurt.  I also drank at least two 20 oz. fruit juices from a vending machine daily.  I didn't exercise.  Out-and-out refused to walk the mile home from school because it just wasn't cool!  I promise I was hardly ever that girl, but I put my foot down about walking.

I gained about 30 pounds through high school.  My highest weight then was about 175 lbs.  I'm about 5'8", so things could've been a lot worse...unfortunately, they did.  Get worse, that is!

Enter college and my first job.  College wasn't really the issue.  I went to a local college close to school and lived at home.  A job meant that I finally had disposable income and I spent a lot of money on dinners/lunches/breakfasts/snacks/desserts/whatever with friends and family.  My father and I would "treat" ourselves to lunch at McDonalds or a local Chinese restaurant at least once a week. I ate out with friends ALL THE TIME!  Growing up, my family didn't eat out much at all.  Money was tight and my mom's a vegetarian.  Elsewhere, this doesn't limit dining options.  In central Maine, it surely does.  When we did eat out - maybe a half dozen times a year - it was an uber treat.  So I had money and I was pumped to do this thing that before had only been a rare occurrence.  I went overboard.

One day, I decided to hop on the scale in my school's bathroom.  I never got on the scale at home.  It was older than I was, so I told myself that it could hardly be depended upon to gauge my weight after all these years.  Yeah, denial much?!  So I'm standing on this digital scale in a school bathroom.  Shoes off.  Praying that someone else doesn't walk in.  The number finally stopped and levelled out at 196 lbs.

196 lbs...That's almost 200 lbs!

196 lbs...That means, according to standard BMI charts, I'm ALMOST obese!

Then and there, I decided to do something about this!  I wish I could remember that moment as the hallmark that it was, but I surely remember the days, weeks, months, and now years to follow. 

I worked my butt off.  I started exercising in secret, in my bedroom.  I'm sure my parents thought I was having a nervous breakdown.  Hours locked in my room after work and between classes.  Mysterious jumping, dropping weights, and exclamations of "Oh, shit!"  Sweating.  Heavy breathing.  Whatever they thought, they kept a tight lid on it.  I finally had the courage to tell them what was going on after I'd lost 30 lbs...about 6 or 7 months later!

Wrapping this up, in the end I lost nearly 70 pounds.  Never joined a gym.  The jury is still out on whether I ever will.  Some days I think it would add some spice to my life.  Other days, I feel like i wouldn't go enough to make it worth it.  My "food philosophy" has changed over time.  I ditched all soda and juice (and most milk) in favor of water.  I don't eat any fast food and I stopped eating Lean Cuisine and other diet foods in favor of healthy, whole foods.

So's that's the gist of all this!

Come back soon for an update on what's going on with me now!

How does tomorrow work for you?!

I chose this picture because the angle is SO supremely unforgiving!