Archive for the ‘Mental Health’ Category

Still hanging on!

Back on November 15th I started on my lifestyle change and took a little quiz to determine my level of health. I had scored between a 4 and 5, which is not so healthy since the ideal number was 10. Now that I have been on this crusade for almost a full month I decided to retest myself. By drinking more water, making a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies, and by eliminating alcohol I am now at a score of 7.

Although that is not perfect, I do feel better knowing that I have moved up on the health scale. My goals had been simply to consume more “good things” (fruits, veggies, water) and less “bad things” (salt, alcohol, white carbs). How did I go from not having any fruit and very little veggies to getting the day’s needed amount? Well I sprinkled berries on my cereal in the morning, had bananas, oranges, apples and grapes as snacks instead of my usual chips, candy, etc., added additional veggies on top of my salad at lunch, had 100% vegetable soaps in veggie broth, and added steamed veggies into my daily diet. I also started drinking 100% (anything less doesn’t qualify as a veggie serving) vegetable juice. That is really gross, but it works if I know I’m not going to be eating a veggie anytime soon.

My biggest accomplishment was eliminating alcohol from my diet. As an alcoholic I was drinking almost daily, with a couple days of complete binge drinking. Although I’ve only been completely sober for 13 consecutive days, it as made a difference. My husband thinks my skin looks better and I am really enjoying the non-hangover lifestyle.

So what’s next? My goals now will to be to try to control my sweet tooth. I say try to control instead of eliminate because there is no way for me to eliminate sweets. I won’t lie to myself or to you…I cannot give up treats. I love, love, LOVE desserts. But my problem is that I emotionally consume treats. If I’m bored I find myself wanting to bake (doesn’t help that it’s the holiday season!), if I am sad I want chocolate, If I am stressed I want candy…It is terrible. So my goal is to consume these devilish goodies in moderation as well as finding other ways to relieve my emotions. So much easier said than done, so I need to get even more specific: I will only consume one treat a day and never go back for seconds. (I have a big problem with going back for more.) I know from a nutritional stand point, a treat a day is still pretty bad but I need to be realistic. Right now I am consuming probably 5 treats a day, easily. Sneak a piece of chocolate here, another one there, try a cookie here, have a hot cocoa there, a piece of pie after dinner…see there’s 5 servings of delicious badness. I’m also going to try to have “good treats.” Meaning maybe instead of a Oreo McFlurry I’ll have a yogurt parfait, or instead of a piece of chocolate cake I’ll have a banana split. Seriously anyway I can be healthier without giving up my desserts I will try.

As for another way to handle my emotions? I know what’s next. EXERCISE. Shudder. I know this because time and time again I hear from numerous sources that working out is the best way to cure boredom, create endorphins, decrease stress, etc. I know, I know. But really, giving up sweets and working out? One thing at a time please! After I can control my sweet tooth I’ll tackle exercise. If reading my blog hasn’t yet told you, I am a seriously, professional lazy person. The best lazy person you will ever meet. I can sleep for hours if you let me. I can wear the same sweatpants for days. I have no idea how to even begin to incorporate exercise. So that will definitely be a task to conquer…later.

Have a great weekend!



Here’s to a new week!

I don’t know what’s been going on with me lately. I don’t know if my “healthy” choices are paying off or if someone is lacing my food with meth but I’ve been a happy, chipper lady lately! I mean, minus this disgusting morning (I do not do mornings-ever), I’ve been really happy! Even while driving in wet snow with dumb ass drivers going 20 mph on the freeway all morning I was really positive that this week is going to rock my socks off. Last week was pretty pleasant, when I reflect on it. I give myself a B+ for last week. We can’t say I ate really healthy but we can say I didn’t drink alcohol 5/7 days (miraculous improvement!) and I consumed fruit! Big steps for me yo. This weekend though I did falter, not going to lie. I happily consumed massive amounts of desserts but come on now, I attended a birthday party and a Baby Gender revealing party. Cake was essential. Yes. Absolutely necessary.

Anyways, whatever it is…I don’t know if it’s all the nasty lemon water I’ve been downing like a fish, or if it’s the extra nutrients that my body was deprived of, but I’m way less tired (only taking 2 naps a day now-haha-perks of being a nanny), and I fit into clothes without looking like sausage. It’s an excellent feeling knowing that I’m going in the right direction. I’ve even lost 2 lbs. although weight loss wasn’t really my goal. I have all this freaky energy too. You should have seen me last week-cleaning my house, baking vegan cookies (recipe tomorrow!), scrapbooking and doing laundry. I was a maniac. A really happy productive maniac.

This week will be fun, testing myself on Thanksgiving- (Why so many pies? Really? Banana cream , apple, pumpkin, french silk…what the hell. Are you trying to kill me?) But I really am excited. It’s snowing, it’s gorgeous, I have a great family and great friends. I stayed sober for 5 days in a row. So much to be thankful about. 🙂 Hope everyone has an awesome Monday! I’m going to go take my second paid nap now.

“Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health.”

Teenage Gays Epidemic

Bullying is hardcore right now, as we have all heard about the recent increase in teenage suicide related to school bullying. What’s really sad is that a freaking lot of these teenage suicides are related to gays. (Five gay teenagers just committed suicide this past week.) Right now dealing with homosexual harassment and prejudice is the number one cause of teenage suicides. One national survey found that 90% of high school gay students were verbally attacked, and more than 40% of  homosexual students reported physical harassment. And a sad 60% said they don’t feel safe at school. It’s no surprise that lesbian, gay, bi and transgender students have higher rates of depression, drug abuse and (considerably higher-4x higher in) suicide. And this isn’t just about suicide…the hate, fear and intolerance in the country right now is almost, in a way equally as bad. There are people murdering other people for being gay, and families abandoning their own children because they don’t know what to do with a gay child. Seriously people. Life is too short and too precious to be hating and ruining the lives of others.

There definitely needs to be a change. It’s funny (not really haha funny, but coincidental) that I wrote my blog yesterday on prejudice and reteaching of acceptance and then today was bombarded with media on gay suicides/murders. This is exactly why we need to reconstruct our society on dealing with and accepting people’s differences. Poor kids.  It’s bad enough trying to figure out who you are, and then being treated badly because of your differences…sad, sad, sad.

I’d love to write more but no time! Too much homework…Please watch the media here, and anything else out there. There’s so much coverage on this topic right now.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Youth Support Line
Gay & Transgender Hate Crime Hotline
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender National Help Center
Article on recent 5 gay teen suicides
The Trevor Project
A suicide letter from a gay teen; Prevention, Awareness and Support

Project Save My Face

When I was in the fourth grade I was already embarrassingly hideous. I wore big coke can glasses, had blunt bangs, a perm and was still wearing what my mother picked out for me. I didn’t really need anything else to contribute to my ugliness. However, mother nature had other plans for me. I awoke one day to find myself with a zit. Okay. No biggie. Then I found another. Then another. Soon I looked like a walking pepperoni pizza. This was a really traumatic experience for me, and apparently my mother. So fast forward years from that tragic stage of life…I’ve been blemish free and have found bliss. Well until now.

At my age I didn’t think I would ever have to think about acne again. Seriously, there’s a time and place for everything, and the zit ship should have sailed off a long ass time ago. Again, mother nature has other plans for me. While my husband has to consider creams to prevent wrinkles, I get to enjoy looking like a teenager going through puberty all over again! Joy. Wasn’t once enough? Ah, cruel world.

This all started in the last year…what could have done this to me? Oh, well gee, let’s see. I changed jobs. Then we moved. Then I got a new job. Then I was stressed from my job. Then I was depressed. Then I got on medication. Then I quit my job. Then I was unemployed. Then I gave up meat. Then I gave up milk. Then I gave up soy. Then I reentered milk. Then I started a new job. Then I went back to school. Oh gee. What could have stirred up my acne? Oh, yes, everything.

Now I am happy, stress free and still have a full face of acne to show for it. Super! At first I thought my face would slowly regenerate on it’s own since the stress of my mind and also my diet were finally settling down. I was optimistic and certain that I would stop breaking out. I was also positive that my skin regime was the best I could do. Time will heal my skin. Patience will be rewarded. Um, yeah, great optimistic thoughts, but no my wishes weren’t granted. I am still siting here wondering how I can peel the top layer of my skin off without access to chemical acid. I have decided not going to Target in fear of someone gawking at my pizza face is no way to live. I need to get my face back. Enter, Project Save My Face.

Goals of this project:
1. To stop waking up each morning to find that once again I am breaking out to a new batch of humiliation.
2. To control and shrink the monsters already residing on my face.
3. To treat and rid of the scars my blemishes want to leave behind to haunt me for the rest of my life.
Changes that must be made:
1. I will stop being a lazy mofo. I will strive to wash my face 2x a day.
2. I will stop touching my face unnecessarily and stop picking at it.
3. I will make it a habit to change my pillowcases regularly.
4. If my hair has any residue in it, it needs to be washed before it can reach my skin.
5. I need to up my water intake.
6. I need to up my fruit/veggie intake and lower my carb/dairy intake.
7. I will forgo makeup to let my skin ‘breathe.’
8. I will try to always get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Expectations: To once again allow pictures of me to be taken.

Here I go on Project Save My Face. Let’s see if I can do it myself before I need to enlist the help of a dermatologist! And, damn, here’s to embarrassing truths! Cheers!

Priority #1? Happiness.

About 5 months ago I couldn’t have told you anything that I can tell you now. Right now I can tell you that I’m going to grad school and getting my Masters. I can tell you that I love my job. I can tell you that I can’t wait to be a teacher. I can honestly say I feel stress, oh, only about 10% of the time. Overall, I am a rather happy, satisfied and optimistic person.

About 5 months ago I could have told you that I hated my job. I had no idea where my future was going. I was confused. I was depressed. I was stressed 80% of the time. Why the huge difference you ask? Well let me rewind…

About 5 months ago I was working at a well known corporation, who has a great reputation, and is doing fairly well for our times. I was psyched when I got offered this position and couldn’t wait to begin my new career. I had originally gone to school for business because I had rather big (and rather shallow) goals for myself. I wanted to be a boss. I wanted to manage because it was my way or the highway (I’m a tad bossy, says my husband). And the worse part of my dream? I wanted to make lots of molla. I wanted to make the greens. I had a brief stint after my first 2 years of college and was playing with the idea of teaching instead, but quickly talked myself out of it. Teachers don’t make any money. Pfth! See? I told you my goals were shallow. Anyways, getting this job was perfect to me. I had high hopes. I was planning on working my way up the corporate ladder and stay with this company for many years in the foreseen future. I was getting a nice paycheck, fabulous benefits, and felt respected.  Finally I had my “grown up job.” This high was quickly deflated when I actually started working.

Working consisted of sitting at my “desk” (aka cubicle), pretending I was busy, kissing ass, following a million procedures-doing a million of them wrong-then fixing them to fit regulations before I got written up, making phone calls after phone calls, and emailing half of the day. It also consisted of meetings with my manager on a daily basis that I seriously had no idea how it was contributing to really any results. Don’t get me wrong…I wasn’t hating on my job because I was failing at it. I was doing great. Top numbers, great results, happy clients, the whole nine yards. However, doing “great” had it’s tolls. Everyday I would come home completely worn out, irritated, stressed and worried about the next day. How was I going to perform tomorrow? Where and how was I going to get my day’s numbers? Who am I meeting with? How many meetings do I have? I wanted to pull my hair out every single night. My poor husband had to listen to me bitch and rant until bedtime, and even then, it didn’t stop. I was loosing sleep from laying there awake with my mind racing about going to work the next morning. I even called my parents and told them, and I never do that. Admit defeat to my father? Yeah right. So this must have been bad!

Then in the morning after my fabulous nights sleep filled with nightmares about work, I would put on my suit…and wanted to shoot myself. It gets worse. I am not exaggerating (and I swear on my future baby’s life) that when I reached the street my office was on, I wanted to throw up. I had to swallow chunks back. ( I know, TMI, sorry.) Not only throw up but possibly get into a car accident so that I could miss work. Oh how wonderful would it be if someone crashed into me? I bet I could get a couple weeks off! I would even find myself cursing and whining all the way into the office like a child even though there was no one there to listen to me.

Each day I’d greet my work bestie and cubicle neighbor R, and give him the look. The look that says “Please kill me. Or punch me. Or anything to put me out of my misery.” I love R. He was one of the only reasons why I didn’t get suicidal. We would email each other back and forth during the day with smiley faces and dumb jokes to lighten up hell.

“R, do you feel like we are living ‘Office Space?” I asked him one day.
“YES. Everyday!”
I only nodded. We didn’t need to tell each other about our miseries…we both already knew them. Finally it hit me I couldn’t do this anymore. Life is way too short for this BS!
“R, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“Me neither, but what are we going to do?” R shrugged. Get the F out of here is what we’re going to do! I thought.
“Shit. I don’t even really like what I’m doing much less the company. I don’t even really like people!” I started thinking out loud. “I like kids. Damn it. I should have been a teacher.” Long pause. “I think I’m going to do something about it.”
“Like what?” R was half encouraging and half thinking I was looney tunes.
“Hmm. I don’t know yet. I’ll tell you when I know.” And I instantly went to my desk to do some “work.” My work? I went online to search up new jobs. I cruised the internet and started reading about graduate schools, different programs, and careers that are looking’ good in the future. I think I did this for a week. (Shh. I know. Bad bad employee.)

I seriously felt like I was having a quarter life crisis. After getting my undergrad done, my resume built up, my “dream job”…was this all that was left? Was this it? I enlisted the help, advice and opinions of all around me and came to a conclusion.

“R, I’m going back to school, and I’m going to teach kids!” I proclaimed to R the day I made up my mind. I was happier than ever. I was getting out of that place once in for all.
“Seriously?!” Yes he totally thought I was nuts. I was a business major. A former manager. A current private sector employee. What the hell was this person doing about to change her life?
“Yeah. I’m not happy. And I’m not going to stay unhappy forever.” I was sure. I already knew the things I would be loosing…my awesome benefit packages, my fat paychecks, my cute business cards…but really, enough was enough. I wasn’t going to make the mistake of going through the rest of my life wishing I had done something else. So that was that. I quit shortly after, on the spot (to boot!) and have never been happier.

I got judged immediately from what feels like thousands of people.
“Are you sure? But you are such a business woman!” – My mother.
“What are you thinking? Quitting a good job in this economy?” -From my lovely brother in law. Gag.
“You want to start over?”
“You know you’re not going to be getting paid as much.” – My (former) boss! Hah.
“This is sort of a hard time to be making such rash decisions.”
Blah blah blah. Life is too short to be unhappy people. Money, yes we need it, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t rule us. Happiness on the other hand I wouldn’t mind being ruled over. So I stuck to my guns and left. I’m now happily watching kids, making more money, happily a student once more, and prepared to finally do what I’ve always wanted. Money no longer looks like the best option to me, and even though I spent years studying the art of running a business, and how to direct people I don’t see any of that time as a waste. I will someday run a classroom and direct children, so in the end all my education was worth it.

To my bestie R…he’s still there today biting his nails and working his little tush off. His numbers are now the best in the office and he’s getting his well deserved recognition. But I still hope he ends up finding what he really wants and ends up happy. Like me. 🙂

Good night and here’s to a happy tomorrow!

Just Say No!

My parents were never the healthy type. I grew up on ramen noodles, fast food, and pop. My parents never restricted how much sugar we had or caffeine so my younger brothers and I always got to drink pop. It didn’t help that my parents also drank it and always kept it in the house. It was like orange juice or milk for us. We had it during car rides, at lunch, at dinner, for snacks, as treats, etc. Not only that but I acquired a taste for coffee at 7 years old because my dad let me try it and I was hooked. We would be at Slumberland looking at furniture and I would be the one and only kid in the whole damn building with my own cup of coffee from the free coffee machine. I have no idea what my parents were thinking.

So not surprisingly once I was able to “care” for myself, I was purchasing a French Vanilla coffee from the gas station each morning, and guzzling Red Bull throughout the day. I would have Red Bull at my 7 am class and still be drinking Red Bull at my 6:30 pm class. Disturbing. Even my drink of choice was vodka Red Bulls. I had always heard that pop and caffeine was bad for you in excess, and pop being bad in general. I really didn’t know much about it, nor did I care.

After years and years of drinking pop and coffee I finally decided that it had to end. I was jittery when I didn’t have it, and I would be craving straight black coffee at 2 in the morning. I also was getting headaches, feeling like sluggish poo, and getting f-a-t. Why was this happening?!

My research shows that the number one bad thing about pop is that it is almost all sugar. And they don’t use sweeteners because high fructose corn syrup is more affordable. Well that’s great for them, but for us that means no nutritional value, but lots and lots of calories. If getting fat wasn’t bad enough, pop will dissolve your tooth enamel from the high sugar content and leach calcium from your bones (because of the high levels of phosphorous). Diet pop isn’t going to save you anymore pain,  since the aspartame-sweetened pop produces methanol. This is slowly poisoning your body folks. And there’s also the fact that these sweeteners are actually 5 hundred times sweeter than sugar, meaning that your organs will suffer.

As for caffeine, which can be found in pop and everyone’s favorite-coffee…it’s debatable. But only because a little caffeine is good for you. It stimulates your heart and gets blood pumping. So it’s actually recommended to have some caffeine (although I still don’t have any at all) but it is dangerous when you have too much. Why? Mostly just because it is addictive. (I know about that! My husband goes to Starbucks 7 days a week!) And quitting it can be just as bad as quitting say cigarettes or alcohol. The withdrawal symptoms (which I have seen my husband go through so I can vouch are true) include flu like symptoms, migraines, fatigue, mild depression, nausea, vomiting, and in women it can make you have worse PMS. Worse? Lord.

Now it has been over 5 years since I have had a pop and 4 years since I had coffee. I can’t even eat too much dark chocolate before I get the “caffeine high.”  I can honestly say that if I have a coffee at 10:00 am, I will not be able to sleep that night at 10:00 pm. My husband could be my alibi. I seriously cannot handle caffeine. But now that I have kicked it, I find that I don’t even need it. If I have it, it just messes me up all day. I feel like an anxious fool all day, then lay awake with my heart beating fast and mind racing for most of the night. For many people out there they may think this sounds terrible. How can you have done this to yourself? Trust me, it’s for the best. I never crave pop or caffeine. I never miss it. I save tons of money. It has made me drink more water. I am more hydrated. I’m healthier. I’ve lost weight. I sleep better. I almost never get headaches. And I actually have more energy. Quitting pop and caffeine was one of the best things I have ever done for my body. Anyone out there can do it. Just say No!