I am not Jillian Michaels…

Alright. I admit it. I am out of shape. I know this because the first time I ran a few weeks ago I’m pretty sure I could hear my lungs screaming curse words at me. My “extra cushion” around my outer-thighs danced to their own beat as I jogged. Daydreams of bacon cheeseburgers and cheesecake floated through my brain as I struggled for air…
Okay, perhaps it wasn’t that dramatic but my body completely hated me as I forced it to move. For me, working out hasn’t been something that I’ve been consistent with as I’ve grown up. I’ve constantly struggled with self image and always comparing myself to friends who were tinier than me, even if they had completely different body types. With the new medication I was prescribed, I was told that a side effect would be weight gain.
As a twentysomething year old struggling with gaining confidence, the idea of gaining weight on top of how heavy I already am scared me. It shook what confidence I have.
So instead of sitting around and watching myself become more unhealthy, I decided to get myself fit. I didn’t workout to get the shape I desired. I decided to workout to be as healthy as I can be while still maintaining a diet and lifestyle that I could live happily with. 
I’ve been working out for about 4 weeks now and slowly but surely I can tell a difference. My weight hasn’t gone down, but for the first time since I was in 7th grade I was able to run a mile. I’ve now gotten to the point where I can run it in 12 minutes, which for me is a huge victory!! My goal is 10 minutes and 40 seconds. Slowly but surely I’ll get there. I’ve begun switching between running and yoga. 
Yoga is the shiznit, let me tell you. As a woman whose mind is constantly going in a million different directions, this is the first time that I’ve been able to quiet my mind and focus. My mom always makes fun of me because I walk out with a big goofy grin. I just get so relaxed! The women in there and the instructors have been so welcoming and helpful as I’ve learned all of the moves. At first I had the hardest time moving at certain angles, but lately in the past week I’ve noticed certain positions getting easier. 
Don’t get me wrong, wall yoga is still a hard class. I was unaware of certain muscles in my rump region until I did poses against the wall. Word of advice: find your happy place!
I think the hardest thing about working out and sticking with it is remembering that it takes time. It takes time to get to where you want to be and you have to stay committed even when you just don’t feel like it. I’m definitely not Jillian Michaels and chances are I will never get myself that fit. But that’s okay. Weight is not something to focus on. It’s your gravitational pull and I have to remind myself of that all the time. If you have to focus on a number, focus on the body fat percentage. Turn that weight into 150 pounds of muscle instead of cushion. 
At the end of the day, I will still be a food junkie. I’m a Funkie. But I’m accomplishing goals in my fitness that I haven’t been able to do in years. I think that’s the most important accomplishment.  

 

When to Let Go

Relationships are hard. Knowing when to let go is even harder. How exactly do you know when it’s time to let something go and move on? Well, I’ve seen the signs in my relationship, but short of being hit in the head with literal signs I feel like I’ve been ignoring all the metaphorical ones.

For me, I have the tendency to hold on to something even when it’s probably no longer healthy to stick around. Why? It’s because I hate giving up on a relationship. It’s not that I’m looking for Mr. Right at this point in my life. Shoot, I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m in my twenties! It’s because I saw failed relationships growing up and I desperately want to be the type of person to work through problems so that way when I am to the point where I’m ready to be married I can make it last.

Relationships, however, seem to be my weak spot whether it’s being romantically involved with someone, a friendship, or a relationship with a family member. In reflecting over the past year and a half, I’ve noticed that there were certainly signs that I should have listened to, but in the midst of my depression I didn’t really take a stand when I should have. It’s not to say that my past relationship was a particularly terrible one (though if you ask my best friend or my dad I’m sure they’d have something to say), I just allowed him to think that I was okay with certain undesirable behaviors when I should have stood up for myself.

I think in relationships there are a few key signs into realizing when it’s time to move on:

  1. There’s distrust
    • For me, I probably should have broken it off with him the minute I stopped trusting him. I didn’t want to though. I felt like I was being paranoid and that I had nothing to worry about when in reality I was just ignoring his behaviors and his growing secrecy.
  2. Your friends stopping liking your significant other
    • About halfway through my relationship, the guy I was with owned up to doing some things that really broke my heart. Me being a dummy, however, stayed with him and forgave him. My friends didn’t see it as something to forgive. I didn’t want to listen to their thoughts on him, mostly because I didn’t want to admit that I was staying in something bad. At the time I felt like they just didn’t understand the dynamics of our relationship and that it wasn’t worth explaining.
  3. You’re no longer happy with him
    • It took me a ridiculously long time to accept it, but towards the end I just wasn’t happy. I didn’t trust him. I began to hate myself for staying with him, but also truly believed that what I felt for him was love and I wanted to give the type of love that I read about in church. The only time we really got along was when we were physically intimate, but otherwise we argued all the time and I could see his lack of trust towards me, which infuriated me. Why didn’t he trust me? It’s not like I had done anything to him other than get the courage to stand up for myself every once in a while. I couldn’t brag about him to friends anymore, because the times he tried to be a good guy felt like they were an afterthought after months and months of dealing with his mood swings and verbal abuse.

 

It wasn’t until I had a very dear friend be a perfect gentleman towards me and compliment me on my goofiness, that I realized I deserved better. I had been told that for months, but it took me a long time to truly believe it. If a friend that I had known for years, who saw me grow up during my awkward phase, could find me beautiful and funny because of my quirkiness rather than in spite of all of those things, then why couldn’t the guy I’d been dating?

It was certainly a valuable lesson that I feel will help me in future relationships. Ladies, if you’ve ever been in my shoes, it’s important to remember this: You should never date a guy with the mindset that he’s out of your league. He should be proud to date you and flaunt it. If you ever feel like you’re not worthy of him and he’s made you feel that way, run! It’s something I have to constantly remind myself. I am worth more than a man who only found me worth caring for when it was convenient for him.

I am nerdy, curvy, goofy, and damn proud of it!!

I look forward to the future to focus on myself and become independent and happy for me. I know that the next man I date will appreciate it and I can stay in it for as long as it’s healthy. Growing up is hard. This whole “adult relationship” thing is hard too, but I feel like I learned a lot and I’m ready to pick myself up and see what’s in store for me.

 

Dear dentist…I don’t like you.

I have a thing about going to the dentist. Now don’t get me wrong, my dentist and his assistants are sweet as can be. I’m sure we’d all get along great over a cup of coffee. However, several obscenities tend to cross my mind when they’re poking and prodding in my mouth.

I’ve always had a thing about going to the dentist. I’m fairly certain I need an anxiety prescription just to go. That or a couple shots of something and I’d be good to go. The anxiety didn’t help this past week when I had to get sealant put on my teeth and a lingual frenectomy.

The sealant was to cover up the craters I had worn into my teeth. Grinding is bad. Needless to say, having a tiny mouth and the world’s most sensitive gag reflex (I know because my dentist told me so) didn’t really workout smoothly. The sealant ought to have been a 20-30 minute procedure at best…

Ha! Clearly they never met me.

The dentist literally wished the assistant good luck. I had gagged while he prepped my teeth for the sealant and my mouth was too small to put the tongue restrainer in without tripping that reflex. It. Was. Horrible. The assistant had a hard time doing anything to my teeth without causing me to gag. My mouth was like a really annoying game of Operation. To make it worse, the fact that I was making it take longer stressed me out and I felt bad that she had to deal with me panicking. She then tried to pass me off to another assistant who politely declined.

I wanted to cry.

After she finished, I remembered that I had to talk to my dentist about a lingual frenectomy. He told me he could do it right then. Whoop-dee-friggin’-doo.

Now let me explain what in the world a frenectomy is. I was mildly tongue tied, which meant that the little flap of tissue that connected the under-part of my tongue to the bottom of my mouth was just a little too high up. A frenectomy involves cutting that tissue to let the tongue loose. With a laser. While you’re awake.

Oh that was doing wonders for my anxiety.

However, I had no desire to come back later in the week to get it done, so I chose to get it over with. At first, he tried to use a topical gel numbing medicine around the tissue. Then he used the laser a bit to see if I could feel it.

I could.

Then the really fun part came. He stuck a needle with numbing medication into each side of my tongue and waited. And boy did that stuff work! I felt a slight sensation as he worked and then it was over. My lips and tongue were numb.

“Stick your tongue out,” he said when it was over.

I had no idea if it actually worked. I couldn’t feel a thing. He told me I would be a little sore later, but for the time my tongue would feel okay until the numbness wore off.

As I got out of the dentist I called my stepmom to tell her I was done. As I heard myself talk I burst into laughter. I sounded like Daffy Duck’s sister. I was fascinated. The whole drive home I tried singing and it came out goofy as heck. I kept poking my tongue too. I’m pretty certain the nice elderly lady in the car next to me at the light thought I was on something. I’d poke my tongue and bite at it with my teeth a bit. I don’t know why, but it was so interesting to me.

Later on I discovered the dentist had lied to me. My tongue was not “a little sore.” It burned where it had been cut. Dear lord it hurt. Not to mention I had to stick my tongue out and lift it to the roof of my mouth in order to keep the tissue from healing back the way it was. That didn’t feel particularly good either. I tried to avoid talking and eating anything super chewy for a few days as well. That was painful.

Needless to say, the experience did nothing to solve my anxiety of going to the dentist’s office. I would totally take that numbing medication for anything they have to do to me next time though. That stuff was the bomb. I couldn’t feel my mouth. The anxiety disappeared.

Lucky me though, I have a follow up appointment this week! Yay. I’m so excited…not. And just so you know, my tongue still hurts…that lying jerk.

Four eyes are sexier than two

Glasses: The universal symbol for the socially awkward nerd or the uptight librarian. When I think of glasses I think of the intellectuals, the Comicon fanatics, the hipsters, and those particularly proficient in the game of Magic.

In my head….I was not the one to wear glasses. I denied my inner nerdiness. However, it seemed as if the universe was aiming to make me embrace it.

I had an eye exam appointment scheduled last week and I was sure my vision was just fine. Growing up with my mom, the concept of annual eye exams were not a thing she thought to be important so I never had one. Visiting my dad led me to an eye exam which I thought was overrated, but went anyway.

At the exam they made me stick my head in what looked to be a torture device. It was. I pressed my eye into the machine where they proceeded to blind me with a bright green light. Apparently they were taking pictures of the inside of my eyes but I think they just like to watch us walk around with our vision impaired….

Once I got through with the initial tests the doctor had me look at letters and read them off. Surely no one can read those last two lines right? Wrong. She adjusted my vision with lenses and oh dear god I could see! The letters were clearer, the world was new, and the slow realization I was getting glasses began to dawn on me.

I picked out my frames with a mix of mild frustration and fascination. I chose a simple pair that would match with any outfit and went on my way to wait for the new pair.

Yesterday I got the call that they were ready and I carefully picked out an outfit that I knew would go well with them. Yeah…I did that. When I got them I put them on and sat in my car for a good ten minutes just staring.

Dear lord I look like a librarian, I thought to myself. I stared a bit longer…

Throughout the day I continued to stare. I was fascinated with the new me. I continued to like it more and more. In fact, I decided I was at least a sexy librarian. Besides, as I watched BBC’s Sherlock Holmes Irene Adler herself said that “brainy was the new sexy.” And the glasses made me look brainy. So clearly, the glasses made me look more attractive.

I’ve learned something with my new glasses. I embrace it. In fact, I like the way I look with glasses better than without them. Plus, I’m a blogger and a journalism major, so I definitely fit the role.

So here’s to all those who wear glasses. Raise your cups of coffee or whatever you’re drinking at the moment you hipsters, you Magic aficionados, you intellectuals, and you Comicon fanatics! Raise your cups in union as the group of people who looks sexy, because damn we all look good!

Four eyes are definitely sexier than two…but for those who don’t wear glasses, well, you’re sexy too.  

The Jean Problem

I love jeans. They’re my solution to many simple problems. If I don’t want to shave my legs? Jeans. If I want to show off a cute shirt? Jeans. If my uterus is throwing a tantrum because I haven’t fertilized my eggs? Dark jeans.

Regardless of the occasion, jeans tend to be my “go-to” pants choice. That is, of course, so long as they fit…

My weight likes to yo-yo over the year. During the fall and winter, school leads me to stress and lose weight (it’s opposite I know). During the summer, well, I’m at home eating my parents’ food…one does not simply pass up seconds of Italian food! I’d love to say stuffing my face is balanced with equally epic workout plans, but that just doesn’t happen.

And inevitably the morning comes when I go to throw on a pair of jeans and this happens:

  1. There’s tightness around my thighs as I pull them up.
  2. My butt takes up the space where I could once put my hands in my back pockets.
  3. Buttoning them suddenly becomes a yoga exercise and a denial phase…

–        “Suck it in!” Stomach sucked in, posture rigid and slightly bending backwards…the extra jump to pull them up…

–        “Maybe I’m bloated….” “Have I pooped today? No. They’ll fit after I go.”

The worst part? They do not fit after I go to the bathroom. The struggle is real.

Of course then it comes to having to shop for jeans that will fit my well-fed body. That’s when the self-loathing and inner sobbing begins. It all comes down to the number. I hate that stupid number on the tag. No matter if it makes me look good that number makes me walk out of that dressing room mildly depressed. It’s equivalent to the pain I feel after math tests.

Dealing with that number is a battle I face. I’d love to be a size four or something small like that. My reality though is that I will never achieve that size healthily. I am a proud Hispanic who has the butt and boobs to match the ethnicity. That J-Lo butt just does not fit in a small size.

Guess what? It’s okay. That fact is something I have to remember on a constant basis. It’s okay if I never fit into tiny jeans. I ought to embrace the body I have. I may eat a little bit more than I ought to, but I am beautiful just the way I am.

As I write this post, the new song “Try” by Colbie Caillat is playing. If you haven’t already watched the music video I’d definitely recommend it.

At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to buy a new pair of jeans. Live life to the fullest, enjoy that favorite dish of yours, and don’t be afraid to embrace the body you have. It’s beautiful just the way it is.

Hey if you want some more really awesome blogs to read just check out some of these. They’re really great reads and the bloggers are pretty cool as well:

  1. Green Embers
  2. Ronovanwrites
  3. Feliciakimmel
  4. Maria9saif
  5. Bmyshot

***Youtube video is Kristin Schrot’s not mine.