Thursday, January 20, 2011

money, weight loss and family

i am apparently allergic to my paycheck.  i spend it like it's going out of style and then find myself financially limping to the next payday.  i don't know why i feel i have to spend my money like it's going out of style.  every payday, twice a month, i get my check and i immediately pay my bills.  no problem there.  that right there is the way to be, with paying bills and being responsible.  and if that's all you had to go on for how i dealt with my money, then you'd think i was pretty good with my money and was very responsible.  but, it seems that is not the case.  it seems that i hurry up and pay all my bills so that i can hurry up and completely blow the rest of my paycheck.  that's right, blow my money.  and on what do i spend my money?  clothes mostly.  clothes i do not need.  because, if i was buying a clothing item i need, i would buy myself a new pair of jeans because my "fluffy" ass has worn a hole in the inner thigh of my current jeans.  but nooooo, i don't buy a new pair of jeans.  i buy t-shirts, a dress and socks instead.  interesting combination, wouldn't you agree?  i need to get myself more focused on setting my money aside so that it lasts me until the next paycheck arrives, so that i can buy little things here and there as needed in the interim. 
i work hard for my paycheck, so you'd think i'd respect it, but that's not exactly true.  i treat money with wanton abandon and frivolity.  money is practically meaningless to me.  i rarely see the actual money, so money doesn't have a tangible existence to me for the most part.  maybe i should start making money "real" for myself.  maybe when i get paid, i should withdraw the full amount of my paycheck so that i see the money and can hold it and split it up into the bills that need to get paid.  because right now, i never see my money because i just use my debit card so the money in my bank account isn't even a thought that occurs to me in my spending frenzy.
i need to start respecting money so that i can not have to live hand to mouth with my paychecks.  i treat money like an object that is not central to my quality of life.  i need to learn how to respect my money so i'm not pinching pennies all the damn time for no good reason.  if i didn't pay my bills as soon as i get my paycheck and before i go on spending sprees buying clothes and random things that i don't need, i'd be one small step away from living in my car.  that's no way to live.  and besides, could you imagine living in a car with a dog and a cat in there with you?  oh man.  i couldn't handle being homeless.  and being responsible with my money means that i will, in fact, be able to achieve my goal next march of moving back home to Oregon.  i have to put aside $200 per paycheck if i want to do this.  this is not an elaborate or financially taxing plan.  it is very workable 
when most people get stressed, they just eat and gain weight.  not me.  when i get stressed, i shop.  shopping makes me happy because i'm getting new things.  shopping releases the endorphins that cause the feeling of happiness.  a lot of times, i end up returning what i bought the day after i've bought it because i really don't want it, it doesn't fit or i can't afford to keep it.  but there are some things i buy that i cannot return.
today is the first day that i will adhere to my self imposed "diet" plan.  for breakfast, i eat a bowl of cereal or slow-cook oatmeal.  for a midmorning snack, i usually have a 4 ounce cup of low sugar yogurt.  for lunch, a healthy choice tv dinner.  for my midafternoon snack, i eat a boiled egg or some celery with reduced fat hummus.  for dinner, another tv dinner.  this isn't the first day that i have tried to make it the whole day and stick to this plan, no sir! 
the other day, i tried to stick by it and would have made it until the "incident" happened.  the incident in question happened while i was walking the dog.  we were almost to our turn around point, which is a 30 minute walk from my apartment, when my scalp got all sweaty and i was all jittery and light headed.  holy crap, my blood sugar had just crashed!  luckily, i was already texting back and forth with my friend, Heather.  i told her what happened and she told me to keep texting her and letting her know where i was.  she said if i didn't respond to her at any point, she would call ems.  i had to keep myself from freaking out and having a panic attack, which would have just made everything worse.  i did my best to keep my mind off of my predicament and think about other things.  i thought about writing and what i wanted to do with my writing and what i wanted to write about.  also, Heather kept me talking and distracted as i made my way home.  i managed to make it home without passing out.  i did have to stop and rest at one point, but other than that, i'd been okay.  i knew that if it had been any warmer outside that i would not have been able to keep myself from passing out.  when i got home, i ate two protein bars, a cup of yogurt, some hummus and some peanut butter.  i was so glad to make it home alright that i didn't care that i just blew my "diet" for that day.  i had just walked for 30 minutes scared shitless that i was going to pass out.  i was just thankful that i wasn't in the hospital.
if i can continue to stick to my "diet" plan, i shouldn't have any problem losing the weight i need to lose in order to be healthy again.  i look in the mirror now and i do not like what i see staring back at me.  i jiggle in places that should be nice and firm and toned.  exercise is also part of the plan.  i can't do much right now, but i do what i can before it starts to hurt.  i am really serious about losing the weight.  once i've had the surgery for the spinal cord stimulator implant and have recovered from it, i should be able to up the amount of cardio and the type of weight lifting i do so that i can lose weight faster and tone up better.  right now, i'm only able to do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer and no free weights.  the weights i do on the cable machines can't be anything that cause me to strain because i don't want to risk injuring my back further.
i have a strong desire to be all around healthy.  it is one of my top goals right now.  it is a goal that if i achieve it, it will make me immensely happy and give me a complete feeling of accomplishment.  the only other thing that will make me as happy as losing the weight i have set out to lose is saving the money i need to save in order to make my move to Oregon.  those two things, along with my emotional recovery, are of the utmost importance in my life right now.  i believe these three factors will make the next year of my life the best one yet.  it will definitely be a year worth talking about.  i hope to continue to find inspiration and motivation all around me.  i hope to remain positive about the eventual outcome and not get bogged down by the weight of how long it may or may not take me to achieve my overall goals.  i just need to know that my goals will be achieved.  i want them that badly to know that they will happen for me.
it's only halfway through the day and i find myself hungry.  i don't think it's real hunger; i think it's just my subconscious trying to cause me to fail at my dieting.  they say that most of the time when you get the signal from your body that is interpreted as hunger, you are really not hungry and are actually thirsty.  so i'll just drink some herbal tea.  which is good because i'm at work and i didn't bring anything except my allotted snack foods, so i don't have anything to munch on anyway, even if i was going to let myself.
i have to have willpower.  i have to have the willpower to make the big decisions.  will i be happy eating my tv dinner at home with a bottle of water or a cup of hot tea or am i going to give in and go get a 3-piece fried chicken with french fries and a dr. pepper dinner from bill miller's bbq?  clearly, if i want to succeed, it's obvious which choice i should make.  thankfully, finances play a part in this.  due to my financial splurge last week that occurred right after i received my paycheck.  i now have barely enough money to get me enough gas to make it to and from work and tv dinners until my next payday.  so, therefore, i do not have the money to eat at McDonald's or anything like that, so i have no choice but to stick with my tv dinners and cups of yogurt and boiled eggs.
i want to make sure that i do things for the right reason.  if i were losing weight to spite someone, that wouldn't be a healthy reason for losing weight.  i have to want to lose weight because i love myself and because i want myself to be as happy and healthy as i can be.  i have to want to do this for ME and for no one else.  it won't work if i try to do it for someone else.  it won't work and it won't be satisfying and i would probably end up gaining all the weight back in the end and that would make me doubly miserable.  while jon-pierre may have royally screwed with my emotions and my ability to trust a man, but i will not let him lord over my weight issues.  it is not his fault that i gained 50 pounds while i was with him.  sure, he was the one buying all the dinners and lunches out.  but i was the one who chose what i ate.  i could have chosen to get a salad or a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a hamburger.  i could have gotten steamed rice and steamed vegetables instead of fried rice and fried shrimp with a super thick sugary sauce.  he may have been the one that bought all those lazy man's meals, but i'm the one that paid the price by making the wrong choices for myself.  i take responsibility for my choices and for the end result.
i want to approach my weight loss with determination and drive.  i want to make this a lasting change, not another loop on the rollercoaster that is my weight loss and gain cycle.  diabetes runs in my family and the last time i had blood work done, my glucose levels, while still within the perimeters of what is considered "normal," was elevated and higher than i would have liked.  other than that, my blood work was all good.  i'm just too overweight and if i stay this way, i won't be so healthy on my blood work for very long.
why is moving back to Oregon so incredibly important to me?  well, because that's where my family is.  that's where my life is.  not to piss in the wheaties of my most excellent friends here in Texas, because i will miss them so very much.  but, unfortunately, they cannot compete with my family.  i miss my family.  i haven't seen them in over 2 years.  by the time i make the move, i will not have seen them in almost 3.5 years!  my niece will be 2 years old, my nephew will be almost 5.  it's just criminal how much i miss my family.  i want to be able to babysit my niece so that my brother and his wife can go out and have a date night.  i want to be able to spoil her when she gets a little older.  i want to be the "cool auntie."  in order to be the "cool auntie" though, i'm going to need to build a relationship with her so that she knows i can be trusted and that i can be fun and that she can tell me anything.
i'm missing out on precious time with my grandparents.  they certainly aren't getting any younger and their health problems aren't getting any easier for them to handle.  my maternal grandpa has to decide if he's going to get surgery on his heart.  a valve needs to be replaced in his aorta.  if they don't replace it, he may not make it another year.  i cannot even entertain the idea of thinking of this would completely devastate me.  but if that were to happen, who would take care of my grandma?  she'd be all alone.  i need to just close my eyes and shake my head.  i can't think about this.  i'll just have to wait and find out what they decide to do.  i certainly hope i don't have to spend some of my moving money to fly to washington to attend his funeral.  i'd rather he still be alive and healthy when i move.  i want to be able to still spend time with him before he passes.  i didn't get that chance with my paternal grandpa.  i hadn't seen or spoken to him in about 3 years before he passed away. 
there are neighborly barbeques and picnics and friendly outings and camping trips planned.  my friends in Oregon are important to me in a different way than my Texas friends are important to me.  whereas my Texas friends have been through some heavy emotional times and events with me.  they have been with me through the dissolution of my relationship with jon-pierre and through the beginning process of refinding, rediscovering, and redefining myself.  that is a very difficult thing to go through and i will always love them because they were so very there for me during this time.  my friends in Oregon, however, grew up with me.  we are literally a part of each other.  without each other, we would not have grown up to be who we have become.  our personalities and lives are all intertwined and inextricably linked together.  we could not talk for 3 years and the second we come back into contact with each other, we pick up right where we left off.  all of my friends from when i was young are like this...all of them.  it's a special thing to talk to someone that remembers when you were a child and maybe remembers things that happened that you have completely forgotten about.  it's great to hear old stories about what my friends and i used to do.  it's a nostalgia thing, really.

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