Sunday, September 28, 2008

how does one know they are officially a grownup?

"How does one know they are officially a grownup?"
A thought piece by FGF

In a society where adolescence is brought on too early by 12-13 year olds engaging in oral sex at "rainbow parties" (each girl wear a different shade of lipstick; every boy has to see how many rings he can get around his member for the night) (trust me, this is REAL) And where adolescence for some lasts until the late twenties I have a question for you: "How does one know they are officially a grownup?"

In some ways, I have been a grown up for many, many years.

Mom raised me on her own and I've been working since age 14. I've also raised Mom a little bit. I was a wild teenager of sorts; going to bars, experimenting with drugs and boys etc. But I graduated high school going to the college of my choice, maintaining a B average, participating in loads of extra curriculars, not pregnant, no criminal record and voted as "Class Clown." At 18, I sure thought I was grown up.

Fast forward to college. 3 years of eating, drinking, playing rugby, trying to get boys to like me. Then my senior year set in and I became serious. I wanted to go to graduate school. Senior year I worked part-time on campus at the Sub Shop and got hired at my internship working with at-risk youth in a pregnancy prevention program. I took 5 classes, ran my own psychology experiment (about how we judge overweight people vs. thin people) and was preparing to get my own apartment. Being busy and employed meant I sacrificed nights of drinking with people I had next to nothing in common with anymore. I was labeled a loser because I had focused myself on moving to the next step in life, when people I surrounded myself still clung to their college social lives. This made me a grown up right??? I graduated college going to the graduate school of my choice, maintaining a 3.1 GPA overall, participating in loads of extra curriculars, not pregnant, no criminal record and signing a lease to my very own place. At 22, I sure thought I was grown up.

Now we fast forward to September 28, 2008. I'm pretty sure I'm more grown up than most people I know, even some older than I am. Bills are not a measure of adulthood, only responsibility. Maybe it's the line of work I'm in, but I feel like my attitudes have shifted a lot lately. To me, grown up means acceptance of what you're good at and what you need to work on. Knowing when to apologize. Knowing when to choose the relationship over being right all of the time. Grown up means if you don't say something about an issue that's wrong or affects others negatively, that means you agree with it. It means standing on the two feet G-d gave you and knowing when to lean on someone else if you get knocked off of those feet for a few. Being a grown up is all in your head. Nothing external like bills, kids, etc can make you an adult. Heck, even today, most 16 year olds are more physically mature looking than I am. Sometimes I feel weird for being my own person. Guilt, regret that I'm not out having fun like normal 24 year olds. But I justify this with the idea that I have my eyes on the bigger picture while they are continuing (dragging out) their adolescence. I feel better.

OK, out of my brain.

The comp exam went well. I think I passed. It is a standardized test but we are being normed against each other and the few people I've talked to afterwards agreed that some of the questions were bull. I got my mani/pedi but did not chop off my hair. I went to the gym but I did not get drunk. I haven't drank since I quit the ciggies. Why reward myself with something negative ?!?!?! I spent most of yesterday afternoon drifting in and out of sleep watching "House" and "Law & Order" and it was glorious. I might still get a hair cut today.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

it's exam day!

In 1 hour and 10 minutes, I am going to be at a desk at school, whipping through a test that I am poorly prepared for and ready to have to take again in the spring when I fail. I have studied and fallen asleep with the book on my face. Afterwards, I am having a beer with a few grad school friends. I might even go to a walk in salon and chop off all of my hair. Then perhaps, I'll get my nails manicured, go to the gym, take a nap and not wake up until tomorrow afternoon.

I called in "sick" today. I told my boss that I had a doctor's appointment for my irritable bowel syndrome. As a joke. Because she knows darn well that I'm off for my CPCE today.

I could really use a cigarette, but I've been smoke free now for almost 3 weeks. No cheating. And I'm not using the patches anymore. I really could use just one puff though and I won't do it, because 1 equals a pack equals back to being a smoker again and I can't do that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

healthy to wealthy

You give me too much credit. You forget that I get paid for my insight and AHAs! I am not that fantastic, just doing my job, as a quasi mental health professional. You ladies made me blush, when I was really just using my job as a segue to my own personal AHA moments.

I've officially filled up 3 full 26 week WW books and am on my 4th. I am happy that I've maintained a weight under 160 since 3/28/08 but am frustrated that I am STILL paying $40 a month to be a Weight Watcher. I should be getting this $#!+ for free. I told this to the lady who weighed me in this evening (her name is Sharee) In 4 minutes I managed to tell Sharee my life story. I just want to hit my goal weight, which is 10.6 pounds away.

The funny thing is, is that I'm making sure I exercise as much as possible and sacrifice other things, like laundry& house cleaning. Moving has become a commitment I dedicate myself to. Above everything else. NO matter how tired. I spend at least 30 minutes in the gym, being creative with my time to see how I can mix it up in that time period.

I lost .8 this week.
I weigh 158.6 lbs.
I am still studying (and falling asleep) furiously for my test on Saturday.
I want to be my goal weight and save my money and spend it on better things, like clothes or peanut butter.
I am switching focus from being healthy to being wealthy.
Lets see if THAT works.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


100% worth it to wake up at 4 am

Saturday, September 20, 2008

AHA! moments.

Allow me to explains...

I have been noticing several of these in other people. Without divulging too much, I did an intervention with another service provider for one of my *muffins* (aka clients) because the kid was going to get booted from where she lives due to her drug use. At first, she vehemently denied using and then....the flood gates opened. She wasn't ready to be a grown up, she doesn't know who she is, she is scared and angry and....BOY COULD I COMISERATE!? She looked like she lost 50 pounds in her catharsis moment. LIGHTBULB! And then, once she realized she wasn't in trouble and that people were there to support her no matter what, she agreed to try treatment. Personally, I've grown attached to this one (I've been through a lot with her) and I want to see her succeed.

Next day, at internship, I'm doing a psycho-social assessment on a new patient. He explained reasoning why he drank and used. I summed it up in a sentence for him and POP! Lightbulb moment for him too. Maybe I'm not the first person who ever pointed out to him that he wants to please others, but his face and his reactions told me different.

I am currently waiting for my next true AHA! moment, where my little lightbulb goes off over my head and I feel like I've lost 50 pounds. The first true AHA! release for me was in therapy two, almost three years ago when I finally accepted that I was an angry person (and rightfully so) and that I had a problem with it. Next AHA was when I stepped on the scale and topped out at 193 lbs and knew I was too close to two hundred. Others include: realizing that I'm too busy to care about friends who aren't true blues or bring me down, that bills MUST be paid on time and cookies are not necessarily their own food group (ok, that was a joke, but still).
AHA last night in reading about this stupid vitamin b12 thing. The deficiency can be caused by malabsorption, which can be caused by weight loss, which can be caused by over exertion and exercise which can be caused by a desire to be thin already for frigg's sake. Blah blah blah I feel better with the vitamins. I'm still a little exhausted but I think if you were me you would be too. OK? There I said it ;-)

Have a lovely weekend. Tomorrow morning Adam is taking me to the balloon festival. Pics to follow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

to know me is to know me

To know me is not necessarily to know me. Lots of people know me. I was voted class clown in high school, people knew who I was in college and now I network myself with other service providers in the Capital Region in NY. I'm loud, I'm blunt, I curse like a sailor. I'm silly. I'm funny and bubbly and I'm depressed? Whoa where did THAT come in? Like lots of Americans, I battle not only with fat thighs but also sometimes, depression. And now, after reading up on this B12 crap I'm deficient in, I saw someplace that it has something to do with mood and can cause depression and irritability. DING DING DING. Perhaps I should just take my sublingual vitamins and shut up and stop worrying about this (they taste like cherry!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

boooo hisss

My leg is fine. Woopty friggin doo.

My blood is deficient in Vitamin B12. We will be doing a blood test again in the upcoming months. I am being ordered to take sub-lingual B12 vitamin and I'm going to buy some more multi-vitamins tomorrow. Not the cause of the hair loss, but my hair is noticeably thinner feeling the last few days. Great. Grand. Wonderful.

I am seriously wondering if all of this has been caused by my abandonment of red meat? I've pretty much given the stuff up, except at restaurants or events. Sometimes only eat turkey/chicken or fish once a day but I eat peanut butter, beans and cheese. And eggs. Awesome how I'm technically at my healthiest weight, with good eating habits and exercise and now I'm getting sickly!?!?!

11 weeks left of this...even though I'm just feeling tired and not overwhelmed.

unnnngaaaa dunngaaaa

I dont really know what that title means.

Maybe it's a shout of exhaustion!?! I've been working, learning and interning now going on 9 straight days with no end in sight until 9/21/08. (I worked Sunday at the preggo girl house from 8-4)

No word from Dr. Hauser about my hair or my leg. The hair that's leaving my head has sprouted on my chin. I found 3 chin hairs in the car with my co-worker yesterday when we were examining our faces in the car mirrors. BOY WAS I ANGRY! Like so angry I almost spit.

I'm still not smoking and waiting for my free nicotine patches to come in the mail.

I'm anxious for next Saturday when I take my Comprehensive Exam for my master's in Community Mental Health Counseling. I'm trying to study but LIFE keeps happening. After the comps, I am rounding up anyone who took it that day and making them drink with me. I am calling it "Inebriation until graduation"...even if I end up drinking alone....which would probably be funny. I also want to make a shirt for myself that says "No." or "I can't" to wear whilst taking the exam.

On a positive note...I'm still alive. And pretty decent looking.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend Update

I would like to dedicate this post to my newly acquired cheerleaders, whom I have never actually met (except for Fitarella) in real life, but who have been a great source of advice and enthusiasm for me. Thank you ladies, for reminding me that strangers can still be kind, and that all of us are in the same boat {the aspiring to be healthy boat} together.

In other news, I'm exhausted. At the doctor's yesterday, I got blood drawn and an x-ray. She wants to rule out any problems with my thyroid because of the male pattern baldness (ok, the clumps of hair falling out). She thinks I have a bone spur which means that I am going to the gym today after work because I'm not in pain. And I will do low impact on my leggers.

I promise.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Last night, after my partner and I presented on Autism and we get a break, I see I have several missed calls. Lo and behold! The girl who asked me to be her labor coach from the house is finally going into labor...the real deal.

Mind you, I'm wearing a dress and high heels as I run back into the biulding to find my professor. She's in the bathroom, I'm hollering "teacher lady, teacher lady I'm going to be a grandma!" After I explain what I mean, and get the blessing to miss class, I show up at the house (luckily right by grad school) and I'm out of breath. Everyone in the house is calm and some of the girls tell me I look nice in my dress but my face looks like I'm a zombie. I pack a very uncomfortable 17 yr old girl into my Yaris and we head for the hospital.

I've never been in the actual delivery room and I've only seen labor on T.V. so this was a first for me. I ended up leaving at 2 AM when her older sister showed up, but I was grateful for being asked. While I'm not religious in a practical sense, I believe that babies are miracles and gifts from a higher power and I felt blessed to be present.

Funny thing is, my stomach was hurting all day yesterday but I couldn't figure out why....I had cramping kind of pains that were uncomfortable. I think it was sympathy pains!

Now I'm heading to the doctor and internship. I hope Dr. H can tell me why my bone is popped out and why I am suffering from male pattern baldness.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I read in some magazine (the title slips me) that the person's favoritist number is 11. In everything she does, she does it at a 10 and then takes it up a notch. I thought that was 11 is my new inspiration number, even though I have 9 pounds left to lose before I hit my friggin goal of 148 and don't have to pay $40/month for WW anymore.

Here is a picture of me with chocolate cupcake on my teeth (it's not poop, I swear!) I lost 1.6 pounds and am at 157.8.....thank you stress! Even after the wedding...where I drank at an 11.

Today I quit smoking again. I feel like I'm going to rip someone's face off and laugh. I know tomorrow the withdrawals will be way worse. Internship had a catered picnic and I ate 33 POINTS in one sitting (my daily allowance is 22) and I am going to bed EXHAUSTED with no dinner. This afternoon I ate at an 11. I am amazed at how NOT hungry I am... knowing full well that I ate over my daily allowance and felt satisfied all day. The old me would have eaten a dinner just out of spite.

Sadly, my shin bone is still popping out of my leg and I am on the injury boat. My right hip bone makes a clicky noise and pops out of the socket. I am taking a break from exercise until I see my doctor on Friday to discuss my physical ailments as well as why my hair is falling out in clumps. The funny part is, I want to exercise really badly to get out some tension and stay at an 11 on my recently revamped weight loss and attitude adjustment. I wish I had peanut butter covered cigarettes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I wrote this paper for my Substance Abuse Counseling Class. Basically, we have to abstain from something we like all semester. I chose...peanut butter.

Yes, I am actually handing this paper in tonight. Hope you enjoy my "academic" side.

To begin this experiential reflection assignment, I will share that I am not ready or willing to give up the only two “vices” I have. I am a highly caffeinated smoker and although I am not proud of this, I’m also not in a place where I am able to stop either “addiction.” With my current work, school and internship obligations, these two substances keep me going, when the going is getting rough.
I know eventually, I can end these habits. I can go a day here and there without consuming caffeine. Sometimes, I get a nasty headache towards the middle to end of the day if I have not had any. After successfully quitting (again) I have recently began smoking cigarettes, despite my better judgement. Cigarettes have a calming response for me; they are an old friend that doesn’t talk back or cause me trouble. They sometimes suppress my appetite. They enhance the effects of alcohol when I go out for a drink with my friends. I do not drink very often anymore. In fact, the thought of giving up alcohol briefly crossed my mind but I wanted to abstain from something meaningful in my life and really get an understanding of addiction from this assignment.
I just can not give up the two most unhealthy and detrimental substances in my life right now. I lack the willpower and the desire. Consequently, I am abstaining from peanut butter for the entire semester. Peanut butter is another substance that brings me joy, so I will test my ability to cut it out of my life for the next three months or so.
Why Peanut Butter?
I consume peanut butter on a regular basis. I choose to do it by the tablespoon. I eat it for breakfast, on whole wheat wraps or in my oatmeal. I add to soy sauce to make a protein filled flavorful sauce for my vegetables during dinner. I like candy and chocolate with peanut butter as an ingredient. I put peanut butter on celery and apples for snack. If I have extra Weight Watchers POINTSTM left over for the day or just feel like it, sometimes I will dip my spoon into the jar. Just for fun.
My peanut butter of choice is Smucker’s Brand All Natural Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. It has a saltier flavor, with the natural oils still floating in the jar and it has little lumps of the peanuts still in it. The smell and taste of peanut butter make me happy. I think about peanut butter when I wake up in the morning, before I prepare my breakfast. I feel cravings for it sometimes. I can imagine the taste and the texture without having any in front of me. Peanut butter, while a relatively healthy food item, is a foreign substance that I consume even though I don’t necessarily need it.
To be honest, I am not looking forward to giving up my peanut butter. I rely on peanut butter for a quick meal or snack in between one of the many places I go during the week. A jar of it can last for several weeks, providing nutrition and a source of comfort and protein for me. It’s relatively inexpensive to obtain and very easy to find it in supermarkets and convenience stores.
I am nervous about when I need something quick to eat or I am craving it. Nothing will compare to peanut butter for me. I have a feeling I will substitute it for another spreadable food, much like an addict may use another substance to deter them from using the one the typically pick up. I am thinking humus will suffice for lunch and maybe Nutella spread can cover breakfast.
I have even gone as far as to throw out the jar of it that I had in my refrigerator. I plan on taking this assignment very seriously. Especially, because I believe it will help me to better understand the population I am working with at my internship with inpatient addicts at Conifer Park.
I think it will be quite funny to talk about it in class, as well as to participate in “check-ins” about how we are progressing with our abstinence goal. This will also be a weird source of humor, when I have to attend AA/NA meetings in the community. While I will be thinking about my peanut butter, they are discussing serious addictions like cocaine, meth and heroin.
After re-reading this paper, I can say that I’m either really crazy or very creative. Maybe both? I was able to compare and describe my love of peanut butter to an addict’s need for drugs or alcohol. I plan to take this assignment very seriously. I know that relapse is part of recovery and I fully expect to dabble in my peanut butter “problem.” Hopefully someday I will be able to successfully quit smoking. I’m thinking that day will be AFTER May of 2009 when I walk across the stage and grab that master’s degree out of someone’s hand.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

you diligent little effer

Am I a loser if I spend Friday night at the gym and then doing some homework? No, because technically nothing says social butterfly quite like sweating on the elliptical and watching "What Not To Wear" while completing my professional and personal goal worksheet for seminar class. And eating popcorn for dinner. I also tried studying for my big comprehensive exam on 9/27 but fell asleep by 9 PM with the book on my head. When I woke up around 11:30 to move, I realized that osmosis doesn't work with reading material.

I caught the bouquet at the wedding last night. Pictures to follow. I also ate very reasonably and drank lots of vino. But I was good all day. When I came home, drunk, I cried/yelled to my boyfriend about wanting to eat cheese fries or have him take me to Denny's. I ended up passing out in my own drool while he watched the History Channel.

Today, I spent my only day off from life at the library working with my partner on an Autism project. Then I grabbed a slice of pizza with my friend Sally and her baby daughter before heading to the gym.

Get the gym, I tried my first stint at interval training. (TA are you proud!?!?!) I wouldn't say it was high intensity or anything like that. I walked for 10 mins at 3.0 mph. Then I alternated between jogging at 5.0 for 2 minutes and back down to 3.0 mph for 1 minute. I did the 5.0/3.0 thing for 20 minutes. Overall, half an hour of work. I feel nice and relaxed and ready to sit here and write a paper for Tuesday night and study some more.

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

you wanna scrap???

OK, we're back on the wagon of healthy eating. I've returned to fighting the good fight. Stayed within reasonable POINT-age today, although i DID have a beer with my boyfriend at the comedy show this evening.

Tomorrow is another internship day. 255 hours left to complete there. (woot. woot.) I'm getting used to the patients giving me the "updown" stare, where they check me out and then say "Oh, intern girl you look nice today!" (among other things) It's also funny when they talk about me in Spanish and have no idea that I understand what they are talking about.

OK, so I'll admit it...having addicts and alcoholics in rehab try and flirt with me is
slightly confidence enhancing. Except for the creepy schizophrenic who gave me a standing ovation in the cafeteria and told me he missed me while I wasn't there. That was a little much.

He doesn't wear underwear or bathe.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

sexy don't come in a bucket

I almost jumped over the counter and gave tongue kisses to an older woman named "Pat" who weighed me in this evening at Weight Watchers. I've gained almost a pound in the last two weeks.

Although I'm not completely thrilled with a gain, I am superhappyfrigginthrilled that I only upped myself that much and not the 55 lbs I was expecting to have gained.

I've been trying this new thing, where I eat more veggies and less meat. Although, tonight, I am celebrating with chipolte turkey burgers with jalepenos/onions/peppers inside. Yum!

Got myself a new weight tracker (to journal my meals for POINTS!); getting the swing of my new hectic schedule and overall I'm feeling better. I also re-joined the gym tonight.

Tomorrow, Adam & I are going to see Jeff Dunham with his parents, his best friend, and the friend's wife. Some laughter will be good for me :-)

Monday, September 1, 2008

bibbity bobbity boom

Not weighing myself for the last 2 weeks has been somewhat liberating. I have been eating non-stop and it's time to stop making excuses for myself. Now. After the hiatus, I am retuning to weigh in on Wednesday and ending this almost off program shlump I've been in. I'm not 100% adjusted to being on GO! mode 24/7 but I'm tweaking my schedule.

So I already know I have 69 of 168 hours each week accounted for with activities I have no choice in. If I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night that's another 56 I don't have. Add at least 1/2 hr to commute to school from work, internship from home and back and that's 6 less. Bringing me a grand total of: 37 hours a week to: cook & eat, work out, do homework, write papers, socialize?, grocery shop, do laundry, clean my apartment and any other miscellaneous thing that comes up.

May I also add that Six Flags New England SUCKED. Plus I have had this nasty knee pain all weekend, and upon closer inspection I noticed the top of my (tibia?) shin bone is kindof popping out of my leg. I have been ignoring this pain/affliction because ALL areas of my life involve me walking a lot. My gym membership has officially expired and I am doing home DVD's until Wednesday when I can get over there again and re-enroll...because NOT having a gym membership is not an option for me.

I'm not complaining. I promise. I just realized some more of why my eating was so unhealthy last week. I was PMSing, stressed and worried about how things would get done! And you know what? Things still kind of got done.

Now I can spring my plan of regaining control back into action...