a year in west Texas

27 September, 2015

For the last year I've been avoiding my blog, basically pushing all of my thoughts into a little corner in my mind, until finally they piled up so high that I had to acknowledge their existence. 

I spent the better part of that year mourning the loss of the past, carrying it around inside of me, like a tree, heavy with iced over branches. And then one nite, I was cooking dinner, and thinking about how much damage I was doing by trying to hold on to something that no longer even exists.

I once read an article about how successful people aren't nostalgic, and while I do like to wallow around in something old every now and then - I 100% get it. These feelings don't really serve you. For me, nostalgia can be crippling and is almost always the catalyst for my cycles of depression. When I notice myself getting sad about the past being over, I divert my thoughts to things I'm looking forward to, or that I would like to accomplish. And now, especially now, because I know I more than likely won't be moving back, North Texas is kind of like the one that got away. We had a chance, but it's gone, and we could try to make it work again, but we've both changed so much since we were in love with one another, and if things didn't work out the second time, it would just hurt twice as bad. MOVING ON.

The last year has been good, if we're talking about the bright side of things. I repaired what was once a very broken marriage, I watched the sun set and rise, in the middle of the desert - miles away from civilization - a few times, I listened to my daughter read me countless bedtime stories, I swam in the Rio Grande, I ate meals that I will remember for the rest of my life, I missed Texas while riding the subway in Chicago, I missed Chicago while climbing mountains in Texas, I saw The Avett Brother and Sturgill Simpson twice, I bought a house, I let go of things and people that were toxic, I walked through caves under the surface of the earth, and hiked between canyon walls that are millions of years old, I saw old friends, and made new ones. I could go on for a whole day, which is reason enough to smile and quietly thank the universe. The bad side of things seems so small, in comparison.

Anyway, hello. It's been too long.

a happy list

26 March, 2015

- I went to hot yoga and there was a sub teacher who, bless her heart, opened the studio door because it was cool and breezy outside, thus defeating the purpose of heaters. I was annoyed at first, but it ended up being a perfect practice. I'll take a breezy sunlit yoga any day of the week from now on, without complaining.

- I skyped with my dad, while he was cleaning a gun. This is so ridiculous, and soooo my dad.

- I planted an herb box, some peppers, and strawberries all on my patio. I'm really missing not having a backyard this gardening season, but it is what it is. Just getting my hand in some soil helped!

- I marked some organizational things off my to-do list that had been there for months. It feels good to have less things running through my mind when I should be sleeping.

- I took a long bath, while talking to my sister about everything under the sun, and we both ended up crying when she told me she saw my dad an the grocery store, and he looked old. (This sounds weird, she sees my dad everyday, but seeing him in public, unexpectedly is different.) There is nothing more therapeutic than a heart to heart with someone you love while in a tub of hot eucalyptus infused water.

- I found the most perfect cactus. I'd been looking for one of this species for a long time, with no luck. Yesterday the universe obliged.

- Emma has been reading so much! I caught her walking around the house with a book, reading it while getting ready for school the other day. I can't help but smile just thinking about it. :) :) :)

shit my kid says

25 March, 2015

- while eating breakfast, in a dimly lit dining room, "you sparkle just like sugar."

- "I refuse to go to school for one more day if I have to wear pants."

- "Mom, all the kids at school talk about someone named Justin Beaver. Do you know who he is?"

- "I want to be a teacher when I grow up, so I can chew gum and wear whatever I want."

- after waking me at 6am, an hour before she should be getting up, I said "what are you doing up so early, monkey?" to which she replied "why are you still sleeping, junkie?"

- while painting a picture of a rainbow, she explained that she was painting a rainbow because "my dreams are of rainbows."

food, lately

23 March, 2015

I mentioned in my last post that I've been hitting the gym pretty hard lately, and I'm going to be honest; it's because I put on some weight over the last 6 months. Most of it was due to winter + depression, but I have to take blame for smoking because it deterred me from going to the gym. (I've since stopped for good! I can't even remember the last time I bought a pack, I think it was in January.) Anyway 5-10 lbs later, I felt my clothes hugging my body a little tighter than I like them too, and I decided to make a change. I started working out with a trainer in February, and I've since continued on my own. This combined with a nutrition plan has me back where I need to be.

I changed my diet a lot this year, and it's working for me. Most of my adult life I've suffered from disordered eating. It wasn't until last summer, when I took a nutrition course, that I learned how negatively a low carb diet affects your brain function. I've always limited carbs, and even went gluten free for a very long time, only to push myself at the gym with little to no results because I didn't have the energy to keep a regular routine or the nutrients I needed to build muscle. Not only that, but when you deprive yourself of certain foods, you will eventually binge on them, and it's an endless cycle. Our bodies have evolved since the paleolithic era, so it makes no sense to eat like that.

As of now I'm eating 6 smalls meals a day. (Meals, not to be confused with snacks.) Every time I eat I make sure that I'm getting a healthy carb (whole grain), a healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, etc.), a fruit and/or vegetable, and a lean protein. The downside to this is that eating 6 times a day takes some effort, but since I'm not working right now, I can manage it without having to do a lot of meal preparation. It did feel weird at first to be eating so much. I kept thinking there's no way this is going to help me lose weight, but after just one week, it did. Not only does it boost your metabolism, but when you're working out you need food to fuel your body, or you will end up lacking the energy to get through your workouts/day. The upside is that I enjoy the food I'm eating, and because I've gone without grains/gluten for so long I don't feel like I'm dieting.

It's hard for me to admit that after 30+ years of life I'm still trying to figure shit out. Balance has never, ever been easy for me, but I have to say this has changed my mindset. When I was in Chicago I was walking 10-12 miles a day, and I didn't beat myself up over enjoying a donut, or cookies, or a Chicago dog, but I also didn't continue to treat myself when I got home. I had to go out of town over the weekend, and it's a task to eat healthy when you have to eat out, but I didn't use that as an excuse, and I made it happen.

Anyway, I'm going to start posting food related stuff here every week, because let's get real; my food blog has pretty much gone the way of the dodo. I have a hard enough time keeping this one up! I would love to hear your favorite healthy meal if you feel like sharing. I'm always looking for new ideas!

Here's a little bit of what I've been eating lately:

1 whole wheat English muffin, topped with marinara sauce, and mozzarella//roasted broccoli

homemade pho made with brown rice noodles, bean sprouts, and flank steak

tandoori chicken over brown rice//grilled zucchini & green onion

Special K protein cereal//strawberries//golden flax seed

Toasted whole wheat bagel//chive whipped cream cheese//2 egg whites//sliced tomato//half grapefruit

Barilla protein plus pasta//chopped asparagus//dollop of pesto//apple

late nite ramblings

19 March, 2015

- I woke up a couple of weeks ago and grabbed a banana for breakfast, however I couldn't finish it because the taste disgusted me. I thought I just had a bad banana, so I tossed them, and bought more. The next day I made peanut butter toast, with sliced banana on it, and again, I could not eat it without wanting to throw up. What the hell? Apparently my taste buds have decided they're no longer a fan? I don't know. It's very disturbing, and I can't stop thinking about it. I can put them in things, like smoothies, or bake with them, but I cannot eat them anymore. This whole thing is upsetting me right now, moving on.

- The first big city I ever visited was San Francisco, and it was then that I decided I was meant to live in a city. This thought has been reaffirmed with every visit to a large city, I enjoy being able to get around by foot or public transportation, while getting lost in a crowd of people, and having access to so many things. The last place that left me aching for city life was London. Sometime in between then and now, something changed. I got the memo when I went to Chicago last week, and found myself wishing for trees and quiet instead of subways and pavement. So many times while I was there I caught myself daydreaming of Big Bend.

- Speaking of Chicago! I had a lot of fun there. Too much to list here, so more on that later. :)

- I'm having shoe issues over here. I bought a new pair of running shoes online to replace a pair of old ones. I bought an updated style of the same ones I had, and when they arrived they were too big. I bought an entirely different pair while in Chicago, and used them there to workout, but when I got home and went for a run I decided I don't like them for running at all. So now I'm back at square one, and I feel like such a jerk, because I have so many damn pairs of shoes that I need therapy.

- Speaking of the gym! I've been doing a new routine for the last 6 weeks, and it has opened my eyes to a whole new fitness world. I'm basically doing a lot of weightlifting, and I'm addicted. I just took some pictures this morning so I could compare them to the ones I took at the beginning of February, and WOW. The most important victory for me is that I feel so, so good. I have tons of energy, and I'm happier than I've been in a very long time. I'm not looking to get ripped or anything, but I'm definitely enjoying feeling strong.

- The weather here has been insanely perfect. I've had my windows/doors open every day this week. We've had some rain, and I'm seeing signs of spring popping up - which makes my heart happy. It's the most wonderful time of the year!

- So that's about it. My week has mostly consisted of errands, and taking care of stuff around the house. Next week I hit the job search right in the face because I'm starting to go a little stir crazy, and I'm running out of things to do. :)

What's going on with you? Any plans for the weekend?