I Never Actually Had A Cabbage Patch Doll

This week, oddly enough, I have been distracted from posting any blog updates because I have been in search of finding something to do. Let me explain…I have known for awhile now that I really need a hobby that does not simply pertain to writing (what I want to do with my life) and exercise (because dear Lord that gets tiring).

These past few months I have felt bland and dreary. There has been a haze following me that I haven’t quite been able to pull myself out of yet, and I feel like I am at a stalemate in my life. Of course, I have a general, though never fully planned (because that’s no fun) idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life, but I am currently in a state of transition where I must wait.

I am not a waiter. I am a planner and I like to do what it is I want to do. If you know me, you can see my problem. My dreams have to wait because I cannot fund them quite yet, but I can keep working at it and writing. Trouble is, my mind has become so befuddled, I have been struggling with a severe case of writer’s block! I get an idea in my mind that feels brilliant and I get all excited and write non-stop for anywhere between a half hour and an hour and then I don’t think it’s good enough to go back to. It’s frustrating and I’ve been miserable about it, but I know what I need to do now.

I need to do something. Anything, whatever it is I want to do or will enjoy doing, I need to just do it. For FUN. Wait what???

With writing, there is the obvious pressure of one day making money and having a career from it. My future and life depends on it. With exercise and my health, I think it goes unsaid that to lead a good life, one needs balance and health for life with lifelong habits. I have begun to achieve this, but only on one side– the physical.

My poor, depressed emotional side has been left behind and I’ve been neglecting the fun and relaxed state of mind. Well, hello, I am here to claim you again, mind! And I want to write about this because in some ways it adds a bit of pressure, but in a really really positive way, to not be lazy and actually do it. If I tell you, you can hold me accountable.

Here are my goals. Sorry I’m planning again, just bare with me:

• Pet my cat more. We used to have a really good meow, meow rapport, but the heat wave has been getting to both me and Bandit a bit and he just wants to stretch out on the fluffy pink pillow I laid out for him and I just walk around my house in dejected disarray.

• Finger paint. I know this is odd, but I’ve always had a secret passion for it. I suck at it, but I think that’s what makes it even better. Do you think I’m too old to have my mom pin it up above her desk? At least on the fridge? My own room?

• Knit. If someone out there knows how to knit, I would very much like to learn from you on the condition you are nice about it, patient, and don’t stab me with the knitting needles when I try to start over five times because the holes aren’t perfectly symmetrical. But this might be more of a winter activity. And this would mean cheaper Christmas gifts, holler!

• Improve my Spanish. And when I say improve, I mean over the eight years I have been learning it, I barely know how to say “my name is Caitlin,” which ironically enough, I don’t remember at the moment. Insert awkward transition here….

• Walk more. I don’t mean for exercise, though it wouldn’t hurt me, but just walk for walking’s sake. Everywhere, anywhere, slow, fast, with music, without, with the dog, without. Just to clear my mind and enjoy nature without trying to rush around looking like a cabbage patch doll on crack. I don’t know where that analogy came from, but it’s awesome.

• Frequent pedicures. When I say frequent, I mean as much as I can afford, probably once a month or every six weeks or so. Because you know what? I need to pull a Tom and Donna (cookies if you get the Parks and Rec reference!!) and TREAT MYSELF! I mean, my poor toes are tingling because they get so beat up all the time what with all the running and walking and just being attached in some ways, not directly, though I suppose I can’t say with definitive surety because I’m no anatomy expert, to my head. Long story short, my phalanges are tired and need care too!

I also joined a coed softball team where I know not one person and could be stuck with a bunch of forty year olds, but I don’t care because it’s just for fun and worse case, I’ll have some helluva experiences I can write about!! And I don’t need to have a crap ton of hobbies as long as I find the one or two or a hundred that I really enjoy and will keep me going and happy and busy.

My emotional side needs some love too and I’ve finally realized just what it is I need to do to get balanced. So if you see me walk into something or look a little crazyball-eyed, don’t panic. Just ask for one of my finger paintings because odds are, once I get going, a black market will arise of people trying to get rid of them, and I will be appreciative.

Bandit and pink fluffy pillow:

If Normal Existed I’d Be In Trouble

As we stumble upon Wednesday, I can’t help but highlight two blaring reasons why I am not a normal human being, if “normal” in fact could be defined. That is a conversation for another time, but right now we are going to focus on two events that happened to me over the two days of the week so far.

Monday: I had to take a walk to get something work-related, so I’m on my way back and thoroughly enjoying the nice weather and am a bit lost in my thoughts thinking about writing ideas and what to put for my next blog post.

And I’m probably also trying to focus on not tripping in my sandals because on Friday there was a minor incident when I tripped up the stairs and spilled coffee all down the left sleeve of my white cardigan. The same coffee I considered finishing in the car before work, but decided to bring with me in order to really savor it. The shoes are too damn cute not to wear, so I just have to walk extra careful-like.

But that’s beside the point. The actual point is that I’m too caught up in my own little princessy world that I don’t notice the white van pull up next to me, or the man leaning out of the window to wolf whistle at me, very loudly I might add. I was so scared that I jumped and fell into the bushes. I suppose it could have been worse if I fell into the street, but I was still mobile as I was falling so I almost did a somersault, which actually would have been awesome.

If normal were to exist, one might complete a casual hair flip and keep walking with a slight bounce in their step, perhaps giving a quick glance to the driver. I fall into bushes.

Tuesday: I pulled dirty underwear out of my pant leg. I can’t even preface that. This is what I get for wearing the same capris two days in a row. I left my dirty, albeit adorable zebra-print panties in my pants and wore them the next day only to find them pooled around my knee. We are very grateful, and by we, I mean me and everyone else in the world, that they didn’t just fall out of my pants and that I could casually, unnoticeably just pull them out under my desk and sneak them into my bag. But the worst part of all of this is I didn’t even notice until more than half my day. More than six hours had passed and they were just chilling (hanging?) there without me realizing.

If normal were to exist, one would not have dirty underwear leftover from the day before in their pants. Or one might consider buying another pair of pants.

My life. You’re welcome. Just call me Clumsy Caitlin.

Case in point:

If I were normal, this post would be no fun to read.

Side note to go with the following picture: People need to stop having graduation parties so I can stop being tempted by cake. This is me dying.
As

Lazy No More!

I know what you’re thinking…here she goes again with another weight loss post. But I promise, this one’s more fun! It’s not so much about losing weight as it is learning how to cook for health and for joy!

This post was inspired by my friend Lauren C. SHOUT OUT! I have to designate her “C” because I know many Lauren’s, one of whom is my sister so she wins “just Lauren” by sheer genetics. Anyways, we were at dinner last night and I was talking about how I’ve taken a liking to “healthy” cooking and baking and she thought I should write a blog post on it. She also wants me to do a post honoring Britney Spears. Two birds. One stone.

Britney:

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Girl is fierce!

Anyways, my first endeavor was to make a chocolate chip muffin recipe I found on pinterest. Steel cut whole wheat oatmeal, non-fat greek yogurt, egg whites, unsweetened applesauce, splenda, unsweetened cocoa, and chocolate chips. They are only 58 calories and delicious. I may or may not have forgotten to crush the oatmeal so the muffins have a crunchy texture, but honestly I think it just has spunk, like me! And I keep seeing my brother and father poking into them so they’re approval shows they’re good!

I am all for baking with greek yogurt and applesauce. And whole wheat anything is just plain good!

Muffins:

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They don’t have to be perfect or look spiffy to taste good and offer good nutrition at the same time.

I don’t *YET* have recipes of my own to share, but as I get going they will pour out and I think it will be fun. One of the things I need to keep telling myself every single day is that losing weight and getting healthy is not about not eating or cutting things out…it’s about eating for health and enjoying food. Laziness be gone! I’ve taken much greater interest in the food itself, the process of taking the time to make something delicious and nutritional, and then sitting down to enjoy it is a very rewarding experience. I’ve learned you don’t have to be ashamed to eat. Not to be awkward, but it is a pleasurable experience (sickos be gone!) and I think fast food (though good at times) can offer you instant gratification because it tastes good, but don’t you always feel sick and gross after? I do! But now that I’m making my own food and finding all of these different variations and things you can create in the kitchen, it’s been amazing!

Today I made a sandwich with a whole wheat bagel thin, two wedges of laughing cow cheese, spinach, tomato, and a few slices of pepperoni. Not overly complicated and it could suck, but I looked in my fridge, found some healthy ingredients, and put it together. I’ll let you know how it goes!

I know that it can be extremely difficult to find the time to cook and make food. Trust me, I just started a new job and you wake up early, work, go to the gym, and go to bed and it can be hard to fit eating in there. But trust me, make time because it’s worth it. You can make it ahead of time or there are recipes out there that doesn’t take much time. No more excuses! And of course, it’s ok to splurge from time to time because that’s what makes it that much better.

Especially now that it’s summer, get to grilling! Not just hot dogs and burgers and chicken, but fish, veggies, and fruits are all delicious. I’m dying to try grilled flatbread pizzas and I’ve heard a lot about grilled salad, which would be cool to try. Experiment, have fun, enjoy, and be healthy!

Added incentive: if you put effort into something, doesn’t it make that something better? Why not do it with food?

Speaking of summer…the weather is finally nice. My friend Erin and I actually took a cute picture!!!

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This is new for us.

And here’s Katie at her graduation party looking funny/funky. Sorry Katie, I know I’m an asshole.

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This is getting chaotic, but I forgot to mention that I saw Kristin Chenoweth in concert and she was amazing. I’ve seen her now in a lot of things, Broadway, concerts, tv, movies. The Apple Tree was the single greatest performance I have ever seen by anyone ever and I still don’t understand why she didn’t win the Tony that year let alone get nominated, but whatever we are letting it go. And damn that woman knows how to put on a concert. She’s quirky but it works and her stage presence is phenomenal. In a world filled with reality “stars” and people who are famous for things that have nothing to do with talent, Kristin is a breath of fresh air to that industry. I feel like I am seeing the likes of Ethel Merman and Barbra Streisand when she performs and sometimes you just know that there are things out there people were meant to do. So Kristin, if you happen to read this, thank you for showing your talent to the world.

Also, my Godmother could be a paparazzo if she wanted.

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A Look Inside The Mind Of Me (Try Not To Get Lost)

This post was inspired, in part, by a journal entry I just wrote. I have finished, for the first time in my life, a journal. As a writer, I have always been intrigued by the idea of journal writing. Buying a new journal is so fun, probably because standing in the middle of a bookstore is one of the most inspiring, motivating feelings I have ever experienced. In the past, when I would sit down to write for the first time I was so ambitious. I envisioned myself writing down every day and keeping books upon books of journals. The first post was always the “start of something new…”, but I never followed through with it. I always gave up. Whether it be journal writing, weight loss, or any and all new hobby I ever got excited about, planned profusely, and ended up giving up for no good reason.

Let me tell you why.

This sounds so weird out loud and maybe I’m not explaining it properly, but I am going to try. Up until a point last July, when I was at an amusement park with my sister and brother and was worried about going on the rides, not because of the fear of the thrill but the fear of my weight, I never really lived. It wasn’t because of my weight that I was so shy and awkward and lazy and not “living,” but because of my fears, social anxiety, and the thought, the dangerous/all-consuming/crippling idea that I was not good enough, that I didn’t deserve anything, that I wasn’t worth fighting for, affected my weight. I was so consumed with my, not so much self-loathing as self-fears, that I didn’t pay attention to myself. I never really enjoyed life until I realized that in order to live, I needed to be active.

That day in July was a moment in my life that had been building for awhile. On my 21st birthday I was my highest weight, a number that I am still ashamed of, but will no longer hide, 268. Between then and March, when I joined weight watchers, I lost about 15 pounds, putting me at 258. My friends, Katie and Erin, had started weight watchers, so after a trip to Europe to visit my roommate, Stephanie, I thought it was time to give that a try. A real try, unlike in the past where I thought just having joined was going to help. It didn’t. I needed to work at it–the hard part. I started off strong and lost another 12 pounds, but once summer started I started to be more lax about it and almost gave up. But it was that day at the amusement park that woke me up. I was at 248 when it hit me. I didn’t have to be that weight. I didn’t have to live my life that way. But the only person who could do anything about it was me.

And I did. Between that day in mid-July and today, I weigh in at 178 pounds. A full 90 pounds down from my biggest weight on my 21st. I’m not done, I have about 35-40 more pounds I want to lose, but my ideal weight is not the biggest thing. It’s that I’m healthy. I may have more fat to lose, but I have healthy muscle, I have a healthy workout routine, and I follow healthy eating habits. I can do it, however long it might take, and I will because I refuse to give up on myself. I refuse to fall back. The biggest thing about weight is health, physical and emotional. But my weight loss is only the physical result of something much larger.

Sometimes I feel like I haven’t made any strides at all, but I at least have physical proof.

Before:

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After:
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I fight for myself, I make myself proud, and I follow through with the things I want to do because I deserve to be happy. Of course I still struggle and fail, but the difference is now I know how to get myself back up again. I fight for myself and through that, I have had success and happiness.

And for the first time, I finished a journal. It’s not a big thing in the long run, but it’s a habit I started and followed through, and will continue to do, because I enjoy it. I don’t allow the mental block I sometimes feel overcome me, I push through it and will continue to do so.

I hope that in reading this, you don’t feel like I’m tooting my own horn. I don’t think I’m something extra special just because I did this. I know other people have done it too, but that’s the point. I used to read stories of people having lost weight and thought in my heart that I could never do it. But I did. And that’s the thing, whether it be losing weight, finishing a journal, being a lawyer, or doctor, astronaut, mother, father, WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT TO DO, you can do it. So long as you believe in yourself and fight for yourself.

I am one of the lucky ones because I have the best support I can ask for in my family. I have amazing friends and even a cat and a dog who support, love, and inspire me every day. Each and every single one of them have been there for me every day and that’s incredible and unfortunately not the case for everyone. They believed in and loved me even when I couldn’t and that is something you don’t forget and you don’t take for granted. With and in their love and support I have flourished, but they couldn’t magically fix my problems, they can’t solve them for me or themselves because as humans we will always struggle. But you can help yourself, no matter what, if you just give yourself a fighting chance, in the big or little ways. Fight for yourself and the people you love. Life is a journey and every good, bad, happy, sad, frustrating part that happens makes you who you are. Just get out there and start living while you can.

Random Blabbling From Downtown Abbey

I went for a run today at Redondo Beach while Brad worked in the building next door. It was so beautiful there. I hadn’t ran for a little over a week at that point so I was aiming for somewhere around two miles, but as I was running I thought why not go for a full five k? And then because I’m OCD and enjoy pushing myself, I went all five miles and then some. Then I took off my shoes and walked along the water and it was just one of those moments that is amazing and inexplicable. Here’s a shot of the backdrop.

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Isn’t it stunning? If I lived there I would take advantage and go at some point everyday. I just want to start and end my day at the beach…in California…I have a lot of reflection to do these next few months as I try to figure out what I want to do with my life and where. Only time will tell.

After he got out of work, we went to Santa Monica, the place I want to live when I’m older and hopefully have money, and went straight to the beach. I listened to my mom and put on sun screen, but I might have sweated it off during my run or something happened because I somehow have even more freckles than I had before. And that is a difficult feat. Oh, and I was wearing sunglasses and you can totally tell because I have big ass rims around my eyes. I didn’t notice right away, but a few minutes ago I just walked by a mirror and stopped short because I looked green. And not in the cool, hey I can play Elphaba in Wicked type green, sickly green. Hopefully it will turn into a tan…???

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We were in the car a lot today because there was bad traffic, but we just put the music on and rolled down all the windows. It was glorious!!

Here’s a pic of me and Brad seeing the lacking Chernobyl Diaries. A little background information wouldn’t hurt. We saw it at Universal Studios so that was cool, but we should have just seen the new Minerva McGonagall…I mean Maggie Smith film. It has a complicated title/I’m too lazy to look it up right now. We were pretty pissed.

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Tomorrow, for my last full day (don’t even get me started how sad I am), we are getting lunch at the Grove, going window shopping and maybe a little real shopping, then going for Sushi, my first time (any healthy suggestions??), and seeing Brad’s friend in Chicago’s opening night. I love musicals and I love the musical Chicago, so I’m stoked! Sometimes I even workout to it. Hey, whatever gets you revved up, right? Then I think after we are going to hang out, eat chocolate, and watch movies. I’m going to be so bummed to leave, but I still have a long, fun day ahead of me tomorrow and it will be epic! Hopefully there will be more celebrity sightings, fingers crossed!

Speaking of Maggie Smith, we have been watching Downton Abbey and are two episodes away from finishing the first season. Not to be confused with what I called Downtown Abbey, which was what I thought it was for way too long. Downton, Downtown aside, and for the record, spellcheck says Downton is incorrect and Downtown is correct so there, the show is awesome and British which is pretty much the same thing. Sorry for the long sentences, wow.

I’ve started planning my summer exercise plan starting when I get back. I want to strength train three days a week; run twice a week, one longer, the other sprints mixed in with jump rope; biking and swimming combo; and I want to start yoga and another exercise class at the y tbd. It’s all about being as active as possible and I’m hoping to play lots of tennis and hiking. My mom and I now have matching visors and rackets, pictures to come! And of course I will take one day off from more intense activities. I just don’t want to be doing the machines all summer because I do them all winter and it’s important to not get bored if I’m going to keep going, and I will!

So while this vacation hasn’t been the best diet wise, I have worked out pretty consistently, including runs and hikes, and I’m ready to kick off the start of the end of my weight loss. Soon I’ll be looking to maintain and that’s exciting. Wish me luck, it’s been quite the journey. It’s worth it though because who else can fight so powerfully for you then you?

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That’s kind of a narcissistic end, so… Go Celtics! Beat the Heat!

Oh! Also, please please please check out the website and then the series Interns from the brilliant mind of my friend Brad who has been so generous and amazing for letting me stay with him! He’s my spirit animal and he’s a great director, videographer, and overall artist working hard to bring quality back to Hollywood.

http://www.internsseries.com/
Thanks!!