Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I have no words.

I can't even begin to fathom what life is like in Joplin right now.  The town I've spent most of my life in/near has nearly been erased.  Gone.  Obliterated.

I've spent the bulk of my life completely terrified of storms.  As far back as I can remember I would sit paralyzed in front of the TV to see what was coming our way.  If there was a tornado watch I would overhaul our pantry in our old house in Sarcoxie, taking things I didn't need out & filling it with blankets & pillows as well as anything important to me.  That usually meant I filled up the space with nonessentials, without enough room for the rest of the family to fit in.  I would sit in that tiny space for hours on end sometimes, as long as the watch lasted.  The sad thing is that that pantry wouldn't have saved me from a tornado.  It was the central part of our house & the only place without windows, but the walls were just plaster & the doors were at most 1/4 of an inch thick. 

I've never been in a tornado, but have been terrified at the thought of it nearly all my life.  Nearly every year as far as I can remember back, there was always a town that got taken out by a storm.  Leveled.  Gone.  Demolished.  Mother Nature is quick & violent.  This time she took it out on Joplin.  The town is literally split in 2.  Unrecognizable.

Living in St Louis, I felt powerless to help.  Stuck 300 miles away wishing I was there to comfort & love my friends & family.   My cousin Vicki lost her home, as did my friend Leea's mother & my friend Arin's father.  My friend Caleb's brother was seriously injured, so was my friend Tsvia's sister.  On top of that, Tsvia's nephew Schulyar has been missing since the storm hit, his family desperately searching for him & hoping first responders took him somewhere safe.

Tuesday I am going to Joplin, to give my brothers & sisters at Solace the biggest hugs I can, to bring them supplies & serve the people of Joplin when they need it most.  My friend Matt, who at one time lived in Joplin as well, came up with a plan to organize donations for us to take to Solace (a music venue & church that I have ties to) as they have turned into a shelter & outreach for many people.  Matt manages a local Starbucks & got approval to accept donations at several locations in St Louis for us to take to Joplin.  I'm working to get my place of work to do the same & we're reaching out to all our friends to donate as well.  We have less than a week to gather supplies & I'm anxious to get everything together.

If you live in St Louis, I ask that you donate whatever you can or at least to spread the word here : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148111761927020

I don't feel powerless anymore.

Joplin, here I come.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have a love affair . . .

With broccoli, its true.

Pictured is my dinner from tonight.  Its a random thrown together stir fry that turned out deeeeelish! 

Here's what's in it:

Upton's Naturals Traditional Seitan
Trader Joe's Organic Broccoli Slaw
Archer Farms Asian Ginger dressing <-- this stuff is amaaazing
Broccoli (more because we're getting married)
White Onion
Chia Seeds
Water Chestnuts
Soy Sauce
Crushed Red Pepper
Ground Ginger
Brown Jasmine Rice

All I have to say is OMNOMNOMNOMNOM.

I'm going to (try to) keep today's entry short & sweet because I feel like when I write these huuuuuuge long entries I'm less likely to post updates.  I feel like if I post too much I'm being annoying.

The last week has been much improved.  I went to the gym a couple nights last week, which felt good since they haven't seen much of me lately.  I've been itching to sign up for a 5k & with this weekend off I had a perfect opportunity.  Except that there's not a surplus of money in my wallet, so I didn't. 

Instead I created my own.  I deemed it the Shaw Neighborhood 5k since I pretty much circled my neighborhood & I finished in 50:22.  Not too shabby since I hadn't run very much lately & was still on Week 4 of C25K.

Had a crazy weekend so I recovered the rest of the weekend & then hit the gym up last night solo.  I got in a great workout in a short period of time since I wasn't distracted & slayed Day 1 of C25K Week 5 with no problem.  For the first time I can honestly say I feel like I'm becoming a runner. :)

Onto the weigh-in.  I held steady last week so I had high hopes for this week.  My scale was acting reaaaaally crazy this afternoon & kept giving me readings all over a 5 lb range.  It was reaaaaally annoying & after I toggled a unit switch on the back it finally gave me a consistent reading, so I'm trusting its right!

Previous weight : 242.5
Current weight  : 239.5

Goodbye 240's!  I hope I don't see you ever again, no offense.
So that puts me at 46.5 pounds lost overall.  50 is SO CLOSE, I can't believe it.  I might have to have a party to celebrate when I get there. :)

Alrighty, time to sign off.  I have friends coming in super early before work to crash at my place before their show tomorrow night so I need to get to cleaning & get some sleep.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ups & downs.

I'm in a rut. 

There's no better way to say it.

The last couple weeks have been trying & I've been lazy.  I didn't let on much on my last post (That's because I did make some progress pounds-wise & who wants to be a downer, right?), but I just feel stuck.  I've been to the gym once, maybe twice a week lately & when I'm physically there, I haven't been mentally.  Ever feel like you're just running through the motions?

The last few months have pretty much turned my life upside down & don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED with the change I've made & the years I'm adding onto my life.  Its just that sometimes I wonder to myself if I CAN do it. 

I was an overachiever in elementary & high school, always on my game.  As an overweight child, I felt that was the only thing special about me.  Being smart made me feel worthy.  When I got made fun of, the thought that I had a one up on my bully made me feel somewhat better.  When the end of high school came around, I didn't know what to do with myself.  All the things I had considered doing with my life were all up in the air & the guidance I had was next to none.  I only applied to one university, knowing I'd get accepted there, with absolutely NO IDEA what I was getting myself into.

That's where everything changed.  There was no one telling me what class to sign up for, no one making me get up in the morning for class.  I was an adult now, I could do whatever I wanted.  That I did.  If there's one thing I wish I could go back & fix, that would be it.  I had school paid for, for the most part & I let it slip away.  I let it all pass me by & here I sit 7 years later wondering what the hell happened, still in debt for the degree I never finished.  Where is that smart girl at?  If being smart was what made me worthy, what am I now?

Years & years of that on my shoulders & its no wonder I was where I was.  The pressure & guilt of wasting the last 9 years of my life is immense & still on top of me to this day. 

The absolute worst part of it all, though, is dissappointing my Mom.  I know she wanted more for me.  I know she wishes I wasn't living paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by.  More than anyone, she believed in me.  And I let her down.

I'm tired of being a dissappointment.  To my Mom, my family & to myself.  The last 4 months have been a new beginning for me, changing me inside & out.  I'm so incredibly proud of myself for losing 43 & a half pounds.  My friends are proud of me, my coworkers are proud of me & most importantly my Mom is proud of me.  The sound in her voice & the exclamation points in her texts when I tell her I've lost more are what has kept me going lately.  I am forever thankful to have her as my mother.

I totally did not mean for this post to turn into a sobfest, but that's just sort of where it led me.  I think I just really needed to put it into words.

As for the last week, like I said, I've been lazy.  I went to the gym twice, I think.  Not ending up doing much either time (last night I spent more time talking to one of the employees there, our friend Jay, than anything at all-there's a funny story I'll put up in a day or 2 about that, actually).  I've managed to keep my diet mostly in check, though.  That's probably all that saved me this week.

Previous weight : 242.5
Current weight. : 242.5
No change this week.

I need to make some serious adjustments to get back on track this week.  The first is to stop making excuses.  Work, the rain or watching The Office shouldn't stop me from working out.  Besides, if I don't make it to the gym more, how am I ever going to steal the mayorship on foursquare?  Priorities, people.