lifetoast

Month: January, 2014

nothing and no one is fixed

_20140126.FarmShare.1This past week was a doozy.

Since I made a decision to focus on eating healthier and exercising more, I have been eager to see results. Now. It’s impractical but the sense of elatedness that rushes through when I jump on the scale and see the numbers go down is addicting. And to have that number rise right back up the next evening absolutely frustrating. Especially when you eat cleaner the second night.

There were moments I felt defeated. I skipped workouts. I ate a pain au chocolat. Mostly I am uncertain of everything. Insecurities about my ability to be consistent in my healthy habits pester me and ebb into other parts of my life, like doubting the endurance I’ll need for the hard month of midterms to come and the board exam soon after.

I want to get things right and because of that desire to be perfect every step of the way I fear every morsel I eat and wonder if I exercised enough. I feel guilty when I eat desserts that seem too decadent even if I made them myself with healthy ingredients. The loaf cooling on my sill above was made with oat flour, bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil and a handful of dark chocolate chips. And I felt guilty because of its moist, sweet crumb. It’s no way to live. I don’t want to give up on enjoying food or dread dining with friends over a meal. It is maddening and unnerving and I am
overwhelmed. So I turned to where I always find solace: in words.

I downloaded The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön and have begun to read a chapter before bed to try to understand how to calm my soul.

_20140128.FarmShare.3

“We cling to a fixed idea of who we are and it cripples us. Nothing and no one is fixed.”

_20140128.FarmShare.2

So, in the midst of my uncertainty and self-loathing, I pressed play on a workout video. I did squats and crunches and in the middle of a chaturanga I could feel a lump in the back of my throat as I thought, “This is hard. I don’t think I can keep doing this. But here I am. I am doing it right now.

_20140128.FarmShare.4

I’m not sure how this will all pan out but I won’t know if I don’t try wholeheartedly.

_20140128.FarmShare.5

freshly fallen powder

_20140121.Life.7

Chibi and I bore into the wind for a walk and I found a quiet alley for her to meander through the snow by herself, eagerly sniffing and eating the freshly fallen powder.

we are in this crazy world together

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with a strong impulse to smile widely at the person next to me and say “I get you. I may not know you but you are a person with struggles and joys like me. We are in this crazy world together.”

_20140119.Mookie.2

Let’s embrace more this year. Let’s crawl out from our cocoons of familiar friends and places and be dazzled by what else-and who else- is out there.

_20140119.Mookie.8

Yes, it’s intimidating. Everyone has people in their lives, schedules to keep. There’s always excuses because what we fear is the rejection. Friend rejection is real and just as blush-inducing as a date rejection. The first few dates can be just as awkward too as you settle into your new friendship. Yet one day this person is no longer your I-want-to-be-your-friend-please-be-mine friend but your person. The one who understand your crazy and let’s you know you’re not alone. And that validation, that freedom to be yourself, is enough to keep trying.

So let’s take the time, rather make the time, to connect.

_20140119.Mookie.10

a passable snack

_20140118.Cheese.1

I have a problem in the form of a cheese block. My mom, as moms do, lives in perpetual fear that I’m not eating enough. So, every time I see her, I return home with a navy blue cooler that teeters the 50 pound weight limit for check in items. 3 out of 4 times it goes over and I’m left with a bag of kumquats to stuff into my already burgeoning carry on. In addition to frozen fish and pounds of shrimp, my mom views these moments as opportunities to give me things that she would never eat but has been given to her as gifts. Which brings me to the cheese.

If it was a wheel of brie, my complaints would not have been so high. But this monstrosity is a rectangular mass of very processed, bland cheddar cheese. I know I should throw it away. It’s barely palatable. However, I made it into nacho cheese sauce and found that with the addition of hot sauce and green olives and paired with lime tortilla chips, it’s a passable snack.

This is doing nothing for my diet.

Tomorrow I shall throw the cheese away. I will attempt to pawn this cheese off to the homeless man that lingers near Chipotle and will offer to also throw in a loaf of bread but if even he rejects it, I will know that this cheese was just not meant to be consumed.

i control me

_20131217.Christmas.23

I haven’t been writing because I’ve been afraid. I want to come here and tell you my truths so that by some happenstance a kindred spirit will stumble upon my words. But to state how I feel and voice my insecurities and struggles… My fingers tremble because I know how cruel people can be. I’ve been cruel too in life. Using a quick tongue and sharp wit to prevent becoming a target.

But negativity is suffocating. It seeps into your life slowly, unknowningly, as it lays cold fingers on your shoulders and forces you to submit. You feed on the bitterness and jealousy. I am terrified as I watch people I know and care about live in this bubble of judgment and distrust. They can’t see the world outside of themselves. And I fear this.

It seems silly to believe I’ll find so much strength in writing about my journey through dieting, my thoughts on dental school and whatever else flits through my mind. Still, sometimes I will lie awake at night, heart aching, because I crave writing in this space. And I wonder, really, who is stopping me? And I just navel gaze because deep down I know it’s just me. I can point fingers but I control me.

I am scared to track my journey because I have failed so often, I stumble so much, that to put myself out there seems ridiculous. But I’m going to do it because sometimes I wonder how did people get where they are? Where is the struggle? I want the process. So I’m throwing myself out there for the wolves…and the kindred spirits. Please find me.

Zooey

_20131230.Christmas.2

I will start off the new year by presenting to you my sweet niece Zooey, a plump cheeked darling born on December 28.