Anyone seen my missing blog?

According to the email I got from WordPress this morning, I haven’t updated my blog in ten months…which is right when I did my first Whole 30.  Well, let’s be honest – my only Whole 30.  I haven’t exactly been a poster child for healthy lifestyle this year.  Or the back half of last year, if I’m really being honest.  The fun thing about me is you can judge my stress level and coping with said stress by the size of my ass.  (Spoiler alert – bigger than ever.  EVER ever.  Like bigger than any time I’ve talked to producers of weight loss reality shows.  All three times.  Bigger than the current contents of my closet…thank God it’s summer and I can throw a dress on these hips.  The no waistband Sundays from the summer of 2009 are my coping mechanism on the daily.

So the question is…how did my ass get so big?  And why did I stop writing my blog?

Well – a bunch of things.  The most reasonable excuse is that I was job searching, and blathering on about my weight, depression and quilting didn’t really seem like the best thing to put out there when I wanted someone to hire me.  I’ve been employed for a little over six months now, and while job security is iffy at best, the writing is cathartic and I’m going back after it anyway.

(Fingers crossed I hit the jackpot tonight…$330M cash leaves lots of blogging and quilting time.)

The second reason is that I totally lost my mojo…in everything.  I started this blog to chronicle all of the visits to allergists, hematologists, gastroenterologists and other fun specialists to figure out what the heck was going on with my insides.  I was kicking ass, taking names and had banished all of the food that were hurting me.  Sure, I couldn’t heal everything with lifestyle change – my sparse yet chunky platelets are a great indicator of that – but there was a lot that I was doing right.

And then life happened, and writing, clean eating, etc. all seemed to get away from me.  And I felt like a big, fat failure.

I was failing in my career, failing at my weight, failing at finding a house, failing in romantic relationships, failing at my diet, failing at everything.  Fail, fail, fail.  My therapist says I’m too hard on myself.  She’s a doll.

I’m still seeing her 2-3 a month (have been for about a year,) and she’s encouraged me to pick my writing back up.  She said I didn’t have to publish it, but I figure there’s nothing wrong with putting things out there.  Maybe someone else struggles with the same things I do, and they’ll find some words of encouragement.  Or maybe it’ll help knowing someone else is going through the same thing.

Something I touched on in my blogs last year is depression, and how much I struggle with it.  I put on one hell of a game face, normally, but some days its just beyond me.  And even then I’m only good for a few hours, and then I have to burrow in at home for a while.  I think depression is what makes me an introverted extrovert.  I have such a great time meeting other people and talking to them, but then I’m just exhausted after.  The kicker about depression is that you feel so alone, even when you’re surrounded by people.  And while I know deep down I’m loved by family, friends, and even people who don’t know me that well, it’s hard to shake out of that cloud.  The past couple of weeks have been particularly challenging, with great highs (Stitchfest!) and dark lows (work/house/boys/etc.)  I told my therapist I just feel like I’m on this horrible roller coaster, and I’m exhausted.  I’m just so done and I want the ride to stop, already.

One bright spot in this past 18 months has been quilting.  It truly took me by surprise, and I’m thankful for both the craft and the people I’ve met through it every single day.  If I’m bummed out about my lack of success at work, I can look at some of the beautiful things I’ve created and remember that I did it – I accomplished something with hard work, perseverance and asking for help when I needed it.  If I hit a roadblock, I found a way to work around it and make it my own.  If only it came so easily in a gray cubicle!

I had a great opportunity to be a spotlight speaker for my local modern quilt guild, and I truly enjoyed the process of pulling together my journey into sewing, especially pictures of things my mom did when I was a kid.  And all of the Halloween costumes she’s created over the years!  (Pam is a Halloween rock star.)  I took to quilting like a duck to water, and I think it was because I was able to create something with my own two hands and see a finished result.  Sometimes at work you put hours of thought and consideration into a project, and then it never goes anywhere.  So while a quilt might not ever leave a cabinet, I still made it, and can touch and feel it.  It’s hard to explain what it’s done for me.

One of the things I left out of my quilting journey (because I knew I wouldn’t be able to share it with the room without crying) is how it came at just the right time.  I was at a really low spot when I took my first class at Urban Spools, and it gave me some purpose.   I really do think quilting saved me, and I have a lot of faith that it’ll play a big part of shooing away the dark cloud that’s over my head again these days.  I still have a hard time letting people in when I’m having a hard time, choosing to just spend quiet time at home by myself, but I’m opening up.  One of these days I’ll learn that people will still love me when I’m having a bad day, and it’s okay that I’m not always there with a smile on my face and a joke ready to tell.

I think like most women, we just put the mask on and power through when times get tough.  I don’t think I’m unique in this way, and I think social media does a lot to perpetuate that cycle.  No one likes a vague-booker or someone who whines about their life drama, and yet so many conversations are held through this medium, that we forget how to actually talk to someone in good times and bad.  At least I forget.  Everything is in bite size snippets.

It’s not like I’ve ever been great at sharing the lows, but I know I’ve gotten even worse in my old (er) age.  So as I journey through this last year of my 30’s, I’m going to strive to find some balance.  To get off the roller coaster.  To talk to my friends and family in good times and in bad.  At least I’m going to give it a good try 🙂  And maybe blogging will help.

Cheers,

Christina

 

 

Good Hair and My Beyonce Moment

So I’m about 20 pounds away from hitting the 75 pound mark – nice!  Somehow losing 75 pounds in a year sounds so much more exciting to me than 50.  If I’m pinning down an exact time, I weighed my highest (ever and all time) somewhere between the end of last February and first of March.  I think I initially lost a bit just getting rid of the salt bloat from February Fashion Week, but it found its way back by March. It’s hard to forget the number on the scale at the casting office for Extreme Makeover:  Weight Loss Edition.  That was a life-changing trip to LA in so many ways!

But back to my original point (focus, Christina!) – 75 pounds!  I decided when I hit that mark, likely in the next couple of months if I’m a good girl and eat my veggies and keep hitting the gym, I’m finally going to cut this hair!

The bigger I am, the bigger I want my hair to be – I feel like it balances things out.  And let’s be honest – I’ve lived 90% of my life in a Southern state, and we love our high hair.  Closer to God, you see.  #BigHairDontCare as my friend MAM would say.  My hair is REALLY long right now, and maybe the longest it’s ever been.  I’ve realized in the last decade that I have really good hair.  It took a few disastrous haircuts in the 90’s, but I’ve figured out a few things.  I can’t go too short, I’m lazy with a blow dryer and I can never have bangs.  Please see the photo evidence below.  These were the only two I could scrounge up, as the rest have been burned.  I do love this Glamour Shots, though.  So funny.  Worst cuts of my life were when I was 16 and when I went through rush at Kansas State.  Short is a fail, but it might have a slight edge on bangs.  Woo.

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I can work a bob like no one’s business, though, and I’ve been pulling it off since I was three.  See?  I couldn’t take my eyes away from Guiliana Rancic’s bob during last week’s Fashion Police, and I think I have my next cut!

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So back to this Beyonce moment.  The fabulous Lindsey Parnell has been doing my hair at least five years, including any chance I could snag her while in town from Seattle.  I was so happy to be reunited with her when I moved back to Dallas, and my red has been restored!  (Surprise!  It’s not natural.  Oh, you already knew that?  Well anyway, apparently as I’ve aged, my natural color is dark blonde.  Not that you’ll ever see it.)  She’s absolutely worth the drive to The Shops at Legacy in Plano, because she’s both a lovely person and kickass with color.

Anyone who has ever done my hair will tell you that blowing out my hair is a whip, though no one whined as much as Brannon back in the day.  And he had giant muscular arms!  Wuss.  There’s a reason I wear so many ponytails, and it’s because I hate blow drying my hair.  Well let me tell all of you fine people – if you haven’t had two people blow drying your hair at once, you are missing out.  It is so glorious!  Lindsey set me up with such a nice treat!!  I love having my hair played with anyway, and then you want to double up?  Adam (the gent in the pic) asked me if I felt like Beyonce, and I totally did.  When I win the lotto, I’m going to set up a dressing room Kardashian style and have two people in to blow dry my hair always.

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Happy Blue Friday, everyone!  #GoHawks 🙂

Even Though It’s Not About the Loss…

I’ve been really frustrated lately because my weight has hit a wall. Nothing since Christmas, really, and I’ve picked up my exercise and been just as good with the food. At least I think I have – time for some journal review to see where I can make some changes.  I know I’m still getting way too much sodium and it looks like I need to pick up my protein.  But look at that gorgeous calorie burn from today!  Have I mentioned I love this app?  My Net Diary, y’all.  It’s free, so try it out 🙂

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Two big reckonings while I’m here on the treadmill cooling down:  (FYI, I perfected walking and typing when walking to work every day in Seattle.  NO EYE CONTACT!)

  1. I have lost ten pounds in the last month. Sure, it was all in December, but ten pounds in a month is legit. I’ll try not to think about the two weeks prior, because I’ve probably lost ten pounds in six weeks.  I would like to see it come off faster, but the end game is my health.  The best gauge of my progress will be in February, when I retest my hs CRP levels.  For those of you just tuning in, that’s the test that looks at cardiac risk and inflammation, and I was at a 20.55.  3.0 is the max for normal.
  2. I got an email from the casting agents for Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition this morning, inviting me to reapply. I’m happy to say I no longer qualify, as I don’t need to lose half my body weight. YEAH!  They would probably still consider me, as I need to lose more than 100 pounds, but still. This time last year? I needed to lose half my body weight.  Maybe I could have gotten on the cover of People magazine when they feature “Half My Size!”  Sure, the scale isn’t moving, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve lost 45 pounds from this point last year. I can beat myself up about not dropping 1-2 pounds a week, but I won’t. It’s one of the reasons I left Weight Watchers when it’s worked so well for me before. I just couldn’t take the discouragement.

I’ve talked a little bit about how I wasn’t in a good place last year, and seeing that sad yet politely encouraging face at a weekly weigh in might have tipped me over the edge. This time I’m going at my own pace, in my own time, and rewarding myself with little things like a jeans shopping spree and opening a tote of old clothes in a smaller size.  I still see the appeal of a weight loss show – free trainers, nutrition help, and surgery to put everything back where it belongs.

I already know a plastic surgeon is in my future – for the perky boobs I’ve always wanted and never had – but also for skin removal. It’s coming my way. I know I need to get out of my own head when it comes to the skin thing, because it’s a bigger issue for me than my actual weight when it comes to dating. When you feel gross, you don’t want anyone to touch you.  I think if I was already in a relationship I would feel better about it, but it’s hard to get excited about starting from scratch.  Dating is the WORST.  Plus, it’s just really f’ing annoying to work hard to get in shape, yet there’s some weird loose skin on your belly.  I’m just not snapping back like I used to when I’ve lost weight in the past.   I’ve heard some of my slim mom friends bitch about it too, but at least they have a little one to show for it 🙂  Stretch marks happen to the best of us.

At any rate, I know what I see in the mirror isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be, but we’re always hardest on ourselves, right?  I’m sure the right guy would love me even without perky boobs, and they do look pretty fantastic in some great lingerie.  Not that I would ever take a Kim Kardashian or Amber Rose style selfie.  No thanks!  Have I mentioned those will be the first thing I have done?  I already have a couple surgeon referrals to check out when it’s time.

On a lighter note, I picked the worst outfit in the world to put on straight from the gym.  I am obsessed with this sweater and skirt set my parents got me for Christmas, but it is toasty warm.  Just what you want when you actually spent an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill because you were typing out a blog!  At least the locker room has plenty of make-up stations and Kiehl’s in the shower.  I definitely put on my air conditioner for the drive to work, even though it’s 38 degrees.  At least I had the courtesy to make sure no one was around me, unlike the 18 year old blonde girl that no doubt has me in my bathrobe blow drying my hair in the background of hers.  Rude.  Also, it’s too bad I love ivory sweaters, because I’m definitely the same size I was in the pic I posted wearing a grey cardigan, but it’s not nearly as flattering 🙂  The double layer of shirts probably doesn’t help either.

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Headed to Chicago on Friday so I need to find all my snow gear, and I will definitely bring this outfit!  Why do I always find myself up there during the winter?

Cheers!

Christina

A little before and after…

I didn’t really think 40 pounds meant much, until I compared these pics.

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Sure, charcoal is loads more flattering than white, but the camera doesn’t tell much of a lie here.  The pic on the left is in LA, March 2014.  The one on the right is in Springfield, MO, December 2014.  Yay.  I was able to go down one jeans size, if not two.  Damn you, junior fit.  (Also, thank you for the best fitting jeans ever!!  Torrid and Silvers FTW.)

Funny story about the LA trip – Holland from The Biggest Loser was casting for Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and wanted to interview me.  She remembered me from 2011’s casting for TBL.  I needed a little R&R and Mom was able to come meet me.  I didn’t get the show, but I did resign from my job when I got back from that trip.  Thanks, Mom!  That trip changed my life 🙂