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the truth of the matter is...

if it were not for the fact that I am related to them by blood, I would not have anything to do with the majority of my immediate family. I cannot stand my mother. My whole life, all of her decisions were made around her own wants with a disregard for the good of the whole family. She constantly tries to manipulate me while spewing negativity...she is an emotional vampire. I have run into some problems financially in the past few years and am dealing with some issues of my own but all of her problems are more important and I must deal with what is going on her life before I deal with mine. This is her mentality. She feigns that she cares but it is only to suck you into listening to her diatribe of petty bitching. She needs professional help...I cannot be her counselor anymore.

MOM, TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN MISTAKES AND QUIT BLAMING THE REST OF THE WORLD. I AM TAKING SOME TIME OUT FOR ME TO DEAL WITH MY OWN CRAP AND GET MY LIFE BACK IN ORDER. I AM DONE BEING MANIPULATED AND EMOTIONALLY BLACKMAILED BY YOU. AS OF TONIGHT, I AM ON SABBATICAL...QUIT CALLING ME BECAUSE I AM NOT PICKING UP UNTIL I HAVE TAKEN CARE OF WHAT I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF. I NEED ALL OF MY OWN EMOTIONAL STRENGTH RIGHT NOW AND I CANNOT AFFORD TO LET YOU DRAIN ME OF IT. THE YEARS OF LISTENING TO YOU WHINE AND COMPLAIN ARE OVER. I HAVE PUT MY TIME IN, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL THAT IS PAID TO LISTEN TO YOUR RANTS.

AT THIS POINT MOTHER, I CANNOT STAND YOU AT ALL. I DON'T WANT TO FEEL THIS WAY BUT I NEED YOU TO QUIT BEING SUCH A SELF CENTERED PERSON...THE UNIVERSE DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOU.
So here is my list for the new year...let's see if I can make them stick :D

1. lose weight (I have lost 40 pounds so far but I have about 70 to 80 more to be in my ideal weight range for my height....basically, it is the continuing battle)
2. tone up (goes with losing weight but I don't want to lose the weight and have flabby skin...need to exercise more to tighten everything)
3. get a better paying job (I am over qualified for the one I have now...need to find something in the realm I am actually schooled to do :D )
4. control my finances (this is the worst one for me because I am horrible with it. I need to become a bit better with my zen thinking and not that I need this or that when I clearly don't...basically, get rid of my consumer ways)
5. improve upon my own self image (I have a tendency to think negatively about myself and as a result have low self esteem. I need to convince myself that I am great and quit being so hard on myself)

So, this is the basic list...I am sure there are little things (like schooling, pursuing my ideal path, etc) but I think this is a good starter set :)

Dear State Department....

In light of your attempts at hiding the heinous truths from the rest of the world by threats of incarceration and lack of employment, I have decided that I do not wish to work for your organization in my lifetime. At this point, I would equate employment with the State Department right up there with employment by the mob or some other illegal organized business front and I deem this very unsatisfactory.

Sincerely,
a person with a conscience and a lust for the truth

thoughts of fairness...

it seems to me lately that there are many people that seem to think that life should be "fair" and they are entitled to something for whatever they have gone through in life. I am not sure how this idea manifested itself but it is very disturbing. First of all, who ever said that life was going to be fair? I don't remember signing a contract at birth saying that I was entitled to fairness. Ok, perhaps that was a bit snide but what irks me the most is the fact that even though it is hard times these days, there are people on this planet that will still have it worse than you. Why can't people be thankful for what they have instead of complaining about what they don't? Why can't a person find what happiness they can instead of holding onto the bitterness? I am not trying to be preachy and I know there are times that I struggle with this idea but at least I am aware of my issue. When I ask someone why they think they are entitled to something, they stare at me as if I have suddenly grown a new set of eyes and have tentacles coming out of my ears. I had one woman go as far as to say that she had gone through a lot and that it was now her time so she was waiting for it. So instead of making her own happiness and trying to make her life better, she was just waiting for it to happen. Putting no effort in but expecting a lot. Maybe this is a western issue and goes along with the consumerism problems that we in the west face. I just know that I am to a point that I am sickened by this attitude and cannot stand to listen to one more person whine about how life owes them something. I am going to scream "suck it up and work on improving your own lot in life!"

I never dream of Essa...

Back in 1996-1997 my primary friends were Indians and Pakistanis with a few Americans thrown in the mix. However, I had one friend that I considered a good friend and he was from Afghanistan. We were both attending the same college and I really wanted to know his story. He told me that his family had come to the US when he was younger. He said they had fled Afghanistan and lived in refugee camps in Pakistan before they arrived here in the states. For me at the time I was a naive young woman not really understanding the dynamics of world politics as I do today. I don't spend a lot of time on here discussing how I feel that our media and government have kept the average American in the dark for decades and that we as a nation were a bunch of delusional fools at this point courtesy of the deception. I don't rant about how Americans in general live in a bubble and even if they did know the truth would prefer not to have to deal with it unless it came knocking on their door. Please don't get me wrong, I love my country. But at the same time, I know my country and my fellow Americans have a lot of flaws and issues that it needs to work through in order to get along with the rest of the globe. I refuse to believe that the mistakes that my government has made cannot be righted at some point in time. I know that the damage done will never be fully fixed but we could all start tomorrow to redeem ourselves. So, how does this pertain to Essa, the guy from Afghanistan that I met years ago? Well, after I graduated from college in 1999, I lost track of a lot of people, including him. It did not mean that I all of a sudden did not remember who they are. I have gone through many tumultuous times in my life and when I do I have a tendency to withdraw. After I worked through some issues, I managed to find many of my friends again and we are still connected today. The only person I did not find was Essa. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him and every time I hear news of Afghanistan, it brings a twinge of pain to my heart. In many ways, the monster that is the Taliban and Al Qaeda have origins in American foreign policy. Yet, we seem to justify that it is "something that must be done". Personally, I think there should be and could be a different approach. I think that as a country we have become a spitting image of the lawless west from a century ago. We have lost our humanity and civility. Do you want to know why so many Americans don't like foreigners? Collectively, if Americans liked them then we would become friends with them and if we become friends with them it is a little hard for us to go and bomb our friends. Having the friends I have has changed me for the better. I have seen beyond the entrance to Plato's cave and have ventured out into the sun while the rest of America is still watching the shadows on the cave wall. By no means do I know everything, I will say this right here. Also, I know I am not the only one that has broadened their scope of trying to understand the truth. There are many Americans that learn beyond what the media and our government tries to shove down our throats as knowledge every night. If there is any words of wisdom that I can impart to anyone that reads this is to QUESTION EVERYTHING. If you hear a bit of news that seems fantastic, I would look for another source outside of your country just to get perspective. Also, open your hearts to the possibility of friendship outside your comfort zone. Look beyond the boundaries of what you know and try to see life from someone else's eyes.

You see, I took the road less traveled by and it has made all the difference :)

Essa, if you ever are to read this, I am sorry for what has happened to your country and I hope that I will be able to meet you again...
So, I have been changing my unhealthy eating/exercise habits for a few months now. I am happy to report that I have lost 20 lbs (roughly 9.1 kg) and am feeling much better. I have still roughly 80 lbs (36.3 kg) to go but I am not in a rush. I am not even calling this a diet. I have dieted before and I have always failed. Before I started out this time, I wanted this to be a change for life. I looked at what my BMI should be (hence the 80 lbs) and that became my goal. I am 37 and my current BMI is 37.4...it should be 18.5 to 24.9 to be considered normal (to check yours, go here:http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html). It was over 40 when I started. I admit it, I am obese. You know what is odd? People that are obese have a propensity to pretend that they do not have a weight problem. We act as if it is the elephant in the room (ha ha no fat jokes there)...everyone can see it but everyone is ignoring it. So, my first step was to embrace that I have a weight problem. I did not get here overnight. I have spent a lifetime overweight or obese. BUT, just because I had always been this way did not mean that I could not change things. I did not want to fall into the traps of fad diets and diet pills. I want something that is going to be a change for a lifetime. So this is why I am not dieting...I am making a lifestyle change. I also needed to embrace who I am and that I have bad habits...habits that can be changed. It is actually quite simple after that. I love my body but I want it to be healthier. Our bodies really are temples and we need to do maintenance if we want it to last for a while. A lot of the health problems in the western world today is the result of bad habits. So, I have made a list of changes I have made in order to become a healthier me:

1. think of losing weight as a bank...except a bank where you want to lose money LOL. In order to lose weight, you need to put less calories in than you burn. It is that simple. Am I obsessing over how many calories go in and how much exercise I am doing to burn the calories? NO, I am not. For one thing, that will drive you mad as a march hare. It is a matter of changing the choice of calories which leads me to point 2.

2. We ALL know what the bad foods are out there. Of course, the media will come out every few years saying this or that is bad for you. I have read a lot about nutrition since I began changing my eating habits. Yes, I have for the most part given up all the bad things. Sometimes, I slip and will have a bad thing. Do I beat myself up over it? NO, because no one is perfect and we are all works in progress. Remember, this is a lifestyle change...not a diet. Lifestyle changes take time to incorporate into an existence. The biggest lesson I have learned from my changes is to not be too hard on myself and that everything is fine in moderation is not always true....which leads me to point 3.

3. Whatever you think of HFCs(high fructose corn syrup) and artificial sweetners, toss it out the window and ween yourself off of these right away! In all the reading I have done in the past few months, nothing positive is coming out of these poisons. Yes, you heard me. I consider them toxic. I would also avoid any packaged foods. The chemicals that they put in pre-made meals will make everyone a mummy in death without the addition of added means of preservation. I am also not to keen on the hormones in meat. Our food chain is starting to look like the bride of frankenstein and it is scary! We should all be running to our local governments and saying "wtf!" Which, while mentioning running, brings me to point 4.

4. EXERCISE! Yes, I hate it too. The mere thought of going and working out on an eliptical in front of all the skinny people brings dread into my heart. So, I DON'T! LOL I have founds ways of getting up and moving without some rigid routine. It is summer here so I try to walk as much as possible. I have accepted that I am going to be sweaty from walking in the heat but then I think of all the calories I am burning by moving and by my body trying to keep me cool! Exercising just isn't pretty and sweating is going to become your best friend if you want to lose weight. That is just how it is. I have also developed the habit of dancing crazy around my apartment. I turn up some good music and jiggle and wiggle to the beat. I might look ridiculous but I don't care because no one is around to see! Turn on the music and dance while you are doing chores...it is like giving your routine a little extra kick while being a domestic god/goddess.

So, these are my helpful hints. On a more personal level, I have become a vegetarian and I am eating a lot of Indian food I cook myself from scratch (I love Indian food and I have read that spices help you to feel fuller). Lentils have become my best friend...it is amazing how tasty they are with the curry spices! My biggest issue so far is the concept of "portions". Really, eating normal amounts of food has been arduous. I still feel hungry at times a few hours later but have been snacking on veggies and fruit. Basically, everything in normal quantities! As for beverages, I drink mostly water (I need between 64 and 100 oz a day from what I can calculate)...occasionally, I will make a fruit smoothie with soy milk (absolutely no alcohol...it is just empty calories). As I said before, no prepackaged meals and also no diet meals. They are just empty calories that will catch up with you later in the day. I have decreased my salt level because I have a predisposition for high blood pressure. I am taking a really great multi-vitamin to make sure I am not missing anything. I started out with baby steps while making the changes. I started back in April and set my official kick off date as my Birthday (which was last month). I am giving myself a year to get into the normal BMI category. After that, I can just maintain my weight while still exercising. I have two month goals to keep me motivated to lose. I seem to do better with reaching the smaller term goals than thinking of the bigger goal. If I think about what weight I want to be in two months, it makes me think twice about slipping back into my bad habits.

I really think that I can do it and that I just need to be disciplined. I think that everyone that has weight issues needs to start their own personal revolution for better health. No matter what state you are in now, start taking baby steps towards a healthier you. It can be as simple as giving up pop, salt, or taking a walk after dinner. Basically, every change in the history of human kind started with one step. Don't get overwhelmed with thoughts of all that needs to be done to be fit or thin. Just do one thing for yourself to make your life healthier. YOU CAN DO IT!

edit: I forgot to mention that I have also sworn off restaurant food for a year. Maybe occasionally in a years time but for now it is absolutely gone. Often, you have no idea what they are putting in the meals and if you look at some of the calorie counts for their food, you would want to run away in horror.
I cannot start the paper until I get some of the thundering thoughts out of my skull. It has been a while since I have really posted. I guess a lot is the same and a lot has changed. I am now out of geology and into global studies. My big goal is to examine either the financial or environmental impact of globalization on developing countries of the Middle East and the Subcontinent. With the environmental, I could use a lot of my geology classes to aid in my assessment. I think I am leaning more towards the environmental aspect but tossing the financial idea around (I had an economics class last fall and really enjoyed it). Part of me still feels as if I sold myself out by changing majors but part of me feels that it really wasn't for me and I can still enjoy geology as a hobby (the assortment of rocks around my apartment can attest to my continuous love of the major). I think that I will better serve the world in my new major capacity. I also felt more of a global connection than just a localized one. So, from the academic stand point, this is where I stand.

On to my family...well, my dad has cancer. They operated on him last Monday and he will have a check up next week to see how to proceed with treatment. I did not really feel comfortable posting before because I just did not want to broadcast my worries and I did not want an outpouring of condolences. I want to believe that he will be great and that this is just a minor set back. I want to keep my positive thinking because I do believe it helps. If anyone reading this wants to have good thoughts that he will be up to his old self in no time, that will be great. Just please don't tell me how sorry you are to hear the news...I don't want that kind of thinking upsetting the positive energy. Maybe that sounds odd to some of you but I believe a lot of what is wrong with people really is in their mind and that we have more control over our bodies than we give ourselves credit for. I also feel that what we project to the universe affects others. So, I am sending my dad good thoughts and a lot of love and I KNOW that will help him with his recovery :)

Lastly, well, not even sure what to say here. This last thought is what is disrupting my train of thought at the moment. You know, I know I am not Einstein but I am also not some simpering twit in a corner. I want to be valued by someone for what I know as well as I want to be with someone that appreciates the fact I have a brain on my shoulders. I feel like I opened Pandora's box last Spring with the incident with the Iranian guy. It seems that every man with a sex drive seems to have tried to befriend me in some way for the past year. Let me also state that I am not by any means something that crawled out of a sorority on a Friday night. I am not the hooker-ish type. I guess I have come to the conclusion that there are many men in this world that are just looking for a piece of ass and don't really care what you look like as long as you are interested. So, having said that, I need a better dating pool. I cannot even begin to tell you how many solicitations I have received, as well as several marriage proposals after only a short period of time. I want someone I can talk to and have fun with. I am more than just an amusement park ride. This is where I have just run out of patience. It was fun at first, I was flattered. I enjoyed the attention. However, I am now bored with all of it and really do want something of substance with someone. I enjoy sex as much as the next girl but, like many girls, I want something a bit more. So why is this a major distraction at 3 am in the morning? I will tell you...it is because it is 12:48 pm in Pune, India. Do you know why I care that it is this time in India? I care because somehow my brain can't seem to get this guy from that city out of my head. Really, half the time he ignores me for weeks or else we are arguing because he has to make everything about him or he just wants to talk about sex. He is emotionally immature and I feel like I am back in high school when dealing with him. He always ends up creating some type of drama when I am stressed totally out (case in point, he started crap with me two days ago and he KNEW I was stressed over my dad). Yes, sports fans, I have picked another "winner" from the winner's circle. I traded in the Texass model for the Pune problems. So go ahead, ask me. Ask me why I care and tell me how I should just forget him if he is going to be so needy and bothersome. If I knew the answer to this, I would not have needed to post at 3 am. I seriously need like trephination done to my skull to let the "stupid" demons out. I keep telling myself I can do better and I am an intelligent person so why do I set my heart on this type of person? Why can't I just realize my self worth and just walk away from the situation?

For someone that is smart, I sure do make a lot of the same, idiotic mistakes...maybe I am not as intelligent as I think or that the part of my brain that deals with love has somehow malfunctioned at some point. Either way, the prognosis is not good and I know I am heading down the rabbit hole of doom one more time with a different rabbit to pursue.

I feel like sending Pune a link to his post...It would serve him right and his feelings can be hurt and it can be all about him. Ugh, he already thinks I am out to hurt him any way I can. I think he has watched too many dramas in his life and should really realize that I am too lazy to plot how to make him miserable. Already this will never work out because I am already to the point of not caring about this relationship. After texass, my tolerance dwindled down dramatically. I guess that is a good thing...I DO NOT want to end up with another Texass in my life. One of those was enough to last me a life time.

Ok, now back to trying to refocus on my paper...

Update: I did not send him a link to the entry. Despite what he thinks I really am not trying to hurt him. I am just frustrated with his behavior.
So, I have started evaluating my health. I am getting more exercise (this is going slow...I am out of shape but I am still working on it). However, exercise is only part. I have turned to my pantry and, more importantly, what is in the ingredients list. I have a history of high blood pressure so I have cut down on my salt (that was not too difficult...I grew up with low sodium because my dad has high blood pressure). My next ingredient to go is HFCS. For those that might not know, that is the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. I have done some research on the subject and there are several things about it that have really alarmed me. First of all, it is in so much of what we eat. Really, look at your ingredients list on a food you would not assume to have it and it does. Case in point, Dannon yogurt fruit on the bottom. It is one of my faves and I thought it was a good substitute for ice cream. Well, when I started looking into what had HFCS, I was shocked to see my yogurt contains the HFCS. Sometimes, ingredients lists will just say "corn syrup". Since I know they like to manipulate labels, I am not taking any chances (the FDA recently decided that HFCS could be labeled as "natural" so I rest my case). Essentially, anything with corn syrup is bad in my book and I am now boycotting it. Which leads me to my second point with HFCS. HFCS began hitting the US food market in a large capacity in 1975. In fact, there was a large push between 1975 and 1985 to change over from beet and cane sugar to HFCS. If you look at the rate of obesity in this country, you will see that the obesity epidemic coincided with the switch to HFCS. I am not saying there weren't other factors but it does seem like a strange coincidence. Which leads me to my last point...the effects of HFCS on the human body. There was never any long term testing done in regard to the impact of HFCS. I will not bore you with all the facts but I will provide a link to a wikipedia article. I have found that this article is accurate with reports and research done within the science field. Wikipedia should always be double checked factually because it has a propensity to be inaccurate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_fructose_corn_syrup

Needless to say, the gist is that HFCS affects digestion as well as insulin levels. To begin with metabolism, HFCS can leave you feeling hungry which will lead you to eating more:

http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/news/hfcs.htm

In regards to HFCS and sugar...yes, sugar does affect insulin but HFCS does it in a different and dangerous way. It provides resistance to insulin. Here is an article from Science Daily for further reading:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303123802.htm

So, from my perspective, this is one more thing that the government says is alright now but in twenty years will tell you it is killing you. I am not willing to take the chance. Maybe I do not have a lot of faith in my government protecting me but considering how health care is going and the ongoing problem with pharmaceuticals...I guess I am not willing to take that leap of faith that my elected government has my best interest in mind. So, to protect myself, very low salt and no HFCS if possible. Normally, I believe all for one and one for all but in this case, I am looking out for number one =D

and to lighten up the mood, I present a musical ingredient's list:


Writer's Block: Between the slices

What's your favorite sandwich? Do you make it yourself or go somewhere special to buy it? What's in it?!


I have an addiction to a California Reuben...there is something about turkey, swiss, coleslaw, and thousand island dressing on marble rye bread that seems totally wrong but totally right at the same time.

Writer's Block: Fuzzy friend

If you could have any fictional creature from a book, film, or TV show as your pet, which one would you choose, and why?


the luck dragon from neverending story :) I think he is very adorable and it would be amazing to fly around without having to go through the hassle of airport security =D

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