Can you tell I’m excited to fly home today?
I don’t know if any of you have tried, but losing weight is fucking hard. I know no one tells you this, but the desk job 10 is way worse than the “Freshman 15” especially since you don’t just gain it once. I graduated college 3 years ago, and I have gained about 10 pounds each year. So, here I am, determined to weigh what I did my junior year of college. I know better than to think I can get back to pre-college weight.
You won’t look like that forever.
40 pounds. I want to lose 40 pounds. That’s not excessive. That’s not even a Biggest Loser competitive number. According to the NIH, I started out at the borderline between overweight and obese (29.5) category on the BMI chart. If I lose 40 pounds, I’ll be in the upper range (23) of the normal category.
So, I’m a little more than one month in. I’ve lost about 10 pounds and gained 2 back because of my period (Being a woman is great, huh?). Weekly weigh-ins really point out the fluctuations I already knew were happening during my cycle. 28 on the BMI chart. Solidly in the overweight category.
Step 1 – Quit soda
The hardest change I made first was quitting soda. Little did I know, the sugar withdrawal hit me way harder than the caffeine withdrawal. I gave myself a break by buying all sorts of fruit in the grocery store. I recommend quitting soda in the summer, since that’s when fruit is the best. My average fruit intake was a banana, 1-2 peaches, 1 cup of blueberries, and 1 cup of grapes. By the 3rd day, the taste of water was getting boring, so I introduced lemons into the mix. You know that there is something wrong with you when lemon water seems like a luxury.
Look at that luxurious lemon. All fancy on silk and shit.
Step 2 – Join Weight Watchers (WW)
After the first week, I realized how hard this weight loss this was going to be, and the only change I made was not drinking soda. After researching diets, and the likelihood of each working, I decided on Weight Watchers. I’m not going to lie, a big part of this choice also involved that I would still get to eat carbs. I love carbs.
All the things I love.
WW has a point tallying system, and their eTools make tracking your points the same as having to count calories. The biggest benefit of WW is going to weekly meetings, meeting with the same group of people every week, sharing our successes, and coaching each other through those weeks when you retain too much water.
I swear, I’ll look like the before picture next week. It’s just water weight.
The meetings are usually split 50/50 between weight loss and self-care topics. My first meeting was a non-judgmental approach to portion control and explained the concept of eat whatever you want, but not how much you want.
But I want to eat all of them. Especially the ones with sprinkles. I love sprinkles.
The second one was about how to look at time wasters so you could gain an extra 15 minutes a day to spend on yourself. Not exercising, but relaxing. I was skeptical of joining WW and going to all the meetings, but the meetings make this process the opposite of the paleo cross-fitters. And they have stickers!
I just want a sticker. Not this nonsense.
Step 3 – Have an amazing partner that loves to cook
Not my actual boyfriend, but an adequate google search stand in.
After the first 2 weeks of weight loss, and seeing that the changes did make a difference, my boyfriend jumped on board and started cooking for us. My previous method was a lot of fresh fruits (no points!) and frozen dinners. Now my food was delicious marinated chicken and vegetables. Skinnytaste is the best blog for recipes. I just subscribed to the blog, and then forwarded the recipes I liked to my boyfriend, and now I get delicious food.
If you don’t have a cook in your life, the recipes aren’t that hard to do. We started out trying to do a meal preparation trade off every day, but the joy of depression means that I can’t always pull my weight. To modify our plan, we sit together about twice a week to plan out our menu. This way, it’s easy for him to pick up what I was going to make, and I can garden or lay in bed or whatever seems doable after work.
I’m helping, right?
Step 4 – Exercise?
I have not gotten to step 4. I hate exercising.
Yeah, I love exercise! This isn’t exercise?
This plan has been working so far, but work has sent me out of town for 3 months, so now it looks like frozen dinners and careful restaurant planning for me. I’ll keep you updated with how that works out. I’m typing this with a palmier in my hand. No judgment.
September is nearly upon us, and that means it’s time for #30daysoflists! A journal topic is provided for each day, and I get to write a list for the topic. If you want to join, information is here.
This year, I am using Becky Higgins Project Life supplies. I found the Dreamy Edition on clearance at Michael’s and I had a handful of the pages on hand. This picture shows the cards, but they aren’t in their final positions yet. That will come later.
I’m pretty excited about this. My work has sent me to New Orleans, and I usually don’t have the energy to get out and do stuff after work. It’s nice to have something to do at the hotel while I relax.
I gave this talk at my Secular Sunday Gathering, KC Oasis, in August of 2014. I have edited it a bit for clarity.
I am a feminist, an atheist, a crafter, an herb gardener, a voracious reader, and an engineer. I am fantastic at many things. Except one. I am terrible at killing myself. I guess that one’s pretty obvious, since I’m standing here in front of you. I have major depressive disorder. I don’t list it in the things that I am, because I feel that it is something that takes away from my life and adds a murky layer to swim through everyday. I was diagnosed with this illness about 10 years ago, after suffering for years prior thinking that I had done something wrong to deserve these dark, ruminating thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts made sense, and sometimes I just didn’t have the energy to logic them away. As a result, I have tried to kill myself more times than I care to remember. Four of these times resulted in hospitalizations, the most recent was two months ago on June 26th.
Suicidal thoughts hurt. I don’t share these irrational and scary images. I don’t tell people that I make decisions to mitigate the fact that a future suicide attempt is inevitable.
The “I lived” commercials factored heavily into my decision to buy a Subaru. One of my suicide options has been eliminated and has yielded such humorous frustrations as, “Even if I could figure out how to crash my car in a way to make it seem like an accident, I would probably still survive. Damn you, Subaru!”
I was born and raised in South Dakota and grew up shooting at things. I own guns, but they stay with my parents in a locked safe in South Dakota that I don’t have easy access to. I never disclose to my conservative coworkers that I do not allow guns in my house because of the risk of shooting myself intentionally.
I keep all of my medicine in a tote. It is for convenience, but not of the type you are thinking. If all the medications I own are in one place, it makes it easier to forfeit them over to a concerned friend when I know I’m in danger.
I have dealt with these thoughts for so long that it has become my normal. I forget that my Kansas City family does not know these things about me. When my depression got bad enough that I did try to end my life, I ended up in the strange place of being forced to tell the people that I love and care about the hard and dark truth of my everyday life. And most people didn’t know how to react. So, I would like to explain to you some of the helpful and not so helpful ways to interact with me. I can’t speak for all depressed people since everyone experiences life differently. I can only speak to my own experiences.
After I disclosed my suicide attempt to people, I received many different responses from people. I would like to run through some of them, and what my reactions were to them.
“I still want/need you around. I’m so glad you survived.” This is a tricky one, because for a long time I didn’t agree with it. It took me days to finally be ok with the fact that I was still alive, and to entertain the thought of not trying to kill myself again. There was a reason I was on a 24-hour a day watch for an entire week.
“There are so many people in your life that love and care about you.” I know this. I have extremely loving and accepting family and friends. Depression does this awesome thing where no matter how many people love me, I still want to kill myself. Don’t take this as a rejection of your love and caring, because I do appreciate and need it. I have attempted suicide after breakups; while in stable, loving relationships; when everything was good; and when everything was falling apart. There can be triggers for such events, but sometimes there aren’t.
“Why didn’t I call/invite/stop by before it got this bad?” This is a variation of the last statement. Again, I appreciate and need your inclusion of me, but it would not have prevented the suicide attempt.
“You know that you can call me anytime, right?” Yes, yes I do. Not only can I call you, I can call my parents, my therapist, the psychiatric hospital, suicide hotlines, 911. Your offer is appreciated if it is sincere. The worst thing that I experience is when people that are passing acquaintances say this to me and then do nothing to follow up to make sure that we have a relationship/connection that would make such phone calls a safe place to express myself. This makes the offer hollow, and almost worse than saying nothing at all.
“But you always seem so happy.” Yes, I know I do. I actively cultivate this armor. A large part of what my depression encourages me to do is to not let people know I have it. Stating the way I appear positively reinforces me to not be honest with you about how I actually feel. I want to be honest, open, and vulnerable with people, but my thoughts aren’t easy, pleasant, or enjoyable on the days I need to share them the most. Contradicting the happy stereotype isn’t easy for me.
“But what if tomorrow is better?” Yep. I have been repeating that sentiment to myself for the month and a half long spiral down into this place. Wanting to commit suicide isn’t always a snap decision. In my attempts, it has always happened after a month long fight against the suicidal thoughts in my head. After fighting for so long, having the fight be over becomes more and more appealing, and suicide seems like the only way to end the pain.
After the shock of the attempt has passed, the feedback changes again. Now it is acceptable to offer advice. I know people offering the advice mean well and are trying to offer help. In fact, I have discussed this situation in depth with my therapist many times. My depression is deeply rooted in the shame I feel for not being normal. In fact, I carry around a pink permission slip pad to allow myself to not be perfect in various ways. Here are the times when I use it –
“Have you ever thought about changing your diet and not eating refined foods/red meat/all meat/dairy/grain?” Yes, I have. I have changed my diet multiple times and in various ways to try to make myself feel better. It didn’t work. When I am depressed to the point I don’t think it is worth my time to feed myself, I don’t care what I put into my body because eating is better than starving. For this tip, I have a permission slip that states, “I give myself permission to eat fast food.”
“You should try yoga/meditating/prayer/some form of woo.” My brain doesn’t shut off. Ever. I have tried many ways of relaxing and not thinking, but I can never get my brain to shut up. Even when I am asleep I have constant vivid dreams and/or nightmares. My brain doesn’t let me relax. Except when I am watching Sex and the City or anything on MTV. So, “I give myself permission to watch 2 straight hours of television (bonus points for reality television).”
“I read this book by so-and-so, and it totally changed my life and made me not depressed!” Wow, if all it took to cure a chemical imbalance of the brain was reading a book, you would think the anti-depressant industry would have caved by now. Also, there is a high likelihood that I have already read said book, and you have now made me feel worse since it didn’t work for me. “I give myself permission to read Cosmopolitan.”
So now you may be thinking, if you take everything so negatively what can I say? Here’s some suggestions –
- “I don’t know what’s appropriate to say right now.”
- “Wow, life sucks sometimes. That must be hard for you to deal with.”
- “We’re all in this together, and no one knows what they’re supposed to be doing.”
- “Let me give you a hug. And chocolate. And $100. You’re awesome.”
In light of all of the football scandals last year, I have decided this year to make a moral judgment on the players I would draft on my team. Namely, I will do google searches on the following –
- Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is a no draft. Regardless if the individual pressed charges.
- DUI’s will be on a case by case basis, as the police do target people for driving while black.
- Marijuana Charges do not matter. It will all be legal eventually.
- Helping with charity will be a plus. However, it will not cancel out previous misdeeds.
- Their actual football ability is not taken into account.
- Ratings are 1 to 10 with 10 being definitely draft, 5 neutral, 0 stay away.
I am just going to do it in the order that Footballguys Draft Dominator ’15 has in my app for my league settings.
Le’Veon Bell got caught smoking marijuana with LeGarrette Blount while out driving around (I thought this was a fundamental college experience?), was charged with a DUI for the offense, and suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season (even though this happened in August 2014). He also works with PETA. 7/10
Adrian Peterson was prosecuted for child abuse. And is playing football this year. This is a hard NO. Don’t even get me started. -1,000,000,000,000/10
Don’t even get me started.
Jamaal Charles seems to have a very quiet arrest record. He founded the “JC Youth Matters Family Foundation” with the vision of “a community where all youth are motivated physically and mentally to do and be the very best they can be.” A quick search turns up many charity events that Jamaal Charles participates in. 9/10
Eddie Lacy didn’t have any arrest records. Check out this cute video of him riding a tricycle. 10/10 (for the video)
Rob Gronkowski didn’t have an arrest record, and is apparently a virgin? Either he’s telling the truth, or he has my sense of humor. He also hosted a women only football clinic which gets an A plus from me. Gronk-tinis all around. 7/10
Marshawn Lynch plead guilty to a hit and run charge that took place on June 2008 and was arrested for a DUI (0.10 BAC) in 2012. Although his response in to the media before Super Bowl XLIX of “I’m here so I won’t get fined” was hilarious. Plus he was fined for grabbing his crotch for charity. Beast Mode. 5/10
C.J. Anderson didn’t have any arrest records, and had a pretty rough childhood. Kudos to him for working so hard. 7/10
Odell Beckham, Jr. didn’t have any arrest records. Although he did get a $10,000 fine for the Rams-Giants brawl which probably had something to do with his trash talk abilities. He also does the NFL player charity circuit. 7/10
Demaryius Thomas was sued (charges were later dropped against him) by a woman for battery, conspiracy, and negligence due to the actions of his teammate Perrish Cox. It was a classic case of Cox saying he was going to sleep with the girl and she had consented. Thomas wanted nothing to do with it, so he left rather than verifying the girl’s safety (The girl ended up pregnant with Cox’s baby). Like C.J. Anderson, he also had a rough childhood – He was present during a raid on his home which resulted in his mother and grandmother getting sent to prison for distributing crack cocaine (and later commuted by Obama!). He is an advocate for the charity, “Call of Duty,” which benefits military veterans and their families. He should have acted better during the Cox event. 4/10
Dez Bryant had a similar childhood to Demaryius Thomas, which is unfortunate. He was raised by his brother/uncle (yes, he was both). Once he made it into football, he was frequently typecast as a “thug” with a penchant for hookers and blow even though he did neither. He does have an arrest for striking his mother during a family argument. The Rolling Stones has written quite the article about him. He does the standard NFL Charity circuit. Still, he hit his mom. 3/10
Andrew Luck has no arrest record. He has a record like a WASP and does enough charity work to be classified as one. 9/10
Matt Forte has no arrest record, and is a bit judge-y of his teammates that do. 7/10
DeMarco Murray has no arrest record, but he was accused by his teammate for having an affair with his wife. The story seems really strange. Especially the part where his nickname is “Spray Tan.” He also has his own charity, the DeMarco Murray Foundation which provides educational support and resources for youth. 7/10
Jeremy Hill pleaded guilty to misdemeanor carnal knowledge in high school for forcing a 14 year old girl to give him and a teammate blowjobs, but kept his LSU scholarship. He also pled guilty to simple battery after punching a guy outside of a bar. Ugh. -1,000,000/10
This is just for the first rounds, but I did come across some interesting information while searching for NFL arrest records –
- A handful of St Louis Rams player – Stedman Bailey, 286. Tavon Austin, 188. Jared Cook, 380. Chris Givens, and 144. Kenny Britt entered the field with their hands up on Nov 30, 2014 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Joseph Randle is a shoplifter.
- Arian Foster is an atheist (+1 in my book).
- After accounting for incomes, NFL players’ arrest rate is atrocious.
I’m sure I’m not the only one that is disgusted with what players can get away with and still stay in the game.
Comment below and share if you have any additional information.