Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So, how goes?

Gah, I haven't posted since the 6th. Sorry. I can't say that things have been especially crazy. Rather, it's been fairly calm in my life as of late. It's just that I can no longer access my blog at work, so updating it during lunch like I had planned just isn't possible anymore. And when I spend all day typing on a computer at work, the last thing I want to be doing when I get home is typing on a computer some more. I have been playing a ton of Final Fantasy 9, though, and doing some sewing, so...that's good. That's helping keep the dragons at bay because it helps me unwind.
The Slow-Carb Diet has been going alright. There have been two difficult sticking points for me--cream in my coffee in the morning, and work lunches. I love my morning coffee, but usually I love it with milk in it. I used to put a ton of sugar into my coffee, but I weaned myself off of that. I haven't been able to wean completely off of milk though. I like the creaminess, because it's, well, creamy, but also because it helps cut the really bitter aftertaste. The diet doesn't allow milk or half-and-half except on cheat day, but it does allow heavy cream. I figured it would be alright. WRONG. Apparently milk and half-and-half have some sweetness to them, and heavy cream does not. GAH. Not so much with the cutting of the bitterness. I've been working on it though. I've gotten to a point where I can drink at least part of my morning cup black before I add cream. It's not ideal, but it's doable. And I'm not doing this diet because it's pleasant, but because I really need to lose the fat around my belly. I'm tired of wondering if people think I'm pregnant.
The past couple of days though, I have been putting a little bit of half and half in my coffee, along with cream. I'll see how that affects my fat loss. I might just need to suck it up and deal, but I'm already denying myself chocolate and crunchy chips and everything else all week, I felt like something needed to give at least a little.
Work lunches are difficult. For instance, today we have a lunch at a local Italian restaurant, and I'm suspecting most of the menu will have carbs front-and-center. *sigh* I'm always the youngest at these lunches, and I know in reality, I am very often one of the last ones at the table that should be concerned about weight, relatively speaking. That fact makes me really self conscious about ordering just a salad and picking the croutons and everything I can't eat off of it. I worry that people are judging me, or worse, think that I am judging them.
It's times like this, when I am giving myself anxiety over what other people are thinking of me that Sasha comes in and says "How self-centered you are, to think you are the focus of everyone else's thoughts all of the time."
People probably don't care what I eat at lunch. They're probably more concerned with what they're eating, and how that may or may not affect their own health goals. Or they're probably paying attention to what my boss is saying about new regulations and how they affect the business. Who gives a damn whether the administrative assistant is eating her hamburger bun or not when they're being told that according to the government, people trying to buy houses can no longer have a Debt-to-Income ratio higher than 43%?
I worry too much about what other people might be thinking. I need to not care.
ANYWAY, cutting out most carbs hasn't really been that difficult. We have discovered that cauliflower can act as a substitute for potatoes, pasta, and rice, and things like meat in tomato sauce or stews or anything like that taste just as good over cauliflower as any carb. I have also found a tasty recipe for roasted cauliflower. This is all good because cauliflower is cheap, and super healthy. We have also been eating a lot of eggs, lentils, beans, and various veggies. Bacon has been a godsend for feeling decadent, even when we're not eating that much of it.
Over all, I've already lost about an inch from my waist, so even with the difficulties of forgoing milk and navigating business lunches, I am willing to continue!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Dragon Tamer's Resolutions

(Note: I wrote this post on the 2nd, but didn't post it till the 6th because...well, I do just do things like that sometimes.)

Good bye 2013! You weren't as bad as 2012, but you definitely didn't set the bar very high for 2014 to be better than you were.
Like many around the world, I have thought about things I would like to change about myself or accomplish in the coming year. While "Become Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy" sounds awesome, I'm not sure it's really attainable in 12 months while working full time and trying to start a LARP. So, maybe that resolution will have to be put on the back burner for next year...
Here are some more attainable resolutions/goals for this year:
1. Self-advocate more--Be more willing to tell the BF/Friends/Family when I'm in the Dark Scary Place, or when I need help with things. (Dragon being tamed: Depression)
2. Make 2 really kick-ass cosplay costumes to wear to conventions (This is already in the works, as I've started the process for a costume to wear to Temple-Con in February) (Taming Depression and Complacency)
3. Have a workable, playable, runnable LARPing system ready by October (Bonus points if I can have a Playtest of basic character creation and social conflict rules done by May.) (Taming Complacency)
4. Pay my student loan principle balance down by $750 by July 1st. (Taming Debt)
5. Successfully follow the Slow-Carb diet plan starting January 5th until March 1st. I will reevaluate after those 8 weeks to determine if it has shown a positive impact on my health, and decide whether or not to continue with it after March 1st.  (Taming Complacency)
6. Get to the gym 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes of exercise (classes count towards this goal) (starts Week of Jan. 5th) (Both Depression and Complacency)
7. Take at least 35,000 steps a week (about 5,000 a day, which is about 2 miles) (starts Week of January 5th) (Both Depression and Complacency)
8. Be able to jog a 5k by the Scarecrow Scamper in October (a charity 5k that benefits the local YMCA) (Both Depression and Complacency)
Because all work and no play makes the slayer really susceptible to depression:
9. Complete all challenges on Majesty
10. Take a trip to Canada (preferably by train, and with some friends)
Some of these are easily measurable (like the ones involving exercise, diet, etc), others are not objectively measureable (for instance, self-advocacy). And some are in a grey area: What defines a kick-ass cosplay outfit, exactly? And what makes a LARP system workable, playable, or runnable?
A lot of these are focused on trying to tame my depression. I used to be on meds for it, but after a while I got it under control (through drastically changing my relationships, living situation and entire outlook on life and expectations). Lately, though, it's been slithering back. While I recognize that if it continues to get worse, I will need to start seeking medical help again, right now I know I am in a place where there's a possibility for me to manage it definitely without meds, though I might need to add therapy back into the mix if there's not much improvement by April. Hopefully the longer days will help it to improve on its own. Yay Vitamin D!
Updates for these goals (like the ones that started yesterday) will be posted regularly.

Friday, January 3, 2014

An Elevator Speech

An "Elevator Speech" is a short statement, ideally only one or two sentences long, that states in a nutshell the goal, purpose, or mission of someone or something. Think of it as a personal mission statement that you could get out to a group of people in an elevator between the time the doors close and the moment someone hits the emergency stop button because there's a lunatic in the elevator.
Here's my attempt at getting my message out before someone calls the loony bin:
In ten years, I want to be free of my student loan debt and own land on which I will be running a LARP or many LARPs. I will achieve this by living frugally, buying locally, developing additional and alternative revenue sources, and taking steps to improve both my mental and physical health.
Image found on bucultureshock.com
This isn't a complete picture of my action plan. (I'm not sure there is a complete picture of it anywhere yet.) But it should communicate to you my main long-termish goals (tame the Debt dragon and run LARPs), and some of my less-long-termish goals and/or priorities (improve my health, find different ways to make money, and be conscious about my financial choices). Hopefully it could give the people in an elevator an idea of who they're dealing with before they decide to tackle me to the ground.
...Given my aversion to pain, maybe I should refrain from actually delivering my elevator speech in an elevator--at least until such time as our society does not default to thinking someone talking to complete strangers out of nowhere is crazy.
That being said, I still want to someday get into an elevator, wait for the doors to close, and then announce "I'm sure you're all wondering why I called you here today..." just to see what would happen.
Probably the best location in an elevator to do that is in a corner, so that people wouldn't be able to tackle me very easily...