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Look out, dragon on the move! Challenge 2


tienlong

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The dragon lay in her cave for a very long time. She was comfortable there. She had food to eat and a hoard of books to read, and magic windows to show her all she wanted to know about the world outside. Sometimes her family nagged at her to leave her cave for a short while, but they couldn't really stop her from returning as soon as she could. She didn't have many friends, but the ones she did have were able to talk to her through the magic window. There was no reason to leave. Everything she needed was inside.
So she lay, reading, watching, letting the world go on without her, with the air becoming poisoned with the smoke from her flames, and the cave becoming smaller and smaller as her body grew heavier and more ungainly with long disuse. Her cave was becoming less comfortable. But still, she didn't want to leave it. There was nothing outside the cave that she needed.
One day, one of her friends, the one she liked best, spoke to her through the magic window. "I'm going to be a warrior!" said her friend.
"Hmmm," said the dragon. "You can barely lift your armor."
"I'll get stronger," said her friend.
The dragon didn't say anything. She didn't have anything to say. The cave was darker, smokier, smaller, than it had ever been before. The books weren't interesting. Nothing was interesting.
"Why don't you come with me?" said her friend. "There's a lot we can do, if you just try."
"Oh, I'm busy," said the dragon.
Her friend paused. "You don't really open the window to talk to me anymore," she pointed out. "Are you too busy for me?"
The dragon moved her wing, and covered the window.

Over time, the dragon opened the window less and less. And even when she did, it showed her friends going on with their lives, not having time to stop and talk to her. And the cave grew darker and smaller.  The dragon grew less and less satisfied, and more angry, but at what, she couldn't say.

"I don't want to be here anymore," the dragon realized one day. "It's too small, too dark, and all my friends are forgetting me. I've read all these books, and I don't like my food anymore. There's nothing here for me."

This was a very important moment, because the dragon was a very impulsive and proud dragon who liked to make decisions quickly. So she screwed up her eyes and lifted her wings, and with a squirm and a squawk, she gathered her magic and pushed herself out of the cave that she hadn't left in a long time.

When she tumbled free of the mountain, she stood blinking in the air and the sunshine. She was a very roly-poly dragon, now, and her wings wouldn't lift her and her lungs could barely breathe through the layers of smoke and poison inside them. "Now what?" she thought. "I'm not strong or brave or bouncy. I'm not ready to go into the world yet, but I don't want to go back into the cave, either. I didn't really think this through, did I?" She huffed and puffed and bit her claws in deep thought. "I may not know what I want to do right now," she thought finally, "but I need to be ready to do it when it finally occurs to me."

TBC...

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So, I'm starting my second challenge, yay!

 

My first challenge was all about my attitude.  I needed to figure out how to overcome the stress and negativity and general nastiness of my attitude that was holding me back from making any kind of positive changes.  I thought I'd take this month to figure out new diet and exercise habits all on my own.

 

Then Nerd Fitness decided that it was going to raise the price of membership, and after squawking in outrage at the new price, I zoomed into the Academy in the eleventh hour at the original price.  Right now, I don't have time for challenges that I created on my own, the Academy has some assigned for me.

 

So, here's what I have to do this month:

 

1.  I have to log my food for at least a week, and then take control over my eating habits a little more strictly than I had been.  I'll probably be reporting it here, just for the accountability.  I thought about cheating, and just changing my food habits without logging anything - I'm grown, I'll eat healthier on my own time table!  But then I reconsidered.  The whole point of the food logging thing is to realize what it is I'm actually in the habit of eating.  Lying about it to myself, or ignoring it in hopes that it will go away on its own, isn't going to help me at all. 

Part of this Remastering Food challenge will be to create weekly meal plans, which I've never done before.  At least, not since my $25 a week food budget days.  I'm a vegetarian armed with the Thug Kitchen cookbook and a bunch of vegan websites.  I can do this thing!

 

(Excuse me, I mean, I WILL log my food for at least a week.)

 

2. I have to change my exercise program.  I signed up for the Yoga Academy, too, while I was in the mood to spend money.  So, this month, I'm figuring out how to combine the beginner workouts from both Academies, mostly to get limber and stronger.  I was just doing cardio at the gym some days, and pushing a lawnmower around a half-acre on the weekends.  If that were good enough, the "before" pics I took earlier today wouldn't be so cringe-worthy.

 

(Sorry, I mean I WILL change my exercise program.)

 

3.  I have to customize my environment to figure out how to make myself more successful.  The problem is, I know lots of things I can begin doing to help me along, but not so much with the things I should stop doing.  So that's something to ponder.  I'll think about it this month.

 

(Oh, boy.  I meant that I WILL customize my environment.)

 

What's any of this got to do with the story I began in my first post?  Well, like Tienlong, My Inner Dragon, I made an impulsive decision.  I don't regret it, but I also don't know what to make of it, yet.  I'm not accustomed to doing what someone else is telling me to do.  Also,  the Academy wants me to level up in increments instead of bulling my way to the finish line?  I don't solve problems in increments!  I solve problems at warp speed!  I grab problems by the ankle and slam the hell out of it like rage monsters slam the hell out of sexy-but-obnoxious gods!    But it doesn't matter how aggressive I usually am, weight loss and limberness and strength doesn't happen overnight. 

 

This is why I'm staying a rebel.  The world outside my cave isn't quite what I was expecting it to be, but then, now I suppose I don't really know what I was expecting it to be.  So, while I'm figuring that part out, I'll occupy myself with getting ready for what might come next.

 

Also?  I began writing a story, and I haven't written anything in awhile, and this is friggin' awesome and is a concrete indicator that I'm already feeling more positive and creative than I have been.  So I decided to share it with whoever came along to read it.

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Your story definitely resonates with me. I was one of the lucky ones; in my story, I followed the warrior (a monk, for me) who asked me to join him. Everything before that could have been written by me; it happened exactly the same way. The good news is, success breeds success. Once the ball really starts rolling, the extra energy and self-esteem you'll get ought to make it easier to keep moving. 

If you're failing to lose weight, your diet goal is much more important than your exercise one. I'd advise doing whatever exercise is fun; if your diet's on point, the weight loss will work itself out. All three goals are important, but the type of exercise probably isn't what's holding you back the most.

I'll be following!

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Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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So I woke up a teeny bit later than I meant to, but I did my Academy challenges: making my bed, and a session of yoga.  Which, as it turns out, is a lot harder to do than it is to watch.  Funny how that works.  And the first thing I've consumed today is a hazelnut coffee and I'm about to go snarf down a hard-boiled egg (but not the yolk, ew).  I don't usually eat anything this early, but my stomach is trying to wrap around my spine and shake me until some food comes down.

 

I know eggs are a protein source, but I'm going to have to stop eating them.  A long-term CDC report has noted that 1 egg is about as carcinogenic as five cigarettes.  Not to mention, I try not to think about it, but it's basically bird placenta.  (Crap, now I'm thinking about it.  Maybe I'll have oatmeal.  It's not paleo, but it's also not gross.)  And my bestie and I talked it over, and I think that using the Happy Herbivore's meal plan will probably be really good for me.  Which means I'll stop eating eggs and milk and cheese, anyway. 

 

Also, I didn't mention this before, but... over the weekend, I got into my fridge and found the strawberry-chocolate gelato, two Kitt Katt bars, and four Snickers bars (the big kind that has two little bars in the package).  These are things I stash for sweets emergencies.  I put it all in a sack and gave it to a neighbor. 

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37 minutes ago, tienlong said:

Also, I didn't mention this before, but... over the weekend, I got into my fridge and found the strawberry-chocolate gelato, two Kitt Katt bars, and four Snickers bars (the big kind that has two little bars in the package).  These are things I stash for sweets emergencies.  I put it all in a sack and gave it to a neighbor. 

Well done!!!

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Daily food log:

6/13 Monday:

2 mugs of coffee with hazelnut cream

2 cups of assorted nuts

1 cup oatmeal with flax

2 cups of stewed cold bean sprouts

1 package of seaweed (it's only 150 calories for the entire package, I don't feel bad)

1 raspberry limeade from Natural Cabana

1 cup ice cream

1 avocado

2 tomatoes

1 single cashew

1 largish bowl of ravioli

 

 

Alright.  So, not particularly good.  I started fridge grazing while I was waiting for the ravioli to cook, which is why dinner started with ice cream.  It should have ended with the cashew, but I ate the ravioli anyway.  .

 

6/14, Tuesday:

2 cups coffee with hazelnut cream

1 Izzie sparkling grapefruit

1 Izzie sparkling peach

A trough of shaky tofu, which I might as well have stuck my face in and started inhaling

1 avocado smoothie (Yum!)

1 package of seaweed

1 avocado

2 tomatoes

2 baby cucumbers

a handful of cashews

1 glass pineapple/papaya fruit juice

 

Well, at least I didn't finish with the rest of the ravioli.

 

 

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How did I not see this earlier?!? Well, I found you now. Following :)

 

And your dragon story made me smile. I too am pretty impulsive sometimes, but I think it can be a good quality too if expected and moderated when needed :)  The key is to keep the bravery and the enthusiasm and the willingness to take risks without all of the ill-considered plans leading to disaster :D

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I was right in the middle of a yoga session this morning, and my computer shut off.  Just shut off.  No idea what happened.  I tried and tried to get it to turn on, but it was well and truly off.  Finally I had to stop because it was time for my shower and to get dressed for work.  All day I've been worried, thinking I was going to spend too much money on a new computer.  I came home, and tried again.  You know what happened?  I'd accidently unplugged it, and the battery was empty. 

 

Today, I didn't eat breakfast again.  I've been training a new person at work to take over some of my duties (a huge cause of my stress levels, btw, so yay for new person!), and I didn't have time to scarf down my usual oatmeal.  So, today, I've only eaten:

 

2 cups coffee with hazelnut cream

1 bowl of ravioli

1/2 cup of peanuts

a handful of some kind of paleo-style snack of nuts, seeds, raisins, and dark-chocolate balls

1 Izzie cherry lime

1 Izzie peach

 

I feel like I've eaten a ton of food today, and if I eat dinner, it will probably just be some steamed cauliflower.  (I finally ate all my tomatoes.)

 

I might skip breakfast from now on and break my fast around 10 am with some nuts or something light.  I seem to eat less all day if I skip breakfast.  I may replace it with a protein shake or other liquid meal, but I will definitely put most of my liquid calories (like the Izzies) in the back of the cupboard for special occasions.  And, ugh, I'm going to have to replace my hazelnut cream with the no-sugar kind.  I can't give it up completely.  Ever since giving up my first cigarette of the day, that first cup of coffee has been the light of my mornings.

 

It's Wednesday, and I have two days to get my shopping list and meal plan together.  Ugh.

 

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On 6/13/2016 at 4:53 AM, tienlong said:

Also, I didn't mention this before, but... over the weekend, I got into my fridge and found the strawberry-chocolate gelato, two Kitt Katt bars, and four Snickers bars (the big kind that has two little bars in the package).  These are things I stash for sweets emergencies.  I put it all in a sack and gave it to a neighbor. 

 

I didn't think I could be more impressed with you, but you outdid yourself. I could never give away Kit Kat bars. Holy crap! You amaze me!

 

I think you are going to dominate in your challenge. You may be impulsive sometimes, but you don't do it without your brain. You think things out and do a very awesome job of it. You WILL do a fantastic job of meeting your goals this challenge. I know these things.

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So, yesterday I had brussel sprouts instead of cauliflower, but, meh, same thing.

 

Today, I had:

three cups of coffee with hazelnut cream (usually I share a pot with a coworker, who didn't tell me she wouldn't be at work today)

one cereal bar

a single Izzie

a cup of peanuts

green tea and rice instant soup

a package of seaweed (munched on while listening to a very boring conference call)

the rest of last night's brussel sprouts (all six of them)

and a bag of popcorn. 

 

 

OK, here's the thing about the soup: I don't know what it's called.  I know it's Japanese, it's green tea based, and I know it's 15 calories a package and I usually use two packages, so, 30 calories.  So there I am, happily slurping at my soup, thinking, wow, I've totally got this low-cal thing in the bag, when I get curious and I check to find out how many calories were in the microwaveable rice.

 

360 calories! 

 

Let me shout about this a minute:  360 calories!!!!!!!!  For RICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

So I just slurped down 390 calories that were not only not very nutritious, but not even filling?  WHA?!?!?! 

 

Well, there's a food that's going in the cupboard for emergency rations.

 

Ugh, there are still three more days in this week, and I've already gotten the information I need from this exercise.  I eat like a child.  A veggie-prone child, but still.  There's no real responsibility there.  I fridge-graze, flip through the cupboards for easy food, and snack a lot.  I don't eat much of any one thing, I just eat a lot of things.  And I'm probably shooting myself in the foot with the liquid calories.  I'm hungriest at lunch and laziest at dinner.

 

It looks like what I need to do for my meal planning is skip breakfast, make easy-to-microwave heavier lunches, and light suppers.  Probably cold suppers that are light on carbs and heavy on fresh veg would be best, at least until autumn has set in.

 

 

Alaysia, giving away the Kitt Katts nearly broke my heart.

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On 6/13/2016 at 7:53 AM, tienlong said:

A long-term CDC report has noted that 1 egg is about as carcinogenic as five cigarettes.

 

Do you have a link for this report? I'd like to look at it.

 

I'm lame at foruming. I'm a word nerd rather than a computer/video game nerd. Therefore, I'm starting with a quote and moving on to - hi! Glad to find your post. Following for your great story in your initial post. At least you know you are a dragon - I don't even have that part figured out yet! What kind of creature am I? A gelatinous mass, at the moment.

Anyway, keep up the good work! So far, so good.

Driya

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2 hours ago, pepperlint said:

 

Do you have a link for this report? I'd like to look at it.

 

I'm lame at foruming. I'm a word nerd rather than a computer/video game nerd. Therefore, I'm starting with a quote and moving on to - hi! Glad to find your post. Following for your great story in your initial post. At least you know you are a dragon - I don't even have that part figured out yet! What kind of creature am I? A gelatinous mass, at the moment.

Anyway, keep up the good work! So far, so good.

Driya


You're not a gelatinous mass; you're a badass adventurer of a yet-unknown species that has hit the misfortune of being swallowed by a gelatinous cube! You'll fight and struggle with such ferocity that the gelatinous cube won't be able to sustain the energy needed to keep you contained. It'll grow smaller and smaller, withering away until it dies! Then you'll step out of the remainder of the cube, take off your sunglasses, give an awesome and/or groan-inducingly horrible one-liner according to preference, and walk off into the sunset.

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Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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6 hours ago, pepperlint said:

 

Do you have a link for this report? I'd like to look at it.

 

I'm lame at foruming. I'm a word nerd rather than a computer/video game nerd. Therefore, I'm starting with a quote and moving on to - hi! Glad to find your post. Following for your great story in your initial post. At least you know you are a dragon - I don't even have that part figured out yet! What kind of creature am I? A gelatinous mass, at the moment.

Anyway, keep up the good work! So far, so good.

Driya

 

 

I don't have a link, I'm sorry.  It came out awhile ago.  I was still using LiveJournal at the time, so... lets call it a few years.  Also, the information about eggs was worth about a minute in the report, even though it was the only part I retained in memory because it was the only part that really applied to me, as a non-meat eater and someone with a family history of heart and vascular disease along with diabetes.  You can Google "eggs vs cigarettes" or "carcinogenic eggs" to get more information, because there's a lot out there.  If you feel the need to come back and argue with me about how bad eggs are or aren't, please don't.  You need to keep in mind that being more physically active means less computer-time, and I'm not wasting it on an argument about eggs.    :D

 

I'm glad people are liking my story.  I've been trying to figure out what will happen to Tienlong next, and it's helping me to figure out what will happen to me next.   

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5 hours ago, Rebel Five said:


You're not a gelatinous mass; you're a badass adventurer of a yet-unknown species that has hit the misfortune of being swallowed by a gelatinous cube! You'll fight and struggle with such ferocity that the gelatinous cube won't be able to sustain the energy needed to keep you contained. It'll grow smaller and smaller, withering away until it dies! Then you'll step out of the remainder of the cube, take off your sunglasses, give an awesome and/or groan-inducingly horrible one-liner according to preference, and walk off into the sunset.

I like that times 1000000! Do you mind if I use being encased in a gelatinous cube to inform my backstory? I can credit you. :)

I most like it because it seems like something out of Monkey Island.

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2 minutes ago, tienlong said:

 If you feel the need to come back and argue with me about how bad eggs are or aren't, please don't.  You need to keep in mind that being more physically active means less computer-time, and I'm not wasting it on an argument about eggs.    :D

Oh, don't worry, I'm from the MYOB tribe. If you want to eat fifty eggs a day or only eat them on Festivus, that's your business! :) I just like to be informed. I Googled it and came up empty, but I might try again.

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12 minutes ago, pepperlint said:

I like that times 1000000! Do you mind if I use being encased in a gelatinous cube to inform my backstory? I can credit you. :)

I most like it because it seems like something out of Monkey Island.


Go ahead, it's all yours! I just wish I'd thought of it back when I was losing weight; would have made the whole process far more exciting :) As you can probably guess by my own challenge, I'm a sucker for a good story.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse, one day at a time.

Current challenge: Ranger Five Leaves Abel!
Previous challenges: Ranger Five Ch 1, Ch 2

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5k: 25:01

 

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On 6/16/2016 at 10:43 PM, tienlong said:

I don't eat much of any one thing, I just eat a lot of things.

 

For what it's worth, I think this is a good thing. If you eat a little bit of everything (everything healthy, anyway, at least mostly) you end up with good nutrient diversity.

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I did log my food yesterday, but I left my logbook at work.  I remember that I had a cereal bar and a handful of peanuts for snack, an avocado smoothie and two vegetable summer rolls for lunch, and a huge salad only lightly slathered in dressing for dinner.   My usual two cups of coffee with hazelnut creamer were my only liquid calories, I drank water the rest of the day. 

Today, so far, I had one mug of  coffee with cream, but it was a large mug, so...  And my lunch is a veggie wrap with a bit of cottage cheese and one Aquafina sparkling water.  I didn't eat breakfast.  I have already assembled my salad for supper.  When I say salad, I don't mean iceberg lettuce, I mean a spinach and kale mix, which is also what I used to base my wrap.  So, that's a lot of veggies, with guac on the wrap and Dorothy Lynch in the bowl.  If I snack, and I probably will, it will probably be a few cashews and a stick of meatless jerky. 

 

The sparkling Aquafina is unexpectedly yummy for 10 calories.  That's likely because I haven't had a Pepsi in what feels like months and has probably only been weeks, so my taste buds are soaking up that hint of sugar from the sparkling water.  I think it's the carbonation I miss more than the sugar or the flavor.  Water is a satisfying drink, but it's flat.  Fruit-infused water is also flat.  Tea of any flavor, iced coffee, juice, everything I tried while I was still thinking I needed to "replace" Pepsi (and eventually just settled on plain water as my go-to) was flat. 

 

I'm not sure if I should be disappointed in myself.  I went shopping for food.  Without a meal plan, unless by "plan," you mean a vague idea of what you want to eat.  On the other hand, it's hot here, and worse, it's humid, and I don't want to expend the effort of cooking, and I don't want to turn on the oven or stove if possible.  So I bought a LOT of stuff to eat cold.  Veggies, nuts, and fruits, with the wraps, the jerky, and salad fixings and only a few items thrown in that I'd have to cook up.  There's not much planning that needs to go in that, really.  Not to mention, there's the Vietnamese place where I get my avocado smoothies, and the cook at the Korean place around the corner from my office is coming back from her vacation, woo hoo!

 

I'm going to experiment with noshing on raw spinach leaves, celery, and cauliflower instead of popcorn or potato chips during Netflix-and-chill times or for snacks at work.  It might end up like the water/Pepsi thing, where I just naturally end up going for the plainest, healthiest possible option for snacking now that I've given up the unhealthy snacking.  This is probably a good thing for any vegetarian, but I LIKE them, I don't just willingly suffer them for the sake of the animals I'm not eating. 

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On 6/18/2016 at 0:17 PM, tienlong said:

 If I snack, and I probably will, it will probably be a few cashews and a stick of meatless jerky. 

 

The sparkling Aquafina is unexpectedly yummy for 10 calories.  That's likely because I haven't had a Pepsi in what feels like months and has probably only been weeks, so my taste buds are soaking up that hint of sugar from the sparkling water.  I think it's the carbonation I miss more than the sugar or the flavor.  Water is a satisfying drink, but it's flat.  Fruit-infused water is also flat.  Tea of any flavor, iced coffee, juice, everything I tried while I was still thinking I needed to "replace" Pepsi (and eventually just settled on plain water as my go-to) was flat. 

 

I'm not sure if I should be disappointed in myself.  I went shopping for food.  Without a meal plan, unless by "plan," you mean a vague idea of what you want to eat.  On the other hand, it's hot here, and worse, it's humid, and I don't want to expend the effort of cooking, and I don't want to turn on the oven or stove if possible.  So I bought a LOT of stuff to eat cold.  Veggies, nuts, and fruits, with the wraps, the jerky, and salad fixings and only a few items thrown in that I'd have to cook up.  There's not much planning that needs to go in that, really.  Not to mention, there's the Vietnamese place where I get my avocado smoothies, and the cook at the Korean place around the corner from my office is coming back from her vacation, woo hoo!

 

I'm going to experiment with noshing on raw spinach leaves, celery, and cauliflower instead of popcorn or potato chips during Netflix-and-chill times or for snacks at work.  It might end up like the water/Pepsi thing, where I just naturally end up going for the plainest, healthiest possible option for snacking now that I've given up the unhealthy snacking.  This is probably a good thing for any vegetarian, but I LIKE them, I don't just willingly suffer them for the sake of the animals I'm not eating. 

 

What sorcery is this?? Tell me where you find such a thing!

 

I've known people who used sparkling water with juice to avoid soda because they also wanted the bubbles. But juice itself is full of sugar and calories, typically. But if you were looking for more vitamin c or a or something, it might be useful occasionally.

 

I was wondering if you had tried the HH meal plans yet. I think your plan is a good one, though. I think I'm just going to get a case of leafy veg for salads every night. How was the kale in the salad?

 

Do it and then tell me all about it! I fantasize about getting to just eat raw fruit and veg like that!! I've been craving apples like Barbosa this past week.

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One of the Academy challenges is "Share Your Big Why."  And I kind of did, with Tienlong's story.  But I didn't say how I became a dragon in a cave.

 

About three years ago, my weight was on the downward slide.  I was in a good place: my job was hard but I loved it, I had the benefits of hard physical labor keeping my yard mowed and landscaped and the house clean (it's a really huge house), and all the overtime I worked had my household in pretty good financial shape.  My favorite tshirt at the time was one from the FCKH8 site, the one that says "Str8 Against H8," and it was skintight but my breasts are pretty awesome and my belly was almost flat and I had only one chin.  All my pants needed a belt.  I was thinking I would have to buy a new wardrobe entirely.

 

Then disaster struck, several times.  An argument caused a permanent rift between me and my eldest sister.  At work, our beloved supervisor left us.  Our director couldn't supervise us directly because he was already working his ass off, and the interim supervisor was not only NOT strong, she resented being put in that position.  The escrow on my house nearly blew off the roof thanks to the bank misjudging how much our insurance would be raised and the mortgage due date was just before payday, so we were constantly struggling with late fees.  The end of the fiscal year loomed and we were hit hard just as our staffing situation began a catastrophic fluctuation.  I barely escaped being chosen for a three-month jury duty by being an asshole to the lawyer and manipulating the judge.  I wasn't eating, sleeping, socializing, or taking my weekends.  I was constantly sick to my stomach.  I felt besieged.

 

So I went to my doctor and he prescribed Trazadone. This was the middle of September.  By the time we got a new supervisor in December, my weight was at 240lbs, and I didn't even notice because I was numb from the drug.  I mean, I realized that I couldn't fit my FCKH8 shirt at all and all my too-big pants were suddenly cutting into my belly, but it wasn't registering that I was fat.  I didn't have an excuse for it, how could I, when I didn't know it was happening?  I don't even know how long I would have stayed on the drug if my doctor hadn't written my prescription refill incorrectly and the insurance wouldn't pay it and I was forced to come off it abruptly.  I woke up to realize that in only one year, I had gone from curvy and sexy and hopeful, to fat and angry and miserable and hateful.  It occurred to me that something needed to change.

 

Then another end-of-fiscal year loomed and I was right back at a horrific place at work with an inexperenced supervisor and three brand new people who needed to be trained and one experienced full-timer gone and all of his work dumped on me.  With the expectation that I could handle it, because after all, everyone else was doing their work just fine.  And for months I tried to make my supervisor understand that I couldn't DO two people's work with the same efficiency as everyone else who were doing their own work and only their own work.  She began micromanaging me, which would have been easier on us both if she'd had the first clue how to do my job.  I fought and yelled and whined and snarled and nothing I did or said to her was enough to make her relent.  The few concessions I did get from her were wrung out of her with a great deal of disappointment for my inability to step up.  I liked her well enough as a person, but I hated her as a supervisor.  My rage kept me awake at night and if I slept, I woke up from dreams of arguing with her. I loved my job, but I hated not doing my job well.  

 

I did try to diet.  The only personal change I was able to sustain was to quit smoking cigarettes, and I gained another seven pounds. 

 

Until finally, I said, "Fuck this."  I was broken.  I couldn't care anymore.  Not for my coworkers, not for the job that I still love, not for my family and my best friend, no one.  I ate my food and read fanfiction and watched Criminal Minds and Big Bang Theory, and surfed on Facebook, and just didn't bother myself with anything.  I was tired.  I was in a tiny mental cave, and I was doing just fine in there, on my own, untouched and uncaring and sad and broken.

 

A lot of things have changed, now, and I've made a lot of changes happen.  We have new people hired and in the process of training at work.  There's a person who's been hired that I'm training to take some of my duties.  I took action to begin the process of changing my attitude, and that's an ongoing thing.  I'm following "Steve's" advice from the Academy emails.  My successes have been breeding more success and my failures are more like obstacles instead of disasters.  I'm talking to people, and my coworkers are starting to like me again, and I'm even going to OKC next weekend to celebrate Pride with my niece and her girlfriend. 

 

That thing, the one event that caused all of this?  I found out that my brother has diabetes.  Every single person in my family who is older than me has now succumbed to diabetes, heart and vascular diseases, lowered immunity, neuropathy, and/or arthritis, and there's even been a couple of cancer scares.  The person next in age to me, my niece who's five years younger, has already wrestled with high blood pressure and obesity.  I look ahead at the older members of my family, and I look back at my niece, and I realize that I'm on a precipice.

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57 minutes ago, Alaysia said:

 

What sorcery is this?? Tell me where you find such a thing!

 

I've known people who used sparkling water with juice to avoid soda because they also wanted the bubbles. But juice itself is full of sugar and calories, typically. But if you were looking for more vitamin c or a or something, it might be useful occasionally.

 

I was wondering if you had tried the HH meal plans yet. I think your plan is a good one, though. I think I'm just going to get a case of leafy veg for salads every night. How was the kale in the salad?

 

Do it and then tell me all about it! I fantasize about getting to just eat raw fruit and veg like that!! I've been craving apples like Barbosa this past week.

 

I don't know where you would find it where you're at.  We have this really funky little place that's locally owned where I shop for a lot of interesting stuff that isn't stocked by Kroger.  Stuff that's vegetarian, vegan, cruelty-free, fair-trade, hard-to-find ingredients, organic, etc.  For instance, I just bought a new stuff-sack (it's not a real purse, it's basically an extra pocket on a strap) that was made by ladies in Nepal.   It makes me feel like such a hippy, like, I'm doing good AND I have the funky sexy unwashed thing going on.  Oooh, I wonder if I can find some Toms to coordinate.

Maybe Whole Foods has the jerky?  The brand is "Primal."   I just went downstairs to the kitchen and got one, there's a website:  PrimalSpiritFoods.com

 

I've been drinking the Izzies because they're sparkling water and fruit juice.  But the Aquafina has the teensiest tiniest amount of sugar and is barely touched with fruit flavors.  It's only 10 calories, how much sugar can there be?

 

I haven't tried the HH meals, yet.  Mostly because the sample meal plan suggests using a steamed carrot as a substitute for hot dogs.  For two meals.  Twice in one week, I'd be eating a couple of steamed carrots on a bun.  >:(  I'm not sure how I should feel about that.

The kale isn't bad.  It probably depends on how you feel about greens.  I love greens. 

 

I'm going to do it!  *puts on my determined face*  I'm going to try this, and report back!

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Yeah, I've seen those carrot dogs on pinterest. Pass. I like carrots and all, but no. Still, though, I usually found quite a bit to eat on her meal plans. But the spouse wouldn't touch most of it, so I couldn't keep using it. However, I was there when she first debuted them and from what I've seen, she's improved them quite a bit. However, I say go with what works for you! :D

I found a plethora of vegan jerky on Amazon, as well as found that the primal stuff is sold at a store much like the one you visit. I'll need to get me some! I don't think I ever twigged to there being such a thing!

"The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for."

-Oscar Wilde

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13 hours ago, tienlong said:

One of the Academy challenges is "Share Your Big Why."  And I kind of did, with Tienlong's story.  But I didn't say how I became a dragon in a cave.

 

About three years ago, my weight was on the downward slide.  I was in a good place: my job was hard but I loved it, I had the benefits of hard physical labor keeping my yard mowed and landscaped and the house clean (it's a really huge house), and all the overtime I worked had my household in pretty good financial shape.  My favorite tshirt at the time was one from the FCKH8 site, the one that says "Str8 Against H8," and it was skintight but my breasts are pretty awesome and my belly was almost flat and I had only one chin.  All my pants needed a belt.  I was thinking I would have to buy a new wardrobe entirely.

 

Then disaster struck, several times.  An argument caused a permanent rift between me and my eldest sister.  At work, our beloved supervisor left us.  Our director couldn't supervise us directly because he was already working his ass off, and the interim supervisor was not only NOT strong, she resented being put in that position.  The escrow on my house nearly blew off the roof thanks to the bank misjudging how much our insurance would be raised and the mortgage due date was just before payday, so we were constantly struggling with late fees.  The end of the fiscal year loomed and we were hit hard just as our staffing situation began a catastrophic fluctuation.  I barely escaped being chosen for a three-month jury duty by being an asshole to the lawyer and manipulating the judge.  I wasn't eating, sleeping, socializing, or taking my weekends.  I was constantly sick to my stomach.  I felt besieged.

 

So I went to my doctor and he prescribed Trazadone. This was the middle of September.  By the time we got a new supervisor in December, my weight was at 240lbs, and I didn't even notice because I was numb from the drug.  I mean, I realized that I couldn't fit my FCKH8 shirt at all and all my too-big pants were suddenly cutting into my belly, but it wasn't registering that I was fat.  I didn't have an excuse for it, how could I, when I didn't know it was happening?  I don't even know how long I would have stayed on the drug if my doctor hadn't written my prescription refill incorrectly and the insurance wouldn't pay it and I was forced to come off it abruptly.  I woke up to realize that in only one year, I had gone from curvy and sexy and hopeful, to fat and angry and miserable and hateful.  It occurred to me that something needed to change.

 

Then another end-of-fiscal year loomed and I was right back at a horrific place at work with an inexperenced supervisor and three brand new people who needed to be trained and one experienced full-timer gone and all of his work dumped on me.  With the expectation that I could handle it, because after all, everyone else was doing their work just fine.  And for months I tried to make my supervisor understand that I couldn't DO two people's work with the same efficiency as everyone else who were doing their own work and only their own work.  She began micromanaging me, which would have been easier on us both if she'd had the first clue how to do my job.  I fought and yelled and whined and snarled and nothing I did or said to her was enough to make her relent.  The few concessions I did get from her were wrung out of her with a great deal of disappointment for my inability to step up.  I liked her well enough as a person, but I hated her as a supervisor.  My rage kept me awake at night and if I slept, I woke up from dreams of arguing with her. I loved my job, but I hated not doing my job well.  

 

I did try to diet.  The only personal change I was able to sustain was to quit smoking cigarettes, and I gained another seven pounds. 

 

Until finally, I said, "Fuck this."  I was broken.  I couldn't care anymore.  Not for my coworkers, not for the job that I still love, not for my family and my best friend, no one.  I ate my food and read fanfiction and watched Criminal Minds and Big Bang Theory, and surfed on Facebook, and just didn't bother myself with anything.  I was tired.  I was in a tiny mental cave, and I was doing just fine in there, on my own, untouched and uncaring and sad and broken.

 

A lot of things have changed, now, and I've made a lot of changes happen.  We have new people hired and in the process of training at work.  There's a person who's been hired that I'm training to take some of my duties.  I took action to begin the process of changing my attitude, and that's an ongoing thing.  I'm following "Steve's" advice from the Academy emails.  My successes have been breeding more success and my failures are more like obstacles instead of disasters.  I'm talking to people, and my coworkers are starting to like me again, and I'm even going to OKC next weekend to celebrate Pride with my niece and her girlfriend. 

 

That thing, the one event that caused all of this?  I found out that my brother has diabetes.  Every single person in my family who is older than me has now succumbed to diabetes, heart and vascular diseases, lowered immunity, neuropathy, and/or arthritis, and there's even been a couple of cancer scares.  The person next in age to me, my niece who's five years younger, has already wrestled with high blood pressure and obesity.  I look ahead at the older members of my family, and I look back at my niece, and I realize that I'm on a precipice.

 

It's really brave of you to share your story. :)

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