The Shanty

The Shanty
where I grew up

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Silver Linings

Sometimes a tragedy (or two) has to happen to really open your eyes to something. It’s so unfortunate that this is the case but I try to find the silver lining in shitty situations.

Recently I attended a friend’s memorial service. I was anxious about going because leading up to his ceremony his brother and I were not getting along very well.  This is someone who I have always admired and cherished as a friend and so being at odds was not a comfortable situation especially when going to honor his brother—there was no way around interacting with him. It didn’t matter though, anxious or not, I would not let something like that stand in my way of doing what I wanted to do, which was celebrate my late friend’s life. Later that night, not only did things get smoothed out between me and the brother but he said many things to me, about me, that let me know that he actually pays attention to things I do and say. As sad as it sounds, this concept feels foreign to me. A friend, a male friend no less, remarking on my state of mind, likes and dislikes, and showing genuine concern for how I was feeling.  I was trying to brush it all off because after all, he had just lost his brother. No need to put attention on me. However, his words and actions meant so much to me and represented exactly what a true friend is all about--thanks Dave.

Fast forward just one day to the day I received some horrible news. An employee of mine, who I had also become extremely close to, had passed away over the weekend. I am completely beside myself over how much the loss of her hurts. Not only is my friend gone but I have to deal with the employer side of things and that just really sucks. I want to go crawl in a hole. But of course, as adults, we can’t do that can we? So I must keep going. I have been crying off and on and knew getting through my Tuesday morning workout was going to be a struggle. It’s true I’m a morning person and I love to workout. However, right now I feel SAD. Truly, sad.  I am not one who hides her emotions well so I knew that when I was asked, “How are you today?” the tears would probably start. I was so pleased that for this workout I got Coach Chris. He immediately saw through the bullshit of my response of, “I’m okay” and said, “No you’re not.” I broke down in tears and told him what had happened (he is the owner of the gym so he understands that dynamic as well). I mentioned that I wasn’t sure why I’m taking it so hard and he simply said, “I do, it’s because you’re all heart.” Yet, another statement from someone who pays attention and makes me feel okay to be me and that I’m a good person.

I often catch myself apologizing for being “me”. I label myself as difficult, weird, emotional, and exhausting.  I’m not entirely sure why I do this. I guess because I probably give too much of myself to people who truly haven’t earned it/can’t handle it. When I over explain myself or share something with them thinking it will be a nice bonding experience it’s because I value them as a friend. However, when they don’t reciprocate (or just get freaked out) I should take that as a sign and not do it again unless I get more general input from them. Instead what I end up doing is apologizing. I think I apologize out of fear of losing the friendship. However, as I’m typing that out, it seems ridiculous. No one should ever have to apologize for being themselves. Either people will appreciate who you are, value you, and remind you how special you are, or they won’t. And if they don’t, perhaps you shouldn’t invest as much time into them. That is my take-away from all of this. It’s not easy though, and it hurts when people let me down…even when they don’t mean to. I know that I build people up in my head to be more than what they really are, so I’m definitely just as much at fault.

I have many more friends than just the two I mentioned here that do what I described (and it probably goes without saying but John as well…always). I mention these two though because both were so recent and both were men (who I seem to have a hard time trusting and getting respect from). And those who do respect me usually don’t verbalize appreciation for my friendship or why. Even though, I could easily do that for them, and probably do.  More shit for me to work on I suppose.

I am going to try really hard to:
A) Not build people up to be more than what they are or are capable of being
B) Be more cautious who I invest time into
C) Stop apologizing for being ME

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Amy the Athlete

I am an athlete.

This might amuse some of you or make you scratch your head…it definitely has had that effect on me whenever someone has described me this way. “But I don’t play a sport and I’m not training for any competition and the ones I have are only temporary things.” I didn’t realize that’s not what makes an athlete. I know when my personal trainer Chris reads this he’s either going to want to roll his eyes or smile in amazement that I FINALLY get it! (I’m guessing the latter because of the awesome support he’s always given me and time to figure things out on my own). However, I’M rolling my eyes because it has taken me so long to get to this place where I (think) I can say “I am an athlete.”

How am I an athlete when I don’t play sports and I’m not training for a competition?

Because of my mindset and dedication.

I don’t work-out because I feel that I should. I don’t drag myself out of bed to go to the gym and then just do the motions. I LOVE working out. I LOVE feeling strong and making gains. I love knowing how much weight I’m lifting and comparing it to what I was doing and keeping track of my improvements (and honestly comparing it to others’). I take that shit pretty seriously! I strive to be better (almost) every single time and honestly thrive on that feeling. I don’t skip workouts—I skip life to make sure I am ready for the gym in the morning. I talk about each workout, sometimes in great detail, to poor John (bless him for asking and listening) because it excites me to share my journey each day.

Likewise I don’t try to live a healthy lifestyle because I feel that I should. I used to but not anymore. I am happy to say that now I do so to support my fitness goals, which ultimately tie into wanting to be healthy and strong for a long, long time to come. I’m still fine tuning my eating to match up with my VERY new mindset of believing I’m an athlete but I do feel this may be a huge piece of the puzzle that’s been holding me back in achieving even better results than I already have. Yes, Chris, if this is true you will be right yet again, damn you!

How else do I know I’m an athlete? I’m writing a freakin’ blog about it! Who does that?! Someone who is excited about health and fitness, that’s who. And someone who is excited about these things and is as dedicated as I am is, in fact, an athlete.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Accepting My LARGE Self

Just over 3 years ago I had surgery on my left foot. This was also the same time that John moved to Tucson. In the year following these events I gained 50 pounds. Partly due to not being able to get around much and partly due to the new relationship “curse” where you become super comfortable and tend to eat like crap. It has been a rough three years since then regarding weight.

It seems as though no matter what I do or try I can’t drop the weight I gained. I have lost some but not nearly as much as I want to. It’s okay though because recently I have been working with my personal trainer at the gym to change my eating habits. This has been very effective and I definitely feel much better and I know that I am healthy, (my blood work from the doctor’s office verifies this). However, I just can’t seem to drop the weight. I am not looking for suggestions or opinions as to why this might be. I believe it has to do with a mental block of some sort. No matter though, the important thing is that I’m healthy and I physically feel good.

Does that mean I’m comfortable with the way I look?? Hell no. It really bothers me actually—especially when I see pictures of myself. I feel okay until I see how big I actually look in a picture. This would normally keep me from taking photos or posting photos but I realized that this reasoning is bullshit. Anyone can take a good picture at just the right angle to make themselves look prettier or thinner or whatever. But you still aren’t fooling yourself so what’s the point? I don’t want to not post pictures because I feel fat and disgusting. I want to post them, showing events and my involvement. I almost didn’t post the picture of me with my brother because I know I look HUGE. But that made me sad because the picture isn’t about me, it’s about him and how awesome he did! Who cares what I look like?? I was happy and proud and that’s all that should matter.

I know people who don’t see me regularly look at pictures I post and think “damn, she gained a lot of weight,” and you know what, you’re right! But I’m healthier than I’ve ever been and eventually the weight will come off but in the meantime LIFE HAPPENS. It’s okay if you look at pictures of me and wonder what happened and that I used to look so much better. Trust me, I know this. But to not post pictures and capture moments would be far sadder than wondering what people are thinking about me.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Solo Trip to Miraval Arizona

It’s been around a month since I spent 4 glorious days and 3 nights at Miraval. While I was there I made video journals of my experience. I’ve been hesitant to post all of them because they’re lengthy and I figured no one would want to watch hours of me talking. So, about a week after my vacation I made a video summary of my experience which is still pretty long but much shorter than all my other videos. However, some people have expressed desire to watch my experience as it unfolds so I have decided to post both the summary (at the bottom) and all the individual videos I made while I was at Miraval. Additionally I have included some sped up footage of the property (sorry if it makes you dizzy!) and some pictures of the food I enjoyed as well as some other random things, and perhaps a celebrity as well ;)

Obviously, feel free to skip ahead as you see fit and all comments and/or questions are appreciated. I’m curious to see if anyone sees a difference from the first day I arrived to the last. I know I can see a change in not only my face but my overall aura. And finally, I am sorry it has taken me so long to post this. I have had the worst luck getting my footage formatted correctly and to a site that would upload it, ugh. Enjoy!

Dinner sign-up sheet

Buffet-style lunch

Pretty picture colored by me :P

Buckwheat pancakes!!

Menu lunch

Naga Thai massage room

Delicious spicy watermelon appetizer

Another appetizer

Cool clouds

Dr Oz!!

More appetizers

Polenta lasagna

THANK YOU!!!! :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Perceptions vs. Communication

It’s interesting to find out how people perceive you. It’s also interesting to realize that how people perceive you is based on what is going on in their life at the time and not on what is going on in your life. I find this to be completely backwards. Let me explain…

You work with someone who always seems miserable. They complain about their workload, make loud sighs throughout the day, and just never seem to smile. Your perception is that they dislike their job (or maybe even life). You think this because of how they behave but not just how they behave in general but how their behavior makes YOU feel. You like work. Well maybe you don’t like work but you’re glad to have a job. You’re friendly and outgoing with your co-workers and you enjoy laughing. This person’s behavior bothers you because of how YOU view work not because of how they behave. If you knew more about what was going on with them you might understand better why they seem so miserable at work. It might not have anything to do with work. And really the only reason you even care at all is because of your views about work and not because you care about their feelings. If you really, really think about this you’ll realize it’s true.

So why would you know more about what was going on with their life?

You probably wouldn’t and it really isn’t necessary, this person is just a co-worker. But what if this story was about a friend of yours? A friend’s behavior is strange, bad, good, confusing, etc… and you make a perception (often known as jumping to a conclusion) about what their mood is all about. If you’re a good friend you’ll figure out what is going on with them to spark that change. You’ll try to figure it out FROM them and not just make assumptions. What you perceive to be true probably isn’t true if you just base your perception off of their behavior and how it fits into your day but rather the truth will come if you communicate with them and care enough to figure out the true cause of their mood based on what is going on in their life...period.

I sure wish more people knew how to be good friends. It would not only save me from hurt but them as well if they would only take the time to communicate and not just assume.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Restaurant Blues

What ever happened to being able to go out to a restaurant and have a peaceful experience? Those days are long gone and it’s really upsetting to me. My boyfriend and I like to go out to eat but we must do so knowing that we’re probably going to be annoyed. If it’s not a screaming baby, or a toddler playing drums with silverware, it’s a loud speaking adult sharing inappropriate stories or just plain being annoying. And don’t think that complaining will do any good. The most reaction we ever get is “Yeah, you’re not the only ones to complain, sorry.” WTF is that?! If people are complaining what is wrong with going over to the table and saying “Excuse me but your table is disrupting other guests. We’re going to have to ask you to keep it down or you’ll be asked to leave.” Back when I was a server I did this all the time. Why should people be allowed to go out and cause a disturbance to those around them?? I get that it’s not going to be silent. I understand that it’s not just about me. But whatever happened to manners? It really is a shame. I’m going to have to start leaving places that I like because the establishments act in fear of those being loud. It’s absurd. I bet if I went in somewhere and started cursing loudly I’d be asked to leave. I don’t see what the difference is. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day it is or how “upscale” the place is either. Noise and rudeness are everywhere and I’m tired of it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

If Size Was Only Just a Number...

Getting used to being fat is not easy. In fact it’s downright depressing. When nothing fits right anymore and no matter how you angle a mirror you still look fat…it’s hard to accept. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. And I feel disgusting.

I started gaining weight around the time I met John, last September. It didn’t become very apparent however until I had my foot surgery mid-February.  Being immobile makes it very hard to burn calories. Laying around all day makes it easy to eat a lot too. Mix those two things together and voila…weight gain central. It’s been five months since my surgery and I’m just now getting back to being active again. Well, kind of. I’m still very limited on what I can do. I discovered I’m nowhere near ready for running :( And I can only be on my feet for so long before I need to rest them. I’m not trying to make any excuses…I know it just means I have to work extra hard at the things I can do. I’ve been doing well with eating. I balance a pretty healthy diet. But diet alone isn’t getting me where I want to be.

When I had surgery on my right foot, around 10 years ago, I lost weight.  I thought this time would be the same. I kind of forgot that thing called age and how being fit becomes much harder the older you get…ugh. I also didn’t have someone by my side the entire time I was recovering last time to get me whatever I wanted, including food. So naturally I put on some weight this time around. I mean it makes sense to me…if I were anyone else. But since I am ME I think I’m a failure now that I am heavier. I know I will lose the weight that I want to but in the meantime, being fat sucks. I can’t imagine how it would feel if I were unhealthy too! At least I have my health but being larger than I’m used to is very difficult for me. I can’t bring myself to accept it. I know it’s my fault and that’s the hardest part. I feel like I really let myself down.