Finding Strength (Like Hercules, Minus the Whole Actual Superhuman Strength)

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This past year has been amazing. Incredible. Really stressful. Exhausting,.. I just lost my train of thought as my husband asked where the English Muffins are. Bread Box! Look in the bread box! Though I guess they really are not a bread. Maybe? Honestly I do not know but they are delicious and my husband makes awesome breakfasts. Not always the most HEALTHY breakfasts, but still phenomenal. I feel like this is just a blog of adjectives and verbs at this point.

Lets start over…I have lost my focus. Not just in the sense of this blog post though it is fitting. In the sense of life. I feel like I have just been bouncing between waves, getting drained, when I could be swimming to my own island paradise. Instead I am just floating aimlessly when seriously the island is RIGHT OVER THERE. I CAN SEE IT. Why don’t I swim? I feel like I get distracted by something shiny like a damn bird. The problem with me is if I don’t have a goal, a focus, I get depressed. I need ANYTHING to help in keeping my attention on the end goal. Whether that be a physical goal, emotional goal, a job goal, I thrive better when I have goals. My weight has been pretty consistent around 202-209 since last year and that really has got to stop. I feel like my life has almost gotten stagnant and I have lost that sense of wonder and adventure that I once had. Bitter and frustrated Cassy is no fun. I feel like my brain is in a foggy zone. So I am reaching out to my blog, to other people that may be suffering, feeling alone and directionless. Maybe we can latch on and swim to the island together! (I’ll share, promise).

moving forward

So I am starting with goals. Starting here with this poor neglected blog (don’t mind the cobwebs). I am going to write 3x a week. Whether people read it or not. Whether I get a standing ovation or just silence (no in between!). I need a place to get my feelings out and reflect.

Have the number on the scale go down. Goal is to get below 200 in 3 weeks.

Run 3x a week. I am doing the couch to 5K in hopes of doing a run by the end of October. Anyone else with me?! I could use a running buddy.

Be more optimistic and adventurous. Try a little harder not to think about all the negatives that can happen but see the positives.

I am ready to go the distance. Just like Hercules.

Though hopefully my monsters are more imaginary than real life.

Where I Sound Whiny and Make Confessions…

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I have never felt more alone than I do right now. Restricted by not being able to speak, to clearly convey my exact thoughts and feelings, nothing concrete to hold on to. I feel trapped within my body without any escapes. Trying my best to remain strong but at the same time, just really wanting to fall absolutely apart. This year has been absolutely trying. I have never felt so weak and so strong at the same time. For the majority of the year, I have been pretty empty on the inside. I concentrated on physical goals and did not really look at what was going on inside. It was so easy to do… my life became about achievement to try to cover the large abyss that opened up in my heart last year. And I succeeded. For pretty much an entire year, I did not deal with anything internal. Of course, I did have moments that surfaced here and there… where my emotional spirit tried to tap me on the shoulder, but it was such a heavy burden, that I just quickly shrugged it away. I had truly convinced myself that I was amazing. I was strong. I could overcome anything.

 

Then, I had surgery that left me speechless, pretty literally (though I can speak, it is just difficult and it gets really frustrating to pronounce “s” sounds and most vowels are a pain in the ass). Also, I am not allowed to do any strenuous activity. I can’t throw myself into working out, and I am actually supposed to be drinking a lot of calories to compensate for the healing. All the things that had been my focus during the year, suddenly were not there anymore. I am not able to ride my horse, and I have to be careful when I am around her… which sucks because I just want to cuddle her close… So I am pretty much stuck within myself, alone with my thoughts… I have been trying to distract myself. I have done some cleaning, a lot of reading, a lot of re-watching favorite TV shows… Lots of positive things, but you can’t ignore the voices when they start screaming…

 

I have pretty much discovered that I am still seriously grieving over losing my dad. I miss him so much right now that it is basically tearing me apart. I so long to hear just more time for him to call me “kiddo,” or to have him give me the same advice over again about being responsible… even though he already knew I was quite responsible but felt like he had to give the speech regardless. One time in high school, I was just hanging out in my room and he knocked on my door because he was going up to bed and he always would wish me a good night… But this night, instead of saying goodnight, he just peeked his head in and said “Don’t Do Drugs” and left. I hadn’t laughed for awhile, but that night I laughed a lot. It was just so like him. That was the extent of his speech, and it was very effective. Of course, I was always sort of a homebody so it wasn’t like there was much to worry about in regards of me going out and partying it up.

 

He always believed in me. He always knew how to bring out the best in me without being too patronizing (I mean he could be somewhat patronizing because he’s a dad and that’s what dads need to do sometimes), but he knew how to come at my problems so it was basically like I was discovering the solution for myself. Unless I really messed up… and he was severely disappointed, then that would just break my heart. He never even had to yell. He just had to get that look in his eye and I would feel like I was two inches tall and wanting to be swept underneath a rug.

 

It sucks because I know I did not appreciate him back then. I was stupid and young… not many teenagers/young twenties appreciate their parents as much as they should. I always loved my dad, but I don’t know if I ever really showed it enough. I liked to believe he left this world knowing how much he impacted my life, but I am terrified every day that he left this world feeling alone. I really did not handle his cancer very well as soon as he was permanently in the nursing home/hospital. I always felt uncomfortable and out of place. It broke my heart to see him not being able to form sentences that didn’t make any sense. To see my brilliant father not even being able to understand a telephone or sense of time. At one point, getting towards the end, he said that no one ever visited him and it had been so long since I last visited… even though it had been only a week. I felt absolutely horrible to hear that from him. Despite my mom and mine’s best efforts, he still felt alone.

 

But I guess I sort of get it… because in his condition, in his mind, he was alone, much like I am alone in my thoughts now. And it is a terrifying feeling.

 

I used to love writing… Poetry, mostly, though I did dabble in prose occasionally. I was never very good at it but at least it was an outlet. But it was something that really took from my emotional self and once my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer, that part of my got boarded up really quickly. The feelings were just too painful to explore and write about. There were no words that could clearly express the pain, and if I tried to sound happy in my poetry, it just ended up coming across as cheesy and cliché. Unfortunately without this outlet for almost two years now… a lot of things have just been building up, and right now, I feel absolutely flooded.

 

This is mostly why I have not written for awhile or checked out blogs, I have just been so lost in myself, trying to sort things out.

 

Trying to become honest with myself and where I currently stand. Sorry for the depressingness of this post, but I feel like I have to be honest here so I am not always trying to fill these awesome shoes. After all, this is about a journey.

 

Not a destination.

Dear Inspiration…

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Midnight strikes in silence with no celebration of

another day gone and passed. It’s a similar sensation

in this ongoing transformation, no sounds of screaming

and laughs. My mind has become like a ghost town

without much thought and considerations – constantly traveling

down a foggy road without clearly seeing the destination.

I wonder what sort of things I have been missing,

or if I am even missing or if they are things I shouldn’t be seeing,

anyway.

 

I long for starlight and perfection,

the twinkling of joy and accomplishment,

but how do I find these obscure notions

without having a notion of where I am right now?

Is changing enough of a celebration? Then why do I crave more?

Maybe I don’t even know what I am looking for.

 

If I strain to hear, perhaps I can hear the gentle ticking

of time passing by, ever so slowly, for the rest of my life.

I’d rather watch the change in constellations,

but in the fog, I would take anything,

anything to say I am not alone.

(Bet you guys didn’t know I was a poet)

 I have been feeling in a fog lately. Having a hard time connecting with my own emotions. Am I the only one that sometimes feel like they are just observing life around them but not really participating in it? I have no idea why I get into these funks. I am going to blame my foot injury, because everyone knows the foot is directly connected to the brain. Yup, that makes sense. I think a part of it is the fact that I am just getting by right now. My husbands business is really picking up, and though I help him out occasionally, he has basically given me this time to do whatever I want before I go back to school to pursue the things that actually interest me (yay nutrition!), but it makes me feel really guilty. Then I am also supposed to be technically on rest and having my feet up and trying to relax so my foot can recover, but I definitely do not like this. I am so used to being on the go all the time and I definitely long for the buzz that I get after a really strenuous work out (especially running which I unfortunately probably won’t be doing for awhile! Ugh). Yes, I am being a bit whiny right now. Like I said in my earlier post yesterday, I am stuck in this sort of waiting period until things start rolling. I just need something that gives me some feeling of accomplishment.

In other news, I had another salad today for lunch. 2 out of 7 days now! Boo yah! I broiled chicken for the first time ever, and it really turned out absolutely delicious!

295 Calories. 4oz broiled chicken with sesame teriyaki sauce, lettuce, spinach, broccoli sprouts, shredded carrot, red onion and green pepper with a low calorie sesame ginger dressing.

I definitely think I am struggling a bit with depression. I feel like my hormone levels are just barely balanced when I exercise and what not, so when I cut back on exercising, I quickly get overwhelmed? I am not 100 percent sure and definitely will have to talk it out with the therapist. I don’t understand why I feel like I constantly need to be doing something. If I am not doing something that I deem productive, I automatically feel like a waste of space and I am just wasting time. This is one of the things I really need to address in this journey to awesomehood — finding that balance between nothingness and too muchness.

One thing I know is that this feeling won’t last forever. I will overcome this. I always do.

I’m Not Crazy – Ask My Therapist

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I completely understand why some people absolutely refuse to change. Changing is one of the hardest things you ever have to do. It is so easy just to get into a rut that is comfortable to you (even when it is actually totally bad for you and you don’t feel good about it) and not do anything about it. People become overwhelmed by the task at hand and with added low-esteem, the task seems impossible. I have been there. I have sat where you are sitting right now. Wondering if I can do it. Wondering if I could become awesome. Wondering if I was even worth it. Those who have followed my blog for awhile know that I struggle with depression, self-worth, and anger and I still struggle with it today. Depression is one of those things that never truly goes away and kind of lingers at the back of your mind, always. It waits for that moment of weakness and strikes, latching onto a phrase or feeling. It drags you down if you aren’t ready to claw yourself away from it. Depression is a beast. A monster that lurks in the shadows. And I totally get it when people do try to make changes and find that they just can’t make a difference and get absolutely frustrated. It’s like an additional slap in the face to already being in a crappy situation and now you can’t even lose weight, get a job, find your soul mate… whatever the heck you are trying to accomplish. It sucks. It is so easy to stop and say “That’s it. I am doomed to live a life of horribleness,” and go hide under your bed for the rest of your life, praying the world gets taken over by zombies and you don’t have to deal with anyone anymore.

But it does not have to be that way. Absolutely not. One of the biggest steps you can take is realizing you are in over your head. Life is hard. Seriously hard. You have to do so much to get by. You have to pay bills, feed yourself (and others in some cases), make sure you have shelter, try to have a social life, be healthy, be clean, etc. Sometimes it is even way more than that. Of course some of those things are not absolute requirements but they definitely help in achieving a life of happiness. The best part of knowing when you are in over your head, though, is that you can reach out your hand and ask for your help. This does not make you weak. It does not make you any less of a person. If money is a problem, a lot of places offer assistance. Call them up and see what they can do. Even a help line is better than nothing. Do not be afraid of reaching out. No one is going to tell you that your problems are small or insignificant. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and ready to pull out your hair, then the problem needs to be addressed.
Like I mentioned before, I struggle with depression. I carried it around with me for a very long time. I look back and all I can remember is cloudiness of moments. Nothing concrete and happy. When I told my therapist now, she looked ready to smack me (Ok, not really. But she kind of looked at me in disbelief). She asked me why I didn’t get help and reminded me that depression is just a hormone imbalance. That’s it. Nothing more. Your brain is just an organ and when it doesn’t receive the right chemicals, it doesn’t work up to par. It’s nothing you are doing wrong as a person — you just may need something to supplement a hormone just like you may take a vitamin to supplement your diet. Mind = blown. That totally made sense. It wasn’t that my life sucked but the hormone that gave me those happy feelings that would make challenges seem approachable were just really low. No wonder why getting out of bed seemed like going to war. There wasn’t much in my brain to give me feelings of accomplishment.  So when you are feeling miserable and down on yourself, know that you do not need to feel that way, yes it is normal, and you can be helped. There is absolutely no reason why you should not be happy in your life. You do not deserve punishment. You do not deserve to feel ugly. You do not deserve to feel worthless. You deserve everything your heart desires. If you want to be a princess, then be a princess. Go into situations with the confidence and grace of Royalty. No one can tell you, you can’t. You’re a freakin’ princess. If you want to take over the world, go ahead. It’s really hard to do. I’m still trying… but maybe someday! You do not deserve to be unhappy but it does involve you asking for help. You can manage on your own for awhile, but sometimes you just have to give in and reach out.

So far, therapy has really helped me to focus. I have my anger a little more in check than I used to. I am not ready to explode if someone just looks at me the wrong way. My thoughts are clearing up so I can see what I truly want out of life. My thoughts are not  just floating around and going crazy all the time like a jumpy castle in my mind.  No matter what problem you are going through in life, having an outside perspective is a priceless resource. They can help you see things in a completely different light. Also, even if you have had a bad experience with therapy, try a different one. Find someone who works with you. You are not forced to be stuck with one therapist for the rest of your life. If you do not feel comfortable pouring out your soul, move on. Yes, it is that easy.

Happiness Comes From Within

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A lot of people believe that outside sources make a person happy. I believe that outside sources only reflect the emotions of a person. If you are depressed, you may notice that you do not have a lot of friends around, you don’t notice the sun peaking out from behind the clouds, you lose important things, you claim you have bad luck…  You also say all these things add to your unhappiness. This is why you are unhappy. I do not have a doubt in my mind that the things going around you make it really hard to see that things can just change if you change yourself first. I am sure you will look at me like I am an absolute crazy person for saying your life will probably be 100% better if you work on bettering yourself and growing in positive ways. This means being more charitable, if your friends are not making opportunities to hang out why not approach them, instead of complaining about work, put that energy into completing your tasks quickly and taking pride in what you do accomplish. The truth is if you are unhappy, it won’t matter where you live, what you do, who you hang out with. You will be unhappy. You can have temporary moments of happiness even in those dark times, but there will always be that sort of emptiness until you actually left happiness through.

One of the biggest reasons (I think) people are afraid to be happy. They think it is selfish. I have no idea why this is an idea for people, but it is one I definitely recognized because that’s how I used to think. “I shouldn’t be happy if other people are not happy.” “Everyone will hate me if I am happy!” Which is all complete crazy talk. Crazy talk I tell you!  Happiness is just as contagious as negativity. If you can fight off the urge to complain and instead add compliments, you may find the topic switches to something more positive or the conversation just ends. It is really hard to keep fighting with negative comments when you retort with happy ones!

You can also switch up your emotions with how you act. If you are feeling depressed and lay on the couch all day, you will most likely stay depressed. If you switch it up and go for a walk, call up a friend, do things you know have made you happy in the past, then you will most likely end the day on a happy note. A lot of people don’t make that effort because they are just so bogged down by their emotions that they believe they cannot make the change. But you can! I seriously used to be the worse person ever when it came to letting my emotions rule everything I did. I didn’t do anything because I was too depressed. Weird thing is, my depression was not getting any better by just lounging on the couch all day and chowing down on Chinese food. I had to make my own changes and the results are amazing. Actually making myself be active and get out and do things has changed my life. I rarely have depressed episodes and when I do, I jump back pretty quickly because I know what I need is to get active and not be mopey.

I know this also goes with weight loss. A lot of people say they will not be happy until they reach their goal weight. Unfortunately, they never reach their goal weight because they get depressed during the process. They hate themselves for not being good enough, for not working hard enough, for not eating or doing the right things. And it is a darn shame that they missed out on the opportunity to mentally grow as they lost weight. It is a long process and best of all, you can be happy throughout the journey! You are going to have draw backs – of course! And you are going to have days where you really wish you hadn’t had that extra drink or five… but it happens. Life continues and you just keep going. Don’t ruin happy moments beating yourself up for it.

I think another thing that scares people about happiness is the fact that you are the only one responsible for how you feel. A lot of people rely on things around them and like to blame everything else except themselves for not being happy. You are the only one in control of your happiness. Not your lover, not your parents, not your friends, not the scale. Only you. You have the choice to look yourself in the mirror and be like “I deserve to be happy.”

You will find once you open yourself to happiness and start saying yes to opportunities (even if you think you don’t want to because you are feeling down), a lot more doors will open up and you will truly feel blessed.

Promise.

The Fourth and Beyond…

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Hello Everyone!

I hope for those that celebrated the 4th yesterday had an awesome time! Yesterday I broke a lot of “goals” but I am not ashamed. I mean I sort of figured that would happen anyway. Come on. It’s a holiday. I am not going to take time to blog when I am surrounded by awesome friends and playing Dirty Minds, ok? Just not going to happen. So yesterday was pretty much a complete day off from exercise — though I did go horseback riding! And thank goodness for that because I ended up going a little crazy on the food and drink (though I was still under calories, say what?!) But I did not do my work out DVD or running and probably a good thing too. My legs were feel a little rubbery! Ooops. Been full pedal to the metal since Friday so that’s quite a few work outs in a row! Today I am back on track, though. I am going to be running here in a bit and then going to proceed to do my 30 Day Shred and then go horseback riding this evening. I definitely missed working out, yesterday! It is kind of crazy how my mood varies with the amount of exercise I do. Of course, I have sort of been in a funk all week.

As some of you may know, I started therapy a few weeks ago to work on my anger and stress. I also struggle with being co-dependent where I cannot truly function unless I know my mom is being taken cared of and depression (yay). So my mind basically needs a total overhaul and reteaching so I can stop being the freaking parent in any situation I am in. Which I realized yesterday, I do. When other people are cutting loose and even if I try cutting loose with a drink or two, I cannot do it if other people are more laid back and carefree than I am. I all of a sudden go into “observing/make sure everyone is going to be ok” mode. And it sucks. Suck. Suck. Suck. I end up feeling moody and distant… and it is because of me. All because I do not know how to relax with other people. I can relax when I know people are going to look out for me (which is another weird thing… why can’t I just let things be?) but I have been taught at such a young age to be responsible and to take care of people around you. I have been taking care of my mom for so long that it just now applies to all areas of my life. Then I start feeling angry about it because I just do not know yet how to change. I know therapy is going to help, and I am super excited for that. Treatment plan is in motion. I need to be able to be that 22 – 23 year old girl and not just be a grown up. I need to remember what it is like to not have to worry about everyone else. Because I cannot do it anymore, it overwhelms me.

So that are some of the things that I am going through… and my mind is kind of feeling a little like goo. A part of me just wants to be silly and act like a kid, but I am just not sure how anymore. What do I do?

Anyway enough with being down. Going to kick some physical butt today!

Getting Perspective and Gaining Voice…

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The past week or so has been a roller coaster of emotion, and it has been hard to feel motivated to write so sorry for the lack of blog posts here and there. Yesterday was a very busy day. I started the day horseback riding, came home and showered, had a quick lunch which consisted of leftover ribs from Sunday, and then headed off to my first therapy appointment. It was not my first one ever… but it was my first one at this new place. I admit it… I definitely needed it. I was losing my happiness because I was finding it very hard to get some perspective and felt like I was on a sinking ship. I still feel like I am on a sinking ship but at least now I have someone on board that can help steer me to shallow waters. It was mostly just a question and answer session as she learned about the reasons why I was there and a little bit about my history. The part I needed to hear the most was the fact that we were going to come up with a plan so my mom did not force me to buy a house and then move in. Thank goodness for that! But unfortunately I have to wait until next week until I can learn more about this plan and really start connecting more… and it is proving to be tough.

I am starting to gain a little bit more voice. My happiness matters too. I cannot control anyone’s happiness but my own, and I should not be responsible for anyone’s happiness but my own. This is something I need to be reminded of often. If my mom wants to be unhappy, then that is her choice and not one I can change. I should know by now that my presence and hard work is short lived in her mind. I should not waste my energy trying to keep her happy for 5 minutes at a time. She refuses to live in the present, but that is something that I am trying to do a lot more of now. Since I have started on this weight loss journey, I have changed a lot. I have taken more control of my life and have been trying to do a lot better with living in the moment instead of spending all my energy worrying. I am looking for opportunities to become a better person, and I cannot do it if I am totally drained from just talking to my mom and getting weighed down by her unhappiness.

The only thing I can control is myself.

That’s a tough phrase there. It actually pains me to know that is all I can control. I am not in control of anything else but myself. I am the only one who can help me lose weight. I am the only one who can determine how I feel. I can move my arms, my legs, and think with my own mind… but I have no control over the other movements and choices other people make. This is my life.

And in my life, I want to be a fit, healthy woman. I want to be spontaneous, fun and not afraid to get a little silly. In my life, I buy a house when the fiance and I are ready and no sooner than that. In my life, I dream big without worrying about the consequences. I dream because I can.

I have done a lot of changing physically and mentally, but there is still a lot more changing to do.

Balancing on Top of a Mountain… made possible because I decided to change.

 

Tomorrow I will talk more about hiking and weight loss… but today, I just needed to do some mental unwinding. I have a feeling the next few months are going to be challenging… but I am ready for it.

I can do this.