Browsing Tag

life

Life

Twenty Percent

I woke up this morning feeling like trash. One of my coworkers has been coming in hacking and coughing and I think I caught the bug. I dragged myself to the bathroom scale, expecting a load of water weight gain but to my surprise I was down today! Today marks the lowest weight I have been in about 15 months. It also marks the 20% lost marker to my goal weight.

yay

I’m on my way down! Jeremy is also doing pretty great. He’s a couple pounds ahead of me in weight loss and he’s looking  fantastic. 

Anyway I still feel like shit but looking at my little progress meter reach 20% put pep in my step.

Art, Life

Keep Calm & Keto On

I made a small poster for my cubicle wall to help me stay on track at work, where donuts, candy and other goodies are ever present. Jeremy and I hit a plateau for about a week because we got super busy, wound up eating out a lot, and I didn’t have enough time to spend on my treadmill desk. One thing is for sure is that eating out keto is dangerous. What you think is keto could have tons of additives that are not keto at all. Also the large amount of salt in restaurant prepared foods means I bloat and hold on to water weight easily.  Essentially, there is no such thing for my body as eating out keto.  I was happy to see the scale move downwards again. :)

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Life

Progress

About a month ago I posted about how I was in a place where I was trading efficiency, rest and progress for 45 extra minutes on tumblr scrolling through nothing of consequence. And so I promised myself (and you, friends) that I'd do better in a measurable way.

So three things happened as a direct result of that decision.

1) I aquired a walking treadmill

2) I started tracking my sleep hours and movement at night

3) I changed my diet to one where I am guaranteed an increase in mental clarity

It's been three weeks now and I have some awesome results to show for it. All three changes were made in a way that didn't require much willpower. I'm not a master of doing the harder thing consistently. I just don't. Maybe it was my upbringing or just my genetics or how I choose to implement my free will but that's just the way it's been so far. So the approach to each of the improvements had to change. I needed to use my laziness to my advantage.

Exercise. Jeremy got me a treadmill desk. This instantly increased my activity level from a sedentary 2miles of walking a day to 10 + miles a day. I don't have to think about it. I don't have to try. Using the computer comes naturally. It's where I do my work, my entertainment, my finances, my news, my social interactions, my business. Now I do all those things while walking. It's NO effort now. I have to be on the treadmill to use the computer. I am never going to not use the computer. So that works.

Sleep. I am in bed by 12 and I sleep until at least 8. This too was more easily implemented after my treadmill desk became part of my life. When someone as out of shape as me suddenly walks nearly a half marathon a day they get tired. The kind of tired you should be to fall asleep really fast and sleep HARD. I sleep about 45 minutes more than I did before. I thought it was hilarious that it was cut by essentially my tumblr time. And guess what's been missing from my life for a few weeks? Tumblr. It's not a loss. I'm not in some weird fog at the end of the day where my body isn't tired enough to warrant a trip to bed. I always want to go to bed.  The sleep when I do fall asleep? Deep. I can't remember the last time I had this many dreams. They're all good dreams and I move a lot less at night ( according to the iphone app that measures movement ). I wake up well rested. I can see the difference because my eyes dont turn red around 6pm.

Food. This is a big one. Jeremy and I have started the ketogenic diet together. It's essentially grain-less paleo the way we are doing it. It is nothing short of amazing. The first three days were rough. Just dropping grains and sugar is really freaking hard for someone who… loves sugar. I love sugar. But after the sugar cravings died, the hunger disappeared altogether. That's an amazing effect of the diet. There is also a significant increase in mental clarity and focus. We made this a no-brainer by cooking it all up front on one day and having every meal planned for days. They're all tasty, and laziness wins out everytime. No thinking + eating immediately > Thinking + Eating out.

You know what a fun side effect is? Weightloss. It's not much. Probably just less water but Im enjoying the slightly less tight pants. :p Still kinda tight though.

Thank you laziness for improving my life!

Also this is the image I got when I googled progress and change. I'm just going to go with it. 

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Life

Sleep

largeI’ve successfully filled my life up with a long todo list. Last night I got to bed at 10:30pm for the first time in god knows how long. It’s not really a complaint that I\’m too busy,but an observation that I have been skipping out on sleep that I need.

When I woke up this morning I felt like a new person. I have been more productive and felt better about the product of my work today. Ironically, I had been delivered this article from Zen Habits just days prior.  He makes two points about sleep that I found to be completely true.

  1. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will fail at changing habits; and
  2. If you have a lack of sleep, your motivation will drop tremendously.

Yes. Yes I do, and yes it does.

The same is true of exercise. As soon as I sacrifice exercise and sleep for what I believe is in exchange for increased productivity in both my technical career and my creative one, I lose. I’ve already lost the moment I go home instead of to the gym or decide to keep working once the clock strikes 10.

The biggest struggle in my life is not knowing what the right thing to do is. I almost always know what to do to improve my situation. My biggest struggle is to simply do those things. Whenever I hear the verse “the truth shall set you free” I think it’s not a universal truth. Shedding the shackles of laziness, habit, and stubbornness would really help set me free. The truth is, I need sleep. The truth is also that I will browse tumblr for an additional 45 minutes after bedtime. I use Any.Do to keep track of my tasks but I think I will attempt to implement the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to help me do a better job of choosing important over urgent when working and scheduling rest. I never thought I’d see the day I had to schedule in rest but here I am. Is this part of getting old and approaching your thirties?

As for sleep, I need 8-9 hours a night to feel good the next morning. At least 7 of them need to be uninterrupted. I\’m going to try to get ample sleep again, this week. I don’t have any weddings, just smaller gigs like engagements and parties, for another two months and I only have one major development project outside of my 9-5 this week. I can focus on improving my sleep health, without too many distractions.

Wish me luck (and perseverance).

Life

Guilt and Inner Monologue

It’s no secret that I subscribe to and apply the life and finance techniques prescribed by Ramit Sethi. Last week, he posted an article that just smacked me in the face. Really hard. Funnily, it had nothing to do with money.

It was a reminder as I walk into 2014, that my biggest critic is me, and the critics that do exist outside of my own mind are just people with small visions and shoulders laden with fear. I am an unknown when I do things that don’t fit into their worldview and it is human nature to approach the unknown with fear, cynicism and mistrust. I do not owe them any of my guilt nor should I allow those emotions to impact me, even when “them” is me, and “those emotions” are mine.

It’s taken about 10 years for me to be able to look back on my life and gain this perspective about what impedes progress. I hesitate to call it wisdom but it is, at the very least, an understanding of the truth. This little bit from the article sums it up.

Yes, you ARE responsible for being stuck. No, it’s not your mom, or society, or the heteronormative patriarchal bonds that hold you down. (Do they have an influence on all of us? Of course. Can we control them? No.)

But you can control one thing: yourself. This might be uncomfortable to hear, but it’s true.

—How to stop feeling guilty

I used to subscribe to the idea that where I was born, the culture I was from, the family I had, the friends I didn’t have, the “heteronormative patriarchal bonds” that the article was talking about were keeping me down. And there was so much guilt associated with it. I felt bad I was secretly dating my friend, the white guy, instead of naturally wanting to pursue a successful man from a “good”, in-culture family that my parents would like right away. I felt guilty when my core wanted to be completely financially independent of anyone when I felt like the opposite was expected of me. I felt guilty that I didn’t want to seek education for the social status it would bring me. I didn’t want a second degree until I knew that I really wanted to increase my knowledge and influence in a particular field that way instead of doing it as an no-thought addon to my undergrad. I felt guilty for wanting to live alone, to be completely independent, to want to know that kind of freedom. I felt guilty for pursuing a business on the side that wasn’t very technical with unimpressive beginner results and not something worth bragging about.

I did all the the things I intuitively wanted to, eventually, but I could have done them better, earlier, more happily if it weren’t for my guilt. And in fact, I wouldn’t have done any of those things if I really chose to believe everything I thought about myself and my circumstances. And none of that was anyone’s fault but my own.

I blamed my parents, my friends, my society, my upbringing, and everything else for a while for why I couldn’t do certain things. It was the easiest thing to do, required no action, and no introspection. I would then turn around and blame myself by deciding that I was bad at everything and I deserved what I got when I felt like I failed. They’re paradoxical, those feelings. You believe the world is against you, and that you don’t deserve to be in that position and then turn around and look in the mirror, disrespect yourself, downplay your abilities, and rationalize that the walls around you exist because you’re not worth more. This too is just unchecked emotion, no action or introspection required.

It was nice to be refreshed on the topic of personal responsibility. You have more power to change things for yourself than you think you have to align your world to your needs. Being aware of that truth is enough of a foundation to start scrutinizing why you believe the things you do about your “limits”. I’m not nearly as impacted by guilt as I used to be. When ‘expectations’, especially external ones, don’t match up with my personal desires, I give myself a moment to contemplate that disparity. I allow myself time and space to think about why I want certain things and why others want certain things from me, and for me. I make better decisions for it, and I gain peace regardless of the outcome. I don’t respond angrily, I don’t throw up walls and emotionally run away. I pick my battles now, and I don’t engage unless I have something at stake worth fighting for. It’s really empowered me in a way that 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought possible.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I keep it in the forefront of my mind, that all my true enemies lie within myself, and that I can win if I remember who I am and who I am as my own enemy.

Anyway, shoutout to writers everywhere for stating the obvious for people like me, on a road like this. It’s important to maintain that internal locus of control, to give other people the chance to see it your way, to be patient with yourself and always look forward. And I sure am looking forward to 2014.

Anyway, happy really late 2014 outlook post!

Life

Blessings

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]I\’m in that weird state where I feel like I have a million things to do. I also feel like I would have the time to do them if I weren\’t so unmotivated during the evenings. Things are busy at work and the following few weekends are packed with business clients, family, friends, shopping, and I feel overwhelmed sometimes. Then I start wanting stupid things like less friends, family, or business. But then the days are filled with some really awesome stuff too. So, to practice what I preach, I\’m gonna think about how blessed I am instead of how stressed I am! 5 years ago, I would have killed to have the life I have now.

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Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard,
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars, yeah we’ll be counting stars
OneRepublic – Counting Stars

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Things have been going well. I\’m just going to list all the goodness over the last few days.

  • I got to watch Thor: The Dark World. I totally loved it. I think I\’ll always love the Thor movies as long as Chris Hemsworth is playing Thor. He reminds me of Jeremy. He\’s white, dirty blonde, and loves hammers.
  • The First Issue of Lucky Peach arrived. I have been looking forward to this magazine since I ordered it months ago. It\’s a treat since it\’s a quarterly publication. It\’s well written, beautifully designed and on top of that, it\’s ad free. And it\’s about food which is the best thing ever.
  • We turned on the heater at home. :) I am toasty more often than not now.
  • We spent a fun evening seeing some friends we hadn\’t seen in weeks at Haven Hookah Lounge for Samina\’s 29th birthday.
  • I heard one of the best sermons I\’d ever heard on Sunday.
  • The holiday service projects have kicked off. I look forward to serving these few weeks. I never feel like I give enough of my time to the needy the other days of the year.
  • I was reminded that a woman\’s rights, and desires have to be fought for continuously. And I\’ll set that example til the day I die.
  • My ring was replated. The sparkling diamonds and shiny gold make me smile and I remember 11/1/12.
  • I actually cooked dinner once. It was a shrimp dish and Jeremy loved it. It made my day.
  • We can\’t stop watching Nanny 911. It\’s an old show but the psychological techniques it promotes works for people.
  • The tumor Jeremy had discovered in his side was just a fatty lipoma. That was great news.
  • We went to Steak ‘n Shake with my In-Laws. That Jalapeno burger is pretty sweet. :-)
  • Jeremy turned 29. :)
  • I got my Starbucks ornaments for the year!
  • We went to see Ender\’s Game. I enjoyed most of it!
  • The maid is at my house today. Tonight we\’ll go home to a spotless abode. It\’s an amazing feeling.
  • I have TWO boxes of Chocolate Cheerios. Two. I am in heaven.
  • We finally deflated the helium balloon my parents bought us for our anniversary…by inhaling it and laughing at our crazy voices for a few minutes.
  • I didn’t kill all my plants and remembered to bring them in during the overnight freeze.

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Life, Travel

Taking Off

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”24812″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”24811″ img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Jeremy and I area headed for St.Louis this week. We plan on a week of relaxing city tours, some outdoorsy escapades and of course, restauranting like nobody’s business.

I’m excited because I’ve been inundating my eyeballs with city and landscape photos by my favorite, and inspiring photographers for about three weeks. This is how I train to “see” shots like my superior peers. It’s time to put them to use. :) I hope to post many pictures while we’re out doing fun things. See Ya![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life, Photography

Peaches

While I was walking home today, I passed a fruit stall I pass everyday. It’s normally deserted, with only a few old tables and a party tent over it. Today, a short middle-aged woman was putting away some vegetables. It was Friday, I’d finally left work at 6pm, very late for me on a summer Friday, and the thought of some fresh fruit off someone’s tree convinced me to turn around and see what she had. Lucky me, she was closing up shop and when I asked for only one box of peaches (I still had 3 miles to carry them!) she decided to give me ALL the rest of her peaches! That was NINE peaches! :

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I brought them home and Jeremy made me this This after he had put in dinner in the oven 2 hours before and also did the dishes and laundry. I love that he just does his share and a lot of the time, much more. Dude, did I marry the right guy or what? Seriously, people have told me over and over the first year of your marriage is the hardest, but by far this first year of my marriage has been the best, easiest, most fun, least stressful year of my entire life.

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Life is well… peachy!

 

Photography

Champagne

The last morning we spent in Destin, we broke out the champagne as torrential rains poured around us. Mother nature had given us two good days that weekend with beautiful sunsets and warm beaches and waters. I really enjoy trips with my friends. There’s a lightheartedness and adventurous camaraderie that you just can’t find in a family vacation. There’s no social structure, expectations or hierarchy. Just people and fun. Family vacations are fun in a very different way.

At the end we all signed the cork and I have it safe, to be put into a shadowbox of vacation trinkets that I plan to collect over the years. 

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