Get Healthy

Happiness…

Well here we are and I am at the end of my second week at school. I don’t hate it yet, which is a really good sign. I am actually enjoying all my classes and teachers as well. My fourth class is a late start, so that has yet to be decided how I feel about it, but I guess I’ll stay optimistic about it.

Thank you, by the way to the people who reached out to me about my previous post, it was greatly appreciated. Like I said, I don’t go looking for attention, if anything I want other people to feel comfortable with themselves and talking about the things that aren’t easy to talk about. I love you amazing, beautiful people.

The world has a crazy way of bringing us bad news and then following those events with lessons. My lessons from the passing of beautiful girl and depression is coming through the way of my English class. Of course, right? Well, anyways our focus is happiness. The first book we are reading from is called the Pursuit of Happiness. The cover is pretty cute, it has a basket full of puppies. Did you get that? A BASKET FULL OF PUPPIES. My teacher wasn’t impressed, but I find it funny, what’s better than a basket full of puppies, think about it. I’d take a basket full of puppies over a cup of coffee or even free tacos. That’s right, I said it, deal with it. Ugh, but really, I want a puppy, I want a golden retriever or lab. Anyways, so the pursuit of happiness. We are all on some sort of pursuit to find happiness and be happy. Me, I always say I’m going to Neverland. That’s my happy place, my thoughtful spot as Pooh Bear puts it. The first essay we read from was an excerpt from “How Happy Are You and Why?” by Sonja Lyumbomirsky. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite thing to read and I feel like I didn’t get much from it. She focused A LOT on the scientific studies of why we are happy and how scientists try to determine why or why not we are happy. Some scientists believe we are born with the “Happiness Set-Point”. The Happiness Set-Point at birth is 50%, 10% of our happiness will be determined by life circumstances and 40% by Intentional Activity (I.E. what’s under our control). While that is definitely interesting, I’m not very certain that I can back that up 100% or agree with it. I don’t know if being a mom changes how I feel about it, but seeing my baby girl I couldn’t imagine her being born with anything less than 90% for her Happiness Set-Point. Leaving 10% for the other two. So much is out of her control and circumstances are hard to determine. In my opinion at least, but also I am no scientist, so who am I to say. Sonja also discussed how they believe genetics have a lot to do with it as well. They did studies on twins, both identical and fraternal, and no matter what was going on for both in their lives and where they were, they still felt the same about life which was pretty cool.

Celestino Fernandez gave a lecture at SRJC a couple years ago and our first assignment was to watch it and take notes on it. I loved his lecture and what he had to say about happiness and I recommend people to watch it. If, that is, you want some better understanding on happiness and discover that people have been studying happiness since the beginning of time. While he did talk a lot about statistics, he kept reinstating the fact that we have the ability to determine our happiness. We can change our current life circumstances, we can do so many things to help us become happier people. He said and studies have shown that social interaction, going outside, listening to your favorite music, being healthy, it all can lead to happiness. Fact, unhappy people watch 20% more television than the average people. Now, I know Netflix is changing the game a bit and we all have a binge day. But, what they are getting at is people who sit inside in front of a television for hours, every day, with no social interaction and don’t go outside and enjoy nature are unhappy. If you know me I completely agree that people change their intention activity. Circumstances can be hard to change, but they can be for sure to an extent of course. It took me a very long time to accept my demons and find my Neverland. So when I am around people complaining about mundane things or things that are easily fixed or attainable I get so irritated. Life is there and ours for the taking and some people just let it waste away, how awful.

I was 205 pounds people, I am the last person you want to tell that it’s hard to lose weight. I lost 45 pounds don’t tell me how hard it is, I know very well how hard it is…but I also know how fucking easy it is. I had someone who I love very much come to me and ask me for advice and that made me so happy. It’s not easy coming to terms and saying I want to make a change and asking people for help. That doesn’t make me irate, it’s when people talk about it and do absolutely nothing. Don’t be a “DNB” (do nothing bitch) as Ronda Rousey so kindly puts it. Don’t tell the single mom who was working full time that you don’t have time to work out. Don’t tell the woman who has two mouth to feed that’s it hard to buy, eat, and cook healthy food. I’ll give everyone that it is hard to cut out foods, but it’s totally do-able. And please don’t blame it on your heritage. I’m Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. My favorite foods consist of Italian and Spanish faire. I could eat tacos and pizza all day. It is so easy to make alternatives and it inspires me when my friends find healthy twists on some of my favorite foods. My sister, is a smoothie master and so incredibly good about drinking green tea. I try to get on her level, but I’m not there yet. Green Tea is taking some time for me to adjust to since I am not normally a tea drinker, but I’m getting there. My girl Jenna has been feeding me delicious and bomb-ass soups. Soup is so versatile and you can literally throw anything it and she does. Goddamn does she make soup like a goddess ha. Seriously though you can throw anything in a soup, like kale. Oh my god, kale in soup is so good and a great way to enjoy it if the taste is way too intense for you. Kate, makes sweet potato tacos and zoodles like a goddamn boss. Her spiralizing and cooking skills are out of this world. Momma Jenna & Kate, I’m hungry now! Ha-ha. Also when it comes to substituting foods, it is hard at first but you have to stick with it. When I first started taking away dairy for my diet (and diet as in what I eat on a normal basis, not diet for losing weight purposes) and my coffee drinks, it took a good 2-3 weeks before soy tasted semi normal. You can’t try something once or twice and then give up, did you give up riding a bike or tying your shoes because it didn’t click the first two times? No. Now you are, hopefully, a bike riding and shoe tying boss. Now I have switched to almond milk and find soy too sweet. Your taste buds and stomach will and do adjust, you just have to give it time. You put time into so many aspects of your life, your friends, family, and school. So I can’t wrap my mind around the thought of people not putting or taking the time to look at what they eat and see what changes they can make to be healthier all around.

The topic of being healthy came up a lot in the happiness discussion and I can back that up 100%. Not so much because I have lost weight, but because my overall health has improved. I have a healthier mind and look at my curves and love the shit out of them. I’ve grown to love my thick thighs and calves. I may not love my stomach, but I still appreciate my body because of the hard work I put into it. When you work incredibly hard at something the end results are so much better and satisfactory. You’ve pushed yourself further then you thought you could and pushed your body to do things you didn’t think it was capable of doing. Your body is a like a car, you have to take care of it or else you’ll run it straight to the ground. Even with my four year old, I have so much more energy than I did in high school. I honestly could sit here and talk about health has become such a part of my journey to being a much happier person and how it has helped fight my demons, but then I might really start to bore you. But either way, find your happiness people. It’s out there, it just isn’t going to come to you out of thin air.

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Thoughts

Beautiful Girl

Last Sunday our family received some really heart breaking news. A childhood friend to my cousins and one of my Aunts best friend’s daughter at the beautiful age of sixteen left us. Sixteen and did I mention beautiful? I wasn’t incredibly close with her, but I have known her since she was about seven years old, so it did hurt hearing those words. Her older brother and my cousin are still best friends to this day. I am not using a name on purpose, by the way. First of all, it is not my story to tell, nor my news to throw around. I am just choosing to more so speak on the topic of it.  Something I have been trying to do for a while now. This beautiful girls’ passing was unexpected and hit incredibly close to home for me. She left us because her pain was so deep and she unfortunately could not bear that burden any longer. That tore me apart, because I too at that age suffered from the same demons and continue to at the age of twenty-six. Depression is no joke and it angers me when people don’t take it seriously. Unless you have experienced it yourself you will NOT understand what goes through the mind of anyone who deals with it. I could explain it to you, how I feel on an almost daily basis and where my mind wonders and even then you wouldn’t understand. A lot and I mean A LOT of people think depression is a way to seek attention. Um, no in fact it is the opposite. I wanted zero attention when I was at my worst. Anyone who thinks that is just wrong. Now, I was never ever in a mindset to handle my depression like others do. I didn’t take anti-depressants. (But, that is also because I hid my depression and kept it very mum.) I couldn’t handle it in that way either, I would get anxiety just thinking of doing it. I wasn’t there, mentally, to do that. If anything, I wanted to hide my depression as far as I could, deep into my heart and soul. I wanted no one to know what I was going through. I was embarrassed by my depression. Anytime someone got mad at me for being sad or having those feelings of self- doubt, I got yelled at. Fuck that. If me expressing myself and the hurt I feel is only going to result in ridicule and people putting me down further then I already felt, I would rather just suffer and pretend like everything was okay. My depression had a lot to do with body image and just not feeling good enough. I didn’t feel beautiful, confident or smart and it’s not like anyone ever made me feel those things. I wrote then, as I write now. Writing about my feelings has always been the best way for me to get my feelings out there. At twenty-six I still battle these demons and I don’t hide from them anymore. Losing weight helped with that, not because I was getting more attention from peers, but rather because I wasn’t afraid to look in the mirror. I accepted my faults, my flaws, every single God-damn imperfection I had/have. The only way I was going to overcome those feelings was to embrace my body and accept the fact that I do have depression and it’s not going to go away. Also, I wasn’t going to let other people’s opinions about me get to me either. Knowing that it does get better and that there is a way to block the negativity is what breaks my heart for that beautiful girl who is no longer with us. Depression is real people and we all need to be more accepting to that and more accepting that we are not all the same and handle things so much differently. Knowing that she won’t experience pain anymore brings a little more peace to the situation, it is just unfortunate that she couldn’t find peace within herself while she was with us. Words can cut deeper than anything and I think we all need to be more aware of that. Discussing my depression any further is still difficult, I won’t lie. I am willing to talk about it with anyone and share my story and experiences. I definitely make an effort to try and reveal bits and pieces here in my writing, But putting it all out there all at once, is jus, ahhh, too much. So bear with me as I slowly reveal my acceptance of my depression. It is a huge piece in my journey these last few years and was something I hid from the world for 12 years. Baby steps people.

Kyndra and I embarked on our first hike of our 2016; 12 hikes, 12 restaurants. (Still a working title until we find something a lot better sounding.) Mount Tamalpais did us good and a park ranger named Carol was no help to us. After 10 miles we met two lovely women who helped us with our journey. It was an exhilarating 12 mile trek and I will be writing about that in a separate post. It was a great way to end my last weekend before school officially begins for me tomorrow morning at eleven am. I cannot believe it is already here and that I am a student again, lord help me.

 

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Get Healthy

Bye, Bye, Bye…2015

Saying goodbye. No one truly enjoys it and sometimes it can be hard. Saying good-bye to twenty-fifteen and trying to leave everything in the past has been, well, trying. Every year is a good year, there will always be ups and downs, but you have to focus on the positive. Which is what I always, always try to do, focus on the positive. I look for the best in situations and in people. That seems to be where I get myself into trouble though. Maybe trouble isn’t the best way to describe it, but it’ll do for now. I’m pretty good with good byes and “letting go”, but still each one leaves a little mark on your heart.

I had a friend and like all my friends, I want the best for them. I look for the best in anyone and want to only lift them higher. I want them to see everything I see in them. Their beauty, their strengths, even their weaknesses because we all have weaknesses and flaws. That’s what makes us all so beautiful, our flaws and imperfections. People need to learn to appreciate these things instead of being ashamed of them. But, anyways, so this particular friend, of course, was a guy. I enjoyed my time spent with him, laughing and talking, what have you. I always saw potential for the friendship to grow and it seemed like he would hold back if I got too close. Things would be good and then they’d be weird. It drove me crazy, like bat shit insane crazy. It was this back and forth thing between us that eventually led to him not wanting to lead me on and telling me twice “I deserved better”. That is such a cop out for people to say and I hate it. Who are you to decide what I deserve in this life? More than anything, to me, it meant that he wasn’t ready or in his mind, maybe,  I was the one undeserving of him and his time. I couldn’t hate him for his opinion though, but it seemed more like his way of pushing me away. Cool. I get it, you get your heartbroken and it’s scary to jump into something new. But, just because one person hurt you doesn’t mean I will be the same or the situation will. This was always frustrating me, with him, that I couldn’t understand his thought process. If you’ve been hurt in the past, be open with people about it. If you’re not ready for a relationship or don’t see me in that way, then tell me. I’m not going to be mad, if anything I will be appreciative for the honesty. You just saved us both time. But, instead, people choose to avoid those conversations and drag things out. I know – it seems like I have high expectations, but damn it, why wouldn’t I? I have a daughter to think about and though I am never looking for a Dad for her, I want this person to not only be amazing in my eyes, but great in hers too. My expectations were high because I saw what this person had to offer and could give. I also saw something in them that I don’t think they saw in themselves. Long, long story short…he got his way. He pushed me away by being someone that I feel deep down into my veins, my marrow that he isn’t. I wouldn’t say this was heartbreaking for me, but more-so heartbreaking to witness. How could someone who is loved by a lot of people, and just a great guy not see that about himself? Or I could just be lying to myself to make myself feel better and maybe he is a jackass. He isn’t though and I wish that one day he does find whatever it is he is looking for and is happy. I’ve never been confident or been aware of my worth, but this situation showed me what I had to offer. I feel like I am pretty awesome person. My body is improving, it’s not perfect but I think I’ve got great curves, so whatevs. Haha. But, seriously this person, without knowing it, has taught me so many things about myself that I didn’t know. They will never know, but I am thankful for that. I am thankful for him putting me through hell sometimes and for being an asshole, and I mean that in very loving way of courseJ. I know what I want from the man I’m potentially with. I don’t want someone who will give me excuses or try to feed me beautiful words served to me on a rose-gold platter. I want honesty and someone who’s not scared to tell me how they really feel. To tell me about their fears or how they have been hurt in the past. I want the raw emotions and someone who isn’t scared of their feelings and for having feelings.

The other part of twenty-fifteen that was hard to let go was job of three and a half years. I had many wonderful memories made there and met amazing people. I have been so lucky to have walked away with those friendships. A few of us are in a group chat and it is pretty hilarious. We have shared our ups, and some downs but most importantly, laughs. It’s been a challenge to find something comparable to Viansa, but I don’t doubt something will come a long. I start school in less than a week and I wouldn’t be at this point if it wasn’t for not being at the winery anymore. I’m still bouncing back and forth between two majors, I am undecided as to where I want my education and career to take me in life. It’s a scary and exciting time. Little is making the switch into preschool from her daycare and I am so excited. My siblings and I all went to this preschool in town and my mom has taught there for forever pretty much. She will be retiring after the year so it will be fun have her last year be with Aurora. There is just so much paperwork, holy shit. I understand why the need it…but to be honest I can’t remember exactly when we started potty-training her or other things. Aurora hit big milestones on the younger side of when kids are supposed to. Guess, I’ll have to pull out those baby books I started. Key word, started. You tell me how many people you know with completed baby books before you pass judgment onto me ha-ha. I don’t even think my mom finished mine. That may be something to complete this year. Okay, maybe that’s clearly me being ambitious…never mind. Sorry Aurora!

With goodbyes, come new opportunities, new hellos and new challenges to face. With twenty-sixteen I am so excited for everything that is coming my way, goals I have for myself and things I want to accomplish. One of my dearest and best friends and I have set a pretty cool goal for us to accomplish this year and I am so, so, so excited for it! We are embarking on a 12 month journey of our beautiful valley and bay area. One new hiking trail and one new restaurant a month. 12 hikes, 12 restaurants. This makes me so happy. I am almost 27 and have been blessed to grow up in this beautiful valley with amazing food. So, it’s time to get out there explore and I am excited to have my friends at my side for the journey. I will, of course, be documenting this and telling you all about it.

Till next time! xoxo

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