Don’t Worry, I Haven’t Gone Anywhere

I’m tired.

I’m not drowning. I’ve been drowning before, been so low below water that I had to struggle to keep my head up, but that’s not me right now. Right now, the water is safely pooled around my calves, the current most certainly pressing against me but not sweeping me away. I’ll be fine. Once I gather my strength a little bit, I’ll be able to walk right on out of here. So, I’m not drowning.

I’m not empty. I don’t feel nothing. I’m smiling and joking around and enjoying things still.

I’m not dead yet, I’m just tired. I just need a small rest. That’s all.

I’m unmotivated. I’m uncharacteristic; the Type A, hyper-ambitious bitch has been reduced to a motionless lump, in such a way that usually accompanies depression, but this time, I’m not depressed. This time, I’m just tired.

And ‘tired’ I can deal with. Tired is okay. Tired will pass. Tired had better pass, or I might have to do something about it.

I’m not done yet. I’m still here, I haven’t given up. I just need a break. I just need a direction. I just need some change.

I’m thinking. I’m planning. I may be a motionless lump, but I won’t be forever. And when it passes, I’ll be a force to be reckoned with, as always.

I’m still the same Type A, hyper-ambitious bitch you know and love. For now, I’m just tired.

 

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Don’t Get Comfortable

Don’t get comfortable.

You’re going to want to do it. Throughout your life, you are going to find people, places, and things that are going to make you feel safe. You’re going to want to hold onto them, to keep them near even when you’re starting to get bored and tired. Because even if they’re predictable, at least they’re comfortable. At least you know it all, inside and out.

But you can’t get comfortable.

If there is one absolute in this world, it is that things change. Things change all the time. People change. Circumstances change. You change. And if you aren’t prepared for that, then things are still going to change – they’re just going to rip the rug out from underneath you and leave you reeling. They’re going to make you feel lost and confused. You might know that one thing really well, but if you haven’t weighed your options and kept your mind open, then that is the only thing you know.

If you are not prepared for change, if you resist change, then you lose out on your opportunity to grow from that change. You are so preoccupied with holding onto that safe, easy past that you forget to notice the doors that this change might be opening for you. Nothing is forever, and you need to move on, but you won’t move on if you don’t allow yourself to. If you’re too comfortable in what you have today.

So don’t get comfortable.

Don’t take the good things that you might have today for granted. Remember that you will eventually lose them, and it isn’t a matter of if, but of when. Remember that, and let it happen when it does. Mourn its loss if you have to, and then find out what’s before you. Don’t get comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean don’t love; it just means that you need to appreciate that person, place, or thing in exactly the way that it deserves to be loved.

Don’t get comfortable. Sooner or later, life will reach right for you and drag you out of your comfort zone. It’s going to happen, whether you agree to go easily, or try to fight it tooth and nail. The only difference that the latter option will make, is that that transition will become so much harder for you.

What I Learned From Eating Healthy

About two years ago, I decided that I wanted to eat healthy and lose weight. I thought that it would all be fairly straight-forward. Eating healthy, I thought, was nothing more than whole wheat bread, meat and veggies – nothing too complicated about that. But as it turns out, especially if your goal is losing weight, there are a lot of conflicting messages about what healthy eating is. Everyone is an expert, and everyone promises that their method works the best, so it’s really difficult to know for sure what’s true and what’s a lie.

And right off the bat, I’m going to admit that I am not an expert. I have not gone to school for nutrition, but I have lost fifty pounds by changing my diet and exercising regularly. And that is all that I am drawing on here: experience. Experience, and a desire to help people sort through the conflicting messages that are available online.

So, without further ado, here are the things that I have learned from eating healthy.

1) Different things work for different people

This might be one of the most important points. When searching advice for healthy eating, you’ll find a lot of the same questions: “Is cheese okay?” “Is a vegan diet better for you?” “Can I still eat breads?”

And here is my answer, from my own experience eating healthy and listening to other people: different things work for different people.

For example, there are some people who will claim with die-hard conviction that you will feel a million times better if you eliminate bread from your diet. But when I did it, a good three months later I was sitting in class, unable to focus on the lecture because I was too busy watching the girl in front of me eat a sandwich. I went just a little bit delirious, fantasizing about that little bit of tortilla that comes at the beginning of a taco. Eventually, I decided that it just wasn’t worth it, and I went back to eating 100% whole wheat bread, and I haven’t had any problems since.

Some people believe that a plant-based diet is better than anything. Some people physically cannot live without meat. Some people say that cheese is terrible for you. Others say that it’s a great source of protein, and a good way to bulk up your calories if you’re looking to gain muscle. It’s all very individual, and you need to work through different diets to figure out which one works the best for you.

And the same goes for how you eat too, not just what you eat. When I first started eating healthy, I was told that the best method for doing so was to eat small meals every two to three hours, because it keeps your metabolism up. I cannot imagine any other way of eating, because I find that, every two to three hours, I start to get a little bit hangry. Yet, I have heard many alternatives to that theory. I hear that it’s best to eat within a small window between, say, noon to eight p.m. I hear that it’s best to eat one large meal and small snacks throughout the day. I hear that it’s best not to eat at all, just drink water or tea or some sort of detoxifying concoction. And I’m not saying that these methods do not work for some people; I’m just saying that they wouldn’t work for me. And that’s okay. We are all different, and all of our bodies need different things. We just need to find out what works for us.

2) You can still eat many of your favourite foods – you just need to substitute

Ever since I was little, muffins have been one of my favourite treats. They’re a comfort food, and have been ever since my mom would bring them home for me when she got off of work. And as much as I can’t (regularly) eat store-bought muffins now, I can still make them at home with substituted ingredients. Using oat flour and honey rather than sugar, I can make blueberry muffins, gingerbread muffins, even double chocolate chip muffins if I want, and I can enjoy them daily without guilt.

And muffins are not the only treat that you can do this with. For example, you can make great healthy tacos using lean beef and whole wheat tortillas. You can make your own pizzas using whole wheat pitas or whole wheat tortillas or whatever you can think up. Heck, you can even eat chocolate, as long as you can get used to the taste of dark chocolate (and your tastes will change after a period of eating healthy. Honestly, I think I eat more chocolate now than I ever used to).

Pretty much any meal that you can think of has its healthy alternatives. You can buy pasta made out of brown rice or vegetables, you can make flour out of oats or almonds. And the internet is a great resource for looking this stuff up. You can do a Google search for healthy alternative recipes, and you will find a whole variety, many of them fairly inexpensive.

3) If you want some solid advice, just try to eat natural

There are so many companies nowadays that claim that their product is the best. Because their bread is low calorie, that means that its a healthy alternative to your typical bread. The problem with that is, in their attempt to make it low calorie, they stuffed it full of so many chemicals that, as much as you can most certainly digest it, it really isn’t all that good for your body.

It is so much better for you to just eat foods that come naturally. Fruits, vegetables, farm-raised meats, natural sugars like honey or molasses or maple syrup. All of these are so much healthier for you than the products companies push to help you lose weight.

Now, I say try to eat natural because, in our day and age, it isn’t always easy. GMO apples are much cheaper to buy than organic apples, and meats from animals that never saw the sun and were fed a diet of chemicals are cheaper than farm-raised meats. Every once in a while, something’s got to give, and maybe it’s better to accept the chemicals than it is to not have enough to make next month’s rent. But that being said, when you can eat natural, it is always the best alternative.