Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Ore-Ida!

The last day of the year-  a time for reflection AKA looking back and seeing if you screwed up too badly.

This last year was seriously a year of upheaval carried over from 2010.  In the summer of 2010, I hated my job and had a particularly bad week. I went online to job search and came across some ads for an outpatient position for a physical therapist assistant. One in particular I was interested in because I had attended a continuing ed class with that organization and liked it.  It was in the 4th biggest city in the US and about 3.5 hours from where I lived at the time; did I mention that? I filled out the application, set my salary high, and decided what happened happened. A few weeks went by with nothing and then I got a call.  I talked to HR a couple times, I did a phone interview, and then after spending a weekend in Houston I stayed over on Monday morning for an early AM interview. HR called me and said "are you serious with that salary demand?" and I answered that I had been working in home health for a few years and my demand wasn't that crazy but I would negotiate. I decided on a number I would definitely take and they called back with a number that  including a sign on bonus was $1000 less than I would definitely take.  It was close enough and I moved into an Extended Stay Hotel in September.

I am so not a risk taker and I've spent most of my life playing it beyond safe, so this was a ginormous step for me. I got used to living by myself but missed my family immensely.  Around Thanksgiving I decided to travel down to CC every weekend to do family/Christmas things. On that first weekend, I got knocked out. I drove down Friday after work, talking to several people about plans. On Saturday, my sister and I went and saw our dad, stepmom, and stepsiblings and then later I went to dinner and played RockBand with more family and friends.  On Sunday, I woke up because my stepmom had called me that my dad was on his way to the hospital that she thinks he might have had a stroke. The stroke turned out to be an aneursym in his brain and before the end of the night my stepmom, sister, and I were talking about organ donation. We did decide on organ donation and between that and that my dad was a big deal in the fire department we had some media attention on top of dealing with the fact that his sudden death had knocked us on our asses.  I would not change the organ donation decision but wow, that makes things harder on the family. For all intents and purposes, Dad died on Dec 5th, but he was not declared until Dec 6th. Then he was kept clinically alive through Dec 7th until all the organs could be harvested.  I'm not sure how many times we said good-bye. My stepmom couldn't make herself leave especially at night. We have little stepsiblings that had to be told (my oldest stepbrother, 13 at the time, spent limited time at the hospital, but the littles 4 and 6 were not told until everything was done).

Surviving the first few weeks after that were rough, first my sister stayed with me during the week but then she had to be in CC since we were still trying to sell the house and my mom had work, etc. Then I was in Houston  by myself. I remembered asking my sister if she still wanted to move to Houston; she said she did. In that moment of emotional upheaval, I would've gone back to a job I disliked just to be in the familiar for the sake of myself and my family.  But I went back and liking my job makes such a huge difference for me.  The evenings were tougher though. Dealing with losing dad and the fact that my house that I loved, but needed to sell in Corpus was not selling or even being shown, gave me such a feeling of being out of control.

I hate lack of control.  I am by no means a control freak, but I do need to feel as though I have handle on things (I've never been crazy, stupid drunk for this reason).  Usually I eat my feelings. This time I decided to take an unhealthy viewpoint and spin it to make it healthy for me.  The main thing with anorexics and bullimics is that they need to control what calories they intake and burn. They take it to the extreme but since I'm a chunk I thought I can make this work for me. And I did. I did not deprive myself of everything good. In fact when I lived by myself I usually had Ben and Jerry's in my freezer. But I made the decision about what I ate and what activity I did.  It was strangely liberating to order myself around. Will I feel better if I eat all the chocolate I have in my hotel room? No?  Ok, let me eat two pieces of chocolate and these veggies. Will ice cream make me feel better?  A little bit. So, just have a few bites out of the carton (I was also into doing as few dishes as possible) and then move on.  Feeling anxious or sad?  Like you can't sit still?  Maybe you shouldn't then.  Go out and run around the block or do some yoga. To further my inspiration these crazy girls, Annie and Becca, started the #2011pushupchallenge and I had something to do every or every other day (

It worked really, really well for me.  I bought size 20 pants for my job interview in July 2010 (which was down from the size 22/24 pants I had bought a few months prior). By March of 2011, I went shopping and was able to buy size 16 pants! In May, I stopped paying the mortgage on my house in Corpus and searched for an owner financed home in Houston. I probably gained a good 10 lb in that process and the packing/moving process. I lost that by the end of the summer and then I looked at my goals. I wanted to run a 5K by the end of the year and I wanted to do a half marathon (cause all the cool kids were doing it) and wanted to do Beach to Bay.  I decided physically and financially my goal of running in Vegas in December wasn't going to happen.  The 5K needed to happen though because I was slacking with nothing to work towards.  I signed up and paid for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure on October 1st.  I ran/walked  and have no idea how I did timewise, but I was still breathing at the end and was enough of a runner to get annoyed by the five abreast walkers.  Somewhere during the fall, I dropped another size and was solidly (not loosely) in size 14 pants.  The shirt size varied because the ladies are large and in charge and I've lost inches around but not dropped a cup size yet (not an altogether bad thing).

With all this exercise and compliments from family, friends, and patients I had so much more confidence and felt like I deserved more.  I have seriously not dated in eight years. Yes, that's right eight years.  Apart from a couple awkward meetings from a guy I met online that fizzled quickly and a consideration of a friends with benefits deal that never materialized, the romance in my life was null. So, the profile I had up on got updated and I gave it a shot. I started talking to two guys in particular; one caught me on free trial day and the other was bright enough to figure out my hidden clues because I'm cheap and didn't want to pay. I've emailed with a few others.  I've been out on two dates each with the first two guys and the one is way too nice for me; I'm a bit of a bitch. The other guy's dates went extremely well but now I haven't heard from him so I'm trying not to let my new found confidence get knocked to the ground. To counter and soothe the ego, I agreed to the second date with  Nice Guy (yeah, really nice and I am way bitchy) and have been corresponding with another guy, Sports Guy, and just car flirted with a random guy on the way home from a run. I had tried online dating before with not much success and now I think I know why.  I was terrified to meet someone when I tried previously. Shaking, sick to my stomach terrified. This time around I was nervous but not terrified. The difference in my self confidence is pretty amazing. If he doesn't like me or vice versa the world will not end. But thanks to the paranoia safety concerns, my dad instilled in me I take circumspect routes home and park under a light especially with the guys I'm not as fond of.

The dating thing wasn't a goal of mine this year and last New Year's I didn't set any goals. My goals developed over the course of the year and I haven't exactly met them. One goal was to get into a size 12 by the end of the year. Well, I found a pair of old size 12 pants and technically I am in them.  As I type this, they are cutting off my blood supply.  I had to lie down on the bed to zip and button them but I am in them. Another goal was to be below a certain weight.  Last time I weighed myself (earlier this week), I was about 5 lbs over that weight. I really meant I wanted this by Chinese New Year? Any takers? But seriously, I'm kind of okay with not getting there.  Of course, I would have preferred to be in a loose size 12 and been under that magic number but I'm so close and it's so much better than last year. I can now run and am not embarrassed by how quickly I tire out. I ran/walk a 5K today and did 365 push-ups (old school girly style) and I could not have imagined doing either last year at this time.
Me on the far left in Nov 2008

December 2011

There's a huge difference there that goes beyond weight although my weight is tied into it. I like myself better. I really want kids and before this year I thought that would only happen on my own.  I'm okay with that happening on my own, but I'm willing to explore the possibility of it happening as a result of a great relationship as well.  I did not accomplish all my goals as I wanted to, but I got better as a person and for me that's all right. Here's to 2012!

PS. Per brilliant psychic/author, Victoria Laurie (, I am supposed to complete my half marathon this year and will decide to and complete a full marathon next year. And I'm supposed to meet a tall, funny, blond or fair complected guy around September who Victoria loves for me. With that echoing in my mind, I've had the best running week evah! Which is good because I'm way behind training for a half marathon that happens in a little over two months!


  1. OMG YOU LOOK AMAZING!!!!! You RAWK!! Thanks so much for being such a support to me. One day we will hang out.

  2. Thanks Annie!!! We definitely need to hang out! I really don't like that you have to go through what you're going through right now, but you are bad ass and I know you'll be awesome! Let me know if you come up to Houston. I haven't hit the town much and really want to.

  3. You look totes fab, bb. And Gussy looks like he's smiling too! And I miss you. Lots and Lots!