Dear Catie, I’m starting my new beginning before the new year. #becauseican

So, allow me to apologize and thank you at the same time, my darling Kettle.

I apologize, because I have been rotten the past few months. I’ve been hurting in my own way, and that made me more bitter than I care to admit – but will anyway because admitting my feelings is more healthy than pretending they didn’t happen at all. I sincerely thought this would be my new life, this not caring, being sassy, and bitter thing.

But, it was not meant to be. And, while I was doing it all, and writing out in my darkest moments, I truly appreciate you for responding with haste, with compassion, and with humor. You and I speak on a level that is secret to our own nature, our own way. It’s a language people can see and hear and understand, but they may not fully comprehend the depth. You reached me. And I thank you so much for it. I’m surprised you didn’t just:

 

 

I mean, I would have taken it.

 

Anyhow, let’s move on to the new things.

 

I thought up a few new ideas for a book. Two are in this world. They’re fiction, but it’s like, modern day. 2014. You know. Another is in another world, made up, very steampunk meets victorian.

I moved in to my new apartment. Tomorrow, my father moves out of his house and stops sleeping at my apartment – and Elijah and I will be completely and totally alone. I love my father, and this isn’t a jest at him or the old, “I’m so glad to kick my parents out” joke. I am seriously thankful for the opportunity to be in my own home. My own. Just me (and Elijah). And more so, that I can magically afford it somehow, like a grown ass responsible and independent woman that don’t need no man. Huzzah.

I’m also kind of thankful that Dad’s gone because I could not get the man to cook healthy. I mean, come on. I am trying to lose weight. Stop making potato-cheese-bacon melt casserole, jeeze.

I also no longer have to deal with toll roads. Hallelujah. It takes me 20 minutes to get to work, even from Dallas, because every time I drive the highway is against traffic rather than with, and thus I don’t have roadblocks. I’m sure they will periodically happen. I’m not daft, but it’s a much better situation.

Oh, by the way, I am in the center of everything. I love the city, and have always wanted to live here. I’ve lived in suburbs, but this is my first in the actual city where sirens are a daily occurrence sort of deal. I love it. There’s 3 malls around the corner, a million bookstores on my block and my walmart is two stories tall. (Three stories with the Sams Club attached. Oh yeah.)

I read an article the other day about people who want to travel to go on their ‘soul-searching’ journey – and the author was like, “Quit coming to my country looking for your peace. We are not for you tourists pleasure. We do not magically fix you. You fix you. You will not be ‘fixed’ unless our mind and heart and soul are in the right frame. If you have to come here to ‘get away’, fine, but do not assume we are miracle workers. You can do this at home. Just find a place inside to sit and ‘get away’ and find yourself. It’s frightening, but cheaper!”

My apartment has become this. Granted, I pay for it monthly, but I’m on my own. My own rules. My own decisions. My own life. I am so thankful.

I know that this may be backwards, but after many disagreements and arguments with my cousin who is very devout in Christian faith, I have decided to take the label off of my faith. I believe there is a God. I believe whatever this God is is fair and just and lovely and fascinating and has to exist because this world, nay, universe is too much for chance. I believe in paying respects. I believe in thanking each part and piece of nature and our natural world for it’s existence. For thanking calm as it washes over me. For thanking worry as it reminds me that I care about something so much to be anxious over it. But I will no longer call myself of Christian faith. It was the hardest decision I’ve made recently, and one that broke me down to tears. It’s a long story, but it has been brought to my attention that my way of life was hardly anything to do with Christianity, and if that is the case, then fuck it. 

I’ll do good and be a good person because I am a good person.

I love you so much.  I may write smaller pieces here and there because there’s more I want to write to you but have momentarily forgotten. I love you. I love you. I love ou.

I appreciate you. I see you. Thank you.

Miranda

 

 

 

 

P.S. I got a text from my mom as I was closing this and my mom announces, “No breast cancer!! Just cysts!” Yeeeeehaw!

 

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Dear Miranda, Here is all you ever wanted to know about Juicing.

Juice! It’s magic!  Ok, not really, but it is pretty cool and also pretty easy to explain so this will be a short post.

 
 

For me jucing is the easiest way to get in a few extra servings of veggies, especially dark leafy greens that are really good for you.

Basically this is how juicing works.

You want to get in more veggies and or you want to replace a meal/snack.

You get some veggies and or fruit of your choosing (usually I do a dark green like kale or spinach, lemon, an apple).

You stuff them in your juicer and BAM. Instant Vitamins and nutrients your body really needs that you don’t get enough of in a much more manageable way then just trying to randomly eat all that shit raw… because really the likelihood of you (read: me) eating half a bunch of kale raw is pretty damn slim. However I WILL drink my kale when its mixed with something more palatable like an apple and lemon to cut the bitterness.

ALSO and this is sort of a BIG reason to juice. While taking a multivitamin is great, your body will always absorbed raw nutrients better then what you are going to get in a pill.

Juice you by at the store has been filtered and processed and pasteurized… which is ok if you want like say apple juice that you intend to use for the kiddo for a few weeks. However a lot of the vitamins have basically been burned out and then readded in a difference form… think of it like microwaving something and then taking a multivitamin with it. So basically your missing some of the goodness that is in an apple if you were to juice it at home and drink it right away.

^Juicer^
 
 

The downfalls of juicing are this. Its sort of a hassle to clean your Juicer (but not really), you need to drink what ever you juice with in a day or so because its much more susceptible to growing bacteria (also not a big deal, I only juice what I am going to drink right then) and lastly it is sortof expensive… which you will notice is a trend with all things that are healthy. Produce is expensive and so is juicing, but IMHO its worth it.

If you wish to know more then you have but to ask.

❤ Catie

Dear Miranda, here is the (super long) weightloss guidbook!

Ok. So… lets see how long it takes me to get this out of the drafts section of the blog and actually posted. lol

You’re new years resolutions fucking rock, and I especially like your last one! Which…I suppose is as good a place as any to start talking about THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT GETTING HEALTHIER. Are you ready? Here it is.

“Do Not let Perfect, be the Enemy of Good.”
Are you listening to me? This means that when you fail (which you will, because hello, your a human) do not just throw in the towel. You say to yourself:
“Hey me. You shouldn’t have done that. But it’s ok, because you have been doing really good and you know what, tomorrow your going to rock it.”
Also I should add… you made your goals REALLY hard. I give myself two big cheat meals each week. To say NO MORE fast food and soda EVER… is ambitious. Now, I’m not saying YOU can’t do it. I’m saying I couldn’t do that… nor would I want to.
Keep in mind a new diet should not be about deprivation, but instead, improvement.
This might seem small but its really not. I HIGHLY recommend you give yourself cheat days. And start big, then go smaller. For example. I now do two meals a week, but before I did two days a week. Then when I felt sure I could do better, I moved to one day a week. I doubt I will ever have less then my two meals a week because honestly, I love good food and there ain’t nothing wrong with eating what you want every now and again.
I also never diet when I am on vacation. A vacation is about adventure and exploring a new culture and letting your passions run wild. Don’t cheat yourself of that. (I will say gradually you might find you ENJOY some of the healthier options and you will FOR SURE start to get full faster after a while.)
Ok so. Now that we have talked about cheating lets talk about what to do when not cheating. We will do food first, then exorcise. Keep in mind… this is what worked for ME. Feel free to modify.
-Drink more water.
Have I stressed the importance of this enough yet? This is SO important not just to dieting but to your health! I will Just drop this here.
Oh yeah… and one thing this little poster doesn’t mention… It also helps prevent cancer. DRINK. MORE. WATER.
I found the easiest way for me to do this was to add lemon or strawberries to my water for flavor and to buy a big ass plastic cup with a HUGE straw. I drink more when I have a straw, I don’t know why.  
-Stop Starving Yourself (Snack).
So in the past when I have tried to diet by eating lots of small meals I felt overwhelmed. FUCK… now I have to plan 5-6 meals instead of three! And it just never worked. But this last time I realized then when I watched what I ate for my 3 meals a day I was a) starving by dinner  and b) had calories left over. And having lots of left over calories SOUNDS like a great thing, but its really not. You want to lose weight but MORE importantly you want your body to function like it is supposed to so you don’t want 600 cal. left over at the end of the day just like you don’t want to go over by 600 cal.
Once all this occurred to me, I continued to eat carefully for my three meals BUT I added snacks in between as I got hungry.
Please don’t panic. You don’t have to plan out 70 million snacks. Honestly You just need a few basics that you don’t mind eating often. I regularly use 100 cal packs of organic popcorn, 100 cal skinny cow fudgesicles (for when I was craving sweets) , 100 cal chocolate greek yogurt.  
When I started snacking I noticed…Holy shit… I’m not as hungry and all my portions became smaller… and suddenly with out even trying I was basically eating 6 small meals a day!
(Later when I got good at doing this I started Juicing as a snack and to add another veggie. I will do a whole different post on Juicing sometime for you love.)  
-Don’t do all the things.
When we start a project we are all: ALL THE THINGS. I WILL DO ALLLLLL THE THINGS. Don’t. Here’s the deal… If you are worried about balancing your diet, and losing weight, and getting in more green veggies, and eating organic, and blablabla,  you will eventually say “fuck it” and feel like you failed at ALL THE THINGS.
For now, you want to lose weight so focus on that. The really cool part of all this is that the other stuff falls into place naturally with out you trying. For a while you just pay attention to your calories and what not… and as you do you reolize “I could eat 1/4 of that candy bar… OR I could eat an entire banana and a small square of dark chocolate.” Suddenly you are making better choices anyway.
I got to where I would eat a salad with just vinegar because to me the oil was a pointless waist of calories and salad is nearly a freebie so I could have a bigger dinner or feel less guilty if I had a few to many cups of coffee that morning (creamer calories always kill me).
Once all that goes down if you want to try and add more greens, balance, take some vitamins or wtf ever THEN do it.
So that pretty much covers Food Rules. I can give you more later if you have questions or what not, but that’s the basics.
Now onto Working out.
I fucking hate working out. Really. I hate it. I WANT to love running. So badly. But I loath it. HOWEVER… I love how I feel after I work out. And unfortunately after baby… you HAVE to work out to drop the weight, or at least I did.
This is what worked for me (I found some of these in a book called the Happiness project and found them to be really helpful):
-Never skip exorcising for two days in a row.
This is so true. By day three it is always SO hard to go back to the gym where as when I have momentum it’s not so bad.
-Always work out on Mondays.
Stupid Mondays.
-Do the type of work out you like.  
I don’t do the treadmill much and NEVER go to the track… because fuck running.
-Find ways to squeeze exorcise in.
This is especially true if you know you wont make it to the gym that day. Instead put on music and REALLY dance for 3 songs. Do a rep of jumping jacks and squats every time you get up from your desk. Shit like that.
-Give your self credit for the small things.
If you had to walk up and down the stairs at school 4 times, don’t write that off. Soon you will find yourself making excused to go up them an extra time just to top of your normal count. If you go for a walk and take the long way, pat yourself on the back. Next time you will probably take the long way again if you do.
That is about all for that. There is only one more thing I want to go over.
The first 3 days of dieting are total hell. You will think you are starving.
Three weeks in you will probably be wonder why the fuck you are still hungry all the time (though less so then the first 3 days).
A month in if you look at the scale and have gained 2 lbs, DO NOT GET UPSET. If you are working out then weight loss is SLOW at first and your body starts building muscle. I promise the loss will come and when it does start to come if you have kept to working out the lbs. will melt off faster than you think. Muscle is a good thing. It basically eats your fat. Seriously… the more muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate will be.
And lastly. Stay positive. Remember this shit is for your sanity and health and any change you make is a step in the right direction.
YOU CAN DO IT! (And I can stop being lazy and get my ass back to the gym!)
-Catie

Dear Catie, About those New Year Resolution things…

I’m am so awful about them. It’s probably the perfectionist / completionist whore in me that feels utter failure when something isn’t done 100%, but that’s how I feel every year when I don’t do something. Example:

Miranda wants to drink NO SODAS. Miranda lasts 31 days and drinks a soda. Miranda doesn’t try harder the next day, because she’s already fucked up and therefor is not perfect, why bother.

This is bad, and I know it’s bad. It’s also probably the reason I haven’t lost weight yet. “I worked out so hard the other day, and here I am eating a Whataburger!… LOLNOPE ON THE WEIGHTLOSS THING.”

But, for you my dear, I will make a list because it’s good to have goals and strive for something, and with your help, even when I inevitably fail sometimes, you can help remind me that I can keep going without the perfection and the world will, believe it or not, still turn.

Miranda’s New Year Resolutions
  1. Apologize only when I regret. This one if a big deal to me because, as you know Catie, up until a few months ago I would apologize for every little thing. Bumping someone’s shoulder on pure accident, not having a clean house when friends would come over despite the fact that I have no time and a child to raise, being too poor to afford things like ‘going out every night’, or for hurting someone’s feelings unintentionally because they took what I said or wrote the completely wrong direction in which it was meant and didn’t give me the benefit of the doubt. Yeah, fuck that. No more. I spent a month with a counselor this past semester at school and she suggested that to help with all the guilt I felt all the time that made me not want to be in this world, I should realize what it is I feel guilt for and why. And if it was for dumb things like the examples above, then I shouldn’t let it make me feel guilty. Instead, I should base every apology I want to make on this sound question: “Do I regret not cleaning the house instead of playing with my son? Do I regret having no money instead of being home to raise my child and use more time to focus on school? Do I regret saying or writing something because someone’s head is too far up their own ass to realize what I’ve been writing? No? Okay, no apology needed.” Works for me.
  2. Be positive. I know my last paragraph seemed a little catty. Maybe it was. I’ve gone from depressed, innocent, crying, pathetic Miranda and turned in to confident, empowered, motivated Miranda… with a side of catty when people try to pull the old shit on me (and took advantage of how compassionate I really am when I care.) You know the types and people. Anyhow, I want to make sure my catty doesn’t become a side-effect and hurt people more than it does make them laugh. And more importantly, I need to remember that everything is in perspective, and with a positive one, I can get more shit done.
  3. No more sodas. God, I will miss Dr. Pepper. I should make ONE exception rule: On Holidays, I can have up to two. TWO. God, they are so bad for you, though.
  4. No more fast food. I would like to note that this does not include healthier places like Panera Bread in which I get the healthiest, tastiest, over-priced shit. But it is the best.
  5. Plan ahead on school work. Last semester, in almost every class, I was given my assignments ahead of time on a schedule. I had ample opportunities to get my things done way before the end of term, and not taking advantage of this really hurt my grades in some classes. This semester, I am taking 14 hours. This includes an online course (Art Appreciation. Easy enough.), a physical education course (Yoga. Yay! Forced Physical Health!), a language course (More Spanish. All the time.), a history course (God, help me), and a creative writing class. The latter three are going to be heavy in things to learn, and I really don’t have time or money to slack off. It’s go time. Take advantage of all my opportunities school-related, go go go!
  6. Write for 30 minutes, every day. Whether it’s this blog, a diary, role play, a short story.. Anything to keep my mind going and keep up the pace I want to set to write that next great American piece of literature!
  7. Work out. I’m really bad that this one. I really am. When I am working out, I am like ‘fuck yeah this feels great’. Before the work out, I am like ‘what excuse can I come up with to keep me from having to spend an hour at the gym.’ I don’t know why. I need to reroute my brain’s pattern of thinking on this one, but I truly don’t know how to yet. So, I’m going to put work out, because it sounds better than ‘lose X lbs’ when I can’t even focus on the working out part just yet. Maybe in June, I can give you a number. For now, I just want to make working out a routine thing. With Yoga being every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30, and classes (near my gym) every M-Th, I am hoping I can stop by the gym on the way home every day (4 days of 7, if not also on weekends) and do some work. That is, also while keeping my homework under check.
  8. Flesh out one of the many ideas I have for a book, and write a plot line. You know me. I have a million ideas, and they are all half-assed and never finished. I need to pick one and just run with it. Run it in to the ground. Then I need to write it out as much as I can. Then I need to put it away for 3 months and come back to it with a clear head and write some more, and edit. I also need to figure out how to even get published. Hmm.
  9. God, God, God. If anything, the biggest thing that happened to me last year was finally breaking the barrier where I wanted so bad to believe in God, but he seemed so much like a fairy tale that I couldn’t. When I finally broke that barrier.. It’s magical. To save you guys who may not give a damn about religion, or Christians, some time, I will just tell you that… it’s a big deal. And I’d love to get more involved with Him and our relationship because the more I do, the better things seem to get for me and mine.
  10. Complete at least two of these resolutions. It doesn’t count if I complete one, and then this one is the second and therefor 2/10 are done. That’s cheating.
Hope you liked my resolutions, Catie. Tried just for you.
Hey! It would be super awesome if you could explain Juicing to me sometime. I don’t even know what it is, but people won’t shut up about it. Is it good? Bad? Weight loss related? I don’t speak Japanese. 
Just do a nutrition post in general. Or both. Give it all to me, now!
Miranda

P.S. After your last post, my head is the size of Jupiter’s moon, Miranda. Thank you.