Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reclaiming Myself: Step 1

So I've FINALLY gotten over my melancholy at being a year away from 30 and not where I thought I'd be at this age. I know, it only took me a month and a half. (What can I saw, when I wallow, I wallow.) Part of what snapped me out of it isn't something I'm necessarily comfortable discussing, but needless to say it did what it needed to in snapping me out of it. So now, I'm working on feeling GOOD about myself and loving myself above all else. Not at the expense of ignoring the ones I love, but I feel that right now, I need to make myself a priority more than anything or anyone. (Don't worry, the dog and The Hubs will still be fed and cuddled as needed. ;D)

One thing that I really need to work on is my own self-esteem, as evidenced by that post about identifying a little too much with The Bieste on "Glee". I still identify with her, that hasn't changed. I simply want to make myself feel better about the face I see in the mirror.

I think most married ladies would agree with me when I say that while it's nice to know that our spouse (male or female) thinks we're hot when we're wearing pajama pants and a ratty t-shirt (Team-building exercise, '99), it's not quite the same as knowing other people who you're NOT married to find you attractive. It's crazy, but witnessing someone you're not married to give you the eye is such an ego boost. For me, at least, it makes me feel like I'm not settling for my spouse because he's the only one that finds me attractive, instead I'm choosing to be with my spouse because OBVIOUSLY I'm super-foxy and have options, as evidenced by that one dude totally checking me out while in line at the grocery store. Yeah. I know, it's crazy, but it's how my brain works... and I suspect I'm not the only one. It's a girl thing; we're conditioned by society to want to be found attractive at all times, and when we're not getting that reassurance from anyone other than people we suspect are too biased to be honest, it makes us feel ugly. The Hubs could tell me I'm beautiful until his tongue gets tired, it will still only hold so much weight when the rest of the world isn't giving me the time of day.

So why isn't the world giving me the time of day? Because I got comfortable. I stopped doing my hair other than in a ponytail, stopped wearing make-up, and settled into a rather asexual wardrobe of guy t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops. SEXY. (Yes, The Hubs still told me I'm sexy, even with the hiddy wardrobe.) I got my man, so I stopped putting the effort in. Simple as that! Not saying it's right, just saying it is. Well, no wonder I wasn't gaining any notice from the outside world, I blended in too well.

As part of my image rehab, lately I've been putting a little more effort in. If I don't feel like blow-drying my hair, I at least try to put some product in it to let my natural texture do its thing. I've taken the extra 10 minutes to take care of my skin and put on makeup (yup, I have it down to 10 minutes, I'm THAT GOOD). I'm aiming to wear cuter clothes, even on my "off" days. For example, this past Wednesday I think I only planned to leave the house for, like, 20 minutes total - I still did my hair, put on some make-up, and wore a sweater that made me feel pretty. It worked! I felt like a babe all day, and was seriously only out of the house for maybe an hour, max! Even The Hubs noticed when he came home (and promptly asked what the occasion was, worried he'd forgotten something, hahaha). There was no reason other than I wanted to do it for ME. I wanted to feel pretty, and I did. =)

Now, has the rest of the world noticed? Somewhat. My students are loving it - they're a bunch of superficial teenagers, so OF COURSE they immediately noticed a change, esp. the girls, and are encouraging it. Some of my sophomore boys started hitting on me a little, which was creepy and I quickly put a kibosh on that (but was still a little flattering ;D). But it really doesn't matter - I love how I feel when I look in the mirror again, and that's what's more important to me.

This positive attitude has started to spread into other areas - now I want to be more active, so I've started a very mild walking program to get myself back in physical shape so I can move up to dance videos; I'm very out of shape, and I don't want to jump into more physical action than I'm ready for and then injure myself and stall any forward momentum. I also plan to watch what I eat; not just watch it go into my mouth (har har), but try to be more thoughtful about what I'm eating, as well as try to make the portions smaller and make lower-fat versions of my favorite foods. Not a diet necessarily, just watching it and being more thoughtful about what goes in my mouth. I hate diets. They're too stressful. I do better when I treat it as just being more aware of what I do and how I eat. Will I lose 100 pounds in a year? Probably not. But as long as I feel better about myself and my clothes shrink a little, I'll be happy.

Please don't think I'm only focusing on my outside and think that people only value me FOR my outside. There are two voices in my head; one is insecure and thinks lowly of me, the other is a cocky a**hole that thinks I am the SHIZ inside and out. I'm just trying to give the other voice a little more air-time. =) I know I'm beautiful as a person and have a great personality, I just want to feel beautiful on the outside as well.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend: When I actually have Thanksgiving!

As I'm sure more of you are used to than not, we have the unique situation in our household of multiple in-laws due to multiple divorces that demand time and attention when it comes to seeing us for the holidays. "Fortunately", neither The Hubs or myself are in contact with our fathers currently, so it greatly alleviated the stress this year when it came to Thanksgiving. The actual day of Turkey was spent with my parents (mom and stepdad) at my step-grandma's house, where she cooked a delightful meal as always. I didn't have to do a damn thing except bring the rolls, which I am all about. Saturday, though, is my turn to host for my in-laws. My in-laws are a small group (thank GOD), consisting of my Mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, as well as my sister-in-law's vegetarian boyfriend.

I hosted the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year, too, and it was my first time doing so! First time roasting a turkey, first time trying to figure out how to get all those sides prepped and still get the turkey done on time... it was CRAZY, stressful... and the same time, awesome! Go figure. The turkey, by the way, turned out EXCELLENT! (The secret: butter.) The biggest rookie mistake I made was of making too much darn food, so that was corrected for this year.

Last year's menu:
- cocktail franks in sweet sauce (appetizer)
- 13 Lb. Roast Turkey
- Mashed Potatoes
- 2 Stuffings, vegetarian and non-vegetarian (both box mixes, but the vegetarian version required a lot more work!)
- Broccoli Casserole
- Enchilada Casserole (vegetarian "main course")
- Creamy Corn Bake
- Biscuits (from a can)
- Pear Crisp

This year's menu:
- chips and dip (appetizer)
- 8 lb. Roast Turkey BREAST
- Mashed Potatoes
- 1 stuffing, box mix (the vegetarian will just have to deal, he barely ate the non-vegetarian one last year, dammit)
- Broccoli Casserole (It's officially "the dish" they want now)
- Biscuits (from a can)
- Mac and Cheese (Mother-in-law is making/bringing)
- store-made pumpkin cheesecake

So yes, as you can see, I've cut WAY back. Partly due to cost, and partly because THERE WAS SO MUCH FOOD LEFT OVER BLEH. Apparently my SIL and her boyfriend partied too hearty the night before, so they barely ate a damn thing (but at least took home a significant chunk of the food), and no one even touched the pear crisp because they were too full! UGH! Regardless, I was still insanely proud of myself for how well it all went - everything was done and still hot by the time I wanted to serve dinner, and all my prep the night before helped a TON, so boo-yeah! I also went pretty far-out on setting up a nice table; bought fancy (for ROSS prices, anyway) tablecloths and monogrammed napkins, a new pitcher/glasses set for water, etc. I felt so grown-up, even though we were using patio chairs for dining chairs because we can't afford a nice dining room set yet. (Still can't, but this year we don't care enough to sit at the damn table - they can sit on the couch.)

This year is pretty casual compared to last year; I just don't have the newbie enthusiasm yet, and I don't think I'll really feel like going SUPER-all-out until we have an actual house, dining room, chairs, etc. We're still in a cozy 1-bedroom apartment right now, where our kitchen/living room/ dining room take up the first half of the apartment. Still, I'm fairly confident that this year will be lovely as well, and I still glow with pride when I remember how "grown-up" I felt putting on my first official Thanksgiving dinner (with a good dose of help from The Hubs, btw - he was a total champ at being my assistant house-cleaner/ sous chef). I still look forward to when it's our first time hosting the ENTIRE family TOGETHER, which I do hope will happen one day... not next year, maybe, but eventually one day I think I'll be able to take it on! =D

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The heartbreak of being a woman

Ok, I won't always aim for being all deep and shiz, but this has been weighing on my mind. Worst part: It's inspired by "Glee", of all things. "GLEE"! The most fun show on television, whose title's sole purpose is to inspire happiness, has made me haz a sad.

I know, up is down, left is right, Rush Limbaugh is making out with Nancy Pelosi... it's just WEIRD.

So what about "Glee" has made me so sad? It was the second storyline, the Bieste as Boner-killer storyline. Not that it's more important than the main storyline - bullying of any kind is horrible, and I get especially p.o.'d when it's brought on by homophobia (not to mention HOW CUTE was the "Teenage Dream" sequence? You bet your Pop Tarts that song is on constant replay right now). I just felt more of a connection to the Bieste storyline as I'm not a gay teenage boy... although, quick sidenote, I would kill to be as awesome a teenage boy as Kurt on "Glee" if I were to be a gay teenage boy. ;)

So why did the Bieste storyline make me so sad? I identified with her. Now, I have been kissed (and then some), so that part I didn't identify with. Nor did I enjoy the smooch from Schue; yeah, what every woman-who-feels-undesirable wants, a PITY kiss. Don't even bother trying to convince me otherwise, that was not an attracted-to-her kiss, that was PURE PITY. I throw my own damn pity parties just fine without your white boy Jheri curl, Schuester, keep it in your damn pants!

I identify with Bieste because I know how it feels to not fit in that "pretty" girl stereotype. I'm 5'10", a lot of pounds (sorry, I still have some vanity; my BMI is in the "obese" zone for sure, ok?), and I am not a dainty, feminine girl. I am a lumbering dork with a huge head, hands, and feet. Yet from birth, what are girls bombarded with? Whippet-thin, perfect-hair, sparkling-teeth Disney princesses, and as I've aged, the Hollywood standards have gotten stricter and more impossible to reach. How the eff does a girl who's growing faster than all the boys while still keeping a belly on her frame compete with that? I have been "blessed" with a slow metabolism, and then raised with poor eating habits that I'm not great about breaking for long enough to make the permanent change (which is admittedly my own fault) and lose weight. Even when I was thinner, my body is just built bigger. I will never feel dwarfed by a guy unless I date a guy who is about Shaquille O'Neal's size.

Add in years of rejection from boys for not being that "pretty" stereotype, and the few who did look beyond my supposed flaws making me feel like I was being done a favor. (one "winner" in college was kind enough to inform me that I was really lucky he was into "fat girls", because most guys aren't and I'd be alone. YEAH. I KNOW.) One thing that really chapped my ass as a teenager was being the girl that could be brought around the boyfriends because I was "safe" to have around. (Go figure: two of those situations resulted in my hooking up with the boyfriends I was supposed to be "safe" around... HA!) The OTHER thing that chapped my ass is that in the two church youth groups I was in during junior high/ high school, I was never the "crush" of my male counterparts 'cuz I wasn't "pretty" enough for them. Well, how the frig was I supposed to find a Godly man if none of the Godly ones wanted anything to do with me?! Then when I did start dating guys finally, they didn't go to church - and all my youth group members INTERVENED because they didn't think I should be dating a non-believer! *facepalm* Anyway, this isn't a rallying cry against youth groups, it's just the statement of the annoying.  The few guys that did seem to be into me usually seemed to be attracted to me as a person more than a physical lust object; in reality, this is obviously preferable, but when you're raised to believe that you are only worthwhile if you are deemed attractive by society at large, it's not as much as a comfort as it should be. As I previously mentioned, I didn't exactly date great guys, either; not only did most of them suck as human beings (I won't name names, as TEMPTING as that is ;p), but they weren't always the hottest guys, either. Not that I'm completely superficial, but a fair amount of them were attractive to me because they seemed to be attracted TO me, and I was so desperate for love that it was strong enough to overcome my initial lack of attraction. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but rarely were my past love affairs built on two equally attractive people who genuinely found each other to be awesome, and I was rarely the worst-looking of the two. It would've been nice to have the "hot guy" want to throw me a bone once, y'know - and not out of effing pity like Schue did to Bieste! (Ok, now I'm a TOTAL hypocrite, hahaha - don't care, being honest!)

So I GET Bieste's hurt at being seen as unfeminine and unattractive, and my heart broke for her. It broke a little for me, too. The only reason I suspect that I'm not in Bieste's situation completely was because I am zealous about winning people over with my personality (since it seems to be the only thing about me that's tolerable, as all other reactions to me has been implications that I'm hideous), and I'm almost overly girly at times as an overcompensation for my uncontrollable manliness in mannerisms. (I'm also incredibly grateful to have a feminine voice.)

The worst part of all this? I always thought I was pretty. Like, I think I have nice facial features, good hair (when it cooperates with me), decent rack, good tush. Yes, I'm fat in a way that people could find unappealing, but... well, is that really a complete deal breaker? When I look in the mirror fresh out of the shower, I often think I look simple and lovely. Apparently, I'm in my own minority. I'm not saying I don't look better with a little fine-tuning like eyebrow grooming, make-up, and blow-drying my hair, but even when I do that, it doesn't seem to make a difference. (Well, not to people MY age; I put a little effort in at work, and you'd think I was a model if you heard how my students rave. One nice side effect of teenagers being completely focused on looks, I guess ;D)

So how do I completely break the self-negative talk when everything else that is thrown at me in pop culture worships the lithe 5'7", 120 lbs. creatures that only look that way when they've spent 2 hours in a makeup chair being worked over by professional? How do I not look at pictures of myself and prevent tears from falling? (Not ALWAYS; I have good and bad days when it comes to my self-perception.) The biggest fear is that if I lose all the weight that seems to be the consummate deal-breaker, what if that WASN'T the problem after all? Then I'm thin, but still ugly?

I'm damn near 30 (ok, "near" being over 330 days away), and I still feel like the 16-year-old insecure teenager who just wants a boy to genuinely love her for who she is AND what she looks like. I'm MARRIED to a husband who has never said anything negative about how I look, but I still feel like that's not enough, because the rest of the time I'm ignored and undesired by the rest of the world.

I just want to find my way to where I look in the mirror and, more often than not, KNOW that I am an attractive woman; and know it not just for myself, but for the population at large. I know I'll never be breath-taking, but I want the confidence to be present more often than it's not. (Interesting sidenote: a co-worker with whom I carpool pointed out to me that he believed me to be very confident, and was surprised to hear my negative self-talk that day. I pointed out that I am confident in my personality; it's the outside that causes the insecurity. We then proceeded to discuss some of what's mentioned above... it just made me think.)

Lest you think I'm just whining about being ugly, please be reassured that I am trying to do things that make me feel better about the outside (which will hopefully fix the damn inside). My general life stress has been easing, which has motivated me to focus more on this issue. My fixes are to take an extra 5 minutes and slap on some makeup, and I'm wearing my hair down more. I've also boosted my wardrobe a little, which also makes me feel pretty. Now if I can just afford a damn eyebrow wax and start working out more (I'm going to try and get 30 minutes in 4 days a week starting tomorrow, but I'm planning on doing it in the MORNING... so we'll see), maybe we'll start to see that ego improve a little bit.

Just watch, I'll get too good at it and then I'll have the opposite problem of being conceited. Heh. That'd be something.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Music Monday – “Music to Clean to”... When you don't want to

There's just something about anger-cleaning. Oh man, piss me off and I will scrub a tile counter until it's powder again. Also, sometimes you just have to hear some catchy anger-bang music. Y'know?

Of course, the inspiration behind this long-overdue Music Monday is due to falling in love with Cee Lo Green's "F*** You". That song is freaking AWESOME. It would've been my entrance music wherever I went in college, as I was one BITTER kitten.

Anyway. This is about finding proper motivation to clean, not smack ex-boyfriends/girlfriends (hey, whatever you fancy, people; no judgment here). So what if that toilet bowl looks exactly like that jerk who dumped you right before Valentine's Day? SCRUB THE SH** OUT OF HIS STUPID JERKFACE!


The playlist (Just over 54 minutes):

  • "F*** You", Cee Lo Green
  • "Don't Call Me Baby", Madison Avenue
  • "White Knuckles", OK Go
  • "Breakin' Up", Rilo Kiley
  • "Gives You Hell", either version (I prefer the GLEE version 'cuz I'm a total Gleek, but the original by All-American Rejects is good, too)
  • "Hate to Say I Told You So", The Hives (Whatever happened to them?)
  • "Threshold", Beck
  • "Black Tongue", Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • "Kiss Off", Violent Femmes
  • "A.D.I.D.A.S." Korn (Just a hint: It ain't about shoes.)
  • "If", Janet Jackson (Ok, this one isn't so much about the anger as it is about the bangin', but I like the almost-threatening manner she takes on, like, "IF YOU KNEW BETTER YOU'D BE HITTIN' THIS PIECE, DUMBASS!")
  • "The Seed (2.0)", The Roots & Cody Chestnutt
  • "Laura", Scissor Sisters (if only for the awesome line of, "This'll be the last time I ever cut your hair")
  • "Operate", Peaches
  • "Tattooed Love Boys", The Pretenders
  • "My Favorite Mistake", Sheryl Crow

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meal-Planning: Week of 11/7/10

So last week was a bit of a cluster-eff. Just got cray-cray, for some reason! I don't even know WHERE the wheels went off the hinges, so obviously it was a way back. xD

LUCKILY, this week wasn't a total loss because it'll save us a bit of cash, since I still have a bunch of food from last week that I need to cook, and we only ate out once outside of our planned expenditures. Also, I totally forgot to print out my to-do list (yes, all week, I GOT BUSY), but organizing my to-dos like that still helped me remember some of them and knock them out this week anyway. So not a 100% success, but not a total failure, either! I'll take a D from myself as much as I'll take it from my students. =)

Anyway, enough of my half-assed patting myself on the back. I know what you're here for: My menu. Keep in mind there'll be some repeats from last week, but there's a few new additions as well.

Slow-Cooker Carnitas
Refried Beans

Leftovers! We should have plenty from Sunday.

Oriental-Glazed Chicken

Freezer meals (I KNOW I'll be getting home late due to an after-work meeting, plus I have the next day off due to Veteran's Day, so an easy night!)

Smoked sausage and Potluck Beans (We had to cancel tail-gating due to costs of the game tickets, so I still have all the ingredients to use up. Will eventually type up the recipe, it's pretty tasty!)

Friday/ Saturday:
Homemade BBQ Chicken pizza (mmmm!)
- TJ's pizza dough
- BBQ sauce
- diced chicken
- bacon
- cheddar cheese
- mozzarella cheese

Paula Deen's Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

We might have plans Friday night, so the BBQ pizza might happen, or it might not - if it doesn't, I can probably freeze the dough and other ingredients perishable ingredients. Saturday will HAVE to be the meatloaf, as The Hubs has seen I'm planning it and it's his favorite meatloaf recipe ever. I actually think it's TOO rich, but The Hubs doesn't see this as an issue. =)

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I was wondering if I'd ever have a POSITIVE housewife experience to share... and holy crap, I do!


What The Hubs and I accomplished today:
  • Clothes sorted for keep/ donate/ toss (Mine today, he'll catch up tomorrow)
  • 4 loads of laundry from remaining clothes washed/dried, then folded/hung up!
  • 2 massive loads of dishes
  • Finally looked for doctors/ dentist so I can get myself healthy, gonna call on Monday
  • Home-cooked meal - INCLUDING veggies! I'm trying to be better about that, I swear.
Ok, it seemed better in my head. It FEELS like we got a lot done... Huh. It's definitely more than we usually accomplish. We even both woke up early enough to catch the 1st matinee of the movie we wanted to see, which saved us an extra $2 for our "day-date". We're still tight on money, so we're trying to find cheap ways to get out of the house - today was the day version of dinner and a movie ("dinner" was lunch at Jack's Urban Eats, where we got our fave tri-tip sandwiches and split a small version of their Urban Fries, which are cracktastically delicious).

And to top it all off, I tried on a pair of pants I was debating giving away because I thought they were too small, but my clothes have seemed a little looser lately so I tried them on one last time (haven't worn them in a year, easy) - they totally fit! Comfortably, even, not that squeeze into 'em way! I loved these pants, too... I also have a couple of great pairs in the next size down, so I'm saving those and now I'm wanting to keep avoiding fast food/ buy smaller fast food meals, as well as eat from home more and watch what I eat. Yay for unintentional weight-loss motivation!

Today was a good day. Makes me feel like a grown-up. Tomorrow I'm planning on making breakfast (I have eggs and bacon, nom), then grocery shopping, then I have to work on job stuff for most of the day while trying not to gnaw my arm off when I smell the carnitas cooking in our slow-cooker. *sigh* The one drawback to slow-cooker Sunday, how good the house smells.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...