Crazy week!

Hi!

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for me, so here’s a quick update:

  • I’m wrapping up week two of my gluten free adventure! Yay, me! I can’t say it’s been easy and there have DEFINITELY been withdrawal symptoms (mostly from sugar detox) but it’s worth it. And everyday I feel stronger. 🙂
  • Work is STRESSING ME OUT! I think these past few weeks have made me really appreciate down time, deep breathing and walking away from my work email, just to catch my breath!
  • Continuing from the last comment…I found this really cool de-stressing tool online – it’s called Pixel Thoughts – check it out here.

    Basically, you type in something you’re concerned about into the bubble; the website then walks you through a de-stress exercise as you watch your concern get smaller and smaller, until it finally disappears! How cool is that?

That’s it for now! TTYL

I Miss Organic Photography

Take a look at your newsfeed on any social media platform and you’ll notice a couple of things:

  • People really like to share funny and/or inspirational viral videos, recipes and inspirational quotes.
  • They also share the happy moments in their live; and, while there’s nothing wrong with that, sometimes they’re ONLY sharing the happy moments.

Now I know, there are two (or more) sides to every story, and some people really do live extraordinarily happy and fulfilling lives and others choose just not to share their dirty laundry (<<<this is me!)

Social media has done wonders for people the world over, helping people connect in ways that weren’t possible before and keeping families in touch with what’s going on in each other’s lives.

There are also downsides to letting social media and the things we post (or don’t) dictate the face we show to the world. The biggest one for me is the lack of organic interaction and candid moments.

People just don’t share photos anymore, they share selfies. They take dozens of photos of themselves and/or others and/or their food, just to share one…usually with the hashtag #MyLife. When, in reality, it’s not their life. It’s a glorified picture shoot – staring themselves and using their surroundings as a stereotypical backdrop.

I miss organic photography. Here’s a quick look at 40 historic photos and these taken during the Great Depression and these taken by the late Vivian Maier, a woman who captured the essence of everyday life.

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Here are a few I took on a rainy day, with my new 50mm lens!

There are thousands upon thousands of photographs just like these – all taking a look into the depth of what it means to be human, what it means to be alive – and they’re all unique, at the same time.

It’s just something that I miss and wish we would see more of.

Confession Time: I Suck at Dieting

Ok, confession time…I suck at dieting. And exercising. Basically it’s VERY HARD for me to stick to a self-prescribed diet and exercise plan.

I’ve tried more times than I care to admit – and maybe that’s a serious part of the problem! I’m stuck in my head about how many times I’ve failed and what I did wrong, while ignoring the positive!

As usual, I made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight – but it’s more than just trimming down my waist – it’s about changing my lifestyle to something healthier.

One way I’ve been doing this is cutting out gluten…which is extremely hard! I don’t want to merely substitute my whole grain bread for gluten free bread, because then I’m eating unnecessary carbs. I want to change my eating habits for good; and that includes incorporating unprocessed food, more fruits and veggies, more water and portion control.

I’ve almost got the plan in place, I’ve already gone through my cabinet and pulled out all of the gluten products (again). Goodbye Oreos! My milk and I will miss you!

*sigh*

Old School Tech vs. New Age Tech

How has new-age technology impacted us? We can see, feel and experience it’s impact in our daily lives – increased violence and desensitization to violence, decreased empathy, little-to-no family interaction – when was the last time your family sat down at the dining room table for a meal? Or enjoyed a family game night? – among many, many other things.

Technology has also helped society in very positive and life-changing ways – better medical care, interactive and innovative teaching tools, keeping people connected, etc.

All of this has got me thinking…what would happen in a world-wide apocalyptic situation? Would we be able to keep in touch with our neighbors? What about world-wide communication? Are CB radios still a thing…how do you even use a CB radio?

This is definitely food for thought and something we should all be thinking about as the world continues to become a massive desensitized place of violence.

Study Tips for the GRE

I’ve decided to take the plunge and apply to grad school. And, for me, that means taking the GRE. …commence freak out.

I haven’t studied for a test like this since 2006-7 – when I took the SAT 3 times and the ACT 1 time trying to get my goal score. Do you know how expensive those tests are?? And, I took 4!

I can’t afford to retake the GRE a million times – I don’t have the money or time to “spend” on it, even if it means a better chance of getting into school.

So, I started researching 3-month study plans for the GRE. And you know what I found? There are a few million resources out there (Google reports 174,000! Still way too many for me to use.) and they all basically say the same thing – follow our boring study outline and you’ll do great.

The problem with this? It’s boring. Boring beyond boring. Netflix binge-watching is definitely WAY more interesting. So I brainstormed…how can I make studying not so boring? Here are a few things I came up with:

Izzie’s Fun Study GRE Tips:

  • Develop a study plan that works for you. I planned 3 months of study, with each month devoted to a topic – Math, Verbal and Analytical. Assign tasks for each day, keeping it simple and light!
  • Complete the Sudoku in your daily paper. This keeps your mind sharp and helps with analyzing patterns and combinations.
  • Complete (or attempt to) the Crossword in said daily paper. This will help your vocabulary, word association and analysis skills.
  • Read the Comics (political cartoons are optional) in the paper. I find that reading the comics is a good way to allow your brain to decompress in a way. It’s practically one of the best times during my work day (except for morning coffee and afternoon tea).

And there you have it – 4 fun tips to studying for the GRE!

 

Be Thankful

There is Always Something to be Thankful For

Photo courtesy of http://simplereminders.com.

Every year during the month of November people share what they’re thankful for. These things can range from their faith and trust in God to family and from having a job to general good health.

I decided I would keep this tradition alive and share a few things I’m thankful for. 🙂

  • My Family – without their support I wouldn’t be where I am today and I wouldn’t have the courage to seek the best out of life.
  • My Health – while I’ve had my ups and downs in this department, I would consider myself to be in good health overall.
  • My Job – I am extremely thankful that I was able to land a job within 3 months of graduating college AND one that related to my major! I find that this is something rare among millennial college graduates who often settle for jobs they can get.
  • God’s Grace – In all things I seek His guidance and advice. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for prayer and listening to their answers.

What are you thankful for?

The DOs outweigh the DON’Ts

I’m putting this here so I’ll always remember – the DOs outweigh the DON’Ts.

Why I DON’T want to lose weight…

  • I like food…greasy, carb-y, so-not-good-for-you food…smothered in gravy.
  • I don’t have time to workout. I mean, I have TV to watch, Netflix to binge on and LOTS of eating to do!
  • Changing my diet is way TOO hard! And expensive! I just bought 10 boxes of mac n’ cheese on BOGO – I can’t just throw it all away!

Why I DO want to lose weight…

  • I need to LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFE. Find out what the risks of fat are, here.
  • I want to TAKE CHARGE. I’m tired of being a backseat driver – I want to live my life without feeling limited by my size!
  • I want to LOOK & FEEL better – inside and out. Health starts from the inside, out – can you imagine what that must feel like? To accept yourself and heal from within??
  • I want to FEEL BEAUTIFUL and COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN.

There are like 1,000+ more reasons that could placed in either category…these are just a few that are circling around in my head.

*Opinions expressed above are solely my own and in no way represent the opinions or viewpoints of others. No harm is intended by this post – everyone’s weight loss journey is different and stems from different motivators! 🙂

Your Diet Starts Now – But Not With Food

Each time I think about changing my diet, my first thought is this – what can I cut out of my diet? Every carb, sweet and processed thing I’ve eaten in the past month runs through my head…pizza…cupcakes…candy…and on, and on and on.

And when that happens, so do the negative thoughts.

For as many times as I’ve started and stopped a diet and exercise regimen you would think that I would know being successful starts with your mindset and everything else comes second.

You have to commit. Zero-in on what you want to do with a new lifestyle and what you want to do differently. Because this is a lifestyle change – for you and your family and friends.

Why are you saying “YES!” to a healthier lifestyle?