Half-way There

Well, three weeks down, three weeks to go.  It’s been a struggle, but also easy in some respects.  Some days I feel like I’m in complete control, and others I just want to crawl into my bed with Lays and french onion dip and go to town.  But that’s the nature of every journey, isn’t it?  It won’t ever be a cake (UGH) walk.

 the office hard ed helms andy bernard hard life GIF

It’s weird, because I don’t have much to write this week.  I’m still trying new recipes (Zucchini Shrimp Scampi YAHS), I’ve been trying to work out more often and switch it up so I don’t get bored, and I allow myself a treat every now and then.

We officially started triathlon training last week, and because it’s a three-month endurance program they start us slow (I mean like 10 laps in the pool slow).  So if I follow that, I know I’m not burning the calories I want for weight loss.  Which means I have to push myself more, and I HATE doing that.  I’d rather give myself a pass, like “maybe next time I’ll go that extra 5 laps”, but now I’m actually wanting to go further, which is a welcome change.  I don’t want to wear myself out, but I do want to work hard enough that I feel like going to the gym was worth it.

 worth it GIF

I’ve also been biking a lot (bless this weather!)  My poor co-workers probably think I’m having circulation issues because I come in most mornings still sweating and beat red.  But with my tires pumped and new brakes (that I installed myself thankya) I feel like I’m flying down Clark without a care in the world (except for those damn Divvy bikes, get the EFF OUTTA MY WAY).

 funny dog cute bike road GIF

Alright.  Accountability time:

Weight: 228.5 (loss of 13.5 lbs)

Body Fat %: 39.4 (definitely wish it was less)

I’ll take measurements tonight.

 

Just keep truckin’, baby!

-E

Week 1 is DONE.

Well friends, it’s been a bit over a week of the Weight Loss Challenge and, here’s a surprise, I actually feel really good!

Crazy Ex-GIFs dance happy celebrate yay GIF

You know, minus the fact that my body hurts in a different place every day.  Or that I drool every time I pass a Stan’s Donuts.  But real talk, I haven’t had the sugar detox headaches I normally get, so I’d consider that a win!  In fact, let’s go over the Pros and Cons of this wonderfully stupid journey  (cuz y’all know I love a good list)

Pros:

  • my clothes fit a bit better
  • I have more energy
  • I sleep better (albeit some weird dreams I’ve been having)
  • I’m SO MUCH LESS GASSY (you’re welcome, Wrigley)
  • I feel more confident in my body, how I look, etc.
  • I’m getting stronger, I can feel it
  • I’ve been cooking a lot of new, easy, healthy recipes
  • I’ve simplified this aspect of my life by planning ahead
  • I am getting back into a gym routine and get excited about going
  • I AM THIS MUCH CLOSER TO $1,000

 dog smiling GIF

Cons:

  • Everything will be baggy/uncomfortable until I can afford new digs
  • I want to get everything done at once and need to pace myself
  • Sleeping better means wanting to sleep longer means snooze button 4ever
  • My bowels are still getting used to all this healthy stuff…
  • This negative voice in my head that tries to sabotage my hard work rears it’s ugly head and makes me feel like crap every once in a while
  • My body is in a constant state of mild pain thanks to the cardio/strength training I’ve been doing 5-6 times a week.  Ow.
  • Lots more cooking = LOTS more dishes.  But as my dude said, “that’s just more time off the couch!”  Yeah.  True.  Thanks.
  • Planning ahead is fantastic for Future Me.  It’s a lot of work for Present Me.
  • Deciding what I’m going to spend $1,000 is HARD.

I’ve also made a big change and decided to save some money by quitting Weight Watchers and am now shifting my concentration to MyFitnessPal, where I can track for free, their database of foods is much larger, and I like their community a lot more (less whiny people).  Plus, I appreciate their breakdown of my macros and nutrients and adding in my workout calories.  Guys, I EAT SO MUCH SODIUM.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s not good.

On a similar note, I looked up “sad Oprah” on giphy.com for an appropriate reaction and felt the need to share all of the great ones.  She truly is a goddess.

    celebrities oprah oprah winfrey GIF  

So right now, I’m in the “New Program, New Start” mentality, and it feels great.  This is the part where I’m excited about a new change, everything seems easy, and I feel very in control.  Here’s the rub: this has happened twice on WW and lasted about 6 months at most.  And then something stressful happens like a show, a job, moving, etc, and it throws me off completely, like the light was immediately burned out.  I don’t WANT that to happen, and I’m going to do my damnedest to avoid that, but there is this fear that the other shoe will eventually drop.

Which is why I want to focus on one day at a time.  It helped me when I stopped drinking, it keeps me grounded in my relationships, and it allows me to concentrate on what I can control and work on NOW instead of stressing about the “what ifs” that could happen in the future.  If I can dedicate my energy and focus onto today, then I can let the future fall into place how it is meant to.  That doesn’t mean I won’t run into road blocks, and I can prepare myself as much as possible for them, but it might still throw me off course.  That’s okay.  Life happens.  I just need to enjoy the NOW.

Keep it real, kids.

-E

WHAT HAVE I DONE??? Day 1

You guys.  You GUYS.  I did something.  Instead of sitting on my couch, or sitting at my desk, or lamenting about my weight, or buying and consuming yet ANOTHER Home Run Inn Sausage and Pepperoni Classic Pizza (that stuff is the work of the gods, btw), I made a choice.  I signed up and paid for a spot in my gym’s Summer Body Weight Loss Challenge.  6 weeks, three weigh-ins, 3x/week gym visits, and I could win $1,000.

 

Chris Timmons loop money cash make it rain GIF

Now, I’m not a big advocate of the “Summer Body” idea because, no matter what type of body you have or how it looks, it will ALWAYS be a summer body.  Hell, I wore a bikini for the first time all last summer at a weight of 220-230 lbs and I felt mother-effin’ fabulous.  There is no STANDARD for a summer/beach/bikini/speedo body and if you hear of one, it’s a social construct and is what I like to call a LOAD OF BUULLLLLSSSHIIITTTT.

 rainbow david bowie muppets bullshit labyrinth GIF

But I digress.  There are a few reasons I joined this challenge, and each of them is vital to its success.

  1. I enjoy pushing myself and seeing how hard/far I can go while maintaining reasonable amounts of happiness, i.e. my 2016 triathlon.  This does not mean I will starve myself or do 2-a-days, but I would like to take the next 6 weeks to push myself past my comfort zone and see what happens.  I bet the result is pretty cool.
  2. I am incredibly competitive and love to win and can’t wait to kick everyone’s ass.  In fact, my manfriend’s brother is doing the challenge at HIS gym, and even though we’re not competing against each other I’m still planning on rubbing my victory in his face (unless he also wins then we will buy amazing new things with our winnings and laugh at everyone.)  (I’m horrible.)
  3. I need a jump-start to kick my butt into high gear for my next triathlon.  Unfortunately, I’m not the type of person to willingly start living a healthy lifestyle out of nowhere.  I wish I was, but alas that is not my fate.  However, with this challenge, I plan on ramping up my workouts and my eating plan so that when I am in the midst of training I’m not starting over completely.  Plus, it’s a lot easier to run when you’ve abandoned a bunch of excess weight.
  4. I could win $1,000.  That pays a lot of bills.  And buys a LOT of cheap Target dresses.  And funds a few nice date nights.  And maybe pays for a flight or two.  SO YEAH I’D LIKE THAT PLZ.

So here comes the hard part: accountability.  WARNING: If real numbers and metrics bother you, I advise you look away.  I’m not here to brag (obviously that will come later when I’ve WON) and I’m not looking for sympathy.  In fact, I don’t expect many if ANY people to read this.  But I DO need to hold myself accountable for the weight I am at now so that I can look forward and know that it can only get better.  Ugh.  I hate this.

Starting Weight: 242.7 lbs

Starting Body Fat %: 40.7%

Body Measurements to come…

I don’t have a goal weight for this challenge, as I’m trying not to focus on a number and more on how I feel, how my clothes fit, my muscle mass increase, and, obviously, my change in body fat %.  Ultimately I’d like to be around 150-175 lbs long-term but that’s a ways off.  For now, I need to take this one day at a time and focus on my food and exercise.  SPEAKING OF… (this is the boring part where I talk about the food I’m eating and the workouts I’m doing.  If this interests you, read ahead.  If it bores you to tears, there is a small “x” at the top right corner of your screen.  Go ahead and click it, and then give yourself a good, HARD look in the mirror and ask yourself why you CAN’T SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDS.)

 food hungry hamster lunch hangry GIF

I’m greatly increasing my protein and vegetables, decreasing my sugar (minus fruit, which I’m eating but not in excess) and carbs (still eating whole grains with lots of fiber cuz that stuff makes you regular), cutting out Diet Coke (NOOOOOOOOOOO) and drinking WAY more water/tea/soda water.  So far, it’s not bad.  But I know the detox headaches will come and I’ll be cranky and irritable and unfriendly and for that, I am very sorry.

I did a major haul at my local produce market yesterday (for Andersonvillians, head to Edgewater Produce.  It’s fresh, cheap, quiet, and the people are delightful) and prepped over 30oz of chicken breast, made some Loaded Baked Omelet Muffins and Tuna Salad Wraps (both from SkinnyTaste, recipe links at the bottom).  Tomorrow I’ll be prepping some cauliflower rice, cut raw veggies for snacks, and figure out if Halo Top is gonna fuck me up or help me out (I’m hoping the latter, assuming the former).

 baby excited ice cream dessert overjoyed GIF

WORKOUT!  I actually WOKE UP this morning (mostly because I had to weigh-in at 6:35am), threw on my laid-out workout clothes, grabbed my pre-made backpack and lunch, and headed to Lincoln Square Athletic Club. (Guys.  Preplan your morning.  Set out your clothes.  Pack your bag ahead of time with all your shower shit, change of clothes, and have your lunch ready to go.  It saves you SO MUCH TIME and you will thank your smart past self for treating present-self so lovingly. Plus, it allows you to sleep in for another 20 minutes and that is HEAVENLY).

I hit the elliptical for 30 minutes.  It sucked.  I was sweaty and tired and hurting, mostly because I haven’t worked out HARD in a while.  And then I had some time so I rowed for 10 minutes straight, which is unusual because I usually give up after 4.  2000km, under 10 minutes.  Not too shabby!

 parks and recreation aziz ansari tom haverford brush shoulders dust your shoulders off GIF

WHEW. I needed to get all of that out.  If it helped you, great.  If you stopped at the first sentence, why did you skip all the way down here? Dumbass.

Listen here, I’m doing this for me and my health, no one else.  Writing it out helps me process the journey and my emotions attached to it.  I am very open about my struggles and would love to talk about yours if you feel so inclined.  For now, I’m trying to keep myself accountable.

Okay, that’s enough.  Until next time (probably tomorrow because of course)…

E

(FRIENDS. Right after I typed that last sentence I had the urge to poop so so so bad that I had to practically bolt from my desk and run to avoid anything horrible happening.  The walk took at least 2 minutes.  I did not think I could make it.  Luckily, I did. I’m sorry to my coworkers who read this as now it will be difficult for you to look me in the eye.

This is going to be a very interesting 6 weeks.)

RECIPES:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/loaded-baked-omelet-muffins/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/tuna-salad-wraps-25-pts/

Unmotivated Days

I don’t know why I feel compelled to write about this, especially since I haven’t done a post in a while.  But I’m wanting to expel some feelings, and this is probably the best place for it.  Sorry, no GIFs this time.

I’ve gained weight.  A bunch of it.  Since my triathlon.  Over the holidays.  Since the new year.  Since vacation.  Every new “this is my Day 1!” has come and gone.  And I keep eating poorly.  I keep over-eating.  I don’t go to WW meetings because 1. the new leader bugs me 2. I know I won’t like my numbers 3. I usually leave feeling annoyed and frustrated with my lack of trying. I don’t have the motivation to work out.  I don’t have the energy.  The drive.  The want.  And I don’t know if it’s because of some underlying potential depression, the shitty weather we’ve been having, my current PMS, or all of the above.  Or something else!  I don’t know what it is.  And that’s the mystery of being human.  We have these feelings, these emotions, and so many of them are inexplicable and yet we feel the pressure to PUSH past them, to to “get over it”, to be more than our emotions and feelings.  To succeed despite them.  To leave them unexplored and invalidated.

Well, for now, I want to just accept them and let them sit.  Even invite them.  Because if I continually ignore these difficult feelings, they only grow and fester and push back even harder and make it worse.  If I reach out and say “Hey, I notice you, I feel you.  Come in, present yourself, make it hurt, and then leave when you’re done.  Because I’d like to get on with my life.”

I know myself.  I’ll bounce back.  I’ll get into triathlon training, and eating healthy, and sleeping better, and being more present in life.  And the small steps I’m taking towards that are already visible.  Things like drinking more water, showing up to obligations and activities.  Giving myself a break.  Accepting that I cannot be “on” all the time.  Maybe I’ll go for a really long walk with Wrigley today and listen to some good music.  I’ll reach out to a friend I haven’t talked to in a while.  I’ll finish a book I’ve been putting off.  It’s not perfection, and I won’t lose any weight or accomplish any major life goals during it, but I’ll hopefully sleep better.

I’d like to share this response to a post on Reddit I read recently that was dubbed “Non-Zero Days”.  it’s incredibly inspirational and gives me a great pep in my step on my toughest days.  Original Poster Max had been talking about how he didn’t feel any motivation lately, sometimes to even get out of bed.  While I may not be at that point, what Ryan says in response is really wonderful.  Here’s the link to the actual post:

And here is Ryan’s amazing response and follow-up: Ouch. Sounds like you’re having a tough time max. That sucks. I’ve been there, so I kinda know what you’re talking about. I’ve been in the ever circling vortex of self doubt, frustration, and loathing. It’s no bueno. I know. If you don’t mind lemme tell you a couple things. You can read em if you want, read em again later if you feel like it. But honestly man, if I spend all this time typing this out to you and you don’t let it be a little tinder for your fire, well, you’re just letting us both down. And you don’t HAVE to do that. You don’t HAVE to do anything. But you get to choose.

(Who am I? My name’s Ryan and I live in Canada. Just moved to a new city for a dream job that I got because of the rules below. I owe a lot of my success to people much cooler, kinder, more loving and greater than me. When I get the chance to maybe let a little bit of help out, it’s a way of thanking them. )

Rule numero uno – There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didnt’ do anything all fucking day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me? When you’re in the super vortex of being bummed your pattern of behaviour is keeping the vortex goin, that’s what you’re used to. Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn’t happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That’s rule number one. Do not forget.

La deuxieme regle – yeah i learnt french. its a canadian thing. please excuse the lack of accent graves, but lemme get into rule number 2. BE GRATEFUL TO THE 3 YOU’S. Uh what? 3 me’s? That sounds like mumbo jumbo bullshit. News flash, there are three you’s homeslice. There’s the past you, the present you, and the future you. If you wanna love someone and have someone love you back, you gotta learn to love yourself, and the 3 you’s are the key. Be GRATEFUL to the past you for the positive things you’ve done. And do favours for the future you like you would for your best bro. Feeling like shit today? Stop a second, think of a good decision you made yesterday. Salad and tuna instead of Big Mac? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Was yesterday a nonzero day because you wrote 200 words (hey, that’s all you could muster)? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Saved up some coin over time to buy that sweet thing you wanted? THANK YOU. Second part of the 3 me’s is you gotta do your future self a favour, just like you would for your best fucking friend (no best friend? you do now. You got 2. It’s future and past you). Tired as hell and can’t get off reddit/videogames/interwebs? fuck you present self, this one’s for future me, i’m gonna rock out p90x Ab Ripper X for 17 minutes. I’m doing this one for future me. Alarm clock goes off and bed is too comfy? fuck you present self, this one’s for my best friend, the future me. I’m up and going for a 5 km run (or 25 meter run, it’s gotta be non zero). MAKE SURE YOU THANK YOUR OLD SELF for rocking out at the end of every.single.thing. that makes your life better. The cycle of doing something for someone else (future you) and thanking someone for the good in your life (past you) is key to building gratitude and productivity. Do not doubt me. Over time you should spread the gratitude to others who help you on your path.

Rule number 3- don’t worry i’m gonna too long didnt’ read this bad boy at the bottom (get a pencil and piece of paper to write it down. seriously. you physically need to scratch marks on paper) FORGIVE YOURSELF. I mean it. Maybe you got all the know-how, money, ability, strength and talent to do whatever is you wanna do. But lets say you still didn’t do it. Now you’re giving yourself shit for not doing what you need to, to be who you want to. Heads up champion, being dissapointed in yourself causes you to be less productive. Tried your best to have a nonzero day yesterday and it failed? so what. I forgive you previous self. I forgive you. But today? Today is a nonzero masterpiece to the best of my ability for future self. This one’s for you future homes. Forgiveness man, use it. I forgive you. Say it out loud.

Last rule. Rule number 4, is the easiest and its three words. exercise and books. that’s it. Pretty standard advice but when you exercise daily you actually get smarter. when you exercise you get high from endorphins (thanks body). when you exercise you clear your mind. when you exercise you are doing your future self a huge favour. Exercise is a leg on a three legged stool. Feel me? As for books, almost every fucking thing we’ve all ever thought of, or felt, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do, or whatever, has been figured out by someone else. Get some books max. Post to reddit about not caring about yourself? Good first step! (nonzero day, thanks younger me for typing it out) You know what else you could do? Read 7 habits of highly successful people. Read “emotional intelligence”. Read “From good to great”. Read “thinking fast and slow”. Read books that will help you understand. Read the bodyweight fitness reddit and incorporate it into your workouts. (how’s them pullups coming?) Reading is the fucking warp whistle from Super Mario 3. It gets you to the next level that much faster.

That’s about it man. There’s so much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days, but that’s not your mission right now. Your mission is nonzero and forgiveness and favours. You got 36 essays due in 24 minutes and its impossible to pull off? Your past self let you down big time, but hey… I forgive you. Do as much as you can in those 24 minutes and then move on.

I hope I helped a little bit max. I could write about this forever, but I promised myself I would go do a 15 minute run while listening to A. Skillz Beats Working Vol. 3. Gotta jet. One last piece of advice though. Regardless of whether or not reading this for the first time helps make your day better, if you wake up tomorrow, and you can’t remember the 4 rules I just laid out, please, please. Read this again.

Have an awesome fucking day ☺

tldr; 1. Nonzero days as much as you can. 2. The three you’s, gratitude and favours. 3. Forgiveness 4. Exercise and books (which is a sneaky way of saying self improvement, both physical, emotional and mental)

Edit2: Someone asked what I meant by “much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days”. The long and short of it is a simple truth, but it’s tough to TOTALLY UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE. It’s this: you become what you think. This doesnt mean if I think of a tree, I’ll be oakin’ it by august. It means that the WAY you think, the THINGS you think of, and the IDEAS YOU HOLD IN YOUR MIND defines the sum total that is you. You procrastinate all the time and got fear and worry goin on for something? You are becoming a procrastinator. You keep thinking about how much you want to run that 5 k race in the spring and finish a champion? Are ya keeping it in mind all the time? Is it something that is defining your ACTIONS and influencing you DECISIONS? If it is, then you’re becoming the champion you’re dreaming about. Dreaming about it makes it. Think and it shall be. But do not forget that action is thought’s son. Thoughts without actions are nothing. Have faith in whatever it is you’ve steeled your mind to. Have faith and follow through with action.

Ok, Ryan that’s a bunch of nice words n shit, but how does that help me turn slightly nonzero days into hugely nonzero days. Do you believe all these words you just read? Does it makes sense to you that you BECOME WHAT YOU THINK OF? Ask yourself: What do I think of? When you get home and walk in the door. (how quickly did you turn that laptop on? Did turning it on make you closer to your dreams? What would?) At the bus stop. Lunch break. What direction are you focusing your intentions on? If you’re like I was a few years ago, the answer was either No direction, or whatever caught my eye at the moment. But no stress, forgive yourself. You know the truth now. And knowing the truth means you can watch your habits, read books on how you think and act, and finally start changing your behaviour. Heres an example: Feeling like bunk cause you had zero days or barely nonzero days? THINK ABOUT WHAT YOURE DOING. and change just a little bit more. in whatever positive direction you are choosing to go.

 

Something to think about.

Until next time,

E

Okay, fine.  Here’s an excited corgi GIF:

 dance dog animals corgi GIF

A Whole Year Passed and All I Wrote Was This Blog Post

I kept thinking about writing a new blog post since I have some extra time on my hands this time of year and I figured, “well, it’s been a while, give the people what they want, Erin!  Tell them about your life!  It’s been, what, three months?”  And then I logged onto my WordPress and noticed my last post was almost a YEAR AGO.  WOW.  HOW EMBARRASSING FOR ME!  I’M SO SORRY.  I’VE BEEN BUSY HAVING A LIFE-CHANGING YEAR.

I’m not angry at you.  I’m disappointed in myself.

disappointed side eye carrie fisher princess leia

(In memory of my favorite sassy princess…)

This blog is more for me than you anyway, you probably don’t even read it, so who am I trying to impress?  My mom?  (Yeah, my mom.  Hope you like it, Mom!  Call me with notes!)

I could reflect on how crazy this year has been with the election, the celebrity deaths (David Bowie, please add me to that alternate-universe guest list ASAP), and horrible tragedies affecting our world, but it seems like that’s already on everyone’s minds as the year comes to a close soooooooo I’d rather avoid it.  As I sit here at my desk at my “new” job (since August) listening to the biggest pop hits from 2016, I thought I’d reflect on my resolutions from Jan 1 2016, how my year went, and what I want to do differently next year.  Yep, you did it, you stumbled onto the incredibly typical “final blog post of the year” that every damn white millennial woman publishes to make herself feel accountable and accomplished.  So….

Broad City reaction hillary clinton subway ilana glazer

  1. Take vacations:  I did!  I went to Aruba with my family, New York with my lovely friends, WI with MORE friends, and… that was it.  I think.  (I didn’t take my Adderall this morning because it keeps me up at night so my memory is a bit spotty).  Not as many as I would like, but with a job change, doing a summer show, and money being tight (because I buy too many things) I didn’t have the time to take some of it off for myself.  Which was alright, because I did a lot more this year than I ever expected.

However, I did follow that resolution and I let go.  Now that I have my weekends free,            I turn off my brain to work, letting myself enjoy the time off and releasing the stress            of the previous five days so I can be re-energized for the week ahead.  It has changed            my mindset completely and I am a MUCH happier person in general.

OH!  I did go to Wabash, IN with a children’s show, stayed in a creepy old-fashioned              bedroom that I’m sure I shared with a ghost, AND witnessed a townie                                          masturbating in the local Walgreens parking lot at 10pm.  So, that was something.

reactions gross ew eww grossed out

2.   Listen to my body: I did!  Kind of!  Or at least I treated it better.  I reached one year                   sobriety on March 1st, I lost about 25lbs in total from the beginning to the end of the             year, I went to doctors I needed to and found out a lot of cool, weird shit about                         myself (if you want to know, just ask… I’m sure I’ll do a separate post about it                         eventually), and I did a MOTHER FUCKING TRIATHLON!  YEAH.  I DID.  HOLY CRAP.

Of course there are things I could’ve done differently.  I could’ve lost more weight,                 eaten healthier, gotten more than one haircut, drank more water and less Diet Coke,             hit the gym more, meditated more than twice, blah blah blah.  But truthfully, I think             I’ve come pretty damn far this year regarding not only my physical self, but my                       mental and emotional.  My self-esteem is far higher than it’s ever been (although I               am a bit embarrassed by the amount of selfies I’ve taken this year), I’m proud of my             accomplishments, and I’m already planning on my next goals (which we’ll get to in               a moment).  So, I hate to do it, but I’m giving myself a big ol’ pat on the back.

nice applause clapping good job well done

3.  Continue living a truthful life: I did my best!  2016 was definitely a transformation                  year for me and it would not have been if I hadn’t been truthful and honest about                    what I really want and need, both from others and myself.  I began to discover what I           desired from life and not only did I come to terms with it but I began putting those                 desires out into the Universe in earnest, hoping they would come back in physical                   form.  I knew that I needed to find a form of fitness that worked for me, that I loved,             and that pushed me to a new level, and then I started boxing with the greatest coach I           could have (Angelica, please scream at me constantly, it is my greatest motivator).  I             needed a personal goal that I could work towards over a long period of time,                               something attainable but challenging, and I signed up, trained for, and ran the                         Chicago Triathlon with Adam and T2.  I wanted to grow my circle of relationships                   outside of the theatre community and open myself to excitement, butterflies, and                 potential love, so I went on LOTS of dates.  Most were first dates, some were seconds,           a few were thirds.  I actually made a few new friends, learned a LOT about myself and             what I’m really looking for, and am ending the year in the beginning stages of                         something…. pretty freaking great.   Looks like being truthful about what you really             want actually works, huh?

god right damn httpimgurcomgalleryafrpdkh

4. Make more memories:  I bought a Polaroid camera!  That helped!

5.  Watch more Michael Fassbender movies: Unfortunately, I did not accomplish this.                Looks like I’ll have to roll this one over into next yeeaaaarrrr!

michael comment fassbender clooney fassdong

My god…..look at him.

So, when it comes to 2017 Resolutions, I have a few of course.  They’re more concrete, a bit more challenging, but I’m excited about them nonetheless.

  1. Accomplish three triathlons, including the Chicago Olympic (1-mile swim, 25-mile bike, 10k run).
  2. Lose 60 lbs (normally I’d be all “treat your body well, eat whole and natural, be active, don’t worry about the scale” but I know that setting a number for myself pushes me more so… fck da hatrz) over the course of the year.
  3. Give more positive energy to my relationships, my community, and the universe, and do NOT expect anything in return.  This includes being a kinder, more accepting, and loving person, volunteering more of my free time to those who need it, and don’t dwell on the shitty things I cannot change (coughTrump) but focus on those that I can, and really make an effort for change.
  4. Get out of my head and stop over-analyzing everything.  Whether it’s in my relationships, my work, or my personal life, I tend to over-think every damn detail which causes unnecessary anxiety and stress.  So I’m learning to take it one day at a time, enjoy what I have right now, and not dwell too much on the future.  I’m working on being spontaneous, a little less regimented in my schedule, and accepting of change I cannot control.  Yeah, there’s still a stick up my ass, but it’s getting smaller! (that…. that came out wrong…)
  5. Stick to my GAHDDAMN BUDGET.  I spend more than my means.  Which means I have no means.  So I have to actually budget like a real adult person and not blow every paycheck on restaurants and clothes and shoes and maybe I’ll just buy everything at Target until I max out my RedCard…?

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Happy New Year, everyone.  I am so grateful we are on this weird, silly stumble through life together and I cannot wait to see what next year brings.  Here’s an adorable group of puppies to kick it off right!

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Always,

E

2016 Resolutions and How I Plan to Rock Them All

  1.  Take Vacations:  and I don’t mean just buy a plane ticket and travel somewhere unusual.  I mean buy a plane ticket, or drive somewhere, or even sit at home, and LET GO.  Don’t look at work emails, do disconnect from social media, do disregard usual stresses.  I have a habit of planning a vacation and then spending it worrying about all the tasks I haven’t completed or if my employer needs me or even if I’m eating well enough and getting enough exercise blah blah blah.  I need to LET IT ALL GO and enjoy time off.  Because that’s the entire point of a vacation!  So instead of participating in my usual “working vacations”, I’m going to take my time off this year to focus on my surroundings (New York, Aruba, and Wisconsin to start it off), enjoy my friends and family that I spend that time with, indulge in delicious, fulfilling food (this doesn’t mean overindulging in crap that isn’t worth it, but rather making choices that I’ll truly remember and will be a positive aspect of my trip), and discover more about myself in a different setting.dog summer cool sunglasses vacation
  2. Listen To My Body:  I’ve been really trying to focus lately on eating well and staying active in order to lose weight and also lead a healthier lifestyle.  While drinking alcohol is no longer a big issue in my life (though it will be a constant, tiny annoyance), I still have trouble resisting unhealthy behavior when it comes to food and fitness: overeating, going for high-calorie options, not tracking, choosing to sit around instead of going to the gym or even going for a walk.  So this year I want to listen to my body more and to what it actually needs instead of what my brain and my addiction want.  If I’m hungry, like truly hungry, then I will attempt to go for a healthy, tasty option that will give me energy and keep me full (those options don’t seem possible, but with a little research and menu planning, it is ACHIEVABLE!).  If I have the time and energy, I want to go for a long walk with my dog or head to the gym to sweat.  On the opposite end, if I am truly tired and need a night in, I will take it and not feel guilty for being a little lazy every once in a while.  I will also listen to my emotions and accept them as truth.  While that can be difficult and exhausting, I want to focus on finding constructive ways of dealing with tough feelings, like working out or writing about it or even just having a good cry instead of pushing it away and letting it fester.  Because festering emotions lead me to eat when I don’t need to, or sit around and stew, or avoid my friends and family.  And that is NO GOOD.body movie sexy girl pitch perfect
  3. Continue Living a Truthful Life:  Since I started living a sober lifestyle, I have attempted to be very honest in every aspect of my life.  With my family, especially my parents, I have tried to speak my mind when something is really bothering me, when in the past I would avoid those conversations so as not to make anyone upset or angry.  Through therapy, I have learned that if I don’t say anything, nothing will change, and if I do speak up, not only am I validating my legitimate feelings, but I am no longer making myself responsible for the recipients feelings.  (this isn’t to say I don’t take their feelings into account, but I no longer avoid conversations because I’m afraid someone will be sad.  I let them be sad if they want to be sad.  We’re all adults here, they’ll get over it)  I’ve also worked on saying “No” when I truly don’t want to do something, and if I’m asked “why?” I respond with an honest answer.  If someone asks me my opinion, I reply with an honest answer, instead of lying or pussy-footing around a subject (again, this is when I’m asked.  I don’t readily speak my mind on things that don’t involve me.  Or at least I try not to.  Maybe I should add that as a resolution….)  I’ve also become more truthful with myself, tracking foods no matter what the point value, realizing when I’m happy and unhappy and understanding why, and even recognizing when I’m being a bad friend/sister/daughter and working on changing that.  And I won’t lie, it’s not a cakewalk when you’re constantly honest.  Some feelings do get hurt.  Some people don’t agree with you and make you upset.  Others will disappoint you with their own dishonesty.  But it’s the only way for me to live a fulfilled, happy lifestyle and share that with everyone else, and I’d rather deal with the truthful shit than the glitter-covered lie.true truth disney hercules muses
  4. Make More Memories:  I’d like to record more of my life so that I can reflect on it later.  Whether that’s recording videos, writing in a journal, taking more pictures, or just retelling stories, I want to be able to look at this evidence in my later years and really reflect on all the wonderful (and sometimes terrible) moments of my life and see how I have changed because of them.  With this, I want to do more.  I’ve found myself sitting at home a lot lately, binging on a show and keeping myself from life, and I need to break out of that.  So instead, I’ll sign up for classes.  Go to more concerts.  See more movies.  Meet new people.  Discover more hobbies.  Learn about people I don’t know well.  Create more art.  Fulfill deeper desires.  Make visions reality.  Participate in more that life has to offer.  And record it all.picture photo camera photographer marisa tomei
  5. Watch More Michael Fassbender Movies:  Because DUH.dance dancing michael fassbender grooving

-E Daly

 

PointsPlus, SmartPoints,WTF IS GOING ON??

Yes, I know.  It’s been almost three months.  I haven’t posted.  I haven’t joked.  I haven’t added any new HILARIOUS gifs to your repertoire.  I’d like to say it’s because I’m incredibly busy (lie #1.  I’ve been sitting on my couch binge-watching Game of Thrones.  Guys, it’s so gooAND THERE ARE SO MANY BUTTS.)  Or that I have been sticking to my health plan and didn’t feel the need to update (lie #2.  YEA RIGHT.  You try going on a cruise and not gaining 5 lbs because of all the free shit.)  Orrrrrr maybe I have met the man of my dreams and I’ve been occupied with cuddling, dinners out, and lots of crazy sex (Lie #3. HAVE YOU SEEN THE MEN ON OKCUPID?  This is a hard NO.)

single dating mindy kaling no strings attached web development

The hard truth is, I’ve thought a lot about writing a new post for a long time, but I haven’t had anything to really say.  My weight has gone up and down (mostly up) and I hadn’t found a solid foundation to cling to.  I’ve felt very out of control a lot of the time when it came to my overeating disorder (we’ll get into that another day) and would eat whatever I wanted without a single thought to my weight or health.  While my confidence has significantly improved since starting therapy, I still didn’t feel the drive to really take care of myself.  Untiiiillllll nooooowwwww! (Gary, that’s your cue, open the curtain.  Gary.  GARY.  THE CURTAIN.  GARY.)

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(Jesus, Gary, go clean yourself up.)

Over the past few months, I’ve been paying for Weight Watchers.  And every few weeks I’d attend a meeting.  I avoided a few, admittedly, because I’d either not tracked at all, or I was feeling down about my body, or I didn’t make the time.  But when I went on vacation a few weeks ago (thanks for the free croooose Georgia!), I had a lot of time to reflect on why I was unhappy with my body, what I wanted, and how I could achieve it.  I also had the opportunity to eat lots of wonderfully prepared, delicious food, which in a strange yet brilliant way opened my eyes to one big idea: food should be an experience, something to remember, an enjoyable act that also fuels your body.  I had spent so so SO much time using food as a medication, as a suppressant, that I no longer appreciated it.  Instead of enjoying meals, I was shoving it in my mouth to not feel hungry any more, to fill the void I felt in more places than just my stomach.  What I used to push down with alcohol was now being covered by another addiction.  So I was sitting on this cruise, uncomfortable in my bathing suit, covering up any extra skin I was self-conscious about, and I decided I didn’t want to live like that anymore.  I wanted to enjoy food when it was meant to be enjoyed (which should be ALL THE TIME) but I’d enjoy it in moderation.  I’d fuel my body with smart choices while treating myself every once in a while.  I’d keep myself in check and accountable for my actions while also being aware that mistakes can happen, and I can always bounce back.  YES, I WAS READY.

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So when I got back from my vacation, I gave myself two days to get all my urges and needs out (this included a lot of Jack’s Pizza) and then Monday evening, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting.

“First?  But Erin, you beautiful, genius, unattainable goddess, I thought you’ve been doing WW for almost four year?”

Why yes, dear reader, you are correct!  But what I didn’t realize is that at this new meeting, we’d be presented with a brand new plan Weight Watchers was coming out with, their “Beyond the Scale” program.  It completely revamped their approach as well as their points system.  Now, instead of PointsPlus, they’re moving to SmartPoints.  So instead of counting fat, carbs, fiber and protein, they are basing points off of the calorie count, then adding points for more sugar and saturated fat and reducing points for more protein.  They’re also focusing on other aspects of human health, such as mental relaxation, opportunities to better yourself, to find rewards in more than just weight loss.  It’s a major shift from what they’ve done in the past.  And… I… (said in the Oprah voice) LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IIIIIIIIIIIIITTTT!

excited great oprah awesome exciting

I’m not going to go into too much detail (but if you have any questions or want to know more PLEASE contact me, I’d love to help AND we can be WW buddies!) but this change is exactly what I needed.  I feel like I’ve started a whole new health journey and it’s coming very easily to me.  When I started WW almost four years ago, both my mom and I lost weight really quickly.  The plan felt easy, like I barely had to make an effort to watch my portion size or make a better choice, and I lost about 30 lbs in three months.  But then I moved to the city and changed jobs, and completely fell off the wagon.  And over that time I tried to find that spark, that light I felt the first few months, tried to feel that easiness in eating healthy and being active.  I’ve quit and restarted so many times, trying other programs in the process to minimal success.  And I went into this meeting last week not expecting this big change.  But it’s something that I already know is shifting my outlook on health.  I’m barely eating sugar, opting to use those points on healthier, more filling food.  I’ve had to let go of my beloved Starbucks Chai Lattes because, even though they were tall and non-fat, they went from 4 to 8 points!  I’ve also upped my protein and vegetable intake and stayed away from refined carbs.  It’s amazing how good I feel and how much my body is already changing- I lost 5.8lbs my first week!

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And I know, I KNOW that I’m in the honeymoon stage, and that it will get more difficult.  I’ll be stressed or broke or both and want to go for unhealthy options.  I’ll want to skip the gym all week or sit on the couch and finish a bowl of popcorn.  But for now, I’m embracing this new change, I am LOVING how I feel, and I hope that I have the drive and enough love for myself to continue until I reach my goal.

 

292 days sober, 252.2 lbs.

-E. Daly

 

A New Adventure Begins

First, I want to state that there is a big part of me that wants to apologize for not posting in a long time.  I received so much wonderful support and love for my last big post from everyone and I kept meaning to write something new, but I just didn’t have the time or energy.  So I want to apologize for that, but I won’t, because I don’t have anything to be sorry for.  (I’m trying to apologize less in general so just… go with me on this).  I’ve been busy.  We opened Triassic Parq a week ago and have received RAVE reviews (go see it, seriously, it’s amazing, I love it), and I recently got a promotion that has led to a lot more work but also more fun and enjoyment of a job I never thought I’d have.  So things have been a little cray.

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But I’m BACK, BABY. After a not-so-successful attempt (about 9lbs over 5 weeks, which sounds good, but it could’ve been better…)  at eating completely healthy, working out six times a week, and keeping my sanity (now that i look back on it, WHAT THE EFF WAS I THINKING, YALL??!!) I’m back to living like a normal person.  I’m eating full meals, I’m doing my job(s) every day, and I’m enjoying life.  BUT I’m also making healthier choices.  I work out when I can (classes, elliptical, going for a long walk or bike ride) and I’m eating better and tracking EVERYTHING.  How do I do that, you ask?  Why, Weight Watchers, of course!

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Yes, I’ve decided to rejoin for a third time.  Some may laugh and scoff at the idea of a bunch of heavy women sitting around a room on creaking chairs, crying about their love of cinnamon rolls and whining about how hard it is to pick light string cheese over a whole block of heavy cheddar, but it’s so much more than that!  We bitch about carbs, too!  Just kidding.  I actually really enjoy my weekly meetings over there because I’m very much a “group mentality” person when it comes to positivity.  If I am struggling with something, say, my weight, then having the knowledge that I’m not alone in it seems to take some of the burden off my shoulders.  “Oh, you hate getting up in the morning, too?”  “Wait, you can substitute applesauce for WHAT?” (FUN FACT: applesauce can be substituted for basically anything it seems)  And everyone there is close to my age!  And they have the same struggles and problems as I do!  And SOME OF THEM have conquered them!  Maybe I can, too!

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The first time I did WW, I lost about 30lbs in three months.  And I don’t think that I had ever been happier.  Not because I looked skinnier or anything (because I really didn’t) but I just felt healthier.  My body was responding to a new way of working in a very positive way, and the rest of the world responded.  So this time, I’m hoping I can continue that momentum straight to my goal.  (100lbs, down to 148.  This is a possible, reasonable, and personal goal.  Doctor me all you want, this is where I want to be.  And with no timeline, I know I can get there).

So that’s where I am now.  209 days sober, 5 days into WW, and completely ready to take on yet another challenge.

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-E Daly

Day 22: How Alcohol Can Change Your Life

Technically, I’m on week 4 and I should be joyful and excited and focused on the end of this.  But with basically skipping week 2 due to travelling and general laziness, I’m starting week 3 today.  That’s 22 days since the start, and about 17 days on the plan.  About 10 days of those have included going to the gym and I’ve had 2 therapy sessions as well.  Oh, and I’m also 191 days sober.

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When I tell people that I don’t drink anymore, I get a big mix of reactions.  Usually strangers raise an eyebrow or dismiss me as some tightass who refuses to have fun.  Bartenders roll their eyes and begrudgingly pour me a soda water, or tell me about their own sobriety story.  Newer friends are of two camps: their either a little put off or too supportive, telling me about their uncle or family friend who went to rehab after crashing a car drunk and losing their family so they “TOTALLY know what you’re going through!!”  For those that are close to me, it’s usually a “good for you!”  or “wow, I don’t think I could do that” or even “really, why?”  And that’s probably the easiest answer of them all.

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See, I used to drink.  Unlike many people of my generation, it only started in college and went into adulthood.  I went to a Jesuit high school and was the eldest child and only girl in my family, so I wouldn’t dare even try alcohol while a teenager.  I think the only time I did was at my friend Liz’s house where we would sneak sips of peppermint schnapps and act like we were wasted while looking around to make sure we weren’t the only ones who “weren’t feeling it so I’m probably immune to alcohol.”  Then, the moment I stepped onto my college campus, the drinking began.  I finally felt free to do what I wanted without the narrow eyes of my parents, the shackles of being the perfect older sister, or the need to show up to class every single day.  And as a theatre student, becoming a raging alcoholic is basically included in the curriculum.  There were enough upper classmen with houses that parties were thrown every weekend, and get togethers happened every weekday.  All together now… Tuesday Night Beer Club, Wine Women’s Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, Party Fridays, Bender Saturdays, Hair of the Dog Sundays, oh how the list goes on.  Opening night party!  Closing night party!  White trash party!  Dress to Get Laid!  Anything but Clothes Party!  It’s My Birthday Party!  It’s Her Birthday Party!  It’s No One’s Birthday Party!  Whatever happened, we found a way to celebrate.  And those celebrations always included copious amounts of alcohol.

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Now this is not to say this was an uncommon practice on a college campus.  We had plenty of frat parties we went to as freshmen, attended bars as we slowly began to all turn 21, and continued drinking while home for holiday breaks.  But as 19-22 year olds, that isn’t unusual.  And our bodies were able to bounce back with barely a hangover some nights!  Hey, I made it to a 7am class every once in a while, I promise!  Sure, there were mistakes made (Sugar Lips) and plenty of mornings recounting the events from the night before while nursing some mimosas with my half-dressed roommates.  Blackouts occurred, but we always had someone who could fill us in on the holes in our memory.  It even turned into a game, a journey of “what did I do last night and how hilarious was it??”  Eventually, everyone became aware of the kind of drunk they were.  Some slept with strangers and made the quick walk across our small but open campus home in last night’s clothes every Sunday morning.  Others woke up to a much smaller bank account due to their sudden drunk generosity and copious amount of cigarettes that stayed in their desk drawer until they graduated.  Me?  Oh, I was a sad drunk.  I cried.  A lot.  About the pressure of school, or how I didn’t get a part in one of the school shows, or how I was gonna miss everyone so much over Christmas break.  But mostly it was about boys, which is usually the source of most straight girl’s drunk tears anyway.  Boys who I fell for without reason, mostly because I needed someone to focus my energy on instead of myself, good friends of mine who I would suddenly imagine being THE ONE FOR ME, but who I never told directly because why would I do that that would lead to rejection and I can’t handle that so I’ll just run away byyyeee!

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The funny thing about destructive behavior is that it can’t usually just be turned off.  I didn’t get handed my diploma and suddenly think, “I’m an adult now, I should stop drinking excessively and eating whatever I want.  I should start exercising regularly and waking up early and applying for jobs I’m qualified for and begin saving money!”  HAHAHAHA NOPE.  And now with the opportunity to have MONEY to spend on alcohol and friends apartments to crash at as well as a bevvy of new Chicago bars to christen, my journey to a full-blown drinking problem picked up pace!  Sure, there were plenty of great nights with friends laughing and dancing while slinging back drinks and making new memories (as best we could with 6 tall boys in us), there were New Years parties with kisses and glitter and fancy clothes, and even some late night bars with dancing until 4am and then stumbling to a pizza place for a late night slice and dealing with the heartburn in the morning.  But it didn’t matter because we were LIVING LIFE.

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And the blackouts continued.  Less frequent, but still scary.  And the crying worsened.  I became someone’s responsibility most nights, a drunk mess begging for food and comfort while being pulled up the stairs to my apartment by someone who NEVER ASKED FOR THIS SHIT.  I was driven home by the cops once after falling asleep next to a tree.  I drunk cried to my mom about a boy I didn’t even want to date sober but I was a lonely drunk.  I made out with strangers and stole IDs.  I lost a lot of important, valuable things.  I woke up with hangover after hangover, looking like death and smelling even worse.  I begged for attention and love and sex and made a fool out of myself more times than I can count.  And to me, this was normal behavior.  I wasn’t drinking every night, maybe once or twice a week.  On a lonely night, I’d have some wine (a bottle) and on night’s out I’d stick to whiskey (7-9 drinks).  And my friends did the same.  Every time we’d go out, we’d all drink to excess, looking to numb whatever shit was going on in our lives: drama with our parents, trouble at work, loneliness from being single, frustration with a partner, whatever we didn’t want to face we drowned in alcohol.  And we danced.  And we ate.  And we laughed.  And it was fun!  But it came to a point where it was all we did, and my body wasn’t able to take it anymore.

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In order to start getting my life and jumbled brain in order, I started seeing a therapist in August of 2014.  It was more to just talk about my problems and issues because I was sick of pushing that on my friends and family and I needed a professionals opinion.  We got along great from the start and I began to truly trust her opinion and ideas on how to better my life.  And then she suggested I start looking at my drinking habits as a negative aspect of my life and I scoffed at her.  Nothing is wrong, I don’t have a drinking problem, everyone I know drinks as much as I do, it’s really fun, I don’t drink all the time and I don’t feel the pull of alcohol, so I don’t need to stop!  But as I began monitoring my drinking and realizing that, while I wouldn’t drink all the time, when I did I would do it to excess and always get far too drunk, I found patterns.  My life would be stressful, I wouldn’t be enjoying my job or I wouldn’t be booking any shows, and I would both hide those feelings of disappointment and sadness while covering them with drink after drink until I couldn’t feel them anymore.  I tried pot, but it just made me more aware of those tough emotions.  I’m not one to experiment with other drugs so I stuck with what I knew: the sweet, sweet warmth of whiskey.  I tried maintaining a drink count when I’d go out, but keeping track is hard when you stop counting.  It was all or nothing for me, either I didn’t drink at all or I binge drank, going for the gold each time we went out.

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Then one night it all came crashing.  I hadn’t been really drinking since the new year because I wanted to focus on a show I was in and also wanted to see how long I could go with no alcohol (15 days and it ended with a German grape-flavored shot).  I decided to have people over for an Oscar party and thought, “Tonight, I’m gonna let loose and drink a bit.  I’ll be with friends and there will be food and it’ll be fun so I’ll grab a few bottles of wine and champagne and just see what happens!”  Except I barely at lunch and dinner, and started drinking at 3pm.  And continued drinking throughout the night.  I don’t remember half of the show and can’t recall who was all there.  But the worst part was the morning after when I woke up with a broken foot and the worst hangover I’ve ever had in my whole life.  I don’t know how I broke my foot (I still don’t know, neither does anyone who was there that night including my two roommates), but I knew I needed to get to my job because it was Monday morning and I was still a little drunk and I needed to make money (IF YOU NANNY TWO BABIES FOR A LIVING DO NOT GO INTO WORK WITH A BROKEN FOOT AND A BELLY FULL OF DAY OLD ALCOHOL.  YOU’VE BEEN WARNED).  Not only was my foot swelling up rapidly, but I ended up vomiting in my mouth and having to swallow it THREE TIMES because the parents hadn’t left the home yet.  You guys, I was a mess.  I don’t know how I didn’t get fired that day, or how I didn’t drive my car into a river in shame, but I got through it.  And at that time I decided that I should take a longer break from drinking.  In fact, I had one more drink after that, a beermosa (courtesy of Andy Kukowski) while binge watching season 3 of House of Cards.  After that, I just didn’t feel the need to drink.  Walking around with a big boot and the memory of what an idiot I was really makes you stay away from the golden juice.  But the final nail in the coffin was my therapy session where we were almost done, and my therapist said, “I’m afraid that if this isn’t your rock bottom, then what will be?”  And at that moment, I knew she was right.

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And I hated her for how right she was.  I began to cry, and she asked me what I was thinking and feeling.  So I spilled all the fears that immediately flooded my mind.  That I’ll never enjoy a drink again.  That people will judge me for not drinking.  That I won’t feel the comfort and warmth of being buzzed or drunk.  That I’ll have to make all my hardest decisions with a sober mind.  That I’ll have to meet people and date without the fuzzy love of a nursed drink.  That I’ll have to accept myself as I am instead of hiding behind a bottle of wine.  That every emotion I have with have to be dealt with up front instead of being forced down into my gut.  And that was a LOT TO DEAL WITH.

But only some of those things came true.  Sure, I had my last drink, but it’s not something I crave.  I don’t have the comfort of alcohol at social gatherings or on dates and that has led me to find out more about myself and who I am and be true to that in front of strangers.  I’ve still made some important decisions and haven’t died of the stress without booze.  And dealing with emotions is still hard, but I tend to move past them quicker if I face them head on instead of putting them away for later.  Sure, there are times when I go out with friends to a bar or restaurant and yearn for a drink with my food, or want the energy a drink gives me so I can get crazy on the dance floor.  Or I’ll be on a first date and want to have the comfort of a drink to take away the nerves and edge that comes with meeting a new person.  And I will always want a cold beer on an extremely hot day.  But I know myself, and I know that going back to the way I was is a huge possibility if I start drinking again.  I don’t want to be that mess again.  I see that mess most weekends in other people, and I’ve moved past that stage of my life. Sure, it’s a little out of the ordinary for a 27-year old to be sober, especially while in a career that is built around networking and socializing with drinks.  But I’ve never felt more grounded, more whole, and more myself than these last six months.  The support I receive and feel from others is incredible, and it’s one of the biggest factors that keeps me sober.  And while it can be a real battle some days to choose water, soda, ANYTHING over a drink, I feel that with support of my friends and family, weekly chats with my therapist and most important of all TALKING ABOUT IT, I can continue this sober journey with the confidence and faith that my life is changing for the better.

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If you have ANY questions for me about sober living or a drinking problem, or you just want to talk about your own struggle with addiction or a substance problem, please feel free to contact me either via FB or email (erincdaly87@gmail.com).  I’m not a therapist and cannot give advice but I am always willing to be a listening ear and talk about your options and choices.  And if you’d like more information on addiction or substance abuse, you can visit Alcoholics Anonymous at http://www.aa.org.

-E Daly

Day 17: An Ode to Frank’s Hot Sauce

Dear FHS,

Who ever thought that a bottle of fiery, orange sauce could bring one girl such happiness? As I vigorously shake out your contents, slathering every bit of food I have with your delicious juice of the gods, I can smell the heat and the flavor from what feels like miles away.  You’re with me through my toughest times, slapping me on the back and screaming that “IT WILL BE FINE JUST SUCK IT UP YA DUMB BITCH” (you’re rough, but only when necessary).  You comfort me while I push forkfuls of chicken or turkey in my face hole, spanking every corner of my mouth with your beautiful, spicy wave of flavor.  You make everything better…

-Chicken   -Turkey   -Eggs   -Veggies   -Rice   -Pizza   -Fish   -Loneliness   -Anger   -Frustration

I just cover it with you and my mind goes numb, basking in the sweet and tangy glory that is your sauce.

So thank you for all that do, you’re making this journey a lot easier than it would be if I were without you.  Don’t ever change.  Please.  PLEASE.  please.  

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Love Always and FOREVER,

E Daly