Tag Archives: motivational

The Weight of the World

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driben-peter-pin-up-girl-on-scaleFor a number of years now I haven’t really had to watch my weight. As long as I was gearing my diet more towards the food that made me feel physically better, well, the scale was watching itself. I could eat until I was full, drink when I wanted and really there wasn’t much to monitor. I had mainly cut out soda pop, limited sugar, minimized wheat…all in all it seemed like the diet modifications I had made had made me! Until recently…

In the last few months, I’m not sure if I can blame Christmas parties and boys, excess beers, or some new medication I’m on, but I gained. I gained what (to me) feels like a lot in a short amount of time and let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling. Now, I’m aware what water weight, pre menstrual weight, scales at night versus morning, naked versus clothed is all about. I can usually tell you my “real weight” within a pound or two just from how my clothes are fitting and know full well to ignore a lot of what the scale says, trust me, I’m a motivational scale guru for many.

That is, until today. Over the last few weeks I’ve actively been a little better. I did a cleanse (oh dear god, why we purposely give ourselves straight up diarrhea is beyond me), I’ve cut back my drinking, I’ve tried to minimize portions and go back to healthy snacking and less meals out. I’ve minimized that bread and returned to my sparkling waters and almond milks. And god bless the current boy as either he is blind and hasn’t noticed those increasingly-tight jeans, or he really just does love big boobs, but I could honestly say I think a pound or two has slid off and I’m feeling just a little sexier, but then again, what do I know, right?

Today the scale lied to me, or truthed me and I’m lying to myself. But, it had me up 3 lbs from a number I already was less than pleased with. And then 2 minutes later down 11lbs from that. And then 30 seconds after I had dropped another 7, and then regained 14 and then went back to the original weight. In a 4 minute window I was an 18 lb size difference, which is a lot when you just wanna know if a little less beer payed off!  I decided you know what? If I (think) I’m doing better, well, that’s step 1 and if my scale can bounce me from mental breakdown to win the lottery weight in a 4 minute window something must be wrong. I can assume that I am probably somewhere in the middle of all that and the most important thing is really the weight off my mind. So, I’m going to ignore it entirely, assume it’s broken and re-assess things base on how I’m feeling and things are fitting, not on a machine that can’t even make up its own mind (oh wait, that’s right – machines don’t have minds).

I guess that’s the best way to handle life. It’s about how you feel, not what you hear, not what you see, not numbers on a contract, things in a house, vacations in a scrapbook. At the end of the day, how you feel about you and your decisions is the only thing that really matters…you are just made up of matter anyway.

You gotta ask yourself this question. Am I gonna believe all those bad things those fools say about me today? Am I gonna to believe all those bad things those fools say about me… – Constantine, The Help

The Ginga Ninja

 

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Sometimes A Cliché is Just a Cliché, and Sometimes it’s Not

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Neil Patrick Harris, comebackNothing is impossible.  I may not always believe this every day of my life, but there are a million clichés  to go with this, “all things are possible”, “never say never”, “tomorrow is a new day”, “today is the first day of the rest of your life”….

But, it’s true.  Comebacks from teen idols, millionaires who started from nothing, my cat that seems to get healthier as he ages and the fact that I can keep rediscovering myself and find new goals in this game we call life…it all points to you never really can tell.  Though I think to be honest, our rediscovery is less about changing and more about accepting the things that have always been there.

“And when you think it’s all over, it’s not over, it’s not over” – Tears for Fears

The Ginga Ninja

Super Bold?

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260417_Enlarged_1So, this weekend was the Super Bowl.  Normally this wouldn’t warrant its own post, nor would this post come so close to the last.  But, as per usual – I was faced with a bit of a pickly predicament.

To me, the Super Bowl is just a party.  I have three older brothers and over the years many male friends – so the Super Bowl is a mix of beer, commercials, and usually a food extravaganza.  This year I knew that I could force myself upon the same crew as last year, or go visit my brother who with a cold and bucket of chicken had every intention of parking his ass on his couch, but I decided…nah…this is the year I’ll actually be a girl and have no plans. There is no male figure forcing this upon me and I wouldn’t have to worry about navigating a Monday hangover. But, opportunity knocked and fortunately, (or unfortunately depending how you look at it), I answered.

Just recently I joined a gym.  An urban hipster gym that apparently also throws major events.  I decided to get my ass out of my loft and into the gym this afternoon.  However, when I arrived there were gourmet food trucks parked on this little street and heavenly smells wafting into the workout rooms.  One of the staff told me they were hosting a Super Bowl party and as a member my admission was free!  She encouraged me to “check it out” as she, other staff, and other new members (like me) were going to go down.

So, I did.  Wow.  I never expected it to be so big.  There were huge screens, couches, waitresses, music, and hoards and hoards of people.

I quickly felt incredibly out of place in gym clothes, no makeup, a sober state and every time I tried to sit at a table somebody pointed out how they were “saving that for a friend”.  That fear that everybody secretly harbours about walking into a place alone and being ostracized actually came true.  I ended up standing in a corner, nursing a beer and talking to the wait staff.red_racer_ipa

So, that begs the question – is putting yourself out there, or being open to new opportunities always the best advice?  I have girlfriends who can’t go to a convenience store alone, whereas other friends can easily go on vacations with only numero uno.  So, what would you do?  When faced with party, beer, and a free ticket in…would you “check it out” or would you take your sweat-pants laden self directly home to the couch.

I decided to split this somewhere down the middle.  I hung in there for my one beer, grabbed some beeramisu and headed home.  I gave myself a little pat on the back for trying.  Is it better to have tried and failed, then never to have tried at all?

True champions aren’t always the ones that win, but those with the most guts.  – Mia Hamm

So, next time life takes you out of your comfort zone, ask yourself…what would you do?

The Ginga Ninja

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A Year From Now You Will Wish You Had Started Today

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vintage-calendar-1953-april-675x520A year.  How long does it take to decide if you have succeeded or failed?  A year?

Somehow I doubt it.  We like to think that.  We like to look at life and say “Where will I be a year from now”, “Where was I a year ago”?  In fact, my whole life I have handled my dad looking back at vacations and saying “Guess where we were exactly one year ago today?” Hopeful and depressing at the same time I’m afraid.

Is this a good way to look at things, or a bad one?  Or just normal?  I mean, every New Years we look back at the year that has passed and look forward to the year coming.  Entertainment Tonight, Much Music, and a multitude of shows decided to take a look at the Best and Worst of (in this case) 2012.

A lot of people I know have had a long…and strange year.  Me included.  My friend’s mom told me it was because it was the year of the Dragon, or maybe those Mayans had it half-right…the world wasn’t ending, just changing.

Whatever the case, the year has now come and gone.  I am one year older, 3 lbs heavier and in many cases nowhere further. But, I guess that’s all how you look at it, right?

If I want to put it in perspective and instead of saying “still single, still renting, still contract” I can do this instead.  It is time for my accomplishment list of 2012.

I have survived on my own for one year, I have proven I can live, pay rent and bills alone for one year, I have paid down $5k more in debt than one year ago and have been through one exhausting move. I am the proud owner of a vintage piano (unfortunately in storage), am also the proud owner of a guitar (which I can also barely play), I now own a Christmas tree, a vaccum, a new computer and have painted 10 (seriously, TEN) acrylic paintings. I have tried kung fu and tai chi, have visited San Francisco, have met 50 or more people that I did not know a year ago, have tried probably 15 new restaurants, have been to 6 new bars, have another year of work experience under my belt, have started copywriting on the side, have finished a digital album, am one season further in numerous TV shows, have read about 7 more books, have stopped biting my nails and (drumroll please)……have officially been the author of this blog for one year.

So, what can a year bring?  Maybe not six figures, maybe not a mortgage, maybe not a ring, but if you look at it right…maybe a lot more than you ever imagined.

The Ginga Ninja

Risky Business

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symbolic-cardboard-broken-heart-in-red-lightWhat’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?  Or lust, or like…really, let’s be honest. If we were in the movies, we would say love.  In real life, let’s say it how it is.

But what is considered acceptable human behaviour and what is considered stalker-esque, or one very small step away from that line in the sand?  Frankly, I don’t know. What I can say is that anytime I have taken risk, real honest to goodness risk when getting to know somebody…it has paid off.  Now, the backside of this is that anytime I have taken honest to goodness risk with a past love…it hasn’t.  What is considered crazy and what is considered romantic?

I guess the answer may be dependent on who it is, when it is, and how closely you look at people’s actions as true signs of their personality.  So, is the guy who texts non-stop 24-hours a day really a nutbar?  Or is he simply somebody who hasn’t healed off of his last relationship yet and treats all girls the way he would have treated his ex.  Is the guy that keeps writing through thick and thin and says the most supportive things (no matter how much of a bitch you are) a sweet, simple Prince Charming type of guy, or a sadistic SOB who can’t take the stench of desperation off of him?  And when is it okay for guys to fight for love…to get up on the table, out in the bleachers, shout it from the rooftops kind of love….and girls to be considered crazy bitches for doing the same?

Love is a funny thing.  Risk is a funny thing.  Rejection is a funny thing.  Some people have more trouble sending back a friendly text than others do proposing on the first night they meet.  And who is crazier?  What is riskier?  Is it true that you only live once and what is meant to be will be?  Or does it take effort, risk, a little faith, and a lot of chance.

I just know that coming up with excuses to knock on people’s doors, admitting feelings to a friend, or straight up googling nothing but a first name and the threads of a cock-a-mamy story could be considered crazy. (Crazy like a Fox!) But, on the right day, in the right moment, and with the right person…it could be the best choice you have ever made.  Does anybody really know what tomorrow holds or what outcome their actions will have?  All I know is sometimes risk pays off and sometimes it doesn’t, but those few times it does…won’t it be worth it?

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. Jim Rohn

The Ginga Ninja

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The Secret is a Half-Glass of Positivity…or at Least a Half-Glass of Wine

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Hmm…..so, all of those people out there who have read the book “The Secret”….is the ‘secret‘ that you need to visualize exactly what you want and you will get it, or just visualize a happy outcome and things will naturally fall into place because of your positive attitude? What I mean by this is that if you see the world through rose-coloured glasses then maybe even the worst of scenarios won’t seem half-bad….

About 5 years ago when this book was flying off the shelves, I opted for another read.  “The Happy Neurotic” was my self-help guru.  It was a great read that encouraged you to relish in your oddities, try to love yourself through self-doubt, and realize that your personal fears are often what propel you to succeed.  I didn’t really buy all that ‘visualize’ and it will just happen mumbo jumbo…I have always strongly believed that action creates results.  Maybe aside from the chapter encouraging me to take up stand-up comedy as an outlet to self-deprecate (who needs stand-up when I have a blog?), the Happy Neurotic was a good read at the time.  It was a true message, not filled with hidden meanings, magic beans, or the belief that just ask and you will receive.

But, now that I’m a bit older, and I like to think a bit (wiser?)…I do think that positive thoughts = positive outcomes.  Not because you visualized something and it magically happened, but because you can see the good in so much more of what you never saw it in before.  I have the option of looking at my life and saying “Single, 31, renting, contract position, debt, used belongings” and create a reason to jump off that ledge.  However, instead I’m kind of looking at this all as a bit of an open book.  I have 2 degrees, a job I’m enjoying even if it’s not forever, am lucky enough to live in my own place, enjoy my own space, and take advantage of all the wonderful friends and family who in the past I didn’t know were always there for me…

They were. I just wasn’t always there for me.  Instead of trying to be the best or change the world, maybe just do your best and let the world change you.

Don’t get me wrong.  This is not to say that I’m not incredibly proud of myself for all the things I have gone after and with hard work, dedication, and effort I have achieved.  But, the harder part has been that these things didn’t necessarily make me happier in the end because I had set unrealistic expectations on what they would feel like or how they would change my life.  So, even though I was a success, I often didn’t feel it.  Hell, I battle that still.  I have proven that one can achieve what they set their mind to, but I think the key is to set your sights a little lower sometimes.  Good message to give the kids, right?

Mmmmhmmm. I think my parenting style may suffer some judgement in the future….

In all seriousness, lower may not be the right word, but just make sure you are realistic about what you are reaching for.

I now realize that the whole cliché of “glass half-empty or glass half-full” isn’t just a cliché.  It can’t be forced and it can’t be faked.  It isn’t an instantaneous change and it isn’t a perfect formula.  Let’s be honest, it’s not as simple as just changing your mind one day…there is no ‘on & off’ positivity switch. I think the real ‘secret‘ is honestly, truly, trying to see the glass as half full.  It’s life…and people…and time that can change how you look at things.  I can’t say I won’t have bad days, lonely nights, or things that don’t work out…but I can say that at least today, it’s a little bit intriguing to not know what is going to happen next.  Maybe the key isn’t to envision at all…

I do think that too many expectations or trying too hard to attain something may not always bring about the results you imagined.  There is a fantastic scene in the movie, “500 days of Summer” that shows a split-screen of Tom’s expectations vs his reality.  I, for one think that over-visualizing what you want from life will create a false hope that attaining one last thing will change you.  I’m not saying don’t make goals, I’m just saying, don’t judge who you are as a person by them.   I am over the moon to see what happens when you don’t try so damn hard.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.                     – Maya Angelou 

The Ginga Ninja

You Won’t Think This Way Forever…Until You Do Again.

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So, my dad once told me about all the things that he thought could really (f*ck) with your life – the Big 4 so he said. To him, these puzzling life factors are your relationship, where you live, your job, and your finances.

I completely agree with my wise father (which is totally unfair as I’m a daddy’s girl), except for I expanded this list to the Magnificent 7.  I think the things that will mess with your sanity the most are  1. Relationship 2. Where you live (country / city) 3. Housing (what you actually live in / if you rent or buy)  4. Job  5. Finances  6. Friends  7. Family.  This isn’t necessarily in rank order, that my friend is entirely up to you.

So most people might go through changes to any 1-3 of these life-altering issues at a time.  If your relationship ends you may find yourself moving or in a different financial state.  (But, for some that’s not always a bad thing). Others may only find themselves changing jobs, or losing a friend, and a few may even see a lay-off or moving home lead to financial hardship and eventually relationship problems.

Well, what happens when you tackle them all at once?  Are you heading headfirst into a runaway train, or are you setting a course for adventure?  I want to say that in early days and even now I believe the latter, however throughout the year there have been times I feared the first.  Or maybe it’s not about doing good or bad, but where you are at different times.  Maybe there are no rules on what you should feel when and when you should feel what.

But, what do you do when you move to a new country, a new city, start a new job, need to find your own place, are financially impaired, need to make new (or reconnect with old) friends, don’t live near your family, and have to get used to being without the person you were closest to?  Well, I guess you start a blog.

…or yoga…or tai chi…or buy a guitar…or start painting.  You know, whatever random not-at-all-grounded-in-reality activity floats your boat.

Only recently I realized how much happened at once and how I’m damn lucky I am not standing in a Wal-mart with hostages at gunpoint…but, I’m also lucky enough to have people who haven’t yet pulled gunpoint on me. However, I try to remember what I tell everybody else who I’ve ever shouldered along the way…it will take time, clichés are clichés for a reason, and one day you will wake up and forget to be sad.

Ron Livingston as Rob in the classic movie Swingers says, “Sometimes it still hurts. You know how it is, man. It’s like, you wake up every day and it hurts a little bit less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn’t hurt at all. And the funny thing is,  this is kinda weird, but it’s like, it’s like you almost miss that pain.”

I’m working on it.  I stay busy, I’m ticking off my someday list, and I try not to let nasty thoughts get me down.  But regret and doubt sneak in from time to time, my someday list gets short, and there are moments when I just need a big old hug.  For anybody out there who deep down knows things happen for a reason, yet in fleeting moments can’t remember what that reason was…I feel for you, I really do.  My advice, even if I suck at listening to it, is hold your head high, remind yourself why you chose this and how hard you knew it might be, and remember that everything will change. It probably already has.

The Ginga Ninja

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