LA Adventure (or How To Enjoy A Day Without Your Own Car)

On Sunday, I was car-less. It’s not the end of the world, but I already had a bunch of plans for the day and I wanted to make sure that they could all still happen.

Fortunately, it all worked out for me.

My plans were with my friend (and neighbor) Amber. We were going to go see “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” at the DGA followed by burgers at The Counter (which is conveniently across the street from the DGA). I originally was going to drive, but since I didn’t have a car, Amber volunteered to drive us around for our adventures for the day.

The only issue in our plan was on Saturday evening after I got my car towed back to my house, Amber let me know that her car was overheating as well! But since her car seemed to be able to cool down easily, we figured we could be ok driving around.

First stop was the DGA. I’ve been there plenty, but this was Amber’s first time seeing a movie there. It’s pretty amazing and I love seeing my friends’ reactions when they go for the first time. It so pretty inside and all the audience members are so respectful (I’m spoiled now and find it hard to see movies at regular movie theaters without getting annoyed by audience members talking or texting during the movie).

My quick review of “Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” was that it was pretty great! I really enjoyed the first movie and I got really excited to see the next movie after seeing the 3 short films that were created that are supposed to take place in the 10 years between the films.

My only issue with the movie was how the female characters were used. Both ape and human female characters seemed to be filler and didn’t have much of anything to do. That’s just sad.

After the movie we headed across the street to get our burgers. I love The Counter. I pretty much get the same thing every time.

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And I did figure out how to make this burger part of my day without going over my calories for the day. So even though I consider this a cheat meal, it still fit nicely into my day. And yes, it was super delicious.

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After eating, Amber and I headed on a little LA adventure. Or at least, we attempted one.

We were going to head up to the Griffith Observatory because Amber has never been there. We headed up the road at Griffith Park when Amber’s car started to overheat again. Since the entire way up to the observatory is uphill, we agreed that it wasn’t worth trying to get her car up there (she found out afterward that the issue with her car was it was low on coolant, so it wasn’t a hard fix).

After our failed attempt to go to the observatory, we headed back. Amber was going to be in a music video that evening and she needed time to get ready. And I was going to spend the rest of my day cleaning my house and doing laundry (what else do you do when you can’t get around town?).

Considering how tough my Saturday was, this was the perfect Sunday. I got my car to the shop (and found out that the fix wouldn’t be too expensive), saw and awesome movie, and went out for a fun lunch. It really helped get me back into a positive mindset.

And I really needed that because Monday would be another day that would challenge me in practicing gratitude. But that post will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

 

Day Trip To San Diego (or Driving Disasters)

This past Saturday I went down to San Diego to spend the day with my grandparents. I hadn’t seen them since Thanksgiving, so I was way overdue for a trip down there.

The drive from my house to my grandparents’ place usually takes exactly 2 hours from my door to their door. There’s always a little traffic, but I usually can time out my drives to be when there’s the least traffic.

My drive down was pretty bad. From my house until Disneyland I was going at full speed. Then all of a sudden, traffic was ridiculous. I averaged about 20-30mph for the rest of the drive. It took me 4 hours to get there, and once I did arrive I was pretty exhausted.

As soon as I got to San Diego I picked up my grandpa to take him to the grocery store. That was a very easy and quick errand and we were back to my grandparents’ place within 30 minutes. Then I got to spend some nice quality time with my grandparents just chatting about anything.

We discussed my job situation, Tucker (who my grandparents haven’t met yet), politics, and lots of other random stuff. What I found most interesting was my grandpa talking about his time in WWII and the Korean War. I only learned recently that he was in WWII (it’s not something that’s ever really ever been discussed in my family) and I only learned on Saturday about my grandpa being a part of the Korean War. I know that my grandpa has been working on a book of all of his stories, and I really hope that he gets to finish it. There are so many things about him that I don’t know.

I also got to go to dinner with my grandparents. It was nice, but nothing too fancy. After dinner, it was time for me to drive home.

There was no traffic on the road when I started so I figured I’d be home in 2 hours.

Wrong.

After about 30 minutes of driving, my car chimed and in the dash it had a warning that said something like “Hot Engine Temperature”. I’ve had this warning once before and it went away after a minute of driving a little less aggressively. So I thought it might be the case again. Instead, after a few minutes of driving, the car chimed again and the warning now said “Stop Car Now”.

It’s never a good sign when your car says to stop. I pulled over to the shoulder of the freeway and then my car shut off by itself. The first thing I did was call my parents. I’m not sure what they could have done from a distance, but that’s my reaction when anything bad happens.

My dad told me to tell my car cool down for a minute and then to drive to an exit and get a tow back to LA. Fortunately, when my parents renewed my AAA membership they got me AAA Plus. That allowed me to get up to 100 miles of free towing (my old membership only had 5 miles of free towing).

When I called AAA, the guy who answered the phone knew exactly where I was from my description (it was an abandoned parking lot off of an exit near Camp Pendleton) so he could give the tow truck very clear directions for me.

Then I had to wait about 90 minutes for the truck to arrive. I tried to not be too upset or mad because I didn’t know what was wrong with my car but I was pretty sure I didn’t do anything to cause it. At least I had a nice view from the place I was waiting.

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The tow truck finally arrived and I’ll admit that it was a little sad watching my car get put onto the tow bed.

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2 hours riding in the tow truck later (which by the way I had the most awesome tow truck driver, Bob), I was home and my car was being unloaded.

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I was able to drive my car into my driveway and when I did the warnings had all gone away. But I knew that there was something wrong with my car and I didn’t want to drive it until it was fixed.

Fortunately, I found a repair shop close to my house and open on Sunday! It’s called Fix Car Now and they have a couple of different locations. I took my car in Sunday at 8am and the shop gave me a ride back home so I didn’t have to wait there. At 9am I found out that the water pump cooling system for my hybrid motor (the electric motor, not the gas one) was broken. It’s a known issue for my car so they were able to get parts for it pretty easily.

It took until yesterday for them to finish my car, but I did get my car back and it’s running even better than before. My car had issues over the past few years switching from the gas engine to the electric engine. But now that my car was fixed, it’s switching as quickly as it did when I got it!

The lesson in all of this for me was to stay focused on positives and being grateful even when things seem to suck. I’ve owned my car since 2008 (I got it used) and besides having a dead battery once (the normal battery, not the hybrid one), this is the first problem I’ve ever had with this car. And since I’m not working yet, my parents were willing to help me the cost of this repair. And while I was sitting in the tow truck really mad about everything, I tried to find a really good positive about this situation. The one I came up with was technically the tow ride was saving me gas money since I didn’t drive my car home.

Even in the worst circumstances there’s always something positive you can focus on. Even if it’s something small or stupid, that’s what I need to think about and not all the negative things.

Orangetheory Week 4 (or I Can’t Believe I’m Halfway Done!)

I’ve completed half of my Orangetheory challenge! I can’t believe it! I remember before I started the challenge I wondered how I could manage to do this. Now, I’m to the point where I’m starting to miss my workouts on days I’m not there (but I know my body probably can’t handle more than 3 Orangetheory workouts a week yet). I’m also starting to think long-term about this. Right now, I’m thinking about getting the top-level of membership at Orangetheory after my challenge is done so I can continue my Monday, Wednesday, Friday workouts.

I’m starting to feel much stronger and powerful and even one of the managers at Orangetheory said that he’s noticed me looking more agile. While my weight loss is slow, it’s going the direction it needs to go. And I know that muscle weighs more than fat, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. But losing 2 pounds a week is good and maintainable.

Last Monday, I had a friend join me for my class. It was the first time I had a friend there, and it was pretty awesome! I’m still hoping that more people will join me (if you are in LA and want to come please let me know!), but having a friend there this past week really helped give me a boost after feeling a little frustrated.

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On Wednesday, I was having a bad hip day (technically all week last week was a bad hip week). I wasn’t too happy to be on the treadmill, but I pushed through it the best I could. I had to take a lot of breaks, but I always got back on the treadmill.

I think the highlight for me on that workout was that we did a little rowing race. The group that started on the rowers (I started on the treadmills) did a race and the person who rowed the farthest in 1 minute rowed about 330 meters. So the challenge was set for my group to have someone beat that. Prior to Friday, I was averaging 250 meters in about 75 seconds. But I wanted to see how hard I could push myself.

I didn’t win the challenge, but I did manage to row 313 meters in 1 minute! It was really hard and I thought I might pass out for a second, but I did it! I did have some time before we starting rowing to rest, so that helped. But I now have a new benchmark for the next rowing challenge.

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Friday marked the end of my first month of my challenge. It was an exceptionally bad hip day and I had also worked the graveyard shift the night before. It was a recipe for disaster and in the past, I would have tried to find a way to get out of the workout.

But I still showed up and I did as much as I could. It wasn’t my best workout and it wasn’t pretty, but I was there. And that’s what counts.

To celebrate the end of my first month of my challenge, my trainer for that day Ashley wanted to take a photo that proves how tough I’m getting. So she decided to have me plank and then she would balance her plank on me (so I was supporting her as well). I used to be great at planks when I was skinny, but I’ve lost a lot of core strength and I’m working on getting it back. And I think this picture proves that I’m getting my core strength back.

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My hip issues are still bothering me now and I’m taking more painkillers than I used to. I’m not doing anything bad for my hips, but technically almost anything I do is potentially bad for me. Part of the annoying part of my problem is I have to allow things to get back so they can be fixed (there’s no reason to fix things before they hurt).

I’m trying to remember that fact and I’m going to do the best I can in week 5. Even if that means taking breaks on the treadmill again.

Another Mom Update (or Almost All Done)

While my mom has already finished all of her prescribed treatments for breast cancer, there are still a few things that still need to be done.

First of all, my mom is still getting chemo every 3 weeks. This is not something that was part of her original treatment plan. But once my mom was diagnosed, she applied for a drug trial and got accepted. The drug trial is for this other chemo. She has 3 more treatments of it, so it feels like it’s almost done.

Since my mom tested negative for the BRCA mutation, that also eliminates a lot of things that we were prepared to have to go through. My mom is done working with the geneticist now and I only have a few things that the geneticist recommended for me to do. Mainly, I need to go get a mammogram this year, which I will do in the next month or two (I was waiting to see what potential job schedules could be like before scheduling a doctor’s appointment). But that’s pretty minimal. The reason for me to get a mammogram is to have a baseline one to compare future mammograms to, not to necessarily look for cancer (although I’m sure they will do that too).

Finally, my mom had to go through some medical tests to make sure that her body is free of cancer (or at least as far as they can tell it’s free of cancer).

First, a few weeks ago she had a CT where they checked her pelvis, chest, and abdomen. My mom told me that it might take a day or two to get the results from the test, but about an hour after the test my mom got a phone call saying that there are no signs of cancer in any area that they looked in. So that’s pretty awesome news!

And then last week my mom had a mammogram and MRI and both of those came back clean as well!

So besides the 3 remaining chemo treatments (and me getting a mammogram), the cancer journey is almost over. It’s been over a year since my mom was diagnosed and it feels like it flew by in an instant and has been going on for years at the same time.

I’m excited for my mom to be done with everything. For almost the entire time during this journey my mom has pretty much been able to do everything that she has always been able to do (she’s a rockstar that way). One of the last things to get her back to her “old” self is that she will be dyeing her hair back to blonde next week (when it grew back it came in brown). Once that’s done, even when she choses not to wear the wig, people who didn’t know what had happened will have no idea.

I’ll still blog occasional updates on things (and you all know that I’ll totally be blogging about my first mammogram), but it really feels like the journey is coming to an end. I’m so grateful that my mom has really kicked butt through all of this and that it looks like the end of this journey will really be the end.

Adding Variety (or Trying To Be Adventurous With My Food)

I’ve talked about my food rut before. I pretty much eat the same few things every single day. I have 2 or 3 different things that I will make for breakfast, lunch is pretty much always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some fruit, and dinner is some sort of salad or frozen entree.

Some of this food rut is due to my OCD and other parts of it are due to laziness. I’m not a huge cook, and especially during the summer when it’s so hot I don’t want to use any appliances in my house.

But within my few things I eat each day, I’m trying to change up some individual items.

For breakfast, instead of eating plain greek yogurt, I’m adding some granola that has flaxseed in it (I actually don’t mind the taste of flaxseed). That might not seem like a huge change, but it is for me. And I’m noticing that I’m not as hungry when lunchtime comes when I do add in the granola.

Dinner is still a tough one for me. 3 nights a week I’m getting home from Orangetheory at dinnertime and I’m starving. I need something to eat quickly. So I’ve been eating salads from Subway (no dressing just vinegar) or frozen entrees from Trader Joes (I’m loving the cod dinner right now). I’m working on trying to pre-make salads at home, but it seems like the veggies go bad before I use them up. So spending a little money to get a salad made isn’t too horrible. I’m also looking into some no-cook or slow cooker only recipes that freeze well. It’s tough when you cook and it makes 4 or 6 servings. I’m ok with leftovers the next day, but I don’t want to eat it multiple days in a row. So I need something that I can freeze.

My latest attempt at adding variety to my diet was changing up the fruit I eat at lunch. Most of the time I eat a banana and occasionally I’ll have an apple, but that’s pretty much it for now. I’m not a picky eater, I just am set in my ways.

So the last time I went to Trader Joes, I walked around trying to find another fruit that looked good to me. I saw some peaches that looked nice so I got them.

A day after I purchased the peaches, the mass recall of fruit (including peaches from Trader Joes) happen. And yes, I double checked everything and the container of peaches that I purchased is on the recall list.

I haven’t returned my peaches yet (maybe I’ll do that tomorrow), but now I’m definitely not eating them.

I’m trying to not see this as a sign that I shouldn’t change things up. It’s just dumb luck.

But it probably will be another week or so before I end up trying another fruit for lunch time. For now, I’m back to my bananas.

Weight Loss Update (or Why I’m Trying Not To Get Frustrated)

So I’ve completed 3 weeks of my Orangetheory challenge so far. I’ve been working out 3 days a week (and burning about 500 each workout) and I’m trying to eat below my calorie goals (which seems to happen about 6 out of 7 days).

You’d think that I would have lost a good amount of weight so far. Maybe even in the double digits. That’s what I thought I would have done by now.

But instead, I am currently down 6 pounds from where I started at the beginning of the challenge.

I should be happy with those 6 pounds. They say that you should lose 2 pounds a week to have a maintainable weight loss and that’s exactly what I’m doing. And I know that my body composition is changing and I’m gaining muscle so that could also cause my weight loss to stall a little.

But I still keep thinking about how when I did the RFO diet I would lose about 6-10 pounds a week (my first week I lost 14). And I’m aware that that was a medically supervised starvation diet and that the weight loss was not maintainable. But I still miss those days when I lost a pound a day.

It doesn’t help that all over the media there are people losing weight at a rapid fire pace. On Extreme Weight Loss, people lose 100 pounds in 90 days. And yes, almost all of those people have more weight to lose than I do, but it’s still a message that sticks in my head. It’s possible to lose more than I am right now.

So why am I stalled?

Besides the reasons that I’ve already listed, I know that the weather is affecting me as well. It’s very hot right now, and with my house having horrible insulation, it’s very hot even when I go to bed (averaging at 90 degrees when I go to sleep each night). I have a fan next to my bed, so that helps, but I’m still overheated. And when I’m overheated, my body swells up. So my clothes feeling tighter is an illusion. It’s a frustrating illusion, but I know that I haven’t gained weight.

Right now, there’s not much I can do to make myself lose weight faster. I’m thinking of cutting my calories back a little (maybe from 1600 to 1450), but I’m not going to do anything drastic.

I just have to keep pushing along and eventually my body will catch up to all the hard work I’m putting in. I just have to make sure that I don’t give up before that happens.

Santa Barbara Weekend (or Family and Friends Time)

This past weekend, I was up in Santa Barbara (which if you aren’t familiar with the California geography is about 2 hours north of Los Angeles). My friend Rayshell was celebrating her 30th birthday and her parents offered to throw her a party. So the party was held at her parents’ place in Santa Barbara.

I’m sure at some point in my life I’ve been to Santa Barbara, but it must have been when I was little because I don’t remember ever going there. I know that I’ve never been there as an adult, so that’s at least 13 years.

I knew about the birthday party a few months in advance (Rayshell wanted everyone to have the chance to make hotel reservations if necessary). My sister-in-law’s parents live in Santa Barbara, so as soon as I knew that I would be up there, I texted them to see if they could meet up while I was there. My sister-in-law’s mom wasn’t sure if they would be in town while I was there, so she asked me to text closer to the date.

When I texted her again, she let me know that my brother and sister-in-law were going to be in Santa Barbara the same weekend. So I made plans with everyone to meet up with them for a little bit on Saturday before I went to the party.

I drove up by myself and got to my sister-in-law’s parents’ house in about 2 hours (traffic wasn’t my friend the entire way). It was so great to see everyone. I hadn’t seen my brother or my sister-in-law’s parents since Christmas and I hadn’t seen my sister-in-law since our NYC trip.

I was only able to stay there for about an hour, but it was a nice visit. My brother and sister-in-law are going on a trip to Africa next month. They are going to be going to Tanzania, which is where my family went when we went to Africa in 1997. So we were chatting about different things to prepare for the trip and memories that my brother and I have when we went there as kids.

After my visit, I got back on the road to head to Rayshell’s parent’s house. It was only about 10 minutes from my sister-in-law’s parent’s house, so that was easy.

The party was in the backyard and they had hired a taco man to cater dinner. Technically, he was more than a taco man because you could also get a salad, a burrito, a quesadilla, or nachos. I opted for the beef nachos because they looked so amazing!

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I totally made the right choice! My nachos were awesome!

I was sitting next to my friend Sarah Levin (who I refer to as the “other Levin” and she does the same to me) and it was so nice to get to catch up with her. She recently got engaged and will be getting married soon. So I got to see the ring and hear all of her incredible wedding plans.

And of course, Sarah and I wanted a picture with the birthday girl.

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Not only is Rayshell in a Levin sandwich, Sarah and I are dressed alike (blue dresses, black sweaters). I thought it was pretty funny.

Also at the party, there was a magician. He reminded me of the magicians who perform the close-up magic show at The Magic Castle. There were some tricks that I’ve seen before, but there were also a bunch that I had never seen and I was amazed how they were done (I might have googled some of the tricks because I just couldn’t understand how he could have done it).

And one of the final tricks of the show was the magician juggling a machete, a bowling ball, and a torch lit on fire while balancing on a board that was on top of a plastic pipe.

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I know you can’t see that he is balancing in the picture, but trust me, he was. And he was very close to the tree in the backyard so everyone was nervous that he would catch the tree on fire. But fortunately, everything was safe and not on fire at the end of the show.

After the magic show, there was some dessert and then people started to head out. Some people had to make the drive back to LA, some were headed to their hotels (or houses if they were locals), and some people headed out to the bars. I was very lucky that Rayshell’s parents said I could spend the night at their house. Hotels were very expensive (especially for a Saturday night in the summer). So while everyone else was leaving, I was helping with some cleanup.

And while putting away the leftover alcohol (which I didn’t have any of), I discovered the biggest tequila bottle I’ve ever seen!

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It’s Costco brand but everyone said that it was great.

After cleaning up, everyone who was staying at Rayshell’s parents’ house just hung out outside for a while talking around one of the fire pits that they have.

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It was a very relaxing way to end the evening. And before we knew it, it was 1am and we were all exhausted. I slept in the living room on the couch, and it was a perfect place to crash after a party (I can’t imagine trying to make the drive home after the party).

The next morning, we all had breakfast together and then I headed back to LA. Sarah needed a ride back so I drove her and that gave us even more time to catch up and just have fun talking.

It was such a perfect little mini-getaway! It felt like a vacation but I didn’t have to go that far.

Thank you so much to Rayshell’s parents for letting me stay at your house! You are both so generous and were amazing hosts! And Rayshell, even though I’ve wished you a happy birthday a couple of times by now. Happy Birthday again! I hope you had a great time at your party! I know I did!

Week 3 Of Orangetheory (or Pushing Myself Even In Extreme Pain)

I’ve successfully completed week 3 of my Orangetheory challenge. And this week was definitely a challenge for me. My body is starting to realize how tough it is to work out really hard 3 days a week. Hopefully my body will adjust to that soon (I think it was in shock for the first 2 weeks).

This week, I had the same trainer every class, Ashley. I think Ashley is pretty awesome. She does push me hard, but she understands that there are times that my body is just not able to do it. And she’s more than happy to give me modifications for all the strength workouts (sometimes without me having to even ask for them).

Monday’s class went really well. I had a great calorie burn that day and I didn’t hurt too much during the workout or after (which is a victory for me). I post photos on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook after every class and I want all my pictures to be different, but I’m starting to run low on ideas. After Monday’s class, Ashley suggested that we show off how crazy my calorie burn really was in those 60 minutes.

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It’s a little hard to tell from the picture, but I burned almost 500 calories in that class!

Wednesday’s class had a really tough cardio segment. It was another run/row day. In my case, it was a walk/row, but that really didn’t make it much easier. I have a tough time with the transitions between the treadmill and the rower. I have to take a minute to step down from the treadmill (I feel like I’m going to fall off) and when I stand up from the rower my legs are a little shaky. I’m hoping that there will be some more run/row days soon so I can work on feeling more comfortable with that.

But I am feeling much better on the rower now. In the beginning, that was a challenge for me. It was uncomfortable and I had weird leg pains while on it. But with Ashley’s help, my form is getting much better and I’m really starting to enjoy rowing now.

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My Friday class was a big challenge for me. Typically in class, we split into 2 groups and one group does 30 minutes of cardio (typically treadmill) while the other group does strength work (plus rowing) and then half way through we switch. I always do the cardio part first because when I’m tired and walking, I’m much more likely to have hip issues. So that plan has been helping.

But on Friday, things were switched up. I started in the cardio group. We did 15 minutes of treadmill time and then we switched with the strength group. Then after 15 more minutes, we went back to the treadmill. And after 15 minutes on the treadmill, my group finished with 15 more minutes of strength.

I was fine for the first 30 minutes. But as soon as I stepped back onto the treadmill for my second treadmill time, my hip popped out. And what that means is my femur bone is not where it’s supposed to be. So instead of things feeling okay in my hip joint, my bones were grinding against each other (it feels similar to when you grind your teeth but much stronger). I tried to walk the best I could, but it hurt so bad. Every few minutes I stood on the side rails of the treadmill and attempted to pop my hip back (I can do it on my own, but I need to have a good wall to brace myself against). I wasn’t able to pop it back during class, but I was able to finish the workout. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t my best day, but I did it.

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Fortunately, as soon as I got home on Friday, I was able to pop my hip back in and took some painkillers right away. It helped, but I was still pretty sore all weekend (which is typical for when this happens to me).

I’m excited to see what the next week brings, Ashley will be my trainer on Monday and Friday and JZ will be my trainer on Wednesday. And after next week is done, I’ll be half way through my challenge! Time really has flown by!

Not Letting A Slip Up Be A Set Back (or I Splurged Again)

While I thought I had learned my lesson about splurge meals, I guess I didn’t. I did another splurge meal, but it was more of an afternoon than a meal.

A little back story.

Over the years, certain grocery stores feel “unsafe” to me. I know where the things are that I like to eat, and with muscle memory it seems like I just walk to those foods and put them in my basket. So I’ve avoided certain grocery stores over the past few years.

Now I go to 2 different stores near my house, an Albertsons and a Trader Joes. I used to go to Albertsons a lot more, but there are more “bad” foods for me there. So I only go for certain items that I know I can get at Trader Joes (which used to include a specific sparkling flavored water but I haven’t had one of those in over a month).

But even though I go to this particular Trader Joes, it’s starting to feel unsafe for me.

Yesterday, I had to go to Trader Joes to pick up a few items (mainly household things). I decided that since I wasn’t doing my usual shopping, I wouldn’t walk through the aisles the way I typically do. I thought that would shock my muscle memory and I would be able to walk out with just the few things I needed.

I got my items but ended up right next to one of my “bad” foods, which happens to be the fresh mozzarella. I wasn’t planning on buying it (I didn’t need it), but somehow it ended up in my basket along with a few other things that I used to eat all the time but have tried to avoid lately.

And like I was on auto-pilot I bought those items, brought them home, and ate them (in a particular order which I’ve always done).

And as soon as I did it I felt sick. There was no need for me to eat these things. Looking back, I had forgotten to eat at all before going to the grocery store (the graveyard shifts throw off my meal times) and that was a huge mistake. I try to never go to the store hungry. Not only does that make me feel like I need a certain food, my willpower is lowered and I just don’t think about it.

But I’m trying to tell myself that just because I had a bad few hours yesterday doesn’t mean I can’t have good hours after that. In the past, I would always tell myself that I could start a diet on “Monday” (Monday is really any arbitrary day in the future). I would tell myself that I would get what I wanted until then and then once “Monday” comes I’ll be good.

I’m not doing that this time. Today is a workout day at Orangetheory Fitness and I have all my meals for the day planned out (and I’ll be under my calorie goal so that will help with the excess of calories from yesterday).

This is progress for me. It might not seem like it, but I know that it is. I just have to accept that slip ups will happen from time to time and that I have to be ok with that. And that I can get back on track immediately and don’t need to go crazy.

I’m going to try to eliminate those “bad” foods from my diet, but I’m slowly removing “bad” foods. I haven’t gotten any fast food in a month (unless you count one In-N-Out burger on the way to Lake Tahoe). And there some delivery food that I used to get way too often and I haven’t ordered it for 3 weeks (which is really good for me). And there are other foods from Trader Joes that are “bad” and I have been able to avoid getting them for over a week.

It’s baby steps, but there is progress. I’m just trying to be patient with myself and more accepting of my flaws and slip ups. And just because I’m accepting doesn’t mean I’m ok with them. I just know that I can’t be too harsh on myself because if I do, I’ll just go back to how things used to be.

Underemployment Is Frustrating (or Trying To Find The Balance Of Flexibility And Work Hours)

I know that I can’t be too frustrated about my employment situation yet. I was just laid off from my one regular part-time job on Monday afternoon. But still, I’m getting really tired of what the trend is like now for jobs.

First of all, let me say that if I could find a “normal” full-time job that was open to letting me take some time off here and there for auditions (which means only having about one days notice about the time I’d need to take off), I’d be more than happy to take that job. I probably wouldn’t love working a job that much, but I would totally do it. But most full time jobs either need someone with a master’s degree or the ads are very specific and say “no actors”. I’m not going to lie about being an actor (and pretend that my auditions are doctor and dentist appointments like I know some people do). I’d rather be up front and honest, and most past employers have appreciated that.

But the situation I’m in now is having so many different jobs but none of them have guaranteed work from week to week. The box office job is the most stable, but even that one might only be 8 hours a week (if I’m lucky). When I emailed the box office about my open availability, they didn’t know if they could even get me on the schedule before September (which is what we agreed upon before).

The survey coder job is also not reliable in terms of hours. Right now it’s pretty decent because I’m in training, but once that’s done, there will only be work to do when they need the help. I have no idea what that means in terms of hours per week, but I’m sure that there will be some weeks with a lot of hours and possibly some weeks with no hours at all.

And that’s kind of what all my jobs are like right now. I guess there could be a long-term substitute teaching job at some point, but in all the years I’ve worked for my school district, the longest sub job I’ve ever seen was 3 days long. While that would be awesome, I need more than that.

And I just got hired with another job, but it’s kind of like an on-call position. There is hourly pay (although it’s pretty low) but it’s independent contractor work. So pretty much 30% of what I make has to be saved and paid during tax time (I’ve been told 30% is as high as I could owe so I’d rather save more money than not have enough).

I’m trying not to be a little crazy about all this. It took me a while to find the assistant headhunter job so I need to give myself time to find another day job that has some stable hours. And I did re-open my unemployment claim so I will hopefully have a little extra money (although with the hours I’m working graveyard right now, I might only get about $20/week from my unemployment claim).

The one thing that is going my way right now is my friends. I’ve been very open about how I need a new job and people are keeping their eyes out for anything that they see that I might be right for. While I’m not applying to everything they send to me (I know some of them either don’t pay enough or won’t be flexible at all), I’m so appreciative every time I get an email/text/tweet/FB message about a job that might be right for me.

There are so many people pulling for me right now, and that’s something that I’ve never felt before. It’s awesome and I know that I can’t let everyone down. So I have to keep searching and applying for tons of jobs and hopefully the next perfect day job will come my way soon.