Like I said in my previous post, moving is hard, and a major component of that is that you typically don't know a lot of people where you're going. At least, that's where I fall. I have a couple friends in the Pittsburgh area, and that's it. I don't see them much and lately it's seemed all I do is go to work, go to the gym, and then go home and sleep.

For most people this would seem perfectly acceptable, working 50 hours a week and driving around 20. But the former student athlete in me feels restless. I don't like sitting around doing nothing, and I would definitely say I've been kind of lonely here, and it's ruined a good bit of my Pittsburgh experience. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending time alone. In fact, I pretty much despise the majority of the population and try to avoid them- but I realized that my time alone was transcending into me being lonely. Which at 23 years old, is something I shouldn't be- that shouldn't come until I'm into my 60s and have accrued a large amount of cats.

So I decided I needed to branch out a bit more and get out there. Problem is, a large majority of people my age like to go out and drink for fun, and I'm not really into that. There's nothing wrong with it, but when I'm up at 5am for work and work every other weekend, drinking isn't a high priority on my list- just ask the 6 pack of Shock Top that's been on my fridge for a month now that has one bottle missing. So what was I supposed to do? Well, as most people know, I'm an excellent creeper, so I went online and tried to find a place to play sports. I tried meet up, but it is all ultimate frisbee and soccer and I am way too competitive to play those sports weekly when I suck so much at them. Then, I found the Pittsburgh Sports League (PSL). I managed to sign up for a sand league on Mondays and basketball on Tuesdays and Thursdays and that's just started. I also started playing indoor volleyball at my gym, as well as pickup bball - and the guys consider me a regular there now too. Already I feel better! I'm not sure if it is the fact that I'm too busy to realize that I'm so isolated or if that's exactly the amount of interaction I need, but either way, it's exactly what I wanted. My life doesn't just consist of working and working out, I'm getting that competitive aspect that I've missed so much. And I'm feeling at ease and at peace :) And who knows, maybe I'll meet more like minded people like myself.

How about you? What do you do to ward off loneliness in a new place? Comment below

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Had to buy some new kicks since I'm playing so much! This is truly the sport I will always love
 
 

Since I graduated a year ago, I've moved a fair amount. First- I moved home to my mom's house. Then I moved into my first apartment in Columbus three months later, once I got a big girl job. Four months later I got an even better big girl job and changed entire STATES. Now, about 6 months after that move, I'm looking to change my place of residence AGAIN. I swear I'm not flighty- I'm just following where my opportunities lead me. I figured with all of the recent graduations, I would list a few things I wish I had realized before I picked my things up had a change of scenery. A lot of these things may seem pretty obvious- but let's be serious, my naive butt still didn't take it into consideration I'm hoping this time around my perspective will be a little wiser.

1. It's expensive

Yeah, DUH. No shit. But seriously. I feel like each time I've moved it's cleaned my bank account out! I had 3 jobs the summer after I graduated in order to save up enough to move to Columbus and start my big girl job- then I had to pick up another job waiting tables there. I did go from working 70-80 hours a week to about 60, which was helpful. But I still had to budget like no other, and my appetite was increasing as my workouts increases intensity so at times I felt like my budgeting was about as useless as a small independent nation attempting to feed their whole population on wheat grass and soy. Not fun.

Then when I moved to Pittsburgh, it got even more expensive. Rent went up, plus I had a security deposit and a ton of gas money to spend as I trained 90 min away from home. I had one pair of too-small size 6 khakis(Which now fit), two red cardigans, and a mass of tank tops to try to get me through my first couple paychecks. I only had those because I raided my roommates closet. For the first month I had to live off of $20 a week for food. I couldn't go out to eat with my coworkers- and my diet consisted of boiled eggs and potatoes. That broke. And I was too proud to ask anyone to lend me money.

This time around I'm more prepared, I have a stash of backup cash- so I'm hoping I've learned. But holy moley money was tight.

2. It's stressful

Refer to #1. Yeah, money can't bring happiness, but it relieves a ton of stress. I wasn't sleeping well, I wasn't working out- I was miserable. Trying to figure out how to get everything up to my new place was a struggle too- my mom and I, our schedules rarely matched up and neither of us were very flexible with trying to work with each other's schedules. I didn't have a bed or most of my things at my new place at first- I slept on the floor for quite a few nights in Columbus. But going to a new city, a new area- it's a scary and stressful deal when you're 22 and pretty much on your own completely for the first time ever- college doesn't really count, it's college.

3. It's disorienting

I have no clue where I am. Ok most of the time I typically don't, but Columbus? I had no idea what road was what. Google maps was and still is my BFF navigator. I finally got the hang of Columbus, my boyfriend at the time helped me a lot with that, plus I went all over the place to play volleyball so that helped me get familiar with the area.

Pittsburgh? HAH. I'm lucky if someone says "Parkway North" and I know that's located above Pittsburgh. Isn't it? And I've been all over the place with my job- trained north of Pitt, live on the southern side, now I'm working on the east side- who knows where I will end up next!

4. It's lonely

Each move I made took me farther away from my family, most importantly, my 11 and 13 year old siblings. From 40 minutes to now 3 hours, one of my biggest struggles is how much I miss them and how much I am missing out on by not being there. My long distance relationship recently ended, so now I don't have that either, and to add the cherry on top, my roommate moved to Delaware. Even as an introvert, I'm pretty lonely here. I try to make time to see my friends but the majority of them, apart from a woman who is like my sister- is either too busy or just simply don't care. I knew I wouldn't see everyone I used to see every day in college as frequently as I used to, but when I work 50 hours a week and live in the middle of nowhere, a lot of days I feel pretty lonely. I made friends in Columbus from the gym and from volleyball and bball leagues I played in, but I've been trying to find the same thing in Pittsburgh and can't! It's so frustrating. And I'm an excellent creep so typically finding things out isn't hard for me- I use MeetUp, Facebook, etc- but they all seem to be focused on drinking. There are very few groups on Pittsburgh that seem to be dedicated to sports in my age group- and I believe that is why I have struggled so much with this move to Pennsylvania.

5. It pushes you

Whether it pushes you over the edge, causes you to move back home, or pushes you to become more independent, moving truly tests the mettle in your personality. So far, I feel like I'm winning. How about you?

 
 

So I realize that I have seriously been slacking on the blog lately. And when I say "slacking" I mean, "haven't written anything since November" slacking. I opened my Weebly app today and realized that even with the serious lack of postings, I have had over 1300 unique readers. WHAT. That is crazy to me! Over a THOUSAND people have viewed my blog, and I haven't been paying any attention to it. Pitiful.

I would make excuses as to why I haven't been keeping up, like getting a new job, working 50 hours a week, commuting another 15 hours for work and the gym, or moving to a completely different city (PITTSBURGH), but honestly, I just have been too lazy to commit to writing anything meaningful. So now that my life is finally starting to maintain a pattern, I guess it's time to start tapping away at my keyboard again. Today's post will be a little all over the place, but I have a lot to cover.

The bikini competition I wanted to do? That's been pushed from May to August/September. From a financial and emotional standpoint it was the right move for me. I've decided to do the majority of my prep on my own and then the last 8 weeks to hire a trainer to help me fine tune everything. I'm also starting CrossFit in May. I'm super excited to get going with it! My diet has been pretty locked down. I've been doing IIFYM and love it. Since January I've dropped from a 12 to a 8/10. At 6" I'm stoked about that, but also disappointed that my choices in jeans have now decreased even more due to the whole "my legs are 3" long and my waist is too small so I look like I'm constantly ready for a flood" deal.

While I am making strides towards my goals, I've also realized how hard it is to maintain this lifestyle. My family doesn't always understand what I'm doubg, and I've lost a few friends as well from it. My habits may seem a little obsessive, but I'm not interested in smoking weed and partying all the time. I like how working out feels. I love seeing how I can challenge myself and my body to do things I never would have imagined. I've learned that if I can motivate myself and use the high level of self control in this aspect that I can do it in all areas of my life. I've pushed myself harder than I ever have in my career because of it. The potential and possibilities that open up in my life have come because I changed my perspective. Just because something is hard doesn't mean it impossible. I've gained so much more respect for myself as a result.

I definitely have had my setbacks. It's been two years since I've lost the majority of my weight and yet I still feel like a big girl.

I see pictures of myself and still think I look like that girl in the middle picture. Not the ones bordering it. And sometimes people who knew me when I was that size make convents about it too. About me being "large" well guess what, I am almost 6 feet tall and I wear a size medium and on good days, a small. At that height. So in no way shape or form am I a "large", so that's a big "fuck you" to people who think that. Sometimes I think I need to be told that. Truth be told, if you are successful, there are going to be people who dislike what you are doing and to them, "once a fat girl, always a fat girl". If you notice, most successful people don't really hate on people who are doing well, because they already are successful! The majority of people who try to bring you down do so because they are jealous and don't want to see someone else do what they can't.

The way I see it, yeah, I was fat. I can change that. Know what most people can't change? A shitty personality.

 
 
So I went to the gym today (shocker) when it was actually quite busy. I try to stay away from the gym at those times, but today I couldn't help it. So I went in, put my stuff in a locker, everything routine. I get a couple lifts in and head over to the leg press machine, and luckily, no one was on it. I take a couple plates off, and all of a sudden I see this meathead douche canoe sprint over to me (probably the only cardio he gets for the week, cause, my gains bro), and say, "Hey I'm not done here". Dude. You were HALFWAY across the weight room with dumbbells in your hand (and probably in your skull, too). So I roll my eyes and walk away and head to the squat rack to push a couple reps out. Suddenly this relatively attractive guy, kinda skinny, but not bad, walks up to me and starts talking to me WHILE I have earbuds in and I'm trying to get parallel with 135 lbs on my back (I know, light, but I need to have good form). Irritating enough, but THEN he asks if he can trade off with me. I say sure, whatever (thoroughly irritated at this point) and this guy makes a big show of squatting, face gets red, and only does... HALF a squat. And pretends like it's a full squat. This guy has NO chance. Later on, while I'm shooting around he tries to redeem himself by shooting with me and challenging me to a game of PIG, which quickly turned into HORSE, and then he tried to make it last to SUBMARINE. Wasn't having it. So I was inspired to create a list of the stereotypical 10 people I hate most at the gym, with my friend Sarah as a contributor (we complain about this constantly to each other).

WARNING: This is made in humor. If you find it offensive, you might be guilty of being one of these people. Lighten up.

10 People I Hate At The Gym
  1. The Weight Hoarders
    Let's be serious. There is no way you need 3 sets of dumbbells that weight 15, 17.5, and 20 lbs. Man (or woman) up and up your weights and use 20s for your concentration and hammer curls. I promise the 2.5 weight increase won't kill you.
  2. The "I Don't Know What Deodorant Is"
    Here's the deal, folks. You need some deo for your b.o. PLEASE invest in a good stick of deodorant. If you don't look like Matthew Mcconaughey, you have no excuse to smell like that. I'll be the first to admit that I sweat like a man when I work out. Lady Speed Stick doesn't cut it for me, so I use Dove Men Sport or I will use Old Spice. I have no shame in smelling like how I imagine Matt Damon does (because no one that attractive can smell bad).
  3. The LuluLovers
    I love wearing bright neon spandex when I work out, this is true. And I have to coordinate my headband to my shorts and my shorts to my shirt. The women who irk me are the ones who do this and look like they should be on the front page of Oxygen magazine, and then do absolutely nothing. This isn't a fashion show, honey, so stop strutting like you're auditioning for Dolce and Gabanas latest runway and trot a couple laps around the track.
  4. The Creepers
    Ladies, we've all seen them. And guys, we aren't fooled. There are mirrors in the gym and they aren't just for checking our form. They're for us to figure out who is checking US out. So get your eyes off my keester and focus on building yours.
  5. The Screamers
    When I worked at my college's recreation center, there was a guy who would deadlift in his Vibram 5 Fingers, and he would do some pretty serious weight, I will give him props for that. And it is ok to grunt when you're really pushing yourself. But this guy sounded like he was either giving birth or climaxing, I'm not sure which. It was AWFUL. Whenever I saw him walk into the weight room, out I walked to the front desk to hide until he left so i wouldn't fall victim to his piercing shrieks. Drove me up the wall. I feel as though the half-squatters fall into this category as well, because they are usually the ones who are groaning so loud you think the dead have risen all around you. No, that's just a gym bro trying to go for weight over form.
  6. The Impatient Ones
    "Hey, are you almost done?"
    I just got here, ass hat. "What set are you on?"
    Well right now I'm on my first set, but I'm feeling pretty energetic, so I'm thinking I'll do 8 sets of 10 really light reps.
  7. The Business Casuals
    I understand if every once in awhile you forget your gym clothes and don't have time to run home and grab them. But when you are in jeans and a polo every single day, it's time to invest in a pair of basketball shorts. There is no way you are getting in a decent workout. 
  8. The Sock People
    I hate feet. So much. I don't even like looking at my own, I sleep with socks on. That does not mean that I want to see your janky-ass yellow socks sweating through onto the ground, spreading your gross pedi-fungus to the weight room floor. Don't get me wrong, if you are squatting or deadlifting 500 lbs+ like one of my buddies does, then go right ahead. I can't say anything against that. But if you only have one set of plates on either side of your barbell, put some converse on.
  9. The Cell Phone Addicts
    Curl texttexttextCurltexttexttextCurl
    I take the occasional (ok, frequent) gym selfie. I'll answer a text every once in awhile in between sets. But you are at the gym to get better, right? What good is being glued to your phone the entire time? That does nothing for your gains! Your phone is good for two things: Music, and recording your lifts. The social call can wait.
  10. The Nudists
    I don't know about the men's locker room, but I now in the women's locker room I run about a 90% chance of running into someone naked. And they are almost always older. I don't know if at their age they just don't care anymore, but I care. I'm already insecure about my own body, I don't need to also worry about running into someone's naked self when I turn a corner. There are things called towels that are pretty handy to cover things up. I mean, I would be cold if I didn't have a stitch of clothing on! These women must be like reptiles or something, because if I were to cavort around the locker room with nothing on but my birthday suit, I would become a Kyle-cicle.

So those are just a few of the people I run into at the gym who irritate me. For the most part though, I really do enjoy my gym and the time I spend there. And like I said, if you read this and get offended, lighten up, it's Halloween :)



So remember, cardio, seatbelts, and a little sunscreen doesn't hurt. I'm Columbus, Ohio, and I'm out. (Zombieland)


 
 
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I need to set an alarm or notification or something to keep me on track when it comes to writing blog posts. I really suck at this whole consistency thing.

You know what I also suck at? Life. No, seriously, I have lived in a bubble for the past 22 years of my life. I went to a high school in a small town, and I graduated from a college that is smaller than most high schools. Going out into the big bad world has been a huge shock for me, and so I decided to make a list of the top 10 things I didn't learn in college (and am now learning through trial and error in the real world)
  1. What you learn in college is useless
    Well, okay. Maybe not completely useless. And if you're a petroleum engineering major, or athletic training major, then yeah, you might use that information you've had crammed into your skull since the day you walked onto campus. But for the other majors? Not really. That speech you analyzed, that battle in Europe in the 1600s you can't get out of your head, or even the psychological condition you've convinced yourself that you have, they don't matter. What matters are the skills you've applied to create the projects you were assigned. So tuck away the steps of photosynthesis you know by heart, and save it for trivia nights at the local bar you frequent. The steps you took to memorizing those facts? Keep those methods you've learned in the forefront of your brain as you go on with your new job and have to memorize numerous processes in order to pass whatever qualification exam you have to take in order to work.
  2. Networking. It counts
    Raise your hand if you had a networking course in college. What, no one? Odd. Yeah, your college's career center may have offered the occasional networking dinner, but how many people actually went to these and knew exactly what to do? First off, I went to one networking event and it was issued through the NCAA during the stint that I thought I wanted to coach college basketball (didn't last long). I had NO CLUE what I was doing. I just sat there and tried not to be awkward, which, if you know me, is near impossible to do. Now that I'm in the real world, it feels like networking is all I do. I have a pile of business cards in my purse or wristlet at all times which has my link to my twitter account my business's website, so if I meet someone who I think even has the slightest possibility of mentioning my company to the right person, I can hand them my contact info.  The biggest tip I can give when it comes to networking? Find a common ground. The business I am in has mostly older people in it. I have practically NOTHING in common with them (Or so I think). I will usually start off with saying that I played basketball in college, that I like health and wellness, and that I also enjoy reading. Usually, one of those points strike a chord and we hit it off great. When it doesn't... I usually make something up that I at least know a little bit about. Oops.
  3. You are selling yourself
    And I don't mean prostitution. When you are applying for jobs, apartments, trying to find a significant other, you are essentially selling yourself. Your skills, your personality, all of the best qualities you are trying to pass off as the best possible option for that person you are appealing to. It feels fake, and let's be honest, it is. You can't tell someone who is looking to hire you that you suck at figuring out the proper juxtaposition of an image on a page, or even that you don't know what the word juxtaposition means. You can't tell someone on a first date about your severe trust issues, if you do, they will RUN. By upselling your best qualities and downplaying your worst, you are setting yourself up to either be a huge success or disappointment. So pick and choose wisely, young Padawan.
  4. You will be broke
    And when I say broke, I mean so broke that duct tape and super glue can't fix your financial situation. Now I know you're thinking, "Kyle was a communication studies major, of course she's broke". NO. The majority of people you went to college with are struggling financially right now unless they got lucky. You may think that everyone is doing great and making so much more money than you are, but most of them aren't, and the ones who actually have money are probably still living at home. I personally chose to move out, for my mothers' sanity and my own, when I got my office job. And my office job doesn't pay that well, so I picked up a job serving a couple nights a week so I could actually have some spending money. I hate being broke and I hate feeling like I'm living paycheck to paycheck, but in terms of situations, I'm doing all right. I can afford groceries, (sometimes I have to budget like no other and clip a ton of coupons, but I eat and I eat a TON) I have a nice car (even if it is a Ford), I live in a nice area. Can I go out drinking every weekend? No, not really. And I still haven't
  5. You will be lonely
    Even though I am from central Ohio, I do not know a whole lot of people in Columbus. and if I do, I'm not close with them. My best friend recently got married and moved to Raleigh, another lives 3 hours away, and a couple other very close friends just don't live in the area at all. I hate to admit this, but since graduating I have fallen out of touch with a lot of my friends. It is a lack of effort on both sides. I try to keep in touch through texting and meeting up with them every once in awhile, but the more we move away from our college years, the more I realize that while they were some of my closest friends when I was there, my interests and priorities are changing, as are theirs, and they are becoming strangers to me. My attempts to keep in contact have faltered as the lack of enthusiasm in their responses turn me off to talking to them again. It is HARD making new friends once you're in the real world. Your best friend doesn't live down the hallway anymore, and you can't go grab lunch in your dining hall like you used to do on a daily basis. I have a pretty hectic and busy schedule and I work 3 nights a week, and work during the day on weekdays. If I'm not at work, I'm at the gym, and no one really talks to me there, and I don't talk to anyone there either. Try joining your local Young Professionals Group as a way to branch out. I am joining local basketball and volleyball leagues hoping to meet people who have similar interests to me. But like I said, making new friends is hard once your out of college, and you are going to be lonely at times.
  6. You're on your own
    When I moved out on my own, I truly became independent. I had to learn how to budget, I had to learn how to pay bills on time, I've had to learn how to manage my time better. Luckily, being a student athlete pretty much prepared me for 90% of the time management skills you have to learn. If you didn't play a sport in college and weren't involved in multiple organizations, I feel bad for you, son. I've got 99 problems but time ain't one... okay off topic. Mommy and Daddy aren't there to hold your hand anymore. There's no sympathetic professor willing to "let things slide". You screw up? Your fault. Fix it, or fall.
  7. No one will cook for you
    My college set up its students to fail. No, seriously. When it comes to cooking, I can guarantee that at least 70% of the population at my alma mater have no idea at what temperature pork should be cooked at, or the difference between baking soda and baking powder (I still don't). Going to a residential college where everyone lives on campus, and everyone has a meal plan, and everyone eats at the dining hall or the cafe means that when you live on your own, you will probably be doing a lot of trial and error when it comes to cooking. My advice? Don't eat chicken when it's pink, butter is a carb, and Pop Tarts are not a sustainable food source. I eat a lot of chicken, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, fruits and veggies- a lot of food that is simple and easy to prepare. My marinade for chicken? Italian dressing. Oatmeal? Microwave, duh. I have expanded my cooking abilities lately, but I do that typically on Saturdays and with the guidance of similar recipes that I find on Instagram or the internet. Food prep is typically the route I choose when it comes to my meals- a massive amount of food prepared at the beginning of the week, put it in tuppeware containers, and heat it up or eat it cold. With my busy schedule, this is the best option for me, so I can continue to eat healthy and meet my macronutrient goals for the day. PS- Don't forget to take your multivitamin!
  8. You have to work with other people
    I HATED working in groups in my college classes. If I had to choose working in a group and doing a small portion of the work versus working by myself and doing it all, I would choose going solo, every single time, because I could manage every aspect to the project and do it on my own time. But guess what? That doesn't happen in the real world. No matter what you are going to be stuck working with people and working for people you don't necessarily get along with, or even like. Suck it up, get the work done, and then complain about it after work during Happy Hour and make yourself feel better (if you don't drink like me, go to your gym and go Chris Brown on a punching bag - it makes me feel better. The majority of the people you come across in life are not going to be your bestie. Get over it. #toughlove
  9. Dating sucks
    I spent the last semester and graduated college while I was dating someone, but it ended during the summer. Had a great time, good guy, whatever. Dating in college versus dating in the real world? It's unreal. The dates I have gone on since then have been ridiculous. The stories I could share would probably have you rolling on the ground crying. Online dating? Not my thing - come one, we've all tried it. Never actually gone on a date with anyone from said online dating website, the conversations on there were odd enough to turn me off to that pretty quickly. Tinder? Hilarious, but not something to build a strong foundation on. Had a couple dates from friends setting me up, and a few from the gym that I attend and they were all disasters. What's been interesting though is the type of men I seem to attract. I'm not sure if I'm just weird myself or just a freak magnet, but I've heard everything from "Let me see a picture of your foot, what size do you wear?" to "Guess what size my...." (I'll let you figure out how that one ends). Dating in the real world is intimidating. These are guys you don't know anything about. In college, everyone knew everyone so if you asked the right people, you could know exactly who this person has dated, who they have hooked up with, hell you could probably figure out their social security number if you asked around enough. Yeah. That small of a school. I'm still trying to figure out the dating game. Maybe it'll get better... but for now I'm just playing everything by ear and taking it with a grain of salt. Jaded? Maybe. But you run across enough deadbeats and foot fetishes, you would be too.
  10. There is no map to plan your life on.
    As much as it sucks, it's true. You don't know what you will be doing 10 years from now, you might not even know where you'll be living! Everyone goes to college with a set plan, "I'm going to major in XXXXX and graduate with a XXX and get a job with XXXXXXX. That almost never happens. I went to college thinking I wanted to be a doctor! And then I took chemistry, and intro to cellular biology, and calculus, well, let's just say that I am not particularly gifted in math and I lacked the work ethic early in my college career to keep up with the rigorous coursework. So I switched from biology to health science to psychology to communication studies, and finished as a comm major in 4 years (to the amazement and relief of my father) with a pretty decent GPA (If I do say so myself). My career choices ranged from doctor to basketball coach to "I have no clue leave me alone let me eat this giant piece of cake". And while I do have a job now, I can guarantee you that it won't be where I stay for the rest of my life. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do, and I probably won't figure that out for a couple years. And that's okay. I will probably end up at grad school someday- I do know that I want my Masters Degree, still deciding on what though, but other than that, I don't know what I want to do. My dad didn't figure out what he wanted to do and got his PhD at the age of 40. But today, he loves what he does. He goes into work every day looking forward to babysitting a hundred screaming hellions (He's an elementary school gym teacher)
And if after all of the struggles I am currently experiencing as a post-graduate, I can say that I enjoy my life and look forward to going into work every day, then I would say that I have succeeded. So what if I don't know what I'm doing, if I haven't figured out what I want to do? That's what is so great about being my age. I have the opportunity to change my life and move onto something better if I don't like my current situation. Until then, I will just continue being as awkward as this child who apparently really likes amphibians, especially when it comes to dating.

 
 

I am SUPREMELY irritated with this blog app I'm using from my phone to write this post. So now I will be as brief as possible before I end up throwing my phone out the window.

Tomorrow I start preparing for a bikini competition! I am 7 months out! Pretty excited. It's going to be extremely challenging, but I feel up to it. I am at the point now where I am knowledgeable enough to safely go through the prep for the competition. I won't be using a trainer, just flying by the seat of my pants.

Two years ago if someone would have told me I would be starting prep for a bodybuilding competition, I would have laughed in their face and reached for the Wendy's Double Bacon Cheeseburger I had probably been eating. A year ago, I would have still laughed, but reached for an apple instead. Today I feel like I actually have the mental toughness to achieve these goals.

Pictures and measurements will be taken tomorrow and I will be taking them every 30 days to mark my progress. I have also bought a journal in which to document everything I can possibly think of. I will discuss my supplementation, nutrition, and workouts in future posts. I have spoken to a few people and their support has helped me make this decision more final.I am extremely grateful for all of the support I have already received from those around me, for their kind words by far drown out the "haters" or whatever it is you would like to call them.

I may be made fun of for doing this, or be doubted that I can actually accomplish it, but this competition is for me. It's for me to step my game up, to lean out and be ready for summer. And to prove to myself that I have the strength to do so. I'm ready to meet my goals- and crush them! Here we go!

 
 
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I am a busy girl. I know everyone thinks that, and everyone thinks that they are special, and everyone's situation is unique, blah blah blah, but seriously, I am really, freaking busy. And my life feels like it is falling apart at times, whether it is due to the bills that are piling up (that I have so far managed to pay on time each month, amazingly enough), the student loans that hit me starting NEXT MONTH, my friends that I never get to see, or the job that I at times feel completely over my head in, or the dog that I wish I had (still imaginary at this time), or my second job that consumes my nights and weekends, and turns my work days from normal, 8 hour days into 12-14 hour days.

I'm actually really glad that I am single at this point because I would be a downright terrible girlfriend at this point in my life.
"Sorry honey, I can't go out for dinner with you tonight, I have to work/I have to lift/It doesn't fit my macros/I don't have the energy", Something along the lines of that would be used as an excuse not to spend time with my nonexistent significant other.

And I go off topic, again, as usual. My point of today's entry (late as usual, I know), is to discuss balancing all aspects of life when it comes to work, social life, romantic life, and fitness.
Well not the romance part. But I already explained that one.

I've had a lot of people talk to me about how I find a balance. I like to compare it to the Venn Diagram below, only substituting "study" for "work".

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I'll be completely honest, I'm still trying to figure the balance out. Right now, I am working around 55 hours or so a week. My week days typically consist of me working from 8:30am-4:30pm at my office job, and then I also have my serving job 3-4 days a week from 5-10 (11 on the weekends). So it's a lot. If I don't work out, my day starts at 7am and ends at around 10pm and is nonstop working.

But I can't just not work out on those days, right? So naturally, I wake up at the crack of ass, around 5am, and head to the gym. Those days I actually get up and out of bed, I feel more energized than i do with coffee (and for those who know me, they know not to give me coffee because I turn into an energetic puppy on speed)

On my days I only have one job, I get to relax and sleep in and work out later.
Working out for me isn't just "something to do when I'm bored" anymore. I've made it into a priority. It simply needs to happen. I make a date with myself to go to the gym, and I never intend to stand myself up. I've been stood up once before by someone else and it was super embarrassing, and so as a means of getting motivated when I am hungover and don't want to head to the gym on Sundays, I ask myself, "Do you want to feel that way again? No? Then get up and RALLY"
And it makes my decision pretty simple.

I also meal prep. If you have Instagram, look up #mealprep and #mealprepMonday . You're welcome. Basically I cook food in builk - chicken veggies, eggs, sweet potatoes - and use that as the basis for my food for the week so I don't have to spend unnecessary time in the kitchen. If I don't meal prep, then when I am busy, I make poor health decisions 75% of the time. I always try to have some sort of snack on me at all times, fruit, unsalted nuts, yogurt covered raisins, so if I do get hungry (which always happens) I have something that fits within my macro nutrient plan (which I will discuss in Sunday's entry).

I'm still working on the social life part. I've always been more of a loner by nature, and I have become more conscious of this. I try to make an effort to reach out to my friends, but it gets hard when you don't know a lot of people in the area you live in. Luckily, I have two pretty stellar roommates who don't mind including me. Every once in awhile though I need my Etta fam (My college friends), and so a road trip is warranted, like this upcoming weekend when I make the journey down to good old Southeastern Ohio and party on the Ohio River. If you follow me on social media, I can guarantee you will probably see some photos of me posted looking slightly intoxicated (Sorry, Mom!). But this is a rarity. I go out maybe twice a month. I wasn't a big drinker in college either, just went out once a week usually, so the transition hasn't been difficult. I simply sat down and asked myself (I think I talk to myself too much) if I wanted to go back to the way I used to look. There's no way I would ever want to do that, so sacrificing a few nights out and putting some more time in at the gym was easy to do.

I've helped a lot of my friends who ask me for advice, lifting and training programs. But I am not going to be pushing them every single day to get up and do it. They have to want it. They have to help themselves before I can. And that's what it comes down to, the want. It applies to everything you do. You are going to have to sacrifice something to achieve the goals you want. Decide if it is worth it.

Speaking of goals I want, on Sunday's entry, I will be making a pretty exciting announcement. A lot of hard work and dedication will be involved, and I cannot wait to document my journey! Until then, DEUCES.

 
 
So I realize that I suck. It has been over a month since I started my blog, and what have I contributed to it since I started? NOTHING. So I have a spare bit of time now to go over what has happened in the past...35 days or so.

I moved. Not as in "move to college", no, I moved out of my house, out of the nest, away from Mommy and Daddy moved. That was BIG.

Not only did I move, but I moved to the heart of Buckeye Country, a few miles north of OSU's campus! Talk about sweet. My two roommates are pretty awesome too. They are sisters and I like them a lot.

I also started both of my jobs. I work for a healthcare consulting firm full time, as well as serving part time at a swanky Italian restaurant (SO...MANY CARBS). The last two weeks I have worked an average of about 75 hours a week, which stops soon and I will only be working around 50 hours or so starting next week. So it's definitely been a struggle trying to balance my work, my life, working out, and eating healthy (don't even get me started on my wardrobe - a MAJOR work in progress).

And being a broke, recently moved graduate of an extremely expensive private liberal-arts school, I thought I was going to struggle with keeping my diet in check. I thought working so many hours as well as keeping my grocery bill under a certain number every week was going to be one of my biggest challenges. That's what so many people use as an excuse, "Oh, I can't eat healthy, it's too expensive"

That is a giant load of steaming, smelly, BULL CRAP. You just have to know where to buy your food. Walmart? Kroger? Nope. Aldi.

Seriously, Aldi! It is a wholesale retail type of grocery store. No bells and whistles, you have to bring your own bags (I bought 4 giant bags at TJ Maxx for .99 that work great for me), and it seems kind of sketch, but it really isn't.  In fact, I got all of this food (top left)for about $50. It lasted me roughly about a week. I also bought some food from Arena Produce and Mosely's Meat Market. Both places are ok, but in terms of being cost-efficient, Aldi has been the way for me to go.
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I also went to the farmers market today. I bought bison for the first time ever! I don't have a real grill so I am either going to pan-fry the burgers or use a George Forman... that will be an interesting attempt at cooking for sure!
Because I have had more of a hand in what food I am buying, I have found that I am leaning out considerably. That oh-so elusive quad sweep is starting to appear at times! Hallelujah!

I really enjoyed visiting the Farmer's Market. The majority of the foods I found were cheaper to buy than what I have found at a Walmart or Kroger or Giant Eagle. I just wish there were more options, but I can't be too picky when it is late summer harvest season. There are plenty of squashes to go around, but not as much fruit :/
Oh well, I need more veggies in my diet anyway. The meat there though was hella expensive - but it's "organic" or whatever so I'm assuming you pay the price for healthier meat, plus you are supporting local farmers!

So overall, my summary of top grocery options while on a budget: Aldi, good, cheap. Farmer's Market, limited options, cheap. I would really like to check out my local Costco here soon (my roommmate has a membership and I believe I can use hers), and the Whole Foods and Trader Joes. These two options I know I will not be able to routinely choose because of the price, but splurging a little every once in awhile will be nice!

That's all I really have to say on the grocery list for now. My next update will be on maintaining a good balance between a healthy lifestyle, having a social life, and still working enough to get by. Peace out!

 
 
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And that applies to this blog, and my life in general. But that's how everyone starts out, right? Having no clue what they are doing with their lives, I mean, shoot- we are supposed to decide what school we want to go to, what major we want to pursue, all before we are even legally allowed to drink?
Not so sure about the logic of that one.
Either way, I am going to try to keep my life (and blog) in an orderly fashion, as we were taught in elementary school when waiting in line for lunch (and I HATED waiting in those long lines for food- but more on that later!)
My purpose of this blog is to keep track of my life. Right now, I am living in that awkward post-graduate mind frame, the "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON" phase? Yup, right in the middle of that one. Attempting to balance work, a low income, healthy eating, working out, and actually having a social life is actually a lot harder than what I thought it was going to be. Not to mention paying off those student loans that arrive in that ghostly pale white envelope in November- please, Board of Education, have mercy on my soul!

If you want to know more about me, I am in the process of making an "About Me" section and I am hoping that I won't bring the website crashing down. Learning how to code a website is a little harder than making fonts and graphics on Neopets (Yes, I played games on that website daily while in elementary and middle school, and learned a lot of my computer savvy from toying with the settings on there)

I will be writing about a few things, each blog post will be dedicated to a singular subject so I don't go flying all over the place like I am with this first post. They include:
    Post Graduate Life
    Work
    Fitness
    Food
    Fashion
    Budgeting

So that's pretty easy, right? Well I hope it is, but who knows? I sure don't. Bear with me, this is a learning process! Until next time,