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The Idea of Me

Everyone you meet, everyone you have met, and everyone you know first starts out as an idea of what you want them to be or who you think they might be.

From the moment you first see someone, no matter how hard you try not to, you’re mentally taking notes on everything about them, their clothes, their voice, the way they carry themselves, how firm their handshake is, their smile, their hair, the way they make or lack eye contact. Before someone even has a chance to say hello you’ve formed an opinion of them. They’re wearing too much make up, their teeth are too large for their mouth, their hair is too long or their beard isn’t trimmed, their suit is too small, their shirt has a stain on it.

The first conversation you have with them can alter this initial opinion, or it can support it. They might be friendlier than they look, they might have a voice that sounds like nails on a chalkboard to your ears, they might be extremely well-spoken but dressed like a complete bum. Sometimes a first conversation can be shocking, leaving you confused and re-evaluating your opinion on someone’s outer shell.

Our brains gather all of this information and try to form something out of it, even though there’s no point. We try to come to conclusions after spending a few minutes with someone, and those conclusions are probably almost always wrong. Society teaches us that attractive people are good, and unattractive people are bad. We all now know as adults that this is entirely untrue, that looks have almost nothing to do with a person’s morality, but innately our minds still tend to follow this rule of thumb.

Then our brains continue to think and process and begin to mold some sort of expectation for this new person. Maybe you expect them to be nice to you, or maybe you expect them to like you because you learned you had something in common, maybe you expect them to buy you a drink because you’re both standing at the bar, maybe you expect them to make a grand romantic gesture because you think you’re both equally attracted to each other and just found love at first sight and have the same favorite drink and both just got out of a bad breakup and are perfect for each other….

Anyways, I see this habit most in myself when it comes to dating, in case you didn’t already pick up what I was putting down. It seems like every guy I meet I immediately start imagining us as a future couple. Of course, all of these thoughts are positive, so my imagination takes me places I’ve never even known in a relationship; understanding, support, romance, communication, a real connection. I see potential, and then I can’t let it go. I’m sure we’ve all heard a friend say at some point, “he wasn’t in love with me, he was in love with the IDEA of me.”

I bet this is why 90% of relationships fail. We put all our energy into someone we barely know, with expectations we have no right to have in the first place. Years later we are wondering why that person isn’t who we thought they were, but it’s because they were never that person. Our brains just like to conjure up ideas of what we want out of that person or that relationship, and when that person doesn’t measure up, we blame them. In reality, it’s our own fault for having these expectations and ideas of who someone might turn out to be, and the likelihood of them successfully turning out to be an idea our own mind formed has to be one in a million.

 

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No wonder we’re disappointed all the time (we = people in the dating world), when someone turns out to be exactly who they are and not who we wanted them to be. Is there a way to train our minds to accept people at face value (not literally)? Is this what people mean when they say to lower your expectations so that when someone actually treats you well it completely blows you away?

I think everyone has lost appreciation for the art of getting to know someone, like really getting to know them as a person, before throwing your insecurities and relationship standards on them. I used to be a firm believer in deal breakers, and I stand by some of them, but I think it’s time to re-assess the value of a friendship before it gets ruined with the pressure of romance.

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Cliche New Years Post

Oh look! Another article in your news feed about how to better yourself in 2015. “Fifteen ways to be happier in 2015.” “Fifty Resolutions You Should be Making This Year.” “The Top 10 Resolutions to Make for Next Year.” You can be a journalist, or even a blogger, and have your own writing style without using a list for every single article you write.

#overit #endrant

I’m not making any resolutions this year. That’s right, I’m so awesome already, I don’t need to change myself. Not really, I just think about last year at this time when I made my resolutions, and the year before that, and the year before that. And how they never happened. And how they’re always the same.

1. Lose weight.
2. Stop biting my nails.
3. Exercise more.
4. Eat healthier.
5. Pray more.

[It’s really sad that “pray more” is at the bottom of that list below losing weight and biting my nails. Probably if that were at the top of the list I wouldn’t need anything else on the list.]

None of these things about me have changed over the last several years. My weight and routines have fluctuated but I am still the same person. New Years Resolutions don’t drastically change who you are just because the date on the calendar changes. You change because of things that happen to you over the course of that year, things that you have NO control over.

I sat down last December, much like in years’ past, and told myself I would lose weight, blind to what God and the universe actually had in store for me for 2014. A stress fracture in my foot, a new job, and most recently, a car accident.

Sometimes it feels like the more determined you are to do something, the more obstacles you find standing in your way. Just when I hit a great momentum of motivation I am stopped in my tracks. The accident left me with a concussion, back pain, a gastrointestinal bleed, and a ulcer (in a nutshell). Last night was my first night exercising in 20 days. The longest I’ve gone since my stress fracture. And there’s not much more discouraging than trying to work out in the gym when you feel tired, fat, and unmotivated.

Spoiler alert: people think that a new year means a new start, but the reality is your life continues the way it’s been going! You can’t change yourself, but you CAN change your attitude. Maybe 2014 wasn’t so shiny for you, I feel ya, man. But 2015 might be better for us if we change our attitudes and outlooks. It really sucks to get back in the gym after 20 days of not working out, but exercise is always the better choice than sitting on your fat ass at home! And sure, life may not always go as you plan, maybe you got laid off or got broken up with, but you know damn well those things always turn into something better down the road. I got into a car accident and got a brand new car, see? Case in point! So keep on truckin’ friend, headstrong into 2015.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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The Holiday Work Struggle: A Poem.

‘Twas ten days ’til Christmas and all through my office

Were chocolates and cookies and goodies among us

I sit at my desk meal planning and gym scheduling

Only to be showered with gifts and kind gesturing

Gift givers skipping and smiling as they leave

Feeling joyful and triumphant about their good deeds

My grin turns to grimace as the door slowly closes

Knowing the willpower to come will come in large doses

How many calories in two chocolate truffles?

Do I have to count the candy cane and cookie crumbles?

I’ll have to leave work early and wake up before eight

And then run as fast as I can for about three days straight

Maybe if I Christmas shop for an entire day

I’ll burn off that one piece of fudge I’ve been saving for Friday

Then I’ll diet all weekend to prepare for the new week

Because Monday will for sure bring a new treat

Happy Holidays!

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Just Keep Swimming

I was just finishing off a bowl of chocolate chunk ice cream and thought to myself, “I should really post on my diet blog again.”

 

Well, here I am, almost 3 months later and zero pounds down. I could blame it on the fact that I broke my foot running the bridge run, but that feels cheap. After giving up the elliptical, treadmill, any body weight training like squats and lunges, and yes, even spin class was making my foot hurt, I decided to try the only other option, swimming.

 

You might be thinking, oh yea! Swimming’s fun! Nope. I remember being a kid at the YMCA one summer and learning to swim was cool because you got a new colored band to wear around your neck for each improvement you made, and at the end of the summer if you swam in the deep end you got a black band, and only the really cool kids had a black band.

 

I also remember one of the most embarrassing moments of my life when I attended a pool party in 7th grade with all my friends (and by friends I mean a bunch of girls who hated each other, because…middle school), all the guys were doing flips off the diving board. Typical Allie move, I decide to try and be cool, one of the guys, and as everyone watches me, I stand at the end of the diving board, muster up all my gymnastics knowledge and coordination, take a big jump and….belly flop.

 

I also enjoyed boogie boarding in middle school, I would go to the beach with my best friend Brittany and we could boogie board for hours and hours, all week long. My entire back peeled off one summer. Only problem was, without my boogie board I felt like I might drown. The worse part was a few times I got sucked under by a wave and salt water would go all up my nose and down my throat and in my lungs and in my ears and eyes and it was just AWFUL. One of the worst feelings ever.

 

Needless to say my entire life I’ve been a nose-plugger. Any time I jump into water, or even dip my head under, I plug my nose with my fingers. Any time I can’t touch the bottom I have what probably constitutes as a minor anxiety attack. No wonder I put off this whole “swimming for fitness” thing for several weeks, but I had no other choice, and finally one day I just went. I swam 25 meters and had to stop to catch my breath. For the first few times I had to stop after every 25 meters and breathe. Oh, I also had my head above the water, like I didn’t put my face in, so my neck was killing me the next day and I also felt like an idiot.

 

This week, in the last 4 days, I’ve easily swam somewhere around 3000-4000 meters. This is after about 6 weeks of swimming at least 3 days a week, but once I finally got the hang of it, I didn’t want to stop. I know, it sounds just as weird coming out as it does to hear it. I actually found a form of exercise I don’t loathe. Isn’t that bizarre? Now you all think I’m a weirdo.

 

Swimming is nothing like any other form of cardio. The best thing is no one knows when you’re sweating profusely. Your thighs don’t rub together and you don’t have to keep pulling your shorts down. You don’t have to bring a towel to wipe your sweat because it’s dripping onto your bike (but you do have to bring a towel, it’s a pool after all). No one’s yelling at you to pedal faster or zumba harder or hold that plank longer. There’s no music, playlists, or “get pumped music.” All I hear is my inhale and my bubbles. And sometimes I don’t hear anything because my ears fill with water. You don’t have to wear makeup or worry about your hair. The makeup will run and make you look like a day-old prostitute and your hair is in a tiny bun in a skin-tight cap. And the very best part? That one-piece sucks in all that tummy. Oh yea baby, it’s like spanxx for your workout.

 

Now I can jump into water and not plug my nose! That’s a huge deal for me. I could probably also not drown now, so that’s good too.

 

I’m addicted and I just can’t enooouuuugh. I just can’t get enoouuugghh I just can’t get enoouuggh.. .

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