40 Days, Baby!

As you read this, Daxter & I are likely high in the skies above, flying back home after spending a few days in Macon, GA with my sister and beautiful nieces, Mia & Kira.

Yeah, we met Elsa & Anna. No big deal. 😉

It was super nice, as always, to get away for a little bit and spend time with my family, but with us nearing the one-month mark for the wedding, plus with all the holiday stuff coming up, I can’t help feeling more anxious than not coming back into everything. My sister has been doing her best to help me tackle things one by one, prioritize, and not freak out, and I’m trying to follow her advice, but I seem to be incapable of de-stressing even as I am crossings things off of my ever-growing to-do list. Le sigh.


I mean, I know that we’re getting into the home stretch, and at this point even totally normal people who aren’t A) DIY-ing way so much crazy sh*t and B) already prone to being overly anxious, emotionally compromised stressballs are apt to reach their boiling point. I swear, I am trying to keep it all in perspective: I still have 5 – 6 weeks to get everything done, my sister’s coming up in a couple more weeks and will be staying for the entire month before the wedding, and my two other bridesmaids will be in town for the full week prior. But I’m in this weird limbo where I feel like I’m both doing too much and not doing enough, lol.

I do feel better after meeting with Caitlin, my awesome day-of coordinator. She’s really ending up as more of a month-of coordinator, and I am so, so glad that I have someone there to reassure me that everything will work out (that I’m not related to, that is), and who is there to specifically help me execute all of my ridonkulous ideas. It makes the fact that I’m putting all these man-hours into details that barely anyone will actually notice much less suicide-inducing, hahaha.

I also have a walkthrough with our caterer scheduled for next week, which I’m sure will also put me more at ease, since it’ll give me the opportunity to ask all of the zillion questions I have on how exactly everything’s going to work. #notabridezillaiswear

I mean, don’t get me wrong: it’s really not all bad. I mean, one of the things that I crossed off my list while in Macon was taste-testing specialty cocktails for the wedding!

Hey, it was a tough job, but somebody had to do it!

Check out that Asian glow! 😉

And speaking of crossing things off my list… let’s take another look at that, shall we? (Are we super annoyed with this incessant list-updating yet?)

Date: ☑

Venue: ☑

Dress: ☑

Caterer: ☑

Photographer: ☑

Videographer: ☑

Flowers: ☑

Ceremony Musicians: ☑

Makeup Artist: ☑

Hair Stylist: ☑

DJ: ☑

Cake: ☑

Day-of Coordinator: ☑

Save the Dates: ☑

Invitations: ☑

Bridesmaid Dresses: ☑

Bridal Accessories: ☑

Wedding Rings: ☑

Groomsmen Tuxes: ☑

Dress Fittings: ☑

Registry: ☑

Hotel room blocks: ☑

Wedding-Day Transportation: ☑

Welcome Bags: ☐

Wedding Signage: ☑

Program & Menu: ☐

Seating Chart: ☐

Alcohol: ☐

Signature Cocktail: ☑

Centerpiece Bottles: ☑

Table Numbers: ☐

Ceremony Backdrop: ☐

Card Box: ☐

Keys to Success: ☐

Popcorn Bar: ☐

Wedding-Day Surprise Element ;): ☐

Guestbook: ☑

Write Vows: ☐

Marriage License: ☐

Create Timeline: ☑

Order Thank You Cards: ☐

Select Ceremony Music: ☐

Wedding Week Beauty Appts – Hair: ☑ Brows: ☑ Nails: ☑

Honeymoon: ☑

Book Honeymoon Excursions: ☐

Book Honeymoon Return Flight: ☐

I actually had to reneg and un-check the popcorn bar one, because I was getting a little ahead of myself. I have all the containers and whatnot, but haven’t placed an order for the actual popcorn yet, oops.

Still makin’ pretty good progress, but since this week is super busy for me work-wise, and the following week is, uh, Christmas week, I don’t really know how much I’ll get done until after Christmas… guess we’ll just have to see how the next couple of weeks go!

If I don’t make it back to update you guys before then, I hope you have the most amaaaaaaah-zing holiday season!

Stress with a Capital S

So beyond being happy and in a constant good mood lately, I am another thing. Stressed. Because, as it turns out, writing and publishing your first novel is an incredible mood lifter. But it’s also, like, kind of a big deal. With lots of things to consider. And lots of things to do. And lots of things to stress you out.

Now, I’ve never really been all that great at handling stress. Ask anybody who knows me in real life, and they will confirm this. Heck, I will gladly confirm this. I mean, a couple Christmases ago my brother glued the side of the gingerbread house onto the mold before it was decorated and I burst into tears and actually said the words, “YOU RUINED CHRISTMAS!”


Yeah, my family doesn’t really let me live that one down.

Gingerbread House

I’ve written about stress and anxiety before, and I’ve tried taking up some of your suggestions on how to deal with it, but I still haven’t gotten a very good handle on my ability to… handle… it. Last night, I laid (lied? lay?) awake in bed for an hour, my heart racing and mind whirring, just because I could not STOP THINKING ABOUT BOOK STUFF. Pitch emails, formatting, final copyedits and typos. Timelines and deadlines and proofs, oh my!

Okay, I just stressed myself out again just writing that list. Let’s backtrack.

ANYWAY. I was in bed, trying my darnest to count sheep and take deep breaths and not obsessively continue to check my phone, and eventually, I did fall asleep. And then I had one of those harrowingly realistic dreams where you are SO SUPER POSITIVE that it’s real life. You know, the kind of dream where you feel legitimately pissed in real life at real people, even though it’s only their dream-versions who wronged you. Needless to say, I woke up crying.

So, stress. I has it. And, in a hilarious-in-retrospect-but-awful-at-the-time kind of way, my worst anxiety always seems to manifest itself in my unconscious mind. Once, I dreams that my ex-boyfriend shot me in the leg. This was while we were still dating, mind you. So, you know, bad, uber-realistic dreams tend to lead to loss of sleep, and loss of sleep leads to more stress/being more easily stressed, and it’s a bit of a vicious cycle.

I’m kind of hoping that maybe there’s just something in the air, because Aileen’s post today was coincidentally in much of the same vein. (Even though she has much more to be stressed about than me, what with a deployed fiance and all. Perspective. I needs it.) But let’s be honest, I think what it really boils down to is just that I’m kind of high-strung in general. And I’m okay with it. (Self-acceptance is this week’s theme on the blog, right? Hahaha.)

I’m just going to focus on the positives here. Like, I’m not stress eating. That’s a big step for me! In fact, if I continue to be stress-nauseous like I was last night, maybe this will even lead to a loss, hahahaha. And in the meantime, I’ve booked a massage. Positive steps!

I know I’ve asked this before, but feel free to weigh-in with your best/favorite stress-relievers. And only one of you gets to say “exercise,” since that’s pretty much a gimme. 🙂

Stress (Weigh-in)

I am stressed.

There are no two ways about it. Dealing with the actual events of last week (to refresh the memories of those who may not have tuned in, a bathroom in my house flooded into the kitchen below and my new car was hit twice — all within 24 hours), then the subsequent hours of dealing with all the various insurance companies, then dealing with all the work I’ve been missing in order to deal with the two aforementioned things… it is no bueno. Plus, my whiplash/soft tissue injuries from the accidents doesn’t make dealing with things any easier. I know that I’m getting through it — one step at a time and all that — but it’s all still a lot to deal with. And it’s stressful.

Surprising though it may be to hear, I don’t really handle stress all that well (ha!). My life is really not all that stressful most of the time, and I fully admit to that. I am no longer dealing with any financial crisis. I have a job that, while certainly not perfect, is at least not particularly demanding of me (usually). I have good friends, a supportive family, and a loving boyfriend. I have adorable schnauzers. All in all, I can’t really complain too much (I mean, I still DO complain, of course, but I really shouldn’t, hahaha). So when life throws me a curveball (or, you know, three), I’m not really too sure what to do with myself.

Normally, when I’m feeling a little worse for the wear, I try to treat myself. I try to get myself to take my mind off of things. I go get a pedicure. Or a massage. Or if things are really bad, I let myself loose in the Coach store. But this seems like a whole other ballgame, honestly, and I’m not sure it’s the kind of thing that a fresh coat of nail polish or a new purse (no matter how much I love the new Legacy Collection) will fix.

This stress is manifesting itself in emotional, mental, and physical ways. Allow me to elaborate.

Emotional: I am emotional. Well, okay, to be fair, I’m always emotional. But I mean, moreso than usual. My emotions are heightened to PMS levels, even though I’m not PMSing. I got choked up on a conference call with my boss yesterday afternoon. It is bad.

Mental: So last week I talked about how the week was causing me some serious backslide-like thoughts with regard to my binge eating disorder. But that’s not the only effect that all this stress has had on my thoughts. It has also been taking a serious toll on my sleep. Not only am I sleeping even more fitfully than normal, but what little sleep I do get is not restful. My dreams have been seriously whacked out lately. My head is plagued with scenes of serial killers and Hunger Games-style survival situations and dying family members and date rapists and… yeah, it’s messed up in there. A lot of horror, a lot of bad situations, and a lot of waking up in the middle of the night and not wanting to go back to sleep.

Physical: So this brings us to the physical element. Now, granted, part of the physical pains that I’m dealing with are residual effects of the soft tissue damage (or whatever the official terminology is) from the accidents. I have a prescription for muscle relaxers (that honestly don’t really seem to do anything) and just had my second session with a massage therapist yesterday. But my shoulders, neck, and back feel like they are in BAD shape. My therapist actually said she was really surprised how much more tight and tense I was this week in comparison to last week, which probably isn’t good. Especially since my doctor said that the soreness/pain would get worse through days 1 – 5, but then should get better after that. Not so much, it would seem.

In addition to that, I also am breaking out on my face. Not in pimples, but in tiny red hive-like bumps all over my cheeks. Super attractive. Oh, and last night I got so rapidly sick to my stomach that I threw up. Yeah. Something has got to give, and I’m kind of at a loss. I’m already getting massage as part of my injury treatment, but it’s not the relaxing, melt-away-your-stress kind of massage. It’s the other kind. The bad, but good, but bad kind.


I know it will get better. Things are moving and hopefully in a few more weeks I will be able to look at this time in my life and laugh… in a laughing-crying kind of way, probably. The contractor came over to the house to give us an estimate on home repairs this AM, and I also dropped my car off to get it fixed (it hit 1000 miles just as I was pulling into the parking lot of the body shop… sad). I have a schmancy-looking Camry to drive around in the meantime. Unfortunately, the car feels ENORMOUS compared to my Focus, and I am petrified that I am going to hit something (it’s very spacious inside, which translates into it being WIDE). Because I definitely needed MORE anxiety when getting behind the wheel, right? Hahaha… ha.

Well, as long as we’re talking about stressful things, I guess I might as well get my weigh-in out of the way, huh?

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 203.8 lbs
This Weigh-in: 202.8 lbs
Difference: -1.0 lbs

Hey, look at that! Another pound gone. Normally, I would almost definitely be upset at only having lost 1 pound in three weeks (my last weigh-in was August 30th), but given the circumstances… I will take it. My appetite has been really off lately too (I guess that should fit under the “physical” category. Or is it mental? or emotional?) and it feels like I’m ravenous or I literally cannot stomach the idea of eating. There is no in-between anymore. So frankly, the fact that I haven’t put 5 more pounds back on is real cause for celebration.

What are your tips for relieving stress? I’m honestly willing to try anything from aromatherapy to Xanax at this point.

Anxiety (Weigh-in)

I am not exactly what you might call a laid-back person.

You know, that whole personality trait where you can let things go easily, you don’t stress out, you don’t get worked up? Not me. This is shocking to you, I’m sure, given the level of enthusiasm I’ve been expressing for the past week over all my various birthday activities, haha. I just run a little more emotionally high than some people.

Normally, the whole excited-about-everything-good-and-bad thing works for me! While I’m generally always riding the line of being stressed out about SOMETHING, I’ve never had a particular problem with managing it. I’ve never had to deal with stress or anxiety on a large scale. Which is probably how it should be because, let’s face it, I live a relatively stress-free life. I don’t live in a warzone, I don’t have a chronic illness or an incredibly demanding job. I’m certainly not rolling in cash monies, but I’m no longer carrying around any credit card debt and I still live a very enjoyable life on my budget. I have a supportive family, great friends, a wonderful boyfriend, and two epic mini schnauzers. Okay, now it just sounds like I’m bragging, hahaha.

The point I’m trying to (rather unsuccessfully) make is that yes, while I have my share of days that are full of pressing deadlines and less-than-ideal circumstances, it’s never been something that a hot shower or pedicure or heart-pumping sweat session or trip to the dog park or 8 full hours of sleep hasn’t been able to fix. But lately, increasingly so in the past few days, I’ve been feeling really anxious. About everything. About nothing. It’s a strange, new, and uncomfortable state for me to be in. I find my breath hitching when I’m doing nothing but sitting at my desk writing emails. My heart starts racing and my palms begin to sweat when I’m cooking dinner. And I don’t really know how to deal with it appropriately.

I can’t really pinpoint what is it that has me on such high alert lately. Yes, there are a few things on my mind, what with my recent potential career change decision, the Reach the Beach relay (both the logistics/travel/planning for it and the thought of actually, y’know, running it), and, as always, my weight loss progress (or current lack thereof). But these things have been subjects of thought for a while now, so why is it only now that my body feels like it’s physically rejecting them? All I know right now is that despite yesterday consisting of a massage AND a sweaty Zumba session AND a hot shower afterward, I only felt better for like, 4 hours. I slept fitfully and woke up feeling as anxious as I did the day before. My brain is a douchebag.


As you can imagine, my weigh-in for today didn’t exactly help alleviate my feelings of anxiety this morning. I posed a question on Facebook yesterday to gauge whether or not I would be severely judged for skipping my weigh-in (again) in the name of birthday glory (again), and while some of you gracious souls did give me the go-ahead to skip, more of you ended up convincing me to just do it and get it over with. The not-knowing would probably have caused me even more stress in the long run anyway…

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 188.4 lbs
This Weigh-in: 194.0 lbs
Difference: +5.6 lbs

… Or not. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Well, you guys are always telling me not to be too hard on myself (“I suck!” “How can I call myself a weight loss blogger?!” I’ve wasted a year with all this yo-yoing!”) and I’m always telling myself to stop making excuses (“It was my birthday!” “I drank! A lot!” “Sodium! Alcohol! Sugar!”), so in the spirit of compromise I won’t do either. I’ll just say that it is what it is, and if I got to do my week of birthday debauchery all over again, I’m sure I would. I’ve been pretty good about eating cleanly and exercising since the party so hopefully in another week I’ll be back down a few libbies.

You’re also always encouraging me to stop with the negative self-talk, so in that spirit I’ll simply re-post this photo from Saturday, which I love:

And remind myself that 190+ might still be a little lumpy but, all things considered, it doesn’t look all that bad.

For now.